Wrestling Origins: Apollo Crews


Apollo Crews is an interesting individual.
He definitely has the physique of a wrestler
and he’s pretty good in the ring, yet he’s
not being pushed on the main roster as a future
star.
Apollo is fast, agile, powerful, and just
flat-out entertaining to see in action, but
his lack of character work seems to be holding
him back from connecting with fans.
Maybe learning about his journey will change
your opinion of him, so here is Wrestling
Origins: Apollo Crews!
Sesugh Uhaa, pardon my pronunciation, was
born on August 22nd, 1987, in Sacramento,
California.
He was actually raised in Atlanta, Georgia
though, and was a wrestling fan since he was
a kid.
The first match he ever watched was The Undertaker
versus The Ultimate Warrior when he was just
4 years old, and he absolutely loved seeing
these two giants go to war.
In fact, guys like Ultimate Warrior and Lex
Luger would become some of his favourite stars
because of their crazy physiques.
He also absolutely loved The Rock, Stone Cold,
and Kurt Angle.
Wrestling became more than just entertainment
for him though; these athletes became superheroes
to the young boy.
As he got a bit older, Uhaa would focus on
athletics and interestingly took up gymnastics.
Of course, many of his friends laughed at
him for being a male gymnast, but he liked
it and continued for a bit.
However, peer pressure finally got to him
and he dropped gymnastics for more traditional
male sports like soccer, football, and amateur
wrestling.
When he was a teenager, Uhaa would attend
a military high school where weight lifting
was mandatory for all football players.
He would be forced into lifting heavy, and
turns out he was damn good.
Uhaa would hold the record for the highest
lifts in things like bench press and squat,
and his insane strength inspired his first
ring name “Uhaa Nation”, in reference
to how he was “as strong as a whole nation”.
Side note: how impressive is it that despite
his size, he’s still able to pull off these
high-flying, gymnastics inspired moves in
the ring?
After finishing college, Uhaa decided to follow
in the footsteps of one his idols Kurt Angle.
Angle’s story and journey to the WWE inspired
him to pursue his own dream of being a professional
wrestler, so that’s exactly what he did.
He got a part-time job to pay for his training
at the age of 21, and would make his in-ring
debut in August of 2009 under the name Uhaa
Nation for World Wrestling Alliance 4.
He would spend the next year or so working
for small promotions in Georgia as well as
Texas and Alabama, but his big break came
in September of 2011 when he tried out for
Dragon Gate USA.
Uhaa was signed almost immediately for Dragon
Gate USA, as well as its Japanese counterpart
Dragon Gate, Evolve, and Full Impact Pro.
In his first match he would squash Aaron Draven,
and in his PPV debut beat down Brodie Lee,
who you may know as Luke Harper.
Next, Uhaa would win the Full Impact Pro Florida
Heritage Championship in his debut for the
promotion, followed by a storyline where he
joined the Blood Warriors stable in Japan.
Uhaa would continue to dominate in Dragon
Gate and its affiliates, earning himself the
Best Newcomer of the Year award in 2011, and
second place for Wrestling Observer Newsletter’s
Rookie of the Year.
Uhaa would return stateside in early 2012,
but would suffer a knee injury during a three-way
trios match most notably featuring Rich Swann,
Sami Callihan, and Akira Tozawa.
He would be out of action for a full year
and returned in 2013 to defend his Florida
Heritage Championship, followed by him winning
the Open the Twin Gate Championship in Dragon
Gate.
After losing the tag championships, Uhaa would
suffer his first pinfall loss in a Dragon
Gate ring nearly 2 years after his debut.
He would also suffer another loss in Dragon
Gate USA before losing the Florida Heritage
Championship as well, but this all led up
to his first shot at Dragon Gate USA’s top
title; the Open the Freedom Gate Championship.
However, he was unable to defeat Johnny Gargano,
and lost to Ricochet when he got a similar
opportunity in Japan for the Open the Dream
Gate Championship.
In early 2015, Uhaa would challenge the champion
for the Open the Dream Gate Championship one
final time, but he failed, then proceeded
to announce that was his last match in Dragon
Gate.
This wasn’t a huge surprise to fans of Uhaa
Nation as it was rumoured he had taken part
in a WWE tryout back in late 2014 and had
been offered a contract, but he didn’t officially
join the NXT brand until April 6th, 2015.
He was added to the latest class of NXT recruits
and made his first televised appearance with
William Regal to sign the contract.
From there, he would begin working house shows
before officially changing his ring name to
Apollo Crews in August.
Apollo Crews would make his televised NXT
debut later in August at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn
where he defeated Tye Dillinger.
Next, he would win a battle royal to become
the top contender for the NXT Championship.
He would go on to win the match against Finn
Balor but by disqualification after he was
attacked by Baron Corbin, thus didn’t get
the belt.
Crews and Corbin’s rivalry would build up
to a match at NXT TakeOver: London where Crews
was defeated.
After his relatively short time in NXT, Apollo
Crews made his main roster debut on April
4th, 2016, on the night after WrestleMania.
He would quickly find himself feuding with
the Social Outcasts, which he won by defeating
Heath Slater.
Next, Crews would begin a feud with Sheamus
after the Irishman cost him a match against
Chris Jericho, and would go on to defeat him
at Money in the Bank.
As part of the 2016 WWE Draft, Apollo Crews
was drafted to SmackDown and would have some
initial success.
He defeated Baron Corbin and Kalisto to become
the #1 contender for the Intercontinental
Championship, but was defeated by Champion
the Miz at SummerSlam.
Since then, Crews has most notably taken part
in the 2017 Royal Rumble as well as teamed
up with Kalisto against Dolph Ziggler.
Most recently, Crews would be featured in
the main event of SmackDown in a battle royal,
where he was eliminated by Baron Corbin due
to distraction by Ziggler.
And that was Wrestling Origins: Apollo Crews.
I know Crews isn’t the most popular superstar
in the world but he definitely has potential,
so I thought this might help some fans change
their views on him.
Anyways, if you enjoyed the video leave a
thumbs up and subscribe for another episode
of Wrestling Origins every Friday.
As always thanks for watching, and I’ll
catch you in the next one!

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