Review: Pro2 Wrestling ‘Return of the Ring 2022’

Pro2 Wrestling have been kind enough to upload a full show on their YouTube channel so best to give it a wee gander. I’ve been hearing great things about Pro2 since their inception with hot crowds and some cracking match line ups it’s fine to be able to check out a full show. They have uploaded a couple matches for Pro2sday but this is the first time a whole event has been put online.

Before the first match started Rosie Nyte entered to announce that she wasn’t going to wrestle in her scheduled match and that Rubi Roberts and Ellie Armstrong would be wrestling to crown a number one contender for the Belle’s Championship. Quite an interesting development as the content of Nyte’s words were quite cowardly, citing having only wrestled in triple threat matches against random opponents, but the crowd loved her and it was treated as “yes you have been a fighting champion you deserve the night off” by them. Different, definitely different.

Lucha DS defeated Taylor Vite by pinfall.

Two immensely talented wrestlers kicking off the show. Big characters are always a winner and when you have the arrogant smugness of Taylor SwiftVite against the colourful and flip filled Lucha DS there was no way that this wasn’t going to be a highly entertaining affair.

The crowd were loud in support for Lucha DS and Taylor Vite relished the jeers and venomous hatred, he didn’t seem to relish the Taylor Swift chants so much but the distractions allowed for Lucha to catch a break.

I loved that there was no waste in movement from Vite, even when he locked in a chinlock he was grabbing and mauling at the mask of Lucha. He was always scowling at the crowd at any opportunity. Anything Lucha DS did was met with all the cheers and support. Eventually Lucha hit a 619 and Swanton Bomb to pick up the win.

This is what an opening match should be. Both wrestlers had the crowd in the palm of their hands. They set a blistering pace and it was absolutely delightful to watch. All my hypothetical boxes were ticked. Every match I see Taylor Vite or Lucha DS in has been a much watch.

Grant McIvor defeated Frank X. Cross by pinfall.

Time for something a little bit different. Grant McIvor was still doing the wrestling and aimed to wear down his much taller opponent with just that with his focus being on the legs to chop down the big Cross tree. The crowd reacted accordingly with McIvor twisting the knee of Cross about and using the ropes for an unfair advantage.

We got a little showcase of power from Cross with a really nice tilt-a-whirl slam and he sent McIvor flying with a back body drop.

Cross ran into the corner for a big boot but McIvor stepped aside and rolled up Frank with a handful of tights for the victory.

There’s always been something about Frank X. Cross, he’s solid in-ring, has a good look, but something just hasn’t clicked so that he’s popping up everywhere. This was a really good match, both men looked great, and they showed plenty personality for the crowd to gravitate towards.

I enjoy watching Grant McIvor wrestle, he makes it look easy and has this confidence about him that can be tweaked for all required reactions. Good stuff.

Pro2 Belle’s Championship Number One Contendership – Rubi Roberts defeated Ellie Armstrong by pinfall to become number one contender to the Pro2 Belle’s Championship.

In a change to the scheduled match we got Rubi Roberts taking on Ellie Armstrong with Rosie Nyte scouting at ringside. Roberts started hot with a relentless attack on Armstrong but may’ve got a little bit ahead of herself with an awkward sunset flip attempt that may’ve shook her for the follow up hurricurana that looked a little ropey.

Armstrong took over but let the crowd under her skin with a lot of jaw-jacking with the screaming masses. Ellie managed to hit a nice belly to belly for a two count.

Roberts hit a shotgun dropkick for the pin.

Coming into this match I expected the dynamic to be a little different with “The Scarlet Bitch” Rubi Roberts being the baddie but the crowd in the Annbank were all in for Rubi. Ellie Armstrong could be a major player if she leans further into her plant based lifestyle and I liked seeing that side to her which she knocked out of the park, still very early days for Armstrong so there’s plenty of time to explore that characterisation. There were some unfortunate moments that didn’t look to shake either long term but overall the match was good.

Rosie Nyte met with Rubi in the ring after the match saying well done and she’ll get a match at some point in a rather condescending manner which got booed, which was the reaction I was expecting in the opening monologue. I’m interested to see if Rosie continues to duck matches and the noise for if/when she eventually gets dethroned.

Scottish Interpromotional Championship – Saqib Ali defeated KJ Mack by pinfall to retain the Scottish Interpromotional Championship.

Mack bulldozed Ali before the bell and wailed punches that looked aggressive and full of malice. Following a reset Ali was a bit more prepared and was able to get an early flurry of offense. Both men brawled away in a back and forth contest.

They traded some loud chops, Ali managed some Stinger Splashes in the corner. KJ Mack hit a TKO cutter but followed up with one foot on the chest of Ali for a cocky pin. Mack battered Ali with kicks to the chest and elbows to the face but Ali managed to wriggle out of a second TKO cutter and hit the running knee to retain.

The match itself was scrappy, it felt like a fight with Mack and Ali both trying to string some moves together but couldn’t quite get to the killer blow and had to build up their momentum meter again. I’ve seen Saqib Ali wrestle a few times now and usually it’s as an antagonist but I like his fire in this match which was readily received from the audience. KJ Mack is someone I’ve had a chat with for the SWN Podcast but hadn’t actually had a chance to seen wrestle so it was good to actually see him do the wrestling. He’s definitely got this bar room brawler thing going for him that’s a bit different to what I’ve seen currently in Scotland. Another good match on the show but may not have been as exciting as a spectacle over some of the other matches.

The Ronin (Lou King Sharp & Krieger) defeated Adam Shame & Dean Ford by pinfall.

Welcome to the baldy chant that Dean Ford and Adam Shame were victims of. Shame got on the microphone before Sharp and Krieger entered and he is so good at riling up fans. The Ronin got up to all sorts of shenanigans before the match spilled to the outside, allowing the ringside audience to get some digs in on Ford and Shame.

The bad guys took control, Adam Shame was so expressive knowing what makes the crowd tick and playing them like fiddles with his overexaggerating movements that the crowd ate up. Sharp spent the majority of the match in the ring with Ford and Shame cutting off the ring with quick tags. Krieger eventually made the tag to clear house as the match broke down.

Logan Smith appeared to distract Dean Ford, who had brought in a chair, which allowed Lou King Sharp to pull the Guerrero chair special to cause confusion, which was super effective, then rolled up Ford for the pin.

Shame and Ford attacked The Ronin after the match before Smith joined the fracas leading Ford to scarper. Smith challenged Dean to a match at Pro2’s next show with Smith’s Why So Serious Championship on the line.

A fine match, Adam Shame was brilliant whatever he was doing whether it was in-ring or on the apron. We didn’t get too much Krieger, I would’ve liked more interaction between Krieger and Shame. Dean Ford was solid in the ring but was overshadowed by the charisma machine of Shamer. Lou King Sharp was a great underdog as expected but I’m still getting used to his mullet/clean shaven face combo…

Pro2 Believe Championship – TJ Rage defeated Shady Nattrass by pinfall to retain the Pro2 Believe Championship.

TJ Rage flung Shady about in the early going with relative ease but Nattrass escaped an Attitude Adjustment to swing the advantage to his side. Shady hit an impressive Snow Plow, considering the size difference it was silky smooth.

Rage met Nattrass on the ropes for a big Superplex which reset the match. Shady used some shady tactics to low blow Rage and hit a swinging neckbreaker for a close two count. Rage swung Nattrass around in a fireman’s carry which knocked out the referee. Shady stole the Believe Championship from a child at ringside to clock TJ Rage in the face. Rage recovered and picked up Nattrass for an Attitude Adjustment to retain.

A brisk main event of big moves with a popular winner, can’t really go wrong. These two worked well together and I wouldn’t be against seeing something a little longer between the pair, maybe with a stipulation like a No Holds Barred for example.

Overall this was a decent showcase of wrestling. It might not have hit the heights of the opening match in my opinion but there was plenty of entertaining wrestling, storyline progression, and just a good variety of action. When it comes to online content though I would appreciate some promos between matches just for new eyes to kind of get caught up, but saying that I like their production with the tron and banners at ringside.

It was funny to listen to Kid Thomson and Suave Gav on the commentary when you can watch the show and they are doing anything but commentary, especially when Gav leaves the “commentary booth” to do ring announcing.

Not that I give out stars or any of that nonsense but Lucha DS versus Taylor Vite was outstanding and every match had positive moments ranging from good to great. A solid show from Pro2 Wrestling and I’ve looking forward to seeing more.

‘Return of the Ring’ is available on YouTube now:

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