Happy Birthday Erick Rowan – November 28th, 1981 – Today in Wrestling History

Erick Rowan Joseph Ruud Erick Redbeard WWE Wyatt Family

Joseph Ruud, known as Erick Rowan in WWE, was born on November 28th, 1981 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He debuted on December 12th, 2012 on WWE’s NXT brand. At that time, NXT was the WWE’s developmental program and not aired on television. Erick Rowan would be a follower of Bray Wyatt in the Wyatt Family for most of his WWE career.


Early career of Erick Rowan

Ruud trained with Eddie Sharkey in 2003 under the ring name “Thoruf Marius”. He would perform with promotions across the Midwest until leaving for Japan in 2007. In 2008 he would return to the United States joining F1rst Wrestling promotion out of Minnesota.

Erick Rowan would become his new ring name when joining WWE’s Florida Championship Wrestling in 2011. In August of that year he made his television debut against Kenneth Cameron.

WWE main roster mishaps

Erick Rowan would see moderate success as a member of the Wyatt Family. Other members include Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper (now Brodie Lee in All Elite Wrestling) and Braun Strowman. For brief periods fans would see Randy Orton and Danial Bryan join the Wyatt Family in quick “flash in the pan” additions to setup feuds for Bray Wyatt.

These storylines pushed Erick Rowan and Luke Harper to the side solidifying them as “sidekicks” to Bray.

Bludgeon Brothers debut

Fans would get a taste of “smashmouth” wrestling when Erick Rowan and Luke Harper teamed up as the Bludgeon Brothers. There was obviously money put into the gimmick as they had “new” ring attire, entrance attire, and accessories. Their matches would be noted for rough treatment of their opponents rather than strategy or athletic prowess. That did not stop either member from doing things “amazing for a big man” during some of their matches.

Fun fact – The Bludgeon Brothers had one of the few entrances that the WWE turned the lights out for. This is something usually reserved for the Undertaker.

Due to injury the Bludgeon Brothers were disbanded. Rowan suffered a torn right bicep in their final match as a team.

The final downturn for Erick Rowan

Sadly, Erick Rowan would see a downturn on his career before leaving the company. Given a weird “animal” gimmick, Rowan would come to the ring with a covered cage. This cage would also be featured in pre-recorded vignettes.

Ruud would leave the WWE and begin his independent circuit career again with United Wrestling Network. He made his debut on October 31st, 2020 as Erick Redbeard.

Happy birthday and safe travels, Joseph Ruud. Thank you for the entertainment you have provided us in the past and in the future.

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