Daniel Puder (October 9, 1981) is an American retired professional wrestler and retired professional mixed martial artist. In 2012 he founded My Life My Power World, an anti-bullying and youth development program.
As a mixed martial artist, Puder trained at the American Kickboxing Academy, in San Jose, California. Puder is undefeated in MMA competition, holding a record of eight wins and zero losses.
As a professional wrestler, Puder trained at Ohio Valley Wrestling. Puder is, best known for having won the $1,000,000 Tough Enough challenge during his time in World Wrestling Entertainment and Ohio Valley Wrestling. Puder has also worked for Ring Of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling. He is a born-again Christian, and a Shriner.
Puder was involved in amateur wrestling during high school. In high school at Monta Vista High School, in Cupertino, California, Puder finished first place in his weight division in the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) Central Coast Section, in amateur wrestling, while wrestling with a broken hand.
Puder was also involved in entrepreneurship during high school, starting several businesses.
At the age of 16, Puder began training in mixed-martial arts and professional wrestling.
Professional wrestling career
World Wrestling Entertainment and Ohio Valley Wrestling (2004–2005)
Puder entered the fourth Tough Enough competition that was conducted as part of WWE SmackDown between October and December 2004. The prize was announced as a $1,000,000 professional wrestling contract, however, it was in reality a four-year contract at $250,000 a year, with the option to terminate the contract after the first year. On October 28, 2004, episode of SmackDown!, during Tough Enough, Puder was legitimately shoved spine-first into a locker by The Big Show.
On November 4, 2004, episode of SmackDown!, taped in St. Louis, Missouri, during an unscripted segment of Tough Enough, Kurt Angle, a former American amateur wrestler and 1996 Olympic gold medalist, challenged the finalists through a squat thrust competition. Chris Nawrocki won the competition, and the prize Nawrocki won was a match against Angle. Angle quickly took Nawrocki down, breaking his ribs, then made him tap out with a neck crank. After Angle defeated Nawrocki, Angle challenged the other finalists. Puder accepted Angle's challenge. Angle and Puder wrestled for position, with Angle taking Puder down, however, in the process, Puder locked Angle in a kimura lock. With Puder on his back and Angle's arm locked in the kimura, Angle attempted a pin, one of two referees in the ring, Jim Korderas, quickly counted three to end the bout, despite the fact that Puder's shoulders were not fully down on the mat, bridging up at two. Puder later claimed he would have snapped Angle's arm, thus making Angle tap out on national television, if Korderas had not ended the match.
On December 12, 2004, Puder competed in his first WWE pay-per-view event, Armageddon, defeating Mike Mizanin in a Dixie Dog Fight. Puder was announced as the winner on December 14, 2004 (televised on December 16, 2004).
On January 30, 2005, Puder competed in his second WWE pay-per-view event, being entered in the Royal Rumble match. Puder, however, was shortly eliminated after being chopped by Chris Benoit, Hardcore Holly, and Eddie Guerrero. Puder was eliminated by Holly.
In January 2005, Puder participated in the WWE's developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). In September 2005, Puder was released by WWE as a cost-cutting move. Puder was given the option of signing a development contract with WWE and transferring to its Deep South Wrestling development camp with less pay, but Puder declined the offer.
Ring of Honor (2007–2008)
In December 2007, Puder signed with Ring Of Honor (ROH). On December 29, 2007, at the Manhattan Center, in New York City, Puder made his debut in ROH, at Rising Above, attacking Claudio Castagnoli and aligning himself with Sweet and Sour Inc., led by Larry Sweeney. On December 30, 2007, at Final Battle 2007, Puder helped Sweeney defeat Castagnoli. In January 2008, Puder would appear on two more shows; however, due to budget cuts, Puder was released.
New Japan Pro Wrestling (2010-2011)
On June 19, 2010, Puder made his debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling at Dominion 6.19, losing to former three–time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Shinsuke Nakamura. On October 11, 2010, it was announced that Puder would team with Nakamura in the 2010 G1 Tag League, which would take place over eleven shows in October and November. In their first match in the tournament on October 22, Puder and Nakamura were defeated by Hiroshi Tanahashi and TAJIRI. On October 25 Puder picked up his first victory in New Japan, defeating Tomoaki Honma via submission in a singles match. After two wins and three losses in the group stage of the G1 Tag League, Puder and Nakamura finished fourth in their block and didn't advance to the semifinals.
Mixed martial arts
While training at the American Kickboxing Academy, in San Jose, California, Puder sought the tutelage of Javier Mendez, Bob Cook, Frank Shamrock, Brian Johnston and Danny Chaid.
On September 6, 2003, at the X-1 promotion, Puder defeated Jay McCown by unanimous decision. On March 10, 2006, at Strikeforce: Shamrock vs. Gracie, at the HP Pavilion at San Jose, in San Jose, California, Puder made his return to MMA, defeating Jesse Fujarczyk by submission due to a rear naked choke. Three months later on June 9, 2006, at Strikeforce: Revenge, at the HP Pavilion at San Jose, in San Jose, California, Puder defeated Tom Tuggle by submission due to an armbar in only twenty-eight seconds. To end the year, on December 8 at Strikeforce: Triple Threat, at the HP Pavilion at San Jose, in San Jose, California, Puder defeated Mike Cook by submission due to a rear naked choke.
On February 18, 2007, at BodogFight Series III in Costa Rica, Puder defeated Michael Alden by knockout in forty-five seconds. Several months later on September 29, 2007, at Strikeforce: Playboy Mansion, at The Playboy Mansion, in Los Angeles, California, Puder defeated Richard Dalton by unanimous decision.
On May 16, 2009, at Call to Arms I, at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, in Ontario, California, Puder defeated Jeff Ford by knockout.
On August 15, 2009, at Call to Arms: Called Out Fights, at the Citizens Business Bank Arena, in Ontario, California, Puder defeated Mychal Clark by unanimous decision.
Puder was scheduled to compete against Tank Abbott, an American mixed martial arts fighter and former professional wrestler. The bout was scheduled on February 26, 2011, at Knockout Fights: The Beginning, at the Santa Monica Airport, in Santa Monica, California, however, Puder withdrew from the bout due to injury, Puder had suffered a torn meniscus and was unable to compete. Abbott, however, had his own opinion on Puder's withdraw, according to Abbott, Puder noticed that Abbott had shown up in shape during a pre-fight news conference and subsequently pulled out of the bout, however, when informed of Abbott's account, Puder simply laughed and asked, "Tank, in shape?"
In 2011, Puder retired from MMA competition, holding a record of eight wins and zero losses.
Puder was born with ADHD.
- Finishing and signature moves
- Tag teams and stables
- Theme music