Tuesday, May 21, 2024
NewsThe Best Of British, Vol. 1

The Best Of British, Vol. 1

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Johnny Saint (English)

Saint started his career in 1958, and is still wrestling to this day. His first success was in 1976 when he won the British Lightweight Championship for the first time, a title he went on to claim nine more times. He is known as one of the best technical wrestlers of the World Of Sports era, and while he never caught on in America, he wrestled in the American independent scene (CHIKARA) a few years ago in his late sixties/early seventies.

He was “The Man Of A Thousand Holds”, a nickname later adopted by Dean Malenko. He had the ability to counter any move into one of his own, thus confusing opponents and earning him well-respected victories against the world’s finest. He’s 74 now, but he’s only classed “semi-retired” so who knows? Perhaps there’s some fight left in the old dog?

Wayne Bridges (English)

Another technical wrestler from the World Of Sports era. It’s funny because this man seems to have been lost in the annals of time, but I did manage to find an article highlighting his career which you can read here: http://www.wrestlingheritage.co.uk/wrestlingtothet…

In this match you can see Wayne Bridges challenging his Canadian rival John Quinn. And it’s a bloody good match too! You’ll see what I mean at the end.

Paul Burchill (English)

Remember him? He was a pirate for a while. But while WWE booked him as a jobber and Captain Jack Sparrow ripoff, he worked hard and I’m sure many feel he wasn’t given a chance to prove his worth. He was successful in OVW as he became champion four times, and had a shot at the WWE Tag team championships with partner William Regal shortly after debuting on the main roster.

The tag team soon split and Burchill appeared with the pirate gimmick which turned him babyface as he refused Regal’s advice of changing back. After a short run he was wrote off TV indefinitely and returned a couple of years later as the non-pirate Burchill with his “sister” Katie Lea Burchill. Again, they had a short and somewhat successful run before being relegated to jobber status.

His time away after losing the pirate gimmick was used to develop a new character. This was done because Vince McMahon was unaware of the Pirates Of The Carribean films and Johnny Depp’s character, and felt the character should have thought he was a real pirate (like Carl Ouellet from the 90’s). He also thought the gimmick would never get over as a babyface despite Burchill getting positive crowd reactions. After being released in 2010, Burchill worked in the independent scene, til he announced his retirement from wrestling in 2014. He now works as a full-time fireman.

Tony St. Clair (English)

“The Best” Tony St. Clair is well known for his stints in Joint Promotions and All Star Wrestling in the United Kingdom, Catch Wrestling Association in Austria and Germany, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. He is also known as a trainer, with his trainees including “Gentleman” Chris Adams. He fought in wrestling for four decades before a stroke forced him to retire in 2006.

He has faced and teamed with many of wrestlings big names such as Big Daddy, Giant Haystacks, Kendo Nagasaki, Andre The Giant, Bob Backlund, Masahiro Chono, Hiroshi Tanahashi and many more. Apologies for the video, it’s a bit pixely but it’s still a fitting tribute to Tony St. Clair who was “Simply The Best”.

Pat Roach (English)

I had to end this one with good ol’ Pat Roach. Not only was he a professional wrestler, he was a writer and actor. He is most commonly known as bricklayer Brian “Bomber” Busbridge in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, and also had supporting roles in the Indiana Jones movies.

He was a big man who knew how to work the ring and the audience. But while he did see some success in wrestling, it was his acting career which made him a household name in England. I’m going to leave you with one of his matches, and some Bomber segments from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet. Thanks for reading, and see you again soon.

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