If I knew this so-called Excellent Adventure would involve an enteral series of hills, I…well, I probably still would have gone, actually. The point remains. Sort of.
A last-minute (two weeks, but that’s last-minute to me brother brother) decision to go to Edinburgh for Discovery Wrestling’s latest event saw tickets purchased for what turned out to be the beginning of my obsession with attending Disco shows. The Disco Derby is ruled out so we’re off to a good start but anything post-1 July, I’ll at the very least seriously consider it because OH BOY was this a lot of fun.
The basis for this last-minute trip was purely because of Aspen Faith and Caleb Valhalla‘s – or Bill and Ted, I’m really not sure anymore – video where they went into the future and back to the past and everything inbetween? It was mad, but the promise of an old-age Foundation
ofFrom The Future and original gimmicks like Kazza G and Princess Sammii Jayne sold me so off I went, paid the (very reasonably) priced fee, and the Megabus was booked…for 7:25am.
This whole traveling for wrestling thing will cause many a stressful moment I feel.
It was also my first time seeing at least 75% of those on the card, or at the very least seeing them for the first time in years, which is always a welcome surprise. It’s something I’ve always admired about Discovery shows, there’s always someone new coming in to give the fans a treat, a bit of fresh air to what is typically an already very very good indeed show.
I won’t bore you with the whole SWN Eats™ gimmick because frankly I ate far too much for someone who was only in Edinburgh for the weekend. There was a wrestle to talk about.
VIP Pre-Show – Debbie Dahmer w/Dickie Divers def. Taonga by Pinfall
Already two new faces for me and the other being someone I hadn’t seen since I think Christmas Chaos (Comes Early!) in November 2015. Fresh.
Debbie Dahmer, officially being announced as representing The Nine9 and not The Double D’s so RIP(?), and Taonga had a good match for the pre-show. My only niggling issue that in fairness was in effect all afternoon but especially here, was that they didn’t annunciate their words. Granted, they only had to involve three rows of people, but it was still difficult to work out what they were saying. Little details like that are crucial when working in such a huge open space.
The match itself, as I say, was decent, Taonga played the fiery underdog role well while Dahmer – my first time seeing her portray the bad guy, even if she did veer more towards inbetween the two – was great in taking advantage of Dickie Divers‘ shenanigans, tripping up Taonga and putting Debbie’s foot on the ropes during pinfalls. Chris Quinn refereeing for those wondering; a blind man it seems. Debbie used a nice variety of snap suplexes throughout, a nice, simple move that can look so brutal in execution depending on its snap. Dickie took a kick to the Dickie for his troubles and off Debbie rode to victory with a cheaky rollup.
This was good. I think there was probably more they could’ve done, but for the pre-show it really nailed it. Taonga also uses Mariah Carey as her entrance, so she’s already up in my books. A lot of good music used at Discovery actually. If someone were to have a playlist, I would absolutely steal it and give them a hearty smiley face emoji in return.
VIP Pre-Show – Disco Derby Qualifier – Frank Gallo def. Ryan Richards by Submission to qualify for the Disco Derby
I’ve been intrigued by the names Frank Gallo and Ryan Richards since they first burst onto the scene, Gallo has this whole wildman aura to him and Richards the complete opposite, almost an old school Ted DiBiase vibe to him, like he’s too good to be wrestling in gym halls in Edinburgh. The white gloves that stay on during the match is a superb touch.
Ryan held the early control, at one point bashing Frank’s head off the turnbuckle, stopping, and Frank continuing to bash it himself. O…kay? Sure. He was good in his little movements, not letting Frank get the better of him, and staying on top of the crowd at all times. Frank’s use of the old Dusty Rhodes snappy punches was performed so well, as was his match-winning Crossface Chickenwing. I liked that Ryan wasn’t actually down and out from the tap out, instead looking shocked as though he forgot submissions can cause a loss. A neat detail.
There was an interesting piece of detail towards the end, Tommy Kartel wandering out to help Frank back in the ring to avenge his own loss to Ryan Richards at Year Seven. It worked, Frank won, and Team FPWA rolled on. Sweet.
Ryan Richards was excellent here, but I’m a big fan now of Frank Gallo. Having only really seen his promo work online (which, too, is outstanding), I was excited to see what he could do in-ring. He’s already perfected the whole madman thing, which couples delightfully with his elegant entrance, some nice classical-sounding music with the robe and towel. I’m a big sucker for any gimmick that is presented nicely and sophistically before the bell, and barbaric once it rings – yes, Festus included – so Frank’s one to watch for me moving forward and honestly, it may be too early since he’s the only man in there so far, but I could see him working his way to at least the final four in the Disco Derby.
A quick trip to merchandise while the general admission folk filed in and oh dear, would you look at that, an Ian Skinner t-shirt made its way into my hands. Oops.
Disco Four Way – Judas Grey def. Flyin’ Ryan Griffin, Principal Skinner, and Dickie Divers w/Lady Debbie Sharpe by Pinfall
This was the match I was most excited for coming into the show, four guys I’d never seen before but have heard nothing but great things about. Judas Grey has this unique aura around him, between the eccentric attire and the Lady Gaga entrance track and the bowing on the apron before he dazzles between the ropes; definitely one to watch. Dickie Divers, flanked by Debbie Dahmer who’d thrown on her Lady Debbie Sharpe gear, oozes veteran charisma, a shame that Jack Morris wasn’t here as the selfishness in me would’ve loved to have seen The Nine9 but he’s doing good things in Japan so I guess I can’t really complain. Flyin’ Ryan Griffin, with Athena nowhere to be found, harked back to his Irn Bru-esque gear days as he burst out with all the energy of backstage ICW pre-2020.
Principal Skinner, however, was the highlight. Donning a suit, suspenders, and kickpads – the working man’s suit – he was wrestling for the first time in roughly fifty years, having now become Elgin’s no.1 dad and a Springfield Elementary School teacher. Didn’t come out to The Simpsons theme though so…boo.
This was all sorts of hectic, Griffin flew off the top at one stage with a crisp somersault dive while Judas Grey got awkwardly dropped on the apron. All good thankfully. Dickie Divers resorted to kicking folk in their Great Balls of Fire, that pesky Divers. I liked that Debbie, because this was old-school Debbie, wasn’t having any of it, the complete contrast to how they were on the pre-show. She ended up chasing Dickie up through the stands, eliminating him from the fray, and then the match sort of just ended, a rollup from Judas on Skinner ending things.
It was your usual frenzied Disco Four Way.
PrincipalIan Skinner came away from this looking like a star, he’s got this whole technician thing going for him that resulted in an array of stiff strikes and tight submission holds. Definitely going to need to see him in there with a Chris Brookes or a Frank Gallo in the future.
He got in Judas’ face post-match, so maybe that’s the direction we’re heading in for the Disco Derby. Pretty please with a cherry on top put it on YouTube, yeah?
Princess Sammii Jayne def. Kazza G by Pinfall
Here’s where we start getting into the matches that won’t have been for everyone, and that’s fine.
The advertised Emersyn Jayne vs. Session Moth Martina clash instead became Princess Sammii Jayne vs. Kazza G, the time portal having gone back to a time when they weren’t winning championships all over the UK and a time where, seemingly, they couldn’t wrestle. Indeed, they wrestled the most basic of basic matches – and it was wonderful. A de-wigged Kazza was overjoyed at the prospect of landing a clothesline or a shoulder block, laying in her forearms to an unmoved Jayne.
When Princess Sammii took control of the match, it wasn’t to be for long, an attempted suicide dive being thwarted by a beer mist as ‘The Session Moth’ was back (or I guess was born since we’ve gone back in time to when she didn’t exist?). Martina was like a ball of fire when the dress came off which I promise isn’t a euphemism for anything, roaring out the gates with all manner of strikes.
A neat Samoan Driver got Princess Sammii the win, however, because princesses always get their way? A wild Ronan King, who’d showered Sammii with petals pre-match, returned and offered her a bouquet of flowers. Of course, if we’re really going back in time to the days of Princess Sammii Jayne and Kazza G, he wouldn’t have been born and we’d all feel a little bit better about our own ages.
I liked this. If it goes online, it’ll cause debate because the Internet Wrestling Community is not quite a community as much as it is a place of toxicity, dubious takes, and endless discourse on CM Punk‘s AEW return (21 June, apparently, for those who still care). If you like comedy wrestling, then this is one for you. Emersyn and Martina really worked it all out with this whole back in time schtick and it was delightful.
Bill, Ted & Johnny Lions def. The Foundation From The Future (Zach Dynamite, Ryan Riley & Bruiser Brad Evans) by Pinfall
I’m not sure how to begin talking about this.
The Foundation of the Future entered all pruned up, Ryan Riley and Bruiser Brad Evans from the year 2050, and Zach Dynamite from the year 2024 at the rate he’s flinging his body around, walking stick in hand and stumbling around the place. They were followed by Bill and Ted, and then Johnny Lions from 2010. Because of course it was Johnny Lions from 2010. He had the tassels and everything, what a guy.
Once again, not everyone is going to like this but I, as a man of culture (which means signed Lord Mr. Malice prints), was indeed a Big Fan. Dynamite using the walking stick as a third weapon and falling over when it was taken from him was a touch of genius, as was Ryan’s incapability of being able to lift anyone. He’s got back issues, you see. Brad didn’t even know where he was apparently. It was all perfection from the trio, yet again they’ve gone the whole mile to show why they’re so bloody good so that I don’t have to type words and tell you why.
Johnny Lions ended up downing Zach’s pills that turned everything slow motion, so that’s a thing that happened. Slow-mo Lariats, Spears, and Lion Cutters all around. I loved every second. Genuinely the best thing I’ve ever seen at a live wrestling show and I was there for Lord Michael of Graham‘s Aberdeen Anarchy X comeback. The best part of this was the referee and the crowd joining in on the frolics, slow counts, slow cheers, everything. The best thing. Ever.
It all broke down as you’d expect and before you know it, Aspen Faith was up in the stands, threatening to dive off before a current-day Aspen appeared. I’m not entirely sure what was said if I’m honest but it was enough to convince Aspen to save his body from decombusting, get slammed on top of Brad, and watch on as Johnny Lions hit one last Lion Cutter for the win.
Aspen and Caleb resumed their fight after the match because Discovery Wrestling had been saved from whatever tragedy had resulted in this time confusion. Naturally.
There’s no other word to describe what happened here. I expected just a regular old six-man tag and was more than happy to watch it, but what happened instead was better than anything else I’ve ever seen since attending wrestling shows. It had comedy, it had brutal wrestling at points (Zach Dynamite’s dragon suplexes have a visceral feeling to them now), and it had LONG-TERM STORYTELLING. Years, in fact. A must-watch if it makes its way onto the YouTube airwaves for Jim Cornette to slag off.
Andy Roberts def. Chris Ridgeway by Pinfall
Back from the break and into my match of the night. The expectations were set high when the graphic for Andy Roberts vs. Chris Ridgeway was released, but my God it was so good. Really good. Very good indeed.
The new no-nonsense Andy Roberts has this hard-man aura to him, the last time I saw him he was the fun-going (at times, anyway) Andy Wild, the guy who was putting soap in Alan Sterling‘s mouth, the guy who was a Sir and tagging with Lord Mr. Malice and Lou KING Sharp. Here, he battered Chris Ridgeway, the sound of his chops genuinely ringing throughout the place.
This was also my first time seeing Ridgeway after years of admiring his work. I’ve said it before with the likes of Tyler Bate and Chavo Guerrero Jr., but you don’t realise how good Chris Ridgeway is until you’ve seen him live. He’s very much a wrestler’s wrestler, he plays by the rules and doesn’t overdo anything. The embodiment of pure wrestling. He hit some nice penalty kicks to Andy’s chest that looked knackering and applied some nifty joint-bending submissions that were just unnecessary. Andy responded by chucking him around, a beauty of an overhead belly-to-belly that I’ve absolutely missed seeing, and Da Bomb for a close count. A Tiger Driver got the win for him after he battered Ridgeway some more.
I’ve never seen such a hard-hitting, stiff match live – and now I want to see loads more. Both Andy and Chris brought everything they had to this, making what was otherwise the second-half opener feel like the main event. Andy having to properly batter Ridgeway before being able to get him down was a nice touch, as was Ridgeway attempting to overthrow Roberts with a back body drop before his back gave out and he was slammed down. I wasn’t too sure about this new Andy Roberts persona from what I’ve seen online, but he’s more than just Andy Wild in a leather jacket. Everything’s different, from the way he moves to the way he controls an opponent. I wouldn’t be surprised if he enters the Y Division title conversation moving forward. He’s not been the same since that Joe Coffey loss.
Discovery Wrestling Tag Team Championships – The Kings of the North (Bonesaw & Damien Corvin) (c) def. Deacon Matthews & Theo Doros by Pinfall to retain
The match was fine, but I don’t get The Kings of the North. If you like their style, then they’re the team for you but otherwise, they just feel like another team, which was disappointing, having heard rave reviews about them and seeing superb clips of them online vs. The Rapture and Guerrillas of Destiny. Not for me, and that’s fine.
Everything flowed together, which was nice. Damien Corvin ditched the vampire schtick mid-match, though he did bite Deacon Matthews before doing so, which made me fantasy book a whole thing where he got taken away and came back as Dr. Effen, but that’s just another chapter in my book of Things I Thought Of That Will Never Actually Happen. A hot tag to Theo Doros saw him then get battered, while a subsequent hot tag to Deacon saw him come in all guns blazing. Has he passed his wellness test? He’s a hoot. A Hart Attack put him down, but he’s a hoot.
The Kings of the North roar on as Discovery Tag Team Champions. Not really sure who’s stopping them. Would’ve said Aspen Faith and Caleb Valhalla before they resumed their fight. The Nine9 is a bit difficult with Jack Morris’ Japan commitments. Maybe The Foundation of the Future or The Fair City Saints?
Deacon Matthews impressed again, this being my second time seeing him as many weeks following his WrestleZone debut at the Regal Rumble. I enjoyed most of his boisterous comments and mannerisms – the ‘weeeee’ while mid-flight for a Lou Thesz Press being my highlight – but for me, I think he needs to reign it ever so slightly, it was almost overdone by the match’s end. A bit like Dino with his facial expressions when he first started, just take the slightest of steps back and he’ll be in the right direction.
Discovery Wrestling Y Division Championship – Gene Munny def. Joe Hendry (c) by Disqualification to win the title
We’ll get to the ending because it needs discussed – but this was a main event.
Discovery Wrestling always goes out of their way to have genuine big fight feels for their main events, and this may have been their biggest yet. As someone whose only Disco experiences have come via online watches, the rise of Gene Munny towards the Y Division title has seemingly been one that’s been building for a while, which became potent when he entered and the crowd response that he received bellowed out. To compare it something I have seen live, it was like the whole Damien and Shawn Johnson saga, Gene kept getting so close and then failed. This was essentially his last chance.
Joe Hendry sent Mister Manoval and Robb Stow to the back pre-match, which was a nice touch. Joe could lose the title via disqualification here, so he wasn’t risking anything.
This was pure sports entertainment with a hint of super-indies, the dramatisation of the title being able to change hands via a count out or a disqualification meant Joe was more cautious of being outside the ring whereas Gene was not, which made for an interesting dynamic. A nipple tape-less Munny was fighting with everything, he put extra emphasis on everything he did, Lariating the piss out of Hendry and hitting a gorgeous Double A Spinebuster. Joe, too, was on top form, getting in a nice mid-air Cutter and Standing Ovation slam for oh so close two-counts.
The re-emergence of Mister Manoval and Robb Stow to ringside saw a SURPRISE twist, Stow striking Gene with the Y Division title to cause a disqualification, ending Joe’s run at 1280 days, before Manoval beat the hell out of Hendry. I for one didn’t see it coming, though a Facebook video explained that Manoval and Stow struck Joe before he could strike them, uploaded within days of the show happening, which is both a testament to Discovery’s storytelling and their quick turnaround times following live events.
For a match, it’s a corny saying but it honestly was worth the price of admission. Joe and Gene went through everything like it was their last match, the little touches to them brawling on the apron to the big spots like a mid-air Cutter, every minute oozed the magnitude of a big match.
I was left confused on the ending, though it may be obvious why, with Joe Hendry set to wrestle for IMPACT Wrestling this coming weekend. Originally penned as a No Disqualifications match, this stipulation was removed the week of the match. I didn’t mind that as I knew the match would still be superb either way, however, the use of the disqualification to get the title from Joe to Gene was a complete surprise that left me half-expecting Alan Smith to restart proceedings. He didn’t, Gene was the champion, and a besmirched Joe handed him the title after battering Robb Stow. It wasn’t a deflating finish per se, but it was certainly one that I didn’t see coming.
As for who’s next for Gene Munny? Andy Roberts. I’d be all over that.
Considering this was my first time going to a Discovery Wrestling show, it was a really strong event. Everyone put the effort in when they needed to, some more than others, and it showed in the standard of wrestling on display across the afternoon to the point the three-ish hours flew by instantly. A couple of the match endings caught me off guard, feeling like they just suddenly finished after what was otherwise a solid bout, but aside from this there are no complaints from this guy.
The Disco Derby is up next for them on Saturday, 1 July, tickets for which are available now, so go buy them now. It’s Disco, so you won’t be disappointed, plus there’s a Rumble! Everybody loves a Rumble, Rumbles are the best, etc.
TLDR; quite enjoyed that, yeah.