Ronald William Arneill (February 19, 1981) is a Canadian professional wrestler, currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the SmackDown brand, under the ring name Tye Dillinger. Previously, Arneill worked in the independent circuit as Shawn Spears. He also worked with WWE between 2006 and 2008 as Gavin Spears.
Born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Arneill attended Laura Secord Secondary School. He played hockey for over ten years until he decided to leave the sport and enter professional wrestling. During his childhood, he was a fan of Rick Rude, Rick Martel, and Mr. Perfect.
Professional wrestling career
Arniell trained with Eric Young at the WrestlePlex school before receiving further training from Derek Wylde and Cody Deaner. Upon wrestling his debut match in March 2002 as Shawn Spears, he began wrestling for some of the biggest independent wrestling promotions throughout Ontario and the United States, including Border City Wrestling, World Xtreme Wrestling, and Blood Sweat and Ears. In February 2005, Arneill made an appearance on an edition of WWE Heat in a tag team match against Rosey and The Hurricane.
After sending a tape to World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) officials, Arneill was called for a try-out in Buffalo, New York. He was signed to a developmental contract by WWE following the tryout, on January 21, 2006.
World Wrestling Entertainment (2006–2009)
Ohio Valley Wrestling
After signing his WWE contract, Arneill was assigned to the company's developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW). He made his OVW television debut as "The Canadian Sensation" Shawn Spears, where he defeated then-SmackDown! superstar Simon Dean. After his victory, Dean attacked Spears until Spears was saved by Al Snow, who fended off Dean with a chair. After his debut, Spears quickly made an impact in OVW with a short undefeated streak that was soon ended by Aaron "The Idol" Stevens when Stevens made Spears submit. After this, Spears formed a tag team with Cody Runnels and they feuded with The Throwbacks for the Southern Tag Team Championship. On December 15, 2006, Spears and Runnels won the title from The Throwbacks.
On March 17, 2007, Spears won the Television Championship from Boris Alexiev, his first singles title in OVW. Soon after winning the title, he became more focused on championships and even began trying to steal Runnels' Heavyweight Championship opportunity. Spears' greediness peaked after the team lost the Tag Team Title, leaving Spears with only the Television Title. During Runnels' Heavyweight Title match, Spears interfered and performed a piledriver to Runnels, preventing him from winning the Heavyweight Championship and thus solidifying his heel turn. Spears then began feuding with Runnels and eventually lost the Television Championship to him on July 6, 2007 before winning it back one week later. He once again lost the title on September 19 to the debuting Ted "Manbeast" McNailer. Spears later regained the TV Title, only to lose it to Colt Cabana. Spears then began feuding with Cabana and the pair would go on to win the vacant Tag Team Title with on November 7 after defeating Paul Burchill and Stu Sanders. On December 19, Cabana and Spears' feud culminated in a ladder match in which the winner would claim the Tag Team titles for themselves and choose a new partner. Spears lost to Cabana, who then chose Charles "The Hammer" Evans as his new tag team partner.
Florida Championship Wrestling
After OVW split with WWE, Spears debuted in WWE's new development territory Florida Championship Wrestling and teamed up with Nic Nemeth to defeat The Puerto Rican Nightmares for the Florida Tag Team Championship on August 16. Nearly a month later, Nemeth and Spears lost the title to Joe Hennig and Heath Miller on September 11.
ECW and departure
On the August 19 episode of ECW, Spears made his WWE television debut as a heel under the name Gavin Spears as part of Theodore Long's "New Superstar Initiative" in a losing effort to Ricky Ortiz. After his ECW debut, Spears began splitting time between ECW and FCW. On the September 2 edition of ECW, Spears was defeated by Super Crazy. After a three-month absence due to competing in FCW, Spears returned to television on the December 16 episode of ECW, where he lost to Finlay in what turned out to be his final match for the company. On January 19, 2009, Arneill was released from his contract.
Independent circuit (2009–2013)
The day before he had been released from WWE, Arneill had broken his hand, and was unable to wrestle for 12 weeks following his release as a result. On May 27, 2009, Spears wrestled and lost to fellow WWE alumnus Elijah Burke in a tryout dark match for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling at their Impact! television tapings. On June 12, Arneill wrestled at a Ring of Honor show, where he defeated Alex Payne. On August 15, he teamed up with Idol Stevens to capture the WWC World Tag Team Championship after defeating Thunder and Lighting. On October 31, Spears and Stevens lost the World Tag Team Title back to Thunder and Lightning.
On May 16, 2010, Arneill, under his Gavin Spears ring name, teamed up with El Hijo de L.A. Park in a losing effort to Dr. Wagner III and Gigante Extassis on an Extreme Air Wrestle show in Mexico, marking his first tour of Mexico. On May 28 and 29, Arneill made appearances at the 2010 Anime North convention.
Return to WWE
On September 15, 2013, it was reported that Spears had re-signed with WWE, and he was assigned to WWE's developmental territory NXT under the ring name Tye Dillinger. He made his televised NXT debut in a losing effort against Mojo Rawley. In early 2014, Dillinger formed a tag team with Jason Jordan, with the two described as a pair of blue chip athletes. The team of Dillinger and Jordan got their first televised win on the April 17 episode of NXT, defeating Baron Corbin and Sawyer Fulton. On the June 5 episode of NXT, Dillinger and Jordan defeated local competitors. On the August 7 episode of NXT, Dillinger and Jordan lost in the first round of a NXT Tag Team Championship tournament to Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. Dillinger and Jordan then appeared infrequently together, with Dillinger mostly being used as enhancement talent. On the February 25, 2015 episode of NXT, Dillinger's partnership with Jordan officially ended when Jordan unhappy with his partner not initially tagging him in, jumped off the apron and walked out on Dillinger just as he went to make the tag. After the match, an enraged Dillinger called out his old partner but instead was met with a quick loss to Baron Corbin.
On the August 12 episode of NXT, Dillinger debuted a new gimmick as the "Perfect 10", and defeated Solomon Crowe. At NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, Dillinger faced the debuting Apollo Crews in a losing effort. On the April 27, 2016 episode of NXT, he defeated Buddy Murphy, and was scheduled to face the debuting Andrade "Cien" Almas at NXT TakeOver: The End, where Dillinger was defeated, although he received praise for his performance.
On the September 28 episode of NXT, after defeating Angelo Dawkins, Dillinger was approached by Bobby Roode, who proposed the two team up for the 2016 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, which Dillinger accepted. The following week, Dillinger and Roode took on SAnitY (Alexander Wolfe and Sawyer Fulton). During the match, Roode walked out on Dillinger, resulting in the team losing in the first round. The following week on October 19, Dillinger called out Roode for a match at NXT TakeOver: Toronto, which Roode would win. On the December 14 episode of NXT, Dillinger defeated Eric Young by disqualification in a #1 contender Fatal 4-Way qualifying match. At NXT TakeOver: San Antonio, Dillinger was defeated by Young following a distraction from Alexander Wolfe and Killian Dain. At NXT TakeOver: Orlando, Dillinger would team up with Roderick Strong, Kassius Ohno and Ruby Riot to take on SAnitY in an 8-person mixed tag team match in a losing effort. Dillinger taped his final NXT match on April 5, 2017 in a steel cage match vs Eric Young set to air on April 19, 2017.
Main Roster (2017–present)
On January 29, 2017, Dillinger was a surprise entrant during the 2017 Royal Rumble pay–per–view as part of the eponymous match. He entered at number ten and lasted five minutes before being eliminated by Braun Strowman. On the April 4 episode of SmackDown Live after WrestleMania 33, Dillinger made his main roster debut, defeating Curt Hawkins.
- Finishing moves
- Running Death Valley driver
- The Perfect 10 (Running inverted overdrive) - 2015–present
- Tye Breaker (Fireman's carry neckbreaker) - 2016–present
- Signature moves
- Tag teams and stables
- "The Canadian Bad Boy"
- "The Canadian Sensation"
- "Tyde Dye"
- "The Perfect 10"
Championships and accomplishments
- Adrenaline Live Wrestling
- ALW Georgian Bay Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- American Combat Wrestling
- ACW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Canadian Independent Wrestling Alliance
- CIWA Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Ground Breaking Pro Wrestling
- GBPW Championship (1 time)
- Great Lakes Championship Wrestling
- GLCW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Flexx Falcone
- Neo Spirit Pro Wrestling
- NSPW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with J.T. Playa
- Ohio Valley Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #180 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2012
- Pure Wrestling Association
- PWA Pure Wrestling Championship (1 time)
- Tri-City Wrestling
- TCW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)