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Wrestling / Baron Corbin

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"I don't live for anyone other than myself."

I'll be your end of days.

Thomas Pestock (born September 13, 1984 in Lenexa, Kansas) is an American professional wrestler, retired boxer and football player currently signed to WWE, where he performs under the ring name Baron Corbin.

He was initially a Jobber prior to being repackaged as a Wrestling Monster. At WrestleMania 32, he made his main roster debut at that year's Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and winning it too. Later that year he was drafted to SmackDown Live and in 2017 became Mr. Money in the Bank and won the United States Championship at Hell in a Cell.

"You Can't Trope Fate":

  • 13 Is Unlucky: Corbin has "13" emblazoned on his pants, which he considers his lucky number. It even was his number in the 2017 Royal Rumble, where he managed to eliminate the unstoppable Braun Strowman. Pestock's birthday also falls on September 13.
  • The Aloner: His Red Baron (no pun intended) is the "Lone Wolf" for a reason.
  • Animal Motifs: Wolves.
  • Anti-Hero: as a face.
  • Awesome Mc Cool Name: Baron Corbin.
  • Badass Biker: He has a bit of a biker motif and is also a motorcycle afficionado in real life.
  • Bald of Evil: Faced with a losing war against his prematurely-receding hairline, Baron finally buzzed it completely off in June 2018. Much like it was with Kurt Angle, this decision was widely received as reinforcing his aggressive, stone-cold Heel image.
  • Barbarian Longhair: He had long hair up until June 2018 and is very aggressive in the ring.
  • The Brute: He's a big, tall man whose wrestling style can be described as "pounding the hell out of his opponent."
  • The Bully: Corbin is a big guy and one of his hobbies is beating up small guys. He hates small guys. Especially Kalisto.
  • The Bus Came Back: Having previously been a jobber, he officially debuted at NXT TakeOver II to squash CJ Parker, which instantly got most of the audience on his side.
  • Catch-Phrase: On Twitter, and in his promos, it's "You can't fight fate" and "All hail".
  • Collector of the Strange: Not part of his gimmick, but in real life Pestock is known for buying weird stuff, like old medical tools or the remains of animals.
  • Conspicuous Consumption: Part of his mercenary persona is him showing off and bragging about his expensive watches and nice house.
  • David vs. Goliath: Corbin's bigger than most people. His favorites to beat up, though, seem to be indy types on the smaller side of the size spectrum. Definitely true of his feud with Kalisto, who's the smallest guy on the roster that doesn't exclusively work the Cruiserweight Division.
  • Darker and Edgier: Following his failed MITB cash-in on Jinder Mahal, WWE gave Corbin a subtle, but appreciable repackaging, giving him a new entrance theme and altering his gimmick so as to make him look less like an archetypical bully and more like a ruthless, borderline-Satanic hound of hell. This, naturally, created a perfect contrast when Corbin challenged and defeated squeaky-clean, all-American Southern boy AJ Styles for the United States Championship.
  • Darkhorse Victory:
    • His main roster debut - winning the 3rd Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania with no setup whatsoever. He was only given a passing mention as being in the Battle Royal (although he would've been hard not to notice at 6'8") and was widely thought to be an extra body - until he won the whole thing, cementing his victory by eliminating Kane of all people, who happens to have a very good record in battle royal situations note  and was pushed as a possible winner.
    • The next shocker came at Money in the Bank 2017, where Corbin won the briefcase. Among the people participating in the match were fan favorites like AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura and Kevin Owens, who were all expected to win, yet Corbin took the opportunity and grabbed the briefcase, cementing himself on the top of the card.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Versus The Miz at Survivor Series 2017.
  • Expy: Not so much in character, but he has a lot of similarities to 80's WWF wrestler Bad News Brown, especially his loner, misanthropic tendencies and unable to get along with either faces or heels.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Although his actual turn is hard to pin down, he gradually became one in NXT as the crowd started to turn on him for some reason and the NXT writers just rolled with it. He turned heel again after being moved to Raw in 2018, by attacking No Way Jose. So much for a short-lived Heel–Face Turn...
  • Finishing Move: A pendulum lifting Reverse STO he calls the End of Days. Austin Aries, while on NXT, was the only one to kick out of it, while on the main roster it's a One-Hit Kill.
  • Forklift Fu: He tried to crush Dean Ambrose with one during a backstage brawl.
  • Genre Roulette: Corbin's gimmick is a very eclectic mix of different 'genres' of wrestling. He has a mix of the old-school by being a big, greedy, arrogant, bullying heel who played pro football. He has a bit of 90s era WWF by being a vaguely supernatural guy associated with an 'alternative' subculture (metal and motorcycles). And he has a bit of the current, meta-character by being a commentary on the "sissification" and "indiefication" of WWE by being a 'real' athlete who's big and slow, didn't work the indies or grow up as a fan of wrestling, grew an irrational hatred of former indy wrestling stars, and doesn't care about making friends with his peers or putting on good matches.
  • The Giant: He's 6'8.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: He's not just a loner out of choice, part of his main-roster gimmick is that he's hated and despised by the other wrestlers in the locker room, and it's clear that the feeling is mutual.
  • Heel–Face Turn: In 2018 Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn attacked Corbin before the match against Dolph Ziggler turning Corbin face for the first time in his career.
  • Hellhound: Corbin's signature blazing wolf's head effigy evokes this image, and a lyric in his entrance theme says "I come from Hell and I'll pull you under."
  • Hero Killer: Unlike his Raw counterpart Braun Strowman, who slowly worked his way up through the roster by eating low- and mid-tier wrestlers alive, Corbin leaped straight to the top of the company by going for the throats of top stars like AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura.
  • It's All About Me: He doesn't beat around the bush when it comes to his priorities.
  • Jerkass: Disparaging the crowd and his colleagues, running down smaller wrestlers, and generally being a huge asshole are sort of Baron's thing. Where his counterpart Braun Strowman is the personification of rage, Baron Corbin is the personification of spite.
  • London England Syndrome: He's billed from Kansas City, but we haven't been told which Kansas City (there's a Kansas City in Missouri, Kansas, and Oregon). For all we know he could be from the Kansas City border. (The Kansas and Missouri cities are part of a larger metropolitan area which straddles the border of the two states…and said area is, of course, named Kansas City.)
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: It's been hinted that he's not actually human (having called himself a 'different breed' and alluded to 'my kind' in a promo), but there's no concrete evidence either way if he's giving away that he's supernatural or just describing the (metal/biker) subculture he's in. Given the wolf motif, some fans think that he may be a werewolf.
  • Mean Character, Nice Actor: Baron Corbin is a ruthless, compassionless son-of-a-bitch who cares about exactly one person. Thomas Pestock, despite being a fairly quiet, reserved sort of guy, is not.
  • Meaningful Name: 'Corbin' means 'raven-haired'.
  • Mighty Glacier: When he's not having a squash match, he moves slowly, but he hits his opponents hard. Case in point: one clothesline from Baron was enough to hurl Braun Strowman out of the ring at Royal Rumble '17.
  • Mysterious Past: According to the commentators, nobody knows anything about him, and even Regal couldn't— or wouldn't— say. Subverted once Pestock's real life football past was incorporated into his character upon his heel turn.
  • Only in It for the Money: He always goes where the money is.
  • Phrase-Catcher:
    • He was one of the recipients of the 'X is gonna kill you' chant at NXT.
    • After failing to cash in the Money in the Bank contract, the fans like to chant "Where's your briefcase?"
  • Psychotic Smirk: He can give a creepy smirk after he wins.
  • The Quiet One: He didn't talk a lot at first — he walked in, squashed his match, and usually left straight afterwards without so much as saying a single word. This changed when Bull Dempsey started to annoy him. Since joining the commentary team on NXT, Corey Graves has claimed that they would hang around the same circles, and while Corbin didn't say much, when he did speak, people paid attention.
  • The Rival:
    • Bull Dempsey, though Corbin seemed to view Dempsey as less of a rival and more of a persistent annoyance.
    • After Dempsey was demoted to Jobber status, Rhyno seemed to have taken his place as Corbin's rival. Corbin and Rhyno later formed an uneasy alliance for the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic tournament and actually did well, making it all the way to the final round.
    • He then interrupted a title match between Apollo Crews and Finn Bálor, which has led to a feud between him and Crews.
    • Then he interrupted Austin Aries' entrance in Aries' NXT debut to beat him down and start a feud with Aries.
    • After Dean Ambrose robbed him of the chance to earn the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber 2017, Corbin went on to feud with him.
    • Sami Zayn in April until Backlash 2017.
    • Shinsuke Nakamura after Money in the Bank 2017.
    • John Cena in summer 2017.
    • AJ Styles and Tye Dillinger in fall 2017.
  • Shadow Archetype:
    • To about half the roster. Every wrestler who wanted to be a wrestler since they were a kid and cares about the craft over making a buck, especially if they're small and had an unconventional or circuitous route to WWE. As Corbin said, all it took was one phone call and he was in.
    • Has more directly become this to AJ Styles. A closer looks at his new entrance mannerisms reveals essentially a bigger and darker version of AJ's entrance, and his new theme song portrays him as a hellish scourge in direct contrast to the Southern Christian crowd-favorite Styles.
  • Squash Match: In between his return at NXT TakeOver II and the arrival of Samoa Joe, he was pretty much winning every match in usually under a minute. By October 2014, the audience were counting how long the matches went for.
  • Two First Names: Corbin can be both a first name and a last name. Baron can be both a first name and a title.
  • Wrestling Monster: No one has kicked out of his finisher. No one.