2018. The tenth anniversary of WrestleZone, which meant that this site became even more overrun with WZ content than usual as we had previews, interviews, statistics, reviews, the entire lot to put the spotlight on their monumental Aberdeen Anarchy X event at the start of September. It was a phenomenal year for the Aberdeen-based promotion aside from that show though. More graduates than ever coming through the WrestleZone Training Academy, some of the UK’s top names coming to the Granite City, venues sold out time and time again. I could go on about WrestleZone’s 2018 in general for ages, but let’s instead look at some of the main stories from throughout the year!
Rise Of A Revolution
Following his departure from Sterling Oil in September 2017, Damien captured the Undisputed Championship from former stablemate Shawn Johnson the following month, a moment that saw the roof being blown off the Kincorth Community Centre in Aberdeen. So, coming into 2018, it looked like The Revolutionary was on a career high. It wasn’t to be though, as he lost the gold back to Shawn on the first show of the new year as Richard R. Russell kicked Damien below the belt. While this was a downfall for Damien, it was the next chapter in the incredible rivalry between him and the entirety of Sterling Oil.
From this point forward, Damien was hellbent on getting that championship out of Sterling Oil’s grasp. The members of his former stable made Damien’s life hell, costing him a Tri-Counties Championship match against Aspen Faith in Montrose and also a singles bout with Alan Sterling in Peterhead, resulting in Damien being forced to enter the Regal Rumble at number 1. As expected though, this only fuelled Damien more and more as he ensured to still be in the match when number 25 entered as he knew he would then get his hands on Russell (following Richard trading numbers with Alan Sterling). He outlasted names such as Jack Jester, Andy Wild, Crusher Craib, and The Kings of Catch. Damien was the last name in the ring as the buzzer sounded one last time. As the graphic showed on the TV, it was time for Richard R. Russell to enter but after no-showing, he was carried to the ring by a group of already-eliminated stars as Damien waited and waited. The Revolutionary couldn’t bring himself to punch Russell but after finally doing so, he was ambushed by Shawn Johnson, who was sat on commentary for the duration of the bout. With Shawn’s help, Russell dumped Damien over the top rope to be crowned the 2018 Regal Rumble winner. There was a deafening silence in the Northern Hotel as no-one, besides possibly Lee Manton, could believe what had just happened.
At this point, the main event of Aberdeen Anarchy X was scheduled to be a Sterling Oil Party, or so we thought. Seeing as Richard R. Russell won the match with outside interference from a man not in the match, management representative Chris McDonald announced that he would face Damien at Battle of the Nations to decide who would go on to the Beach Ballroom to challenge for the gold. It was quite possibly the most anticipated contest in WrestleZone history. Not only did the fans want to see Damien challenge for the championship at the biggest show of the year, but they wanted to see Russell get what he had coming to him. Unlike the Regal Rumble, Damien wasted no time in giving it to his former manager, although an accidental superkick to referee Mikey Innes allowed Crusher Craib to emerge and boot Damien in the jaw. It still wasn’t enough and after Chris McDonald took the Regal Rumble trophy away from Russell to prevent it being used as a weapon, Damien delivered a superkick to Richard to secure his spot in the main event of Aberdeen Anarchy. In addition to this, professional boxer Lee McAllister would be the special guest ringside enforcer and the match would be contested within the confines of a steel cage. Absolute scenes at the end of Battle of the Nations!
En-route to the Beach Ballroom for the biggest event of the year, Damien defeated Aspen Faith in Turriff with Richard R. Russell serving as the referee for the contest, while also losing to Shawn Johnson and The Sterling Brothers in Inverurie with Scotty Swift and Johnny Lions serving as his tag partners. At Aberdeen Anarchy itself, Damien walked into a steel cage for the first time in his career. Prior to the match, Sterling Oil were forced to disband after losing to Team WrestleZone (more on that later), but Richard R. Russell and The Sterling Brothers still attempted to help Shawn Johnson walk out as champion. Lee McAllister was having none of it though, clotheslining both Alan and William Sterling, and shoving Russell about at ringside. In the end, Damien low blowed Shawn in a callback to how he lost the title in the first place and descended to the floor to become the first-ever three-time Undisputed WrestleZone Champion.
Since winning back the championship, Damien has managed to retain against names such as Andy Wild, Aspen Faith, Chris Archer, and most recently against both Crusher Craib and BT Gunn at Christmas Chaos. Damien once again enters the new year as the Undisputed Champion, with both Jack Jester and Krieger set to challenge him at Summerhill Showdown. Will either of these two men be able to topple The Revolutionary?
The Crusher/Swift Saga
The second half of 2017 saw Crusher Craib make his return following a broken hip socket, ultimately costing Scotty Swift the Undisputed WrestleZone Championship against Shawn Johnson at Aberdeen Anarchy and rejoining Sterling Oil in the process. Summerhill Showdown 2018 featured a match between the pair, the first match back for Swift who had been left on the sidelines following a vicious beatdown at the hands of The Creator of Carnage at the 2017 Battle of the Nations. It wasn’t much of a match though, just like the first meeting the previous September. Fists were flying and soon, a steel chair was introduced but in a shock twist, it was Swift that used the steel to inflict pain on Craib that caused a disqualification. With no definitive winner, it became crystal clear that the rivalry wasn’t over quite yet.
After Crusher cost Swift a Tri-Counties Championship match with Aspen Faith in Peterhead, a No DQ Match was set between the pair for the Regal Rumble. A contest that saw cookie sheets, massive kendo sticks, and tables utilised, The Sterling Brothers prevented The Red Haired Warrior from picking up the win as they broke up a pinfall following a Granite City Driver. Even with the assistance of Bryan Tucker, Swift still fell to The Creator of Carnage as he was launched into a table three times. Once again, this wouldn’t be the end of their rivalry quite yet.
Battle of the Nations was the next big event for the rivalry, with Swift teaming with Bryan Tucker and Johnny Lions and Craib teaming with Alan and William Sterling. The two ended up brawling through the crowd before the match came to an end though, which would of course indicate that the rivalry still wasn’t over here. And it wasn’t, as these trios again squared off at Aberdeen Anarchy X, joined by Chris McDonald and Richard R. Russell respectively. A little callback came in this contest as Crusher climbed to the top rope looking for a diving splash, the same way this entire rivalry all started back in June 2016. This time around, Crusher was knocked down on to The Sterling Brothers at ringside and in the end, Team WrestleZone were victorious as Sterling Oil came to an end (more on that later on).
Craib cost Swift a bout with Jason Reed in Balmedie, leading to a Dog Collar Match at Halloween Hijinx that saw The Creator of Carnage come out on top following a distraction from the returning William Sterling. As we head into 2019, it appears that the rivalry is over (for now at least) as Crusher has returned to the Undisputed Championship scene and Scotty now finds himself across from both William Sterling and now Blue Thunder. Let’s see what they both get up to in 2019!
The Tri-Counties Championship was introduced in October 2016 with the inaugural champion being crowned the following June. Heading into 2018, the title immediately became a talking point as a new champion was crowned off the bat with Aspen Faith regaining the gold from Zach Dynamite at Summerhill Showdown. For those who may remember, this is the moment where Zach turned on training partner Bradley Evans. Some pretty big stuff happening to kickstart the new year!
With The King of Catch back on his throne, he was able to see off challenges from the likes of Damien and Scotty Swift until he met his match with a Fatal Four Way Match at the Regal Rumble against Johnny Lions, Mr P, and Andy Wild. It was chaotic the entire match, eventually coming to an end when Wild planted Lions into the match with a Wildest Driver. Sammii Jayne actually prevented Mr P from heading back in the ring to break up the pin, effectively playing a role in Aspen losing the title. With Faith off the top of the Tri-Counties division, it was time for the entire division to get wild.
Andy’s time as champ saw some questionable tactics used to retain the titles, including holding the tights of Bryan Tucker. One of the main points of interest during Wild’s title reign was him having to pull out of a title defence at Battle of the Nations, leading to Mr P, Zach Dynamite, and Jason Reed competing to see who would challenge for the gold at Aberdeen Anarchy X. As the match came to its end, Nathan North attacked P and Dynamite with a steel chair to signify his goals for capturing the gold. Management made it easy for themselves – a Fatal Four Way Match between Wild, P, Dynamite, and North. Who won the bout? Why, it was Zach Dynamite of course, but only after Bradley Evans TKO’ed Mr P and realigned with the new champ. Boom!
Like Andy Wild, Zach Dynamite’s reign saw some shady tactics used to retain his title. Following a title retention at Halloween Hijinx over Wild and a returning Dickie Divers, Mr P made a surprise return and would receive a title opportunity at Christmas Chaos, promising to retire if he failed to win the gold. On his 40th birthday, Mr P was crowned the new Tri-Counties Champion to end the year on a high for everyone’s favourite. Who will step up to be his first challenger in the new year?
A Stacked Tag Division
2017 in WrestleZone’s tag division was dominated by The Rejected and The Sterling Brothers. 2018 however, had plenty of other teams popping in and out, including Proper Mental, The Kings of Catch, and Scotty Swift & Johnny Lions. The champions coming into the year were The Rejected, who kicked the year off on a high note with a successful defence against Andy Wild and Jason Reed. Things quickly turned sour for Chris Archer and Mikkey Vago though as the Regal Rumble rolled around, as they lost the gold to Lou King Sharp and Krieger in quite a surprise to all in the Northern Hotel.
What happened after this was one of WrestleZone’s best moments of 2018. Fresh off losing his Tri-Counties Championship to Andy Wild, Aspen Faith ambushed the former champs and was soon joined by Lewis Girvan. The Kings of Catch were united in Aberdeenshire as the roof came off the venue. An Apter Burner was delivered to Archer, with another team establishing themselves in WrestleZone. It was a long time coming, with The KoC having already made their team very familiar to fans in ICW, Discovery Wrestling, and Source Wrestling, among other promotions. But now, they were finally in the north-east.
Following The Rejected regaining the Tag Team Championships from Proper Mental at Battle of the Nations (a match also involving The Kings of Catch), a challenge was made for a Tables Match at Aberdeen Anarchy X between the new champs and the Kings. Unfortunately, Aspen and Lewis were screwed out of the titles by the officials because announcer tables don’t count. Some things can never be forgiven. Luckily, Faith and Girvan had better luck in a Halloween Brawl the following month and added their names to the history books as our new WrestleZone Tag Team Champions.
A successful defence came against Scotty Swift and Johnny Lions at Christmas Chaos, meaning The Kings of Catch will be our champs heading into 2019. With new teams coming in such as the reunited Blue Thunder & William Sterling and Alan Sterling & Caleb Valhalla (assuming Caleb wrestles at some point), there’s plenty of new meat to challenge for the tag straps.
Sterling No More
Since reforming at Aberdeen Anarchy 2015, Sterling Oil have seen their fair share of ups and downs. From Crusher Craib rejoining them to Damien finally showing his true colours, it’s been a whirlwind for Richard R. Russell’s troops. 2018 was their most noteworthy year to date however which began on a massive high because, as mentioned, Shawn Johnson regained the Undisputed Championship from Damien at the first show of the year. No-one saw it happening, and everyone was left fuming at how it went down with Russell executing a low blow to The Revolutionary.
As a result of his actions, management’s Chris McDonald revealed that Richard was actually still an active member of the roster to the delight of WrestleZone fans. He was forced into the Regal Rumble Match, although he did have the last spot after asking for it from Alan Sterling, but he was still unable to escape the wrath of Damien. Russell’s former comrade was the last man in the ring as the buzzer sounded for him to enter and after being carried to the ring, it was time for Triple R to get some comeuppance. Shawn Johnson helped him out though, meaning Russell became the 2018 Regal Rumble winner. There was a deafening silence to end the night, but there was no taking away from the fact that Richard’s name will remain in the history books.
There was a way to take the Aberdeen Anarchy main event spot away though, as management forced him to face Damien one on one at Battle of the Nations for the championship opportunity. Russell would become the Anarchy general manager if he won. Luckily for the fans, Damien walked away victorious despite interference from Crusher Craib. Russell’s best efforts weren’t enough to stop Damien from going to the Aberdeen Anarchy X main event. Also going to the Beach Ballroom to compete was Richard, as he teamed with Crusher and The Sterling Brothers to face Scotty Swift, Bryan Tucker, Johnny Lions, and Chris McDonald with the future of Sterling Oil on the line.
Everyone was sick and tired of Richard’s antics, including ring announcer Martyn Clunes who shoved him back in the ring as he tried to escape. One Rock Bottom from McDonald put Sterling Oil’s adviser away as Sterling Oil were finished. Since then, the only member we’re yet to hear of is Richard R. Russell, although he has been vocal online as being supportive of Jason Reed’s campaign plans. Who knows if we’ll see him again though.
2018 saw plenty of new faces making their way to WrestleZone. Whether it was training academy graduates or some of Scotland’s fastest rising stars, the roster became bombarded with new talent.
Perhaps the most impressive of the new guys was Jason Reed. Although he had made a few appearances in 2016 and 2017, 2018 was the year Reed left an impression on the WrestleZone faithful as he went on a mission to Make WrestleZone Great Again. With Agent W by his side, the Donald Trump lookalike has garnered victories over the likes of Scotty Swift, Ryan Riley, and Bryan Tucker. A witch hunt has prevented him from being undefeated though, losing to Kenny Williams despite his foot being under the ropes for the entire pinfall. 2019 promises to be a great year for Mr Reed. Remember folks, vote Reed for a better WrestleZone!
The WrestleZone Training Academy saw loads of names coming through this year. The Outfit pairing of Dino Del Monte and Ted O’Keefe have been two of my personal favourites to watch, and are certainly going to be Tag Team Champions in a year or two (something I’ve said time and time again). Some of the other graduates include the likes of Ryan Riley, Caleb Valhalla, Anastasia, Nova Moore, and his majesty Lord Michael of Graham. Who will be the next top star to join the WrestleZone roster from the academy?
Other younger stars from the UK also made their way to WrestleZone throughout the year, including Ireland’s Leah Owens and breakout Premier British Wrestling stars Prince Asad and Dylan Angel. Who knows who’ll come to the Granite City in 2019.
2019 already has some lovely stuff set out, with Summerhill Showdown set for January 19th at Aberdeen’s Summerhill Hotel (featuring a main event of Damien defending the Undisputed Championship against both Jack Jester and Krieger), and Aberdeen Anarchy set for June 1st at Aberdeen’s Beach Leisure Centre. Keep your eyes peeled on WrestleZone’s social media pages for announcements on other shows as we enter WZ’s eleventh year in business!
86 Singles Matches
18 Tag Team Matches
3 Six Man Tag Team Matches
1 Eight Man Tag Team Match
1 Triple Threat Tag Team Match
11 Triple Threat Matches
2 Fatal Four Way Matches
1 Battle Royal
1 Christmas Brawl
2 Dog Collar Matches
1 Flag Match
1 Halloween Brawl
2 Handicap Matches
2 Intergender Matches
1 No DQ Match
1 Regal Rumble Match
1 Steel Cage Match
2 Tables Matches
1 Wildcard Match
Out of 37 Title Matches
The Undisputed WrestleZone Championship was defended 13 times, with 2 title changes (Shawn Johnson once and Damien once) and 11 successful defences (Shawn Johnson four times and Damien seven times)
The WrestleZone Tri-Counties Championship was defended 14 times, with 4 title changes (Aspen Faith once, Andy Wild once, Zach Dynamite once, and Mr P once) and 10 successful defences (Aspen Faith three times, Andy Wild three times, and Zach Dynamite five times)
The WrestleZone Tag Team Championships were defended 9 times, with 3 title changes (Proper Mental once, The Rejected once, and The Kings of Catch once) and 6 successful defences (The Rejected four times, Proper Mental once, and The Kings of Catch once)
Undisputed WrestleZone Championship
Damien – October 28th 2017-January 20th 2018
Shawn Johnson – January 20th 2018-September 1st 2018
Damien – September 1st 2018-Present
WrestleZone Tri-Counties Championship
Zach Dynamite – November 11th 2017-January 20th 2018
Aspen Faith – January 20th 2018-March 24th 2018
Andy Wild – March 24th 2018-September 1st 2018
Zach Dynamite – September 1st 2018-December 8th 2018
Mr P – December 8th 2018-Present
WrestleZone Tag Team Championships
The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago) – December 2nd 2017-March 24th 2018
Proper Mental (Lou King Sharp & Krieger) – March 24th 2018-June 9th 2018
The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago) – June 9th 2018-October 27th 2018
The Kings of Catch (Aspen Faith & Lewis Girvan) – October 27th 2018-Present
Alan Sterling – 7 wins, 8 losses
“The Beauty From The Borders” Anastasia – 0 wins, 1 loss
“Unstoppable” Andy Wild – 5 wins, 8 losses, 1 draw
“The King of Catch” Aspen Faith – 9 wins, 9 losses
“The Zenith of Zero-G” Bingo Ballance – 1 win, 1 loss
Blue Thunder – 0 wins, 11 losses
Bradley Evans – 8 wins, 12 losses
Bryan Tucker – 6 wins, 7 losses
“The Oddity” BT Gunn – 0 wins, 1 loss
Chavo Guerrero Jr. – 1 win, 0 losses
“The Outcast” Chris Archer – 12 wins, 12 losses
Chris McDonald – 1 win, 0 losses
“The Creator of Carnage” Crusher Craib – 15 wins, 5 losses
Cysto 1 – 1 win, 4 losses
Cysto 2 – 1 win, 4 losses
“The Revolutionary” Damien – 13 wins, 6 losses
“The Great” Dickie Divers – 0 wins, 1 loss
Dino Del Monte – 8 wins, 6 losses
Dylan Angel – 0 wins, 1 loss
Grado – 2 wins, 1 loss
“The Bone Collector” Irving Garrett – 0 wins, 1 loss
“The Big Ride Machine” Jack Jester – 0 wins, 2 losses
Jason Reed – 6 wins, 6 losses, 1 draw
“Tenacious” Johnny Lions – 3 wins, 7 losses, 1 draw
Kaden Garrick – 1 win, 12 losses
“The Lucky Yin” Kenny Williams – 1 win, 0 losses
The Demolition Man” Kid Fite – 0 wins, 1 loss
Kirsten McDonald – 1 win, 0 losses
“Scudmaster Sexy” Krieger – 2 wins, 3 losses
“The Throwback to the ’80s” Leah Owens – 0 wins, 1 loss
“The Renegade” Lewis Girvan – 2 wins, 4 losses
Lionheart – 1 win, 0 losses
Lord Michael of Graham – 0 wins, 4 losses
“Your Mother’s Favourite Wrestler” Lou King Sharp – 2 wins, 2 losses
“The Heavy Metal Hooligan” Mikkey Vago – 10 wins, 9 losses
Mr P – 7 wins, 6 losses, 2 draws
“Vintage” Nathan North – 3 wins, 10 losses
Nova Moore – 1 win, 0 losses
Prince Asad – 0 wins, 1 loss
Richard R. Russell – 3 wins, 2 losses
“Inspirational” Ryan Riley – 2 wins, 5 losses
“The Queen of WrestleZone” Sammii Jayne – 1 win, 1 loss
Santino Marella – 1 win, 0 losses
“The Red Haired Warrior” Scotty Swift – 7 wins, 14 losses
Shawn Johnson – 7 wins, 4 losses
The Super Executioner – 0 wins, 1 loss
Ted O’Keefe – 7 wins, 5 losses
“The Vixen of Violence” Viper – 1 win, 0 losses
William Sterling – 6 wins, 8 losses
“The Foundation of the Future” Zach Dynamite – 7 wins, 11 losses, 2 draws
Alan Sterling & Andy Wild – 0 wins, 1 loss
Anastasia & Nathan North – 0 wins, 1 loss
Andy Wild & Jason Reed – 0 wins, 1 loss
Andy Wild & Mr P – 1 win, 0 losses
Aspen Faith & Sterling Oil (Crusher Craib & William Sterling) – 0 wins, 1 loss
Bingo Ballance & Nova Moore – 1 win, 0 losses
Blue Thunder & Kaden Garrick – 0 wins, 1 loss
Blue Thunder & Mr P – 0 wins, 1 loss
Blue Thunder & Ryan Riley – 0 wins, 1 loss
Blue Thunder & Scotty Swift – 0 wins, 1 loss
Bradley Evans & Chris Archer – 0 wins, 1 loss
Bradley Evans & Zach Dynamite – 0 wins, 1 loss
Bryan Tucker & Chris Archer – 1 win, 0 losses
Bryan Tucker, Johnny Lions & Scotty Swift – 1 win, 0 losses
Bryan Tucker & The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago) – 1 win, 0 losses
Bryan Tucker & Scotty Swift – 0 wins, 1 loss
Bryan Tucker, Grado & Mr P – 1 win, 0 losses
Damien, Johnny Lions & Scotty Swift – 0 wins, 1 loss
Damien & Scotty Swift – 1 win, 0 losses
Dino Del Monte & William Sterling – 1 win, 0 losses
Grado & Santino Marella – 1 win, 0 losses
Jason Reed & William Sterling – 0 wins, 1 loss
Johnny Lions & Scotty Swift – 1 win, 2 losses
Kid Fite & Krieger – 0 wins, 1 loss
The Kings of Catch (Aspen Faith & Lewis Girvan) – 2 wins, 2 losses
Nathan North & The Sterling Brothers (Alan Sterling & William Sterling) – 0 wins, 1 loss
Nathan North & Zach Dynamite – 0 wins, 1 loss
The Outfit (Dino Del Monte & Ted O’Keefe) – 4 wins, 2 losses
Proper Mental (Krieger & Lou King Sharp) – 2 wins, 1 loss
The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago) – 7 wins, 4 losses
The Sterling Brothers (Alan Sterling & William Sterling) – 1 win, 0 losses
Sterling Oil (Crusher Craib & Shawn Johnson) – 1 win, 1 loss
Sterling Oil (Crusher Craib & The Sterling Brothers (Alan Sterling & William Sterling)) – 1 win, 1 loss
Sterling Oil (Crusher Craib, Richard R. Russell & The Sterling Brothers (Alan Sterling & William Sterling)) – 0 wins, 1 loss
Sterling Oil (Shawn Johnson & The Sterling Brothers (Alan Sterling & William Sterling)) – 1 win, 1 loss
Team WrestleZone (Bryan Tucker, Chris McDonald, Johnny Lions & Scotty Swift) – 1 win, 0 losses
Credit for all images used goes to Brianbat Photography.
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