Ric Byrne

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Ric Byrne
Birth nameAric Byrne Connely
Born (1973-04-13) April 13, 1973 (age 46)
Cincinnati, Ohio
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Ric Byrne
Ooga Booga
Billed height6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Billed weight250 lb (113 kg)
Billed fromRic Byrne - Hell's Kitchen, NY
Ooga Booga - A Frozen Block of Prehistoric Glacial Ice
Trained byHeartland Wrestling Association
Les Thatcher
DebutOctober 2001

Aric Byrne Connely (born April 13, 1973) is an American professional wrestler and author best known under the ring name/pseudonym Ric Byrne.

As a child, Ric was hospitalized for several months with third degree burns over his chest, arms, and face due to being intentionally set on fire by a family member. These scars are still visible today, and have been incorporated into his wrestling persona. Afterwards, Ric was adopted by a family with the last name Allen, although he has recently changed his last name back to the family name of Connely.


Ric was trained at the Main Event Pro Wrestling Camp in Evendale, OH by head trainer Les Thatcher. He debuted as a wrestler on October 11, 2001 against Crypt Cauldron for Violent Championship Wrestling under the ring name of Ric Byrne. In Violent Championship Wrestling, Ric often found himself allied with "Madman" Shirley Doe and squaring off against Al Snow's younger brother, Logan Caine. Simultaneously, Ric began his career in the Heartland Wrestling Association as a referee (winning the Referee Of The Year award in HWA for 2001) until becoming an active wrestler on their roster as well. For the first few years, Ric wrestled primarily in singles competition, holding notable early victories over Dean Jablonski and Rory Fox. This changed after September 6, 2003 when in a hardcore match against Brother Clay, Ric suffered significant head trauma. This was used to create a "regressed" caveman character for Byrne, who began competing as Ooga Booga. Ric continued to wrestle as Ric Byrne for the World Wrestling Coalition, defeating Fabulous Frederick in a steel cage match for the WWC Heavyweight Title in January 2005. Ooga Booga continued tagging with various HWA wrestlers until finding a partnership that worked with Jon Moxley in June 2005. Again, significant head trauma caused a character change for Ric, as multiple chairshots in a single match returned the Ric Byrne persona to activity in the Heartland Wrestling Association. Byrne and Moxley became the Heartland Foundation, managed by Hellena Heavenly, feuding with Foreign Intelligence (Quinten Lee and Ala Hussein) and winning the HWA Tag Team Titles for a very brief moment from that duo. Eventually, rivalry for the affections of Helena Heavenly caused a split, with Moxley and Hellena leaving Byrne. At the same time, Byrne was part of the creation of the Profit, Inc. group in the World Wrestling Coalition, holding both singles and tag titles with that company. During a "First Blood" match against Gotti on June 6, 2006, Ric's jaw was broken in multiple places at the midpoint of the match, and even though Byrne was able to continue wrestling for another ten minutes after the incident, he was sidelined for several months afterwards due to the extensive surgeries required to correct his shattered jawbone, and was forced to vacate the WWC Heavyweight Title during this period. Byrne returned to active competition in October 2006, and currently performs regularly (as Ric Byrne) for the Heartland Wrestling Association, the World Wrestling Coalition, (as Ooga Booga) for Buckeye Pro Wrestling, the Northern Wrestling Federation, and American Championship Wrestling. Recently, Ric Was made the new "Super Hero in Training" by Ro'Z (Matt Anoa'i) at the Brian Pillman Memorial Show, where he tagged with Ro'Z to defeat JT Stahr and Ala Hussein.

Violent Championship Wrestling (2001-2003)[edit]

August 30, 2003 - defeated Bain for the Violent Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Title. October 7, 2003 - defeated Bain and "Madman" Shirley Doe to regain the Violent Championship Wrestling Heavyweight Title.

Heartland Wrestling Association (2001-2007)[edit]

September 6, 2003 - faced Brother Clay in a Hardcore match at the Red Barn which led to the creation of Ooga Booga. November 2, 2003 - Ooga Booga and Deuce faced the Riggs Brothers in the final match of the Heartland Wrestling Association Tag Team Title tournament. July 5, 2005 - Kara Kildare & Notorious JED & Indiana Kid Jr. defeated Hellena Heavenly & Jon Moxley & Ooga Booga in a match that saw the return of the Ric Byrne persona to the Heartland Wrestling Association. August 19, 2005 - Heartland Foundation (Ric Byrne and Jon Moxley) defeat Foreign Intelligence (Quinten Lee and Ala Hussein) for the HWA Tag Team Championship, although the Heartland Foundation are stripped of the title and the championship is awarded back to Foreign Intelligence the same evening.

World Wrestling Coalition (2004-present)[edit]

March 6, 2004 - Lost the World Wrestling Coalition United States Championship to "Superstar" Shawn Parks. October 2, 2004 - defeated Fabulous Frederick in a No Disqualification match for the World Wrestling Coalition Heavyweight Championship.: April 2, 2005 - with Flash Fury, defeated Vile and "Too Fine" Jason Taylor for the World Wrestling Coalition Tag Team Titles.: January 8, 2005 - defeated Fabulous Frederick for the World Wrestling Coalition Heavyweight Title in a steel cage match, crushing his left ring finger in the process. January 7, 2006 - with "Superstar" Shawn Parks, defeated BAD Intentions (Brian Jennings and Ben Kimera) for the World Wrestling Coalition Tag Team Championships. March 11, 2006 - defeated "Superstar" Shawn Parks for the World Wrestling Coalition Heavyweight Championship. January 13, 2007 - with Dave Nevada, defeated "Big Kahuna" Ken Lucas and Devlin Anderson for the World Wrestling Coalition Tag Team Championship

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Heartland Wrestling Association
  • Pro Wrestling Illustrated
    • PWI ranked him No. 460 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the world in the PWI 500 in 2008
  • Violent Championship Wrestling
    • VCW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
  • World Wrestling Coalition
    • WWC World Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
    • WWC United States Championship (1 time)
    • WWC Tag Team Championship (3 times)
    • WWC King of Extreme (2008)

Personal life[edit]

Ric has been known to sponsor both an annual Toy Drive and fund raising events for the Shriner's Burns Institute, which he credits as having saved his life. He is also known as a creative mind, having written scripts for wrestling and other entertainment ventures. He and his wife have two children.

Writing credits[edit]

  • Credited as a Technical Advisor for WWE: Know Your Role, published by Comic Images on August 17, 2005, ISBN 1-930950-61-6
  • Helped develop "Kayfabe: The Inside Wrestling Game", published by Errant Knights Games
  • Wolfsheim, Author, published by White Wolf Publishing in the Scion game line.
  • The Path of Kane, Author, published by Pinnacle Entertainment Group
  • Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, Contributor, published by White Wolf Publishing
  • Deadlands Reloaded: Ghost Towns, Author, published by Pinnacle Entertainment Group
  • Mind's Eye Theatre: Vampire the Masquerade, Contributor, published by By Night Studios under White Wolf Publishing

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]