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The UKFF British and Irish Hall of Fame Class of 2020


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Bill Dundee

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From: Angus, Scotland

Year of Induction: 2020

Life Span: 1943-

Career Began: 1962

Mini Biography: Scottish born wrestler, moved to Australia at a young age. Started wrestling in Australia in 1962 before relocating to the United States in 1974. Became a huge star in Memphis Wrestling due to his ongoing feuds with Jerry Lawler and Jimmy Valiant. Held multiple titles through the United States. Acclaimed booker of wrestling in Memphis, Louisiana and Georgia.

Why We Voted For Them: A huge part of the legendary Memphis territory as well as multiple other territories. Feud with Lawler is the stuff of legend. Successful booker who helped launched the careers of many. Later remembered as the manager of Lord Steven Regal in WCW. At 76 years old still enters the ring.

 

Billy Joyce

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From: Wigan, England

Year of Induction: 2020

Life Span: 1916-2009

Career Began: 1930s

Mini Biography: English wrestler, Regarded by many as the greatest Heavyweight wrestler of all time. Taught Billy Robinson and Karl Gotch for the ring. Won the British Heavyweight title in 1958 and kept a grip of the title until 1967 dropping the title for brief time periods in those years. In his later years he dropped weight divisions winning the Light Heavyweight title in 1971

Why We Voted For Them: One of the most influential British wrestlers of all time. Trained the likes of UKFF Hall of Famer Billy Robinson and Belgian Karl Gotch for the ring. Both of whom are regarded as Gods in Japan. For his own career regarded as one of the greatest heavyweights of all time and one of the major factors that put Wigan on the map as a wrestling mecca. 

 

Billy Riley

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From: Wigan, England

Year of Induction: 2020

Life Span: 1896-1977

Career Began: 1920s

Mini¬†Biography:¬†Founder of the Legendary Snake Pit wrestling school in Wigan where he taught Catch Wrestling a style that British Wrestling would be known for. Known as a devastating ‚Äúhooker.‚ÄĚ Won British Empire Championship in Africa. Students include Karl Gotch, Bert Assirati, Jack Dempsey and Billy Robinson.

Why We Voted For Them: Easily the most influential trainer in the history of British wrestling. Helped launch the career of so many greats. Many of whom are in the UKFF Hall of Fame. Helped to mold what would be regarded as the British style and really put Wigan on the map as a wrestling mecca.

 

Catweazle

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From: Doncaster, England

Year of Induction: 2020

Life Span: 1939-1993

Career Began: 1960s

Mini Biography: English wrestler whose gimmick was based off the television show of the same name. Was a more defined gimmick in an era where most wrestlers were boots and tights. Well loved by the fans, his act included licking his lucky toad. 

Why We Voted For Them: World of Sport was mostly home to straight laced wrestlers but sprinkled amongst them were those who relied more on character. With few exceptions Catweazle was the most memorable of them all (perhaps only behind Kendo Nagasaki, Giant Haystacks and Big Daddy, all UKFF Hall of Famers.) Catweazle played an important role in British wrestling as he was often tasked with sending the people home happy.  

 

Clive Myers

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From: Jamaica 

Year of Induction: 2020

Life Span: 1948-

Career Began: 1970

Mini Biography: Turned pro in 1970. Former amateur wrestler and weightlifter. Known for his acrobatic style. Was made the Welterweight Champion of the West Indies. Known as Iron Fist. The finished to his match with Mick McManus on World of Sport is legendary and is often spoken about by those who witness it. Was a top challenger in multiple weight classes

Why We Voted For Them: One of the most successful black wrestlers of the World of Sport era and the first inducted into the UKFF Hall of Fame. Played a big part in the re-popularisation of World of Sport wrestling in the 2000s. 

 

Finn Balor

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From: Bray, Ireland

Year of Induction: 2020

Life Span: 1981-

Career Began: 2000

Mini Biography: Irish Wrestler. Got his career started in NWA:UK Hammerlock where he was a two time British Commonwealth Champion. Started with NJPW in 2006 and would go on to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title three times, Junior Tag Titles 6 times and win the Best of the Super Juniors Twice. Became the founding father of The Bullet Club in 2013 and kick started a global phenomenon. Signed with WWE in 2014 and became the longest reigning NXT champion in history. Upon becoming part of the main roster became the first ever WWE Universal Champion

Why We Voted For Them: Balor has found success wherever he has wrestled and helped create one of the greatest wrestling success stories in recent years in the Bullet Club. Time in WWE has also been fruitful with runs as NXT, Intercontinental and Universal Champion.

 

Mark Sloan

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From: Portsmouth, England

Year of Induction: 2020

Life Span: 1978-

Career Began: 1995

Mini Biography: English wrestler, Founder of the Fratton Wrestling Alliance, later Frontier Wrestling Alliance which would become one of the most talked about British independents of all time. Head trainer at FWA academy. First ever FWA Champion. Holder of FWA All England title. Trainer of Drew McIntyre, Paul Birchall and Katie Lea Birchill among many others. Still valuable on the scene today contributing to Dragon Gate, NOAH, RevPro and Ring of Honor UK shows.

Why We Voted For Them: It can be argued that Sloan is the most important figure in kickstarting the British wrestling revival. His FWA helped popularise a more American style in the UK when many were still promoting traditional British rules. Had a big hand in training many that would become key players in the British wrestling resurgence of the 2010s

 

Mitzi Mueller

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From: Manchester, England

Year of Induction: 2020

Life Span: 1948/1949

Career Began: 1963-

Mini Biography: English female wrestler, made her debut aged 14 in 1963. Wrestled primarily for All-Star Wrestling. Once the ban on female wrestling was lifted in London. Mueller wrestled in the first women’s match in the city in years when she teamed with Rusty Blair to face Klondyke Kate and Nicky Monroe at the Royal Albert Hall in 1987. Won the British Ladies championship in 1972 and the European Ladies championship in 1975, a title that she held on to until 1990. Made multiple film and TV appearances. 

Why We Voted For Them: A huge part of the history of women's wrestling in the UK and one of the few British wrestlers who crossed over into the mainstream with film and television appearances. One of the most influential women wrestlers in the UK ever. 

 

Nigel McGuinness

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From: London, England

Year of Induction: 2020

Life Span: 1976-

Career Began: 1999-

Mini Biography: English wrestler. Trained and made his debut in the United States for Heartland Wrestling Association. Won the HWA Tag Team titles in 2001. Made his way to Ring of Honor in 2003. Became the longest reigning ROH Pure Champion in history holding the belt for 350 days. Won the ROH World Championship in September 2007 holding the belt until 3 April 2009, a massive 545 days. Made his way to TNA in 2009 and wrestled a classic against Kurt Angle as well as adding the TNA Tag Team titles to his collection. After injuries forced him from the ring signed with WWE in 2016 as an announcer where he announces NXT, NXT:UK, 205 Live and Main Event

Why We Voted For Them: An argument could be made that Nigel is the greatest ROH champion of all time having lengthy reigns with both the ROH Pure and World Heavyweight championships. Considered one of the greatest modern wrestlers in the western hemisphere never to wrestle for WWE but has since become a voice on many of their televised shows. 

 

Steve Grey 

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From: London, England

Year of Induction: 2020

Life Span: Unknown

Career Began: 1970-

Mini Biography: English wrestler, highly respected Lightweight. Made his TV debut in 1971. 7 time British Light Heavyweight Champion. Won the European Light Heavyweight title in 1988. Would win the title a total of four times. Wrestled for the FWA and The Wrestling Channel Supershow in the 2000s.

Why We Voted For Them: One of the wrestlers who helped re-popularise the World of Sport style in both the UK and overseas. One of the greatest British lightweights who became an anchor of the division during the 1970s and 1980s. Kept the British style alive by wrestling well into the modern day.

 

Wayne Bridges

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From: London, England

Year of Induction: 2020

Life Span: 1936-2020

Career Began: 1964-

Mini Biography: English wrestler trained by Mike Marino made his debut in 1964. Was Kendo Nagasaki’s first Cup Final Day opponent on television. Won the World Heavyweight title in the Royal Albert Hall from Spiro Arion in 1979 bringing the title back to the UK for the first time in 60 years. In June 1981 would regain the title from the Mississippi Mauler in Wembley Arena. One of a handful of men to defeat Mike Marino. Often selected to represent Britain against foreign opponents. 

Why We Voted For Them: One of the greatest heavyweights in British Wrestling. The first British world heavyweight champion in 60 years. One of the fastest rising superstars in the history of wrestling on these shores. In later years hosted the British wrestler's reunion in his pub in Kent

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