March 8, 2006
REAL NAME: Chris Lindsey
Born in Wisconsin, Chris Lindsay grew up in Tampa, Florida. He attended the University of South Florida on a football scholarship and majored in business. It was actually Chris' father, himself a collegiate wrestler with the hopes of one day turning pro, that introduced the young man to his future trainer, former WWE Tag Team Champion Jim "The Anvil" Neidhart. After attending several of Neidhart's training sessions and meeting with second generation wrestler Harry Smith, Chris Lindsay decided to begin training himself for a career in pro wrestling.
His debut, as Roderick Strong, came as part of a 20-man cruiserweight battle royale for Independent Professional Wrestling in 2000. Shortly after his debut, he began teaming with his "brother" Sederick Strong, and the pair won the IPW Tag Team Championships from Wrongful Death on June 28, 2002 in St. Petersburg, Florida. In the cage match which saw the Strong Brothers lose the tag titles to Naturally Marvelous on September 20, Roderick suffered a concussion.
Although they made appearances in NWA-TNA (losing to Agent Steel and Madison on January 2, 2003), the Strong Brothers tag team broke up several months after losing the IPW Tag Team titles), with Roderick blaming Sederick for several losses, and turning heel on his brother, and aligning himself with the Alliance Defiance heel stable.
IPW closed down in mid-2003, and Roderick Strong headed to NWA Florida, which had maintained ties with the now-defunct IPW. Strong held the Florida X Championship twice. His first reign began on July 19l 2003, with a defeat of David Babylon and ended on December 13, 2003 at the hands of Jerelle Clark. To begin his second reign on February 21, 2004 Strong defeated Mickey Batts to claim the title, that Clark had since vacated, and held the belt until being defeated by Sederick Strong on April 29, 2004.
Strong began wrestling for Ring of Honor in September 2003 and soon after, joined forces with Austin Aries, Alex Shelley and Jack Evans in a heel stable dubbed Generation Next. Almost from the beginning, Strong was closer aligned with Evans and, in December 2004, the team tossed Shelley out of the group, when he refused to resign as leader of Generation Next.
While competing in Ring of Honor, Strong kept active in other organizations, including CZW, IWA Mid-South and, of course, NWA Florida. His focus remained on Ring of Honor, however. He earned several shots at the Ring of Honor title, against then-champions CM Punk and Bryan Danielson. On October 2, 2005, Strong defeated James Gibson on Gibson's last night in Ring Of Honor. Afterwards, Gibson put over Strong, calling him the MVP of Ring of Honor.
Less than a month prior, Strong had wrestled Aries in a "Showcase Match" at NWA-TNA's Unbreakable pay-per-view, and days later, it was announced that, on the strength of that match, Strong had been signed to a contract with TNA. Strong would appear in the first match on the first episode of Impact on Spike TV, ultimately losing to A.J. Styles.
In December 2005, after a tour of Japan with the Dragon Gate promotion, Strong would return to Ring of Honor to team with Aries and win the Ring of Honor Tag Team titles, defeating Sal Rinauro and Tony Mamaluke on December 17th.
In TNA, it seemed that Aries, Shelly and Strong didn't feel they were getting enough respect from TNA officials such as Larry Zbyszko and Jerry Lynn, so they reformed Generation Next, with the hopes of moving up the ladder. At Final Resolution, they defeated Matt Bentley, Sonjay Dutt, and Chris Sabin. The team of Strong and Aries lost to Sabin and Dutt in the finals of the NWA Tag Team contender's tournament, and then lost to the Naturals at Against All Odds.