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Todd Smith (born March 3, 1984) is an American professional wrestler currently working full time for WWE, performing on its Raw brand under the ring name Ivar, as one half of the tag team The Viking Raiders. He is best known under the ring name Hanson, which he used from 2013 to 2019. Smith and Raymond Rowe, (now known as "Erik") have been a regular tag team since 2014, initially under the name War Machine, then later War Raiders, The Viking Experience and finally The Viking Raiders.

Hanson
Hanson1.jpg
Hanson in July 2015
Birth nameTodd Smith[1]
Born (1984-03-03) March 3, 1984 (age 35)[2]
Lynn, Massachusetts, United States[2]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Don Chesterfield
Handsome Johnny
Ivar
Johnny Hayes
Todd Hansen[1]
Todd Hanson[1]
Todd Smith[3]
Hanson[4]
War Beard Hanson[4]
Warbeard Hanson[4]
Billed height6 ft 2 in (188 cm)[2][5]
Billed weight305 lb (138 kg)[5][2][6]
Billed fromOverseas[6]
Reno, Nevada
Lynn, Massachusetts
Trained byKiller Kowalski[4]
WWE Performance Center[4]
Debut2001[4]

Smith and Rowe have held tag team championships on two continents, being two times IWGP Tag Team Champions in Japan and having won the ROH World Tag Team Champion and NXT Tag Team Championship in the United States.

Contents

Professional wrestling careerEdit

Early career (2001–2013)Edit

Trained by Killer Kowalski, Smith made his debut in 2001.[4] For the next several years, he worked for a number of independent professional wrestling promotions throughout New England, most notably New England Championship Wrestling and Chaotic Wrestling. Well known for his tag team background, he was part of The Trendsetters with Max Bauer and Pretty Psycho with Psycho. He and Brian Milonas were also the head instructors at the Chaotic Wrestling training facility in North Andover, Massachusetts.[7][8]

 
Handsome Johnny in 2008

Smith appeared on Velocity on December 16, 2005, losing to Doug Basham. The following year, on September 15, 2006, he appeared on SmackDown as Todd Hansen in a losing effort to Sylvester Terkay.[1][3]

On February 16, 2008, Smith defeated Brandon Locke for the NECW Television Championship in Quincy, Massachusetts. The title was vacated on April 22, 2008, due to an injury Smith suffered in a title defense. On June 1, 2008, Smith became the champion again after defeating Chase Del Monte in a tournament final held at Suffolk Downs. In late 2008 a series of vignettes featuring Smith began to air during Chaotic Wrestling live events and on the web, showed Handsome Johnny discovering himself on a trip abroad and lead to the introduction of "The Duke of Elegance" Don Chesterfield into Chaotic storylines. Smith also used this character for the Eastern Wrestling Alliance as well as Front Row Wrestling. In NECW, he changed his ring name in 2010 to "Handsome" Johnny Hayes.

Ring of Honor (2013–2017)Edit

Smith made his ROH debut on July 27 a losing effort in a four-corner survival also featuring Brian Fury, Kongo, and Vinny Marseglia.[9] A few months after this, he was announced as the eighth participant in the 2014 edition of the Top Prospect Tournament.[10] He defeated Cheeseburger and Andrew Everett in the opening rounds before going on to win the tournament at Wrestling's Finest by defeating Raymond Rowe in the final.[11] As a result, he earned an ROH World Television Championship match against reigning champion Tommaso Ciampa at the 12th Anniversary Show, but was unsuccessful.

He then formed a tag team with Raymond Rowe known as |War Machine. On April 11, 2014, Hanson and Rowe both signed contracts with ROH.[12] On August 22, 2015, War Machine defeated Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) in a non-title match and afterwards challenged them to a match for their GHC Tag Team Championship, a title owned by the Japanese Pro Wrestling Noah promotion.[13] War Machine received their title shot in Japan on September 19, but were defeated by the Killer Elite Squad.[14] On December 18 at Final Battle, War Machine defeated The Kingdom (Matt Taven and Michael Bennett) to win the ROH World Tag Team Championship.[15] They lost the title to The Addiction (Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian) on May 9, 2016, at War of the Worlds.[16] War Machine's final appearance with ROH was on December 16, 2017.[17]

Japan (2015–2018)Edit

On September 14, 2015, Hanson and Rowe made their Japanese debuts for Pro Wrestling Noah, teaming with Takashi Sugiura in a six-man tag team main event, where they defeated Suzuki-gun (Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer, and Minoru Suzuki).[18] This led to a match five days later, where War Machine unsuccessfully challenged Smith and Archer for the GHC Tag Team Championship.[19]

In November 2016, War Machine made their debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) by entering the 2016 World Tag League.[20] They finished the tournament on December 7 with a record of four wins and three losses, failing to advance to the finals.[21]

On April 9, 2017, at Sakura Genesis 2017, War Machine defeated Tencozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima) to win the IWGP Tag Team Championship.[22] They lost the title to Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) on June 11 at Dominion 6.11 in Osaka-jo Hall,[23] regaining it in a no disqualification match on July 1 at G1 Special in USA.[24] They lost the title to Killer Elite Squad in a three-way match, also involving Guerrillas of Destiny, on September 24 at Destruction in Kobe.[25]

WWE (2018–present)Edit

On January 16, 2018, WWE announced that Hanson had signed a contract with the company and would be reporting to the WWE Performance Center.[4] On March 17, 2018, Hanson and tag team partner, Rowe made their NXT debut at a house show, defeating the team of Adrian Jaoude & Cezar Bononi in their first match. [26] On the edition of April 11, 2018 of NXT, he and Rowe, dubbed War Machine, made their TV debuts, attacking Heavy Machinery (Otis Dozovic and Tucker Knight) and the team of Riddick Moss and Tino Sabbatelli. Two days later on the April 13, 2018 edition of NXT they went on to defeat the team of Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan. [27][unreliable source?]

Throughout the beginning of the year, the team of Hanson & Rowe, now dubbed the War Raiders would continue their winning streak, by defeating several tag teams in the NXT division, including The Mighty and Heavy Machinery. [28] At NXT TakeOver: WarGames (2018) in Los Angeles, War Raiders would team up with Ricochet and Pete Dunne in the main event to defeat The Undisputed Era in the eponymous WarGames match. [29] At NXT TakeOver: Phoenix, War Raiders would defeat the team of Kyle O'Reilly and Roderick Strong to win the NXT Tag Team Championship. On the 15th April, they debuted on Raw, winning on their debut. [30]

Personal lifeEdit

Todd Smith, along with his teammate Raymond Rowe, are straight edge.[31]

Other MediaEdit

Hanson made his video game debut as part of the Titans Pack of downloadable characters available for WWE 2K19.[32]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

 
Hanson (left) and Raymond Rowe as the IWGP Tag Team Champions

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e Caruso III, Anthony (May 27, 2013). "Hanson living dream as pro wrestler". The Capital Sports Report.
  2. ^ a b c d "Hanson". New Japan Pro Wrestling.
  3. ^ a b McNamara, Andy (September 26, 2006). "Smackdown: The King's court divided?". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Match 6: Sylvester Terkay w/ Elijah Burke vs. Todd Smith
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "WWE Performance Center signs War Machine". WWE. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Hanson". WWE.
  6. ^ a b "Handsome Johnny". Chaotic Wrestling. 2008. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2008.
  7. ^ Bartlett, Sean (March 23, 2007). "Ring of fire: New England's minor-league grapplers wrestle their demons — in vinyl boots and a blaze of glory". The Phoenix.
  8. ^ Halen, Darrell (August 1, 2008). "School helps young grapplers wrestle with success". Wicked Local.
  9. ^ CageMatch (August 24, 2013). "ROH on SBG #101". CageMatch.
  10. ^ Ring Of Honor (December 16, 2013). "2014 Top Prospect Tournament: Participant #8". Ring Of Honor.
  11. ^ CageMatch (January 25, 2014). "ROH Wrestling's Finest". CageMatch.
  12. ^ "Hanson & Rowe sign with ROH". Ring of Honor. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
  13. ^ "Ring of Honor tag team heading to Pro Wrestling Noah". Wrestleview. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  14. ^ "Great Voyage 2015 in Osaka". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved September 19, 2015.
  15. ^ a b Meltzer, Dave (December 18, 2015). "ROH Final Battle 2015 live results: Jay Lethal vs. AJ Styles, Roderick Strong vs. Bobby Fish". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  16. ^ Johnson, Mike (May 9, 2016). "Bullet Club reigns supreme: ROH War of the Worlds tour coverage from Dearborn, Michigan". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  17. ^ Johnson, Mike (December 19, 2017). "Three new signings expected in new year". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved December 19, 2017.
  18. ^ Shiny Navig.2015~第9回日テレG+杯争奪ジュニア・ヘビー級タッグリーグ戦~. Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  19. ^ "Great Voyage 2015 in Osaka". Pro Wrestling Noah (in Japanese). Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  20. ^ 『World Tag』“初出場”外国人チーム決定!! ROHから“凶獣”ウォー・マシンが参戦!WLWからブライアン・ブレーカー&リーランド・レイスもエントリー!【WT16】. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). November 4, 2016. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  21. ^ 戦国炎舞 -Kizna- Presents World Tag League 2016. New Japan Pro Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  22. ^ a b Rose, Bryan (April 8, 2017). "NJPW Sakura Genesis live results: Okada vs. Shibata". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  23. ^ Rose, Bryan (June 10, 2017). "NJPW Dominion live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved June 11, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Witner, Arya (July 1, 2017). "NJPW G1 Special live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Cody". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
  25. ^ Rose, Bryan (September 23, 2017). "NJPW Destruction in Kobe live results: Kenny Omega vs. Juice Robinson". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  26. ^ "WWE/NXT News: War Machine make their NXT debut". www.sportskeeda.com. March 17, 2018.
  27. ^ "NXT Venice Live Event Results (4/13): Shayna Baszler vs Candice LeRae, The War Raiders Dominate & More!". Wrestlezone. April 14, 2018.
  28. ^ Satin, Ryan (April 8, 2018). "War Machine Debut New Name at NXT TakeOver Pre-Show Taping".
  29. ^ Decker, Kyle (November 17, 2018). "Ricochet, Dunne, & War Raiders survive the Undisputed ERA & WarGames". Cageside Seats.
  30. ^ Decker, Kyle (January 26, 2019). "War Raiders win the NXT tag titles in another 'Follow that!' TakeOver tag match". Cageside Seats.
  31. ^ Moorehouse, John (July 29, 2017). "EXCLUSIVE: Thrown Together, War Machine Reach Championship Success". Fightful.com. Retrieved March 18, 2018.
  32. ^ Cole, Caitlin (December 19, 2018). "Complete WWE 2K19 Roster". Rumble Ramble. Retrieved April 24, 2019.
  33. ^ Palladino, Rich (2008). "Chaotic Wrestling Tag Team Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  34. ^ "Chaotic Wrestling Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  35. ^ "M.W.F. Heavyweight Title (New England)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  36. ^ "MWF Heavyweight Title History". Solie's Title Histories. 2005.
  37. ^ "M.W.F. Tag Team Title (New England)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  38. ^ "MWF Tag Team Title History". Solie's Title Histories. 2005.
  39. ^ Westcott, Brian; Eric Roelfsema (2006). "NWA New England Television Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  40. ^ "N.W.A. Cold Front Television Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Archived from the original on April 30, 2003.
  41. ^ Westcott, Brian; Eric Roelfsema (2006). "NWA New England Tag Team Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  42. ^ "C.W.A./N.W.A. New England Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003. Archived from the original on March 24, 2010.
  43. ^ Westcott, Brian (2008). "NECW Television Title History". Solie's Title Histories.
  44. ^ "N.E.C.W. Television Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  45. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2016". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved September 2, 2016.
  46. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "VIP Limitless « Events Database « CAGEMATCH – The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
  47. ^ "WCPW Tag Team Championship". What Culture Pro Wrestling. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017. Retrieved October 3, 2017.

External linksEdit