|Born||September 26, 1972|
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
|Alma mater||Temple University|
|Occupation||co-owner of EVOLVE, Style Battle, WWN Supershow. WWN VP of Talent Relations, Creative & Marketing|
|Ring name(s)||Chris Lovey|
|Billed height||5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)|
|Billed weight||207 lb (94 kg)|
|Billed from||Brookline, Massachusetts|
Gabriel Sapolsky (born September 26, 1972) is an American professional wrestling promoter and creative writer (Booker), primarily focused on Evolve. He is currently the vice-president of talent relations, creative and marketing of the World Wrestling Network (WWN), and a consultant for WWE. Sapolsky has also held various creative and marketing positions in the professional wrestling industry, notably as Paul Heyman's Personal Assistant with Extreme Championship Wrestling, the co-founder and head of talent relations (Booker) at Ring of Honor, and the vice-president of Dragon Gate USA.
Professional wrestling career
Sapolsky began his career with Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) writing a company newsletter in September 1993. Sapolsky was hired full-time shortly after graduating from Temple University, about the same time that ECW opened its first office in Philadelphia. Sapolsky became a protege of Paul Heyman and handled many different responsibilities, including marketing, promoting and public relations throughout his tenure with the company. He became an official RF Video employee in 2001, shortly after ECW closed.
In 2002, Sapolsky co-founded Ring of Honor (ROH) with RF Video owner Rob Feinstein and was named the booker of the promotion. He introduced a new style of booking. As the booker of ROH, Sapolsky won Wrestling Observer Newsletter's Best Booker award four years in a row from 2004 to 2007. Sapolsky was also the booker for Full Impact Pro (FIP), an independent promotion in Florida that used to be the sister promotion of ROH. Sapolsky used the ring name, Jimmy Bower, for commentary. On October 26, 2008, ROH made an announcement stating that Gabe Sapolsky was no longer working there. After Sapolsky's departure, he also ceased his roles with FIP.
On April 14, 2009, Sapolsky announced the launch of Dragon Gate USA (DGUSA) with himself serving as its vice-president. The promotion's first show, Open the Historic Gate was held July 25, 2009 at The Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It was voted in 2009 by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter as the Show of the Year. DGUSA was the American branch of Japan's popular Dragon Gate promotion and as per this connection, it featured the top stars of Japan, and various independent wrestlers in the United States. In early 2010, Sapolsky co-founded Evolve along with WWN COO, Sal Hamaoui. Evolve began as a means of featuring American based wrestlers while DGUSA focused on Japanese wrestlers. DGUSA held its last event in 2014 and is currently dormant.
Following the dormancy of DGUSA, in August 2014, EVOLVE was relaunched. Evolve and DGUSA both became subsidiaries under the parent company World Wrestling Network (WWN). In 2011, WWN launched its live iPPV streaming service, www.WWNLive.com, where Sapolsky helped market and produce the infrastructure in order to start up WWNLive.com. Soon after, WWN held its first "Supershows" with a two-week tour of China. The first WWN Supershow in the United States also took place in 2014. The idea behind the WWN Supershow is to combine title matches and talent from all WWN brands, as well as special guest attractions to the affiliated promotions. WWN signed a deal to provide content to FloSports and help launch the FloSlam.TV channel in November, 2016. The deal was focused on EVOLVE, but featured more brands under the WWN umbrella. The FloSports deal allowed Sapolsky to co-found Style Battle, a promotion based on tournaments on every event. Sapolsky also returned as head booker of FIP. However, FloSlam filed a lawsuit against WWN on September 15, 2017, ending the relationship. On January 10, 2018, Sapolsky signed a contract with WWE as a consultant.
Sapolsky has been featured on the WWE DVD and network releases of My Name Is Paul Heyman and Journey to Summerslam: The Destruction of The Shield, featuring former mentor Heyman, and former DGUSA and ROH talent in Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins.
Mick Foley mentioned Sapolsky in his book, Foley Is Good, a #1 New York Times best seller. Former ROH World Champion, Daniel Bryan, prominently mentioned Sapolsky in his book Yes: My Improbable Journey to the Main Event of WrestleMania. In the book, Bryan writes: "It was the first time anybody had chosen me to be "the Man" – the only time, really- and I can't thank Gabe, ROH, and the ROH fans enough for giving me the opportunity to be the guy to carry the promotion."
Awards and accomplishments
- "Gabe Sapolsky". Cagematch. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
- Shoot with RF Video – 4067
- Meltzer, Dave (January 30, 2012). "Jan 30 Wrestling Observer Newsletter: Gigantic year-end awards issue, best and worst in all categories plus UFC on FX 1, death of Savannah Jack, ratings, tons and tons of news". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Campbell, California: 27. ISSN 1083-9593.