Adrian Neville burst onto the scene in WWE back in 2013 when he made his NXT debut. Over the past four years Neville has been regarded as one of the biggest stars that NXT has ever produced, and was even the Slammy Award Winner for Break Out Star of The Year in 2015.
WWE didn't know what to do with the former NXT Champion when he was promoted to the main roster and after making it to the finals of King of the Ring alongside fellow British star Wade Barrett, it seems that WWE ran out of things to do with Neville.
Luckily he is now single-handedly saving the Cruiserweight Division with his new found attitude as the self-proclaimed King of the Cruiserweights. Neville could be given the biggest match of his career in a few weeks time if he is asked to defend the Cruiserweight Championship at WrestleMania, but he has to get past another British star in the form of Jack Gallagher at next weekend's FastLane event first.
Ahead of what could be an incredible few weeks for Neville, here are 15 facts about the British Superstar to bring you up to speed on his lengthy wrestling career.
15 Longest Reigning NXT Champion
Neville was considered to be one of the biggest stars in NXT back in 2013 and he rose to the top of the company just like WWE thought he would. He won the NXT Championship back in January 2014 at NXT ArRival when he and Bo Dallas were the first two Superstars to main event an NXT Live event.
He then went on to retain the championship over the next few months and made history when he became the longest reigning NXT Champion in December that year when he surpassed Bo Dallas' 280-day reign. He set to record at 287 days when he lost the Championship to Sami Zayn at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution. Neville's record stood for almost two years until Finn Balor surpassed it in April 2016 and now holds the record after a 292-day reign.
14 Married In 2015
Like many WWE wrestlers who are not put into reality shows about their personal life, Neville is very private when it comes to his wife. The couple officially married in 2015 and even though they met when Neville was still performing on the British Circuit, his wife has made the trip over the States with her husband. The couple currently reside in Orlando, Florida.
Natalie is a huge fan of Game of Thrones and fashion and is a self-proclaimed geek. Her Instagram page is full of fashion designs that she has created, which are along the lines of geek sheek wear. She is a very supportive wife when it comes to Neville and the wrestling career that has forced her to move half way across the world and even posted the cute update above when Neville was promoted to the main roster back in 2015.
13 Supports Newcastle United
Neville was born in Newcastle Upon Tyne in the United Kingdom, this is something that Neville has never tried to hide. He is a proud Geordie and he is even more proud of his local team Newcastle United.
The former Premier League football team currently reside in The Championship in the English Football League and are currently top of the table. It is good to see that even from his new home in America, Neville still remembers where he came from. Neville is proud to support his local team despite the on and off pitch problems his team have been having over the past few years, he still wears his black and white stripes with pride. Neville doesn't get a lot of time to visit the UK now that he's signed for WWE, but whenever WWE tour the UK, which is twice a year, he always visits his favorite football ground.
12 Started Training To Be A Wrestler When He Was 18
Neville was quite a late bloomer when it came to training to become a wrestler because wrestling wasn't as popular in the UK as it is now back in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Neville began training when he was 18-years-old at what he described as the only wrestling school in the area where he was growing up.
Neville made his debut a few months later as part of Independent Wrestling Federation and mainly worked for this company throughout the first two years of his career. He managed to win his first championship after just a year in the wrestling business when he became a Tag Team Champion with Harry Pain. Just three years into Neville's wrestling career and he was performing all over the UK and Europe, which is an incredible achievement in itself.
11 Parent's Banned Him From Watching Wrestling
Neville's wrestling career probably started much later than many other current WWE stars because his parents were not fans of wrestling when he was growing up. Neville was a teenager in the late 1990s which is when WWE's Attitude Era was in full swing, so it is understandable that his parents didn't want him to watch the controversial show.
Neville's parents actually banned wrestling in their house and Neville was forced to then go over to his aunts to watch WWE instead. Neville stated that his favorite wrestlers at the time were 'Hacksaw'Jim Duggan and The Undertaker. Neville's love of the show grew over the next few years and he decided when he was 18-years-old that he wanted to start training to become a professional wrestler and the rest as they say, is history.
10 NXT's First Ever Ladder Match
Neville was one of the best things in NXT for a very long time and was given the chance to main event NXT's first ever live Network show called NXT ArRival back in January 2014. Neville faced Bo Dallas for the NXT Championship in the first ever Ladder match in NXT history. WWE would then go on to present many more NXT Live Network events following the success of this one.
Neville won the match and became NXT Champion in what was a brutal match between the two former Champions. It was another year before WWE would add another match to NXT's history when Kevin Owens faced Finn Balor in a Ladder match with the NXT Championship on the line once again. The match took place at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn back in 2015 and saw Finn Balor retain his NXT Championship.
9 Lost Teeth After A Drunken Incident
Many of the WWE Universe have questioned why Neville wears a mouth guard. The main reason for this is because he values his teeth and because he has already had three of them knocked out. When he wrestled Brodus Clay during his early days on NXT he had a tooth knocked out when he bumped into him. The teeth remained in his mouth guard and he only realized when he went into the back after the match.
Two of his other teeth were knocked out back in 2006 when Neville decided to party a little bit too hard after a wrestling event and after a few too many flips he slipped and landed on his face. Obviously, Neville has learned from his mistakes and hadn't drunkenly decided to flipped since.
8 Crazy Wrestling Attires
Oftentimes, when wrestlers are first trying to make it in the business, they will perform under strange ring names or even wear strange attires as part of their character. And they usually grow to regret this in the future.
After a lengthy 12 year career, Neville has a few embarrassing moments to look back on, like when he was known as Jungle Pac. Back in 2007, Neville was wrestling all over the world and when he made his debut in Italy they decided to switch up his gimmick and have him come out to the ring wearing nothing but a loincloth. Neville also wrestled barefoot during this time as a sort of rip off of Mowgli from The Jungle Book. He put on jungle face paint and made monkey noises throughout matches.
7 Wrestled All Over The World
As already mentioned, Neville had quite the career as a wrestler before he was signed by WWE in 2012. From making his debut in the UK in 2004, Neville was wrestling in Europe by 2006 before he made his debut at Pro Wrestling Guerrilla in Southern California later the same year.
He joined TNA's tour of Portugal in 2007 before making appearances for Ring of Honor and then Chikara until 2009 when he settled in with Dragons Gate in Japan. Neville spent a few years at the Japanese promotion before he made the switch to Dragons Gate USA in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 2010. He then had a short stint in New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2012 before WWE came calling and signed Neville to a WWE contract in July 2012.
6 Once Called Adrian Neville
WWE have developed something of a problem with Superstars having full names as part of the company over the last few years. Adrian Neville was forced to become just Neville when he made his main roster debut back in 2015 and the same happened to Alexander Rusev, when he made the switch to the main roster as well.
Big E Langston lost his last name after many years of having it as well. It is thought that it is much easier for WWE to copyright the names of their talent this way, but sometimes the presenters of the shows slip up. For example: at RoadBlock when Neville made his WWE return, Renee Young accidentally referred to him as Adrian Neville, which had fans speculating that he was returning to his full name, but sadly, he didn't.
5 Former NXT Tag Team Champion
Neville is a former NXT Champion but he is also the only Superstar in NXT history to have held both the Tag Team and the NXT Championship while working for the brand.
Neville managed to lift his first tag Team Championship within a month of debuting in NXT, along with fellow British Superstar Oliver Grey. He was the first recognized NXT Tag Team Champion after winning the tournament that was held by the brand. Interestingly, Grey was injured early on in their title reign and it would be the NXT Champion and the man that Neville would defeat in the coming months for the title that filled in as his partner. Their title reign didn't last very long, they dropped the championship to The Wyatt Family. Neville later teamed with Corey Graves to win the Tag titles back but then lost them once again, this time to The Ascension.
4 History With Many Current WWE Superstars
Over the past few years, since the creation of NXT, WWE have finally began looking at the Independent Scene and signing many of the biggest stars. This means that the likes of Finn Balor, Sami Zayn, Kevin Owens, Cesaro, Seth Rollins ,and Neville all have history that predates their time in WWE.
These Superstars had a bond from working on the Independent Circuit together to traveling to venues and helping to set up the ring. It also means that there are many standout matches between Neville and Sami Zayn and even Neville and Kevin Owens from the Independent Scene a few years before when Owens was known as Kevin Steen and Sami Zayn was El Generico. The bond between these so called 'Independent Darlings' is easy to see when they wrestle on WWE TV.
3 Known As Pac In The UK
Every wrestler in the WWE right now started out somewhere. Whether it was a career in the NFL that then allowed them to make the switch, or a stint on the Independent Circuit. For Neville, his career began on the British Independent Circuit when he was known as Pac.
Pac made a name for himself wrestling some of the best wrestlers in the world at the time on British soil, before he was given the call to make the switch to WWE where he changed his name to Adrian Neville. Many of the current UK wrestlers all have stories about Pac and the way matches with him changed and shaped their careers. He has left quite a legacy on this side of the Atlantic, which means that he can always decide to switch back when his WWE career begins to wind down.
2 Broke Ankle In A Match Against Chris Jericho
It was a controversial match between Chris Jericho and Neville back in March 2016, Neville slipped and looked legitimately injured when Jericho goaded the referee and forced the disqualification win for the former NXT Champion.
It was later revealed that Neville had suffered a broken ankle in the match and it left him out of action for four months. He stated that throughout his recovery he was watching Newcastle United's progress as they climbed The Championship table and that has helped him to return to WWE with a positive attitude. He said that it was watching football players continue matches with injuries that showed him that he could finish the match despite being in a lot of pain, something that he credits Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez with, since he's helped Newcastle to find their winning form.
1 First Ever Geordie In WWE
He may not be the first British Wwestler in WWE, but he is the first ever wrestler to hail from Newcastle and make it to the biggest wrestling promotion in the world. Neville is very proud of his roots. He never tries to change his accent when delivering promos on WWE and sees his birthplace as more of a help than a hindrance.
Neville has had feuds with other British stars in WWE as well, his first big feud on the main roster was against Preston born fellow Brit, Wade Barrett. When Barrett was released from WWE back in 2016, Neville was the only male British star for a while, until the Cruiserweight competitors began to debut on the main roster. He is currently feuding with Manchester-born English wrestler Jack Gallagher.
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