Review: WrestleZone ‘Aberdeen Anarchy 2017’

Beach Ballroom, Aberdeen

Before we go any further, I can almost guarantee most of this will be a ramble. A delightful ramble that will be like reading the transcribe of a drunk. A loving drunk that just likes giving out hugs and offering whatever spare change falls out of their pocket. Here’s 5p, no wait that’s a button…

It will also not be a play by play of the event. For that I would recommend Adam’s review that’ll be up in the coming days.

Aberdeen Anarchy has emanated from the Beach Ballroom since 2013. A beautiful venue with not a bad seat in the house. Sell out upon sell out followed and tonight was no different.

Let’s get started with the day of Anarchy, first up is the meet and greet where you can see the special guests and chat with them live and in person. Personally I only went to meet Rikishi, much like Scotty 2 Hotty he was one of those guys that I loved to watch when I was younger and never having seeing him live it was a thrill to finally see him. As we waited in line, I looked around the Star Ballroom and saw Melina. She looked so happy to be meeting fans, not as an act, not putting on a show, just genuinely happy to be there.

Went up to Rikishi, fist bump, quick chat and picture. Standard affair, in and out just the way I like it.

Left to my own devices at the Meet and Greet I suddenly ended up with the new Sammii Jayne t-shirt in my bag in exchange for cash along with finally replacing my WrestleZone silicone bracelet.

On the way out I decided to just meet Melina, honestly, one of the nicest people to meet. Overwhelming chatty and she was so excited to be in Aberdeen and be in the Beach Ballroom. Along with that I also got to chat with Lady Blossom herself, Jeanie Clarke who was at the event with wrestling historian Bradley Craig. All and all an incredible experience as always. What I would say is that it was advertised for 1pm to 3pm but when coming back at about half two the doors were locked. Would take that as it being so quiet but there were one or two folk still trying to get in. Thankfully I’d tried to turn up a little later to look cool but was there at 1pm, on the dot.

Aberdeen was scorching. Wearing a black t-shirt, thick jeans and a thick hoodie in 25 degrees was not the best idea. We Scots aren’t built for that, especially when you also have a shining bald spot attracting sunlight.

Back in the queue for the event itself, with the aim to get to the balcony. Right in the middle, best seats in the house. To our horror, the OSWtv seating area had been replaced by a mixing desk. I mean, it didn’t hamper the view…

While sitting we watched additional sections being opened, more seats added as more and more people filled into the venue. Another incredible achievement with another sell out on the horizon.

Makes you think, with larger crowds every year could it possible that Aberdeen Anarchy could make it to the AECC? I’m no promoter so no idea what costs and financials would occur, but surely it’s a conversation point and worth a shot. It would possibly take a few big names and make it a bit of a Wrestlecon but with every year and more sections being opened. WrestleZone prove that they are the Kings of The Granite City and long may that reign continue.

Should really start talking about the event itself eh?

The night kicked off with Damien and Johnny Lions facing off in ‘One Final Battle’, Lions entered with Sean Wallace who had been subject to an attack from Damien on the run up to the event. This one started fast and with the perfect intensity. Some beautifully hard knocks with Damien being on the receiving end of the majority. Both men just fought tooth and nail but it was Sean Wallace being the difference maker when he scuppered Damien’s attempt to roll up and use the ropes to his advantage. An incensed Damien squared up to Wallace and was pushed to the ground for his troubles. Lions picked up the win, Sterling Oil weren’t having the best of starts as Damien stared at the lights. A great match to start the show, it wasn’t the match I was really wanting to see but these two made it worth watching which is testament to how talented they really are. Damien especially is showing so much personality and his facials are so on point right now, something I will also touch on later.

Next was The Rejected defending the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships. I hadn’t seen The Rejected since they’d embraced the crowd so was pretty weird hearing cheers for the ‘hairy bikers’. They faced William and Alan Sterling who were accompanied by Richard R Russell and his personal barber. The match itself with was quick with The Sterling Brothers taken by surprise again with Archer and Vago. They were just taking it to the Sterlings. Early offense from The Rejected left William and Alan on the back foot and they never really recovered. We got to see Archer’s stunning elbow drop plus a counter to the Oil Crash as Archer jumped over William with a crossbody onto Alan. What is amazing about this is Russell’s gamble not paying off, last year he put his health on the line so that his boys could get title shots and that worked but this year he put his pride on the line. He had so much confidence in his charges that he would risk being humiliated in front of over 1300 people. So he ended up being humiliated by over 1300 people as his head was being shaved bald. His screams when he woke up to realise what happened highlighted the embarrassment that Russell suffered.

Time for the ladder match, a great hype package before the entrances to sum up how we got here. Four men all after the Tri-Counties Championship. A stunning belt and all four would have been worthy winners. If you’ve read anything from me in the past you already know who I was routing for. Aspen Faith entered first to new music and all in white. Like the birth of a new King of Catch. Bingo Ballance, Bryan Tucker and Zach Dynamite followed and it was on. What followed was just brilliant, four men who were all pushing to win. As all four battled it was edge of the seat viewing, while it may not have been brutal as the past ladder matches it still had its moments and by the climax you had Tucker in the tree of woe in the corner, Ballance trapped underneath a ladder and Dynamite was clutching his hand after Faith had snapped his fingers. The glorious crowning of a new champion. The Faithful rejoiced!

As a fan of Aspen for quite a few years now, watching him climb the ladder (pardon the pun) at WrestleZone and become one of the finest wrestlers in the country it was a joyous moment to see him finally grasp a title, there was no cheating, no shenanigans and this win was all down to talent and being the best. Might be my favourite moment that I’ve ever experienced at WrestleZone. That’s down to Aspen and to WrestleZone for creating those moments to get there.

A small breather followed as Crusher Craib entered to make his announcement, he thanked the fans. He looked trimmer, beard bushier and this moment set the cogs in motion for the main event. He was interrupted by Lord Mr Malice who was being carried to the ring while he sat on a throne. A grand entrance for this grand event. He goaded Cruncher Crab into announcing his retirement only to be booted. Crusher announced his return to WrestleZone and he will be in the ring on September 2nd at Battle of the Nations in the Northern Hotel, Aberdeen. But for tonight he would join Chris MacDonald on commentary for the rest of the evening. Great to see Crusher back, he still looked to be favouring his hip but with two and a half months of rehabilitation between now and Battle of the Nations we’ll see an eager Creator of Carnage. If what transpired tonight is anything to go by we may know who he will be facing. But again…more on that later…

The first half main event was the Battle of the Big Men, my Mother’s favourite wrestler Lou King Sharp against Swoggle, the former RAW Anonymous General Manager, Hornswoggle. A colossal match that shook the Beach Ballroom. It was quite refreshing seeing Sharp as the big man, even throwing in a big spear for good measure. Plenty of fun and games at the start to get everyone laughing but soon Sharp was pounding away at his smaller opponent. Swoggle got a comeback with three German Suplexes in the mix, Sharp on the short bus to Suplex City. A tadpole splash vanquished Sharp to take us to the interval.

The six man tag team match started the second half and the crowd were loud for this one. It has been a while since seeing Grado and it was great to see him at his crowd pleasing best. Rikishi was also game for this show, went into this thinking that he’d come in towards the end and stinkface, job done. But he was active throughout the match. Wild, Samuels and Fite were determined to not get a stinkface and it was teased throughout the bout. Finally Rikishi got Wild into position and planted his big behind into his face to a rapturous reaction. Mr P finished the job with a scissors kick while Wild wretched in disgust.

We got the post match dancing as hoped. Though it was interrupted by Samuels, Wild and Fite trying to prove that they can dance, only to get a punch in the face for their troubles. Rikishi got on the microphone again to thank the fans and to pay tribute to his family. It was a nice touch.

With the crowd almost spent, Viper and Sammii had a tough task of getting the crowd back to life. ‘The Queen of WrestleZone’ entered in a cape, which Edna Mode would be furious about, while ‘The Vixen of Violence’ Viper was accompanied by former WWE Divas and Women’s Champion Melina. The pair brought the tiring crowd back in by putting out an all out brawl with plenty hard hitting suplexes. The inclusion of Melina added some extra intrigue, Sammii goaded Melina throughout when she was on offense. Sammii looked to have the match wrapped up with Viper leaning on a table, Sammii jumped from the top rope but a last minute dodge saw her crash through a table. Confusion followed as it announced that because Viper did not drive Sammii through a table the match had not ended. Luckily there was a second table on hand. Just like last year it looked like Sammii was going to be powerbombed from the second rope but this time it would be through the wooden table, however, Sammii was able to hit a hurracarrana and Viper went through the wood.

After the match Sammii once again poked at Melina to receive a forearm shot and a follow up Viper Driver to end her night decked out on the canvas. Looks like the perfect set up for Melina to return when she has recovered from injury to face Jayne. I for one will be looking forward to that showdown.

It was time for the main event, the Undisputed WrestleZone Championship. The champion Scotty Swift, the Regal Rumble winner Shawn Johnson. Crusher Craib was at the commentary desk, so one eye was on the ring and the other by the entrance. Shawn entered with the full team of Sterling Oil, well minus Richard R Russell…

Swift entered to a big applause to square up to four members of Sterling Oil, it wasn’t long before referee Denzil Law had them thrown out to stop any further problems. Swift busted out some beautiful submissions to punish Johnson throughout the match but his own enthusiasm got the better of him as a bridging fallaway slam looked to tweak his neck which Johnson looked to target the neck and upper body at all opportunities. Denzil kept asking Scotty if he could continue and the fighting champion wouldn’t quit. A fantastic sequence of Scotty trying to counter a dragonsleeper attempt into a suplex or Granite City Driver which Shawn just kept wriggling out. During the bout Johnson tried to throw himself off the apron for a senton only to be caught into a vertical suplex by Swift and landed hard on the edge of the apron. The crowd started getting restless but they picked up when the referee was knocked down. Sterling Oil soon rushed out to pounce. Just as it looked all but lost for Scotty Swift, Crusher threw down his headset and entered the ring. He pushed down Damien as The Sterling Brothers retreated. He stalked Johnson and grabbed him for a chokeslam then threw him to Swift for a Granite City Driver only to boot the Champion, leaving him prime for a top rope knee drop and victory for Shawn Johnson and a new Undisputed WrestleZone Champion. What I loved about this is it continued the tension between Damien and Sterling Oil as Damien looked to not know that Crusher was going take off his hoodie to reveal his Sterling Oil vest to rejoin the faction. Being the only one that Crusher actually put his hands on outside of Shawn Johnson was Damien, it’s a story at it’s finest and the slow burn of Damien continues…

It was great seeing Shawn lift the title, Sterling Oil had a rough night by losing the opening two matches only to end the event with a new member and the biggest prize in WrestleZone on the biggest event that WrestleZone have ever held. Was truly gutted to see Scotty defeated, a rollercoaster match. I just sat there watching it all unfold. Eyes glued to everything.

If you break down the matches, they weren’t perfect, but WrestleZone excel at storytelling that every match had reason, logic and a stellar story to invest into every single moment. I think it’s important to leave the Beach Ballroom with an everlasting memory, for not just the fans but for the wrestlers also.

For me, this year at least, it’s seeing Aspen Faith winning the Tri-Counties Championship. A guy that I’ve watched at WrestleZone for years now, for years he’s put on one of the best matches on the show on a consistent basis. To see him holding a title just made my night.

Like I say it wasn’t a perfect show but I loved every second. For the last couple years the crowd have been quieter for the main event as they’ve either seen the special guests or the kids aren’t awake anymore as the event runs a little longer than your standard WrestleZone show. My only suggestion for the Aberdeen Anarchy event is possibly positioning a special guest in the main event. On the flip side of that I like that the Undisputed WrestleZone Championship is always the main event. Could see, and this is my armchair booker talking, a big multi-man match with Sterling Oil facing a super-team with the future of WrestleZone on the line. Something that keeps in with the narrative.

I hope this write up did the show justice but I know that it won’t put it in perspective. It’s the show every year that I am giddy about going to, it’s their WrestleMania and mine.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed the show as much as I did and like I say near every year…

Thank you WrestleZone.

I’ll be back next year.

Quick Results:
Johnny Lions w/Sean Wallace defeated Damien by Pinfall.
WrestleZone Tag Team Championships vs Richard R Russell’s Hair – The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago) defeated The Sterling Brothers (William Sterling & Alan Sterling) by Pinfall to retain the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships.
WrestleZone Tri-Counties Title Tournament Final – Fatal Four Way – Ladder Match – Aspen Faith defeated Zach Dynamite, Bryan Tucker & Bingo Ballance to win the WrestleZone Tri-Counties Championship.
Hornswoggle defeated Lou King Sharp by Pinfall.
Mr P, Grado & Rikishi defeated Andy Wild, Sha Samuels & Kid Fite by Pinfall.
Tables Match – Sammii Jayne defeated Viper w/Melina
Undisputed WrestleZone Championship – Shawn Johnson defeated Scotty Swift by Pinfall to win the Undisputed WrestleZone Championship.

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