By Daniel Mejka
A new year and a new season of Combat League Wrestling is upon us. The four houses have been shuffled around, the points have been reset and the House Championship has been vacated until the ‘House Champion’ show in March…but apparently nobody told Taylor Vite until this week!
Once again, these four trios will do battle over the year to crown the winning House. Last year’s victors were Glen Dunbar, Connor Rose and Lad Chapman of House Wolf but who will reign supreme this year? I have fallen in love with CLW over the last year and it is more than worth the drive up from Dundee to Thurso.
If you are a wrestling fan and live in Caithness, get yourself along! If you’re travelling North like myself then use it as an excuse to have a wee mini break and see a beautiful part of Scotland.
Lucha DS (House Raven) vs Jimmy Pierce (House Wildcat)
This match was originally scheducled to be Lucha facing Nathan North (hence my amazing attempt at updating the match graphic) however Nathan is sadly unable to compete due to personal reasons. Hopefully he will be back later in the season to take on the challenge.
So unlike last season where the roster was locked in, this year we have the Wildcat Wildcard which will see House Wildcat drafting in a new member for each show to take on Lucha DS. House Captain Logan Smith had a decision to make when the news of Nathan North’s absence broke and he has gone with his very own tag team partner from The Young Team, Jimmy Pierce.
Lucha DS may have his hands full with both of these lads under the same roof vying to get the first points of the season. One thing we are guaranteed is that Lucha will get the crowd going on the first step of his journey to go one step further than last season and win the Season Finale at the end of the year.
House Raven (Lad Chapman & Connor Rose) vs House Wolf (Glen Dunbar & Brodie Adler)
This match is arguably the most interesting on the entire card. On one side of the ring we have Caithness’ answer to Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in Chapman and Rose. Two best friends who are beating each other up from Thurso to Wick whenever they aren’t teaming up. While on the other side we have their Season winning captain from 2022 in Glen Dunbar who has been replaced as skipper of House Wolf by the newly crowned FCW Women’s Champion ‘The Dynamite’ Brodie Adler.
To say that ‘The Lowland Superstar’ is unhappy about his current situation would be the understatement of the year but he has to somehow put his power struggle with his new captain to one side if House Wolf are going to retain their title. Adler and Dunbar are more than capable of beating anybody that CLW puts in front of them as a team but the last combination you want to be facing if you are anything else but on the same page is Chapman & Rose as they bring out the best in each other. They aren’t just on the same page these days they’re on the same syllable.
Ever since Chapman was traded into last season’s House Wolf to join with Rose and Dunbar he has become laser focused on earning points. As for Connor Rose, he spent the majority of last season as House Champion. They became an unstoppable train the derailed all in their path to victory and the fact that they are back together again this year spells trouble for the other Houses.
The smart money for 2023 is on House Raven as a result.
Taylor Vite (House Wolf) vs Derren J Blair (House Stag)
Despite what ‘The Tactician’ might have you believe this match will NOT be for the CLW House Championship and as a result will not be two out of three falls as would be tradition. As per the rules in Combat League, everything resets at the start of a new season and this includes the Championship.
I have no doubt though that Taylor Vite will claim that this is the latest part of the supposed conspiracy that CLW has been plotting against him. Maybe he should look in the mirror, have a good long think and say “I’m the problem, it’s me.”
Despite this unfortunate lapse in communication between CLW Management and the former Champion this promises to be a fantastic match. Derren J. Blair is making moves all over Scotland and is one for the present as well as the future of wrestling in this country and ‘The World’s Smartest ̶C̶h̶a̶m̶p̶i̶o̶n̶ Wrestler’ will have to have a solid strategy in place if he wants to start the year off with a victory.
House Stag (Arkham & Albion De Quincey) vs House Wildcat (Logan Smith & RJ Cash)
Much like the other tag team match on this show there is a lot of history between these two sets of partners that caused a lot of questions to be asked by fans of Combat League Wrestling when it was announced.
Last year, Albion was assaulted by Arkham when he delivered a big boot to the Prodigal Stag after shoving Lego into his mouth. Later in the year RJ Cash actually traded for de Quincey and they teamed up together as Cash and Tache to take on and defeat Arkham and Brodie Adler.
Arkham and Cash’s own history against each other from 2022 would require a whole article itself. As we can see from the debut episode of “The Scoop” with Scoops Plowman it does appear as if the Stag’s have buried the hatchet and are coming into 2023 with only earning points for their House on their mind. However, the same cannot be said for their opponents. RJ Cash was the 2022 House Wildcat captain and Logan Smith was also a member but they didn’t get along from the start.
Logan caught RJ with a bit of friendly fire at WarGames Rumble 2022 and Cash traded him out of Stag as soon as he could. This year though the roles are reversed and Logan is the Captain and calls the shots in House Wildcat for 2023. These two are going to have to somehow coexist on Saturday if they are to gain any points for House Wildcat.
Something tells me though that their egos won’t let them and they’ll be too focused on each other. Make sure you’re at the Royal British Legion in Thurso on Saturday to find out.
This is the only Rumble Match that matters on Saturday and I challenge anyone to convince me otherwise. Combat League Wrestling has managed to merge the magic of the Royal Rumble Match with the tactical aspect of War Games as the Houses get to decide who enters first, second and third for their respective slots. It will be interesting to see if the House Captains pick the latest slots for themselves to give them the best chance on paper.
Although maybe, just maybe we’ll see someone go from number 1 (or 2) right to the end, win the whole thing and put themselves in the conversation for the House Championship tournament in March. RJ Cash won it last year, can he go back-to-back?
Date: Saturday 28/1/2023
Location: The Royal British Legion, Thurso
Bell time: 6:30pm
Tickets: Message CLW’s Facebook Page