Review: WrestleZone ‘Halloween Hijinx 2019’


October 26th, 2019 will go down as one of the coldest nights I’ve ever experienced. But let’s face it – you didn’t click on this article to read on about the weather, did you? If you did, then I apologise, but that one’s on you. The clue’s sort of in the title. We are of course here to talk about WrestleZone’s annual spooktacular event Halloween Hijinx, with one of the biggest cards on offer for a Halloween Hijinx show. Three title matches (including the first defence of the UEWA European Heavyweight Championship inside a WrestleZone ring), the annual Halloween Brawl, the return to the north of Robbie Solar, and the big one – the possibility of Austin Osiris continuing his undefeated streak, and capturing the Undisputed Championship. It was a big show, so let’s crank it up, and get started with the VIP ticket holders pre-show!

VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show – Halloween Switcheroo Match
Mr P (as Ted O’Keefe) def. Ted O’Keefe (as Mr P) w/Dino Del Monte by Pinfall

Let’s just say this straight away – the Halloween Switcheroo Match needs to become an annual tradition at Halloween Hijinx. There wasn’t a thing about it that I wasn’t a fan of here. Mr P was having the time of his life dressing as a member of The Outfit, while Ted O’Keefe couldn’t have looked more dejected if he tried while walking around in full Mr P gear, bald cap and all. You could just tell how much fun P was having here. Maybe he’s just secretly always wanted to join The Outfit. O’Keefe was able to gain control later on as he beat down the former Tri-Counties Champion and distracted the referee, allowing big Dino to interfere at ringside. Even that wasn’t enough though, as Mr P once again fought back and planted Ted with a Scotty 2 Hotty-esque bulldog after he kicked out of one of Ted’s delicious spinebusters. An inside cradle would secure the three count for Mr P, but it was The Outfit who had the last laugh by laying P out following the bell. No rolling elbow from Del Monte though, sadly.

This was a fine match, but it was the stipulation that really made it that extra bit better for me personally. As I said at the start, the Halloween Switcheroo Match should be an annual tradition at future Halloween Hijinx shows. Hell, why not just make it the theme of the entire show one year? Have everyone dress up as each other. I’m sure the roster would all love to get their hands on one of Alan Sterling’s glorious face-covered shirts. Perhaps Caleb Valhalla or Crusher Craib would enjoy donning the orange lycra and be Cysto for a night. So many opportunities there.

The Outfit haven’t really had the best of luck since their failed attempt at winning the Tag Team Championships back at Battle of the Nations. They looked more fired up than ever before after the match though. No nonsense with the costumes, just a pure mauling on Mr P that ended with a huge bicycle kick courtesy of Dino. Remember lads, they’re not just here to take part, they’re here to take over, by order of The Outfit.

Kaden Garrick & The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago) def. The Foundation of the Future (Zach Dynamite, Bradley Evans & Ryan Riley) by Pinfall

Kicking off the main card was a six man tag team match, pitting all three members of The Foundation of the Future against the pairing of Kaden Garrick and The Rejected, who ambushed their opponents prior to the bell ringing after emerging through the crowd. Throughout the entire match, Chris Archer had to act as a peacemaker of sorts, with Garrick and Mikkey Vago seemingly unable to coexist whatsoever, providing numerous opportunities for The Foundation of the Future to take the advantage. Zach Dynamite, Bradley Evans, and Ryan Riley controlled the majority of this one, but when Archer was finally able to make the hot tag to Garrick, the former Tag Team Champion took Dynamite to Suplex City with a plethora of German suplexes that would Brock Lesnar grin like it was SummerSlam 2015 all over again. Evans would very nearly ensure Kaden’s losing streak continued after scoring a close two count with a TKO, only for Garrick to escape the pin and connect with a spear for the winning pinfall, ending his losing streak after roughly 17 months.

As I tend to do on every WrestleZone show I head along to, I was coming into this one with several predictions that almost certainly wouldn’t be happening, with one of them being the possibility of Kaden Garrick joining The Foundation of the Future. As the match progressed though, my thought process changed to think it would be Mikkey Vago siding with the group. I had my reasons for that one in fairness – he had a green t-shirt on as opposed to a black one like Archer and Garrick, plus he looked visibly annoyed with both of his partners, especially when his Rejected pal made the tag to Kaden instead of him.

But then, the match ended and everyone went backstage, so that was enough of that.

Aside from my terrible predicting skills once again being on display, this was a fun six man tag team match. Another excellent showing from The Foundation of the Future, as expected. Bradley Evans in particular was on top form here, coming out decked in some red and black face paint with a cracking mask – it’s gotta be Kane! They all deserve to be around the country a lot more, they feel like a perfect fit for the likes of a Source or Discovery crowd. Similarly, The Rejected also deserve to be around a lot more, a deeply underrated tag team. In terms of the undefeated streak coming to an end – it was a Halloween miracle. Now, let’s see if he can follow up on that with a championship reign. As much as I’m enjoying Jason Reed as the Tri-Counties Champion, I wouldn’t say no to a singles match between those two.

Caleb Valhalla def. Robbie Solar by Pinfall

When Robbie Solar was announced for Halloween Hijinx, my first guess was that he’d be challenging for the Tri-Counties Champion, but when he was instead announced to be facing Caleb Valhalla, I was intrigued. Big man vs little man matches are usually pretty decent, especially when you’ve got a crowd that gets involved to cheer on the smaller competitor. Solar had no trouble getting the crowd on his side here, with all manner of flips wowing the crowd in attendance. Personally, I was most impressed when he backflipped out of a German suplex attempt. Each man had brief flurries of offence throughout the match, which kept it interesting for the whole time. Sometimes, it would be Valhalla battering Solar and leaving slap marks all over his chest and back, while other times it would be Solar leaping and bounding all around the squared circle. A springboard crossbody would be countered by the Norse God, as he caught Solar out of midair and downed him with a vicious swinging side slam to remain unpinned since his WrestleZone arrival 12 months ago.

I loved this. It was such a good mix of styles, and it was certainly the first time I’ve seen someone put up such a fight against Caleb Valhalla. The crowd were invested throughout the whole match, as the crowds at the big WrestleZone events tend to be. Having not seen Solar live since March 2016, I completely forgot just how good he actually was. Now, I’d say he’s pretty high up on my 2020 ones to watch list. Yes, it’s almost end of year list time, and I for one couldn’t be more excited about it. But yeah, brilliant match between these two – any chance of a rematch down the line?

Connor Inglis def. Crusher Craib by Pinfall

Remember back in January when Connor Inglis, who was merely a WrestleZone Training Academy trainee at the time, answered Crusher Craib’s open challenge? Remember just how nervous he looked in some of his movements? As the months have gone by, the young upstart has become one of the most charismatic members of the roster, once again bringing the fight to The Creator of Carnage at Halloween Hijinx. Pele kicks, cannonballs off the ring apron, diving forearms, all the trademark offence we’ve come to expect from Connor over the last 10 months. When Crusher did get his hands on the lad though, it led to excruciating levels of pain, including a sitout chokebomb that shook the whole ring. The former two-time Undisputed Champion made a mistake though, as he once again grabbed Connor by the throat, only to be rolled up for his troubles as Connor would score another upset victory over Crusher.

Speaking of mistakes, Connor offered a handshake to Crusher post-match, wanting a truce after months of back and forth between the arch-rivals. However, Crusher was having none of it, battering Connor to a pulp with a steel chair, and leaving him laying following a powerbomb on to said chair. There’s something about vicious beatdowns that make me happy as a wrestling fan, which is perhaps the oddest thing I’ll ever type out of context.

Another fun match between the pair. I personally enjoyed their previous encounter at Battle of the Nations, with that match seeing Connor score his first victory in WrestleZone over the monstrous Crusher Craib. The reaction that night was something else. Don’t get me wrong, it was still a thunderous ovation when he pinned Crusher here, but it’s just personal preference. As for the post-match, I honestly thought Crusher was going to accept the handshake. He didn’t exactly need to be coming out on the next show giving everyone high fives again like the good old days, but a handshake to show his respect for Connor Inglis, which clearly doesn’t exist given what happened after the bell. I guess we’ll get another bout between them at Christmas Chaos?

WrestleZone Tag Team Championships – Halloween Brawl
Scotty Swift & Johnny Lions (c) def. Blue Thunder & William Sterling by Reverse Decision

When WrestleZone held their first Halloween Brawl in 2016, it was initially used as a bit of a laugh. After all, the first bout was Cysto vs Lord Mr Malice vs The Super Executioner that saw a third Cysto introduced for one night (the stuff nightmares are made of). However, the last brawls have proven they can be rather brutal encounters at times, which is exactly what Scotty Swift, Johnny Lions, Blue Thunder, and William Sterling proved. It’s important to note here that Sterling entered with a crutch, something that referee Dennis Law made clear was entirely against the rules of a Halloween Brawl. All four men went to town on each other with the various Halloween toys at ringside, with Swift being shoved off the stage through a table covered in spooky weapons that took him out of the match for a good chunk of time. This allowed Lions to put in a stellar performance in a two on one beatdown, but The Red Haired Warrior would eventually come back into play, soon being threatened with a spike piledriver courtesy of the former Thunder Buddies. Thunder insisted that they’ve never done the move before, resulting in William dropping Swift with a regular piledriver that smashed a pumpkin in half (bah gawd!). The Thunder Baddies (as Billy put it on the recent SWN Live!) seemed to have the titles won after Sterling scored a three count after nailing Johnny in the back with the crutch he introduced, only for second referee/part-time wrestler Mikey Innes racing out like Charles Robinson at WrestleMania 24 to inform Dennis of the crutch usage. Mr Law laid down the law as he reversed the decision, resulting in The Swift Lions remaining the WrestleZone Tag Team Champions once more.

This was an enjoyable match, but there’s a nitpick to note. At Battle of the Nations, The Outfit seemed to have the Tag Team Championships won after Ted O’Keefe used a pair of brass knuckles to knock out The Tenacious One. However, the referee would find out, and restarted the match. So why did the same thing not happen here? The decision was just reversed as opposed to the match being reversed, even though there wasn’t too much of a difference in what happened in the two situations. Aside from that though, this was a nice watch. Perhaps the referee team are just HUGE Johnny Lions fans, and will do whatever they possibly can to ensure he doesn’t lose the tag titles to keep him around for as long as possible. The team with him and Scotty Swift has been one of my absolute favourite things in wrestling this year – if only it had happened much earlier on. I’m sure I speak for the majority of people here when I say I don’t want Johnny Time to come to an end.

UEWA European Heavyweight Championship – Triple Threat Match
Andy Wild (c) def. Alan Sterling w/Caleb Valhalla and Jason Reed w/Agent W by Pinfall

When you put Andy Wild, Alan Sterling, and Jason Reed all in the same match, you’re in for the biggest hoot you will ever experience. We learned that at Battle of the Nations, and the fact was further backed up at Halloween Hijinx. The main story throughout the group’s second match with each other, which saw the first defence of the UEWA European Heavyweight Championship in a WrestleZone ring, was the alliance of Sterling and Reed. Alongside Caleb Valhalla and Agent W, the tandem came together in an attempt to down The Dad Bod God/The Stovie Superman/The Leader of The Wild Boys/*insert nickname here*. The four stood behind one another as they formed a chain of bodies, only to be sent flying by Wild. Even though Alan and Jason performed a Haka beforehand, you can never beat the sheer power that you gain from bulking up on stovies. Valhalla and the artist formerly known as Jeeves Winchester were both ejected from ringside as they ambushed the defending champion, despite being given a fair warning from the official. From there, the team broke down as Sterling spiked the current Tri-Counties Champion with one of his nasty DDTs, the same move that resulted in Mr Malice being turned into Lord Mr Malice. We haven’t seen Jason in WrestleZone since – will we be seeing Lord Jason Reed when his lord and saviour returns up north? Anyway though, Andy Wild would retain with DA BOMB, the biggest and best move in all of British professional wrestling.

Is Alan Sterling the most underappreciated person in Scottish wrestling? He’s definitely up there. He can do literally anything in that ring, whether it be donning the cape and crown as Lord Alan Sterling, heading down the gym as Mixed Martial Alan, or proclaiming it’s All About Alan, he’s brilliant. While he can be equally as fantastic as a serious wrestler (cc: late 2015), Alan is 100% better when he’s a comedy wrestler. Find someone else who can pull off a t-shirt covered in their own face. If we’re looking further down the line, a rivalry between him and bodyguard Caleb Valhalla will be wonderful when/if it finally arrives. Sure, it’ll mainly be Alan getting decimated, but it’ll be amazing either way.

I should probably speak about the other two competitors in the match. Andy Wild and Jason Reed are very, very, very good. There we are.

Bryan Tucker breaks his silence

Just before the main event, Bryan Tucker sauntered out to ringside to some cracking new entrance music. Tucker was finally breaking his silence as to why he turned on Granite City Hotshots partner Shawn Johnson at Battle of the Nations – everyone forgot about him. His last appearance in WrestleZone was at the end of September 2018 as he defeated Ryan Riley in Keith. Was that the end for Tucker as a wrestler? It certainly seemed so. Shawn would make his presence felt here, letting Bryan know that he completely understood why Tucker attacked him in August. It appeared as if Johnson didn’t want retribution, until Tucker made some derogatory comments towards his new daughter. A brawl all over the Kincorth Community Centre, eventually being separated by the referee squad.

I’ll be honest, this felt like it dragged on a bit. It felt like Tucker kept repeating the same comment every five seconds. The brawl was great, but the comments beforehand could’ve been shortened. Going forward, this is a rivalry I could see lasting until at least Aberdeen Anarchy, culminating in some big stipulation match. It would be nice to see them inside the steel cage, but I’m relatively sure you can’t get the cage in the Northern Hotel. So, to repeat what I said in my Aberdeen Anarchy predicted matches article, let’s settle for a Last Man Standing Match.

Undisputed WrestleZone Championship
Damien (c) def. Austin Osiris by Pinfall

The main event of the evening was one that had everyone on the edge of their seats. Damien’s Undisputed Championship and Austin Osiris’ 1,000-day undefeated streak were both on the line. Prior to the bell, Big Money proceeded to do what Big Money does best – get his own way. Osiris had two demands here, with the first one being that he wanted Dennis Law to officiate the match as opposed to rival Mikey Innes, and the second being that he didn’t want to be screwed out of the title, so a stipulation was put in place that the title could change hands by either pinfall, submission, count out, or disqualification. Before Innes was replaced as the referee, a nice touch saw him show Osiris the title as referees usually do in championship matches, but was sure to snatch it back just before Austin got his hands on it. It’s the little things that make WrestleZone that extra bit good when it comes to telling a story.

The match itself was a slow start to begin with, seeing as the undefeated grappler did everything in his power in an attempt to ground The Revolutionary at ringside to get him counted out. Meanwhile, Damien gave it everything he had to be the one to end his undefeated streak, utilising all of his signature offence to down Osiris. Later on in the match, Dennis Law was accidentally taken out of the equation, allowing Austin to use his belt as a weapon. Mikey Innes would then return to ringside but after only giving Osiris a two count, he found himself being knocked down, with Damien then lying on top of Innes to protect him from a lashing with the belt. To the shock of everyone in attendance that evening, Austin Osiris would be crowned the new Undisputed WrestleZone Champion as he once again broke the rules to seemingly defeat Damien, but there was a catch. Damien’s foot was on the bottom rope. As a result, the match was restarted, and Damien remained the Undisputed Champion after hitting his flying Codebreaker finisher for the three count. Cue a chant of ‘don’t come back’ as Osiris fled the scene. Big Money has since changed his social media to show that he is in fact undefeated for 1,000 days, but only on the Five Pound Wrestling brand. Thus, the streak is intact!

As was expected, this was another incredible story-filled match that left the audience on the edge of their seats. If there’s anything bad to note, then it was the fact that Mikey Innes was laid out after one punch, despite showing he could actually wrestle at Battle of the Nations. Maybe it was ring rust. Aside from that minor note though, this was everything that’s great about WrestleZone. You can take your superkick parties, and I’ll keep my in-ring stories. It’s all well and fine having an epic match (hello, Kenny Omega) but sometimes the story is the more important factor, as is often the case in WrestleZone. Let’s just hope this wasn’t the last we’ve seen of Austin Osiris up north. There’s a two-night Aberdeen Anarchy next year – I’m sure he wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

As previously mentioned, there were a few moments throughout the night that weren’t especially great, but they didn’t detract from the overall enjoyment of the show. Robbie Solar and Alan Sterling were the real highlights from the show for entirely different reasons. Solar was a firm fan favourite throughout his match with Caleb Valhalla, whereas Sterling proved exactly talents in this neck of the woods should never be underestimated. I’d love to see him get around a lot more – the thought of Alan vs The Munndertaker popped into my head as I typed that, and now it’s all I want to see. The end of Austin Osiris’ undefeated streak (on shows other than Five Pound Wrestling that is) provoked a reaction that only comes out on special occasions. Damien’s sort of had a habit of creating reactions like that for some time now, but it’s made much easier to do when you’re against someone who’s as easy to detest as Osiris is.

So yeah, Halloween Hijinx 2019 was a great show.

Quick Results
VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show – Halloween Switcheroo Match – Mr P def. Ted O’Keefe w/Dino Del Monte by Pinfall
Kaden Garrick & The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago) def. The Foundation of the Future (Zach Dynamite, Bradley Evans & Ryan Riley) by Pinfall
Caleb Valhalla def. Robbie Solar by Pinfall
Connor Inglis def. Crusher Craib by Pinfall
WrestleZone Tag Team Championships – Halloween Brawl – Scotty Swift & Johnny Lions (c) def. Blue Thunder & William Sterling by Reverse Decision
UEWA European Heavyweight Championship – Triple Threat Match – Andy Wild (c) def. Alan Sterling w/Caleb Valhalla and Jason Reed w/Agent W by Pinfall
Undisputed WrestleZone Championship – Damien (c) def. Austin Osiris by Pinfall

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