British wrestling history 

A: Akimojo - Ali Bey

Wrestling Heritage A-Z

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Professor Akimojo
Israeli born but living in Belgium this barefooted wrestler popped over to Britain in March 1973 to obligingly go down to Steve Logan at the Royal Albert Hall. He returned to the same venue the following year to repeat the result against Bobby Barnes. With a background in judo Akimojo trained others at his gymnasium in Antwerp.

Prince Mario Alassio 
Not quite a Prince, but a king in another realm. A Prince born in born in South Norwood, London, on 5th  April, 1935. We knew of Peter Grant, but it was left to Heritage member Sapper James to place the final piece in the jigsaw. Heavyweight Peter Grant went from sheet metal worker to employment by  Paul Lincoln as a bouncer at the 2 I's Coffee Bar. Mixing with the wrestling clientele around the café, and with an appropriate physique he too turned his hand (and feet) to professional wrestling.  Grant was a giant, a bearded giant weighing over twenty stones. Not a man to argue with.

Sapper James made the link to Prince Mario Alassio. It was a short career that lasted only a few years and seems to have made little impact. 

It is in another realm that Peter found his fame. Peter Grant went on to greater things and success as the manager of Chuck Berry, Gene Vincent, the Animals the Yardbirds and ultimately Led Zeppelin, turning them into one of the biggest rock bands of the 1970s. Peter Grant was recognised as being the first manager in rock music to earn more money for the band than for himself. When he signed Led Zeppelin to Atlantic Records he negotiated the highest ever royalty rate for a band. Prince Mario was a hard man in more ways than one.

It was probably not a bad career move. 

Peter Grant died of a heart attack on 21st November, 1995, he was sixty years old. Ultimate Classic Rock said, "... rock ‘n’ roll lost one of its biggest characters — figuratively and literally — with the death of legendary Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, perhaps the quintessential artist handler of the rock era."

Frikki Alberta
A regular fixture on the British wrestling scene from 1961 until 1964 was a tall, bearded Rhodesian born heavyweight called Frederick Alberta, known to wrestling fans as Frikki Alberta. Ex rugby player Frikki followed in his father's footsteps by turning to professional wrestling and  was trained by the South African promoter Johan "Bull" Hefer. He turned professional in 1956, aged 23, stepping into UK rings some five years later. The skilful heavyweight settled in Britain for a couple of years and tackled a range of opponents, including  those from lighter weights such as Clay Thompson and Johnny Kwango to heavyweights Charlie Fisher, Dave Armstrong, Majid Ackra, Tony Mancelli and Johnny Yearsley.  Whilst no fall guy to the Brits his record was far from perfect with some surprising losses. One of those losses, but not one of the surprises, was against the mighty Russian, Josef Zaranoff, at the Royal Albert Hall, losing by the odd fall in the final round.  Two television appearances resulted in mixed fortunes; a very creditable knock-out victory over Francis Sullivan in May 1963 at Wembley Town Hall after Frikki deftly side-stepped Sullivan's drop-kick, and a loss the following year, this time when Frikki wasn't so nimble, got in the way of a drop-kick from Albert Wall and failed to beat the count. 

Modesto Aledo 
An agile Spanish welterweight who wrestled frequently in the UK during the 1950’s and 1960’s, most often in the south for Dale Martin promotions. He met the big names of the day such as Alan Colbeck, George Kidd, Mick McManus and Jackie Pallo; usually on the losing end but seemed to have a surprising number of draws against Pallo. Modesto Aledo had some championship success and held the European Lightweight title for two short periods, in 1954 and 1967. In 1954 he lost it to the Frenchman Julien Maurice, and in 1967 to the Bradford wrestler Jim Breaks. Towards the end of his career Modesto Aledo adopted a mask, was known as Kamikaze, and was dressed completely in black and nicknamed the Black Demon. Wearing the mask he was a far more aggressive character. 

Hassan Ali Bey
One of the most prolific heavyweight performers of the 1950s and 1960s, and a regular of the tv screens in the first ten years or so of televised wrestling.  Hassan Ali Bey wrestled, and sometimes defeated, just about every big name heavyweight of the time. 

The red fez, spectacles and a white towelling robe were the hallmark of the “Strong man of the East” as he entered the ring. Despite being one of those colourful characters that filled the halls few fans were aware of the background of the man beneath the red fez. Hassan Ali Bey was actually Demera Mashavias, but he took his ring name from his father, who we were told was a member of the British Embassy in Ankara. 

Born in Turkey Hassan Ali Bey was educated in Britain. He turned professional wrestler in 1944, making his debut in a tumultuous tussle with Doncaster’s Jack Pye. Based in Manchester for much of his professional life Hassan Ali Bey  combined wrestling with successful business interests. In later years the outside interests took over and he was seen less often in the ring, but he continued wrestling until well into the 1960s, and on one occasion at least held the legendary Bert Assirati to a draw. 

Page revised: 7/4/19