He started out as a soccer player in Wales in the United Kingdom. After an injury ended his playing career, Barri Griffiths began weight training and building up his physique. He worked as an undertaker at a funeral home, construction worker and a personality of UK television before transitioning to pro wrestling. He was often compared to former WWE star Dave Bautista in looks. After a very brief career on the UK’s independent scene, Griffiths signed a developmental deal with WWE. This edition of the blog asks…’Whatever Happened’ to Mason Ryan?
Barri Griffiths was following a career as a professional soccer player when a knee injury ended his career. After working several odd jobs, Griffiths felt he meant to be an entertainer of some sort. He fell in love with pro wrestling and began his training in 2006. After a couple of years competing on the UK’s indie circuit….Griffiths auditioned and landed the role of ‘Goliath’ on the television show ‘Gladiators’in 2009. It was the United Kingdom’s version of American Gladiators.
Griffiths got the attention of WWE executive John Laurinaitis and was invited to a try out while the company was in Europe. He was ultimately offered a five year WWE developmental deal. Griffiths was assigned to Florida Championship Wrestling and trained under Steve Keirn. He was given the name of ‘Mason Ryan’ while wrestling for FCW. In the Summer of 2010, Mason Ryan won the FCW heavyweight title. He would hold on to the title until February of 2011.
At the same time in 2011, Mason Ryan was called up to the main roster and debuted on Monday Night Raw. He aligned with CM Punk and became a member of ‘The New Nexus’ faction as a heel. After a brief run with Nexus, Ryan suffered an injury and was sidelined. By the time he returned, the Nexus had disbanded and Ryan started his solo career….first as a heel and then as a babyface. After being used sporadically in 2012, Ryan was sent back down to developmental with NXT to be repackaged.
Mason Ryan remained with NXT for two years and was never called back up to the main roster. He was later released in 2014 and Griffths returned to wrestling on the independent circuit and also competed in Japan. He wrestled a dark match for TNA wrestling, but wasn’t signed and Griffiths retired as a full time wrestler in 2015. So whatever happened to Mason Ryan?
After his retirement from the business, Griffiths got married and the couple had a child. He and his family currently reside in Las Vegas, Nevada where Griffiths is a performer for Cirque Du Soleil show in that area.
You can read all previous ‘Whatever Happened to?’ pieces here.