Review: WrestleZone ‘Battle of the Nations 2017’

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Where to start with this one? WrestleZone returned to The Northern Hotel in Aberdeen for the 2017 Battle of the Nations this past Saturday night, a show featuring none other than the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Champion, Tyler Bate. On a night where the expectations were at an all-time high, the show certainly lived up to the hype.

Doors for VIP ticket holders opened at 6pm, with Tyler on hand for pictures and autographs before we got in to the pre-show match.

VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show
Bryan Tucker def. Nathan North w/Jeeves Winchester by Pinfall

The pre-show saw recent WrestleZone Training Academy graduate “Vintage” Nathan North taking on WrestleZone veteran Bryan Tucker. After North made his way to ringside, he introduced his new manager: Jeeves Winchester, without the hump. The Vintage One took advantage of having someone in his corner, as Jeeves distracted both Bryan and the referee throughout the contest. Tucker was able to fight back against the two after countering a corner slingshot by landing on the ropes and diving off with an uppercut. The two traded pinfall attempts, with Bryan coming out victorious as a result. It looked like a rough start to the new partnership between Nathan and Jeeves. Or so we thought…

Following the pre-show, doors for general admission ticket holders opened at 6:30 before the main show began at 7pm. Martyn Clunes hyped up all the big matches before we got started with the first of three title matches.

WrestleZone Tri-Counties Championship
Aspen Faith (c) w/Sammii Jayne def. Johnny Lions by Pinfall

Kicking off the show was Aspen Faith defending his Tri-Counties Championship against a man that helped during his initial training, Johnny Lions. The action spilled to the outside early in the contest, where Lions threatened to punch Sammii before rolling her in the ring. Instead of simply exiting the ring, The Queen of WrestleZone instead dove through the ropes and nailed a suicide dive. The only problem with that is she connected with Aspen instead of Johnny. Back in the ring, Johnny set Aspen up on the ropes for his slingshot 619. But when he rolled in from the apron, Faith kicked him straight in the jaw for a near fall. Lions took over again, nailing a diving legdrop to the back of the head and a gorgeous Travis Banks-esque jumping lariat. As he performed a headstand in the turnbuckles for the third time in the contest, Aspen superkicked him right in the face before spiking him in to the mat with his Tombstone Piledriver for the three count to retain his title, with around 1 minute left of the 10 minute time limit. Great way to kick things off at Battle of the Nations.

Battle of the Nations Match
Andy Wild def. Mr P by Pinfall

Up next was the annual Battle of the Nations Match between Scotland’s Mr P and England’s Andy Wild. While Andy entered with the English flag, Mr P went full-on patriotic with the Braveheart face paint and kilt. Mr P took Andy up through the crowd, where he appeared to let fans perform chops to the Englishman’s chest. Surely a disqualification for outside interference? Back in the ring, Wild took hold of the action and pulled his trunks right up, looking to perform a stink face. Instead, Mr P decided to bite the rear end of the former Undisputed Champion and performed a stink face of his own. With Scotland closing in on a Battle of the Nations victory for the first time since Drew Galloway in 2014, Nathan North and new ally Jeeves Winchester entered from backstage. As Jeeves distracted the referee, Nathan tossed a drink in Mr P’s face before Andy performed the Wildest Driver to go 2-1 in Battle of the Nations Matches. Andy and Nathan recently teamed in Ellon as they unsuccessfully challenged The Rejected for their Tag Team Championships and it looks like they could be a team going forward. I’m all for this team. Why? Because it would be vintage.

Anything Goes Tornado Tag Team Match for the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships
The Sterling Brothers (Alan Sterling & William Sterling) w/Richard R. Russell def. The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago) (c) by Pinfall

The first half was rounded off with an Anything Goes Tornado Tag Team Match, as The Rejected defended their Tag Team Championships against former champs The Sterling Brothers who were joined by Richard R. Russell, making his first public appearance since being shaved bald at Aberdeen Anarchy. Before the match, Russell got on the mic to announce that at the end of the show, there would be a celebration ceremony in honour of Shawn Johnson. All hell broke loose as soon as the match started as all four men brawling up to the bar area, with Chris Archer diving off a table. Back in the ring, several chairs were introduced by The Rejected but Russell prevented them from being used as he grabbed the chair out of Vago’s hands. With Vago and Archer distracted, The Sterling Brothers took control and set some chairs up to use. Alan sat Archer in a chair and dove off the top rope for a cannonball senton but The Outcast dodged his dive, with Alan’s spine breaking the chair. Right after, Mikkey Vago Samoan dropped William through two more chairs. The duo then performed simultaneous Coast to Coasts on the richest brothers in professional wrestling. As Russell again got involved, Mikkey Vago pulled off his hair to reveal a bald head. But this distracted The Rejected and Alan took Archer out of the match with a low blow before both brothers dropped Vago with the Oil Crash to become the first ever five-time WrestleZone Tag Team Champions. Following the match, Alan drilled Vago’s head into a chair with a brutal DDT which lead to The Heavy Metal Hooligan having to be helped to the back as we went to an interval.

During the break, fans were given the chance to meet Bryan Tucker and Bradley Evans.

Tyler Bate def. Damien by Pinfall

As we came back from the interval, it was time for the biggest match of Damien’s career as he went toe to toe with Tyler Bate. Tyler entered to a rapturous ovation with quite possibly the weirdest song choice I’ve heard in wrestling. For those wanting a listen. Throughout the contest, Tyler used several unique tactics to get out of Damien’s grasp as the fans applauded him. As you would expect, the match was a heavily technical-based one with Damien showing just how good he is. The action spilled to ringside where Bate sat Damien in a fan’s seat before running around the ring to get plenty of momentum, only to poke Damien in the eyes instead. When The Revolutionary took control, he sat Tyler in the seat and ran around the ring, only for Tyler to poke him in the eye when he returned. With the two returning to the ring, strong style ensued as both men smacked the living daylights out of each other with an impressive rebound lariat off the ropes from the first ever WWE United Kingdom Champion. Another impressive point came when Tyler jumped up (surely he got over the height of the top rope) only for Damien to catch him in a sitout spinebuster. Damien tried repeatedly for his superkick finisher but Tyler was able to counter with a Tyler Driver ’97 for the victory as the fans showed their appreciation for the fantastic performance. Both men embraced after the match and rightfully so. Honestly, you always hear how good Tyler is but you never realise how good he is until you’ve seen him live. Unreal.

Crusher Craib def. Scotty Swift by Referee Stoppage

The next match of the night was one I personally couldn’t wait for, a rematch from Aberdeen Anarchy 2016 as Scotty Swift took on Sterling Oil’s newest member Crusher Craib. Crusher entered first, sporting shorter hair and completely new attire and Scotty wasn’t wanting to wait as he interrupted Craib’s entrance with the two brawling through the crowd. As they returned to ringside, Crusher rammed Scotty’s spine into the ring apron but when they entered the ring, it was made clear that it wasn’t the back Crusher wanted to damage. After kicking out before the count of one following a Granite City Driver, Crusher nailed the first of many Big Boots for a two count. Crusher could’ve won the match then and there, but he lifted Swift’s shoulders off the mat before Dennis Law could count the three. He continued the destruction of WrestleZone’s hero with several punches to the back of the head, before connecting with another two Big Boots. Crusher again started pounding away at the head of Scotty, causing Dennis to award the victory to Crusher via referee stoppage. Help emerged in the form of referees, security, Chris McDonald, Bryan Tucker and Bradley Evans as Crusher appeared to be heading backstage. But he wasn’t done. Craib returned to the ring and chased everyone off, before drilling Scotty’s head into the mat with a Curb Stomp. Crusher finally left as Swift was tended to and taken backstage. As much as I enjoy the work of Crusher and the rest of Sterling Oil, this was a sickening assault.

After the raffle had been drawn, WrestleZone management representative Chris McDonald got on the mic for a special announcement. In 2018, WrestleZone will be returning to the Beach Ballroom for the fifth year in a row for Aberdeen Anarchy. Due to next year being the 10 year anniversary, the supershow will be held later than usual so management can ensure it’s the best Anarchy show yet.

Triple Threat Match for the Undisputed WrestleZone Championship
Shawn Johnson (c) w/Richard R. Russell def. Joe Coffey and Zach Dynamite by Pinfall

Main event time, as Shawn Johnson put his Undisputed Championship on the line in a huge Triple Threat Match against both Joe Coffey and Zach Dynamite. Shawn and Zach teamed in the early goings, looking to overpower the much larger Iron Man but Coffey was able to fight them off. Zach connected with his old Sling Blade finisher but it wasn’t enough. As the action spilled out to ringside, Joe and Shawn were brawling before Dynamite dove off the top rope with a huge cannonball senton to take them both down. Back in the ring, Coffey accidentally dropkicked referee Mikey Innes in the corner. With other officials Dennis Law and Jack Macgregor likely helping with Scotty Swift backstage, the match had to continue with no official. Of course, this worked in Shawn’s favour as Zach performed is trademark flying knee strike on the champion but there was no-one to make the count. With Mikey coming back into it, Coffey ascended to the top rope but Shawn low blowed him before he could dive off. Shawn then pushed Coffey off the ropes and on to Dynamite, which led to an inadvertent pin attempt. Shawn broke it up with a diving stomp to Joe’s back before pinning Zach to retain his title.

As Zach and Joe headed back through the curtain, the rest of Sterling Oil entered to celebrate the success of Shawn Johnson. Crusher Craib and The Sterling Brothers all showed their support of the Undisputed Champion, but then it came time for Damien to say a few words. The reaction for what he did next was deafening. The Revolutionary showed his true colours as he superkicked Shawn and tossed his Sterling Oil hoodie on the floor, officially leaving them behind to focus on his own career. What a way to cap off a monumental night.

On Sunday night, WrestleZone posted an update on their Facebook page regarding the conditions of Scotty Swift and Mikkey Vago. Here’s what they revealed;

***INJURY UPDATES***

Two big talking points coming from last night’s incredible Battle Of The Nations event were injuries to Scotty Swift and Mikkey Vago.

We can reveal that both men suffered grade 3 concussions. Vago was released from hospital this morning with a timetable for his return currently unknown.

Swift is still in hospital with doctors continuing further tests. As soon as we find out more information we shall let you know.

What a way to end yet another busy summer period for WrestleZone. But there’s no rest for the stars, as they’re back in action this coming Saturday at Keith’s Longmore Hall and again in two weeks time at Brechin’s City Hall. Tickets to both events are available from www.ringsideworld.co.uk.

Quick Results

VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show – Bryan Tucker def. Nathan North w/Jeeves Winchester by Pinfall
WrestleZone Tri-Counties Championship – Aspen Faith (c) w/Sammii Jayne def. Johnny Lions by Pinfall
Battle of the Nations Match – Andy Wild def. Mr P by Pinfall
Anything Goes Tornado Tag Team Match for the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships – The Sterling Brothers w/Richard R. Russell def. The Rejected (c) by Pinfall
Tyler Bate def. Damien by Pinfall
Crusher Craib def. Scotty Swift by Referee Stoppage
Triple Threat Match for the Undisputed WrestleZone Championship – Shawn Johnson (c) w/Richard R. Russell def. Joe Coffey and Zach Dynamite by Pinfall