Lancaster Report – ASW 15/10/2002 Croydon
Posted by Tom on October 17th, 2002
The All Star Wrestling show held in Croydon, UK on 16/10/02 had the promise to be one of the best of the year, with an advertised tournament featuring Jodie Fleisch, Doug Williams, Chad Collyer and the UK debut of Shark Boy, plus a No Holds Barred Match with James Mason vs Jonny Storm and a main event Robbie Brookside vs American Avalanche. As it turned out the card was probably the best all round All Star show, despite being hampered by being a split crew night with only eight wrestlers. Mal Mason MC’d for the evening, the first time I’ve seen him in that role, not always getting the stipulations across but generally sound. Chic Cullen, unfortunately now retired from wrestling due to injury, worked as the referee for the first half of the show. All Star’s older shorter referee whose name I didn’t catch worked the second half. Main problem with the night a distinct lack of crowd, down to probably the lowest I’ve ever seen for the monthly shows at around 200, but this didn’t stop the wrestlers putting the effort in.

The advertised No Holds Barred match opening things up with Jonny Storm the popular fan favourite taking on the heel version of James Mason complete with black outfit. Storm starting this one quickly by diving onto Mason. Anyone who’s ever wondered what James Mason with a brawling style would be like would have been interested in this match as much of the trademark technical wrestling was gone to be replaced by punches, kicks and a brawl around the crowd. At this point the referee taking control and announcing that he would count the wrestlers out, completely mistifying the crowd by imposing rules on what had been announced as a No Rules match. Jonny getting a near fall with a picture perfect Lionsault. The finish seeing James going for one of his spots, whipped into the corner, flipping forward off the ropes, then running up the other ropes to come off with a Reverse Cross Body. Only this time Storm countering it, knocking Mason to the outside and brawling with him and the referee counting both men out as both men pulled the other back as they attempted to re-enter the ring. The crowd asking for five more minutes and the referee agreeing, but barely getting it, Storm and Mason fighting straight back to the outside and down a row of empty seats, nowhere near the ring when the referee counted ten for a second time. Afterwards challenges issued back and forth for what will surely be a blockbuster if it happens next month, James Mason putting his career in professional wrestling on the line against Jonny Storm’s long locks of hair. A good match, shame about the finish, but if it builds and the hair vs career mask is delivered on next month that’s understandable.

Second match part of the tournament, with the wrestlers accompanied by All Star’s new cheerleaders, as they were for the remainder of the night, although for some reason the cheerleader announced as from Croydon accompanied the heels. All four tournament wrestlers were invited to the ring and a typical draw made. This first semi final seeing Doug Williams, former All Star British Champion although it was never announced that he lost to Robbie Brookside in Liverpool in a match they were building in Croydon for months, against Shark Boy. Williams really carrying this one to a decent technical encounter, unpopular with the crowd as always. No real near falls for Shark Boy, who was getting heckled by members of the crowd about a costume rather below the standards of most British stars, although he did look like he had potential. Williams hitting a Revolution DDT out of nowhere for the clean win here.

Next up a great match between Jodie Fleisch and Chad Collyer, a rematch from a recent show in Japan when both men had been on tour. Some good technical wrestling early with Collyer looking impressive being well build, throwing Jodie around. Jodie’s speed, quickness and agility coming into play with some nice flips. Chad still doing his Dean Malenko like offence, having been billed as Chad Malenko on his previous UK tours. Collyer getting the Texas Cloverleaf on the new FWA British Heavyweight and TWA British Welterweight Champion at one point but Jodie getting to the ropes. Jodie pulling out his big moves near the finish, including the 720 DDT with Chad making the ropes and missing the Shooting Star Press. After some counters Jodie getting caught on a second 720 attempt and Collyer turning it into the Texas Cloverleaf for the tap out, to give a Collyer/Williams final, a match that shouldn’t have been too surprising as it had already been billed for Croydon on the Internet.

Back after the interval for the best match of the night in a night that had several such contenders with the tournament final. Another heel vs heel match for Williams, much as the previous month when he fought Joe Legend. Collyer getting more of the crowd’s sympathies in this one. An excellent technical back and forth contest in a more modernised traditional style. No real big moves to speak of but this worked for the crowd. Williams picking up the win with a Roll Through Cradle with both legs hooked after a counter and re-counter off a Revolution DDT attempt.

The final match featuring the new All Star British Champion Robbie Brookside facing former ECW and WCW star American Avalanche PN News although this was not billed as a title match as the belt was only mentioned briefly after the match. Very different to the rest of the card fought at a slower more methodical pace, this match would have perhaps been better placed before the tournament final. Brookside as popular as ever in Croydon despite the slightly smaller crowd. Avalanche dominating for the most part slowing Brookside down but unable to put him away, eventually going for the Somersault Splash and missing. Brookside capitalising, pulling him up and hitting a Neckbreaker and taking the three. A solid match to end the show.

Overall not a show that can be easily faulted and if this is the new style of booking that All Star has promised then everyone seeing their New Generation tour is in for a treat. A change of pace advertised for next month, with a main event of the Stampede team, the Canadian Cowboys facing Chad Collyer and the Brooklyn Brawler, who is believe is Julio Torres and not a tribute to the long time WWF wrestler on the same name. Also the first Croydon appearance for David Flair facing Robbie Brookside, no news on whether this will be a title match. And appearances have been announced by Dean 2 Xtreme, Robbie Dynamite and Kid Cool which will each man’s first appearance in Croydon since before the holiday camp season started. If the Jonny Storm and James Mason hair vs career match goes ahead this too has a lot of potential to be a card of the year candidate.

Tom Lancaster