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All Star Wrestling is a British professional wrestling promotion also known as All Star Promotions, Superslam Wrestling and Big Time Wrestling and originally known as Wrestling Enterprises (of
Birkenhead Birkenhead () is a town in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, Merseyside, England; historically, until 1974, in Cheshire. It is on the Wirral Peninsula Wirral (), also known as The Wirral, is a peninsula in North West England. The roug ...
), run by Brian Dixon and based in
Liverpool Liverpool is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in Merseyside, England. Its population in 2019 was approximately , making it the List of English districts by population, tenth-largest English district by popu ...
,
England England is a Countries of the United Kingdom, country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to its west and Scotland to its north. The Irish Sea lies northwest of England and the Celtic Sea to the southwest. En ...
. Dixon's promotion tours
theatre Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actor, actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place, often a stage. The pe ...
s, leisure centres,
town hall In local government, a city hall, town hall, civic centre (in the United Kingdom, UK or Australia), guildhall, or (more rarely) a municipal building, is the chief administration (government), administrative building of a city, town, or ...
s and similar venues, many of them old venues for televised wrestling in the UK in the 1950sā€“1980s, as well as holiday camps. It is the oldest active wrestling promotion in the UK, and furthermore the longest-running UK wrestling promotion ever - a record it has held since September 2013, when it eclipsed the 42 years and 11 months lifespan of Joint Promotions/Ring Wrestling Stars (March 1952ā€“ February 1995). It is also the third oldest professional wrestling promotion still in existence in the world, after Mexico's CMLL (founded 1933) and America's WWE (founded 1963 as WWWF). All Star contributed to the final two years of ITV Network, ITV's regular televised wrestling programme in the UK in 1987-1988 and some of their matches were included on VHS and DVD compilations and repeated as part of the World of Sport programming on The Fight Network (UK & Ireland), The Fight Network, formerly The Wrestling Channel, until it stopped transmission in 2008. They were then repeated on the now defunct List of television stations in the United Kingdom#M, Men & Movies channel.


History


1970s - Wrestling Enterprises

Brian Dixon, a wrestling referee and former head of the Jim Breaks Fan Club, established Wrestling Enterprises in October 1970 initially as a vehicle for his girlfriend (and later wife) British Ladies' Champion Mitzi Mueller, who was having difficulty getting bookings from Joint Promotions. One of the company's earliest claims to fame was rebranding Giant Haystacks, Martin Ruane (formerly Luke McMasters in the WFGB in the late 1960s) as new character "Giant Haystacks", originally "Haystacks Calhoun" patterned after the William Calhoun, US superheavyweight wrestler of the same name and similar image about whom Dixon had read in imported American wrestling magazines. Haystacks would go on to achieve household fame in the UK after he moved to Joint Promotions in 1975 as the tag team partner - and later the archenemy - of Shirley Crabtree, Big Daddy. During the late 1970s, Wrestling Enterprises held regular major shows at the Liverpool Stadium and organised a version of the World Middleweight Title after the previous version became extinct with the collapse of the Spanish wrestling scene c. 1975. This title continued until champion Adrian Street emigrated to America in 1981. Wrestling Enterprises also collaborated heavily with another independent promoter, former middleweight star Jackie Pallo. Neither promoter was able to gain a slice of ITV coverage however, as the 1981 contract renewal negotiations resulted in a five-year extension on Joint Promotions' exclusive monopoly of ITV wrestling.


1980s - ITV coverage/ Competition with Joint Promotions

By the early 1980s there was increasing dissatisfaction among both fans and wrestlers with the direction of Joint Promotions (which was increasingly centred on Shirley Crabtree, Big Daddy), which resulted in a steady flow of top UK talent into All Star Wrestling (as it was by then renamed) and away from Joint and the TV spotlight. Title-holders such as World Heavyweight Champion Mighty John Quinn, rival claimant Wayne Bridges, British Heavyweight Champion Tony St Clair, World Heavy-Middleweight Champion Mark Rocco, British Heavy-Middleweight Champion Frank 'Chic' Cullen and World Lightweight Champion Johnny Saint all defected to All Star taking their titles with them, as did many non-titleholders. By the mid-1980s All Star was running shows head-to-head with Joint Promotions and had its own TV show on satellite channel Screensport. When Joint's five-year extension on its monopoly of ITV wrestling expired at the end of 1986, All Star, along with the WWF, was also given a share of the televised wrestling shows for the two years 1987-88. The beginning of this period coincided with the return to full-time action for legendary masked wrestler Peter Thornley, Kendo Nagasaki under the All Star banner. At the end of 1988, Greg Dyke cancelled wrestling on ITV after 33 years. Whereas Joint dwindled downwards as a touring vehicle for Big Daddy (and later Davey Boy Smith) before finally folding in 1995, All Star had played its cards well with regard to its two years of TV exposure, using the time in particular to build up a returning Kendo Nagasaki as its lead heel and establishing such storylines as his tag team-cum-feud with Mark Rocco, Rollerball Rocco and his "hypnotism" of Robbie Brookside.


1990s - Post-TV boom

The end of TV coverage left many of these storylines at a cliffhanger and consequently All Star underwent a box office boom as hardcore fans turned up to live shows to see what happened next, and kept coming for several years due to careful use of show-to-show storylines. Headline matches frequently pitted Nagasaki in violent heel vs heel battles against the likes of Rocco, Dave Finlay, Dave 'Fit' Finlay, Skull Murphy and even Giant Haystacks. All Star's post-television boom wore off after 1993 when Nagasaki retired for a second time. However, the promotion kept afloat on live shows at certain established venues and particularly on the holiday camp circuit. Since the mid-1990s, the promotion has mainly been focussed on family entertainment. After the demise of Joint/RWS, All Star's chief rival on the live circuit was Scott Conway's TWA (The Wrestling Alliance) promotion, founded as the Southeastern Wrestling Alliance in 1989. By the late 1990s, many smaller British promoters were increasingly abandoning their British identity in favour of "WWF Tribute" shows, with British performers crudely imitating World Wrestling Federation stars.


2000s - Competition with TWA/ Recent developments

Although All Star never descended into a full-fledged 'tribute show', by the turn of the millennium, many of these tribute acts such as the "UK Undertaker" and "Big Red Machine" were nonetheless headlining All Star shows. Disaffected with this and other matters (such as the inclusion of former WWF World Champion Yokozuna (wrestler), Yokozuna on advertising posters over a year after he had died, the continued advertising of Davey Boy Smith months after his planned tour fell through and the use of a photo of the original WWF Kane (wrestler), Kane to depict the tribute performer "Big Red Machine"), Conway cut his links with All Star and declared a promotional war. He began to promote his TWA as an alternative, featuring more serious wrestling (in much the same way as All Star had previously targeted Joint fans disaffected with Big Daddy). All Star duly adapted to meet the challenge, recruiting a new generation of wrestlers such as Dean Allmark and Robbie Dynamite and signing up such stars as "American Dragon" Daniel Bryan, Bryan Danielson. The promotional war came to an abrupt end in 2003 when Conway relocated to Thailand, closing down the TWA (which he briefly tried to transplant to his new country as the "Thai Wrestling Alliance"). In recent times, All Star has reached new heights of activity not seen since the post-television boom of the early 1990s, reactivating many more old TV venues, and in the summer 2008 season revived the old tradition of wrestling shows at Blackpool Tower, with a Friday night residency there. All Star has re-established old links with promoters in France, Germany, Japan and Calgary. All Star wrestlers have been widely used to represent Britain by major American promoters, for example the Team UK in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling, TNA's 2004 X Cup which featured four All Star Wrestling regulars James Mason (wrestler), James Mason, Dean Allmark, Robbie Dynamite and Frankie Sloan. Mason would also guest on ''WWE Smackdown'' in 2008, defeating Montel Vontavious Porter, MVP. The promotion also runs a wrestling school in Birkenhead, Merseyside, with Allmark and Dynamite as chief trainers. Dixon and Mueller's daughter Laetitia, a popular ring announcer for the promotion, is married to Allmark and the couple have one son, Joseph, the first grandchild of Dixon and Mueller. In April 2014, ASW established a relationship with Japanese promotion Wrestle-1.


Championships


Current champions


Former championships


Mountevans Committee-established titles

The Admiral-Lord Mountevans rules, Mountevans committee was an independent committee which met in 1947 to establish a set of rules and championships for the Professional wrestling in the United Kingdom, British professional wrestling scene. Four of the six current titles listed above were set up by the committee. All Star Wrestling hosted many other such championships in the past, some of which have since been moved to or revived by other promotions.


Other (non-Mountevans) titles formerly in All Star

''(The below list of various championships previously featured on All Star shows but not recognised under the UK's Professional wrestling in the United Kingdom#Mountevans.27 committee, Mountevans Committee rules include company-only championships as well as titles from American promotions defended by visiting champions. As with the previous list, some of these remained active outside of All Star)'' :*''TNA World Tag Team Title'' ::Defended on All Star shows by then-champions Doug Williams (wrestler), Doug Williams and Nick Aldis while on a UK homecoming tour in October 2009. Title still active, mostly in its promotion of origin. :*''WCW World Television Championship, WCW TV Title'' ::Brought to All Star briefly by William Regal, Lord Steven Regal while on a World Tour in 1996, returned to home promotion subsequently. Abandoned by WCW in 2000.Walking A Golden Mile, William Regal with Neil Chandler, WWE Books 2005 :*''Pan Pacific World Heavyweight title'' ::Claimed on All Star shows by Joe E Legend c. 2005-2007. :*''All Star Peoples Championship'' ::Title originally created by All Star in 2004. Abandoned in 2005.


References


External links


www.bigtimewrestlinguk.comhttp://superslamwrestling.co.uk
{{Professional wrestling in the United Kingdom British professional wrestling promotions 1970 establishments in the United Kingdom