Sylvester Lefort is currently a professional WWE wrestler. He was born in Nice, France as Thomas La Ruffa, but currently resides in Florida as a member of WWE’s NXT Wrestling branch.
A Meager Beginning to His Career
Lefort first started his wresting career by training with wrestler Lance Storm in Canada. He finished his time at Storm Wrestling Academy in 2006, then he debuted at Power Zone Wrestling near the end of that year.
Lefort made his international debut at the beginning of 2007 during the International Catch Wrestling Alliance. At this time, he was using the name Eagle Mask, but he and his partner failed to win the match. He did manage to achieve some success later on with another partner, but did not manage to win any titles. Lefort did fight on his own as well in 2007, but did not see much success. He attempted to get into the ICWA 16-Carat Gold competition, but did not get through the qualification round.
Most of the competitions Lefort participated in during 2007 were European. He used his original name Eagle Mask, but also went by Tom LaRuffa as he fought in various tournaments through France, Spain, and Italy.
Lefort Starts Making a Name for Himself
Before leaving for France, Lefort went to California to get some extensive training with some more impressive champions. He ended up debuting in Mexico later that year, as well as in California. Lefort fought individually, as well as in tag teams, but unfortunately did not reach much success.
After various defeats in both California, Lefort went on to assist Lance Storm in Canada.
He continued to help train wrestlers and also fight in some competitions. He received a lot of publicity by igniting a couple feuds with popular Canadian wrestlers during this time. Lefort started winning more matches in the U.S. as well, proving that 2008 was a much more positive year than the one before. Still, he could not achieve the winning titles, and unfortunately, his 2008 U.S. tour fizzled out with various losses. Lefort had also tried out for WWE various times during this year, but only managed to get into a small segment backstage.
Around the middle of 2008, and after failing to get into the WWE, Lefort went back to his home country of France to compete in various competitions. Though he participated in a couple different international tournaments, he did not manage to win winning titles. However in September, his luck changed as he started wrestling in Wrestling Stars, one of the oldest wrestling tournaments in Europe and France’s most popular.
Lefort began making a name for himself among the European audience, especially through social media videos. His persona during Wrestling Stars was a Greek warrior, an homage to his ethnic background. Lefort shined there, and even caught the eye of France’s top professional wrestlers. He became busier and busier as he was sought after by multiple promotions.
As with any popular professional wrestler, Lefort also had his fair share of feuds in France. However, he did not really achieve much success against these various wrestling stars.
Lefort, going by his birth name La Ruffa in France, also received a lot of publicity by starting a relationship with veteran wrestler Flesh Gordon’s daughter, Lili. French media released a half hour special on them, where the couple discussed their lives and how La Ruffa’s career played into it. Unfortunately, the constant traveling must have handed the relationship a large blow, as both moved on with their respective lives. Lefort kept achieving more success in his career, even becoming the premiere French wrestler to compete in Turkey in 2011.
The Birth of the “French Stallion”
Lefort returned to Canada in 2010, where he agreed to participate in the 2011 wrestling docu-reality program called “World of Hurt.” Once again, Lefort collaborated with Lance Storm, who was in the show as a trainer. Lefort became somewhat of a villain during this time by acting obnoxiously, annoyingly, and being all around arrogant. This character he portrayed was called the “French Stallion,” and he ended up actually stealing the spotlight with it.
Finally Living the Dream
Lefort had always wanted to participate in the WWE, but failed to do so back in 2008. However, after achieving quite a lot of success in both France and Canada, he was in a much better position to get in. Finally in November of 2011, Lefort ended up making an appearance on WWE Smackdown, and in the following August, he was signed into the company’s development territory called NXT Wrestling. This is where Lefort changed his name to Sylvester Lefort, acting like a rich Frenchman who managed professional wrestlers. He debuted as his new name in mid-2013, where he managed a tag team duo. While managing fellow wrestlers and getting into his fair share of in-show fights, Lefort returned back to the ring as a single fighter. Unfortunately, the first few fights as a newly single wrestler did not prove successful.
After this, Lefort formed new alliances and created a tag team called the Legionnaires. This team had a highly publicized feud with Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady. This fight went back and forth, leading to both losses and wins, as well as in-show drama. Recently, however, fellow Legionnaires teammate Marcus Louis surprised Lefort when he attacked him during a match. We’re yet to see how this once strong alliance will turn out.
Sylvester Lefort has definitely had his share of disappointments in his career, especially at the beginning of it. However, he has truly shown what a showman he is with his “French Stallion” character. We imagine we’ll be seeing a lot more from Lefort in the future, along with a whole lot more entertainment.
Interview with Sylvester Lefort in French