Review: WrestleZone Aberdeen Anarchy 2019

WZAA

Well, there we have it folks. Aberdeen Anarchy 2019 is in the history books, having taken over the Beach Leisure Centre just under two weeks ago. From start to finish, the event was full of drama, emotion, unbelievable in-ring action, excellent storytelling. All in all, it had everything you could ask for from a wrestling show. It’s extremely hard to find a bad WZ show these days – even the smaller town hall shows are great.

Now, before we speak about the event itself, let’s have a chat about the venue. Aberdeen’s Beach Leisure Centre. Does this have the same atmosphere as the Beach Ballroom next door? Of course not. After all, there’s a massive difference between a leisure centre and a ballroom. However, did that hamper the quality of the show? Again, of course not. As long as you still have a view of the ring, that’s all that should matter. I was lucky enough to snag a seat next to the entrance aisle which was great for seeing everyone come out, but not the best when you’ve got PAC flying towards you. A terrifying prospect.

Right then…

Since it’s Aberdeen Anarchy, I headed along to the afternoon meet & greet (a hell of a trek from Union Square by the way, luckily I’m starting driving lessons in the summer so my legs won’t be destroyed by the time I’m there). As is the case with WZ meet & greet sessions, everything was extremely well-organised. Only a handful of fans went in at a time so not to swarm PAC, a strategy that worked excellently for my money. Once in, a quick signature and photo with The Man That Gravity Forgot while stressing myself out thinking I’d broken a bit of his Dragon Gate championship. Thankfully, it was part of the belt design, and I was on my way to get a bite to eat.

That’s the worst bit about the meet & greets. The time to kill after the meeting and greeting before the doors open. So like any other socially awkward person these days, I sat in a corner on Twitter, listening to Spotify, and watching the minutes tick by. Before I knew it, I was back down at the Beach Leisure Centre waiting (im)patiently for 5pm.

VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show Fatal Four Way Match
Caleb Valhalla def. Kaden Garrick, Irving Garrett and Krieger by Pinfall

Us VIP ticket holders were treated to quite the bonus match, a showcase of the future Triple Threat Fatal Four Way Match featuring the beastiest beast of them all Caleb Valhalla, the small but mighty Kaden Garrick, bone lover Irving Garrett, and last minute entrant Krieger. Scudmaster Sexy was livid that the biggest show on the WrestleZone calendar was going on without him, with referee Mikey Innes allowing him to enter the contest. Right off the bat, he formed an alliance with Valhalla, a wise move on his part. Garrick and Garrett (tongue twister that) paired up to take down the taller team, only for The Bone Collector to go out on his own and start putting everyone in unique submissions as only he can. Throughout the contest, we were reminded just how good Kaden Garrick actually is. Despite his apparent neverending losing streak, he’s one of the strongest forces on the WrestleZone roster today, as evidenced when he dished out one of those devastating spears. However, a failed attempt at a diving crossbody led to him being slammed into the mat via Caleb’s swinging side slam for the three count. When Kaden was trodding back up the aisle, you could just tell he had had enough of his current tenure. Had me thinking we’d be seeing him later on in the night, perhaps aligning himself with a certain Fifer. Spoiler alert – we didn’t.

Caleb Valhalla. A guaranteed future Undisputed Champion, without question. Everything about the guy is beyond great. When you think of what an ideal wrestler would look like, he’d come into your head. With muscles upon muscles on his body, there may not be any stopping him. In terms of the other lads in the match, I’ll take Irving Garrett and Krieger on a WrestleZone card any day of the week. Both are brilliant to watch in the ring, and know just what to do to get the crowd involved in the match. Kaden Garrick meanwhile continues to be on the losing end of things. Personally, I can’t wait until he gets that victory to snap his streak of losses. It’ll be like Curt Hawkins all over again. Have him spear people left, right, and centre like the good old days. He could be a Tri-Counties Championship contender if he was able to start gaining victories again. Don’t have him go after the new champ though.

WrestleZone Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Triple Threat Match
The Outfit (Dino Del Monte & Ted O’Keefe) def. The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago) and The Foundation of the Future (Bradley Evans & Ryan Riley) by Pinfall

So, the main card kicked off with one of many Triple Threats for the evening. The Outfit, The Rejected, and The Foundation of the Future all went into battle with the same goal in mind – to leave the Beach Leisure Centre as the #1 contenders for the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships come Battle of the Nations on August 17th. Bradley Evans and Ryan Riley, despite only coming together 28 days prior to Aberdeen Anarchy, had excellent chemistry together, working as a cohesive unit to ground their four opponents. Evans in particular was on top form here, becoming more and more unhinged as the shows go on. One of the high points of the match for me came when Chris Archer hit a diving moonsault, one of his now trademark moves, followed not long after by a moonsault from Mikkey Vago! Not often you see that sort of tactic from The Heavy Metal Hooligan. Archer, Vago, and Evans downed Ted O’Keefe with a triple powerbomb towards the end of the bout (clearly big Shield fans), but it wasn’t enough to prevent a victory by order of The Outfit. Mikkey was planted with a Magic Killer and just like that, Dino and Ted were heading to Battle of the Nations with a Tag Team Championships match to look forward to.

I may have predicted a Foundation of the Future victory here, but that didn’t stop me from being over the moon for Del Monte and O’Keefe. Since their arrival at last year’s Regal Rumble, I’ve been singing the praises of The Outfit. Two good in-ring performers and decent on the mic too – although I lean a bit more in favour of Ted, there’s nothing bad to note about Dino, especially now that he’s toned down the over the top facial expressions. The lankier member busted out a piledriver during the match to poor Chris Archer. What a way to open the main card!

Alan Sterling w/Caleb Valhalla def. Grado by Pinfall

From a serious encounter to more of a comedy contest. Alan Sterling vs Grado was up next, which meant we were treated to another appearance from the mighty Caleb Valhalla. Before the bell had even rung, shenanigans were running wild brother. The Chubby Wee Chancer was running circles around the man who proclaims it’s All About Alan, tripping him up on numerous occasions to roars and laughter from the crowd. A German suplex attempt from Sterling was thwarted by the larger Grado, even the assistance from Valhalla wasn’t enough to lift Grado off the mat but Caleb was able to shove him into the corner post to give Alan the advantage for a short while. There were bionic elbows, there were RGradoO’s, there was a Roll’n’Slice, all the typical manoeuvres from any old Grado match. Something we don’t normally see though is the All About Alan Swanton Bomb – Alan missed the move (because obviously), but it was nice to see him go for something a little more outside his comfort zone. A shot to the skull from Caleb allowed Alan to sneak in a rollup with a hold of the singlet to pick up the victory, and end Grado’s undefeated streak at Aberdeen Anarchy. An RGradO to Mr Valhalla post-match and shoving soap into Alan’s mouth left Grado having the last laugh but let’s face it – he’d be laughing anyway.

Was this ever going to be a match of the year contender? Probably not, especially not on the Meltzer scale. It served its purpose though, which was to provide a bit of comedy throughout a rather tense evening.. It got Grado on the card, it got Alan Sterling a win which is always a treat, and it meant we got to see Caleb Valhalla twice in one night. Won’t see me complaining about that. His partnership with Alan is just exceptional, although I am looking forward to the moment Caleb finally has enough and flattens the former Tag Team Champion. That day certainly won’t be All About Alan.

Fatal Four Way Match for the WrestleZone Tri-Counties Championship
Jason Reed w/Agent W def. Mr P (c), Andy Wild and Shawn Johnson by Pinfall

The first of three championship matches next as Mr P put the Tri-Counties Championship up for grabs against Andy Wild, Shawn Johnson, and Jason Reed. Reed entered with Agent W in tow as always, while P had his Scottish flag in hand and championship belt around his waist. Quite a good chunk of the match was Andy Wild tossing everyone around the ring, suplexing anyone and everyone that came near him. There was a point where everyone bar Wild was at ringside, and I was convinced the former Undisputed Champion was going for a suicide dive. Instead however, he grabbed Agent W and tossed him over the ropes on to everyone else outside the ring, knocking Agent’s sunglasses off in the process. Agent W losing his glasses is essentially the same thing as Rey Mysterio losing his mask – a sacred bit of clothing, if you even count sunglasses as clothing. Everyone else got in their trademark offence too, with the champ delivering an airplane spin and Shawn Johnson connecting with a jaw-shattering springboard back elbow. After Wild flattened Mr P with a Vader Bomb though (a Stovie Bomb perhaps?), he was met with a Sick Kick from Jason Reed as Reed then covered P. One, two, three. We have a new Tri-Counties Champion!

Words can’t even begin to describe how happy I am for Jason. When he first arrived in WrestleZone, he was the same as he was everywhere else – the cheeky Fifer with the tan. Then 2018 rolled around, and the WZ fans bombarded him with chants of “Donald Trump”. He took something and ran with it. Battle of the Nations 2018 saw a whole new Reed emerge – new music, new gear, new attitude. Never mind all the FAKE NEWS, never mind the witch hunt from WrestleZone management, all that matters now is that the journey to Make WrestleZone Great Again has reached a new high. Almost two weeks later, and I’m still buzzing about it!

Triple Threat Match
Bingo Ballance def. Crusher Craib and Lionheart by Pinfall

A tantalising Triple Threat Match rounded off the first half of Aberdeen Anarchy, with Crusher Craib, Bingo Ballance, and Lionheart squaring off. Three of the best to ever step foot inside a WrestleZone ring. On his way to the ring, Craib demolished trainee Connor Inglis and demanded him to be taken away from the venue. There was a nice touch here though, with Inglis getting in Crusher’s face – a massive step forward from Summerhill Showdown, where he seemed scared for his life. A smart move throughout the entire contest saw Ballance and Hearto teaming up to down The Creator of Carnage, which was perhaps the only thing that would allow either of them to come out victorious. With Crusher out of the picture for the time being, it allowed those two to do battle, and what a time it was to be sat in the crowd for that. I believe they’ve faced off in singles competition in the past, but I’ll happily take another singles encounter if someone wants to book it. Craib would eventually come back into things though, striking his way through the two smaller opponents. Just when it looked like he was on the verge of victory, a beaten and battered Connor Inglis strode down the aisle, climbed to the top turnbuckle, and delivered a diving forearm to the jaw of Craib. That, followed by a Samoan driver from Bingo, was enough to hand Crusher his first pinfall loss in WrestleZone since returning from injury.

Highly enjoyable contest this. Between the high flying nature of Bingo Ballance, the calculated mindset of Lionheart, and the brute strength of Crusher Craib, the three men provided quite the contest for the Aberdeen faithful. As expected, the Crusher/Connor rivalry continued here. It was excellent to see the latter stand up for himself for a change – we saw his fighting spirit at both Summerhill Showdown and the Regal Rumble, but those matches saw him destroyed by Crusher and Caleb Valhalla respectively. The sadistic smile on his face as he headed backstage, having played a part in Crusher’s loss, showed a whole new side to the youngster. In my eyes, all signs now point towards another singles bout between them, possibly at August’s Battle of the Nations. Maybe Connor will put another loss in the record book next to Crusher’s name.

A brief note here about the interval – LORD MICHAEL OF GRAHAM ROSE ONCE AGAIN!

Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships
Scotty Swift & Johnny Lions def. The Kings of Catch (Aspen Faith & Lewis Girvan) (c) and The Thunder Buddies (Blue Thunder & William Sterling) by Escape

Steel Cage Matches are usually great, and this one was no exception. The Kings of Catch, The Thunder Buddies, and the team of Scotty Swift and Johnny Lions squared off for the Tag Team Championships. Absolute carnage from start to finish this one, as expected. As is often the case with cage matches, it began with everyone trying to escape the structure, before realising they could instead use it to inflict pain and punishment. Swift and Lions worked well here when the latter wasn’t being told off, even busting out some tandem offence. Quite early into the match, William Sterling crawled through the door but as Martyn Clunes stated before the bell, both members of the team had to leave the cage in order to be declared the champions. A heartstopping leap of faith (no pun intended) from Aspen Faith later on saw a moonsault off the cage on to everyone else down below. By the end, only Johnny Lions, Lewis Girvan, and Blue Thunder were left inside the steel confine. A top rope Lion Cutter to Girvan gave The Tenacious One the opportunity to climb out but instead, we saw a Biggest Legdrop Evaaaaahhhhh off the cage. For a man who’s retiring this year, Johnny sure is putting his body on the line at every opportunity. Between those two moves he delivered to Lewis and the Mean Old Twister doubles knees to the back he took earlier on, his back must be knackered. Nevertheless though, Lions would eventually find his way out of the cage as he and Swift were crowned the brand new Tag Team Champions.

Well, The Kings of Catch losing the titles had to happen at some point I guess. What a match to end the gold in though. Since early 2018, Johnny Lions has been pestering Scotty Swift time and time again to become his tag team partner and despite them teaming up numerous times, Swift was adamant that he and Lions weren’t an official team. Surely his opinions have changed now that they’ve got the titles though? Needless to say, it was a rather feel good moment for the duo. These last few months have been some of my personal favourite moments for both men – Lions’ obliviousness towards Swift and Swift essentially becoming a parent figure of sorts towards his new partner. It’s been some journey.

PAC def. Zach Dynamite w/The Foundation of the Future (Bradley Evans & Ryan Riley) by Pinfall

Now, for the reason I’m sure made many fans flock to the Beach Leisure Centre: PAC. Despite being gone from wrestling for about a year after walking out of WWE, the Newcastle native hasn’t missed a single beat. Although he was obviously the more athletic man in the match, that doesn’t mean Zach Dynamite wasn’t also impressive. He too did a few flips of his own, but he did prefer to keep PAC grounded, which is undoubtedly the best strategy when facing the former Cruiserweight Champion. There was a scary point during the match where PAC appeared to go for a hurricanrana but a mishap led to him landing on his neck as he rolled to the outside. Thankfully, it wasn’t anything too serious and the match continued. Bradley Evans and Ryan Riley got involved on several occasions throughout the contest, allowing Dynamite to pick apart PAC’s body and possibly prevent him from going up top for the Black Arrow. Referee Mikey Innes had other ideas though and threw them out of ringside – what followed next was truly spectacular, with PAC coming off the top rope with a picture-perfect moonsault on to Zach at ringside. Towards the end, I was under the impression we were about to witness an upset as Dynamite connected with two sling blades and a frog splash (he’s been studying his Hiroshi Tanahashi tapes) but when push came to shove, a kick below the belt and the Black Arrow corkscrew shooting star press gave PAC the three count, and put an end to Zach’s dreams of victory.

The match came at a difficult point in the night in my opinion. It had to follow the action-packed Steel Cage Match, and it came before the highly-anticipated main event. However, this is PAC we’re speaking about. No matter if it opened the show or closed it, every single fan in the audience was going to be on the edge of their seats for this one. We need to speak about Zach Dynamite here though. WrestleZone management believed in his abilities as a wrestler, and gave him the opportunity to show what he was capable of against an opponent of PAC’s calibre. Even in defeat, the former Tri-Counties Champion gave it everything he had and showed not just management, but also the fans in attendance how determined he is when he steps foot inside the ring. I said it when the match was first announced, and I’ll it again – this is the match that could put Zach on the map. I could see him fitting right in with promotions like Source Wrestling and Discovery Wrestling, the latter of which he of course appeared for last August. The only way is up for Zach Dynamite.

Undisputed WrestleZone Championship
Special Guest Referee – Austin Osiris
Damien def. RUDO Lightning (c) by Pinfall

Main event time, and possibly the most shenanigan-filled match I’ve ever seen from WrestleZone. When you’ve got Austin Osiris as the referee though, what else is going to happen? Even before the bell rang, Big Money showed his allegiance to coach RUDO Lightning, offering him more public warnings than what Damien was allowed. When the match did get underway, Osiris just became more and more of a word I can’t say because this site is for all to enjoy. Whether it was pulling Damien out of the corner by the hair or ‘injuring his hand’ when Damien went for a pin attempt or just straight up handing his belt to Lightning to use as a weapon, he easily became the most hated man in the building that night. Eventually, The Revolutionary had enough of his antics and superkicked him square in the mush. Genuine referee Mikey Innes ran out but he wasn’t an official for long, as Osiris yanked him out the ring and laid him out. From here on in, things got crazy. Innes got back in the ring and speared Austin out of his boots, absolutely incredible scenes from the referee. Security had to intervene, resulting in senior official Dennis Law emerging and preventing RUDO from using the championship belt as a weapon. One flying Codebreaker later, and history was made as Damien broke his own record by becoming a four-time Undisputed Champion.

This match had everything. For a rivalry that only got built over two shows and a few promos, it honestly felt as if the two had been waging war for months with this being the final battle between them. But no, it all started 28 days prior. It just goes to show how well WrestleZone are when it comes to a good story. Both men individually are known for being able to orchestrate a wave of emotions both in the ring and on the mic. Just look at Damien from Battle of the Nations 2017 until Aberdeen Anarchy 2018 – the things he went through to cement his status as THE guy in WrestleZone, overcoming barrier after barrier by way of Sterling Oil, being screwed out of the Undisputed Championship at the start of 2018. Although this may not have been as long as that rivalry, it had all the same emotion in it. Hopefully this isn’t the last we’ll see of RUDO in a WrestleZone ring. It’s been a delight having him up north.

What a night.

Between the five hours I was inside the Beach Leisure Centre, I experienced almost every emotion there is to experience. All eight matches meant something. They weren’t just randomly thrown-together matches to fill the card. When WrestleZone announced that they had to pull Aberdeen Anarchy forward from June 1st to April 13th, I was a bit worried that it meant there wouldn’t be enough time to build towards the matches. Then the Regal Rumble happened, a show that essentially built the entire card apart from the already announced PAC vs Zach Dynamite. WrestleZone worked harder than ever before to put together a card good enough for Aberdeen Anarchy. Hats off to them. Every last one of the people involved in the show deserves our appreciation – from the wrestlers themselves to the cage builders to His Majesty Lord Mr Malice on the sound desk. A round of applause to one and all!

Going forward in WrestleZone, things are going to be entirely different. First off, we’ve got a clean sweep of new champions. Damien, Jason Reed, Scotty Swift, and Johnny Lions all hold the gold now, with a queue of challengers likely forming for each. Alongside that, the next generation of WrestleZone stars are coming through at an alarming rate. The Outfit, The Foundation of the Future, Caleb Valhalla, and Connor Inglis all bring something different to the table. Not just them though, also the guys coming in from the various other promotions around the country. Irving Garrett, The Sam Barbour Experience, and Krieger to name a few could all become huge names in WZ – the latter is already a former Tag Team Champion. Also spotted Ian Skinner on security for the show, someone I’d love to see in a WZ ring.

Basically what I’m trying to say before I wrap this up is WrestleZone always receives plenty of praise on this site from both myself and Billy (speaking of which, his review will follow in the coming days). It’s not just because it’s the promotion we go to the most, it’s because they deserve it. Show after show, month after month, they keep getting better and better. If you’re not already aboard the WrestleZone hype train, then I suggest you buy your ticket and hop on now.

Soon, it won’t be a secret about how great the company is.


Quick Results
VIP Ticket Holders Pre-Show Fatal Four Way Match – Caleb Valhalla def. Kaden Garrick, Irving Garrett and Krieger by Pinfall
WrestleZone Tag Team Championships #1 Contenders Triple Threat Match – The Outfit (Dino Del Monte & Ted O’Keefe) def. The Rejected (Chris Archer & Mikkey Vago) and The Foundation of the Future (Bradley Evans & Ryan Riley) by Pinfall
Alan Sterling w/Caleb Valhalla def. Grado by Pinfall
Fatal Four Way Match for the WrestleZone Tri-Counties Championship – Jason Reed w/Agent W def. Mr P (c), Andy Wild and Shawn Johnson by Pinfall
Triple Threat Match – Bingo Ballance def. Crusher Craib and Lionheart by Pinfall
Triple Threat Steel Cage Match for the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships – Scotty Swift & Johnny Lions def. The Kings of Catch (Aspen Faith & Lewis Girvan) (c) and The Thunder Buddies (Blue Thunder & William Sterling) by Escape
PAC def. Zach Dynamite w/The Foundation of the Future (Bradley Evans & Ryan Riley) by Pinfall
Undisputed WrestleZone Championship with Austin Osiris as Special Guest Referee – Damien def. RUDO Lightning (c) by Pinfall