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Mark Andrews

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Mark Andrews (January 23, 1992) is a Welsh professional wrestler, entrepreneur and musician, best known for working for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA) under the ring name Mandrews, after spending several years appearing worldwide on the independent circuit.

Professional wrestling career

Independent circuit (2006–2016)

Andrews started training at the age of 13, upon discovery of the NWA Wales training school in Newport. As well as training there under Edd Ferris, Andrews would travel to Kent three times a year to attend NWA UK Hammerlock's training camps, where he learned off the likes of John Ryan, Paul Tracey and Andre Baker. It is here that he met Zack Sabre, Jr., who would go on to become Andrews’s mentor.

It was for NWA Wales that Andrews made his wrestling debut, appearing in a battle royal in 2006, in a show which also featured future TNA wrestler Magnus.

Shortly afterwards, Andrews began competing under a mask, using the name “The Lightning Kid”. He has stated that this was to hide his young age from audiences. Andrews’ rise as The Lightning Kid was gradual, with most his appearances in 2006 and 2007 limited to promotions in South Wales. His first appearance outside Wales was at the 2007 Holbrooks Festival in Coventry, which was notable as it's where he first met his long-time friend (and wrestling rival), Pete Dunne.

January 2008 saw Andrews make his first international appearance, when he was flown out to Madrid to compete for La Super Wrestling Alliance (SWA).

In 2009, Andrews first began to gain exposure on Britain’s independent wrestling scene, making appearances for British Championship Wrestling and Premier British Wrestling; where he competed against fellow future TNA British Bootcamp finalist Noam Dar. On November 2009 also saw Andrews wrestled at IPW:UK's event in Chatham, Kent, against his mentor and friend Zack Sabre Jr.

In 2010, Andrews started to appear regularly for Coventry-based Triple X Wrestling. He appeared as part of a stable called “The NexXxus”, a parody of the “Nexus” faction in the WWE. Under the name “Mandrews Tarver”, Andrews joined fellow ‘rookies’ Wade Helix (Helix), Hitch Sheffield (Wild Boar), Phil Otunga (Phil Ward) and Gav Gabriel (Morgan Webster) as the group ambushed and attacked various members of the roster. Andrews’ time in the NexXxus is notable for being the only heel run of Andrews’s career.

In 2011, Andrews debuted for Insane Championship Wrestling in Glasgow, and competed at Premier British Wrestling’s annual “King of Cruisers” six-way match in Irevine.

Andrews also made two appearances for the newly reformed Frontier Wrestling Alliance (FWA), most notably in an encounter against long-time rival Wild Boar at Thorpe Park.

Andrews started to make appearances for Preston City Wrestling, where he twice came up short in encounters for Bubblegum’s PCW Cruiserweight Championship; including in a three-way match that also included Austin Aries. Perhaps most notably, Andrews' match against Kris Travis at “PCW SuperShow 4” received widespread acclaim, including being nominated for “UK Match of the Year” in the Fighting Spirit Magazine Reader Awards 2014; the second year running Andrews had been nominated for the honour.

In Attack! Pro Wrestling, Andrews continued heavy involvement in the creative direction of the organization. May saw Andrews reprise his role as Pikachu, as ATTACK! presented the second instalment of their popular video game themed shows, “Press Start Level 2”. Taking on Arthur Klauser-Saxon (Tyler Bate), who was styled as Machoke, Andrews picked up the win to gain the hold of the 24:7 Championship for a second time. As with his first reign, he did not hold the title for long – with T-Bone winning the title almost immediately, styled as Bowser. At the following show, “The Weird And Wonderful World Of ATTACK! Pro Wrestling”, Andrews again regained the title, defeating current holders Sam Bailey and Zack Gibson in a soccer-themed tag team match, alongside Pete Dunne. For a third time, Andrews lost the title almost as quickly as he had won it, with Lana Austin and Nixon Newell striking the same evening to take the belt.

Andrews also made another short trip to the US independents in 2014, which included a dark match appearance at DREAMWAVE’s “Good As Gold” event in LaSalle, Illinois. In addition to the USA trip, Andrews also made his debut for Germany's award-winning Westside Xtreme Wrestling. Appearing on the Mülheim leg of the “wXw Drive Of Champions Tour”, Andrews teamed with Pete Dunne and Chris Brookes, losing out to Big Daddy Walter, Axel Dieter Jr. and Da Mack.

Andrews' most successful year-to-date earned him three nominations at the Fighting Spirit Magazine Reader Awards 2014, where he was shortlisted for "Best UK Wrestler" and "Best UK Tag Team" (with Eddie Dennis), alongside his "UK Match of the Year" nomination for his PCW encounter against Kris Travis. Meanwhile, the online message board UKFF voted Andrews the 3rd best wrestler in the UK, with a series of complimentary comments, including: "Mark's the poster boy of the resurgence British wrestling is seeing at the moment. Talented, likeable, and genuinely cool."

After signing a contract with Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, it was confirmed that Andrews would be moving stateside. Andrews’ “home” promotion, Attack! Pro Wrestling, hosted a farewell show on January 24, 2015. Titled “Mandrews Goes To America”, the show was held at Cathays Community Centre in Cardiff, a small venue just minutes from where Andrews grew up. Headlined by the promise of Andrews vs his long-time friend Pete Dunne, tickets for the show sold out in just 12 minutes. At the event, Andrews defeated Dunne who viciously attacked Andrews afterwards.

In early 2016, Andrews and Nixon Newell formed the tag team Bayside High and on 27 March 2016 defeated #CCK (Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos) for the Attack! Tag Team Trophy Championship in a Ladder match.

Chikara (2011–2015)

In August 2011, Andrews travelled to Pennsylvania, to make his debut for Chikara. Granted a place in the Young Lions Cup IX, Andrews’ first round match was a four-way eliminator, taking on Tadasuke, Nick Jackson and Sean South. Tadasuke won the match, last eliminating Andrews on the route to victory.

In 2014, he appeared in Chikara's yearly King of Trios tournament as Team UK with Pete Dunne and Damian Dunne. The team defeated The Bloc Party in the first round, advancing to the quarter finals, where they were then felled by The Devastation Corporation. On the third night of the tournament, Andrews appeared in singles action, defeating Oliver Grimsly.

Andrews was part of Chikara's first ever tour of the UK, gaining a victory over Silver Ant at the April 31, 2015 show in Cardiff, Wales. For the second year running, he took part in Chikara's King of Trios tournament, teaming with ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster and Pete Dunne as Team Attack. They lost their first round match against the League of Nations. However, during that weekend Andrews also competed for Chikara’s annual Rey de Voladores title, winning the tournament by defeating Shynron in the finals.

Progress Wrestling (2012–2016)

In 2012, Andrews appeared in Progress Wrestling at Chapter 2: The March of Progress in June, Andrews resumed his rivalry with Wild Boar, picking up the victory. Andrews returned at Chapter 3: Fifty Shades Of Pain, defeating Xander Cooper, before then entering the National Progression Series tournament. In his first-round match at Chapter 4: The Ballad Of El Ligero, Andrews took on Will Ospreay, securing a pinfall win with a springboard hurricanrana. Both men received a standing ovation from the PROGRESS fans after the match.

On 2013, Andrews participated in the Natural Progression Series tournament, which Andrews won to claim the trophy and a guaranteed title shot. Andrews cashed in his shot that evening, defeating Rampage Brown to win the title. However, the reign was short lived, as Jimmy Havoc cashed in another guaranteed title shot on the same evening, stealing the title after a series of chair shots.

Andrews received a re-match for the Progress Championship at Chapter 13: Unbelievable Jeff, which Andrews ultimately lost after interference from Paul Robinson. Over the course of the year, Andrews also teamed with friend Eddie Dennis, entering the PROGRESS Tag Team Title Tournament held at Chapters 11 and 12. The pair, known as FSU, won the tournament and were crowned the promotion’s first-ever tag team champions. This made Andrews Progress' first ever Triple Crown champion, having won the Natural Progression Series, the Progress Championship and the Progress Tag Team Championship. Eddie and Andrews successfully defended the titles a further two times in 2014.

In January 2015, at Andrews’ last Progress show before beginning work for TNA in America, he and Eddie Dennis were scheduled to face each other for sole possession of the tag team titles. But the Faceless attacked and an impromptu match ensued for the tag team titles which the Faceless won. Andrews and Dennis then faced off in a match during the second half of the show, which Andrews lost.

Andrews returned to Progress in November 2015, saving Progress Champion Will Ospreay from a post-match beating by Paul Robinson. Andrews then requested a title shot, pointing out that when the two had previously faced each other in Progress, Ospreay hadn’t won either of their lauded matches. Andrews subsequently lost his granted title match against Ospreay at the January 2016 show, though the match achieved the number six spot on the Top 10 Progress Matches of 2015 as voted for by the Progress fans.

Andrews subsequently became embroiled in a feud with the Origin – the stable previously known as the Faceless – teaming with Eddie Dennis and Jack Gallagher at the first ever Progress show in Manchester, losing a six-man tag team match to the Origin team of Dave Mastiff, Nathan Cruz and El Ligero. Andrews and Dennis, as FSU, were then granted two shots at the tag team titles in early 2016, including a no disqualification match, both of which they lost to Cruz and Ligero.

In May 2016, Andrews entered Progress's Super Strong Style 16 Tournament for the first time, losing in the first round to Chris Hero. However, as Mark Haskins had to drop out due to illness, Andrews won Haskins' spot in the tournament via a ten-man scramble match. He went on to beat Mikey Whiplash in the quarter finals and Zack Gibson in the semi-finals, before losing to Tommy End in the tournament final. During the PROGRESS vs. Smash Wrestling event in September 2016, Andrews competed at all three shows - losing to Brent Banks and winning matches against Scotty O'Shea and Kevin Bennett. At Chapter Thirty-Six at the Brixton Academy, Andrews teamed with Eddie Dennis, Jack Gallagher and Damon Moser in a losing effort against the Origin. At Chapter 38, Andrews and Matt Cross wrestled for the number one contendership for the Smash Wrestling Championship, a match Cross won.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2014–2017)

Andrews competed in a dark match against DJ Z in a losing effort on September 7, 2014 during a Impact Wrestling taping from Fayetteville, North Carolina. In October 2014 Andrews participated in TNA's British Boot Camp. After making it into the finals of the competition and ultimately winning, he earned himself a TNA contract.

Andrews made his Impact Wrestling television debut on the January 23, 2015 episode during a brawl that involved Ethan Carter III and Jeremy Borash, where he jumped from the crowd to help Jeremy and Rockstar Spud push away Ethan and his bodyguard Tyrus. Andrews made his in-ring debut a week later under his Mandrews nickname, teaming up with Spud to defeat The BroMans (Robbie E & Jessie Godderz). He continued to aid Rockstar Spud and Jeremy Borash in their feud with Ethan Carter III and Tyrus, which included Spud and Mandrews losing a Six Sides of Steel Two On One Handicap match to Tyrus at Lockdown 2015.

Mandrews was included as a participant in the TNA World Title Series as a member of "Group X Division." However he was unable to win any of the matches he took part in against the other members, receiving zero points and not advancing in the tournament as a result.

In early 2016, Andrews was part of TNA’s Maximum Impact tour of the UK. He was called out by Mike Bennett during the February 16 Manchester show and took exception to Bennett’s patronizing praise, subsequently losing a match to him. During 2016, he participated at many X Division match, in a losing effort.

On the October 6 episode of Impact Wrestling, Mandrews took part in a new TNA concept called Team X Gold, teaming with Braxton Sutter and DJZ, with the team known as "Go for Broke." They would defeat The Helms Dynasty and Marshe Rockett. On the November 24 episode of Impact Wrestling, the team defeated The Helms Dynasty and Marshe Rockett and Rockstar Spud and Decay in a three-way tag team elimination match for number one contendership for the TNA X Division Championship.

On the December 1 episode of Impact Wrestling, Mandrews, DJZ and Braxton Sutter faced each other for the X Division Championship, where Mandrews was close to winning after hitting the shooting star press, when DJZ was able to get the pin on Mandrews to retain his championship. When both Mandrews and Sutter helped an injured DJZ, Mandrews attacked DJZ while yelling at Sutter, thus beginning Mandrews' first heel run in the company.

On January 5, 2017, it was reported that Mandrews' TNA contract had expired at the end of 2016 and that he had left the company. Mandrews had his final match in TNA on the December 8 edition of Impact Wrestling defeating Aiden O'Shea.

Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (2015–2016)

On August 28, 2015 Andrews made his debut for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) by entering the 2015 Battle of Los Angeles tournament, losing to Will Ospreay in his first round match. At December's All Star Weekend 11, he lost to Chuck Taylor on Night 1 and to Ricochet on Night 2. After losing to Roderick Strong at All Star Weekend 12 Night 1 in March 2016, Andrews scored his first PWG victory by beating Player Uno on Night 2. At Prince on May 20, Andrews lost to Marty Scurll. At the 2016 Battle of Los Angeles, Andrews beat Pete Dunne in the first round and Chris Hero in the quarter-finals but lost to Trevor Lee in the semi-finals.

WWE

United Kingdom Championship Tournament (2017)

On January 5, 2017, Andrews was announced as part of the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament. Andrews defeated Dan Moloney in the first round, advancing to the quarter finals. The second night of the tournament, Andrews defeated Joseph Conners, advancing to the semi-finals where he was defeated by Pete Dunne.

Defend Indy Wrestling

Andrews is the co-founder of “Defend Indy Wrestling”, a clothing brand for independent wrestling fans. Inspired by the "DEFEND Pop Punk" message propagated by American band Man Overboard, Andrews created the brand in 2011 with fellow British wrestlers Pete Dunne and Eddie Dennis, producing t-shirts, hoodies and other accessories.

Personal life

Outside of Professional Wrestling, Andrews plays in a pop-punk band called 'Junior' where he is a vocalist and bassist. After studying GCSEs and A Levels at Cardiff High School, Andrews attended the University of Glamorgan.

In wrestling

  • Finishing moves
    • Slam to Win (Full nelson slam)
    • True Force (Package piledriver)
    • Yellow Spot (Swinging reverse STO)
  • Signature moves
    • Belly-to-belly suplex
    • Double underhook DDT
    • Enzuigiri
    • Imploding 450° splash
    • Moonsault
    • Multiple powerbomb variations
      • Corner sitout
      • Crucifix
      • Elevated
      • Spin-out
      • Thunder Fire
    • Over the shoulder back-to-belly piledriver
    • Pumphandle neckbreaker
    • Samoan drop
    • Sharpshooter
    • STO backbreaker
  • Nicknames
    • "Lightning Kid"
    • "Mighty Morphin'"
    • "White Lighting"
    • "Pikachu"
    • "Mandrews" (As bestowed upon him by TNA's Announcers Josh Matthews and Taz)

Championships and accomplishments

External links

WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament participants

Dan MoloneyDanny BurchHC DyerJames DrakeJordan DevlinJoseph ConnersMark AndrewsPete DunneRoy JohnsonSam GradwellSaxon HuxleyTrent SevenTuckerTyler BateTyson T-BoneWolfgang

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