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British Heavyweight Title, disputed branches 1958-66, 1985-8

British Heavyweight Title, disputed branches 1958-66, 1985-8

Postby davidmantell » 2003/06/08 Sun 6:32 pm

The British Heavyweight title was the only UK title to suffer from any serious disputes, by and large titles have remained undisputed since the aftermath of the Mountevans Committee in 1947.

In 1958, Joint Promotions, sick of Bert Assirati's tendency to refuse to obey orders, shoot on and destroy opponents and generally act as a nucleus of lockeroom discontent, stripped him of the title and sacked him as champion.

Assirati continued to claim the title and a group of non-televised indie promoters, led by Paul Lincoln, formed the BWF to back up his claim. However, the BWF found Assirati just as troublesome as Joint Promotions had done. In 1960, while Bert was recuperating from an injury, they dumped him and awarded the title to Shirley Crabtree. Assirati was furious and spent much of the 60s harrasing Crabtree at BWF shows issuing challenges to him (not an angle!) and threatening to climb in the ring and sort the hapless Shirley out right there and then. Champion Crabtree eventually fled the wrestling business in terror in 1966 as a result of Bert's stalking, eventually returning in 1972. No new BWF champion was crowned after Crabtree quit and the Joint Promotions version was undisputed once more.


In 1985, champion Tony St Clair had been with non-televised All-Star since '81, and ITV were getting fed up with not having any British Heavyweight title matches on TV. So a tournament for a new British Heavyweight title was held which was won by Pat Roach. Dalbir Singh won this version from Roach in IIRC '86. Meanwhile StClair continued to defend his version on All-Star shows. After All-Star got a share of ITV tapings, however, StClair's claim was not acknowledged on TV, even during his loss & regain of the title to Kendo Nagasaki in '88. Singh jumped to All-Star in '89 - the year after ITV Wrestling coverage ended - and there was briefly talk of a StClair-Singh unification match. In the end, Singh renounced his claim and the title was undisputed again.


In 1990, Jackie Pallo made a TV taping of American-Style wrestling, (mostly featuring his trainees) under the banner "WAW" - no relation to the organisation owned by Ricky Knight since 1993. It cost £80K to make and only sold for £15K for late-night regional viewing. Anyway, Dave Taylor was recognised as champion at the taping. AFAIK there was no background on why he was champion and after the taping, nothing more was heard of this version of the title.
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Postby davidmantell » 2003/06/11 Wed 7:14 pm

One correction to the above:

So a tournament for a new British Heavyweight title was held which was won by Pat Roach. Dalbir Singh won this version from Roach in IIRC '86.

It actually went from Roach to Ray Steele and then to Dalbir Singh.


The British Heavyweight Championship actually remained undisputed for most of the 1990s (apart from the Pallo TV taping) until around 2000/2001-ish. During the late '90s, it was held by Karl Kramer circa '98, also Robbie Brookside and IIRC Skull Murphy (there was a major Brookside/Murphy title feud going on around 2000). Premier's titles for various weights are company titles and are not intended as disputes of the British titles.

The FWA set up its own British Heavyweight title in 2001 and TWA and WAW both followed suit. The Universal title was an attempt to produce an undisputed champion but it ended up with just one more version (largely disregarded) version. Doug Williams was also the holder of the previously undisputed All-Star British Heavyweight title, which he lost in September 2002 to Robbie Brookside in Liverpool (Robbie's hometown.)
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I'm enjoying this!

Postby Hisaharu Tanabe » 2003/06/12 Thu 8:12 am

Please keep it coming.
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Postby edgehead1984 » 2003/06/12 Thu 1:04 pm

So am I, I'm not familiar at all with european wrestling and your explanitions have been marvelous.
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Postby Russ L » 2003/06/27 Fri 10:58 am

Any good sites for info on this?

Also, does anyone know much about the British Commonwealth junior hvt. and mid hvt. titles that have been defended in Japan and Canada in the past?
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Postby Russ L » 2003/07/01 Tue 5:15 am

Sorry, I didn't see the thread lower down the page when I asked that last question.

Returning to the subject of the British Heavyweight title, though -
at <a href='' target='_blank'></a> there's a title history that makes no metion whatsoever of the Shirley Crabtree championship era, instead listing Ernie Baldwin, Bill Joyce et al. Is this the Joint Promotions version of the title?
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