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Professional wrestling career
After playing football with the Denver Broncos, Thornton began training under Brad Rheingans in order to become a wrestler.
On May 3, 1991, he debuted in the American Wrestling Association, where he lost to Frank Andersson. That same month, he toured New Japan Pro Wrestling. Having an extensive background in martial arts, Thornton fought in an infamous "Different Style Fight" against Shinya Hashimoto, which he lost in the second round
World Championship Wrestling (1999)
In 1999, Thornton, under the ring name Swoll, debuted in World Championship Wrestling as a member of Master P's No Limit Soldiers. The Soldiers immediately began a feud with the West Texas Rednecks due to the Rednecks hatred of rap music. On June 13, 1999 at The Great American Bash, Swoll assisted fellow Soldiers Konnan and Rey Mysterio, Jr. in defeating the Rednecks' Curt Hennig and Bobby Duncum, Jr.. On the June 24 episode of Thunder, Swoll made his in-ring debut as he and B.A. defeated Disorderly Conduct (Mean Mike and Tough Tom). At Bash at the Beach, the Soldiers (Swoll, Konnan, B.A. and Mysterio, Jr.) defeated the Rednecks (Hennig, Duncum, Jr. Barry Windham and Kendall Windham) in an elimination tag team match. After defeating a few other teams over the next few weeks, Swoll and B.A. lost to the Windhams on the August 3 episode of Saturday Night, thus ending both Swoll's undefeated streak and the feud between the Soldiers and the Rednecks. On the August 17 episode of Saturday Night, Swoll competed in his final match for WCW as he and B.A. defeated Hugh Morrus and Jerry Flynn via disqualification. Thornton retired from professional wrestling immediately afterwards, unable to hack the physical demands.