Follow TV Tropes


Wrestling / Baron Corbin

Go To

"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 2017.

In 2018, he was drafted to Raw and after Backlash 2018 became a heel authority, first as "Constable" Baron Corbin, relying Commisioner Stephanie McMahon's orders and opinions to GM Kurt Angle, then (after Angle's "screw-ups" granting him a "vacation") as the "Acting General Manager" all the way up to Survivor Series 2018, then as "General Manager-Elect" on the road to TLC 2018, where he was finally ousted from power.

In 2019, Corbin managed to win the renewed King of the Ring tournament, retitling himself "King Corbin". He held the title for two and a half years until on June 18, 2021, he was forced to drop the "King" title when he lost to Shinsuke Nakamura. After hitting rock bottom upon losing the crown, he hit it big in Vegas during Summerslam weekend and rebranded himself as "Happy Corbin".

Not to be confused with actor Barry Corbin.

Burn the Tropes:

  • 13 Is Unlucky: Corbin has "13" emblazoned on his pants, which he considers his lucky number. It was even his number in the 2017 Royal Rumble, where he managed to eliminate the unstoppable Braun Strowman. Pestock's birthday also falls on September 13.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Despite his previous actions, it's hard not to feel sorry for Corbin once his life started going downhill following his loss of the crown and becoming broke. Even Kevin Owens felt sorry for him, and tried giving him 20 bucks out of pity.
  • The Aloner: His Red Baron (no pun intended) is "The Lone Wolf" for a reason.
  • Animal Motifs: Wolves.
  • Anti-Hero: As a face.
  • Arch-Enemy:
    • 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 debuting on the main roster, he and Dolph Ziggler were at each other's throats for months.
    • As Constable Corbin, he got into multiple altercations with Finn Balor and Kurt Angle, hoping to dethrone the latter as Raw's General Manager. He also got into one with Braun Strowman after screwing him for the Universal Championship at Crown Jewel. Pissed off, the Monster Among Men demanded a match with Corbin at TLC to determine Corbin's position as Raw's General Manager. Not wanting to face him, Corbin teamed up with Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley to destroy Strowman, breaking his arm in the process. The feud reignited later with both Angle and Strowman after Royal Rumble 2019.
    • He also had two short feuds with Kalisto and Sin Cara in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
    • In late 2018 he feuded with Elias after failing to become permanent General Manager of Raw.
    • In mid-2019 he feuded with Seth Rollins for the Universal Championship.
    • In late 2019 he feud with Roman Reigns after Reigns betrayed him at Survivor Series 2019.
    • In mid-2020 he feud with Matt Riddle after Riddle debuted on WWE SmackDown and Corbin didn't like newcomers on SmackDown.
    • Shinsuke Nakamura, who Corbin started a feud with in mid-2017. The rivalry was short-lived, but the feud restarted in mid-2021 after Nakamura stole Corbin's crown and caused his reversal of fortune.
    • His own former aide Madcap Moss, ever since winning the Andre the Giant Memorial trophy in 2022. Corbin began mistreating Moss, so much that the latter snapped to the former.
    • Pat McAfee became Corbin's enemy after McAfee laughed at him after losing to Madcap Moss in a Last Laugh match.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: As acting General Manager, Corbin often changed the stipulation of matches midway in his or his associates' favor. The day after he lost his power as General Manager of Raw, Corbin was put into a match against Kurt Angle, which then changed into a 4-1 Handicap Match midway, and later a No Disqualification match as well.
  • Badass Biker: He has a bit of a biker motif and is also a motorcycle aficionado in real life. In his NXT run in 2023, he's also been riding a motorcycle to the ring.
  • Badass Boast: The chorus of his second theme song is definitely one.
    I bring the darkness, I am the thunder
    I come from Hell, and I'll pull you under
    I'll make you feel the wrath of my ways
    I'll make it real, I'll be your end of days
  • 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. He stopped shaving in July 2021 to sell the image of a suddenly poor and desperate man before shearing off his hair once more as a sign of his fortunes turning.
  • Barbarian Longhair: He had long hair up until June 2018 and is very aggressive in the ring.
  • Batman Gambit: After Seth Rollins beat up any man Corbin picked to be his referee at their match at Stomping Grounds, Corbin picked Lacey Evans to take the spot, having correctly assessed that Rollins Wouldn't Hit a Girl.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: As Raw GM, his authority was about as recognized by the roster as you'd expect, to the point Elias had no reservations about mocking him and ultimately decking him with his guitar.
  • 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, whom he hates — especially Kalisto.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Decided to screw Braun Strowman out of his title match. Naturally, he spent the next Raw literally barricading the venue to get away from him.
  • 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.
  • Catchphrase: 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.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: His match with "The Demon" at SummerSlam 2018. Not expecting to face Balor's alter ego and caught completely by surprise, he doesn't put up a single bit of offense and the whole match is the Demon kicking his ass from pillar to post before finishing him with the Coup de Grace.
  • David Versus 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 and Ricochet.
  • 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 archetypal 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.
  • The Dog Bites Back: At TLC 2018, everyone that Corbin had antagonized with during his tenure as Constable of Raw (Finn Balor, Apollo Crews, Bobby Roode, and Chad Gable) helped Braun Strowman to beat up Corbin retribution for everything he had done to them. To make things worse, Heath Slater, whom Corbin busted down to referee and fired his friend Rhyno two weeks ago, sided against him as well and made the count when Strowman pinned him.
  • Evil Versus Evil: He's completely willing to beat up heels as well, being a loner and all. His dislike of The Miz throughout 2017 is the most notable instance, culminating in them facing off in a Champion vs. Champion match (Corbin the United States Champion versus Miz the Intercontinental Champion) at Survivor Series at the end of that year.
  • Expy:
    • Not so much in character, but he has a lot of similarities to 80's WWF wrestler and his trainer Bad News Brown, especially his loner, misanthropic tendencies and inability to get along with either faces or heels.
    • Of Corporate Kane since becoming the Constable of Raw. Both were wrestlers with a dark motif (Kane being straight-up supernatural) before assuming an on-screen authority position that led to their characters becoming relatively more mundane, complete with adopting civilian clothing (Kane wearing a suit, Corbin a shirt and waistcoat) and even wrestling with said clothes.
    • Shows many similarities to the early 2010s WWE run of Wade Barrett, including:
      • Being tall, smug heels with real-life backgrounds in a legit combat sport (Barrett a bareknuckle boxer at 6'7", Corbin a regional champion boxer in the Kansas/Missouri area at 6'8").
      • Similar up-and-down career arcs where they were on the cusp of world title glory (Barrett winning a WWE Championship shot by virtue of winning the first season of NXT, Corbin winning Money in the Bank 2017) only for WWE for one reason or another to get cold feet at the last second and book them to lose the crucial world title match.
      • Both use variations of a spinning side slam as a signature move
      • Both have the same lyric in their best-known entrance themes. ("I'll be your end of days.")
      • Both have won King of the Ring tournament.
    • As Happy Corbin, he is this to JBL as both are filthy rich.
  • 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...
  • Failed a Spot Check: After the Raw sweep at Survivor Series 2018, Braun Strowman was granted a match against Corbin for TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs, the stipulations being that a) it was going to be a TLC match (remember this point) and b) if Corbin won, he would be the permanent GM of Raw, while if he lost he would lose that position.note  So Corbin, in his quest to ensure the job, staged an assault on the next Raw upon Strowman, with the help of fellow heels Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley, breaking Braun's arms in the process. He also got to split the Tag Team of Heath Slater and Rhyno, firing the latter and busting the former down to referee. Come TLC, with Slater as the official for their match, he started the countdown; when it reached 8, Braun's music hit... and he reminded Corbin that a side stipulation of TLC matches was the lack of disqualifications and countouts. Cue Braun summoning Apollo Crews, Chad Gable, Bobby Roode and Finn Bálor to unleash hell upon him, Slater turning on him, and Corbin escaping... only for Kurt Angle's music to hit, and the Olympic Gold Medalist took Corbin on a trip to Suplex City. Slater's final act as official that day was the three count for Strowman's win. Long story short: a minuscule detail which slipped up ended up with Corbin losing his power and everyone he tormented getting back at him.
  • 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 (except if you're Drew McIntyre).
  • 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. After becoming the Constable of Raw, he added the 'corporate stooge' trope to the mix.
  • The Giant: He's 6'8.
  • Hated by All: Thanks to his schtick as the Constable of Raw and his part in the Terrible Trio he formed with Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley, he almost reached a Brock Lesnar-like level of rejection on the roster:
    Seth Rollins: We know that (...) nobody in the world likes Corbin, not one person actually, not, not a human that's ever existed in all of space and time.
  • Hate Sink: Moreso than anyone in WWE not named McMahon, he's been singled out as the guy to hate in the current era. From his stint as Acting Raw General Manager to his Terrible Trio with Lashley and McIntyre, Corbin seems to be on a quest to get as much heat as possible.
  • Hates Everyone Equally: This is consistent as both a face and a heel. He doesn't like anyone else in the locker room regardless of their alignment. Not too many people seem to like him back either.
  • 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. This didn't last long, as Corbin would return to being a heel once again after attacking No Way Jose during the former's arrival on Raw.
  • 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. His most notable achievement would be defeating Kurt Angle in his Farewell match at WrestleMania 35.
  • 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.
  • Laughably Evil: As Happy Corbin, he's every bit a heel as always but is such a goofball that it's just flat out amusing.
  • "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.)
  • Loophole Abuse: He can use his Dream Crusher Signature Move (an outside back in lariat) in battle royale or Royal Rumble matches without getting eliminated in the process because he slides out under the bottom rope while performing it instead of going over the top rope (which is obviously, a big no-no).
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: In NXT, it was 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. Not much of it surfaced on the main roster, however.
  • 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.
  • Mouth of Sauron: His role as the Constable of Raw, as he relayed Stephanie's orders to Angle and reprimanded him in her stead.
  • 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 background as a football player and boxer was incorporated into his character upon his heel turn.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Since teaming up with Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley, his tenure as GM went from a running joke to a legitimately dangerous Tyrant Takes the Helm arc where he decided to lean fully into exercising abuse of power and screwing over the faces of Raw as much as he can.
    • He also has moments of shocking brutality, like in the 2020 Money In The Bank match where he casually tossed both Aleister Black and Rey Mysterio off the top of WWE HQ during a match. Or the time he attempted and nearly succeeded in breaking Madcap Moss's neck by trapping it in a chair and then dropping a 5-foot tall trophy on said chair.
  • One-Hit Kill: Given how spotty Corbin's booking track record is, it's actually quite surprising how heavily protected End of Days is as a finisher. Nobody could get up from it... until Drew McIntyre bucked the trend at WrestleMania 38.
  • 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?"
    • As King Corbin, he gets chants of "STD", derived from The Rock and Becky Lynch dubbing him a "super tough dude".
      The Rock: Because you're a super tough dude, in three seconds, these people are gonna be chanting something that they think every time they see you: S. T. D.
  • Power Trio: An unnamed trionote  with Bobby Lashley and Drew McIntyre formed after Corbin's ousting from power after TLC 2018.
  • 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. He started talking a lot more after being appointed a Constable of Raw.
  • The Reliable One: The word backstage is that Corbin is actually one of the safest and gentlest workers on the roster, able to make it look like he's brutally beating the stuffing out of an opponent while actually barely inflicting any pain at all (unlike a lot of wrestlers who make it look real by "working stiff"). He was acclaimed on Wrestlelamia's list of 11 wrestlers who'd saved their opponent from serious injury for the time at Money in the Bank 2016 where he saved Dolph Ziggler from a potentially serious injury, when Ziggler tripped while trying to jump off the steel ring steps and Corbin caught him before he could faceplant on the floor, transitioning it into a Deep Six so smoothly it looked entirely intentional. This reliability would go a long way to explaining why Corbin has received such a sustained push despite the often poor reaction his character receives.
  • Riches to Rags: In the late spring and summer of 2021, he engaged in a feud with Shinsuke Nakamura, trying to prove himself the one true King on Smackdown, only to lose the crown, got burned on his investments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, have his car repossessed and purchased by Nakamura, and he airs his grievances to the audience, saying that he and his wife had to fire the maid, possibly have to move in with her parents and now his daughter can't get no more Wagyu beef for dinner, and he had to create a fundraiser to get out of his financial pitfall.
    • Rags to Riches: In August 2021, the week after Summerslam 2021, Corbin has taken a trip to Las Vegas and turned his remaining $35 into another fortune by gambling his way to the top, losing it yet again and then hitting the jackpot, finally regaining what he had lost and multiplying it. Corey Graves quoted the trope name verbatim on the next Smackdown.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!: As Constable of Raw (later Acting General Manager), he uses his power to turn any matches into his favor such as turning his match with Finn Balor into a handicap match midway.
  • 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.
    • He more directly became this to AJ Styles in 2017. A closer looks at his new entrance mannerisms reveals essentially a bigger and darker version of AJ's entrance, and his lyrical theme song portrays him as a hellish scourge in direct contrast to the Southern Christian Styles.
  • Signature Move: Apart from End of Days, Deep Six, a spinning back suplex or side slam. Also, an outside back in lariat he calls the Dream Crusher, which he can safely use in battle royale or Rumble matches.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: To Kurt Angle as the Constable of Raw, trying to revert Angle's more lenient decisions into far more severe ones.
  • Smug Snake: Especially as Acting General Manager on Raw.
  • 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.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Yes Corbin, antagonize a ton of the locker room, arrange a TLC match (which means no disqualifications) in which you'll be stripped of your power if you lost, and then have someone you forced to retire from wrestling to become a referee and whose friend you fired call the match. That won't blow up in your face at all.
    • The 2020 Money in the Bank match had both the mens' and womens' divisions competing for their MITB briefcases simultaneously. At one point, Corbin is climbing the ladder to retrieve the mens' case while Asuka is doing so for the womens'... and instead of letting her be and getting the case, he attacks Asuka as if she's going for it. Needless to say, it doesn't end well for him.
  • Two First Names: Corbin can be both a first name and a last name. Baron can be both a first name and a title.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: As acting RAW GM. Literally all he does with the position is make life hell for guys on the roster he doesn't like.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He attacked Becky Lynch with End of Days at Extreme Rules 2019. If that wasn't bad enough, immediately after the deed he stopped to taunt Seth Rollins.
    Corbin: What are you gonna do now, you piece of shit!?
  • Wrestling Monster: No onenote  has kicked out of his finisher. No one.