On last night’s episode of Beyond Wrestling’s Uncharted Territory, a familiar face appeared on the broadcast who hasn’t been seen on a wrestling show in nearly a decade. Facing longtime Beyond veteran and indie star Chris Dickinson was none other than Erick Stevens. A standout soldier in the indie booms rise of the early 2000s in Ring of Honor (ROH) and Full Impact Pro (FIP) and tag partner of current NXT Superstar Roderick Strong, Stevens walked away from professional wrestling in 2010. But now it appears that he’s back for one more run.
Former ROH Star Erick Stevens Makes Comeback
— Tim Glancy (@OMGlancy) May 23, 2019
The 37-year-old native of Sarasota, Florida got his start in 2003, trained by friend and mentor Roderick Strong, and starting out with NWA Florida that year. Originally starting out in a tag team with Mikey Batts, it didn’t take long for Stevens to standout. The following year he found himself working tapings for TNA/IMPACT Wrestling and making his debut with FIP.
Over the years, he would become an early staple with FIP, first winning the FIP Heritage Championship in May of 2007, then hit the top by defeating his mentor Roderick Strong for the FIP World Heavyweight Championship that December. He would become a 2x FIP World Champion, and by the end of 2008, would become FIP World Tag Team Champions alongside Strong, holding them for 287-days.
He made his ROH debut in late 2006 as part of a FIP/ROH cross-promotion event, Impact of Honor, but the following year he joined a new faction called The Resilience that included Austin Aries and Matt Cross and his stock began to increase tenfold. Through much of 2007, The Resilience would enter into a heated feud with No Remorse Corps (Davey Richards, Rocky Romero & Roderick Strong). It was at ROH Final Battle 2007 that he defeated Strong for his first FIP World title. In 2008, he went on it on his own, but remained a main event contender, challenging for both the FIP and ROH World Championships.
In 2009, he joined Prince Nana’s stable, The Embassy, where he ran with the likes of Necro Butcher, Claudio Castagnoli (WWE’s Cesaro), Joey Ryan, Bison Smith and others, a faction he briefly feuded with in the early part of the year. Soon, he became a frequent tag partner of Bison Smith, and by year’s end was feuding with former stablemate Necro Butcher (although they would make up in 2010 and team together on occasion).
At the end of 2010, Stevens retired from pro wrestling. It was a sudden shock to ROH and FIP fans, as Stevens was just hitting his stride and the US indies were on the verge of becoming a dominant force for the first time since the territory days. But for the past nine years, Stevens was gone from the industry he’d helped pioneer, becoming a strength and conditioning trainer and becoming a successful businessman in the process. It appeared his days in pro wrestling was officially through. Until he quietly announced a comeback through his Social Media in early 2019.
He made his first return this past Sunday for IPW Florida at Scallywags of the Squared Circle, and by all accounts, he hadn’t lost a step. But while it made small news, no one was ready for what happened next.
Erick Stevens just had his return match
You would have no idea this guy hasn’t had a match since 2010
I’m looking forward to the Dickinson match on Wednesday pic.twitter.com/PSjVw0HBfj
— Jacob Cohen (@MrJacobCohen) May 19, 2019
Only a week before, Beyond Wrestling had announced his comeback with the huge reveal he’d be facing Chris Dickinson on this past Wednesday’s edition of Uncharted Territory, and older fans were excited at seeing one of ROH’s early stars (and monsters) making his return. But would we get a bloated return from a man past his glory days, or was this the real deal? Stevens quickly took to his Twitter to hype up his Beyond debut.
I guess these cell phone promo gimmicks are all the rage with the kids these days, so when in Rome… pic.twitter.com/LWDIlniwW2
— Erick Stevens (@ericispbic) May 21, 2019
And by the end of Wednesday night, it was unanimous. Not only was Erick Stevens back, but he looked better than ever.
— Rob (@HeyyImRob) May 23, 2019
Funny how things work out ?
— Zack Zimmerman (@DotNetZim) May 23, 2019
I’ll say exactly what I said when I walked in the locker room. If this guy hasn’t wrestled in 9 years then they were doing shit a whole lot better 9 years ago and I mean clearly I would say that. POINT PROVEN. An incredible opponent and match tonight.
Please watch this one. https://t.co/PZC0bLo1s6
— Chris Dickinson (@DirtyDickinson) May 23, 2019
Welcome back to wrestling, Erick Stevens. Oh, how we’ve missed you!
— Erick Stevens (@ericispbic) May 23, 2019
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world.