Ed Wensor, the Northamptonshire wrestler who died on February, 18th, 2016, is remembered for an old gimmick with a new twist. In the second half of the 1960s he assumed the identity of Mr X, a recycled name that had been used on previous occasions. The new twist was that previous users of the name had been masked men, whilst Ed Wensor did not hide his face.
The mystery of Ed Wensor's Mr X was where he came from where he came ant to where he went (Irchester, a village two miles from Rushden in Northamptonshire in case you're still wondering).
It was a mystery created by Ed sitting in his tracksuit amongst the audience enjoying the show along with the rest of the spectators. At the time of his bout he would rise from the audience, climb into the ring, remove the tracksuit and wrestle. Following his contest, often a demonstration of good combating evil, he would pull on his tracksuit and walk straight out of the hall. Okay, it doesn't sound the most exciting of gimmicks fifty years later, but it certainly aroused the interest of fans and was brought to national attention by The Wrestler magazine.
Ed Wensor began wrestling professionally in the early 1960s. Our earliest sighting was in 1962, though wrestling journalist Tony Flood stated a 1960 debut at Wellingborough against Black Butcher Johnson. In those days Ed worked for independent promoters such as Jack Taylor, Jerry Jeary and Paul Lincoln who were at the time providing strong opposition to Joint Promotions. Early opponents included the likes of Bob Kirkwood, Pat Roach and Gori Ed Mangotich.
In January, 1966, with the acquisition of Paul Lincoln Management Ed was one of the Lincoln stalwarts that made their way across to Joint Promotion rings with a new set of opponents that included famous tv names Kalmen Gaston, Syed Saif Shah and Clayton Thomson.
It was in May, 1967, that The Wrestler columnist John Rackham asked the question, “Who is Mr X?” stating that although the wrestler had wrestled professionally for six years the Mr X name had been only used from the beginning of that year. Rackham stated that Mr X had worked regularly for Dale Martin Promotions against villains such as Johnny Yearsley and Danny Lynch, despite being weight class lower in the mid heavyweight division. He likened Mr X's exit from the hall to the Pied Piper of Hamelin with a trail of fans following in his wake.
In February, 1969, Russell Plummer revealed the identity of Mr X as Johnny (Ed) Wensor, claiming the gimmick was used to arouse the interest of promoters!
Through the 1970s Ed Wensor faced top heavyweight opposition, An earlier tag partnership with Ray McGuire was followed by a more ending and often remembered pairing with his brother, Gary, known as the Flying Wensors. Many fans recall Gary's spectacular speciality hold, a rolling arm lever in which he locked an opponent's arm and somersaulted them both around the ring.
Like countless others the name Ed Wensor is one not as readily recalled as Logan, Kellett or Pallo, but he was one of those hardy gladiators of the ring who enabled the stars to shine. We remind you once again that without Ed Wensor and his like the world of wrestling would not have thrived.