Wrestling, a performance to let you escape from a world of bills, anxiety and any problem you may have. I’ve used it to escape relationships crashing, mourning of loss, taking two or three hours to forget that reality is there.
WrestleZone is a place that I’ve called my “home” promotion for the last five years, and this may’ve caused this site to be WrestleZone heavy at times but it’s a promotion that’s often forgotten as it’s hidden up in the North East. A highly underrated company that runs monthly, family friendly events all over Aberdeenshire culminating in a supershow at The Beach Ballroom in Aberdeen.
So why do I enjoy heading the 90-ish minutes, travelling over 50 miles, from my home to view a bunch of blokes in their pants fighting for belts and that? The emotion, the escapism, the moments. Yeah, the m-word that WWE touts every year at WrestleMania, but it’s true. Wrestling, for fans, is about those moments that you believe, that’s what I like to think and want to believe. You believe that it’s real, get caught up in the seconds and minutes that befall your eyes.
Battle of the Nations 2018 was the next big stop to Aberdeen Anarchy 2018 on September 1st. It had all the twists and turns you’d ever wish for to kick the journey into high gear.
It continued at The Northern Hotel, a venue steeped in WrestleZone history, some of that history that was brought up later in the evening. It’s a place of title changes and announcements that have shaken the foundations of The Granite City and June 9th 2018 was no different.
Before we go any further, don’t expect a play by play of what happened during the matches. I’m not going to do that. I’m here to document the emotions and thoughts felt and had during the hours of 6.30pm and 9.30pm… and the following hours where I send many tweets of praise. Adam will have you covered for the moves and the like in the coming days.
The VIP exclusive match featured wrestlers all from the WrestleZone Training Academy. Featuring the returning Kaden Garrick, former WrestleZone Tag Team Champion with Mr P, he returned at The Regal Rumble spearing folk into oblivion. He took on the powerhouse Bradley Evans and the lanky gangster Dino Del Monte with Ted O’Keefe. Last time I saw Dino, he was okay, fun to watch but didn’t look that polished, his facials are interesting I’m undecided whether the cartoony-ness is detrimental or amazing. It’s been three months and he’s come on as a performer in leaps and bounds. The triple threat was thick and fast with a lot of moving parts. You had Garrick and Evans showing their power and Dino and Ted sneaking about, getting in their hits when they could, taking full advantage of triple threat matches being no disqualification. This was during the VIP portion of the evening, so less fans in the crowd but they were still all guns blazing. They were invested in Garrick and Evans while spitting venom at Del Monte and O’Keefe. Personally, I haven’t been that impressed with Evans in previous outings, I wasn’t seeing what others were, and that is totally okay, it’s okay to not understand why someone is popular with fans, it’s personal opinion at the end of the day, what’s not okay is bullying others for having an opinion that doesn’t match yours. I don’t know if it was the whiff of the sea breeze or the whole bag of sugar-filled sweets I ate before the show but he looked like a megastar in those 10-15 minutes. He’s broad, tall and wasn’t afraid to get up in Garrick’s face or to brush off Del Monte with high intensity. It’s ridiculously high praise at this early stage in his career but I can see, with some minor tweaks to character which will come with a year or two of experience, I can see Evans being a Samoa Joe style enforcer, battering others with ease. It was a role I could’ve seen Garrick doing when he was coming up but his absence has seen Evans come in and move ahead in a quick space of time due to regular matches with good opponents. Del Monte won and it was a very good match to give us a taster of what to expect in the coming hours.
During the waiting between folk filing in I went over to purchase a signed 8×10 from Sammii Jayne, who is currently resting up with a broken ankle. I want to include this tidbit as it gives me a chance to speak about Sammii, which is always a fun topic. Most shows I go to, I go with very little cash on hand. Mainly because I am super bad at spending it on the wrong things and secondly I don’t have much with a wedding to pay for this year. If you are a wrestler reading this, once October has passed don’t be surprised to see my name appear in your inbox as I’ll be making up for it! Anyway, every time I see Sammii she tries and almost succeeds in me spending money I don’t have on one of her many cool shirts, I do have one by the way, the Queen of Catch tee, but that Gryffindor one is calling my name… I’ve watched Sammii wrestle since 2012, if you ever ask me who my favourite women’s wrestler is her name will be the first to come out of my mouth. For her to be injured sucked, for her especially as she’s holding titles pretty much everywhere right now, for the fans we missed her versus Little Miss Roxxy which has been getting rave reviews down South, so I was determined to at least put some pounds in her pocket, as little as it was, to give back to someone that has given me so much entertainment in the last 5/6 years whether it was live at SWE, Rock N Wrestle or WrestleZone, or online at Discovery Wrestling and ICW. It was only £5 but with a lot of good intentions. So to end this paragraph, get well soon Sammii, and to everyone else, buy her merch!
The show started properly with a couple debuts and a return featuring three wrestlers from the WrestleZone Training Academy plus Bingo Ballance. Bingo Ballance is so underused in this country, and on a whole, he is ridiculously athletic, charismatic and has two super cool finishing moves. Plus he’s Irish, which is more of a fact than a feature I’m using to sell him for any prospective employers. His male counterpart in this match was Nathan North, “Vintage” Nathan North flanked by Jeeves Winchester and being arrogantly smug about just being him. This is another guy that went from being “meh” to being someone that could realistically carry a title in WrestleZone in a matter of months. Personally, I don’t think he needs Jeeves Winchester about as it doesn’t really add to Nathan as a wrestler anymore, at first he was there to draw the boos to transfer to Nathan but now North has grown in confidence and was evident in this match, he knows his character, he knows how to get the WrestleZone crowd to boo him. Be the overconfident yet, a yellow bellied git who tries avoid getting their hands dirty. Plus if you have a “thing”, like in Nathan North’s case it’s shouting “Vintage” and doing a peace sign. Rinse and repeat and you’ve got the trademarks of someone that can be disliked in a short amount of time. The two debutants in this one were Nova Moore and Anastasia Hawthorne, this was the first time they’ve been on a main WrestleZone show in front of a paying audience. Going into this one all I knew was Nova eliminated Lord Michael of Graham at Granite City Comic Con from a battle royal and that Sammii Jayne had a hand in training Anastasia so it was a blank slate as far as knowing what to expect.
What I got was a pleasant surprise, they teased Hawthorne and Moore’s interaction throughout but in the interim we were treated to Bingo and North having a really fun match. Of the interactions we had, North was on top form, he used every short cut, quick tags to make Ballance and Moore have to switch constantly due to the inter-gender tag rules. It was a clever match as it built to seeing Moore and Hawthorne properly in action. When we did the roof rattled again, Nova looked a little stuttering in her early exchanges but overall the two showed so much promise and character which is the most important thing when it comes to WrestleZone, character. Ballance and Moore scored the win in another entertaining match. I was so impressed by how Nova recovered from early mis-timings, shaking them off, and just how polished Anastasia looked in her first match on a main show, I would’ve never guessed she was a newbie, especially the confidence shown at a Northern Hotel show which is one of WrestleZone’s biggest crowds of the year outside of The Beach Ballroom. More of these two please.
We moved onto one of the big stipulation matches of the evening, the six man tag between Sterling Oil and the team of Tucker, Swift and Lions. Coming into this I was convinced by Adam’s theory that Bryan Tucker was joining Sterling Oil so a lot of my focus was on his reactions…turns out he got beaten up for a lot of the match so the theory was either getting stronger to pull a huge swerve… or the chances were getting drastically lower. The stand off between the two trios felt like a big moment, with the roar of the crowd they brawled. The match itself was quick, Scotty Swift and Crusher Craib continued their feud by brawling out of the building while Johnny Lions and Bryan Tucker dispatched the Sterling brothers out of nowhere to ban them from Damien versus Richard R. Russell.
The match was fine from a technical standpoint but it didn’t have to be, from a story standpoint it was great. The aftermath had William and Alan refuse to leave as Chris MacDonald sent two of the ringside crew to manhandle the two brothers out of the ring, tying them up with cable ties and dragging them out of the building. Whoever the Thor-looking dude was, I want to see that guy in the ring doing the wrestling. He looked like a Norse God. I was half expecting to see him throw the two about like they were nothing.
The second of the big matches was the triple threat to determine the number one contender for the WrestleZone Tri-Counties Championship at Aberdeen Anarchy, they would face Andy Wild. We were welcomed by Jason Reed who was letting us know about his plans to make WrestleZone great again, well he tried to as he was interrupted constantly with Donald Trump chants which he will declare as FAKE NEWS. I’m so glad Reed took this and ran with it. He could have ignored it, could’ve just been “Jason Reed and Chill” but nope, he saw the chance to cement a place up North and has taken it with both hands as he mocked “Zack Marmite” and “Mr C”, mis-remembering names in wrestling is one of my favourite things, fitting since Santino Marella is coming to Aberdeen in September. Zach Dynamite is a guy I have been begging to be a bad guy, he had the cockiness that just needed a leather jacket and a scowl. He got both and it made him far more interesting as a character. Then we have Mr P, the man charisma molded itself on. Kilt, shades and a big Scotland flag, the guy just oozes cool. Jason Reed got slapped in the face so many times in this one. I was rooting for my boy Mr P in this but as the clock counted down to the designated Tri-Counties limit of 20 minutes, Nathan North stoted out with a chair and smacked Mr P with it, he told Zach Dynamite to climb up to the top and take the win, North then smacked Dynamite with a chair for a no contest while Reed scurried away like it was the G7 summit. Looks like we’re getting a four way at Aberdeen Anarchy and I’m not complaining about that, judging on North’s performance earlier in the evening I wouldn’t even mind seeing him take the title on September 1st. I came in expecting a clear winner in Mr P but wasn’t going to be surprised at a little shenanigans, just surprised how it went down. On a side note it was great to see Sean McLaughlin referee this match, Sean is one of the best referees in the UK and to see him up in WrestleZone felt like a real acceptance as WrestleZone being a company getting more recognition. It sounds silly considering Sean has refereed Rock N Wrestle shows up in Inverness, so he had done the travel up North but I’m sure you know what I mean.
During the interval, Johnny Lions announced that he was asking for tag team names for him and Scotty Swift and he liked “Young Lions”, which is hilarious. I love oblivious Johnny Lions and want more of him trying to get a tag team going with Scotty, I’m talking several videos, t-shirts, badges, merchandise which I won’t be able to afford.
It was Damien against Richard R. Russell. The first match announced, considered the main event as it was determining the main event of Aberdeen Anarchy. This was emotion at its finest. It started with Richard bringing up that it was our fault that Damien left Sterling Oil and that as part of Sterling Oil he became the first Undisputed WrestleZone Champion in the same building. Damien looked to offer a response but just hit Russell in the face to a resounding reaction. It was something special in that moment. I found the end of The Regal Rumble a bit to far into the “soap opera” in hindsight, there was a lot of chat and stall that dragged a little before we got into the action. This was perfect, Damien was done with talking. Damien let emotion get the best of him, so much that he pushed Mikey Innes, the referee, Damien stopped. Mikey stopped. The crowd stopped. Russell looked elated. As the crowd begged Mikey not to ring the bell there was a pause, a long pause. Mikey waved off the call to an eruption as Lee Manton on commentary went ballistic. Russell tried his best to avoid Damien, getting himself out of the way of a superkick only for Mikey to take the brunt of the kick. The playing field was open. First out was Crusher Craib who booted Damien, Scotty Swift came through the crowd looking worse for wear as that brawl continued. Russell dragged himself to the pin, as the heart stopped in everyone, including the WrestleZone crew. Mikey counted, got to two and Damien kicked out to a sigh of relief from everyone. Russell clocked Damien with The Regal Rumble trophy to another baited breath. Damien kicked out again as the crowd got louder, Chris MacDonald heading to ringside to confiscate the trophy and absolutely rollicked Richard R. Russell to a huge reaction. Seeing Chris just have enough was the icing around the base of the cake, Damien landing two kicks to Russell’s head was the icing on top. Was it what I expected? Well I was hoping Bryan Tucker would come out, damn you Adam. I would’ve liked to have seen Russell as the General Manager of Aberdeen Anarchy, it would’ve made for some interesting avenues but by the end of the night I was all behind this. The emotion was insane, you had the hundreds in the venue, the WrestleZone staff, Chris MacDonald, Lee Manton all invested in the match, everyone was bouncing for Damien finally getting one up on Sterling Oil. The return of Crusher from earlier was genius, the only one not dragged away. There was so many little things coming into this one, the almost-dq, the interference, Chris having enough of Sterling Oil, Crusher, Scotty, everything that could’ve been in this match was in this match. This was the reason I love this company, this had brewed for months, ever since The Regal Rumble in 2017 this had bubbled, it boiled and it came to a head at Battle of the Nations. 15 months. You don’t get that kind of pay-off nowadays and it still hasn’t concluded fully, we still have September 1st. Damien versus Shawn Johnson. This emotional roller-coaster has been one of the best things I’ve seen in wrestling. Didn’t want to do play by plays for this “review” but to try and convey a fraction of the emotion it had to be done.
We didn’t have any time to catch our breath as it was the tag team title triple threat, the match I was the most excited about. After the Damien-Russell match I was a little worried that it wouldn’t grab as much attention or that the audience wouldn’t be as invested but I was thankfully wrong. The Rejected and The Kings of Catch just went at it before Sharp and Krieger even entered so we got a brawl set to the tune of Liberty X’s “A Little Bit More” which is an experience that will be hard to forget much like watching the sexy dancing of Proper Mental. It was tornado tag rules, apparently, as there were bodies everywhere, low blows, superkicks, low blows, chops, low blows and Lou King Sharp getting prodded in his ding-a-ling with Sammii’s crutch. Thankfully there was the 16 and a half sto… okay, 16 stone 8lbs cushion (it’s hard man, I love food.) called Billy Strachan to break his fall. Wasn’t the lap dance I was dreading by being front row but it was as awkward as I anticipated. There was no order to this, just moves and laughs. The Kings of Catch are the anti-heroes of WrestleZone. They are just doing what they want and the crowd love it. I think it was in part due to us waiting so long for them to finally team together after they’ve been killing it in Discovery Wrestling and ICW. They unleashed all the tag team moves, Proper Mental even snuck in the “Pantie Dropper” which won them the titles but it was Sammii missing a cast shot which hit Aspen, then she got spooked by Girvan tapping her from behind and he got a smack with her cast that ultimately lead to The Rejected rolling up both Sharp and Krieger to become four time WrestleZone Tag Team Champions. This was wild, chaotic, silly, mad and everything I love. Bonus points for Lou King Sharp throwing his face mask down after the match and it ricocheting with force onto Aspen’s crotch.
Chris MacDonald announced that the next name for Aberdeen Anarchy was former WWE and WCW Cruiserweight, WWE Tag Team and ECW Champion, Chavo Guerrero. Fun fact, I met Chavo Guerrero at my first independent Scottish wrestling event back in 2012, he was lovely. He faced Martyn Stallyon in the best match on that show. I was expecting a female so she could face Sammii Jayne, which is why I need to stop guessing as to who is coming to Aberdeen Anarchy as I’m never right. Good wrestler, happy to see him at Aberdeen Anarchy.
Before the main event started, Grado got on the mic to talk about Santino Marella being one of his heroes, planting more seeds in this seedy field, and his spoken word show the night before Aberdeen Anarchy at The Northern Hotel, then he challenged Shawn Johnson to put his Undisputed WrestleZone Championship on the line. After a sneak attack from Shawn he complied making this for the title. We got some, but not all of Grado’s usual act with him being on the back foot for a lot of the match. It was unusual but so welcomed. I love Grado, he is the most recognisable wrestler in the country but sometimes, just sometimes, I don’t need to see his usual stuff. This was balanced and it made Shawn look all the better… until he feigned a knee injury which allowed Lou King Sharp and Krieger to come out to lay the boots into Grado. Those seeds are blooming… Shawn caught Grado with a roll up with a handful of Grado’s singlet to retain but it was a great wrestling match, sure we got the laughs from Grado but this showed that he isn’t all flash and that Grado is a darn good wrestler.
Before the show ended, Chris MacDonald had one more… well… two more announcements. The first being that Damien versus Shawn Johnson at Aberdeen Anarchy would have a special enforcer, “The Aberdeen Assassin” Lee McAllister. I have no idea who he is but he looks like a scary dude, I googled him though, boxer, yep scary dude. The 99% Aberdonian crowd were going nuts for it so that means it was a good announcement. The second…
Shawn Johnson defends the Undisputed WrestleZone Championship…
inside a STEEL CAGE!
We’re getting a steel cage match at Aberdeen Anarchy for the first time ever, probably the first time ever in The Beach Ballroom. I’m so excited, the last steel cage match I witnessed live was… well it wasn’t good but I trust WrestleZone with this, I trust them to do it justice and if you haven’t got a ticket yet… better hurry.
So as you can see from the hundreds of words written I had a pretty decent night at WrestleZone. A night were the landscape changed in Aberdeen. A night were moments were created. A night where there were times that the whole of The Northern Hotel held their breaths for seconds together.
I think I said The Regal Rumble was the best show I’ve seen from WrestleZone… this one just topped that. Aberdeen Anarchy X is going to be a night of sweat and tears, that’ll just be me!
Honestly, I don’t say this because it’s a promotion that I go to regularly, or because some of the guys know my name or even because they like my tweets, I say this because I have seen some fantastic wrestling, I’ve seen some fantastic stories told, I’ve seen the entertainment that has kept me a fan for over 20 years and as far as emotion goes, I’ve never felt so much raw emotion in the space of 3 hours like I have at a WrestleZone show. I have literally been in tears at WrestleZone events whether it was laughing at Super Executioner or being in an glass case of emotion watching Aspen Faith slip on the ring apron and eliminate himself in a Regal Rumble match.
Best kept secret in the North? I don’t want it to be a secret anymore.
Predicted and Confirmed Matches for Aberdeen Anarchy:
Undisputed WrestleZone Championship – Steel Cage – Special Enforcer: Lee McAllister – Shawn Johnson (c) vs Damien
WrestleZone Tag Team Championships – The Rejected (c) vs The Kings of Catch
WrestleZone Tri-Counties Championship – Four Way – Ladder Match – Andy Wild (c) vs Nathan North vs Mr P vs Zach Dynamite
Grado & Santino Marella vs Proper Mental
Sammii Jayne vs Little Miss Roxxy
Falls Count Anywhere – Scotty Swift, Johnny Lions & Bryan Tucker vs Crusher Craib & The Sterling Brothers
Chavo Guerrero vs Bingo Ballance
Pre-show – Bradley Evans & Nova Moore vs Lord Michael of Graham & Anastasia Hawthorne
Tickets are available from the Aberdeen Box Office in the following three ways;
• IN-PERSON at the Box Office outlets at His Majesty’s Theatre in Rosemount Viaduct or the Lemon Tree in West North Street.
• TELEPHONE the Ticket Hotline on 01224 641122
Act fast to secure your seat for our biggest supershow of the year.
Pre-Show – Triple Threat – Dino Del Monte w/Ted O’Keefe def. Bradley Evans and Kaden Garrick by Pinfall.
Bingo Ballance & Nova Moore def. Nathan North & Anastasia Hawthorne w/Jeeves Winchester by Pinfall.
Scotty Swift, Johnny Lions & Bryan Tucker def. Sterling Oil by Pinfall.
Triple Threat – Mr P vs Jason Reed vs Zach Dynamite ended in a No Contest.
Damien def. Richard R. Russell by Pinfall.
WrestleZone Tag Team Championships – Triple Threat – The Rejected def. Proper Mental & The Kings of Catch by Pinfall.
Undisputed WrestleZone Championship – Shawn Johnson def. Grado by Pinfall.