Griffiths studied construction management at Cardiff University, before working as a trainee carpenter and in his family's funeral home. He also played as a centre-back for Porthmadog FC, but a knee injury curtailed his career. He appeared as "Goliath" on Gladiators in 2009. Mason Ryan began training to be a professional wrestler in 2006, and competed around Europe for the next three years. In 2009, he signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and debuted as Mason Ryan in Florida Championship Wrestling (FCW), WWE's developmental territory, in January 2010. In July, he won the FCW Florida Heavyweight Championship and held the championship until February 2011. He made his main roster debut in January 2011, where he aligned himself with The New Nexus.
- American Pro Wrestling Alliance Tri State Championship
- Florida Championship Wrestling Florida Heavyweight Championship
- United Pro Wrestling Association World Heavyweight Championship
- Westside Xtreme Wrestling Shotgun Championship
- WrestleSport Heavyweight Championship