A British wrestling legend rolled back the years on a night of nostalgia and exciting action at Morecambe Winter Gardens.
Former world mid-heavyweight champion Marty Jones was inducted into the Morecambe Wrestling Hall of Fame and then delighted fans by flattening hated manager Greg ‘The Truth’ Lambert with a booming punch.
Marty, now 70, is famed for his classic ITV bouts from the 1970s and 1980s against Marc ‘Rollerball’ Rocco, Dave ‘Fit’ Finlay and Owen Hart.
During his 24-year career the Oldham icon competed several times in Morecambe at venues including the Winter Gardens and The Dome.
Today, Jones trains aspiring young grapplers at his wrestling school in Leeds.
During an in-ring ceremony on Saturday night in the gorgeous old Morecambe theatre, Jones was presented with a special award by his protege Ricky J McKenzie.
A video message of congratulations also played on the big screen from WWE superstar and NXT general manager William Regal.
Regal, a former Intercontinental and world tag team champion, was trained by Jones and credits him with “opening doors for me all over the world”.
After the ceremony, Marty had some harsh words for McKenzie’s bitter rival James Drake who came out to try to disrupt proceedings.
This led to a match between RJM and Drake’s ‘Follower’ Andre Dekker, won by the popular Blackpool star.
Then later, Marty sat at ringside to watch the main event of the ‘War on the Shore’ show for the Alpha Omega Wrestling Championship.
This pitted the champion ‘Heavyweight House of Pain’ Stixx against challenger ‘Psychotic Warrior’ Johnny Phere.
Stixx, from Nottingham, has not been beaten in Morecambe for more than eight years, an astonishing run known as ‘The Stixx Streak’.
Phere from Morecambe, a former three-time British heavyweight champion, was aiming to regain the title but had an unwelcome distraction from his former manager Lambert.
The journalist and UK wrestling personality told irate fans that he had acquired a licence permitting him to be at ringside to cheer on Phere, even though Johnny did not want his help.
The match itself was a classic and at one point fans believed Stixx had been pinned by Phere after a piledriver.
But after counting three, referee Craig Anderson realised the champion’s foot was under the bottom rope, rendering the fall illegal. He then ordered the match to continue.
Eventually Phere trapped Stixx in his crossface submission ‘the War-Lock’ but the champion managed to roll Johnny onto his back and hold him down for the three count, retaining the championship.
The furious ‘Psychotic Warrior’ blamed Lambert for the loss but as the cowardly ‘Truth’ tried to flee, he ran straight into Marty Jones.
The retired grappling great decked Greg with a right hand shot to the face, then with the delighted fans egging him on, Marty threw Lambert into the ring to a vengeful Phere!
The show ended with Johnny delivering his Ram Slam spinning spinebuster to Lambert, leaving him lying prone in the middle of the ring.
War on the Shore also saw six-man tag team action as ‘Delicious’ Danny Hope, Cyanide and Solar teamed up to defeat Alpha Omega tag team champions The Referendum and ‘Primate’ Jason Prime in a thrilling encounter.
The hated Scottish patriot Laird Grayson beat talented rookie Ryan Hunter in a match where the loser had to kiss the national flag of the winner.
The show also saw a makeover for the wrestling ‘stripper’ Sexy Kev, who has been on a losing run of late.
The Warrington star, who usually wears hot pink trunks and a bow tie to the ring while dancing for fans, instead emerged wearing baggy trousers with braces, a geeky shirt, woolly hat and cardigan, carrying a plastic bag of train magazines.
It turned out that Sexy Kev has lost his mojo and become ‘Unsexy’ Kev. His downward spiral continued as he lost to ‘The Man for All Seasons’ Xander Cooper.
Finally the scheduled Alpha Omega Women’s Title match failed to take place as champion Viper attacked popular challenger Lana Austin as she entered the ring. Instead authority figure Stallion forced Viper to defend against Lana’s best friend Alexis Rose. The Scottish champion was able to pin Alexis to retain the belt, but then was attacked by a furious Lana who will no doubt look to settle the score with Viper at a later date.
The next Alpha Omega Wrestling show is at Morecambe Winter Gardens on July 16. Tickets on sale now from www.aowuk.com
Photos by Tony Knox.