Sunday, 10 March 2019

RE-POST: WAW's Top 10 Matches of 2002 (December 2002)

Seeing as how we are now near the end of 2002, I thought now would be a good time to compile a couple of top ten lists, concerning the World Association of Wrestling. I've seen most of their arena shows this year, and having quite a good memory, the first of these lists will be my top ten WAW matches of 2002. This list is in chronological order, and is just my own personal opinion. No doubt others will have their own opinion, so this could be the start of a lively debate.

TEAM ESSEX v TEAM WAW, The Paddocks, Canvey Island, February 2002
The entire tournament, which resulted in this ten man elimination tag match was well executed from beginning to end. With the scores even going into this final bout, this match had everything - the high-flying skills of Sexpac and the Zebra Kid, the power of the Big Dave and the Bulk, and the cunning craftiness of Ricky Knight. Team Essex, led my Steve Quintain, gained the victory and the trophy here.

THE ZEBRA KID v JAKE "THE SNAKE" ROBERTS, Guildhall, Thetford, February 2002
Jake Roberts had received mixed reviews to his outings in Britain before this bout. Putting him in the ring with one of the best in the country seemed to bring out the best in the veteran. Although the mixing of the styles could have led to a poor contest, twenty minutes plus of top notch action had the capacity crowd on the edge of their seats. The match could have gone either way until the Pitbulls ran in and attacked Roberts, only for Ricky Knight to make the save. Moments later Knight joined in on the attack.

ROWDY RICKY KNIGHT v THE ZEBRA KID, Watton Sports Centre, February 2002
This bout was voted Match of the Year by the WAW fans and wrestlers in their first awards vote, and those there could see why. Contests between these two are always enjoyable to watch, and the addition of hard-core rules made this a bruising encounter for both men. These threw the proverbial kitchen sink at each other before the Zebra Kid got the victory.

KLONDYKE KATE v SWEET SARAYA, WAW Women's World Championship, The Talk, Norwich, April 2002
A return match for the title, the two having fought in a WAW ring at October Outrage III, was contested under hard-core rules, and in a year where other wrestling companies promoted the T&A; aspects of their female roster, this match showed that given their chance, the women can put on a match just as good as their male counterparts. The crowd were squarely behind Saraya in this contest, as both women pulled out all the stops in this bruising encounter, which saw Saraya emerge victorious, adding World gold to her ever-growing collection.

PAUL TYRELL v PHIL POWERS, Waveney Sports & Leisure Centre, Lowestoft, May 2002
A match pitting the on-off Essex Boys partners was a knockdown, dragged-out affair which had it all, high flying action, technical wrestling, and in Powers, a heel capable of getting the crowd to hate him with a passion. The bout could have gone either way before Tyrell got the pin with a top rope head scissors.

DOUG WILLIAMS v FLASH BARKER, October Outrage IV, The Talk, Norwich, October 2002
WAW made a big gamble with this match here, pitting two of the finest wrestles in Britain today in a shoot-style contest. No top rope spots, no running of the ropes, just good, solid technical wrestling, the likes of which reminded many of the older fans in attendance of Saturday afternoons before the football results came on. This was my match of the night, and the only thing that spoiled this was the fact that the vast majority of those in attendance just didn't get what this match was meant to be about. A great bout which ended in a draw.

BASH v ROWDY RICKY KNIGHT, Vacant WAW British Championship, October Outrage IV, The Talk, Norwich, October 2002
Hot Stuff's ill health forced the powers-that-be to strip him off the title, and the hype surrounding this contest was literally off the scale. This was viewed by many as Bash's chance to finally break out into the big time. Despite the fact that he had competed mainly as a heel in Norwich before, the crowd were clearly behind him. The best efforts of the veteran Knight were not enough. Not even the outside interference of first Jonny Storm, on behalf of Knight, and then the Zebra Kid could spoil this contest as Bash emerged victorious and won the championship and belt. Sadly, events outside the ring meant that Bash was stripped of the title just a few weeks later.

THE ZEBRA KID v KARL KRAGIOUS, Connaught Hall, Attleborough, October 2002
Going against a wrestler like the Zebra Kid is hard enough, but it's even harder when you're going up against someone of his calibre in your very first match. Young Karl had impressed many with his progress at the training schools this year, and others, if they had been put in his position, would have run the proverbial mile rather than face the Zebra Kid. But Karl didn't, and in his first outing, went toe-to-toe with Zebra, never saying die, showing guts and courage, until, near the twenty minute mark, Zebra secured the win after a pile driver and a top rope elbow. Afterwards, Zebra congratulated the rookie on his showing. Going that far with the likes of the Zebra Kid in your first outing is something to be proud of.

THE U.K. PITBULLS v FAST & FURIOUS, Watton Sports Centre, October 2002
This match probably makes it to the list because of the sheer emotion of the night. This was Marty "Detroit" Reed's last match for WAW before returning home to the States with his family. Teaming for only the second time on a WAW show with his good friend The Kraft, they went up against possibly the toughest team in Britain today, Big Dave and The Bulk. Fought under elimination rules, Detroit and the Bulk were the last two men left in the match when Detroit reminded us of RVD, launching himself from one corner to the other, smashing his feet into the rubbish bin that he had placed over the Bulk's head. A three count later and Detroit had the victory in his last WAW match. The emotions afterwards were running high as Detroit made his farewells to the WAW fans.

ROBIN KNIGHTWING v THE KRAFT, Waveney Sports & Leisure Centre, Lowestoft, November 2002
Comedy wrestling at it's best. Local radio DJ Tom Kaye was the special referee, who didn't take kindly to Knightwing's badmouthing of the locals. Knightwing dominated the greater part of this contest, but Kaye never let him win. Knightwing tried to go for a submission as Kaye tried to count the attempt. As Knightwing argued with Kaye, the Kraft used a schoolboy roll-up to get the pin. Of course, Kaye's fast counting also helped the rookie!

So there you have it, my top ten personal favourite WAW matches of 2002. My apologies to those who didn't make the list. Please remember though, this is just my personal opinion. I'm sure that many more of you have other favourites of this year.

Next time - the top ten wrestlers to have competed in a WAW ring in 2002.

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