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Paul Burchill

REAL NAME: Paul Birchill
6' 4", 281 pounds
BORN: Guildford, Surrey, England
NICKNAMES:Burchill, Bruiser Burchill

Many wrestling fans may be asking, just who is that big man who has been teaming with William Regal on Smackdown recently? His name is Paul Burchill and destroying the competition in England, it seems he may be about to do the same here in North America, on WWE Smackdown.

A former primary school teacher from Surrey, England, Burchill got into the mat game in 2001 by walking into a FWA Weekend Training camp, and quickly impressing the man running the camp, Mark Sloan.

"Paul turned up dressed in floral shorts and flip flops, but he was as big as he is now and on the first day you could tell he was an amazing athlete," Sloan told England's Sun newspaper. "His agility and quickness were incredible - I've never seen anyone that size move so fast. I'd like to take credit for Paul's success but to be honest I didn't need to do anything to bring out the best in him. He was as natural a performer as I've ever seen."

After finishing his training at the FWA Training Academy, under Sloan's guidance, Burchill made his debut in August 2002. He made a huge impact in the organization, interfering in many matches and leaving a trail of broken bodies along the way. At October's British Uprising 1, he attacked the New Breed before their match against the U.K. Pitbulls. Later that same month, during FWA's London Calling card, he interfered in the match between Jack Xavier and Duke of Danger and took out both men. In February, he attacked all four men (The Duke, Hade Vansen, James Tighe & J-X) during their four-corner bout.

In May 2003, Burchill's exploits earned him the notice of top British manager, Dean Ayass, who took Burchill on as a client. On that same May 17th card, a FWA/Ring of Honor joint show, Burchill beat down the tag team of Double Dragon so badly that neither man could answer the ten count. Over the rest of the year, Burchill competed in several handicap matches, defeating FWA-based tag teams by knockout.

Although Burchill did have his share of defeats (Doug Williams got a disqualification victory in October 2003 for Premiere Wrestling), he was named Total Wrestling and 1 Stop Wrestling's "Rookie of the Year" for 2003. Burchill would continue to wrestle for various promotions in 2004, both in England and even travelling to Italy in January 2004 to win a 15 man battle royale for Italian Championship Wrestling.

On August 1, 2004, Burchill defeated Doug Williams and the Zebra Kid in a No Holds Barred Three-Way Dance to become the IWP Champion, a title he would hold until November 6th, when he lost a Falls Count Anywhere match to D-Lo Brown. Five days later, he signed a developmental deal with WWE.

One of his final FWA bouts was a six-man tag team victory where he teamed with Terry Funk and Paul Travell to defeat Drew McDonald, Raj Ghosh and Thunder infront of 1800 fans. After the bout, Burchill received a standing ovation. Just over two weeks later, at FWA Gold Rush, Burchill lost to FWA Champion Alex Shane and then headed to North America.

Burchill was assigned to Ohio Valley, where he debuted against Vic Dalishus in March 2005. His success in OVW was mixed, advancing to the second round in the TV title tournament before losing to Deuce Shade, then teaming with Seth Skyfire, in an unsuccessful attempt to win the OVW Tag Team titles from the Blonde Bombers, Tank and Chad Toland.

By August 2005, however, he had been called up to WWE, and partnered with fellow Brit William Regal. After several house show appearances, teaming with Regal, he made his debut on Velocity, interfering on Regal's behalf during a match against Scotty Too Hotty. On September 1st, Burchill made his Smackdown debut, teaming with Regal to gain a victory over Scotty Too Hotty and Funaki. The Regal/Burchill team continued to be active in the Smackdown Tag ranks, even getting a shot at the Legion of Doom's Tag Team titles on a October episode of Smackdown.

As the fall and winter of 2005 continued, Burchill returned to Ohio Valley, becoming the bodyguard for Johnny Jeter. Burchill would later team with Jeter's fellow Spirit Squad member, Ken Doane only to have Doane walk out on him in mid-match. Burchill later defeated Doane in a one-on-one match.

In WWE, Burchill lost to the newcomer Bobby Lashley in a singles match and then, at Armageddon, teamed with Regal to lose to Lashley, this time in a handicap match.

Soon after, Burchill discovered that his ancestors had been pirates, and decided that he should embrace his heritage and was soon seen on Smackdown, clad in a buckaneer's outfit, much to the dismay of Regal.

Regal attempted to talk Burchill out of dressing that way, but Burchill humiliated him at every turn, even going so far as to make Regal dress up in ridiculous costumes after besting Regal in a “Winner Chooses Loser’s Outfit” match on Smackdown.

What kind of future does Burchill have in store for him, now that he's competing in WWE? Dean Ayass, Burchill's former manager, believes anything is possible for his former charge. "Paul has a very good future ahead of him along as he looks after his body and keeps himself injury free," Ayass predicted in the Sun, "The tag division itself isn't a great place to be, as it's pretty clear that Vince McMahon isn't bothered about tag teams. But as a short term measure you couldn't ask for anything better than teaming up with William Regal - who will be able to teach Paul a lot and help him with his promos. You never know how far Paul can go. He's got a great attitude and look and as the UK becomes a more important market for the WWE they might look at making a Brit world champion!"

--- compiled by John M. Milner with files from The Sun (UK)

BURCHILL STORIES

  • Feb. 26, 2010: WWE releases two wrestlers, a diva and a ref