Puder in 2008.
|Birth name||Daniel Puder|
October 9, 1981 |
Cupertino, California, United States
|Residence||Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Daniel Puder|
|Billed height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Billed weight||235 lb (107 kg; 16.8 st)|
|Trained by||Al Snow
Nightmare Danny Davis
Ohio Valley Wrestling
As a mixed martial artist, Puder trained at the American Kickboxing Academy, in San Jose, California. He is undefeated in MMA competition, holding a record of eight wins and zero losses. As a professional wrestler, he trained at Ohio Valley Wrestling. He is best known for having won the $1,000,000 Tough Enough challenge during his time in WWE's Ohio Valley Wrestling. He has also worked for Ring of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Puder was involved in amateur wrestling during high school. In high school at Monta Vista High School, in Cupertino, California, he finished first place in his weight division in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Coast Section, in amateur wrestling, while wrestling with a broken hand. He was also involved in entrepreneurship during high school, starting several businesses. At the age of 16, he began training in mixed martial arts and professional wrestling.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2004–2005)
Puder entered the fourth Tough Enough competition that was conducted as part of WWE SmackDown between October and December 2004. The prize was announced as a $1,000,000 professional wrestling contract, however, it was in reality a four-year contract at $250,000 a year, with the option to terminate the contract after the first year.
On November 4, 2004, episode of SmackDown!, taped in St. Louis, Missouri, during an unscripted segment of Tough Enough, Kurt Angle, a former American amateur wrestler and 1996 Olympic gold medalist, challenged the finalists through a squat thrust competition. Chris Nawrocki won the competition, and the prize Nawrocki won was a shoot match against Angle. Angle quickly took Nawrocki down, breaking his ribs, then made him submit with a neck crank. After Angle defeated Nawrocki, Angle challenged the other finalists. Puder accepted Angle's challenge. Angle and Puder wrestled for position, with Angle taking Puder down, however, in the process, Puder locked Angle in a kimura lock. With Puder on his back and Angle's arm locked in the kimura, Angle attempted a pin, one of two referees in the ring, Jim Korderas, quickly counted three to end the bout, despite the fact that Puder's shoulders were not fully down on the mat, bridging up at two. Puder later claimed he would have snapped Angle's arm on national television, if Korderas had not ended the match. Dave Meltzer and Dave Scherer gave these following comments:
|“||It was real. If you don't follow fighting, Puder had Angle locked in the Kimura, or keylock as Tazz called it, although Tazz didn't let on the move was fully executed. Not only was Angle not getting out of the move, but most MMA fighters would have tapped already. Angle couldn't tap for obvious reasons. The ref counted a three even though Puder's shoulders weren't fully down, trying to end the thing, because the reality was Angle would have been in surgery had it gone a few seconds longer or had Puder not given up the hold. ― Dave Meltzer||”|
|“||As you would expect, Kurt Angle was less than happy backstage at Smackdown after almost being forced to tap out to Tough Enough contestant Daniel Puder. Downright ticked off would probably be the best way to describe his mood. The unscripted nature of the contest was the main reason that Angle was made to look so bad since Puder just reacted to the situation and could have forced Angle to submit had the referees not thought quickly and counted a pin that wasn't there on Puder. ― Dave Scherer||”|
On December 12, 2004, Puder competed in his first WWE pay-per-view event, Armageddon, defeating Mike Mizanin in a Dixie Dog Fight. Puder was announced as the winner on December 14, 2004 (televised on December 16, 2004).
On January 30, 2005, Puder competed in his second WWE pay-per-view event, being entered in the Royal Rumble match. Puder, however, was shortly eliminated after being chopped by Chris Benoit, Hardcore Holly, and Eddie Guerrero. Puder was eliminated by Holly.
In January 2005, Puder participated in the WWE's developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). In September 2005, Puder was released by WWE as a cost-cutting move. Puder was given the option of signing a development contract with WWE and transferring to its Deep South Wrestling development camp with less pay, but Puder declined the offer. Puder gave this comment;
|“||I'm proud of winning the very first ever Million Dollar Tough Enough. I'm proud that I adapted from MMA to WWE. I'm proud of my work in the ring with my pro wrestling trainers Lance Storm and more recently Al Snow, who was my Tough Enough trainer too. I am proud of my association with a man like Danny Davis. I am proud to have worked with Tommy Dreamer. I am proud and have enjoyed working with and learning from Paul Heyman, and all the opportunities this experience has presented. And I know I will use this experience to my advantage when I make my next long term career move.
For the time being, I am headed back to Louisville, because Paul scheduled me in an OVW Title match against Johnny Jeter tomorrow night at the Davis Arena, 4400 Sheperdsville Road in Louisville. I hope it's my best pro wrestling match to date. I live up to my obligations and commitments (sic). That's the kind of man I am. And I'm going to show the world that at 23 years old, WWE thought short term and not long term with me. But I won't brag about it in advance. I'll prove it to everyone!!!!!!!! Thanks for all of your support.
|“||I was in OVW. And we had this one town in Kentucky we went to every week, it was basically an old barn. There were the same 20 people there every time, they all looked the same, they all had maybe three teeth each and they all had the same name. Finally, one night I walked in and saw all the inbreds and thought to myself, "What am I doing with my life?"||”|
|“||I will open this reminding every one that I really liked Daniel during his OVW days. He was not too smart to the wrestling business but what young talent is these days?
My memories of Daniel Puder in OVW are quite different that what is stated here in your article. (I am assuming Daniel really said this) he was always giving away free pics, trading cards and T-shirts of him self [sic] to all the fans. He spent a fortune on this stuff and gave it to the fans, not to mention the 20 in a barn he claims to have seen every week. (I have no idea what town he is talking about) if he had not dozed off in training class and stayed off his lap top and cell phone 24/7 he may have drew [sic] more than 20 fans in what ever town he thinks he was in. We sure draw more than that now. We have capacity crowds (500 or so) turning away up to 50 to 200 fans every week at OVW TV tapings. We perform over 170 shows a year in the Louisville Metro area not to mention better than 100 additional shows around the tri state area. 12 shows a year at Six Flags Ky. Kingdom, 2 state fair shows and countless fund raisers.
I also remember Daniel cried like a baby the day he was released from WWE. Daniel may want to reflect back on his OVW days more accurately and appreciate any fans who took the time to come and see him in the future.
Kenny Bolin OVW
Ring of Honor (2007–2008)
In December 2007, Puder signed with Ring of Honor (ROH). On December 29, 2007, at the Manhattan Center, in New York City, Puder made his debut in ROH, at Rising Above, attacking Claudio Castagnoli and aligning himself with Sweet and Sour Inc., led by Larry Sweeney. On December 30, 2007, at Final Battle 2007, Puder helped Sweeney defeat Castagnoli. In January 2008, Puder would appear on two more shows; however, due to budget cuts, Puder was released.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2010-2011)
On June 19, 2010, Puder made his debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling at Dominion 6.19, losing to former three–time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. On October 11, 2010, it was announced that Puder would team with Nakamura in the 2010 G1 Tag League, which would take place over eleven shows in October and November. In their first match in the tournament on October 22, Puder and Nakamura were defeated by Hiroshi Tanahashi and TAJIRI. On October 25 Puder picked up his first victory in New Japan, defeating Tomoaki Honma via submission in a singles match. After two wins and three losses in the group stage of the G1 Tag League, Puder and Nakamura finished fourth in their block and didn't advance to the semifinals.
Mixed martial arts
On September 6, 2003, at the X-1 promotion, Puder defeated Jay McCown by unanimous decision. On March 10, 2006, at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Gracie, at the HP Pavilion at San Jose, in San Jose, California, Puder made his return to MMA, defeating Jesse Fujarczyk by submission due to a rear naked choke. Three months later on June 9, 2006, at Strikeforce: Revenge, at the HP Pavilion at San Jose, in San Jose, California, Puder defeated Tom Tuggle by submission due to an armbar in only twenty-eight seconds. To end the year, on December 8 at Strikeforce: Triple Threat, at the HP Pavilion at San Jose, in San Jose, California, Puder defeated Mike Cook by submission due to a rear naked choke.
On February 18, 2007, at BodogFight Series III in Costa Rica, Puder defeated Michael Alden by knockout in forty-five seconds. Several months later on September 29, 2007, at Strikeforce: Playboy Mansion, at The Playboy Mansion, in Los Angeles, California, Puder defeated Richard Dalton by unanimous decision.
Puder was scheduled to compete against Tank Abbott, an American mixed martial arts fighter and former professional wrestler. The bout was scheduled on February 26, 2011, at Knockout Fights: The Beginning, at the Santa Monica Airport, in Santa Monica, California, however, Puder withdrew from the bout due to injury, Puder had suffered a torn meniscus and was unable to compete. Abbott, however, had his own opinion on Puder’s withdraw, according to Abbott, Puder noticed that Abbott had shown up in shape during a pre-fight news conference and subsequently pulled out of the bout, however, when informed of Abbott's account, Puder simply laughed and asked, "Tank, in shape?"
In 2011, Puder retired from MMA competition, holding a record of eight wins and zero losses.
Mixed martial arts record
|Professional record breakdown|
|8 matches||8 wins||0 losses|
|Win||8-0||Mychal Clark||Decision (unanimous)||Call to Arms: Called Out Fights||August 15, 2009||3||5:00|
|Win||7-0||Jeff Ford||TKO (shoulder injury)||Call to Arms I||May 16, 2009||1||1:23|
|Win||6-0||Richard Dalton||Decision (unanimous)||Strikeforce: Playboy Mansion||September 29, 2007||3||5:00|
|Win||5-0||Michael Alden||TKO (head kick & punches)||BodogFight Series III: Costa Rica Combat||February 18, 2007||1||0:45|
|Win||4-0||Mike Cook||Submission (rear naked choke)||Strikeforce: Triple Threat||December 8, 2006||2||2:31|
|Win||3-0||Tom Tuggle||Submission (armbar)||Strikeforce: Revenge||June 9, 2006||1||0:28|
|Win||2-0||Jesse Fujarczyk||Submission (rear naked choke)||Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Gracie||March 10, 2006||1||1:54|
|Win||1-0||Jay McCown||Decision (unanimous)||X-1||September 6, 2003||3||3:00|
Championships and accomplishments
- My Life My Power Entertainment
- World Pro Wrestling Tag Team Championship (1 time, current) - with Major Mark
- World Wrestling Entertainment
- $1,000,000 Tough Enough winner
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