Graeme Stevely (born 2 June 1988) better known by the ring name Grado, is a Scottish professional wrestler. He is best known for his work with Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW). He was also a contestant on the second season of TNA British Boot Camp and is the current PWE World Heavyweight Champion.
Early career (2002-2006)
Grado first got into wrestling in 2002. He trained briefly with Red Lightning, Kid Fite and Drew Galloway at British Championship Wrestling. He then went back to train a few years later with Scottish Wrestling Alliance as they were closer to home. He made his debut for the Scottish Wrestling Alliance (SWA) in 2004, under the ring name Grant Dunbar, as part of The Lowlanders with Glen Dunbar. They achieved little success but did hold the SWA Tag Team Championships.
Insane Championship Wrestling (2006-Present)
After years of wrestling sporadically, Grado made a Facebook video to sell tickets for a local SWA show, gaining him a spot on the show. His training videos and promos became popular and Mark Dallas from Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW) hatched the "Get Grado Booked" campaign. During this time, Grado was the subject of a Vice documentary, The British Wrestler, which saw his popularity rise with American stars like Sonjay Dutt voicing their support. As part of the Vice documentary, Grado appeared to defeat ICW Heavyweight Champion Red Lightning at Super Smokin' Thunderbowl to win the ICW Heavyweight Championship. The match was later restarted as Red Lightning had his leg under the bottom rope. Red Lightning would go on to retain the title.
In addition to working in ICW, Grado also appears for various companies around the UK. He has worked for SWA, SWE, and PBW among other companies. At WrestleZone's Aberdeen Anarchy event in the Beach Ballroom in front of a sold out 1300 crowd, Grado defeated childhood hero Scotty 2 Hotty. Later that year, Grado won the PWE Elite Rumble thus earning a title shot and the opportunity to name the next event. He won the Pro Wrestling Elite Heavyweight Championship from Dave Mastiff at GradoMania. During the ICW Fringe Tour in 2014, Grado teamed up with Colt Cabana to face the New Age Kliq (Chris Renfrew and BT Gunn) and won the ICW Tag Team Championships. The team was known as Irn Jew and would be Grado's first official championship in ICW. They lost the titles back to the New Age Kliq on the last night of the tour.
Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2014-present)
In 2014, Grado appeared on the second season of TNA British Boot Camp in an ongoing feud with judge Al Snow. After missing the second round of the competition due to having lunch and losing track of time, Al Snow threw Grado out of the competition. Grado would then appear at the Manchester auditions and was once again thrown out. He reappeared in London and with some convincing from Gail Kim, Al Snow allowed him back into the competition. Snow would then send Sha Samuels to rough up Grado in the second round. He would make it through to the British finals and onto the US finals before finally being eliminated at the Top 6. After Al Snow eliminated Grado from the competition, Grado challenged Snow to a match at the SSE Hydro as part of TNA's Maximum Impact Tour in January 2015. Al Snow accepted. Grado went on to win the match and Al Snow shook his hand.
Grado appeared at Destination X on June 10, having earned another chance in TNA following his victory over Al Snow. Grado later appeared in several backstage segments trying to parkour and lose weight to be able to compete in the X Division. Only at the weigh-in did Jeremy Borash inform Grado that "there are no limits in the X-Division." Grado would immediately compete against Kenny King and Cruz, getting the pinfall victory over the latter after the cannonball in the corner. Grado fought for the TNA X Division Championship in a losing effort against Low Ki and Tigre Uno. Uno won the match and the title.
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