British Heavyweight Championship

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The British Heavyweight Championship is a top British wrestling championship found throughout the country's circuit.

The championship was recognised and defended on matches screened by UK national television network ITV as part of the professional wrestling slot on World of Sport as well as standalone broadcasts.[1][2] Pre-publicity for these championship match broadcasts was given in ITV's nationally published listings magazine TVTimes[3][4]

Many versions of the British Heavyweight Championship exist in the independent circuit of the United Kingdom at any given time but the scene is usually dominated by one company’s version. When another company becomes dominant the title often manages to unify itself or is brought into that company.

Title histories[edit]

This is the combined list of different versions of the British Heavyweight Titles, each of which was probably the most significant version at the time. Each version may or may not be connected to another. However, all title changes are either actual or "official" unless indicated otherwise.

Key
Symbol Meaning
No. The overall championship reign
Reign The reign number for the specific wrestler listed.
Event The event in which the championship changed hands
N/A The specific information is not known
Used for vacated reigns in order to not count it as an official reign
[Note] Indicates that the exact length of the title reign is unknown, with a note providing more details.

British Wrestling Association 1930-1950[edit]

No. Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
1 Atholl Oakeley 1 1930 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event Won a series of matches to become the first champion.  
Vacated 1935 N/A N/A Vacated when Oakeley retired due to injuries  
2 Bill Garnon 1 1935 [Note 1] London, England Live event    
3 M. Fazal 1 1937 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
4 Alan Muir 1 1938 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
5 Michael O'Leary 1 1939 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
Vacated N/A N/A Michael O'Leary was killed during the outbreak of the war, he died undefeated.  
6 Bert Assirati 1 January 27, 1945 [Note 1] Manchester Live event Assirati had been claiming the title since 1940.  
Vacated 1950 N/A N/A Championship vacated when Assirati left Britain for India.  
Disputed claims 1934-1938
No. Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
1 Bill Garnon 1 1934 [Note 1] London Live event Some claim Garnon's first reign began one year earlier  
2 Douglas Clark 1 November 2, 1934 [Note 1] Manchester Live event    
3 George Gregory 1 1938 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event Won by default when Clark fails to appear for a scheduled defence.  
Vacated N/A N/A Until Bert Assirati is recognised as champion  

Joint Promotions 1952-1982 & 1985-1989[edit]

No. Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
1 Ernie Baldwin 1 January 1952 [Note 1] Newcastle Live event Defeated Dave Armstrong in a tournament final.  
2 Alf Rawlings 1 1953 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
3 Dai Sullivan 1 1953 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
4 Ernie Baldwin 2 1953 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
5 Tony Mancelli 1 September 9, 1955 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
Vacated 1955 N/A N/A Championship vacated for undocumented reasons.  
6 Bert Assirati 2 October 19, 1955 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event Defeated Ernie Baldwin  
Vacated 1958 N/A N/A Stripped by Joint Promotions; Assirati would continue to claim the title in BWF  
7 Billy Joyce 1 April 15, 1958 [Note 1] London Live event Defeated Gordon Nelson.  
8 Ernie Baldwin 3 November 1959 [Note 1] Glasgow Live event    
9 Billy Joyce 2 December 1959 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
10 Dennis Mtchell 1 December 1959 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
11 Billy Joyce 3 July 15, 1960 1,333 Bradford Live event    
12 Geoff Portz 1 March 9, 1964 17 Bradford Live event    
13 Billy Joyce 4 March 26, 1964 693 Middlesbrough Live event    
14 Albert Wall 1 February 17, 1966 3 Nottingham Live event    
15 Gwynn Davies 1 February 20, 1966 25 Nottingham Live event    
16 Billy Joyce 5 March 17, 1966 48 Nottingham Live event    
17 Ian Campbell 1 May 4, 1966 55 Perth, Scotland Live event    
18 Billy Joyce 6 June 28, 1966 204 Edinburgh Live event Became the undisputed champion when Shirley Crabtree vacated the BWF version.  
19 Billy Robinson 1 January 18, 1967 [Note 1] Manchester Live event    
Vacated February 1970 N/A N/A Championship vacated when Robinson left for North America.  
20 Albert Wall 2 April 13, 1970 280 Nottingham Live event Defeated Steve Veidor to win the vacant championship  
21 Gwynn Davies 2 January 18, 1971 110 Loughborough Live event    
22 Albert Wall 3 May 8, 1971 [Note 1] Manchester Live event    
Vacated 1974 N/A N/A Championship vacated when Wall "retired" (in fact left Joint to work for independent promoters and continued to claim title - see All Star below) [5]  
23 Gwynn Davies 3 February 15, 1975 833 Manchester Live event    
24 Tony St. Clair 1 May 28, 1977 543 Manchester Live event    
25 Giant Haystacks 1 November 22, 1978 154 London Live event    
26 Tony St. Clair 2 April 25, 1979 [Note 1] London Live event Moved to #All Star Wrestling in 1982 with the title  
Vacated 1985 N/A N/A Recognition was withdrawn by Joint Promotions in 1985  
27 Ray Steele 1 April 14, 1985 377 [Note 2] Live event    
28 Pat Roach 1 April 26, 1986 159 [Note 2] Live event    
29 Dalbir Singh 1 October 2, 1986 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
Vacated 1989 N/A N/A All-Star's Tony St. Clair becomes undisputed champion after Singh joins All-Star and renounces his claim.  

Disputed Branch: British Wrestling Federation 1958-1966[edit]

No. Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
1 Bert Assirati 2 1958 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event Stripped by Joint Promotions - Continued to claim title and was recognized by BWF
Vacated 1960 N/A N/A Assirati stripped by BWF while recovering from injury.  
2 Shirley Crabtree 1 1960 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event Won a tournament  
Vacated 1966 N/A N/A No replacement was crowned, making Joint Promotions' Billy Joyce an Undisputed Champion.  

All Star Wrestling 1974, 1982-present[edit]

No. Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
0 Albert Wall 3 May 8, 1971 [Note 1] Manchester Live event Continued to defend title on shows by Wrestling Enterprises (as All Star then known) for some months after 1974 "retirement" from Joint [5]
Vacated mid/late 1970s N/A N/A Championship vacated when Wall retires completely. [5] 
1 Tony St. Clair 2 April 25, 1979 [Note 1] London Live event Came to All Star in 1982 with the title from Joint Promotions. No direct lineage to above Albert Wall splinter claim.  
2 Kendo Nagasaki 1 1988 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
3 Tony St. Clair 3 1988 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event Became undisputed champion after Joint Promotions' champion Singh joins All Star in 1989 and renounces his claim.  
4 Dave 'Fit' Finlay 1 February 5, 1990 425 Croydon Live event    
5 Dave Taylor 1 April 6, 1991 759 King's Lynn Live event    
6 Tony St. Clair 4 May 4, 1993 [Note 1] Croydon Live event    
Vacated 1995 N/A N/A Championship vacated for undocumented reasons.  
7 Dave Taylor 2 August 1995 [Note 1] Croydon Live event Defeated Marty Jones in a tournament final.  
8 Marty Jones 1 1996 [Note 1] Croydon Live event    
Vacated 1996 N/A N/A Upon Marty Jones' retirement  
9 Karl Krammer 1 circa 1998 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event Claimed title by 1998  
10 Doug Williams 1 2001 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event Claiming title by 2001. Would later take the title to the Universal title tournament.  
11 Robbie Brookside 1 September 29, 2002 982 Liverpool Live event Williams was still considered the Universal champion  
12 Drew McDonald 1 June 7, 2005 224 Croydon Live event    
13 Steve Sonic 1 January 17, 2006 129 Croydon Live event    
Vacated May 26, 2006 N/A N/A Sonic would relinquish the title to return to WWE's developmental promotion Ohio Valley Wrestling.  
14 James Mason 1 November 12, 2006 232 [Note 2] Live event Mason defeated Drew McDonald, Doug Williams, and Robbie Brookside in a 4-way elimination match to win the vacant title.  
15 Brody Steele 1 September 2, 2007 162 Liverpool Live event   [6]
16 Robbie Brookside 2 February 11, 2008 Liverpool Live event    
Vacated May 2009 N/A N/A Championship vacated due to a knee injury.  
17 Rampage Brown 1 May 16, 2009 270 Hanley Live event Won 4-way elimination final of an 8-man tournament against James Mason, Doug Williams, and Karl Kramer.  
18 Dean Allmark 1 October 2, 2010 774 Hanley Live event    
19 Rampage Brown 2 March 25, 2012 [Note 1] Croydon Live event    

Disputed Branch: The Wrestling Alliance 1999-2003[edit]

No. Champion Reign Date Days held Location Eventd Notes Ref.
1 Robbie Brookside 1 1999 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event Recognised as champion by TWA  
2 Drew McDonald 1 March 2001 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event    
3 Justin Starr 1 May 7, 2001 66 Weymouth Live event    
Vacated July 12, 2001 N/A N/A Following a controversial finish in the Starr/MacDonald rematch.  
Vacated December 16, 2001 N/A N/A Brookside was suspended and stripped of the belts-after sanctioning his own defences resulting in a breach of contract.  
4 Justin Starr 2 January 17, 2002 9 Southampton Live event    
5 Doug Williams 1 January 26, 2002 0 Bognor Regis FWA Champion, Williams defeated Justin Starr to win recognition by The Wrestling Alliance.    
6 Robbie Brookside 2 January 26, 2002 Bognor Regis        
Vacated February 1, 2002 N/A N/A Rumble match would be held the same night to declare new champion.  
7 Justin Starr 3 February 1, 2002 160 Exmouth Live event Won a royal rumble match to win the vacant championship  
8 Ricky Knight 1 July 11, 2002 [Note 1] Weymouth Live event    
9 Justin Starr 4 November 2002   Bristol Live event    
Vacated 2002 N/A N/A Championship vacated due to injury.  
10 Alex Shane 1 March 23, 2003 [Note 1] [Note 2] Live event Defeated James Mason for the vacant belt.  
Vacated March 25, 2003 N/A N/A TWA's owner, Scott Conway would strip the title from Shane following his actions in a match against Jake "The Snake" Roberts.  
Vacated 2003 N/A N/A Conway closes the company and emigrates to Thailand.  

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am The length of the championship is too uncertain to calculate.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y The location of the match was not captured as part of the documentation.

Universal British Heavyweight Championship[edit]

On 10 July 2002 All-Star's Champion, Doug Williams along with other top title holding wrestlers entered into a tournament to be recognized as Universal British Heavyweight Champion by The Wrestling Alliance, Frontier Wrestling Alliance, World Association of Wrestling, All Star Wrestling, and Premier Promotions. Doug Williams would first defeat the then-TWA British Heavyweight Champion, Justin Starr (though Starr would continue to be recognized as champion), before going on to defeat The Zebra Kid in a tournament final to become the Universal British Heavyweight Champion.

The Universal version of this title would not last long with all the promotions splitting out their British Heavyweight titles, but Williams continued to be recognized as the Universal British Heavyweight Champion.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gwyn Davies successful defence of British Heavyweight Championship against challenger Steve Veidor at Royal Albert Hall, London, 26 May 1976". World Of Sport - Wrestling. ITV. 24 July 1976. Retrieved 12 December 2017. 
  2. ^ "Ray Steele successful defence of British Heavyweight Championship against challenger Colin Joynson at Morley 25 May 1985". World Of Sport - Wrestling. ITV. 8 June 1985. 
  3. ^ "British Heavyweight Championship: Gwyn Davies v Steve Veidor"". Saturday 24 July - Friday 30 July 1976 - Saturday listings page. TVTimes. 
  4. ^ ""British Heavyweight Championship: Ray Steele v Colin Joynson"". Saturday 8 June - Friday 14 June 1985 - Saturday listings page. TVTimes. 
  5. ^ a b c Fighting Spirit Magazine issue 165, Greetings Grapple Fans column by John Lister on Wall & Davies, pp 66-69
  6. ^ Plummer, Russel (3 September 2007). "All Star Wrestling Grapplevine". bigtimewrestlinguk. 

External links[edit]