ALL STAR GRAPPLEVINE presented by RUSSELL PLUMMER
UPDATE JANUARY 25TH 2006
BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP RETURN SET FOR HANLEY ON SATURDAY FEBRUARY 25TH
As Steve Sonic gets used to life in the spotlight as British Heavyweight Champion, it has just been confirmed that former title holder Drew McDonald will get a return matching against the Reading-based rising star and ‘Wrestler of the Year’ title winner on Saturday February 25th. The venue will be the Victoria Hall, Hanley, Stoke on Trent, and it will be a traditional-style contest decided by two falls, submissions or a knockout.
Sonic defeated ‘Highlander’ McDonald in a Croydon ‘Ladder Match’ on January 17th when stepping up as a last minute substitute for official number one contender Robbie Brookside who had to withdraw hours before the Fairfield Halls event after his wife was taken ill. Many fans will be delighted to see championship action returning to the classic rounds format and with McDonald getting a rapid opportunity to re-establish himself after doing so much to boost the prestige of the title since he first took the belt back in June last year.
The only man unhappy at the situation is the now Leicester-based Liverpudlian Brookside who feels he has been pushed down the pecking order through no fault of his own. In fact Robbie believes he would have been just as entitled as McDonald to claim a first crack at the new champion but has to bide his time at least until the Hanley clash is out of the way.
Interestingly, McDonald is also set to come under pressure from his own part of the world. Tall, good-looking young Scots contender Drew Galloway is leaving his regular stamping grounds north of the border to start a bid to make his mark with All Star in a series of appearances beginning at Oakengates Theatre, Telford, on Thursday February 2nd. A major objective for the newcomer is a meeting with McDonald to see just who is Scotland’s number one!
ANOTHER TITLE CHANGES HANDS AS ‘XTREME’ DEAN ALLMARK TAKES MIDDLEWEIGHT BELT
Following close behind Steve Sonic’s Croydon success there was another British title upset last week when Dean Allmark ended the middleweight reign of Robbie ‘The Body’ Dynamite. In an explosive Potteries local derby clash at Hanley on Saturday, ‘Xtreme’ Dean finally managed to snatch the honours after pursuing his one-time training partner for some months.
Still only 20, Dean becomes the country’s youngest current major title holder, but now faces another set-too with power lifter Robbie. Instead of claiming the right to an immediate title re-match, Robbie preferred to slap down a tag team challenge to Dean and his UK Dream Team partner Kid Cool. The match, in which Dynamite will be joined by ‘Chippendale’ Mikey Whiplash, forms part of the Victoria Hall bill on Saturday February 25th put back from an originally announced date of February 18th. It also sees Drew McDonald challenging Steve Sonic for the British heavyweight crown. Start time will be 7.30pm and tickets can be booked by calling 0870-0606649.
NEXT STOP MILAN AS GANGREL STARTS A HECTIC WEEKEND
Nearly 700 fans packed the Hippodrome Theatre at Ashton under Lyne, Greater Manchester, to see Gangrel’s return to British action last Saturday and the infamous ring vampire now faces a whirlwind weekend of action and travel between two of Europe’s most famous cathedral cities. After taking-on home star James Mason on at the Grand Opera House, York, in All Star’s Friday evening line-up, Gangrel flies to Italy on Saturday for a return clash with former WWF/WWE rival Rikishi at a 10,000 capacity stadium in Milan that is already a complete sell-out.
Gangrel came back alone but expects to be joined by wife Luna Vachon in Britain at the middle of next month in time for a mixed tag appearance in All Star’s presentation at the Leamington’s Royal Spa Centre on Tuesday February 14th. For the moment, Luna has stayed in the United States where she is to be inducted into the WWE ‘Hall of Fame’ and launch a classic wrestling figure in her likeness.
Friday’s York line-up, starting at 7.30pm, also brings back Pan Pacific World Heavyweight title holder Joe Legend to join the hard hitting Canadian Widowmaker for a tag team showdown against new champions Steve Sonic and Dean Allmark. Tickets are available at the Grand Opera House box office, telephone 01904-671818.
The Legend-Widowmaker pairing are also in action on Saturday at Stockport Plaza when their opponents will be the ’Liverpool Lads’ Robbie Brookside and Frankie Sloan. Also starting at 7.30pm, the evening’s solo contests include a clash between Steve Sonic and James Mason with tickets bookable by calling 0161-4717779.
DOMINO AND MINX BOTH DELIGHTED WITH SUPPORT IN 2005 FANS’ POLL
Heavyweight muscle machine Domino has asked us to pass on his thanks to all the fans who voted him into joint top place with Canada’s ‘Stampede Kid’ T.J.Wilson in the 2005 ‘Best Newcomer’ category in All Star’s first annual awards. Although Domino was first seen in All Star rings during 2004, it was last year when he made major progress and struck up real rapport with audiences around the country.
T.J.Wilson made his 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 visitor during 2004.
Also pleased with her support in the poll was Warrington-based ace Minx, the only female wrestler to figure in the voting. Originally from Sunderland, Minx, alias Sarah Jones, is currently combining wrestling with sport and fitness studies at college and is looking forward to All Star appearances during February and hopes to get a chance to go into action against one of her own ring idols, the stunning Luna.
CANADIAN CRACKER PORTIA PEREZ HAS BRITAIN WELL AND TRULY IN HER SIGHTS
After hitting the headlines all over North America, Canadian ladies wrestling crackerjack Miss Portia Perez has Britain in her sights and starts a two week All Star tour with a debut appearance at Oakengates Theatre, Telford, on Thursday February 2nd.
Born and brought up in Ottawa, Portia tips the scales at 123 pounds and is a 5ft 3in tall bundle of trouble trained by Dave Dalton at Canada’s UWA Academy before further grooming in the United States at the Heartland Association in Cincinnati, Ohio. After that Telford debut, Portia’s All Star dates include Nottingham Royal Arena on Saturday February 4th, Southampton Guildhall on Monday 6th, Gravesend on Wednesday 15th, Hanley on Saturday 25th and Croydon Fairfield Halls for the afternoon show on Sunday February 19th.
‘FIVE STAR’ RETURNS AS ‘ANARCHIST’ DOUG WILLIAMS PREPARES TO DEPART
After almost a year off the scene, ‘Five Star Flash’ Mark Belton returned to action for All Star at Hanley last weekend and after showing he has lost none of his flair and speed, it is hoped he will be seen much more frequently in the coming weeks. By coincidence, the Stafford-based campaigner, who has been working in drama-related educational projects after completing a three year University course, was tagging at Hanley with Doug Williams who will soon be off on his travel again.
Now one of our best-known international wrestling ambassadors, the ‘Anarchist’ will be seen in All Star bills in the opening weeks of February but then packs his bags to head for Japan on February 14th for a tour when he will be hitting the tag team trail with America-trained, Kent-born star Nigel McGuinness.