WrestleZone kicked off 2017 with a huge show this past Saturday night at Aberdeen’s Summerhill Hotel. Both the Undisputed and Tag Team Titles were on the line, Grado made an appearance in the Granite City for the first time since August 2015 and WrestleZone management revealed 3 former WWE superstars for the annual Aberdeen Anarchy supershow on June 17th. What wasn’t there to love?
Fans were eager to enter the venue, with security members going back and forth to get chairs from the backstage area. Ring announcer Martyn Clunes kicked off the show to hype up the matches, before introducing the first bout of the evening.
Fatal Four Way Match
Bryan Tucker vs Scotty Swift vs Lou King Sharp vs Aspen Faith
The first contest was the huge fatal four way bout. Lou King Sharp entered first, cocky as usual but he must’ve been feeling the jet lag having been in Finland the previous day. Your mother’s favourite wrestler was keen to stay outside the ring as his 3 opponents entered: Aspen Faith, Bryan Tucker and Scotty Swift. Side note; Aspen was wearing his old Team SMASH trunks, which got me hyped that James Midas was returning to answer Sterling Oil’s open challenge alongside Aspen. As I soon learned, I was wrong. Anyway, the contest kicked off with Lou refusing to enter the ring until Scotty removed his jacket, then requesting to face off with Mini Swift instead. LKS then proceeded to try and form a team with each of his opponents, who replied by teaming up on the sexiest man in professional wrestling. Once LKS was taken care of, Aspen dished out brutal forearms to the jaws of his two other opponents. Faith and Tucker soon found themselves both down on the mat, which Lou used to his advantage. He tried to pin Aspen, who kicked out. The force of the kick out launched LKS onto Bryan, who also kicked out, again launching Sharp onto Faith. This little sequence continued until Scotty came back into the fray. The action soon slowed down, with Scotty Swift’s mother’s favourite wrestler (this is yet to be confirmed however) ascending to the top rope. He leaped off with a diving crossbody onto the longest-reigning Undisputed Champion. However, he was caught mid-air and ploughed into the mat with the Granite City Driver for the three count. Scotty Swift is starting 2017 off the right way, as he looks to reclaim that Undisputed Title.
This match, as I expected, was brilliant. Lou King Sharp is perfect when it comes to getting on the fans’ nerves. The little details during this match were fantastic. My biggest question coming out of this match though: why isn’t Bryan Tucker seen outside of WrestleZone? The guy’s one of the many darkhorses in Scottish wrestling.
WrestleZone Tag Team Titles
Sterling Oil (Alan Sterling & William Sterling) (c) w/Richard R. Russell Host an Open Challenge
The Sterling Brothers made their way to ringside alongside their manager Richard R. Russell to host an open challenge to their WrestleZone Tag Team Titles. William was still limping, with this being his first appearance since Battle of the Nations back in August. Richard R. Russell grabbed the mic and said there was no team they hadn’t already beaten that would sign their names on the contract left in the locker room. Cue The Rejected’s music to play. Chris Archer was quick to state that Alan and William were yet to defeat himself and Mikkey Vago. Vago followed up by saying they were coming to kick some ass, as The Rejected took the fight to Sterling Oil. Archer took both men out with a dive to the outside, before himself and Vago used the ropes to their advantage. The Sterling Brothers soon got the match in their favour, keeping Archer in their corner. Soon, Mikkey had seen enough and came storming into the ring, only to be taken down by an Alan Sterling pumphandle backbreaker. Alan then took out Chris with a spinebuster and went for the pin, but referee Mikey Innes refused to count Archer’s shoulders to the mat due to William still being the legal man. Alan and Mikkey brawled at ringside, while Archer regained control and headed to the top rope. He leapt off with a huge moonsault press to take William down to the mat for the referee’s count of three! The Rejected are 2-time tag champions! The Rejected headed through the crowd with their new titles, leaving Alan, William and Richard to let the moment sink in. William complained to management’s Chris McDonald that he was still injured, but the referee’s decision stood.
Well, it looks as if the fans are on The Rejected’s side now. This will be an interesting time for the WrestleZone tag team division.
Before the next contest, Chris McDonald made the first of three announcements for the evening. The first former WWE superstar coming to Aberdeen Anarchy on June 17th is Hornswoggle! Before Chris could finish what he was saying, Lou King Sharp came out in a shoulder pad and his head bandaged up. Obviously still banged up from his earlier bout (which he claimed to have won), Lou demanded a match with Hornswoggle on June 17th, which he wishes to title ‘The Battle of the Big Men’. Chris McDonald said management will have a think about it. Let’s face it; this match needs to be a thing. Make it happen Chris!
Kaden Garrick vs Mr P
The last match before the interval saw former tag team partners collide as Kaden Garrick battled Mr P. Both men were using their old entrance themes, with Kaden entering first to a chorus of boos after his actions back at Christmas Chaos. Mr P entered next and wasted no time getting things started, with the former friends battling in the ring. The referee tried to seperate the two to officially start the match, but the hatred between them is too big to stop them fighting. The referee eventually gave in and just rang the bell. Throughout the heated contest, Mr P repeatedly screamed about why Kaden would do such a thing and how Kaden was at his wedding. Garrick responded by saying his wedding sucked, causing Mr P to burst. The match soon headed up through the crowd, where the referee reached a count of 8 before stopping and following them up. Are they meant to just randomly stop counting? Due to many people being in the way, I couldn’t really see what was going on but it looked like one of them got dropped on the floor at one point. The brawl finally returned to the ringside area, where the former tag champions took themselves out with a double clothesline. The referee returned to the ring and restarted the count, again reaching a count of 8. This time however, Kaden and P looked at the ref then at each other before continuing their brawl. The referee soon rang the bell to signify a double count out, but they weren’t done there. An army of security charged to assist Dennis Law with dragging the former friends apart. Despite stopping them, Kaden and Mr P both wriggled free and continued their fight until P was taken backstage. Security left ringside as Kaden looked to go backstage, only for Mr P to appear through the curtain and continue attacking Garrick. Security returned to stop them, finally seperating them for good to the dismay of fans.
If this rivalry keeps going the same way, us fans are in for a bumpy ride.
After this bout, the show then went to a quick interval where fans could get pictures and autographs from Grado.
20 Minute Iron Man Match
Johnny Lions vs Damien w/Richard R. Russell
The show came back from the break with the highly anticipated 20 Minute Iron Man match between Johnny Lions and Sterling Oil’s Damien. Damien came out first, but his entrance was interrupted by Johnny Lions who attacked his former friend from behind. Johnny and Damien took their fight up to the merchandise stands (again, couldn’t see what was going on), before returning to ringside. Both men used the surrounding area to their advantage, before Damien knocked Lions to the floor. Damien regrouped in the ring as Johnny attempted to get back to his feet. Unfortunately for him, the referee reached his count of 10 to hand the first fall to Damien by count out. Johnny managed to get back in the ring, but Damien soon rolled him up with what appeared to be a hold of the trunks for the second fall. As the timer was halfway done, Johnny scored his first fall not long after with a rollup of his own. After the previous falls, both men stayed in seperate corners for a rest but not this time. Damien was quick to attack Lions with referee Mikey Innes and Richard R. Russell both trying to seperate them. Damien just wanted to inflict punishment on The Tenacious One, so he shoved the referee back. This resulted in Johnny picking up his second fall by DQ. With just under 3 minutes left to go, both men were giving it all they had. Damien connected with his single knee Codebreaker but Johnny just managed to get the shoulder up. As the timer neared the end, Damien connected with a superkick only for Lions to spin out into a Lion Cutter but Damien also kicked out. Damien took Johnny down into a crossface with no more than 30 seconds left on the clock. Lions was in excruciating pain for an intense amount of time, before rolling over into a pinning combination. Damien got the shoulder up just before the 3 count as the timer reached zero. Fans chanted for sudden death, before Chris McDonald got on the mic. He said he was sick and tired of seeing these two going back and forth so he was ordering the match to continue under sudden death rules! Damien and Johnny went at it but Lions managed to shove Damien off into the ropes, tossing him into the air and catching him with a Lion Cutter for the three count! Johnny Lions celebrated his victory as Damien made his way to his feet. The Sterling Oil grappler extended his hand in a show of sportsmanship. Lions accepted it before continuing his celebration.
What a match. These two put their bodies on the line just to ensure a victory. Certainly an early match of the year candidate for Scottish wrestling.
Before we moved on to the next contest, it was time Chris McDonald to make his second Aberdeen Anarchy announcement. The second former WWE superstar signed on the dotted line for the Beach Ballroom is Melina!
WrestleZone Tri-Counties Title Tournament: Quarterfinals
Zach Dynamite vs Shawn Johnson w/Richard R. Russell
The fifth contest of the evening saw the first of four quarterfinal bouts in the tournament to crown the inaugural Tri-Counties Champion. Shawn Johnson appeared from backstage, flanked as always by Richard R. Russell. Zach Dynamite entered next as the fans exploded (pun intended). The action started off slow as Shawn preferred to stay safe at ringside. Once the action got inside the ring, Shawn took advantage with some technical holds while mocking both the fans and Dynamite. Zach soon gained control, but Shawn rolled to the outside to avoid him. Zach headed out to the apron and nailed Shawn with a brutal looking kick to the chest. The action went back inside the ring, where Shawn dodged Zach’s offense and attempted his trademark springboard back elbow but he was caught mid-air with an uppercut to the back of the head. Zach soon followed up with his old finisher, the Swing-ma-jig but Shawn just managed to get a shoulder up. Despite trying to fight back, Shawn was taken down by Dynamite’s running knee strike for the three count. With this win, Zach advances to the semifinals of the Tri-Counties Title Tournament where he will meet the winner of Bingo Ballance vs Damien. Zach celebrated his victory as Shawn slowly headed backstage.
Well, it’s safe to say Sterling Oil didn’t have the best of nights this past Saturday. Will they be able to refocus as the Regal Rumble nears closer?
Before the main event, Chris McDonald made his third and final announcement of the evening. The final American name signed for Aberdeen Anarchy is WWE Hall of Famer, Rikishi! So that’s the line-up for this year’s Beach Ballroom supershow; Hornswoggle, Melina and Rikishi. Safe to say this will be a great show. General admission tickets are still available, priced at £17, from the following; aberdeenperformingarts.com or in person from The Lemon Tree and His Majesty’s Theatre. Get them quick or you’ll miss out on a great night of wrestling!
Undisputed WrestleZone Title
Andy Wild(c) vs Grado
Now, it was time for the main event with the Undisputed Title on the line. Grado entered first to a huge ovation as he always gets, with fans singing along to his theme. Andy Wild entered next to a huge chorus of boos, with the fans erupting into a rendition of ‘Flower of Scotland’. Andy and Grado went at it as fans chanted for the Ayrshire funnyman throughout the contest. Grado had Andy set up for the Roll’N’Slice in the corner, but Wild moved out of the way to send Grado crashing into the turnbuckles. Wild took control with suplex variations, until he attempted the Wildest Driver. Since he was unable to lift Grado off his feet, he was left at a disadvantage due to not being able to perform his finishing move. Grado finally connected with his Roll’N’Slice cannonball, but Andy kicked out just before the three count could be made. Regaining his senses, Andy rolled Grado up and, with his feet on the ropes, pinned Grado’s shoulders to the mat to retain his Undisputed Title. The audience were clearly upset, but that soon turned to anger as the champion continued his assault on Grado. Scotty Swift appeared from backstage to fight off the man that ended his record-setting title reign back at Halloween Hijinx. Andy turned round into a jab to the face from Swift, before he was planted into the mat with a Rock Bottom from Grado. As Andy retreated backstage, Grado asked Scotty to win back the title for the fans. As Scotty went backstage, Grado danced about at ringside, where he was joined by a congo line of fans, all dancing to Like A Prayer.
What a way to cap off the night. Grado always creates a great atmosphere at shows, and Andy Wild is definitely one of the best in the UK right now. Despite being at the end of the show, the fans were still dishing out great chants.
All in all, WrestleZone presented one of their greatest shows this past Saturday. Every match delivered more than expected, and with the Regal Rumble being the next big event, it’s what should be happening. If you weren’t able to attend, be sure to buy the DVD when it’s out; you won’t regret it.
Fatal Four Way Match: Scotty Swift def. Aspen Faith, Lou King Sharp and Bryan Tucker
Tag Team Titles: The Rejected def. Sterling Oil(c) w/Richard R. Russell
Kaden Garrick vs Mr P ended in a Double Count Out
Iron Man Match: Johnny Lions def. Damien w/Richard R. Russell 3-2
Tri-Counties Title Tournament: Zach Dynamite def. Shawn Johnson w/Richard R. Russell
Undisputed Title: Andy Wild (c) def. Grado