WRESTLING HERITAGE

British wrestling history 

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Heritage

C: Cannell - Carpentier

Wrestling Heritage A-Z


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Clive Cannell

Salisbury wrestler Clive Cannell turned professional in 1986, starting a career that was to last long beyond the Heritage years and take him across the Atlantic to wrestle in the United States in 2003. Whilst there he and  Gareth Humphries from Trowbridgewon a Trans Atlantic Tag Team Championship bout and Clive won the  United States East Coast Championship belt.

Please get in touch if you can provide more information. 

Barry Cannon

In the early 1960s, with the number of shows nearing their mid decade peak an influx of new stars came onto the professional circuit. It is a credit to the promoters of the day that the quality of those newcomers was so high.

One of the most promising was a young wrestler named Barry Cannon. A highly skilled, fast and popular Bradford welterweight Barry gained increasing recognition in the 1960s following his 1962 debut at Colne.

Having become interested in wrestling whilst participating in his national service, Barry returned to Britain and was trained by Les Kellett. Making his televised debut in 1964 Barry was a popular and regular contestant on the small screen, culminating in his final and predictable loss against Mick McManus in 1967.

Matched against the top welterweights of the day, but rarely above preliminary level, fans were disappointed when he disappeared from the scene in 1968.

Eddie Capelli

London born Anglo Italian Eddie Capelli was a stalwart of British wrestling for around thirty years.

Born in 1927 Capelli became a wrestling fan when he attended the all-in shows at the Blackfriars Ring. As a teenager during the war he took up amateur wrestling at the John Ruskin Club in south London, where he no doubt came across a contemporary of his time also training for the professioanl ring, one young McManus.

Success came to the young Capelli in 1949 when he succeeded Harold Angus as the new British welterweight champion. Losing the title to Mick McManus three years later Eddie remained a popular wrestler but was never to reach the top again.

In the 1960s and 1970s he remained popular, and his change of nature to become a baddie of the ring never quite seemed to ring true. He was usually found in the preliminary contests, often providing a stepping stone for future stars. Ken Joyce and Eddie Capelli were the European tag team champions.

Pietro Capello (Maurice La Chapelle, Rene La Chapelle)

Italy’s Pietro Capello, known in parts as Maurice La Chapelle or Rene La Chapelle, was one of the great villains of the 1950s and 1960s.

"There was no pretence of orthodox wrestling...hit hard and hit first to survive," Eddie Rose remembers. He moved from Italy to Canada, to follow a career as a chef we were told at the time, where he was trained to wrestle by Tony Lanza. Shortly after turning professional he moved on to Australia before arriving in Britain in 1962. He was to remain a regular feature of the British wrestling landscape for the next three years. Television executives selected opponents to show him at his villainous best - Masambula, Czeslaw, Cornelius, Veidor and Ricky Starr amongst others.His contest against Ricky Starr is a popular view on You Tube.

Pietro Capello sneered at the crowd and oozed self confidence, usually en-route to defeat against the good guy of the day. He was one of those wrestlers who turned villainy into a work of art. Pietro's career was cut short in 1966 when he suffered a severe heart attack shortly after leaving the ring.

Interestingly wore a gold earring in those days when men didn't do such things. We just put it down to him being foreign.

John Carlo

The tall, muscular blond wavy haired John Carlo was another of the new wave of wrestlers who permeated through Dale Martin bills in the mid 1970s.

His style made him a popular addition to the ranks of the  mid heavyweights. From Ashford in Kent he turned professional in the late 1960s. A tough 1973 televised debut against  the heavier and experienced Johnny Yearsley was followed the next year with matches against  against El Extioco, Terry Rudge and Bob Kirkwood.

Kent Walton forecast great things for the youngster, but he disappeared from our sight shortly afterwards.  

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.

Terry Carnell

Terry Carnell was a promising heavy middleweight of the early 1970s. His home was in Bradford Upon Avon but he trained at Bristol Amateur Wrestling Club under the guidance of Tony Charles and Johnny Czeslaw. Terry turned professional in 1966 working for independent promoters in south Wales and the West Country. In the mid 1970s we have reports that he wrestled for Joint Promotions in the North East.

Please get in touch if you can provide more information.

Primo Carnera

Yes, the Ambling Alp and World Heavyweight Boxing champion Primo Carnera did turn his hand (and feet) to wrestling.

In fact it was the other way around and Carnera was a wrestler in his native Italy long before finding fame as a professional boxer. 

Fame maybe, but fortune certainly did not come his way in the boxing ring.  The story of Primo Carnera is one that professional boxing has little to be proud of.

At six feet eight and weighing twenty stone the former circus strong-man looked threatening enough but was a cumbersome and one dimensional fighter.

In the photo Carnera meets Britain's Charlie Green at Madison Square Garden, New York. 

Carnera turned to wrestling once again after leaving the boxing ring and his visit to the UK for Joint Prmotions is documented in Blood, Sweat and Speedway elsewhere on this site.

Around the time the ex World heavyweight boxing champion Primo Carnera turned to wrestling and toured the UK in the 1960s the heavyweight Gino Carnera appeared on the independent circuit. Now don’t call us suspicious.

Edouard Carpentier (Eddie Wiecz, Eduardo Wieckorski)

A Heavyweight visitor to Britain with genuine iternational credentials Eduard Carpentier combined an impressive physique, wrestling knowledge and athletic style developed during his earlier gymnastic career.

Born in France in 1926 Edouard Wiercowicz was a prominent member of the resistance during the second world war, receiving the Military Cross for bravery. His initial visit to Britain was in 1953, at that time using the names Eddie Wiecz and Eduardo Wiercorski.

Wiercowicz moved to Montreal in 1956, adopting the ring name Edouard Carpentier. He defeated Lou Thesz the following year for the NWA World heavyweight championship, the title change later being reversed due to a dispute between Carpentier's management and the NWA. Thesz was to defeat Carpentier by disqualification in the subsequent return contest.

He re-visted Britain in the 1960s, notably drawing with Geoff Portz at the Royal Albert Hall and losing against Jim Armstrong when the BBC ventured fleetingly into the realms of televised wrestling.

Carpentier died of a heart attack in October, 2010

Paul Carpentier

A 1960s Manchester heavyweight working for the independent promoters about whom we feel we should know more. No doubt George Shaw thought the name Paul Carpentier far more exotic than his given name, regularly travelling to venues with his friends Pat Curry and Billy Graham, both of whom also borrowed their names from famous overseas stars. As well as wrestling through the north and midlands Paul also promoted shows, sometimes in conjunction with Jack Cassidy.