Sam Gradwell

Jan 23, 2020 - by Jamie Cruickshank

Real Name: Samuel Gradwell
Height: 6’1″
Weight: 212 lbs.
Date of Birth: June 1, 1991
From: Blackpool, Lancashire (England)
Pro Debut: February 20, 2009
Trained By: Grand Pro Wrestling
Finishing Move: Fly N’ Die


– Gradwell began his career under the name ‘Ricky J McKenzie’ for the UK’s Grand Pro Wrestling
– In his debut match on February 20, 2009, McKenzie was defeated by William Gaylord
– On May 6, 2011, McKenzie & Chris Echo defeated Paradise Lost (Kastor LeVay & Heresy) to win the GPW Tag Team Titles
– On February 3, 2012, McKenzie & Echo defeated The Blackpool Blonds (Axl Rage & JD Sassoon) to retain the GPW Tag Team Titles
– In March 2012, McKenzie suffered an ACL injury in a rematch against The Blackpool Blonds. The injury would require reconstructive surgery and kept McKenzie out of action for over a year
– McKenzie returned to action in April 2013, competing in a Royal Rumble Match
– On August 31, 2014, McKenzie won the AOW Golden Chance Tournament, defeating CJ Banks in the final
– On May 15, 2015, McKenzie defeated Dirk Feelgood to win the GPW Heavyweight Title, only to lose it immediately to Bubblgum in a 6-Way Match
– In the summer of 2015, McKenzie embarked upon a brief tour of Hong Kong and China
– In January 2017, Gradwell (under his real name) competed in the WWE UK Title Tournament, defeating Saxon Huxley in the first round before falling to Pete Dunne. Following the tournament, Gradwell would drop the ‘Ricky J McKenzie’ moniker in favour of competing full-time under his real name
– On September 1, 2017, Gradwell defeated Jimmy Jackson to win the GPW British Title
– On November 24, Gradwell defeated Morgan Webster to retain the GPW British Title
– On January 26, 2018, Gradwell defeated Sexy Kev to retain the GPW British Title
– On April 27, Gradwell defeated Joey Hayes & Voodoo to retain the GPW British Title
– On June 1, Gradwell defeated Ste Mann to retain the GPW British Title
– On July 14, Gradwell defeated Mark Kodiak to retain the GPW British Title
– Gradwell made his first appearance for NXT UK on July 28, losing to Danny Burch
– In late 2018, Gradwell reinjured his ACL and would be out of action for two years
– Gradwell returned to action for NXT UK in November 2020
– In August 2022, Gradwell was released by WWE
– On July 9, 2023, Gradwell defeated Joey Hayes to win the GPW Heavyweight Title
– On September 23, Gradwell defeated Axl Star & Aaron Achilles to win the vacant Dutch Heavyweight Title
– On October 14, Gradwell defeated Heimo Ukonselkä to win the SLAM Title
– On November 11, Gradwell defeated Max Damon to retain the Dutch Heavyweight Title
– On December 9, Gradwell defeated Starbuck to retain the SLAM Title
– On January 28, 2024, Gradwell defeated Martin Kirby to retain the GPW Heavyweight Title
– On February 3, Gradwell defeated Axl Star to retain the Dutch Heavyweight Title

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