UPDATE: Despite his comments during the commercial break last week, Rhyno sent in a video message to the WWE to clarify that he was NOT in fact retiring, but would fullfil his remaining WWE contractual obligations at Live Events through December and January and then re-assess when his contract ends.
— WWE (@WWE) December 11, 2018
Here’s the rest of the original article:
Last night on Monday Night Raw, Rhyno lost a match against his tag team partner Heath Slater in a match set up by Acting General Manager Baron Corbin, whereby the loser would be fired from the WWE. With Slater’s victory, Rhyno was sent packing from Raw as Corbin handed him his pink slip. And while maybe wondered if Rhyno would end up heading over to SmackDown Live, or possibly heading to NXT to work with the younger stars, reports from those in attendance shed a different spin on the story. During the commercial break following his loss, Rhyno took a microphone and announced his retirement from the WWE and the end of a 23-year career in the ring.
Rhyno Retiring After 23 Years In Ring
Rhyno got his start in 1995 as one of the first graduates of the Can-Am Wrestling School in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Trained by fellow Detroit native “Irish” Mickey Doyle and Canadian wrestlers “The Canadian Destroyer” Doug Chevalier and Scott D’Amore, Rhyno began working with D’Amore’s Border City Wrestling (BCW), where he won the BCW Television Championship. In 1997, after toiling in the US and Canadian indies alongside the likes of Joe E. Legend, Edge and Christian, Rhyno headed to Europe, working with Austria’s Catch Wrestling Association (CWA), where he won the CWA European Tag Team titles on two occasions, once with Joe E. Legend and once with the man who is now known as PCO. He returned to North America in 1999 and headed to Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW).
He made an impact quick in ECW, almost immediately challenging Taz for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, as well as tagging with Steve Corino against ECW Tag Team Champions Raven & Tommy Dreamer. Rhyno challenged for all three ECW titles, simultaneously, goring his way into the hearts of the ECW faithful in Philadelphia. In April of 2000, he’d finally strike ECW gold, defeating Tajiri for the ECW World Television title. By the end of 2000, he’d be a 2x ECW TV Champion and one of ECW’s fastest rising new stars. At ECW Guilty As Charged in January of 2001, Rhyno – while still holding the TV title – Rhyno defeated The Sandman to become the ECW World Heavyweight Champion. Rhyno would be the last man to hold both titles, as ECW closed down later that spring.
It wouldn’t take Rhyno long to find work – by March of 2001, he made his WWE debut on SmackDown, in a reunion match of sorts. In a 6-man tag match, he teamed up with his early road partners Edge & Christian to face former ECW rivals The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray, D-Von & Spike Dudley). Rhyno would immediately create a path of destruction, defeating Kane for the WWE Hardcore Championship, a title he’d hold on three separate occasions. Soon after debuting with the WWE, Rhyno would join the ECW squad as part of the Invasions angle (ultimately being a part of the WCW-ECW Alliance). At WWE Unforgiven ’01, he would win the WCW United States Championship during the Invasion, once again defeating an old rival in Tajiri. His reign would last only a month, before he lost it to Kurt Angle – a loss which prompted the Alliance’s Shane McMahon to suspend Rhyno indefinitely. The suspension was actually a way to write Rhyno off WWE television, as he had to undergo serious neck surgery for cervical fusion of two herniated discs. Rhyno was out of action for over a year to recuperate. He would return to the ring 16 months later in early 2003, returning to side with Chris Benoit in his battles against Eddie Guerrero. Rhyno would spend the next two years in feuds for the (now) WWE United States title, but was released by the WWE in the spring of 2005. His final appearance was at the ECW One Night Stand against Sabu that June.
While many expected his return at One Night Stand to indicate he’d returned to the company, it was just a one-off, and in July, he showed up in TNA/IMPACT Wrestling. Initially, Rhyno debuted as an enforcer for Jeff Jarrett in his quest to defeat Rhyno’s ECW and WWE rival Raven for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship, but it didn’t take long for Rhyno to change his mind on his choice of alliances. At TNA Bound For Glory ’05, Rhyno defeated Jarrett for the NWA World Championship. Rhyno would continue to work with TNA through 2010, with his six-year tenure with the company his longest run with one company.
In 2011, Rhyno headed to Ring of Honor, debuting at ROH Best in the World ’11, were he faced Homicide in a Street Fight. He became the enforcer in Prince Nana‘s The Embassy, where he would team with current NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa, in a stable that also featured RD Evans (aka Archibald Peck) and current NXT Superstar Mia Yim. In his three year run with ROH, Rhyno would fight the likes of Kevin Owens, Eddie Edwards, Jay Lethal, and others. At the end of his run, he would end up joining his old ECW tag partner Steve Corino in SCUM, alongside Jimmy Jacobs, Rhett Titus, Cliff Compton and Matt Hardy.
Throughout his ROH run, he worked a variety of independents around North America, still frequenting his old haunts like BCW, as well as All American Wrestling (AAW), Rockstar Pro, Jersey Championship Wrestling (JCW, now Game Changer Wrestling), International Wrestling Cartel (IWC) and others, including his former ECW pal Tommy Dreamer’s House of Hardcore. In 2014, he made a short return to IMPACT Wrestling as the hired enforcer for Ethan Carter III (EC3), before engaging in a feud with EC3 and his other minion, Rockstar Spud. He finished up after his second set of tapings in August of 2014.
In early 2015, ten years after departing the WWE the first time, Rhyno made his return to the company, as a member of NXT. He initially came in to feud with Baron Corbin, until the two decided to team up. He spent most of 2015 with NXT, until getting called back to the main roster at the end of the year to join Tommy Dreamer and The Dudley Boyz in their feud against The Wyatt Family (Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper, Erick Rowan & Braun Strowman). Following the feud, it seemed Rhyno was once again finished with the WWE, but he returned in August of 2016 to assist Heath Slater find himself a WWE contract. Undrafted in the 2016 brand split, Slater entered a tournament to crown the SmackDown Tag Team Champions with Rhyno, with the unlikely tandem winning the gold and becoming fan favorites in the process.
Since then, Slater and Rhyno remained together. While not used as often on television, 2017 saw Rhyno appear in 111 matches with the WWE – the third highest total of his career in a single year (he worked 149 in 2004 and 117 in 2003). But in 2016, the year prior, Rhyno – or rather his real-life alter ego Terry Gerin – decided to enter the world of politics, running for a seat in the Michigan House of Representatives. Representing the Republican party, Gerin would win the Republican primary but ultimately lost the election that August.
While there’s always a chance that Rhyno’s retirement is simply a departure from the WWE – he could still return to IMPACT Wrestling (now being lead by his mentor Scott D’Amore) – at 43 years old, it’s more likely that he is indeed finishing up his in-ring career, perhaps looking to enter local politics once again, but on more of permanent basis. Rhyno is still slated for several WWE Live Events as he winds down, but it appears that he is now done from WWE television. Congratulations to Terry Gerin on a long and storied career and best of luck in his future accomplishments.