Looking back at previous events in professional wrestling can lead to either good or bad memories, depending on what you like. Nevertheless, it gives you something to remember. Whatever happens on that fateful night will remain in the history books forever. Saturday night sees WrestleZone head to the Northern Hotel in Aberdeen for Battle of the Nations 2019, one of the biggest nights on their annual calendar. This year though is a very special night as it will mark 10 years of WrestleZone hosting shows at the Northern Hotel, having started all the way back in 2009 with an Aberdeen Anarchy show. Let’s go back in time a few years to August 18th, 2012, when WrestleZone held that year’s Battle of the Nations at the very venue, and look at some of the names featured on the card who we no longer see in action on WZ cards!
“Pretty Boy” Benjamin Steele used to be a staple in the WrestleZone tag team division alongside his Holyrood Blonds partner James Midas. Following Battle of the Nations, Steele and Midas continued teaming, racking up wins against the likes of The Granite City Hotshots, Los Cystos, and the team of Scotty Swift and Davey Annan. An unsuccessful attempt at The Hotshots’ Tag Team Championships at Christmas Chaos lead The Pretty Boy into 2013, where he and Midas captured the tag titles from Bryan Tucker and Shawn Johnson in Montrose. This was Steele’s last recorded match, and he was replaced by Aspen Faith in the Tag Team Championships reign.
The Forgotten Son of WrestleZone wasn’t best pleased at this point, given the fact he was facing the likes of Cysto at Battle of the Nations. Following this though, he would pick up victories over names including Chris Archer and Blue Thunder, while also defeating Scotty Swift in a Lumberjack Match at Christmas Chaos 2012 with the help of Swift’s now-former pal Davey Annan. Into 2013, Starr formed The Outcasts with Annan, who would later be replaced by Chris Archer by the time we got to the following year’s Battle of the Nations. Together with the future Rejected member, they made it to the semifinals of the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships Tournament after they defeated Los Cystos before falling to eventual winners The Thunder Buddies. His last match came in December 2013 as he teamed with Chris Archer, James Midas, and Mr Malice as they lost to Scotty Swift, Bryan Tucker, Dickie Divers, and Cysto in the annual Christmas Brawl. Brian would then go on to become a commentator for WrestleZone alongside Chris McDonald, but he hasn’t been seen in the announcer’s booth for a couple of years now.
After his failed attempt at being successful for the nation of England in the 2012 Battle of the Nations Match, Dave Rayne headed back to his home country, where he’s remained ever since bar one or two appearances up in sunny Scotland. Wrestling for the likes of Preston City Wrestling, FutureShock Wrestling, and Grand Pro Wrestling, Dave would win PCW’s Money in the Bank Match at the end of 2012 while also capturing the PCW Cruiserweight Championship two months later. After returning to Scotland to win the following year’s Battle of the Nations Match against Zach Dynamite, Rayne would go on to lift the GPW Heavyweight Championship as a member of The Cause, which also included Axl Rage, James Drake, Sean Daniels, and Zack Diamond. The FSW Tag Team Championships and the Full House Wrestling Heavyweight Championship would also come Dave’s way as his career went on, with his last recorded match being a loss to Sugar Dunkerton at a PCW show last August that also included Dave Birch, Drew Parker, James Finn, and Rhio.
Well, here we are again, speaking about the greatest wrestler to ever step foot inside a WrestleZone ring – James Midas. Alongside his Holyrood Blonds partner Benjamin Steele, Midas would lift the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships from The Granite City Hotshots as we headed into 2013 but after The Pretty Boy headed for pastures new, James needed a new tag partner. Step forward, Aspen Faith. Team S.M.A.S.H was born, and they would also win the Tag Team Championships at Proving Grounds 2013, only to lose them the next month to Scotty Swift and Jay Lethal. With Lethal unable to return in time to defend the gold though, an eight-team tournament was instead set up to crown new champs, a tournament that Midas and Faith would reach the finals of after defeating The Hotshots and the team of Scotty Swift and Zach Dynamite. They would fail in the finals however to the newly-named Thunder Buddies pairing of Blue Thunder and William Sterling, and with Aspen soon thereafter turning his attention to Len Ironside, James Midas’ final wrestling match came at the Aberdeen Anarchy 2014 pre-show as he was pinned by Zach Dynamite. To this day, all of us Midasmaniacs are sitting on the edge of our seats waiting for him to pop up in a future Regal Rumble Match!
When I was researching for this article, I was surprised to discover who JD Sassoon actually was. It’s current NXT UK star, James Drake. The future Grizzled Young Veteran would continue performing under the JD Sassoon alias for a short while, capturing the FutureShock Wrestling Tag Team Championships alongside Axl Rage, before changing his name to James Drake in April 2013. He would continue winning championships alongside others, including the Grand Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship, which he actually won as a member of The Cause. It didn’t take too long for Mr Mayhem to strike out as an immensely talented singles performer though, evidenced when he won the FSW Adrenaline Championship in August 2015. When 2017 rolled around, Drake was revealed as one of 16 men involved in the inaugural WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament, although he would be ousted in the opening round at the hands of Joseph Conners. These days, he’s mostly seen as one half of The Grizzled Young Veterans alongside “Liverpool’s No.1” Zack Gibson. Together, they are currently the PROGRESS Tag Team Champions in their third reign and the NXT UK Tag Team Champions in their first reign, the latter of which they won at NXT UK’s first TakeOver event this past January after beating Moustache Mountain in an outstanding contest.
While we may now know him as The Greatest of All the Malices (yes, he’s even better than Grandma Malice, don’t @ me), Mr Malice was the bodyguard at this point for Sterling Oil. Well, maybe ‘bodyguard’ is a bit of a strong word to describe his role, but that’s what he was announced as at least. Victories rarely came his way, with losses to the likes of Cysto, Blue Thunder, Scotty Swift, and Crusher Craib all coming his way. Luck would be on his side as 2014 began though, as he would defeat Cysto to earn the coveted #20 spot in that year’s Regal Rumble Match. We very nearly saw a Malice Miracle that night as he charged towards both Jack Jester and Jay Lethal, eliminating Lethal in the process before being dumped out himself by Jester. A loss to Scotty Swift in August saw him banished from the WrestleZone roster, but he stuck around, first as the manager of The Malystos and then as the butler to Lord Alan Sterling. Following the reformation of Sterling Oil and the subsequent beatdown he suffered from Alan, Mr Malice retired as Lord Mr Malice was born. No real success ever came his way as a lord, and he hung up the cape and crown in August 2017, although he did make a return in the 2019 Regal Rumble Match to a huge pop as you could imagine.
After being defeated by Aspen Faith at the 2012 Battle of the Nations, Mr News would wrestle for the likes of Scottish Wrestling Entertainment, Scottish Wrestling Alliance, and Hungrian Championship Wrestling, before beginning to compete exclusively for Reckless Intent Wrestling in 2016. He had his fair share of success here, capturing the Hardcore Championship on a few occasions, but he hasn’t been seen with his boots on since April 7th, 2018 when he lost to Jarek Nowak. Since 2014, News has been one of the guys behind Discovery Wrestling down in Edinburgh, with their five year anniversary show coming up on October 6th.
Last but not least, it’s Rob Cage. The Englishman would go on to compete for Insane Championship Wrestling, PROGRESS Wrestling, International Pro Wrestling: United Kingdom after his Battle of the Nations loss, while also winning the SWE European Championship and the Asylum of Wrestling Maniacs Championship. He would return to WrestleZone at Aberdeen Anarchy 2013, the first show at the Beach Ballroom, in a losing effort to recently-inducted WWE Hall of Famer Billy Gunn while continuing to make his way around the British independent wrestling scene. He found a Scottish home in 2016 as he and Buffet Club partner Gene Munny arrived in Discovery Wrestling, and they would go on to win the Uncivil War tournament the following year against Dave Conrad and Deviation, Kid Fite and Krieger, and The New Age Kliq. His final weekend of wrestling came in December 2017, firstly losing to The Kings of Catch alongside Gene in an Elimination Match at Discovery that saw Buffet Club officially disband, and then defeating Paul Tracey at Over The Top Wrestling’s Being The Elite show under the alias of Bobby George Jr.
In full results from this show, taking place on August 18th, 2012 from the Northern Hotel, Aberdeen;
Blue Thunder & The Granite City Hotshots (Bryan Tucker & Shawn Johnson) def. Mr Malice & The Holyrood Blonds (Benjamin Steele & James Midas)
Brian Starr def. Cysto 1
Undisputed WrestleZone Championship – Johnny Lions (c) def. JD Sassoon to retain
3 on 1 Handicap Match – Sterling Oil (Damien & The Sterling Brothers (Alan Sterling & William Sterling)) def. Crusher Craib
Aspen Faith def. Mr News
2012 Battle of the Nations Match – Scotty Swift & Bingo Ballance def. Dave Rayne & Rob Cage