Jerry Lynn

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Jerry Lynn
Jerry Lynn CHIKARA.jpg
Lynn in September 2012.
Birth name Jeremy Lynn
Born (1963-06-12) June 12, 1963 (age 55)
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Gorgada Cross[1]
Jerry Lynn[1]
Jerry the Ram
Mr. J.L.[2]
Sultan Gargola
Billed height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Billed weight 220 lb (100 kg)
Billed from Minneapolis, Minnesota[3]
Trained by Francisco Abarca
Brad Rheingans[2][4]
Eddie Sharkey
Debut March 23, 1988[1]
Retired March 23, 2013[5]

Jeremy "Jerry" Lynn[6] (born June 12, 1963) is an American former professional wrestler. He has worked for promotions such as World Championship Wrestling (WCW), Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW), the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), and Ring of Honor (ROH). Lynn is a two time world heavyweight champion, having held the ECW World Heavyweight Championship once and the ROH World Championship once. Other championships held by Lynn in his career include the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship (once), the TNA X Division Championship (twice), the NWA World Tag Team Championship (twice) and the WWA International Cruiserweight Championship (once). In December 2012, sports journalist Dave Meltzer described Lynn as "one of the most underrated workers of the last quarter century".[7] Lynn retired from professional wrestling on March 23, 2013, exactly 25 years after his career began.[5]

Professional wrestling career

Early years (1988–1995)

Lynn started wrestling in March 1988 in various independent promotions in the Minnesota and Michigan areas, one being Pro Wrestling America, and a brief stop in the Tennessee-based Smoky Mountain Wrestling. After the PWA folded, Lynn wrestled for the Global Wrestling Federation (GWF) based in Dallas, Texas. While in GWF, Lynn captured the GWF Light Heavyweight Championship. Lynn also engaged in a two-year feud with The Lightning Kid which gave both men considerable exposure.[2][6]

World Championship Wrestling (1995–1997)

Lynn first became known to a larger wrestling audience in World Championship Wrestling as the masked Mr. J.L.[6] The high-flying Lynn joined the WCW cruiserweight division, where he competed against the Mexican luchadores and a variety of wrestlers from around the world such as Chris Benoit, Dean Malenko, Eddie Guerrero, Sabu, Chris Jericho and Alex Wright. Lynn suffered a broken arm on December 18, 1995, in a match against Dean Malenko that would air one week later on Nitro on Christmas night. He also wrestled a couple of matches on Saturday Night as himself, most notably wrestling Lex Luger. One of his last major matches took place at the Clash of the Champions XXXV, where he suffered a six-man tag team loss while teaming with Konnan and La Parka against Chris Jericho, Super Calo and Chavo Guerrero, Jr.. While he was injured, Eric Bischoff fired him from WCW.[2]

Extreme Championship Wrestling (1997–2001)

After leaving WCW, Lynn joined Extreme Championship Wrestling. Lynn debuted at the ECW Arena on September 20, 1997 and immediate began a "respect" feud with Justin Credible, who debuted against Lynn that same evening. This resulted in the two being booked in a series of matches, which saw Credible winning the last match at the Heatwave '98 pay-per-view. After this, Lynn was involved in a feud with Lance Storm and Mikey Whipwreck, a feud that was shortened when Whipwreck left for WCW.

Once the feud with Lance Storm was ended, Lynn was booked in a match for the ECW World Television Championship with Rob Van Dam at Living Dangerously in 1999. The finish saw Lynn win the title from Van Dam (the time limit expired and Lynn was awarded the title by referee decision instead of by pinfall or submission). Despite this win, he asked for a five-minute time extension, in which he was pinned by Van Dam after a Five-Star Frog splash. Though Lynn did not win the match, he from then on referred to himself as "The New F'N Show", mocking Van Dam's nickname, "The Whole F'N Show", as well as claiming he would be the wrestler to deprive Van Dam of the ECW World Television title. Though Lynn received several more title opportunities with Van Dam, he was not successful in winning the World Television Title before Van Dam was stripped of the title after suffering a legitimate broken ankle. Around the same time, Lynn also suffered a broken ankle, taking him out of action.[8] On his return to ECW TV, Lynn challenged Van Dam to one more match at Hardcore Heaven, which Lynn won due to interference by Scotty Anton.[6]

On October 1, 2000 at the Anarchy Rulz, Lynn defeated Justin Credible for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship.[6] He held the title for one month, making a successful title defense against Steve Corino, to whom he lost the title to in a re-match. At the last ECW pay-per-view, Guilty as Charged in 2001, Lynn was in the main event, losing to Rob Van Dam via a Van Terminator.[6]

World Wrestling Federation (2001–2002)

Following the bankruptcy of ECW in April 2001, Lynn was hired by the World Wrestling Federation. Lynn made his TV debut on the April 29, 2001 episode of Sunday Night Heat, where he defeated Crash Holly for the Light Heavyweight Championship in his debut match.[6] He eventually lost the title to Jeff Hardy and had a notable match with Rob Van Dam on an episode of Sunday Night Heat before being released in February 2002.[6] He then had a brief stint in the World Wrestling All-Stars promotion, where he won its Cruiserweight title.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2002–2007)

In early June 2002 (shortly after release from the WWF), Lynn signed with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA), taking part in the first ever TNA match as part of a six-man tag match against the Flying Elvises. He won the TNA X Division Championship twice, as well as the NWA World Tag Team Championship twice (once with A.J. Styles, once with Amazing Red).[6] He feuded with A.J. Styles[9] and Don Callis, and was an X Division mainstay. In the late spring of 2003, he joined the newly formed All World Wrestling League/Big Time Wrestling. However, in February 2004 he suffered a severe shoulder injury, tearing the tendon from the bone in his rotator cuff, when Juventud Guerrera botched a Juvi Driver. Lynn became a TNA road agent, planning matches and coaching younger talent.[6]

Lynn in 2007

Lynn made his return to the ring on June 10, 2005 when he faced Justin Credible at Hardcore Homecoming, an ECW reunion show organized by ECW alumnus Shane Douglas. On July 17 at No Surrender, Lynn refereed a match between Sean Waltman and A.J. Styles, refusing to allow Waltman to cheat in the course of the match. This led to a match between Lynn and Waltman at Sacrifice on August 14, which Lynn won. After the match, Waltman initially celebrated with Lynn before attacking his former partner. The following week on Impact!, it was announced that Lynn had re-injured his shoulder. (This was believed to be an angle designed to fuel the feud between Lynn and Waltman rather than a legitimate aggravation of the existing injury. The length of his absence would seem to contradict this; however, the angle was likely dropped when Sean Waltman no-showed Unbreakable a month later, as TNA would not work with Waltman on a regular basis again for over four years.)

In January 2006, he began making on-screen appearances once more as a road agent. He came out at Final Resolution to watch a match which was Chris Sabin, Sonjay Dutt and Matt Bentley taking on the team of Alex Shelley, Roderick Strong and Austin Aries. Lynn continued to make several other appearances throughout the rest of 2006, and even faced Bobby Roode in a losing effort during TNA's first house show in Detroit.

On January 14, 2007, Lynn made his return to regular in ring competition returning to TNA to compete for the TNA X Division Championship against Chris Sabin and then-champion Christopher Daniels at Final Resolution, in which he delivered his trademark cradle piledriver to Daniels and subsequently got pinned by Chris Sabin. Lynn carried on to feud with Sabin over the X Division title. On an episode of Impact!, Lynn won a ladder match to become the number one contender for the TNA X Division Championship. At Destination X, Lynn was defeated by Chris Sabin in a two out of three falls match. After the match, a masked man (later revealed to be Christopher Daniels) performed the Angel's Wings on Sabin, but also hit Lynn with the title belt. At Lockdown, Daniels defeated Lynn in a Six Sides of Steel match. At Sacrifice, Jerry Lynn won a four-way X-Division battle between himself, Alex Shelley, Senshi, and Tiger Mask (New Japan Pro Wrestling star also making his TNA debut). On June 17, 2007 at Slammiversary, Jerry Lynn teamed up with former NFL tight end Frank Wycheck to defeat the team of James Storm and Ron Killings. Wycheck pinned Storm after using Lynn's signature move, the cradle piledriver. At Victory Road in July, Jerry Lynn teamed up with former WWF World Heavyweight Champion Bob Backlund against the tag team of The Motor City Machine Guns, Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, with Kevin Nash in their corner. Lynn wrestled the majority of the match and was knocked out cold by an interfering Kevin Nash, followed by a pinfall by Chris Sabin. In August 2007, Lynn asked for and received his release from TNA.[6]

Ring of Honor (2008–2011, 2012)

Lynn made several appearances for Ring of Honor, prior to becoming a full-time roster member. Lynn made an appearance for Ring of Honor, where he wrestled ROH World Champion Nigel McGuinness in a non-title match, which he lost.[10] He has also wrestled in ROH's sister promotion Full Impact Pro on two occasions, wrestling Austin Aries and Roderick Strong in a Three Way Dance, before taking on Aries the next night in a singles match. Lynn has wrestled on ROH's PPV taping on September 19, 2008 in a losing effort to Chris Hero. Then next night Lynn returned to the ECW Arena for ROH's Glory By Honor VII by defeating Kenny King. On September 22, 2008 Lynn was named a full-time member of the ROH roster.[11] Soon after, Lynn was a participant in the inaugural match of TV show Ring of Honor Wrestling on HDNet, pinning Delirious for the win.

At Supercard of Honor IV, he defeated Nigel McGuinness to win his first ROH world title.[12] At Manhattan Mayhem III, Lynn lost the ROH World Title to Austin Aries in a Three Way Dance, which also involved Tyler Black, on June 13, 2009. He would later enter in a rivalry with Austin Aries, Kenny King and Rhett Titus, leading to an alliance with Delirious.[12]

Lynn returned to ROH on December 16, 2012, at Final Battle 2012: Doomsday, where he was defeated by Mike Bennett in his final match with the promotion.[13]

Return to TNA (2010–2011, 2013)

Lynn returned to TNA on the August 5, 2010, edition of Impact!, announcing that he would take on Rob Van Dam one more time at the ECW reunion show, Hardcore Justice, on August 8.[14] However, on August 7 it was reported that Lynn was forced to pull out of the event due to a back injury and was replaced by Sabu.[15] Lynn reappeared on Impact Wrestling on June 23, 2011, again confronting Van Dam, after which it was announced that the two would face each other on July 10 at Destination X.[16] Lynn wrestled his TNA return match on the July 7 edition of Impact Wrestling, losing to Van Dam in a four-way match, which also included A.J. Styles and Christopher Daniels.[17] At Destination X, Lynn was defeated by Van Dam in a singles match.[18] Lynn made his next appearance on August 7 at Hardcore Justice, where accompanied Van Dam to the ring for his match with Crimson. After Van Dam was hit with Crimson's finishing maneuver, Lynn entered the ring and broke up the following pin, causing the referee to disqualify Van Dam.[19] On the August 18 edition of Impact Wrestling, Lynn cost Van Dam another Bound for Glory Series match against A.J. Styles in similar fashion.[20] On the September 1 edition of Impact Wrestling, Lynn turned on Van Dam, costing him his match with Gunner and, in the process, eliminating him from the finals of the Bound for Glory Series and turning heel.[21] The following week Lynn explained his turn by claiming that he was tired of being in Van Dam's shadow and mentioned that Eric Bischoff had helped him realize it.[22] On October 16 at Bound for Glory, Van Dam defeated Lynn in a Full Metal Mayhem match.[23]

As part of his retirement tour, Lynn returned to TNA on January 12, 2013, as part of the tapings of the One Night Only: X-Travaganza PPV, losing to Rob Van Dam in a No Disqualification match.[24] This would be Lynn and Van Dam's final match together.

Independent circuit (2003–2013)

Lynn worked for the All World Wrestling League presents Big Time Wrestling from late 2003 to early 2004.

Lynn participated in the East Coast Wrestling Association's eleventh-annual Super 8 Tournament, which he won after defeating Sonjay Dutt in the finals on November 10, 2007 in Newark, Delaware.

In June 2007, Lynn debuted for Anarchy Championship Wrestling, based in Austin, Texas. Lynn won the ACW Heavyweight Championship in his first match by defeating Scot Summers. Lynn would hold the title for six months and after two time limit draws, Lynn lost the title back to Summers in a no time limit match in January 2008. Lynn continued wrestling for ACW through 2008 and in November, he won the ACW tag team titles with Scot Summers. Lynn and Summers remained tag team champions for over a year before losing the titles to the Submission Squad in January 2010. Lynn returned to ACW for a match in August 2011 and then again at the start of 2012. After announcing that he would be retiring at the end of the year, the rest of Lynn's appearances became known as the retirement tour for the Godfather of Anarchy.

One of Amarillo's independent promotions, West-Texas Wrestling Association, announced January 12, 2008 at their second anniversary show that Jerry Lynn would face Kaos "The Rock Superstar" at WWA's Collision Course 3 on April 12, 2008 at The Nat "Brawl Room", hyping the fact they have two nationally known names facing off in a one-on-one match for Indy supremacy. Lynn would face local star, Mark Wilson, instead, due to an injury sustained by Joey Munoz. Jerry Lynn would return to WWA frequently to face local Amarillo stars. He would also face, and defeat, Justin Credible and Raven, in separate matches in WWA.

Ram-Jam (Lynn, right, and Grimmy Jam, left)

Lynn defeated Shawn Shultz on February 21, 2008 to become the UWA Heavyweight Champion in Seymour, Tennessee.

Lynn participated in Pro Wrestling Syndicate's Majestic Twelve Tournament on March 22, 2008 in Yonkers NY. Lynn teamed with Kenny Omega in the first round defeating Tommy Suede and Kevin Matthews. Omega eliminated Lynn in Round 2. Lynn's most recent PWS match was on May 8, 2010 when he defeated Vampiro in White Plains NY.

On April 25, 2008, Lynn defeated Jason Gory, Shiima Xion, and Davey Richards to win the Super Indy VII Tournament that is held by International Wrestling Cartel. Traditionally, the winner of the tournament is awarded the IWC Super Indy Championship. However, Lynn refused to accept the belt and instead challenged the champion Larry Sweeney to a title match at the next show. On May 17, 2008, Lynn defeated Sweeney to officially become IWC Super Indy Champion. On September 13, 2008, Lynn lost the Super Indy title to kayfabe apprentice Johnny Gargano in a 3 Way Dance, which also included Super HENTAI.

On March 10, 2012, Lynn announced that he would retire from professional wrestling at the end of the year.[25]

On April 28, 2012, Lynn defeated Devon Storm at Extreme Reunion in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

On September 14, 2012, Lynn made his debut for Chikara, when he, Too Cold Scorpio and Tommy Dreamer entered the 2012 King of Trios as "The Extreme Trio", defeating Team WWF (1-2-3 Kid, Aldo Montoya and Tatanka) in their first round match.[26][27] The following day, The Extreme Trio was eliminated from the tournament by Team ROH (Mike Bennett, Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson).[26][28]

On November 10, 2012, Lynn wrestled for MPX in Bedford, Texas where he won a fatal four way to become the MPX Champion. Lynn immediately vacated the title due to his impending retirement and the match marked his final appearance in the Dallas/Fort Worth area where he spent much of his early career with the GWF. On February 9, 2013, Lynn defeated Lance Storm in his final match in Pro Wrestling Syndicate in the Main Event of the show.[29]

Lynn wrestled his retirement match at the Minneapolis Convention Center on March 23, 2013, which was the 25th anniversary of his debut as a professional wrestler. The event was promoted by Dave Sabick along with his promotion Heavy On Wrestling. He faced Horace the Psychopath, JB Trask and Sean Waltman in a four-way match, in which he was victorious. After the match, the locker room came out to celebrate Lynn's career and he was presented with a trophy.[5]

Retirement (2013–present)

Lynn was backstage at Ring of Honor's Best in the World 2014 pay-per-view in Nashville, Tennessee, where he now lives. Sporting a new shorter haircut, this was the first wrestling show he's attended since retiring in 2013.[30] In December 2015, Lynn returned to Ring of Honor where he had a confrontation with ROH World Champion Jay Lethal. At Final Battle 2015, Lynn would be on commentary during the main event between Lethal and AJ Styles alongside Kevin Kelly and Nigel McGuinness.

Personal life

Lynn married his wife Mary in 1988; together they have one daughter. With his second wife, his second daughter was born on August 28, 2006.[31]

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

Lynn's Hardcore Hall of Fame banner in the former ECW Arena.
  • Anarchy Championship Wrestling
    • ACW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[53]
    • ACW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Scot Summers[54]
  • Gateway Championship Wrestling
    • GCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[1]
  • Independent Wrestling Association East Coast
    • IWA East Coast Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[59]
  • International Wrestling Cartel
    • IWC Super Indy Championship (1 time)[61]
    • Super Indy Tournament (2008)[62]
  • Metroplex Wrestling
    • MPX Championship (1 time)[63]
  • New Era Pro Wrestling
    • NEPW Triple Crown Championship (1 time)[64]
  • New York Wrestling Connection
    • NYWC Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[65]
    • NYWC Hi-Fi Championship (1 time)[66]
    • NYWC Interstate Championship (1 time)[67]
  • Steel Domain Wrestling
    • SDW Television Championship (1 time)[75]
  • Suncoast Pro Wrestling
  • United States Wrestling Organization
    • USWO Heavyweight Championship (1 time)[80]
    • USWO Television Championship (1 time)[81]

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