By JOHN M. MILNER — For SLAM! Wrestling
| The All-Knighters: Joey Knight, left, and Robin Knightwing.
Courtesy The All-Knighters.
For the All-Knighters, a tag team competing in the Renegade Wrestling Alliance, “the sky’s the limit”, according to Robin Knightwing. “We’re aiming our sites high and looking to get up there.”
Knightwing is described as powerful and reliable by his partner Joey Knight. (“If I’m ever in a situation, I always know he’s going to be there for me to bail me out if I’m in trouble”). Knightwing returns the favour by referring to his partner Knight as “the speed of the team”, even going so far as to call Knight “the better wrestler of the team. I’ll give him all the credit.”
Already a top tag team in the Burlington-based organization, the team, led by manager C.J. Lane, have their sight sets on the RWA Tag team titles, currently held by the Casanova Cliq, which Knightwing refers to as “an immediate goal” of the All-Knighters.
When asked what it would take to win the RWA Tag team titles, Lane declared that “it’s going to take the Casanova Cliq to show up to defend their title. That’s the number one problem we’re having.”
Lane is referring to an incident that occurred in Burlington on June 13th, when the Cliq (Chip and Dale, with manager the Parkplace Tycoon) failed up for a scheduled title defense against the All-Knighters. However, no-shows have not been the only thing standing in the All-Knighters road to RWA Tagteam gold. “It has pretty much been outside interference that has kept them from walking away from the titles.”
In one match, held on July 19th in London, it appeared that the All-Knighters were only moments away from a tag team title victory. The Casanova Cliq had other ideas. Chip leapt off the top rope with his manager’s cellular phone and hit Robin with it. The Cliq left London with the tag team titles.
“They don’t seem to want to give up their titles, ” Lane observed, “and I don’t blame them. When you’re a champion, hey, that’s great.” However, Lane is confident that “Joey and Robin have got what it takes to get the titles” but believes that perhaps “we’re going to have to put a stipulation where no one’s going to be allowed out there…not even me.”
Success in the tag team ranks is nothing new to the team of the All-Knighters. In 1996, the pair won the tag team title in the Wisconsin-based Badger State Wrestling organization, during their debut match. Two years later, you can still hear the joy in Knight’s voice as he talks about that night. “We were just lucky to be wrestling and then, we ended up tag team champions. It was a good feeling, something to call home about.”
Knightwing credits the name of the team to partner Joey Knight and manager C.J. Lane. “It’s just something we thought of,” says Knight. “and thought it would be a good name for a tag team.”
The three of them have known each other since high school, but it would be Calgary’s Hart Brothers Wrestling Camp where the team first took shape. Knight and Knightwing learned their craft at the institution known for turning out topnotch grapplers. That fact was not lost on the pair. “It was definitely different,” Knight reflected. “You know great wrestlers have trained there.”
The All-Knighters stay in Calgary (from February to August 1995) coincided with that of one such wrestler. “When we were down there, Davey Boy Smith was spending the summer there,” Knight remembers. “so it was pretty neat. You’re out training and then you see Davey Boy Smith walking by and talking to you.”
From Calgary, the team found their way to Wisconsin, competing in the Mid-American Wrestling organization. A friend from their days in the Hart camp, Matt Sharpe, alerted them to the promotion.
Their first bout in Mid-American Wrestling was a bunkhouse battle royal, held in Milwaukee, WI. “It was pretty rough,” Knight recalls with a laugh. “I was getting choked with fur scarves and a guy had a bag over my head so it was pretty wild for the first time (in the ring).”
The team soon moved on to Badger State Wrestling, another Wisconsin-based promotion. “They were wrestling more often, and they just had a better group of wrestlers,” Knight explains. “Badger State was always bringing in new guys, so it was a little better to wrestle for them because there’s always someone new to wrestle.”
The All-Knighters would win two tag team titles in Badger State Wrestling. Ironically, both came on July 4th, first in 1996, the second in 1997.
Their second title reign would end with an injury to Robin’s ankle in August 1997. “It happened off something fairly easy,” Knightwing recalls, “I took a big backdrop and ended up landing with my feet hitting the rope before making it to the canvas. My legs got under me, and I landed over top of (my ankle).” Despite the injury, Knightwing managed to finish the match, which lasted another ten minutes and helped the All-Knighters retain the BSW tag team titles.
Knightwing concedes that the injury is an on-going concern. “There is a metal plate in it right now. Sometimes it gives on me.” One of those times included a match against Stunning Sean this past June. “It’s been doing all right since that match but it’s still something I have to be careful of, and leery of.”
Stripped of the tag team titles due to Knightwing’s injury, the All-Knighters left Badger State Wrestling to compete in the Brantford-based Renegade Wrestling Alliance, debuting on March 17, 1998. “It’s great to be in front of the hometown crowd,” Knightwing says. “We have the people behind us a lot more here in Canada.”
| C.J. Lane and Joey Knight.
Courtesy The All-Knighters.
When asked who their toughest opponents thus far have been, both team members agree that it was the Gen-X Crew from the NWA. The two teams met in a inter-federation match on June 28th, 1998 in Fort Erie, Ontario with the All-Knighters emerging victorious after a hard-fought match.
The All-Knighters have their hands full with other tag teams in the RWA, battling the likes of the Royal Canadian Mayhem Patrol, the Hollywood Hunks and RWA Tag team Champions, the Casanova Clique.
The RCMP, a fairly new team to the RWA, has made their presence known to the All-Knighters. “From what we’ve seen in Welland,” Knightwing says, “I can see that they’re going to be a challenge for us.” (On the July 24th RWA card in Welland Knightwing defeated RCMP member Eric Dawson in a singles match.) Knightwing believes “They seem to be after us,” but added, “I think they’ll be a good challenging tag team and we’re looking forward to their challenge.”
The All-Knighters have also crossed paths with the Hollywood Hunks, and the feud has grown to involve Lane and the Hunks’ valet, Raquel. The two had an altercation during the RWA’s July 19th show in London. Lane came to ringside during a match pitting Stunning Sean and “Sexy Baby” Jamie Jackson (with Raquel in their corner) against Tito Santana and RWA Champion Pete Rokk. The two women soon found themselves brawling outside the ring.
“It wasn’t supposed to be a fight.” Lane counters. “I was a little irritated. She’d been interfering in every single match. Nobody’d been telling her to stop, so I figured ‘Well, I think I should tell her to stop.’ and then it kinda got into a little bit of a shoving match after that.”
They will cross paths again in the future, as will their respective tag teams. On August 7th, the All-Knighters will wrestle the Hunks at Wrestlemusicfest at the Opera House in Toronto, and Lane will join forces with the All-Knighters on August 15th in Hamilton, in a mixed tag team event against Raquel and the Hollywood Hunks. The three are very excited about these upcoming contests.
While the two men are primarily interested in tag team success, they have had a few singles matches, including the Welland card. In addition to Knightwing’s match against Dawson, Knight defeated Loveable Larry Flowers. There may be more singles bouts in the future, but Lane is quick to point out, however, that “it’s not really what they’re focusing on right now. They want to do their tag team thing and work their way to the gold.”
In addition to Lane, the All-Knighters also have the support of their fans, collectively known as “The Knight Shift”. “We know they’re there. We seem them wearing All-Knighter shirts or they send letters and stuff. ” Knight acknowledges. “We know we’re actually doing it for someone else besides ourselves. It helps us out.”
“Keep the fan mail coming” Knightwing adds.
In addition to settling their feud with the Hollywood Hunks and gaining the RWA tag team titles, Knightwing says that the team is “looking to go all the way to the top, maybe the WWF. Hopefully, that’s the long-term goal but the short-term goal is the RWA Champions.”