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Steve Bradley
Birth nameSteven James Bisson
Born(1975-12-10)December 10, 1975
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
DiedDecember 4, 2008(2008-12-04) (aged 32)
Manchester, New Hampshire, USA
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Steve Bradley
Billed height6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Billed weight245 lb (111 kg)
Trained byLes Thatcher
Tom Prichard
Debut1991
Retired2005

Steven James Bisson (December 10, 1975 – December 4, 2008) was an American professional wrestler who wrestled under the ring name Steve Bradley. He competed in various North American independent promotions as well as spending over three years in World Wrestling Entertainment developmental territories including Power Pro Wrestling, Heartland Wrestling Association, Memphis Championship Wrestling and Ohio Valley Wrestling.

He was also the owner and head trainer at Wrestling Federation of America (WFA), a New Hampshire based Indy Promotion. Notable graduates include Alex Arion, Antonio Thomas, Brandon Locke, Brian Fury, Matt Spectro, Scott Reed, Nicole Raczynski and Max Smashmaster.

Biography

Early career and Power Pro Wrestling

At the age of 15, Bradley made his professional debut in 1991 becoming a mainstay of various East Coast promotions during the 1990s. He wrestled for a taping for WWF Superstars of Wrestling where he teamed with Joe DeLeon losing to The Bodydonnas on April 2, 1996. In 1998, Bradley signed a 3-year developmental contract with the World Wrestling Federation and began training under Tom Prichard at WWF Headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut with Kurt Angle.[1]

Assigned to Memphis-based Power Pro Wrestling, both he and Angle began feuding with each other over the PPW Heavyweight title eventually defeating Angle for the title on August 7, 1999 [2] and becoming the first man to pin Angle in his professional career.[3] Their feud would be voted "Underrated Feud of the Year" by Pro Wrestling Illustrated that same year.

In March 1999, he won the third annual ECWA Super 8 Tournament defeating Ace Darling and Devon Storm, before beating Christopher Daniels in the finals.

He later feuded with Vic Grimes, defeating him for the PPW Young Guns Championship on July 19. He lost the PPW Heavyweight title to Grimes on September 18 before regaining it a week later on September 25, 1999.

World Wrestling Federation

After the WWF ended their developmental agreement with Power Pro Wrestling, Bradley was brought into IWA Puerto Rico where he feuded with Savio Vega and won the IWA World Tag Team Championship twice with Andy Anderson as Club WWF.[4]

He was eventually assigned to Memphis Championship Wrestling, a new developmental territory, in early 2001 and began wrestling with Essa Ríos and Lita on WWF house shows and dark matches on television tapings throughout the United States.[5] He appeared at WrestleMania X-Seven to take part in WrestleMania Axxess.[6] He also participated in a spot at Wrestlemania X-Seven as a golf cart driver thrown from his cart.[7]

Spending the next two years in Ohio Valley Wrestling and the Heartland Wrestling Association, Bradley would win the HWA Tag Team Championship three times with Val Venis and Lance Cade.[6][8] and eventually became involved in booking for the promotion before being released from his developmental contract in July 2002.[9]

Later Career

After WWF, he worked in the independent circuit in New England for New England Championship Wrestling and Wrestling Federation of America where he worked there until his last match in 2005.[10]

Death and legacy

Bradley was found dead on December 4, 2008 in a parking lot across the street from where he once operated a pro wrestling school in Manchester, New Hampshire. Bradley's cause of death was not determined.[11] In trying to determine whether drugs could have played a factor in his death, autopsy results were inconclusive. Bradley was indicted on possession of heroin charges only a month before his death. Police do not believe any foul play was involved however.[12]

In 2017, Bradley was mentioned by Kurt Angle in his WWE Hall of Fame speech, and thanked him for being an "unsung hero".[13]

Championships and accomplishments

  • Class of 2009
  • Ranked him No. 83 of the 500 best singles wrestlers in the PWI 500 in 2002
  • Mentor of the Mayhem (2013)[20]
  • YPW Interstate Championship (1 time)[21]

See also

References

  1. ^ Angle, Kurt. It's True! It's True!. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2001. ISBN 0-06-109893-0 (pg. 140-141)
  2. ^ "Steve Bradley wrestles Kurt Angle on Power Pro Wrestling TV". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  3. ^ "Steve Bradley defeats Kurt Angle for PPW Championship". Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  4. ^ Oliver, Greg (2001-08-28). "The Lone Wolf in the Puerto Rican war, Canada's Andy Anderson succeeding in the IWA". SLAM! Sports.
  5. ^ Dumas, Amy and Michael Krugman. Lita: A Less Traveled R.O.A.D.--The Reality of Amy Dumas. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003. ISBN 0-7434-7399-X (pg. 141)
  6. ^ a b "Steve Bradley OWW Bio". Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  7. ^ "This Day in History: Gerweck.net". Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  8. ^ Milner, John H. (2005-09-15). "Bios: Lance Cade". SLAM! Sports.
  9. ^ Mooneyham, Mike (2002-07-20). "The Wrestling Gospel According to Mike Mooneyham: Vince, Bischoff Form Unlikely Duo". MikeMooneyham.com. Archived from the original on 2008-12-08.
  10. ^ https://www.cagematch.net/?id=2&nr=735&page=20. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ Lash, Adam (2008-12-04). "More on the death of former WWE developmental talent Steve Bradley". Indy Wrestling News.
  12. ^ "N.H. police investigate pro wrestler's death". Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  13. ^ "KELLer's WWE HALL OF FAME REPORT 3/31: Kurt Angle, Rock 'n' Roll Express, DDP, Rick Rude, Teddy Long, Beth Phoenix". April 2017.
  14. ^ "East Coast Wrestling Association - Super 8". ECWAprowrestling.com. 2004. Archived from the original on 2007-08-11.
  15. ^ "Heartland Wrestling Association Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  16. ^ "I.W.A. World Tag Team Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  17. ^ "M.C.W. Southern Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  18. ^ "Power Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  19. ^ "Power Pro Wrestling Young Guns Title". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
  20. ^ "PWF Genesis XII results". Retrieved 25 February 2013.
  21. ^ Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.