Ronnie William Arneill (February 19, 1981) is a Canadian professional wrestler, better known by his ring name as Shawn Spears. He is currently contracted to World Wrestling Entertainment as Tye Dillinger.
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 (2013)
On September 15, 2013 it was reported that Spears had re-signed with WWE.
Arneill returned to WWE, working in matches on NXT, under a new ring name of Tye Dillinger. On November 6, Dillinger lost to Mojo Rawley. During the February 2 edition of NXT, Dillinger lost to CJ Parker. The following month on March 27, Dillinger first teamed with Jason Jordan in a dark match against the New Age Outlaws, but they lost. The pair united again the following month, this time winning an April 17 match against Baron Corbin & Sawyer Fulton. The team of Dillinger and Jordan won another victory June 5 against Phillip Gooljar & Stewart Cumberland.
On the Feb 25 taping's, Dillinger's partnership with Jordan ended after Dillinger refused to tag in and Jordan walked out in disgust. Afterward's, Dillinger was mainly used as enhancement talent until being re-packed with the "Perfect 10" gimmick, which would not be seen televised until the August 12 taping's where defeated Solomon Crowe. He then faced Apollo Crows at NXT TakeOver Brooklyn, as the latter's first opponent in his debut match, where he was defeated
- Finishing moves
- Running Death Valley driver
- The Perfect 10 (Running inverted overdrive) - 2015–present
- Tye Breaker (Fireman's carry neckbreaker) - 2016–present
- Signature moves
- "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)
- Florida Underground Wrestling
- FUW Tag Team Championship]] (1 time, current) – with Kenny Kendrick
- 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)