Blondie Barratt Presents an Award to Kendo, who Meets the New Generation of Wrestling Fans In The Ring

On Friday, 20th November 2015, Kendo Nagasaki was once more seen in a wrestling ring, in a hard-working suburb in the North of England – it sounds reminiscent of the Golden Years of British Professional Wrestling! And in many ways, it was indeed a glorious echo of those days – the local hall was full of passionate fans of genuine wrestling, Kendo was greeted with both admiration and wariness, and there was electricity in the air!

Kendo had been invited to attend the wrestling event by his tag-team partner of many years, Blondie Barratt, who was not wrestling, but promoting the event, and in one of his favourite venues, Blondie wanted to present Kendo with his own “Wrestling Icon” award, as a thankyou for the many years of their incredible team-work.

Rumour had been reaching Kendo that wrestling had been growing in popularity “up North”, and so he decided to accept this award, and also perform an Empowerment Ceremony in the ring. If the rumour was true, then Kendo also wanted to reward the new generation of wrestling fans, so he also decided to hold a prize draw for fans of 15 years of age and under.

Prize draw tickets were given to those 15-and-younger as they arrived, and everyone received one of Kendo’s mystical “Empowerment” flyers, and after the third match, the “Anthem for Nagasaki” echoed through the building… it was time!

Led by his spokesperson, Roz MacDonald, and followed by his personal assistant of many years, Lawrence, Kendo made his way regally to the ring, accompanied by the customary wonder and suspicion and respect of the audience… The MC announced Blondie’s award, and he came into the ring and presented Kendo with an engraved silver salver and a “Wrestling Icon” certificate.

Blondie then made a speech about how much the award meant to him – having been chosen to partner Kendo in a tag team had done wonders for Blondie’s career in wrestling, and had taken him to places far and wide, and he wished his award and certificate to reflect his appreciation of the success it had all brought him, even as a “heel”! It was a touching speech, which shed welcome light on how Kendo’s influence had meant so much to Blondie, and had impacted his life so positively; if Kendo wasn’t so impassive, he might have been moved too!

Then it was time for the 15-and-under prize draw. Roz MacDonald took the mic, and invited one of Kendo’s most devoted and passionate fans into the ring to perform the ticket draw – Amanda Buckley-Taylor. Amanda and her husband Andy have been regular visitors to Kendo’s Retreat, enthusiastically taking to the messages of his charity, the Kendo Nagasaki Foundation, which seeks to empower people through the philosophy of Kyu Shin Do and Zen Buddhism. (Amanda also has a fantastic selection of Kendo tattoos!) While Amanda chose the winning tickets, Andy snapped countless souvenir pictures!

There were 3 prizes, and the winners were all invited to the ring – and their ages ranged from early teens down to under 5 – truly, a new generation of wrestling fans! It was true, then – wrestling is BACK, for an enthusiastic new generation, as the good people of Stocksbridge emphatically showed!

Then it was on to Kendo’s “Empowerment Ceremony”. Roz explained how Kendo has always drawn on the strength and wisdom of the samurai of ancient Japan, and how they used “empowerment phrases” before battle, like the one on Kendo’s flyer… When Kendo struck his mystical singing bowl, those who had put themselves in accord with the spiritual samurai would be empowered, and when the moment came, every hand in the hall shot up, holding Kendo’s flyer. The singing bowl rang through the electric silence, which turned to enthusiastic applause when Roz announced that they had all now been empowered! This crowd clearly welcomed empowerment from the spiritual samurai, Kendo himself!

During the interval, a long, long queue of autograph and picture hunters waited outside Kendo’s dressing room, for the chance to get his signature and be photographed with him; it was great to see so many old-fashioned autograph books in the hands of so many youngsters – even in today’s technological world, the magic of a real autograph is once more being appreciated.

All-in-all, it was a great evening – Blondie’s heart-felt award clearly did mean a lot to Kendo, the presence of so many new young wrestling fans at the event bodes very well for the future of British wrestling, and the entire audience was eager, good-natured, and passionate – and with Kendo Nagasaki being seen at the centre of things, it seems like the good old days are most emphatically back!

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