This past Sunday night, Brian Kendrick made his return to TNA Wrestling as the mystery opponent for The Amazing Red at the Genesis pay per view. While he was unsuccessful capturing the X-Division Championship from Red, it looks as if he will become a full-time roster member from this point this point on.
Kendrick’s journey into pro wrestling began in 1999 when he joined Shawn Michaels’ Texas Wrestling Academy. He began using the ring name Spanky and his first professional match was against ”American Dragon” Bryan Danielson, which ended in a ten-minute draw. While in TWA he won the TWA Television Title and teamed up with Danielson to win the TWA Tag Team Championship. Spanky, Danielson and many others from the TWA were signed to World Wrestling Entertainment developmental deals in 2000. They reported to WWE’s farm territory Memphis Championship Wrestling, where Kendrick won the Tag Championships with Danielson and became a three time MCW Light Heavyweight Champion.
ROH and Japan
He then appeared on the debut show for Ring of Honor and became a founding member of the roster. While working for ROH he split his time with various American independent organizations and made a name for himself in Japan’s Pro Wrestling Zero-One. While in Japan he used the moniker Leonardo Spanky, a homage the Japanese gave him due to his resemblance to Leonardo DiCaprio.
He signed a new WWE contract in late 2002 and debuted in early 2003, using both his real name and “Spanky.” He formed a tag team with fellow TWA alum Paul London in a low card team, but found little success. Kendrick left WWE in early 2004 to return to Japan and the independent circuit, frustrated over his use in WWE.
Kendrick returned to Zero-One and found more success both in the singles and tag team ranks. He also made more appearances for Ring of Honor and worked for ROH’s sister promotion Full Impact Pro, where he became a Tag Team Champion. He also made a couple brief appearances in TNA, winning a four corners match and appearing at TNA’s first pay per view Victory Road.
back to WWE
Kendrick & London
He returned to WWE in August 2005 using his real name. Almost immediately he reunited with Paul London, and the two worked their way up the tag team ranks on SmackDown. They began a feud with MNM over the WWE Tag Team Championships in early 2006 that led to Kendrick & London defeating them for the Titles at Judgment Day in May. With new matching gears, theatre masks and a valet in Ashley Massarro, Kendrick and London became a highlight of the SmackDown. Even though they didn’t have an official team name fans unofficially christened them The Hooligans. While as Tag Champions they battled duos like KC James & Idol Stevens, The Pitbulls and Dave Taylor & William Regal.
The highlight of their reign was a victory over Matt & Jeff Hardy, MNM and Taylor & Regal in a four-team TLC match at Armageddon in December ’06. The match was phenomenal and should have been the moment that put Kendrick & London over as huge stars but unfortunately their push stalled. In April 2007, shortly after WrestleMania 23, the duo lost their Championships to Deuce ‘n’ Domino. Their reign was a staggering 331 days; the longest of any WWE Tag Team Champions.
London and Kendrick were drafted to the RAW brand in June 2007 and saw their push become virtually nonexistent. They had a feud with World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch in the fall of the year that saw them win the World Titles for three days in September before losing them back to Cade & Murdoch. Their rivalry continued at the Unforgiven and No Mercy pay per views. After that rivalry, Kendrick & London were used sparingly on RAW and usually in losing efforts.
The Brian Kendrick
During the 2008 Draft Kendrick was sent back to the SmackDown brand, effectively splitting up the team. Kendrick reinvented himself and re-debuted in July complete with new tights, Sgt. Pepepr-like ring jacket, a bad attitude and a new monstrous bodyguard named Ezekiel Jackson. Kendrick rechristened himself The Brian Kendrick and went on a major winning streak. His new attitude, character and persona were reminiscent of the late Brian Pillman and his old mentor Shawn Michaels, especially with the advent of a hulking bodyguard watching his back. He reached the highest point in his career up until this point when he was one of four challengers for Triple H’s WWE Title at Unforgiven in a Scramble match. While he didn’t officially win the WWE Championship during the match, it was the closest he’s become to reaching that level.
Unfortunately his push subsided after the match. He formed a tag team with Ezekiel and challenged The Colons for the WWE Tag Team Championships through the end of the year and into 2009. During the 2009 supplemental draft Kendrick and Jackson were separated as Jackson was sent to ECW and Kendrick was moved back to RAW. He once again feuded with The Colons using a variety of partners but was once again unsuccessful. He was released from his WWE contract in July 2009.
Return to the independents
Since his release he has made a splash once again on the independent scene. He has worked for Dragon Gate USA, returned to Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, and looks to make his return to ROH in February.
It is unknown how long his return to TNA will last, but for right now Brian Kendrick is one of the hottest properties in pro wrestling not apart of WWE. He has unparalleled high-flying ability, speed and in-ring talent. While he lacks the size of many main event level superstars in the “big leagues” he has an undeniable charisma that is not often found in lightweight wrestlers of his stature. Regardless of whether he stays in TNA or roams the wrestling world as a free agent, Kendrick’s name should be familiar to the wrestling world in 2010.
Billed Height – 5’10
Billed Weight – 184 lbs.
Billed From – Olympia, Washington
Nicknames – formerly wrestled as Spanky
Signature Move –Sliced Bread #2; Dr. Smoothe’s Secret Recipe; Electric Mayhem; Left Turn at Albuquerque
Major Titles Held – World Tag Team Championship; WWE Tag Team Championship; FIP Tag Team Championship; MCW Southern Light Heavyweight Championship (3); MCW Tag Team Championship; TWA Television Championship; TWA Tag Team Championship; NWA International Lightweight Tag Team Championship (2); NWA/UPW/ZERO-ONE International Junior Heavyweight Championship; Zero1-Max United States Openweight Championship
Debuted – 1999
For more info:
Brian Kendrick’s Wikipedia entry
Brian Kendrick on Online World of Wrestling