Joseph Ruud (born November 28, 1981) is an American professional wrestler. He is signed to WWE, where he performs under the ring name Erick Rowan. He is a former member of The Wyatt Family and is a one time NXT Tag Team Champion and a two-time Smackdown Tag Team Champion, first with his tag team partner, former fellow Wyatt Family member turned fellow Bludgeon Brother Luke Harper, then with Daniel Bryan.
Prior to being signed by WWE, Ruud competed in Japan, where he competed in both tag team and singles matches, albeit without much success. Following his tour in Japan, Ruud returned to the United States in 2008 and began competing under the ring name Thoruf Marius for the Minnesota-based F1rst Wrestling promotion.
In February 2011, Ruud signed a developmental contract with WWE and was assigned to their developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling under the ring name Erick Rowan, where he debuted as a member of the Wyatt Family.
On September 29, vignettes were shown of Harper and Rowan being "set free" by Wyatt, marking the dissolution of the Wyatt Family and the transition of its members into singles competition. A short time later, Rowan turned face for the first time in his WWE career when he joined Team Cena with fellow former heels Dolph Ziggler and Ryback, going after his former Wyatt Family member and then-Intercontinental Champion Luke Harper, who had joined Team Authority.
Rowan made his return months later, rejoining The Wyatt Family on the Raw before Hell in a Cell 2015, helping Bray Wyatt and Braun Strowman to defeat Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns in a handicap match. Later, he would join Luke Harper in the tag team "the Bludgeon Brothers" until they were both taken out by injury.
In 2018 he returned as the acolyte of Daniel Bryan.
- Adorkable: His incredibly creepy attempt at "flirting" with Renee Young made him come across like this.
- Animal Motifs: Fitting the Family's sheep motif, Rowan wears a child's sheep mask when not wrestling, and has kept it even after the dissolution of the Family.
- Ascended Extra: Initially a henchman to the charismatic Bray Wyatt, Rowan has since become his own wrestler and given his own motif, much like Harper.
- Badass Beard: There was a reason The Big Show referred to him as "The Upside-Down Sheamus."
- Bald of Awesome: Though he more than makes up the difference in facial hair.
- Big Guy, Little Guy: He's forming an alliance with Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble (2019).
- Butt-Monkey: Sadly, WWE management doesn't really seem to have any faith in Rowan. His singles face run was a joke (getting fed to The Big Show and Rusev) and any time someone in the Wyatts is going to eat a pin, you can bet it'll be him. Oh, Harper will often eat more of the offence (because he's amazing at selling it) but Rowan is constantly made to look weak by the booking and is very rarely allowed to really do any actual wrestling. If you need proof, he was the one who lost to The Rock in six seconds at Wrestlemania 2016.
- Cool Mask: Could also count as a White Mask of Doom.
- Cloudcuckoolander: A decidedly more harmless variant than his boss. He's ultimately very intelligent, but has a childlike approach on things.
- Creepy Doll: He has one on a table in his shed, wearing all black and an appropriately-sized sheep mask. It seems to be the source of the hair sewn into some of his masks.
- Dark Is Not Evil: In his face incarnation, Erick Rowan wears the attire he debuted in (sheep mask included), with the only change being that it's all black.
- Didn't See That Coming: Rowan of all people coming out and joining Team Cena not only shocked Harper and The Authority, but Cena himself.
- The Dragon: To Daniel Bryan in 2019.
- Evil Is Bigger: During his time in the Family, Rowan came in at about 6'8" and was well over 300 pounds, easily making him the biggest member, until Braun Strowman's debut that is.
- Evil Redhead: Obviously the "evil" part is debatable.
- Expy: Erick Rowan could very well be considered an expy of Jason Voorhees. He's a tall, imposing figure who hides beneath a mask, says VERY little (he's only spoken one word after over two years of being a member of The Wyatt Family on the main roster: "Run"), and he tilts his head in a very similar fashion to Voorhees (and Michael Myers before him).
- Finishing Move: Formerly, The Running Splash and The Torture Rack. Currently, The Full Nelson Slam.
- The Giant: At 6'8", he's no Big Show, but as a 320-pound Mighty Glacier that dwarfs anyone on the roster not named The Undertaker, Braun Strowman or Big Show, he plays this trope pretty straight.
- Glowing Eyes of Doom: THE RAGE features Rowan creating a misshapen mask with glowing eyes.
- Hidden Depths: According to Tom Phillip's research, Erick Rowan has a genius level IQ (143, allegedly) and is a guitar prodigy as well as an award-winning winemaker. To drive the point home, Rowan solved a Rubix cube during the (less-than-one-minute) interview in which this was revealed.
- The Jannetty: To both Luke Harper and Bray Wyatt, the former winning his first singles title in taking the IC Championshp from Dolph Ziggler, while Bray, who was the face of the stable from the beginning, has been immersed in high-profile feuds with Dean Ambrose and The Undertaker.
- Rowan's found himself on the wrong end of beatdowns from the Big Show, lost his first and so-far only PPV singles match to the giant in a Stairs match at the TLC PPV, and when the Ziggler-Ryback-Rown trio's Royal Rumble spots were on the line, he was the only one to lose and not be entered in the Rumble match. If his beat down of Fandango on SmackDown is any indication, he may be having second thoughts about his time away from The Wyatt Family.
- Last-Name Basis: After re-debut as The Bludgeon Brothers.
- Lighter and Softer: Slightly compared to the rest of the Wyatt Family, much more obvious nowadays. His theme music alone is this compared to his contemporaries'. Compared to Bray's creepy neo-bluesy "Broken Out Of Love" and Harper's distorted "Swamp Gas", Rowan's theme "Sheepherder" is a jolly (if slightly unnerving) little bluegrass number. He's also the only member to have turned face at any point prior to 2017.
- Malevolent Masked Men: The aforementioned sheep mask. He's also worn a brown goat mask, curled horns and all, of a similar design. Nowadays, he wears a fusion of his sheep mask and a gas mask.
- Mighty Glacier: Erick Rowan is the definition of this trope. 6'8", 320 pounds, and about as agile as you'd expect for someone that size that isn't named Kane or The Undertaker. And when he hits you, you know it. Although he does have some moves in his arsenal that you wouldn't expect from somebody that big, like a spinning heel kick or a top rope splash.
- The Quiet One: Erick Rowan isn't much for talking, almost less so than his form partner Luke Harper. He's been a little more vocal since turning face, but his time with the family can be summed up in one word:"Run."
- The Red Baron: An unofficial one could be "Big Red," due to his sheer size and thick, red beard.
- Room Full of Crazy: The shed seen in his YouTube videos, particularly WHAT I SEE. Its sole visible wall is covered in his various sheep masks, newspaper clippings, and (by the table) locks of human hair.
- Serial Killer: Implied by his YouTube videos. WHAT I SEE opens with him dragging a body in a bag through the woods, and he has a newspaper clipping about an escaped inmate's body being found. And that human hair taped to his wall came from somewhere.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: One of the rare times he did speak was four choice words to the Big Show, who had recently turned against Team Cena and joined the Authority.
- Sleeves Are for Wimps: His very farmer-like jumpsuit.
- Unexpected Character: Despite being eliminated from the 2015 Royal Rumble, he showed up anyway, attacking Curtis Axel before his chance to get in the ring and briefly sparking a Wyatt Family reunion. Axel didn't handle it well...
- Before that when he suddenly showed up out of nowhere to become the 5th man on Team Cena for their clash against The Authority at Survivor Series 2014. Not even Cena knew what to make of it when Rowan came striding down the ramp, looking as confused as anyone.
- Nobody expected him to make his return from injury at the Royal Rumble 2019 and assist Daniel Bryan in his WWE title match against AJ Styles either. Certainly not dressed in flannelette.