Thea Hail
Birth nameMadison Knisely[1]
Born (2003-09-09) September 9, 2003 (age 20)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Thea Hail[2]
Nikita Knight[3]
Billed height5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Billed weight125 lb (57 kg)
Trained byBrandon K[4]
WWE Performance Center[1]
Debut2021[5]

Madison Knisely (born September 9, 2003) is an American professional wrestler and gymnast. She is currently signed to WWE, where she performs on the NXT brand under the ring name Thea Hail, and is a member of Chase University.

Early life

Maddie Knisely was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She went to school at Pivik Elementary School, in Plum Borough, Pennsylvania and studied gymnastics at a gymkhana in Monroeville.[6]

Professional wrestling career

All Elite Wrestling (2021)

On September 28, 2021, Knisely made her All Elite Wrestling debut as enhancement talent on AEW Dark under the ring name Nikita Knight against Thunder Rosa.[7] She wrestled in one other match with the promotion against Julia Hart, on the October 24, 2021 edition of Dark, which she lost.[8]

WWE (2022–present)

Main article: Chase University

On March 17, 2022, Knisely was announced as one of the 14 recruits who reported to the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida.[1] One month later, on the April 8 episode of NXT Level Up, she made her in-ring debut under the ring name Thea Hail against Ivy Nile, which she lost.[3][9] During the May 31 episode of NXT 2.0, a vignette aired showing Hail graduating with a 4.0 GPA, and tossing away major university hats. She instead picked and donned a Chase University hat, officially aligning herself with the group for the first time.[10] On the June 17 episode of Level Up, Hail, with Duke Hudson and Bodhi Hayward accompanying her ringside, picked up her first victory, over Arianna Grace.[11] On the October 11 episode of NXT, Hail competed in her first match on the NXT brand against Kiana James. During the match, James' manager Mr. Stone interfered and cut a promo, which seen Hail hit him with a back body drop and stomp him out of the ring. James used Stone's distraction to her advantage, picking up the victory with a flatliner.[12]

On the February 7, 2023, episode of NXT, Hail confronted Tiffany Stratton over a TikTok video which Stratton uploaded and she took issue with. After the incident, Ava appeared behind Hail, cupped her hand over mouth, then dragged her away.[13] Two weeks later, on February 21, Chase and Hudson defended Hail's honor, by facing The Dyad, who had Ava by their side. Hail was chased around the ring by Ava, which led to Chase arguing with her, while Fowler and Reid hit Hudson with the double codebreaker, ultimately costing Chase University the match.[14] On April 1, on the Stand and Deliver Kickoff pre-show, Hail, Duke Hudson, Andre Chase, and Tyler Bate defeated Schism in an eight-person mixed tag team match to successfully retain control of Chase University.[15] On the June 6 episode of NXT, Hail won a battle royal to become the number one contender for Stratton's NXT Women's Championship.[16] The match took place at Week Two of Gold Rush on June 27. Hail was unsuccessful in winning.[17] She challenged Stratton once again on July 30 at The Great American Bash in a submission match, but lost while being held in a boston crab, as Chase threw in the towel on her behalf.[18] In response, on the following week's episode of NXT on August 2, Hail threw in the towel during Chase's match against Baron Corbin while he was being held in a single-leg crab, though Corbin thrown it back out and won by pinfall.[19]

On the August 15, 2023, episode of NXT, Hail lost a match to Jacy Jayne due to a distraction from her stablemates.[20] The following week at Heatwave, Jayne approached Hail backstage, empathising with her over Chase costing her the championship, turning face in the process.[21] On August 29, Hail ditched class at Chase University in order to spend time with Jayne instead.[22] On the edition of NXT, Jayne represented Chase University with Hail for the first time, defeating Lola Vice and Elektra Lopez in a tag team match.[23] At Week Two of Halloween Havoc on October 31, Hail and Jayne challenged NXT Women's Tag Team Champions Chelsea Green and Piper Niven for the WWE Women's Tag Team Championship, though they were unsuccessful as Chase refused to help Jayne cheat to win.[24]

On the January 23, 2024, episode of NXT, repo men started repossessing Andre Chase's property.[25] The following week, on the January 30 episode of NXT, Chase, Hudson, and Riley Osbourne were about to bid farewell to Chase U due to its financial troubles, until Hail and Jayne announced they would be releasing a calendar to help save it.[26] Following Chase and Hudson's defeat to Bron Breakker and Baron Corbin in the NXT Tag Team Championship match at Roadblock on March 5, Jacy Jayne and new Chase U student Jazmyn Nyx mocked Hail, resulting in her storming off.[27] On the March 12 episode of NXT, Hail and Fallon Henley lost a tag team match after Jayne refused to be her partner the previous week. An emotional Hail stated how she had changed her entire look and personality to be more like Jayne, whom she idolized, but now realizes how toxic Jayne really is. Hail disavowed her friendship with Jayne and declared she was returning to the "old Thea Hail". On the following week of NXT, Jayne (with Nyx) turned on Chase U.[28] At NXT Stand & Deliver on April 6, Hail teamed up with Henley and Kelani Jordan to defeat Jayne, Kiana James and Izzi Dame in a six-woman tag team match.[29] On the following episode of NXT, Jayne revealed the truth of Chase U's gambling debt. In Hail's NXT Women's Championship match at The Great American Bash, Chase placed an illegal bet that Hail would win the title. However, he chose Hail's wellbeing and threw in the towel, resulting in him losing the bet.[30] During the April 16th episode of NXT, Hail lost to Tatum Paxley due to interference from Jayne and Nyx. Following this, a match was scheduled for Hail and Jayne during Week 2 of Spring Breakin', which Hail won.[31][32]

Other media

Video games

Thea Hail in video games
Year Title Notes Ref.
2024 WWE 2K24 Video game debut [33]

Championships and accomplishments

References

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  2. ^ "Thea Hail". WWE. Archived from the original on June 21, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  3. ^ a b Currier, Joseph (April 7, 2022). "Three debuts set for WWE NXT Level Up". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Archived from the original on April 7, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  4. ^ "Thea Hail: Profile". Retrieved March 28, 2024.
  5. ^ "Thea Hail: Profile". Retrieved March 28, 2024.
  6. ^ Zapf, Karen (November 28, 2012). "Plum student inspired by meeting with Olympic gymnasts". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on March 7, 2024. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  7. ^ Howard, Ryan (September 28, 2021). "9/28 AEW DARK TV REPORT: Ricky Starks vs. Darius Lockhart, Thunder Rosa vs. Nikita Knight, Hogan vs. Grey, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on July 31, 2023. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  8. ^ Guzzo, Gisberto (November 30, 2021). "AEW Dark Live Stream And Results (11/30): Adam Cole, Anthony Greene, Tony Nese, And More In Action". Fightful. Archived from the original on December 1, 2021. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  9. ^ Chik, John (April 7, 2022). "NXT Level Up results: Chase and Hayward take down Donovan and Lauren". WWE. Archived from the original on April 9, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  10. ^ Hazelwood, Bruce Lee (May 31, 2022). "5/31 NXT 2.0 REPORT: Hazelwood's live report on PLE go-home with women's championship summit, Grimes vs. Frazer, Jade vs. Lopez, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on June 2, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  11. ^ Chik, John (June 16, 2022). "NXT Level Up results: Nile takes down Lopez in heated slugfest". WWE. Archived from the original on June 18, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  12. ^ Pulido, Luis (October 11, 2023). "WWE NXT Results (10/11/2022): Bron Breakker Competes, Axiom vs Frazier 3, Alba Fyre In Action". Fightful. Archived from the original on October 11, 2022. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  13. ^ Wells, Kelly (February 7, 2023). "2/7 NXT REPORT: Wells's live report on Bayley hosting Toxic Attraction, Carmelo Hayes follows up on his big win, Sol Ruca vs. Zoey Stark, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on March 30, 2023. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
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  19. ^ Tessier, Colin (August 2, 2023). "Ilja Dragunov Aims To Terminate Trick Williams, Vice and Lopez Beat Feroz And Leon". Fightful. Archived from the original on August 2, 2023. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
  20. ^ Wells, Kelly (August 15, 2023). "NXT TV RESULTS (8/15): Wells's live report on Wes Lee vs. Dijak #1 contender's match, Tony D'Angelo & Stacks vs. The Dyad, Trick Williams vs. Drew Gulak, more". Pro Wrestling Torch. Archived from the original on August 18, 2023. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
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  22. ^ Tessier, Colin (August 30, 2023). "Thea Hail Misses Class, Bron Breakker Confronts Baron Corbin, Dijak Beats Thorpe". Fightful. Archived from the original on September 6, 2023. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
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  24. ^ WWE.com Staff (October 31, 2023). "Halloween Havoc Week Two results, October 31, 2023". WWE. Archived from the original on December 24, 2023. Retrieved March 7, 2024.
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  34. ^ Ross, Patrick (October 19, 2023). "Full 2023 PWI Women's 250 list revealed". Adventures In Poor Taste. Archived from the original on October 19, 2023. Retrieved March 7, 2024.