Wheeler Yuta

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Wheeler Yuta
Yuta in July 2021
Birth namePaul Soren Gruber
Born (1996-10-26) October 26, 1996 (age 27)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma materVillanova University.[1][2]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Alex Kai[3]
Hackman[3]
Kabuki Ni[3]
Jimmy Yuta[3]
Sylverhawk[3]
Wheeler Yuta[3]
Wyldkat[3]
Yuta[3]
Billed height6 ft 0 in (183 cm)[3]
Billed weight189 lb (86 kg)[3]
Trained byAC Collins[3]
Chuck Taylor[3]
Drew Gulak[3]
Mike Quackenbush[3]
Orange Cassidy[3]
Tracy Williams[3]
World Famous CB[3]
Debut2014[3]

Paul Soren Gruber (born October 26, 1996) is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW), where he performs under the ring name Wheeler Yuta and is a member of the Blackpool Combat Club. He also makes appearances for AEW's sister promotion Ring of Honor (ROH), where he is the current ROH Pure Champion with his record-setting third reign, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he was a member of the Chaos stable.

Early life[edit]

Paul Soren Gruber[1][4] was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on October 26, 1996,[5] the son of a Japanese mother and an American father from Philadelphia.[2] His parents met while his father was on tour as a master chief petty officer in the U.S. Navy.[2] He moved with his parents to South Carolina, where he graduated from Carolina Forest High School.[1] The family then settled in Philadelphia, where he earned a degree from Villanova University.[1][2]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (2014–2020)[edit]

Yuta locks up with Matt Riddle during a match in 2018
Yuta placing Riddle in an Octopus hold

Yuta debuted in 2014.[3] He made his Combat Zone Wrestling (CZW) debut in late 2015 and consistently appeared for CZW until late 2016. On October 5, 2017, at One Shot, he made his debut for Major League Wrestling (MLW) in a losing effort to MJF.[6] His last match for the promotion would be in 2019 against Low-Ki.[7]

Ring of Honor (2020–present)[edit]

Yuta made his debut for Ring of Honor (ROH) in the first round of the ROH Pure Tournament, where he was defeated by Jonathan Gresham.[8]

After Tony Khan's purchase of Ring of Honor, it was announced that Yuta would face Josh Woods at the revived Supercard of Honor XV for the ROH Pure Championship. At the event, Yuta defeated Woods to win the title.[9] On the May 24, 2022 episode of Dark, which aired almost two months after their bout at Supercard of Honor XV, Yuta would successfully defend the ROH Pure Championship against Woods in a rematch.[10] Yuta once again defended the title on the June 29 episode of Dark, defeating Tony Nese. After the match, Yuta was attacked by 2point0 and Daniel Garcia.[11] This led to a match between Garcia and Yuta for the title at Death Before Dishonor, in which Yuta successfully retained the championship.[12] Yuta lost the title on the September 7 episode of Dynamite to Garcia, ending his reign at 159 days.[13]

On December 10, 2022, Yuta regained the ROH Pure Championship from Garcia at Final Battle, in turn becoming the first person to hold the title on multiple occasions.[14] On January 18, Yuta made his first title defense against Hagane Shinno at The Jay Briscoe Celebration of Life.[15] Following the start of ROH programming on Honor Club, Yuta successfully defended the title against Timothy Thatcher. After the match, Yuta called out the NJPW LA Dojo, causing dojo graduate Clark Connors to confront Yuta seeking a title shot, which Yuta granted.[16] The following week, Yuta defeated Connors to retain the Pure title. Post-match Yuta called out LA Dojo trainer, Katsuyori Shibata.[17] On March 30, after successfully retaining the title against Leon Ruffin, Yuta was confronted by Shibata, setting up their title match the following day at Supercard of Honor.[18] At the event, Yuta lost the Pure Championship to Shibata, ending his second reign at 111 days.[19]

All Elite Wrestling (2021–present)[edit]

On the June 29, 2021 episode of Dark: Elevation, Yuta made his debut for All Elite Wrestling (AEW) against Karl Anderson, and would consistently appear on AEW's YouTube shows throughout the coming months. He also joined the Best Friends stable, filling in for the injured Trent Beretta in trios matches. On the November 10 episode of Dynamite, Rocky Romero announced that Best Friends would become a sub-group within the NJPW stable Chaos and would represent Chaos in AEW.[20]

After losing to Bryan Danielson on the March 30, 2022 episode of Dynamite, Yuta walked away from his Best Friends teammates and teased a potential alliance with Danielson's Blackpool Combat Club faction.[21] On the April 8 episode of Rampage, Yuta was defeated by Blackpool Combat Club member Jon Moxley in a hard-fought match that saw him earn the group's respect. After the match, he was accepted into the group by its creator and then-manager William Regal.[22] On the March 8, 2023 episode of Dynamite, after his Blackpool Combat Club teammates Moxley and Claudio Castagnoli defeated The Dark Order members John Silver and Alex Reynolds, Yuta joined them in beating down "Hangman" Adam Page, turning heel for the first time in his AEW career.[23] Danielson then returned from his short hiatus to rejoin the Blackpool Combat Club, leading to an Anarchy in the Arena match being scheduled for Double or Nothing, where the Blackpool Combat Club defeated The Elite (Kenny Omega, Page, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson) after Yuta pinned its leader Omega.[24] At the Forbidden Door event on June 25, Yuta, Moxley and Castagnoli teamed with Konosuke Takeshita and Shota Umino to take on Page, The Young Bucks, Eddie Kingston and Tomohiro Ishii in a ten-man tag team match, but were defeated.[25]

On the November 25 episode of Rampage, Yuta defeated Katsuyori Shibata to win the ROH Pure Championship for a record-setting third time.[26]

Between February 2024 and June 2024, Yuta was sidelined by an injury. Yuta returned to action in AEW on the 5 June edition of AEW Dynamite.[27]

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2021–present)[edit]

In April 2021, Yuta made his debut for New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) with the promotion's American subsidiary, appearing on NJPW Strong. On May 1, 2022, Yuta was announced to be competing in the 29th Best of the Super Juniors tournament as part of the B Block.[28] Yuta finished with a record of five wins and four losses, resulting in 10 points, failing to advance to the finals.[29] On the tournament finals day, Yuta, Ace Austin, Alex Zayne and El Lindaman defeated Robbie Eagles, Yoh, Clark Connors and Titán in a tag-team match.[30]

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (2022–present)[edit]

In January 2022, Yuta made his debut for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) at the Battle of Los Angeles. He defeated Blake Christian in the first round,[31] but would lose the second round match to Mike Bailey.[32]

Personal life[edit]

In his spare time, Gruber enjoys playing steel drums.[2] Gruber currently resides in Orlando, Florida.[33]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Mooneyham, Mike (July 24, 2021). "WWE returning to North Charleston Coliseum in September". Post and Courier. Retrieved May 26, 2022.
  2. ^ a b c d e Renee Paquette (February 9, 2023). "The Sessions - Wheeler Yuta" (Podcast). The Sessions. Retrieved February 10, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Wheeler Yuta". Cagematch.net. Retrieved June 7, 2022.
  4. ^ "Paul Gruber Voter Records". voterrecords.com. Retrieved July 1, 2024.
  5. ^ "Wheeler Yuta". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  6. ^ Csonka, Larry (October 11, 2017). "Csonka's MLW: One-Shot Review". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  7. ^ Cook, Ryan (August 15, 2019). "MLW Fusion Episode 69 Results Davey Boy Smith Jr. vs Timothy Thatcher". Fightful. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  8. ^ Powell, Jason (September 13, 2020). "ROH Wrestling TV report: Powell's review of Jay Lethal vs. Dalton Castle and Jonathan Gresham vs. Wheeler Yuta in Pure Title Tournament first-round matches". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  9. ^ MacDonald, Josiah (April 1, 2022). "ROH Supercard of Honor live results: Jonathan Gresham vs. Bandido". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  10. ^ Russell, Skylar (May 24, 2022). "AEW Dark results: Wheeler Yuta vs. Josh Woods ROH Pure title rematch". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  11. ^ Russell, Skylar (June 28, 2022). "AEW Dark results: Wheeler Yuta vs. Tony Nese ROH Pure title match". Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  12. ^ MacDonald, Josiah (July 23, 2022). "ROH Death Before Dishonor live results: FTR vs. The Briscoes II". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  13. ^ "Daniel Garcia wins the ROH Pure title, and Bryan Danielson's respect". September 7, 2022.
  14. ^ Konuwa, Alfred. "ROH Final Battle 2022 Results: Winners, News And Notes On December 10". Forbes. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  15. ^ "Spoiler: ROH Jay Briscoe Celebration of Life Results". January 19, 2023.
  16. ^ "Wheeler Yuta uses heel tactics to retain ROH Pure title, next challenger emerges". Cageside Seats. March 9, 2023. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  17. ^ Pizzazz, Manolo Has (March 16, 2023). "Wheeler Yuta beats NJPW student, challenges NJPW teacher Shibata". Cageside Seats. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  18. ^ Mutter, Eric (March 27, 2023). "Tony Khan Officially Announces Katsuyori Shibata For ROH Supercard Of Honor". Wrestling Inc. Retrieved April 12, 2023.
  19. ^ Rovere, Marco (April 1, 2023). "Katsuyori Shibata Wins ROH Pure Championship At Supercard Of Honor". Wrestling Inc. Retrieved April 13, 2023.
  20. ^ Klyn, Parker (November 10, 2021). "AEW Dynamite live results: Omega-Hangman contract signing". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  21. ^ Klyn, Parker (March 30, 2022). "AEW Dynamite live results: New signing competes in Owen Cup qualifier". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  22. ^ Guzzo, Gisberto (April 8, 2022). "Wheeler Yuta Earns The Respect Of Blackpool Combat Club On 4/8 AEW Rampage". Fightful. Retrieved May 24, 2022.
  23. ^ "AEW Dynamite Results 3/8/23". March 9, 2023.
  24. ^ Beaston, Erik. "AEW Double or Nothing 2023 Results: Winners, Live Grades, Reaction and Highlights". Bleacher Report. Retrieved May 30, 2023.
  25. ^ Powell, Jason (June 25, 2023). "AEW-NJPW Forbidden Door results: Powell's live review of Bryan Danielson vs. Kazuchika Okada, Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay for the IWGP U.S. Championship, MJF vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the AEW World Championship". prowrestling.net. Retrieved June 25, 2023.
  26. ^ Defelice, Robert (November 25, 2023). "Wheeler Yuta Defeats Katsuyori Shibata For ROH Pure Title On 11/25 AEW Rampage". Fightful. Retrieved November 25, 2023.
  27. ^ Thompson, Andrew (June 4, 2024). "Wheeler Yuta medically cleared, reuniting with Blackpool Combat Club on 6/5 AEW Dynamit". POST Wrestling. Retrieved June 6, 2024.
  28. ^ Rose, Bryan (May 1, 2022). "NJPW reveals participants for Best of the Super Juniors 29". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  29. ^ "Finals set for NJPW Best of the Super Juniors". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. May 31, 2022. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  30. ^ Fritts, Chick (June 3, 2022). "NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 29 finals live results: Hiromu vs. El Desperado". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  31. ^ Rose, Bryan (January 30, 2022). "PWG Battle of Los Angeles night one results: Opening round matches". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  32. ^ Rose, Bryan (January 31, 2022). "PWG Battle of Los Angeles night two results: A tournament winner is crowned". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  33. ^ "Paul Gruber Voter Records". voterrecords.com. Retrieved June 30, 2024.
  34. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (June 4, 2017). "CHIKARA Hour Of Power 8 - TV-Show @ The Wrestle Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  35. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (June 4, 2017). "Chikara Young Lions Cup". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  36. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (June 18, 2017). "CHIKARA The Johnny Kidd Invitational 2017 - Event @ The Wrestle Factory in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  37. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (November 2, 2016). "CZW Dojo Wars #99 - Event @ CZW/WSU Academy in Blackwood, New Jersey, USA". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  38. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (November 2, 2016). "Dramatic Destination Series (2016)". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  39. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (March 10, 2018). "CZW Proving Grounds 2018 - Event @ The Coliseum in Voorhees Township, New Jersey, USA". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  40. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (March 10, 2018). "Trifecta (2018)". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  41. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (March 27, 2018). "Dojo Pro #1.03 - Wheeler Yuta Vs. White Belt - TV-Show @ Nashville, Tennessee, USA". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  42. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (March 27, 2018). "Dojo Pro White Belt Championship". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  43. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (March 28, 2018). "Dojo Pro #1.05 - Joey Janela Vs. White Belt - TV-Show @ Nashville, Tennessee, USA". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  44. ^ Caldwell, Brandon; Raimondi, Marc (August 3, 2023). "From MJF and Rhea to...a Viking? Here are the 30 best pro wrestlers under 30". ESPN. Archived from the original on November 17, 2023. Retrieved December 20, 2023.
  45. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (June 8, 2018). "NOVA Pro Commonwealth Cup 2018 - Tag 3 - TV-Show @ Annandale Volunteer Fire Department in Annandale, Virginia, USA". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  46. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (June 8, 2018). "Men's Commonwealth Cup (2018)". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  47. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2021". Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  48. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (May 6, 2021). "Beyond Project Reality - TV-Show @ White Eagle in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  49. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (May 6, 2021). "IWTV Independent Wrestling World Championship". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 1, 2022.
  50. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (October 8, 2021). "IWTV Untitled - TV-Show @ H2O Wrestling Center in Williamstown, New Jersey, USA". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  51. ^ Powell, Jason (April 1, 2022). "4/1 ROH Supercard of Honor results: Powell's live review of Bandido vs. Jonathan Gresham for the undisputed ROH Championship, The Briscoes vs. FTR for the ROH Tag Titles, Rhett Titus vs. Minoru Suzuki for the ROH TV Title, Josh Woods vs. Wheeler Yuta for the ROH Pure Rules Title". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved April 2, 2022.
  52. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (April 1, 2022). "ROH Pure Championship". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved April 2, 2022.

External links[edit]