47 year old Former WWF Tag Team Champion Mark Canterbury (aka Henry O. Godwin) has been hospitalised and is in intensive care after a car crash yesterday (Tuesday). The incident happened in Lindside, West Virginia and although details are vague, it has been reported that Cantebury’s car came off a cliff, puncturing two of his lungs and leaving him with thirteen broken ribs and also a broken leg.
He was since flown to an intensive care unit but there is no further update on his current condition.
Canterbury, who wrestled with Dennis Knight (then Tex Slazenger) for WCW in the early 90′s under the name Shanghai Pierce, is best known for his time with the World Wrestling Federation. He joined the company in mid-1994 and went by the ring name Henry Orpheus Godwin and at the time of outlandish wrestlers like Doink The Clown and Papa Shango, was given the gimmick of a pig framer from Arkansas who would carry a bucket of slop to the ring.
After working with Ted DiBiase, first as an unofficial heel member of the Million Dollar Corporation before being insulted by the Million Dollar Man and then feuding with him, he had a memorable feud with Triple H (then Hunter Hearst Helmsley) that ended with an “Arkansas Hog Pen match”.
In 1996 he was reunited with his WCW tag partner Dennis Knight (now Phineas I. Godwinn) and were pushed as a cousin tag team ‘The Godwins’. They won the tag belts twice (though were named worst tag team two years running by Wrestling Observer), he suffered a cracked C7 vertebra after a botched Doomsday Device performed by The Legion of Doom and a return to the ring from injury came too quickly eventually forcing Canterbury to retire in 1998. A brief run as men in suits and using their real name as the tag team Southern Justice, promoted as the bodyguards of Tennessee Lee, came before Godwin’s retirement.
Knight would go on to become WWE wrestler Mideon.
Almost a decade later in 2006, Canterbury was once again signed by the WWE after a couple of tryout matches and debuted in developmental territory Deep South Wrestling as a new take on The Godwins with new partner Ray Gordy (Cousin Gordy). When Gordy caught the call-up to WWE SmackDown roster, Canterbury was left without a role and WWE not knowing what to do with him, kind of forgot about him.
He was eventually released from his contract in 2009 and has been taking Indie bookings since.
Let’s hope he pulls through.