ALL STAR GRAPPLEVINE
presented by Russell Plummer, pictures by Tony Knox
Wrestling mourns the loss of ‘Highlander’ Drew McDonald
Drew McDonald, who has passed away, and a moving tribute from WWE diva Paige.
TRIBUTES have been paid from around the world of wrestling to Scottish heavyweight star Drew McDonald who passed away in hospital at Leeds on 9 February after short battle with cancer. He was 59 and in recent times had been acting as a talent scout for WWE, one of the stars he helped to hit the big time in the United States, ladies diva Paige, being so moved she appeared in a RAW event later last week with ‘RIP Drew McDonald’ tattooed on her arms. WWE posted their own tribute online, reading: ‘WWE is saddened to learn that UK wrestling legend Drew McDonald has passed away following a battle with cancer. Born in Scotland, McDonald competed since the 1980s, and fought against the likes of William Regal, Dave Finlay and Robbie Brookside. WWE extends its condolences to McDonald’s colleagues, friends and family.’ Originating from Perth, Drew’s start in wrestling was almost by accident when after a two week crash course from friend and wrestling school organiser Ian Law, he faced Wild Angus in a charity event and was beaten by the bearded giant only in the final round! During 1984 he moved south to Joint Promotions facing top stars of the day including Ray Steele, Barry Douglas, Dalibar Singh and Rocky Wall. The 1984 FA Cup final day ‘World of Sport’ bill saw him partnering Big Daddy in a tag clash against Giant Haystacks and Dave Finlay with regular appearances in the major Continental tournaments in Germany and Austria quickly following. It was in Bremen that he met Doctor Monika Kaiser who became his manager and life partner. Appearing for All Star in the 1990s, Drew formed a ‘Chippendales’ tag partnership with Dale Preston and also headed across the Atlantic to appear for leading North American promotions including Canada’s Calgary-based Stampede Wrestling. Nearer home, Drew defeated Robbie Brookside at Croydon Fairfield Halls in April 2005 to become British heavyweight champion, defending the belt until defeated in a ladder match by ‘Sonic’ Steve Lewington in 2006. In addition to his work for WWE, Drew also helped potential stars of the future in the Leeds training school run by Jeff Kaye. All Star will be raising money in Drew’s memory at shows in the coming week with ring girl Zia Brookside selling the tickets. Drew’s funeral takes place at the Cottingham Hall Crematorium in Leeds at 12.10pm on Wednesday 18 February.
Big week of All Star ring action coming up
Facing the camera: ‘Vampire Warrior’ Gangrel, Nathan Cruz, James Mason and Oliver Grey.
HALF TERM week is here and All Star present a string of top events starting on Monday (February 17) and running through to Saturday (February 21) as ‘Vampire Warrior’ Gangrel completes his current British tour and with more foreign challenges coming up from German contenders Hans Hoffman from Hannover and Munich-based Adrian Severe. There’s also top ladies action with Scottish sizzler Kay Lee Ray out to continue to impress in her first extended spell of English action. On Monday (February 16) Gangrel renews his tag partnership with Superslam title holder metal masked menace Thunder in a clash at the Civic Hall, Bedworth, where the action begins at 7.30pm and American referee Alex Goldstein from San Francisco will be in charge. On Tuesday (February 17) there’s another 7.30pm bell time as Gangrel returns to the Woodville Hall, Gravesend for a first appearance since the imposition of a two year local ban – and more explosive action is in prospect as the aggressive Hoffman faces Devon destroyer Oliver Grey in a ladder match. There’s also a cracking Tuesday event starting from 7pm in Skegness with Kay Lee Kay climbing into the Embassy Centre ring to oppose much travelled home star Sweet Saraya, while in a tag feature Nathan Cruz leads a ‘Prima Donnas’ pairing against UK Hooligans Roy and Zak Knight. High flying masked ace El Ligero and Dean Allmark will also be there. On to Wednesday and Gangrel makes a first appearance at the Baths Hall, Scunthorpe, 7.30pm start, where opposition comes from home heavyweight star James Mason with Alex Goldstein officiating. Next stop on Thursday for sabre toothed globetrotter Gangrel is the Princess Hall in Aldershot where Hoffman and Severe will also be on view. Dean Allmark and Oliver Grey face Gangrel and Thunder at the Floral Hall, Southport, on Friday (February 20) with Merseyside stars Zak Gibson and Ringo Ryan also on view while Kay Lee Ray meets Chardonay in a ladies tussle. Gangrel makes his final public appearance this time round at the Playhouse Theatre, Epsom, on Saturday (February 21) with a line-up from 6pm also including Dean Allmark, Oliver Grey and James Mason.
Ladies action is coming to boiling point
Girls on the march: Kay Lee Ray, Chardonay, Sweet Saraya and Toni Storm.
WITH Scotland’s Kay Lee Ray hitting the headlines thanks to a string of impressive performances in the wake of her success in the TNA Boot Camp series, more home and overseas contenders for ladies wrestling honours are emerging. Flame-haired Glasgow lass Kay Lee received high acclaim for getting through to the Boot Camp final in the USA where she gave an impressive showing against TNA’s number one diva Gail Kim and is now impressing the fans through an extended series of February outings for All Star, including a big test on Tuesday (February 17) when she takes on much travelled Norfolk-based campaigner Sweet Saraya. Also stepping up to face Kay Lee next week at Southport’s Floral Hall on Friday is newcomer Chardonay, the statuesque star trained by heavyweight force Tyson T-Bone. South Coast sizzler Erin Angel remains the model of consistency and overseas threats come in the shape of Australian globetrotter Toni Storm and Canadian force Lea von Dutch.
THERE are two additions to All Star’s start list next month as our 45th year of presentations around the country continues. First up on Saturday March 7 is a North Wales bill at Pwllhelli Town that was put back from early February and then on Sunday 29 March, Superslam action returns to Portsmouth with an afternoon event from 3pm at the Pyramids, Southsea. All Star are also pulling out all the stops to celebrate 30 years of presentations at Croydon’s Fairfield Halls with a big line up on Friday 30 March when there’s a 7.30pm start time. Other March highlights include bills at Ipswich Corn Exchange on Friday 6th and the Beck Theatre, Hayes on Friday 13th with a return to Potteries wrestling hot spot the Victoria Hall, Hanley, on Saturday 21st, all starting at 7.30pm. For more All Star news visit Facebook at All Star Wrestling U.K. or join us on Twitter @superslam.wrest 1 and a late line-up news check ring the Wrestlecall telephone hot line on 09068-121884 with calls costing 60p. per minute.