Anthony Bowens was born in Nutley, New Jersey. He played baseball from childhood into college. After finishing with baseball, Bowens sought to occupy his free time with something else. He considered professional wrestling, but had no idea how to pursue it. As an avid weight trainer, Bowens encountered members of the WWE roster working out at the same gym he trained in. There, Bowens met Santino Marella who was impressed by Bowens' conditioning and believed him to be a wrestler. When Bowens explained he was not a wrestler, but was unsure of how to become one, Marella shared with him contact information for Pat Buck who trained newcomers at Create A Pro Wrestling Academy. Bowens visited the training facility and quickly enrolled.
Bowens wrestled his first match on April 13, 2013 in his hometown of Nutley, New Jersey for Kevin Knight's Independent Wrestling Federation. On that date, Bowens wrestled at IWF Loud 'n' Proud 16th Anniversary Spring Spectacular in a match won by Kasey Coresh. On August 23, Bowens wrestled next for Eastern Pennsylvania Wrestling Entertainment Underground at EPWE Underground August Mania: Final Confrontation 2, teaming with Two Of A Kind (CD Sensation & Mark Maverick) to defeat Damian Gibbs, Draven Blaze & Jason Furious. From that point onward, Bowens wrestled throughout the northeastern territories for promotions including Pro Wrestling Syndicate, Chaotic Wrestling, Beyond Wrestling, Pennsylvania Premiere Wrestling, Five Borough Wrestling, Grand Slam Wrestling, House Of Glory and Right Coast Pro.
Bowens won his first title on April 12, 2014 at IWF 17th Annual LOUD 'n' PROUD Spring Spectacular where he defeated Marc Corino for the IWF Junior Heavyweight Championship. Bowens won his second title on April 30, 2016 at WrestlePro, in a match defeating Matt Macintosh for the WrestlePro Championship.