Now, before I get started here, I must express some sort of allegiance to SWA off the bat.
They put on top class events a short distance from where I live which is astounding. I appreciate that they know where their bread is buttered so to speak, and this show paid testament to that. This is my 8th SWA show inside a year, the first being last years Battlezone, so I’m glad to mark this anniversary with a wee review.
Even taking into account that Ultimo Dragon was on the card for his first match on Scottish soil, nearly selling out the venue is a massive achievement. I estimated that there was at least 700 people in attendance, which must be close to double the attendance of last years event. A great sign that things for SWA and Scottish Wrestling is on the up.
Before we even get to the event I’ll set things up a little;
John ‘The Bomb’ Graham won last years Battlezone, then put his career on the line to secure no DQ rules for his Heavyweight title match against Whiplash earlier this year.
The Bomb was unsuccessful in his attempt, but went out in great fashion, leaving the Champion laying then putting his faith in Joe Coffey to be the man to take the title from Whiplash.
Speed that up to 2 weeks ago; Whiplash is still Champion and Coffey is putting his Laird of the Ring title and 1000 day championship reign on the line against Scotland’s self-proclaimed ‘Best Wrestler’, Jackie Polo.
With help from Whiplash and a conspicuous Polo Mallet, Polo bested Coffey. The celebrations were short-lived however, as John The Bomb, now co-owner of SWA, announced that Whiplash would defend his Heavyweight title against Polo at the Battlezone. The decision was the best we would get since Coffey was already penciled in for a bout that night.
In a last minute,”Hey guys, here’s a wee cheeky surprise for you.” It was announced that the Heavyweight title bout was now a Triple-threat bout. Jack Gallagher, affectionately, neigh, passionately known as ‘Ginger’ to the Motherwell crowd, was inserted into the bout. Having been in Japan since his last SWA appearance, this came out of nowhere. With him holding a victory over Polo and being on the end of a dubious defeat to Whiplash, he was a deserving addition to the match.
Anyway, the event.
1. Joe Coffey vs Rampage Brown
Joe Coffey is a staple of SWA. The Clotheslining Colossus. He has been able to physically dominate anyone I’ve saw him compete against, but he wasn’t going to get it all his own way. Rampage Brown is a huge specimen of a man. At least 6 foot tall and verging on 250 lbs of pure muscle. This was an enticing back and forth match with a couple of battles of strength, both of which Coffey was the victor. Seeing Coffey dead-lift a man the size of Rampage into a vertical suplex was simply astounding. However, Rampage had Coffey well scouted, avoiding the match winning lariat on no fewer than 3 occasions.
Coffey looked like his days may be numbered when he seemed stuck to the canvas for an eternity, which was really only about 2 minutes, on the receiving end of an everlasting chinlock and camel clutch. Eventually Coffey, who fought back to roars of ‘No Mercy’, launched all his weight into Rampage in the corner before turning him inside out with his vicious discus lariat.
Winner by Pinfall – Joe Coffey
Post match, Coffey celebrated and reminded us that he would be back for the Battlezone.
2. Fiona Fraser vs Viper
These are 2 women who I’ve saw wrestle on a handful of occasions, they are both young but are getting better each time I see them. Fraser is a Motherwell native and was obviously the home favourite here. If you’ve not seen Viper, she is a truly terrifying sight. She dwarfs her opponent to no end, in addition to the single freaky contact lense.
After initially trying to out-muscle her opponent, Fraser opted for speed and agility. In a piece of strategy that I never saw coming, she began to target Vipers left arm. If she can’t pick you up, she can’t throw you to the ground. Unfortunately for the hometown lass the tactic never paid off. Viper continually used her size to bully Fraser. After continually going back to the same arm, Fraser locking in an armbar that truly came out of nowhere. Viper, however, powered out of it and after hurling her entire bodyweight into Fraser a few times, she finally flattened her with a good old splash.
Winner by Pinfall – Viper
3. Masks vs Skins
Solar, Tornado, Ultimo Dragon vs Mark Coffey, Lewis Girvan, Chris Saynt
I’m a huge fan of all the guys in this match. Everyone of them is a fan favourite though, which hurt this match a little. Unfortunately, this match only went for about 12 minutes, and packed in so much action I can barely remember much barring arm drags and kicks.
We start off with Coffey and Solar. They start off exchanging arm drags until the much bigger Coffey overpowers Solar. This continues until Saynt scrambles away to his corner and we get Dragon and Girvan in the ring. Huge crowd support for Girvan, anyone who’s saw him wrestle knows that the boy has potential to go places and he displayed that here. Initially wrestling Dragon to the canvas he looked to be on top, but then Dragon did what he does best. He flipped and he kicked and he tied each of his opponents into wee balls of concentrated pain.
At this point things descended into out right chaos, everyone in the ring trying to hit their finish and get the pinfall. Girvan near had his head taken clean off before most impressively Tornado hit his Airplane-Spin/Cutter, which needs to have an over the top name attached to it, on Coffey. In the midst of all the chaos, Girvan hits the Double Arm DDT and gets the 3.
Winners by Pinfall – Skins
After the match, all men shake hands and take in the adulation of the crowd. These guys are all in their teens or early 20’s, so being in the ring with Dragon will be huge for them going forward.
Intermission – Lost In Audio give us some tunes and tell us that they’ll be back at the next interval. Given that there’s only the Battlezone and Title match to go, that seemed strange.
4. Scottish Heavyweight Title Match: Mikey Whiplash (c) vs Jackie Polo vs Jack Gallagher
This is difficult for me to remember since I lost my voice chanting for Gallagher, who is genuinely my favourite wrestler to watch. He’s like a wrestling wizard who conjures things, seemingly, out of thin air. The reigning Laird of the RIng Champion, Jackie Polo, enters singing his theme song, with his trademark Polo Mallet slung over his shoulder, continuing long after the music finishes until he is interrupted by Gallagher’s music and the rampant crowd’s chants of ‘Ginge!’. The fact that Polo is a very competent singer only furthers the hate he receives. Whiplash enters last and he just exudes evil. Everything about his entrance just screams that he is a bad man.
We start off with a good bit of posturing to the crowd with Gallagher receiving a massive continued ovation. This lasts for a minute or so until he dropkicks Polo from the ring. Whiplash goes for Gallagher who simply begins to unleash about 13 consecutive forward rolls around the ring leaving Whiplash to back into a corner. Whiplash continues to be bested by Gallagher, eventually being rolled up into a ball. Gallagher then sidesteps an attack by Polo who trips over Whiplash, releasing him from his contortion. A 3 way battle of strength ensues only for Gallagher to get the upper-hand, rolling his way into a double wristlock before throwing both opponents to the ground.
The 2 reigning champions decide to team up and batter Gallagher black and blue until he and Polo end up on the outside. Whiplash mistimes his baseball slide and takes out Polo, who is furious and considers disbanding the brief partnership.
Meanwhile Gallagher vaults himself from the top rope and connecting with a flying headbutt on Whiplash. That created a bit of separation and Polo took control of the bout. After dropping Gallagher on his head, he goes to the top rope. This is serious, Jackie usually drops the elbow from the second but he’s venture all the way to the top and, he connects.
Instead of going for the clean win, he reaches for his Polo mallet. Gallagher recovers enough to avoid the strike with the mallet rebounding off the ropes into the centre of Polo’s cranium. As the ref deals with that situation, Whiplash grabs the mallet for himself and strikes Gallagher in the gut and takes the 3.
Winner by Pinfall – Mikey Whiplash
Post match, Kashmir by Led Zeppelin strikes up. When that happens you know that Shit is going down. The new ‘Corporate’ John The Bomb makes his way to the ring. He tells Whiplash that this would be the last time he gets away with such shenanigans and that he would defend his title in the same venue on April 5th against the winner of tonight’s Battlezone. Better yet, it would be inside the deadly Steel Cage. The crowd was sent into raptures by this, only for John to drop another Bombshell. Special Guest Referee, John The Bomb.
Not done with his duties John commiserates Gallagher and informs him that he will enter the upcoming Battlezone at number 30 and that the Polo would enter at number 1.
Intermission – So we get a short 5 minute break as Jackie Polo demands some time to get ready for the next match.
2 Members of Lost in Audio return to the stage to perform an acoustic song while we await the arrival of Jackie Polo and the Battlezone match. About 2 minutes into the song, Polo’s voice starts to bellow from the speakers. He tells the band that he’s also Scotland’s Beeeeest Singer and that he’ll give us a rendition of his favourite songs. After a few minutes the singer pipes up and asks to finish their song. Jackie introduces him as Joe Hendry and demands that he announce Jackie as Scotland’s Best Wrestler. Upon his refusal, Polo attacks him. Launching him down the entry way before turning to the other band member and laying him out. The band members are helped to the back as Polo begins the match.
5. The Battlezone
As with these matches, I lost track but managed to pay attention to most of the major goings on.
Jackie Polo awaits the second entrant… Mark Coffey. Polo looks worried as Coffey looks to avenge Polo’s dastardly win over his brother 2 weeks prior. As they go back and forth Polo clings for his life and slides back into the ring as we get our next entrant. The Machine… clad in all black, black bodysuit, black mask, black wig, The Machine slowly makes his way around the ring in a very creepy manner before entering the match and creeping up on Coffey, who swiftly clotheslines him over the top.
The distraction of The Machine totally made me lose focus at this point so I’ll summarise. I do believe that Celtic Arrow entered at number 4 or around then. He’s another masked guy, along with Solar and Tornado who looks like he has the chops to do some good things. Separately the Forgotten (Who?) entered and took control of the match, triple teaming everybody at some point. There were a lot of unknown faces from east cost company SWE but Claymore stood out, the guy was huge and it wasn’t just his gut.
Then as number 14 was announced, there was no music. It was only Joe Bloody Hendry of Lost in Audio. He tore his shirt and tie off and bolted into the ring, immediately heading for Jackie Polo. After a flurry of uppercuts he had Polo on the ropes but couldn’t eliminate him at the first try. As Polo fought back, Hendry duly dumped him over the top to a great ovation.
Shortly after we were greeted to the entrance of Joe Coffey, who ran to the ring much faster than a man of his stature should be able to, much to the chagrin of The Forgotten who were immediately eliminated by the former Laird of the Ring. A couple more people were relieved of their spot in the match as familiar music struck up. It was only the she-beast Viper (I mean she-beast in the most terrifying, non-derogatory way possible). If anyone thought she was terrifying, the bear like figure of Damian O’Conner entered, shed of his BMW ring gear he somehow was even more intimidating. I put that down to more than the excessive body hair. He proceeded to dish out headbutts left and right before one guy hadn’t had enough and was promptly put in his place.
Meanwhile, Viper eliminated some unfortunate chap all the while Joe Coffey decided that he didn’t want any part of her. Even in the Battlezone, Joe Coffey won’t hit a woman. He’s a true gent. I guess he must have been glad that Fiona Fraser entered to eliminate Viper to exact a small bit of revenge. Unfortunately for her, O’Conner’s BMW partner/former partner/good good friend Scott ‘The Butcher’ Renwick decided that she didn’t belong in ring either and promptly eliminated her. It was also around this time that Martyn Stallyon was ejected from the ring and made a ghastly sound as his body hit the floor, he was being attended to for a wee while so I hope that he was okay. Nearing the end of the match Tornado entered the fray and was on the end of some HBK-style near eliminations. Rampage Brown entered and immediately went to battle with Coffey which left #30 Jack Gallagher to enter to another massive ovation.
At this time, Joe Coffey decides that him his brother Mark would mix it up a bit which ended with Joe performing a giant swing on his brother for almost 10 rotations. Joe continues to astound me with his feats of strength. Finally it got down to Rampage Brown, Joe Coffey and Jack Gallagher. The crowd were pulling for Gallagher more than Coffey at this point which made Gallagher’s elimination an even bigger blow to the crowd. However, the support was transferred to Coffey who proceeded to battle with Rampage like he did in the opening encounter. He nearly eliminates him with a huge shoulder block before knocking him to the floor with a sensationally agile springboard dropkick.
Winner and #1 Contender – Joe Coffey
Post match; Coffey soaked in the adulation with some more cries of ‘No Mercy’. I can’t wait to see him battle Whiplash in a Steel Cage come April at Clan Wars. This is a battle that’s been building for almost a year and it will culminate in something huge.