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Andrew Donovan Tate aka Donny Tate aka Andrew Donovan aka The Landshark is an American Professional Wrestler, MMA Fighter, Coach, Grappler, Actor and Jujitzu Player. He is originally from New Lancaster Valley, PA but resides in New York City. He was originally trained by TJ Phillips at the Templar Academy and is one of only 3 Templar Catch Wrestling black belts (along with TJ Phillips and Jason Kincaid). He started his career competing heavily around the Mason-Dixon Territory and has gone on to become a World Jujitzu champion. He is the founder and head coach of the UFC Astoria Landsharks MMA & Grappling Team in Queens, NY.
Before entering the sport, Donny was an amateur wrestler. He was undefeated his junior year of high school as a member of the Indian Valley Warriors wrestling team which was the co-Champion of the Mountain Athletic Conference that year (2004-2005). After high school Donny extensively studied Karate at various dojos and Muay Thai at Pittsburgh Sitkongmongkorn Muay Thai. He had his first match in the Fall of 2007 in Monesson, PA.
Upon entering the ring, he soon found gold, winning the RWA Cruiserweight championship at his second-ever show in January 2008. Donny spent much of his early career as a charismatic, high-flying surfer who would take any risk necessary to please the crowd and defeat his opponent. Later that year he would win a 1-night, 4-man tournament to become #1 Contender for the XWE Championship which included Eric Steel, The Bulldozer and JV Insanity. Donny also challenged unsuccessfully for the UWA Heavyweight Championship against Shawn Blanchard. During this time Donny would compete for various promotions around the Mason-Dixon Territory, such as Universal Wrestling Alliance, Mason-Dixon Wrestling, the West Virginia Wrestling Alliance, United Wrestling Association, XMCW, the National Wrestling League, Ballistic Championship Wrestling, Renegade Wrestling Alliance, Big Time Wrestling and many others
Under the tutelage of Phillips, Donny grew into a smash-mouth technician and permanently shed he surfer mantle in January 2010. When Donny's tag-team partner in Fair Warning, Jonesy Bishop, failed to defend his WVWA West Virginia State Championship, The Landshark was awarded the belt, but would lose it later that night in a Panes of Glass Deathmatch against his mentor TJ Phillips. Though he would ultimately lose the brutal affair after a psycho-superplex through steel chairs, a pane of glass, barbed wire, thumb tacks and a bundle of light tubes; Donny earned the respect of the crowd and would never wrestle as the surfer again
In the coming months and years Donny would switch from wearing board shorts, to trunks and began to combine his growing technical expertise and Cruiserweight athletics to defeat opponents with a Super Junior style. As a member of the founding roster of EWA, he would win the majority of his matches by a variation of the cradle (small package, school boy, diving sunset flip, bridging O'Connor roll, etc.) or one of his seemingly endless aresenal of arm locks (cross arm bar, double wrist lock, omoplata, arm triangle, etc.). Donny would cradle his way to multiple wins in memorable EWA feuds with the Masked Militia, Sheik Al-Amad, the Beverly Hills Style Club, Scotty McKeever and Eric Steel. Donny defeated Sheik Al-Amad in a Hair-vs-Hair match but would endure 2nd degree burns when the Sheik hit him with a fireball some weeks later. Donny would also drop consecutive matches against "Mr. Sex Appeal" Eric "The Lariat" Steel, before defeating the super heavyweight via superplex in the deciding fall of a No DQ, 2 out of 3 Falls match in summer of 2010. Eventually Donny would take the fall in a Loser-Leaves-Town tag match partnered with Terry Ring against Johnny Blast and Smokey C and was forced to leave EWA.
Donny would use his classical acting training to become a heel in several promotions around the Mason-Dixon Territory as the Shakespearian villain "Damn Straight" Don Tate and "The Champion of Virtue" Donovan Tate. Prior to his matches his trademark entrance saw him emerge from backstage, then return there and chastise the crowd in Elizabethan English from behind the curtain. During his run as "Damn Straight/The Champion of Virtue" Donny competed in a classic rivalry with Smokey C for the 304 Wrestling Lightweight Championship, partook in a hard-hitting feud in Mon Valley Pro Wrestling with Pittsburgh wrestling mainstay J-Ru and established himself as a multi-dimensional performer. During this time Donny also went undefeated on Smart Mark Video, defeating Phil Macchio by pin fall at BCW Brink of Death 2011 and TJ Phillips by Disqualification at Ohio Hatchet Wrestling
When Don West bought the EWA and founded the American Professional Wrestling Alliance (APWA), Donny donned a lucha libre mask and entered the APWA Best Man Battle Royal as "El Demonio Espantoso". Donny survived the 26-man field and eliminated Johnny Blast for his first Battle Royal victory. Amos Burke would then make "Landshark" Donny Tate the first wrestler signed by the new APWA. In APWA, Donny engaged in a lengthy and heated rivalry with then-American Internet Champion Zac Vincent. The two would trade wins and losses across the territory in brutal, technical and visually stunning matches. One match saw the two of them square off in a 4-man Scaffold Match that included the feuding Day Brothers at the JC Bailey Memorial Show in Rutland, OH, which ended with Zac eventually choking Donny out in The Dreamcatcher to become #1 Contender for the OHW Heavyweight Title.
Donny's last match to date in APWA was a 4-way, 1st man to 2 Falls Match Deathmatch for the APWA Jr. Heavyweight Championship and the APWA Hardcore Cup versus TJ Phillips, Viper and Zac Vincent. Donny won the first fall by countering TJ's shining wizard into a jackknife power bomb and diving into a bridging cradle. Each man would eventually gain a fall and the match evolved into a sudden death scenario. Late in the match a log cabin of light tubes was brought into the ring and Donny attempted to win the match by superplexing TJ through the log cabin of light tubes. When Donny attempted to roll up into a pin, TJ caught him in a small package cradle for the victory and both championships. After the match Donny and TJ hugged and shared congratulations, when Donny left the ring, Zac Vincent attacked TJ. Donny tried to save TJ but Zac knocked him down with a crescent kick and while Donny was on his knees, Zac grabbed Donny's chin and thrust kick the back of his head forward while simultaneously twisting the chin back, breaking Donny's neck. Donny was stretched out of the arena and has yet to return to APWA.
In early 2012, Donny moved to South Korea to improve his martial arts skills. He vastly improved his striking by adding Taekwondo and Wing Chun Kung Fu techniques to his repertoire. There he also earned his Templar Catch Wrestling black belt. He also earned a judo black belt under the tutelage of Master Ahn at Juplish and South African National team veteran Natasha "The Beast" Glassford. He would go on to win the KJA Jellabuk-do Province Heavyweight Judo Championship via arm bar in the finals. Then, Donny would take Bronze in the Jeongup Heavyweight Judo championship tournament. Later, he would score his first MMA win by besting then-undefeated Yoon Joon Jeon via Unanimous Decision at South Korea's premier MMA promotion, Road FC
Upon returning to the U.S., Donny moved to New York and took an MMA/Grappling coaching job at the Astoria, Queens branch of UFC Gym; where he promptly created his namesake team. Since 2012 the Landsharks have produced 10 champions and over 2 dozen top contenders in Grappling, BJJ, Judo and MMA. He would take Silver in the NAGA East Coast Grappling Championship in the Expert Cruiserweight division when his opponent, Philipe DE Carmo, broke his ribs. Ten weeks later, despite his injury, Donny won Gold in the Openweight Judo Ippon Challenge at the Grapplers Quest US National Championships. Donny's National title win was his first elite level championship, made more significant for him by the fact that it happened on July 20 which was his late uncle, PIAA State Wrestling Champion and Hall of Famer, Rodney Tate's birthday. Later that year, he would bring home gold from the Cruiserweight-Purple Belt division at the Grapplers Quest World Championships. In 2014 Donny took Bonze in both NAGA World Grappling Championships (Lightheavyweight-BJJ Black Belt) and the Snake Pit USA World Middleweight Catch Wrestling Championship, before grabbing a pair of Silver medals at the NAGA North American Championship in the Lightheavyweight BJJ Black Belt and Expert Middleweight Grappling divisions. In November 2014, Victory VII help the first ever MMA event at Madison Square Garden (sanctioned by the World Kickboxing Association) and Donny was there cornering Bernardo "Watch Yo' Self" Cano. At the 2015 Grapplers Quest US National Championship, Donny took Silver in the Absolute Openweight BJJ Division. Donny wore his judo black belt and entered the Openweight Black Belt division. He defeated a BJJ Black Belt and multiple-time Heavyweight grappling Champion Neil Keegstra on points 2-0 and was awarded a U.S. National Championship belt.
Since coming New York, Donny has returned to the wrestling ring as "Judo" Andrew Donovan (a submission fighting expert who wrestles in a Gi) and engaged in lively feud with his former student and undefeated kickboxer and MMA prospect Patrick "The Pitbull" Narain over the UFCW Championship. After initially being awarded the title, Judo lost it to Narain in his first match in years via pinball following a frog splash. Donny would regain the belt by pinning Pitbull in a rematch via schoolboy cradle with his feet on the ropes and periodic assistance from his new bodyguard Tory "The Tank" Grishum. Donny and Narain have since had a series of inconclusive rematches. In early 2016 Donny unified his various championships and declared himself the "World Submission Wrestling Champion". The WSW title is a pro wrestling championship that can only be won via submission, though matches for it are regularly contested under standard pro wrestling rules; this meant that if while defending the belt the champion was pinned, then the match would be lost, but not the title. He challenged and was scheduled to face TJ Phillips for the APWA Super Juniors Championship alongside Ring of Honor star Jason "The Gift" Kincaid With both titles on the line. Unfortunately, a blizzard lead to the APWA event being cancelled.
In February 2016, Donny moved to Beijing, China to develop his striking skills. He began his training at Beijing's most respected MMA gym China Top Team. CTT was founded by Tiequan Zhang, China's first UFC fighter as well as a number of regional, national and international contenders and champions. Donny began an intensive boxing study over the next six months under his trainer, undefeated regional MMA fighter and boxer (and multiple-time Professional Video Gaming Champion) Jordan "Cinder Block" Blackburn. Judo and Blackburn were challenged to No-Gi Submission Grappling and 4-Round exhibition boxing matches respectively by the grappling and boxing coaches of the Ace Fight Club, an MMA gym in Beijing where the Chinese coaching staff and American fighters had developed a friendly rivalry. Judo won the grappling challenge after three 5-minute rounds by unanimous decision, utilizing his signature suffocating top control, fortified submission defense, multiple submission attempts and guard passes; Blackburn fought to a 4-Round Draw. Donny also studied and sparred in San Shou kickboxing with general success.
The Landshark would leave China for Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket, Thailand. Donny renewed his study of Muay Thai and discovered an affinity for K-1 style kickboxing. He would train with a tightly knit group of European and American fighters who dubbed themselves "Team Tiger Blood". In September 2016 Donny made his Kickboxing debut in a match contested under ISKA Freestyle rules at Regae Bar on Phi Phi Krabi Island near Phuket. He overwhelmed his Russian opponent with aggression and high volume striking and defeated him via Unanimous Decision after 3 rounds (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).
Donny returned to New York in Septemeber 2016 and resumed coaching at UFC Gym Astoria, but his duties now included teaching strength and conditioning as well as kickboxing, grappling and MMA. He returned to Jiu Jitsu competition at the NAGA North America Grappling Championship. Now studying Gracie BJJ officially under Renzo Gracie Brown Belt and BJJ champion Andy Jimenez, he was awarded a 4-Stripe white belt. Donny weighed in at 189.9 pounds, just under the limit for the Lightheavyweight division. He defeated all three of his opponents by decision and did not give up a single point or takedown en route to his NAGA North American Lightheavyweight Championship. This was his seventh attempt to claim a NAGA title and his first gold with the organization.
On May 19, 2017, Judo made his return to pro wrestling at the invitation of his former tag-team partner Terry Ring, now known as FIGHT Wrestling Champion Tanner Reynolds. The historical Dropkick Drug Addiction benefit event in Greensburg, PA featured talent from the WWE, TNA, ROH, Lucha Underground and many other major promotions. Judo teamed with Angel Dust vs Xerxes and Jinx and lost via pinfall to a pair of Swing-Spike DDTs from Xerxes.
On May 20, 2017, Donny was awarded a black belt in MMA from the Academy of Mixed Martial Arts in West Virginia.
Donny continues to travel and seek the most challenging competition to battle on the mats, in the ring or in the cage.
- Finishing and signature moves
- Wrestle Driver (innovated: Double leg pick up, turn into Michonku driver II)
- Judo Driver/Judo Bomb (sit-out pumphandle powerbomb or piledriver)
- MDK- Murder Death Kick (roundhouse kick to kneeling opponent)
- Pile Driver Variations
- Emerald Fusion
- Arm Lock Variations
- Cradle Variations
- Rolling Dragon (Takedown to aligator roll to Dragon Sleeper)
- Burning Sword
- Flying Clothesline
- Missile Dropkick
- Flying Chop
- Flying Armbar
- Cherokee Stretch (innovated; inverted Bow&Arrow-Indian Deathlock with tomahawk chops)
- Northern Lights Suplex (Sometimes with wrist-clutch)
- German Suplex
- Teams and stables
- Fair Warning (with Jonesy Bishop)
- The Grizzly Express (with Stryder, RAGE, The Bullmastiff, manager Myron Stamper and Bullmastiff lady-trainers Cat & Cammy)
- Entrance Music
- "Ocean Avenue" by Yellowcard (as Surfer)
- "Sweetness" by Jimmy Eat World
- "Knights Come Marching Home" by OC Remix (as The Champion of Virtue)
- "The Landshark"
- "The Human Luau"
- "The Messiah of Malace"
- "The Avatar of Evil"
- "Damn Straight"
- "The Champion of Virtue"
Championships and accomplishments
- RWA Cruiserweight Champion (one time)
- XWE Contender Tournament Champion
- WVWA West Virginia State Champion (one time)
- APWA Best Man Battle Royal Winner
- 2012 KJA Jellabuk-do Province Heavyweight Judo Champion
- 2012 KJA Jeongup Judo Championship Bronze Medalist (Heavyweight)
- 2013 Grapplers Quest US National Judo Ippon Challenge Champion (Openweight)
- 2013 Grapplers Quest World BJJ Champion (Cruiserweight- Purple belt)
- 2014 NAGA World BJJ Bronze Medalist (Middleweight-Black belt)
- 2014 Snake Pit USA World Catch Wrestling Bronze Medalist (Middleweight)
- 2014 NAGA North America BJJ Silver Medalist (Lightheavyweight-Black Belt)
- 2014 NAGA North America Grappling Silver Medalist (Middleweight-Expert)
- 2015 Grapplers Quest US National Silver Medalist (Openweight-Absolute)
- 2015 Grapplers Quest US National BJJ Champion (Middleweight-Black Belt)
- 2016 Ace Fight Club Grappling Challenge Winner
- 2016 PKI Kickboxing Challenge Winner
- 2016 NAGA North America BJJ Gold Medalist (Lightheavyweight-White Belt)
- 2012 Combat Grappling from Templar Combat Sports
- 2013 Judo from Korea Judo Association
- 2017 Mixed Martial Arts from Academy of Mixed Martial Arts