UK Wrestling Scene News

ASW: All Star Grapplevine – 18th January

UPDATE Wednesday 18th January

Steve Sonic is the new British heavyweight champion! The 25 year-old who has been singled-out for potential Stateside stardom with the WWE, pulled off one of the biggest shock of the decade at Croydon on Tuesday (January 17th) when an amazing set of circumstances gave him an unexpected title chance against ‘Highlander’ Drew McDonald that he grabbed with both hands.

Sonic, real name Steve Lewington, was in the middle of his daily training routine in a Reading gym when the late afternoon call to the Fairfield Halls came through after McDonald’s scheduled opponent Robbie Brookside had been forced to turn back to Leicester. Robbie was heading south on the M1 when a message reached him that Fern, his wife of five months, had been taken to hospital with breathing difficulties.

Fortunately, later news confirmed Fern’s condition was not serious, but when it emerged that Brookside would not make it to Croydon for the scheduled three part championship series, All Star matchmaker Brian Dixon summoned Sonic for what became a straight ladder match title decider. Hard hitting Scotsman McDonald, who first won the belt from Brookside last June and held on to it in a November re-match at the Fairfield Halls, warmed up for the title match with tag action partnering the Barbarian Karl Kramer to victory over Frankie Sloan and James Mason who stood-in for Brookside.

Sonic, who it also emerged has been voted 2005 wrestler of the year by All Star fans, received a tremendous reception from the Croydon crowd and any thoughts McDonald might have had that he was in for an easy night against an opponent who had already spent over four hours earlier in the day pounding the iron, were ended after 18 minutes when he was floored by the 25 year-old’s Sonic Boom speciality. Then as the fans were on their feet, the challenger scaled the ladder to snatch the belt.

There was also an upset at the end of the evening when a 12 man Battle Royal was won by Dean Allmark from a quality field of mainly heavier and several far more experienced rivals. After the elimination of contenders including Jonny Storm, the Barbarian, Sloan, Kid Cool, Jody Fleisch, Stevie Oliver and impressive Croydon newcomers Taylor Phoenix and Chris Chaos, the last four in the ring were the newly returned Canadian Widowmaker, Mason, the anarchist Doug Williams and Xtreme Dean – and after the Widowmaker went it was the 20 year-old from the Potteries who emerged as last survivor.

Both  Sonic and Dean will be in action for All Star at the Victoria Hall, Hanley, Stoke on Trent on Saturday. Sonic partners the now Potteries-based James Mason against the formidable FWA pairing of Doug Williams and ‘Showstealer’ Alex Shane while Dean gets his long awaited British title clash against one time training partner and now bitter rival Robbie ‘The Body’ Dynamite. The programme has a 7.30 start and tickets can be booked in advance by calling 0870-0606649.

All Star also have another big Saturday bill, this time at the Hippodrome Theatre, Ashton under Lyne, Greater Manchester, that signals the return of sabre toothed ring vampire Gangrel. Again there’s a 7.30 bell time and for bookings contact the theatre or call 0161-308-3223.

In a whirlwind week, Steve Sonic has not only become British Heavyweight Champion but was also confirmed as All Star’s first ‘Wrestler of the Year’ title winner. The poll, conducted through this website, produced a deluge of votes and the Reading campaigner finished ahead of Robbie Brookside, James Mason,
Pan Pacific world title holder Joe Legend and the UK Dream Team’s Kid Cool and Dean Allmark.

At one stage Sonic also headed the field for the ‘Best Newcomer’ title but in the end this was declared a dead heat between heavyweight muscle machine Domino and Canada’s ‘Stampede Kid’ T.J.Wilson who made a first extended UK tour last summer and is due back in May or June this year along with his fiance Miss Nattie Neidhart, herself a summer sensation here during 2004.

As for the 2005 ‘Match of the Year,’ June’s bruising British Heavyweight title clash at Corydon – when ‘Highlander’ Drew McDonald defeated Robbie Brookside – just edged out another Fairfield Halls sizzler, the November’s triple tag thriller that saw All Star’s Joe Legend, Steve Sonic and Kid Cool get the verdict over the FWA trio of Alex Shane, Doug Williams and Charlie Rage.

Steve Sonic will be featured by All Star throughout their nationwide Spring tour, mainly in solo contests, and he will be returning to Croydon next month for a special Sunday afternoon event at the Fairfield Halls on February 19th. The action begins at 3pm and tickets are already on sale at the Fairfield Halls box office and can be booked by telephone to 0208-688-9291.