There’s a saying in wrestling from time to time that one night can entirely change the landscape of a promotion. Sometimes, it may just come across as a cheesy phrase to get more eyes on a product. In the case of the 2019 Regal Rumble though, it’s a phrase that perfectly describes the night from start to finish. Every match, every move, every moment left implications for WrestleZone heading forward into the spring months.
It’s no secret how much both myself and Billy enjoy a WrestleZone show. After every show we attend, there’s always Tweets of praise being sent to those involved. As the shows go on, it seems as if WrestleZone are intent on making our lives that extra bit more difficult by putting on events that are physically impossible to frown upon. Every single time I leave the building after the final match, I’m always left thinking ‘well, what can they possibly do to top that?’
Outside the Northern Hotel, it was pouring down with snow. A freezing cold day in Aberdeen but inside, the temperature rose with the scorching action in the ring. Am I right, or am I right?
Prior to the show, I headed to the cinema to watch Fighting With My Family, a film I’ve been dying to see for a few months. Genuinely one of the best movies I’ve seen, whether you’re a wrestling fan or not. Highly recommend you check it while it’s still showing. Now, on with the show itself!
VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show
Chris Archer def. Ryan Riley by Pinfall
Us VIP ticket holders were witness to a special pre-show contest, and one that intrigued me when it was first announced. Chris Archer vs Ryan Riley. Riley came out looking well pleased with himself (he’s lost 7 stone remember), shaking hands with everyone. The match got off to quite a slow start, both men looking to wear the other down ahead of the main event. The Inspirational One showed us all a bit of what he’s capable of, utilising a handful of strikes we’ve come to see from him in the last few months as well as almost picking up a win following a brutal half nelson backbreaker. His signature move, the inverted DDT, was countered by The Outcast into a Rough Ryder and finally a diving flatliner to secure a three count for Chris Archer.
For a pre-show match, this was an alright contest. Nothing too special, but one that left me wanting more from both. I’ve enjoyed the work of Chris Archer since my first WrestleZone event in 2013, and was probably the only person in the crowd that was chuffed when he and Mikkey Vago won their first Tag Team Championship at Christmas Chaos 2015. Archer has really grown as a performer I feel, not afraid to take it to the sky when the time’s right. Ryan Riley’s someone else I quite enjoy watching. I got a brief glimpse of him during the Aberdeen Anarchy battle royal – if you had told me six months later that I’d be enjoying him as much as I am, I probably would’ve believed you to be quite honest. What a true inspiration he is to all involved with Scottish wrestling.
Triple Threat Match for the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships
The Kings of Catch (Aspen Faith & Lewis Girvan) (c), The Thunder Buddies (Blue Thunder & William Sterling) and Scotty Swift & Johnny Lions went to a No Contest
Straight into the action on the main show with the Tag Team Championships match, with William Sterling taking a double superkick from the offset. Poor lad. Johnny Lions was a proper highlight throughout the match, as he has been for the last few months. Sterling came back in later on and was immediately taken back out, also showing some miscommunication with Blue Thunder. That was a nice little touch because it showed the different routes both are on right now; Sterling wanting revenge for Scotty Swift and Johnny Lions helping put an end to Sterling Oil at Aberdeen Anarchy X and Thunder just wanting to get back to winning ways in championship action. The nature of the match being only two legal men at a time meant that you had the teams tagging each other in, doing everything they could to have their team remain legal for as long as possible. They can’t win the titles if they’re not legal y’know – that was perhaps the only rule in effect here. The Kings of Catch had some mid-match energy drinks as only they would (kindly provided by “The Prince of Catch” Mark Leslie), before the action broke down as all six men brawled throughout the crowd. Referee Dennis Law had no option but to throw the match out as a no contest. Boo! Board member Len Ironside got on the mic post-match and announced that we would find a decisive winner for this match at Aberdeen Anarchy when the three teams compete once more inside the big bad blue steel cage.
When the bell rang to end the match, I was left disappointed. A highly enjoyable all-out brawl from start to finish. It was one of many comedy portions of the evening, despite how serious the rivalry is. You had The Kings of Catch being their usual selves, you had Johnny Lions being phenomenal raving away to the music (here’s hoping Scotty Swift’s earning a bonus for keeping him under control), and you had William Sterling being the main target of his four opponents. Remember him hitting a chokeslam backbreaker, but that may have been his only move of the match. No-one liked him here. Now, we’ve got a rematch at Aberdeen Anarchy. I’m buzzing for it. 2019 is Johnny’s final year as an active competitor and one goal he had was to compete inside a steel cage. Fantastic to see him getting what he wanted before he retires.
Wash Your Mouth Out With Soap Match
Andy Wild def. Alan Sterling w/Caleb Valhalla by Pinfall
Another comedy portion now. Alan Sterling is much better when he’s playing the comedic role – while he can do the serious roles when the time calls for it (he was challenging for the Undisputed Championship in 2015 remember), he’s far better when he’s a comedy guy. His pairing with Caleb Valhalla is just fantastic. He can goof about all he wants because he’s got Caleb watching his back 24/7. However, having Mr Valhalla by his side was never going to be enough to stop the onslaught Andy Wild brought to the party. Right from the first bell, you had Sterling running away from Wild, slapping and chopping The Stovie Superman whenever the opportunity arose to literally no effect whatsoever. Wild would get in some of his own heart-stopping chops later on but after numerous distractions and interferences from Caleb, he would fall victim to a backstabber. With Sterling’s feet on the ropes though, the referee refused to count it and also removed Caleb from ringside. A stiff slap to the jaw of Alan got him the victory here. As Sterling tried to leave, Grado dragged him back to ringside so that he could have his mouth washed out with soap, courtesy of Wild and some fans in attendance. Devastating scenes inside the Northern Hotel.
This was a perfect WrestleZone-style match. A company that prides itself on being family-friendly, this is exactly the sort of thing you’d be expecting from them. I’ll never not enjoy an Andy Wild match, while Alan Sterling has his moments also. I was sat next to commentary on the night and they had a massive tray full of soap bars, none of which were used as Alan had brought his own soap out. He was ahead of the game, even though it didn’t really benefit him. Caleb Valhalla is just superb as a manager also. His physique alone is enough to make anyone quake in their shoes. If the time comes for he and Alan to go their separate ways, it’ll single-handily be the worst day in Alan’s career. No matter if it’s All About Alan, there’s no stopping Valhalla.
Crusher Craib def. Grado by Pinfall
You know what this match was? HISTORIC. The first time ever HISTORIC meeting between Crusher Craib and Grado. HISTORIC. Throughout the match, there was a real clash of styles here with the barbaric style of Crusher and the nonstop shenanigans from Grado like only he can. The Chubby Wee Chancer used all his usual schtick, a series of bionic elbows knocking The Creator of Carnage off his feet while the Roll’N’Slice and the RGradO almost picked up a shock victory. While he was setting up for a big ol’ Wee Boot, Alan Sterling popped back out to ringside, resulting in Crusher booting Grado in the mush to continue his unpinned streak. Crusher’s boots are just brutal to watch. After the bell, Len Ironside dropped another bombshell on us for Aberdeen Anarchy. Crusher Craib wants competition, so he’ll get that in the form of a Triple Threat Match on April 13th against both “The Zenith of Zero-G” Bingo Ballance and current ICW World Heavyweight Champion Lionheart. Lovely, lovely, lovely.
Highly enjoyed this match. Crusher Craib is just a joy to watch and while I prefer seeing him manhandling smaller opponents, it’s equally as fun to watch him tangle with a guy of similar stature. His Aberdeen Anarchy match is a potential match of the year contender in my eyes, three of the absolute best to ever step foot in a WrestleZone ring. A match that can only be held on a stage as big as Aberdeen Anarchy. From what I’ve heard, his and Lionheart’s match at a recent ICW show was exceptional while his brief run-in with Bingo Ballance at the 2015 Christmas Chaos was the perfect big man/small man match. Grado meanwhile appears to find himself in a bit of a rivalry with Alan Sterling that’ll likely lead to something at Aberdeen Anarchy. Maybe we’ll see Caleb Valhalla toss Grado halfway across the ring?
Zach Dynamite & Jason Reed w/Bradley Evans & Agent W def. Damien & Mr P by Pinfall
Zach Dynamite. Jason Reed. One team. I didn’t know what to do with myself. Damien and Mr P showed some dissension throughout the whole match, showing off in each other’s faces with their championships. This only worked in the favour of their opponents, with the Tri-Counties Champion being controlled in Dynamite and Reed’s corner for a large portion of the match. The Revolutionary got things back in favour of his team’s side with a lovely somersault dive to ringside, leading to Mr P locking Zach Dynamite in a sharpshooter back inside the ring. Before the referee could ring the bell and run for the hills, Ryan Riley wandered to ringside like a Lacey Evans segment, and blasted P in the back of the head with his protein shake. Dangerous weapons those things. A superkick from Dynamite secured a win for he and Reed. As Dynamite and Bradley Evans celebrated the victory, Riley embraced with the duo as a new alliance has been formed in WrestleZone.
Yes, and nothing but yes. A great tag match here, culminating with a new trio coming together. This group has endless possibilities. With Sterling Oil gone, WrestleZone was missing that group of wrestlers who all have the same goal. Dynamite, Riley, and Evans more than fill that gap. Although I’m intrigued to see what they can do together, I’d love it if Riley was just doing this to be at ringside for PAC’s match at Aberdeen Anarchy. Either way, The Foundation of the Future is here, and they are inspirational.
2019 Regal Rumble Match
RUDO Lightning last eliminated Zach Dynamite to win
Here we go then. Recapping the main reason I attended this show – the Regal Rumble Match. There’s nothing quite like a Rumble Match. The unpredictability of who’s going to come in next, the strange alliances that are formed throughout, the brief rivalries you’ll see. All excellent things in wrestling. Not long into the match, Andy Wild chopped the chest of Ryan Riley that surely knocked off another 7 stone. There was some continuation from matches earlier on in the night as once all six men had entered, the Tag Team Championships rivalry took centre stage in the ring as the three teams went at it some more, resulting in all of them bar Johnny Lions being dumped out one after the other. One of the main highlights of the match for me was RUDO Lightning. For the time he was in there, I saw him eyeing up some of the guys who’ve come through the WrestleZone Training Academy. The third Drew Galloway Invitational Tournament is coming up this year – perhaps he’s looking to include another WrestleZone guy in it this year. As you can imagine, I lost it when Lord Mr Malice entered. It was announced that Mr Malice would be making a comeback here, but we didn’t know which incarnation we’d be getting. Seeing him square off with Grado was a comedy sight to behold, until Alan Sterling intervened that is. Speaking of two guys squaring off, Caleb Valhalla and Kaden Garrick. I want this match so badly after seeing them collide here. Two smaller guys in terms of height, but two that pack some of the biggest punches in WrestleZone. Valhalla took a break from Garrick and essentially killed Lord Mr Malice, dumping over the ropes without a care in the world on to the wooden floor of the Northern Hotel. My condolences go out to the family of Lord Mr Malice at this tough time in his life. A key moment of the match for me here was the performance of WrestleZone Training Academy’s most recent name Connor Inglis. The bleach-blonded lad came in all guns blazing, and eventually eliminated Crusher Craib within seconds of The Creator of Carnage entering the match. His second match in front of a crowd, and he’s become so beloved by the fans. We all love him – have him on all shows going forward please. As the match winded down, Jason Reed was thrown over the ropes as I died a little inside. Now I know just how Billy felt in the 2016 Regal Rumble when Aspen Faith slipped off the apron. Johnny Lions and Zach Dynamite were trying to eliminate each other, but were instead both eliminated at the same time by RUDO Lightning. We have a winner!
Order of Entry
1. Ryan Riley
2. Andy Wild
3. Mr P
4. Lewis Girvan
5. Jason Reed w/Agent W
6. Bradley Evans
7. Scotty Swift
8. Ted O’Keefe
9. Blue Thunder
11. Thatcher Wright
12. Aspen Faith
13. Johnny Lions
14. RUDO Lightning
15. Alan Sterling
16. Kaden Garrick
17. William Sterling
18. Dino Del Monte
19. Lord Mr Malice
20. Caleb Valhalla
21. Mikkey Vago
22. Connor Inglis
23. Zach Dynamite
24. Chris Archer
25. Crusher Craib
Order of Elimination
1. Andy Wild
2. Bradley Evans
3. Ryan Riley
4. Ted O’Keefe
5. Scotty Swift
6. Blue Thunder
7. Lewis Girvan
8. Aspen Faith
9. William Sterling
11. Lord Mr Malice
12. Thatcher Wright
13. Mr P
14. Dino Del Monte
15. Caleb Valhalla
16. Kaden Garrick
17. Crusher Craib
18. Connor Inglis
19. Mikkey Vago
20. Chris Archer
21. Alan Sterling
22. Jason Reed
23. Johnny Lions
24. Zach Dynamite
Jason Reed man. He’s been my pick to win the match since September I think, and although I had other possible picks to win it, I was fully behind him winning the bout. He came in early, leaving me thinking ‘could he do it?’ The answer? No. It wasn’t to be at the 2019 Regal Rumble, although he did make it to the final four. Maybe next year. As for RUDO Lightning though, an exceptional victor. He may have been one of my five picks to win, but a little behind the scenes scoop for you all – he was a replacement pick for Shawn Johnson after he wasn’t even announced. His work here aswell as his post-match promo towards Damien was excellent. The things he said regarding wanting to give opportunities to WrestleZone and to Damien was extremely heartfelt… for about two minutes that is. A swift swing of the Regal Rumble trophy into Damien’s head was followed by an impromptu Undisputed Championship match.
Undisputed WrestleZone Championship
RUDO Lightning def. Damien (c) by Pinfall
Damien went wild here, and rightfully so after comments made by RUDO towards his daughter. A real family man is Damien. About a minute into the match and we had a ref bump as The Revolutionary collided with the law round these parts Dennis Law, giving RUDO the opportunity to rake Damien’s eyes and wallop him with the title belt. One, two, three. The era of Damien is over as we now usher in the era of RUDO.
Talk about a swerve. Typically, the winner of the Regal Rumble would wait until Aberdeen Anarchy before receiving their championship opportunity. The Regal Rumble would normally end with the winner and the champion having a staredown while raising their respective hardware into the sky. Not this time though. Anything can happen on the road to Aberdeen Anarchy. You can’t say you saw this coming because you’d be a liar if you did. No-one likes a liar. Either way, it leaves this year’s Aberdeen Anarchy without a main event, for now at least.
Overall, this was one of my favourite WrestleZone events yet. You’d imagine the Aberdeen Anarchy shows would be the best and while they are usually excellent, you can always count on the Northern Hotel events to be top quality. Battle of the Nations 2017 and 2018 as well as the Regal Rumble 2018, all held at the Northern Hotel, immediately spring to mind as some of the greatest non-Aberdeen Anarchy shows in WrestleZone history. The 2019 Regal Rumble joins the list. You had superb in-ring action, fantastic storytelling as only WrestleZone can, some comedy spots, huge swerves, even larger announcements. Seriously, what wasn’t there to love about this show, aside from the death of our dearly beloved Lord Mr Malice? Aberdeen Anarchy is now directly around the corner as it’s three weeks from Saturday. It’s so close, I can already feel the heat from the sun that will hopefully be beaming that day. Last year’s Anarchy was extremely phenomenal but judging by what’s been happening this year, the 2019 Anarchy will be the best one yet.
Aberdeen Anarchy tickets can be purchased either online from http://www.ringsideworld.co.uk or in-person at Forbidden Planet in Aberdeen. Tickets are priced at £27 for ringside tickets and £17 for general admission tickets. Please note, ringside tickets are available online only.
VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show – Chris Archer def. Ryan Riley by Pinfall
Triple Threat Match for the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships – The Kings of Catch (c), The Thunder Buddies and Scotty Swift & Johnny Lions went to a No Contest
Wash Your Mouth Out With Soap Match – Andy Wild def. Alan Sterling w/Caleb Valhalla by Pinfall
Crusher Craib def. Grado by Pinfall
Zach Dynamite & Jason Reed w.Bradley Evans & Agent W def. Damien & Mr P by Pinfall
2019 Regal Rumble Match – RUDO Lightning last eliminated Zach Dynamite to win
Undisputed WrestleZone Championship – RUDO Lightning def. Damien (c) by Pinfall