For over a decade, Albert Christian Hardie Jr. – better known simply by ACH – has been one of the greatest indie stars of the 2010s. Debuting in 2009, the Austin, Texas native rose through the rugged Texas indies to become a national star with Ring of Honor, dominated the US indie landscape, broke into the East with New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), jumped to Major League Wrestling (MLW), before landing in the WWE Universe and departing in controversy. With his star shining brighter than ever in spite of his WWE exit, he returned to the US indies and became a regular with Game Changer Wrestling (GCW). But in June of 2021, ACH abruptly announced his retirement from pro wrestling after 12 years and disappeared into seeming silence. But just as suddenly as he retired and disappeared, ACH has returned, arriving in Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment (AWE) on Sunday night, where he confronted Buddy Matthews (formerly Buddy Murphy in WWE) in the middle of the ring during AWE’s live broadcast of AWE Loud Chapter 2 on their YouTube channel.
— JoeyFitz • GCW Plant 🪴 (@RebookTheFinish) October 17, 2021
ACH didn’t return empty-handed either – he returned to AWE with the Georgia Championship Crown, the top title in AWE, and one that AWE themselves had vacated upon ACH’s June retirement. It would appear that ACH has returned with his Crown determined to prove that he’s still the top dog in the Atlanta wrestling scene. ACH’s last match was in May of this year when he defeated Davey Vega at AAW Pro in Chicago. Since his WWE departure in the fall of 2019, ACH has returned to dominance in AAW, AWE, Black Label Pro, Glory Pro, and others, as well as return appearances for NJPW as part of the NJPW STRONG brand on the West Coast and MLW. In July of 2020, during the pandemic, he made his GCW debut and went on a run that saw him face such names as Lio Rush, Lee Moriarty, Joey Janela, Jordan Oliver, and Ken Broadway. His post-WWE indie return also saw big matches against the likes of Jacob Fatu, Tama Tonga, Fred Yehi, Mance Warner, Bryan Keith, Kevin Ku, and many more.
ACH makes his surprise return at the 43:50 mark of the video below.
Meanwhile, several wrestlers and personalities expressed their joy over the return of the ACH to the indie wrestling scene.
ACH has returned with the GEORGIA WRESTLING CROWN Championship
— Atlanta Wrestling Entertainment (@ATLWrestling) October 17, 2021
This makes me happy on many levels https://t.co/5rGTwZFEg6
— PRIME Alexander (@CedricAlexander) October 18, 2021
HE’S BACK!!!! https://t.co/o0CI3wq0BX
— SWOLE 💪🏾 (@SwoleWorld) October 18, 2021
— TAIGASTYLE 🐯 (@theleemoriarty) October 17, 2021
— SUGE AKA Andre 3 Straps (@SugarDunkerton) October 18, 2021
SUPER ❤️ https://t.co/xj5lB3ffdU
— Darius Martin (@officialairwolf) October 18, 2021
— Hyan ハイアン (@_thehyan) October 18, 2021
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