ONE of the biggest events in the wrestling calendar, the WWE's WrestleMania, is taking place tonight and tomorrow night.

Inspired by this huge annual grappling event, here is a look at some of the top Bradford district-based kings of the ring, both past and present.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:


Luke has gone from the Bradford Bulls Academy to WWE stardom.

The former Spen Valley Sports College in Liversedge student is one of the upcoming stars on the WWE's NXT show, used as a platform to hone the skills of future wrestling icons.

He wrestles under the character name Ridge Holland and stays true to his West Yorkshire roots in his wrestling persona.

As Ridge Holland, he walks to the ring wearing a flat cap, calling himself the Bother Causer and using Northern Grit as a hashtag.

He is recovering from what he described as a 'freak injury' when he broke and dislocated his left ankle, dislocated his knee cap and ruptured the patellar tendon on his right leg in a wrestling match in October last year.


He suffered the injury on an episode of World Wrestling Entertainment's (WWE) NXT programme, where Holland brawled with fellow wrestlers Oney Lorcan and Danny Burch after defeating the latter in a match.

As he caught Lorcan leaping over the top rope to deliver a cross-body move, Holland suffered the injuries and he had to be stretchered out of the arena.

Luke says he hopes to return to action after being given a couple of high-profile matches, challenging for an NXT North American Championship match in the weeks before his injury.

Luke still has strong roots in the Bradford district as his father, Alan Menzies, who used to play rugby league for Odsal Sedbergh, lives in Shipley.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:


Dennis, who once wrestled WWE legend Andre The Giant, was posthumously entered into the sport’s prestigious British Hall of Fame.

Nicknamed ‘Golden Boy’, he took his place in the British Wrestlers Reunion Hall of Fame in 2019, an accolade which was voted for by former stars of the sport including Adrian Street.

Mitchell made a name for himself as a wrestler in Britain and Europe after joining the Royal Marines 45 Commando and Bevan Boys down the mines in Dudley Hill when he returned to his native city.

He was a well known and much-loved personality around Bradford, and the wider wrestling world during its hey days from the 1940s through to the 1970s.

He won a number of top title belts during his illustrious career, which peaked in the 1960s, including the British Heavyweight championship, the Royal Albert Hall trophy and was multiple-time Viennese tournament champion.

Dennis even wrestled Andre The Giant, then aged 21, when the French superstar was training as a grappler in England on his way to fame in the USA. Dennis also took on Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson’s grandfather, Peter Maivia, in the ring.

Dennis retired from wrestling in 1976 and died at the Manorlands Hospice in Oxenhope in October 1997, aged 68.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Les Kellett wrestles at the Arndale Centre in Bradford in 1976Les Kellett wrestles at the Arndale Centre in Bradford in 1976


Laisterdyke-born wrestler Les Kellett was known as the Clown Prince of Europe.

He is remembered as one of professional wrestling's genuinely tough characters

Although he acted "as daft as a brush" in the ring, he fought his way to the sport's light heavyweight championship of Britain

Pretending to be dazed, he would stagger about the ring, lure his opponent on to him and then snap into action with a series of tremendous forearm smashes - the Les Kellett trademark.

Les died in Ilkley aged 86 in January 2002.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus:


Cottingley-born Geoff during the golden age of British professional wrestling and travelled the world.

The heavyweight star died aged 84 in his adopted home of Australia in April 2016 after a life spent grappling with the best around the globe.

He turned professional in 1951, aged 20, and he became British Champion at both Mid-Heavyweight and Heavyweight before he left to join the US circuit.

Geoff fought in the US during the 1960s and moved there for some 15 years, winning the North American heavyweight championship on four separate occasions.

He also wrestled under the name Mr X and was later given the ring name of Lord Geoffrey.