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Brian Kendrick

Brian Kendrick
- courtesy brian-kendrick.net

REAL NAME: Brian Kendrick
5'8", 175 pounds
BORN: May 29, 1979 in Fairfax, Virginia
NICKNAMES: Spanky, Leonardo Spanky

From Texas to Japan and from Ring of Honor to TNA to WWE, Brian "Spanky" Kendrick has indeed been all over the world in his six-year-plus career, and while he may not be a World Champion, he has indeed proven that sometimes it's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog.

Brian adapted the nickname Spanky while being trained by Shawn Michaels at Michaels' wrestling school. As with most, if not all, of Michaels' graduates, Kendrick made his wrestling debut for the Texas Wrestling Alliance in 1999. Championship gold came quickly to the newcomer, as Kendrick defeated Rudy Boy Gonzales on November 9, 1999 to capture the TWA Television Championship, and on March 21, 2000, teamed with the American Dragon to win the TWA Tag Team titles.

Kendrick's talents did not escape the WWE's notice, and he was signed to a developmental contract and assigned to Memphis Championship Wrestling. In gaining his first championship, the MCW Light Heavyweight title, Kendrick had to go through his former tag partner, "The American Dragon" Bryan Danielson, defeating him on September 22, 2000 for the first of three reigns as champion. A second reign would come when Kendrick defeated Derrick King on January 6, 2001, for the title which had been held up, while a third began with a May 11th victory over Tyler Gates.

Despite their battles over the Light Heavyweight Championship and in several tournaments (including the 2001 ECWA Super 8 and he APW King of the Indies, both of which saw Kendrick lose in the first round), Kendrick and the American Dragon mended fences well enough to enjoy a reign as Tag Team Champions.

No matter how many titles he won in MCW, Brian "Spanky" Kendrick couldn't convince WWE officials that he belonged on the Raw or Smackdown rosters, and he was released. Kendrick returned to the indy circuit, where he tangled with American Dragon again, on shows in Las Vegas and Alaska.

On February 23, 2002, Kendrick teamed with Ikaika Lao and defeated Michael Shane and Oz in a Shawn Michaels' Wrestling Academy Challenge match at Ring of Honor's Era of Honor Begins show. Because of the win, Kendrick won a ROH contract.

But Kendrick wasn't competing strictly for ROH. During the spring of 2002, Kendrick fought on several shows for the Heartland Wrestling Alliance (teaming with Shannon Moore and Matt Striker) and All Pro Wrestling. In June 2002, Kendrick traveled to Japan to compete for the Zero-One promotion as Leonardo Spanky. On June 29, 2002, Kendrick defeated Smelly in Sapporo, Japan to become the Zero-One International Junior Heavyweight Champion, a title he defended several times including against Yoshihito Sasaki and C.W. Anderson.

Back in Ring of Honor, Kendrick was part of a fatal fourway (won by Low Ki) to crown the first Ring of Honor champion in July 2002. In late-2002, Kendrick was signed to another WWE contract, but could not join the organization until he had fulfilled all of his independent dates.

Kendrick finally made his WWE debut on January 30, 2003. Kendrick, dressed as a bellhop ended up on the receiving end of a Last Ride from The Undertaker. After gaining "attention" by streaking through the arena, Kendrick defeated Shannon Moore on a March 2003 edition of Smackdown to earn a contract.

After competing in the 2003 ECWA tournament (won by Paul London), Kendrick began competing for WWE on Smackdown, feuding with Matt Hardy and John Cena. Kendrick would compete in the APA Ballroom Brawl at Vengeance and later form a tag team with Londo. However, in January 2004, Kendrick left the WWE, this time on his own accord, quitting the company to work for Japan's Zero-One company.

Success came quickly for Kendrick at Zero-One, as he teamed with Low Ki on February 19, 2004 to capture the NWA International Lightweight Tag Team titles, a championship he captured again on September 19th, this time teaming with Kaz Hayashi.

Kendrick returned to North America in the winter of 2004, and went to work for NWA-TNA, winning a fourway match featuring Frankie Kazarian, Matt Sydal and Amazing Red, then appearing in the X-Division's 20-man Gauntlet match at Victory Road, which was won by Hector Garza.

The beginning of 2005 saw Spanky competing in Ring of Honor, battling CM Punk, James Gibson, Jay Lethal and, in tag action, Samoa Joe, among others. He would also get shots at the Pure title, and the ROH World title.In addition to his work in ROH, Kendrick also returned to Japan and, on March 23rd, captured the Zero-1 United States titles from Ryoji Sai.

In July 2005, however, with Kendrick still competing for Ring of Honor as well as Full Impact Pro, he announced that he would return to WWE as soon as his indy obligations were fulfilled. On August 22nd, just two days after he faced James Gibson for the Ring of Honor title, Spanky returned to the WWE, losing a fatal fourway match to Nunzio for the WWE Cruiserweight title at a WWE live event.

Upon his return to the WWE, Kendrick reteamed with Paul London for many of his early matches along with a few singles matches, most of which were dark matches or taped for Velocity. Simon Dean used London and Kendrick as fodder for the introduction of his tag team of Gymini during their debut on January 6, 2006. It was hardly a sign of things to come, however.

Kendrick and London really clicked as a team, wearing matching vests and shorts, and occasionally theatrical masks. They'd begin feuding with WWE Tag Team Champions MNM (Joey Mercury, Johnny Nitro and Melina, and seemed to have their number, eventually claiming the belts at Judgment Day in May 2006. An initial challenge from K.C. James and Idol Stevens was turned back, and the British duo of William Regal and Dave Taylor were never successful in beating Kendrick and London either. A highlight was the incredible four-way team ladder match at Armageddon in December 2006.

It was the team of Deuce 'n Domino that finally toppled the Kendrick and London pairing, winning the belts on the April 20, 2007 edition of Smackdown. It was a remarkably long reign for a tag team in the current era of professional wrestling -- 331 days.

Both Kendrick and London went to Raw in the June 2007 Supplemental Draft, and were quickly in the tag mix with the likes of The World's Greatest Tag Team (Charlie Haas and Shelton Benjamin) and the World Tag Team Champions Lance Cade and Trevor Murdoch. Kendrick and London would win the Raw versions of the tag titles at a house show on September 5, 2007, from Cade and Murdoch, only to drop them back three days later. The team's momemtum seemed to wane, however, and London's injury late in the year furthered hampered any push.

In early, 2008 Kendrick began exhibiting occasional heelish tendencies, abandoning his partner at key moments. But they were in the World Tag Team Title mix again, challenging, but not unseating, Cody Rhodes and Bob Holly.

The 2008 Supplemental Draft saw Kendrick head back to Smackdown, while London was stuck on Raw. On the Friday night show, Kendrick emerged as The Brian Kendrick, complete with new bodyguard Ezekiel Jackson. His new attitude seemed to really click and, despite his small stature, seemed to put him into the championship picture far more believably.

On the August 22 edition of Smackdown, Kendrick competed in and won a 10-man battle royal to be given a spot in the WWE Championship Scramble match at Unforgiven. During the Scramble bout, Kendrick was "interim" champion, taking a pinfall during the wild bout, which was ultimately won by Triple H.

Kendrick and Jackson would compete as a team, but never unseated the Colons for the WWE Tag Team Championships.

The 2009 Supplemental Draft saw Kendrick go back to Raw, and Jackson head off to ECW. After a few high profile wins and more boasted by "The Brian Kendrick", he was released from his WWE contract on July 30, 2009.

--- compiled by John M. Milner and Greg Oliver

BRIAN "SPANKY" KENDRICK STORIES

  • November 8, 2010: Fearless honesty dominates Kendrick & London shoot DVD
  • January 12, 2010: Kendrick speaks out against the 'backstabbers, power hungry people, suck ups, weak people'
  • July 30, 2009: Brian Kendrick departs WWE for third time
  • February 17, 2004: Spanky explains WWE departure
    Visit the SLAM! Wrestling store!


    See Spanky Kendrick in action!
  • Best of Indys 2004 Volume 1 DVD-R
  • Best of Indys 2004 Volume 2 DVD-R
  • WWE Judgement Day 2003 DVD
  • TNA Victory Road DVD