Africa Wrestling Federation

Africa Wrestling Alliance

Africa Wrestling Alliance, formerly known as Africa Wrestling Federation, is a South African professional wrestling promotion founded in 1995 . The regionally-based company is owned by Shaun Koen and Koos Rossouw, and is a traditionally-styled promotion influenced by the international wrestling market, such as European and American mainstream wrestling. The style encompassed by the top stars of AWA such as Shaun Koen, African Warrior and BDX-treme is referred to as Rofstoei (an Afrikaans term).

History

Establishment and early years (1995-2003)

The Africa Wrestling Federation was founded by Shaun Koen and his wife in 1995 after the death of his father, Jackie Koen, on December 16, 1994. The AWF started off as a regional promotion based in Cape Town, regularly running in the Goodwood and Parow areas. A few years later the AWF started doing tours nationally and also ventured outside of South Africa to tour countries like Swaziland and Zimbabwe. In 2003 AWF signed a year-long television contract with eTV to air weekly shows in 2004.

AWF on E (2004)

The AWA aired weekly television episodes taped for eTV throughout 2004 known as AWF on E Slam Series. The episodes were recorded in arenas such as the Good Hope Centre, Carnival City and the Coca-Cola Dome. The actual running time of these events lasted three to four hours, but to minimise costs, they were split into one hour for each episode. The show was relatively successful until late 2004, when ratings and attendance started decreasing. A soundtrack CD, AWF on E - The Soundtrack, was released under the EMI label to promote the AWF on E television show. The year-long season culminated in a two-hour live special held at Sun City on December 11, 2004. See AWF on E Slam Series Final.

The Birth of the Africa Wrestling Alliance (2005)

Plans were underway to have a second season in 2005, but AWA and eTV failed to agree to new terms. This caused the promotion to lose ownership of the name AWF and forced them to create new trademarks. The Africa Wrestling Alliance name was then established in March, 2005. Due to the lack of television exposure following AWF on E, some of the top names like The Saint, Skull, Rey Bourne and Jacques Rogue departed AWA to pursue other interests.

Current scene (2005-present)

The top two stars in AWA at the moment are Shaun Koen and Johnny Palazzio, as both have main evented shows in their respective divisions and have held their championships since late 2004. The undercard is dominated by young cruiserweights like Nick Fury, El Matador, Vinnie Vegas and William McQueen, who are blossoming into the AWA's next big cruiserweight stars. In the heavyweight division, African Warrior, BDX-treme, The Oz and The Missing Link hold contendership to the AWA African Heavyweight Championship held by Koen.

Annual events

Coca-Cola Royal Rumble

The AWA holds an annual Royal Rumble show at the Parow Civic Centre venue (nicknamed The House of Pain) in December. The event is regularly sponsored by Coca-Cola. The last champion was William McQueen, who won the AWA Royal Rumble Championship on December 3, 2007 in the 21-man battle royal main event.

Touring and charity work

Although the AWA is currently a non-televised, regional promotion, it has had a big impact on the South African wrestling industry and frequently does tours beyond its headquarters, having held events in the surrounding areas of Cape Town and in neighbouring countries such as Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, often drawing thousands of spectators. The promotion is also actively involved in charity work. In association with its many sponsors and the Reach for a Dream foundation, unprivileged children are provided with the opportunity to attend certain shows for free and meet members of the roster.

Training academy

The AWA training facility is currently based at the Wingfield Army Base in Goodwood, Cape Town. Classes are regularly held every Tuesday and Thursday. The head of the academy is Shaun Koen. Most of the wrestlers on the current roster were trained at the AWA training academy.

Championships

Active

Championship: Champion(s): Previous Champion(s): Date Won: Location: Event:
AWA African Heavyweight Championship The Missing Link Shaun Koen April 30 2008 Parow Civic Centre, Cape Town, South Africa AWA 4x4 Fury House of Pain Show
AWA African Cruiserweight Championship Johnny Palazzio None December 11 2004 Sun City, North West Province, South Africa AWF on E Slam Series Final
AWA Royal Rumble Championship William McQueen The African Warrior December 3 2007 Parow Civic Centre, Cape Town, South Africa AWA Coca-Cola Royal Rumble 2007

Inactive

Championship: Last Champion(s): Previous Champion(s): Date Won: Location: Event:
AWF Tag-Team Championship The Saint and The Gladiator None December 11 2004 Sun City, North West Province, South Africa AWF on E Slam Series Final
AWF Hardcore Championship Skull None December 11 2004 Sun City, North West Province, South Africa AWF on E Slam Series Final

Roster

Active

  • African Warrior
  • Archangel
  • BDX-treme
  • Billy West
  • Blankman
  • Bollywood
  • Bomber Budley
  • Brown
  • The Bruiser
  • El Matador
  • Gypsy
  • Johnny Badd
  • Johnny Palazzio
  • Jumping Jack
  • Missing Link
  • Nick Fury
  • Nizaam Hartley
  • Nitro
  • The Protector
  • Rasta Man
  • Revyv
  • Sharps
  • Shaun Koen
  • The Great Raj
  • The Oz
  • Tommy Rich
  • Vinnie Vegas
  • The Viper
  • Warlock
  • William McQueen

Other personnel

  • Stan Mars (Ring Announcer)
  • Billy Daniels (Timekeeper)
  • Robert Meyer (Referee)
  • Black Mamba (Referee)
  • Kenny (Referee)
  • Tony "The Hammer" (Referee)
  • Leon Venter (Referee)

Alumni

  • Bulldog
  • Big Bad Bruce
  • Butcher
  • Dusty Wolfe
  • Du Congo
  • Jacques Roque
  • Leslie van der Westhuizen
  • Mr Pain
  • Rollerball Danny
  • The Saint
  • Skull
  • Sunny Surf
  • Sledgehammer
  • Terry Middoux
  • Trashman
  • Trevor van der Westhuizen
  • X-Hale

Deceased

  • The Gladiator
  • Stunner

References

External links

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