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2012 UKFF UK50 - RESULTS THREAD


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Well, we made it. After 3 rounds of nominations and voting, the 8th annual UKFF UK50 project has concluded and I am now in possession of the final standings.

 

Before I get onto that, I'd just like to once again thank each and every one of you that supported and contributed to the process this year. In some ways, it's a shame that participation was only around half of that which it was last year, but I do feel there was still enough decent contribution from UKFF members to make this a worthwhile project. Of course, this still remains the biggest annual attempt to compile such a list in existence.

 

To summarise the process so far, 64 UKFFers submitted nominations in STAGE ONE for wrestlers they believed to be deserving of a place somewhere in this year's 50. This resulted in 40 wrestlers earning a direct place in the 50, with a further 12 battling it out for the final 10 slots. This was done in STAGE TWO, where 124 UKFF members voted for the wrestlers they thought should be in. Finally, STAGE THREE saw 57 members provide their own personal top 15 rankings lists using those wrestlers who had made it into the 50, allowing us to sort the 50 into an order of merit.

 

It is appropriate that I start of the countdown by issuing a reminder of the criteria upon which these rankings are based:

 

Upon what criteria are the rankings based?

All the way through the process, nominations and votes should be made based on British wrestlers' in-ring performances you have seen on shows that took place between 1 July 2011 and 30 June 2012. The key points around which the rankings, nominations and votes are based include:

- whose in-ring performances are the most gripping, convincing and enthralling?

- who is consistently involved in great matches?

- who is able to tell the best "story" through their performance?

- whose performance is able to capture the crowd's interest and make them emotionally invested in the match?

- who actually makes pro wrestling enjoyable to watch with their performances?

 

So with that said, I now present the 2012 UKFF UK50...

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No. 50: Joel Redman

Score: 37 points

Total 1st place rankings in 2012 votes: 0

Percentage of 2012 ballots including Joel Redman: 8.8%

(2011=12th, 2010=18th, 2009=14th, 2008=39th, 2007=NL, 2006=NL, 2005=NL)

 

redmanh.jpg

Photo - Tony Knox

 

Sneaking his way into the UKFF UK50 via Stage Two, the Devon-based Mark Sloan product falls a whopping 38 places in the rankings in a year which saw him gain little support in the votes. This fifth-ever appearance in the UK50 for Redman is also likely to be his last, as he completed his UK bookings in April 2012 and now appears in WWE developmental territory FCW/NXT....

 

During the 2012 eligibility period, Redman could be seen all along the south coast and the south of England. In his own Devon Wrestling Association, he collided with Richtor and Dan Walsh, as well as teaming with long-time rival

("Devon's Most Successful Tag Team") for the less-homosexual-than-it-sounds Pro Wrestling Pride. He also continued to be a regular on Premier Promotions' traditional British wrestling events, facing off with the likes of The Zulu Prince, Kris Kay, Danny Garnell, Zack Sabre Jr and others.

 

Over in Kent-based IPW:UK, Redman was put in with guest international talent. Following up his earlier 2011 rematch with Pro Wrestling NOAH's Atsushi Aoki, he squared off with CZW's Drew Gulak (also known as Soldier Ant in Chikara) in July 2011 and TNA/ROH's Nigel McGuinness in November in technically strong encounters, before he reformed his 'Thrillers' tag team with Mark Haskins for another run at the Undisputed British Tag Team Titles they had dominated in 2008. The run didn't last long, however, as Haskins turned on Joel following their cracking February defeat to Project Ego (Martin Kirby & Kris Travis). This

, culminating in one of Joel's final UK appearances when he went down to Haskins at IPW:UK's 'Revolution' supershow in the Troxy, London Docklands.

 

What did the UKFF think?

"I only saw Joel a couple of times last year and despite the great look I felt his level had dropped down from previous years but this year i has stepped back up again and then some, maybe in preparation for the WWE move maybe someone gave him a boot, not sure. His matches with McGuiness and Walters in the past 12 months have earnt him a place here"

 

"Now going to WWE, but he is a fantastic wrestler who has been the cornerstone of the Bournemouth wrestling experience. Can have a great match with absolutley anyone. Wonderful wrestler, hope he makes it big"

 

"Solid and signed for a reason"

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I'm sure it's just a quirk based on the limited number of votes and the fact that most people don't see all the wrestlers in the country, but a national wrestling scene where Joel Redman was genuinely only the 50th best performer would be pretty darn amazing.

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No. 49: Josh Bodom

Score: 44 points

Total 1st place rankings in 2012 votes: 0

Percentage of 2012 ballots including Josh Bodom: 12.3%

(2011=NL, 2010=NL, 2009=NL, 2008=NL, 2007=NL, 2006=NL, 2005=NL)

 

bodoms.png

 

Another of those making their way into the UKFF UK50 by way of the Stage Two polls is Josh Bodom, the rookie star who currently makes his home in Stockport's Futureshock Wrestling. Indeed, not even 12 months into his in-ring career, young Josh earns his first ever UKFF UK50 appearance.

 

After taking part in Star Power Training's week-long Kid Ka$h training seminar and continuing to hone his craft through Futureshock's Manchester school, Josh Bodom made his first in-ring appearance for the promotion at 'Futureshock #55' in November 2011. Here, he was presented as the ultimate underdog outsider in what was supposed to be nothing more than an easy run out for Futureshock Champion Dave Rayne. Despite going down in predictable defeat, Josh took it to the champion in impressive fashion and won over the loyal Futureshock audience.

 

2012 saw him continue to be tested against the very top competition in the promotion in somewhat of a trial series, going down in bouts against Cyanide, CJ Banks and Bubblegum. With each match, Bodom's popularity increased and his momentum built, culminating in him winning a Battle Royal at 'Futureshock #60', just after the end of the UKFF UK50 eligibility period, to earn a rare spot in a match on the promotion's biggest show to date, their 'International Supershow' taking place on 25 August.

 

Elsewhere, Bodom featured on the debut event for Liverpool's Infinite Promotions, where he faced

 

What did the UKFF think?

"superb wrestler, works strong styles and Highflying"

 

"Only in his first year as a pro hes really looked good when i have seen him in futureshock and his outing for infinte . Not sure if he will break the 5o this year but i expect him to break top 15 next year"

 

"Just coming through a huge amount of potential"

 

"great rookie year"

 

"really sharp in the ring and puts on great matches"

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No. 48: Jonny Storm

Score: 46 points

Total 1st place rankings in 2012 votes: 0

Percentage of 2012 ballots including Jonny Storm: 14.0%

(2011=23, 2010=13, 2009=12, 2008=8, 2007=10, 2006=3, 2005=2)

 

stormeh.jpg

 

Our third man out, our third "J", and our third to have made it through to the final rankings via the 'vote off' in Stage Two. 'Wonderkid' Jonny Storm, veteran of British rings, now one of the few to have managed to be ranked in the UKFF UK50 in all 8 years it has been running. Over the last 12 months, Storm has been as busy as ever, appearing on all manner of shows up and down the country.

 

In the south, Jonny has faced Anton Green, Wild Boar, Andy Simmonz, Rhishi Ghosh, Kris Kay and others for Premier Promotions and SWF, before losing his PWF Lightweight Title to Wade Fitzgerald in Bournemouth this past May. He's still officially recognised as the FWA British Flyweight Champion, notching up a defence over Max Angelus at the NEC Expo in March and teaming with Xtreme Dean Allmark in defeat to The LDRS (Zack Sabre Jr and Marty Scurll) in a well-received match at BritWresFest 2012 in April. Storm and Allmark would cross paths as opponents as part of

in June. Amongst all this, Storm still found time to come face-to-face with UKFF Legend Peter Staniforth when he faced "PT Playa"'s charge Zizou Middoux for PTW in Luton in February.

 

In the West Midlands, the "Wonderkid" has made frequent appearances for Phoenix Pro Wrestling and Alternative Wrestling World, while over in Cambridgeshire he faced Dave Mastiff on Southside Wrestling Entertainment's first anniversary event in November. He would return to SWE the following May to take part in a multi-man Money in the Bank Ladder match against fellow 2012 UKFF UK50 entrants Max Angelus, Martin Kirby, Nathan Cruz and Robbie X and US star Jonathan Gresham. Much of Jonny's time over the last year has also been spent on mainland Europe, where he continues to be a regular part of ACW in Germany, ABC in France (where he holds the tag belts with Ronin Rider, an odd ring name for half a tag team...) and BCC in Belgium...

 

Still popular with audiences all over the place and, guess what? He even has shit on the market:

 

stormtee.jpg

 

What did the UKFF think?

"Man will never die out still just as good (like a fine wine gets better with age)"

 

"Still one of the best around who is a great character as well as a great wrestler. Plus I still remember his kick ass theme music"

 

"If there is one guy that I feel could beat Ligero to the post of number one in the fifty is Storm. Much like Ligero travels up and down the UK just to go out his way and keep the fans entertained with his high flying skills"

 

"Storm like Ligero can work with anything thrown his way and can make it happen. Haven't heard much of his name this year but thats probably because he puts in his hard work and determination at All Star"

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No. 47: Jack Jester

Score: 46 points (beats Jonny Storm on number of 1st place votes)

Total 1st place rankings in 2012 votes: 1

Percentage of 2012 ballots including Jack Jester: 10.5%

(2011=NL, 2010=NL, 2009=NL, 2008=NL, 2007=NL, 2006=NL, 2005=NL)

 

jesterat.jpg

Photo - Tim R-T-C

 

Joel... Josh... Jonny... Jack (and we still have James, James, Jack, Johnny, Joey still to come!), though this J-boy earned his way directly into the rankings through Stage One. Scotland's resident hardcore heavyweight, the intimidating Jester has been a fixture in BCW, PBW, ICW, All Star Wrestling and SWA for years, but makes his first ever UKFF UK50 appearance in 2012.

 

As one of the top featured headliners for Glasgow's Insane Championship Wrestling, Jack started off the eligibility period by fighting on behalf of the promotion against the hated Gold Label faction, including an 8-man tag team street fight in July 2011 and a singles bout with Label member Red Lightning at 'SummerBam' the following month. From there, Jester headed into a feud with Mikey Whiplash, who unveiled a bizarre new cross-dressing gimmick and stole Jack's valet. The pair clashed in singles matches in October and January and in a

bout at
just 1 day after the end of the 2012 UK50 period.

 

In 2012, Jester has battled BT Gunn in the cross-promotional series of bouts, including 2 unsuccessful shots at Gunn's PBW and ICW Heavyweight Titles in February (the later of which featured on ICW's short-lived television show -

), a BCW defeat to Gunn in March, then in a 4-way for the ICW belt in May. Other opponents throughout the year have included Johnny Starr, Davey Blaze, Stevie Xavier, James Scott, Liam Thomson, Andy Anderson and England's Joey Hayes and CJ Banks.

 

In October 2010, Jester made a now-rare appearance south of the border for Preston City Wrestling, losing out to Shaun 'The Hammer' Davis on a special PCW vs. PBW show.

 

What did the UKFF think?

"Jester has been excellent particularly in his feud with Mikey Whiplash in ICW"

 

"Character is great and looks unique. Another guy surely on the WWE radar"

 

"Great story teller and hardcore wrestler/"

 

"Has shown that he can do more than the brawls, which many knew already. His unique look and character just help him stand out"

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No. 46: T-Bone

Score: 47 points

Total 1st place rankings in 2012 votes: 0

Percentage of 2012 ballots including T-Bone: 19.3%

(2011=21, 2010=31, 2009=NL, 2008=NL, 2007=NL, 2006=NL, 2005=NL)

 

tehbone.jpg

Photo - Tim Young

 

Worcester's 'King of the Caravans' makes his third UKFF UK50 appearance after possibly his most high-profile and successful in-ring year to date, yet slips 25 places in the rankings this season.

 

T-Bone has been presented as the top babyface star for both Preston City Wrestling and Southside Wrestling Entertainment, holding both promotions' Heavyweight Championships simultaneously. For PCW, 'Bone beat Dave Mastiff,

and
in the 'Road to Glory' tournament to crown the inaugural champion, then notched up successful defences against Andy Wild and Mikey Whiplash before the end of 2011. 2012 started with a massive 3-way main event win over Johnny Moss and Mark Haskins, before T-Bone found himself in a championship feud with cocky chav Bubblegum. 'Gum beat 'Bone by DQ in March then, after T-Bone retained over rumble winner Dave Rayne in April, it was revealed that Bubblegum, believing himself to be the rightful champion, had stolen the PCW title belt and flogged it at Cash Converters. In June, T-Bone smashed his way past Bubblegum to get his hands on the replacement strap, and his next defence is set for this Friday in a 4-way with Davey Richards, Lionheart and Johnny Moss.

 

Over in Southside, T-Bone clashed with Joseph Conners and Valkabious, before downing Valkabious and Greg Burridge in a 3-way in November to lift the gold. Now a double champion, the tattooed warrior beat Mastiff, Stixx and Rockstar Spud in title defences, before his 7-month reign ended at the hands of touring French Canadian superstar Rene Dupree in another 3-way (also featuring Rampage Brown) this past May.

 

Down in IPW:UK, T-Bone is a baddie and linked to the top heel group in the league. Bone, Spud and Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion Sha Samuels spent the entire year feuding with Dave Mastiff, Terry Frazier and The Lion Kid, with T-Bone lastly going down to Mastiff in the opening round of the 'Extreme Measures' tournament in June. Amongst all this, he has found time to continue his regular run in AWW in the West Midlands, hold onto his Pro Wrestling Evolution Heavyweight Title, and even wrestle in Italy.

 

What did the UKFF think?

"Top worker very impressed in last year"

 

"Well everyone seems to taking a liking T-Bone at the minute, PCW champion and SWE champion if my memory serves me well. Can certainly work a good match and will continue to impress people in years to come"

 

"An always improving Heavyweight which is always something I like to see alongside the excellent high flyers we have. Seen him in some really good contests against Mastiff and Bubblegum this year. Doesn't look out of place at the top of a card and and is a really likeable face"

 

"Works more shows than the majority of UK wrestlers, that alone should put him high in this list. Great wrestler with a great look too"

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Wow, been a strange list so far, a few of the most widely seen (and at the top of the card too) wrestlers in the UK all dropping loads of places. I'm most dissapointed with T-Bone. Personally thought he'd had of those years that might see him make a big move.

 

Totally agree, have seen T-Bone loads this year at Preston, Southside and even now on the IPW:UK cards always doing well, very disappointed to see him chart so low

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No. 45: Jim Hunter

Score: 48 points

Total 1st place rankings in 2012 votes: 0

Percentage of 2012 ballots including Jim Hunter: 12.3%

(2011=NL, 2010=NL, 2009=NL, 2008=NL, 2007=NL, 2006=NL, 2005=NL)

 

 

No. 44: Lee Hunter

Score: 51 points

Total 1st place rankings in 2012 votes: 0

Percentage of 2012 ballots including Lee Hunter: 12.3%

(2011=NL, 2010=NL, 2009=NL, 2008=NL, 2007=NL, 2006=NL, 2005=NL)

 

huntersi.jpg

Photo - Tony Knox

 

Looking like a modern-day Liverpool Lads, the Hunter Brothers make their first ever appearances in the UKFF UK50 this year, both coming through the Stage Two process. The younger Hunter, Lee, beats brother Jim by one place in the standings and, seeing as though they have appeared predominantly as a tag team over the last 12 months, the adjacent rankings means I may as well cover them at the same time.

 

The Hunters have long been a fixture for West Midlands-based AWW, also appearing for nearby PPW, ATTACK! Wrestling, AMP and FCW, and in North Wales for BWP. This season has seen them face off with Team H8 (Gideon & Jeckel), The Dunne Brothers (Pete & Damian), The Wild Boys, The Clarke Twins and others. It was with Wolverhampton-based cult sensation Fight Club: Pro, however, that the pair have shot onto the radar of the internet. There, the Hunters are two of a small core of local regulars mixed in with touring international guest stars. Jim and Lee beat Red and Green Dragon in July 2011, then defeated the makeshift combination of MK McKinnan and Chikara head trainer Mike Quackenbush in August at 'International Tekkers'.

 

The brothers then saw singles action for a few months for a couple of tournaments. Jim was in the mix of the Junior Heavyweight tourney which featured on the FCP vs. CZW vs. Big Japan triple-head in October, before the pair featured in separate 4-ways in the 'Infinity Trophy' tournament which rounded off FCP's 2011. This time, it was Lee who was able to shine, beating Dave Mastiff, Clint Margera and Bobby Barrett in the eliminator to advance to the final. There, he faced the man who had won his brother's side of the bracket, MK McKinnan, and went down in defeat.

 

The Hunters returned to tag team action in March with a victory over McKinnan and Margera, and have since tussled with Rockstar Spud & Bobby Barratt, Jonathan Gresham & Chris Brooks and Dan Ryder & Dave Williams. Just days after the end of the 2012 UKFF UK50 season, they faced who many consider to be the top tag team in the UK, the LDRS (Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr), but were beaten in an acclaimed match.

 

What did the UKFF think of Jim Hunter?

"Apart of best tag team in UK"

 

"Just as good if not better in some cases as his brother another underated worker"

 

"Both Hunters are great, but Jim has had better singles matches so gets the nod"

 

"One half of the best tag team in the UK"

 

What did the UKFF think of Lee Hunter?

"Top worker just shades his brother"

 

"fantastic worker and so underated deserve a big year"

 

"Other half of the best tag team in the UK"

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