Ariya Daivari
Daivari in December 2016
Born (1989-04-11) April 11, 1989 (age 34)[1]
Plymouth, Minnesota, U.S.[2]
FamilyShawn Daivari (brother)
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Ari Daivari
Ariya Daivari[3]
Arya Daivari[4]
Sheik Ariya Daivari[5]
Sheik Mustafa Bashir[6]
Billed height5 ft 10 in (178 cm)[3]
Billed weight189 lb (86 kg)[3]
Billed fromLas Vegas, Nevada Minneapolis, Minnesota by way of Tehran, Iran[3]
Tehran, Iran[6]
Trained byArik Cannon
Ken Anderson
Shawn Daivari
Shelton Benjamin
DebutSeptember 26, 2006[7]

Ariya Daivari (Persian: آریا داوری; born April 11, 1989) is an Iranian-American professional wrestler currently signed to All Elite Wrestling (AEW) under the ring name Ari Daivari. He is best known for his time in WWE, Ring of Honor (ROH), New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA), and has made brief appearances for Global Force Wrestling and Impact Wrestling's project Ring Ka King.

Professional wrestling career

Independent circuit (2006–2017)

After building a background in Taekwondo and amateur wrestling during his high school years, Ariya was trained in professional wrestling by his brother Shawn Daivari and fellow wrestler Arik Cannon.[1] He also trained with Shelton Benjamin and former WWE wrestler Ken Anderson.[8] Ariya debuted in a Midwest Pro Wrestling Academy event on September 26, 2006, at the First Avenue nightclub.[7] Before his 2016 WWE debut, Ariya performed for various U.S. wrestling promotions, including Ring of Honor,[9] Global Force Wrestling,[10] and Impact Wrestling's India project, Ring Ka King.[4][6]

WWE (2016–2021, 2022)

Cruiserweight division (2016–2021)

Daivari's first experience with WWE was wrestling in a non-televised match for WWE SmackDown at the Target Center in 2013.[8] The following year he participated in a tryout at the WWE Performance Center.[11] On June 13, 2016, Daivari was announced as a competitor in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic.[3] On June 23, 2016, Daivari was eliminated from the tournament in his first round match by Ho Ho Lun.[12] On the October 10, 2016 episode of Raw, Daivari made his main roster debut as part of the cruiserweight division on Raw as a heel, losing by submission to the Cruiserweight Champion T. J. Perkins. On the Hell in a Cell pre-show, Daivari teamed with Tony Nese and Drew Gulak in a losing effort to Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado and Sin Cara.[13] On the Survivor Series pre-show, Daivari, Nese and Gulak were defeated by TJ Perkins, Rich Swann and Noam Dar. He then started a feud with Gentleman Jack Gallagher, which ended in an "I Forfeit" match, which he lost.

Daivari began his championship pursuits for the Cruiserweight Championship in July 2017. Akira Tozawa called Daivari out on the July 24 episode of Raw for a rematch after Titus O'Neil forfeited their singles match the week prior on Tozawa's behalf. While Neville showed up to confront Tozawa, Daivari then appeared to attack both Tozawa and Neville. He faced off against Neville the next night on 205 Live, winning via count-out. When Enzo Amore became the Cruiserweight Champion, Daivari appeared to support Amore on 205 Live and became a member of Amore's heel faction "The Zo Train", along with Tony Nese, Drew Gulak, and Noam Dar. On January 23, 2018, Enzo Amore was fired from WWE after allegations of sexual assault were made public, thus forcing Amore to vacate the Cruiserweight Championship and quietly disbanding "The Zo Train". Following this, Daivari participated in a tournament to crown a new Cruiserweight Champion but lost in the first round to the debuting Buddy Murphy on the February 6, 2018 episode of 205 Live.

In WWE Greatest Royal Rumble, Ariya teamed up with his brother Shawn Daivari and insulted four Saudi Arabian prospects before being driven out by Mansoor. After an extended break from action to recover from an unspecified injury, Daivari returned on the November 28 episode of 205 Live, joining Hideo Itami in an attack on a local competitor. After that, he began accompanying Itami to the ring for his matches and interfering on his behalf. On January 29 episode of 205 Live Daivari turned on Itami after the latter lost to Akira Tozawa, the same day that Itami requested his release from WWE. On the March 23 episode of 205 Live, Daivari defeated Cedric Alexander, following a distraction from Oney Lorcan. On the April 23 episode of 205 Live, Daivari defeated Lorcan to become the number one contender for the Cruiserweight Championship. However at Money in the Bank, he failed to capture the title from Tony Nese. Shortly after he would feud with Oney Lorcan which lead to an Anything Goes match where he was defeated to end their feud.

In October 2019 he would begin a feud with Isaiah "Swerve" Scott but never defeated him. Around this time he would start wearing white pants and a Gucci belt to the ring. In 2020 he took a long hiatus from the ring and returned in August 2020 upset that new cruiserweights weren't respecting him. He would then form an alliance with Tony Nese calling themselves the "205 Live OG's" and throughout the first few months of 2021, they would mostly be defeated by the likes of newcomers Curt Stallion and August Grey. On June 25, 2021, Daivari was released from his WWE contract.[14]

Producer (2022)

In April 2022, Daivari was rehired by WWE as a producer.[15] He was released 3 months later.[16]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2021–present)

On September 28, 2021, it was announced that Daivari would be debuting for New Japan Pro Wrestling for their New Japan Showdown shows facing Alex Zayne on Night 1 and teaming with Lio Rush against El Phantasmo and Chris Bey on Night 2.[17][18] He would make his return on June 18, 2022, at NJPW Strong, scoring a victory over Delirious.[19]

All Elite Wrestling (2021–present)

On November 12, 2021, Daivari made his All Elite Wrestling debut on AEW Rampage losing to Dante Martin.[20] On the June 28, 2022 episode of AEW Dark, he would make his return for the brand, defeating Caleb Konley.[21]

National Wrestling Alliance (2022–present)

On April 16, 2022, Daivari made his debut for the National Wrestling Alliance, facing Nick Aldis in a losing effort.[22]

Personal life

Daivari attended Wayzata High School in Plymouth, Minnesota.[1] He is Iranian-American and sometimes incorporates spoken Persian in his performances.[1] His brother, Dara, is also a professional wrestler, mostly known for his time in WWE under the names Khosrow Daivari and Daivari (shortened from his previous in ring name).[3]

Other media

Ariya Daivari made his video game debut as a playable character in WWE 2K19.[23] He would also appear in WWE 2K20.

He would make a reappearance in WWE 2K22.

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ a b c d Daivari, Ariya (September 2, 2014). "Art of Wrestling 214" (Interview). Interviewed by Colt Cabana. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  2. ^ "Ariya Daivari". Cagematch. Retrieved June 13, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Ariya Daivari". WWE. Retrieved November 21, 2016.
  4. ^ a b Nick Paglino (December 8, 2011). "Daivari Reveals TNA India Project Details, Why He Left ROH". WrestleZone. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  5. ^ a b "Wrestlepalooza VIII". First Avenue Nightclub. Archived from the original on August 24, 2017. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Steve Schultz. "Costilli Signs Shiek Arya Daivari For 2013 Season". Dreamwave Wrestling. Archived from the original on March 27, 2019. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "MPW Wrestling Academy". Cagematch. Retrieved June 16, 2016.
  8. ^ a b Jones, Chris (Director) (2015). Minnesota Made – Ariya Daivari (Documentary Film).
  9. ^ "Hopkins Conquest Tour Update". Ring of Honor. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  10. ^ Paul Jordan. "TNA Talent on Global Force and Evolve Shows". PWPop. Archived from the original on May 28, 2016. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  11. ^ Marc Middleton (March 27, 2014). "Backstage News From WWE's Recent Tryout Camp With Several Top Independent Wrestlers". WrestlingInc. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  12. ^ Williams, JJ (June 23, 2016). "WWE Cruiserweight Classic round one spoilers: Sabre Jr, Swann, Gargano, Ibushi, more!". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved June 24, 2016.
  13. ^ Benigno, Anthony. "Cedric Alexander, Lince Dorado & Sin Cara def. Tony Nese, Drew Gulak & Ariya Daivari". WWE. Retrieved October 30, 2016.
  14. ^ "Complete List Of Today'S Wwe Releases". PWInsider.com. June 25, 2021. Retrieved May 13, 2022.
  15. ^ "Joe Hennig and Ariya Daivari get producers tryout at Smackdown". April 9, 2022. Retrieved June 6, 2022.
  16. ^ "WHO WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR TONIGHT'S SMACKDOWN, TOP PRODUCER MISSES TAPING, CUTBACKS AND MORE EXCLUSIVE SD NOTES | PWInsider.com". pwinsider.com.
  17. ^ "More matches official for Showdown in Philly!". NJPW 1972. September 28, 2021. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  18. ^ "Ariya Daivari Debut And More Announced For NJPW STRONG Showdown In Philadelphia". Fightful. September 28, 2021. Retrieved September 29, 2021.
  19. ^ "Backstage Update On Ariya Daivari's WWE Status". Wrestling Inc. June 20, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  20. ^ Lambert, Jeremy (November 12, 2021). "AEW Rampage Results For 11/12/21 Matt Hardy vs. Orange Cassidy, Jungle Boy vs. Bobby Fish". Fightful. Retrieved November 13, 2021.
  21. ^ Kirkland, JW (June 28, 2022). "Preview: AEW Dark (6/28/22) – Caleb Konley Debuts". Last Word On Sports. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  22. ^ "NWA USA: MORTONS, MAGIC, AN ALDIS-DAIVARI CLINIC". April 15, 2022. Retrieved July 6, 2022.
  23. ^ Cole, Caitlin (December 19, 2018). "Complete WWE 2K19 Roster". Rumble Ramble. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  24. ^ "Roster". American Wrestling Federation. Retrieved September 8, 2016.
  25. ^ "Heavy on Wrestling Results – Mad Dog Vachon Tribute Show". Pro Wrestling Torch. December 1, 2013. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  26. ^ "NWA Wisconsin Tag Team Championship". Cagematch. Retrieved June 14, 2016.
  27. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2017". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved August 31, 2017.