Clark Connors
Birth nameConnor Deutsch
Born (1993-10-06) October 6, 1993 (age 30)
Snoqualmie, Washington, U.S.
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Clark Connors
Billed height5 ft 6 in (1.68 m)[1]
Billed weight202 lb (92 kg)[1]
Trained by
DebutApril 15, 2017[2]

Connor Deutsch (born October 6, 1993), better known by his ring name Clark Connors, is an American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW), where he is a member of the Bullet Club stable and is one-half of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions alongside Drilla Moloney, in their second reign. Also in NJPW, Connors was the winner of the 2020 Lion's Break Crown.

Professional wrestling career

Early career (2017–2018)

Connors made his debut on April 15, 2017, working mainly for Canadian independent promotions such as All-Star Wrestling and West Coast Wrestling Connection. He also appeared for DEFY Wrestling, in his home state of Washington in the United States.[2]

New Japan Pro-Wrestling (2018–present)

Young Lion (2018–2020)

In 2018, Connors entered the New Japan Pro-Wrestling LA Dojo, as the first class along with Karl Fredericks and Alex Coughlin, training under Katsuyori Shibata. Connors made his in-ring debut beating Coughlin in a dark match at Fighting Spirit Unleashed. Connors visited Japan for the first time as a representative of the LA Dojo at the Young Lion Cup held in September 2019 and came third in the tournament along with Coughlin with 8 points.[3][4] Over the next few months, Connors would lose to many New Japan wrestlers and draw to his fellow young lions, which is common for young lions during their training. Through New Japan's partnership's with other promotions, Connors was also able to make appearances for Ring of Honor and Revolution Pro Wrestling.

In July and August 2019, Connors and Fredericks teamed up with Shibata's close friend Kenta in tag team matches during the G1 Climax 29 tournament, in which Kenta was competing. This led to a feud with young lions Ren Narita and Yota Tsuji, who were young lions training in the Japanese New Japan Dojo. On the final day, Connors and Fredericks defeated Narita and Tsuji in a tag team match.[5] Connors returned to the US to compete in the Super-J Cup, but was defeated in the first round by T. J. Perkins.[6] After the tournament, Connors began to team frequently with TJP, including in that years Super Junior Tag League, where the team finished with 2 points, with a record of 1 win and 6 losses, only beating the team of Tiger Mask and Yuya Uemura, therefore failing to advance to the tournament finals.[7] On January 4, 2020, at Wrestle Kingdom 14, Connors, Fredericks, Coughlin and Toa Henare defeated Tencozy (Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan), Yota Tsuji and Yuya Uemura in an eight-man tag-team match.[8]

NJPW Strong and Wild Rhino (2020–2022)

In March 2020, New Japan suspended all of its activities, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing American-based talent, such as Connors to not be able to travel to Japan. Therefore, Connors appeared primarily on New Japan's new American-based show NJPW Strong. In September, Connors participated in the Lion's Break Crown. He defeated Jordan Clearwater in the first round and Logan Riegal in the semi-finals. In the tournament finals, he defeated Danny Limelight to win the tournament, his first tournament win in his New Japan career.[9] Connors again participated in the Super-J Cup but was once again defeated in the first round, this time by Chris Bey.[10] During this time, Connors began referring to himself as a "Wild Rhino" and it was confirmed by Shibata he was no longer a young lion.[11][12]

The following year in March, Connors defeated TJP to qualify for a place in the New Japan Cup USA tournament, however he was defeated by Lio Rush in the first round.[13] Connors then entered New Japan's Tag Team Turbulence Tournament, once again teaming with TJP, but they lost to eventual winners The Good Brothers, in the first round.[14] In October, during NJPW Strong's Autumn Attack, TJP turned on the LA Dojo and joined United Empire, this led to the LA Dojo beginning a feud, where they would mainly lose to the group on Strong. This ended when in January 2022, at New Beginning in USA, where Connors defeated TJP.[15] Connors challenged for the Strong Openweight Championship at Strong Style Evolved but was defeated by champion Tom Lawlor.[16] In March, the LA Dojo, which was still represented by graduates like Connors, Coughlin and Fredericks, began a feud with All Elite Wrestling's The Factory as they fought over which was the superior wrestling developmental system. This led to a match at Windy City Riot, in which Connors, Fredericks and Yuya Uemura, lost to The Factory's Aaron Solo, Nick Comoroto and Q. T. Marshall.[17] Soon after, Connors and other LA Dojo members made their debuts on the May 10 episode of Dark, saving the LA Dojo's The DKC and Kevin Knight from a post-match attack by The Factory. The following week, LA Dojo members defeated The Factory in a ten-man tag team match.[18]

On May 1, Connors was announced for the 2022 edition of the Best of the Super Juniors, making his return to Japan since his graduation. He competed in the A-Block, finishing with a record of 4 wins and 5 losses, resulting in 8 points, therefore failing to advance to the finals.[19][20] On the day of the finals, Connors teamed with Titán, Yoh and Robbie Eagles in a losing effort to Wheeler Yuta, El Lindaman, Ace Austin and Alex Zayne.[21]

Connors was announced to be in the NJPW qualifying bracket for a chance to advance to Forbidden Door to be a part of a four-way match to crown the inaugural AEW All-Atlantic Champion. In the first qualifier Connors defeated Tomoaki Honma, but lost in the final qualifier to Tomohiro Ishii, who advanced to the PPV.[22] However, it was later revealed that Ishii had suffered a left knee injury, therefore Connors took his place at the PPV, facing Pac, Malakai Black and Miro for the All-Atlantic championship in a losing effort.[23][24]

Connors was scheduled to compete at Music City Mayhem in late July, challenging for the MLW National Openweight Championship against champion Davey Richards, however, it was revealed Connors was injured and suffering from a herniated disc in his back, therefore he was replaced by Rocky Romero.[25] Connors returned 3 months later at Rumble on 44th Street. After being escorted to the ring by Ken Shamrock, Connors lost to Minoru Suzuki.[26] Connors returned to Japan, teaming with Ryusuke Taguchi in the Super Junior Tag League. The duo finished with a record of 6 points, failing to advance to the finals.[27]

Bullet Club (2023–present)

See also: Bullet Club

On February 18 at Battle in the Valley, Connors faced Zack Sabre Jr. for the NJPW World Television Championship, but was defeated.[28] On the March 9 episode of Ring of Honor Wrestling, Connors returned to Ring of Honor for the first time in 4 years, challenging Wheeler Yuta to a match for his ROH Pure Championship, after Yuta had called out the LA Dojo members, which Yuta accepted.[29] The following week, Yuta defeated Connors to retain the Pure title.[30] On March 30, Connors competed at Multiverse United, a co-produced event between NJPW and Impact Wrestling, where he competed in a Six-way Scramble match for the Impact X Division Championship, but failed to win the title.[31]

On April 15 at Capital Collision, Connors teamed with Chaos' Chuck Taylor, Lio Rush and Rocky Romero and LA Dojo teammate The DKC in a ten-man tag-team match, losing to Kevin Knight, Kushida, Gabriel Kidd, Mike Bailey and Volador Jr. After the match, Connors attacked The DKC, thus turning heel for the first time in NJPW. Later at the event, Connors joined Bullet Club leader David Finlay in the ring, where he officially joined the stable.[32] The following day at Collision in Philadelphia, Connors defeated The DKC.[33]

Connors returned to Japan in May to compete in the 2023 Best of the Super Juniors tournament, competing in the B block.[34] Connors finished with a tally of 8 points, failing to advance to the semi-finals.[35] At Dominion 6.4 in Osaka-jo Hall, Connors confronted new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, Catch 2/2 (Francesco Akira and TJP), only for their United Empire stablemate Dan Moloney to attack the duo from behind, joining Connors in Bullet Club.[36] On July 4 on Night 1 of NJPW Independence Day, Connors and Moloney defeated Catch 2/2 to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships, marking both men's first NJPW championships.[37] The following night, the duo made their first title defence, defeating Chaos (Rocky Romero and Yoh).[38] The duo made another successful title defence at Destruction in Ryōgoku on October 9, defeating Intergactic Jet Setters (Kushida and Kevin Knight).[39] 5 days later, the duo made another successful defence against Leon Slater and Cameron Khai, at Royal Quest III.[40] Later in the month, Connors and Moloney entered the Super Junior Tag League.[41] The duo finished their tournament campaign with 10 points, failing to advance to the finals.[42] Following the tournament final, the duo attacked tournament winners Catch 2/2, ahead of their scheduled title defence against the duo at Wrestle Kingdom 18.[43] Ahead of the match at Wrestle Kingdom, the two teams faced off in NJPW's first ever coffin match, which was won by Bullet Club, after they locked TJP in the coffin.[44] At the event, Akira and TJP defeated Connors and Moloney, ending the duo's reign at 184 days,[45]

Connors attempted to rebound from his loss at Wrestle Kingdom, teaming with Alex Coughlin on January 13 to challenge Guerrillas of Destiny (Hikuleo and El Phantasmo) for the Strong Openweight Tag Team Championships, but they were defeated.[46] On February 4, Connors and Moloney defeated Catch 2/2 to regain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.[47]

Championships and accomplishments


  1. ^ a b "Profile of Clark Connors". Cagematch. Retrieved November 23, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Clark Connors Matches Per Promotion & Year". CAGEMATCH – The Internet Wrestling Database. Archived from the original on January 1, 2022. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  3. ^ "【新日本】ヤングライオン杯で外国人初V "猛獣"フレドリックスはナイスガイ". 東京スポーツ. September 26, 2019. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  4. ^ "JRA presents Road to Tokyo Dome". New Japan Pro-Wrestling (in Japanese). Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  5. ^ "NJPW G1 Climax 29 finals live results: Kota Ibushi vs. Jay White". 12 August 2019.
  6. ^ "NJPW Super J Cup 2019 - Night 1 Results". 23 August 2019.
  7. ^ "NJPW reveals teams for Super Junior Tag League 2019". 9 October 2019.
  8. ^ Renner, Ethan (2020-01-04). "NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 14 night one live results: Okada vs. Ibushi". WON/F4W - WWE news, Pro Wrestling News, WWE Results, AEW News, AEW results. Retrieved 2024-01-10.
  9. ^ "NJPW Strong results: Lion's Break Crown finals". 10 October 2020.
  10. ^ "NJPW Super J-Cup 2020 - 12 December 2020 - Results". 13 December 2020.
  11. ^ "Clark Connors graduates from NJPW L.A. Dojo, no longer a Young Lion". 25 February 2021.
  12. ^ NJPW Global [@njpwglobal] (May 15, 2021). "Young Lion no more! Say hello to the Wild Rhino that is Clark Connors! Watch NOW: #njcollision #njpwSTRONG" (Tweet). Archived from the original on June 18, 2022. Retrieved July 5, 2022 – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "Entire New Japan Cup USA first round set for Friday's NJPW Strong". 5 April 2021.
  14. ^ "NJPW Strong results: Tag Team Turbulence kicks off". 17 July 2021.
  15. ^ "NJPW Strong results: TJP vs. Clark Connors". 6 February 2022.
  16. ^ "NJPW Strong results: Tom Lawlor vs. Clark Connors Openweight title match". 3 April 2022.
  17. ^ "NJPW Windy City Riot live results: Jon Moxley vs. Will Ospreay". 16 April 2022.
  18. ^ "NJPW LA Dojo Members & More AEW Debuts Announced". 9 May 2022.
  19. ^ "NJPW Best of Super Juniors 29 Lineup Announced, Including Champions from ROH, IMPACT & GLEAT". May 2022.
  20. ^ "NJPW reveals participants for Best of the Super Juniors 28". 8 November 2021.
  21. ^ "NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 29 finals live results: Hiromu vs. El Desperado". 3 June 2022.
  22. ^ "NJPW Star Advances to AEW All-Atlantic Championship Match". 21 June 2022.
  23. ^ "Tomohiro Ishii Injured, Pulled from AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door | Fightful News".
  24. ^ "Pac Crowned the First Ever AEW All-Atlantic Champion at Forbidden Door". 27 June 2022.
  25. ^ Currier, Joseph (July 23, 2022). "Clark Connors unable to compete at NJPW Music City Mayhem due to injury". Figure Four Online. Archived from the original on August 16, 2022. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  26. ^ Vetter, Chris (October 29, 2022). "10/28 NJPW "Rumble on 44th Street" results: Vetter's review of Kazuchika Okada and Eddie Kingston vs. Jay White and Juice Robinson, Shingo Takagi vs. El Phantasmo for the KOPW Title, Fred Rosser vs. Jonathan Gresham for the NJPW Strong Openweight Title, Aussie Open vs. Motor City Machine Guns vs. The DKC and Kevin Knight for the NJPW Strong Openweight Tag Titles". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Archived from the original on October 30, 2022. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  27. ^ Carey, Ian (14 December 2022). "NJPW World Tag League & Super Junior Tag League winners crowned". WON/F4W - WWE news, Pro Wrestling News, WWE Results, AEW News, AEW results. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  28. ^ "NJPW Battle in the Valley 2023 Results – TJR Wrestling". 19 February 2023.
  29. ^ Williams, Suit (9 March 2023). "Ring of Honor TV live results: Athena vs. Nightingale title match". WON/F4W - WWE news, Pro Wrestling News, WWE Results, AEW News, AEW results. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  30. ^ Pizzazz, Manolo Has (2023-03-16). "Wheeler Yuta beats NJPW student, challenges NJPW teacher Shibata". Cageside Seats. Retrieved 2023-04-13.
  31. ^ "Multiverse United: Only the STRONG Survive 2023 Full Results – IMPACT Wrestling".
  32. ^ Rose, Bryan (15 April 2023). "Clark Connors joins Bullet Club at NJPW Capital Collision". WON/F4W - WWE news, Pro Wrestling News, WWE Results, AEW News, AEW results. Retrieved 24 May 2023.
  33. ^ "NJPW Collision in Philadelphia live results: Aussie Open vs. Ishii & Lio Rush". 16 April 2023.
  34. ^ "Complete lineups for Best of the Super Juniors tournament". 3 May 2023.
  35. ^ "Finals Set for NJPW 2023 Best of the Super Juniors Tournament". 26 May 2023.
  36. ^ "Catch 2/2 Win IWGP Junior Tag Titles at NJPW Dominion, Dan Moloney Turns on United Empire | Fightful News".
  37. ^ Fisher, Kieran (2023-07-04). "Bullet Club Captures Gold At NJPW STRONG Independence Day". Wrestling Inc. Retrieved 2024-01-10.
  38. ^ Fritts, Chick (2023-07-05). "NJPW Strong Independence Day night two live results: Moxley vs. Desperado Final Death match". Retrieved 2024-01-10.
  39. ^ Fritts, Chick (2023-10-09). "NJPW Destruction in Ryogoku live results: SANADA vs. EVIL lumberjack match". Retrieved 2024-01-10.
  40. ^ Fritts, Chick (2023-10-14). "NJPW Royal Quest III live results: Will Ospreay vs. Zack Sabre Jr". Retrieved 2024-01-10.
  41. ^ Ravens, Andrew (2023-10-12). "NJPW Announces Teams For 2023 Super Junior Tag League Tournament". Wrestling Headlines. Retrieved 2024-01-10.
  42. ^ Carey, Ian (2023-11-02). "Finals set for NJPW Super Junior Tag League". Retrieved 2024-01-10.
  43. ^ Renner, Ethan (2023-11-04). "NJPW crowns Super Junior Tag League 2023 winners". Retrieved 2024-01-10.
  44. ^ Renner, Ethan (2023-12-21). "NJPW's first-ever coffin match added to Road to Tokyo Dome event". Retrieved 2024-01-10.
  45. ^ Fritts, Chick (2024-01-04). "NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 18 live results: SANADA vs. Naito, Okada vs. Danielson". Retrieved 2024-01-10.
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  48. ^ "Lion's Break Crown Results". New Japan Pro-Wrestling. October 9, 2020. Archived from the original on July 1, 2022. Retrieved February 25, 2023.
  49. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2022". The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved September 14, 2022.