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Johnny Time, One Last Time: Scottish Wrestler Bowing Out In 2019

A Scottish wrestler by the name of “Tenacious” Johnny Lions has revealed that 2019 will be his final year as an active professional wrestler.

Beginning his career in 2005, The Tenacious One found an immediate home in the form of Fife-based promotion World Wide Wrestling League (W3L), a company he remains part of today. Upon forming a tag team with Tommy Turner known as The Tenacious Guns, the duo became one of the main teams of W3L’s tag team division, as well as being a part of the debut show for one of the UK’s biggest promotions today – Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW). After three failed attempts at capturing the W3L Tag Team Championships, Lions and Turner would eventually strike big in February 2007 as they captured the titles from the Fite Club pairing of Jimmie James & Kid Fite.

In 2008, Johnny became responsible for being one of the founding fathers of WrestleZone (WZ), a company that was, at the time, based down in Fife. The promotion would, however, move up to be based in Aberdeen, a city it still calls home today. For the first few years he was there, Lions had tremendous success, becoming a two-time Undisputed Champion and being a focal point in the main event scene for quite a while. Not only that, but he would also be one half of the main event of the first ever Beach Ballroom supershow for the promotion, losing the aforementioned title to the 2013 Regal Rumble winner Crusher Craib.

Johnny Lions
Photo: Johnny Lions

Heading into 2014, the charismatic Johnny had started a rivalry with former WrestleZone management representative and now current Tri-Counties Champion Mr P, with Lions feeling robbed of opportunities upon losing his Undisputed Championship. After coming out on the losing end of this fued (meaning Mr P earned himself a contract as an active performer), Johnny formed an alliance known as Revolution alongside Damien and, for a few weeks, Chris Archer. Together, he and Damien enjoyed the autumn 2014 months as the WrestleZone Tag Team Champions, eventually losing the gold back to former champs The Granite City Hotshots (Bryan Tucker and Shawn Johnson).

Johnny Lions
Photo: Johnny Lions

2015 marked a turning point in the career of Johnny Lions. Damien had abandoned the Revolution group to reform the devious Sterling Oil group alongside Alan and William Sterling (later joined by Shawn Johnson, Crusher Craib, and the group’s chief financial officer Richard R. Russell), leaving The Flying Lion in singles action once more. Impressive performances in bouts against both Hardcore Holly and Doug Williams led the fans to begin cheering Lions more and more, finally culminating with him screwing Damien out of the Undisputed Championship at Summerhill Showdown 2016. Finally, we had an answer to Lions’ question of who’s the man. It was him all along.

An epic rivalry opposite Damien resulted in several brilliant encounters, including a six man tag team Ladder Match at Aberdeen Anarchy 2016 and also a 20 minute Iron Man Match at the following year’s Summerhill Showdown. The rest of 2017 saw Johnny in random matches here and there, having unsuccessful matches for both the Undisputed and Tri-Counties Championships, while also reforming for a brief time alongside Damien following The Revolutionary turning his back on Sterling Oil.

2018 quickly approached, which mostly saw Johnny on the opposing side of the ring from the members of Sterling Oil. In fact, he was part of the team that brought an end to the faction as he, Scotty Swift, Bryan Tucker, and management’s Chris McDonald defeated Richard R. Russell, Crusher Craib, and The Sterling Brothers (Alan and William) at Aberdeen Anarchy X last September, the tenth anniversary of WrestleZone. Following this, Lions insisted he and Swift were a proper tag team, something his so-called partner wasn’t so keen on. Despite that, he and The Red Haired Warrior had three attempts to pry the Tag Team Championships away from The Kings of Catch (Aspen Faith and Lewis Girvan). The first ended in a KoC win after a distraction from William Sterling, the second ended in a double disqualification after the interference of Sterling and Blue Thunder, and the third (a triple threat also involving Sterling and Thunder) was thrown out after referee Dennis Law lost control of the match.

When not in WrestleZone, Johnny was wrestling up and down the rest of Scotland, working for promotions such as Reckless Intent Wrestling (RI), Scottish Wrestling Alliance (SWA), and Scottish Wrestling Entertainment (SWE), which included reigns as the SWE Future Division Champion and the Tag Team Champions down in his other home promotion of W3L alongside Lucian Maynard Smith, now known as “The Exile” Luke Aldridge.

Johnny Lions
Photo: WrestleZone

Before retiring, Johnny made himself three goals; a) remain the W3L Heavyweight Champion for the remainder of 2019, b) win tag gold with Scotty Swift, and c) compete in a Steel Cage Match. He achieved the latter two of those goals yesterday evening at WrestleZone Aberdeen Anarchy 2019 as the duo defeated The Kings of Catch, and Sterling and Thunder, now once again known as The Thunder Buddies, inside the cage to lift the WrestleZone Tag Team Championships. Whether or not he completes the hat trick of goals remains to be seen.

There’s still a number of months to go before the end of 2019 but one thing that’s for certain is that this year will be Johnny Time, one last time.


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