James Michael Curtin, (January 30, 1983) best known by his ring name Spud, is a British professional wrestler currently wrestling on the independent circuit. He is best known for his time in Impact Wrestling under the ring name Rockstar Spud.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (2001–2004)
Curtin was originally trained by Jack Storm and Chris Gilbert at the K-Star Wrestling promotion in Birmingham, before eventually coming under the tutelage of "Charming" Don Charles at the SAS Wrestling Academy. Under the ring name Spud, he went on to perform in many independent promotions within the United Kingdom, the United States, and Europe. While on the independent circuit, Spud's first major appearances came with the Revolution British Wrestling promotion in 2003. On 30 August 2003, Spud defeated Jack Hazard to become RBW's first British Welterweight Champion, a title he held for several months before losing it to "The Gift" Ross Jordan in a Iron Man match in December 2003.
Frontier Wrestling Alliance (2004–2011)
Spud began working for Frontier Wrestling Alliance in 2004, and was brought up into the main roster to be used as a jobber for a short time, competing against many larger opponents. During the start of 2005, however, FWA began showcasing their flyweight division; later that year, Spud entered into a tournament to crown a Flyweight Champion. He made it to the tournament final, where he was defeated by Ross Jordan, who became the first FWA Flyweight Champion. However, Jordan was only awarded the match after the referee stopped the contest due to a kayfabe injury to Spud's leg. The pair continued to feud for over 14 months, with Jordan repeatedly attacking Spud in attempts to re-injure his leg. The feud ended when Spud defeated Jordan in a Last Man Standing match at FWA Last Fight at the Prom on 30 September 2006.
Following a talent trading agreement with the FWA, Spud made his first US appearance in April 2006, competing for Ring of Honor during their two-night Weekend of Champions shows. Spud appeared during ROH's first tour of shows in the UK in August 2006, Unified and Anarchy in the UK. He competed under the FWA banner during the British Wrestling United National Under 23s Championship event, being FWA's entry into the tournament to crown the first champion under 23 years of age. However, Spud lost to the tournament's eventual winner Sam Slam in the first round.
Upon the FWA's relaunch, Spud performed under his Rockstar gimmick with an over-the-top entrance including a female security guard, a band, and a groupie. At the comeback show, New Frontiers, Spud was placed into the FWA Flyweight Championship Tournament and won the qualifying fatal four way match. He lost in the next round to Jonny Storm. In 2010, Spud became locked in a war of words with Storm and would take part in multiple FWA Flyweight Championship tournaments. His feud with Storm culminated in a match at New Frontiers 2011, which ended in a no contest.
International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom (2004–2010)
Spud competed regularly for the International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom promotion right from its creation in 2004. Through 2005, Spud had a high-profile feud with Jack Storm, which culminated in a street fight in January 2006. While in IPW:UK, Spud became one half of the tag team Dragon Hearts, with fellow wrestler Dragon Phoenix. On 24 September 2006, Dragon Hearts defeated The Untouchables in a Tables, Ladders, and Chairs match to become IPW:UK Tag Team Champions. The Dragon Hearts also got involved with IPW:UK's inter-federation feud with Frontier Wrestling Alliance, and even though Spud is a regular for that promotion he wrestled on the side of IPW:UK in a match against Team FWA. The Dragon Hearts teamed up with Leroy Kincaide to face off against Iceman, Jonny Storm, and Jorge Castano in a match that saw both Phoenix and Spud suffer injury. Phoenix suffered a deep wound to his head while Spud suffered what appeared to be a separated or dislocated shoulder due to a dropkick at the hands of Storm. Storm and Spud faced off in a grudge match in early 2007 with Spud picking up the win.
Spud went on to represent IPW:UK in the joint FWA vs IPW:UK Final Frontiers show losing to Hade Vansen. After a losing effort against IPW:UK Tag team champions Swiss Money Holdings in IPW:UK's debut in Liverpool, Luke Dragon Phoenix left the promotion disbanding The Dragon Hearts. Back to singles action, Spud went on to face Big Brother contestant Billi Bhatti in a losing effort thanks to the Hated Heroes. Spud recently defeated Dave Moralez and Eamon O'Neill to advance in the opening rounds of the British National Championship but was defeated by Sam Slam in the Quarter Finals. Spud's last recent appearances for IPW:UK have seen him in losing efforts to former Gladiator's and current TNA star Magnus Nick 'Oblivion' Aldis.
Spud returned to the promotion after 6 months under his "Rockstar" character and defeated Lion Kid to become the IPW:UK Cruiserweight Champion. Spud has appeared for the London and Midlands based promotion SAS Wrestling since its establishment in 2005. He has waged war with long-time nemesis Jack Storm after he turned on him in the "Bring Your Jeans" show of November 2005. Spud battled against Team Charming members for nearly a year to get his hands on Jack Storm. He faced him eventually in the final of the first SAS UK Wrestling Championship tournament by pinning his foe after a hard-fought encounter thought by many as UK Match of the Year in 2006. Spud lost the championship a month later thanks to Jack Storm's manager Charming Don Charles, and in another long feud eventually wrestled him in a one on one Bring Your Jeans Streetfight match pinning him with one foot after a steel chair shot to the head.
Spud became SAS UK Champion once again by defeating Jack Storm in April 2008 in a steel cage match. Recently Spud turned his back on the fans by attacking Phil Bedwell, citing the fans not caring about him as much as they do about the former alcoholic as his motivation, and evolved into his 'Rockstar' persona. Spud defended the championship for most of 2009 against Derise Coffie and Bubblegum before finally losing the championship to Bubblegum in a Steel cage match in June 2010. Spud would continue to sporadically appear of IPW before leaving for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
X Wrestling Alliance (2007–2011)
After the feud between FWA and IPW:UK ended, the XWA promotion was founded from the remains of the FWA. Spud feuded with XWA Flyweight Champion El Ligero, defeating him in a last man standing match to become champion with help from The Kartel and Martin Stone to form 'The Firm' faction. Spud won the annual Goldrush rumble to become the No 1 Contender to the XWA Heavyweight Championship while still the XWA Flyweight Champion, which he succeeded in doing after beating Sam Slam at the 2009 Last Fight at the Prom. However, Curtin was stripped of the XWA Flyweight Championship due to his lack of defences and also lost the XWA Heavyweight Championship later in the year to Johnny Phere. Spud, since losing the XWA Heavyweight Championship, suffered a number of defeats and was then injured in September 2010 in a match with Nathan Cruz. Spud made his return in February 2011, confronting Cruz and his former allies Team Rockstar for abandoning him in the annual XWA Goldrush Rumble.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and One Pro Wrestling (2006–2014)
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla made their first tour of the UK in February 2006 where Spud teamed with Topgun Talwar and Aviv Maayan faced Excalibur, Disco Machine and Ronin in a 6-man tag team match where Spud was pinned by Excalibur.PWG's second UK show in October 2007 featured Spud facing off against Joey Ryan. Ryan pinned Spud after a Superkick. Spud also became one of the top British stars in the One Pro Wrestling roster since its inception in 2005. Still competing under the out matched underdog gimmick, Spud had a longtime feud with American wrestler Sterling James Keenan and the super heavyweight Abyss. Spud and partner Luke Dragon Phoenix resurfaced in 1PW to win the Tag Team Titles in their debut as a team, but Spud left the promotion in the Winter of 2007 after losing the 1PW Tag Team Titles to The Damned Nation along with partner Luke Dragon Phoenix. Spud later Returned to 1PW at The 3rd Year Anniversary, as Hubba Bubba Lucah's mystery Tag team partner to finally cause the disbantion of Damnned Nation. On 15 November 2009, he defeated Darkside to win the 1PW Openweight Championship. On 20 September 2014, Spud made his debut for Chikara, losing to Juan Francisco de Coronado.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling / Impact Wrestling
British Boot Camp and Ohio Valley Wrestling (2012–2013)
Spud appeared on the reality show TNA Wrestling: British Boot Camp that began airing on 1 January 2013 on Challenge. On the final edition of the show, Spud won the competition and earned a spot in the TNA roster. Spud made his debut on 7 February episode of Impact Wrestling, in an interview segment that was interrupted by Robbie E and Robbie T and ended with Spud attacking Robbie E. Spud made his in-ring debut on 21 February episode of Impact Wrestling, defeating Robbie E.
Spud returned on 18 July episode of Impact Wrestling, when he took part in the Destination X episode of Impact Wrestling and entered a tournament to determine the new X Division Champion; he was defeated by Greg Marasciulo in his first round three-way match, which also included Rubix. Then, Spud was sent to Ohio Valley Wrestling, TNA's developmental territory and made his debut on 13 March 2013 episode of OVW. He defeated Cliff Compton for the OVW Television Championship, making him the first man to win the title in his debut match. He would go on to defend the title for 59 days and making several successful weekly defences before losing it to Randy Royal.
Dixie Carter's Chief of Staff (2013–2014)
On 28 November episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud returned as Dixie Carter's new Chief of Staff. Later on the night, he hosted an in-ring Thanksgiving dinner with the entire heel roster only to be interrupted by Kurt Angle and the faces of TNA which ended in a brawl. On 30 January 2014 episode of Impact Wrestling, he attempted to interrogate The Wolves (Davey Richards and Eddie Edwards) over who The Investor was, only to get beaten down for his troubles. After Team Dixie was defeated by Team MVP at Lockdown, MVP, having become the Director of Wrestling Operations, announced that Impact Wrestling no longer needed a Chief of Staff.
However, when his TNA contract was up for renewal in April 2014, Carter, upon her return, awarded him a 'substantial contract extension' in reward for his loyalty to her, and also retained his position as her Chief of Staff. Through TNA's relationship with Wrestle-1, Spud made his debut for the Japanese promotion in Tokyo on 6 July, teaming with Ethan Carter III in a tag team match, where they were defeated by Tajiri and Yusuke Kodama. On 4 September episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud came out to the ring with Ethan Carter III and cut a promo about EC3's anger at those who he held responsible for TNA President and his aunt Dixie Carter getting put through a table.
On 8 October episode of Impact Wrestling, Ethan Carter III called him out and gave him a chance to make amends. Carter condemned Spud for his failure to stop Bully Ray from putting his aunt, TNA President Dixie Carter, through a table, EC3 would then publicly humiliate Spud by calling him a loser and slapping him in the face. In the end, Spud fought back and immediately punched Carter, and turning face in the process. Rather than physically retaliating, EC3 fired him from his position as the Carters' chief of staff. On 22 October episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud teamed up with Eric Young in a losing effort against EC3 and EC3's new ally Tyrus in a Tag Team tournament.
X Division Championship pursuits (2015–2017)
On 23 January 2015 episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud won the Feast or Fired match with an opportunity for the TNA X Division Championship. On 13 March episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud's feud with Carter ended in a Hair vs. Hair match, which Spud lost. The following week on 20 March episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud defeated Low Ki to win the X Division Championship. On the March 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, he successfully defended his title against Low Ki in a rematch. On the 1 May episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud lost his X Division Championship against Kenny King in a ladder match, also involving Tigre Uno and Mandrews. However, Spud won the title back on 29 May episode of Impact Wrestling during a Guntlet match. On 10 June episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud vacated the title to gain a title shot for the World Heavyweight Championship. That same day, Spud faced Kurt Angle for the TNA World Heavyweight Championship but failed to win the title. Later, he debuted a feud against Austin Aries. He defeated him on the August 5 episode of Impact Wrestling in a name vs. career match, ending Aries's career at TNA. On the September 23 episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud challenged his former rival Ethan Carter III for his TNA World Heavyweight Championship, in a losing effort. During late 2015, Spud took part in the first ever TNA World Title Series as a member of Group UK, on 7 October episode of Impact Wrestling, defeating Grado in the first round, thus earning him 3 points. He later failed to qualify for the Round of 16 following losses to both Drew Galloway and Bram who were also competing in Team UK.
In February, Spud started an allience with his former rival Ethan Carter III in order to even things with Hardy and Tyrus, defeating them in a tag-team match on the February 16 episode of Impact Wrestling. At 2016 Lockdown, Spud came out, supposedly to stop Reby Sky from attacking EC3. However, he would close the cage door on EC3 to help Matt Hardy retain his TNA World Heavyweight Championship, turning heel once again in the process. He would follow up, with encouragement from Matt Hardy, by delivering a conchairto to EC3 with his head on the steps. On 9 March 2016 episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud aligned with Matt Hardy and Tyrus to form a stable, after explaining his actions as getting revenge against Carter for his cruel treatment of him last year. The trio would go on to face EC3 and Jeff Hardy in a losing effort. On the March 29 episode of Impact Wrestling, Matt Hardy, Rockstar Spud, Tyrus and Reby Hardy were defeated by Carter by disqualification in a Four On One Handicap match. On the May 10 episode of Impact Wrestling, he was defeated by Carter in a Six Sides of Steel match. At May Mayhem, Spud and Tyrus were defeated by Jeff Hardy in a Ladder match. On the May 31 episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud and Tyrus were defeated by The BroMans in number one contendership match for challenging Decay at Slammiversary. On the June 21, 2016, episode of Impact Wrestling, he challenged Braxton Sutter, Spud interrupting him when Sutter scheduled match against indy wrestler Balam. Sutter went on to defeat Spud and following his victory, was viciously attacked by Spud. During several months, Rockstar Spud and Braxton Sutter have many confrontation, during X Division matches. On the September 1st edition of Impact Wrestling, Rockstar Spud viciously attacked Sutter with a chair during a Ultimate X match, and attacked him once again on the September 8 edition of Impact Wrestling after his match against Drew Galloway, breaking one of his teeth. The feud ended in "Empty Arena, No Turnbuckles" match the September 15 edition of Impact Wrestling, which was won by Sutter. At Bound for Glory, he participated in the Bound for Gold but was eliminated by Tyrus.
On the October 27 episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud took part in the Team X Gold match teaming with Decay against DJ Z, Braxton Sutter and Mandrews ("Go for Broke"), in a losing effort. On the November 3 episode of Impact Wrestling, Spud and Decay lost a three-way match against Go for Broke and The Helms Dynasty. They were defeated once again in a three-way tag team match against Go for Broke and The Helms Dynasty, this time in a elimination match. At "Total Nonstop Deletion", Spud was defeated by Broken Matt Hardy's son King Maxel. The same night, he participated at the Tag Team Apocalypto, teaming with Swoggle, but was attacked by him during the match.
On the January 5 episode Impact Wrestling, Spud called out Swoggle, seeking revenge for his betray. But after Swoggle defeated Spud in a quick match. A frustrated and angry Spud declared that he "quits" TNA.
Ring announcer (2017)
Spud was abruptly taken out of the partnership with Rex due to the company's new management and Rex no longer being contracted with Impact Wrestling and was made the new ring announcer for Impact Wrestling. David Penzer was brought back to Impact Wrestling as ring announcer when Spud began a feud with Swoggle which comulated with a match during Impact Wrestling's tour of India. In October 2017 Spud asked for his release from Impact Wrestling which was granted.
In other media
In August 2006, Curtin appeared on Channel 4's Big Brother's What They Did After the House, where he was defeated by Big Brother contestant Billi Bhatti at an IPW:UK show in Orpington. In January 2011, Curtin appeared as his Rockstar Spud character on BBC Three's Snog Marry Avoid, where he was given a makeunder. He played a small part as a clown in a short film called Light the Lights.
Curtin has also cited that Spike Dudley is a main inspiration for him. Because of this, Curtin uses Dudley's corner springboard cutter finishing move, calling it The Underdog.
- Finishing moves
- "The Baby Jesus of British Wrestling"
- "The Rockstar"
- Entrance themes
- "The Kids Aren't Alright" by The Offspring (Independent circuit)
- "Living on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi (FWA / ASW / OVW / Progress)
- "SPUD Theme" by Dale Oliver (TNA; January 22, 2013 – November 28, 2013, w/ "I Am Iconic" Intro; March 22, 2016 – April 19, 2016; used while teaming with Matt Hardy)
- "Chief of Staff" by Dale Oliver (TNA; January 24, 2014 – October 8, 2014, February 10, 2017 – March 19, 2017)
- "Calling London Town" by Dale Oliver (TNA; October 22, 2014 – April 23, 2016, October 27, 2016 – January 5, 2017)
- "Zero" by The Smashing Pumpkins (TNA; April 29, 2016 – October 20, 2016)
Championships and accomplishments
- Total Nonstop Action Wrestling
|TNA BootCamp Contestants|
|Marty Scrull • Rockstar Spudd • Hannah Blossom • Holly Blossom|