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Zack Gibson
Zack Gibson 2018.jpg
Gibson in June 2018
Birth nameJack Rea
Born (1990-08-08) 8 August 1990 (age 32)
Liverpool, England
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s)Zack Diamond
Zack Diamond Gibson
Zack Gibson
Rip Fowler
Billed height6 ft 3 in (190 cm)[1][2]
Billed weight220 lb (100 kg)[2]
Billed fromLiverpool, England[1][2]
Trained byAlex Shane[1]
Andy Baker[1]

Jack Rea (born 8 August 1990) is an English professional wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the NXT brand under the ring name Rip Fowler. He is also known for his work as Zack Gibson on the UK independent circuit. He formed the tag team Grizzled Young Veterans with James Drake (now known as Jagger Reid) in 2017, becoming the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions and three-time Progress Tag Team Champions.

Early life

Rea was born in Liverpool on 8 August 1990.[1] He grew up in nearby Maghull, where he attended Deyes High School.[3] He graduated with a degree in accounting and finance from Liverpool John Moores University in 2011.[4] Before wrestling, he played football.[1]

Professional wrestling career

Independent circuit (2009–2019)

After being trained by Alex Shane, Rea made his pro-wrestling debut in 2009 for English promotion, FutureShock Wrestling as Zack Diamond.[5] In March 2010, Rea started using the ring name of Zack Gibson.[6] Gibson entered the FutureShock Trophy Tournament 2011 making it to the finals only to lose to CJ Banks.[7] In 2010, Rea made his debut for Grand Pro Wrestling as Zack Diamond losing to Jack Gallagher.[8] Diamond became GPW British Champion after defeating former champion CJ Banks, Gallagher and Martin Kirby in a four-way scramble match.[9] A year later after his GPW debut, Diamond teamed with Xander Cooper, Mikey Whiplash and Danny Hope where they defeated Gallagher, Bruce Sheila, William Gaylord and Noam Dar.[10] At GPW Heroes & Villains, Diamond lost the championship to Jack Gallagher.[11]

In 2016, Gibson made his debut for 5 Star Wrestling, losing to Big Damo.[12] In 2018, before the promotion's closure, Gibson made his return to 5 Star losing to Rey Mysterio by disqualification after hitting Mysterio with a low blow.[13][14]

In March 2017 Gibson made his debut for WhatCulture Pro Wrestling (later Defiant Wrestling) as part of the Pro Wrestling World Cup - English qualifiers, losing to Jimmy Havoc in the first round.[15] He began wrestling on Defiant's weekly program Loaded in late 2017 into 2018. He defeated Rampage Brown at the February 18, 2018 event Chain Reaction. His final match for the promotion before leaving for WWE, would be in March 2018, with Gibson losing a Magnificent 7 qualifying match.[16]

Progress Wrestling (2012, 2014–2019)

In 2012, Gibson made his Progress Wrestling debut at the debut show for Progress.[17] In 2014, Gibson returned to Progress at Chapter Twelve, defeating Will Ospreay.[18] In 2017, Gibson and James Drake formed villainous a tag team called Grizzled Young Veterans. Grizzled Young Veterans defeated Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos of CCK to become the Progress tag team champions.[19] They successfully defended the titles against Aussie Open at Progress Chapter 59.[20] At Chapter 61, Grizzled Young Veterans defeated Moustache Mountain to retain their championships.[21] In 2018, Gibson took part of the Super Strong Style 16 Tournament, defeating Joey Janela in the first round and Pete Dunne by disqualification in the quarter finals before he was eliminated by Kassius Ohno in the semi-finals.[22][23]

Insane Championship Wrestling (2015–2017)

Gibson debuted for Insane Championship Wrestling in 2015 during the Road to Fear and Loathing tour losing an eight-man tag team match to the New Age Kliq.[24] In 2017 at Fear & Loathing X, Gibson and Rob Van Dam were defeated by Lionheart in a three-way elimination match.[25] On 16 June 2017 Gibson defeated Kenny Williams in a falls count anywhere match to win the ICW Zero-G Championship.[26] Gibson lost the championship back to Williams the following month in a ladder match.[27]

Revolution Pro Wrestling (2017–2018)

Gibson was defeated by Trent Seven in his Revolution Pro Wrestling (RevPro) debut match.[28] At RevPro Epic Encounter 2017, Gibson was defeated by Hirooki Goto.[29] In June, Gibson defeated Angélico.[30] At Summer Sizzler, Gibson defeated Dalton Castle.[31] Gibson took part of RevPro and New Japan Pro-Wrestling's joint show, Global Wars UK losing to Yuji Nagata on night one and Toru Yano on night two.[32][33][34] Gibson and Josh Bodom defeated Aussie Open to become number one contenders for the RevPro Undisputed British Tag Team Championships. Gibson and Bodom lost to RevPro tag team champions, Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate).[35][36]


NXT UK (2018–2020)

Gibson was announced for WWE's WrestleMania Axxess during Wrestlemania 34 weekend as part of a WWE United Kingdom Championship invitational where he lost to Mark Andrews in the first round.[37] On day four of axxess, Grizzled Young Veterans retained their Progress tag team championships by disqualification against Heavy Machinery.[38] Around this time, it was revealed by Wrestling Observer that Gibson was signed to a WWE contract.[3][39]

On 16 May 2018, it was announced that Gibson would be one of the 16 participants in the upcoming WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament with the winner of the tournament facing Pete Dunne for the United Kingdom Championship.[40] Gibson defeated Amir Jordan in the opening round.[41] He would go on to defeat Gentleman Jack Gallagher and Flash Morgan Webster in the second round and semi-finals, respectively. He would then defeat Travis Banks in the finals and would go on to challenge WWE United Kingdom Champion, Pete Dunne, the next night in a losing effort.[42][43]

In 2019, they defeated Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate & Trent Seven) at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool in the finals of a tournament to become the inaugural NXT UK Tag Team Champions.[44] After some defences, they would lose the titles to Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster at NXT Takeover: Cardiff in a triple-threat tag team also involving Gallus. On 11 September Drake and Gibson unsuccessfully challenged Andrews & Webster in a rematch. They would have another title match at NXT UK Takeover: Blackpool II against the new champions Gallus, Andrews & Webster and Imperium in a ladder match where the champions retained.[45]

In parallel to their NXT UK Tag Team Championship pursuit at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II, Drake and Gibson competed in the 2020 Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic. They defeated Kushida and Alex Shelley in the quarterfinals and NXT Tag Team Champions Bobby Fish and Kyle O'Reilly of The Undisputed Era in the semifinals, before losing to The BroserWeights (Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne) in the finals.[46][47]

NXT (2020–present)

On the 19 February 2020 episode of NXT, the Grizzled Young Veterans joined the NXT brand, defeating Raul Mendoza and Joaquin Wilde before announcing their intent to take over NXT's tag team division, establishing themselves as tweeners.[48]

Personal life

Rea is a fan of Liverpool F.C. and The Beatles. He named his submission hold and finishing move to reference both respectively: a kimura lock called the Shankly Gates and an over-the-shoulder double knee facebreaker called the Ticket to Ride.[49]

Championships and accomplishments


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  2. ^ a b c "Zack Gibson". WWE. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b Docking, Neil. "British wrestler Zack Gibson signs with WWE as plans for UK show gain momentum". Mirror. Daily Mirror. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  4. ^ Docking, Neil. "From former Liverpool accountant to king of the ring Zack Gibson". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  5. ^ "FutureShock #37 - 5th Year Anniversary". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Overview « Wrestlers Database « CAGEMATCH - the Internet Wrestling Database". Archived from the original on 12 October 2019. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
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  8. ^ "GPW Only The Strong Survive 2010". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  9. ^ "GPW Guts & Glory". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  10. ^ "GPW Only The Strong Survive 2011". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  11. ^ "GPW Heroes & Villains". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  12. ^ "5 Star UK Tour - Tag 3". Cagematch. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  13. ^ "5 Star Live From Liverpool". Cagematch. Retrieved 22 May 2018.
  14. ^ Docking, Neil (2 February 2018). "REVIEW: 'Liverpool's No.1' Zack Gibson shocks fans at 5 Star Wrestling ECHO Arena show". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  15. ^ "WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup - English Qualifying Round". Cagematch. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
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  17. ^ "PROGRESS Chapter One: In The Beginning". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  18. ^ "PROGRESS Chapter Twelve: We're Gonna Need A Bigger Room". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  19. ^ "PROGRESS Chapter 58: Live Your Best Life". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  20. ^ "PROGRESS Chapter 59: Whatever People Say We Are, That's What We're Not". Cagematch. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
  21. ^ "PROGRESS Chapter 61: Don't Touch Me ... Don't ... Don't Touch Me". Cagematch. Retrieved 18 June 2018.
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  23. ^ "Super Strong Style 16 Tournament 2018". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  24. ^ "ICW Road To Fear & Loathing Tour - Where The Buffalo Roam". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  25. ^ "ICW Fear & Loathing X". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  26. ^ "ICW Friday Night Fight Club Tapings". Cagematch. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  27. ^ "ICW Shug's Hoose Party 4 - Tag 1". Cagematch. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
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  29. ^ "RevPro Epic Encounter 2017". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  30. ^ "RevPro Live At The Cockpit 17". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  31. ^ "RevPro Summer Sizzler 2017". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  32. ^ Pantoja, Kevin (21 November 2017). "Kevin's RevPro/NJPW Global Wars UK Night One Review". 411Mania. 411Mania. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  33. ^ "RevPro/NJPW Global Wars 2017 - Tag 2". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  34. ^ "RevPro/NJPW Global Wars 2017 - Tag 1". Cagematch. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  35. ^ "RevPro Live At The Cockpit 23". Cagematch. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  36. ^ "RevPro Uprising 2017". Cagematch. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  37. ^ "Results for all championship matches at WrestleMania Axxess Day 4". WWE. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  38. ^ "WWE WrestleMania Axxess 2018 - Tag 4". Cagematch. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  39. ^ Fannin, Pat (22 March 2018). "Report: WWE Signs Another Wrestler From The United Kingdom". Fightful. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  40. ^ "WWE U.K. Championship Tournament Roster Reveal - Part 1". WWE. 16 May 2018. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  41. ^ Sandhu, Chamatkar (18 June 2018). "WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament Night 1 recap". ESPN. Retrieved 19 June 2018.
  42. ^ "WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne def. Zack Gibson". WWE. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  43. ^ "NXT U.K. Championship results". WWE. Retrieved 27 June 2018.
  44. ^ Chiari, Mike. "Grizzled Young Veterans Beat Moustache Mountain to Win NXT UK Tag Titles". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  45. ^ "NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool II start time, card, matches, live stream, watch online, WWE Network". Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  46. ^ "Get the latest results for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic". WWE. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  47. ^ Moore, John (29 January 2020). "1/29 NXT TV results: Moore's review of Matt Riddle and Pete Dunne vs. Zack Gibson and James Drake in the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament final, Tegan Nox vs. Dakota Kai, Adam Cole's challenger for the NXT Title at Takeover". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
  48. ^ Garretson, Jordan (19 February 2020). "The Grizzled Young Veterans def. Raul Mendoza & Joaquin Wilde". WWE. Retrieved 21 February 2020.
  49. ^ "ZACK GIBSON". Preston City Wrestling. Preston City Wrestling. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
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  52. ^ "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2019 – The Internet Wrestling Database". Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  53. ^ "NXT UK Tag Team Championship". WWE. Retrieved 12 January 2019.