© 2015 Rob. All rights reserved.

Rhino

rhino

Acrylic on 24″ x 24″ wood

Few competitors in the history of professional wrestling have better personified the look of fury than the man beast Rhino. Terrance ‘Terry’ Gerin was born on October 7, 1975 in Detroit, Michigan, and debuted in the independent wrestling scene as Terry Richards. Honing his skills both on the indies and in appearances for World Championship Wrestling and the World Wrestling Federation, he adopted the ring name Rhino Richards in Canada and formed a stable called THUG Life, which included both Christian and Edge in their early careers.

After more time abroad, Terry debuted with Extreme Championship Wrestling in 1999 as Rhino, allying himself with Steve Corino and Jack Victory. With Corino, he challenged Tommy Dreamer and Raven in a losing effort, and then began a lengthy rivalry with The Sandman. On January 7, 2001 he defeated Sandman for the ECW World Heavyweight Championship, making him the final champion of the original ECW as the company folded in April.

Gerin debuted with the WWF on March 19, 2001 as Rhyno, renewing his partnership with Edge and Christian. With them, he was involved in matches against Jeff Hardy, Matt Hardy, Bubba Ray and Devon Dudley, and later allied with Kurt Angle. He also held the WWF Hardcore Championship on three occasions over the course of the year. In July he became a part of Team ECW under The Alliance, which saw ECW and WCW invade the WWF. He had many matches with Chris Jericho during this time to defend the honor of Stephanie McMahon, who Jericho was continuously insulting. He went on hiatus in November of 2001 due to injury. He returned in 2003 and was a regular in the mid-card scene until being released in early 2005.

Gerin debuted with Total Nonstop Action on July 17, 2005, working again under the Rhino name, immediately entering into a feud with the National Wrestling Alliance World Champion Raven, aligning himself with Jeff Jarrett. Unable to defeat Raven for the title in their first bout, he began competing against Jeff Hardy and later Abyss and Sabu. On October 1, 2005 he defeated Jeff Jarrett for the NWA World Title, but lost it back to him on November 3. He began a brutal feud with Abyss, and partnered for a bit with Sting, AJ Styles and Ron Killings. This was followed with programs against Monty Brown, Samoa Joe and Christian. Near the end of 2006 he worked against AJ Styles, which went into 2007. He battled briefly against Christopher Daniels before warring against James Storm. Rhino was a fixture of TNA helping to get over younger wrestlers and continued to make top stars look legitimate. He left the company in 2010, making a brief appearance again for them in 2014.

As well as being a big draw on the independent scene, Rhino debuted with Ring of Honor on June 13, 2011, taking on Homicide. After a time away, he returned to ROH in 2012, competing against Eddie Edwards, and later challenged Kevin Steen for the ROH World Title. He left the company in 2013.

On February 12, 2015 Rhyno made a triumphant and surprising return to the WWE in NXT, soon taking on Sami Zayn for the NXT Championship in an unsuccessful bid. He has since competed against Bull Dempsey, Baron Corbin and Finn Balor, proving that his combination of ferocity and veteran knowledge continue to make him a fearsome competitor wherever he laces up his boots.

About the piece: I wanted to go a little more traditional in this portrait, taking inspiration from classic paintings that were used for color book plates in books like Dracula and Frankenstein, but with my own approach added in. The mix of red, white and black tones made Rhino a bit more of a monstrous entity, along with the upward angle motion created by the palette knife. I then watered down some black paint and spread it around with an old rag as a sort of varnish to create balance and tone down the colors a bit.

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