Review: WrestleZone ‘Aberdeen Anarchy 2022’ (14 May) – The Future Is Now

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Quick Results
VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show – Air Myles def. Alastor Kharon by Pinfall

VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show – Rhys Dawkins def. Blue Thunder by Pinfall
WrestleZone Tag Team Championships – The Foundation of the Future (Bruiser Brad Evans & Ryan Riley) def. Crusher Craib & Connor Molloy (c) by Pinfall to win the titles
Chris Archer def. Krobar by Pinfall
Special Guest Referee: Johnny Lions – Evan Young def. Bryan Tucker by Pinfall
Singapore Cane Match – Ronan King def. Mikkey Vago by Pinfall
William Sterling & The Outfit (Dino & Murphy) def. Scotty Swift, Umar Mohammed & Johnny Lions by Pinfall
WrestleZone Tag Team Championships – Number One Contendership – Mr P & Shawn Johnson def. Proper Mental (Lou King Sharp & Krieger) by Pinfall
Undisputed WrestleZone Championship – Triple Threat – Zach Dynamite def. Damien (c) and Aspen Faith by Pinfall to win the title


Well now.

Aberdeen Anarchy 2022. That was something special, wasn’t it?

It’s always been an outstanding product but since around 2017, WrestleZone has been brewing up something quite nice in the north-east. Their journey from there to Aberdeen Anarchy X in September 2018 was genuinely one of my favourite periods as a Scottish wrestling fan. A lot of other companies in the country were doing tremendous work and they received the recognition they deserved for it, but what about WrestleZone? Lost in the shuffle, as is always the case for some reason. They appear to now be getting a tiny bit more acknowledgement but it’s several years too late for a promotion that has worked tirelessly to build itself as a reputable promotion. They achieved that years ago. Aberdeen Anarchy proved just that.

Aberdeen Anarchy 2022 was the biggest yet. No, it wasn’t a Beach Ballroom extravaganza and no, there weren’t any former WWE Superstars scheduled to appear, despite how desperately James wanted D-Von Dudley to return. Instead, it was a representation of what WrestleZone is. Everyone on their core roster was featured in some way, but you also had a few newer faces, both from the WrestleZone Training Academy and from further afield, all of whom combined to create this amazing show.

Billy’s said something along these lines numerous times, but WrestleZone genuinely is an escape from reality. The few hours you spent in attendance at a WrestleZone show will allow you to forget about the stress of bills, work, and whatever else is hampering your day-to-day life…and then give you countless theories to think about on the drive back home. Johnny Lions probably isn’t facing Bryan Tucker at Battle of the Nations, but it won’t stop me from believing it.

Um, so anyway…

A pre-show trip to B&M and McDonald’s (that also included Connor Molloy almost being run over in the car park across from the Northern Hotel) over and done with, it was time to wait in line on what felt like the warmest day of my life. I chose the wrong day to break in my Mikkey’s Mosh Pit t-shirt, available from all good merchandise stands. Doors seemed to open on time to the shock and horror of all in the queue so before I knew it, I was sat in the far side of the hotel, Aberdeen Anarchy t-shirts purchased and a surprise Aspen Faith t-shirt from James that somehow made it back to my seat. Don’t mind if I do.

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VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show
Air Myles def. Alastor Kharon by Pinfall

A brand new salmon suit from Martyn Clunes brought all eyes onto the ring for the VIP portion of the night as Air Myles took on Alastor Kharon, a match between two regulars down the country in Reckless Intent Wrestling. I was excited by this, having never properly seen either of them work, but Kharon took my eye straight away. His whole look is chef’s kiss. The fact he kept the mask on while wrestling made it that extra tiny bit better.

These worked perfectly together to get the crowd excited for the night ahead. Air Myles is seemingly an artist when it comes to getting them involved, pumping them up continuously throughout the match, much to the chagrin of Alastor Kharon before the former Reckless Intent Tag Team Champion took over, slowly decimating Myles piece by piece. A big meaty Lariat that completely floored Myles remains the highlight for me, just needlessly killing guys with that without actually injuring them. How? I’ll never know. It looked brutal.

Some good energetic pieces from Air Myles saw a nice sling blade that would make Hiroshi TanahashiJTG proud. The high-flying nature of the Fair City Saints member made him the perfect opponent for the dastardly Kharon here, with a lot of Alastor’s work being mat-based as opposed to flips off the ropes, though the handful of springboards and dives were all executed beautifully. A high Crossbody stands out to me, as did a backslide counter that saw Myles flip backwards over Kharon’s back and land on his feet without a stumble. It’s just not fair. A Swanton Bomb later and Air Myles was successful in his WrestleZone debut.

At no point did this feel like a ‘pre-show’ match. Both Air Myles and Alastor Kharon performed tremendously well to do not only themselves proud, but the Reckless Intent brand proud as well, serving as a reminder that the only good Scottish wrestling isn’t just in Glasgow. Either of these two could easily become a regular WrestleZone roster member, mainly because I’m desperate to see The Fair City Saints in Aberdeen.

Alastor Kharon really impressed me here. I’d seen snippets of his work in Reckless Intent and Discovery, but seeing him live is a different story. He excels at his character work for what he does and his in-ring stuff is just amazing. His springboard roundhouse kick could’ve been the match-ender here, as could that aforementioned Lariat. I’ll certainly be checking out more of his stuff online; he’s one to watch for 2022 if I’m a betting man.

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VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show
Rhys Dawkins def. Blue Thunder by Pinfall

At the WrestleZone Training Academy double-header, Rhys Dawkins left me needing more. I wasn’t too much of a fan of his interaction with Blue Thunder, so Aberdeen Anarchy left me wondering what to expect.

He’s still fresh out of the Training Academy so there are always going to be areas for improvement (his attire for a start, what even is that). It wasn’t all bad as I enjoyed him being a cocky arse to Blue Thunder about knowing where he is in the ring at all times just because he escaped a hammerlock and some of his moves were decent. He just needs to finesse the whole package.

What I will say is that having his first match be against Blue Thunder, a WrestleZone veteran and coach, helped him outย massively. Thunder is exceptional at getting the audience to invest in something and/or someone, as was proven here. Although Rhys proclaims to be the most intelligent wrestler in the world, the former two-time WrestleZone Tag Team Champion has been doing this for over a decade. He knows every trick in the book, hence why he controlled a large portion of this match, downing the former WrestleZone commentator. Spitting out some Latin nonsense (the rowdy Northern Hotel audience meant I genuinely couldn’t hear what, exactly, he said) before clotheslining the Shakespeare out of Dawkins was neat.

Rhys wound up resorting to removing the turnbuckle pad behind the referee’s back (for those wondering, no, this wasn’t a Dennis Law-refereed match) and slamming Thunder’s head into it. Why he dropped a random elbow for the pin I’ll never know, but it was effective nonetheless.

If Rhys continues this sort of trend, insisting he’s the smartest guy on the roster and then just doing whatever it takes to win, then I’m all in. It’s great. Like I said, he’s definitely improved from what I saw of him at the double-header last month, so that’s a good sign. For me, there are just a few elements that aren’t quite up to my liking, but it’s all just personal opinion at the end of the day. In listening/watching the K&K Wrestle Factory review of the show, they seemed to love every second of it, so Rhys is obviously doing something right.

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WrestleZone Tag Team Championships
The Foundation of the Future (Bruiser Brad Evans & Ryan Riley) def. Crusher Craib & Connor Molloy (c) by Pinfall to win the titles

Kicking off the main portion of the night and already, I want reimbursement for WrestleZone’s outright theft of my emotions.

Before we even got started with this, the cameraman got in the ring and panned around the crowd as they went wild for the first Aberdeen Anarchy in three years. As a media nerd, this was an excellent touch. I think in the past they’ve done something similar where they’d go up the queue outside the Beach Ballroom, but there’s nothing quite like a packed Northern Hotel audience ready for that first match. Stay tuned for the DVD release to see my subdued facial reaction after writing all these pleasantries.

Big Bruiser Brad Evans and less big Ryan Riley were out first, wearing some lovely new entrance vests embroidered with The Foundation of the Future’s logo. Each show that passes, they seem to have found something new to put that logo on, you can’t fault them for committing to it (it’s a lovely logo so why would you not want it everywhere?), with Brad also sporting a mullet. All in for Anarchy.

This wasn’t your average WrestleZone tag team match. It needed to be special from the off because it’s Aberdeen Anarchy, your biggest show of the year. So Connor Molloy casually busted out a somersault plancha and 450 splash. Cool cool cool cool cool. You could’ve ended it there and I’d have been happy. Moves like that aren’t always seen in WrestleZone, meaning when they are, theyย always receive a resounding reaction to justify their use.

Connor spent a large portion of this being battered after Crusher took a spill to the outside, taking an excellent combo from Evans and Riley near the ropes that concluded in Evans completely flattening the unnecessarily jacked Connor with an Eddie Guerrero-inspired somersault senton that I’ve only just realised was perhaps a sly dig at Molloy, an avid Eddie fan as evidenced by his own matches the last few months. When Crusher got tagged back in, the place came seriously unglued, more than I’ve heard before but not for the last time this evening. He drove through the Foundation lads, clotheslining everyone in sight.

Crusher and Connor felt more like a team in this match than they ever have before, dishing out stereo German suplexes and back-to-back Black Hole Slams. ‘The Creator of Carnage’ took a stiff Swanton Bomb off of Evans late in the match, absolutely piss off taking that, while Ryan Riley also kicked out of Crusher’s big boot. Genuine question; has anyone else done so? A spike Piledriver crowned new WrestleZone Tag Team Champions, with Crusher being the unfortunate recipient.

This is a true WrestleZone Training Academy success story. Bruiser Brad Evans and Ryan Riley have always been great, but it wasn’t until they palled up with fellow graduate Zach Dynamite that they become must-see. The Foundation of the Future has steadily become one of the best things in Scottish wrestling, so seeing them finally win big (more on Dynamite’s win later, the bastard) was superb. A credit to their coaches.

Then I wasย this close to tears apparently. Crusher Craib shocked the Northern Hotel with news that he was hanging up his boots. The way he did so was perfectly done as well. He stated he and Connor weren’t going to have their obligatory championship rematch for the titles, referencing their alliance being temporary as I sensed a battering of Connor for old time’s sake. But no. Crusher Craib, a WrestleZone legend, has wrestled his last match, but he’s seemingly going out on his own terms. He made no reference of any injuries being the reason for him calling it a day; he’s simply calling time on his career because the next generation of WrestleZone talent is coming through. He wants them to take the company to the next level. How can you not respect him for that? Essentially voluntarily ending his own career just so everyone else can get the opportunities he got and more.

Just go on social media to see the responses to the news. There’s not a bad word to be said about Crusher Craib. Everyone has piled on to pay respect to someone who is/was genuinely one of the most underrated in the country, certainly when it comes to big guys anyway. He was capable of producing something great with just about anyone (Jack Jester, Scotty Swift, Damien, Connor Molloy, Aspen Faith, Bingo Ballance, et al). You were always guaranteed a great match when you saw Crusher Craib booked on a show. Unless it was his own choice (he has a family after all, who he embraced in a heartwarming moment), then there’s no reason why he shouldn’t have been up and down the country every month. He leaves behind a considerable gap on the WrestleZone roster, but he said it himself; the company is in good hands.

#ThankYouCrusher

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Chris Archer def. Krobar by Pinfall

When Chris Archer vs. Krobar was announced, I was among the majority who thought, why? Just why? Aside from the dual bikers aesthetic, I couldn’t see a reason for the match, but now it makes sense. It was your post-Crusher Craib retirement cooldown, whether it was intended to be or not but unfortunately, it meant that nobody cared.

Krobar just doesn’t interest me in the slightest. I’ve found myself enjoying The Purge’s matches when I’ve watched them online, but Krobar by himself in front of a completely new audience, Krobar bored the life out of me. If Archer had been against his originally scheduled opponent in Jackie Polo, then this probably would’ve been a million times better. Polo is a skilled veteran, delivering every time. Beating a former World Heavyweight Champion would’ve been a legitimately big deal.

The self-proclaimed ‘Hardest Part of the Ring’ battered everyone’s favourite triple-denim UK Undertaker, shouting to what felt like just one section of fans instead of getting the whole venue involved. When Chris Archer got back into the swing of things, there was slightly more investment from the crowd but it was just too tough to rebound from the emotional damage caused by the opening match. A diving Flatliner that Krobar clearly didn’t know what to do with gave Chris Archer the win.

I feel bad for this. Chris Archer was trying, people have cared about him since the return of shows and indeed well before that. He was in the wrong environment sadly. I can’t see Krobar coming back up to WrestleZone any time soon, but he did his job to some sort of degree so…yay? I’ll forget this match ever happened and continue watching him and Stevie James batter folk online.

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Special Guest Referee: Johnny Lions
Evan Young def. Bryan Tucker by Pinfall

There is nothing else like a live Johnny Lions entrance experience.

Returning to WrestleZone for the first time since December 2019, the former Undisputed Champion and certified best friend/tag team partner of Scotty Swift (SwiftLions4Eva etc) was on hand to officiate the match between Bryan Tucker and Evan Young. The crowd went wild from the minute he came out. Tits oot, taps aff, the full shebang for the return of the man who started it all. He was missed, clearly.

Tucker vs. Young was more about the tensions between Tucker and Lions than anything else, but it worked because of their tremendous chemistry together. Special referee matches often run the risk of failing if the referee makes it about them, but there was nothing you could fault about this. Everything Lions did added something to the match, from slow counting – or just not counting at all – for Bryan Tucker, and fast counting for Evan Young. A shady referee in WrestleZone? Well, colour me surprised.

Bryan Tucker wore a tartan bowtie for the occasion that he hilariously struggled to remove, ultimately revealing his usual tie Mr Socko style. The former Undisputed Champion took several digs at Lions throughout the match as well, hitting some of Lions’ trademark offence to the chagrin of ‘The Tenacious One’. It call came back to (Lion) Bite him in the end, with Evan Young hitting a wonderful middle-rope Lion Cutter to pick up the win in his Aberdeen Anarchy debut. A failed Lion Cutter attempt from Lions to Tucker followed post-match, planting the seeds (in my mind) for a Battle of the Nations showdown between the pair on 6 August.

Right, Evan Young, can you just not? Turning 18 earlier this year and already being this well-rounded a wrestler is disgusting.

In all seriousness, this felt like him taking the next steps in his career. This was his first singles match on a marquee WrestleZone show against a former Undisputed and Tag Team Champion; he couldn’t do things as he’s usually done them. Instead, Young stepped up a next level, using his small stature to his advantage with some neat offence, his flying headlock takedown being the highlight for me. Everything looked so crisp for someone who only debuted in October. WrestleZone have only done a handful of shows since returning in October, and Evan hasn’t been involved in all of them, so he’s clearly putting intense work in behind the scenes to better himself. You’d never have guessed he’s only seven months in. Once again, he’s a credit to the team at the WrestleZone Training Academy.

Speaking of which, he gets extra cookies for ditching the “I just graduated” plain black gear, now rocking some customised black and green gear. Now, please stop making me feel old, please and thanks.

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Singapore Cane Match
Ronan King def. Mikkey Vago by Pinfall

Because I’m a sadist who’s spent many an hour watching Best of CZW compilations on YouTube, the Singapore Cane match between Ronan King and Singapore cane connoisseur Mikkey Vago was something I couldn’t wait for. I mean, it was never going to be quite on the level of package Piledrivers through panes of glass and top-rope Michinoku Drivers through light tubes, but the excitement was there nonetheless.

Ronan King, the prime showboating bastard, rocked up in Mikkey Vago cosplay, complete with Cactus Jack hair, one of Chris Archer’s many bandanas, and a suspiciously altered guitar, eventually dropping the cosplay to instead wear a disgustingly gold jacket that he absolutely did not stare from Joe Hendry. Nope. Not at all. Wouldn’t be the first time he’s stolen part of his attire from someone else mind.

Mikkey Vago stole the show in terms of attires, though, mostly because I’ve no clue what to call it. Half-camouflage, half heavy metal Captain Alan Sterling. He had a bin of Singapore canes at least. Preparation.

This was all over the place. Ronan did his best to avoid being twatted with a cane, even if it did mean he was instead sent flying out of the ring with a Cactus Clothesline, but when that first moment of bamboo hitting bare flesh occurred, it was sickening, deafening…but lovely. It was back and forth for a large chunk of the match, each guy using different techniques to get the better of the other, from Ronan acting cockier than ever imaginable (that included this amazing picture from Brian Battensby) to Vago just wailing with the canes. The Mikkey’s Mosh Pit host wasn’t at the Northern Hotel to joke about cheese sandwiches and the joys of Dundee, he was just wanted a fight. It was brutal. Not pretty, but brutal. He maybe regrets the stipulation, considering he got absolutely murdered with a cane to the head, a big OOOOHHHHH reverberating off the Northern Hotel walls as the capacity crowd couldn’t believe they’d witnessed yet another murder attempt in the venue. Poor show from security.

At one point, Ronan attempted some sort of Moonsault that resulted in him being thumped in the ribs with a cane, with another cane going where no cane has gone before. Seemingly scampering out of harm’s way with a ring covered in Singapore canes, Ronan King was hanging out of the ring – and then all of a sudden, he’s hit Vago over the head with a guitar, paying tribute to the greatest wrestler in TNA/IMPACT/GFW/whatever history, your idol and mine, Double J, Jeff Jarrett. You love to see it, or at least you’d want to; the white powder was blinding.

Ronan’s smile told the whole story. He’d planned ahead, thinking outside of the box to defeat Mikkey Vago at what is supposedly his own game. He’s just the best, this amalgamation of a brash, cocky youngster, thinking he’s better than everyone else but who can also wrestle a damn good match when he wants to. For an Aberdeen Anarchy debut, this was certainly one way to make an impact. You’re not forgetting this match anytime soon. What a hoot.

For all the praise that Ronan gets for how quickly he’s taken to wrestling after his November 2021 debut, Mikkey Vago needs some acknowledgement. This is a guy who, while a WrestleZone veteran of seven years, has never gotten to enjoy a considerable singles run. There’s nothing wrong with The Rejected as Vago and Chris Archer – and Kaden Garrick for the minute he was in the group – have evolved into one of the best teams in the country; matching gear, a couple of solid tag team moves, great chemistry, they’ve nailed every beat. With Archer enjoying a singles run post-COVID, it’s allowed Vago to do the same, and he’s taken the chance to prove himself. He’s capable of some great things that we probably would’ve never seen without this run. He and Ronan King are just sensational together. You could watch them all day and not get bored. Great stuff.

To beย thatย guy, though – guitars allowed in a Singapore cane match? You don’t need me to tell you who refereed this one.

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William Sterling & The Outfit (Dino & Murphy) def. Scotty Swift, Umar Mohammed & Johnny Lions by Pinfall

Back from the break, the ring was cleaned, raffle tickets were bought, drinks were purchased because the Northern Hotel is needlessly warm (seeing a fan next to where I was sitting only to realise it was blowing towards the commentary team, I can’t forgive them), it was time for the mystery man to be revealed. Exciting!

It was Johnny Lions. Of course it was Johnny Lions. Did it take anything away from the moment? Absolutely not. We were getting the in-ring return of Johnny Lions alongside Scotty Swift and Umar Mohammed. The Sensational Swift Lions were in full force. Scotty and Umar were buzzing to have their pal back. Johnny was buzzing to wrestle again. The crowd were buzzing. William Sterling, Dino, and Murphy were also in attendance. The Outfit, by the way; all on board with this new direction. They’ve not changed their look since the last show, but they have ditched the original Outfit music for some sort of rock/metal thing, finalising the changing of the guard with The Outfit. Considering Dino has completely changed his look from before the pandemic, getting rid of that last piece of the original alliance was needed. It cemented the whole package.

A few quick tags in and out encapsulated much of the early going, including a staredown between Johnny Lions and big Dino. There’s a singles match I wish we’d gotten, particularly as their tag team work from 2019 was excellent even before Dino had finessed his whole character. Umar Mohammed, complete with his custom Aberdeen Anarchy gear, was battered by the larger trio for a good chunk of this, though he did do a turnbuckle headstand as a tribute to Johnny Lions, who’d had a hand in training ‘The Asian Sensation’. Once Johnny was tagged back in after a comeback was mounted by Umar, the crowd came unglued. Here he was, the guy we thought we’d never see wrestle again, clotheslining folk all over the place, Tenacious Gunning Dino, Lion Cuttering Murphy, the best hits of Johnny Lions if you will.

The reunited Swift Lions even planted Dino into the mat with an America’s Most Wanted-inspired Death Sentence that I’m sure Dino would’ve loved taking as an apparent early-era TNA stan (no, The Flying Elvises weren’t great). Scotty Swift was eventually pinned after taking the death blow of a loaded boxing glove-assisted punch and a Dino roaring elbow. Pennies spilt out of the boxing glove afterwards. The Dundee pay packet as Billy called it in his post about the show, which I found almost too funny for a Thursday morning.

Scotty Swift’s been knocked out. Again. Yep, Dino’s getting sparked by Lee McAlister at Battle of the Nations.

As much as the return of Johnny Lions was a mesmerising experience in itself, I can’t get over how tremendous William Sterling, Dino, and Murphy are as a trio. Sterling knows just the right buttons to push to get all manner of reactions from the crowd. Dino has grown exponentially as a wrestler, now being such an incredible performer; I’ve always enjoyed his work, but there’s been a clear change since his Christmas Chaos return. Murphy surprised me a lot. I’ve not been fully on board with him as of late (or ever, for that matter), but he came bursting through the curtain with an energy he’s never shown before. I don’t know if it’s the feeling of being on Aberdeen Anarchy for the first time or what, but he was almost a different man. If anyone’s improved dramatically since October, it’s him. There are still some slight areas where he could maybe turn up the intensity, but man, what a change of direction.

We’ll get back to them in a moment, but fingers crossed they remain united post-Battle of the Nations. There’s endless potential with this lot (and a certain Tri-Counties Champion) as a unit.

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WrestleZone Tag Team Championships – Number One Contendership
Mr P & Shawn Johnson def. Proper Mental (Lou King Sharp & Krieger) by Pinfall

This was the most fun I think I’ve ever had on a WrestleZone show, bar Lord Michael of Graham’s Aberdeen Anarchy X return (gone, but never forgotten, all hail). Lou King Sharp and Krieger are always a hoot to watch, but Mr P and Shawn Johnson, the unlikeliest of duos, are apparently one of the best things in Scottish wrestling? You could tell at the Academy Show last month how much fun they appeared to be having, but it was turned up by ten levels here.

Shawn Johnson came flying out, full kit wanker I believe is the term used by sports fans. He had the kilt, the facepaint, the Scottish flag; Mr P but with hair. Sure, he still had the same old Granite City Hotshots gear on underneath as Kyle furiously pointed out on the K&K Wrestle Factory review of the show, but it’s a change nonetheless. Shawn apparently slid on his arse during the entrance, but all I saw was a corpsing Martyn Clunes struggle to get through the introductions.

Speaking of changes – where have Mr P and Shawn Johnson been hiding these dance moves? They easily defeated Lou King Sharp and Krieger, superb dancers in their own right, in the unscheduled dance-off. Absolute scenes in the Northern Hotel. I’m just picturing them in the venue hours before doors open, everyone else is helping get set up, and they’re just in the far corner practicing their routine like Ross and Monica. I’m still in shock now.

The match itself was fine, once the serotonin of the dance wore off. Mr P and Shawn once again slapped each other’s chests as a sign of support only for it to count as a tag, which always makes me laugh for some reason. They’ve gelled together as a team tremendously well over the last few shows. They were in cohesion with so many aspects of this, from the stereo stinkfaces to the flash of the kilt into a Shawn Johnson suicide dive. They’re a joy to watch, which couldn’t be said for Shawn just a few months ago. He even continued his Mr P tribute act with an Axe Kick to win the match, earning them a crack at Bruiser Brad Evans and Ryan Riley’s Tag Team Championships on 6 August.

When you can tell the wrestlers are having fun, then you have fun yourself. That’s exactly what happened here. Mr P’s fun, flamboyant, energetic personality has finally worn off on Shawn Johnson. The former Undisputed Champion has been in a slump since we came back to live shows, but this alliance with Mr P has allowed him to find himself again. He’s no longer the serious Shawn Johnson because other guys are filling that role. He’s fun Shawn Johnson now, almost as if we’re going through the attire select screen on WWE 2K22.

Not to discredit Lou King Sharp and Krieger of course, as the former WrestleZone Tag Team Champions did their role to perfection to enhance their opponents. Nobody expected them to win, but it rarely actually matters when the match is superb. Their double Chokeslam that saw Sharp jump up to be able to hit the move was just pure nonsensical hilarity that only he’s capable of. I’m glad they’re still doing the whole in your face Proper Mental stuff, rather than the serious (to a degree) schtick they’ve been doing everywhere else. Not only does it give WrestleZone something different, but it works far better given the nature of the WrestleZone audience. They can never get enough of the duo, hence why they’ve become semi-permanent members of the roster since their respective debuts.

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Caleb Valhalla didn’t actually face Captain Alan Sterling, despite what the lovely, lovely match graphic tells you after the reigning and not defending Tri-Counties Champion sadly caught COVID. I’m not entirely sure how you can catch it when you’re out at sea, but alas the Captain was left to quarantine in his boat.

Instead, ‘The Mighty Caleb’ destroyed everyone.

William Sterling and The Outfit confronted Valhalla, revealing they’d formed an alliance with Alan that as I previously mentioned, will hopefully continue well past Battle of the Nations. I love a good stable and it’s something WrestleZone has traditionally done very well at (Sterling Oil, The Foundation of the Future, The Rejected, etc). Despite their best efforts, the trio were unsuccessful in thwarting Caleb Valhalla this time around, with Murphy eating one hell of a Spear, Dino taking a beaut of a floatover DDT no doubt inspired by somehow WWE Hall of Famer Jacqueline, and Sterling being wiped out by an accidental Dino roaring elbow. Lord Mr Malice, Blue Thunder, referee Dennis Law, and two lads of the security squad were subsequently left laying on the mat. Malice took a Helride that I’m sure for ‘The Greatest of All the Malices’ brought back some memories of a certain Regal Rumble moment.

Pure Caleb Valhalla perfection. I’m sure everyone would’ve loved to have seen a replacement for Alan step up (Valhalla vs. Dino, yes please), but this was a more than suitable replacement. Valhalla is at his best when he’s just laying into folk. I was happy watching him obliterate William, Dino, and Murphy, but when everyone else started getting involved, it was incredible. The security lads, who I presume are WrestleZone trainees, added so much to this because they were flattened so easily.

Caleb vs. Alan will likely now take place at Battle of the Nations on 6 August, so Alan has at least another couple of months to enjoy life before an anticipated battering from the Norse God. Unless, y’know, he conveniently catches monkeypox the day of the show.

Anyways. Didn’t win the raffle. Rigged. Screwjob.

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Undisputed WrestleZone Championship – Triple Threat
Zach Dynamite def. Damien (c) and Aspen Faith by Pinfall to win the title

The best match in WrestleZone history. Period.

Damien, Zach Dynamite, and Aspen Faith, three of the best inย Scotlandthe United Kingdom, doing what WrestleZone does best; a tantalising, action-packed, story-driven match that the whole audience can immerse themselves in for the 20, 25 minutes it lasts. The crowd were firmly on the edge of their seats for this one, eager to see what would come of it.

Damienโ€™s entrance told the whole story. There was no energetic entrance, there was no โ€˜Revolutionโ€™ by The Used, it was all just on the small scale. When he came through the curtain, it was like Halloween Hijinx all over again. His face was full of emotion. As he stood on the turnbuckles, looking out into the audience, his 1,000+ day reign as Undisputed Champion facing its toughest challenge to date, it all felt exponentially grand. It was sensational. Stupendous, if you will.

The match that followed, there was nothing else like it. All three played their part to perfection to make this match the best it could be. Seeing big Kev on security standing at ringside ooing and ahing on every beat of the match added that extra spice to the match. This felt like the evolution of WrestleZone to a degree. If theyโ€™ve been the New Generation Era before with all the characters and bright colours, then this was the Attitude Era, that added intensity with every strike, every slam, every single aspect of this was more brutal than WrestleZone typically is without ever crossing that boundary.

There was so much to enjoy here. Zach Dynamite’s snap dragon suplex. Aspen Faith’s military press followed shortly thereafter with a diving Moonsault, being the most versatile heavyweight in the UK. Damien’s callback to the biggest match of his career, his coming-out moment prior to departing Sterling Oil, hitting a Tyler Driver ’97. Even Martyn Clunes having a mental breakdown with a microphone prior to the match. It all added to this being the biggest and most important match in the WrestleZone history books.

The kickouts. The 2.9 counts. The moment I thought Aspen Faith was seriously injured, landing neck first on an exposed turnbuckle. The tension was palpable for this whole match. They brawled up through the crowd at one point, where all I could see was Damien somersaulting off the bar that is seemingly always used in big Northern Hotel matches.

And then Mikey Innes ate a Superkick.

Cue Bruiser Brad Evans and Ryan Riley to saunter out, initiating an excellent callback to Summerhill Showdown, where all of this first started (or continued, I guess is the better term). They laid out Damien but instead of Zach Dynamite sending them packing, they held Aspen Faith back as Dynamite executed a Frog Splash. One of many incredible callbacks throughout this clash.

Zach Dynamite using Damien’s flying Codebreaker, Aspen Faith hitting a spinning Tombstone Piledriver, Damien flipping off ‘The Lost Boy’. I could go on and on and on about this.

A steel chair was introduced late into the match, with Aspen Faith taking the brunt of the assault. He was decimated with the chair, shot after shot to the chest and back before he laid motionless on the mat. Aspen out, Damien was driven head-first into the chair with a double-arm DDT. One, two, three; Zach Dynamite was finally crowned the new Undisputed WrestleZone Champion after a decade-long journey in pursuit of the championship he so craved.

Absolutely incredible. It genuinely was the best match in company history, but you know what? It was one of the best matches I’ve ever seen in UK wrestling. Damien, Aspen Faith, and Zach Dynamite are three of the best to ever do it this side of the border. Sensational wrestlers, sensational storytellers, just the best. I loved it so much.

Zach Dynamite was the logical successor to Damien, even if my head was craving a long-awaited Aspen Faith title win. He’s proven himself as one of the best guys Scottish wrestling has ever seen. This wasn’t the same Zach Dynamite who returned in August 2016; he’s become a completely changed man over the last six years. From his in-ring style to his whole aesthetic, I’ve never seen such a change in anyone. For him to then win the Undisputed Championship from one of his greatest opponents in the biggest match of his career is just such a perfect ending to these last few months since shows returned.

An incredible ending, too, to the biggest show on the WrestleZone calendar.

Like Billy, I always bang on about this incredible thing up north called WrestleZone. It’s the best wrestling promotion in Scotland. At the very least one of the top five in the whole of the UK. There’s nothing else like it. You get something different with every passing show. You leave the venues full of emotion, both good and bad. If a wrestling promotion can achieve this after literally every single show, how could you possibly fault them or anyone else involved?

If this is the last big official show until Battle of the Nations on 6 August, then it’ll be worth the wait. Roll on gala season*!

*so long as you’re in Cove/Portlethen


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