Half A Review: WrestleZone ‘Battle of the Nations 2011’

We’ve gone further back in time, August 2011, WrestleZone hosted Battle of the Nations from the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen. The long haired lothario himself Martyn Clunes was master of ceremonies with Denzil Law refereeing the action.

The Northern Hotel is one of WrestleZone’s main venues having hosted some of their biggest events. It was due to host this years Aberdeen Anarchy in a two nighter but well… we know why that’s not happening.

Shawn Johnson defeated Crusher Craib by pinfall.

Before the match Crusher Craib got on the microphone to wish his opponents luck from the hospital once he’s done with him. Johnson started the match with a bit of hit and run, ducking and diving, nipping in for a shot or two before avoiding the bigger man. Crusher would eventually grab Shawn and throw him into the ring post shoulder first to slow down the pace to torture Johnson. Slamming Johnson to the mat hard before choking and clubbing at the back of the Granite City Hotshot. Johnson was able to flow through an attempted powerslam but couldn’t avoid a belly to belly from ‘The Creator of Carnage’.

Craib missed a second rope splash to give Johnson an opening to hit a Shining Wizard to create space, laying in punches and a springboard bulldog but couldn’t keep the beast down for long. Another powerslam countered into a DDT gave you hope that Shawn could defeat Craib with a double foot stomp getting a could a hair width from three. Craib planted Johnson with a Black Hole Slam but his moment taken to recover before making the pin meant that Johnson kicked out at two.

Crusher set up for a chokeslam but a wheelbarrow victory roll counter saw Shawn Johnson get the win.

There are so many similarities to more recent times between Crusher and Connor Inglis where the beast gets conquered and it’s still as entertaining. Crusher Craib is an excellent surly bad guy for the underdog to defeat. The pauses taken after big moves so that the kick outs are logical yet still surprising was really great.

James Midas defeated Cysto 2 w/Cysto 1 by submission.

In an unexpected twist, Cysto 2 did some wrestling to start off, going through the WWE 2K chain wrestling animations. The larger of the two Cysto’s eventually powered out with an atomic drop to send Midas out of the ring. Midas worked on the left arm which did lend itself to what looked like a mistake on an Irish Whip looking a little awkward with them losing grip leading Cysto 2 to stumble into the ropes. It worked.

Midas pulled down his knee pad but Cysto 2 moved to avoid an aerial assault. Cysto 2 hit a big splashed to the back of Midas and tried to pin him without during him over, nobody said these Cysto’s were clever.

Cysto 2 went for a chokeslam that was countered into an armbar for the tap out.

Expectations are never high for an actual wrestling match when Los Cystos are involved, you go in expecting shenanigans and laughs, but this was far better than I thought it would be. I miss Midas.

Battle of the Nations – Dave Rayne [ENG] defeated Scotty Swift [SCO] by pinfall.

A loud crowd for this one to start off with Rayne getting roundly booed for attempting to start an ENGERLAND chant which was met with a lot of resistance. The crowd work continued with some yay/boos and a chicken chant for Dave Rayne after Rayne’s numerous attempts to avoid in ring action.

A couple arm drags and a scoop slam looked to have finally started the action but Rayne was soon on the outside. Swift met up and introduced him to the ring apron and chops whilst Rayne leaned on the ring post. Rayne was able to get out of dodge of a chop leaving Swift smacking his hand off the ring post and giving Rayne the advantage, which he pounced on and took control of the action with suplexes and wear down holds.

Unfortunately at this point my screen went into slow motion but the sound was still going at the correct speed in the background. I heard Swift getting back into the match… then losing to the chants of cheat and a chorus of boos so I can only assume Dave Rayne cheated in some form. I think I saw Rayne’s Future Shock Championship come into play at some point.

This was a fairly typical good guy – bad guy Scotland versus England reaction. I don’t think I got to the guts of the match due to the DVD deciding that I wasn’t getting to watch any more of it. The crowd was loud as always.

Undisputed WrestleZone Championship – Triple Threat – Damien (c) w/Richard R. Russell vs Johnny Lions w/Benjamin Steele vs Zach Dynamite

Yeah I only got to the intros before the DVD died again and it wouldn’t skip to the main event with William Sterling and Alan Sterling defending the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships against Colt Cabana and Bryan Tucker. Maybe one day I’ll see those matches…

Anyways, from the matches I saw it was another really worthwhile show. It really shows the foundations that WrestleZone build upon, even at this point they would’ve been running for about three years. It’s tough to keep a promotion going, with a regular audience, using a core roster and keeping the matches and storylines fresh. It comes to nine years later and you can see the elements of past stories with tweaks to freshen it up. It’s pretty great to see so many of the regular crowd that I would see every time I head to a WrestleZone show. That’s a loyal fan base right there and they are rewarded for that loyalty with callbacks to previous moments throughout the entire history of WrestleZone and that’s something that I can appreciate.

DVD available from WrestleZone live events and through their Facebook page.

I think the DVD may still available, I hope you have better luck and maybe once the live shows get back up and running I can get another copy and finally see the second half of the show. I’d be annoyed but the disc is 9 years old, bought 7 years ago and cost me Β£5 so I wouldn’t be marching to the desk demanding a refund!

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