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Graham Clauson Biography

Personal

Real Name:  Graham Budai  
Nicknames:  The Queen City Tornado  
Hometown:  Cincinnati, OH (Legit: Middletown, OH)  
Birthday:  02/17/1989  
Height:  6'3"  
Weight:  219 lbs 

History

Biography:  PRO DEBUT: October 2009, Evolution Wrestling/EPW

Trained by his parents and uncle at their own wrestling school, the Dayton Wrestling Academy, Graham was born into a wrestling dynasty of sorts. With his parents and uncle being decorated competitors themselves, Graham had the sport of professional wrestling coursing through his own veins from the start.

Graham is no stranger to the "big stage" of professional wrestling, being a major star of the Evolution/X3 brand both in and out of the ring. Ending up in more administrative and business-related roles as its Interim CEO alongside former girlfriend and DWA alumni Madeline McTaggert, the company eventually ran itself into the ground among the apparent personal problems of owner Brydon Talinsdale and the alleged (and later dismissed in legal procedings) embezzlement of company profits by McTaggert.

At the end of all of this, Graham had entertained the idea of joining rival-turned-friend Madman Szalinski and competing in CWC-affiliated Catholic Panda Wrestling. Upon signing his contract, Madman and Graham shocked the wrestling world nearly to its core when they debuted as the Shoot Kings, unleashing a tirade of uncensored commentary about the direction of the promotion and wrestling as a whole. Sadly, the tension between the Shoot Kings and the upper management of Catholic Panda Wrestling eventually led to a huge meltdown within the company and its fanbase; it ultimately culminated into the closing of Catholic Panda Wrestling entirely. In a sort of tongue-in-cheek fashion, the entire incident is referred to as "Pandagate Scandal" within the IWC.

Upon the results of the "Pandagate Scandal" unfolding, Graham joined his father and uncle in a venture to give DWA's wrestling promotion front, Pro Wrestling NEO, in trying to grow the promotion and obtain television and web streaming deals. Sadly, the front had to abandon its ambitions upon horrible ratings, contract negotiations with bigger stars who signed to boost fanbase turning sour, and loss in revenue in attempting this venture. Upon hindsight, it is believed that the attempt was rushed and ill-fated from the start.

After the failure of the production attempts with Pro Wrestling NEO, Graham was able to convince the then semi-retired Madman Szalinski to return to the ring with him in Phoenix Wrestling. Graham wanted to be part of their tag division. However, Kris Keebler was his biggest rival from EPW; he was also on the PW roster. Twitter exchanges during the contract negotiations sparked a feud with them once more, management ignoring Graham's intent on being in the tag division with Madman. Consequently, Madman was caught in a series of matches to bury him and oust him from the company. With Graham stuck in contractual obligations to see the feud out, Graham intentionally jobbed himself in the match and ripped his contract up in front of management the same night.

Wanting to see his intent with being a major force in Tag Team wrestling, Graham was able to once again convince Madman into giving it what was supposed to be his final shot at Tag wrestling. The team joined Supreme Championship Wrestling shortly after the Phoenix incident and quickly became a major name in their Tag division in a short amount of time. Placed in a Triple Threat Tag Championship match, it is unclear what caused the result of the match to become a sour note in the Shoot Kings stay with the company. However, they immediately left after this incident including several other roster members, stating that management was being very flagrant about signing new talent and building them up only to play the job to talent that was recognized more on a Worldwide level instead of building them into their brand.

Riding off the momentum of a very close push to super-stardom as a team, Madman and Graham eventually made their way to Skyfall Wrestling Alliance with intent on making a name more local to their region before going back to more recognized promotions. With both Graham and Madman wanting to work an angle that pit them on opposite sides, they approached management and advised them they wanted to do this with Graham as the Heel. However, this idea while trying to discuss with management became to create a real-life rift between them, eventually leading to the second unceremonious release of Madman while Graham was contracted to the same company. Due to their real-life differences, Graham stayed with Skyfall until the following February. Upon realizing what had occurred, Graham broke his contract by never contacting SWA management to return to the promotion. Graham has indicated in previous interviews that he feels violated and ashamed of how everything occurred.

Shortly after this, Graham and Madman reunited in Pro Wrestling FRONTIER to re-form the Shoot Kings. During this, Graham and Madman also signed up with Boston-based Championship Wrestling Federation. Shortly after signing with CWF, Madman and Graham were released from their contracts at their request. They then moved to Frontier Grappling Arts, where they almost captured the FGA Mid-Atlantic Tag Team Championships. During this, Graham and Madman defeated Laurel Anne Hardy and Evangelista to capture the GFC World Tag Team Championships. Sadly, they were defeated by Jon Collins and Chandler Scott on their first defense attempt.

After this, Graham backed away from active competition. Beginning to focus on the production company that he co-owns with Szalinski, Cheap/Epic, Graham began to work on a music album as well as production on a few episodic web series.

While working on these projects, Madman Szalinski fell into a coma from his match involving the UTA Championship. Ariel Shadows then drafted legal paperwork to move all assets regarding Cheap/Epic solely to Graham, as well as documentation to allow Graham to act as Szalinski's Power of Attorney regarding all matters of Pro Wrestling FRONTIER business. Since that time, Graham has acted as the Co-Owner of the promotion as an Attorney-at-Fact.

Since joining UTA, Graham has since left Pro Wrestling FRONTIER and relinquished his Attorney-at-Fact status, re-formed the Shoot Kings with Madman Szalinski and adding long-time friend and colleague Thatcher Rex to the group, and began rising up the rankings ladder. However, they met the powerful force of Dynasty and began to scramble, trying to dethrone them from their apparent seat of power at the top of the roster.

Before Seasons Beatings, Madman made the call to make a temporary stay on working as the Shoot Kings. The group has not split up, nor are they no longer friends. However, it has been to re-focus the group on their own respectful singles careers. 
Other Feds:  EW/EPW/X3W, CPW, Phoenix Wrestling, Pro Wrestling NEO, SCW, SWA, CWF, FGA, Pro Wrestling FRONTIER  
Other Fed Titles:  PWO World Champion (Unrecognized, x1), GFC World Tag Team Champion (x1, w/Madman Szalinski as The Shoot Kings)  
Other Fed Awards:  Color Commentator (EW/EPW/X3W), Executive Producer (NEO), Attorney-at-Fact Co-Owner (Pro Wrestling FRONTIER)  

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