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John Smith (October 18, 1982) is an American professional wrestler. He is signed to WWE, where he performs on the SmackDown brand under the ring name Simon Gotch. He was formerly on WWE NXT as a former NXT Tag Team Champion, along with Aiden English, who are collectively known as The Vaudevillains.
Professional wrestling career
Independent circuit (2002–2013)
Smith competed on the independent circuit, appearing for promotions such as All Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Chikara and Full Impact Pro. He most notably competed as Ryan Drago, a character reminiscent of early 20th-century grapplers such as George Hackenschmidt.
In June 2013, Smith signed a developmental contract with WWE and was assigned to their developmental territory WWE NXT, where he adopted the ring name Simon Gotch (a homage to Frank and Karl Gotch). In June 2014, Gotch formed a tag team with Aiden English known as The Vaudevillains, with the gimmick of a pair of old-timey vaudevillians. The Vaudevillains made their in-ring debut as a team on the June 19 episode of NXT, defeating Angelo Dawkins and Travis Tyler. In August, The Vaudevillains participated in a tournament to determine the number one contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championship, before losing to The Lucha Dragons (Sin Cara and Kalisto) in the finals. On the October 30 episode of NXT, The Vaudevillains won a tag team battle royal to become the number one contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championship. They received their title match at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution against The Lucha Dragons, but were unsuccessful. After some hiatus, The Vaudevillians returned on the June 3, 2015 episode of NXT, defeating Jason Jordan and Marcus Louis. On the July 8 episode of NXT, The Vaudevillians defeated Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady to become the number one contenders to the NXT Tag Team Championship. The Vaudevillians received their title match on the July 29 episode of NXT, in which they were unsuccessful. The Vaudevillians with "Blue Pants", in their corner, would go on to defeat Blake and Murphy in a rematch at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn to win the NXT Tag Team Championship.
Main roster (2016–present)
On the April 7, 2016 episode of SmackDown, the Vaudevillains made their main roster debut as heels, defeating The Lucha Dragons.
- Finishing moves
- With Aiden English
- "The Gentleman Bruiser"
- "The Steam-Powered Madman"
- Entrance themes
- "A Quicker Accomplishement" by Art Test Music (May 30, 2014 – September 25, 2014; used while teaming with Aiden English)
- "Voix de Ville" by CFO$ (October 2, 2014 – June 24, 2015; used while teaming with Aiden English)
- "Vau de Vire" by CFO$ (July 1, 2015 – present; used while teaming with Aiden English)
Championships and accomplishments
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- PWI ranked him #215 of the top 500 singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2014
- World League Wrestling
- WLW Tag Team Championship (1 time) - with Elvis Aliaga