QUINCY, MA – – Former WWE Star Antonio “The Promise” Thomas recently won the prestigious NECW Iron 8 Tournament on Saturday, May 30th.
Four first round matches where the winners square off in a 45 minute Ironman match.
In the IRON 8 Championship Final, the 45-minute Iron man match took place between “The Real Deal” Brandon Locke, Antonio “The Promise” Thomas, Maverick Wild, and former WWE star Kenny Doane (Dykstra). The four men kept a breakneck pace throughout the match proving they all truly had amazing skill and stamina. As the match progressed, the high impact style took a physical toll on all of the men. Maverick Wild received a huge laceration on his forehead, yet continued to compete despite losing a fair amount of blood. With one minute left in the match, Thomas ducked a clothesline by Locke, sending “The Real Deal” face first into the ropes and staggering back into a backslide to score the first and only fall of the match.
With just seconds left, Locke hit Thomas with his Locke Down maneuver and fell on top of him. Referee, Rich Bass began to count the pin fall, but the buzzer sounded signaling that the 45 minute time limit had expired.
Antonio Thomas finally lived up to his original promise and became the 6th IRON 8 Champion.
After the match, 7 times NWA World Champion and WWE and WCW Hall of Famer Harley Race awarded the championship trophy to Thomas, who was then congratulated by Doane and Locke.
Winning the Iron 8, defeating some of the best in professional wrestling today, takes Thomas to the next level and proves to the world that he is the future of professional wrestling.
Thomas had this to say “I am finally being recognized as not just a tag team pro wrestler, not just that “former” WWE Star, but as an individual Superstar that follows through on his promise. This is Step 1 on my promise to become the best in the business today”.
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ABOUT ANTONIO THOMAS
Antonio Thomas began his training at the late great Killer Kowalski’s briefly in 2001 before continuing his training under longtime New England standout Kevin Landry.
Antonio made his professional debut in late 2001 before emerging throughout the New England area shortly thereafter working regularly for top promotions including New England Championship Wrestling, Chaotic Wrestling, and Eastern Wrestling Alliance.
In early 2003, Antonio began learning and training under former WWE developmental standout, the late Steve Bradley. At this time, Thomas became a cornerstone of Bradley’s Wrestling Federation of America promotion, holding the Heavyweight Title throughout most of 2003-2004.
Antonio became a regular at Dr. Tom Pritchard Camps throughout the early part of his career, becoming a sponge for learning. In July 2004, with the help of Pritchard, Antonio Thomas was signed by WWE to a developmental contract.
Quickly relocated to Ohio Valley Wrestling, Antonio continued to hone his craft and learning under Jim Cornette and Danny Davis and train under Lance Storm, Bill Demott, and Al Snow. There Thomas reunited with another Kevin Landry student and longtime friend from the New England wrestling scene, Romeo Roselli, to form one of the most popular and charismatic tag teams in OVW history. The two were paired together by Cornette and, under the guidance of outlandish manager Mo Greene, had memorable feuds with MNM, the Thrillseekers (Johnny Jeter and Matt Cappotelli) and Tolands.
Thomas was called up to WWE Raw in April 2005 where he became one half of the re-named “Heart Throbs” and where he produced memorable feuds with William Regal and Tajiri, Hurricane and Rosey, Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, Val Venis and Viscera.
After parting ways with the WWE in February 2006, Thomas became busier than ever, returning to work numerous promotions throughout the Country, as well as going back to where it all began for him on the New England scene, reuniting with Bradley and his WFA, Sheldon Goldberg‘s New England Championship Wrestling, and Chaotic Wrestling, among numerous of others.
Antonio performed in shows for TNA in 2007, including Destination X Pay-Per-View in March against Voodoo Kin Mafia-Kip and B.G. James as well as touring for Nu-Wrestling Evolution (NWE) in Europe.
In 2008, Thomas, continued his training under former NWA World Champion and WWE Hall of Famer, Dory Funk Jr. In June 2008, Thomas fulfilled a career long goal of working in Japan, making his debut with All-Japan Pro Wrestling. Thomas worked 3 tours over the course of 2008, including training and learning under Keiji Muto (Great Muta) and Kaz Hayashi at the All-Japan dojo from June through September.
Antonio made his Ring of Honor Debut in October 2008 in Danbury, Ct. in a victory over Alex Payne and competed for the company once again in February 2009.
A student of the game constantly striving to improve, Thomas is looking to prove he is more than just a “Heart Throb” and the character he portrayed in WWE. Now armed with a different look and in ring-style, Thomas can work and adapt to any style; whether it be technical, high flying, singles, tags, and occasionally going back to his old WWE antics and persona. Thomas continues to evolve into a complete performer.
In addition to a hectic and busy wrestling schedule, Thomas is a lifelong workout and fitness enthusiast in addition to being a certified personal trainer, working his way towards an eventual Masters Degree in Exercise Science and Strength and Conditioning.
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