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Kendo Nagasaki

Real Name

Peter William Thornley

Birthdate - 10/19/46

6’4” 230 lbs. - n/a

Athletic Background - n/a

Professional BackgroundJoint Promotions(`64-`68), Stampede(`68), Japan(`68), Indies(`68-`7?), Joint Promotions(`7?-`78), Stampede(`72), All-Star(`81-`82;`86-`93;`00-`01); Indies(`07-)

AliasesMr. Guillotine

Peak Years`68-`77

Place in HistoryTelevision’s relationship with pro-wrestling in Britain was different than it was in any other area of the world.  Wrestlers showed up on the “small screen” periodically and that exposure allowed them to become attractions as they worked for various offices around the country.  The man who became known as Kendo Nagasaki has always been linked to famed masked heavyweight Count Bartelli.  He too went under the hood, fashioning himself as a samurai-inspired grappler and adopting an aggressive style that included some martial arts.  Kendo Nagasaki continued under Bartelli, first teaming with him and then working against him before taking his mentor’s mask in 1966.  The win propelled Nagasaki to a level of stardom, but it was several years before he made his TV debut.  Kendo Nagasaki had spent some time abroad and added George Gillette as his mouthpiece.  Everything about Kendo Nagasaki worked.  He worked a different style than his peers; he had a distinct look and persona; he was eerily silent, yet was accompanied by an over-the-top manager; and he embraced his character fully.  Kendo’s relationship with the Joint Promotions establishment was never the best.  He was among the most recognizable stars in the country, yet he had select TV appearances, so he sought out the independents.  Throughout the 1980s, Kendo Nagasaki was making big appearances and maintaining his status.  He developed a name that was so strong and in-ring style that was so simple that he continued to make in-ring appearances right into the twenty-first century.  Although he never had quite the same chemistry with the managers that followed Gorgeous George, Kendo was careful not to taint his legacy.  Kendo Nagasaki is unquestionably one of the most recognizable and well-known stars of British pro-wrestling.  His character and his dedication to that character is second to none in a business where many have come to “live the gimmick.”