Whilst we’re in the darkest timeline, I’ve delved into my archive of wrestling DVDs and have picked out WrestleZone’s 2012 Regal Rumble event, taking place at the Summerhill Hotel in Aberdeen. The MC for the evening Martyn Clunes was sporting some lovely long hair, what a time to be alive.
Bingo Ballance & The Granite City Hotshots (Bryan Tucker & Shawn Johnson) defeated Crusher Craib & Sterling Oil w/Richard R. Russell & Mr Malice by pinfall.
Back to a time where The Granite City Hotshots weren’t trying to batter each other, Alan Sterling wasn’t The Captain, and Crusher Craib… he is still a monster just not aligned with Sterling Oil in a match refereed by Denzil Law.
Bingo Ballance showed up with blue and white flair on his black gear which fit the team colour scheme nicely. Always nice when tag team partners are matching. Crusher was the same in this with the red and black, very much the ‘Sterling Oil aesthetic’.
The crowd were heavy behind The Hotshots with Bryan Tucker and William Sterling kicking off the action. The Hotshots looked to have the upper hand early with quick tags and bringing in Bingo to take turns punishing Alan Sterling. It would take Russell and Malice’s interference and a tag in to Crusher Craib to turn the tide with ‘The Creator of Carnage’ mauling at Shawn Johnson, hammering him whilst draped over the apron. William hit a nice sit out scoop slam and sit out full nelson bomb but Shawn Johnson wasn’t done yet. The punishment continued, a powerslam from Crusher, a buckle bomb from William and quick tags looked to keep Johnson grounded. A tornado DDT from Johnson created enough space to tag in Ballance to run wild, some miscommunication saw Alan Sterling battering ram himself into Crusher Craib which allowed Ballance to lift up Alan for a G17 and the win.
A nicely paced opening contest, no downtime, just action. Everyone got a chance to shine.
Bingo cut a quick promo marking his intentions to win the Regal Rumble. Tucker noted every man for himself and Shawn Johnson noted that Bingo was the 2010 Regal Rumble winner, Tucker won in 2011 so it was his turn to win.
It’s pretty much a staple of Regal Rumble events that there is a chaotic multi-man tag team match, almost like a preview to the rumble main event. Though this was kept in the ring, likely due to the size of the venue, it definitely gave that little multi-man madness to give you a taste of what was to come later.
Damien w/Richard R. Russell defeated Cysto by pinfall.
Damien was having no time for Cysto’s antics, attacking him upon entrance and dragging him to the ring inflict punishment, bludgeoning Cysto with forearms. Cysto fought back with some quick pin attempts and a kick up the backside but was soon knocked loopy(er) with a super kick with a snap DDT sealing Damien the win in short order.
It’s a Cysto match so they’re usually quick affairs, Damien looked aggressive but almost had his cockiness cost him. It was enjoyable given the length (that’s what she said).
Unsanctioned – If Brian Starr Wins He Receives A WrestleZone Contract – Brian Starr defeated Scotty Swift by pinfall.
‘The Red Haired Warrior’ Scotty Swift marched to the ring with the crowd going absolutely wild. He met Starr at the entrance and they brawled on the outside. Due to the DVD being hard cam footage I saw none of this portion but I can only assume Swift was hitting 680 flips and other incredible moves.
Every so often either Starr or Swift would find themselves rammed against the apron then disappear again as you would hear the clattering of metal and the brief glimpses of baking trays.
The wrestlers made their way back to the ring with Starr on offense, aiming attacks to the ribs of Swift, with hard knees and kicks to the stomach and chest. Starr couldn’t put away Swift with a DDT so brought a chair into the action but one of the WrestleZone crew jumped onto the apron and grabbed it. Swift dived through the ropes out to Starr before dragging him back to the ring.
Swift looked to have the upper hand after a low blow, but Starr used the chair to his advantage by first sending Swift into the corner where a chair was wedged then but ramming the chair into the stomach then slamming it onto the back of Swift. Swift lifted Starr up for a Granite Driver to leave both laying as the crowd chanted for Scotty.
It looked like Swift was going for another Granite Driver but Starr wriggled out and planted Swift with a gutwrench powerbomb onto a chair to get the three count.
This match was heavy on the action with plenty going on. It felt personal and like a fight, which is what it should always be when you throw the word unsanctioned about.
Management representative Dave Paterson (we wouldn’t be seeing the head bashing Mr P quite yet) presented Starr with the contract but told him to be careful what he wished for and also he would be in the Regal Rumble. Starr insisted that he used Paterson’s back to lean the contract against while he signed it, so unlikable which made me keen to see Starr get hounded when it was Regal Rumble time.
The fans shouted cheat… but it was an unsanctioned match there are no rules other than there has to be a winner…
Johnny Lions defeated Euan G Mackie by pinfall.
Lions got on the microphone to taunt his originally scheduled opponent Zach Dynamite’s apparent injury before turning his attention to Mackie, calling him a freak. Mackie replied in kind with a slap to the chops to get the match started.
Lions almost got caught in a dragon sleeper early on but he quickly scrambled to the ropes, an early indication that Mackie may not look like the most orthodox wrestler but he is dangerous. After an early flurry from Mackie it became a more even contest with both wrestlers finding moments to inflict some damage. A rope assisted backcracker from Mackie followed by a seated senton looked to have wrapped it up as Mackie hit a modified unprettier and an imploded splash but could only get a near fall.
The action continued with both throwing everything at each other for close calls, Mackie with the Sliced Bread #2, Lions with the Lion Cutter (it was called Lion Driver at this point), Mackie with the monkey flip/stunner variation but nothing could seem to keep the other down for a three count. A superplex from the top rope looked to have taken a lot out of both of them as they exchanged forearms, chops and kicks in an all out war.
Mackie went to the well one to many times, scaling to the top rope but Lions met him and was able to hit the Lion Cutter off the second rope for the win.
A solid encounter which is to be expected from Lions and Mackie.
Mr Paterson hyped up the Regal Rumble, calling the trophy a symbol of excellence.
Crusher Craibs Wins The Regal Rumble
The rumble kicked off with Blue Thunder and Aspen Faith drawing number one and two respectively. Aspen’s gear was a tie dyed pink and yellow number, like an unwrapped fruit salad, very much fitting with the ‘Hippie Horror’ moniker. They were joined by Cysto as entrant three. Brian Starr was next, quickly disposing of Cysto and Blue Thunder (with some help from Aspen Faith for the latter). Bingo Ballance (#5), Alan Sterling (#6) and Chris Archer (#7) entered as the ring began to fill up. Starr and Faith formed an alliance while Alan dumping out Archer. William Sterling (#8), Scotty Swift (#9), Swift and Starr continued their battle from earlier in the evening. The numbers started to favour Sterling Oil with Mr Malice (#10) entering to guard Alan and William in the corner but was assaulted at his post by Shawn Johnson (#11). James Midas (#12) entered as Swift and Starr eliminated each other following a tussle on the apron and stereo forearms. Euan G Mackie (#13) entered as Alan Sterling eliminated Shawn Johnson. We got some early Team S.M.A.S.H. action with Midas and Faith teaming up against Mackie however they ran into Crusher Craib (#14) who grabbed and smashed anyone close by. Last years winner Bryan Tucker (#15), Benjamin Steele (#16), Davey Annan (#17) all entered as Steele, Midas and Mackie all made their exit along with Faith eliminating Annan. Damien (#18) entered to make it a full house for Sterling Oil who quickly took charge, Crusher booted Aspen off the apron so hard that Faith crumpled in a heap to the floor. Cysto 2 (#19) and WrestleZone Champion Johnny Lions (#20) completed the line up but Lions was soon at the receiving end of a boot from Craib and was eliminated as Craib gestured around his waist.
Ballance soon followed with Sterling Oil running roughshod. Malice threw out Cysto 2 which left Bryan Tucker against all four members of Sterling Oil and Crusher Craib. After a valiant effort Tucker couldn’t hold on from a four on one mugging with Craib looking on. It looked like Craib was being presented as the newest member of Sterling Oil with him being handed a Sterling Oil branded shirt.
Richard R. Russell presented each member in turn, looking like the Regal Rumble would be won by the collective at first but Russell had made a promise to one member and invited his team to eliminate each other one by one. First up was Mr Malice, who didn’t seem too keen at first, but made his way over the top rope. Russell then asked Crusher to make the sacrifice who wasn’t as compliant which lead to a slap from Russell who found himself getting choked for his efforts. Craib threw out William and Alan in short order before press slamming Damien over the top rope onto the Sterling brothers below and collecting his trophy.
WrestleZone have this knack of building up something to the point of eruption. If it went a minute longer it would’ve been too long, they hit a nice sweet spot of drama. On a subtle note I liked that Crusher entered the opening match wearing red and black gear, Sterling Oil colours, but went into the Rumble in green and black, it was almost like he was telling us that his allegiance wasn’t with Sterling Oil in that match.
It was a fairly standard rumble up until the closing moments with Sterling Oil trying to take over. There were nice callbacks with Swift and Starr brawling and costing each other the match along with the valiant effort of last year’s winner Bryan Tucker.
A very enjoyable event overall with every match delivering. A nice mix of matches with the likes of straight up one on one, a grudge match, multi-man tag team then, my personal favourite, a rumble.
Sure it hasn’t quite filled the void left by the 2020 Regal Rumble event being postponed until further notice (damn you COVID-19) but it was fun to visit a time where I hadn’t even heard of WrestleZone with my first foray to the Granite City promotion happening about a year after this event took place.
A nice way to spend a Saturday morning.