Gillberg (wrestler)

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Gillberg
Birth name Duane Gill
Born (1959-07-10) July 10, 1959 (age 58)
Glen Burnie, Maryland[1]
Residence Baltimore, Maryland[2][3]
Children 2
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Duane Gill[1][2][3]
Executioner #1[1]
Gillberg[1][2][3]
Pain[1]
Billed height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)[2][3][4]
Billed weight 227 lb (103 kg)[2][3][4]
Billed from Atlanta, Georgia[4]
Trained by Bone Crushers Wrestling School[2]
Larry Sharpe[1]
Debut 1990[1]

Duane Gill[1][2] (born July 10, 1959) is an American professional wrestler, best known for his appearances in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) during the Attitude Era under the ring name Gillberg, a parody of then-rival promotion World Championship Wrestling's top star Goldberg. During his tenure in the WWF, Gill became a one time Light Heavyweight Champion. He would go on to hold the title for 15 months, becoming the longest reigning Light Heavyweight Champion as recognized by WWE.[4]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Gill made his debut on the American independent scene as a part of a masked tag team with Barry Hardy called The Lords of Darkness, with Hardy billed as Agony and Gill billed as Pain.[2] On August 2, 1991, they defeated Cream Team (Dino Casanova and Rip Sawyer) to become the Mid-Eastern Wrestling Federation's first ever Tag Team Champions.[2] The Lords participated in two of three 40-man battle royals held in 1992.

World Wrestling Federation (1991–1994)[edit]

Gill (sometimes teaming with Barry Hardy) became a jobber with the WWF in 1991 usually appearing on WWF Superstars of Wrestling and WWF Wrestling Challenge losing to the likes of The Undertaker,[5] Kamala,[6] High Energy,[7] The Texas Tornado,[8] Sgt. Slaughter, Jim Duggan,[9] The Bushwackers[8] and The Beverly Brothers.[5] Gill and Hardy competed in a battle royal becoming the second version of The Executioners and took part in a 40-man battle royal won by Tatanka. Gill and Hardy then went back to their real names and began competing on Monday Night Raw as well as WWF Superstars against several other tag teams losing to the likes of The Quebecers and The Steiner Brothers.[10] One night they fought as The Toxic Turtles (dressed up as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and won a victory over jobbers, but the gimmick was cut off. The Executioners split in early 1994, and Hardy left the company on April 18. Gill then began competing under his real name as an enhancement talent, losing to the likes of Mr. Perfect,[11] 1-2-3 Kid,[12] Razor Ramon,[13] Doink,[14] The British Bulldog,[15] Tatanka and Adam Bomb.[8] He left the company soon after.

Return to World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment[edit]

J.O.B. Squad (1998–1999)[edit]

In 1998, Gill made his return to the World Wrestling Federation at Survivor Series as Mankind's mystery opponent. Vince McMahon seemingly facilitated Mankind's route to victory in a tournament for the vacant WWF Championship as he appeared to be McMahon's favorite to win. Before Gill made his entrance, McMahon built up the suspense by referring to him (Gill) as a wrestler with a win/loss record that no other wrestler could match. Although the statement was thought to indicate that Mankind's opponent won more than lost in his career, the exact opposite was true, and Gill was squashed by Mankind.

He later joined The J.O.B. Squad with Al Snow, Scorpio and Bob Holly.[2] During this time, Gill became notable for "ending" Marc Mero's career when Mero challenged him to a match, announcing to the crowd that he would retire from wrestling if he could not beat Gill.[2] Gill won the match with some help from the J.O.B. Squad, and Mero left the WWF, although he did not legitimately retire.[2]

Light Heavyweight Champion (1998–2000)[edit]

On November 17, 1998, Gill won the Light Heavyweight Championship after defeating Christian on Raw.[2][4] Shortly thereafter, Gill was given his most notable gimmick: "Gillberg", a parody of rival promotion World Championship Wrestling's top star Goldberg.[4] When he became Gillberg, the original plan of the bookers was reputedly to have him lose 173 consecutive matches, parodying Goldberg's winning streak of 173 matches. The Gillberg character parodied numerous other aspects of Goldberg's character, such as his entrance being accompanied by the pre-recorded sound of a crowd chanting "Gillberg" (which was an allusion to WCW's alleged use of pre-recorded chants in Goldberg's usual entrance) and stage hands that would hold up sparklers (parodying Goldberg's pyrotechnics) and then spray the entrance way with fire extinguishers. He also had a dotted line "tattoo" on his right arm (parodying Goldberg's tribal tattoo) and would use the catchphrase "Who's First?" in reference not only to Goldberg's catchphrase "Who's Next?", but also to the fact that Gill would lose to each and every one of his opponents.

Gill made his Royal Rumble debut in 1999, but was immediately eliminated by Edge. Gill's only victory as Gillberg came on the February 8, 1999, edition of Raw when he defeated Goldust with help from former J.O.B. Squad member The Blue Meanie, who was feuding with Goldust at the time. He competed for the WWF Championship against Triple H in a losing effort on the August 31, 1999, edition of SmackDown!.

While he still came to the ring with the belt, the Light Heavyweight Championship was all but forgotten as Gill seldom defended the title on television or at house shows. After being off of WWF television for several months, Gill returned on the February 13, 2000, episode of Sunday Night Heat for one final match in order to lose the championship to the debuting Essa Rios.[2] Upon losing the title, Gill's reign ended at 15 months, making him the longest reigning Light Heavyweight Champion in WWF history.[2][4] After leaving the WWF, Gill continued to use the Gillberg gimmick on the independent circuit, most prominently for Maryland Championship Wrestling.

Part-time appearances (2003–present)[edit]

When Goldberg came to WWE in 2003, his first feud was against The Rock, who on the April 21, 2003, episode of Raw brought in Gill, once again under his Gillberg gimmick, to mock Goldberg.[2] After beating up The Rock's security guards, who were trying to apprehend him for interrupting a concert "dedicated" to him, Gillberg attacked Goldberg, which prompted Goldberg to begin choking him. The Rock then attacked Goldberg from behind, after which both Gillberg and The Rock quickly ran out of the arena to avoid further conflict.

On December 10, 2007, Gill, now sporting two new tattoos on his left deltoid, returned to WWE television under his Gillberg name and gimmick for the 15th Anniversary of Raw. During the show, he participated in a 15-man battle royal against fourteen other former Raw wrestlers, but was the first man eliminated only a few seconds into the match by every other competitor.

In 2016, Gill returned to WWE, where he made a brief appearance on The Edge and Christian Show. Gillberg made a surprise appearance on the February 13, 2017 episode of Raw, coming to the ring in place of Goldberg before being attacked by Kevin Owens.[16]

Personal life[edit]

Gill is married and has two adult children and a granddaughter.[17] Gill operated an independent wrestling school in Severn, Maryland named Gillberg's Pro Wrestling Academy that opened in July 2010.[17][18]

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Cagematch profile". 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "OWOW profile". 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Accelerator profile". 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "WWE profile". WWE.com. Retrieved 2012-03-18. 
  5. ^ a b BriliantUndertaker (21 November 2012). "Undertaker vs. Duane Gill (30.09.1991, Superstars of Wrestling)" – via YouTube. 
  6. ^ WWF Old School (3 April 2016). "Kamala vs. Duane Gill [1993-04-11]" – via YouTube. 
  7. ^ VintageWrestling (28 September 2010). "High Energy vs The Dublin Destroyer and Dwayne Gill" – via YouTube. 
  8. ^ a b c Brandon McDermott (11 October 2012). "The Bushwhackers vs Duane Gill and Barry Hardy" – via YouTube. 
  9. ^ WWF Old School (31 August 2015). "Sgt Slaughter & Jim Duggan vs Barry Hardy & Duane Gill — WWF 1991" – via YouTube. 
  10. ^ nWoWolfpacTV2016 (1 September 2015). "Scott Steiner Screwdriver compilation" – via YouTube. 
  11. ^ skihippy (20 August 2011). "Mr. Perfect vs. Dwayne Gill (WWF 1993)" – via YouTube. 
  12. ^ Superstars90s (16 April 2010). "1-2-3 Kid vs Duane Gill" – via YouTube. 
  13. ^ VintageWrestling (6 February 2011). "Razor Ramon vs Duane Gill" – via YouTube. 
  14. ^ WWF Old School (14 September 2015). "Doink vs Duane Gill (WWF 1994)" – via YouTube. 
  15. ^ Joey Marella (8 February 2014). "WWF Superstars 10/22/94 Part 3" – via YouTube. 
  16. ^ "Raw highlights: Feb. 13, 2017". WWE. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  17. ^ a b "Catching up with Gillberg: Part 2". WWE.com. 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2010-10-07. 
  18. ^ "Former WWF Star Shares Wisdom with Pro-Wrestling Hopefuls". SevernPatch. 2011-01-21. Archived from the original on 2011-07-15. Retrieved 2011-01-26. 
  19. ^ a b c Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4. 
  20. ^ "ECPW Championship histories". 
  21. ^ Maryland Championship Wrestling (2009). "Duane "Gillberg" Gill". 2009 Inductee. MarylandWrestling.com. Retrieved October 5, 2011. 
  22. ^ "MEWF Tag Team Championship history". 
  23. ^ "NWA New Jersey Junior Heavyweight Championship history". 
  24. ^ "Gillberg's first WWF Light Heavyweight Championship reign". Archived from the original on 2012-10-25. 

External links[edit]