Rawley in December 2016
Dean Jonathan Muhtadi
July 17, 1986
|Alma mater||University of Maryland|
|Residence||Orlando, Florida, United States|
|Ring name(s)||Mojo Rawley|
|Billed height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Billed weight||265 lb (120 kg)|
|Billed from||Alexandria, Virginia|
|Trained by||WWE Performance Center|
|Debut||May 29, 2013|
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||296 lb (134 kg)|
|* Offseason and/or practice squad member only|
Dean Jonathan Muhtadi (born July 17, 1986) is an American professional wrestler and former American professional football player. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the SmackDown brand under the ring name Mojo Rawley. He is a seven-time WWE 24/7 Champion, and won the 2017 edition of André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal.
Dean Muhtadi was born on July 17, 1986 in Alexandria, Virginia, the son of T.J. Muhtadi and Maria Muhtadi-Roach. Muhtadi's father is Palestinian and his mother is half-Syrian, and he has extended family through his father's side in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and throughout the Middle East.
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At the T. C. Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia, Muhtadi was a four-year starter along the defensive and offensive lines. He also was the team's punter during his last two years. He finished second in the Patriot District in sacks in 2004, and broke the school's all-time punting record with a long of 76 yards against West Springfield High School.
Throughout his high school playing career, Muhtadi started games at defensive tackle, end, nose guard, and outside linebacker on defense, and at offensive tackle, guard, center, and tight end on offense. He was also the team's punter and kicker. Often his position changed every week to shadow the opposing team's best player. Muhtadi was an All-District choice at both defensive line and punter, as well as the team MVP.
In 2004 and 2005, Muhtadi played college football for Division III Christopher Newport University in Newport News, Virginia. After redshirting his freshman season due to mononucleosis, Muhtadi started at defensive tackle for the Captains his sophomore year. He then transferred to the University of Maryland in the Atlantic Coast Conference where he earned a scholarship, and a starting position. In 2008, Muhtadi finished third in sacks for the Terrapins. He was also only the second player in the past 15 years to play all defensive line positions in a game for the Terrapins.
|Wt||40 yd||20 ss||3-cone||Vert||BP||Broad Jump|
Muhtadi currently owns several of Maryland's all-time records for strength and speed: 225 lb. Bench Press Test: 36 repetitions (Team Record) 40 Yard Dash: 4.78 (Defensive Tackle Record) Power Clean: 390 lbs. (Defensive Line Record) Vertical Jump: 36.5 inches (Defensive Line Record) Pro Agility (20-yard shuttle): 4.37 (Defensive Line Record)
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At Christopher Newport, Muhtadi was awarded a full academic scholarship. While also being named the top student-athlete on the team, Muhtadi was a two-time All USA South Athletic Conference All-Academic Selection, a member of the President's Leadership Program, Honors Program, and Student Executive Board of the Business School. He also received the Edith McMurran Honors Scholarship for the student who best demonstrates the balance of leadership, public service, and academic excellence.
In his three years at Maryland, Muhtadi was one of the top student-athletes in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In 2008, Muhtadi won the Jim and Pat Thacker Postgraduate Scholarship for being one of the top student-athletes in the ACC for all sports and all schools. In 2007 and 2008, Muhtadi also received the George Boutselis Memorial Award for being the letterman with the highest academic average on the football team. He also was named to the All-ACC Academic Team in 2008 and was a three-time Dean's List student. Muhtadi received his MBA from the Smith Business School MBA Program.
Muhtadi was signed by the Green Bay Packers as an undrafted free agent following the 2009 NFL Draft on May 4, 2009. He earned his contract on a tryout basis by being one of three players signed out of 25 trying out for the team. Muhtadi was the only player on the depth chart listed at both Defensive End and Nose Guard. On September 3, 2009, in a preseason game against the Tennessee Titans, Muhtadi finished third on the team with 5 tackles, 1 for loss, and a forced fumble. Toward the end of the game, Muhtadi forced a fumble to save a touchdown. He was waived the next day.
Muhtadi was signed by the Arizona Cardinals on January 20, 2010 to play defensive line. Muhtadi became training partners with Darnell Dockett as the two competed against one another every day in workouts. He was injured during training camp and placed on Injured Reserve.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (2012–2015)
Muhtadi spent 18 months rehabilitating from the injury he sustained with the Arizona Cardinals. During his recovery, he had received offers to return to the NFL and to work in financial services, but instead opted to become a professional wrestler with WWE by August 2012. He joined WWE's developmental territory WWE NXT and he adopted the ring name "Mojo Rawley".
Rawley made his television debut on the May 29, 2013 episode of NXT, competing in a battle royal that was won by Bo Dallas. On the October 9 episode of NXT, Rawley adopted a high-energy character based on the concept of "staying hyped"; Rawley explained that if getting hyped allowed superhuman achievements, he would take it one level higher by staying hyped. Rawley defeated CJ Parker at NXT Arrival and then went on an unbeaten streak, defeating CJ Parker, Sylvester Lefort and Oliver Grey, among others. He also took part in a battle royal to determine the new number one contender where he made it to the final seven before being eliminated by Jason Jordan. On May 29, 2014 at NXT TakeOver event, Rusev beat down Rawley. Rawley then formed a team with Bull Dempsey, but they lost in the 1st round of the number one contenders tournament for the tag titles, causing Dempsey to turn on Rawley. The two faced off at NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way with Rawley losing, he also lost a rematch a few weeks later. In October, Rawley suffered an shoulder injury that would take him out of action for four to six months.
The Hype Bros (2015–2017)
In June 2015, Zack Ryder debuted in NXT, and returning Rawley formed an alliance with him, dubbing themselves as The Hype Bros. On the June 10 episode of NXT, The Hype Bros went on to defeat Elias Samson and Mike Rallis. On August 22 at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, The Hype Bros teamed up with Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady to defeat Jason Jordan, Chad Gable and The Mechanics (Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson) in an 8-man tag team match. On the October 16 episode of NXT, The Hype Bros competed in a match for the NXT Tag Team Championship in a losing effort. On the October 22 episode of NXT, Rawley competed in a 26-man battle royal to determine the number one contender for the NXT Championship, he was unsuccessful, although he was among the last few competitors in the match. On the November 11 episode of NXT, The Hype Bros teamed up with Bayley during an intergender tag team match against Blake and Murphy and Alexa Bliss, where they emerged victorious. On the February 10, 2016, episode of NXT, The Hype Bros defeated Corey Hollis and John Skyler in a tag team match.
On July 19, Rawley was called up to the main roster as a supplemental pick in the 2016 WWE draft, being selected in the 11th round by SmackDown, the brand in which his partner Zack Ryder wrestled. He made his main roster debut at Battleground, helping Ryder against being assaulted post-match by Rusev. On the SummerSlam pre-show, The Hype Bros teamed with American Alpha (Jason Jordan and Chad Gable) and The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) to face The Vaudevillains (Aiden English and Simon Gotch), Breezango (Tyler Breeze and Fandango), and The Ascension (Konnor and Viktor) in a 12-man tag team match, where The Hype Bros' team was victorious. On the August 30 episode of SmackDown, they defeated The Vaudevillains to advance in the WWE SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament. The Hype Bros were later eliminated by Heath Slater and Rhyno in semifinals. The Hype Bros would later get a second chance to face Heath Slater and Rhyno in the final at Backlash after American Alpha were injured by The Usos, in a losing effort. On the October 25 episode of SmackDown, The Hype Bros defeated The Ascension to qualify as part of Team SmackDown for the 10–on–10 Survivor Series Tag Team Elimination match at Survivor Series. On the December 13 episode of SmackDown, The Hype Bros won a multi-team battle royal for a chance to take on The Wyatt Family for the titles, but Ryder sustained a knee injury, cancelling their #1 contender status.
After Ryder's injury was determined, the following week on SmackDown, Rawley defeated Curt Hawkins. On the January 24, 2017 episode of SmackDown, Rawley won a battle royal to earn a spot in the 2017 Royal Rumble match. At the event, Rawley entered at number four and was eliminated by Braun Strowman. He then defeated Hawkins on the Elimination Chamber pre-show the following month. Rawley's biggest career win would come on the WrestleMania 33 kickoff show when with the help of then NFL's Rob Gronkowski, he won the fourth annual André the Giant Memorial Battle Royal with the last elimination of Jinder Mahal.
After six months of inactivity, Ryder returned on the June 13 episode of SmackDown, reuniting with Rawley. On June 18, at the Money in the Bank pre-show, The Hype Bros faced The Colóns (Primo and Epico Colón) in a winning effort. Two days later on SmackDown, Shane McMahon announced that The Hype Bros would have an opportunity to become number one contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team championship at the June 27 episode of SmackDown in a match against tag team champions The Usos, in which they were defeated.
Brand switches (2017–2019)
After several weeks of losing matches causing dissension between the team, both Rawley and Ryder began to claim that a change was needed. On the November 28 episode of SmackDown Live, after losing to The Bludgeon Brothers (Harper and Rowan), Rawley attacked Ryder, turning heel in the process for the first time in his WWE career. Rawley appeared on the December 5 episode of SmackDown Live, claiming Ryder was dead weight. Rawley and Ryder had a match scheduled at Clash of Champions, which Rawley won. Rawley then competed in a United States Championship tournament, where he defeated Zack Ryder in the first round, but lost to Bobby Roode in the semi-finals. At Royal Rumble on January 28, 2018, Rawley answered Bobby Roode's open challenge for the United States Championship, but was unsuccessful in winning the title.
As part of the Superstar Shake-up, Rawley was drafted to Raw brand. On April 27, Rawley participated in the Greatest Royal Rumble, entering at number 29, but was eliminated by Randy Orton. On the June 18 episode of Raw, after defeating No Way Jose, Rawley claimed that he was no longer hyped and simply focused. Over the following weeks on Raw, Rawley defeated No Way Jose, and Tyler Breeze several times. Following a brief feud with Bobby Roode, Rawley found himself off Raw for an extended amount of time. From the January 28, 2019 episode of Raw, Rawley began to appear in pre-recorded segments talking to an off-screen person, blaming them for his lack of success, before being revealed that he was talking to a mirror. On the May 13 episode of Raw, he debuted with a new look, defeating Apollo Crews. However, the gimmick was dropped.
24/7 Champion (2019–2020)
On December 31, Rawley won the WWE 24/7 Championship from R-Truth, his first championship in WWE; however, he would lose it back to Truth moments later. Rawley won the title again on the January 13, 2020 episode of Raw, pinning R-Truth on the entrance ramp. During three house shows from January 17 to 19, Rawley lost the title to Truth, but quickly regained it moments later. On the January 27 episode of Raw, Rawley lost the title to Truth, but he would quickly regain it back by pinning Truth, who was distracted by Rawley's new friend Riddick Moss, becoming a six-time champion. On the February 10 episode of Raw, Rawley lost the title to Moss after Moss turned on him during a tag team match, ending their alliance.
On the March 13 episode of SmackDown, as a face with his old "Hype" gimmick, Rawley was moved to the SmackDown brand and announced that Rob Gronkowski will be appearing on SmackDown next week. This move has been seen by critics as a lifeline to Rawley's stagnant career as Gronkowski is more widely known to the general public and is one football's most popular stars before joining WWE.
At WrestleMania 36, with no crowd in attendance, Rawley won the 24/7 championship from R-Truth on the first day of the two-day event, marking his 7th title win. The following day, Gronkowski pinned Rawley to win the title.
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Fishman, Scott (July 18, 2013). "Football players Baron Corbin, Mojo Rawley surprisingly reunite at WWE NXT". The Miami Herald. The McClatchy Company. Archived from the original on January 18, 2014. Retrieved January 16, 2014.
- "Mojo Rawley: Profile & Match Listing". profightdb.
- "Mojo Rawley bio". WWE. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
- "WWE 24/7 Championship". WWE. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- Artus, Matthew. "Mojo Rawley won the 4th annual Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal". WWE. Retrieved April 2, 2017.
- "Mojo Rawley talks his WWE career, Arabic heritage, and Vince's headbutt". YouTube. September 15, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Mark Giannotto (January 27, 2016). "Dean Muhtadi was a college football star. As "Mojo Rawley," he's trying to be the next big thing in the ring". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
- Saxton, Byron (October 16, 2013). "Staying hyped: Mojo Rawley makes his NXT debut". WWE. Retrieved May 14, 2016.
- Bernard, Greg A. (May 4, 2009). "Peckers sign Maryland DT Dean Muhammad". Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
- Scherer, Dave. "New WWE signings". PWInsider. Retrieved March 9, 2014.[permanent dead link]
- Jason Namako. "WWE NXT results - 5/30/13 (#1 Contender battle royal)". Wrestleview. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
- James, Justin. "James's WWE NXT report 1/15 - Week 81: Triple H makes announcement, Kofi vs. Rusev test match, NXT champ in action, Neville/PAC; Overall Reax". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved March 9, 2014.
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- Howell, Nolan. "NXT ArRival: Neville reaches for the gold". SLAM! Sports: Wrestling. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved March 6, 2014.
- Howell, Nolan (May 29, 2014). "Neville tops Kidd at NXT Takeover". Canoe.ca. Québecor Média. Retrieved May 30, 2014.
- "WWE News: Mojo Rawley's Shoulder Injury Is Legit, Upcoming HBK Appearance - 411MANIA". 411mania.com.
- "WWE NXT results - June 10, 2015: Samoa Joe makes his debut, Zack Ryder & Mojo Rawley join forces". WWE.
- Trionfo, Richard (November 11, 2015). "WWE NXT REPORT: TAG TITLE MATCH, BAYLEY AND ALEXA IN SIX PERSON TAG ACTION, SAMOA JOE EXPLAINS HIMSELF, THE ASCENSION ARE BACK NEXT WEEK, AND WHAT IS GOING ON WITH NIA JAX AND EVA MARIE?". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
- "2016 WWE Draft results: WWE officially ushers in New Era". WWE. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
- The Hype Bros vs. The Vaudevillains - SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament Match: SmackDown Live, Aug. 30, 2016, retrieved September 21, 2016
- "Heath Slater & Rhyno def. The Hype Bros in the SmackDown Tag Team Championship Tournament". Retrieved September 21, 2016.
- Parks, Greg. "10/25 WWE Smackdown LIVE – Parks's Ongoing, Real-Time Report". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
- "Zack Ryder injures knee during battle royal". ESPN.com. December 14, 2016. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
- "WWE SmackDown LIVE results, Jan. 24, 2017: Intercontinental Title Lumberjack Match explodes in chaotic Royal Rumble Match prelude".
- "Rob Gronkowski helps Mojo Rawley win the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal". Wwe.com. April 2, 2017. Retrieved April 24, 2017.
- "The Hype Bros reunite to battle the Colons in Kickoff showdown". WWE. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
- "The Bludgeon Brothers def. The Hype Bros". WWE. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
- "Say It Ain't So Bro: Mojo Rawley turns on Zack Ryder after another loss". November 29, 2017.
- Chiari, Mike. "Mojo Rawley Is Top Option to Liven Up US Title Scene After Win vs. Zack Ryder".
- Kain, Reverend (December 17, 2017). "WWE Clash of Champions 2017 results, live streaming match coverage: Styles vs. Mahal". Cageside Seats. Retrieved December 18, 2017.
- Barnett, Jake. "01/09 Barnett's WWE Smackdown Live TV Review: AJ Styles addressed handicap match title defense at the Royal Rumble, U.S. Title tournament continues, Bludgeon Brothers vs. The Ascension, Ruby Riott vs. Becky Lynch". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 9, 2018.
- Keller, Wade. "KELLER'S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 1/16: U.S. Title Tournament semi-finals with Xavier vs. Jinder, Roode vs. Mojo, Shane-Bryan drama continues". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 16, 2018.
- Melok, Bobby. "United States Champion Bobby Roode def. Mojo Rawley (United States Championship Kickoff Match)". WWE. Retrieved January 28, 2018.
- "Get live results from the two-night WWE Superstar Shake-up". WWE. Retrieved April 16, 2018.
- Powell, Jason (April 27, 2018). "Powell's WWE Greatest Royal Rumble live review: 50-man Royal Rumble match, Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns in a cage match for the WWE Universal Championship, AJ Styles vs. Shinsuke Nakamura for the WWE Championship, John Cena vs. Triple H, Undertaker vs. Rusev in a casket match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 27, 2018.
- Powell, Jason (June 18, 2018). "Powell's WWE Raw Live TV Review: The night after Money in the Bank with MITB winner Braun Strowman, new Raw Women's Champion Alexa Bliss, the road to Extreme Rules begins". Pro Wreslting Dot Net. Retrieved June 18, 2018.
- Powell, Jason (July 16, 2018). "7/16 Powell's WWE Raw Live TV Review: Brock Lesnar's WWE Universal Championship ultimatum given by Kurt Angle, the fallout from Extreme Rules, the build to WWE SummerSlam begins". Pro Wreslting Dot Net. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- Powell, Jason (July 23, 2018). "7/23 Powell's WWE Raw Live TV Review: Bobby Lashley vs. Roman Reigns to determine Brock Lesnar's challenger for the WWE Universal Championship at SummerSlam, Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon, and Triple H's big announcement, The B-Team vs. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt for the Raw Tag Titles". Pro Wreslting Dot Net. Retrieved July 23, 2018.
- Powell, Jason (August 6, 2018). "8/6 Powell's WWE Raw Live TV Review: Ronda Rousey vs. Alicia Fox, Raw Tag Champions Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas vs. The Revival, Mojo Rawley vs. Bobby Roode, Sasha Banks and Bayley vs. Riott Squad". Pro Wreslting Dot Net. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
- Powell, Jason (January 28, 2019). "1/28 Powell's WWE Raw TV Review: Royal Rumble fallout, Braun Strowman vs. Drew McIntyre, Kurt Angle vs. Baron Corbin, qualifying matches for the Elimination Chamber match that will crown the WWE Women's Tag Champions". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
- Powell, Jason (May 13, 2019). "5/13 WWE Raw Results: Powell's review of Becky Lynch contract signing for matches with Lacey Evans and Charlotte Flair, Roman Reigns on Miz TV, Ricochet vs. Baron Corbin, the final Raw push for Money in the Bank". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved May 13, 2019.
- Dangoor, Louis (June 11, 2019). "Mojo Rawley Reveals New Gimmick And Explains Face Paint Meaning". WrestleTalk. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
- Johnson, Mike (December 31, 2019). "TWO WWE 24/7 TITLE CHANGES ON FOX NEW YEAR'S EVE SPECIAL". PWInsider. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
- Heydorn, Zack (January 14, 2020). "HEYDORN'S WWE RAW REPORT 1/13: Alt Perspective coverage of the live show including the first ever fist fight, Orton vs. Styles, Black vs. Murphy, and more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Retrieved January 18, 2020.
- Tedesco, Mike (January 18, 2020). "1/17 WWE Live Results: Lafayette, Louisiana (Kairi Sane returns to action, 8-man tag)". WrestleView. Retrieved January 19, 2020.
- Powell, Jason. "01/27 WWE Raw Results: Powell's review of Edge's return, Royal Rumble winners Drew McIntyre and Charlotte Flair, Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy vs. Samoa Joe and Kevin Owens for the Raw Tag Titles, Liv Morgan vs. Lana". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
- Powell, Jason (February 10, 2020). "2/10 WWE Raw Results: Powell's review of Becky Lynch vs. Asuka for the Raw Women's Championship, Seth Rollins, Murphy, and AOP vs. Samoa Joe, Kevin Owens, and The Viking Raiders in an eight-man tag match, the build to WWE Super ShowDown continues". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved February 11, 2020.
- Powell, Jason (March 13, 2020). "3/13 WWE Friday Night Smackdown results: Powell's review of John Cena's appearance, Jeff Hardy's return, Daniel Bryan vs. Cesaro, Bayley and Sasha Banks vs. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross, no fans in attendance at the WWE Performance Center". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
- "Is Rob Gronkowski coming to WWE?: SmackDown, March 13, 2020". WWE. March 13, 2020. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
- Staszewski, Joseph (March 23, 2020). "WWE's big Rob Gronkowski push has a Mojo Rawley problem". New York Post. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
- Konuwa, Alfred. "Rob Gronkowski's WWE Signing Could Be A Lifeline For Mojo Rawley (Updated)". Forbes. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
- "Gronk takes hold of another title, this one at WrestleMania". NBC Sports Boston. April 5, 2020. Retrieved April 6, 2020.
- Mazique, Brian (September 6, 2018). "'WWE 2K19' Roster: Complete List Of Every On-Disc Superstar In The Game". Forbes. Retrieved December 28, 2018.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2017". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved August 31, 2017.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Mojo Rawley.|
- Mark Giannotto. Dean Muhtadi working hard for a shot at Arizona Cardinals roster, The Washington Post, July 20, 2010.
- Darren Urban. Happy To Be Here, Arizona Cardinals Website, June 3, 2010.
- Mark Giannotto, Muhtadi’s on a Mission; T.C. grad, NFL rookie looks to beat the odds at Packers training camp, Sports Connection, July 29, 2009.
- Mike Spofford. Former Terps Become Teammates Again, Green Bay Packers Website.
- Maryland Terrapins football bio