Review: WrestleZone ‘Live in Keith 2016’ (Adam)

WrestleZone returned to the Longmore Hall in Keith this past Saturday night for another action packed show. What a night it was. WrestleZone always provide a great night’s action, no matter what town there in.

Shawn Johnson w/Alan Sterling vs Kaden Garrick

The evening kicked off with Shawn Johnson taking on Kaden Garrick. Shawn made his way to the ring with one of my favourite entrance themes, accompanied by Alan Sterling. Strangely, they did not carry the WrestleZone Tag Team Titles to ringside. Kaden Garrick made his way to the ring afterwards, obviously still angered about losing the tag belts a few weeks ago and of course the end of his undefeated streak. It took a while before the two locked up, but it was Shawn who took control after a few minutes of stalling. Kaden fought back with the crowd cheering him on, nailing a body block. Shawn regained the advantage following a distraction from Alan Sterling, nailing his trademark springboard back elbow and handstand elbow drop. After a few minutes of Shawn Johnson being in control, Kaden Garrick again fought back. Kaden tossed Shawn into the corner, nailing him with a body avalanche. After controlling the action for a little while, Kaden was distracted at ringside by Alan Sterling. This allowed Shawn to take advantage and nail a Fisherman’s Driver for the three count. Shawn and Alan celebrated at ringside before heading backstage, leaving Kaden in the middle of the ring. Kaden eventually headed backstage, angered about being on a losing streak over the past few weeks.

Shawn Johnson needs to be seen in more promotions. He is severely underrated and is definitely one of the best in the country.

Blue Thunder vs Lord Mr Malice w/Jeeves Winchester

The next contest was the comedy portion of the evening. Lord Mr Malice made his way to ringside first, alongside his butler Jeeves Winchester. Malice ran around ringside, with his cape flying behind. He eventually asked a fan to kiss his ring. Who did he ask though? Our very own Billy. Jeeves insisted that the photographer didn’t touch Malice’s cape, hat or scepter. Blue Thunder made his way out next, telling fans he wasn’t giving out high 5s due to having the cold/flu (I really don’t know what he had). The match started with wristlocks and hammerlocks. Yes, technical moves in a Lord Mr Malice bout. Jeeves was equipped with paper towels for Malice incase he caught something from Thunder. Malice soon took control and even nailed the Gatecrowner Powerslam. When he went for the pin though, Thunder coughed in his face. Jeeves came into the ring with more paper towels. However Thunder sneezed in Jeeves’ face, before rolling up Malice for the win. Referee Dennis Law checked on Thunder afterwards to see if he was alright as Malice and Jeeves trodded backstage. Thunder headed backstage soon after and is now 7-0 against Lord Mr Malice.

Blue Thunder isn’t necessarily my favourite in WrestleZone but he certainly puts on a great performance each time.

Johnny Lions vs Chris Archer

The next contest saw Chris Archer of The Rejected facing off with Johnny Lions. Archer came out first with his trademark steel chain. Lions entered next, hugging anyone that was wearing his new t-shirt. The match was evenly fought, but Lions was able to take control and soon nailed Archer with the Tenacious Gunn. Archer soon fought back and nailing a running crossbody to the back of Lions as he was draped on the second rope. Archer remained in control for the next few moments. Lions started to mount a comeback, nailing a huge back body drop. Lions attempted a superplex but Archer managed to punch the Tenacious One back down to the mat and attempted a diving moonsault. Lions moved out of the way, sending Archer chest first into the mat and followed up with the Lion Cutter for the three count. Lions headed backstage to celebrate his win. Chris Archer soon followed behind, in a bad mood after losing yet another match.

Both of these men are two of the best in WrestleZone. Luckily for Johnny, there are several companies that use him. Chris Archer however, has only competed for a handful of promotions. He needs to get more bookings.

The show then went to a quick 15 minute break, where fans could get pictures and autographs with Johnny Lions.

Alan Sterling w/Shawn Johnson vs Jimbo Bannon

The show came back from break with Alan Sterling facing off with WrestleZone Training Academy graduate Jimbo Bannon. Alan made his way to ringside accompanied by Shawn Johnson with his half of the WrestleZone Tag Team Titles over his shoulder. Jimbo Bannon headed to ringside, high-fiving his fans. Jimbo managed to take the advantage with his MMA abilities but Alan soon fought back with a huge lariat. The match was evenly fought for the next few moments, with Shawn Johnson making a distraction at ringside whenever he had the chance. Jimbo tried a few times to lock in his trademark Armbar but Alan managed to fight out each time. Jimbo stayed in control for the next few minutes until Shawn caused another distraction. This allowed Alan to nail his signature DDT for the three count. Alan and Shawn headed backstage celebrating 2/3 wins for Sterling Oil so far in Keith. Jimbo soon headed backstage aswell, high-fiving a few fans on the way.

Alan Sterling keeps improving each time he’s in the ring. Like Shawn Johnson, he needs to be booked in more promotions. Jimbo Bannon is still learning to adjust to the main roster, but I always enjoy watching him whenever he competes.

Bryan Tucker vs Mikkey Vago

The penultimate match of the night saw Bryan Tucker face The Rejected’s Mikkey Vago in a rematch from Banchory. Mikkey Vago came to ringside, disgusted at the fans as usual. Bryan Tucker came out next with one of my favourite entrance themes. These two went at it, fists flying, just what you would expect from two brawlers. The two men nailed their signature moves, with Vago nailing his squash against the second rope and Bryan nailing his knee lift/neckbreaker combo for a very close two count. Bryan went for the combo again but Mikkey countered and rolled Bryan up while grabbing the tights for a one count after referee Dennis Law noticed him pulling the tights. As Mikkey argued with Dennis, Bryan did a rollup of his own while grabbing the tights for the three count. Mikkey complained to the referee afterwards that Bryan had a grab of his jeans but Dennis was having none of it. Mikkey Vago stormed backstage as Bryan Tucker celebrated his second win over Mikkey.

Since Bryan Tucker’s return, I’ve found myself becoming a huge fan of his. I found his time in The Hotshots to be alright, but both him and Shawn Johnson needed to change things up. With their new attitudes, I’ve enjoyed watching both of them in the ring.

Undisputed WrestleZone Title
Scotty Swift(c) w/Johnny Lions vs Damien w/Sterling Oil (Alan Sterling, Shawn Johnson & Richard R. Russell)

The main event saw the Undisputed Title on the line as Scotty Swift again defended his gold against Sterling Oil’s Damien. Damien made his way out first along with the entirety of Sterling Oil (minus William Sterling, who is still injured following two Kaden Garrick spears at Battle of the Nations). Scotty Swift entered next to a rapturous ovation from the Keith audience. Scotty also brought back up in the form of Johnny Lions. Damien took the early advantage thanks to several Sterling Oil distractions but Scotty battled back with help from Johnny Lions. The fight soon spilled up through the crowd before returning to ringside where they engaged in a chop war. Both men took each other down with a double clothesline. Johnny Lions was soon distracted at ringside by Shawn Johnson, allowing Alan Sterling to attack him from behind. Chaos ensued as the referee became distracted with Alan Sterling beating up Johnny Lions at ringside. This allowed Shawn Johnson to enter the ring behind his back but before he could attack, Bryan Tucker burst through the curtain and stopped him. The former tag partners battled to the backstage area while Alan Sterling entered the ring behind the referee’s back. Alan drilled Scotty’s head into the mat with a brutal DDT. Damien draped an arm across Scotty for a very close two count. Johnny Lions soon came back to his senses and took out Alan Sterling, causing a distraction for Damien. This allowed Scotty to nail the Granite City Driver for the three count to retain his title. Sterling Oil headed backstage with their heads down as they missed out on WrestleZone’s biggest prize yet again. Johnny Lions headed backstage soon after, leaving Scotty Swift to take pictures and sign autographs at the back of the hall.

This match was good for several reasons. Firstly, it progressed a few storylines which is always a good thing. Looks like we’ll be getting Johnson/Tucker III. Secondly, there were moments where I actually believed Damien was about to win the gold, which is just what you want to be thinking in high stakes bouts. Damien is someone who has the charisma and skill to get to that top level. I believe he will be champion again within the next 12 months.

All in all, this was a great show. I’d highly recommend WrestleZone if someone asked for a high quality promotion. Always great matches and the wrestlers always take time to speak to fans. A perfect example of this is when Johnny Lions arrived to the venue, he took the time to speak to his fans. WrestleZone are back in action next Saturday at the Brechin City Hall.

– Adam Morrison

Quick Results
Shawn Johnson w/Alan Sterling def. Kaden Garrick
Blue Thunder def. Lord Mr Malice w/Jeeves Winchester
Johnny Lions def. Chris Archer
Alan Sterling w/Shawn Johnson def. Jimbo Bannon
Bryan Tucker def. Mikkey Vago
Undisputed Title: Scotty Swift w/Johnny Lions def. Damien w/Sterling Oil to retain

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