JD McDonagh
McDonagh in January 2018
Birth nameJordan Devlin
Born (1990-03-15) 15 March 1990 (age 33)
Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Aguila Artois
Aguila II[1]
Frank David
Jordan Devlin
JD McDonagh
Billed height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)[2]
Billed weight180 lb (82 kg)[2]
Billed fromBray, County Wicklow, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland
Trained byFinn Bálor
Paul Tracey
Debut2006

Jordan Devlin (born 15 March 1990) is an Irish professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the Raw brand under the ring name JD McDonagh. He is a member of The Judgment Day stable. He previously performed in NXT UK, where he was a one-time and the longest-reigning NXT Cruiserweight Champion. His other accomplishments include being a two-time OTT World Champion and a one-time PROGRESS Tag Team Champion. Devlin is also known for his tenure in Japan with Pro Wrestling Zero1, wrestling under the name Frank David and becoming a one-time Zero1 International Lightweight Tag Team Champion.

Early life

Devlin was born on 15 March 1990 in Bray, County Wicklow.[2] He was educated at C.B.C. Monkstown in Dublin's Monkstown suburb, and later graduated with a BA from University College Dublin.

Professional wrestling career

Independent circuit (2006–2018, 2019–2020, 2022)

Beginning when he was 16 years old, Devlin was trained to be a professional wrestler by Fergal Devitt (also known as Finn Bálor) and Paul Tracey.[2][3] At the age of 21, Devlin spent six months wrestling for Pro Wrestling Zero1 in Japan, where he and Shawn Guinness would win the Zero1 International Lightweight Tag Team Champion.[3]

Devlin is the inaugural Over the Top Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion, having defeated Timothy Thatcher in February 2018. He was defeated by WALTER for the title on 18 August 2018.

In 2013, Devlin began appearing for Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW), where he unsuccessfully competed for several titles. In his debut, he and Shawn Maxer challenged the Bucky Boys for the ICW Tag Team Championships in a Three Way with Fight Club at ICW: Get Yer Rat Oot.[4] He wrestled both Trent Seven and Joe Coffey individually for the ICW World Heavyweight Championship in 2017.[5][6] He lastly unsuccessfully challenged BT Gunn[7] (ICW: Fight Club) for the ICW Zero-G Championship in 2017 before getting another opportunity at ICW: BarraMania 4 in a gauntlet match where he was eliminated by Andy Wild.[8][9][10] In non-title action, he also wrestled Kenny Williams, Stevie Boy and Mikey Whiplash among others.[11][12]

Devlin became a Progress Tag Team Champion alongside Scotty Davis after defeating Grizzled Young Veterans and Aussie Open at Progress Chapter 95: Still Chasing but were later stripped of the titles after 278 days due to allegations made against Devlin during the Speaking Out movement[13][14]

WWE (2017–present)

NXT UK and NXT (2017–2023)

Devlin in 2018

On 15 December 2016, Devlin was announced as one of 16 men competing in the first ever United Kingdom Championship Tournament to crown the first ever WWE United Kingdom Champion on 14 and 15 January 2017.[15] Devlin defeated Danny Burch in the first round, advancing to the quarter finals, where he was defeated by Tyler Bate.[16][17] Devlin also appeared at several WWE live shows.[18] On 18 May 2018, WWE announced via their YouTube channel that Devlin would be one of 16 contestants in the second annual United Kingdom Championship Tournament.[19] He defeated Tyson T-Bone in the first round but lost to Flash Morgan Webster in round two.

After some disagreements in the following episodes of NXT UK, a match against Travis Banks was agreed for NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool. However, that night both competitors attacked each other before the bell was hit, with Banks being the most affected. Devlin, getting into the ring, referred to himself as Ireland's best fighter, therefore establishing himself as a heel. He was interrupted by the general manager of the brand, Johnny Saint, who went out to agree a match against an unknown fighter who turned out to be Finn Bálor.

On 26 and 27 January, Devlin participated in the Worlds Collide tournament which featured superstars from NXT, 205 Live, and NXT UK. He won a 15-man battle royal to earn a bye in the first round. He defeated Drew Gulak in the quarterfinals while being eliminated by Velveteen Dream in the semifinals.

On the 23 January episode of NXT UK, Devlin defeated El Ligero in an NXT Cruiserweight Championship Qualifying Match to face Angel Garza for the NXT Cruiserweight Championship. At Worlds Collide, Devlin won a fatal four way match, defeating Travis Banks, Isaiah "Swerve" Scott, and Angel Garza to become the new NXT Cruiserweight Champion.[20] Devlin would go on to successfully defend the title all over NXT, NXT UK and 205 Live against opponents such as Lio Rush, Tony Nese, Tyler Breeze and Banks.

In April 2020, it was revealed that Devlin was unable to defend the Cruiserweight Championship due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland. This led to the announcement of a tournament to crown an interim Cruiserweight Champion, which was won by Santos Escobar. Devlin responded by calling whoever won the tournament a "fraud" and stating that he would prove himself as the true Cruiserweight Champion upon his eventual return. On 10 March 2021, it was revealed that Devlin would appear in NXT on the following week to enter into his feud with the interim Cruiserweight Champion, Santos Escobar. On Night 2 of NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, Escobar defeated Devlin to end his reign at 438 days.[21]

The following week, Devlin confronted Ilja Dragunov. Although he did not say anything, he made his intentions to challenge Dragunov for the NXT UK Championship quite clear. Devlin faced Ilja Dragunov in an empty arena, but failed to capture the NXT UK Championship.[22] After trading verbal shots with Ilja Dragunov, Devlin would get another chance at the NXT UK Championship, under the stipulation that the loser leaves NXT UK. The match would take place on the 200th episode of NXT UK where Devlin failed to win the title, marking his final appearance for the brand.[23]

On the 21 June episode of NXT 2.0, a vignette aired announcing Devlin's arrival on the NXT brand under the new ring name JD McDonagh. At NXT: The Great American Bash on 5 July, he made his debut by attacking NXT Champion Bron Breakker after he defended the title against Cameron Grimes.[24] On the 12 July episode of NXT 2.0, McDonagh interrupted Grimes on stage and attacked him, only for the latter to retaliate, thus setting up a match between the two the following week, which he won.[25] At NXT Heatwave on 16 August, McDonagh unsuccessfully challenged Breakker for the NXT Championship. McDonagh received another title shot, at Halloween Havoc on October 22, in a triple threat match also involving Ilja Dragunov, but once again failed to win the title; this marked McDonagh's final appearance in NXT prior to being drafted.

Raw and The Judgment Day (2023–present)

Main article: The Judgment Day

As part of the 2023 WWE Draft, McDonagh was drafted to the Raw brand.[26] In his debut match on the 29 May episode of Raw, he fought Dolph Ziggler to a double count-out draw. Following this, McDonagh started appearing in backstage segments with his real-life mentor Finn Bálor, a member of The Judgment Day stable. After a brief hiatus, McDonagh returned on the 7 August episode of Raw in weekly attempts to gain favor with The Judgment Day but was kept at arm's length by Damian Priest. At Payback, McDonagh interfered in Bálor's and Priest's street fight match against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn to help them successfully capture the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship.[27] On the following episode of Raw, McDonagh gave Priest a customized Money in the Bank briefcase. Later that night, McDonagh defeated Zayn after interference from Dominik Mysterio.[28] In the following weeks, McDonagh would aid the group in their matches, including helping Mysterio recapture the NXT North American Championship on the 3 October episode of NXT. On the 13 November episode of Raw, McDonagh officially joined The Judgment Day after Priest gave him a new jacket.[29] McDonagh participated in his first WarGames match at Survivor Series: WarGames alongside The Judgment Day and Drew McIntyre against Cody Rhodes, Zayn, Jey Uso, Seth Rollins and the returning Randy Orton in a losing effort. At the closing stages of the match, McDonagh was thrown off the cage by Zayn and Rollins into an RKO from Orton.[30] On the 18 December episode of Raw, McDonagh was defeated by R-Truth in a Miracle on 34th Street Fight match with a Loser Leaves The Judgment Day stipulation. Later that night, Priest informed McDonagh that he is still a part of The Judgment Day.[31]

Other media

In May 2017, Devlin appeared in the WWE 24 network special on Finn Bálor. Devlin is a playable character in WWE 2K22 as Jordan Devlin, and in WWE 2K23 as JD McDonagh.[citation needed]

Personal life

In June 2020, during the Speaking Out movement, Devlin was accused of physical abuse by a former partner.[32] Devlin denied the allegations.[33] He would be suspended indefinitely by Progress Wrestling following the allegations.[34]

Championships and accomplishments

References

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