Henry O. Godwinn

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Henry O. Godwinn
Henry Godwinn in 1995.jpg
Canterbury in 1995
Birth name Mark Canterbury
Ring name(s) Henry O. Godwinn
Mark Canterbury
Shanghai Pierce[1]
Billed height 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Billed weight 297 lb (135 kg)
Born (1964-03-16) March 16, 1964 (age 50)[1]
West Virginia[1]
Billed from Amarillo, Texas
(as Shanghai Pierce)
"Bitters, Arkansas"
(as Henry O. Godwinn)
Trained by George South[1]
The Italian Stallion[1]
Debut 1989[1]

Mark Canterbury (born March 16, 1964) is an American professional wrestler. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation in the mid to late 1990s under the ring name Henry O. Godwinn.[2] He is also known for his appearances with World Championship Wrestling in the early 1990s as Shanghai Pearce.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career (1989-1992)[edit]

Canterbury trained under George South and The Italian Stallion before debuting in 1989 under the ring name "Mean" Mark Canterbury. He quickly formed a tag team with Tex Slazenger.

World Championship Wrestling (1992-1994)[edit]

In October 1992, the duo began wrestling for World Championship Wrestling,[3] with Canterbury adopting the ring name "Shanghai Pierce". Dusty Rhodes suggested that Canterbury wear a mask because Canterbury's good looks could make him too likable for the heel tag team. They remained with the promotion until 1994.

World Wrestling Federation (1994-1999)[edit]

In mid-1994, Canterbury joined the World Wrestling Federation, where he was renamed Henry Orpheus Godwinn and given the gimmick of an Arkansan pig farmer who carried a bucket of "slop" to the ring, which he would throw upon his opponents. Canterbury was originally a heel, and assisted the Million Dollar Corporation on several occasions.[4] When the leader of the Corporation, Ted DiBiase, was asked on an episode of WWF Action Zone whether or not Canterbury was a member of the Corporation, however, DiBiase instead insulted Canterbury. This inspired Canterbury to turn face by "slopping" DiBiase,[5] and led to a brief feud between Canterbury and Corporation member Sycho Sid.

Godwinn engaged in a feud with the aristocratic Hunter Hearst Helmsley. The feud culminated in December 1995 in an "Arkansas Hog Pen match" that Helmsley won. After the match, however, Godwinn tossed Helmsley into the slop, much to the blueblood's distaste.[6]

In 1996, Canterbury was reunited with Knight, who had been renamed Phineas I. Godwinn. The duo were portrayed as being cousins and were collectively known as "The Godwinns". The two were faces and were managed by Hillbilly Jim. They began to feud with the Body Donnas with Phineas having a crush on Sunny and signed her as their manager. Eventually she turned on them costing them their titles. The Godwinns feuded with the now heel Smoking Guns, in losing efforts. In 1997, the Godwinns began a heel turn dropping Hillbilly Jim as a manager and picking up Uncle Cletus. The duo adopted an inbred redneck persona inspired by the movie Deliverance. The Godwinns quickly won the tag titles a second time from the Headbangers and began a heated feud with the Legion of Doom, which saw the team attempt to break Road Warrior Hawk's neck. They eventually dropped the titles to LOD in a match on WWF Monday Night Raw that had LOD's career on the line. Soon after that match they attacked and fired Cletus.

In late 1997, in a rematch between The Godwinns and the Legion of Doom, Canterbury suffered a cracked C7 vertebra when the Legion of Doom botched a Doomsday Device. He was advised by doctors to rest for 15 weeks, but returned to the ring in less than eight weeks.[2]

In 1998, Canterbury entered the Brawl for All, a shoot-fighting tournament held by the WWF. He lost in the first round to Bradshaw.[7]

Later that year, the Godwinns dropped their pig farmer gimmicks, now going by their real names and wearing sharp suits under the name "Southern Justice", the bodyguards of Tennessee Lee.[8] Six months later, Canterbury herniated his C7 vertebra and pinched a spinal nerve, necessitating spinal fusion surgery. This came as a result of him returning to the ring too early after his neck injury. He eventually left the WWF and retired, due to the neck injury suffered in 1997.[2]

Later career (1999-present)[edit]

In September 2006, Canterbury wrestled several tryout matches with World Wrestling Entertainment. On September 15, 2006, WWE announced that he had been signed to a contract.[2] He debuted in Deep South Wrestling on November 30 as a tag partner for Ray Gordy. Gordy was known as Cousin Ray and they both reformed The Godwinns. Since both Gordy and Drew Hankinson went to the SmackDown! brand, however, Godwinn's role remained uncertain.

On May 19, the Wrestling Observer reported that Canterbury had been released from his developmental contract.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Canterbury has two sons, named Shane and Jordan. Jordan was accidentally shot by a high school friend and died on October 31, 2003 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. On November 9, 2011, Mark suffered two punctured lungs, thirteen broken ribs and a broken leg in a car accident.

In wrestling[edit]

Championships and accomplishments[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Henry Godwinn profile". Online World of Wrestling. Retrieved 2009-12-25. 
  2. ^ a b c d WWE. "O Henry!". Retrieved April 17, 2007. 
  3. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WCW Show Results 1992". Retrieved April 16, 2007. "(November, 1992) Tex Slazenger & Shanghai Pierce defeated Ricky Nelson & the Italian Stallion at 4:17 when Slazenger pinned Nelson with a reverse DDT" 
  4. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1995". Retrieved April 16, 2007. "(June 26, 1995) Lex Luger & Davey Boy Smith defeated Henry Godwinn & Tatanka (w/ Ted Dibiase) at 5:49" 
  5. ^ Graham Cawthon. "WWF Show Results 1995". Retrieved April 16, 2007. "(August 15, 1995) Henry Godwinn pinned AC Conner at 2:20 with the Slop Drop; late in the bout, Ted Dibiase appeared in the aisle; after the match, King Kong Bundy came out and attacked Godwinn from behind and held him for Dibiase to slop but Godwinn moved and accidentally slopped Bundy" 
  6. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF In Your House Results (5)". Retrieved April 16, 2007. 
  7. ^ prowrestlinghistory.com. "WWF Brawl For All Tournament". Retrieved April 16, 2007. 
  8. ^ Cawthon, Graham. "WWF Show Results 1998". Retrieved April 16, 2007. "(June 1, 1998) Jeff Jarrett (w/ Tennessee Lee & Southern Justice) pinned Farooq after hitting him with Lee's belt buckle as Southern Justice distracted the referee; prior to the bout Tennessee Lee introduced the repackaged Godwinns as Southern Justice" 
  9. ^ "Henry Godwinn released (9)". www.wrestling-news.com. Archived from the original on August 18, 2007. Retrieved May 20, 2007. 
  10. ^ a b c World Championship Wrestling (1993-07-18). "Rick Rude and Shanghai Pierce Vs. Marcus Alexander Bagwell and Tex Slazenger". WCW Beach Blast.

External links[edit]