Joseph Ruud is an American professional wrestler. He is best known for his work with WWE as Erick Rowan. He is a former NXT and SmackDown Tag Team Champion.
In 2003, Rudd began his professional wrestling career. He went to Japan and trained at NOAH and wrestled for other independent promotions before heading to WWE.
In 2011, he signed a contract with WWE and began working for FCW. After a year, FCW was rebranded to NXT. During his days in NXT, he was renamed, Erick Rowan. Later, he joined Bray Wyatt and Luke Harper to form The Wyatt Family. In May, Harper and Rowan won the NXT Tag Team Championship. In July, they lost the title to Adrian Neville and Corey Graves.
In July, the trio made their main roster debut by attacking Kane. At SummerSlam, Harper and Rowan assisted Wyatt in defeating Kane. CM Punk and Daniel Bryan defeated Harper and Rowan at Survivor Series. The Wyatt Family beat Daniel Bryan at TLC. At Elimination Chamber, The Wyatt Family defeated The Shield. At WrestleMania XXX, Harper and Rowan assisted Wyatt during his match with John Cena. After Mania, Harper and Rowan feuded with The Usos but failed to win the WWE Tag Team Championship.
In September, Luke Harper and Erick Rowan took some time off The Wyatt Family. In November, Harper defeated Dolph Ziggler to win the Intercontinental Championship. At Survivor Series, Harper joined Team Authority and Rowan joined Team Cena. Team Cena defeated Team Authority with the help of Sting.
At TLC, Big Show defeated Rowan in a chairs match. After Cena reinstated the Authority, Rowan was fired. On RAW, Cena defeated Rollins and saved Rowan's job. In July, Harper and Rowan reunited with Bray Wyatt. At SummerSlam, Wyatt and Harper lost to Ambrose and Reigns. In September, they added Braun Strowman to the stable, and they defeated Reigns, Ambrose, and Jericho at Night of Champions.
At Survivor Series, The Wyatt Family lost to The Brothers of Destruction. In 2016, the stable feuded with Brock Lesnar. At WrestleMania 32, the stable was attacked by John Cena and The Rock. The Rock defeated Rowan in six seconds. During the draft, Rowan joined Wyatt. However, Rowan was injured and took some time off. In 2017, Rowan faced Harper at Backlash and lost.
In 2017, Harper feuded with Orton and Wyatt at Royal Rumble and Elimination Chamber but failed to win. After a few months of hiatus, Harper and Rowan formed a new tag team called The Bludgeon Brothers. The team went on an undefeated streak and defeated several teams. At WrestleMania 34, The Bludgeon Brothers defeated The New Day and The Usos to win the SmackDown Tag Team Championship.
After 135 days, the team lost the titles to The New Day because of Rowan's injury. They did not use Harper for the rest of the year. In 2019, Rowan began assisting Daniel Bryan. He helped Bryan on several occasions to retain the title. After Mania, Bryan, and Rowan won the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. After losing the title, Rowan and Bryan ended up in a storyline with Roman Reigns.
In September, Rowan turned on Bryan and defeated Reigns in a no disqualification match at Clash of Champions with the help of Luke Harper. At Hell in a Cell, Harper and Rowan lost to Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan. During the draft, Rowan was drafted to RAW. In November, Rowan debuted a cage that contained a giant spider as a part of his gimmick. The storyline ended when Drew McIntyre destroyed the spider. In 2020, they released Rowan from the company.
After being released, Rowan changed his ring name to Erick RedBeard. He wrestled for several independent promotions. In December, he made his AEW debut during the Brodie Lee tribute show. In 2022, he returned to AEW and helped Death Triangle. At Revolution, House of Black defeated RedBeard and Death Triangle.