Can you believe it’s already time for the last WrestleZone show of 2016? What a year it’s been for the company, another sold out Beach Ballroom show, hosting some of the best talent in the country. Of course, a good year needs a good send off and that is exactly what we got tonight from WrestleZone.
I’m not great with ‘guesstimates’ but I’d say about 200 wrestling fans packed the Danestone Community Centre for a night of “Christmas Chaos”.
As is the norm with WrestleZone, we were greeted by one of the best MC’s in the country; Martyn Clunes, who introduced our first contest of the evening.
Tag Team Championship: Mr P & Kaden Garrick vs Sterling Oil (c)
A few things to clear up here. First of all, William Sterling is currently injured, so in his place for tonight’s championship defence was fellow Sterling Oil member, Shawn Johnson. Secondly, the big stipulation for this match was that if Mr P and Kaden Garrick failed to capture the gold, they will be forced to split up and can never tag together again. So this match was really a must win for the unlikely duo.
Before the match could start, the two teams started brawling and showing some great teamwork. One of my takeaways from this match was just how good Garrick looked, great offence with a variety of huge suplexes, topped only by one of the standout moments of the night; a massive spear from the top rope which, amazingly, didn’t end the match. Alan Sterling eventually got the pinfall after a brutal looking DDT on Garrick, retaining their titles and bringing the end to Mr P and Garrick’s run as a tag team.
Following the match, Kaden snapped and turned on his partner. After a vicious beat down, Garrick declared that it was all Mr P’s fault and that it was him that carried the team before heading to the back.
This was a fantastic opening contest, both teams did a great job of getting the crowd involved and warmed up heading into the rest of the show. As I mentioned earlier, I was very impressed with Kaden Garrick tonight and now that he has split from Mr P, I wouldn’t be too surprised to see him as one of the top contenders to win the Regal Rumble in 2017. Another thing I took from this match…why haven’t Alan and Shawn been a team before?! As much as I enjoy watching William and Alan team, Alan and Shawn have a great dynamic and just work so well. More of this please.
Zach Dynamite vs Chris Archer
Next up was our first Tri-Counties Championship Tournament qualifier between one half of The Rejected, Chris Archer and Zach Dynamite. Now this match was sprung upon us at short notice after Lou King Sharp announced that he “had better things to be doing”. As much as I like Lou…I’m glad he did, because this match was fantastic! Both men showed off great athleticism throughout, proving that they are two of the best cruiserweights in the country. However, this is Chris Archer we’re talking about, so obviously his big pal Mikkey Vago was there to constantly cheat behind the referee’s back. This wasn’t much use to Archer as Dynamite caught him with a roll up and got the three count to progress in the tournament.
There’s not much I can say about this match apart from the fact it was very good. Zach Dynamite has really impressed me since his return in August, I don’t think it’s a longshot to see him getting chances all over the country in the near future. Chris Archer has really gone from strength to strength in the last few years, he is now arguably one of the most underrated wrestlers in Scotland.
Before the next match, Martyn Clunes comes to the ring and announces that WrestleZone’s first show of 2017 will be Summerhill Showdown at the Summerhill Hotel on the 21st of January. Weirdly loud reaction for “Summerhill Hotel” but hey, whatever floats your boat. We were then told that the special guest that night will be none other than… Grado! Nice to see Grado back in WrestleZone after missing out on Aberdeen Anarchy this year.
British Rules: Aspen Faith (w/ Sammii Jayne) vs Jimbo Bannon (w/ Ross McTavish)
With that excitement over, it was time for the match I was looking forward to the most, the British Rules match between Aspen Faith and Jimbo Bannon. Everything about this match was just great; from the referee standing up to count pinfalls (nice touch), to Aspen drinking Red Bull between rounds while Jimbo was drinking water, every little detail seemed thought out which gave us a greater viewing experience.
I was too busy enjoying this match to really keep up with what happened in each round so here are the highlights. Jimbo took a 1-0 lead after getting Faith in a submission hold (I don’t know what it was to be honest, I’m not a wrestling encyclopedia). The round ended and Faith attacked Bannon as he was heading to his corner, this earned him his first public warning. As soon as the next round began, Faith took Bannon to the ground and submitted him instantly, after not letting go he had clearly injured the arm of Bannon. Faith then took control of the match, trying to pin his opponent with just his foot on his chest. The end of the match came after Faith distracted the referee by taking his stool into the ring and as the official was removing it, he hoofed Bannon right in the balls and hit him with a sick looking tombstone for the victory.
Of course I couldn’t forget to mention the great performance from Sammii Jayne as Aspen’s Second, although I wish we could see more of her in-ring talent in WrestleZone.
This was a fantastic match, obviously there was a gulf in class between the two competitors as Faith is one of the best technical wrestlers in the country; however, Bannon did manage to hold his own throughout the contest and we were provided with a fun match that everyone seemed to enjoy. Long Live the King (of Catch)!
That brought us to our interval, not much to be said here… they sold raffle tickets and Zach Dynamite did a meet and greet at the merch table, which is a nice way to keep the fans amused.
Before the start of the second half, Len Ironside came to the ring to reveal the new Tri-Counties Championship Belt. After a little speech about the great talent that have been coming through WrestleZone (couldn’t agree more!) the belt was revealed…what a beauty of a belt it is! Great job from WrestleZone on another fantastic looking title.
Christmas Brawl: Shawn Johnson vs Bryan Tucker
The clue really is in the match title with this one…but more on that in a minute. Before Martyn Clunes had a chance to announce the first competitor in this contest, he was interrupted by Richard R. Russell, who came to the ring with a bandaged up Shawn Johnson. He claimed that Johnson was injured in his earlier match and as a result would not be able to compete. Bryan Tucker clearly didn’t get this message as he came to the ring and belted Johnson in the head with the microphone, a brawl ensued. The two men fought all over the venue, before attacking each other with a variety of Christmas themed objects. At one point Tucker was thrown into a giant inflatable Santa, to which he retaliated by attacking Johnson with a plastic sledge…because of course he did. A big moment in the match came when Richard R. Russell ended up with his face slammed into a bowl of Trifle! The match eventually found its way back to the ring where a bag of baubles were brought into play resulting in some painful landings for both men. After some sickening kendo stick (candy cane themed of course) shots, Johnson brought a table into the ring only to be powerbombed through it and pinned for the Tucker victory.
This match was a whole load of fun to watch and the crowd were fully invested throughout. Shawn Johnson has really been one of the stand out stars of WrestleZone in 2016, I hope this continues into 2017.
Jason Reed vs Damien
Our second tournament qualifier here, this time it was Damien taking on Jason Reed. This was my first time seeing Reed wrestle, had a wee chuckle to myself about his resemblance to a young Donald Trump #QuiffGoals. Damien has always been one of my favourites in WrestleZone and he didn’t disappoint tonight. Great match between these two, I was really impressed with Reed. The boy hits a mean dropkick! Both men exchanged a series of superkicks before Damien landed a codebreaker to pick up the victory.
I enjoyed this match, hoping to see more of Jason Reed in WrestleZone in the future. I can see Damien doing well in this tournament and would be a very strong contender to be the first man to hold the title.
Following this match, we had Chris McDonald come to the ring and make the announcement of the first former WWE Superstar to appear at Aberdeen Anarchy 2017…Mickie James! Very exciting news, the fans in Danestone seemed to be very interested in seeing Mickie come June!
We then had a special appearance from Mr Malice and Jeeves who had decided that Christmas was cancelled and we weren’t getting any presents…they were then interrupted by Santa and Cysto, who came to the ring giving out free t-shirts, toys and signed Tatanka 8x10s…I love wrestling. It was then announced that they would be staying at ringside to be our special guest timekeepers for tonight’s main event.
WrestleZone Undisputed Championship: Andy Wild vs Johnny Lions vs Scotty Swift
With Andy Wild winning the title from Scotty Swift in Inverurie in October proving that whenever that belt is on the line, there is the possibility that it will change hands, this match was already very interesting going into the show. Johnny Lions entered the arena to a huge ovation, the fans love this guy, a far cry from the Johnny Lions of the past. Next out was Scotty Swift who gets his usual fanfare and boy does he deserve it. He is the top dog in Aberdeen, I’ve never actually seen him have anything but a good match. Lastly our champion entered the arena to a chorus of boos and some people singing Flower of Scotland.
Swift and Lions began the match teaming up against Wild. Lions went for a dive to the outside which looked like he got more floor than Wild, he was quickly followed by Swift who hit one of his rare suicide dives. Swift and Lions’ makeshift team was working well until Johnny accidently knocked Swift off the apron, making this every man for himself. The match continued on, until Andy Wild had decided that he had had enough of Santa at ringside. Referee Mikey Innes made the decision that it was time for Santa to go home, sending him to the back. As the referee’s back was turned, Lions hit Wild with a cutter and was about to go up top to finish it off…out of nowhere Cysto pushed Johnny off the top and Wild got the pinfall to retain the WrestleZone Undisputed Championship. At this point, Cysto removes his mask to reveal that it was Damien! It was then that I grabbed my phone to frantically tell everyone I knew, just how amazing that ending was. Classic wrestling at it’s finest, bravo WrestleZone.
I really enjoyed this match and it was the perfect way to close out the final show of 2016. Hopefully we will see Damien and Lion’s paths cross soon enough and I think Swift might just deserve another shot at Andy Wild one on one.
On paper this was set to be a fantastic show, but expectations were completely exceeded. WrestleZone never fail to put on a great show for the whole family to enjoy and seeing the smiles they brought to children’s faces tonight reminded me why I first fell in love with wrestling. A great ending to a great year for WrestleZone and I am certainly looking forward to seeing what 2017 brings.
– Kyle Watt