Chris Spradlin (born December 24, 1979) is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Chris Hero. He is a mainstay of many independent wrestling promotions, including IWA Mid-South, Combat Zone Wrestling, Juggalo Championshit Wrestling, CHIKARA, Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and Jersey All Pro Wrestling as well as Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan.
Chris's initial training in Middletown, Ohio was under the supervision of a small time promoter named Gary Goffinet. Gary ran a promotion called OCWA from 1997 to 1998. Chris trained for a little while alongside his friend, Adam Ghazee AKA The Sasquatch, under a wrestler by the name of Bo Dacious. Bo had trained previously under Charlie Fulton at the Monster Factory. The OCWA school closed down in November of 1998.
At the suggestion of Matt Stryker, Hero underwent further training at Les Thatcher's Cincinnati, Ohio-based HWA Main Event Wrestling Camp between May 1999 and November 1999.
In December 1999, he traveled to Ocala, Florida to train under Dory Funk, Jr. at the Funkin' Conservatory professional wrestling school.
In 2000, Hero began working for the Indiana-based Independent Wrestling Association Mid South, where he received supplementary training from Ian Rotten. In the following years, Chris spent a great deal of time working with Tracy Smothers on IWA Mid South shows and he credits Smothers with being a mentor of his.
In October 2002, Hero attended the Blue Bloods Wrestling Camp, operated by English wrestlers David Taylor, William Regal and Northern Irish wrestler Dave Finlay.
In July of 2003, CHIKARA brought in Jorge "Skayde" Rivera from Ultimo Dragon's Toryumon Gym in Mexico City to teach some special lucha libre clinics. Hero took part in the training sessions and was able to add an entirely new style to his repertoire. Chris has attended "Skayde" sessions in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Mexico City from 2003 until 2006.
Hero debuted for IWA Mid-South on July 1st, 2000, in a losing attempt versus Harry Palmer. In his first year in the promotion, he won the annual Sweet Science 16 tournament (now known as the Ted Petty Invitational or TPI), defeating four other wrestlers in the process (Colt Cabana, American Kickboxer, Ace Steel and Harry Palmer), and unsuccessfully challenged Sabu for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at Bloodfeast 2000. Hero engaged in feuds with the Suicide Kid, American Kickboxer, Mark Wolf and the Rugby Thug.
Throughout 2001 and 2003 Hero engaged in a bitter rivalry with CM Punk.
On October 21, 2001 in Charlestown, Indiana, Hero won the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship from the Rugby Thug. He held the title until December 5 of that year, when he lost to CM Punk. He regained the title on July 12, 2002, in Clarksville, Indiana, defeating Colt Cabana, and lost it to M-Dogg 20 three months later on October 5 in Clarksville. He won the title for a third time on February 7, 2003, in Clarksville, pinning CM Punk in a match that lasted over ninety minutes. His third reign lasted until June 7, when he lost to Mark Wolf. Hero regained the title in a match with Danny Daniels on July 12, 2003, after Mark Wolf had vacated the title. Hero lost it for a fourth and final time to Danny Daniels less than a month later on August 2.
During the fall of 2005, Hero and Arik Cannon continued their feud that had started years before in IWA-MS. At the end of it, Hero turned heel after being eliminated by Cannon in the 2nd round of the 2005 TPI. He later turned his back on Rotten, his trainees Trik Davis, Mickie Knuckles, Bryce Remsburg and everyone else that had befriended him. Hero has since destroyed the IWA Mid South Heavyweight title belt.
He is the only wrestler to have competed in all six TPI/Sweet Science 16 events. At the end of 2005, he won the 3rd annual Revolution Strong Style Tournament, defeating Necro Butcher in the finals.
In May 2002, Hero debuted in Combat Zone Wrestling, wrestling Ruckus in a match that went badly. He wrestled a second match later that year that "also ended in a debacle". Hero returned to CZW for a third time in the autumn of 2003, and this time he secured a regular place on the roster. Declaring himself the "Savior" of CZW, Hero defeated Jimmy Rave on May 1, 2004, to become the promotion's Ironman Champion. He became the longest reigning Ironman Champion before losing the title to B-Boy at the CZW year-end event, Cage of Death, on December 11, 2004. Hero recruited Claudio Castagnoli and Blackjack Marciano to be his "Few Good Men", but shortly thereafter, Marciano disappeared from wrestling altogether, leaving Hero and Claudio as a tag team, calling themselves the Kings of Wrestling. On September 10, 2005, the duo defeated the Tough Crazy Bastards (Necro Butcher and Toby Klein) to become the CZW Tag Team Champions. Hero and Castagnoli held the titles and defended them in an ongoing feud with Eddie Kingston and the rest of the BLK OUT faction. While Hero and Claudio dropped the titles to Eddie Kingston and Joker in February 2006, the feud with BLK OUT continued.
On May 13, 2006, Chris Hero was scheduled to take part in the Best of the Best tournament. However, Hero gave his spot to the CZW World Heavyweight Champion, Ruckus, who promised him a title shot in return. When Ruckus won the Best of the Best tournament, Hero came out and immediately used his title shot to win the CZW World Heavyweight Championship. Hero successfully defended it against Claudio Castagnoli and Necro Butcher. At Down with the Sickness 4-Ever, Eddie Kingston accepted an open challenge from Hero and pinned him to become the new CZW World Heavyweight Champion.
On October 14th of 2006, the Kings of Wrestling defeated 3 other teams in a one night tournament at the CZW show "Last Team Standing" to become 2 time CZW Tag Team Champs. They defeated Team Masturbation (Beef Wellington & Excalibur) in the first round, the BLKOUT (Ruckus & Human Tornado) in the second round, and the makeshift team of Justice Pain & the Human Tornado (subbing for Pain's partner in the H8 Club, Nick Gage, who left the building before the match).
On Saturday April 7th, 2007, at Combat Zone Wrestling's 'Out with the Old, in With the New' show, Hero would face long time, heated rival Eddie Kingston in a match where the loser would be forced to leave Combat Zone Wrestling. Hero was defeated following a Lariat from Kingston and post match made a leaving speech to the CZW crowd. Following this CZW owner John Zandig came out and thanked Hero for all he had done for CZW, including the war with Ring of Honor. Kingston then came out and refused a handshake from Hero. Then quickly exited. The plan was for Zandig to have given Kingston a Lariat however Kingston felt that Zandig was just trying to steal the spotlight. Kingston was fired on spot.
Combat Zone Wrestling
During a large portion of 2006, Hero feuded with the entire Ring of Honor promotion. It started when he issued a challenge to ROH at CZW's Cage of Death 7 in December 2005. Hero then challenged and lost a match for the ROH World Championship on January 14 at "Hell Freezes Over" in Philadelphia, to then champion, Bryan Danielson. He, along with Necro Butcher, had been attending various Ring of Honor events, which would usually involve he and Necro getting kicked out after excessive heckling or harassing of a Ring of Honor wrestler, in the middle of a match. One interesting point of the feud is that most of the promos were put on the internet, either through Chris Hero's livejournal, or the ROH Newswire. With this feud, it seemed that Hero had turned heel. According to him "2006 will be all about destruction.", and while this was presented as a heel turn in Ring of Honor, he remained a face with CZW. The feud came to a head at the former ECW Arena on March 11th in Philadelphia, where both promotions' locker rooms were in a double header (ROH's "Arena Warfare" and CZW's "When 2 Worlds Collide"). The event was named "Arena Warfare" as both locker rooms were expected to cause chaos throughout the event. This was inspired after Hero, Necro Butcher, and the CZW locker room invaded ROH's 4th Anniversary show on February 25.
Although Chris Hero was not in attendance at "Arena Warfare" (according to Danielson, he was in Mexico with Claudio Castagnoli), CZW proved to come out on top in the end. After the ROH main event did not go as planned, the CZW locker room took on Samoa Joe and BJ Whitmer. This resulted in an all out brawl between the Ring of Honor locker room and the Combat Zone locker room, and Whitmer being tortured by the Combat Zone roster after the Ring of Honor roster was chased away. The Combat Zone roster proceeded to destroy the ring ROH had set up, and chase Ring of Honor out of "their house".
Hero and Necro Butcher came to ROH's "Best in the World" event in New York on March 25 to answer a challenge made by Adam Pearce. They proceeded to beat him down, but in a surprising turn of events Chris Hero's long time tag partner, friend, and pupil Claudio turned on both Necro and Hero by saving Pearce. Claudio beat them down, and then chased them out while screaming "Fuck CZW!".
The next weekend, March 30 through April 1, in Detroit and Chicago, Hero and Necro again caused a disruption during the ROH shows. They ran in each night, beating down and injuring ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette as well as Whitmer and Pearce. They also finally got the attention of Joe, who personally declared war on CZW in Detroit. On April 22, ROH's 100th show in Philadelphia featured a battle between Team ROH (Joe, Whitmer & Pearce) against Team CZW (Hero, Necro & Super Dragon). In his LiveJournal, Hero proclaimed that Team CZW would make ROH look like fools on their biggest stage and regret not ending this war before.
Chris Hero walked into ROH's 100th show in their home at the National Guard Armory, and proclaimed that he wasn't a stranger to being up against overwhelming odds, and he wasn't a stranger to being "the everyman". He stood in the CZW bleachers in the crowd and declared that these people were "his army". The team of Hero, Necro Butcher, and Super Dragon went on to win the ROH vs. CZW main event in an extremely chaotic match. Adam Pearce of team ROH was pinned after Claudio turned on ROH and helped Hero deliver the Hero's Welcome on Pearce for the pin. Claudio hugged Hero and went on to celebrate with Zandig, Team CZW, and the CZW section of the crowd who were chanting "match of the year!".
Hero led Team CZW into the Cage of Death at Ring of Honor's Death Before Dishonor IV. This was the first time Cage of Death was featured in a show outside of CZW. Hero had teased that he had made a deal with a mystery fifth man, which he stated would be a "deal with the devil". This lead to rampant speculation as to whether or not the fifth man was someone from ROH jumping ship. Homicide had been a likely candidate, due to a recent storyline involving his frustration with the company. However, their fifth man turned out to be Hero's hated rival Eddie Kingston. Although ROH's surprise fifth man Bryan Danielson turned on Samoa Joe in an effort to incapacitate Joe before their title match, Team ROH finally put CZW away when Homicide arrived in the Cage and pinned Nate Webb for the win. Two days later on their Newswire, ROH stated that the war with CZW was over, thanks to Homicide.
In August of 2006, the Ring of Honor tag title belts were stolen and later returned from champions Austin Aries and Roderick Strong. Hero revealed on his LiveJournal that he and Castagnoli were the culprits and would be challenging for the titles September 16. They defeated Aries and Strong in New York's Manhattan Center to become the Ring of Honor tag team champions. ROH then announced that by winning the belts, Chris Hero had been made a full time ROH Wrestler.
However, the KoW lost the belts to Christopher Daniels and Matt Sydal on November 25.
KOW had what looks like their last match on December 23 in Manhattan when they, with super agent Larry Sweeney in their corner, were defeated by the Briscoe Brothers. After the match, Claudio announced that he was no longer going to WWE, and would remain in ROH as one half of the Kings of Wrestling. Sweeney then said he and Chris Hero had big plans for 2007, but Claudio was not included in them. Then, when Hero was forced to choose between staying with Claudio or going with Sweeney, he shook Claudio's hand but left with Sweeney.
Ring of Honor
Chris Hero also wrestles for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, based in southern California. His first appearance was at the Tango & Cash Invitational tournament to determine the first ever PWG Tag Team Champions. He and his partner CM Punk defeated The Messiah and Christopher Daniels in the first round, and the Thomaselli Brothers in the second round, but lost to B-Boy and Homicide in the third round. He made his next appearance nine months later in a hard hitting match against Super Dragon. At the 2005 All Star Weekend - Night One, Hero defeated Chris Sabin. Later in the night, Hero came out and challenged Christopher Daniels for his TNA X Division Championship. Daniels accepted and defeated Hero the next night. However, a few months later at Zombies Shouldn't Run, Daniels refused to put the title on the line against Hero and defeated him in a non title match. At After School Special, Hero became one of Joey Ryan's targets to prove he is the best technical wrestler. Hero seemed to be out-wrestling Ryan in the match, so Scott Lost came out to help Ryan win. Hero would defeat Lost at the next show. At Card Subject to Change 2, Hero teamed up with Claudio Castagnoli to challenge Super Dragon and Davey Richards for the tag team championship. They wrestled for 55 minutes, but Dragon and Richards were able to win after Richards hit the Shooting Star Press on Claudio. Hero also competed in the Battle of Los Angeles 2006, but lost to Genki Horiguchi in the first round. Most recently Hero appeared with regular tag team partner Claudio Castagnoli in PWG's DDT 4 Tag Team Title Tournament. They lost in the first round to the Briscoes.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
Chris has become a regular for several European wrestling promotions, most notably being the wXw federation located in Essen, Germany. He has wrestled in thirteen different countries across the world: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Scotland and Switzerland.
In April 2007, Chris Hero competed in the first King of Europe Cup, as the representitive of CZW. He defeated Claudio Castagnoli in the first round before being defeated by Doug Williams. Hero recently won the German-based promotion Westside Xtreme Wrestling's prestigious international competition event, the "16 Carat Gold Tournament", defeating Ares in the finals.
Outside the States
Hero wrestled off and on for TNA in 2003 and 2004. He traveled alongside Nate Webb and Dave Prazak to Nashville, Tennessee on a weekly basis at the urging of Bill Behrens. Hero wrestled on several Xplosion tapings. Although he never appeared on pay per view he is featured on card # 22 of the Pacific released TNA trading card set.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
- Hero's Welcome (Rolling cutter or Hammerlock rolling cutter)
- Super Hero's Welcome (Lifting rolling cutter)
- Hero's Welcome Championship Edition (Over the shoulder lift spun into a Michinoku driver II)
- Hangman's Clutch (Inverted cravate STF)
- Hangman's Clutch II / Arm Capture Hangman's Clutch (Inverted cravate crossface)
- Hangman's Clutch III / Standing Hangman's Clutch (Inverted cravate with a standing leg grapevine)
- Hangman's Clutch Facebuster (Spinning cravate hold into sitout facebuster)
- Rivera Cloverleaf (Modified Texas cloverleaf)
- Rubik's Cube (Cravate iconoclasm from an electric chair position)
- Hero Stomp (Diving double foot stomp)
- Cravate Buster (Second rope cravate into somersault cutter)
- Cravate Cutter (Front flip neckbreaker)
- Cravate-O-Clasm (Second rope sitout snapmare)
- Cravate-Plex (Three-quarter facelock side suplex)
- Hero DDT (Snap DDT)
- Hero Sandwich (Scoop into spinning uranage backbreaker)
- Hero Sandwich II (Arm trapped scoop into spinning uranage backbreaker)
- Hero Sidekick (Yakuza kick to cornered opponent)
- Russ Abbot (Leapfrog, crawl between opponent's legs, roll over opponent, and schoolboy combination)
- Tope con Hero (Tope con Hilo)
- Tracy Smothers (Rapid double palm strikes to the chest of an opponent in the corner)
- Inverted suplex into stunner
- Backward roll into corkscrew senton
- Johnny Saint special
- Inverted crucifix powerbomb
- Standing double foot stomp, sometimes followed by a senton
- Double leg slam
- Double knee backbreaker
- Stretch plum
- Springboard back elbow smash
Hero's Welcome (Rolling cutter or Hammerlock rolling cutter)
Super Hero's Welcome (Lifting rolling cutter)
Hero's Welcome Championship Edition (Over the shoulder lift spun into a Michinoku driver II)
Hangman's Clutch (Inverted cravate STF)
Hangman's Clutch II / Arm Capture Hangman's Clutch (Inverted cravate crossface)
Hangman's Clutch III / Standing Hangman's Clutch (Inverted cravate with a standing leg grapevine)
Hangman's Clutch Facebuster (Spinning cravate hold into sitout facebuster)
Rivera Cloverleaf (Modified Texas cloverleaf)
Rubik's Cube (Cravate iconoclasm from an electric chair position)
Hero Stomp (Diving double foot stomp)
Cravate Buster (Second rope cravate into somersault cutter)
Cravate Cutter (Front flip neckbreaker)
Cravate-O-Clasm (Second rope sitout snapmare)
Cravate-Plex (Three-quarter facelock side suplex)
Hero DDT (Snap DDT)
Hero Sandwich (Scoop into spinning uranage backbreaker)
Hero Sandwich II (Arm trapped scoop into spinning uranage backbreaker)
Hero Sidekick (Yakuza kick to cornered opponent)
Russ Abbot (Leapfrog, crawl between opponent's legs, roll over opponent, and schoolboy combination)
Tope con Hero (Tope con Hilo)
Tracy Smothers (Rapid double palm strikes to the chest of an opponent in the corner)
Inverted suplex into stunner
Backward roll into corkscrew senton
Johnny Saint special
Inverted crucifix powerbomb
Standing double foot stomp, sometimes followed by a senton
Double leg slam
Double knee backbreaker
Springboard back elbow smash Wrestlers trained by Hero
- ACW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Campeonato de Parejas (1 time) - with Claudio Castagnoli
- CCW Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
- CCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with John Caesar
- CZW World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- CZW Iron Man Championship (1 time)
- CZW World Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Claudio Castagnoli
- GPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- HCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Danny Blackheart
- ICW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- IWA East-Coast Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
- IWA Mid-South Sweet Science 16 winner (2000)
- IWA Mid-South Strong Style winner (2005)
- NWA VW/OH Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NSWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- ROH World Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Claudio Castagnoli
- UCW Television Championship (1 time)
- VCW Tag Team Championship (2 times)
- VCW Triple Threat Championship (2 times)
- wXw World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- wXw 16 Carat Gold Tournament Winner 2007
Alternative Championship Wrestling
ACW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
Campeonato de Parejas (1 time) - with Claudio Castagnoli
Coliseum Championship Wrestling
CCW Heavyweight Championship (3 times)
CCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with John Caesar
Combat Zone Wrestling
CZW World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
CZW Iron Man Championship (1 time)
CZW World Tag Team Championship (2 times) - with Claudio Castagnoli
Garage Professional Wrestling
GPW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
Hard Core Wrestling
HCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Danny Blackheart
Impact Championship Wrestling
ICW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
Independent Wrestling Association East-Coast
IWA East-Coast Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
Independent Wrestling Association Mid-South
IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship (4 times)
IWA Mid-South Sweet Science 16 winner (2000)
IWA Mid-South Strong Style winner (2005)
National Wrestling Alliance
NWA VW/OH Junior Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
NSWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
Ring of Honor
ROH World Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Claudio Castagnoli
Unified Championship Wrestling
UCW Television Championship (1 time)
Violent Championship Wrestling
VCW Tag Team Championship (2 times)
VCW Triple Threat Championship (2 times)
westside Xtreme wrestling
wXw World Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
wXw 16 Carat Gold Tournament Winner 2007