|Birth name||Austin White|
|Born||August 2, 1997|
McDonough, Georgia, U.S.
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Austin Theory|
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Billed weight||220 lb (100 kg)|
|Billed from||Atlanta, Georgia|
|Trained by||AR Fox|
WWE Performance Center
|Debut||April 29, 2016|
Austin White (born August 2, 1997) is an American professional wrestler and bodybuilder. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the SmackDown brand under the ring name Austin Theory.
Prior to joining WWE, he wrestled on the independent circuit, including several promotions under the World Wrestling Network umbrella, such as Full Impact Pro (FIP) and Evolve – along the way winning the WWN Championship, FIP World Heavyweight Championship and the Evolve Championship. In WWE, he is a two-time United States Champion and the winner of the 2022 Men's Money in the Bank ladder match.
Austin Tyler White was born on August 2, 1997, in the Atlanta suburb of McDonough, Georgia. His parents were divorced prior to his birth and he was a fan of professional wrestling in his youth, citing John Cena as a huge influence and having dreams of joining WWE since he was eight years old. In 2015, he placed first in the NPC Georgia Bodybuilding Championship, Teen Men category when he was 17. According to White, he has maintained a straight edge lifestyle.
He made his professional wrestling debut on May 5, 2016, under the ring name Austin Theory, defeating A. R. Fox at a WWA4 event to win the WWA4 Heavyweight Championship. During this time, he continued to work in events around the Georgia area. Theory made his Progress Wrestling debut on April 1, 2017, at a Progress and Evolve joint show, losing to Keith Lee in a four way match involving Jason Kincaid and Blaster McMassive.
On August 12, 2016, Theory made his World Wrestling Network debut at Full Impact Pro (FIP)'s Heatstroke. He made his Evolve debut at Evolve 78 on February 24, 2017, defeating Darby Allin. Afterwards, Theory acquired Priscilla Kelly as a valet. On December 18 at Evolve 97, he defeated Fred Yehi to win the FIP World Heavyweight Championship. He retained the title against Yehi on January 13, 2018, in an "Anything Goes" match. On February 17 at Evolve 100, Theory failed to win the Evolve Championship against Zack Sabre Jr.. At Evolve 103 on April 6, Theory defeated Keith Lee to win the WWN Championship, ending Lee's 175 day reign. On May 19 at Evolve 104, he retained the title against DJ Z. At Evolve 106 on June 23, Theory lost the WWN Championship to Joey Janela, but retained the FIP World Heavyweight Championship against Janela and DJ Z in a triple threat match the next day. On September 30, he lost the FIP World Heavyweight Championship to Anthony Henry.
At Evolve 117 on December 15, Theory defeated Fabian Aichner and Roderick Strong in a triple threat match to win the Evolve Championship. On February 15, 2019, at Evolve 121, he retained the title against Darby Allin. Over the next few months, Theory successfully defended the title against the likes of Anthony Henry, Kyle O'Reilly, Raul Mendoza, and Leon Ruff. Following a backstage confrontation between the two, he and JD Drake fought in a Winner Takes All match for both the Evolve Championship and WWN Championship at Evolve 131 on July 13, which was won by Theory. On August 25 at Evolve 134, he retained the Evolve Championship against Drake and Josh Briggs in a triple threat match, and against Briggs on September 21 at Evolve 136. However, at Evolve 139 on November 9, he lost the title to Briggs in a rematch.
On June 16, 2018, Theory made his debut for Mexican promotion The Crash Lucha Libre, where he was defeated by Rey Horus. On March 2, 2019, Theory defeated Willie Mack, Bárbaro Cavernario and Sansón to win The Crash Heavyweight Championship. On June 14, Theory made his Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre debut representing The Crash, teaming with Carístico and Volador Jr. to defeat Rush and La Peste Negra (Bárbaro Cavernario and Negro Casas).
Prior to his signing with the company, he participated in a WWE tryout in February 2018. On April 8, during day 4 of WrestleMania Axxess, Theory retained his WWN Championship against Marcel Barthel.
On August 10, 2019, Theory was shown on-screen in the crowd at NXT TakeOver: Toronto. Five days later, it was announced that he signed a contract with WWE and would report to the WWE Performance Center. On the December 25 episode of NXT, Theory made his in-ring debut, accepting Roderick Strong's NXT North American Championship open challenge in a losing effort. On the January 8, 2020 episode of NXT, he achieved his first victory by defeating Joaquin Wilde.
Theory, as a heel, appeared on the March 30 episode of Raw as an associate of Zelina Vega, teaming with Angel Garza and Seth Rollins in a losing effort to Kevin Owens and Raw Tag Team Champions The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford). On Night 2 of WrestleMania 36 on April 5, Theory and Garza unsuccessfully challenged The Street Profits for the Raw Tag Team Championship. The following night on Raw, Theory and Garza lost a title rematch to The Street Profits. After defeating Akira Tozawa on the April 13 episode of Raw, Vega's other associates, Garza and Andrade joined him in beating down Tozawa as all three posed together, confirming their status as a faction. However, on the May 18 episode of Raw, he was attacked by Andrade and Garza after accidentally costing them a tag team match against Apollo Crews and Kevin Owens, kicking him out of the faction. Later that same night, he assisted Rollins and Murphy in attacking Aleister Black, formally joining Rollins' group as a disciple. Following the June 22 episode of Raw, he stopped appearing with Rollins and Murphy.
Main article: The Way
On the August 26 episode of NXT, Theory returned to television by interrupting Bronson Reed, moving back to the brand. He made his in-ring return on the Super Tuesday episode of NXT on September 8, where he lost to Reed. At NXT TakeOver: WarGames on December 6, Theory helped Johnny Gargano win his third NXT North American Championship. He then appeared on the December 9 episode of NXT to reveal he was part of a villainous faction called The Way with Gargano, Gargano's real life wife Candice LeRae, and Indi Hartwell. On December 30, Theory won the 2020 NXT Year-End Award for Future Star of NXT.
In January 2021, Theory and Gargano competed in the 2021 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, losing to Kushida and Leon Ruff in the first round. For the next few months, Theory helped Gargano retain the North American Championship against numerous opponents. Following a loss to Kyle O'Reilly on the July 20 episode of NXT, Theory took an absence from NXT television, until he returned on the premiere of NXT 2.0, attending the wedding of Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis in his final NXT appearance.
As part of the 2021 Draft, Theory was drafted to the Raw brand. On the October 4 episode of Raw, Theory returned to the brand by attacking Jeff Hardy and defeated him on the next two episodes of Raw. After Rey Mysterio was injured by Bobby Lashley on the November 15 episode of Raw, he was removed from Team Raw for Survivor Series and replaced by Theory. At the event on November 21, Theory eliminated Sheamus before he was eliminated by Hardy, but his team won the match against Team SmackDown. The following night on Raw, it was revealed that Theory took Cleopatra's Egg from Mr. McMahon, leading to McMahon to reward Theory a WWE Championship match against Big E in the main event for "showing intestinal fortitude", which he lost.
On the January 17, 2022, episode of Raw, after defeating Finn Bálor, McMahon rewarded Theory a spot in the Royal Rumble match. At the namesake event on January 29, Theory entered his first Royal Rumble match at #3, lasting 22 minutes before he was eliminated by AJ Styles. On the January 31 episode of Raw, Theory defeated Kevin Owens in a Elimination Chamber qualifying match. At Elimination Chamber on February 19, Theory failed to win the WWE Championship after he was last pinned by Brock Lesnar in a match also involving Seth "Freakin" Rollins, Styles, Riddle and defending champion Bobby Lashley. Towards the end of the match, Lesnar performed the "F-5" on Theory from the top of one of the pods down to the floor. On the February 28 episode of Raw, Theory bribed McMahon into having himself accompany him to his interview with Pat McAfee to no avail. On the March 4 episode of SmackDown, Theory confronted McAfee and announced he would be his opponent at WrestleMania 38. On Night 2 of WrestleMania on April 3, Theory lost to McAfee, but helped McMahon defeat McAfee in the subsequent fight that ensued, until Stone Cold Steve Austin came out and hit Theory, McMahon, and McAfee with Stone Cold Stunners.
The following night on Raw, Theory and The Usos defeated RK-Bro (Randy Orton and Riddle) and Finn Bálor after Theory pinned Bálor, earning the chance to challenge for his United States Championship. In a backstage segment the following week, Theory announced he and Mr. McMahon decided that the name Austin did not suit him anymore, dropping the first name and going by Theory. On the April 18 episode of Raw, Theory defeated Bálor to win the title for the first time in his career, becoming the second youngest United States Champion in the title's history and the youngest champion under the WWE banner. On the May 9 episode of Raw, Theory defended the championship against Cody Rhodes, losing the match by disqualification after Seth "Freakin" Rollins attacked Rhodes, but retained the title. Theory retained the title against Mustafa Ali on the May 30 episode of Raw, and in a rematch at Hell in a Cell on June 5.
At Money in the Bank on July 2, Theory lost the United States Championship to Bobby Lashley, ending his reign at 75 days. Later that night, he was added to and won the Men's Money in the Bank ladder match, making him the youngest superstar to win the Money in the Bank contract in WWE history, as well as being the first Money in the Bank winner to lose a title and win the contract on the same night. At SummerSlam on July 30, Theory failed to regain the United States Championship in a rematch against Lashley. Later that night, he attempted to cash in his Money in the Bank contract during the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Last Man Standing match between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns, but was hit with an "F-5" by Lesnar before he could officially cash in. At Clash at the Castle on September 3 on the pre-show, with his ring name reverted to Austin Theory, he and Alpha Academy (Chad Gable and Otis) lost to The Street Profits (Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins) and Madcap Moss. Later that night, he again attempted to cash in his Money in the Bank contract during the main event, only to be knocked out by Tyson Fury before he could officially do so. On the November 7 episode of Raw, Theory cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on Rollins for the United States Championship but was unsuccessful, partially due to interference from Lashley.
On November 26 at Survivor Series WarGames, Theory defeated Rollins and Lashley in a triple threat match to win his second United States Championship. On the December 5 episode of Raw, Theory retained the title against Mustafa Ali by disqualification after being attacked by Dolph Ziggler. On the January 2, 2023, episode of Raw, Theory retained the title against Rollins, as well as Lashley in a No Disqualification match at Raw Is XXX on January 23 after interference from Lesnar. At the Royal Rumble on January 28, Theory entered at #25 but was eliminated by eventual winner Cody Rhodes. On February 18 at Elimination Chamber, Theory successfully defended the title against Bronson Reed, Damian Priest, Johnny Gargano, Montez Ford, and Seth Rollins in an Elimination Chamber match, marking the first time the title was contested inside the namesake structure. In a press conference after the event, Theory issued an open challenge for the title on the following episode of Raw, which was answered by Edge. He retained the title against Edge after interference from Finn Bálor. Theory challenged the returning John Cena to a match for the title at WrestleMania 39 on the March 6 episode of Raw, which Cena accepted. On Night 1 of WrestleMania on April 1, Theory defeated Cena to retain the title. At Backlash on May 6, Theory retained the title against Bronson Reed and Lashley.
As part of the 2023 WWE Draft, Theory was drafted to the SmackDown brand. On the May 12 episode of SmackDown, he faced Bobby Lashley and Sheamus in a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship tournament, but was pinned by Lashley in the first round. Two weeks later on the May 26 episode of SmackDown, Theory retained the United States Championship against Sheamus after interference from Pretty Deadly (Elton Prince and Kit Wilson). He then retained the title against Jey Uso and Sheamus on the June 9 and July 7 episodes of SmackDown, respectively. On the August 11 episode of SmackDown, Theory was scheduled to defend the title against Santos Escobar, but was rendered unable to compete after Theory attacked him backstage. Later that night, Theory was defeated by Escobar’s Latino World Order stablemate Rey Mysterio in an impromptu title match, ending his second reign at 258 days. The following week, he defeated LA Knight after interference from The Miz to become the #1 contender to the United States Championship. A rematch between Theory and Mysterio for the title was set for Payback on September 2.
With bodies lying everywhere, Theory ran in with his briefcase, smashing Reigns across the face. Before he could cash in, however, Lesnar dropped him with an F-5 and turned around into a pair of Superkicks from The Usos.
To the surprise of many, Theory's music hit as Mr. Money in the Bank attempted to cash in his contract. Tyson Fury, however, belted Theory to nullify the attempt.