C: Eric Cutler
Eric Kendall was born on 8th July, 1932. He adopted the name Eric Cutler, and for this tough as boots wrestler it was a name that fit. "You're not kidding," Eric's son Howard told us, "Eric also worked as a bouncer at several night clubs in Sheffield after giving up the Angel pub in the village of Eckington. I was with him on several occasions when, only being 5 foot 6 inch, he took on more than one person towering above him. If he could not talk them into a calmer state, he always tried diplomacy first, but if that didn't work he wasn't frightened to get his hands dirty as they say. He was a real hard man."
Sheffield steel Eric Cutler was a bearded rule bender who looked the part even before he started wearing the black leather hood which became a trademark. Trained by Les Kellett Eric turned professional in 1959, being given a chance by Leeds promoter George de Relwyskow. In January, 1961 he was introduced to a national audience by promoter Norman Morrell who matched him against Sid Cooper in a televised contest from Preston. In the months that followed Eric was back on the television screen in matches against Jim Breaks and Jim Mellor.
After half a dozen unenventful years in which Eric learned his trade and gained respect around the halls he got his big break in the mid 1960s when he was catapulted into the role of top tv bad boy. This was when John Foley turned publican in the summer of 1966 and left a vacancy in the Black Diamonds tag team and it was Eric chosen by Abe Ginsberg to step into his shoes.
He turned out to be a perfect replacement and the Diamonds went from strength to strength with their trademark beards and black leather helmets, which in the 1960s we rated as an exciting gimmick. Tag team wrestling was an important element of wrestling in the 1960s, considered essential for a good night out to many fans. A handful of top teams captured the imagination of fans – the Royals, the Hells Angels, the White Eagles, the Jet Set and the Black Diamonds. When Wrestling Heritage counted down the Top Tag Teams the Black Diamonds were runners up, second to only the Royal Brothers and ahead of all the aforementioned teams and even ahead of McManus and Logan.
For quite a few years Eric shared his wrestling duties with his role of landlord of The Angel public house in Eckington, which he left in the summer of 1970. Eric continued to work as a club doorman on the nights he wasn't wrestling, which were not many, being a popular worker for all the Joint Promotion members.
Following his retirement Eric had only fond memories of his wrestling days, telling his family of great days travelling around the country, to Scotland and the south of England for a week at a time, and no memories happier than the times he and Abe escaped from angry fans. Those were the nights they could reassuringly tell themselves they were the bad guys. Job done!
Eric Cutler died in July, 2003.
Page added 03/07/2022