Review: WrestleZone ‘Proving Grounds 2018’

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WrestleZone presented Proving Grounds 2018 this past Saturday night, live from Aberdeen’s Cairncry Community Centre. This year’s show was a special charity show, with all proceeds going towards Friends of ANCHOR. Kirsten McDonald served as the special guest commissioner and put together a fantastic card, showing exactly what the future of wrestling in Scotland has to offer!

Bradley Evans def. Prince Asad by Pinfall

The action kicked off with Bradley Evans taking on the returning Prince Asad, or as the fans referred to him, Princess Asad. Evans showcased his strength throughout the match, shoving Asad to the ground on several occasions and executed two huge shoulder tackles. The Prince of the PBW Academy did get some offence in during the match, including a big dropkick. He almost picked up the win with a superkick but Evans kicked out. Asad climbed to the top rope, desperate for the win but Evans caught him mid-air. One TKO later and Bradley Evans secured another victory.

A great match to kick off the show. Bradley Evans is slowly proving himself as one of the biggest guys on the WrestleZone roster and a win over an entrant in the upcoming Drew Galloway Invitational Tournament solidified that.

Kaden Garrick def. Lord Michael of Graham by Pinfall

The next contest saw Kaden Garrick return to singles competition as he took on his Lordship, Lord Michael of Graham. Before the match began, Kaden bowed before Michael (as everyone should) and was then ordered to kiss the ring of the newest member to WrestleZone’s Royal Family. The former Tag Team Champion squeezed Graham’s finger instead, leading to the Lord slapping Garrick across the face. Referee Dennis Law rang the bell, just as Kaden speared Michael out of his boots. Kaden pinned him with one finger on the chest in one of WrestleZone’s quickest matches. Following the match, Lord Michael came back to his senses and issued another challenge, this time to guest commissioner Kirsten McDonald. Management representative Chris McDonald was fine for the match to go ahead as we had an impromptu match signed!

Intergender Match
Kirsten McDonald def. Lord Michael of Graham by Pinfall

Lord Michael charged towards Kirsten and was instantly tripped up. Kirsten sat on top of Michael for the pin in another quick match.

Think this will be the only time I mention every single move that happens in a match. Devastated for Lord Michael, but great to see Kaden Garrick back in action. Let us all take a moment’s silence for His Royal Highness;

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Photo credit WrestleZone

The Outfit (Dino Del Monte & Ted O’Keefe) def. Scotty Swift & Blue Thunder by Pinfall

A tag team match was up next as Dino Del Monte and Ted O’Keefe, making his in-ring debut, took on Scotty Swift and Blue Thunder. Dino and Ted are now known as The Outfit, an appropriate name given how sharply dressed they are. They attacked Scotty and Thunder (Red Thunder as the fans called them), but the more experienced grapplers fought back. The Outfit isolated Thunder in their corner for the majority of the match, with Ted performing a brutal jumping knee drop. Dino tried on a few occasions to hit the rolling elbow, but Thunder ducked out the way each time. A modified Hart Attack almost got the win but Scotty was fed up at not being in the ring and broke up the pin. The Red Haired Warrior was finally tagged in, only to be nailed with a low blow from Dino not long after. The Masked Wonder came back into the match and tried to get on top, only to be planted with a Magic Killer neckbreaker as The Outfit celebrated their first tag team victory. Dino is now 2-0 over Thunder, following his victory on The Regal Rumble pre-show.

Very high on Dino and Ted at the moment. As I said in my Regal Rumble review, their gangster schtick makes them unique and interesting. A win over two of WrestleZone’s biggest names is huge for the pair. Can’t wait to see more of them in the future.

During the break, fans could buy raffle tickets and meet Scotty Swift, Bradley Evans and Kaden Garrick.

Nathan North w/Jeeves Winchester def. Dylan Angel by Pinfall

After the break, Martyn Clunes was interrupted by Jeeves Winchester as Nathan North was set to face the debuting Dylan Angel. Dylan showcased his athletic abilities right off the bat, with some dropkicks and a running shooting star press. The Vintage One came back into it after Jeeves grabbed Dylan’s leg, with North hitting some massive European uppercuts. Dylan countered Nathan’s finisher into a pinfall for a near fall, before he kicked out of a death valley driver across the knee. After regaining the advantage, Dylan again climbed to the top rope but was crotched by Jeeves. Nathan pulled him off and planted him with a lifting Pedigree for the three count.

A fine match. Loved Nathan’s work ever since he debuted, while this was my first time seeing Dylan in action. An impressive showing from the PBW star, and one name I wouldn’t say no to seeing again.

Richard R. Russell w/Sterling Oil (Crusher Craib & William Sterling) def. Cysto 1 by Pinfall

The fifth match of the night (if you want to call it a match) saw this year’s Regal Rumble winner Richard R. Russell taking on “The Immortal” Cysto 1, who entered wearing a Hulkamania bandana. Cysto showed off his strength (can’t believe I just typed that) over Russell. While Richard distracted the referee, Crusher Craib and William Sterling attacked Cysto at ringside before shoving him back in the ring. Despite having a bad back, the adviser to Sterling Oil performed a body slam that was taught to him by William. But it wasn’t enough to put Cysto down, as he mounted a comeback and used a Hulk Hogan-esque leg drop. Before he could go for the pin, William distracted Dennis Law, allowing Crusher to enter the ring and big boot Cysto. Russell was pushed on top for the win as he is now undefeated in action in 2018.

I mean, there’s not much to say about this. It’ll be interesting to see how Richard takes the fight to Damien at next month’s Battle of the Nations.

After the raffle was drawn, Kirsten McDonald came into the ring to announce WrestleZone would be hosting An Evening With Grado at the Aberdeen Northern Hotel on Friday August 31st, 24 hours before Aberdeen Anarchy X. All details available on the poster;

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Before Kirsten left the ring, she was greeted by Scotty Swift, Bradley Evans and Kaden Garrick. Since Kirsten is now 1-0 in WrestleZone, she was presented with her own championship belt. There’s no-one more deserving of this!

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Photo credit Brianbat Photography

Tables Match
Bryan Tucker & The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago) def. Aspen Faith & Sterling Oil (Crusher Craib & William Sterling)

The main event saw a huge Tables Match as Bryan Tucker and The Rejected took on Aspen Faith and Sterling Oil’s Crusher Craib and William Sterling. This was absolute carnage as soon as the match began. Tucker dove through the ropes with a suicide dive, before Aspen came off the apron with a huge cannonball. The match went all over the venue, with Aspen finally introducing a table later on. As everyone started nailing their finishers, it left Archer and Faith in the ring. The Outcast took The King of Catch off the ropes with a Rock Bottom on the table, but it didn’t break. Archer positioned the table against the turnbuckles and tossed him through it for the win. The table leg burst through the wood, narrowly avoiding causing any serious damage to Faith.

An all-out brawl to end the night. Everyone got their offence in and a great way to cap off a successful night for WrestleZone!

An official amount of donations wasn’t announced during the show, but I imagine WrestleZone will reveal it on their Facebook at some point so keep your eyes peeled there. In the mean time, tickets are available for upcoming shows from http://www.ringsideworld.co.uk for events in Westhill and Ellon, as well as Battle of the Nations and An Evening With Grado!

Quick Results
Bradley Evans def. Prince Asad by Pinfall
Kaden Garrick def. Lord Michael of Graham by Pinfall
Intergender Match – Kirsten McDonald def. Lord Michael of Graham by Pinfall
The Outfit def. Scotty Swift & Blue Thunder by Pinfall
Nathan North w/Jeeves Winchester def. Dylan Angel by Pinfall
Richard R. Russell w/Sterling Oil def. Cysto 1 by Pinfall
Tables Match – Bryan Tucker & The Rejected def. Aspen Faith & Sterling Oil