As we continue the celebrations towards Aberdeen Anarchy 2018 on September 1st I take a look back at the event that started it all at The Beach Ballroom. I wanted to take a look at this event specifically as I hadn’t watched it in full since being there live on June 1st 2013, over five years ago. It was my first Aberdeen Anarchy, my first WrestleZone event so there are plenty of memories about the event.
I remember not knowing where The Beach Ballroom was so I drove from New Pitsligo, where I lived at the time, then got the train from Inverurie to Aberdeen, the 25 minutes, then a taxi to the venue. My sense of direction hasn’t improved much since then as I just hung about the venue for hours even though Cadonas was a couple hundred yards away. The country bumpkin in me was lost. Anyway, I had bought two tickets thinking I’d find someone to go with me but alas it wasn’t to be and it was just myself toddling along. When I got to the meet and greet portion I bumped into a bald man in a suit, on his mobile device, who looked like he was important, so I offered my spare ticket which he accepted, about 5 minutes later he came past with £15 to reimburse my ticket as he’d sold it. It was the hottest ticket in town. Little did I know at that moment was I was speaking to Mr P, one of my favourites in WrestleZone nowadays.
So I lined up for the meet and greet to meet Billy Gunn and ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan. Being the fan I was I had prepared some items to be signed, a foam WWF Tag Team Championship for Billy Gunn and part one of the Royal Rumble anthology DVD set for ‘Hacksaw’. What I didn’t anticipate was the nerves. I stuttered out something to Jim as I bought his book and he signed an 8×10. He also signed my title because he asked if I wanted him to and who was I to deny ‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan?? I got the picture then moved over to Billy Gunn, stuttered out something about being a fan, belt signed and picture taken.
Things I learned that day: prepare what to say being meeting people in general, don’t wear a thick hoodie on a summer day and don’t stuff your manbag with supplies because it’s a pain in the backside to carry around. I have since learned from this, and I have learned where the venue is so I can actually drive there, I say learn, I can make it to Aberdeen but Google maps does the rest.
So I went to the gym next door for lunch, yes the gym not any of the fine establishments on the beach like Pizza Hut or TGI Fridays, didn’t I tell you I’m an idiot? Burger and chips while I read Jim Duggan’s book. Once I had outstayed my welcome I kept reading the book in the play park nearby while I watched my phone battery die slowly but not before I recorded a video with the venue in the background!
I had just started OSWtv at this point, this is how long ago the event was.
So there were some wrestlers about as we filed in to the venue for the actual show, as I had VIP (oh yeah) it was a little earlier. When I went in I only recognised one wrestler as I had been watching some ICW, that being Kay Lee Ray. So I got a picture with her and two other blokes, who was steal the show later in the night, Stevie Xavier and Bingo Ballance.
I think that’s enough preamble about the show. Now to re-watch and relive Aberdeen Anarchy 2013! I’ll review the show and throw in my memories from the event.
Before the main show there was a VIP match triple threat but for the life of me I can’t quite remember what it was, I’m thinking it may’ve involved Cysto, Mr Malice and Blue Thunder but I could be wrong, there was a dog lead involved at some point.
I went back and found the match on the bonus feature of disc two.
Triple Threat – Blue Thunder defeated Cysto & Mr Malice by pinfall (I think).
The disc starting freezing and I couldn’t actually watch the match. Awkward.
Let’s move onto the main show.
A young, fresh-faced, Martyn Clunes was the first man through the curtain for the official show, even though the lights were low you could tell that the place was rammed. It goes to show how long ago this was when Martyn announced that the match was for one fall when there was no “ONE FALL!” reply.
Often hailed, by myself as well, as the best match in WrestleZone history. I was interested to see if this would still hold up in 2018 considering that there had been so many great matches since this one. The match started with quick counters, pinfall attempts and traded armdrags. Once they warmed up we got springboards, standing shooting star presses and dropsaults. The action was balanced with Bingo hitting a hard backcracker then a Monkey Flip. More dives to the outside with Ballance continuing the control. Near fall after near fall with the “oohs” and “aahs” getting louder and more frequent as the two threw everything into the match. A split leg moonsault from Stevie couldn’t get the job done as he climbed to the top rope he was only to be met with a springboard enziguri from Ballance. Ballance hit the G17 for the win.
Still holds up as a fantastic match in my opinion. It had loads of twists and turns with both having support from the crowd. They were there for the whole ride. I didn’t know if there was a story coming into the match so going from a cold open to being on the edge of my seat by the end was wonderful. As far as a singles match goes, this is still the best match in WrestleZone but with the added stakes and stipulation matches over the years it may’ve been knccked from the number one spot as my favourite match from Aberdeen Anarchy…
Scotty Swift & Ross McTavish defeated Sterling Oil (William Sterling & Alan Sterling) w/Mr Malice by submission.
So going into this one I was aware that Sterling Oil had been bullying Ross McTavish from the Evening Express. That was about it. The crowd were unglued for Scotty Swift’s entrance, a man that I had only seen in photos with his striking look. A slower start with the tease for Ross to be tagged in and when he was it was LOUD. William toyed with Ross, irritating him with hair brushes but Ross got a double leg take down into a kneebar as William scrambled to escape. A little distraction saw the Sterlings take over with slaps and chops to McTavish’s back and front, visibly leaving marks. William missed a big elbow drop as Scotty was tagged back in clean house.As Scotty was dealing with the Sterlings, Mr Malice interjected himself before being locked into a triangle choke by Ross. Swift busted out a rare hurricurana and tagged in a begging Ross McTavish who locked a prowling Alan Sterling into a triangle choke for the quick tap out.
While Ross didn’t have the finesse of a pro wrestler but what he could do he did well, when it’s non-wrestlers there’s an expectancy for cringe but this was highly enjoyable. A really fun match.
The disc was stalling at this point as it came to Zach Dynamite versus Damien. A quick ejection of the disc and a wipe with my t-shirt and it came back alive thankfully.
Damien defeated Zach Dynamite by pinfall.
This looked like it was a grudge match of some sort with the butting of heads in the beginning so quite rightly it avoided the collar and elbow and went straight to the fighting. Damien had the upper hand by keeping Dynamite grounded. Dynamite got back into the match with lots of pinfall attempts before Damien countered a sunset flip by sitting down and holding the ropes for leverage.
Something about this match just didn’t click for me. It didn’t get out of first gear and the ending was flat. Nothing much happened.
‘Hacksaw’ Jim Duggan & The Granite City Hotshots (Bryan Tucker & Shawn Johnson) defeated Aspen Faith, James Midas & Scott Maverick w/Crystal Rose by pinfall.
The first of the two special guests, the first half main event. The place went crazy for Duggan coming out with his America flag and 2×4. Grabbing a Scotland flag from someone in the crowd and waving it about, which actually gave me goosebumps while watching this back. The disc starting skipping again at this point so I didn’t see the end of the match as it cut out just as Aspen was on the offensive right at the start. Subsequent disc polishing saw glimpses of the match but it kept skipping back to the menu so had to give this one up.
From memory the place went crazy for anything that Duggan did, he didn’t have to do much and the place was going nuts for him. Duggan got the win for his team with the three point stance clothesline onto Aspen Faith.
Billy Gunn defeated Rob Cage by pinfall.
Onto disc two with the second guest for Aberdeen Anarchy, Billy Gunn, taking on ‘The King of the Shining Wizard’, before he was Uncle Bobby but he still had the most punchable face in wrestling. Billy Gunn got on the mic and said that he learned a new name for Rob Cage while he’d been in Aberdeen which was ‘sheep shagger’, although most of the fans suggested arsehole. Quote of the night came during this with Rob Cage shouting “I don’t shag sheep!” in response to the chant accusing him of diddling the woolen beasts.
The match really started on the outside with Billy Gunn slamming the face of Rob Cage into the ring apron again and again and again. Cage rammed Gunn into the ring post to get the upper hand. I couldn’t make out the chants but I’m sure there was a ‘he’s a fanny’ chant but I am a bit hard of hearing. Gunn hit a headlock driver but Cage was too close to the ropes. Cage had a lot of offense with digging kicks and chokes in the early going but Gunn fought back with punches of his own and a Stinger Splash, a Famouser for the three made this a quick one.
Fun match, it was cool seeing Billy Gunn. Gunn was never known for your technical clinics so I wasn’t expecting flips and fancy things but it was fun and certainly entertaining. It’s hard to not be biased as Billy Gunn was one of my favourites when I was a young lad, even his ‘The One’ Billy Gunn phase.
Lumberjill Match – Kay Lee Ray defeated Carmel Jacob by pinfall.
When it came to women’s wrestling in 2013 I knew three names, Nikki Storm, Princess Sammii and Kay Lee Ray. Whom I considered the second coming of Lita with her red hair and highflying-ness. The lumberjills in this was The Granite City Roller Girls.
Carmel attempted to leave early on but was blocked by the lumberjills. Who also blocked her several other attempts even throwing her back in at one point. Fairly even match with Kay Lee having the early advantage before Carmel dodged a top rope dropkick and took over. Folding her up like an accordion following a German Suplex. There was a great bit where Carmel hit a Celtic Cross and went for a lazy cover, Kay Lee grabbed Carmel by the waist and bridged up, turned her into a backslide position then lifted her before planting a Gory Bomb. It looked so cool. Carmel got back in control with a second rope draping DDT. Carmel went for a second from the top rope but Kay Lee fought back and managed to sunset flip Carmel off the off the second turnbuckle. Carmel missed a spear and was given another Gory Bomb. A Swanton Bomb followed and it was a win for Kay Lee Ray.
A bit stumbly and bumbly in parts but overall a really fine match, bar a couple bits at the start the lumberjills had little bearing in the match.
Martyn Clunes announced that the show was a sell out, over 30 years since wrestling had taken place in The Beach Ballroom. 1,103 fans in attendance to witness WrestleZone.
Undisputed WrestleZone Championship – Special Enforcer: Len Ironside – Crusher Craib defeated ‘Tenacious‘ Johnny Lions w/Richard R Russell, Damien, Mr Malice & William Sterling by pinfall to win the Undisputed WrestleZone Championship.
This was weird for me to watch. I had only seen Johnny Lions at SWE at this point and he was as babyface as they could be, so to see him scowling and being the bad guy just blew my tiny mind. His opponent was the big and scary Crusher Craib, who was cheered. I didn’t know what to think.
Len Ironside and referee Mikey Innes ejected Sterling Oil from ringside before the match even started.
Craib smacked Lions about in the early stages, dominating the Undisputed WrestleZone Champion. Lions dodged a big boot and aimed his attack at the leg of Craib to chop down the beast. It wasn’t without error with Lions slipping off the ropes but recovered quickly for a coast to coast dropkick to the knee of Craib. Lions was like a shark sniffing out blood as he used every move and leverage to punish the knee of Craib. Craib rose from the dead to grab Lions by the throat for a chokebomb for a two count. Craib went for a big boot but his knee gave way which allowed Lions to jump back onto the offensive with a Best Legdrop Evah. Lions went up top again but was met by Craib how threw him off with a Fallaway Slam. Craib went for a boot but kicked Mikey Innes in the face, a follow up Blackhole Slam couldn’t be counted as William Sterling and Mr Malice returned. Len Ironside soon dispatched of them before Damien snuck in with a Superkick. Russell jumped in and smugly revealed a referee shirt of his own, shouting that he had a referee licence. Len pulled him out and of the ring and smacked his face off the apron. Lions recovered but couldn’t land the Lion Cutter, Craib smashed him with a big boot as Len Ironside counted the fall.
This match was far better than I remembered. The crowd were loud all the way through, there was some shenanigans and we got a new champion at the end. A great way to end the show.
Often when watching shows back there’s a danger of remembering it differently or rewatching it in your mind with rose tinted spectacles, like Aladdin Return of Jafar, I loved that film as a child then I rewatched it two years ago and it was just awful, that’s why I’ll never watch The Pagemaster again. There’s a danger of making matches and moments bigger than they really were. I wasn’t disappointed when rewatching this as it was pretty much how I remembered it. The event holds a dear place in my heart and in turn WrestleZone did exactly what they were aiming for. I was the person they were aiming the show towards, not me specifically, but the casual that would be coming to see Billy Gunn, to see Jim Duggan, it was then up to WrestleZone to build a show around them to get folk like myself back to Aberdeen or to Inverurie, Montrose or Keith to see their guys wrestle minus the international names.
Was it a 5 star show? No it wasn’t, the matches were good to great, bar one match which just didn’t do it for me, but was it entertaining? Absolutely. Did it have me coming back for more? Yes it did, every year since.
Five years and one month I’ve been attending WrestleZone shows. This was the start and I hope it won’t end any time soon!
as a side note I tried another DVD and it also skipped so I think this crazy hot weather has affected my PS4.