Mark Canterbury

Mark Canterbury (March 16, 1964) is an American professional wrestler, best known for his stint in the World Wrestling Federation under the ring name Henry O. Godwinn.

Career History

Canterbury trained under George South and the Italian Stallion before debuting in 1989 under the ring name "Mean" Mark Canterbury. He quickly formed a tag team with Dennis Knight who would be wrestling as Tex Slazenger while Mark Canterbury donned a mask and became known as The Master Blaster.

In October 1992, the duo began wrestling for World Championship Wrestling, with Canterbury adopting the ring name Shanghai Pierce but keeping the mask. The two were known as the Texicans. They remained with the promotion until 1994.

In the mid 1994, Canterbury joined the World Wrestling Federation, where he was renamed Henry Orpheus Godwinn and given the gimmick of an Arkansan pig farmer who carried a bucket of "slop" to the ring, which he would throw upon his opponents. Canterbury was originally a heel, and assisted the Million Dollar Corporation on several occasions. However, when the leader of the Corporation, Ted DiBiase, was asked on an episode of WWF Action Zone whether or not Canterbury was a member of the Corporation, DiBiase instead insulted Canterbury. This inspired Canterbury to turn face by "slopping" DiBiase, and led to a brief feud between Canterbury and Corporation member Sid.

Godwinn engaged in a feud with the aristocratic Hunter Hearst Helmsley. The feud culminated in December 1995 in an "Arkansas Hog Pen match" that Helmsley won. After the match, however, Godwinn tossed Helmsley into the slop, much to the blueblood's distaste.

In 1996, Canterbury was reunited with Knight, who had been renamed Phineas I. Godwinn. The duo were portrayed as being cousins and were collectively known as The Godwinns. This face team was managed by Hillbilly Jim. They started a feud with the Bodydonnas where Phineas had a crush on Sunny and signed her as their manager. Eventually, she turned on them costing, them their WWF Tag Team Championships. The Godwinns then feuded with the now heel team The Smoking Gunns, in losing efforts. In 1997 after a botched Doomsday device from the Road Warriors, the Godwinns began a heel turn, dropping Hillbilly Jim as a manager and picking up Uncle Cletus. They then started a feud with the Legion of Doom in which they tried to break Hawk's neck. They won the tag titles a second time from the Headbangers. They later dropped the titles to the Legion of Doom. After the losing match, they attacked and fired Cletus. The Godwinns had a short feud with the returning Quebecers but started to fade after that.

In 1997, in a match between The Godwinns and the Legion of Doom, Canterbury suffered a cracked C7 vertebrae when the Legion of Doom botched a Doomsday Device. He was advised by doctors to rest for 15 weeks, but returned to the ring in less than eight weeks.

In 1998, Canterbury entered Brawl for All, a shoot-fighting tournament held by the WWF. He lost in the first round to Bradshaw.

Later that year, the Godwinns dropped their pig farmer gimmicks and became "Southern Justice", the bodyguards of Tennessee Lee. Six months later, Canterbury herniated his C7 vertebrae and pinched a spinal nerve, necessitating spinal fusion surgery. This came as a result of him returning to the ring too early after his neck injury. He eventually left the WWF and retired, due to the neck injury suffered in 1997.

In September 2006, Canterbury wrestled several tryout matches with World Wrestling Entertainment. On September 15, 2006, WWE announced that he had been signed to a contract. He debuted in Deep South Wrestling on November 30 as a tag partner of Ray Gordy. Gordy was known as Cousin Ray and they both reformed The Godwinns. However, since both Gordy and Drew Hankinson went to the SmackDown! brand, Godwinn's role remained uncertain.

On May 19, the Wrestling Observer reported that Canterbury had been released from his developmental contract.

Canterbury has not appeared at any indy shows since his release. Mark is currently married to his wife, Michelle and enjoying family life.

Wrestling facts

  • Nicknames
    • "H.O.G."

Championships and accomplishments

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