July 30, 2009
Brian Kendrick departs WWE for third time
By JON WALDMAN - SLAM! Wrestling

The Brian Kendrick earlier this year. Photo by Mike Mastrandrea

In a surprising move, WWE has released Raw superstar Brian Kendrick.

Kendrick was on his second go-around with the Fed's main roster and third overall stint when the announcement came down from WWE today via a release on their website.

"World Wrestling Entertainment has come to terms on the release of Raw Superstar Brian Kendrick as of today, July 30, 2009," the statement said on WWE.com. "WWE wishes Brian the best in all future endeavors."

Kendrick had appeared on WWE TV as recently as this past Monday's edition of Raw. During the airing, Kendrick lost a quick match to Kofi Kingston after berating Jerry Lawler on the mic. Kendrick lost to Lawler the week prior in what was his first appearance on Raw in a few weeks.

Kendrick returned to WWE in 2005 and soon joined up with Paul London on Smackdown as an impressive tag team. The duo, who tagged and also squared off against one another during Kendrick's first run with WWE, drew comparisons to teams such as The Rockers and Hardy Boyz for their high-flying tandem moves.

The duo would capture the WWE Tag Team Championships during their run and ran off an impressive year-plus run with the gold, defeating several opposing teams in a variety of match formats. Eventually, Kendrick and London dropped their belts to Deuce and Domino. Shortly thereafter, the tandem split up, with London moving to Raw in the 2008 WWE Draft.


Soon after the split, Kendrick was repackaged into a cocky heel persona which drew comparisons to Shawn Michaels. He was given a new title of "The Brian Kendrick" and a new bodyguard, Ezekiel Jackson. The duo would gain a fair amount of attention in WWE but were rarely elevated into prominent roles, save for Kendrick's involvement in the WWE Championship Scramble Match at Unforgiven 2008 and a couple WWE Tag Team title bouts.

Following the 2009 Draft, Kendrick again would be on his own as he was moved to Raw and Jackson went to ECW. Kendrick would make occasional, but insignificant appearances on Monday nights before his release.

Kendrick first joined WWE in 2002 after being a standout in Ring of Honor. As part of the Smackdown roster, Kendrick fit in well in the Cruiserweight division and tagged with London on several occasions. He would leave WWE in 2004, however, choosing to explore opportunities in other leagues. He would wrestle in Japan and TNA as well as independents.

Kendrick, who was trained by Shawn Michaels, was also signed to a WWF developmental contract in 2000 and wrestled in then developmental territory Memphis Championship Wrestling but was released before he was brought up to the main roster.

RELATED LINKS:

  • February 17, 2004: Spanky explains WWE departure
  • SLAM! Wrestling's Brian Kendrick bio and story archive

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