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|File:JohnnyPunch NewOCW 07042009.jpg|
|Birth name||Thomas Demers|
|Born||August 30, 1978|
Lebanon, New Hampshire
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Johnny Punch|
|Billed height||6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)|
|Billed weight||225 lb (102 kg)|
|Trained by||Mike Mondo|
|Debut||August 2, 2006|
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Thomas Demers (born August 30, 1978) better known by his ring name Johnny Punch, is an American professional wrestler, who competed in North American independent promotions including Derby City Wrestling, New England Championship Wrestling and Top Rope Promotions. He is best known however as a longtime mainstay of Ohio Valley Wrestling, a former World Wrestling Entertainment developmental territory, and one half of Gothic Mayhem with Pat Buck.
Early life and career
Growing up in Lebanon, New Hampshire, Demers began watching professional wrestling at 7 or 8 years old. A fan of André the Giant and Hulk Hogan after watching WrestleMania III, he also became a fan of The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels during the Attitude Era as well as Extreme Championship Wrestling.
In the summer of 2004, Demers attended Monday Night Raw being held in Manchester, New Hampshire and afterwards went to a local bar where he met Ric Flair. Sitting next to Flair, it was while listening to his road stories that he decided to become a professional wrestler. Considering several wrestling schools in the New England-area, he eventually decided on Ohio Valley Wrestling and moved to Louisville, Kentucky two months later. He received the majority of his training from Mike Mondo and Rip Rogers although Al Snow and Robert Gibson were also involved. Demers, who was a fan of Gibson and Ricky Morton, often suggested a match between The Rock 'n' Roll Express and Gothic Mayhem but nothing came of these plans.
Ohio Valley Wrestling (2006)
On August 2, 2006, Demers made his wrestling debut against Jack Bull in a dark match at an OVW television taping. At OVW's Six Flags Show' on August 11, he participated in an 18-man battle royal including Jack Bull, Shad Gaspard, Elijah Burke, Lennox Lightfoot, Ranger Milton, Rod Steele, Eddie Craven III, Mike Kruel, Jon Bolen, The Neighborhoodie, Shawn Osborne, Seth Skyfire, Pat Buck, Los Locos and The Untouchables. Weeks later, he was introduced as the tag team partner of Pat Buck, and together they formed Gothic Mayhem. Portraying heavy metal-punk rockers, their entourage included valets Melody and Roni Jonah who followed the team as groupies. Initially successful, the team debuted against Los Locos defeating them at an August 16 television taping at the Davis Arena. They soon hit a slump with losses against Bad Company (Eddie Craven and Mike Kruel) and High Dosage (Jon Bolen and Ryan Reeves). On September 27, he teamed with Rob Roy McCoy and Devin Driscoll in a 3-on-1 handicap match against Oleg Prudius. He also had single matches against Ryan Reeves and The Neighborhoodie.
On October 28, he and Buck took on OVW Southern Tag Team Champions Cody Runnels and Shawn Spears but failed to win the titles. During the next three months, Johnny Punch wrestled in single matches losing to Chris Rombola, Boris Alexiev and Steve Lewington. He also teamed with Chad Wicks against Damian Adams and Rob Roy McCoy on December 14, 2006.
Although sometimes accompanied by Buck, Melody and Roni Jonah, it was not until early the next year when he and Buck would wrestle as a tag team. On January 10, 2007, he and Buck lost to Terminal Velocity (Chet the Jet and Steve Lewington) in a four-way match with Los Locos and The Untouchables. Later that month, they became involved in a feud with Chris Rombola, a regular opponent of Johnny Punch during the previous year. Defeating Rombola and Jake Hager on January 31, they also attacked him during a mock "Battle of the Bands" segment on OVW television the following month when Pat Buck smashed an electric guitar over Rombola's head.
Although dominating their feud with Rombola, they continued losing matches against Kofi Nahaje Kingston and Harry Smith and Chet the Jet and Steve Lewington. On March 7, they also lost to Charles "The Hammer" Evans and Justin "The Ox" LaRouche in a four-way match with Chet the Jett and Steve Lewington and The Belgian Brawler and Nicholas Sinn to decide the number one contenders for the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship.
On April 25, Gothic Mayhem teamed with Tony Braddock to beat TJ Dalton and Jamin Olivencia and Mike Hutter in a 6-man tag team match. Facing Loc Locos and Terminal Velocity, they also feuded with The Major Brothers during the summer. At the June 1 OVW Six Flags Show, Punch teamed with Ramon Loco against The Daltons (Jesse and Justice Dalton). He also wrestled single matches against Steve Lewington, Chet The Jett, Colt Cabana, Atlas DaBone, Idol Stevens and Jamin Olivencia in dark matches on OVW television. On August 10, he lost to Christian York at OVW's Six Flags Show and, in house shows, he also lost to Ace Steele in Hillview, Kentucky and Chris Cage in Cincinnati, Ohio.
On October 10, Gothic Mayhem lost to Los Locos in a qualifying match to enter the championship tournament for the OVW Southern Tag Team Championship. He also feuded with Ted "The Trailer" McNailer and, with Melody, faced him in a mixed tag team match with Serena Deeb on October 20. He and Buck would make their last tag team appearance losing to The Major Brothers on November 7.
Demers continued to lose matches throughout late-2007. He began to gain a small following by this time in matches against Matt Sydal, Dre Blitz, Totally Awesome, Antoni Polaski, Ace Steel, Big Sal and, in an intergender match, against his former valet Melody. On December 19, 2007, he lost to OVW announcer Timmy Baltimore in his 100th consecutive loss.
In January 2008, he lost to Kassidy James, Jay Bradley, Matt Classic, Justin LaRouche, Charles Evans and Lupe Viscara. By the time he had scored his first major singles victory against Drew McIntyre on February 28, ending his 123rd match losing streak, he had become an established babyface. His match took place at the final WWE-affiliated OVW television show. On April 19, he and Damien Adams lost to The Insurgency (Ali and Omar Akbar).
During the summer of 2008, he returned to New England as part of Eastern Pro Wrestling's United We Slam tour. On July 12, he pinned Ray Kejimura in a special challenge match on NECW's Red, White & Bruised supercard held at the National Guard Armory in Quincy, Massachusetts. This match would later air on NECW TV in early August. A week later, he and Owen Graichen wrestled EPW Tag Team Champions "Egomaniac" Jonny Idol and "Nightmare" Nick Steel at the American Legion Hall in White River Junction, Vermont. The event was a fundraiser for the American Legion. He also teamed with Alex Arion in several tag team matches including against Doink the Clown and The Turtle at the Bank Street Armory in Fall River, Massachusetts on August 1.
Return to OVW (September 2008 – May 2009)
Demers made his return to OVW in September 2008 in a promo, encouraging fans to support him to get more attention in the wrestling company. They did, and thus he made his re-debut match in early October that met with success. His success would continue into the ongoing weeks. He then formed a tag team with fellow OVW wrestler Rudy Switchblade. On January 17, 2009, he won the OVW Television Championship. He lost the championship on February 4, 2009 to Mike Mondo. The tag team of Switchblade and Demers became known as "Knuckles & Knives". During May 2009 they both left OVW.
PT Wrestling (May 2009 – Present)
Demers and Switchblade made their debut as a tag team in May 2009 as a part of the PT Wrestling roster. It was at this time that they captured the PT Wrestling Tag Team Championships.
Championships and accomplishments
- Ohio Valley Wrestling
- OVW Television Championship (1 time)
- PT Wrestling
- PT Wrestling Tag Team Championships (1 time) – with Rudy Switchblade
- "Guests: Johnny Punch and Harley Race". The Wrestling Mic. Wrestling-Radio.com. 2008-08-12.
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- Calvin Martin, Eric Hall and Chip Douglas (2006-08-17). "News & Results from OVW TV Taping – Boogeyman, Chris Masters, CM Punk, Beth Phoenix". LordsofPain.net. Archived from the original on 2009-03-06.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
- "Match History Part 2". Match History. Shawn-Spears.org. 2007. Archived from the original on 2009-03-08.
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- "Ohio Valley Wrestling Six Flags Show: June 15, 2007". Ohio Valley Wrestling Six Flags Shows. ProWrestlingHistory.com. 2008. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007.
- Wrestling Observer (2007-07-01). "Lots of News". Bruisermania.com.
- "Ohio Valley Wrestling Six Flags Show: August 10, 2007". Ohio Valley Wrestling Six Flags Shows. ProWrestlingHistory.com. 2008. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007.
- Rodriguez, Armando (2007-12-06). "OVW TV Taping Results for 12.05.07". 411mania.com.
- Ashfield, Stephen (2008-05-20). "Indy Info Zone (Updated May 20th 2008)". Piledriver Online News. Piledriver-Online.co.uk. Archived from the original on 2009-03-07.
- Saliba, Dean (2008-07-16). "Results from NECW's Red, White and Bruised from Saturday, July 12 in Quincy, MA". WrestlingGazette.com.[permanent dead link]
- Vetter, Chris (2008-07-22). "Torch Indy Weekend Report: Bagwell, Murdock, Dave Taylor, Mahoney, Vito". PWTorch.com.
- "Previously On NECW TV: Monday, August 11, 2008". NECW TV, See and Believe!. NECW.tv. 2008-08-11.[permanent dead link]
- "Eastern Pro Wrestling presents the United We Slam Tour 2008". EPW News. EPWwrestling.com. 2008.
- Martin, Adam (2008-05-24). "Georgia Wrestling News, Notes and Nostalgia: 24 May 2008". WrestleView.com.
- Tanaka, Dan (2008). "Match History, Part 20". DanTanaka.com. Archived from the original on 2008-12-02.
- "OVW Title Histories – OVW Television Championship". Ohio Valley Wrestling. Archived from the original on 2009-05-31. Retrieved 2009-07-05.
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