ALL STAR GRAPPLEVINE
presented by Russell Plummer – Pictures Tony Knox
Kendo heads newcomer search
Flashback: Hanley’s 1996 poster, Kendo Nagasaki, Count Bartelli and Les Kellett.
ALL STAR Wrestling and The Kendo Nagasaki Foundation have flung out a challenge to would-be future wrestling stars for an event at the Victoria Hall in Hanley, Stoke on Trent, on Saturday 5 March. It takes place takes 50 years to the night of one of British wrestling’s most momentous occasions, the never to be forgotten moment when a newly emerging Kendo Nagasaki ended a two decade unbeaten run of masked legend Count Bartelli! Now aspiring new wrestlers are invited to compete for the Count Bartelli-Kendo Nagasaki ‘Most Dynamic Newcomer’ trophy, and a prize of £500 to help finance their wrestling career! The matches will consist of an afternoon of eliminations in order to arrive at the two finalists, who will go forward to the evening event, which will be judged by Lyn Rigby, mother of fusilier Lee Rigby, Kendo Nagasaki, and another guest celebrity to be announced. There will be no falls, submissions, or knock-outs, the emphasis being on all participants to demonstrate professionalism and wrestling skills, including the best style, the best interaction with the audience, and the best ring presence, to achieve the award and prize money. The event is being held to raise funds for The Lee Rigby Foundation and the North Staffs Veterans’ Organisation. Wrestlers wanting to take part should send details of their age, weight and training experience so far together with outline of their in-ring style. This information, together with a photograph, should be e-mailed to: admin@kendonagasaki to arrive before 31 January 2016. The All Star Training School and other similar establishments have been invited to nominate trainees to part. Hanley’s night to remember on 5 March 1966 saw Stan Rylands in the ring as referee for the £500 a-side, winner takes all and loser to un-mask clash. Despite his defeat Count Bartelli, Crewe based Geoff Condliffe, continued wrestling for a further 20 years before finally retiring in 1986. The Hanley supporting programme 50 years ago brought a tag battle with family teams on view as Vic and Peter Stewart faced brothers Ken and Alf Cadman. The irrepressible Les Kellett was there as well taking on rising Welsh star Tony Charles and from the heavyweight division Jim Hussey clashed with muscleman John Lees.
Champ Sam’s big plans for 2016
In the picture: Sam Adonis, ‘Vampire Warrior’ Gangrel, James Mason and Rampage Brown.
SUPERSLAM title holder Sam Adonis has plans to take 2016 by the scruff of its wrestling neck, competing in All Star’s series of January Rumble events before lining up for tag team action from mid-February alongside fellow American, the ‘Vampire Warrior’ himself, Gangrel! The Rumble series continues on Saturday 23 January with an evening show from 7.30pm at the Alban Arena, St.Albans, before Sunday (24th) brings an afternoon event from 3pm as All Star return to the Hexagon in Reading after a long absence. The final weekend of the month opens with a 7pm start on Friday January 29 at the Floral Hall, New Brighton, with Saturday (30th) action at the Victoria Hall, Hanley, and then the 2016 Croydon opener with an afternoon line-up from 4pm in the Arnhem Gallery at the Fairfield Halls. One thing is certain, there will be no easy rumble rides for Adonis with rivals including London-born favourite James Mason, a super-charged Rampage Brown and Dean Allmark, returning to the ring after being side-lined by a knee injury picked-up at Bedworth early in November. Gangrel first lines-up with super Sam when starting his tour on Friday 12 February at the Towngate Theatre, Basildon, with action on Saturday 13 from 6pm at the Floral Hall, Southport. Then a full week of appearances takes in Bedworth Civic Hall on Monday 15 February; the Beck Theatre, Hayes, on Tuesday 16; Gravesend Woodville Hall on Wednesday 17; Skegness Embassy Theatre from 7pm on Thursday 18; Hull City Hall on Friday 19 and Leamington Royal Spa Centre with a 6pm bell time on Saturday 20. Then the February line-up completes at Ipswich Corn Exchange on Friday 26 and there’s a return to Croydon and the Fairfield Halls Arnhem Gallery with a 4pm start on Sunday 28 February.
ONE heavyweight campaigner missing from All Star line-ups at present is Oliver Grey but after a six week absence while he gains qualifications to operate as a personal trainer, the Devon dynamo will be back in the ring later in February when 2016 Butlin’s Belt eliminations begin at the Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness resorts. After returning from a couple of years action in the United States with the WWE’s NXT operation he quickly took the home scene by storm winning the inaugural Butlin’s Belt series in 2014.
Klondyke Kate in Bournemouth ring
In the picture (l to r): Klondyke Kate, Xia Brookside, Adrian Severe and the Tiger Kid.
LADIES wrestling legend Klondyke Kate made a surprise re-appearance in the ring during All Star’s big afternoon event at Bournemouth Pavilion Ballroom on Sunday 17 January, presenting an international ‘Riot Squad’ combination of Welsh hard man Kaden Lay and Finnish ‘Nasty Boy’ Vito Peru for a featured team clash. There were even a few hints dropped that Kate might be considering a return to competition but fans were then delighted to see teenage prospect Xia Brookside leading opposing pairing Dean Allmark and Charlie Garrett into the arena. Zia has returned home after some weeks in the United States working with her step-father and WWE coach Robbie Brookside, but has decided that her wrestling future lies with ring duties and appearances at All Star events around the country.
FEBRUARY’S busy All Star programme, including the school half term holiday period, will bring visits by two top Continental contenders. Italy-born, Germany-based Adrian Severe will be pulling out all the stops for another successful UK campaign, as will the ‘Arabian Sandstorm’ Hakeem Wakur. Before then home fans will get another chance to seen Italian teenage sensation the Tiger Kid who spent time here last summer. Hailing from Catanzaro in Southern Italy, he has trained with hard core ace Sabu and ex-WWE star Paul London as well as Sam Adonis and Dean Allmark during coaching visits to Italy. The Tiger Kid will be appearing for All Star at New Brighton on Friday 29 January, Hanley Victoria Hall on Saturday 30 January and in the Arnhem Gallery at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls on the last afternoon of the month, Sunday 31 January. But we appear to have seen the last of rising star Antonio de Luca, a stand-out campaigner last summer when a big hit with crowds at Haven Holiday Centres in the South West, who has returned to his native Italy in search of fresh challenges.