Saturday, May 28, 2022
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Gone But Not Forgotten: British Wrestling Stars

Recent years have seen an influx of wrestler’s making their way over from our former homeland, and with resounding success. Given the fact the England has suffered their share of setbacks this past month, what with the Brexit vote and England football’s loss to Iceland in the Euro, it would be nice to highlight some British Pro wrestling greats that have made a name for themselves.

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Let’s begin with a look back in time at Les Kellet. He was a true Englander, and his character reflected that. Acting like a punch happy drunk coming out of the local pub, he was decisive with his actions and definitive in his clenching moves for victory. Fans loved him, and professional wrestlers respected him as being one of the toughest opponents they would face on either continent. Naturally, he did not make it rich at wrestling given the era that he fought, but he was able to supplement his income as a TV personality and a trainer. Talk about a well-rounded individual, both inside and out of the ring!

Now let’s move forward to the 1990s. That was the decade that brought us Johnny Smith. Long time fans of the sport may remember him from his time in Asia with All Japan Pro Wrestling. That was when he formed a tag team that was known as the British Bruisers. When they came to wrestle in America, they gained quite a following at various events, causing quite a scene with their Metallica based theme songs throughout. He became a three-time tag team champion and he is still well revered throughout pro wrestling circles. He must like North America as well, as he and his lovely wife now reside in Canada.

Les Thornton deserves consideration within this discussion as well. As a junior heavyweight, he wrestled back in the 70s and 80s. At one moment he time, he held both the WWF and NWS Junior Heavyweight titles at the same time. He would go on to hold the NWA title a phenomenal five times. Fans will remember his time wrestling against the greats such as Tight Mask, Alberto Madrill, and even Tatsumi Fujinami. He was a Brit that brought much excitement, passion, and energy to the Americas. Again, Canada must be a place to retire for wrestlers, as that is where he currently resides at the age of 82.

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Another interesting character to join the Pro Wrestling circuit hails from the nation of Wales. Rob Terry is remembered as ‘The Freak’, What is ironic is that he is not necessarily well regarded for his wrestling ability, but that did not stop him from becoming quite accomplished in the ring. In fact, how many other Welsh wrestlers can you name? At one point, he won the TNA Global Championship, and that is when he took his wrestling style and electric personality to America to work for the FCW; gaining several tag titles down South. He is another wrestler, however, that appears to have fallen out of love with the sport. Or, perhaps he just needs some time away. He is only 35 years old, but he seems to be lying low. He has not formally retired, so fans are hopeful that he will make a WWE comeback at some point in the future.

So, hopefully this should serve as a reminder that our friends in England have contributed to the great sport of professional wrestling.. They have provided, and continue to give us great grit, determination, and excitement!

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