Ambiguously flamboyant characters have always had a place in professional wrestling. Every since George Wagner bleached his hair blonde and began to call himself “Gorgeous”, the theatrics, pomp and circumstances of the absurdly bombastic have managed to rile up audiences in some areas and win the hearts of the childlike in others. Names like “Exotic” Adrian Street, “Adorable” Adrian Adonis, and Goldust, have created characters that have become legends alongside the gaudy-father Gorgeous George himself. In today’s political climate, it’s tough to successfully pull off such gimmicks without treading on homophobic overtones, but one man has managed to create a character so luridly extravagant, that even the naysayers have warmed up to his combination of flamboyance, technical prowess, and raw strength. “The Charismatic Milkshake” himself, Dalton Castle, who tonight faces Ring of Honor World Champion Cody Rhodes at ROH Final Battle 2017.
Thirty-one year old Brett Giehl began his pro wrestling career in 2009, following an amateur career in NCAA collegiate wrestling with the SUNY Cortland Red Dragons as well as representing the USA in international competitions. He originally began in his home town promotion, Rochester, New York’s Next Era Wrestling (NEW), before travelling to Buffalo’s Empire State Wrestling (ESW), where he debuted as Dalton Castle. For the next few years, Castle travelled the Mid-West indies, with stops in Ohio’s Absolute Intense Wrestling (AIW) and Pennsylvania’s International Wrestling Cartel (IWC), as well New York’s Squared Circle Wrestling (2CW) and Ottawa’s C4.
In 2014, Dalton Castle went to CHIKARA, when it was revealed that Darkness Crabtree, a character who had been killed off in a previous encounter with the faction GEKIDO, had left his massive fortune to his “nephew”, Dalton ‘Caroline’ Castle. When Castle appeared on CHIKARA, he changed his persona to that of a yacht sailing gentleman now named Ashley Remington, who feuded with the likes of Chuck Taylor, Juan Francisco de Coronado, and Drew Gulak.
In 2015, Castle entered the Ring of Honor Top Prospect 2015 tournament, but was ultimately defeated in the first round. Castle had worked a few matches here and there with ROH over the years, but never managed to crack ROH’s roster. But following his first round loss, he would emerge a couple months later to face ROH World Television Champion Jay Lethal for the title. From there, Castle has remained a constant presence with Ring of Honor, accompanied by his two “Boys” (twin indie wrestlers Brandon and Brent Tate), frequently challenging for the ROH World TV title or Tag Team titles.
In 2015, he left CHIKARA as his ROH position strengthened, and also made his debuts with NJPW (via ROH), Impact Wrestling (for a couple One Night Only PPVs), Smash Wrestling in Toronto, and the UK circuit (with Preston City Wrestling). Last year, Dalton Castle made his PWG debut as part of the prestigious Battle of Los Angeles tournament, in what many consider one of the best BOLA events ever.
This past year, Castle finally accomplished what has eluded him since he first appeared for ROH and that’s win Ring of Honor gold, when he and The Boys captured the ROH World 6-Man Tag Team championships. But he was determined to get back to his singles career and for the past few months has become entrenched in a war against the Bullet Club, beginning with their loss of the 6-Man Tag titles to The Hung Bucks (The Young Bucks & Hangman Page) at August’s RevPro/NJPW/ROH War of the Worlds in Edinburgh, Scotland. Following the match, Cody Rhodes attacked the trio and boxed up The Boys in crates to ship away. This lead to Castle taking out Hangman Page in October in a match on ROH TV, teaming with Jay Lethal and Kenny King to defeat The Elite (Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks) at ROH Elite in November, then defeating “The Villain” Marty Scurll at ROH Survival of the Fittest. Over the course of a month, Castle had defeated every member of the Being the Elite cast, except for one man – ROH World Champion Cody Rhodes.
With it all on the line tonight, having defeated Omega, The Young Bucks, Scurll and Page, the long road to avenge The Boys comes at Final Battle and if Castle can win the title he will have decimated The Elite and paved the road with feathers for smooth sailing into 2018 and the Year of the Peacock.