Billy’s Review: WrestleZone ‘Live In Ellon’ (19 Feb 2022)

Where to start with this one. A bit of Billy Backstory (TM pending), I haven’t been to Ellon in about 12 years, and that was just to get to the Park and Ride from a trip to Aberdeen to see Frankie Boyle in the AECC. So aye, it’s been a while. This show was announced at the conclusion of Caleb Valhalla’s battle against Crusher Craib and Connor Molloy at Summerhill Showdown and I was automatically trying to remember how to get to Ellon. With one match confirmed of Crusher Craib versus Caleb Valhalla I was already sold on finding and going to the Victoria Hall.

As the card was getting completed I was safe with my intentions, just had to have that agonising wait for pay day to arrive to secure a ticket. As always, something had to happen as soon as my ticket was purchased, Big Dick Dudley’s then-unknown illegitimate child Storm was coming to the UK to cause some havoc, before inviting Storm Eunice along. My office window (still in a state, that’s another story for never), saw every season pass by in the space of an hour so Ellon looked like wishful thinking.

Saturday arrived and the sun was out, it was on like Donkey Kong.

There’s nae much to do in Ellon eh? Gave myself an extra hour or two incase the roads were dicey but there was nothing on the roads and I was there in a car park by 4pm so had two hours to kill. Before you ask it was a chicken tuck meal supper from Jax’s, eaten from the comfort of the car. Even found the venue by total fluke so Google Maps wasn’t even required.

Enough about my travel and eating habits. There’s a show to write things about. As usual, due to actually being at the show the in-ring content is usually a bit fuzzy in my mind but I have thoughts and feelings if that tickles your eye holes.

Ah, I’ve stepped on a plug. Oh, I bought a WrestleZone Scotland woolly hat for Β£10 which is very comfortable so visit the good folk at the merch table and get one yourself.

VIP Ticket Holder Match – Scotty Swift defeated The Super Executioner by pinfall.

It was a bold move of WrestleZone to put a bona fide main event in the pre-show. Scotty Swift entered to a big reaction but was stopped at the crowd side of the apron and was stuck in place by an apparent black gloved hand.

After a little coaxing with little success, which included lifting the apron and Super Executioner declaring that he was John Cena and Swift couldn’t see him… Swift shooshed the crowd and stomped in the ring canvas to bring out the now-deafened Super Executioner.

Super Executioner was happy to be in Elgin (a lovely Mosh Pit Easter Egg!) but that didn’t garner much love in Ellon…

To begin to explain the ins and outs of the match wouldn’t do it justice. Just believe me when I say that it was bloody brilliant. We got a brawl in the hall, numerous hearing based attacks, some actual Executioner offense, which had a mix of success. He tried to body slam Scotty Swift but couldn’t quite lift The Red Haired Warrior, Swift went into teaching mode by showing Super Executioner how to do a suplex properly and how to lift Swift for a slam by using his glamorous assistant, referee Dennis Law.

Super Executioner tried to use the Kali Ma to rip out the heart of Swift but it was turned on to the chest of Executioner. Yes that’s a thing that happened.

I’m still not totally sure how we got to this point but Scotty went to the top rope and Executioner went to the top of the opposite turnbuckle saying that he could reach Swift, Swift dared him as Executioner shouted that Swift looked like Sheamus (that got an “oooooh” from the crowd), did a front roll from the bottom rope and splashed an empty corner as Swift ambled out of the way. O’Connor roll for the pin and win for Scotty Swift.

After Executioner tried to intimidate Dennis, Scotty hoisted him up for a Granite City Driver to added insult to injury.

For all the laughs and cheers, I don’t think anyone enjoyed that match more than Scotty Swift (I’d like to think I was a close second), who had a smile plastered all over this face throughout the bout. Man, I just adore the Super Executioner. Ridiculous in all ways, but just a pure delight. “KARATE”!

(Dear WrestleZone, please bring Super Executioner back for the Regal Rumble, mainly so that Kelly stops thinking that I’ve totally made him up.)

Connor Molloy defeated Bryan Tucker by count out.

In the opener we got Bryan Tucker declaring that he was all business. He still has snazzy the tartan troos and matching tie which I’m still on the fence about. Connor Molloy shimmied his way out, I can only apologise for not joining the shimmy when young Connor tried to get shimmy wave going. Enough use of the word shimmy? Okay…

The match itself was a nice back and forth to kick it off. The turning point was Connor attempting a Guerrero-esque springboard armdrag but slipped on the ropes to land rib first on the second rope. Tucker declared he would show Molloy some real wrestling and not that fancy rubbish. I’m getting on board with this Bryan Tucker, it took a wee while, and when he took off his tie to choke Connor then yes, I’m in. He’s still a git though but in the good way.

The match spilled to the outside, Tucker took control and rolled Molloy in at around the eight count, turned to the crowd to declare he was a genius… and got himself counted out.

Amazing. This delusional side of Tucker is ramping up, the sheer buffoonery is getting honed, I love it. It was nice to see Connor in a singles match and his natural charisma and confidence is ever growing. You always expect a solid in-ring match from Bryan at a minimum, but his character wasn’t coming out, or I should say, it felt so forced but this is the first time it felt a bit more off the tongue with the quips and the adapting from the armdrag slip just showed how good on the fly he really is. Molloy recovered well from the slip and put in a really good performance himself.

Ronan King defeated Cysto by pinfall.

Ronan King’s new tattoo, a brave choice but he carries it with sheer arrogance. Cysto entered from the back of the hall and joined the crowd before taking, and wearing, woolly hats from members of the audience… including my brand new WrestleZone Scotland woolly hat (available from the merch table for Β£10, ask for Spyro… you won’t get a discount).

After a full hall run to gather some momentum to roll into the ring we got some of your Cysto shenanigans. The horsey ride, the evading, Ronan got incensed by Cysto. I’m sure Adam was also enraged three rows in front of me.

I really enjoyed the dynamic of King getting the upper hand and flexing to the crowd for a little too long which allowed Cysto to move or just sneak up on Ronan. Played into the inexperience and ego of Ronan King. Very nice. I’ve seen quite a few new guys in WrestleZone and I can’t think of too many that seem to have all the tools seemingly together so quickly. Now we’re seeing so many coming through like your Caleb Valhallas, Evan Youngs, Ronan Kings, testament to the WrestleZone Training Academy.

All the fun came to an end when King curb stomped Cysto’s big tangerine head into the mat for the pinfall sending him(?) back to his home planet next door to the Malysto’s.

Caleb Valhalla defeated Crusher Craib by pinfall.

In our first half main event we got big lads doing big lad things. The reason I was set on buying a ticket and travelling to Ellon.

I think I uttered the words “bloody hell” numerous times during this one. It started with just big forearms and hands flying all over the place. I appreciated that they didn’t just do the whole lock up stuff to kick off because we all came to see BIG BEEFY MEN SLAPPING MEAT (TM – Big E).

They wailed on each other for bit with hard chops with neither giving an inch, like King Kong versus Godzilla, then they started throwing each other…

Caleb hit a big clothesline to send Craib over the top rope but Crusher landed on his feet and dragged his opponent through the bottom rope which ended up with Caleb hooked like a prize, draped on the ring apron which Crusher took full advantage off with knees, chops, and boots. There was a plethora of German Suplexes from these two behemoths when they got back into the ring. Oh. My.

Somewhere during all this Caleb started bleeding from the nose, not very surprising considering the shots got harder as the match wore on. An absolute war. Each man had welts caused by the heavy artillery. You couldn’t take your eyes off these two as they looked like they just loved the intensity and absorbed each hit. Goading the other to hit harder.

Caleb hoisted Crusher and hit a White Noise, the impact of which rippled through the hall. Crusher recovered and picked up Caleb for a powerslam but Caleb wriggled out and hit the Helride to pick up the win.

Wow.

The two shook hands after the match.

If Summerhill Showdown was the breakout performance in WrestleZone for Caleb Valhalla, then this one was cementing his place. No shenanigans in this one, no Sterling influence, just two straight up monsters trying to knock the other down and revelling in the carnage. Beautiful.

The Foundation of the Future (Ryan Riley & Bruiser Brad Evans) defeated Heavy Metal Thunder (Mikkey Vago & Blue Thunder) by pinfall.

As we returned from the interval (I refrained from buying a raffle ticket to remain retired and undefeated) with the only multi-man match on the card. Originally scheduled to be a six man tag match, due to reasons, Archer was out, either Evan Young was injured or William Sterling hadn’t quite recovered from his KneePR from Summerhill Showdown so Zach Dynamite and Mr P were plucked from their respective teams for a singles match and Blue Thunder dipped out of retirement for a moment to form Heavy Metal Thunder with Mikkey Vago. Got it? Good.

Blue Thunder(struck)’s attire was a delight. Vago’s sometimes Mosh Pit co-host had your expected Thunder gear but with a flourish, adorned with a bandana, some sort of band t-shirt, and a sleeveless jacket that remained on throughout the bout. As the kids say, *chef’s kiss*.

Riley and Evans had no mercy for anyone, they had comebacks for anyone that tried to get under their skin. Riley noted that even though his attire may look like a swimming costume, that swimming was good cardio. Berating and educating in the Victoria Hall.

Vago is still in tremendous shape and if it only takes a good pair of dungarees I might need to invest in a pair myself. He started off with Bruiser Brad, there was a nice moment of Vago taking control and tagging in Thunder for a double team which they had to navigate and discuss while crossing arms and finally taking Evans down with a tandem straight jacket neckbreaker.

The Heavy Metal Thunder party was soon crashed with The Foundation of the Future cutting the ring and taking control, Riley showed off his flexibility by placing his foot on the top turnbuckle from the apron to allow Evans to ram Thunder’s face into it. Thunder took a fair bit of punishment, Riley tried to superplex Thunder from the top rope but was countered into a tornado snap suplex which I forever enjoy. Thunder tagged in Vago who was well rested and ready to throw hands. We got a double noggin’ knocker with Riley and Evans headbanging.

Just as Vago was about to wrap up the match from the top, Ronan King and his faux snake skin jacket appeared and pushed Vago off the top rope, while Evans distracted the referee, which allowed The Foundation of the Future to hit their elevated reverse DDT double team manoeuvre to score the pinfall.

A really nice match, The Foundation of the Future continue to be a well oiled machine. A proper team, that make it look easy. The first time pairing of Mikkey Vago and Blue Thunder was a lot of fun. I like that it’s not always the same dynamic for these thrown together teams, like at Summerhill Showdown The Foundation of the Future faced Mr P and Shawn Johnson and the good guys couldn’t click, there was a tension between them which Riley and Evans pounced on. Here we had the unit of Thunder and Vago working together, getting into the spirit of the team with the matching gear. Excellent stuff.

Vago came into this match with a taped up wrist and hand, with the man that gave him the injury, Ronan King, appearing towards the end to continue to be the thorn in Vago’s side. I’m very interested to see where that goes as we come up to the Regal Rumble next month. I didn’t think Ronan King’s “outside of the ring” gear would be more irritating to look at over his actual in-ring gear but ooft (he writes while currently sitting in joggers and a grey oodie).

I hope Vago has his camera to hand and we get some backstage shenanigans from this show, a montage of Vago and Thunder becoming a team and ending with the epic handshake from Predator, fade to black… I look forward to hearing about the Heavy Metal Thunder Reunion Tour coming to a gala near you.

Zach Dynamite defeated Mr P by pinfall.

In our penultimate match of the evening we got the last minute addition to the card. Zach Dynamite entered with the look of pure disgust. All alone, it was interesting to see that as a follow up to the build up to Dynamite-Damien at Summerhill Showdown was Damien telling Dynamite that he can’t win on his own. A little added detail for the regular crowd.

Mr P entered with his big flag, of course, and a saltire emblazoned MR P t-shirt (available at the merch table for Β£15). I want one, my wallet said no… but soon… he gave a child in the front row the flag to look after and warned Dynamite to not go near it… so of course Dynamite would keep drawing his eyes back to the flag throughout. I bet that was amazing for the kid to be part of the show. I mean, I’m 31 and would’ve loved that (of course my face would look furious but that’s just how it sits naturally).

The match opened with Mr P lifting his kilt to a disinterested Dynamite who wasn’t here to get laughs, just here to pick up a win. They started with your standard lock up, headlocks, all that good stuff. I really like Mr P’s armdrags, they’re really neat, anyway, certainly a back and forth encounter but Mr P was able to pick up the pace with some flying forearms. Dynamite was on the receiving end of a couple Bishop Brennan Specials, with Mr P directing his boot to Zach’s arse.

Mr P busted out a backpack stunner, that’s not something you see every day. As the match was nearing it’s conclusion with near falls traded before Dynamite was able to grab the ropes to assist his pin attempt for the tainted victory.

After the match Mr P got on the microphone and vowed to stop The Foundation of the Future and that there are plenty on the roster that will help him. I smell a big schmozz at Regal Rumble, it is tradition after all.

Another fun match, I always have high expectations for Mr P and Zach Dynamite to deliver in singles matches so together you’re onto a winner. Dynamite oozes arrogance, and I don’t mean Rick Martel’s perfume, so it makes him very easy to boo which becomes even easier when you have Mr P standing opposite. Two thumbs up.

There’s definitely a few directions this can go, whether it’s the originally scheduled match at Regal Rumble or if we get a couple feuds thrown in to cause some chaos at the Northern Hotel. Speaking of chaos, the main event was next.

Damien defeated Dino Del Monte by pinfall.

I’d said in the preview podcast that myself and Adam recorded that this could be the breakout match for Dino Del Monte. Check.

Dino entered and is now full on George Michael with the black leather jacket added to the ensemble. I also appreciated that he now has a singlet on to avoid any further bike parking spaces appearing. It’s a cracking look. He even had a toothpick that he flicked at Damien that looked to have impaled his boot. That damn dastardly Dino.

It’s nice to come to a WrestleZone show without thinking Damien was going to lose his Undisputed WrestleZone Championship as this was a non-title match. It did give the match a little bit of an unpredictability about it, though my streak of predictions are woeful when it comes to WrestleZone as you may be aware.

In a macho battle to start off with, Damien and Dino offered the other a couple free shots that they looked to regret with every punch. The match spilled to the outside, Damien chased and smacked Dino with a plastic bin and headed to the merch table. I don’t know what the crew has done to Damien recently but he has headed there more often than not recently to do some battering.

My personal highlight in all of this was Damien grabbing a foam finger from the often mentioned merch table, feigned a chop with it before slapping Dino’s chest with his actual hand which Dino exclaimed “MY NIPPLE!”. Damien asked if anyone wanted a foam finger, a bunch of kids put up their hands and he informed them they were at the merch table, Β£6 a piece. Amazing. I’m still cackling about that some 48 hours later.

Dino was able to get back on offense with a nice hard hitting sidewalk slam. We got a couple Aloha Dino’s to fight through Sunset Flip attempts. Dino hit a big knee to the ribs of a prone Damien as he was draped over the top turnbuckle. Damien fought back and was able to hit a second rope elevated backstabber.

Dino countered back with a big boot then a second rope leg drop, because he’s Dino Del Monte and he can do what he wants. Just as Del Monte was closing in on a big win, Damien rolled up Dino for the win out of nowhere.

Damien’s victory was short lived with Dino attacking him at ringside, Scotty Swift ran out to make the save but was shortly followed by Mauler Murphy dressed in a white shirt and black trousers. Murphy gave Swift a beating and a Samoan Drop then added the exclamation point with a nice looking frog splash (to me, I don’t think Scotty would agree). Murphy held Swift back which allowed Dino to hit the discus forearm to Damien.

Del Monte introduced us to Murphy (Mauler no more?), and that The Outfit was under new management. He challenged anyone to try test his claim of being the best striker in WrestleZone and left with Murphy as the WrestleZone staff attended to Damien and Swift.

What a close to the show. We’ll put the post match aside for the moment, another star making performance in this one. Damien and Dino tore each other apart with the match running very close if not for some wily veteran moves. Dino has got a good look, has properly found his voice, and is firmly and abruptly found his way into being an Undisputed WrestleZone Championship contender. If the latter was the mission with this match then it was certainly accomplished. Damien is on another level right now and though it seems I’ve been wishing for his title reign to end, he has been the 100% right guy to be in the main event matches.

The post match portion, finally Mauler Murphy, or just Murphy, has something interesting to do. This Outfit 2.0 will hopefully bring something out of Murphy, at the very least he looks to already have a bit more fire in him and being in association with someone who has just about got all the pieces of the puzzle together in Dino, it can only go well. We may’ve said goodbye to the pleather trousers, or maybe it’s a see you later, for now.

If I was to change just one thing about Dino Del Monte, and it’s only one, the Del Monte has to go. I think that would just complete the evolution. Whether it’s a difference surname or just simply Dino, like Adele, Zendaya, or BeyoncΓ©.

We’re now into Rumble season for WrestleZone and I know you’d think that I would have Aspen Faith as the firm favourite to win it and go to Aberdeen Anarchy, and you’re right, but from this show it might not be as open and shut with Zach Dynamite continuing to rack up the wins, Caleb slaying the beast, and now Dino Del Monte bursting through.

Oh me, what a show. I said on Twitter after getting home that people shouldn’t sleep on these “smaller” shows and I think this was proof of that. Each match brought some great in-ring action and character moments. It provided some extra chapters to these wrestlers stories that will continue to go forward.

Proof of a memorable show is when I can write so much about the actual in-ring portions of the matches.

WrestleZone have now built a core roster of guys that could main event any WrestleZone show and be a viable championship contender. You have your established guys like Scotty Swift, Crusher Craib, Mr P, Zach Dynamite, then your guys like Mikkey Vago, Bruiser Brad Evans, Ryan Riley, that wouldn’t look out of place challenging for the big belt on the last match of the show. As already mentioned the young guys coming through the training academy are looking very polished, some needed a little more time in front of the crowds to get there but it’s not a race. Their time will come.

It had a good sized crowd who were up for some wrestling, the matches from start to finish entertained, and it didn’t fall into the trap of “sending the crowd home happy” with the good guys overcoming the baddies. It left the show on a cliff hanger to get you to snap up a ticket to the next event. Which I will.

Tl:dr; Yas, wrestling.

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