ALL STAR GRAPPLEVINE
presented by Russell Plummer with pictures by Tony Knox
Butlins’ belt for summer Superslam 2014
In view (left to right): The Butlin’s belt; Lord Robin; John Skyler, Dave Finlay junior,
COMPETITION looks certain to intensify this summer after the Butlin’s management put up a magnificent new championship belt that will be contested during 2014 All Star events at the Bognor Regis, Minehead and Skegness resorts with each winner going on to defend the prize at another centre. News of the Butlin’s Belt has caused a big stir among both home-based stars and this year’s overseas visitors including blond bombshell Sam Adonis and the ‘Southern Saviour’ John Skyler, the ambitious Bravado Brothers, new young Japanese heavyweight contender Seiki Yoshioka and striking masked threat El Excentrico. Outspoken Belgian bull Lord Robin, accompanied as always by Germany’s female force Lady Lori, has decided to make yet another visit to England which is hardly good news for potential rivals. They make-up a formidable pairing with Robin, who enjoyed a spell as world champion in the middleweight division last winter always ready to take full advantage of in and out of the ring controversy caused by Lori. Lord Robin grudgingly admits that the toughest rival he has faced in the UK – or on the Continent – is our very own James Mason! Since Europe’s wrestling landscape changed with the almost total disappearance of the long-running tournaments that came year after year in the major cities of Austria and Germany, top contenders from the other side of the English Channel now have to pack thier bags and come here – and one man who has done that to good effect is highly capable Austrian campaigner Max Moran who hails from the city of Graz, once a real wrestling stronghold and whose favourite son Otto Wanz was a dominant heavyweight force throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Back with us for the 2014 summer season, Max hopes to be able to impress sufficiently to get a crack at the Superslam title held by Dean Allmark.
THE famous wrestling name of Finlay is back in the UK frame represented not by the legendary ‘Belfast Bruiser’ but his 22 year-old son Dave junior. Dave senior’s long career has brought lasting success, first on this side of the Atlantic and more recently in a variety of roles for WWE in the United States and around the world. Dave junior took time before deciding to make his own bid for ring glory and has appeared in a number of Stateside matches partnering his father and ending up on the winning side! Dave senior’s advice to his son was to come to England and get some really tough and competitive experience with All Star Wrestling under his belt. And now he’s here and doing just that!
Bravado Brothers Enliven Tag Team Scene
Pictured (l to r): Bravado Brothers, the Rockets, UK Hooligans, American Avalanche & Thunder
THE tag team scene has come to life this summer with international campaigners to the fore including American brothers Lance and Harlem Bravado who had a brief spell in All Star rings during 2013. Making a debut with Ring of Honor during September 2008, they hit the headlines in 2011, reaching the final of a ‘RoH’ tag event before losing to ‘Future Shock’ pair Adam Cole and Kyle O’Reilly. Hailing from the town of Draper in North Carolina, they also spent time in Japan but are now back in Britain and causing heads to turn. Another awesome current pairing consists the ‘American Avalanche’ PN.Neuz and metal masked power Thunder, while South London ace James Mason is linking-up with Dean Allmark for seasonal tests. A new team styling themselves as ‘The Rockets’ and made up of speedy North East partners Middlesbrough’s Tony Spitfire and 25 year-old Tynesider A.J.Anderson from South Shields is also gaining big a following and can be relied upon to set a cracking pace from the first bell to last.
A BIG test is looming when the Bravados go into a brothers versus brothers tag battle against ‘UK Hooligans’ Roy and Zak Knight at the Embassy Centre, Skegness, on Thursday 31 July. The Norfolk-based Hooligans have been on a non-stop rampage since Zak returned from injury earlier in the year and they insist there is nothing to fear from the American twosome. The programme starts at 7pm and also includes an Embassy debut by Dave Finlay junior, while another North American threat provided by John Skyler, the man they call the ‘Southern Saviour.’ Tickets are now available at the Embassy Centre box office with telephone enquiries to 0845-6740505.
Haven circuit battle lines are being drawn
Facing the camera (left to right): Oliver Grey, T.J. Stomper, Kid Fite and Justin Starr.
THE battle lines are being drawn for top class All Star action at Haven Holiday Centres along the South Coast and in the West of England and no one will be more eager to impress than the South Devon-born heavyweight who went to the USA as Joel Redman and came back known as WWE star Oliver Grey – and after Stateside success, including a spell as XTA Tag Team champion. Not surpsingly Oliver Grey is the name he is sticking-too for 2014 summer action. But no one is in for an easy ride when other rivals include Tyson T-Bone the 6ft 2in tall tattooed battler who came from nowhere to make his mark in the heavyweight division and once seen is not forgotten by opponents or those watching from ringside.T.J.Stomper is another heavyweight whirlwind who likes nothing better throwing his weight around. ‘I admire anyone who stands toe to toe with the most ruthless man in wrestling today – and that’s me,’ he insists. Weymouth-based heavyweight campaigner Justin Starr, invariably billed as the ‘Dorset Destroyer,’ is certainly living up to the name with powerful performances against opposition from Britain and overseas. A wrestler since a ring debut in his middle teens when first trained in the West of England by Roy Harley, Starr stands six-foot-four and now vweighs-in at a solid 250lbs.
CONTENDERS from Scotland figure again in summer All Star action at the Haven Holiday Centres, among them Kid Fite who had great start to 2014 against world class rivals Paul London and Prince Devitt. He also figures in a number of TV projects including scenes for the Scottish soap ‘River City.’ The profile of Davey Blaze has also risen with appearances on ITV show ‘Take Me Out’ and the Insane Fight Club documentary that was watched by more than two million on BBC One. Others not letting the grass grow under their feet include B.T.Gunn, successful in Europe with wrestling dates in Spain and Ireland while teen ace Kenny Williams shows no signs of slowing down after an impressive 2013. T.J.Rage, one of the most feared forces in Scottish Wrestling, is a big angry man who has defeated some of the top names. Brothers Mark and Joe Coffey received a second WWE try-out and featured on the RAW show. Kay Lee Ray remains the top Scottish female star having toured Europe, Japan and the United States.
ONCE again the top campaigners from the All Star circuit will be hitting the North Wales coast for six summer bills presented at Rhyl Town Hall where shows maintain the traditions set for so long by legendary wrestler and promoter, the late Orig Williams. This year Rhyl wrestling night is Tuesday with a 7 o’clock start time for programmes on July 22 and 29 and continuing on August 5, 12, 19 and 26. Tickets are available in advance from Rhyl Tourist Information Centre, telephone:01745-345515, and at the door on the night of the events.