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Wrestling / Billy Kidman

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Peter Alan Gruner Jr. (born May 11, 1974) is a retired American Professional Wrestler from Allentown, PA best known for his work in WCW and WWE as Billy Kidman or Kidman. He debuted in 1994 and first competed under the name Kid Flash. He formed a tag team with Ace Darling called the Shooting Stars, and they competed in various promotions, winning the ECWA (Delaware) Tag Team Titles and the USWA World Tag Team Titles. He debuted in WCW in 1996 and spent his first year as a Jobber. He got his first storyline when he climbed the guardrail and joined Raven's Flock on the October 13, 1997 WCW Monday Nitro. He turned face during the Raven-Perry Saturn match at WCW Fall Brawl 98, September 13, 1998, and, the following night on Nitro, defeated Juventud Guerrera to win his first WCW World Cruiserweight Title. He would hold the title 2 more times in WCW, along with holding the WCW World Tag Team Titles twice, 1x w/Rey Mysterio Jr. and 1x w/Konnan, and he and Rey would defeat Elix Skipper and Kid Romeo to be the second, and final, WCW World Cruiserweight Tag Team Champions. When WWE bought WCW, Kidman was brought in as part of the InVasion/Alliance angle. During his WWE run, he would have four more reigns as Cruiserweight Champion and one run with the WWE SmackDown! Tag Team Title with Paul London. WWE released him in 2005 and he toured the independents before returning in 2010 to work as a trainer. He was inducted into the ECWA Hall of Fame in 2004.

"You can't powerbomb Kidman's tropes!":

  • Addled Addict: When Kidman first joined the Flock, he was heavily implied through his un-hygenic-looking attire and constant scratching to be addicted to heroin. Hell, his Shooting Star Press was temporarily renamed the Seven Year Itch. Kidman actually hated playing this character and eventually talked the WCW bookers into letting him play a cleaner, more typical grunge-inspired character, much to the annoyance of Raven, who liked the addict character.
  • Arch-Enemy: A couple.
    • In WCW, Hulk Hogan. At the time Kidman was a white-hot upper midcarder until his feud with Hulk, and the Hulkster's reluctance to sell for a cruiserweight, cooled him off significantly.
    • He never really got pushed in WWF/E. His most significant feud there was with Chavo Guerrero after accidentally injuring him with a Shooting Star Press.
  • Ascended Meme: At the start of the Colt Cabana-Grado match at AIW Bloodsport, September 9, 2016, Colt tried for a German Suplex and the commentator said, "You can't German Suplex Grado. It's like trying to powerbomb Billy Kidman."
  • Epic Fail: The first time he tried to use the shooting star press in a match he landed in the same spot he jumped from. Specifically, he was trying to duplicate a move he saw Jushin Thunder Liger do. After that did not work he tucked his legs in and the shooting star press as we know it came about.
    • He also had an example or two around late 2002 and early 2003 after putting on a significant amount of muscle mass, it took him a while to relearn how the physics of getting himself around worked with another 60 pounds or so on his body, and nearly landed on his head a few times.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: After Raven gave Scotty Riggs a drop toe-hold onto a chair, (kayfabe) injuring Riggs' eye, Kidman got in the ring and pleaded with Raven to stop hurting Riggs.
  • Evil Costume Switch: In WWE. From white trunks to half-white/half-black trunks to black trunks.
  • Face–Heel Turn:
    • In WCW he was a face jobber-to-the-stars known for having one of the coolest finishers in the game. Then he joined the Flock, for reasons that were never explored beyond 'Raven got into his head somehow.'
    • Turned Heel in WWE after a botched Shooting Star Press that resulted in severe concussion for Chavo Guerrero.
  • Finishing Move: Shooting Star Press, Kid Krusher note , BK Bombnote 
  • Fragile Speedster: In WWE, as it was adverse to pushing him most of the time, leading to Kidman getting put away in anticlimactic fashions after dazzling audiences his quickness and athletics and his tag team with Paul London, which again wasn't pushed for most of its existence.
  • Heel–Face Turn: While Perry Saturn was trying to convince The Flock to abandon Raven, Kidman was the one who finally took it to heart, interfering against Raven in the match between Raven and Saturn for The Flock's freedom, and then leading the rest of the Flock away on a chase so that Saturn could win the match.
  • In a Single Bound: He could hit a running Shooting Star Press over the ropes to the floor.
  • Last-Name Basis: During, and for a while after, his tenure in The Flock.
  • Limited Wardrobe: When he first joined the Flock, he wore nothing but dirty jean shorts and a dirty ankh t-shirt. He did in fact switch the t-shirt for a white beater and began washing his jean shorts, but he just replaced one look with another.
  • Power Stable:
    • (in WCW): Raven's Flock, the Filthy Animals and the New Blood
    • (in WWE): The Alliance
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Blue to Paul London's red. Putting a stop to London's Warlord dashes was the first order of business when Kidman realized they would be tagging.
  • The Runaway: In Bruce Mitchell's 1998 column about what he saw as the gay elements of Raven's Flock (see the Ho Yay entry on Raven's YMMV page), he wrote, "Billy Kidman has got the Bus Station Runaway look down cold."
  • Schmuck Bait: One of his signature moves was countering a powerbomb with a facebuster – even against opponents who never usually went for powerbombs! It got to the point where the move's unofficial name became "YOU CAN'T POWERBOMB KIDMAN."
  • Signature Move: The BK Bomb, although occasionally used as a finisher, was more often used to set up the Shooting Star Press.
  • Tag Team: The Shooting Stars
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: He was one of the wrestlers whose matches were rigged on to count for Hogan's when fans voted them best of the night on their polls. Hogan then claimed that Kidman couldn't draw, based on his poor performance in the voting. The first thing Vince Russo and Eric Bischoff did as bookers was have Kidman beat Hogan.
  • Troll: When WCW decided to try and make him an anti-hero, he became this. He started by dancing around behind Lance Storm and making faces while the Canadian national anthem played. Then, while affiliated with the Filthy Animals, he carried a camcorder - er, The Kid-corder - around and used it to cause trouble. Even though sometimes his targets were heels, some of them were faces, and he never seemed to have any reason for doing it besides it amused him.
  • Underwear of Power: During his WWE run, except for when he wore pants on Velocity.
  • Ur-Example: He actually was using the running-up-the-turnbuckles bulldog before Little Spike Dudley started using it in ECW. However, because Spike's version was actually named (the Acid Drop), once Kidman started getting a push, people thought that Kidman was doing Spike's move.
  • Villain Song: "You Can Run," but then the Invasion was over and Billy Kidman was a babyface... until he injured Chavo Guerrero with the Shooting Star Press and refused to do it, until fans asked for it and he purposefully set out to injure people with the move.
  • We Used to Be Friends: With Paul London, that he turned on in the wake of injuring Chavo.
  • White Gangbangers: Was the only white guy in the otherwise entirely Latino-gangster stable The Filthy Animals.
  • Would Hit a Girl: He gave Jackie Gayda the BK Bomb on the October 7, 2004 SmackDown!.
  • Wrestling Family: Ex-husband to Torrie Wilson. His cousin is Mikey Batts, who competed in the Florida independent scene as well as for TNA, OVW and some other promotions.
  • You Can Run, but You Can't Hide: As mentioned above, his most notable WWE theme was titled "You Can Run."