Review: Rock N Wrestle ‘The Great Highland Bash 2016’

The Ironworks, Inverness

Rock N Wrestle returned to The Ironworks for The Great Highland Bash on a night where anything could happen, literally. The special guest commissioner Lanny Poffo pulled out due to family issues with no replacement, Liam Thomson pulled out due to injury so the main event was rejigged and The UK Hooligans weren’t there with no reason given or even mentioned on the night. An uphill battle was on the horizon.

The show kicked off with ‘Fallen Riot’ playing a song, I’d like to tell you what they sang but it was a lot of noise. Not my thing, I come to Rock N Wrestle for the ‘Wrestle’ not the ‘Rock’ portion so this is lost on me. It’s different though, I’ll give it that.

Kid Fite defeated Dylan Angel by Pinfall

The show kicked off with a great match, Kid Fite always provides the entertainment and looks to take great joy getting the crowd riled up. The funniest thing was the ‘baldy’ chants directed to Fite when he has more hair than his opponent. Dylan Angel looked great in this one, he’s been one of the PBW Academy students that I’ve heard great things about but hadn’t seen wrestle. Angel took a nasty spill early on when he wrapped his ankle off the top of the barrier after flying over the top rope with a front flip and was limping throughout the rest of the match. Fite slowed down the match from there with headlocks and cut off Angel’s comebacks including a very pretty standing shooting star press before planting him with an arm trap DDT for the win.

Really great match to kick off the show. Angel’s style reminds me of a Stevie Xavier, a bit rougher round the edges but with experience that’ll be ironed out.

Joe Coffey defeated TJ Rage by Pinfall

Two big dudes just laying into each other, the match was a slow build and took it’s time to get going. Coffey looked almost unbeatable though as the match picked up even throwing in a big swing, hurling the taller Rage about and striking a big discus lariat. Fine match.

Jack Jester entered next talking about how Liam Thomson couldn’t make it to the show due to injury and that he challenges anyone in the back to take him on later tonight. Cue Davey Blaze and Charles Boddington entering. Boddington called Jester missing shows while being the Highland Champion and bigged up his client Davey Blaze as holding Money in the Bank so he doesn’t even need to be in the number one contender match. Boddington then got flustered with the ‘baldy’ chants and called the fans something that actually left a bad taste in my mouth, swearing is one thing but I wasn’t happy with the language used. I’m not easy to offend but yeahโ€ฆit was said, let’s move on.

-Triple Threat Number One Contender Match-
BT Gunn defeated Aaron Echo and Kenny Williams by Pinfall

Announced on the night as a three way dance due to Davey Blaze being moved to the main event, so I expected an elimination rule in effect. The match begun and ended quite quickly, just out of the blue with one pinfall. Aaron Echo was the big bad guy, for some reason as he’s been happy to slap hands and get the crowd involved at previous shows. This felt very blink and you’d miss it as it was over before it really begun. Echo looked impressive when he was using his power against Williams and Gunn. This match needed a little more time I think. There was nothing bad just not a lot to write about. BT Gunn once again becomes number one contender after pinning Aaron Echo.

Damo defeated Wolfgang by Pinfall

After another song from ‘Fallen Riot’, the second half of the show kicked off with a bang with Damian O’Connor taking on Wolfgang in an unannounced match. We knew that Damo was going to be there but his opponent was left open. When Duran Duran hit the speakers then it was almost a forgone conclusion that this was going to be a very good match and it was.

The crowd had a lot of fun with this one shouting at Damo to shave his back, then the genius ‘gruffalo’ chant before settling on ‘KFC’ after Damo was called a chicken. These two move far quicker than guys their size should and the match flowed very nicely. Damo rolled up Wolfgang and held onto his gear to get the tainted win.

Polo Promotions (Jackie Polo and Mark Coffey) defeated Lou King Sharp and Krieger by Pinfall

This match actually made the whole show worthwhile. The UK Hooligans were announced to take on Polo Promotions but instead we were treated to ‘Your (and Krieger’s) Mother’s Favourite Wrestler’ and he wasn’t happy. He wasn’t happy to be here, having to put on a smiley face at the merch stand and pretending to like us. So he found a partner to take on Polo Promotions and show that they were Scotland’s BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEST Tag Team.

Quite easily the most fun match of the night. These four (actually five because referee Thomas Kierans got in on the hilarity) put on a show that was a bit campy at points and very entertaining, feeding off the crowd masterfully. Last time I saw Krieger in RNW he was a bit broody, aggressive and the like, now he’s a bit more flamboyant, embracing the character and has grown in leaps and bounds. His partnership with Lou King Sharp can only be a positive thing and he is going to be one to watch.

Polo Promotions are just something else, a fantastic tag team who are so in tune with the other it’s scary. They should be booked everywhere, such a great team.

It was Lou King Sharp that almost stole the match with his shenanigans, which is becoming a common comment when writing about his matches. He sweats charisma and makes it all look easy.

Jack Jester defeated Davey Blaze w/ Charles Boddington by Pinfall

A big brawl to finish the show with the match going to outside the venue (apparently, I didn’t see that). Usual schmoz with Boddington’s involvement backfiring and Jester finishing the match with a tombstone piledriver. It was weird seeing Jester as the ‘good guy’, I liked it as we got to see a bit of a lighter side. Also nice to see him actually wrestling at a RNW show as it has been a wee while.

Overall: Sometimes there is a lack of consistency at Rock N Wrestle shows that makes it hard, especially for folk that go to every show, to keep on track. I would’ve liked to see a bit more build up or more of a story, a promo or two in the run up to the event like maybe something from Aaron Echo to explain his change in attitude for example.

With the sheer amount of pull outs, they looked to handle them well. The UK Hooligans dropping out should have been acknowledged somewhere but I think we got a far superior match because of it. Boddington’s slip was unfortunate but that is the joys of being live in front of a crowd. The second half of the show really outmatched the first half but there were plenty of good to great matches with the opening bout, Damo/Wolfgang and the tag team match being particular highlights.

Of course, as with any review this is all personal opinion and the crowd sounded like they enjoyed themselves so mission accomplished.

Their next show is on December 10th at The Ironworks so loads of time to build up to a big show.

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