James Smith (January 16, 1986) is an American professional wrestler. He is best known for his time in WWE, competing in their developmental territory WWE NXT under the ring name Bull Dempsey. After his release from WWE NXT, he currently wrestles under the ring name Bull James.
Professional wrestling career
Early career / Independent circuit (2008-2013)
Smith made his World Xtreme Wrestling debut on August 9, 2008 show as Donny Johnson to lose against against AC Sledge. He later changed his name to Smith James before his last WXW match in 2013 where he lost a Four-way tag match to Black Talent'd Wrestlerz (Bobby Ocean and Slyck Wagner Brown).
Debuting on May 30, 2009 for Independent Superstars of Pro Wrestling Smith wrestled and lost in a singles match against Flash Wheeler. He later challenged for the vacant ISPW World Heavyweight Title in a 20 Man Summer Rumble but lost to Judas Young. In his last match he would defeat Nicholas Nice in a Street Fight. Smith debuted in Showcase Championship Wrestling on May 16, 2009 to win against CK Kross. His last SCW match was in 2012 be against Doink the Clown in which match he would lose.
Smith's first and only Force One Wrestling was in 2009 where he wrestled in a tag team draw with tag partner Rockin' Rebel against The Repeat Offenders (Crazy Ivan and Pete Nixon). Smith debuted on December 30, 2010 in Fazoo Crew Wrestling in a tag team match defeating The NOW (Hale Collins and Vik Dalishus). His last match was in the following year in 2011 in another tag team match defeating Matt Borne and Pat Buck.
During 2011, Smith debuted in Impact Championship Wrestling on March 13, defeating Earl Cooter. His last match was in 2013 in a loss to Maff. Smith's debut match in Pro Wrestling Syndicate was during 2011, defeating Matt Tremont. His last match was during 2012 against One Warrior Nation. Also during 2011, Smith's Total Nonstop Action debut match was a dark match where he defeated Mark Bravura.
In 2011, Smith debuted in National Wrestling Superstars in a match won by Princess Niya and The Nigerian Nightmares (Laifu and Raifu). He later competed in a Captain Lou Albano Memorial J-Cup Tag Team Tournament, where he was eliminated in the First Round by The 2 Rude Dudes (Corey Havoc and Steve Rogers). His last match was in 2012 in a tag match defeating LA Smooth and Manu.
Debuting in 2011 for American Championship Entertainment, Smith's first match was on August 13, in a Lethal Lottery Tag Match, defeating Chris Cayden and Hush Holiday. He also won a Battle Royal to win the Number One Contender spot for the ACE Dimond Division Title. He was however, unsuccessful in winning his title match. He went on to form The New Age Wrecking Crew with Vince Steele and enter in a tournament for ACE Tag Team Titles but were eliminated in the final round to The Movement (FNB and Jamal Jackson). They later won the Tag Team titles at ACE Destined For Greatness. They later lost the titles in a Three Way Tag Match to The Middle East Connection (Abdul Fahad and Jafar Fahad) during 2013.
During 2012, Smith debuted in New York Wrestling Connection in a tag match lost to team Style And Finesse (Mike Donovan and Rob Vegas). Smith later teamed with Bill Carr to win a Three Way match for the Number One Contender spot for NYWC Tag Team Championship. Bill Carr and Smith James defeated the defending champions The Beaver Boys (Alex Reynolds and John Silver) for the tag titles. During 2013, they lost the titles to Mikey Whipwreck and Stockade in a Double Dog Collar match.
In 2012, Smith debuted in Women Superstars Uncensorsed in a tag match against Austin Williams and JD Smoothie. Also during 2012, Smith debuted in Rampage Pro Wrestling in a singles match won by Chris Jacobs.
Smith debuted in Right Coast Pro Wrestling was in 2013 in his very first match competing in a RCP Heavyweight Championship Tournament where he was eliminated in the first round. His last match was against King Mega in another loss. Also during 2013, Smith debuted for Premiere Wrestling Xperience, in a match lost to Guillotine LeGrande.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2013–2016)
WWE NXT (2013–2016)
In June 2013, James signed a contract with WWE. He was assigned to the WWE Performance Center. On August 28, 2013, his name was changed to Bull Dempsey. Dempsey made his debut in NXT on September 12, 2013, where he was defeated by Aiden English. Throughout late 2013, he made sporadic appearances as an enhancement talent. In the late spring to summer, Dempsey returned to NXT as a tweener, squashing various low carders and local talents. In August, Dempsey and Mojo Rawley formed an uneasy tag team and participated in the NXT Tag Team Championship tournament, where they were defeated by The Vaudevillians (Aiden English and Simon Gotch) in the first round, prompting Dempsey to attack Rawley in the aftermath and establishing himself a heel. On September 11 at the NXT TakeOver: Fatal 4-Way event, Dempsey defeated Rawley in a squash with his new finisher The Diving Headbutt. On the September 25 episode of NXT Bull was victorious in the rematch. Following that, he embarked on a rivalry with Baron Corbin, another dominant wrestler who mostly squashed jobbers. The two competed to see how quickly they could defeat the "local talent", sometimes back-to-back. This eventually led to a match between the two on January 14, 2015, in which Dempsey's undefeated streak was broken by Corbin.
Dempsey competed in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Qualification Tournament at Wrestlemania Axxess 31, but lost to Tyler Breeze in the first round. Soon after this, Dempsey's gimmick was tweaked to that of an overweight, out of shape wrestler who eats too much, which also saw him turn face in the process. After several vignettes aired to promote "Bull-Fit", Dempsey debuted his new gimmick on the August 26 episode of NXT, where he defeated Elias Samson. On the February 24 episode of NXT, he was defeated by Tommaso Ciampa, Dempsey's final match for NXT.
On February 5, 2016, Smith wrote on his Twitter account that he had left WWE. Choosing not to continue his "Bull-Fit" gimmick on the independent circuit, Dempsey sold his old ring gear from NXT on eBay.
Return to Independent circuit (2016-present)
James began wrestling on the independent circuit following his release from WWE NXT, using the name Bull James, a combination of his NXT name and his birth name. James announced that he was set to debut in Combat Zone Wrestling, stating that he was coming after Sami Callihan, a former member of WWE NXT known as Solomon Crowe; facing him on April 1 at CZW Welcome To The Combat Zone in a match won by Callihan.
Since his release from WWE, James wrestled throughout the New York and New Jersey promotions including Tommy Dreamer's House Of Hardcore and Ricky O's Game Changer Wrestling, Pat Buck's WrestlePro and Five Borough Wrestling. He also wrestled for other promotions including Grand Slam Wrestling, Smash Wrestling. James returned once more to American Championship Entertainment on May 14, 2016, defeating WCW alumni Crowbar at ACE Aftermath.
UK Tour (2016-present)
James also made visits overseas in the United Kingdom for promotions including Over The Top Wrestling (OTT). On May 28, 2016 at OTT Even Better Than Better Than Our Best, James was defeated by Logan Bryce. James also wrestled at WrestleZone in Scotland. On June 4, 2016 at WrestleZone Aberdeen Anarchy 2016, James teamed with fellow WWE alumni Carlito & The Hurricane in a six-man tag match defeating Lou King Sharp & The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago).
During July 2017, James traveled to Scotland where he worked at the Insane Championship Wrestling events. During the July 9 ICW Fight Club Tapings, Bull James defeated Grado. On July 29, during the opening night of the ICW Shug's Hoose Party 4 tour, James was defeated by hometown favorite Kid Fite.
On July 1, 2017, James returned to OTT at the OTT Born To Be Wasted event where he was an "Officer" with Chief Deputy Dunne and Officer Nicky (Fabulous Nicky) to defeat Angel Cruz, B. Cool & Kenny Williams in a six-man tag team match. He also worked in Celtic Championship Wrestling on July 15, where he challenged for the CCW All Star Championship held by Danny Butler at CCW Super Lariato Bros, in a title match won by Butler. On July 22, he appeared in the British promotion X Wrestling Alliance (XWA) where during the XWA 47: The Exclusive Series, James wrestled in a four-way match against Jimmy Havoc, Gideon Grey and Martina, which Havoc won. On July 23 at XWA 48: Live In Colchester, James wrestled and was defeated by Keith Lee.
Return to NYWC (2016-present)
Bull James returned to New York Wrestling Connection on March 26, at NYWC Aftermath 2016 in a grudge match won by Anthony Nese. Their feud continued on April 30 at NYWC April Reign 2016 in a rematch in which James won. At NYWC Master Of The Mat 2016, James and Nese met again in a four-way match involving Tony Nese defeats Big Damo and Tracy Williams, but the match was won by Nese. At NYWC Going The Distance, James teamed with Mike Verna & Talon to defeat The Hounds Of Hatred (Apollyon, King Mega & Mouse). At NYWC Hotter Than Hell 2016 James defeated Mike Verna in a singles match. At NYWC Draw The Line 2016 James defeated rookie Maxwell Jacob Feinstein. During December 2016 NYWC Tour De Circus James and tag partner Mouse challenged for the NYWC Tag Team Championship after winning a Number One Contendership match the previous month on NYWC Draw The Line. They were defeated in their title match by The Hounds Of Hatred (Bam Sullivan & Boo Sullivan).
On January 28, 2017, James wrestled King Mega to a No-Contest finish at NYWC Sideshow 2017. On February 25 at NYWC Psycho Circus XV, James won an Eight Man Tag Team Elimination Psycho Circus Match to win the NYWC Heavyweight Championship. He successfully defended the title at NYWC Aftermath 2017 against Homicide, then at NYWC April Reign 2017 against Scott Norton. His third successful title defense was at NYWC Master Of The Mat 2017, where he defeated Alex Reynolds, Bobby Fish and Matt Striker in a Four-way match.
- Finishing Moves
- Bulldozer (Side scoop slam)
- Diving headbutt
- Diving seated senton
- "Big Game"
- "The Last Of A Dying Breed"
- "The Wrecking Ball"
- Entrance Themes
- "Fighter 001" by Chris Whatley
- "Bull" by CFO$ (NXT; 2015–present)
Championships and Accomplishments
- New York Wrestling Connection