September 5, 2005
REAL NAME: Daniel Christopher Covell
Although some might be content with finding a home with the up-and-coming NWA-TNA organization, the Fallen Angel Chris Daniels is, it seems, always on the go, as likely to appear on an indy show in New York as making an appearance in Orlando, Florida for an Impact taping.
From Fayetteville, NC, Daniels moved to Pasadena, California and then to Chicago to enroll in the city's Windy City Wrestling School. After being trained by Sam DeCero, Mike Anthony and Kevin Quinn, Daniels made his April 1993 debut for Windy City Wrestling, coming out on the losing end of a tag match with Titan against the Manson Brothers (Ripper and Skull). A month after his debut, he defeated Trevor Blanchard for the Windy City Pro Wrestling Light Heavyweight Championship.
After wrestling in Chicago for a while, Daniels traveled to Puerto Rico where he teamed with his trainer, Kevin Quinn (with whom he also won the Windy City Wrestling Tag titles), to defeat Invader #1 & Hurricane Castillo Jr. for the World Wrestling Council Tag Team titles on May 23, 1995.
Back in Windy City, Daniels defeated Bret Sanders for the organization's Middleweight Championship on May 1, 1997. It was shortly after the victory that Daniels began to enlarge his wrestling scope, wrestling for such independent promotions as World Power Wrestling and the Empire Wrestling Federation, claiming the Heavyweight titles from both organizations in September 1997.
He would also make his way to WWE in 1998 where, after signing a developmental deal, he attended the Funkin' Dojo. Save for a couple of appearances on Shotgun, Daniels' biggest claim to fame during his time in WWE was masquerading as one of the Conquistadors (with Aaron Aguilera) during the Hardy Boys' feud with Edge and Christian.
Daniels would team with Kevin Quinn once at the NWA's 50th Anniversary show in October 1998, defeating Danny Dominion and Ace Steele.
After a last appearance on Shotgun (losing to Droz) in March 1999, Daniels headed back to the independent scene, competing the ECWA Super Eight tournament, where he made it all the way to the finals (defeating Jeff Peterson and Matt Hardy) before losing to Steve Bradley.
After a brief stop in ECW (losing to Rhino at Hostile City Showdown in June), Daniels went to Japan, competing in the Masked Man League (where he finished third) and later, defeated Minoru Fujita on December 19th, to win the British Commonwealth Junior Heavyweight Championship.
Back in North America, Daniels won ECWA's Super Eight tournament on February 26, 2000, defeating Scoot Andrews in the finals. Daniels also received a tryout match with World Championship Wrestling. The original idea was for Daniels to portray Vampiro's dark master, Syndrome, but his debut kept getting pushed back to the point where Daniels returned to the independent scene, returning to his roots in Windy City Wrestling, battling Kurt Angle for Ultimate Pro Wrestling and winning the UPW Championship and APW's King of the Indies tournament.
Daniels would return to WCW in early 2001, battling Mike Modest to a draw on the January 23rd edition of Monday Nitro, but nearly broke his neck when an attempted moonsault went wrong. Daniels was cut from WCW shortly before the company went out of business. Daniels would make several appearances on WWE Jakked during the spring of 2001, losing to Jerry Lynn and, with Scoot Andrews as his partner, to Kaientai in a tag match.
From there, Daniels returned to the indies. Among other appearances, he would team with Reign to win the Midwest Championship Wrestling Tag Team titles, he would lose to A.J. Styles at the NWA 53rd Anniversary show and compete in the APW King of the Indies tournament.
After winning such titles as the ECWA Championship, the UPW title and the NWA Florida belt, Daniels signed on with NWA-TNA on June 26, 2002. On July 10, 2002, Daniels would make one of his first, but certainly not his last appearance in TNA, losing in a six-way match won by Low Ki.
Daniels would not compete full-time for TNA, however, making appearances in Philadelphia's Ring of Honor organization, winning both the ROH Heavyweight title and, with Donovan Morgan, the ROH Tag Team titles. He also traveled to Japan in October 2002, where (as Curry Man), he teamed with Hayashi Rice and defeated Taka Michinoku & Great Sasuke to win the 2002 Futaritabi Tag Team League Tournament. But Japan wasn't his only international stop in October 2002. Later that same month, Daniels traveled to London England and defeated Jody Fleisch & Doug Williams to win the FWA Heavyweight Championship.
In late 2002, he competed in IWA Mid-South's Ted Petty Invitational Tournament, and then returned to TNA, aligning himself with Vince Russo's "S.E.X." faction. In addition to battling Jeff Jarrett and his allies, Daniels also teamed with Low Ki to defeat America's Most Wanted and win the NWA World Tag Team Championships on March 12, 2003. A second tag team title reign would come on May 7th, when Daniels defeated Jerry Lynn and Amazing Red by disqualification in a handicap match. He would team with Elix Skipper as Triple XxX and defend those titles until America's Most Wanted reclaimed the titles on June 25, 2003.
After a couple of weeks off, Daniels returned to TNA on July 30, 2003 and attacked Jeff Jarrett, unveiling his "Fallen Angel" gimmick.
In addition to his work in TNA, Daniels was still active on the North American and International independent scene. Curry Man returned to Japan and won a battle royale on January 31, 2004 and, on March 12th, teamed with American Dragon to win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team titles. Back in North America, he once again competed in and won the ECWA Super 8 tournament. 2004 also saw him win the 3PW Championship and compete regularly in Ring of Honor.
Back in TNA, Daniels and Skipper reteamed for another run at the NWA Tag Team titles, losing in the finals of a tournament to Kid Kash and Dallas (Lance Hoyt). Daniels also teamed with Skipper, Jerry Lynn and Chris Sabin as Team NWA which won the X-Cup in May 2004. The team of Skipper and Daniels, Team XxX, would not survive 2004 as they lost a "Losing Team Breaks Up" match at Turning Point, failing to defeat to America's Most Wanted.
However, at Destination X, Daniels defeated A.J. Styles, Elix Skipper and Ron Killings to become the X-Division Champion, a title he later defended against Styles, his former partner Skipper and Shocker.
Daniels' reign as X-Division champion came to an end at Unbreakable when Daniels came up short in a triple-threat match including the winner A.J. Styles and Samoa Joe. Daniels would make a run at regaining the title, losing to Styles in an Iron Man match aty Bound for Glory.
At Genesis, Samoa Joe and Daniels teamed together to win the 4-on-4 elimination X match that included teammates Roderick Strong and Alex Shelley as well as Austin Aries, Sonjay Dutt, Chris Sabin and Matt Bentley. After the match, Joe turned on Daniels and put him out of action after two Muscle Busters on a steel chair.
Daniels returned at Turning Point, coming to A.J. Style's aid after Styles lost the X-Division Championship to Joe. And although Daniels and Styles teamed together against America's Most Wanted during TNA's first match of 2006, they still had issues after Styles threw in the towel during Daniels' title match against Joe at Final Resolution.
Joe, Daniels and Styles met in a Triple Threat match at Against All Odds (with Joe retaining) and tangled again in an Ultimate X match at Destination X, with Daniels winning the title. Joe would quickly regain the title, bloodying Daniels along the way.
In addition to attempting to regain the X-Division title, Daniels continued his barnstorming-like ways, competing in other organizations, such as Ring of Honor and indies such as Georgia Championship Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerilla and New York Wrestling Connection. If he hasn't logged more miles than any other wrestler in North America today, it won't come from lack of trying.
But perhaps Daniels's greatest success has come in TNA, where he would rebound from the X-Division title loss to team with former foe, Styles and target America's Most Wanted. Styles and Daniels would finally win the NWA Tag Team titles from AMW at Slammiversary.