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Nathan Irwin (born 10 September 1990) is a British professional wrestler. He works for World of Sport Wrestling and New Generation Wrestling, performing under the ring name Nathan Cruz. He also performs for a number of British, European, and international promotions.
Cruz in 2012
|Birth name||Nathan Irwin|
|Born||citation needed]10 September 1990 [|
Kingston upon Hull, England
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Nathan Cruz|
|Billed height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Billed weight||213 lb (97 kg)|
East Riding of Yorkshire
|Trained by||El Ligero|
Professional wrestling careerEdit
Various promotions (2006–present)Edit
After making his professional debut aged fifteen, Cruz worked for a number of independent promotions throughout Europe including Progress Wrestling, Real Deal Wrestling, Southside Wrestling, SOLO (Spain), WS (France) and EPW (Italy). In August 2009 while competing for RDW, he captured the RDW Tag Team Championships with Colossus, holding them for six months before losing them to Sykes and Lee Chaos.
Cruz competed in WWN's Style Battle #7 tournament being defeated in the first round against Saieve Al Sabah.
New Generation Wrestling (2008–present)Edit
Appearing under his real name Nathan Irwin, Cruz appeared on the first ever NGW show in 2008, before taking part in the tournament to crown its inaugural champion later in the year, losing in the quarter finals to Sam Bailey. After winning an award for acting at the age of seventeen, Cruz adopted the gimmick of a bratty actor, obsessed with idea of his celebrity status. In 2009, he began a longstanding series of matches against close friend Matt Myers, with the two exchanging victories before moving on to other feuds.
Following a series of impressive wins, Cruz became involved in a feud with the veteran Alex Shane for the rights to Shane's 'Showstealer' gimmick. The feud ended at the Second Anniversary show when Cruz beat Shane in a Last Man Standing match to claim use of the 'Showstealer' moniker.
Cruz enterprises and first championshipEdit
Along with the 'Showstealer' moniker, Cruz also gathered an entourage who would go on to be named 'Cruz Enterprises'. They included bodyguard Colossus, manager/agent Richie West, girlfriend Melanie Price and waterboy Kev Cash. Cruz continued to collect victories, including a defeat of his trainer El Ligero during a feud with NGW Champion Sam Bailey and General Manager Mark Criteria, who refused to allow Cruz to compete for the championship. Eventually, in February 2011 Cruz faced and defeated Bailey for the NGW Championship, retaining the title in a street fight rematch and successfully defending it throughout 2011 against Martin Kirby, Dean Allmark, Joey Hayes and Cam Kraze. During the latter half of 2011, Cruz's feud with Matt Myers was reignited, with Cruz jealous of the folk hero status Myers held among the fans, insisting it should be him they adored. The two met for Cruz's NGW Championship at Eternal Glory 2011, with Myers pulling off a shock win to capture the title.
Following the loss of his title to Myers, Cruz embarked on a long losing streak lasting most of 2012, including two more consecutive losses to Myers. His Cruz Enterprises stable fractured and eventually disbanded, which led to a short feud between Cruz and former bodyguard Colossus, ending in a match at Eternal Glory 2012, which Cruz lost. With all the trappings of his pseudo celebrity gone, Cruz (kayfabe) turned to alcohol, frequently appearing visibly intoxicated at events and later drinking during matches. Cruz was moved down the card during this period to reflect his diminished status and he would put noticeably less effort into his matches.
Cruz was considering retirement from wrestling in the spring of 2013 when he was approached by Matt Myers, who felt sorry for his long time friend and encouraged him to mend his ways. Myers challenged Cruz to a match at the Fifth Anniversary show, with the intention of bringing out the old Nathan Cruz and reminding Cruz and the crowd what the Showstealer was capable of. Their match ended in a no contest when both men were attacked by debuting faction The Control. Under the guidance of Richie West, Rampage Brown, Mark Haskins, Caz Crash and Sam Wilder beat Cruz unconscious and left him sidelined for almost a year.
Return and second championshipEdit
On returning to NGW as a face in the summer of 2014, Cruz engaged in a feud with The Control, specifically current NGW Undisputed Champion Rampage Brown. The early part of the feud focused on Cruz's redemption from his alcoholic gimmick and reestablishing him as a main event talent. From his return until July 2015, Cruz competed in the Davey Boy Cup, a loose series of matches between a group of established and up and coming stars in British wrestling with the focus more on in ring performance than wins and losses. Cruz made it to a final choice of three (the others being Bubblegum and Zack Gibson), from whom a winner would be selected by the Hart Smith family. Cruz eventually lost out to Zack Gibson, a fact which angered Cruz following Gibson's refusal to continue their Cup match when it reached a time limit draw earlier in the year.
Cruz also pursued a title shot against Rampage Brown throughout 2015, finishing second in the 2015 Destiny rumble to Matt Myers and being repeatedly refused a match by now General Manager Richie West. After a number of victories, including over members of the Control, Cruz was finally granted a championship match with Rampage Brown at Ultimate Showdown. Despite interference from Richie West and the Control, Cruz defeated Rampage Brown for the championship ending his reign, which by then had lasted over two years and completing his redemption angle by becoming champion as a face. Cruz would continue to feud with the Control following his championship win, twice defending the title against Mark Haskins in addition to successful defences against El Ligero, CJ Banks and Zack Gibson, a match which ended a long term rivalry between the two stemming from two previous matches which ended in a double pin and a time limit draw respectively.
All Star Wrestling (2010–present)Edit
In 2010 at age nineteen Cruz debuted for Brian Dixon's All-Star Wrestling, Europe's oldest and most active wrestling promotion. This made Cruz at the time the youngest full-time professional wrestler in the world and brought him under the long term personal mentorship of Marty Jones. Cruz spent the summer of 2010 working on All Star's holiday camp tours across the British Isles. Cruz again toured with All Star in 2011, where he worked a long term feud as a heel against El Ligero. The two would go on to compete in over sixty matches together throughout the year at both holiday camp and town hall shows.
2013 saw Cruz working the summer season as a face for the first time, working against Dash Wilder in another extensive feud. More recently Cruz has feuded with Dean Allmark over possession of the All Star British Championship, as well as being the opponent of choice for a number of visiting international stars including Joe Legend, PN Neuz, Shadow Phoenix, Fit Finlay and Dave Finlay Jr..
Progress Wrestling (2012–2017)Edit
Between March and December 2012, Cruz was the first ever Progress Champion, winning it in a four way bout with Mike Mason, Marty Scurll and El Ligero. Throughout his reign Cruz refused to allow Ligero a second attempt at the championship, insisting he had already had the opportunity. He eventually lost the belt to El Ligero in a singles bout having bowed to continuous pressure to grant him a title match. In 2013 Cruz was a vocal part of the Screw Indy Wrestling movement and feuded with Stixx. After an absence of over two years, in March 2015 at Chapter 19: Super Strong Style 16 Night 1 he was revealed to be the motivating force for heel group the Faceless, two of whom had recently become Progress Tag Team Championship. He also revealed old enemy El Ligero as another member of the group, renamed the Origin, and that he and Ligero held the championship belts. Dave Mastiff and Zack Gibson were later revealed as members. Explaining his actions, Cruz announced he was declaring war on the PROGRESS fanbase, with the intention of destroying all they held dear about PROGRESS and anyone who chose to stand in their way. The next night Cruz and Ligero lost the tag team titles to the Sumerian Death Squad (Tommy End and Michael Dante). However, Cruz and Ligero won the titles back in November 2015 at Chapter 23.
Cruz and Ligero went on to successfully defend the titles against the Sumerian Death Squad, Tommaso Ciampa & Zack Sabre Jr, and F.S.U (Mark Andrews & Eddie Dennis) before feuding with the London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) who eventually won the titles from the Origin on 29 June 2016.
On June at Progress Chapter 36 he and the rest of the Origin defeat the team of F.S.U, Damon Moser and Jack Gallagher in a match that if they lost they would dissolve The Origin. On Chapter 40 he teamed with Ligero in a losing effort against F.S.U. During the match tension was shown between the members of the Origin. On Chapter 44, Cruz faced Ligero in a losing effort but attacked him after the match removing his mask.,this led to a match in Chapter 46 where Cruz teamed with Zack Gibson in a winning effort against Ligero and Dave Mastiff. On chapter 48 Cruz defeated Rockstar Spud in a qualifying match to Super Strong Style 16.  In the tournament Cruz was eliminated in the first round by Jeff Cobb. At chapter 50, Cruz and Gibson defeated Jimmy Havoc and Mark Haskins, after the match Cruz refused to celebrate with Gibson and walked away. He then explained in a promo on Progress' YouTube channel that he was walking away from Progress after the promotion did not give him opportunities now that they were expanding to different countries after he was with the promotion since day one.
In May 2014, Cruz competed on a week long live event tour for WWE. At the end of the tour, Cruz worked a dark match on SmackDown, teaming with Justin Sysum to face The Usos. Cruz has also regularly attended WWE elite training camps held in the UK. Cruz appeared on the 13 August episode of NXT, losing to Elias Samson. In January 2017, during the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament, Cruz wrestled a dark match with Dan Moloney against Tucker and Saxon Huxley in a losing effort.
W.O.S WRESTLING (Summer 2018–present)Edit
Nathan appeared in the re-boot of World of Sport Wrestling (AKA WoS Wrestling) in series 1, taking part in the inaugural Tag-Team competition, alongside Adam Maxted. He & Maxted successfully reached the finals where Cruz & Maxted would eventually be defeated by the new champions Kip Sabian & Iestyn Rees. After the match, Cruz would complete a Heel-Turn when he would blame Maxted for the loss and undertook a brutal attack.
The episode following, Cruz would face Maxted in a ladder match, to be contested in a "Loser Leaves The Company" format. in an evenly contested bout, Maxted would eventually prevail, by retrieving a briefcase located high above the ring, which apparently contained a singles contract for W.o.S Wrestling, with the premise that as they were no longer a Tag-Team there would only be enough room on the roster for one of them.
Nathan Cruz is one of the head trainers at NGW's collection of training schools, alongside Matt Myers, Rampage Brown and Screwface Ahmed.
In September 2014 he became engaged to his long-term partner.
Championships and accomplishmentsEdit
- British Wrestling Revolution
- BWR Tag Team Champion (1 time) - with Matt Myers
- Empire Wrestling
- Empire Championship (1 time, inaugural, current)
- New Generation Wrestling
- NGW Championship (3 times)
- Progress Wrestling
- Real Deal Wrestling
- RDW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Colossus
- "Nathan Cruz". Cage Match. Cage Match. 2015.