Sir James Steven Harrison CBE (born February 6, 1981) is an English professional wrestler, Brazil jiu-jitsu practitioner and mixed martial artist who is currently signed to the WWE and Bellator MMA, he is the current NEVER Openweight Champion, Bellator Heavyweight Champion and the ROH World Tag Team Champion, holding the latter alongside his brother Matthew Harrison. He has been with the company since 1996 one of just six currently on the roster who has been with the company for 20 years. Along with this he makes sporadic appearances on Lucha Underground. He also works part-time at the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Academy.
Harrison is renowned for his stiff wrestling style which he attributes to his training in Japan, he was also noted as a heavy blader until advised not to by doctors in 2002 before getting the all clear health wise in 2016. During his WWE career he has won 19 world championships and 86 championships in total which includes 18 tag titles. He has also won two Money in the Bank contracts, three Royal Rumbles, two King of the Ring titles, two Bragging Rights trophies, the World Cup of Wrestling in 2016 and 20 Slammy Awards. He is also the Sixth Grand Slam Champion and Ninth Triple Crown Champion.
Away from the WWE he won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight and IWGP Tag Team Championships during his original run with NJPW from 1994 to 1996, he would win the NEVER Openweight Championship in his return 21 years later. Away from wrestling he is also Bellator Heavyweight Championship in Bellator MMA and has a 2–0 MMA record winning both my submission.
Harrison was appointed an OBE in the 2003 New Year Honours, which was later upgraded to a CBE in the 2006 New Years Honours, these solely for his work in entertainment. He was knighted in the 2017 New Years Honours for his charity work, entertainment and business work.
In WWE Harrison is noted for his legendary feud with Triple H considered one of the companies greatest, which began towards the end of The Attitude Era and has sporadically continued since. Though in NJPW he is noted for his near three-year long rivalry with Jushin Thunder Liger which is considered the greatest wrestling feud of all-time.
Professional Wrestling Career
Feud with Jushin Thunder Liger (1994–1996)
World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment
Intercontinental Champion and feud with The Harts and D-X (1997–98)
Harrison made his WWF debut on October 5, 1997 at Badd Blood: In Your House attacking Owen Hart after he had defeated Farooq and won the WWF Intercontinental Championship. The following night on Raw Harrison was forced to have a match against Owen's brother Bret Hart who Harrison defeated in a four minute squash match and then defeated Owen's brother in-law Jim Neidhart in just 30 seconds. Harrison would then face Owen at Survivor Series for the Intercontinental title which Harrison won. The following night on Raw Harrison began a feud with D-Generation X when he defeated Shawn Michaels which his controversial finisher The Headbutt. According to Harrison in an interview in 2013 with Stone Cold Steve Austin he had been asked by Vince McMahon to use a strong style version of a headbutt which Harrison stated that McMahon had no clue how dangerous it was. Harrison stated "Vince wanted me to use a strong style version of a headbutt as my finisher but he clearly had no clue about how dangerous it was. I only ever performed it five times in my whole career and won every match with it but every time I used it, I ended up busting myself open and causing my opponent to have a minor concussion and that's why I don't want to use it. Both myself and my opponent end up with a bad injury as a result."
Championship pursuits and The Demon (1998–2001)
Harrison appeared as "The Demon" after WrestleMania XIV and went undefeated during this time several superstars continued to take on The Demon and end his unbeaten streak. Harrison under The Demon gimmick eventually won the WWF Championship at Unforgiven in 1999, the following night Harrison revealed he was The Demon.
Tag Team dominance and feuds with Triple H and Stone Cold (2002–2005)
WWE Champion and singles division dominance (2006–2009)
Record-breaking tag team title reign (2009–2014)
The Authority, feud with Daniel Bryan and record-breaking titles (2014–15)
Return of The Empire and feud with The Authority and The Wyatts (2015)
On the July 20, 2015 episode of Raw The Authority were in the ring giving a promo before Harrison appeared and approached Triple H and told him that "Next week The Authority should prepare for hell. We will return." He would then emerge again on July 27 by himself with The Authority in-ring before the theme music for The Empire of Pain began playing and Harrison was joined in-ring by Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, Cesaro and Randy Orton.
Bullet Club and feud with Matthew Harrison (2016–present)
Harrison began 2016 by defeating Shinsuke Nakamura on Raw in one of the most anticipated matches of all-time. The match was one of the longest in Raw history but one of the best of all-time, it was back and forth for 10 minutes before Nakamura hit his Boma Ye finisher on Harrison he kicked out at two Harrison quickly got up and hit Nakamura with an F-5 and he kicked out. Harrison eventually won after hitting Nakamura with a Curb Stomp thus ending the moves ban and pinning him after a Tombstone Piledriver. On Raw on January 11, 2016 Roman Reigns took part in a one vs. all match and after he was being attacked by The New Day, Kevin Owens, Alberto Del Rio and Sheamus he was then hit with an F-5 by Brock Lesnar but after this Harrison walked down to the ring chokeslamming Lesnar and hitting him with an F-5 of his own officially setting up a US title match at the 2016 Royal Rumble. Harrison successfully retained the title. As Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns were announced alongside Brock Lesnar as the main event of Fastlane (2016), their friendship was put to the test and would ultimately lead to the break-up of The Empire of Pain. During a promo from Harrison, Reigns, Ambrose and The Usos they were interrupted by the Bullet Club, before Harrison attacked them before acknowledging the Bullet Club with the "Too Sweet" gesture thus turning Harrison heel for the first time since leaving The Authority. Harrison successfully defeated Alberto Del Rio at Fastlane in a tables match to retain his WWE United States Championship. Harrison alongside his brother Matthew took on The New Day at WWE Roadblock in their mandatory rematch for the WWE Tag Team Championship, this was delayed due to Matthew's severe injury in the match in which they lost the titles. This match was highly praised as saw James awarded his fourteenth five match star match by the Wrestling Observer Newsletter marking the first time a WWE tag match had been awarded the honour. Later on in the night Harrison defeated Baron Corbin, Luke Harper, Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho and Tyler Breeze in a six-way elimination match for his United States Championship
It was announced on Raw on March 21, 2016 that Harrison would defend his WWE United States Championship against Triple H at WrestleMania 32 in a no holds barred match, the week prior it was announced he alongside his brother would defend their WWE Tag Team Championship titles at WrestleMania in a 3-on-2 no holds barred handicap against The New Day. On the March 24, 2016 episode of SmackDown! Harrison defended the US title successfully against Sami Zayn thus meaning he would have held the title for over 300 days, this made it only the third reign under the WWE banner to surpass 300 days. James alongside his brother successfully his tag team title against The New Day they were helped out by their sister Ana Sanchez who hit an RKO on Xavier Woods. In his US title match against Triple H his wife Eve Torres returned on what was their tenth anniversary and performed her finisher The Heart Breaker on Triple H's wife and manager Stephanie McMahon as Harrison securred victory and retained his title. Alongside his brother he will defend his tag titles against Enzo and Cass at Payback after Enzo and Cass won a number one contender's tournament. Harrison unsuccessfully defended his US title in a ladder match against Apollo Crews, The Miz, Damien Sandow, Neville, Tyler Breeze at Payback which Sandow won ending Harrison's reign at 336 days. Earlier in the night he and Matthew Harrison were scheduled to face Enzo and Cass in a tag team title match but less than four minutes in Enzo Amore suffered a severe concussion and the match ended in a no contest. The following night on RawThe Brothers faced The Vaudevillains with their tag team titles on the line and were unsuccessful in defending them after the match James attacked his brother and setting up a World Heavyweight Championship match at Extreme Rules. The match was considered one of the most brutal in WWE history in which Matthew won pinning James for the first time since Extreme Rules in 2014, a rematch was set up on Raw the following for Money in the Bank. The rematch at Money in the Bank would be even more brutal than Extreme Rules in a match that lasted over 45 minutes Matthew retained his title on again via pinfall.
Lucha Underground (2016–present)
Harrison made an appearance on Lucha Underground at the September 14, 2016 taping under a mask and the ring name of El Demonio he wrestled and defeated Mil Muertes before revealing a Bullet Club t-shirt and removing his mask. Harrison returned to Lucha Underground three weeks later and again attacked Muertes.
Independent circuit (2016–present)
Throughout 2015 and 2016 the WWE announced various partnerships with wrestling promotions all over the world. In September 2016 Harrison had a match at Evolve Wrestling where he defeated former WWE superstar Drew Galloway. Then a few days later he faced Wolfgang in Insane Championship Wrestling winning the match. He would then make a surprise appearance at House of Hardcore 21: Blizzard Brawl where he faced Matt Cross and would defeat him.
On July 10, 2017 it was announced Harrison was participate in Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Battle of Los Angeles.
Ring of Honor (2016–present)
He would also appear on the first Ring of Honor TV tapings following Final Battle 2016 interrupting a promo from newly crowned ROH World Champion Kyle O'Reilly hitting him with a Curb Stomp. On the following episode Harrison had a non-title match with O'Reilly and was victorious. He alongside his brother Matthew Harrison appearing on the Ring of Honor TV taping immediately following SuperCard of Honor XI where they interrupted newly crowned tag team champions War Machine (Hanson and Raymond Rowe) and they challenged them to a title match on night one of War of the Worlds. Matthew then hit Hanson with a running powerslam and James hit Raymond Rowe with a Venom Strike.
Return to NJPW (2017–present)
It was announced by NJPW on December 11, 2016 that Harrison would return to NJPW for a match at Wrestle Kingdom 11 against Katsuyori Shibata, this was later confirmed by Harrison on twitter. Shibata later confirmed he would put his NEVER Openweight Championship on the line meaning that if Harrison was to win it he would be able to defend it in the WWE. At the end Harrison won the championship allowing it to be defended in both NJPW and the WWE with it being exclusive to the Raw brand.
Harrison married American dancer and model Eve Torres in 2002, Torres later joined Harrison in the WWE in 2008. The pair have four daughters together three of them Caitlin (b. 2003), Ashlynn (b. 2005) and Louise (b. 2007) were all born prior to Torres joining the WWE and their fourth Freya was born in 2015. Harrison has a fifth daughter from another woman, Sophia (b. 1997) who is currently signed to the WWE under the ring name Lena.
Harrison admitted in an interview with Chris Jericho in 2013 that prior to his marriage and even during he had problems with sexual relations in 2007 he had an affair with Maria Kanellis and Kelly Kelly but Harrison said his wife stood by him through it all.
Harrison comes from a highly successful family, his father founded Apple, Inc. and his mother also plays a huge role in the company. He also has many successful wrestlers in the family being the older brother of Matthew Harrison and the twin brother of Ana Sanchez. He also has two younger sisters Laura a singer and Victoria an actress and model. Through marriage he is also related to former WWE Diva Aksana who is his brothers wife, Ana's husband Randy Orton, Laura's husband Seth Rollins and Victoria's husband Dean Ambrose. Former WWE superstar Mr. Kennedy was once related to Harrison as well as he was Ana's husband for five years.
Muta Lock (Inverted Indian deathlock) – 1994–present; adopted from Keiji Mutoh
Wrestling Observer Newsletter Hall of Fame (Class of 2012)
Note: 1 These eight titles were simultaneously defended under the J-Crown. 2 This title reign is not recognised by the WWENo reigns with the title prior to December 1997 are recognized by the WWE.</small>
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