Review: Rock N Wrestle ‘Winter Slam 2016’

Howdy folks, on Saturday I attended Rock N Wrestle’s Winterslam event at The Ironworks in Inverness. A lot of new faces for me with some GPWA and PBW students making their Highland debuts. With four matches on the show it could be easy to dismiss this event but for what I’m about to tell you, you’d be gutted if you missed this one.

The show started with the debut of The Purge, Krobar and Stevie James. A team that I have been hearing great things about so to actually see them in action was pretty exciting. They faced the established team of BT Gunn and Stevie Xavier, Just Uz. It’s funny seeing Gunn and Xavier team up after watching them batter lumps out of each other down in Glasgow recently (when I say down in Glasgow, I was watching on a sofa in Elgin with a laptop slowly toasting my genitals). The match was a great showing of tag team wrestling with each team using tandem offense to beat down their opponents. A superkick party saw the downfall of The Purge, but a great way to kick off a night of wrasslin’!

Women’s action was next with Sammii Jayne replacing, the now retired, Carmel Jacob to take on Kay Lee Ray. The kids in the front row gave Sammii and absolute earful of abuse (like okay innocent shouting, nothing blue) and Sammii reacted to it hilariously, being offended to the hammy max at some of their insults which just encouraged them to shout more, just brilliant. The match was good, it was Sammii Jayne and Kay Lee Ray so it was going to be a pretty solid match from the get go. Kay Lee hit a whiplash Gory Bomb but it wasn’t enough as the wily Jayne rolled up KLR, I’m assuming with a handful of tights, for the victory.

The first half main event was Liam Thomson defending his Rock N Wrestle Highland Championship against the former champion Jack Jester. A match that was months in the making ever since Thomson won the vacant title in February. Jester was the firm favourite in The Ironworks with every man and his dog behind ‘The Hardcore Icon’. The match started at a glacial pace with Thomson avoiding entering the ring, something that we were familiar with during Jester’s first title run in Rock N Wrestle. Doing everything to get the challenger off their game and annoying the crowd in the process. When the match finally got started, Thomson looked to be on fast forward as he attempted to put away Jester early but it tranformed into a back and forth match with each getting a good amount of offense. Of course the match ended up into the crowd and by the bar where Jester sprayed beer into the face of Thomson via his mouth. Jester ended up being locked out after kicking a fire escape door towards Thomson but a polite knock on the door saw him re-enter the venue to dish out more punishment. The finish was lovely, Thomson went for a backcracker but was powered from Jester’s back into a position to be planted with a tombstone piledriver. Excellent finish, fun match and a new champion to bookend Rock N Wrestle’s 2016.

During the interval I dragged my other half to finally meet Jack Jester, her favourite wrestler (think the list is #1 Jack Jester, #2 Kenny Williams and #3 Lou King Sharp, nae a bad trio eh. Plus she’s met two out of three for them, so Kenny…you’re next) so she spent the rest of the show beaming from ear to ear.

The second half of show was the 20 man Highland Rumble match. I love rumbles, battle royals, all that kind of thing, so to have one is an automatic five star rating #meltzer. I’ll be honest, I can’t remember who eliminated who but I’ll list some highlights:

– Lou King Sharp and Krieger doing some sexy dancing. These two, more of these two please.
– Charles Boddington with a singlet over his black suit, a red and blue singlet. Get the fashion police!
– Kay Lee Ray giving The Purge a double chokeslam.
– Kenny Williams hiding under the ring.
– The just eliminated Lou King Sharp and Krieger running away through the crowd when ‘mad Davey Blaze aff the telly’ entered.
– Aspen Faith. That is all.
– Ravie Davie, his entrance and his spare hat.
– Sean McLaughlin hitting a Stunner that Simon Cassidy would be proud of.

It was down to Wolfgang and both members of The Purge with Wolfie overcoming the team after a bit of miscommunication and winning The Highland Rumble. After the match Wolfgang started being all nice but it slowly turned to being annoyed at fans who had been cheering him during the rumble but booing him when mentioning that he would beat Jack Jester. He declared himself number one contender and challenged Jester to a match at the next Rock N Wrestle show (March 31st, 2017 at The Ironworks, Inverness). He then called out the champion, who obliged after the fans chanted his name. A quick 180 saw Wolfgang pretending he was ‘just talking about‘ Jester all innocent like before Jester chased off Wolfgang to close the show.

I don’t know if it was something in the air or it being Christmas but in my opinion this was the best show Rock N Wrestle have put on, ever. It was slick, no messing about, a high number of great Scottish talent and it flowed perfectly. No bad matches, the fans were into it, the wrestlers look to be having a ball, all positive things. I’d be really picky to note things that were outwith RNW control like the jobsworth security guy that stood in front of folk blocking the view for no reason during The Highland Rumble (think what annoyed me more was hearing him saying during the interval that he only offered to work the show so he could watch it. I paid my ticket to watch the show nae your arse mate). Outwith RNW control so it didn’t fault the entertainment they provided. Four matches announced was an initial concern but they were all entertaining bouts that delivered a perfect send off for 2016. There was no ‘Rock’ portion of the show, which was fine by me as it’s not my thing and I don’t think it was really missed from the event. Seeing some new faces like The Purge, Ravie Davie and Prince Asad is always a good thing and I think The Purge especially made a lasting impression, this team is going to go far.

Rock N Wrestle are certainly a promotion to keep an eye on as they’ve been really providing consistant shows that include some of the best wrestlers in Scotland.

Quick Results:
Just Uz (Stevie Xavier & BT Gunn) defeated The Purge (Krobar & Stevie James) by Pinfall.
Sammii Jayne defeated Kay Lee Ray by Pinfall.
Jack Jester defeated Liam Thomson by Pinfall to win the RNW Highland Championship.
The Highland Rumble: Wolfgang won The Highland Rumble by lastly eliminating Stevie James.
Rumble Entrants (not in entry order): Kenny Williams, Stevie Xavier, Aaron Echo, Davey Blaze, Charles Boddington, Wolfgang, BT Gunn, Aspen Faith, Ravie Davie, Kay Lee Ray, Krobar, Stevie James, Prince Asad, Kid Fite, Joe E Legend, Dylan Angel, Krieger, Lou King Sharp, Saqib Ali & TJ Rage.

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