|Born||October 18, 1959|
St. Cloud, Minnesota, United States
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||The Barbarian|
Nord the Barbarian
|Billed height||6 ft 8 in (203 cm)|
|Billed weight||323 lb (147 kg)|
|Billed from||"The Great North Woods"|
(as Yukon John)
(as The Berzerker)
(as the Berzerker)
|Trained by||Eddie Sharkey|
John Eric Nord (born October 18, 1959) is an American retired professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with the American Wrestling Association and World Class Championship Wrestling in the 1980s as Nord the Barbarian and Yukon John and with the World Wrestling Federation, All Japan Pro Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling in the 1990s as The Berzerker and under his birth name.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (1984–1985)
Nord was trained to wrestle by Eddie Sharkey. He debuted in late 1984 under the ring name "The Barbarian" for Mid-South Wrestling, where he was managed by Skandor Akbar. he also worked for New Japan Pro-Wrestling.
American Wrestling Association (1985–1987)
In 1986, he became Nord the Barbarian and wrestled in singles and tag team matches (under manager Sheik Adnan El-Kaissey) in the American Wrestling Association. Here, he frequently teamed with Bruiser Brody. The two faced Greg Gagne and Jimmy Snuka as part of a triple main event at WrestleRock 86.
World Class Championship Wrestling (1987)
Nord then went to World Class Championship Wrestling in 1987. As Nord The Barbarian he was (managed by Gary Hart), where he feuded with Kevin Von Erich over the WCWA World Heavyweight Championship. He challenged Von Erich for the title at the fourth annual David Von Erich Memorial Parade of Champions at Texas Stadium in 1987. In 1988 he was inactive.
American Wrestling Association (1989–1991)
In 1989, he returned to the AWA under the name Yukon John (a lumberjack gimmick where he would come to the ring with an ax, dressed in blue jeans, flannel shirt, animal skin hat and boots). He mainly competed in singles matches, until forming a tag team in 1990 with Scott Norton, called The Yukon Lumberjacks. They briefly feuded with The Texas Hangmen.
Pacific Northwest Wrestling (1991)
After the American Wrestling Association closed in 1991, Nord joined Pacific Northwest Wrestling as "Nord the Barbarian". He formed a tag team with The Grappler called "The Breakfast Club". After winning matches, Nord and The Grappler would humiliate their opponents by pouring Cheerios and milk on them.
World Wrestling Federation (1991–1993)
In February 1991, Nord joined the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) as The Viking. The following month he was renamed The Berzerker, given Mr. Fuji as a manager, and began feuding with Davey Boy Smith and Jimmy Snuka. During his WWF run, Nord utilized a toned-down version of the gimmick of his deceased former partner Bruiser Brody in portraying a clumsy and cartoonish Icelandic Norseman. His preferred method of winning matches was by throwing his opponents over the top rope for a countout, all the while holding his wrist, licking his hand, shouting "Huss! Huss!", crossing his eyes, and falling flat on his back. He wrestled as part of a four-man team in an elimination match at the 1991 Survivor Series pay-per-view event. He was the last man eliminated for his team. He wrestled in the 1992 Royal Rumble for nine minutes until being eliminated by Hulk Hogan. He then feuded with The Undertaker, at one point attempting to stab him with his sword. In July 1992, he won a 40-man Battle Royal on WWF Prime Time Wrestling, and challenged Bret Hart for the WWF Championship that November. Nord's final appearance was as a participant in a battle royal on the February 15, 1993 edition of Monday Night Raw.
All Japan Pro Wrestling and International (1994,1996)
In 1996 he wrestled in Malaysia as the Viking. He lost to Rick Martel on March 5 and also lost to Dick Murdoch on March 6. Then he went to South Africa to work for All Star Wrestling. Later that year he wrestled in the independent circuit in Texas.
World Championship Wrestling (1997–1998)
In 1997, Nord joined World Championship Wrestling (WCW) with bleached blond hair and a horseshoe moustache, under his real name, John Nord. He wrestled mainly on WCW Saturday Night and had a long winning streak that ended with a loss to another streak holder, Bill Goldberg, on July 4, 1998. Nord then formed a short-lived team with Barry Darsow, and was soon gone from WCW.
In July 2016, Nord was named part of a class action lawsuit filed against WWE which alleged that wrestlers incurred traumatic brain injuries during their tenure and that the company concealed the risks of injury. The suit is litigated by attorney Konstantine Kyros, who has been involved in a number of other lawsuits against WWE. The lawsuit was dismissed by US District Judge Vanessa Lynne Bryant in September 2018. In September 2020, an appeal for the lawsuit dismissed by a federal appeals court.
Nord appeared on the January 24, 2018 episode of Judge Mathis where he was sued by Christine Schmidt, who he had befriended at the substance abuse facility at which she worked, for $4,759 she covered on two credit cards she had opened for him. Nord said he had been in substance abuse recovery since December 2016 and that he and the plaintiff had actually burned through a $10,000 royalty check from WWE on such things as fancy restaurant dinners. Initially, he intended to repay her with funds from another royalty check he expected, but which never materialized. She, therefore, accepted as reimbursement "205 valuable wrestling dolls" from his days in the business to sell online. Schmidt sold them for a total of $1,700. Nord claimed she would have earned much more if she sold them at their estimated value, including 5 that were allegedly worth approximately $750 each, about which he informed her when offering them as settlement. Schmidt defended the sale by claiming that she was ignorant about selling online and needed money quickly to pay bills. Mathis ruled that she should have done her due diligence before accepting and selling the dolls, and reduced the amount owed to her by the proceeds from the sale to $3,059.
On March 23, 2019, Nord was arrested on two charges, a felony for driving while intoxicated/operating a car under the influence of a controlled substance, and a gross misdemeanor for driving after his license was canceled, which he was deemed "inimical to public safety." Nord was placed on a $60,000 bond for the felony DWI charge. This was his seventh DUI arrest, and the latest of 16 incidents over the last decade in which Nord has faced either felony or misdemeanor charges.
On July 15, 2019, Hennepin County District Judge Jay Quam sentenced Nord to five years' probation on the condition that he remain in restrictive housing and refrain from "driving whatsoever." The prosecution had argued for a four-year prison term, arguing that Nord's history shows him to be a significant risk to public safety. The judge, however, in his decision, took into consideration the fact that Nord is in treatment, has been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis which has confined him to a wheelchair and will spend the remainder of his life in assisted-living facilities.
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Charge details for booking number 2019006558 (Report). Hennepin County Sheriff's Department. March 23, 2019.
- "John Nord". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved February 10, 2010.
- "The Berzerker". WWE.com. WWE. Retrieved February 16, 2016.
- Pope, Kristian (2005). "Nord, John (1980s–2000s)". Tuff Stuff – Professional wrestling field guide. Iola, Wisconsin: KP Books. p. 332. ISBN 0-89689-267-0.
- "John Nord vs. Dru Tossel". YouTube. October 22, 2012. Retrieved August 1, 2015.
- "The Viking debuts: Wrestling Challenge, February 16, 1991". YouTube. Retrieved December 23, 2020.
- RD Reynolds and Randy Baer (2003). "The circus comes to town". Wrestlecrap – the very worst of pro wrestling. ECW Press. pp. 27–46. ISBN 1-55022-584-7.
- Cawthon, Graham (June 2, 1992). "Ring results: 1992". TheHistoryOfWWE.com. Retrieved February 11, 2010.
Prime Time Wrestling – 7/6/92: The Berzerker won a 40-man battle royal by last eliminating Kerry Von Erich and Skinner at the same time; Prime Time Wrestling – 11/9/92: WWF World Champion Bret Hart defeated the Berzerker via submission with the Sharpshooter at 4:31
- Goldberg vs John Nord, retrieved January 5, 2020
- "World Class Memories: FAQ: Current Whereabouts and Final Resting Places". Retrieved February 4, 2015.
- "WWE sued in wrestler class action lawsuit featuring Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka, Paul 'Mr Wonderful' Orndorff". FoxSports.com. Fox Entertainment Group (21st Century Fox). July 18, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
- Robinson, Byron (September 22, 2018). "Piledriver: WWE uses 'Hell in a Cell' as springboard to future shows". Montgomery Advertiser. Retrieved October 28, 2018.
- "Former WWE Wrestlers' Lawsuit Over Brain Damage Is Dismissed". US News. September 9, 2020. Retrieved January 1, 2021.
- Featherstone, Chris (April 23, 2019). "Former WWE Star Arrested For DUI". Retrieved July 17, 2019.
- Boone, Matt (April 13, 2019). "Former WWE Superstar John 'The Berzerker' Nord Arrested For DWI". Lords of Pain. Retrieved April 18, 2019.
- Fuentes, Jon (July 16, 2019). "Ex-WWE Star John 'The Bezerker' Nord Sentenced For DUI Arrests". mandatory.com. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
- Olson, Rochelle (July 15, 2019). "Five months in workhouse for drunken driver who fatally struck pedestrian". Star Tribune. Retrieved July 17, 2019.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated 500 – 2003: 422 John Nord". Pro Wrestling Illustrated. Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, United States: Sports and Entertainment publications LLC. September 30, 2003. p. 45. October 2003.