Dain in May 2017
|Birth name||Damian Mackle|
20 February 1985|
Belfast, Northern Ireland
|Residence||Orlando, Florida, United States,|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Billed height||6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)|
|Billed weight||396 lb (180 kg)|
|Billed from||Belfast, Northern Ireland|
WWE Performance Center
|Debut||1 October 2005|
Damian Mackle (born 20 February 1985) is a professional wrestler from Northern Ireland, currently signed to WWE, competing on the SmackDown brand under the ring name Killian Dain as part of the Sanity stable. He previously competed on the independent circuit under the ring name Big Damo, which is derived from his first ring name Damian O'Connor.
Prior to joining WWE he was perhaps best known for his work with Insane Championship Wrestling, where he won the ICW World Heavyweight Championship. He also wrestled for numerous promotions on the British independent circuit, around Europe, and in the USA including Progress Wrestling, Revolution Pro Wrestling, Westside Xtreme Wrestling, Absolute Intense Wrestling, Beyond Wrestling, Premier British Wrestling, Scottish Wrestling Alliance, WCPW (now Defiant Wrestling) and IPW:UK.
- 1 Early life
- 2 Professional wrestling career
- 2.1 Early career (2005–2010)
- 2.2 Independent circuit
- 2.3 Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2016)
- 2.4 WWE
- 3 Personal life
- 4 Other media
- 5 Championships and accomplishments
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Mackle played as a goalkeeper for his university football side. He also played rugby union (up to university level), basketball and judo. He stated that as a child he was attracted to professional wrestling because of the "larger than life" personas and face paint of wrestlers such as Sting and The Ultimate Warrior. He cites fellow countryman Fit Finlay as a huge influence on his wrestling style and inspiration for his success.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (2005–2010)
Mackle trained in Scotland at NWA Scotland under Robbie Brookside (now a trainer at WWE NXT). Of Brookside, he stated; "I don't think there is enough hyperbole to explain how good a coach he is...I can't think of a better coach I'd met in any sport". After training at NWA Scotland, Mackle debuted for the Scottish Wrestling Alliance at the age of 20 under the ring name Damian O'Connor. He originally wrestled in Scotland and the North of England as a tag team called "Britain's Most Wanted" with Scott Renwick. Together the two won a variety of tournaments and tag team championships in promotions such as SWA (4 times), W3L (2 times), SSW and 3CW. While they never officially split up, they would both focus on singles competition around 2009. This proved to be fruitful for both and O'Connor started touring his native Ireland, the United Kingdom, mainland Europe and the United States. O'Connor would win the Heavyweight Titles in SWE, W3L, XWA, Pride as well as the Laird of the Ring Title in SWA. In 2009, O'Connor took over the SWA training school named the "Source Wrestling School". O'Connor has trained numerous wrestlers, including Joe Coffey, Joe Hendry and Nikki Cross.
Insane Championship Wrestling (2013–2016)
O'Connor wrestled sporadically for ICW between 2009 and 2012 under various gimmicks, but his return in November 2013 saw him debut as Big Damo. Damo defeated Chris Renfrew for the ICW World Heavyweight Championship in Belfast on 27 February 2016, marking the first time the title changed hands outside of Glasgow and making Damo the first ever Irish-born champion. On 31 July 2016, at Shug's Hoose Party III, Damo was defeated for the Championship by Joe Coffey.
Evolve Wrestling (2014)
Revolution Pro Wrestling (2014–2016)
In 2014, Damo debuted in Revolution Pro Wrestling. In 2015, he wrestled NJPW greats Tomohiro Ishii, Hiroshi Tanahashi Shinsuke Nakamura, as well as Tommaso Ciampa. In 2016, he wrestled international wrestlers "Speedball" Mike Bailey, Roderick Strong, Dalton Castle, Big Daddy Walter and Matt Sydal.
Global Force Wrestling (2015–2016)
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2016)
In January 2016, Damo appeared for TNA as part of their Maximum Impact tour of the UK, where he unsuccessfully challenged for the TNA King of the Mountain Championship on two occasions on the March 1 episode of Impact Wrestling, Damo lost to Eric Young in a KOTM title match. At One Night Only Joker's Wild 2016, Damo and Jimmy Havoc lost to Drew Galloway and Mike Bennett. On the March 8 episode of Impact Wrestling, Damo competed in a King of the Mountain match which was won by Eric Young.
In June 2016, it was reported that Mackle had signed with WWE to perform on their NXT brand. On 19 October 2016, it was announced by WWE that Mackle had signed a developmental contract with the company and had arrived at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. On 4 November, Mackle appeared at an NXT house show and cut a promo. On 11 November, at a house show in St. Augustine, Florida, Mackle made his in-ring debut under the Damian O'Connor ring name, defeating Rich Swann. He then reverted to using the ring name Damo.
On 7 December episode of NXT, Damo attacked No Way Jose and seemed to align himself with the heel stable SAnitY, which generally attacks face wrestlers. In January 2017, he began to wrestle under the new ring name Killian Dain. On 18 January, Dain joined SAnitY in an official capacity after attacking Tye Dillinger and accepting Sawyer Fulton's jacket from Eric Young. On 25 January, Dain appeared as part of SAnitY for the first time, attacking Chris Atkins by Eric Young's order. On 8 February episode of NXT, Dain teamed with Young and Alexander Wolfe to defeat Tye Dillinger, No Way Jose and Roderick Strong. At WrestleMania 33, Dain would make it to the final three in the André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, before being eliminated by eventual winner Mojo Rawley. On 19 July episode of NXT, Dain lost his first televised singles match in WWE, to Drew McIntyre, in a No.1 Contender match for the NXT Championship. On the March 28, 2018 airing of NXT, Dain was named as one of the six participants in the ladder match to determine the inaugural NXT North American Champion, in which he lost. On the April 18 airing of NXT, he lost a No Disqualification Match to Lars Sullivan.
During the 2018 WWE Superstar Shake-up, Dain and the rest of Sanity, excluding Nikki Cross, were drafted to SmackDown. Prior to draft, he declared that Cross is still part of the stable. They debuted on the June 19 episode of Smackdown Live where they attacked The Usos. on the July 3 episode of Smackdown Live, Sanity attacked The New Day during The New Day's first annual 3rd of July Pancake Eating Contest.
Mackle is a lifelong supporter of Premier League team Manchester United and NBA team Orlando Magic. He has stated that he believes wrestling – unlike other sports – can be a uniting factor for people in his native Belfast as there are "no (sectarian) affiliations" in wrestling. He stated that he would not support Scottish football because there is "a lot of connotations" with sectarianism. He grew up in what he described as a mixed area and is conscious of keeping political affiliations out of his public life.
Dain made his WWE video game debut as a playable character in WWE 2K18.
Championships and accomplishments
- 3 Count Wrestling
- 3CW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Scott Renwick
- Insane Championship Wrestling
- Pride Wrestling
- Pride Wrestling Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Reckless Intent Wrestling
- Reckless Intent Hardcore Championship (1 time)
- Reckless Intent Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Scottish Wrestling Alliance
- Scottish Wrestling Entertainment
- SWE Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
- What Culture Pro Wrestling
- WCPW Championship (1 time)
- World Wide Wrestling League
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- WWE NXT
- X Wrestling Alliance
- XWA British Heavyweight Champion (1 time)
- XWA British Heavyweight Title Tournament (2014)
- "Killian Dain". WWE.
- "Damian O'Connor " Wrestlers Database". cagematch.net. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- "Insane Championship Wrestling 'The Big Elbowski' FULL Results". Wrestle Ropes. 27 February 2016.
- "ICW: Damo". Insane Championship Wrestling. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Titles " Damian O'Connor " Wrestlers Database". cagematch.net. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- "Roster". Progress Wrestling. 18 November 2014. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- Bean, Martin. "Big Damo — Revolution Pro Wrestling". Revolution Pro Wrestling. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "Big Damo: Profile & Match Listing – Internet Wrestling Database (IWD)". Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "Damian O'Connor Wrestlers Database". cagematch.net. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Career " Damian O'Connor " Wrestlers Database". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
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- Welton, Jamie (4 November 2015). "THE BEAST UNLEASHED – AN INTERVIEW WITH ICW'S BIG DAMO". Wrestling News World. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "Interview: ICW & wXw's Big Damo O'Connor". Across the Pond Wrestling. 19 September 2015.
- Markus (19 March 2015). "DAMIAN O' CONNOR IM WRESTLINGFEVER.DE INTERVIEW (ENGLISH, 19.03.2015)". Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- "Meet WWE NXT's next breakout star, Nicola Glencross". WWE. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "ICW Hey Look! It's That Mad Wrestling Thing Aff The Telly Tour – The Big Elbowski". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "ICW Shug's Weekender – Shug's Hoose Party 3". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Matches " Damian O'Connor " Wrestlers Database". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "RevPro The Sittingbourne Return". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "RevPro Summer Sizzler 2015". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "RevPro Global Wars UK". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "RevPro Uprising 2015". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "RevPro Live in Broxbourne". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "RevPro High Stakes 2016". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "RevPro Epic Encounter". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "RevPro Sittingbourne Spectacular 2016". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "RevPro Angle Vs. Sabre Jr". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "RevPro Summer Sizzler 2016". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Matches " Damian O'Connor " Wrestlers Database". cagematch.net. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Matches " Damian O'Connor " Wrestlers Database". cagematch.net. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
- Radican, Sean; Caldwell, James (23 August 2016). "WWE Talent Recruiting Updates – Cedric Alexander signed, Tommy End & Big Damo start dates, Zack Sabre, Jr. status". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Bentley, Ross (16 June 2016). "WWE's Next Class of Signees Reportedly Includes Ring of Honor Star Moose". Uproxx. Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Middleton, Marc (5 November 2016). "Big Damo Cuts Promo at WWE NXT Live Event, Superstar Managers Getting Manhandled, The Rock". Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Paglino, Nick (11 November 2016). "PHOTOS: Tommy End and Big Damo Make WWE NXT In-Ring Debuts". Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Witner, Arya (7 December 2016). "WWE NXT RESULTS: SHINSUKE NAKAMURA RECAPTURES THE TITLE IN JAPAN". Retrieved 19 December 2016.
- Johnson, Mike (8 January 2017). "EUROPEAN STARS GETS NEW WWE NXT NAMES, WWE HALL OF FAME ON SALE THIS WEEK, LITA, BATISTA AND MORE". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 9 January 2017.
- "WWE NXT: February 8, 2017". WWE. 25 January 2017.
- "WWE NXT: February 8, 2017". WWE. 8 February 2017.
- "NXT Superstar Big Damo Interview talking UK Wrestling, Nakamura, WWE, ICW, Training & much more!". YouTube. 29 August 2016.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2017". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
- "WCPW Title". What Culture Pro Wrestling. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
- Meltzer, Dave. "April 16, 2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Historic WrestleMania 34 weekend reviewed, more". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
- "Daily Update: NXT year-end awards, TakeOver, Impact ratings". 27 January 2018.