Chris Spradlin (born December 24, 1979) is an American professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, Chris Hero. He is a mainstay of many independent wrestling promotions, including IWA Mid-South, Combat Zone Wrestling, Juggalo Championship Wrestling, CHIKARA, Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and Jersey All Pro Wrestling as well as Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan. He has also made guest appearances in Kaiju Big Battel.
In 2000, Hero began working for the Indiana-based Independent Wrestling Association Mid South, where he received supplementary training from Ian Rotten. In the following years, Chris spent a great deal of time working with Tracy Smothers on IWA Mid South shows and he credits Smothers with being a mentor of his.
In July 2003, CHIKARA brought in Jorge "Skayde" Rivera from Último Dragón's Toryumon Gym in Mexico City to teach some special lucha libre clinics. Hero took part in the training sessions and was able to add an entirely new style to his repertoire. Chris has attended "Skayde" sessions in Minnesota, Pennsylvania and Mexico City from 2003 until 2006.
Throughout 2001 and 2003 Hero engaged in a bitter rivalry with CM Punk.
On October 21, 2001 in Charlestown, Indiana, Hero won the IWA Mid-South Heavyweight Championship from the Rugby Thug. He held the title until December 5 of that year, when he lost to CM Punk. He regained the title on July 12, 2002, in Clarksville, Indiana, defeating Colt Cabana, and lost it to M-Dogg 20 three months later on October 5 in Clarksville. He won the title for a third time on February 7, 2003, in Clarksville, pinning CM Punk in a match that lasted over ninety minutes. His third reign lasted until June 7, when he lost to Mark Wolf. Hero regained the title in a match with Danny Daniels on July 12, 2003, after Mark Wolf had vacated the title. Hero lost it for a fourth and final time to Danny Daniels less than a month later on August 2.
During the fall of 2005, Hero and Arik Cannon continued their feud that had started years before in IWA-MS. At the end of it, Hero turned heel after being eliminated by Cannon in the 3rd round of the 2005 TPI. He later turned his back on Rotten, his trainees Trik Davis, Mickie Knuckles, Bryce Remsburg and everyone else that had befriended him. Hero has since destroyed the IWA Mid South Heavyweight title belt.
He is the only wrestler to have competed in all seven TPI/Sweet Science 16 events. At the end of 2005, he won the 3rd annual Revolution Strong Style Tournament, defeating Necro Butcher in the finals.
In July 2003, the team of Chris Hero and Mike Quackenbush - the "Superfriends" - was formed. The Superfriends defeated Toryumon representatives Skayde and Koichiro Arai in the first round of the 2003 Tag World Grand Prix, then wrestled Swiss Money Holding to a draw, eliminating both teams from the tournament.
In July 2004, Hero moved to Pennsylvania to work alongside Mike Quackenbush at the Chikara Wrestle Factory. In April 2005, the school moved from Allentown, Pennsylvania to the former ECW arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The school was renamed the CZW / Chikara Wrestle Factory and became operated by Quackenbush, Hero and Jorge "Skayde" Rivera.
In February 2005, the Superfriends made it to the finals of CHIKARA's three day, thirty-two team tournament, the Tag World Grand Prix. Late in the match, Hero turned on Quackenbush and formed an alliance with Claudio Castagnoli and Arik Cannon. He would later refer to the trio as "The Kings of Wrestling". Hero's faction feuded with Quackenbush's and his allies for the entirety of 2005. At the closing of the CHIKARA "season", Arik Cannon departed from the group, leaving Hero and Claudio as the remaining "Kings of Wrestling". At the open of the 2006 CHIKARA "season", Hero and Claudio defeated Equinox and Hydra, Sumie Sakai and RANMARU, the North Star Express, Hallowicked and Delirious, and finally Team Dragondoor to become the first CHIKARA Campeonatos de Parejas.
On November, 17th 2006 at a Chikara show in Reading Pennsylvania, Hero & Castagnoli lost the Chikara tag titles to Team F.I.S.T (Icarus & Gran Akuma) in a 2 out of 3 falls match. Following the match, Hero and Team F.I.S.T turned on Claudio and engaged in a beat down, beginning a new feud.
Upon CHIKARA's season return in February, King of Trios, Hero was scheduled to be teaming with his Team F.I.S.T partners to enter the tournament. However, Hero was booked to make his Pro Wrestling NOAH debut in Japan. So it was stated that F.I.S.T didn't want Hero on their team. Instead they went on to recruit Chuck Taylor as a new member of the Kings of Wrestling.
On the other hand, Chris Hero had his sights set on other things when he returned to CHIKARA in March 2007. After Claudio Castagnoli successfully defeated numerous opponents, and seemed focused on getting his revenge on his former partner, Hero decided he wanted to win back the control of Claudio. At CHIKARA's April 'Rey De Voladores' tournament Chris Hero faced Claudio Castagnoli in a non-tournament match in which the winner would gain control of the loser. Mike Quackenbush was special referee for the contest. Chris Hero won the match, forcing Castagnoli back under the control of Hero.
Hero faced "Lightning" Mike Quackenbush at CHIKARA's May 26th 'Aniversario?' show in a match that was two years in the making. The match was given the title "Long Time Coming!". Quackenbush defeated Hero with a new finisher, the CHIKARA Special. This would lead into quite a losing streak for Hero.
Hero suffered losses to Quackenbush (5/26/07), Lince Dorado (7/21/07), El Pantera (8/5/07), Equinox (8/17/07) and Claudio Castagnoli (9/22/07) all via the CHIKARA Special. Many suggested that Hero was affected by a curse and was unable to break the hold. Following another upset loss to Equinox, this time a tag match in Reading, PA on 11/16/07, Hero snapped and tore apart Equinox's mask. Leonard F. Chikarason intervened and scheduled Hero and Equinox for a Lucha de Apuesta (Mask vs. Hair) to take place the following evening in Hellertown, PA. With moments remaining in the match, Equinox managed to apply the CHIKARA Special, only to have Hero counter out of it and lock on a CHIKARA Special of his own. Equinox tapped out and was forced to unmask. Hero pointed out, to the crowd, that the man behind the mask was Vin Gerard, a luchadore imposter. Previously, Vin had attended the Chikara Wrestle Factory and trained under both Hero and Quackenbush. It wasn't until Gerard was unable to break through and gain bookings on CHIKARA shows that he decided to create a false identity in order to wrestle for CHIKARA. Vin has since gone on to return to CHIKARA as an outcast and has even won the Young Lion's Cup. Unfortunately, we have Chris Hero to thank for this.
In late 2007, Hero vacated his spot as a head trainer at the Chikara Wrestle Factory. His spot was assumed by his student and former partner, Claudio Castagnoli. As of August, 2008, Chris Hero has been removed from the CHIKARA roster page and has no immediate plans to return to the company.
On May 13, 2006, Chris Hero was scheduled to take part in the Best of the Best tournament. However, Hero gave his spot to the CZW World Heavyweight Champion, Ruckus, who promised him a title shot in return. When Ruckus won the Best of the Best tournament, Hero came out and immediately used his title shot to win the CZW World Heavyweight Championship. Hero successfully defended it against Claudio Castagnoli and Necro Butcher. At Down with the Sickness 4-Ever, Eddie Kingston accepted an open challenge from Hero and pinned him to become the new CZW World Heavyweight Champion.
On October 14th of 2006, the Kings of Wrestling defeated 3 other teams in a one night tournament at the CZW show "Last Team Standing" to become 2 time CZW Tag Team Champs. They defeated Team Masturbation (Beef Wellington & Excalibur) in the first round, the BLKOUT (Ruckus & Human Tornado) in the second round, and the makeshift team of Justice Pain & the Human Tornado (subbing for Pain's partner in the H8 Club, Nick Gage, who left the building before the match).
On Saturday April 7th, 2007, at Combat Zone Wrestling's 'Out with the Old, in With the New' show, Hero would face long time, heated rival Eddie Kingston in a match where the loser would be forced to leave Combat Zone Wrestling. Hero was defeated following a spinning back fist from Kingston and post match made a leaving speech to the CZW crowd. Following this CZW owner John Zandig came out and thanked Hero for all he had done for CZW, including the war with Ring of Honor.
Although Chris Hero was not in attendance at "Arena Warfare" (according to Danielson, he was in Mexico with Claudio Castagnoli), CZW proved to come out on top in the end. After the ROH main event did not go as planned, the CZW locker room took on Samoa Joe and BJ Whitmer. This resulted in an all out brawl between the Ring of Honor locker room and the Combat Zone locker room, and Whitmer being tortured by the Combat Zone roster after the Ring of Honor roster was chased away. The Combat Zone roster proceeded to destroy the ring ROH had set up, and chase Ring of Honor out of "their house".
Hero and Necro Butcher came to ROH's "Best in the World" event in New York on March 25 to answer a challenge made by Adam Pearce. They proceeded to beat him down, but in a surprising turn of events Chris Hero's long time tag partner, friend, and pupil Claudio turned on both Necro and Hero by saving Pearce. Claudio beat them down, and then chased them out while screaming "Fuck CZW!".
The next weekend, March 30 through April 1, in Detroit and Chicago, Hero and Necro again caused a disruption during the ROH shows. They ran in each night, beating down and injuring ROH Commissioner Jim Cornette as well as Whitmer and Pearce. They also finally got the attention of Joe, who personally declared war on CZW in Detroit. On April 22, ROH's 100th show in Philadelphia featured a battle between Team ROH (Joe, Whitmer & Pearce) against Team CZW (Hero, Necro & Super Dragon). In his LiveJournal, Hero proclaimed that Team CZW would make ROH look like fools on their biggest stage and regret not ending this war before.
Chris Hero walked into ROH's 100th show in their home at the National Guard Armory, and proclaimed that he wasn't a stranger to being up against overwhelming odds, and he wasn't a stranger to being "the everyman". He stood in the CZW bleachers in the crowd and declared that these people were "his army". The team of Hero, Necro Butcher, and Super Dragon went on to win the ROH vs. CZW main event in an extremely chaotic match. Adam Pearce of team ROH was pinned after Claudio turned on ROH and helped Hero deliver the Hero's Welcome on Pearce for the pin. Claudio hugged Hero and went on to celebrate with Zandig, Team CZW, and the CZW section of the crowd who were chanting "match of the year!".
Hero led Team CZW into the Cage of Death at Ring of Honor's Death Before Dishonor IV. This was the first time Cage of Death was featured in a show outside of CZW. Hero had teased that he had made a deal with a mystery fifth man, which he stated would be a "deal with the devil". This led to rampant speculation as to whether or not the fifth man was someone from ROH jumping ship. Homicide had been a likely candidate, due to a recent storyline involving his frustration with the company. However, their fifth man turned out to be Hero's hated rival Eddie Kingston. Although ROH's surprise fifth man Bryan Danielson turned on Samoa Joe in an effort to incapacitate Joe before their title match, Team ROH finally put CZW away when Homicide arrived in the Cage and pinned Nate Webb for the win. Two days later on their Newswire, ROH stated that the war with CZW was over, thanks to Homicide.
In August 2006, the Ring of Honor tag title belts were stolen and later returned from champions Austin Aries and Roderick Strong. Hero revealed on his LiveJournal that he and Castagnoli were the culprits and would be challenging for the titles September 16. They defeated Aries and Strong at Glory By Honor V Night 2 to become the Ring of Honor tag team champions. ROH then announced that by winning the belts, Chris Hero had been made a full time ROH Wrestler.
KOW had what looks like their last match on December 23 in Manhattan when they, with super agent Larry Sweeney in their corner, were defeated by the Briscoe Brothers. After the match, Claudio announced that he was no longer going to WWE, and would remain in ROH as one half of the Kings of Wrestling. Sweeney then said he and Chris Hero had big plans for 2007, but Claudio was not included in them. Then, when Hero was forced to choose between staying with Claudio or going with Sweeney, he shook Claudio's hand but left with Sweeney.
Since this, Hero has found relative success in singles competition, with notable feuds including Nigel McGuinness and the Briscoe Brothers. Hero is described by Sweeney as 'the best athlete in Ring of Honor today', and he is the most high-profile member of Sweet 'N' Sour Incorporated, Sweeney's stable that includes Hero, Tank Toland, Bobby Dempsey and Sara Del Rey. He had challenged for the ROH World Title in a losing effort against then champion Homicide, and briefly reformed the Kings of Wrestling in another losing attempt at winning the ROH World Tag Team Championship.
At Survival of the Fittest 2007, Hero single handedly eliminated Austin Aries, Roderick Strong, Claudio Castagnoli, Rocky Romero and Human Tornado to win the Survival of the Fittest tournament. For winning, Hero would be granted a shot at the ROH Heavyweight Championship at a time of his choosing. He chose to challenge the current champion, Nigel McGuinness, at Glory by Honor VI: Night One. Despite a badly torn biceps sustained a week prior and being on the injury list, McGuinness reluctantly accepted and was able to retain the title.
On June 27,2008 in Dayton, Ohio Hero pinned FIP World Champion Roderick Strong in a Non-Title Bout with an assist from Sweeney.
On June 28,2008 Hero's winning streak continued when he defeated Pelle Primeau in a Light's Out Match with an assist from Larry Sweeney and Sara Del Ray and despite interference from former Sweet N'Sour Inc. team mate Brent Albright.
Hero has started calling himself "That Young Knockout Kid." His style has changed from an athletic showoff to a knockout striker. He uses various Rolling Elbows and Mafia Kicks to KO his opponents.
On July 25, 2008 in Toronto Hero pinned Ruckus after a Mafia Kick. Later on the show, Hero ended up on the opposite end of a Lance Storm Canadian Maple Leaf.
On July 26, 2008 Hero and fellow Sweet N'Sour Inc. team mate Go Shiozaki were defeated by Roderick Strong and Naomichi Marafuji when Strong pinned Hero with a big boot/Cradle Backbreaker combination. Post match, Hero regained his composure and extracted revenge upon Lance Storm by KOing him with a Rolling Elbow.
On August 1, 2008 in Manassas, VA Brent Albright pinned Hero with a half nelson suplex.
On August 2, 2008 in New York City, Hero pinned Delirious. Delirious attempted Shadows Over Hell, but was met with an Elbow on the way down. Hero followed that up with an Added Momentum Elbow to get the KO pinfall. Later on, he cost Roderick Strong his match with Eddie Edwards. Roderick was set for a Gibson Driver when Hero connected with a presumably "loaded" Elbow strike.
In April 2007, Chris Hero competed in the first King of Europe Cup, as the representitive of CZW. He defeated Claudio Castagnoli in the first round before being defeated by Doug Williams. Hero recently won the German-based promotion Westside Xtreme Wrestling's prestigious international competition event, the "16 Carat Gold Tournament", defeating Ares in the finals.
He has also recently appeared in the UK with the All Star Wrestling promotion. Hero recently returned to Australia to wrestle for the PWA Queensland promotion, competing in their annual "Rise Of The Warriors" Tournament which he also competed in last year. Hero made it all the way to the final of the tournament, which lasted two nights, losing out to PWA Queensland regular, Esteban Molina. He defeated Mason Child's, whom he lost to in the final of the 2007 tournament, Mark Davis and Blakestone to get to the finals. The previous year He defeated Kyote, Damian Slater and Ryan Eagles to advance to the finals.
World-class wrestling champ prefers small arena: Now independent, Billy Gunn to fight Chris Hero at S.C. center
Jul 13, 2005; DAILY MAIL STAFF Believe it or not, Billy Gunn would rather wrestle in a South Charleston gym than in a jam-packed stadium for...