Riaz Rahman (born April 13, 1982 in Dhaka, Bangladesh), better known simply as Riaz, is a Bengali-American professional wrestler. He is currently signed to Hardcore Global Wrestling where he is a three time HGW World Heavyweight Champion and the man who unified the HGW World Heavyweight and RWA World Heavyweight Championships on September 21, 2002.
Riaz has been a mainstay with HGW since 2002, where he began as a mid-card tag team wrestler with Shane Harris as The Elite Thrillaz. After Harris left the promotion in February 2002, Riaz dropped his last name for professional purposes and went singles.
Riaz is only one of three Middle Easterners to have performed for HGW (Simba Tripp in 1997, Hakan Akyel in 2007-08). He makes his residence in Richmond Hill, New York.
The Beginning (2002)
After debuting as one half of the Elite Thrillaz, Riaz found himself wrestling singles matches as partner Shane Harris recouperated from an injured biceps. Riaz went to a draw with former champion BJ Vicks at Freaking Anniversary II, but later defeated him in a street fight on Slugfest. He acquired his first championship in an upset over Mark Andrews at Execution the following month, winning the defunct HGW Iron Man Championship. He would win the also-defunct HGW Suicide Championship in April 2002 in a tag team match.
Riaz was recruited by Brandon Thornton in May 2002 for his reborn Payroll stable. The duo, along with Chris Rage and Slammer, began to run roughshod over HGW's top faces. Together, they defeated Rich Ashley, Nickmaster, Andrew Costeal, and Phoenix in War Games on July 20, 2002 at the Caged Heat pay-per-view. Although Thornton was the leader and a former two time HGW World Heavyweight Champion, it was Riaz's brash demeanor and flashy style that made waves with the fans.
After The Payroll lost a five match challenge in August 2002, Riaz led a mutiny and kicked Thornton out of the group. Taking over as the Payroll's leader, Riaz was given the RWA World Heavyweight Championship by Chris Ledbetter, who was acting as the stable's financial advisor and manager. Riaz challenged nemesis Iceman Mark Andrews to a title unification match and defeated him on September 21, 2002 at HGW Injustice For All under dubious circumstances. While leading the Payroll, Riaz acquired members such as Scott Harmon and Dollabill$ (William Atlas) to watch his back along with Ledbetter, Rage, and Doomsday.
As champion, Riaz made successful defenses over Andrews, Ashley, Costeal, Little Blue Super Jew, and others. However, on January 25, 2003 at Freaking Anniversary III, Riaz lost the title to Nickmaster via submission. He lost a subsequent rematch on March 8 that year at Street Rules. The Payroll disbanded shortly thereafter.
Riaz would rebound on May 3, capturing the HGW WILD Championship from Andrews and becoming the second holder of the title. Andrews regained it on July 5 on Slugfest. Riaz failed to win the title back, losing a tremendous Extreme Triathlon match to Andrews on August 16 at Crash and Burn.
On November 8, Riaz found his way back to the top of HGW, defeating unlikely champion White Trash to win his second HGW World Heavyweight Title. His reign was shorter this time, losing the gold to Rich Ashley at Freaking Anniversary IV on January 24, 2004.
Change of Heart (2004- )
Not long after losing the title, Riaz began to soak in the adulation of the fans who respected his spirited and athletic performances. He failed to beat WILD Champion Chris Rage for the title at April Reign on April 11, but succeeded in taking the title on July 18 at Caged Heat. Two weeks earlier in July 3, Riaz won the first ever HGW Patriot Cup, defeating now-friendly ally Mark Andrews in the finals.
After retaining the title over Andrews the following month on August 22, Andrews took a bizarre turn against sportsmanship and defeated Riaz in a rematch on September 19, using underhanded to means, to win the title. From there, Riaz would embark on a rivalry with Hardcore X that saw a tremendous amount of parity. The two men co-won the 2004 Seasons Beatings Challenge and both earned a shot at Rich Ashley and the HGW World Heavyweight Title on January 29, 2005 at Freaking Anniversary V. Ashley was the first to be eliminated, and then Riaz finished off X to win his third title. Riaz would hold onto the gold against the likes of Sean Bender and Chris Rage before HGW began an infrequent schedule due to financial issues. That fall, Riaz won his second straight HGW Patriot Cup, defeating Travis King in the finals.
In one of the most memorable matches in HGW history, Riaz defeated Nickmaster at the HGW Arena in Atlantic City on October 22, 2005 at HGW Last Dance, what many believed was the final show for HGW. This was not to be as HGW held another special card on January 28, 2006, the sixth annual Freaking Anniversary. Riaz defeated Rich Ashley to retain the title.
It was on June 17, 2006, at HGW Home Sweet Hell, that Riaz finally lost the title, succumbing to Hardcore X. He would lose again in a ladder match to X on July 29 at Caged Heat. The summer got harder as Riaz's bid for a third straight Patriot Cup failed, losing to El Chupacabra on August 26 in the finals.
Riaz patched things up with Mark Andrews and the two formed The Chosen Few. They defeated HGW World Tag Team Champions Travis King and Spiker on September 9 to win the titles at HGW Blood Lust. They were vacated on April 11, 2007 for the promotion's relaunch.
In the relaunch, Riaz failed again to win the Patriot Cup on August 18, losing in the semi-finals in an upset to Spiker. He and Andrews also failed to win the tournament to become HGW World Tag Team Champions, getting bounced in the finals at Without Remorse on September 16 by King and El Chupacabra (The Wildsiders). They would win the titles on October 20.
The duo would feud with The Latin Knights and dropped the belts to them on January 20, 2008 at Freaking Anniversary VIII. They regained them on March 23 and won a steel cage rematch weeks later before dropping the gold on May 25 to The Midway Monsters. After the loss, Riaz and Andrews decided to each concentrate on singles and have gone their separate ways.
- Double Feature (arm trap falling pancake)
- Paranoia (Triple flip senton splash)
- Super Feature (Shooting star arm trap falling pancake)
- Pele kick
- Leaping 540 kick
- Sacred Stretch (Tiger suplex rolled into cattle mutilation)
- Quiyamah (Second rope flipping Emerald Fusion)
- Tornado Saint Strike (fireman carry into swinging go to sleep)
- Allah's Elbow (running elbow drop with theatrics)
- Go to Sleep
- Beast choker
- Running overcast
Championships and Awards
- HGW World Heavyweight Champion (3)
- RWA World Heavyweight Champion
- HGW WILD Champion (2)
- HGW World Tag Team Champion (4)
- HGW Patriot Cup Champion (2)
- HGW Seasons Beatings Challenge Winner (2004, co-won)
- HGW Wrestler of the Year (2002, 2003, 2005)
- HGW Tag Team of the Year (2007 (With Mark Andrews))
- HGW Best Heel (2002)
- HGW Best Face (2006)
- HGW Best Athlete (2004, 2005, 2007)
- HGW Best Finisher (2004 (The Super Feature))
- HGW Best Match (2002 vs. Mark Andrews, 2006 vs. Hardcore X, 2007 in the Chamber of Hell)
- HGW Best Feud (2002 vs. Mark Andrews)
- HGW Best Spot (2007)