Hey everyone, I decided to do a review of Thursdays All Star show from the Oakengates Theatre in Telford which I attended. Now for those of you who don’t know much about All Star Wrestling, or Big Time American Wrestling as they are also known I will fill in a few blanks. All Star travel around the country putting on shows almost nightly working under Brian Dixon. They use their own wrestlers, stars from other UK feds as well as bringing in American and Canadian Superstars a lot hailing from the famous Calgary “Hart” Dungeon. You never know who you might get to see!…
The main reason I wanted to write a little about All Star is because in my opinion they get a very unfair press. This dates back to the days when they used to include a lot of tribute acts which although pleasing the younger members of the crowd, left a lot of older fans very frustrated. Even though these tributes could wrestle, they usually looked nothing like their American counterpart. Also, All Star have a habit of changing their advertised cards, another reason they get knocked by the so called internet fans. I think what people have to remember is that All Star run shows on a very regular basis which leave other promotions in the shade, but their advertising goes out well in advance therefore resulting in occasional changes to the card. Sometimes for the better to!
Oakengates is one of All Stars regular venues, they tend to stick to familiar locations which enables them to pull in the crowds who have grown to recognise the name and associate them with a good evenings entertainment. From young to old, everybody always appears to go home happy. Last night I was sat watching a grandfather with his two grandsons, he was caught up in the atmosphere of the show, waving his fists at the heel wrestlers and his grandsons were laughing their heads off at this! All Star offer family entertainment and it’s a promotion you could happily take your children to safe in the knowledge that they will be entertained and won’t be exposed to any bad language etc. They are very family orientated.
Anyway onto Thursday nights show. I arrived early at the venue as I had yet to purchase my ticket, fortunately as it was a cold night us fans were able to queue up inside the theatre whilst waiting for the show to begin. Brian Dixon had his usual merchandise table set up and was merrily selling WWE figures and baseball caps. As much as people tend to have a laugh at Brian Dixons selling techniques one thing they offer is value for money. The best bargain I saw was ECW and WCW DVDs and Videos at just five pounds each or five for twenty pounds, that’s just four pounds each! This left me wishing I’d brought some extra money with me! I purchased a programme which is a ritual for me and headed to my seat. I managed to get front row ringside, this is one advantage of going alone as you can squeeze in anywhere. There were well over two hundred fans in attendance. Half past seven arrived and the hall darkened and lights flashed as the by now familiar All Star theme music kicked off the show. One things for sure All Star always start on time!
The first wrestler came out to much booing from the crowd! It was the notorious heel the Brooklyn Brawler aka Julio Torres. Julio has been to Oakengates before so we already know he’s one hell of a heel. He began ripping into the crowd and playing the cowardly heel role to perfection. His opponent came out to the theme from Busted lol. It’s Kid Kool another favourite who is a decent wrestler and won All Stars Wrestler of the year for the year 2001. All the matches tonight were scheduled for 15 minutes each. Would they be able to hold the audiences attention for that long? The answer was yes! They both put on a good little match with the heel/face theme running throughout the entire show. The crowd was really into this match. Torres picked up the eventual win after performing a Piledriver!
Out next was Lee “Middleman” Butler. Now Lee is a wrestler who I’ve seen around our forum and heard a lot about but never had the opportunity to see wrestle live, so I was intrigued to say the least. Lee came out playing the heel character, chants of chubby broke out from a few children behind me lol (Sorry Lee!), Lee responded with a prompt “shut up”. His opponent was Johnny Cassidy whom I knew little about. He has a great physique, earning him a Scott Steiner chant! Lee was given two warnings here for playing dirty. One thing I notice about Lee is he has great bump taking abilities. Cassidy picked up the popular win with Lee proceeding to gross out a couple of teenage girls by flicking his sweat at them on the way out hehe!
Now the next match was advertised as Lisa Fury against Roxie. Fortunately for me this was ditched in order for a mixed doubles tag team match. Partnering Lisa Fury was the excellent James Mason!! I was very chuffed to see Mason here as he is a big favourite in Oakengates as well as being a fantastic wrestler, he wasn’t advertised as being on the card either so this was a lovely surprise! Partnering Roxie was none other than the dastardly Hade Vanson! Vanson and Roxie were the faces in this match, which was hard for me to get my head around as all I wanted to chant was “you screwed Zebra”! to Hade, following on from the last FWA show, see keeping kayfabe to the last! I had never seen either lady but had heard of Lisa Fury. She has a good look going on, coming out wearing a fab little pvc outfit accompanied by Mason who started on the crowd as soon as he got through the curtain. James Mason has grown so much as a wrestler since I first saw him here a few years ago. It is very evident that he has learnt so much from working with the foreign talent as he has implemented their heel style that All Star love so much. The two men carried this match well doing the majority of the work. Roxie looked very young and as a guess I would say she hasn’t been wrestling all that long. Although she did take some nasty sounding slaps from Mason which left her face legitimately red! This was the best match of the night and ended with Fury pinning Roxie in the centre of the ring as the boys were brawling on the outside.
It was now time for a short interval, did I head to the bar? You know me to well! I just had time for a swift half lager and back to my seat for the next match.
First out was the self proclaimed sexiest wrestler in the world (or words to that effect) Mike Whiplash! This guaranteed him immediate heel heat, as he came out looking cool or maybe that should say arrogant, in his shades! Mike not to be mistaken for ECWs Mickey Whiplash here. (Mike is from Hanley). His opponent for this match was one half of the tag team known as the “Long Haired Liverpool Lads” Frankie Sloan. Sloan partners the other All Star favourite Robbie Brookside usually, but there was no sign of Brookside as yet. I was very impressed with Sloan from the start, you can always tell a “veteran” as he knew exactly how to work the crowd. Whiplash won with help from the ropes, the cheat!
Finally it was time for a twenty man over the top Royal Rumble! The winner we were informed, would face Gangrel when All Star return to Oakengates in March. As we had so far only seen ten wrestlers I was interested to see who else would feature in this match! This is the order the wrestlers entered the ring:
1. Will Assault
2. Robbie Brookside!
3. Mark Mignot
4. Marc Impact
6. Paul Santura
9. Mad Mike
11. Johnny Midnight
12. Julio Torres
13. Johnny Cassidy
14. Mike Whiplash
15. Kid Kool
16. Lee Butler
17. Frankie Sloan
18. James Mason
19. Hade Vanson
Those familiar with the UK Scene may notice some of the wrestlers are from local promotions like MPW amongst others. I was pleased to see Robbie Brookside here, the crowd chose him as the person they wanted to win and chanted for him throughout. As each wrestler entered the ring, it became more and more cluttered, no wrestler got eliminated until all twenty were in the ring at once. This was when the elimination’s came fast and furious, I couldn’t even say who went out and in which order as it was too frantic. I do know that Decoy was first over the ropes and the last three wrestlers remaining were Brookside, Thunder and Whiplash. The Liverpool duo had worked together throughout this Rumble and even with Sloan eliminated he continued to help out his tag partner. This resulted in Brookside being the sole survivor and winner of the Rumble, much to the fans delight!
All in all it was a pretty decent show. I was hoping that my favourite UK wrestler Jonny Storm would be there as the following night he was wrestling for FCW in Birmingham which is just up the road from Telford, so me being the eternal optimist put two and two together and got five! Maybe next time…
The wrestlers usually come out to the foyer as we’re leaving and sell their goods and sign autographs for the fans which I always look forward to. This time though you had to buy a gift set which comprises of an autograph book, pen and a backstage pass which allows you to meet ALL the wrestlers backstage. This costs £4.99, I wasn’t sure if it would sell or not but as I was leaving the queue to go backstage was fairly long so obviously it worked out well. This meant I didn’t get the chance to have my usually chat with the talent, ah well, maybe next time I too will purchase a gift set. Maybe if Jonny’s there 😉
For more information on All Star you can visit there website at: http://www.bigtimewrestlinguk.com.