Review: Dean Allmark outsmarts Harlem Bravado at another superb Superslam Wrestling, Ipswich Corn Exchange

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT - Credit: Archant

It was another night of fun and frolics, bravado and brutality, T-Bone suplexes and dragon sleepers at the Superslam Wrestling extravaganza at the Ipswich Corn Exchange.

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT - Credit: Archant

The Merseyside-based All Star Wrestling (ASW) promotion, headed up by legendary promoter Brian Dixon since its inception in 1970, enjoyed the first of its customary biannual visits to the town on Friday.

The crowd was loud and responsive to the villainous wrestlers’ taunts and the heroes’ pleas for support. The wrestling was well-paced, broad in its scope and artful at times.

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT - Credit: Archant

First on the scene was reigning champ Harlem Bravado, one half of the tag-team The Bravado Brothers who have performed for Ring of Honour (ROH) and TNA in America for the past decade.

His nefarious character was immediately established when he unfurled his large Donald Trump flag during his entrance. He took the mic and told everyone he and the US president are much alike: they are both American, and therefore better than us, and both winners. His spiel sparked a hostile reaction, and the fans goaded him with the pantomime ‘What?’ routine. It’s been almost 15 years since Stone Cold Steve Austin invented the chant. It was used expertly and persistently by the hot crowd. Harlem played up to it and took advantage of the situation very well. One kid shouted ‘What?’ after the initial mayhem had cooled. ‘Don’t you start’ he warned.

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT - Credit: Archant

His best retort was ‘Losers say What?’ Unfortunately, we fell for it.

He defeated ‘Yes Man’ James Drake with an illegal, rope-assisted pinfall after an entertaining back-and-forth encounter. There were chants of ‘Yes You Can’ for the ‘Yes Man’, but he was unable to find a Trump card when it mattered.

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT - Credit: Archant

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There were two more bouts before the interval and the Royal Rumble themed main event.

Dean Allmark defeated ‘Merseyside Mouth’ Ringo Ryant after delivering his ‘619’ finisher. I admired Allmark’s enthusiasm – seeking out and high-fiving fans at the back row – and his deployment of tricky holds. I’m sure I heard a finger dislocate in one hand-wrenching submission. All the wrestlers were polished and professional. There was not one false move during the night, but Allmark’s athleticism, sharpness and rich database of moves were particularly noticeable and worthy of praise.

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture

Dean Allmark celebrates winning the Royal Rumble main event at the Corn Exchange in Ipswich. Picture: MATT STOTT - Credit: Archant

He also persuaded ‘John the ref’, whose comeback was an inexplicable delight for this observer, to attempt the ‘dab’ pose, as perfected by WWE’s TJ Perkins. The result? A Mo Farah ‘Mobot’. Wrestling can indeed be unpredictable at times. (It still wasn’t as good as John’s waltz/dance with a wrestler in the ring last time thought).

The Lucha Flying Eagle partnered veteran James Mason in a tag-team clash against The Big City Brawler 35-stone ‘The Unit’ Henchman. Size was no match for speed on this occasion.

Then came the 12-man over-the-top rope Royal Rumble themed main event. A wrestler joined the party every minute (or so) until the locker-room was empty and there was one man standing.

When James Mason emerged as the final entrant, there had, curiously, been no eliminations. The highlight was seeing the combined efforts of seven men dumping The Unit out of the ring, which breathed a sigh of relief afterwards.

It came down to Allmark and Thunder. Allmark was unintentionally aided by Harlem Bravado’s bundled attempt to help Thunder, who was the final elimination.

He celebrated like he was heading to Wrestlemania itself. Surely he deserves a shot at the ASW title now? He may well be champion when the promotion returns in November.

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