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Piper Niven
Birth nameKimberly Benson
Born (1991-05-06) 6 May 1991 (age 30)
Ayrshire, Scotland
ResidenceAyrshire, Scotland
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Doudrop[1]
Piper Niven[1]
Viper[2]
Billed fromAyrshire, Scotland[3]
Trained byDamian O'Connor
Mikey Whiplash[4]
Debut2007

Kimberly Benson (born 6 May 1991) is a Scottish professional wrestler better known by the ring name Piper Niven. She is currently signed to WWE, where she performs on the Raw brand as Doudrop. Prior to signing with WWE, Benson wrestled under the ring name Viper on the independent circuit for various promotions. She is a former two-time ICW Women's Champion, one-time Artist of Stardom Champion, and one-time SWA World Champion.

Early life

Kimberly Benson was born on 6 May 1991, in Ayrshire, Scotland.[2][5][6]

Professional wrestling career

Independent circuit (2007–2019)

Before turning into a wrestler, she kept her love for professional wrestling as a secret due to being worried that her female friends thought she was "weird" as they believed that was only a sport for men.[6] It wasn't until she was 15, and when her oldest nephew began to watch wrestling, that Benson's passion was rekindled and she was open about enjoying wrestling.[6] She was introduced to this sport at a training school near her Ayrshire home and, according to her, she debuted at age 16 one year after beginning her training; making accounts with her age, this was in 2007.[6] About her training, she said: "I got beat up, totally beat up. I remember lying in bed the next day, being so sore and in absolute agony, but I just loved it, I had to go back."[6]

She was part of the special program of ITV World of Sport Wrestling celebrated on New Year's Eve 2016, and until April of that year, she was programmed to appear on a revival of the series.[6] However, a month later before filming was set to begin, the project was postponed indefinitely.[6][7] Although not long after, she received a phone call from WWE, one of the largest wrestling companies in the world, asking her to be part of the women's tournament, Mae Young Classic 2017.[6][7] The event took place in 2017 and was an all-women tournament. Benson asked World of Sport Wrestling to release her from her contract to participate in the competition.[8] She competed as Piper Niven since the name she was using was Viper and that was already the name of a WWE star inside the company, deciding to choose that name because she played bagpipes as a child, and Niven is her dad's first name.[6] She defeated Santana Garrett in the first round[9] and Serena Deeb in the round two,[10] before being defeated by Toni Storm in the quarterfinals.[11]

Also in 2017, she worked in Japan as Viper for the company World Wonder Ring Stardom. On 7 January of that year at the event Stardom New Years Stars 2017 – Tag 2, she was part of the team "Oedo Tai" with Kagetsu and Kyoko Kimura as a replacement for Hana Kimura who was injured, where she tried to help the team to retain the Artist of Stardom Championship against "Queen's Quest" a team integrated by HZK, Io Shirai and Momo Watanabe, in which they were defeated and they lost the title.[12] On 13 August, she joined Queen's Quest along with Shirai and HZK to face the team "Team Jungle" integrated by Hiroyo Matsumoto, Jungle Kyona and Kaori Yoneyama in a match for the Artist of Stardom Championship at the event Midsummer Champions 2017, in which they achieved to win the title and Viper crown herself champion.[13][14] On 16 September, Viper participated at the event 5★Star Grand Prix 2017 of Stardom, where she draw with Mayu Iwatani both with 10 points.[15] Along with Queen's Quest, managed to defend and retain the Artistic Championship three times[16] before they left it vacant on 15 April 2018 after a draft executed by Stardom, ending their reign with 245.[17] One month before that same year, on 28 March, she faced Toni Storm at the Stardom Dream Slam in Tokyo event in a match for her SWA World Championship, in which the ICW Women's Championship of Viper was also in the line, where she defeated Storm to capture the title, emerging victorious with both championships.[18] Defended and retained the championship twice[19] before losing it in a match against Utami Hayashishita at the Stardom 8th Anniversary event held on 14 January 2019, in which she also put her EVE International Championship at stake, where she was defeated and lost both titles,[20] ending her reign with the SWA Championship in 292 days[21] and with the EVE Championship in 92 days.[22]

WWE

NXT UK (2019–2021)

In early 2019, a rumour started spreading in which it was said and expected that Niven signed with WWE,[23][24] which came out to be true when she appeared and debuted on 27 March episode of NXT UK that year, where she confronted Rhea Ripley.[25] Niven had her first televised match with WWE after being signed on a special program entitled WWE Worlds Collide on 24 April, which consisted on various matches that involved wrestlers from all the brands; Raw, SmackDown, NXT, 205 Live and NXT UK, this last one was the brand that she belonged to and represented, defeating Zelina Vega of SmackDown.[26] On 19 June episode of NXT UK, Niven competed in a battle royal to determine who would have a future opportunity to face the NXT UK Women's Champion Toni Storm. In the match, Niven was eliminated by Xia Brookside.[27]

On 12 January 2020 at the NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II event, Niven competed in a triple threat match against Toni Storm and Kay Lee Ray for the NXT UK Women's Championship, where Niven was defeated and pinned by Kay Lee.[28] Niven returned to NXT UK television on 24 September of that year, where she challenged Kay Lee Ray in a match for the NXT UK Women's Championship, where she was defeated.[29] On 19 November, Niven challenged Ray in a Falls Count Anywhere match for the NXT UK Women's Championship. Niven was again defeated by Kay Lee due to an interference made by Jinny.[30]

Niven lost to Jinny in a No. 1 contenders match for the NXT UK Women's Championship on episode 7 January 2021 of NXT UK.[31] On 11 March, Niven and Jack Starz defeated Jinny and Joseph Conners in the NXT UK's first-ever mixed tag team match.[32][33]

Raw (2021–present)

On 14 June 2021 episode of Raw, Niven was traded to the brand as Eva Marie's unnamed protégé, defeating Naomi in her debut match.[34] The following week on Raw, Marie subsequently renamed her as Doudrop, and later that night, she and Marie were defeated in a tag team match by Asuka and Naomi.[35] At SummerSlam, Doudrop turned against Marie,[36] and on the following episode of Raw, Marie attacked Doudrop during an interview; starting a feud between them.[37] After defeating Marie twice on 13 and 20 September episodes of Raw,[38][39] on the next episode, Doudrop challenged Charlotte Flair for the Raw Women's Championship in a losing effort due to a distraction by Marie.[40] In October, Doudrop entered the Queen's Crown tournament, where she defeated Natalya in the first round.[41]

Other media

Benson is the subject of the episode Fight Like a Girl of the documentary series Our Lives by BBC, in which she talks about her life as a professional wrestler.[42][43]

Personal life

On the Celebrate Bisexuality Day on 23 September 2019, Benson came out as bisexual.[44] On 13 December of the same year, she shared that she has Bell's palsy.[45] On 11 September 2021, Benson revealed that she had gotten married.[46]

Championships and accomplishments

References

  1. ^ a b Thomas, Jeremy (21 June 2021). "Piper Niven Gets Name On WWE Raw, Costs Eva Marie Money in the Bank Slot". 411MANIA. Retrieved 23 June 2021.
  2. ^ a b Brocklehurst, Steven (10 June 2018). "Kimberley Benson aka Viper: 'People wrote me off because of my size'". BBC Scotland News. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  3. ^ "Piper Niven". World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  4. ^ "Piper Niven". Cagematch.net. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  5. ^ "Piper Niven". Súper Luchas. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i Asl, Nasim (18 November 2017). "The wrestler getting 'hit like the boys'". BBC News. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  7. ^ a b Sanchez, Jonathan (3 September 2017). "Piper Niven da su opinión sobre cierto tipo de luchadoras". Planeta Wrestling (in Spanish). Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  8. ^ Jazz Abes, Nacho (1 June 2017). "Algunos luchadores de World of Sport piden a ITV rescindir sus contratos" [Some World of Sport fighters ask ITV to terminate their contracts]. Solowrestling.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  9. ^ Powell, Jason (28 August 2017). "Powell's WWE Mae Young Classic Review: Episode Three featuring Ayesha Raymond vs. Toni Storm, Kavita Devi vs. Dakota Kai, Bianca Belair vs. Sage Beckett, and Santana Garrett vs. Piper Nevin". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  10. ^ Powell, Jason (5 September 2017). "Powell's WWE Mae Young Classic Review: Episode Five featuring second round tournament matches". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  11. ^ Powell, Jason (5 September 2017). "Powell's WWE Mae Young Classic Review: Episode Seven featuring the four quarterfinal tournament matches". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  12. ^ "Stardom New Years Stars 2017 – Tag 2". cagematch.net. Retrieved 26 July 2020.
  13. ^ a b Meltzer, Dave (13 August 2017). "DAILY UPDATE: RIC FLAIR HOSPITALIZED, G1 RESULTS, SHIBATA". f4wonline. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  14. ^ Angelita, Dark (15 August 2017). "Stardom: Resultados "MidSummer Champions 2017" 13/08/2017 Mayu Iwatani retiene, Mary Apache se corona". Superluchas. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  15. ^ Dark Angelita (18 September 2017). "Stardom: Resultados "5* Star Grand Prix 2017" 16/09/2017 Viper empata en el liderato de su grupo". Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  16. ^ "Artist Of Stardom Championship". Cagematch. Retrieved 13 July 2021.
  17. ^ We are Stardom (15 April 2018). "The Artist of Stardom belts are officially vacant as a result of the draft". Twitter. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
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  23. ^ Martínez, Sebastián (9 January 2019). "WWE noticias: Viper podría incorporarse a NXT UK – Heavy Machinery en el dark match de SmackDown" [WWE news: Viper could join NXT UK – Heavy Machinery in the dark match of SmackDown]. Solowrestling.com (in Spanish). Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  24. ^ Lambert, Jeremy (13 January 2019). "Report: Piper Niven Expected To Sign With WWE; Offer Made To Bea Priestley". Fightful. Retrieved 15 July 2021.
  25. ^ Lambert, Jeremy (27 March 2019). "Piper Niven (Viper) Makes NXT UK Debut". Fightful. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  26. ^ Knipper, Justin (25 April 2019). "WWE Worlds Collide results: Storm vs. Cross vs. Belair". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  27. ^ Gleed, Haydn (19 June 2019). "6/19 NXT UK TV results: Gleed's summary of the battle royal for a shot at the NXT UK Women's Championship, Mark Coffey and Wolfgang vs. The Hunt, Kassius Ohno vs. Kenny Williams". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 26 April 2021.
  28. ^ Garretson, Jordan (12 January 2020). "NXT UK Women's Champion Kay Lee Ray def. Piper Niven and Toni Storm". WWE. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  29. ^ Garretson, Jordan (24 September 2020). "NXT UK results, Sept. 24, 2020". WWE. Retrieved 22 March 2021.
  30. ^ Gronemann, Markus (19 November 2020). "NXT UK results: Women's title falls count anywhere match". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  31. ^ Cook, Ryan (7 January 2021). "WWE NXT UK Results for 1/7/21 Jordan Devlin Retains, New #1 Contender for the NXT UK Women's Title". Fightful. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  32. ^ Harris, Jeffrey (4 March 2021). "First-Ever NXT UK Mixed Tag Team Match, Teoman Debut, More Confirmed for Next Week's Show". 411MANIA. Retrieved 21 March 2021. For the first mixed tag team match in NXT UK history, Jinny will team with Joseph Connors against Piper Niven and Jack Starz.
  33. ^ Gibbons, Laurence (12 March 2021). "3/11 NXT UK TV results: Gibbons' review of Tyler Bate vs. Dave Mastiff in a Heritage Cup rules match, Piper Niven and Jack Starz vs. Jinny and Joseph Conners in a mixed tag match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
  34. ^ Powell, Jason (14 June 2021). "6/14 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of Drew McIntyre vs. AJ Styles, Randy Orton and Riddle vs. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods, Raw Women's Champion Rhea Ripley vs. Asuka, Charlotte Flair vs. Nikki Cross, Eva Marie vs. Naomi, final Hell in a Cell hype". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  35. ^ Powell, Jason (21 June 2021). "6/21 WWE Raw Results: Powell's live review of Drew McIntyre vs. Riddle, Ricochet vs. AJ Styles, Randy Orton vs. John Morrison, Asuka and Naomi vs. Eva Marie and Doudrop, and Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross vs. Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler in Money in the Bank ladder match qualifiers". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  36. ^ Powell, Jason (21 August 2021). "WWE SummerSlam results: Powell's review of Roman Reigns vs. John Cena for the WWE Universal Championship, Bianca Belair vs. Sasha Banks for the Smackdown Women's Championship, Bobby Lashley vs. Goldberg for the WWE Championship, Edge vs. Seth Rollins, Nikki ASH vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Rhea Ripley for the Raw Women's Championship". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
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  38. ^ Tedesco, Mike (13 September 2021). "WWE Raw Results – 9/13/21 (Big E to cash in Money in the Bank, Lashley vs. Orton for WWE Championship)". Wrestleview. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  39. ^ Tedesco, Mike (20 September 2021). "WWE Raw Results – 9/20/21 (The New Day vs. The Bloodline, Big E celebrates becoming WWE Champion)". Wrestleview. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  40. ^ Tedesco, Mike (27 September 2021). "WWE Raw Results – 9/27/21 (WWE Championship match kicks off the show, Extreme Rules fallout)". Wrestleview. Retrieved 29 September 2021.
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  42. ^ "BBC – Our Lives, Series 2, Fight Like a Girl". bbc.co.uk. BBC. Retrieved 20 February 2021. Documentary following Kimberly Benson – aka Viper – a top female wrestler from Scotland, as she fights in some of the most important matches of her career.
  43. ^ Dagnall, Matt (12 June 2018). "Fight Like a Girl Report: BBC One Documentary on Kimberly 'Viper' Benson". PWInsider. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  44. ^ C. Bell, Brian (24 September 2019). "WWE's Piper Niven comes out as bisexual". Outsports. Vox Media. Retrieved 20 March 2021.
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  46. ^ Lee, Joseph (11 September 2021). "Doudrop Got Married This Weekend (Pics)". 411MANIA. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
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  50. ^ a b "ICW Fear and Loathing VIII Results: Grado vs. Drew Galloway". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. 16 November 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2021.
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  52. ^ "PCW Women's Championship". Cagematch. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
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