Review: WrestleZone ‘Halloween Hijinks 2022′

That was Halloween, Halloween, woo!

Two weeks in a row heading to the wrestling, who am I?

You’ll get to relive my journey to Aberdeen with our Holy Hijinks podcast that has plenty, maybe too many, video clips for a giant montage.

I hadn’t planned to dress up, because I’m a curmudgeon for fun, but I threw together an outfit, a pair of jeans shorts, a black t-shirt, black hi-top Vans, black hat, my wife’s tatty leather jacket that disintegrated throughout the day and the first half of the show to create a throwback Mikkey Vago. Of course, I used it as an excuse to bring my WWF European belt because it’s the one night of the year I can take it out without the obligation to defend it. I think, I haven’t checked the rule book to be fair but nobody wanted a piece of Billy Vago anyway.

It was the first time I had been to Curl Aberdeen, with a big Tesco next door and a hospital nearby it covered all the basis for a night at the wrestling.

Talking about costumes there was a wild array of, mainly children, dressed up as various characters. I did like there was a zombie Connor Molloy and a little Miss P with a homemade Tri-Counties Championship. There was a mini Al Snow that Grado snapped a picture of to send to the real Al Snow… I’ll be listening to Wrestling Daft to find out if he replied…

Damien’s daughter went all out dressed as the poo emoji with pictures of Zach Dynamite, Bruiser Brad Evans, and Ryan Riley on it with captions like SMELLY and FOUNDATION OF THE POO-TURE on it, an incredible costume.

So yeah, effort was made, certainly hijinks for Halloween.

After climbing the mountains of stairs (okay there wasn’t that many and it was open as opposed to the closed in nature of the Northern Hotel), I left a trail of leather jacket in my wake and ready for a show. The room itself was a little bit bigger than the Summerhill Hotel but with a nice high ceiling for jumping and whatnot. It was the first time I noticed the LED WrestleZone logo above the entrance, I have no idea if that has always been a thing but it looked snazzy.

The pre-show opener set the tone for the evening, well for all bar 10 that paid for VIP tickets. Rhys Dawkins entered with a green skull and a book of Shakespeare in tow, he was followed by Chris Archer dressed as 2000’s Undertaker with the smoke machine filling the entrance way, and through the fog entered retro Umar Mohammed in his colourful and frilly gear harkening back to W3L Action Academy, oh the horror, truly a terrifying costume.

Following Dawkins’ attempting to educated the great unwashed and Umar being so swole that he required assistance from Dennis Law to remove his ring jacket, we got a fun sprint of a triple threat. Archer busted out a chokeslam, Umar was throwing bodies with a German suplex, and Dawkins swinging elbows all about before he finished the match with The Fifth Act to Archer after Mohammed was thrown into the ring post.

Although it feels like Chris Archer is a little lost with no real direction, he still puts on solid matches. Rhys Dawkins’ has quickly settled in the ring and is very comfortable. I’ve noticed that near every time there’s a new debut out of the WrestleZone Training Academy their first match can be a little jittery but after that they blossom into a very capable wrestler in rapid time. The WrestleZone audience has fully invested in Umar Mohammed, from his re-debut at Halloween Hijinks last year to now he continuously provides joy and smiles on faces. Don’t skimp on the VIP bonus matches, that extra couple pounds is worth it. Trust me.

So that was the pre-show out of the way, the remaining folk that were milling about outside were let in see the rest of the card.

It opened with Captain Alan Sterling accompanied by his entourage that were big, hard, and full of seamen, The Outfit. Sterling was very confident when he had Dino and Murphy nearby but that didn’t stop him trying to hide under Murphy’s jacket when Caleb Valhalla marched his way out shouting “SKOL!”.

Last, but not least, it was the new Tri-Counties Champion Mikkey Vago all in black, Singapore cane in hand, cracking a smile when he saw some idiot at ringside dressed like old school Vago. It was a striking look, once the accessories were removed he had a Halloween Hooligan shirt that I didn’t see at the merch table unless they sold out straight away as it looked tremendous.

This one started hot with The Outfit immediately assaulting Caleb Valhalla at ringside to leave Vago and Sterling in the opening portion of the match. Valhalla soon returned to throw folk about, catching Vago as he aimed to land a cartwheel elbow and throwing him with a German suplex.

It wouldn’t be a Halloween show without the pumpkin helmets returning, Vago brought his out and I loved that Valhalla laughed and shouted that he remembered that before bringing out his own pumpkin helmet that had the same facepaint that Valhalla had adorned. Just when you thought it couldn’t get more absurd, Sterling returned to the ring and was spooked by the “oranges” and escaped the ring. The Outfit injected themselves again only to find themselves with the pumpkins on their heads. Wrestling is the best.

The Outfit were taken out, Sterling was taken out, which left Caleb Valhalla stalking Vago for a spear but he was met by a green mist and a Stunner which allowed Mikkey Vago to retain. Hijinks.

Valhalla raised Vago’s arm after the match, respecting the warfare.

I loved this one, everyone involved were top quality. We got the usual Captain Alan buffoonery, Caleb Valhalla was your enthusiastic Viking but when he got his hands on Alan he became more aggressive and God like. Mikkey Vago continues his breakout year by not being the third wheel in the Alan-Caleb story but getting in about and putting on a champion performance.

The ending with Vago using the mist on Valhalla could’ve went the way of Mikkey being underhanded but if we have learned anything is that Mikkey Vago knows the rules in all it’s loophole glory. The reaction from Caleb accepting Vago’s shenanigans in victory was important for that. I’d be interested to see how many times it would take for Caleb to be cheated out of a title before he himself takes matters into his own hands.

No Chris Archer assault on Mikkey Vago though but he wasn’t there to help with The Outfit or congratulate his Rejected brother… there’s still time.

Rhys Dawkins returned to accompany Bryan Tucker. Both sporting lovely tartan troos, with the WALLY chants raining down on the former Undisputed WrestleZone Champion. We’re through the looking glass now, a year ago the thought of seeing Bryan Tucker in a match was a bit of a chore but his wally-ness has grown and in turn has made him very entertaining in the process.

Scotty Swift and Umar Mohammed strutted out wearing white vests with “Tucker Is A Wally” scribbled on them for a lot of laughs. This was a blast, I was suitably sports entertained by a chicken fight at ringside, now… technically Umar Mohammed struck Bryan Tucker during the chicken fight, yes you can guess who was the referee in this one DENNIS, who was also coerced into a cross legged ankle lock by Swift claiming that Tucker had something in his boot.

Some leniency was shown to allow the match continue. There was a moment that saw Tucker carefully went around the corner post in a nice call back to Inverurie which I appreciated.

Swift stuck to his guns for a lot of this match, there wasn’t so much wrestling but more Swift evading Tucker trying to fight him. Scotty Swift then took Bryan Tucker to backslide barracks which eventually saw the three count made.

So much fun was had, plenty of comedy, a lot of story, and it made for pure entertainment. Tucker then called for Swift to meet him again on December 2nd for a loser leaves town match. After a bit of confusion Swift said he would get back to him. It definitely added to the wally behaviour of Bryan Tucker to bungle the challenge for what turns out to be a loser leaves WrestleZone match on December 3rd at Christmas Chaos.

I still like the idea of a wrestler losing a loser leaves town match in WrestleZone and can only turn up at WrestleZone shows outside of that town. It could work.

The first half main event was the Halloween Switcheroo match for the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships. There were so many little details which made this even better. The champions, Bruiser Brad and Ryan Riley entered first, because they were dressed as the challengers, two beefy boys in kilts, ooft. Ryan Riley pulled the short straw and had the bald cap. They both struggled with the flags that Mr P and Shawn Johnson usually enter with. I love that Ryan kept starting to do Mr P mannerisms before snapping out of it.

Mr P and Shawn Johnson entered with cardboard tag team championship belts, amazing. Shawn Johnson was Bruiser Brad complete with a ridiculous wig and beard along with acting like a dog. Mr P was Ryan Riley, wearing armbands and a ducky float around his waist to mock Riley’s swimsuit attire.

Brad and Ryan teased us of doing the Dad dancing but decided to jump the challengers instead, how dare they. Shawn and Mr P were having a lot of fun during the match with Mr P constantly having to adjust his gear as it started to creep into uncomfortable places. While Shawn and Mr P were trying to have some fun, The Foundation of the Future weren’t there to play as they eventually took off their kilts and battered the challengers. Mr P and Shawn went for the Foundation’s elevated reverse DDT onto Ryan Riley but Bruiser Brad forearmed his way into the equation before hitting the tandem move on Mr P to retain.

A great first half main event to continue the trend of fantastic matches on this show. The whole dynamic of The Foundation of the Future not seeing the funny side of this match, with Ryan finding himself subconsciously getting more into it than he would like to admit. Shawn Johnson is starting to come out of his shell with the charismatic Mr P and they are gelling well as a team.

The interval was a bit of a riot with Umar Mohammed, Caleb Valhalla, Scotty Swift, and Mikkey Vago making appearances for photos and autographs. I did intend to get a personalised Umar Mohammed clapper but he was swarmed with photo requests that I decided to leave it for Christmas Chaos as a wee Christmas gift to myself.

Coming back for the break we got one of the hotly anticipated matches coming in to this show, Ronan King entered as a drip angel, complete with a halo, white and gold tights, and angel wings but with a tribute to his previous attire with zebra print kickpads. He is so damn smarmy and cocky, an excellent character that embraces the hate and turns it into something highly entertaining.

I forgot the buzz that Grado provides, he is an absolute superstar. If you’ve seen one Grado match then it is in all likelihood that you have seen all of this capers, getting stuck in the ropes, yay-booing the crowd, deadweighting a German suplex, tripping up his opponent. All the classics but because he is so entertaining you cheer along every time.

Ronan King was a more than worthy opponent, pulling out all the stops, diving over the top rope for a senton and landing on his feet which was utter madness to witness, and I saw it as the Trinity Centre the week before and it was still mind-blowing to watch it happen. He had Grado on the ropes, stopping a Roll N Slice, being the aggressor and not letting the pressure of facing Grado coming into play.

He let his confidence become his downfall by putting his angel wings back on to finish Grado from the top rope but Grado dodged and hit the R-Grado for the win.

An outstanding performance from Ronan King, he has quickly become an asset in WrestleZone. There are levels of villain in WrestleZone where you have the detestable like The Foundation of the Future, the cartoon silliness like Bryan Tucker and Captain Alan Sterling, and then there’s Ronan King who attacks people insecurities by being disgustingly young and talented. He makes me feel old, and I don’t like it!

In the penultimate match we had The Outfit facing Connor Molloy and Damien, who came in costume. Damien entered with skull face paint and a skeleton cloak, with Connor turning up as a skeleton Mad Hatter. This was another sprint with the smaller duo taking it to The Outfit. Molloy was throwing himself in all directions, including near landing in my lap after a running apron senton onto Murphy.

Dino busted out a LA Parka strut and a drop kick. Murphy powerbombed Connor into the centre of the ring which Dino followed up with an elbow drop from the second rope. Dino is an excellent big guy, very athletic. There were bodies everywhere with action constantly happening.

Damien eventually ran his knee through Murphy’s skull to finish the match.

Did I expect Damien to batter Connor after the match? Yeah.

All four men had a great match, even though it would be a strange dynamic I’d love to see The Outfit and The Foundation of the Future square off. Even if it’s in a multi team environment.

Then it was time for the main event and it was tense.

Aspen Faith entered wearing purple jeans with patches featuring some old logos and pieces of his historic looks. Zach Dynamite strode out with Evans and Riley before sending them to the back. Dynamite was in black jeans. I always love when it’s a street fight/death match/a match with relaxed rules and the wrestlers come out in street wear.

It wasn’t long before the match spilled to the outside, Aspen tried to throw Dynamite into the merch table, who slid underneath the table before jumping over with a forearm which broke Faith’s nose in the process. A metal bin was brought out that Dennis Law waved off as NOT a Halloween item, good man Dennis. Dynamite then was slammed back first onto the bottom of the bin, which did not budge in a horrible looking move.

Dennis stuck to the rules and stopped Aspen using a baking tray but Faith wrote ‘spooky’ on it with a sharpie to make it a valid weapon before cracking it off Dynamite’s skull. There were chairs with Halloween Hijinks stickers on them so they count, as Dynamite caused flashbacks to Aberdeen Anarchy by punishing Faith with chair shots.

Dynamite brought in an orange and black Singapore cane to crack it off the back of Aspen. There were some horrible moves using two chairs, Faith’s throat was draped across a set up chair and Dynamite jumped off the second rope with an elbow drop to the back of the head. Faith responded with a sidewalk slam onto two chairs set up sideways for a disgusting noise.

Trick or treat doors where brought out, along with two pumpkins filled with conkers, with Dynamite hitting a Sling Blade on Aspen to send him back first into the conker pile.

Aspen hit a second rope Tombstone to send Dynamite head first through a door which brought out the rest of the Foundation of the Future to cause spoiler once again. They mugged Aspen, ending with a triple piledriver onto two set up chairs which allowed Zach Dynamite to drape an arm over and retain.

A brawl then sparked with Damien running out to help, the crew tried to separate everyone. Aspen got on the microphone and challenged Zach Dynamite to one more match, an Aberdeen Anarchy rematch but in a steel cage at Christmas Chaos to end an epic night at Curl Aberdeen.

What a show, as I said it was a tense main event, the objects brought in were used for maximum effect, both men punished each other with Halloween related items. Even though it wasn’t the result I wanted I have the utmost respect for Dennis Law being adamant on the Halloween themed plunder being valid, for himself as an official… and probably a little bit so we don’t whinge about it on Twitter/podcasts/this review.

Would I have liked to see Aspen lift the title? Absolutely. Am I excited to see it happen in a steel cage in December as a Christmas gift? Yes. Pray to Santa.

Every match was excellent and provided a lot of entertainment. An incredible debut at Curl Aberdeen for WrestleZone that continued their epic run of shows. Since the restart last October they have knocked it out of the park with every event with no signs of slowing down.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Chaos…

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