|Birth name||Edward Lynn Denton|
August 25, 1958 |
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Len Denton
Masked Grappler II
Dirty White Boy II
|Billed height||5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)|
|Billed weight||260 lb (120 kg)|
|Billed from||Parts Unknown|
|Debut||March 20, 1978|
Len Denton (born August 25, 1958) is an American semi-retired professional wrestler, best known by his ring name The Grappler.
Professional wrestling career
Len Denton worked early in his career under a few different monikers and wrestled all over the territories across North America. His first real push came in the Southern territories first capturing titles in the Mid-South promotion. In Memphis with a young Jim Cornette as his manager he was teamed with Tony Anthony as the Dirty White Boys. When the Dirty White Boys lost their hair in a hair vs. hair match Denton and Anthony donned masks and became Grapplers 1 and 2. Denton was Grappler #2. The donning of the mask actually made fans believe they were seeing a brand new team in the area. They achieved some success with this new gimmick, winning the AWA Southern Tag Titles and feuding with the Fabulous Ones. The Grapplers would eventually leave Memphis and travel to the Central States area winning tag team gold there as well.
At this point in their careers Anthony and Denton split up, with Anthony wrestling as The Dirty White Boy, and Denton taking the Grappler gimmick to Texas before eventually moving on to the Pacific Northwest. While Denton was wrestling there in the early 1990s, a local jobber named Bobby Blair assumed the "Dirty White Boy" moniker, though he had no connection to Anthony.
The Grappler has an extensive history in the Pacific Northwest as wrestler, booker, promoter, trainer and most recently (after neck surgery) a manager. The Grappler is one of the last remaining wrestlers from the NWA Pacific Northwest (Portland Wrestling) days.
Jake "The Snake" Roberts claims that in a Mid-South Wrestling bout, Jake "The Snake" Roberts put Denton in a front facelock and during the move Jake tripped on Denton's foot, falling backwards, causing Denton to fall on his head. As a result, Roberts claims to have invented the professional wrestling move known as the DDT. Jake Roberts has been highly criticized for this story and many of the wrestlers in attendance and the promoter Bill Watts question its accuracy.
During the late 1990s, Denton worked for World Championship Wrestling under his real name. Of note is his title match against the undefeated WCW United States Champion Bill Goldberg on the May 11, 1998 edition of Monday Nitro. Play-by-play announcer Mike Tenay described Denton as "a very accomplished veteran grappler."
The Grappler was active as a Wrestler for and Operated as the President of the Booking Committee for the new Portland Wrestling from 2001 to 2006.
The Grappler announced his "return from retirement" on January 10, 2010. He will be working as the head booker for a small Portland Oregon pro wrestling company known as the North West Wrestling Alliance (NWWA). As of August 2010 Denton was working as the booker for DOA, NWWA, and Portland Wrestling in Portland, Oregon. As of November 2012, he is also a booker for Portland Wrestling Uncut, a revival of the original Portland Wrestling promotion (then owned by Don and Barry Owen, now owned by Don Coss and co-booked by Rowdy Roddy Piper). That promotion closed in early 2013.
On August 11, 2013, The Grappler appeared on Championship Wrestling from Hollywood and stated his intention to manage an up-and-coming wrestler and create a successor to the legacy of The Grappler.
In October 2013, The Grappler managed Jeremy Blanchard in the West Coast Wrestling Connection when Blanchard won the WCWC Legacy Championship. In December 2013, The Grappler recreated the "Wrecking Crew" with a new Grappler (Erik Baeden), Jeremy Blanchard, Othello and Alexander Hammerstone. He now appears with the Wrecking Crew on the WCWC's weekly television broadcast on KPDX-TV.
Championships and accomplishments
- Continental Wrestling Association
- Central States Wrestling
- Iconic Heroes Wrestling Excellence
- Mid-South Wrestling Association
- Pacific Northwest Wrestling
- Southwest Championship Wrestling
- West Coast Wrestling Connection
- WCWC Legacy Championship (1 time)
- World Class Championship Wrestling
- Len Denton/The Grappler career record at Vance Nevada's Wrestling Career Records Archive
- on YouTube WCW Monday Nitro (May 11, 1998). Retrieved on 8-29-10.
- Duncan, Royal; Gary Will (2006). "(Oregon & Washington) Portland: NWA Pacific Northwest Tag Team Title". Wrestling Title Histories. Archeus Communications. pp. 317–320. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- The Grappler profile at Bodyslammin' 4Ever