Putting it all on the line

John Graham demonstrates what he's planning to do to Mikey Whiplash on Braidhurst High headteacher Derrick Hannan much to the amusement of pupils (l-r) Stephen Johnstone, Laura Anderson, Claire Healy and Kayleigh Carr.
John Graham demonstrates what he's planning to do to Mikey Whiplash on Braidhurst High headteacher Derrick Hannan much to the amusement of pupils (l-r) Stephen Johnstone, Laura Anderson, Claire Healy and Kayleigh Carr.
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HOMETOWN favourite John ‘The Bomb’ Graham puts his career on the line as professional wrestling returns to Motherwell.

The Scottish Wrestling Alliance (SWA) presents Zero 1 Scotland at Graham’s former school, Braidhurst High, on Friday, April 19, as he challenges Mikey Whiplash for the Scottish Heavyweight Championship.

Graham won the 30-man Battlezone Rumble when the SWA was last in Motherwell in November to earn his shot at the gold, the champion even allowed the challenger to choose the match stipulation - but there was a sting in the tail.

Whiplash agreed to a street fight against his much larger opponent, but only if Graham agreed to retire if he can’t claim the title.

Graham said: “I won the Battlezone for a shot at the championship and decided that using my brawling skills to negate Whiplash’s technical abilities was the best way to go.

“However, the champion is pretty sneaky and I should have known that he wouldn’t give up the belt that easily and demanded that if I don’t beat him then I need to walk away.

“I’m delighted to be going back to my old school, the last time we were there it was standing room only, and despite the added stipulation in my favoured match with a home crowd behind me I am full of confidence I can claim my first singles title.”

SWA has teamed up with Japanese promotion Zero 1 to hold a two-day tournament which will crown the first ever Scottish Junior Heavyweight Championship.

Eight competitors will be in action in Motherwell, with the champion being crowned the next night in Paisley.

The highlight of the first round is sure to be Prince Devitt versus Zack Sabre Jr as two of the world’s best go head-to-head at Braidhurst.

Graham said: “There is every possibility this could be the best match ever seen in Scotland and it is amazing that we are able to bring it here next week.

“Both spend a lot of time working in Japan these days, and have developed their abilities to the point are now considered among the world’s elite.

“Indeed last year Powerslam ranked Devitt number four in it’s annual top 50, above everyone in WWE, which shows just how highly he is thought of in the industry and Sabre Jr isn’t far behind.

“I’m not sure if they are going on before or after my match, but regardless it certainly isn’t one I’m going to miss.”

Other tournament matches will be Lewis Girvan vs Jimmy Meadows, Mark Andrews vs Damian Dunne and Christopher Saynt vs Wild Boar.

There will also be an open challenge issued by Joe Coffey, as the first Scotsman to tour Japan continues his comeback after nine months on the shelf with a career threatening injury.

At the show Graham will be raffling off his personal collection of wrestling items including 100 DVDs, teddies and t-shirts, all worth over £2,000, with the proceeds going to charity. This will be on display on the night.

Doors open at 6.30pm with tickets on sale from GForce Games in Muir Street costing £10 adults, £8 children and £30 family of four.