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Mark Starr

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Mark Ashford-Smith (December 26, 1962 - June 7, 2013) was an English professional wrestler best known by his ring name Mark Starr. He has competed as a member of several tag teams.

Wrestling career

Starr competed in the Memphis, Tennessee-based Continental Wrestling Association (CWA). His first championship came in 1987 when he teamed with veteran wrestler Steve Keirn to win the CWA International Tag Team Championship on April 27, 1987. They held the title belts for twelve days before dropping them to the team of Paul Diamond and Pat Tanaka. The CWA had an agreement with the American Wrestling Association (AWA) that allowed AWA titles to be defended in the CWA. This arrangement enabled Starr to compete for the AWA Southern Tag Team Championship by teaming with Billy Travis in a tournament for the vacant title. On June 8, 1987, Starr and Travis defeated Phil Hickerson and Mr. Shima to win the belts, which they held for almost a month.

Starr competed alongside his real-life brother, Christopher Ashford-Smith, who competed as Chris Champion, for several years and in multiple promotions. Despite their relationship, they used different last names during their time in the same promotion. In Memphis, the brothers formed a tag team known as Wild Side. They competed as a team in the 1988 Jim Crockett Sr. Memorial Cup tag team tournament. They defeated the Mexican Twin Devils in the first round before being eliminated by the Powers of Pain (The Barbarian and The Warlord). The brothers faced Action Jackson and Starr's former partner Billy Travis on July 3, 1989 for the CWA Tag Team Championship. The match ended in a no contest, and the title was held up pending a rematch. One week later, Starr and Champion defeated the former champions to win the title. They held the belts until September, when they dropped them to The Rock 'n' Roll Express.

Starr later competed in the Florida-based Professional Wrestling Federation (PWF), where he held the PWF Tag Team Championship on two occasions. He teamed with Lou Perez to defeat Jumbo Baretta and Dennis Knight on November 12, 1989 for the first win. Their reign lasted for four days, but Starr regained the championship the following year after the title was declared vacant. He joined up with Sgt. Rock to defeat Joe Gomez and Hurricane Walker to win the belts. Starr's first championship as a singles wrestler, and the final title of his career, came the following year. He defeated Ricky Fuji to win Frontier Martial-Arts Wrestling's AWA World Light Heavyweight Championship, a title formerly recognized by the AWA.

In late 1994, Starr began competing for the World Wrestling Federation as a jobber. He remained with the company for several months before joining World Championship Wrestling (WCW). In WCW, he competed in the battle royal main events at the company's 1995 and 1996 World War 3 pay-per-views but was not victorious in either. Although these were his only televised appearances at WCW pay-per-views, he also competed in dark matches at Uncensored 1995, Slamboree 1995, and Bash at the Beach 1995, losing to Alex Wright, Sgt. Craig Pittman, and Road Warrior Hawk, respectively.

In his later career, Starr formed a tag team known as Men at Work with Chris Kanyon in WCW. The team faced many of WCW's top tag teams but lost the majority of their matches. One notable victory came on the January 10, 1996 episode of WCW Saturday Night, when they defeated former WCW World Tag Team Champions Bunkhouse Buck and Dick Slater. Starr also competed as a singles wrestler, once again playing the role of a jobber. In one match, he teamed with Cobra, Prince Iaukea, and Rex King to face The Giant in a handicap match, which The Giant won in 38 seconds. He was also one of the many opponents defeated by Bill Goldberg during Goldberg's 173-match winning streak. He retired in 1998, due to a back injury.

In wrestling

Championships and accomplishments

External links

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