John Quinlan (wrestler): Wikis


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John Quinlan

John Quinlan File Photo circa 2002
Ring name(s) John Bagwell[1]
Joseph Bagwell[2][3]
Alex Bagwell[2][3]
Shane O'Kane[2][3]
John Quinlan[2][3]
Height 5 feet 10 inches (1.78 m)[2][3]
Weight 230 pounds (100 kg)[2][3]
Born October 30, 1974 (1974-10-30) (age 35)[2][3]
Winchester, Massachusetts
Resides Boston, Massachusetts[2][3]
Billed from Athens, Georgia
Hell's Kitchen, New York
Trained by Killer Kowalski[2][3]
Brutus Beefcake [2][3]
Debut November 26, 1999[3]
Retired March 1, 2002[3]

John Quinlan[2][3] (born John Joseph Quinlan October 30, 1974[2][3] in Winchester, Massachusetts, USA) is a former American bodybuilder and professional wrestler of Irish descent from Boston, Massachusetts.




John Quinlan in 1998.

Quinlan began a strict workout regimen in the Fall of 1993 during his Freshman year while playing baseball at Saint Leo University. In the Spring of 1994, he quit baseball to focus more on weight training and bodybuilding. In the Fall of 1994, Quinlan transferred to Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts where he engaged in powerlifting and sports nutrition. In the Spring of 1997, Quinlan trained several members of the student body for the 1st Annual Springfield College Bodybuilding Show. WWE Professional wrestler John Cena is also an alumnus of Springfield College and was there during this time. He graduated from Springfield in 1997 with a degree in Movement in Sports Studies. In 1998, Quinlan competed in the NABF.[4] In October of that year, Quinlan placed 1st in the Junior Class and 4th in the Men's Open Light Heavyweight Division at the NABF Tri-State Pro-Am. He swept the Junior Class and earned a 3rd place finish in the Men's Open Light Heavyweight Division two weeks later at the NABF USA Junior Nationals. During this time Quinlan was coached by Jeff Walsh, Billy Conserva and Lawrence Cuzzi. On November 7, 1998, at the NABF Pro-Am America Nationals & Fitness Expo held in the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence, Rhode Island, Quinlan finished finished 2nd Overall in the Junior Class.[5]

Professional wrestling


Walter "Killer" Kowalski Training John Quinlan & The Boston Brawler in 2000.

In February 1999, Quinlan entered the Killer Kowalski Professional Wrestling School in Malden, Massachusetts. Among the alumni of this school are Triple H, Chyna, Perry Saturn, Albert, John Kronus and Big John Studd.[6] During this time Quinlan trained along with April Hunter, Aaron Stevens, Wagner Brown and Christopher Nowinski under the stage names John Bagwell,[1] Joseph Bagwell,[7] and Alex Bagwell[8] which were assigned to him by promoters. On November 26, 1999, in his first professional wrestling match for the World Wrestling Alliance (Massachusetts),[2][3] Quinlan teamed up with Aaron Stevens and Tre "The Smooth Operatin' Gangsta" under the name John Bagwell in a Six-Man Tag team match in Farmington, New Hampshire.[1] In February of 2000, Quinlan tag teammed with bodybuilder Jerry Ward (Lucian Bagwell) for Yankee Pro Wrestling which became known as Top Rope Promotions. In the Summer of 2000, Quinlan was briefly managed by Rocky Raymond while participating in Extreme based professional wrestling throughout New England. On July 2, 2000, while wrestling at the Thompson International Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut, Quinlan received a Powerbomb from his opponent through a table on concrete outside the ring fracturing one of the vertebra in his lower back which took months to heal.[2][3] During this time Quinlan participated in photo shoots for New England based Fitness features and on one occasion modeled for the Boston sports drink "Energy Bomb"[9] due to his extraordinary musculature and vascularity. While performing promotional microphone interviews, Quinlan was often quoted speaking the words, "I have 20" arms and a 30" waist".[10] Quinlan often felt he was exploited by promoters who forced him to use the Alex Bagwell gimmick (kayfabe cousin of professional wrestler Buff Bagwell because of his natural physical likeness to Buff Bagwell during this time) against his wishes for their own own financial gains. Often he would see less than half of his total income earned at a pro wrestling event which would ultimately force him to drop that gimmick and wrestle under the names Shane O' Kane and John Quinlan.[2][3] Quinlan has often been misunderstood by many as having an ego and for being arrogant based upon his outside physical appearance which consists of numerous tattoos and scars when in reality he is a relatively shy and humble person.

Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake & John Quinlan in 2001.
John Quinlan as Shane O'Kane in 2001.

In the Fall of 2000, Quinlan was in contact with Joey Styles of Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) for a scheduled professional tryout which never materialized. Quinlan began training at World Gym in Lynnfield, Massachusetts with his manager Peter Karalekas in December of that same year. Early in 2001, he had a brief feud with Rick Fuller, formally of World Championship Wrestling (WCW), while wrestling for the National Wrestling Alliance of New England over a title shot against Fuller that ended in a loss. Shortly after, with Peter Karalekas, Quinlan went to Atlanta, Georgia and met with Ernest Miller (The Ayatollah in the movie The Wrestler (2008 film)) who was accompanied by Carmel Macklin and Michael Jai White about entering the WCW Power Plant. The WCW Power Plant unfortunately closed shortly after in March 2001 when WCW was purchased by the World Wrestling Federation. Quinlan began using the Shane O'Kane gimmick at this time which was developed by Peter Karalekas. The character initially portrayed an Irish thug from the mean streets of Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, New York as a Heel (professional wrestling) but was transitioned to a masked wrestler as a Face (professional wrestling). He began training with Edward Leslie, who is best known as World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) legend Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake, in the Summer of 2001.[2][3] Quinlan and Leslie trained at World Gym in Somerville, Massachusetts and traveled together wrestling for multiple professional wrestling organizations throughout the Northeastern United States. Along with Leslie, Quinlan wrestled on cards with pro wrestling superstars such as King Kong Bundy, Jimmy Snuka, The Honky Tonk Man, Tito Santana and Tony Atlas. In late August of 2001, Quinlan's pro wrestling future, together along with Leslie, looked bright with Jimmy Hart's newly founded Xcitement Wrestling Federation (XWF) as Shane O'Kane but it ultimately fell through for financial reasons. Quinlan's last professional wrestling match was with an affiliation of Empire Pro Wrestling on the independent circuit in March 2002[2][3][11] as the result of accumulated sports related injuries he sustained over the past decade.

Other media

John Quinlan in 2000.

Arm wrestling

Quinlan arm wrestled Chad Eaton, defensive tackle in the National Football League for the New England Patriots, in the Fall of 2000 while working at the The Rack Boston Nightclub as a bouncer.


Quinlan appeared as an extra in the 2001 filming of the MSNBC Investigates documentary entitled "Body of Work" (2003)[12] while he was training at Killer Kowalski's Professional Wrestling School.

In December of 2001, Quinlan and Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake appeared together in a television commercial for World Gym of Lynnfield, Massachusetts.

Children's literature

Quinlan was used in 2000 as a model by Brian Dow,[13] an illustrator of children's books, book covers, advertising and editorial illustration for a self-promotion piece inspired by Harry Potter and author J.K. Rowling.[14] Dow used Quinlan's physique in this digital painting and colored pencil illustration as the body of the evil troll which was also utilized on the cover of the paperback book, "The War of Trolls" (Scream Shop Series #8) by Tracey West[15] in which Dow illustrated as well. Quinlan modeled for Dow as the genie in a second illustration of similar nature later that year.[16]

In wrestling

John Quinlan & Manager Peter Karalekas in 2001.
  • Signature moves
  • Managers
  • Miss IIXtreme
  • Rocky Raymond[3]
  • Peter Karalekas[3]
  • Nickname
  • The Irish Bad Boy (as Shane O'Kane)


  • IIXtreme Pro Wrestling
  • IIXtreme Hardcore Champion (1 time)[2][3]
  • IIXtreme Heavyweight Champion (1 time)[2][3]

Pro Wrestling & Sports Related Injuries

John Quinlan performing at a pro wrestling house show.

On July 2, 2000 Quinlan was power bombed through a table on concrete outside the ring by his opponent at the Thompson Motor Speedway in Thompson, Connecticut in front of 14,000 spectators before winning the IIXtreme Hardcore Championship.[17] While the damage wasn't felt right away, he ended up with a compression fracture of the L2 vertebra with L1-L2 posterior and right posterolateral disc protrusion indenting the thecal sac. Quinlan suffered additional injuries once again during a training session on April 15, 2005 while performing Plyometrics which resulted directly from years of physical wear and tear on his body. A series of examinations consisting of an X-ray, CT scan and MRI revealed three lower Lumbar vertebrae compression fractures at the L3,L4 and L5 vertebra with bulging discs simultaneously in L3, L4 and L5 respectively. These tests also revealed the presence of grade three Isthmic Spondylolisthesis. This vertebral slippage was detected at the level of the L5/S1 vertebra segment, the L4-L5 vertebra segment and the L3-L4 vertebra segment.


Quinlan has ten strategically placed black and white tattoos, most of which having an Oriental and Celtic cross theme, including two half-sleeve tattoos and five Kanji Chinese characters that are used in the modern Japanese logographic writing system.

A list of Quinlan's tattoos includes:

  • Japanese dragon theme half sleeve on upper right arm
  • Celtic sun cross on middle upper back
  • Tribal bracelet with Kanji "Tranquility" and "Strength" symbols on right wrist
  • Celtic high cross with banner on upper left back
  • Kanji "Happiness" symbol on upper right back
  • Celtic Rock of Cashel cross on upper right back
  • Kanji "Hope" symbol on upper left back
  • Chrome and black "Godsmack" tribal sun symbol around navel
  • "Medusa" theme half sleeve on upper left arm
  • Kanji "Courage" symbol on lower left abdomen

The half sleeve tattoos on Quinlan's upper arms started out as tribal designs that were expanded over several sittings.

Personal life

Quinlan is good friends with fellow professional wrestler, Brutus "The Barber" Beefcake and former cruiserweight professional boxer Richie Lamontagne.[18][19]

Quinlan had several shards of broken glass lodged in his lower lip which caused excessive scarring when a bottle was broken near his face as he attempted to break up a fight in a Boston nightclub near Faneuil Hall while working as a bouncer (doorman).

Quinlan's father, Shaun Quinlan, played for the Boston University Terriers men's ice hockey team during the 1964-1965[20] and 1965-1966[21] seasons wearing number 17.[22]

Quinlan's grandfather, William John Quinlan, played Irish Football and was an amateur boxer trained by Johnny Buckley[23] in the 1930's.

See also


External links

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