In this edition of AWC (Australian Wrestling Chronicles) I'm writing about arguably the most recognizable Australian wrestler right now, Nathan Jones. He's wrestled for WWE and is now on a contract with TNA, but he wasn't always a gentle giant.
From the age of 15 and for the next couple of years, Jones became involved in several armed robberies around Australia. It was in this time that he was declared one of Australia's most wanted criminals. It wasn't until over two years later that he was caught and convicted of committing a total of eight armed robberies.
Jones was sentenced to serve 16 years in Boggo Road Gaol (jail). You have to remember that he was less than 19 years old at the time of sentencing, so to him it was literally a life sentence.
In the end, Jones only served seven years in the maximum security prison and was given one year of work release to do.
It is said that the officers at Boggo Road Gaol will always remember Jones for his violent temper. The most fabled story to come out of his time in the prison was when on one occasion he dislodged a cell door from its hinges. That takes some strength!
During his time in the prison Jones was introduced to the sport of powerlifting. Jones excelled at the sport to such a degree that soon after his release from jail he became the National Powerlifting Champion of Australia.
Jones went on to compete in strongman contests and was dubbed "The Megaman" due to the impressive size of his body, standing at 208cm (6'10") tall and weighing in at 159kg (350lbs). He was soon named Australia's Strongest Man.
Jones went to Scotland in mid 1995 to compete in the World Strength Championship. He finished first, beating other strongmen such as 1993's World's Strongest Man Gary Taylor.
Jones later competed in the 1995 World's Strongest Man contest. He was matched against the several time European arm wrestling champion, Magnus Samuelsson. Jones lost the first round, and in the second round was determined not to lose.
What came next was totally unexpected. In their second arm wrestle, Jones was losing so he tried to twist his body to get more leverage. At the same time Samuelsson exerted more force and Jones' arm broke. It was revealed later that he had a spiral fraction of the humerus.
Needless to say, Jones was out of the competition. He returned the next year and placed third in a qualifying heat behind Magnus Ver Magnusson and Jorma Ojanaho and took no further part in the contest.
Jones later started working as a bodyguard for the late multimillionaire Rene Rivkin. During his time as a bodyguard he began training in wrestling.
Jones gained fame as a professional wrestler when he started working for the Australian wrestling promotion World Wrestling All-Stars in 2001. He was reasonably successful in the company, winning the World Heavyweight Championship in early 2002, but later lost the belt to Scott Steiner.
Jones also worked for Japanese wrestling promotion ZERO1-MAX for a short time, teaming with former WWE wrestler Heidenreich. The duo won the NWA Intercontinental Tag Team Championship during their short tenure with the company.
Shortly after that, Jones joined the WWE roster under the gimmick of the Undertaker's protege. WWE was so high on Jones that he was scheduled to team with Undertaker at Wrestlemania XIX to take on Big Show and A-Train in tag team action.
Jones was kayfabe injured before the match, leaving Undertaker to take on Big Show and A-Train in a handicap match. Jones came to ringside towards the end of the match and attacked Big Show, leaving A-Train prone to an attack from Undertaker for the win.
On a future episode of Smackdown, Jones was again kayfabe injured, this time he was left with a broken ankle which was just an excuse for WWE to send Jones to developmental to get some more training.
It wasn't until the lead up to Survivor Series that Jones reappeared as a heel and he was placed on Brock Lesnar's team for the elimination tag team match at the PPV. There was never an explanation for Jones' heel turn, but he did play it well!
If you don't remember him in the ring or you haven't seen him wrestling, check out this video. It's a match from Smackdown in the second half of 2003 against Shannon Moore. Jones really showed why WWE backed him in this great squash match.
During WWE's tour of Australasia in Late 2003, Jones grew tired of the hectic schedule that the wrestlers have to go through and when the show got to Perth he up and quit. Somehow nobody realized that Jones had packed all of his belongings for the tour.
Jones was ranked #137 in the Pro Wrestling Illustrated top 500 for the year of 2003. That's pretty impressive for someone with only a few years wrestling experience!
Jones' first scheduled wrestling appearance after leaving WWE was supposed to be against Mark Mercedes at the Australian Wrestling Supershow in 2004, but he never showed up. Mercedes proceeded to cut a scathing shoot promo on Jones for not appearing.
Since then Jones has only made sporadic appearances for wrestling promotions in Australia up until 2008 when seemingly out of nowhere he signed a contract with TNA.
Shortly afterwards, Jones was the victim of a hit and run accident in Bangkok. While in the area to promote his new movie, Jones was out jogging before sunrise one morning when a cement truck struck him. Jones luckily escaped without any broken bones, but he did sustain nerve damage to his arm which sidelined him for months on end.
There was no report on any damage that would've surely been done to the truck after hitting the giant.
Jones is still yet to debut on TNA, but hopefully he will be arriving back on our television screens sooner rather than later.
Other than wrestling, Jones is famous for some of the movies he's been in. Most notably, Jones featured in the 2004 movie "Troy" with Brad Pitt and Eric Bana. For those of you that have seen it, Jones played "Boagrius", the warrior that Achilles (Brad Pitt) kills with one slash of his dagger at the start of the movie.
Jones was also in the movie "The Condemned" with Stone Cold Steve Austin where he played "The Russian."
Apart from that, Jones also had a small role in the 2006 Jet Li movie "Fearless" where he played an American wrestler.
Jones' next acting role will be in the "Tekken" movie that's due out at the end of this year. He will be playing "Marduk" for any of you Tekken fans out there.
As you have read, there's a lot more to the "Colossus of Boggo Road" than meets the eye. Hopefully he can recover from his accident soon and he gets back to proving his dominance over other professional wrestlers.
Next time on AWC I'll introduce you to the Australian wrestling promotion that tried to take on the world after WWE bought out WCW and ECW. It's name was World Wrestling All-Stars, and it was the only organization to stand up to WWE in a time when there was little opposition.