Learning the ropes as a young teenager, the native of Blackpool, England traveled across the United Kingdom wrestling as part of carnivals. Facing off against challengers from the carnival circuit as well as from the crowd, Regal quickly earned a reputation as a lethal opponent, with fists of iron and dozens of different holds to render his adversaries helpless. Always interested in sharpening his tools as a wrestler, Regal traveled across the world, winning several championships in Europe, the Middle East and Japan before landing in WCW in 1993. There, Regal held the WCW Television Championship on four occasions; he also nearly won the WCW Tag Team Championship on several occasions with Bobby Eaton and Squire David Taylor, and also had a memorable rivalry with Finlay that saw the Irish brawler break Regal’s nose during a match in 1996. Regal came to WWE for a short time in 1998, but headed back to WCW shortly thereafter.
Regal finally hit it big when he returned to WWE in 2000. Less than a month after his return, Regal defeated Al Snow for the European Championship that October. In April 2001, he would defeat Snow again to earn a different title: WWE Commissioner. Regal earned several chances at the Intercontinental Championship that summer; he was unsuccessful, but after enlisting Tajiri as his assistant, Regal became a key figure in WWE’s battle with the ECW/WCW Alliance.