Chris Spradlin (born December 24, 1979) is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name Chris Hero. Spradlin, as Chris Hero, has been a mainstay of many independent wrestling promotions, including the American Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Ring of Honor groups as well as Pro Wrestling Noah in Japan. He is also known from his time in the Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South, Combat Zone Wrestling and Chikara, where he was the co-head trainer of the Chikara Wrestle Factory.
Hero has held the CZW World Heavyweight Championship, the PWG World Championship, and the wXw World Heavyweight Championship once each. All together in his career, he has held 37 championships from around the world.
Professional wrestling career[edit | edit source]
Training and early career[edit | edit source]
After graduating from Northmont High School in Clayton, Ohio, Spradlin decided to train as a professional wrestler in the summer of 1998. After undergoing some initial training in Middletown, Ohio, Spradlin debuted on September 12, 1998 in Xenia, Ohio wrestling Shawn "HeartThrob" Halsey in the Unified Championship Wrestling promotion. Spradlin's initial training in Middletown was under the supervision of a small-time promoter named Gary Goffinet. Spradlin trained for a little while alongside his friend, Adam Ghazee, under a wrestler by the name of Bo Dacious. Bo had trained previously under Charlie Fulton at the Monster Factory. At the suggestion of Matt Stryker, Spradlin underwent further training at Les Thatcher's Cincinnati-based HWA Main Event Wrestling Camp between May 1999 and November 1999. In December 1999, he traveled to Ocala, Florida to train under Dory Funk, Jr. at the Funkin' Conservatory professional wrestling school.
As Spradlin wrestled wearing what is popularly known as a "wifebeater" style of shirt, he began using the ring name "Wife Beater". He continued to use the Wife Beater character until a women's group, offended by the gimmick, organized a boycott of a show on which Spradlin was wrestling in Platteville, Wisconsin. The character was discussed on the talk show Politically Incorrect, although Spradlin was not mentioned by name. After Spradlin was booked for a series of family-friendly shows for NWA West Virginia / Ohio, he changed his ring name to "Chris Hero". He wrestled his last matches as Wife Beater in 2000.
In 2000, Hero began working for the Indiana-based Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South, where he received supplementary training from Ian Rotten. In the following years, Chris spent a great deal of time working with Tracy Smothers on IWA Mid-South shows and he now credits Smothers as his mentor. In October 2002, Hero attended the Blue Bloods Wrestling Camp, operated by UK wrestlers Dave Taylor, William Regal and Dave Finlay. In July 2003, Chikara brought in Skayde from Último Dragón's Toryumon Gym in Mexico City to teach some special lucha libre clinics. Hero took part in the training sessions and was able to add the lucha style to his repertoire. He attended Skayde sessions in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Mexico City between 2003 and 2006.
Pro Wrestling Noah (2009–2011, 2014–2016)[edit | edit source]
In January 2009, Hero returned to Japan for Pro Wrestling Noah. He came to an agreement with the Noah front office and was granted a stay at the dojo after the tour. He trained alongside Richie Steamboat and made his way back to the U.S. after five weeks abroad. Hero returned to Noah for the June 2009 tour and stayed, once again, at the dojo. During this stay, Hero wrestled at the event where one of his idols, Mitsuharu Misawa, died during the main event match. In January 2010 Hero and Claudio Castagnoli entered the Global Tag League, but ended up losing all three of their matches. Hero and Castagnoli returned to Noah on November 19, 2010, for a three-week-long tour. The team went undefeated in tag team matches, before being defeated on December 5, the final day of the tour, by Takuma Sano and Yoshihiro Takayama in a match for the GHC Tag Team Championship. The Kings of Wrestling returned to Noah in April 2011 to take part in the 2011 Global Tag League, where they managed to win two out of their seven round robin matches, finishing seventh out of eight teams in the block.
On April 12, 2014, Hero returned to Japan and Pro Wrestling Noah to take part in the 2014 Global Tag League, where he teamed with Colt Cabana under the team name "Big in U.S.A.". The team finished the tournament with a record of two wins and four losses, finishing last in the block. They were, however, given the Technique Award for their effort in the tournament. From October 18 to November 8, Hero took part in Noah's 2014 Global League Tournament, where he finished with a record of four wins and three losses, failing to advance from his block. Hero returned to Noah in April 2015, when he and Cabana took part in the 2015 Global Tag League, where they finished with a record of three wins and two losses, finishing tied second in their block and missing the finals. During the tournament, Hero and Cabana most notably scored a win over reigning GHC and NWA World Tag Team Champions K.E.S. (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer). As a result, Hero and Cabana received a shot at the GHC Tag Team Championship on June 19, but were defeated by K.E.S.
In June 2015, Hero wrestled for Smash Wrestling as part of a fundraiser for research against ALS called an Infinity Gauntlet, where the duration would be set by the level of donations and he would be wrestling the entire time. Hero wrestled for over three hours, raising $3440 for ALS.
From October 16 to November 6, Hero took part in Pro Wrestling Noah's 2015 Global League Tournament, where he finished with a record of four wins and three losses. Hero entered the final day with a chance to advance to the finals, but was eliminated after losing to Naomichi Marufuji in the main event.
Other media[edit | edit source]
Spradlin appeared on Australian program Border Security: Australia's Front Line, a weekly television documentary program that details real and potential immigration and custom infringements at airports and seaports across Australia. On December 18, 2008, Spradlin had entered Australia under a tourist visa, which does not permit participating in paid or unpaid performances, even though he was planning to perform, defending his PWG World Championship in the PWA Queensland wrestling show the next day. Spradlin cooperated with the immigration officials and after four hours was permitted to leave the airport and enter the country after the event organiser agreed to sponsor him on an entertainment visa, which was approved by immigration.
Spradlin also appeared in a music video for the song "The Ballad of Bruce Moose" by Indie band Born Ruffians. The video features Hero performing his signature moves the rolling elbow and moonsault in slow motion.
Spradlin, going by the ring name Chris Hero, appears on WWE Home Video's CM Punk – Best in the World DVD documentary, where he talks about competing against CM Punk during their independent circuit days.
In wrestling[edit | edit source]
- Finishing moves
- As Chris Hero
- Hangman's Clutch (Stepover toehold inverted cravate)
- Hangman's Clutch II (Arm trap inverted cravate)
- Hero's Welcome Championship Edition (Wrist-lock scoop lift spun into a sitout scoop slam piledriver)
- Multiple cutter variations
- Multiple elbow smash variations
- Cerebral Cortex Rolling Elbow / Death Blow / Hangman's Elbow (Inverted headlock transitioned into a discus to the back of the opponent's head)
- Diving D (Discus to the back of the head of a kneeling opponent)
- Ripcord Rolling Elbow (Wrist-lock transitioned into a short-arm discus)
- Rolling Elbow (Discus, sometimes dropped from an electric chair)
- Multiple piledriver variations
- Rivera Cloverleaf – Innovated; named in tribute to Jorge "Skayde" Rivera
- Rubik's Cube (Electric chair driver)
- Stretch Plum Alpha (Stretch plum)
- As Chris Hero
- Signature moves
- Backward roll into a standing corkscrew senton
- Cravate Buster (Three-quarter facelock neckbreaker)
- Cravate Countdown (Three-quarter facelock guillotine drop)
- Cravate Cutter (Diving corkscrew three-quarter facelock neckbreaker)
- Cravate-O-Clasm (Three-quarter facelock iconoclasm)
- Cyclone Kill (Discus big boot)
- Double foot stomp, sometimes followed by a senton
- Double leg slam
- Elbow smash
- Hangman's Clutch III (Inverted cravate / Standing leg grapevine combination)
- Hangman's Clutch Facebuster (Cravate twisted into a sitout facebuster)
- Hero DDT (Lifting spinning DDT)
- Hero Sandwich (Swinging side backbreaker, sometimes while applying a hammerlock)
- Hero Sidekick (Running big boot to a cornered opponent)
- Hero Stomp (Diving double foot stomp, sometimes while springboarding)
- Indian deathlock piledriver
- Johnny Saint special
- Mafia Kick (Running big boot)
- Moonsault, sometimes while standing
- Multiple forearm smashes
- Multiple suplex variations
- Russ Abbot (Performs a leapfrog, crawls between opponent's legs, rolls over the opponent and performs a roll-up)
- Senton, sometimes preceded by a somersault
- Tracy Smothers (Rapid double palm strikes to a cornered opponent's chest)
- Topé con Hero (Somersault topé through the second and top ropes)
- Entrance themes
- "A Certain Shade of Green" by Incubus
- "Dead and Bloated" by Stone Temple Pilots
- "Holding Out for a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler
- "My Hero" by Foo Fighters
- "It's a Bird, It's a Plane" by Ralph Cardall
- "Kryptonite" by 3 Doors Down
- "Nobody's Real" by Powerman 5000
- "Smack My Bitch Up" by The Prodigy
- "Blind" by Korn
- "Double Dutch Bus" by Frankie Smith
- "Everyday I Love You Less and Less" by Kaiser Chiefs
- "Don't You Want Me" by The Human League
- "Requiem for a Tower (Holding Out for a Hero intro)" by Clint Mansell
- "Rock and Roll Part 2" by Gary Glitter
- "Rape Me" by Nirvana
- "The Stroke" by Billy Squier
- "Bomp" by Robin Klein and Scott Schreer
- "Sharp Dressed Man" by ZZ Top
- "Chris is Awesome!" by Viro the Virus
- "We Are the Champions" by Queen (Used while teaming with Claudio Castagnoli)
- "KoW (Kings)" by Cody B. Ware, Emilio Sparks and J. Glaze (Used while teaming with Claudio Castagnoli)
- "Flatlined" by Modern Echo
Wrestlers trained[edit | edit source]
- Absolute Andy
- Adam Polak
- Andres Diamond
- Andrew Patterson
- Andy Sumner
- Big Sick Ben
- Chris Bernardi
- Black Jack Marciano
- Bryce Remsburg
- Chris Kole
- Claudio Castagnoli
- Crew Spence
- Danny Havoc
- Dragon Dragon
- Drake Younger
- Drew Gulak
- Eddie Kingston
- Emil Sitoci
- Fire Ant
- Gran Akuma
- Guy Alexander
- J. C. Bailey
- Jessie Belle
- Josh Haze
- Kyle Maverick 
- Lance Steel
- Larry Sweeney
- Lince Dorado
- Marc Roudin
- Markus Crane
- Mason Childs
- Marty Fabz
- Mickie Knuckles
- Mr. Excellent
- Nadia Nyce
- Orange Cassidy
- Red Devil
- Shane Storm
- Reed Bentley
- Soldier Ant
- Tassilo Jung
- Terry Daniels
- Tim Donst
- Tommy End
- Trik Davis
- UltraMantis Black
- Vin Gerard
- Vries Kastelein
- Wesley Croton
- Worker Ant
Championships and accomplishments[edit | edit source]
- Pro Wrestling Noah
- SoCal Uncensored Awards
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Tag Team of the Year (2010) with Claudio Castagnoli
- Other achievements
- Jeff Peterson Cup (2007)
Luchas de Apuestas record[edit | edit source]
|Winner (wager)||Loser (wager)||Location||Event||Date||Notes|
|Chris Hero (hair)||Equinox (mask)||Hellertown, Pennsylvania||The Sordid Perils of Everyday Existence||November 17, 2007|||
References[edit | edit source]
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- Chris Hero . Online World of Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2011-05-23. Retrieved on 2011-05-17.
- Blanton, Michael 2016-11-06. Low Ki makes surprise appearance, Broken Matt with Brother...Hero?, Zack Sabre Jr., Homicide and tons more: 11/4 AAW Never Say Die live report . Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved on 2016-11-07.
- TheChrisHero.com Biography . TheChrisHero.com. Archived from the original on 2012-01-21. Retrieved on 2011-04-14.
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