David Stephen Finlay III (May 16, 1993) is a German-born Northern Irish professional wrestler known simply as David Finlay. He is currently signed and trained by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), where he is a former one-time IWGP Tag Team Champion and a former one-time NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champion. He is a fourth-generation professional wrestler, following a tradition started by his great-grandfather John Lidell. He is the son of Fit Finlay and was trained by him prior to his professional wrestling debut.
Finlay was first trained by his father Fit Finlay making his debut with the age of 15. He would make his professional wrestling debut alongside his father. He would spend most of 2013 without having a wrestling match, making his return to wrestling the following year. He would work extensively across Europe for promotions such as Power of Wrestling, All-Star Wrestling, and the European Wrestling Promotion, winning his first title in the same year. He would then enter in the NJPW dojo in 2015.
Finlay was born on 16 May 1993, in Hanover to parents Dave Finlay and Melanie Duffin. He has stated that he wanted to be a wrestler since he was young, being inspired by watching his father wrestle. Finlay grew up in a wrestling family, as his father, grandfather and both paternal great-grandfathers were all professional wrestlers, and his paternal aunt was a referee.
Professional Wrestling Career
Early Career (2012-2015)
On December 22 Finlay made his debut in professional wrestling at the European Wrestling Promotion when he was against Big Van Walter. In the same day, he and his father Dave Finlay defeated Danny Collins and Robbie Brookside in an Irish Street match. Then he competed in various independent promotions like Universal Independent Wrestling, All-Star Wrestling, and World of Unpredictable Wrestling. On October 10, 2014, Finlay won his first professional wrestling title the POW Junior Championship in a three-way match. He held the title for 314 days before vacating it on 20 August 2015.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2015-Present)
On May 7, 2015, it was announced that Finlay was hired by the Japanese promotion New Japan Pro Wrestling and it was announced that he would participate in the Best of the Super Jr. XXII and that he would be entering in the B block. At his debut match in NJPW and his first match at the Best of the Super Juniors he lost to Alex Shelley he also had a personal attire. At end of the tournament, Finlay lost all of his matches. Later he would compete as one of NJPW's "Young Lions" a class of rookie wrestlers who work mostly against each other early on, wearing all black gear and with no particular ring character, all part of the structured learning process in NJPW. He would later compete with and some matches against fellow Young Lion Jay White some times with him had begun teaming together on a regular basis and with both men trading victories in both singles and tag team competition. On May 19 Finlay was called to replace Matt Jackson at 2016 Best of the Super Juniors. On May 21 to June 7, 2016, Finlay participated at the tournament and only scored 2 points defeating the veteran Gedo. On September 1 Finlay was involved at the Lions Gate Project 3 where he debuted a new wild attire and new finisher named Prima Nocta and he also defeated GO Asakawa. After that Finlay was given a push at the company and he started to win more matches.
On September 25 Finlay won his first champion at NJPW when he, Ricochet, and Satoshi Kojima defeated Bullet Club (Adam Cole and Matt and Nick Jackson) to win the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship where he graduated from his "Young Lion" status. This led to a match on October 10 at King of Pro-Wrestling, where Finlay and Ricochet unsuccessfully challenged The Young Bucks for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. Finlay and Ricochet entered the 2016 Super Jr. Tag Tournament, defeating Gedo and Will Ospreay in the first round. Finlay and Ricochet lost at the semifinals to ACH and Taiji Ishimori. Finlay, Ricochet, and Kojima lost the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship to Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL and Sanada) in a four-team gauntlet match at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2017.
Later in 2017, Finlay joined the Taguchi Japan stable. In the mid-2017 Finlay would later graduate to the heavyweight division. On March 25, 2018, at Strong Style Evolved, Finlay attacked Jay White and challenged him to a match for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. He received his opportunity on April 24, unsuccessfully challenged Jay White for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. From November 17 until December 7, Finlay and Juice Robinson took part in the 2018 World Tag League finishing the tournament with a record of eight wins and five losses, failing to advance to the finals of the tournament. Their final block match against Best Friends (Beretta and Chuckie T.) ended by disqualification, when Chuckie T., who had recently been prone to violent outbursts, attacked Finlay with a chair. On January 5, 2019 at New Years's Dash, Finlay and Robinson faced the Best Friends in a rematch, which ended in a disqualification, after Chuckie attacked again Finlay with a chair. This led to a match on January 30 at The New Beginning in USA, where Finlay defeated Chuckie T. On February 23, Finlay injured his shoulder, NJPW would later announce that Finlay would hat to forfeit his place at the 2019 New Japan Cup. It was later revealed to be a torn labrum and that he would be out of action for around six months. Finlay made his return to the promotion on October 14 at King of Pro-Wrestling, saving his partner Juice Robinson from an attack by Lance Archer, while also challenging him to a match for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship. On November 9 at New Japan Showdown in San Jose, Finlay unsuccessfully challenged Archer for his title. From November 16 until December 8, Finlay and Robinson took part in the 2019 World Tag League, which the two won by defeating former IWGP Tag Team Champions Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and SANADA) in their last round-robin match.
On January 4, 2020, on the first night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome, Finlay and Robinson defeated the Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship. They lost the titles back to the Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) on February 1 at The New Beginning in USA. In July, due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, Finlay was unable to work for NJPW events in Japan, leading him to take part in Lion's Break Collision series. The following month, Finlay took part in the New Japan Cup USA, as part of the NJPW Strong series, losing to eventual winner KENTA in the finals on August 21. Despite being defeated in the finals, Finlay received a rematch against KENTA November 20, at New Japan Showdown for his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship challenge rights certificate, facing him in a losing effort. From November 15 until December 6, Finlay and Robinson took part in the 2020 World Tag League, finishing the tournament with a record of six wins and three losses, advancing to the finals of the tournament. On December 11, Robinson and Finlay were defeated in the finals by Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa). In March 2021, Finlay took part in the 2021 New Japan Cup, picking up a surprise victory over Jay White, before losing in the semifinals to Will Ospreay on March 20.
- Finishing moves
- Air Raid Crash (Running over the shoulder back to belly piledriver)
- Prima Nocta (Stunner)
- Trash Panda (Brainbuster dropped onto his Knee)
- Acid Drop (Springboard Cutter); adopted from Spike Dudley
- Signature moves
- Scarf Hold
- Granby Roll
- Kamikaze Shot (Rolling Fireman's Carry Slam)
- German Suplex
- Muffler Hold
- "Celtic Prince"
- Entrance themes
- "Samurai Rock" by Yonosuke Kitamura (NJPW)
Championships and accomplishments
- Impact Wrestling
- Impact World Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Juice Robinson
- New Japan Pro Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #447 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2015
- PWI ranked him #431 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2016
- PWI ranked him #431 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2017
- PWI ranked him #350 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2018
- PWI ranked him #233 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2020
- David Finlay profile . Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved on 2017-04-14.
- David Finlay profile . The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved on 2017-04-14.
- David Finlay profile . New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-06-25.
- David Finlay profile . Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved on 2017-04-14.
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- Ana Scott and David Finlay's Wedding Website . The Knot. Retrieved on 2019-02-20.
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- TMPToW: David Finlay . Podomatic (2017-03-10). Retrieved on 2019-02-20.
- 『Super Jr.』メンバー＆全カード決定! 外道が3年ぶり出場! フィッシュ、オライリー、小松、カベルナリオ、フィンレーらが初出場! (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2015-05-07). Retrieved on 2015-05-07.
- Best of the Super Jr.XXII (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2015-05-22.
- 【緊急決定！】『Best of the Super Jr.』のAブロックにデビッド・フィンレー、Bブロックにチェーズ・オーエンズが代打出場！ 【SJ23】 (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling (2016-05-19). Retrieved on 2016-05-19.
- Best of the Super Jr.XXIII (in Japanese). New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-05-29.
- 【“GK”金沢克彦氏が激筆！】闘魂三銃士、第三世代、「夢☆勝ちます」…、9.1『LION’S GATE』目前！ 新日本プロレス“ヤングライオンの系譜”とは？ (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling (2016-09-01). Retrieved on 2016-09-01.
- Destruction in Kobe (in Japanese). New Japan Pro Wrestling. Retrieved on 2016-09-25.
- Rose, Bryan 2016-10-09. NJPW King of Pro Wrestling live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Naomichi Marufuji . Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved on 2016-10-10.
- NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega . Wrestling Observer Newsletter (2017-01-03). Retrieved on 2017-10-04.
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2016 . The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved on 2016-09-01.
- David Finlay on Twitter
|NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Champions|
|The Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe) and Toru Yano • Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga and Yujiro Takahashi) • The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson) • Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin and Yoshitatsu • Matt Sydal, Ricochet and Satoshi Kojima • David Finlay, Ricochet and Satoshi Kojima • BUSHI, EVIL and SANADA (current) • Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi and Ryusuke Taguchi •|