Jump to content
Pro Wrestling Only
Sign in to follow this  
Jetlag

James Mason

Recommended Posts

So one of the best decisions I've made in 2019 so far is getting a James Mason comp. Mason is the greatest wrestler to come out of europe in the last 25 years. Flashy graceful worker with enough substance to keep you entertained and has a long career of looking good on tape. So with that being said, let's get WATCHING!!

 

James Mason, Johnny South & Ulf Hermann vs. Dale Preston, Dave Taylor & PN News (Caernarfon, taped 27/2/1995)

RESLO TV WAS STILL AROUND IN 1995??? And WOW based on this I want to see all the 1995 Reslo TV. This was a blast in all the unexpected ways. You have Johnny South as a Fake Road Warrior, Ulf Hermann as a mix between Fake Ultimate Warrior and Fake Sting, and a young James Mason with a head full of blonde hair. That alone is very telling of what european wrestling was like in 1995. And the match was just really really fun full of crisp action and everyone doing something cool. Kind of Eric Rs WCW syndicated dream match except it's in welsh BABY!!! This has elimination rules and Mason is out first, but he still gets to look good: smooth babyface spots, really nice worked open hands, enthusiastic clapping, big back body drop bump... all the base ingredients of a really great wrestler were there. Next we get to see Ulf Hermann absolutely working his ass off, hitting big dives, flip spots that were pretty crazy from such a huge, possibly roided dude, while Dave Taylor works like Fit Finlay hitting snug clotheslines and nasty chinlocks. I've always had a soft spot for Cannonball Grizzly/PN News and he is a really fun big fat dude here aswell, hitting Vader-like clubbing blows and lots of fat man diving moves, including a crazy Cactus Jack elbow. It comes down to South vs. Taylor and that was very very different from how that would have been 10 years earlier but South still looked good. And we get to watch all this madness thanks to 1 dudes VCR. Crazy crazy times.

James Mason vs. Jason Cross (1995)

We move on from the bright colors of Reslo TV to what british wrestling looked like in 1995: a tiny ring in a small multi purpose community hall in front of about 30 grannies and kids. This was filmed with one camera at a fixed angle, and there are serious vibes emanating from the imagery. The curtain behind the ring alone is haunting. As for the match, it was James Mason doing a Fuerza Guerrera like heel routine and that is so weird and really really fun. Really lighting up his opponent with those open hand shots, working ballshots, taking nice corner bumps and throwing water at the audience. At one point he goes at it with a ~10 year old in the crowd and ends up taking a bump for the kid. At another a big woman with a cain looks to give Mason a run for his money and an elderly lady gets in the ring. Jason Cross didn't do much here, and it was pretty clear Mason was the more athletic, better coordinated guy, not that it mattered because Mason gave a show here typical of a 10 year veteran carrying a green guy. Outstanding in every way.


 

Apparently, James Mason was 15 YEARS OLD in these matches. Holy FUCK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James Mason vs. Corporal Punishment (1996)

This was the opening round of a tournament to decide the Middleweight Champion. Mason was in full babyface mode and the match was basically a 5 minute squash with the Corporal (a in every way generic masked wrestler) bumping around for Masons athletic offense. No restholds, so has about all you want from this type of match.

 

James Mason vs. Steve Grey (1996)

2nd round in the tournament. Interesting matchup since Grey is one of the all time great brits, but they only get to go for about 7 minutes here. Good sprint as they just exchange the typical british holds and counters at a fast pace, and Grey still has great form. Mason gets the upset win (who is the underdog in a match between a 16 year old and a 60 year old guy?).

James Mason vs. Flash Barker (1996)

The finals of the tournament. This was the typical heel tactics vs. Babyface retaliation that is typical of british wrestling, with a little more crisp punches added from both guys. Barker looked decent pinballing around and throwing body shots. It didn't have the kind of hold work you'd expect from a british match but I guess that kind of stuff was gone at this point. Most importantly the crowd absolutely loved Mason.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


 

James Mason vs. Shane Stevens (1998)

„Psycho“ Shane Stevens was a thickly built wrestler. Nothing remarkable about him, just your bread and butter heel, but his look alone and Masons face work made this look like something that could've shown up on TV in the mid 80s. This was another decent contest marred by an annoying lady trying to do heel commentary, basically shouting „kill him!“ and „snap his hand!“ all the time and being dismayed whenever Mason made a comeback.

James Mason vs. Flash Barker (9/17/1998)

More typical face vs. Heel stuff, but they aimed for something bigger here, going over 20 minutes, and doing a good job at that. Flash Barker isn't a very remarkable heel, but he did some amusing hide the foreign object stuff here and had a violent outburst in the last round that was convincing. They kept the match moving, and Masons super athletic moves and comebacks kept this highly entertaining all the way. „Young wrestler with cool flips and flying“ isn't exactly a groundbreaking concept but together with the effective structure and genuine heat here it works really really well.

James Mason & Karsten Kretschmer vs. Robbie Brookside & Black Navy Seal (Germany 1999)

This was pro filmed. I wonder what this was from as this was the very end of the traditional german wrestling. There was nothing traditional about the match, as it was a 10 minute sprint. There may have been clipping, but who knows. I'm so used to german wrestling being drawn out and all about milking heat, so this was very different. Everyone looked good, even Kretschmer, and Mason already looks like a complete wrestler and fits very well here cycling through spots. Black Navy Seal is Rasta the Voodooman who you may know from GWF or BattlARTS, so he has quite the penchant for popping up in obscure corners of pro wrestling. He looked good here though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


 

James Mason & Chad Collyer vs. Kendo & Tsubo Genjin (Japan, 2000)

James Mason & Chad Collyer vs. Tiger Mask & Hideki Nishida (Japan, 2000)

James Mason & Chad Collyer vs. Pantera & Macho Pimp (Japan, 2000)

These are from Michinoku Pro and very clipped. You get to see Collyer working as a Dean Malenko clone and Mason working as your explosive foreign athlete with unique sick spots. He had perfect form on everything and you could tell the Michinoku Pro fans enjoyed seeing him.

James Mason vs. Hideki Nishida (Michinoku Pro, 2000)

Mason faces the Spike Dudley worshipping Nishida in a European Rounds match. What a weird matchup, but Mason is a total pro and Nishida is very game, so it totally works. How curious that we have to go to japan to see Mason work straight technical stuff. Nishida was using some lucha submissions so for a moment this was like WoS vs. Lucha. Cool as hell altough a little on the short side.

James Mason & Bret Como vs. Tiger Mask & Mens Teoh (Michinoku Pro, 2000)

Hm, of all the japanese indy wrestlers, who do I want Mason to face? That's right, Mens Teioh. Their stuff together was just wonderful. Teioh is clearly stoked to work a freaky euro style worker. Thunderbird Bret Como was a canadian indy worker who has been working japan indies for years and does just fine, most notably hitting a nice Shooting Star Press. But you want to see maestro vs. maestro and all the Mason/Teioh stuff delivered.

James Mason & Bret Como vs. Solar & Shiryu II (Michinoku Pro, 2000)

Now look at this damn matchup!! Shiryu II is Fantastik, so... BOYS!! Michinoku Pro was a collection of cool wrestlers in 2000. And this was really a bunch of cool wrestlers rolling in and doing the stuff that makes them cool. Mason is less about matwork here and more about slick spots and supreme coordination, but that is just the beauty of it. He matches up extremely well with Fantastik. We also get the insane Fantastik tope to the floor and Solar looking sharp as hell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

He's even better these days. I've been lucky enough to travel and work with him on several occasions and call him a friend, and his heel stuff in small halls is amazing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

His matches with Robbie Brookside are well worth a look.

From what I remember, I think there are a couple from that Michinoku Pro footage and at least one from the UK.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×