Dean Ayass

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Dean Ayass
Ring name(s) "The Twisted Genius"
Born (1976-05-08) 8 May 1976 (age 37)
Brighton
Resides Brighton
Debut 1993

Dean Ayass is a semi-retired British wrestling manager and commentator.

Professional wrestling career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Ayass grew up as a wrestling fan: in interviews, he has stated that some of his earliest memories involving watching wrestling on ITV's World of Sport programme with his father. In the early 1990s, Ayass ventured into the world of tape trading after seeing an advert in Superstars of Wrestling magazine (later Power Slam). Through his tape trading, Ayass made contact with wrestlers and trainee wrestlers, including Robbie Brookside and Alex Shane. It was Shane who got him into the business, when in the summer of 1993, he asked Ayass to join him at a trial training session at Andre Baker's Hammerlock School of Wrestling in Folkestone. Although Ayass decided that physical wrestling was not for him, he stayed in touch with Shane and Baker, and when Hammerlock started to promote shows locally to give trainees experience, they contacted Ayass and asked him to take on the role of ring announcer. Ayass acted as Hammerlock's ring announcer from 1993 until 1998, when he decided to leave the wrestling business.

FWA[edit]

Ayass travelled with friends to an FWA (Frontier Wrestling Alliance) show in Portsmouth, called No Surprises 3. After approaching his old friend Shane, he soon joined the FWA. Ayass joined the FWA officially on 10 November 2001, at FWA Back to School, when he jumped the guard rail after sitting in the audience and offered his managerial services to Justin Richards, whom he had known from their Hammerlock days. By the end of the night, both Ayass and Richards had joined the Old School faction.

Ayass continued to work as a manager in the FWA until 2006, when the promotion moved its base north to Morecambe, where Ayass's use was discontinued for what the FWA described as "geographical reasons". Ayass managed the Old School faction until 2003. The main stars of this faction were Flash Barker, who won the FWA British Heavyweight Championship at this time, Drew McDonald, Dino Scarlo, Robbie Brookside, Richards, Mark Sloan and Karl Kramer.

Ayass was also a regular presenter on TalkSPORT radio station's Talk Wrestling show on a Saturday night, along with Shane and Simon Lilsboy. During this time, Ayass issued an on-air challenge to Jody Fleisch for the forthcoming No Surprises 4 show in Portsmouth on 28 July 2002. Ayass said that if Fleisch could get to the venue before the final bell, then he could have a title shot against Barker, knowing full well that Fleisch would be travelling back from Japan at the time, where he was touring with Michinoku Pro Wrestling. Barker defeated "Solid Gold" Scott Parker at that show, and as the final bell sounded, Fleisch appeared and had an impromptu match, which Fleish won. However, in the ensuing controversy over whether or not the final bell had sounded, the title was held up and a ladder match was signed for the vacant title, for FWA's biggest show to date, British Uprising, at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, on 13 October 2002. Ayass, suffering badly from flu at the time, was barred from ringside to minimise his involvement in the show, and Fleisch won the title officially this time. The Old School finally disbanded in 2003 at the New Frontiers show in Walthamstow on 9 February 2003.

Managing Paul Birchall[edit]

During the latter half of 2002 and into 2003, a new competitor had been running in during other wrestlers' matches and laying out all competitors for no apparent reason, starting at No Surprises 4. It quickly became known that this man was Paul Birchall, a trainee of Mark Sloan's FWA Academy. Birchall was finally signed to an official match at the Frontiers of Honor show co-promoted with the American Ring of Honor promotion. It was to be a two-against-one handicap match with the team of Double Dragon (Ross Jordan and Raj Ghosh). Before the match began, Ayass came out and announced that he had been sending Birchall down all along and that Birchall, who had never interfered in any Old School matches, was his new client. Birchall destroyed Double Dragon in a matter of minutes, with a dive from inside the ring to the floor, over the ringpost.

Ayass and Birchall soon became embroiled in a feud with Hampton Court, the team of the Duke of Danger and his butler Simmons, culminating in another handicap match at British Uprising 2 at the York Hall. Birchall remained undefeated in the FWA, with the exception of a countout defeat at FWA Carpe Diem at Brent Town Hall, caused by interference by Ayass's old client, Drew McDonald. McDonald was now a part of a new faction, The Family, led by another manager, Greg Lambert.

Ayass and Lambert engaged in a war of words, with each man wanting to prove himself as the best manager in contemporary British wrestling. The feud culminated in a huge six-man tag team match at the FWA's British Uprising 3 event at the Coventry Skydome. Lambert's team was his stable, now called The Triad, of McDonald, Raj Ghosh and Thunder (Darren Walsh). Ayass's team was Birchall, Paul Travell and Terry Funk. The guest referee for this match was Jimmy Hart. Ayass's team won the match. Ayass and Birchall's last match together was at FWA Gold Rush in Broxbourne, on 28 November 2004, where he was pinned by Alex Shane, after copious interference from one of Shane's security, Stixx. Birchall then left the UK to head to America, leaving Ayass without a client.

Stixx and Stone[edit]

Ayass soon found himself new clients, as ironically, Shane sold the contracts of two of his security team, Stixx and Martin Stone, to "The Twisted Genius". Ayass debuted his new team of Stixx and Stone at FWA New Frontiers 2005 on 26 February 2005, where they crushed the Manchester Massive. Ayass soon led them to the FWA British Tag Team Championship at FWA NOAH Limits show in Morecambe on 18 June 2005, where they defeated Ayass's old foes, Hampton Court. Stixx and Stone defended the belts in a series of matches with former long-term champions, The New Breed, but eventually they were stripped of the belts by the FWA on 20 October 2006, after Stone was unable to commit to a mandatory defense the following month in Worcester, as he was already booked on a show for IPW:UK on that date.

1PW[edit]

Ayass started commentating for Doncaster based promotion, 1PW, his first show being "Know Your Enemy" on 26 May 2006. He was originally joined by Joe Dombrowski but commentated on future events alongside MC, Stevie Aaron. Promoter Steven Gauntley had been looking for a British commentator and Ayass was recommended to him by Ulf Herman, who had wrestled on the Tommy Boyd promoted Revival show in Crystal Palace in 2002 on which Ayass commentated. When Steve Corino quit the promotion as both wrestler and booker following a falling out with Gauntley, Ayass was asked if he would like to take over as booker. As it turned out, Ayass only booked one show, Fight Club IV in Doncaster, on 26 November 2006, which saw PAC crowned as the inaugural 1PW Openweight Champion after winning a battle royal. On 5 January 2007, Gauntley announced that 1PW had gone into liquidation. In the aftermath, Ayass left 1PW following 3CW's "...Will Not Die" show and did not return when the company was resurrected, with both parties cited mutual reasons for the separation.[1] At 1PW's Second Anniversary Show, Ayass returned to 1PW and said that he would be involved in the 1PW Tag Team Title Lumberjack match to manage the Dragonhearts against Damned Nation, who were usually accompanied by Gabriel Grey. Ayass promised to counteract the influence of Grey, but instead betrayed the Dragonhearts, aiding Damned Nation by hitting Spud with Grey's cane. Afterward, Ayass posed with Damned Nation following their official win of the Tag Team Title.

RQW and Premier Promotions[edit]

Ayass was the voice of Real Quality Wrestling since August 2006 after promoter Len Davies heard his work on 1PW. Ayass continues to commentate for RQW alongside co-host Dann Read. Ayass has also managed regularly in Herts & Essex Wrestling (HEW) and managed Erik Isaksen to the WAW World Heavyweight Championship in his first appearance for WAW at their Fightmare show on 12 May 2007. Ayass managed Flash Barker on a TWA show in Southampton in 2002 to crown a Universal British Heavyweight Champion, and also managed Baxter Burridge (Darren Burridge) on an All Star Wrestling show at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon in the same year. Ayass also appeared in Hull for an IWP show in 2004, managing Rob Hunter against Spud. He has also worked for Varsity Pro Wrestling previously in 2006, managing Joel Redman (now known as Oliver Gray in NXT).

In May 2007, RQW appointed Ayass as their new Head Booker, with the 16 June show at Colchester being his first in charge. In August 2007, as part of the working agreement between RQW and Sussex-based Premier Promotions,[2] Ayass started working as the controversial manager of Martin Stone, who defeated James Tighe in his first match in Premier. At Premier shows, Ayass wears an Arabic headdress (a keffiyeh) with his suit and the pair has frequently required security escorts to get back to the dressing rooms at the end of a match.[3][4] Stone won the Worthing Trophy in August 2008.[5]

In June 2008, Ayass announced that he would be semi-retiring from wrestling at the end of the year,[6] working only locally from that point onwards, which would mean that he would continue his work for Premier Promotions in Sussex. Ayass's last show outside of Sussex was commentating for IPW:UK in November 2008, although he did provide commentary for the UK release of the Dragon Gate Invasion:UK show held in Oxford in October 2009.

Ayass also provided commentary for Pro Wrestling NOAH's European Navigation tour in May 2011. Ayass made his return to management on 28 July 2011, managing Danny Garnell to success in Premier Promotions, winning the 2011 Rumblemania Trophy. Ayass continues to manage Garnell on Premier Promotions to this day.

Ayass was voted the best British wrestling manager of all time by readers of The Wrestling Press magazine in August 2011, and number 13 in the world.[7]

Writing[edit]

Ayass has also written a number of articles for the mainstream press, most notably The Sun, the British national newspaper. He has written obituaries for the likes of Mitsuharu Misawa, Captain Lou Albano, his mentor Andre Baker and Mick McManus. Ayass was a significant contributor to his FWA rival Greg Lambert's 2012 book "The Holy Grail". Since January 2013, Ayass has written a monthly column for "Hooked on Wrestling" online magazine, produced by The Sun's Rob McNichol and The Daily Star's Patrick Lennon.

Ayass & Rain: In Plain Sight podcast[edit]

In August 2013, Ayass started a weekly comedy podcast with his friend and work colleague John Rain. The podcast itself is not wrestling related, but focuses on current news and social media stories.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Ayass was born to an English mother and an Arabic father. He was educated at Brighton College and Royal Holloway, University of London, where he received an Honours degree in History (Medieval and Modern) and was one of the founder members of the award-winning student radio station, Insanity. Here, Ayass hosted the breakfast show "The Morning After", which once famously involved a prank phone call using the talents of contemporary André Walker, which ended up inadvertently getting through to Downing Street. The show was originally going to be called "Dean Ayass's Breakfast Jihad" but the Royal Holloway Student Union refused to endorse this. Dean is still in contact with many alumni from Insanity such as Richard Clarke, Matt Deegan, Hugh Willoughby and Jenny Monaghan.

Ayass later went onto work for Brighton-based radio station Juice 107.2 on their Saturday afternoon sports show from 2000-2004. He is a lifelong fan of Ipswich Town F.C.. Ayass married FWA ring announcer Jane Childs in 2004, but the two divorced the following year.

Wrestlers managed[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]