It’s proving to be quite a sad year for Scottish wrestling. Following on from “Tenacious” Johnny Lions announcing his plans to retire this year back in March, Michael Chase has followed in those footsteps as a Facebook post revealed that he’ll be retiring from active competition this November.
Here is the announcement I made this morning over on my Facebook page. pic.twitter.com/eXiiLYhHwx
— Michael Chase (@michael_chase89) May 27, 2019
Starting his career back in 2007, Chase has become one of the biggest stars in the Livingston-based promotion Reckless Intent Wrestling (RIW), initially starting out under the alias of Mikey. In the early days of his career, Chase would be found tangling with the likes of current Divinity member Jackie Grady and one half of The Comix Zone in the form of Rawlins, while also holding the old Reckless Intent Television Championship. Fast forward a few years though, and Chase was holding the company’s Heavyweight Championship, becoming a two-time champion by the time 2014 rolled around.
Following his second reign coming to an end at the hands of Darren Lewis at the 2014 No Going Back event, Michael entered the UK Championship picture. Although he was unsuccessful in winning the vacant championship in a battle royal, Chase would eventually capture the promotion’s secondary championship when he won it from Jackie Grady in a ten-man elimination match. His reign included successful defenses against the likes of Grady and Dave Conrad, before Chase lost the gold to Joe Hendry, who was still a relative newcomer to the Scottish wrestling scene at this time.
As we went into 2015, Michael Chase began expanding his horizons, debuting for promotions including Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW) and Discovery Wrestling (DW). He was rising up the ranks of Scottish wrestling like there was no tomorrow, battling names such as current ICW Tag Team Champion Lewis Girvan, NXT UK star Kenny Williams, and “The Beast of Belfast” Big Damo. That year also saw Michael come out on top in the annual Reckless Rumble Match, earning him a future crack at the Reckless Intent Heavyweight Championship. It’s safe to say 2015 marked quite the turning point in the career of Michael Chase.
2016 proved to be just as monumental a year for him, with a match against Tommy End coming on January 3rd to kick his year off in style. Not only that, but Chase was also successful in his championship pursuits as he became a three-time Reckless Intent Heavyweight Championship when he dethroned Joe Hendry at the start of February. This reign lasted for the first half of 2016, with Chase even managing to overcome Mark Andrews and Rampage Brown to cling on to the gold before being usurped as champion by Big Damo.
After the title loss, Chase’s career in other promotions started to go downhill slightly, with loss after loss after loss. It didn’t matter if your name was Christopher Saynt or The Sam Barbour Experience, you were able to get a win over Chase during this period. Not to worry though, as Chase was able to regain the Heavyweight Championship from Damo while also capturing the Reckless Intent Hardcore Championship in the process. Mark Coffey, Theo Doros, and Christopher Saynt all stepped up to the plate during Chase’s fourth reign as Heavyweight Champion, and all were sent packing empty-handed. Then, the 2016 Reckless Rumble Match rolled around and with Chase’s title up for grabs in the 30 person contest, it would be Paul Tracey who left Livingston that night with a new championship around his waist.
Unlike the culmination of his previous reign, Michael Chase’s career didn’t take a detour down the lane of losses, instead picking up several victories at the expense of Glen Dunbar, Delsin Dayre, and Rob Cage, among others. Even though he was eliminated from the 2017 Battle of West Lothian Tournament in the quarterfinal stage by Rob Mills, Michael’s focus remained on the championship scene. Unsuccessful attempts at both the Reckless Intent Heavyweight Championship (now held by James Scott) and the Reckless Intent Hardcore Championship (held by Mr News) actually led him to capture the Reckless Intent Slam Championship from Dickie Divers before 2017 drew to a close. It was also during this time that Chase formed an allegiance with Theo Doros known as The Age of Orion, with the pair dominating the RI tag team division.
Over in Discovery Wrestling throughout 2017, Chase had been feuding with The House of Saynt, with former member Lou King Sharp eventually coming to his aid and becoming Chase’s new best friend (Sharp was far more keen than Chase). Discovery’s three-year anniversary show saw Chase and Sharp victorious over HoS members Christopher Saynt, Theo Doros, and Jayla Dark, with former WWE star Lisa Marie Varon (fka Victoria) by their side. The whole rivalry culminated in a lumberjack match at DW’s final show of 2017, with participants of the 2018 Disco Derby Match surrounding the ring. It’s key to note that it was those competitors acting as the lumberjacks as they would inadvertently cost Chase the victory against Saynt, starting a whole new chapter in Michael’s Discovery career heading into 2018.
The loss to Saynt sparked a fire inside Chase, resulting in him costing Ravie Davie and DCT their opportunities in the aforementioned Disco Derby Match, and then also later defeating them on other shows to retain his spot on the Discovery Wrestling roster. While fending off these Discovery newcomers, Chase debuted a new arm-based submission hold known simply as The Chaser. It led him to a handful of victories in Discovery, proving that Chase is willing to adapt to a new scenario if it means hanging on to his spot on a roster.
Michael may have been a hated man in Discovery Wrestling at this stage but in his home of Reckless Intent Wrestling, he and Theo Doros were the firm favorites to win a tournament to decide the inaugural RI Tag Team Champions. They defeated Lucha Scotland (Robbie Solar and Falcon) and Divinity (Brandon Adams and Justin Deed) en-route to the finals at last year’s Cruel Summer show, where they defeated The High Society (Luke Aldridge and David Devlin) to become the first ever Reckless Intent Wrestling Tag Team Champions. With that good news came sad news, however, as The Age of Orion were forced to immediately vacate the titles due to Chase having to undergo another surgery on his knee. This marked his third knee surgery since 2012 (soon to be four as he needs to have his ACL reconstructed for the second time) so really, he wasn’t going to have much time left after this.
Surprisingly, we saw Michael back in action the following month as he answered Chris Renfrew‘s UK Championship open challenge in an unsuccessful fashion. Now that he was back though, he and Theo were back in the hunt for the Tag Team Championships. They failed to win the gold in September but come the final RI show of 2018, The Age of Orion regained the titles by defeating David Devlin and new partner Kieran Kelly. They’ve retained the titles to this day, fending off challenges in the form of The Nine9 (Dickie Divers and Jack Morris) and Killer Xero (Alexander Darwin MacAllan and Xero), while Chase also had the chance to face independent wrestling sensation David Starr at a Discovery show back in January. Even though he lost that bout, he made sure everyone in the building that night would remember the name Michael Chase.
It was Monday morning where Michael revealed the news of his impending retirement on his Facebook page, stating that he’ll be hanging up his boots in November in order to remain healthy enough for the future. He’ll also be stepping down from his backstage responsibilities within Reckless Intent Wrestling, putting several years of hard work and dedication behind him as he begins this new chapter in his life.
I’m sure I speak for all of his family, friends, fans, and peers here when I say, thank you Michael Chase.
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