Brian Kendrick

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Brian Kendrick
Brian Kendrick!.jpg
Kendrick at a TNA house show in March 2011.
Born (1979-05-29) May 29, 1979 (age 35)[1][2]
Fairfax, Virginia[2]
Resides Orlando, Florida[3]
Professional wrestling career
Ring name(s) Brian Kendrick[3]
The Brian Kendrick[4]
Leonardo Spanky[3]
Spanky[3]
Billed height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)[4][5][1]
Billed weight 175 lb (79 kg)[4][5]
Billed from Venice, California[6]
Olympia, Washington[4]
Orlando, Florida[5]
Trained by Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy[7]
NWA Southwest Wrestling School
William Regal[8]
Debut October 1999[3]

Brian David Kendrick[3] (born May 29, 1979)[1][2] is an American professional wrestler known for his work in World Wrestling Entertainment, where he wrestled under his name, as Spanky and finally as "The" Brian Kendrick. He has also worked for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under his real name.

Kendrick has wrestled for numerous promotions in his career. While situated in these promotions, he has won various championships, both in tag team and singles competition. He was the last ever MCW Southern Light Heavyweight Champion, a title he held three times,[9] and also won the MCW Southern Tag Team Championship with American Dragon.[10] In addition, Kendrick was the first NWA International Junior Heavyweight Champion.[11]

During his time in WWE, Kendrick and his tag team partner Paul London became the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions since the title's inception.[12] Together they also held the World Tag Team Championship for a brief period. During his years in TNA, he was a one-time TNA X Division Champion.

Early life[edit]

Kendrick was born in Fairfax, Virginia, and is the son of Barbara Kendrick and the oldest of three children—a brother named Neal and a sister named Shannon.[8][13] He later moved to Olympia, Washington where he attended North Thurston High School in Lacey, Washington.[3][8][13] During his senior year, he worked as a dishwasher in a pizza parlor while saving money to attend wrestling school.

While growing up, Kendrick's favorite wrestlers included Ultimate Warrior, Blue Blazer and Koko B. Ware.[14] He was also a fan of Shawn Michaels, who trained him, and Chris Jericho.[14] He was already very good friends with his former tag team partner Paul London, with Lance Cade and Bryan Danielson, both of whom he trained with.[14]

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 1999, he moved to Texas to begin training at the NWA Southwest wrestling school and later attended the Shawn Michaels Wrestling Academy.[8] It was there that Kendrick adopted the ring name Spanky,[3][2] a nickname he was given due to his method of staying awake during long drives on the indy circuit.[15] He made his professional wrestling debut on October 8, 1999 in a match with American Dragon that ended in a 10 minute time limit draw.[8]

In February 2000, Kendrick signed a developmental deal with the World Wrestling Federation, spending a year in the company's "farm territory", Memphis Championship Wrestling (MCW), before the promotion closed and Kendrick was released from his contract.[2][8] Kendrick won his first Championship in MCW when he defeated American Dragon for the MCW Southern Light Heavyweight Championship on September 22.[9] He later teamed with American Dragon to win the MCW Southern Tag Team Championship, on December 1, becoming a double champion.[10] The tag team disbanded after they lost the Championships to The Dupps.[10] On December 30, however, the Southern Light Heavyweight title was declared vacant after a match that Kendrick had with Derrick King.[9] In a match for the vacant championship, Kendrick regained the title after beating King, on January 6, 2001.[9] He later dropped it to Tyler Gates, before regaining it on May 11.[9] On June 1, however, Spanky was stripped of the title and it was abandoned, making Spanky the last ever MCW Southern Light Heavyweight Champion.[9] He also holds the record for most reigns, with three.[9]

In October 2001, Kendrick wrestled American Dragon in the first round of the King Of the Indies Tournament 2001, but lost.[16] The crowd, however, gave both men a standing ovation after the match.[3] On February 23, 2002, Kendrick wrestled on the premiere show of Ring of Honor (ROH), winning the match to gain an ROH contract.[17] While in ROH, Kendrick competed in several other promotions such as Heartland Wrestling Association and All Pro Wrestling, before leaving for Japan in June to compete in Pro Wrestling Zero-One (Zero1).[2] There, he wrestled under the ring name Leonardo Spanky, a gimmick proposed by Shinya Hashimoto due to Kendrick's resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio.[18] On June 29, he became the first NWA International Junior Heavyweight Champion in company history.[11][19] He dropped the title to Low Ki a few months later.[20]

World Wrestling Entertainment (2002–2004)[edit]

Kendrick during his ring entrance

In late 2002, Kendrick signed a contract with World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) but was unable to compete until he completed his time in the independent circuit.[2] He made his WWE debut on the January 11, 2003 edition of Velocity under the gimmick of a mascot representing the local sports team of the town in which he was competing.[21] He continued wearing masks for several weeks, each time competing under a different identity.[22][23][24] After acting as a telegram deliverer for Big Show to Undertaker, and getting a Last Ride for his troubles, he showed up the following week and began a series of events trying to impress the then General Manager of Smackdown! Stephanie McMahon in order to earn a contract for the WWE. He eventually earned himself a contract on the March 20, 2003 episode of Smackdown! by defeating Shannon Moore. His first major storyline within WWE came on the May 1, 2003 episode of SmackDown!. He reverted to his former "Spanky" ring name after he interrupted a promo by John Cena.[25] The two feuded over their similar hip hop gimmicks, until May 22.[26] On October 30, Spanky began teaming with Paul London until January 13, 2004 when Kendrick left WWE to return to Zero1.[18][27][28]

Independent circuit and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2004–2005)[edit]

After leaving WWE, Kendrick wrestled in different independent promotions. He returned to Zero1 as "Spanky" and was quickly pushed to capture the NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Championship. This occurred with partner Low Ki on February 19, 2004, when they defeated Dick Togo and Ikuto Hidaka.[29] They lost the championship to Tatsuhito Takaiwa and Tomohiro Ishii a few months later.[30] Kendrick gained a new tag team partner in Kaz Hayashi, on September 19, 2004, and won back the championships.[30] They held onto the titles until March 2005, when they dropped them to Hidaka and Minoru Fujita.[30] Although he lost the tag titles in March, Kendrick, as Spanky, received a singles push, and won the Zero-One United States Heavyweight Championship that same month.[31][32] but he lost the title in September 2005.[33]

Kendrick had a brief stint in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in November 2004, where he defeated Kaz, Matt Sydal and Amazing Red, in a four-way match.[3] He then returned to ROH, as well as debuting on its sister promotion Full Impact Pro (FIP) on December 17, 2004, winning the first ever Florida Rumble.[3][34] On February 25, Kendrick wrestled a match against fellow WWE alumnus, James Gibson.[35] Throughout the match, the crowd chanted "Welcome Back!" and "SmackDown! Sucks!", and both men received a standing ovation after the match.[35] During his time in ROH, Kendrick was booked as a mid-carder, consistently having matches late on the card.[36] Kendrick also competed in the Trios Tournament, but lost in the first round with his team members, Gibson and Nigel McGuinness.[37] He unsuccessfully competed for several titles such as the ROH Pure Championship, ROH World Championship and ROH World Tag Team Championship.[38][39][40] In July 2005, Kendrick announced that he had re-signed with World Wrestling Entertainment, and would be returning there after he had fulfilled his obligations on the Independent circuit.[3] In FIP, Kendrick won the FIP Tag Team Championship with Sal Rinauro on August 6, 2005,[41] but lost it to The Heartbreak Express less than a month later, shortly before he returned to WWE.[3]

Return to World Wrestling Entertainment[edit]

Teaming with Paul London (2005–2008)[edit]

In July 2005, Kendrick announced that after he had fulfilled his obligations on the independent circuit, he would return to WWE. He made his return during a live event on August 22, 2005, losing in a Fatal Four-Way match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship.[2] He then reformed a tag team with his former partner Paul London on the September 30 edition of Velocity.[42] On December 16, the pair remade their image, wearing theatrical masks to the ring with matching vests and shorts.[43] They were quickly elevated into the WWE Tag Team Championship picture, receiving a non-title match against WWE Tag Team Champions MNM on the February 10, 2006 edition of SmackDown!, which London and Kendrick lost.[44] On April 7, they faced MNM again, picking up a win in a non-title match.[45] Their storyline feud continued, as London and Kendrick continued their winning streak over the champions, including singles victories for both Kendrick and London on MNM members Johnny Nitro and Joey Mercury, respectively.[46][47][48] London and Kendrick won the WWE Tag Team Title at Judgment Day, thus defeating MNM six times in a row in singles and tag team matches altogether.[49]

Kendrick as WWE Tag Team Champion in December 2006

Their first main competition for the titles came when K. C. James and Idol Stevens defeated the champions in a non-title match, in early August, igniting a storyline feud between the two teams.[50] During the rivalry, WWE Diva Ashley Massaro began accompanying London and Kendrick to the ring, acting as a valet to the team while combating the actions of James and Stevens' manager Michelle McCool.[51]

On October 14, London and Kendrick became the longest reigning WWE Tag Team Champions of all time, surpassing MNM's previous record of 145 days.[52][53][54] Despite this, they were still booked as the underdogs in their feuds, and this was shown when they began a losing streak to the team of William Regal and Dave Taylor. Regal defeated both in singles matches[55][56] and on the December 8 episode of SmackDown!, Kendrick and London lost a non-title tag team match to the duo, although Kendrick beat Taylor on the December 9 episode of Velocity.[57] London and Kendrick had a scheduled title defense at Armageddon, against Regal and Taylor.[58] Before the pay-per-view, the match changed into a Fatal Four Way tag team ladder match with London and Kendrick defending their titles against Regal and Taylor, MNM, and The Hardys.[58] London and Kendrick won the match and retained the titles.[58]

On February 2, 2007, London and Kendrick suffered a non-title loss to the rookie team Deuce 'n Domino.[59] In a title match at No Way Out, London and Kendrick retained the championship.[60] London and Kendrick, however, dropped the championship to them on the April 20 edition of SmackDown!, ending their reign at 331 days (SmackDown! was recorded on April 17).[61][62] In the storyline, London missed a moonsault from the ring apron to the floor during the title match, injuring his ribs, leaving Kendrick to battle Deuce 'n Domino alone.[63] London and Kendrick unsuccessfully competed for the title on June 1 in a triple threat tag team match, which also involved Regal and Taylor,[64] and lost a rematch on June 15 in a standard tag team match.[65]

Kendrick facing Gene Snitsky during 2007

Kendrick, along with London, was drafted to the Raw brand on June 17, 2007 during the Supplemental Draft.[66] They won their debut match on Raw against The World's Greatest Tag Team on June 18.[67] They were soon established as a threat to the tag titles, and on the September 3 edition of Raw, they won a number one contender's match for Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch's World Tag Team Championship.[68] Kendrick and London then worked a feud with Cade and Murdoch, and at a house show on September 5, they defeated Cade and Murdoch to win the titles,[69] only to lose it back to Cade and Murdoch three days later.[70][71] London and Kendrick continued to feud with Cade and Murdoch and lost to the Tag Team champions at Unforgiven.[72] For the rest of 2007, London and Kendrick mainly competed on Heat or in tag title bouts,[73][74] until London got injured in late 2007.[75] As a result, Kendrick was mainly used as a jobber on Raw, until London returned at the start of February 2008, although Kendrick still won sometimes on Heat.[76]

In his next storyline, Kendrick abandoned London during a handicap match with Umaga.[77] This abandonment resulted in Umaga performing the Samoan Spike on London, allowing Umaga to pick up the win over the duo. London and Kendrick still teamed together with no apparent dissension rising between the former tag team champions.[78] After defeating Charlie Haas and Robbie McAllister on Heat, London and Kendrick said they were ready to win the World Tag Team Championship. London and Kendrick beat the champions Hardcore Holly and Cody Rhodes next week on Heat in a non-title match. However, they failed to win the World Tag Team Titles on Raw after Holly pinned London.

The Brian Kendrick (2008–2009)[edit]

Kendrick and Ezekiel Jackson in 2009

As part of the 2008 WWE Supplemental Draft, Kendrick was drafted back to the SmackDown brand while London stayed on Raw, thus ending the team.[79] He made his return to the brand on the July 18, 2008 airing of SmackDown! as a major heel, with new ring attire defeating Jimmy Wang Yang with the help of his bodyguard, Ezekiel,[80] who was later given a surname and became Ezekiel Jackson.[81] Kendrick was later given the name "The Brian Kendrick". On the August 22 edition of SmackDown, Kendrick won a 10 man battle royal to qualify for the WWE Championship Scramble match at Unforgiven.[82] Kendrick failed to win the title at the event, though he did have the longest reign as "interim" champion, which is not officially recognized per the pre-match stipulation.[83] He later teamed with Jackson on many occasions, becoming number one contenders to the WWE Tag Team Championship held by Carlito and Primo, but they never managed to win the championship.

On April 15, 2009, Kendrick was separated from Jackson as he was drafted back to the Raw brand as part of the 2009 Supplemental Draft while Jackson was drafted to the ECW brand.[84] He wrestled his return match on Raw on the April 27 episode, against Kofi Kingston. He won a match on Raw after defeating Carlito on the May 11 episode before declaring his intention to win the Unified WWE Tag Team Championship; in the following weeks, Kendrick tried several unsuccessful pairings. In his final match, he was defeated by Kofi Kingston while cutting a promo on Jerry Lawler. The match ended with Kendrick turning around into Trouble In Paradise. On July 30, 2009, WWE announced that Kendrick was released from his WWE contract.[85]

Return to the independent circuit (2009–present)[edit]

Kendrick at the 2009 Battle of Los Angeles.

Kendrick signed with Dragon Gate USA on August 6, 2009.[86] His first match for the company, a losing effort against Cima at Untouchable, aired on pay-per-view edited down to only the highlights of the match.[87][88] On August 28 he made his return to Pro Wrestling Guerrilla at Speed of Sound where he, wrestling as a heel, defeated Bryan Danielson after a low blow.[89] Afterwards he formed an alliance with PWG World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks and started a feud with El Generico, Colt Cabana and the PWG World Champion Kenny Omega. On December 19 Ring of Honor announced that Kendrick would be making his return to the company on February 13, 2010, at the 8th Anniversary Show.[90] At the event Kendrick was defeated by Roderick Strong.[91]

On January 30, 2010, at PWG's WrestleReunion 4 the Young Bucks decided that Kendrick did not fit in with them and turned on him, only for him to be saved by his old tag team partner Paul London. Later in the night, Kendrick and London defeated the Young Bucks, now renamed Generation Me, in a non-title match.[92] On March 27, 2010, at the tapings of Dragon Gate USA's Mercury Rising pay-per-view, Kendrick was defeated by Jimmy Jacobs in a Loser Leaves Company tag team match, where he teamed with Paul London against Jacobs and Jack Evans and as a result was forced to leave the company for good.[93]

On February 26, 2011, Kendrick defeated Tommy Lee Curtis for the Steeltown Pro Wrestling Provisional Championship and lost it to Jerin Rose on April 9.[94]

On March 2012, Kendrick made his debut in Family Wrestling Entertainment, defeating Mike Benett. In mid May, Kendrick participated in Absolute Intense Wrestling's JT Lightning Invitational Tournament and made it to the semi final before losing to B.J. Whitmer. On July 28, at FWE X, he wrestled against FWE Champion Tommy Jay Lethal, Tommy Dreamer and Carlito for the title, but the match was won by Dreamer. Three months later, London, Kendrick and Lethal defeated Petey Williams and The Young Bucks. He also was in the first event of House of Hardcore, where Londron & Kendrick defeated The Young Bucks.

Kendrick returned to DGUSA on January 26, 2013, winning an Eight Way Fray. Next Day, Kendrick was defeated By Johnny Gargano for the Open the Freedom Gate title. In February, at Preston City Wrestling, Kendrick participated in the Road To Glory Tournament where he reached the semi final, losing to Noam Dar. At FWE No Limits, Kendrick lost a number one contendership match for the FWE Tri-Borough Championship to Paul London. Kendrick made his Combat Zone Wrestling debut on April 5, 2013, defeating Sami Callihan. Same day, Kendrick and Garando defeated The Gentlemen's Club on EVOLVE 19. On April 6 and 7, was defeated by Rich Swann on DGUSA Open the Ultimate Gate. On June 22, 2013, Londrick were defeated by The Young Bucks at House of Hardcore 2.[95]

On March 30th 2014, Kendrick made his ICW debut in a match against Joe Coffey at ICW - Still Smokin' in the O2 ABC in Glasgow, Scotland where he was narrowly defeated. On 8th September 2014, it was announced that Kendrick would once again team up with Paul London to take on The New Age Kliq in Newcastle, England on October 5th for the Insane Championship Wrestling Tag-Team Championship.[96] Both men won the titles and lost them on November 2, 2014. On December 11, Kendrick was backstage at NXT TakeOver: R Evolution as he was reportedly trying out for a Trainer role at the WWE Performance Center.

Return to TNA[edit]

EV 2.0 (2010)[edit]

Kendrick performing under his new gimmick in September 2010.

On January 17, 2010 at Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (TNA)'s pay-per-view Genesis, Kendrick made his return to the promotion using his real name and losing to Amazing Red in a match for the TNA X Division Championship, under a similar heel gimmick to his The Brian Kendrick gimmick used in WWE.[97] On April 7, 2010, Dixie Carter announced on her Twitter account that Kendrick had signed a new multi-year deal with the company.[98] On the May 3, 2010 edition of TNA Impact!, Kendrick turned face by having a confrontation with his partner Douglas Williams after their match against Ink Inc. (Shannon Moore and Jesse Neal), but then Samoa Joe came out and attacked both of them.[99] The following week, Kendrick picked up his first singles victory since returning to TNA by defeating Williams after a distraction from Kazarian.[100] As a result of his victory, Kendrick was given a shot at Williams' X Division Championship at Slammiversary VIII, but was unable to win the title.[101] Kendrick received a rematch the following month at Victory Road, but was defeated again by Williams, this time in an Ultimate X submission match.[102] On the September 2 edition of Impact!, Kendrick joined EV 2.0, a stable consisting of former Extreme Championship Wrestling performers.[103] At Bound for Glory Kendrick interfered in a Lethal Lockdown match between EV 2.0 and Fortune and helped his team win the match between the two factions.[104] At Turning Point EV 2.0 faced Fortune in a ten man tag team match, where each member of EV 2.0 put their TNA careers on the line. Kendrick was taken out of the match immediately, after being attacked by Douglas Williams. In the end, EV 2.0 lost the match and Sabu was released from TNA.[105]

X Division Champion (2011–2012)[edit]

After the dissolution of EV 2.0, Kendrick spent months wrestling mainly house show matches, before returning to PPV on April 17, 2011, at Lockdown, where he wrestled in an eight man X Division number one contender's Xscape match, where he outlasted six other men, before losing to Max Buck.[106] On the May 5 edition of Impact!, Kendrick came together with Amazing Red and Generation Me to battle for X Division's future, after the legitimate firing of Jay Lethal.[107] On June 12 at Slammiversary IX, Kendrick failed in his attempt to win the X Division Championship from Abyss in a three–way match with Kazarian.[108] On July 10 at Destination X, Kendrick defeated Abyss to win the TNA X Division Championship for the first time.[109] On the July 21 edition of Impact Wrestling, Kendrick made his first successful defense of the X Division Championship by defeating Alex Shelley, following outside interference from Austin Aries.[110] The following week Kendrick successfully defended the title against Abyss in an Ultimate X match to end the feud.[111] On August 7 at Hardcore Justice, Kendrick successfully defended the title against Alex Shelley and Austin Aries in a three-way match.[112] On September 11 at No Surrender, Kendrick lost the X Division Championship.[113] On the September 29 edition of Impact Wrestling, Kendrick won a five man ladder match to earn a rematch with Aries.[114] On the October 6 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kendrick was attacked by Kid Kash for disrespect on Kash. On October 16 at Bound for Glory, Kendrick failed in his attempt to regain the X Division Championship from Austin Aries, this was Kendrick's last TNA pay-per-view appearance.[115] On the November 17 episode of Impact Wrestling, Kendrick teamed up with Jesse Sorensen to help defeat Austin Aries and Kid Kash in a tag team match, this was Kendrick's last appearance in TNA. After three months of inactivity, TNA announced that Kendrick was released from his TNA contract on February 27, 2012.[116]

New Japan Pro Wrestling (2011–2013)[edit]

On June 18, 2011, at Dominion 6.18, Kendrick made a surprise debut for New Japan Pro Wrestling in Osaka, teaming with Gedo and Jado in a six man tag team match, where they defeated Jushin Thunder Liger, Kushida and Tiger Mask IV, when Kendrick pinned Kushida with the Sliced Bread #2.[117] Three days later Kendrick, Gedo and Jado were eliminated from the J Sports Crown Openweight 6 Man Tag Tournament in the first round by the team of IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kushida and Máscara Dorada.[118] The two matches built to a singles match between Kendrick and Kushida on June 23, where Kushida managed to pick up the win.[119] During his time in New Japan, Kendrick became an associate member of Chaos and competes for Chaos whenever he has toured New Japan.

On May 11, 2012, New Japan announced that Kendrick would return to the promotion to take part in the 2012 Best of the Super Juniors tournament as Davey Richards' replacement.[120][121] In the round-robin stage of the tournament, which ran from May 27 to June 9, Kendrick won five out of his eight matches, but a loss to Ryusuke Taguchi in his final round-robin match caused him to narrowly miss advancing to the semifinals of the tournament.[122][123] Kendrick returned to New Japan on October 21, when he and Low Ki entered the 2012 Super Jr. Tag Tournament as "Chaos World Wrestling Warriors".[124] However, the team was eliminated from the tournament in the first round by Apollo 55 (Prince Devitt and Ryusuke Taguchi).[125]

In May 2013, Kendrick returned to participate in the 2013 Best of the Super Juniors, where he managed to win four out of his eight matches, failing to qualify for the semifinals.[126] Kendrick returned to NJPW on October 25 to take part in the 2013 Super Jr. Tag Tournament, where he teamed with Baretta. They were, however, eliminated in their first round match by The Young Bucks, following a pre-match assault by Bullet Club.[127] Kendrick teamed with various Chaos stablemates in midcard six-man and eight-man tag team matches for the rest of the tour, which lasted until November 6.[128][129]

Media[edit]

Other media[edit]

Kendrick appeared as a contestant on The Price Is Right, where he won his "one bid" prize (a $3,018 popcorn machine), played the game Secret "X" and lost, and was eliminated from the game after spinning the wheel. The episode aired on March 8, 2011.

In wrestling[edit]

Kendrick is Irish whipped to the turnbuckle by Snitsky.
Paul London (far left) and Brian Kendrick (far right) as WWE Tag Team Champions.

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

  • Santino Bros. Wrestling
    • SBW Championship (1 time)[138]
  • Steeltown Pro Wrestling
    • SPW Provincial Championship (1 time)[94]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]