Former WWE Wrestler Les Thornton Passes Away

Les Thornton

Former WWE wrestler Les Thornton has passed away at the age of 84 years old.

Retired wrestler Les Thatcher broke the news of his passing today via Twitter. According to Thatcher, Thornton died on Friday.

A former boxer in the British Navy, Thornton made his professional wrestling debut in the late 1950s. He quickly earned the respect of fans all over the globe, dominating such territories as Beirut, New Zealand, Germany and Australia before moving to North America.

Thornton arrived in Canada and began competing for Stu Hart’s Stampede Wrestling. While there, he captured the North American Heavyweight Championship twice.

Despite his worldwide success, Thornton didn’t compete for WWE until the latter days of his career. He joined WWE in 1984 — then known as the World Wrestling Federation — and was recognized as a wrestler with international influence. Thornton didn’t find much success as he was mostly used as a “jobber to the stars.”

Here is footage of Thornton picking up a rare win on television, with Vince McMahon and Bruno Sammartino calling the action.

Following his departure from WWE in 1987, Thornton formed his own promotion in Calgary, Alberta, Canada called Canadian Independent Wrestling Federation (CIWF). He retired from the ring in 1990 and continued to reside in Calgary.