Ryan as the FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion in October 2010
|Birth name||Barri Griffiths|
13 January 1982 |
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Barri Griffiths
|Billed height||6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)|
|Billed weight||291 lb (132 kg)|
|Billed from||Cardiff, Wales|
|Trained by||Orig Williams
Griffiths began training to be a professional wrestler in 2006, and competed around Europe for the next three years. In 2009, he signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) and debuted in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE's developmental territory, in January 2010. In July, he won the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship and held the championship until February 2011. Griffiths debuted as Mason Ryan on Raw in January 2011, where he aligned himself with the New Nexus.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 3 Other media
- 4 Personal life
- 5 In wrestling
- 6 Championships and accomplishments
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Griffiths was born in Tremadog, the son of Carys and Malcolm Griffiths. He attended Ysgol y Gorlan primary school in Tremadog and Ysgol Eifionydd secondary school in Porthmadog, before studying construction management at Cardiff University for 18 months. He worked as a trainee carpenter and in his family's funeral home prior to becoming a wrestler. Griffiths played football as a centre-back for Welsh Premier League team Porthmadog, but had to curtail his career due to a knee injury.
Professional wrestling career
Training and early career (2006–2008)
Griffiths began training to be a professional wrestler in 2006 after attending a wrestling show with a friend where the promoter Orig 'El Bandito' Williams, recommended he start wrestling. He trained at a professional wrestling school in Birkenhead. Griffiths had wrestled under the names Celtic Warrior and Smackdown Warrior since 2007, and had competed in almost 100 matches in countries including Egypt and Venezuela. He represented the UK in a Battle of the Nations tag team match between the UK and Austria, teaming with Drew McDonald and Sheamus O'Shaunessy in a losing effort to Chris Raaber, Michael Kovac, and Robert Ray Kreuzer at the European Wrestlng Association's Night of Gladiators show in June 2007. After signing with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), Griffiths had his final show in Wales in October 2008, when he won a singles match and a battle royal in Porthmadog.
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
Florida Championship Wrestling (2009–2011)
In mid-2009, Griffiths signed a five-year contract with WWE. When he received his work visa, he debuted in their developmental territory, Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW) in January 2010. Under the name Mason Ryan, he competed against wrestlers including Johnny Curtis, Tyler Reks, Johnny Prime, and Hunico in his first matches.
On 22 July, Ryan won a triple threat match against defending champion Alex Riley and Johnny Curtis by pinning Riley to win the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship for the first time. Over the next few months, Ryan successfully defended the championship against wrestlers including Bo Rotundo, Richie Steamboat, and Eli Cottonwood. At the tapings of FCW television on 2 September, Ryan successfully defended the championship against Johnny Curtis when FCW commentator Byron Saxton interfered and aided him. The following week, Saxton became aligned with Ryan, accompanying him to the ring and acting as his manager. In November 2010, Ryan toured Europe with the SmackDown brand, defeating Chavo Guerrero in Belfast on 4 November and again in Liverpool on 6 November. On 3 February 2011, Ryan lost the Florida Heavyweight Championship to Bo Rotundo, ending a six-and-a-half month reign.
The New Nexus (2011)
Griffiths, as Mason Ryan, made his WWE television debut on 17 January 2011 episode of Raw by interfering in a match between CM Punk and John Cena. Following his interference, Punk presented him with a 'Nexus' armband, inducting him into the New Nexus. Ryan then participated in the 2011 Royal Rumble match where he eliminated The Great Khali and Booker T. On 7 February Ryan had his debut match on Raw when he lost to R-Truth via disqualification. In late February, it was announced that Punk would face Randy Orton at WrestleMania XXVII, with each member of the New Nexus facing Orton to win the right to accompany Punk to the ring in the preceding weeks. Ryan was the final member to face Orton, but lost on the 14 March episode of Raw. Following the match, Orton punted Ryan in the head. Ryan was absent from television for nearly a month, making his return on 11 April on Raw with the other New Nexus members, attacking Orton and preventing him from earning a WWE Championship match. On the episode of Raw on 2 May, Ryan lost to Kane by disqualification following interference from Punk, and went on to attack both Kane and Big Show. Afterward he left the ring without celebrating with the other members of the New Nexus. At the Over the Limit pay-per-view on 22 May, Ryan and Punk challenged Big Show and Kane for the WWE Tag Team Championship, but were unsuccessful. Mason Ryan was voted to face Evan Bourne in a singles match and won, but Ryan winning the vote was later revealed to be due to a technical error, as Sin Cara was the actual winner of the vote. The following month, Ryan suffered an injury and was absent from television to recuperate.
Return and NXT (2011–2014)
Ryan returned from injury at a house show in Jackson, Mississippi in late August. He made his television return on the 8 September episode of WWE Superstars, defeating JTG. On the 26 September episode of Raw, Ryan was chosen by Vickie Guerrero as the partner for Jack Swagger and Dolph Ziggler in a six-man tag team match against Zack Ryder and Air Boom (Evan Bourne and Kofi Kingston), but Ryan turned on Swagger and Ziggler, allowing Ryder to pick up the victory for his team, this turned Ryan face. The following week on Raw, Ryan teamed with Air Boom, Sheamus, CM Punk and John Cena in a 12-man tag team match to defeat the team of Alberto Del Rio, Christian, Cody Rhodes, David Otunga, Ziggler, and Swagger. Ryan began feuding with Ziggler, with the pair trading wins via disqualification. Ryan was part of Team Orton at the Survivor Series pay-per-view in 20 November, where he was eliminated by Cody Rhodes. After Survivor Series, Ryan was confined to wrestling on Superstars mainly for the first half of 2012, but did not wrestle a single televised match in the second half of 2012.
When WWE rebranded its developmental territory, FCW, into NXT Wrestling, Ryan rejoined the developmental roster, returning to the ring on the rebooted WWE NXT and began his singles winning streak on 30 January 2013, by defeating Sakamoto. After squashing Enzo Amore on the 22 May episode of NXT, on the next episode Ryan took part in an 18-man battle royal to determine the number one contender to the NXT Championship, where he dominantly eliminated 11 wrestlers before being eliminated by Adrian Neville. Ryan then entered into a feud against Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady; although he easily defeated them in singles matches, he fell to them in a handicap match. On 30 April 2014, it was reported that Ryan had been released by WWE.
Independent circuit (2014-present)
After his release from WWE, Mason Ryan continued to wrestle on the independent circuit still under his WWE name. His first appearance was for the American Pro Wrestling Alliance promotion, where during its May 31 show, he became the new APWA Tri State Champion.
He debuted for the Pro Wrestling Syndicate promotion at its Super Card 2014 show on June 7 where he was victorious against The Lifeguard. Mason made his debut for the WrestleSport promotion on August 16th 2014 where he defeated Adam Pearce who replaced an injured Chris Masters, who was at ringside, to become the first ever WrestleSport Heavyweight Champion. On September 5, 2014, at Full Impact Pro Fallout, Ryan along Michael Tarver and Shaun Ricker participated in a trios tournament, but were defeated by Full Impact Puerto Ricans (Lince Dorado, Jay Cruz and Jay Rios). On September 7, 2014, Ryan made his debut in World Wrestling Council at Septiembre Negro against the WWC universal Champion The Mighty Ursus in a losing effort. On September 27, The Mighty Ursus defeated Ryan to win the American Pro Wrestling Alliance Tri-State Championship and simultaneously defend the Puerto Rican WWC Universal Heavyweight Championship. On October 18, 2014, at wXw SlaMania II, Ryan won the wXw Shotgun Championship. Ryan lost it the following night.
Griffiths appeared in the second series of the revived Gladiators television show in 2009, and competed under the name Goliath. When he was working on a television show in Wales about being a wrestler, he was told that producers were looking for new gladiators, and he applied with the encouragement of his trainer, Orig Williams. He began filming the first show a month later, as he had to grow long hair for the role.
Griffiths has appeared on The Paul O'Grady Show. Barri Griffiths: Y Reslar, a Welsh language documentary about Griffiths' life in the months before he moved to the United States, aired in September 2010 on S4C. In December 2011, Griffiths appeared on the TV documentary Orig, where he was interviewed by Tara Bethan, the daughter of his first trainer Orig Williams.
Ryan speaks Welsh and is an avid weightlifter. He has a sister named Catrin. He once held a world record for holding 20 kilograms of weight with his arms straight for just over one minute.
- Finishing moves
- Signature moves
- Big boot
- Delayed vertical suplex
- Fallaway slam, sometimes preceded by multiple rib breakers
- Military press drop
- Multiple clothesline variations
- Pumphandle slam
- Running turnbuckle thrust or a knee lift to a cornered opponent
- Snake Eyes
- Vertical suplex powerslam
- Entrance themes
Championships and accomplishments
- American Pro Wrestling Alliance
- APWA Tri State Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- WrestleSport Heavyweight Championship (1 time, current)
- "Goliath, Barri Griffiths". Gladiator Zone. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Trewyn, Hywel (2 August 2010). "North Wales man crowned heavyweight champion wrestler of Florida". Daily Post (North Wales). Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- "Mason Ryan". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Williams, Andrew (8 January 2009). "Gladiator in hot pants trouble". Metro.co.uk. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- "Mason Ryan". Retrieved 7 June 2012.
- "Mason Ryan". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 25 January 2011.
- Jones, Geraint (5 August 2010). "Barri wrestles with rise to fame". North Wales Chronicle. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Gaksell, Simon. "WWE star Mason Ryan ditched undertaker's life for wrestling stardom". Wales Online. Retrieved 28 April 2013.
- Trewyn, Hywel (27 November 2008). "Meet North Wales’ very own Gladiators". Daily Post (North Wales). Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- Hughes, Owen R (26 January 2011). "Gwynedd WWE star Barri Griffiths billed as from Cardiff". Daily Post (North Wales). Retrieved 30 January 2011.
- Devine, Darren (4 January 2009). "Welsh duo are TV gladiators". Wales Online. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- "EWA Results". European Wrestling Association. Retrieved 9 November 2010.
- Jones, Geraint (28 October 2008). "North Wales Nexus Leader Barri Griffiths off to the USA". North Wales Chronicle. Retrieved 11 August 2010.[dead link]
- "Welsh wrestler Mason Ryan is a stateside hit". BBC. 20 January 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
- "Florida Championship Wrestling roster". Florida Championship Wrestling. Archived from the original on 23 December 2010. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- "Florida Championship Wrestling (2010)". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
- Gerweck, Steve (5 November 2010). "11/4 WWE Results: Belfast, Northern Ireland". WrestleView. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
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- "Champions Roll Call". Florida Championship Wrestling. Retrieved 20 February 2011.
- Plummer, Dale (17 January 2011). "RAW: The Rumble and The Nexus grow". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 22 January 2011.
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- Plummer, Dale (28 February 2011). "RAW: Triple H talks Wrestlemania; The Miz loses an ally". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
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- Hillhouse, Dave (22 May 2011). "Over the Limit: Unpredictability makes for a good show". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
- Caldwell, James. "WWE News: Why Bourne vs. Sin Cara did not occur on Raw, WWE apologizes for error creating Bourne vs. Ryan match". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 13 January 2013.
- Martin, Adam (10 July 2011). "Update on Mason Ryan and his WWE status". WrestleView. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- Tedesco, Mike (27 August 2011). "Injured WWE star makes his return". WrestleView. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- Caldwell, James (8 September 2011). "Caldwell's WWE Superstars Report 9/8: Bryan dominates main event, Fox vs. Tamina, returns & TV debuts & squash matches". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
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- Waldman, Jon (3 October 2011). "Raw: WWE roster walks out on HHH". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- Bishop, Matt (18 October 2011). "Raw: JR gains measure of revenge, makes Cole tap". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- Tylwalk, Nick (14 November 2011). "Raw: The Rock (and The Sock) return to electrify Boston". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- Tylwalk, Nick (21 November 2011). "No swerves but plenty of Rock and Punk at Survivor Series". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 19 December 2011.
- "WWE matches wrestled by Mason Ryan during 2012". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 27 December 2012.
- "WWE News: FCW name being phased out". Wrestling Observer. Retrieved 14 August 2012.
- "Back on track: Mason Ryan’s road to redemption". WWE. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT RESULTS 1/30: Tournament continues, Bo Dallas in main event, returns of Bateman, A-Ry & Mason Ryan". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
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- James, Justin. "JAMES'S WWE NXT REPORT 7/10: Wyatts vs. Team Regal six-man main event, NXT Women's Title tourney continues, Generico (Zayn), Mason Ryan, set-up for Charlotte's debut". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 14 July 2013.
- "Former Nexus Member, Second Generation Diva and more released by WWE". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 30 April 2014.
- "American Pro Wrestling Alliance June 1st 2014 Match Card".|date=1 June 2014accessdate=1 June 2014|work=American Pro Wrestling Alliance Facebook||
- "PWS Super Card 2014".
- "WrestleSport News".
- Jones, Dion (19 October 2009). "Tremadog wrestler is off to the US to join WWE". Caernarfon Herald. Retrieved 11 August 2010.
- White, Kevin (26 August 2010). "Big Barri’s preparations for stardom". Caernarfon Herald. Retrieved 8 November 2010.
- "Sharing memories about Orig, with a smile and tears". S4C. Retrieved 26 April 2012.
- Evans, Dafydd (19 April 2012). "Mason Ryan yn perfformio yn ôl adre'". Newyddion, BBC Cymru. Retrieved 26 April 2012. (Welsh)
- Greenhouse, Debra (23 January 2009). "Goliath making waves on Gladiators". Daily Post (North Wales). Retrieved 11 August 2010.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mason Ryan.|
- Mason Ryan's profile on WWE.com
- Online World of Wrestling profile
- Gladiators profile
- Mason Ryan at the Internet Movie Database
- Mason Ryan Interview