ALL STAR GRAPPLEVINE
presented by Russell Plummer – Pictures Tony Knox
Eight man battle in Dartford lunchtime bill
Ready for action (l to r): UK Pitbulls, the Henchmen and Charlie Garrett.
THE FIRST BELL will sound at 12 noon for a special lunchtime wrestling event at the Orchard Theatre, Dartford, on Saturday 23 April, when a big All Star line-up is headed by a four-a-side tag team clash that sees some of Britain’s most popular personalities joining forces against two of the ring’s heaviest and most dangerous combinations, the ‘UK Pitbulls’ and ‘The Henchmen!’ The Coventry-based Henchman, Jim Diehard and Benton Destruction, make every pound of their combined near 40 stones weight count but even they are left behind at the scales by the Norfolk-based Pitbulls, who are also sometimes billed as the ‘Un-natural Disasters.’ Heading the pairing, and at 520lbs claiming to be Europe’s heaviest wrestler, is Mike ‘The Bulk’ Waters and he is partnered by Monster Karn, a 245 pounds force from Cambridgeshire who was first put on the road to wrestling success by heavyweight Nick Aldis, now better known from TNA action in America as Magnus.
Ever consistent South London-born heavyweight James Mason, originally from Bermondsey, heads the opposition squad and will line-up alongside popular ladies man Warren Brady; 24 year-old Bath speed merchant Charlie Garrett; and Gloucester-based Justin ‘The Hammer’ Sysum, the ambitious young man whose sporting pedigree, in addition to wrestling, includes hammer throwing, gymnastics and American football – and all while securing an honours degree in biology at Southampton University! Top solo action is also on the cards with the ultra-aggressive Canadian Stomper facing West Country favourite Oliver Grey who continues the tremendous vein of form he struck during an extended stay in the United States competing in the WWE’s NXT Division until early last year. Another featured match pits rising home star, Blackpool’s ‘Yes Man’ J.D.Bryan against much-travelled bearded Finnish ‘Nasty Boy’ Vitto Puro
Tickets, including a special £45 family offer covering two adults and two children, are now on sale at the Orchard Theatre Box Office, telephone 01322-220000. Further information about the event will appear on Facebook at: All Star Wrestling U.K. Before winding down public bills before the summer, All Star will be at Gravesend’s Woodville Hall on Friday 27 May with a 7.30pm bell time and tickets available from the venue on 01474-337774. Then June arrives with a Wednesday 1st programme from 7.30pm at the Playhouse Theatre, Epsom, with ticket enquiries to 01372-242555.
Final wrestling curtain at the Fairfield Halls
In the picture: James Mason, Mal Sanders, Dean Allmark and Johnny Kidd.
FIFTY-FOUR years of wrestling at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls came to an end on Sunday 10 April when fans packed the Arnhem Gallery for a final All Star presentation before the complex closes for a two year renovation. The very first event in October 1982 was a Dale Martin bill including Mick McManus, ‘Iron Man’ Steve Logan, ‘Dazzler’ Joe Cornelius, Prince Kumali, Bobby Barnes and Johnny Kwango. All Star arrived on the Croydon scene during the 1980s with an opening line-up including ‘Rollerball’ Mark Rocco, Johnny Saint and Wayne Bridges.
Nowadays, no one has seen more Croydon action than James Mason and the final bill included what, incredibly, was his 92nd appearance and it came in a fascinating clash with ‘World of Sport’ era title holder Mal Sanders. Luton-based Johnny Kidd, another star from the golden days of British televised action, stepped back into the Fairfield spotlight for a first ever meeting with 21st century ace Dean Allmark and to complete a memorable occasion the six round drawn match was refereed by another Croydon legend, former lightweight champion Steve Grey.
Illness prevented a temporary revival for the Super Flys tag formation of Ricky Knight and Jimmy Ocean and the latter’s place was taken by King Kendo against a UK Hooligans formation of Zak Knight and Zebra Kid junior with the younger generation pairing taking the honours. Letitia Allmark was the afternoon’s ring announcer while referee Lee Bamber clocked-up a 58th Fairfield appearance as MC or referee in a bill that also saw Liverpool loud mouth Ringo Ryan take the verdict against ‘Arabian Sandstorm’ Hakeem Wakur.
All Star School celebrates its 10th birthday!
Celebration as the All Star Training School reaches its 10th anniversary!
THE ALL STAR Wrestling School has reached a new milestone celebrating its 10th anniversary at the beginning of April having after become a well-established Saturday fixture at Bebington Civic Hall on Merseyside. As he works towards taking the operation forward, head coach Dean Allmark has been looking back over the achievements of the past decade explaining: ‘I entered into all it with a lot of cynicism thinking it wouldn’t work, wouldn’t last long and basically that I wouldn’t make a very good teacher! I never imagined that ten years down the road, we would still be going strong having produced, in my opinion, some of the best full time-wrestlers not only on the All Star roster but in the country as a whole.’
Dean added: ‘I would like to thank everyone who has trained with us and especially Mikey Whiplash at the very beginning, Robbie Dynamite for his weekly services in the first few years and to all of guest trainers including Rollerball Rocco, Tyson Kidd, Rene Dupree, Dave Finlay, Neil Sands, John Kenny, Gangrel, Tony Spitfire, El Ligero, Frankie Sloan, Joe Legend, James Mason, Sam Adonis, Johnny Kidd, Karl Kramer, Phil Powers, Nathan Cruz, Chad Collyer, Carl Oulette, Keith Myatt, Roy and Zak Knight, Rampage Brown, Doug Williams and Shadow Phoenix who have come along to training sessions – some of them on more than just a couple of occasions.’ Saturday training currently runs from 10am to 4pm each week and details can be obtained by calling 07739-330316.