The Best Of British, Vol. 8


Lord Alfred Hayes (English)

He was a wrestler, manager, and commentator. Perhaps best known for his time in the WWF between 1982 and 1995. He won only a handful of titles in his career, his biggest success being a short-lived victory over the NWA World Champion Dory Funk Jr. before the referee reversed the decision due to interference from Dory Funk Sr.

Shortly after he became a manager. He adopted a stereotypical heel persona, using his Oxford accent to berate his clients opponents while wearing bow ties and drinking cups of tea. In the late 70’s, early 80’s, Hayes feuded with Bobby Heenan after his client Super Destroyer II fired him and sided with Heenan. His other clients included The Masked Superstar, Billy Robinson, Super Destroyer, Nikolai Volkoff and King James Valiant.

In 1982, Hayes joined the World Wrestling Federation. He spent the next thirteen years as an on-air talent, a backstage interviewer and commentator. He appeared on the first Wrestlemania, and as a commentator for the last third of Wrestlemania 2.

Usually the segments and interviews he appeared in saw him in situations where he would be the butt of the joke. In 1995, the WWF were forced to let him go following a series of pay cuts due to financial issues; McMahon and management were not happy as they didn’t want to lose him.

Around the time of his resignation he was involved in a car accident. As a result he contracted gangrene and needed one of his legs amputated, which confined him to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. In July 2005, he suffered a series of strokes and died in his home. He was one of the best talkers, and is certainly missed by those who knew him. RIP Lord Alfred Hayes.

Fit Finlay (Northern Irish)

Known as the most popular and accomplished Northern Irish wrestler of all time. Having debuted in 1974, Finlay is still classed as semi-retired as he never officially announced it. For over twenty years, Finlay made a name for himself in the UK, Europe, and Japan, wrestling against the worlds best.

He wrestled a dark match in the WWF in 1989. In 1995, he debuted in WCW as the Belfast Bruiser, and in 1996 feuded with Lord Steven Regal and The Blue Bloods. After a stiff match at Uncensored where Regal broke his nose, the feud died down and he disappeared into the midcard.

After a hiatus from television, he returned as Fit Finlay. He changed his image by shaving his moustache, cutting his hair, and bleaching it blond. In 1998 on an episode of Nitro, he won the WCW Television Championship by pinning Booker T. He lost the title a month later to Booker at The Great American Bash. He remained in the mid-card for the rest of his career in WCW.

After WCW’s closure in 2001, WWE hired him as a trainer. He is credited for training WWE Champions, and taking women’s matches from ‘bra-and-panties’ style matches, to athletic competitive wrestling matches. After training for four years, he made his return to wrestling when he debuted on Smackdown in early 2006. After smashing Matt Hardy’s face into the steel steps with his boot, he gained the nickname “The Fighting Irish Bastard”.

He made his Wrestlemania debut at Wrestlemania 22 in a Money In The Bank ladder match. Later that year the “Little Bastard” (Hornswoggle) made his debut and interfered on Finlay’s behalf. When Booker T became World Heavyweight Champion and changed his name to King Booker, he formed the stable Booker’s Court which included former rivals Finlay and William Regal.

They were knighted by King Booker so he went by Sir Finlay for some time. During this time he defeated Bobby Lashley to claim the WWE United States Championship. He lost it a month and half later to Mr. Kennedy. Following the breakup of the stable, Finlay had a short feud with Batista, but was never able to defeat him.

He spent the rest of WWE run in the mid-card, except an unsuccessful ECW title shot against Jack Swagger. In 2010 he became a full-time agent and trainer. He was fired in 2011 following an incident where he had The Miz interrupt the American National Anthem during a house show. The attempt to garner heat for The Miz before his main event at Wrestlemania backfired as it offended many, including National Guard members who were in attendance.

After his firing Finlay returned to wrestling, this time on the independent scene between 2011-2012. He wrestling in PWG against Kevin Steen, Sami Callihan in EVOLVE, Tajiri in Japan, Harry Smith in Stampede Wrestling, Roderick Strong and Michael Elgin in ROH, and several others. A year after the house show incident, WWE and Finlay came to terms and he returned as a backstage producer.

In his time in WWE, he has trained the following: Ashley Massaro, Candice Michelle, Christy Hemme, Gail Kim, CM Punk, Lisa Marie Varon, Jens Hellmann, Jillian Hall, Maria Kanellis, Maryse Ouellet, Melina Perez, Michelle McCool, Molly Holly, Robert Fasser, Torrie Wilson, Trish Stratus, Eve Torres, Kurt Angle, John Cena and Randy Orton.

Adrian Street (Welsh)

When I see the flamboyant Adrian Street, I think .. wow, this guy was like Goldust way before anyone thought of it. Later in his career, he adopted the ‘exotic’ image, wearing outrageous attire and acting effeminate. It was hinted, but never confirmed that his character was homosexual. As “The Exotic One”, he started getting more heat than he ever had before. In matches he would kiss his opponents to avoid pinfalls, and put makeup on his disabled foes to embarrass them.

In 1969, he introduced one of the first valets in wrestling known as Miss Linda, who was also his real-life wife. He wrestled around the world, the UK, Europe, Japan, and finished his career in American promotion Continental Championship Wrestling. After his wrestling career he opened a wrestling school in Florida, which took severe damage in 2004 due to Hurricane Ivan. Street and his wife also sold pro wrestling gear and other merchandise they made via their website. Street can be credited with making Mick Foley’s ring attire for the Dude Love character during his feud with Steve Austin.

He appeared in a few movies, including Quest For Fire in 1981. In the past few years he turned to writing autobiographies, seven have been released since 2012 through createspace. While he never worked for any of the big American promotions, he made a name for himself as one of the most flamboyant and eccentric personalities to come out of the UK. To play such a character in those times was brave, people were not as accepting as they are now.

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