“Les was the first World Junior Heavyweight Champion I knew of and I loved that fact that they presented him as a ‘World’ Champion, Les was a classic shooter/stretcher and I will miss him” — DKM
Six times the National Wrestling Alliance Worlds Junior Heavyweight Champion, Les Thornton is perhaps one of the greatest Junior Heavyweights to ever lace up a pair of boots. As champion he’d face some of the best competition in the world facing the likes of Tiger Mask, Terry Taylor, Jerry Brisco, Gino Hernandez, Ricky Morton, Kevin Sullivan, Mike Graham, Jimmy Garvin, Tim Horner, and so many others.
Long before he would be World Jr. Heavyweight Championship he began to build his reputation in the Nashville Fairgrounds with NWA Mid-America. He really was a world traveler. Spending much time in Japan, Canada, and all over the United States, Thornton would go from territory to territory building up his name. In 1977 he would unsuccessfully challenge Terry Funk for the NWA Worlds Heavyweight Championship and Nick Bockwinkel for the AWA World Heavyweight Championship.
Thorton’s career would span over 30 years, with many of his final matches for the WWE. Thank you Les, you showed the world that the heart of the champion wasn’t determined by the size of the body. Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Les Thorton, may he rest in peace.