You may have seen photos of Prince Devitt before, a wrestler who takes body art to the extreme. He has sported some incredible looks as of late, but Prince Devitt shouldn’t be recognised just for his Marvel-inspired body paints alone, as he’s currently one of the hottest talents in the world of wrestling today.
Born in Ireland, Prince Devitt (Fergal Devitt) was inspired by the likes of the legendary HBK at an early age. His passion for wrestling soon fired up as he got older, and it didn’t take long for Devitt to become involved in a wrestling promotion, as at the age of 18 he was already with the Kent-based promotion, NWA UK Hammerlock.
Two years later after his debut at Hammerlock in Kent, Devitt opened his own promotion based on the NWA back in Ireland, where he trained current WWE NXT Diva; Becky Lynch (Rebecca Knox), who was only 15 at the time.
Wrestling for the NWA brought him bigger opportunities, thanks to the NWA convention which was held in Nashville, USA. During the same time of the convention, Devitt was invited to the New Japan Inoki Dojo, to test out his talents for the period of 3-5 months.
His successful stint at the Dojo in LA provided him a much bigger break; to wrestle with New Japan Pro Wrestling, an offer which was not to be sniffed at. For those not familiar with NJPW, some of their foreign alumni include the likes of Kurt Angle, the American Dragon (Daniel Bryan), Bret/Owen Hart, Jeff Hardy and Chris Benoit. Their current champion is former TNA wrestler, A.J. Styles.
Devitt signed a contract with NJPW in March 2006, but his name was changed to Prince Devitt, due to the Japanese reportedly having difficulties with pronouncing his first name. For a brief period of time, he also wrestled under the name of Kid Pegasus II, which provided comparisons to the original Pegasus Kid; the great Chris Benoit.
He started to amaze Japanese audiences with his high-flying move set, and it appeared that he was getting some traction through his new career in Japan. He worked under one of the biggest heel stables in the company – the Control Terrorism Unit – which was led by one of NJPW’s most notable wrestlers, Jushin Liger, a former WCW champion who had wrestled with some of the best athletes in the industry.
It was a huge step up for Devitt already, who was given big opportunities from the get-go. However, he suffered a leg injury in 2007 which put him out of action for a number of months, which almost stifled his run. Nonetheless, this small setback didn’t slow him down tremendously, as he soon returned with a new tag team partner, Minoru Tanaka.
Tanaka and Devitt eventually won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in 2008, which was Devitt’s first major title role with NJPW. He did lose it one month later to AKIRA and Jushin Liger, but he later regained the title for a three month stint. His perseverance with Tanaka solidified his importance in NJPW too, which provided him with a year’s extension on his contract.
Whilst his tag team was relatively successful, Devitt really saw his true success and impact on NJPW with Apollo 55, a new tag team consisting of Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi. They turned out to be one of the most accomplished tag teams in the history of NJPW, as they held the championship for a record four times, and during their second reign they defended it for a record-breaking seven times.
Devitt and Taguchi were a decent tag team, and they also tried their best at accomplishing singles championships, with Devitt successfully winning the Juniors Heavyweight Championship three times. They had a great run for around 4 years, impressing audiences with their in-ring performance, but it all came to an end during NJPW’s PPV, Invasion Attack.
Devitt and Taguchi lost to the ‘Time Splitters’, which resulted in a major storyline development for the tag team. Devitt immediately turned on his tag team partner of 4 years, and allied himself with Bad Luck Fale, later dubbing himself the ‘Real Rock ‘n’ Rolla’. It was an impressive turn for Devitt, and it proved that he could work the cocky rockstar persona relatively well.
It was also pivotal moment in Devitt’s career, and it brought in the eventual birth of the Bullet Club, a stable featuring the likes of Devitt, Bad Luck Fale, Tame Tonga, Karl Anderson, the Young Bucks and Doc Gallows. Bullet Club were an effectual stable, and they partook in outside interference, often using excessive violence. That sort of stable wasn’t very common in Japanese wrestling, but it worked. It alleviated Devitt’s status, advancing him to the heavyweight championship picture, and it allowed the Young Bucks to win the tag team titles.
They had made a decent impression on NJPW under Devitt’s tutelage, but there was big change on the horizon for the Prince. His former tag team partner, Taguchi, returned after a seven month hiatus, challenging Prince Devitt in a grudge match on the Invasion Attack PPV. Whilst the stipulation, ‘loser goes home’ wasn’t necessarily made official for the match, Taguchi still proposed the challenge beforehand, and that appeared to be the case when the PPV aired.
Their grudge match was rather decent, and it allowed for some entertaining spots. The Young Bucks began to interfere with Devitt’s match – much to his disapproval – and it resulted in them eventually turning against him. Devitt returned their betrayal by diving into them both from over the top rope, before literally throwing them into the crowd.
After a gruelling set of moves from both contenders, Taguchi eventually took the win. They shook hands, ending their rivalry, and Devitt made his way out of the ring. In the space of almost eight years, Devitt certainly left his impression on the fans, as they chanted his name during his final match.
The following day, NJPW announced Prince Devitt’s resignation. A.J. Styles replaced Devitt’s role in Bullet Club rather swiftly, and questions arose of Devitt’s future with wrestling. Was he going to TNA, ROH or the WWE? Or was this it for the wrestler?
Plenty of news sites suggested that Triple H has picked up Devitt for NXT, but there has yet to be any confirmation from the company. Some fans have even suggested he’s already contracted with WWE, just on the basis that he follows a few WWE wrestlers on Twitter (some wrestling fans seem to jump to conclusions too easily). Thing is, where would he fit within the WWE universe, and would there even be any need for him to be in TNA?
It would make an interesting turn of events, to see Devitt swap places with A.J. Styles, but seeing Devitt in TNA just doesn’t seem right. He might not fit the mould, and it might not be what he’s truly after. Devitt grew up watching his favourites on WWE and he has commented on working there. Plus, there’s no secret that TNA aren’t in the safest position ever in their 12-year history, and since October there have been a small number of people who have left the company.
Devitt is hopefully aware that his time is now, but he is already 32 years of age. If anything, WWE should have already signed him on, and with Triple H seeing over talent relations and development in the WWE, there wouldn’t be any surprise if he were to turn up at a particular NXT PPV later on this month. Triple H has been doing a phenomenal job as of late with talent, so it could always happen. Hell, there are rumours that William Regal has suggested that the WWE hire him.
Hopefully Devitt will get called up, and he’ll fill a decent role within the company. He could be a strong contender for the NXT championship, especially if Adrian Neville still retains it. Both are extremely entertaining in the ring, both displaying high-risk manoeuvres with striking pay-offs. They have worked together in the ring before, and they’ve obviously got chemistry:
They could either feud, or start off as an extraordinary tag team for the WWE. Even if he pairs up with Sheamus only to eventually turn, plenty of fans would be happy. Devitt’s appeal is that he plays characters well (especially cocky ones), and his in-ring abilities stand amongst being the best in wrestling.
Whilst in NJPW he played the rockstar almost effortlessly, and he even donned a sparkly jacket, similar to Jericho’s gaudy light show affair. His promos have shown clear charisma, and he undeniably has the look which most wrestling companies desire.
Prince Devitt is one of the most exciting prospects in wrestling today. He came from Dublin, toured across Europe and made an impact in Japan. He has proved to a lot of people already that he has amazing aptitude. His body paints have caught the attention of many so far, and hopefully he’ll retain his various ‘works’ for whatever promotion he stars in next.
However, it should be addressed that that’s not the only reason to follow him. Without a doubt, Prince Devitt is here to make one hell of an impact in the wrestling world. Wherever he goes, there’s sure to be fans ready to support this incredibly talented athlete.
Where do you think Prince Devitt will go, and how could he be used in the future?
All responses welcome, thanks for reading!