William Regal (born Darren Kenneth Matthews on May 10, 1968 in Codsall Wood, Staffordshire, England) is an English professional wrestler working for the WWE and arguably the biggest British wrestling star since the heyday of Davey Boy Smith. With a career spanning three decades all over the world, he gained the most fame and success initially in WCW in the mid-1990s as Lord Steven Regal and later the WWE, which he had joined in the last year of the famed Attitude Era and has been there since, first (and briefly) as Steven Regal the "Real Man's Man", and later (and since then) William Regal. He is currently the most senior member of the full-time talent roster, going by ring experience, having been in the business longer than several prominent WWE Superstars (such as Cody Rhodes) have been alive.Regal has seen quite possibly everything there is to see about the wrestling business. He's one of the best in the ring, best on the mic, and knows how to tell a story in the ring. However, he's also seen the darker aspects of the business, particularly an almost crippling drug addiction that's unfortunately common in the wrestling business. He has since cleaned up and is arguably the greatest success story of WWE's Wellness Policy. Due to these facts, he's a favorite of diehard fans and smarks.While William Regal has never been a world champion (saying "has never been" but not "never was" because pro-wrestling's hardcore legendTerry Funk proved there's no such thing as actual, long-term, permanent retirement), he has extensively trained several future world champions currently employed by WWE. You mighthave heardof them.
Anti-Hero: Self identifies as a type one. Actually a type three as a face.
Armor-Piercing Slap: Gave one to Sting during a contract signing segment in WCW around 1995-1996, sometime before Sting became Crow!Sting. (The contract was for the Television Title.) Legitimately stiff, it caused Sting to shout "SON OF A BITCH", which got bleeped out. View it here.
Breakup Breakout: He formed a tag team called The Bluebloods with Dave Taylor. Taylor, who has done little besides be half of the Bluebloods, was talented in the ring but had essentially no charisma. In an odd subversion, bookers would reform the Bluebloods when they didn't have anything for Regal to do in singles wrestling - and then when they did, split the team up and release Taylor again.
Calvinball: WWE Backlash 2001. Duchess of Queensbury match. Regal versus Jericho. Jericho tries to pin Regal? Match is divided into two rounds, and round one just ended. Jericho gets a submission? No, submissions aren't allowed. Yep, Regal (then as commissioner) tried to change the rules to screw Jericho out of a win. Regal won the match.
A Day in the Limelight: Every UK tour in the last several years. Usually he has a match and then cuts a promo acknowledging his impending retirement.
Demoted to Extra: Is today hardly seen on TV, for a while he appeared on WWENXT as the "match coordinator" and is now an announcer. He had brief moment of spotlight when Sheamus feuded with The Big Show in which he got in the middle.
Evil Brit: Arguably the biggest example in pro-wrestling. The trope (at least the wrestling version) could be renamed in favor of him.
Fan Disservice: At No Mercy 2006, he had a scene in the locker room after he just had a shower, and his towel fell, exposing his privates. WWE immediately apologized for the unscripted accident.
Follow the Leader: Credited with inventing the Regal-Cutter (arm trap neckbreaker) and the Regal-Plex (bridging leg hook belly-to-back suplex).
Hairstyle Inertia: Maybe not from childhood to adult, but from the mid-1990s to around 2007, he had the same very short, buzzed, slicked-back hairstyle. Later on, he grew it out about several inches or so.
Know When to Fold 'Em: Seen in a lot of his matches with Chris Benoit. When caught in the Crossface, Regal will try to block the arm and resist as much as possible, but the moment Benoit has it locked in, Regal taps out to avoid prolonged punishment.
Mean Character, Nice Actor: Known for being one of the friendliest wrestlers in fan circles, having an all-or-nothing approach when it comes to autograph signings: Everyone gets one or no one does (he finds it rude to only look at one or two kids in a group of dozens), and he happily gives advice to younger wrestlers and those looking to become wrestlers.
Meaningful Rename: When he returned to the WWF in 2000, he went from Steven Regal to William Regal to honour his recently passed grandfather, who helped him get into the business.
Obfuscating Stupidity: Regal's character is a stereotypical British gentleman with a mean streak, but William Regal was one of the best wrestlers in the world in his prime.
Using his Lord Steven Regal gimmick in WCW, he came across like an Upperclass Twit much of the time, which caused his actual in ring ability to be underestimated.
Obsolete Mentor: Played straight and subverted with Eugene. As far as wrestling went, Eugene showed he was practically on par with Regal in the first couple of weeks under his tutelage. However, Eugene's "special" qualities would often get him in trouble with some of the other superstars and Regal, a veteran of the locker room, often ended up playing a medium between Eugene and the rest of the wrestlers.
Odd Friendship: With Sheamus. Yup, the face Irish guy and the tweener/heel Britt. Apparently William is a mentor of sorts to Sheamus.
With Eugene as well. Regal only saw Eugene as a hazard to his health and sanity at first, but the "special" boy eventually worked his way into Regal's heart.
Retired Badass: He seems to be trying to get out of the wrestling game, and stick to announcing, but jackass young punks keep challenging him to fights. And he seems to be very happy to oblige them, as shown by his response to both Jacob Novak and Kassius Ohno on WWENXT, and Dean Ambrose in FCW.
The Southpaw: A rare but prominent left-handed pro-wrestler on a roster of right-handed ones.
Underestimating Badassery: Made the mistake of doing this in 2006 when Paul Burchill introduced his "Pirate" gimmick. Cue getting beaten by Burchill for a number of weeks, including a match which losing it meant Regal had to dress up as a...bustywench for Burchill.
What Could Have Been: William Regal was receiving a major push for the WWE title in 2008. By his own admission, he got self-conscious, started using steroids, got caught, and got suspended. Nowadays, he's barely on TV.