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Christopher John Nowinski (September 24, 1978) is an American author and retired professional wrestler. He is best known for his time in World Wrestling Entertainment from 2002-2003. His WWE career ended after sustaining a legitimate concussion in January of 2003. Since his retirement, Nowinski works as an author.
After failing to win the competition, Nowinski would make appearances in independent promotions before finally being hired by WWE and entering its developmental territories. Wrestling as Chris Harvard, Nowinski made his most major independent appearance in London, England for the Frontier Wrestling Alliance promotion at its Lights Camera Acton show on December 14, 2001. Nowinski competed in its main event teaming up with Alex Shane to defeat Drew McDonald and Flash Barker. Though this was the only show Nowinski did for the promotion, he regards its as the best promotion he has ever worked for outside of WWE.
He was billed as "WWE's Harvard graduate"; he is a genuine Harvard University graduate with a B.A. in sociology. On the June 10, 2002 edition of WWE RAW, Christopher Nowinski debuted in the WWE, helping William Regal beat Bradshaw in a WWE European Championship match. Nowinski and Regal formed a short-lived team, helping each other win matches. On the June 17, 2002 edition of RAW, Christopher Nowinski defeated Spike Dudley in his WWE in-ring television debut.
In October 2002 Nowinski started a feud with his former Tough Enough teacher Al Snow, with Nowinski defeating his former teacher on a few occasions. Late in November 2002 Nowinski brought Maven Huffman into this feud saying he shouldn't have won Tough Enough.
In December 2002 Nowinski formed a short-lived tag team with D'Lo Brown. This duo defeated Al Snow and Maven on two occasions, one being on the December 8, 2002 edition of WWE Heat and again on the December 9, 2002 edition of RAW. The following week on RAW (December 16, 2002) Nowinski defeated Maven by pulling Maven's tights. Nowinski and D'Lo then went on to feud with Test and Stacy Keibler, which feud Maven briefly involved himself in.
In late January 2003, Nowinski went back to singles action when D'Lo received the managerial services of Theodore Long and formed a race angle. Christopher Nowinski participated in the 2003 Royal Rumble, entering 3rd, being eliminated 2nd by Rey Mysterio and suffering a concussion in the process. From this point, Nowinski worked matches with the Ohio Valley Wrestling WWE developmental territory and was used as a jobber on RAW and WWE Heat.
In late March 2003, Nowinski began a feud with Scott Steiner, with Steiner winning each of their matches. On the April 14, 2003 edition of RAW, Steiner made a patriotic speech during which Nowinski informed Steiner that "his 3 minutes were up" as 3-Minute Warning came out and squashed Steiner. Over the next few weeks, Nowinski aligned himself with 3-Minute Warning and Rico to continually crush Steiner. This lasted a few weeks before 3-Minute Warning began their own feud with Steiner. Nowinski remained on HEAT for the next few weeks.
On the May 26, 2003 edition of RAW, Christopher Nowinski helped Rodney Mack defeat Bubba Ray Dudley in a "White Boy Challenge" and joined Theodore Long's group "Thuggin' And Buggin' Enterprises", a group of African Americans who worked a race angle in which they portrayed themselves as being victims of racism and being held down by the "White Man". This group included Theodore Long, Rodney Mack and Jazz. Nowinski's former tag team partner D'Lo Brown was an original member of the faction but was kicked out and attacked by Rodney Mack after a few weeks because, after a month of victories, he lost his first match under Long's management. Brown was released from his WWE contract a week later. Nowinski helped with Long's race angle and formed a tag team with Rodney Mack, starting a feud with the Dudley Boyz. This duo surprisingly defeated the Dudley Boyz at Bad Blood 2003.
Nowinski suffered from post-concussion syndrome in July 2003, having sustained a concussion in the 2003 Royal Rumble match, and retired from wrestling. He now does public appearances for WWE and pens a column for "SmackDown! Your Vote".
On December 12, 2005, Nowinski made his first appearance in some time on WWE programming (SmackDown! Your Vote campaign vignettes notwithstanding), when he briefly tried to convince Vince McMahon that he should be made the new general manager of RAW.
In October 2006, Nowinski released a book, Head Games: Football's Concussion Crisis, which details his career-ending injury and also discusses the dangers of concussions in football and other contact sports. The book includes stories from NFL players as well as fellow wrestlers, with an introduction by Jesse Ventura. Later in the year, Nowinski initiated an inquiry into the suicide of Andre Waters, a former NFL defensive back who shot himself November 20, 2006. Waters had sustained several concussions over his career, and at Nowinski's behest, Waters's family agreed to send pieces of his brain to be tested. Dr. Bennet Omalu of the University of Pittsburgh announced that "the condition of Waters' brain tissue was what would be expected in an 85-year-old man, and there were characteristics of someone being in the early stages of Alzheimer's."
Finishing and signature moves
- Honor Roll (Rolling double underhook suplex)
- Harvard Buster (Forward Russian legsweep)
- Eye gouge
- Signature illegal object: Facemask
Championships and accomplishments
- 2-time WWE Hardcore Champion (youngest ever)