Tyrone Evans (March 8, 1977) is an American professional wrestler. He is best known for his time in WWE, where he performed on the Raw brand under the name Michael Tarver as a member of The Nexus. He also participated in the first season of WWE NXT in early 2010.
Professional wrestling career
Early career (2005–2008)
Evans defeated Brandon X in a match at an NWA East event on February 19, 2005. Evans defeated Daron Smythe for the Pro Wrestling Express (PWX) Brass Knuckles Championship on April 2, 2005. On June 11, Venom defeated Evans for the Brass Knuckles Championship. After the title loss, Evans challenged Brandon K for the territory's Heavyweight Championship on September 8, 2006, and was unsuccessful. Later that year, he wrestled for Dan Severn's Price of Glory Wrestling, where he participated in an elimination match won by N8 Mattson.
Evans also wrestled for several Cleveland, Ohio-based promotions. In March 2006, Evans debuted for the Main Event Wrestling League in Ohio, teaming with Kato to defeated Chris Kole in a handicap match. In December, Evans challenged Robby Starr for the MEWL Championship, but lost the match by disqualification. A rematch in March 2007, saw Starr defeat Evans again. At MEWL's Honky Tonk Saturday Night show the following month, however, Evans defeated Starr and won the MEWL Heavyweight Championship. In July 2006, Evans beat Savage at an Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) show. He returned to AIW in May 2007, losing to Thrillbilly, and in September 2007, where he defeated Eddie Kingston by submission in the third round of their 'Strong Style' Challenge match. In April 2007, Evans challenged Jason Bane for the Cleveland All-Pro Wrestling (CAPW) Television Championship, but was unsuccessful. On May 6, at May Meltdown, The B.E.T. (Evans and Josh Emmanuel) defeated Jeff Brooks and Kid Hybrid in a tag team match, and the following month at A Hot Summer's Night The B.E.T. defeated The Clash of Ernie Ballz and Brian Bender.
Evans also wrestled for Pro Wrestling Unplugged, making his debut on October 27, 2007 at Dark Night, where he introduced himself as "The Panther" Tyrone Evans before losing to The Sandman by disqualification. In December, Evans lost once again to The Sandman, before he changed his nickname to "Black Panther" in February 2008 at Last Chance: Do or Die.
World Wrestling Entertainment / WWE
Florida Championship Wrestling
In 2008, Evans signed a WWE contract and was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), a WWE developmental territory. In FCW, he began wrestling under the ring name Tyrone Jones. In May, he feuded with Atlas DaBone. Throughout June and July, he faced wrestlers including Kevin Kiley, Jr. and TJ Wilson, and on July 21, he lost a dark match to Jamie Noble on July 21 prior to Raw. In September he gained Byron Saxton as a manager, and changed his ring name to Tyson Tarver. He became part of The Saxton Conglomerate, a faction composed of Tarver, Black Pain, Stu Sanders and led by Byron Saxton. Tarver had his first match with the Conglomerate on October 30, where he, Pain and Sanders lost to Johnny Prime, Kafu and Sinn Bowdee. Prime soon began feuding with the Conglomerate, and on November 20, Tarver lost to him in a singles match. On December 18, Tarver and Sanders lost to Prime and Kaleb O'Neal.
In 2009, Evans changed his ring name to 'Michael Tarver'. He continued competing in FCW throughout the remainder of 2009, facing wrestlers including Wes Brisco and Skip Sheffield, with whom he feuded in November 2009. In December, Tarver became associated with Heath Slater, interfering in Slater's matches and accompanying him to the ring. The following month, Tarver began a feud with Titus O'Neil. After twice interrupting O'Neil, Tarver defeated him in a singles match on February 18.
NXT and The Nexus (2010)
On February 16, 2010, it was announced that Tarver was one of the eight FCW wrestlers that would be competing on the first season of the WWE NXT show, with Carlito as his storyline mentor. On the inaugural episode of NXT on February 23, Tarver and Carlito were defeated by Christian and Heath Slater in a tag team match. After six more losses and being ranked second to last in the first Pro's Poll, Tarver picked up his first victory on the May 4 episode of NXT by defeating Daniel Bryan. Tarver also neglected to perform any of the rookie challenges in NXT stating that he was not there to perform menial tasks. On May 11, Tarver was eliminated during the first elimination round of NXT alongside Daniel Bryan as they lacked the confidence to continue in the competition.
The week after the NXT season finale, Tarver and the rest of the season one NXT rookies interfered in the main event match between John Cena and CM Punk on Raw, attacking Cena, Punk, the announce team, and the ring announcer Justin Roberts, before dismantling the ring area and surrounding equipment. On the June 14 edition of Raw the rookies (excluding Daniel Bryan) attacked General Manager Bret Hart, when he refused to give them contracts. The following week on Raw, Vince McMahon fired Hart and announced the hiring of a new General Manager, who had signed the seven season one NXT rookies to contracts. The following week the group was named The Nexus. On the July 12 episode of Raw, The Nexus competed in their first match together, without Darren Young, defeating John Cena in a six–on–one handicap match. The Nexus continued to feud with Cena and the Raw roster, resulting in a seven-on-seven elimination tag team match at SummerSlam which saw the return of former Nexus member Daniel Bryan, who aligned himself with team WWE. Tarver was the second person eliminated from the match when he was pinned by John Morrison, and The Nexus went on to lose the match. On the October 4 episode of Raw, Tarver was attacked by Cena, with Barrett later stating that he would have thrown Tarver out of The Nexus anyway. This storyline was put in place due to Tarver sustaining a groin injury.
Return to FCW (2010–2011)
At the December 9 FCW television tapings, Tarver returned from his injury and defeated Donny Marlow. In early 2011, Tarver would make appearances on both Raw and SmackDown in backstage segments either talking or texting someone on a mobile phone.
On June 13, 2011, it was announced that Tarver had been released from his contract.
Return to independent (2011-present)
On July 22, Tarver returned to the Florida promotions where he began a five-year tenure at Florida Underground Wrestling. He won the FUW Bruiserweight Championship after defeating Eddie Taurus on March 20, 2012. He won the vacant NWA FUW Heavyweight Championship on February 1, 2013 against Deimos, before losing the title six months later on August 31 at NWA FUW Throwdown 6 in a Brass Brass Knuckles On A Pole match against The Grease. He defeated fellow WWE alumni Wes Brisco during the December 12, 2013 edition of NWA FUW. Tarver won the FWA Heavyweight title again on February 21, 2014, defeating the champion and WWE alumni Matt Morgan. On December 18, Tarver competed in a Four Way match in Hard Knock Wrestling for the HKW Championship held by Josh Emanuel against fellow challengers Kombat Kidd and Patrick Hayes.
Full Impact Pro (2014-2016)
Tarver debuted on Spetember 5 at FIP Fallout 2014, where he teamed with Mason Ryan and Shaun Ricker to eliminate All Business (Blake Edward Belakus, Jesus De Leon & The American Viking) in the first round of the Six Man Tag Team Tournament. Tarver's team was later eliminated in the semi final by Dos Ben Dejos (Eddie Rios & Jay Cruz) & Lince Dorado. On January 9, 2015 at FIP Kickoff 2015 Tarver entered the ring with Martin Stone under the team name MSL Universe. They won their debut match, defeating team [[Generation Genesis (Jeff Boom & Mitch Mitchell). On April 8, 2016 at FIP Florida Rumble, Tarver wrestled in a battle royal for the number one contendership to the FIP World Heavyweight Championship but was defeated by Fred Yehi.
Brain Buster Pro Wrestling (2016-2017)
Continuing his career in Florida promotions, Tarver debuted in Brain Buster Pro Wrestling on November 19, 2016 at BBPW Thanksgiving Throwdown, defeating Rhett Giddins. On February 4, 2017 at BBPW 1 Year Anniversary Show - Broken Dreams, Tarver teamed with Drew Donovan in a tag match won by Jon Davis & MVP. On May 13 at BBPW BBPW Vs. FTPW, Tarver failed to win the FTPW Heavyweight Title held by Shannon Moore.
- "Black Panther"
- "The New Danger"
- "The Panther"
- "The Upgrade"
- "Mr. 1.9"
- Teams and stables
- MSL Universe - with Mister Saint Laurent, Chasyn Rance, Martin Stone, Teddy Hart, Deimos and Josh Hess
- Nexus - with Wade Barrett, Justin Gabriel, Heath Slater, David Otunga, Michael McGillicutty, Husky Harris, Michael Tarver, Skip Sheffield, Darren Young, Daniel Bryan and John Cena
- Saxton Conglomerate - with Byron Saxton, Black Pain, Lawrence Knight and Kaleb O'Neal
- BET - with Lamont Williams & Josh Emanuel
Championships and accomplishments
- Florida Underground Wrestling
- FUW Bruiserweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA FUW Heavyweight Championship (2 times)
- Pro Wrestling Xpress
- PWX Brass Knuckles Championship (1 time)
- Main Event Wrestling League
- MEWL Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
|CM Punk • David Otunga • Husky Harris • Mason Ryan • Michael McGillicutty • Skip Sheffield • Daniel Bryan • Darren Young • Heath Slater • John Cena • Justin Gabriel • Michael Tarver • Wade Barrett|
|Daniel Bryan • Darren Young • David Otunga • Heath Slater • Justin Gabriel • Michael Tarver • Skip Sheffield • Wade Barrett|
|Alex Riley • Eli Cottonwood • Husky Harris • Kaval • Lucky Cannon • Michael McGillicutty • Percy Watson • Titus O'Neil|
|AJ Lee • Aksana • Jamie Keyes • Kaitlyn • Maxine • Naomi Night|
|Brodus Clay • Byron Saxton • Conor O'Brian • Derrick Bateman • Jacob Novak • Johnny Curtis|
|Byron Saxton • Conor O'Brian • Darren Young • Jacob Novak • Lucky Cannon • Titus O'Neil • Derrick Bateman|