April 9, 1934 |
Manchester, England, United Kingdom
|Residence||Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Les Thornton
|Billed height||5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)|
|Billed weight||225 lb (102 kg)|
Les Thornton (born April 9, 1934) is a retired British professional wrestler who competed in Japan, European and North American regional promotions throughout the 1970s and 1980s including Stampede Wrestling, the World Wrestling Federation and the National Wrestling Alliance. During his career, he was considered one of the best junior heavyweights in the world at one time simultaneously holding both the WWF and NWA World Junior Heavyweight titles, and would later hold NWA title five times. He had tremendous matches against Tiger Mask, K J Anderssen, Alberto Madrill and Tatsumi Fujinami. As a result of the hostile takeover by the WWF of Georgia Championship Wrestling, Thornton joined the WWF, but in the "Hogan Era" as it stood, Thornton was used as a jobber. Near the end of his career, he formed his own promotion in Calgary called Canadian Independent Wrestling Federation (CIWF), which included wrestlers like Ricky Fuji and Big Titan, among others. A master of mat wrestling, Thornton also delivered forearm uppercuts, suplexes and piledrivers.
Thornton is slated to appear in a documentary about the life of fellow Briton Chris Adams in The Gentleman's Choice, where he is famous for mentioning that some of his friends who left England to compete in the United States "came home in a box (Adams and Davey Boy Smith), in a wheelchair (Tom Billington, aka The Dynamite Kid) or as drug addicts (all three aforementioned wrestlers)."
Championships and accomplishments
- Middle Atlantic States Wrestling
- MASW National Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
- NWA Western States Sports
- PWI ranked him # 320 of the 500 best singles wrestlers of the PWI Years in 2003
1Records are unclear as to where Thorton was when he received the title for the first time nor is it known as to which NWA affiliated promotion he was wrestling for at the time.
- Shields, Brian; Sullivan, Kevin (2009). WWE Encyclopedia. Dorling Kindersley. p. 184. ISBN 978-0-7566-4190-0.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2006). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- Royal Duncan & Gary Will (2000). Wrestling Title Histories (4th ed.). Archeus Communications. ISBN 0-9698161-5-4.
- "Stampede Wrestling Hall of Fame (1948-1990)". Puroresu Dojo. 2003.
- Foley, Mick. Have A Nice Day: A Tale of Blood and Sweatsocks. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1999. ISBN 0-06-103101-1
- Funk, Terry and Scott E. Williams. Terry Funk: The Hardcore Legend. Champaigne, Illinois: Sports Publishing LLC, 2005. ISBN 1-58261-991-3
- Johnson, Weldon T. and Jim Wilson. Chokehold: Pro Wrestling's Real Mayhem Outside the Ring. Philadelphia: Xlibris Corporation, 2003. ISBN 1-4010-7217-8
- McCoy, Heath. Pain and Passion: The History of Stampede Wrestling. Toronto: CanWest Books, 2005. ISBN 0-9736719-8-X
- SLAM! Wrestling - Les Thornton: A life on the road by Greg Oliver
- SLAM! Wrestling: Les Thornton - What you DIDN'T know! by Terry Taylor
- The Way It Was - Les Thornton at the Wayback Machine (archived October 28, 2009) by Percival A. Friend
- Championship Wrestling from Florida: Les Thornton
- Profile at OWW