Pro wrestler Barri Griffiths was born in 1982 in Tremadog, Wales. Griffiths was a standout in weightlifting and football in his early days, and played for the Porthmadog Football Club as a centre-back. He began training for his professional wrestling career in 2006 with All Star Wrestling trainer Orig Williams and promoter Brian Dixon.
While wrestling, he was known as the Celtic Warrior and the Smackdown Warrior. He featured on the UK program Gladiators in 2009 before he resumed his quest for a professional wrestling career. Griffiths was known as “Goliath” on Gladiators. As Goliath, Griffiths was a menacing figure who reportedly excelled in the games Duel, Gauntlet and Earthquake, among others.
Mason Ryan in FCW: Florida Championship Wrestling
Griffiths signed a five-year contract with World Wrestling Entertainment in 2009. He joined Florida Championship Wrestling in February 2010 and was renamed Mason Ryan and billed from Cardiff, Wales. His height was billed at 6’6 and his weight was billed at nearly 300 pounds. His finishing move was called House of Pain. He faced wrestlers such as Byron Saxton, Johnny Curtis, Derrick Bateman, and Rudy Parker.
Ryan became FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion when he defeated Johnny Curtis and Alex Riley in a Triple Threat Match on July 22 2010. Ryan was still champion as of February 2011. Much was made of Ryan becoming champion after such a short period of time within the organization, and it showed WWE’s confidence in Ryan as a competitor.
Mason Ryan Joins the New Nexus
Ryan debuted on WWE Raw January 17 2011. He showed up while CM Punk was wrestling John Cena in a match. Ryan rushed into the ring and allowed Punk to attack Cena from behind. Ryan kicked Punk in the face, which earned Punk a victory via disqualification. The rest of Punk’s group the New Nexus rushed to help Punk, but he stopped them.
Punk gave Ryan a Nexus armband and he raised his arms with the rest of the group. From then on, Ryan acted as one of Punk’s bodyguards at the 2011 Royal Rumbleduring the main match. He succeeded until he was eliminated by John Cena. After the Rumble, Ryan continued to fight to prove himself to Punk, and succeeded in hurting R-Truth in a match on the February 7 2011 Raw, which was what Punk wanted from him.
Mason Ryan’s Future in WWE?
Ryan is in a good position as FCW Florida Heavyweight Champion and one of the main members of a faction, The New Nexus, on Raw. What his role will be in the future remains to be seen, but he has the sort of appearance and build that tends to be popular in WWE, and he may yet go further in the company.