All Star Wrestling Report: Saturday 22nd November 2008
The Northgate Arena, Chester, United Kingdom
By Shaun Best-Rajah.com Reporter
The All Star Wrestling promotion stopped by my area tonight for its latest show. Current British Heavyweight Champion, Robbie Brookside was absent as he’s currently recovering from double knee surgery he underwent in August. Replacing him at the top of the card was Ex-WWE star and Native American Tatanka. Also in attendance was James Mason, who was fresh off his upset victory of MVP on Smackdown this past week. I asked him after the event when the rematch is. He said, “I’m waiting on Vince to call.” The arena was around three quarters full, with plenty of energetic kids running around the place with wrestling merchandise. Surprisingly, there were no mats on the floor outside the ring. Thankfully, this resulted in no bumps to the outside. Five matches were on hand in this two-hour show and they all had clean finishes. Here’s a quick review.
Frankie Sloan defeated “Crybaby” Chad Collyer (19:00) in an International Challenge. Good opener. Both worked the crowd well, who were solidly behind local Liverpool lad Sloan. Collyer played up well to the crowd’s constant ‘England’ chants. Both men worked the arm early. Sloan obliged some smarks in the front row who called for chops. After escaping a boston crab, Sloan launched into a comeback with a DDT, top rope clothesline and sunset flip. Collyer hit a low blow and stole the win, with a rollup and his feet on the ropes. Sloan disputed the call, but because the referee didn’t see it, he couldn’t reverse the decision.
Dynamic Domino defeated Bad News Brown (15:00). Brown came out with the Canadian flag but didn’t really heel it up, when he was meant to. He looked uneasy early on in front of the small crowd, which was surprising considering his recent WWE exposure, on a grander scale. The announcer said this was Brown’s first All Star appearance since appearing on WWE TV during their recent tapings. He went under the name Oliver Biney, from Leeds, on ECW in a squash loss to Mark Henry and had a cameo on Smackdown this week, in a short backstage skit with The Brian Kendrick. The crowd were behind Domino who came out with a British flag. Domino controlled early until Brown hit a nice neck snap across the top rope. During a few restholds, Brown seemed to come into it and get some heat. A double clothesline spot led to Domino’s comeback. After escpaing a running powerslam, Brown missed a splash from the top rope, allowing Domino to win with a Rock Bottom. The finishing sequence was smooth.
Extreme Dean defeated British Middleweight Champion Robby “The Body” Dynamite in a non-title bout. (15:00) Bet you didn’t know that both of these appeared for TNA in the World X Cup during the promotion’s asylum days. Dynamite was dubbed the ‘number one name in the pain game’ while Deano was the ‘kickboxing sensation’. Excellent back-and-forth match, with lots of athleticism on display from both men. Deano was very over with the crowd who loved all of his highspots. Deano slapped hands with near enough everyone in the building. Dynamite reminded me of Christopher Daniels in terms of his appearance. Lots of ‘Who Are Ya’ chants directed towards Dynamite. Deano busted out some Tajiri like kicks at the start, followed by a shining wizard and springboard dropkick. Dynamite got the heat following an impressive suplex onto the top rope. Dynamite worked over Deano with several abdominal stretches and a gutbuster. Dynamite commanded two public warnings (three would result in a DQ) for heel tactics in the corner and arguing with the referee. Deano fought back with the Miz’s clothesline through the ropes, a tilt-a-whirl headscissors and shining wizard in the corner. Dynamite nearly took it with a running powerslam. Deano hit a spinning heel kick,superkick and moonsault. Dynamite countered a suplex into a backbreaker. Deano finally countered an FU from the top rope into a neckbreaker for the pin.
Luke Hardy (no relation to Matt and Jeff) defeated Ringo Ryan (15:00). This was a match between two graduates from the All Star training school and what a match. While All Star tailor most matches to the kids, this one had a different flavour. It was a straight up mat-based match with no face or heel, and a treat for pure wrestling fans who wanted to see a serious match. The kids originally stayed quiet but actually got into the match the longer it went, and it was nice to see them appreciate the holds and match. The kids warmed towards Hardy. Everyone was wowed by the unique counters and reversals to holds, along with lots of mat based offense. With the influence of William Regal and Finlay clearly on show, Hardy took the win with a reverse rollup out of the corner. Match of the night and worth the admission price alone. Both men observed the Code of Honor after the bout, before the kids flocked towards Hardy. Hopefully these two men can carve out nice careers for themselves.
Tatanka and James Mason defeated Battling Barbarian & Highlander Drew McDonald (20:00). This was the Main Event. After the intermission, the sound cut out quite badly, so Drew’s pre-match promo was impossible to hear. Barbarian came out with a German flag. Tatanka came out to his old 90s WWF music, sporting his headdress and tomahawk. In truth, this was the worst match of the night. Tatanka and Mason deserved better opponents as Barbarian and McDonald were two large boulders, who were quite difficult to move. They took stalling to a whole new level, causing several people around me to leave. The crowd chanted “we want more.” In a funny moment, Tatanka invited a heckling kid to get in the ring. The kid obliged, Tatanka applauded his guts, but the kid’s brother quickly pulled him out of the ring and sat him back down. No security at the show. Mason took the heat for the team, as the heels used a lot of clotheslines and worked over his back. Mason couldn’t crawl underneath the heels’ large legs to tag. He finally tagged after landing a backbodydrop. As all four men come in, the heels sent the faces into one another. Drew held Tatanka down as Barbarian headed up top. Mason pulled Drew out, Tatanka threw Barbarian to the mat and pinned him after a punch from the top rope.
After the matches I managed to grab a quick word with Tatanka backstage. He’s just come off a successful tour of Ireland and France which garnered over four million viewers on foreign TV. Joining him on the tour was Bret Hart, who Tatanka put over as a good friend. Tatanka was super-friendly, signing pictures and taking polaroids with fans and a WWF belt for a small charge. Despite having a busy schedule and steady bookings, Tatanka gave me a few minutes to talk about our previous meeting at WrestleSlam before answering a couple of questions.
Who is All Star’s next standout star?
“To be honest that’s a really tough question. There’s no characters or anyone with an aura like back in the day. You can’t put a finger on it. Everyone’s missing the stardom and uniqueness when they come through the curtain. This is because the fans still want the stars from the 80s and 90s.”
What made you get into the business?
“I was actually doing very well already. A wrestling scout picked me up in Fort Lauderdale and introduced me to Nature Boy Buddy Rogers. It went from there. Beforehand, I had tryouts with the Miami Dolphins and made all their cuts.”
Feelings on the current WWE product?
“It’s totally different. It’s not like it used to be. Frankly the ratings aren’t there. Back in the day, in the 90s, we got 6.0 ratings for TV but now you’re getting 3.0s. The reason is there are no storylines, characters or veterans who have the psychology to bring the fans into the match.”
What’s in store for the fans at an All Star wrestling event?
“Brian Dixon’s promotion is great. It’s the UK’s greatest promotion. It’s established, tours cross-country and isn’t going anywhere. They’re bringing in international stars from the 80s and 90s like me and keep bringing the fans in, so it has a bright future.”
Finally, anything to plug?
“Yeah www.nativetatanka.com. It’s my official website. I’m back home for a bit in the New Year so anyone that wants to get in touch can reach me there.”
A great night of entertainment. Thumbs up from me. All Star returns near to me on Friday 5th December for a special Christmas card. If I go, I’ll provide a recap.
For more information on All Star Wrestling or their wrestling school which has exhibitions on a Sunday in Birkenhead, Liverpool visit: www.bigtimewrestlinguk.com
See you for the Vintage Collection. Shaun.
Comments/praise/feedback/criticism/discussion points please direct to firstname.lastname@example.org.