The Highlanders
Rory (left) and Robbie McAllister in 2007
Tag team
MembersRobbie McAllister
Rory McAllister
Name(s)The Highlanders
Scottish Highlanders
Billed heights6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) – Rory[1]
6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) – Robbie[1]
billed weight
488 lb (221 kg; 34.9 st)
HometownOban, Scotland, United Kingdom[2]
Billed fromOban, Scotland[3]
DisbandedJanuary 18, 2014
Years active2000–2014
TrainerWaldo Von Erich,[1][4] Fuego Del Sol

The Highlanders were a Scottish professional wrestling tag team consisting of storyline cousins Robbie McAllister (Derek Graham-Couch)[4] and Rory McAllister (Russell Murray)[2][4] (born 28 March 1976) who were best known for wrestling for World Wrestling Entertainment on the Raw brand.


Couch and Murray were both born and raised in Oban, Scotland, where the team was billed from.[1]

Couch first started going to a wrestling school at the behest of co-worker at CAMI Automotive, Inc.[5] where he met future tag team partner Murray. The two were trained by Waldo Von Erich at the Von Erich/Hart Brothers School of Wrestling.[1][4]

Independent circuit (2001–2005)

They debuted in 2001, and the two men began wrestling as the team Highlanders with promotions such as GLCW, PWA and NSPW, which ran shows in Ontario, Canada.[1][4] They also had longtime feud with another team out of the Ontario indy scene known as the Texas Hell-Razors which lasted for over 2 years. They also worked dark matches for WWE since 2003 and debuted on Heat in a losing effort against Tajiri and Rhyno on July 26, 2004.[1][4][6] The team's last independent match before signing to WWE, was for PWA against Andrew Davis and Phil Latio in Cambridge, Ontario.

World Wrestling Entertainment (2005-2008)

Ohio Valley Wrestling (2005–2006)

In July 2005, they signed a developmental deal with World Wrestling Entertainment and were assigned to their "farm territory" Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) where they wrestled for several months.[4]

Robbie (left) and Rory McAllister leaving the ring after a match
Robbie (left) and Rory McAllister leaving the ring after a match

In June 2006 vignettes began airing on Raw featuring The Highlanders exploring "the big city" and comparing the differences to their native Scotland in classic Fish Out Of Water style.[5]

Raw (2006–2008)

The Highlanders made their Raw debut on 3 July, with a victory over the duo of Matt Striker and Rob Conway.[7] They followed this victory with another over the same team and were put on the fast track to a match for the Spirit Squad's Tag Team Title.[8] When they were granted a match against Spirit Squad members Kenny and Mikey, The Highlanders were defeated after abundant interference by the other members.[9] Throughout the month of August, The Highlanders continued to battle different tag teams until they won a Triple Threat tag team match over the team of Charlie Haas and Viscera and Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, which made them the number one contenders to the Spirit Squad's title on the 4 September edition of Raw.[10] They were unsuccessful in winning the title at Unforgiven, again because of interference from Spirit Squad members not technically a part of the match.[11]

The Highlanders went on to lose a Texas Tornado match at Cyber Sunday and a Tag Team Turmoil match at New Year's Revolution for a future tag tile shot. In-between the pay-per-views, The Highlanders briefly feuded with Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, both teams exchanging wins on Heat before ending the feud on the 4 December episode of Raw, defeating Cade and Murdoch in a Roddy Piper tribute match.

In late 2006, they mostly competed on Raw's sister show Heat, occasionally making appearances on Raw, throughout 2007, primarily to job to other teams or singles wrestlers such as Snitsky.[2][12] On the 24 September 2007 episode of Raw, The Highlanders interrupted a match between Paul London and Brian Kendrick and Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch, due to The Highlanders getting tired of being held back from a World Tag Team Championship opportunity, thus the duo turning heel.[13] Nothing came of this turn, however, as they lost a number one contenders match on 12 November.[14] They then feuded with London and Kendrick and Jim Duggan and Super Crazy, mainly on Heat.

The Highlanders had a Royal Rumble qualifying match, but lost to the team of Mick Foley and Hornswoggle The Highlanders only appeared once on ECW before Rory tore his pectoral muscle and was sidelined for six months on February 2008.[2][4] They lost to then WWE Tag Team champions John Morrison and The Miz. Robbie started wrestling on Raw again during this time, mostly on Heat and also formed a brief tag team with Charlie Haas during this time. Robbie also made an appearance on the 17 March episode of Raw as a part of the Raw roster taking on John Cena and Randy Orton. Robbie was the fourth man to be pinned, when Cena pinned him after a flying leg drop.

In their last televised match on 11 August 2008 they were defeated by Cryme Tyme.[15] Both members of the team were released from WWE on 15 August 2008.[16]

Return to independent circuit (2008–2014)

In September 2008, Rory and Robbie returned to the Independent wrestling scene appearing mostly in single matches all over the U.S. and Canada, as well as Europe. In April 2010 they became the CWI tag team champs in Ontario Canada. Also in 2010, Robbie became the MPW Ontario heavyweight champion by defeating Tyson Dux. In August 2011 Highlander Robbie appeared on the CWI east coast tour with his hair cut short and beard shaved off and announced he was no longer Highlander Robbie McAllister and from that point on he was to be known as Robert Graham.

The Highlanders reunited on 19 January 2013 at the WAR X - 10th Anniversary show in Lima, Ohio.[17] The two would reunited again for the last time at WAR 11th Anniversary on 18 January 2014.[18]

Personal life

Murray, a graduate of Clemson University, and his girlfriend Gina have a son named Ian who was born on 4 February 2008.[4][19] The pair met in Cincinnati, Ohio, where they both reside.[4]

Robbie married Rhonda in 2003, and they have a son named Treyton, born on 27 April 1996.

The Highlanders both have Scottish designed tattoos, of which some represent their families.[20]

On the live, 27 March 2008 episode of TNA Impact!, Robbie was in attendance at the Impact Zone and was shown on camera (under his real name to prevent a WWE/TNA lawsuit).[4] This reportedly had a WWE official calling him and ordering that he leave immediately, which he did.[4] The event was mere days prior to WrestleMania weekend when both companies were in the Orlando area. Robbie lost his $5,000 Wrestlemania paycheck due to the appearance.[21] Robbie later said in an interview that "I was very unhappy in WWE, and in retrospect I think it was kind of my way to get fired."[22]

Robbie signals to the crowd
Robbie signals to the crowd

Championships and accomplishments

Robbie McAllister in January 2011
Robbie McAllister in January 2011


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Rennie, Steve (19 April 2005). "Highlanders set sights on WWE". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 6 July 2006.
  2. ^ a b c d "The Highlanders Tag Team Profile". Online World Of Wrestling. Retrieved 16 January 2008.
  3. ^ "Rory McAllister Bio". World Wrestling Entertainment. Archived from the original on 2 February 2007. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Xamin, Mark. "Humble Highlander grateful for WWE run". SLAM! Sports. Retrieved 9 September 2008.
  5. ^ a b Smith, Cory. "Highlanders make their Raw debut". Slam! Sports. Canadian Online Explorer. Retrieved 5 July 2006.
  6. ^ "WWE Raw Results – July 26, 2004". Online World Of Wrestling. 16 July 2004. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  7. ^ Williams III, Ed (3 July 2006). "Stolen Championship". WWE. Retrieved 27 December 2007.
  8. ^ Williams III, Ed (10 July 2006). "Service with a slam". WWE. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  9. ^ Zeigler, Zack (24 July 2006). "Samoan Sabotage". WWE. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  10. ^ Zeigler, Zack (4 September 2006). "R-K-Ohhhhh". WWE. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  11. ^ Hoffman, Brett (17 September 2006). "Strength in numbers". WWE. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  12. ^ Clayton, Corey (6 August 2007). "Checkmate: Booker beats Lawler in battle of kings". WWE. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  13. ^ Clayton, Corey (24 September 2007). "Tag turmoil". WWE. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  14. ^ Adkins, Greg (15 November 2007). "Reluctant Partnership". WWE. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  15. ^ Sitterson, Aubrey (11 August 2008). "Culture clash". WWE. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
  16. ^ "WWE releases several Superstars, referee Wes Adams". WWE. 15 August 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2008.
  17. ^ "WrestlingData profile". Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  18. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "WAR 11th Anniversary « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". Retrieved 9 April 2018.
  19. ^ "(WWE) Raw Rating, Star Has Son, WWE Makes Goof On Raw ----From the TWNP Archive". 6 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2011.
  20. ^ "The Highlanders: Celtic pride". World Wrestling Entertainment. Retrieved 30 November 2007.
  21. ^ "Final Smackdown Number, Highlander Loses Money, DH Smith". Wrestling-Edge. Archived from the original on 18 April 2008. Retrieved 15 April 2008.
  22. ^ Colin Hunter (28 February 2011). "CANOE -- SLAM! Sports - Wrestling - Highlander Robbie still making a living on indy circuit". Retrieved 13 March 2011.
  23. ^ "TWA Championship Title History". TWA Powerhouse. Retrieved 9 June 2010.