An Interview With Iestyn Rees

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You lookin at ma belt mate? 

Iestyn Rees and The Marauders have made a profound impact on the Scottish scene over the past year, establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with in ICW quickly after forming as Bird and Boar took the ICW Tag Team Titles from Polo Promotions. With Bird and Boar firmly established in the tag division, Iestyn Rees has been staking his own claim for recognition in the mix for the ICW World Heavyweight Title. As the only man to hold the PWE Heavyweight Title more than once, his credentials are there. In PWE particularly he’s wrestled the best and became a better performer for it. He also happens to be carved outta granite. A big block of shiny Welsh granite who’s more than adept at chuckin dafties aboot. From wee dafties, to medium sized dafties, all the way up to big incredible hulk sized dafties.


You go by the “Alpha Male”, a bold claim by definition. Are you actually THE Alpha Male? and if you are, do you promise you wont steal my burd? Nah I jest, seriously though, how did that nickname come about and how does it tie in with your character?

No bird stealing I promise!! Yes it is a bold claim and if you look up Alpha Male in the Dictionary the quote is as follows: “the most dominant, powerful, or assertive man in a particular group” I think that when you look at the British Wrestling Scene and further afield when I step in locker-room of any company I am dominant, powerful and assertive hence why I am the Alpha Male.

Now there was a time when myself and Charlie Sterling were a tag team and we derived the name the Alpha Males because we literally covered all bases when it came to wrestling, high flying, power, technical etc. When that teams time came to a close it was a natural transition for the leader of the team yours truly to step up and take on the Alpha Male moniker.

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In case the answer itself didn’t suffice, here’s a visual aid articulating the point courteousy of Warrior Fight Photography

On to more wrestling based stuff I guess. You have twice been a PWE Champion. The only man in the companies history to do so. You also were the chosen opponent for 2 of Drew Galloways matches with the company. His only matches in his hometown. How vital has the PWE’s trust in you as a performer been for you establishing yourself in places like ICW, PCW, Progress etc?

PWE for me has been the company that allowed the evolution and progression of Iestyn Rees to occur. I had, had success prior to my long list of knee injuries and surgeries in IPW being crowned their champion beating Martin Stone, if I’m truly honest this was probably a little too early in my career and the title run exposed some of weaknesses I had as a wrestler at the time. The injuries caused my bookings to dry up, I was lucky enough to then spend 2 years working mainly for Welsh Wrestling honing my craft and trying to improve every aspect of my wrestling ability.

Once I started to gain more bookings elsewhere etc, I discussed with Adrian (Lionheart) about bringing me into PWE (I had always wanted to work in Scotland as the scene has grown from strength to strength). Adrian was keen to use me, but he wanted to get the best from me. So I had vignettes hyping my debut and from then on I have been a main eventer for him ever since, working all of Scotland’s top talent Wolfgang, Damo, Grado, Noam, Joe Coffey and of course Drew. The top tier talent I got to work and Adrian’s faith in me allowed my profile to grow considerably, this allowed me to pick up work in PCW and ICW and to be used as an integral part in both companies.

How did you feel those matches with Galloway went? Was it a learning curve for you at all? Being in there with someone who at that time was one of the hottest properties in Independent Wrestling?

Those matches were and still are the 2 of the biggest 3 matches I’ve been involved in, Adrian put a hell of a lot of trust in me to go toe to toe with the hottest commodity in world wrestling in his hometown. I felt that I held up my end of the bargain and gave as good as I got from Drew, in terms of learning curve every match I try to improve on the previous one, but certainly Drew forced me to work at a level I hadn’t until that point. I feel that coming away from those matches I am now a much better performer because of them.

Your ICW career started with a few defeats. Took a while for you to chalk up your first win. Since The Marauders started up you personally have been on a hot streak as have your fellow Marauders. How vital has this alliance been in your own upturn of fortunes in ICW?

Coming into ICW I was put up against the top tier talent 4 World Champions and a Zero G champion and perhaps I took them all to lightly as I had faced them at other companies and come away with my fair share of victories. The marauders came together as Bird and Boar reminded me that Wales has been over looked in terms of British wrestling for far too long and as a small nation we were better to stick together as there is always strength in numbers.

My current hot streak just proves that if you have your head in the game, you possess the physical capabilities and the support of your boyos the wins will come and come.

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Whats the overall goal for The Marauders as a unit going forward? Aw the belts?

Of course I can’t see a team taking the tag belts from Bird and Boar, and all I need is an opportunity at some gold and I can see us holding all the belts.

British Wrestling has never been hotter than it is right now and high profile opportunities are popping up all over the place. Do you feel you’re one of the next in line for one of these opportunities perhaps with WWE, WOS etc?

The eyes of the wrestling world are certainly focused on Britain and its wrestlers as we have the hottest products in the world right now. Next inline might be a little presumptuous to say, but do I think I have the ability, charisma, the look and the marketability to offer either WWE, WWEUK, WOS, Impact or wherever someone who they could invest in. #InvestInIestyn

#InvestInIestyn because who doesn’t like their champions to glisten? If you’re not as shiny as the belt itself you’re not worthy to hold it

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Is there anyone you haven’t faced yet that you fancy going up against? If you’ve not wrestled Mark Coffey someone should definitely make that happen

Oh wow, I feel that im only getting started and the list is as long as my arms (6’ 9” wing span, they are pretty bloody long.) But Mark Coffey is definitely top of that list the guy is phenomenal! Others include Lionheart, Jester, Whiplash, Zack Gibson, Pete (Dunne), Trent and Tyler hell anyone and everyone.

Do you enjoy proving people wrong/winning them over, or as a big baddie are you not particularly arsed what people think? I wasnt a huge fan before (sorry, dont kill me or that plz) but over the past year I’ve been won over so was just wondering if thats an aspect of wrestling you enjoy. Being able to shape the way fans see you with your performances?


I’m out there to do my job, in today’s Indy wrestling scene there aren’t many guys my size 6 foot 3, 17.5 stone. Now I wrestle a style that isn’t to everyone’s tastes and I’m used to hearing people not being impressed or not fussed by me as in the case with yourself I am confident in my ability and captivate people and win most not all round with my style. But don’t let that fool you I’ve got lots of tricks in my bag and I occasionally let them out and when I do most fans are shocked, I can fly (check out my “Undertaker” dive alongside Aaron Echo at the Hydro far example)

That dive is one of the chief reasons I became a believer. If you’re a wrestling fan and not impressed when huge dudes do dives that huge dudes shouldn’t be able to do, you’re not really a wrestling fan

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You’ve been compared to Chris Masters in the past due to your similar physiques and you’ve even wrestled him a few times. Is that a comparison you enjoy and is he someone you’re a fan of?

I feel the comparisons to Chris are flattering hell the guy has an incredible physique (I was a huge fan of him when he debuted in WWE) and has worked at a top level for the WWE, but at the same time I feel that although that maybe peoples first impression after they have seen me perform a few times then will understand that I’m not a Sh*t Chris Masters, I am Iestyn Rees, I’m the Alpha Male. I bring a whole different package to the table.

Because how many times has Chris Masters ever done a big dive at The Hydro with Aaron Echo? 0 times. Big man couldnae lace Iestyn’s boots. 

You’ve been putting people “on notice” lately. Making short work of “local” talent in ICW, and even posing with the corpses…sorry, opponents, in a fishing style “catch of the day” pose, are you enjoying making an example of these guys, or is it time for the Alpha Male to go toe to toe with some more worthy adversaries?

The whole roster is “On Notice” that’s been evident when I’ve been on tour and beaten Aaron Echo and DCT in quick fashion. Ill wrestle whoever I’m matched up against “Local Talent” to World Champion, but people need to understand if I’m sent out there against Local talent or anyone else they run the risk of being the latest “Catch of the Day”!

Last but not least. Tell us anything you like. Plug your social medias. Tell us a joke if you fancy. Whatever you like.


Thanks for the interview; your reviews are definitely a great read.

Find Iestyn on various social medias here
Twitter: IESTYN REES TWITTER
Instagram: IESTYN REES INSTAGRAM
Facebook: IESTYN REES OFFICIAL FACEBOOK PAGE

Merch: www.iestynrees.bigcartel.com
Press/Media/Enquiries: Iestyn.rees@sky.com

Cheers to David J.Wilson and Warrior Fight Photography for the shiny shots that made the words pop

ICW Barramania 3 Review

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Wrestling is about heroes and villains is it no? Telling stories? That’s what it is to me anyway. Every character has an arc. A thing that happens to them that changes the person they were at the start of the story. If things didn’t change from time to time, yer telling fuckin shite stories and should write better ones. A lot of shit changed in this show. Stories end, new ones begin. Fuckin wrestling mate. Swings and roundabouts.

Billy Kirkwood’s unabashed joy at the prospect of William Grange coming out gets me every time. He got really excited to see his pal, then we all sung Sweet Caroline for a bit. I realise context would help here for anyone who wisnae there, but let yer brain go wild there. Why would 1000+ wrestling fans be singing Sweet Caroline, or perhaps the more pertinent question is, why the fuck wouldn’t they be? Its a tune.

The Zero-G Scramble (Kenny Williams vs Matt Cross vs Ravie Davie vs ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster vs Charlie Sterling vs Zack Gibson vs BT Gunn) 

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Never been hugely into these matches unless they involve about 900 ladders but this match last year was the start of Lionheart re-inventing himself and had the added intrigue of one competitor not being know going in to it so I was quietly buzzin for it. I mean who could the other guy possibly be? Possibilities are endless Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks wrestled in Scotland that week, so they all immediately become suspects. WWE and ICW seem pally enough to allow special dispensation for a wee Noam Dar visit, if he can stop hingin oot the back ae ALLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEESHAAAA FAWWWWWWXXX for 5 minutes. Even the likes of Pete Dunne, Jimmy Havoc and Tyler Bate were all intriguing options. Closer to home oor BT Gunn didn’t have match and has a Grand Slam to be completing, but naw. None of the fuckin above. Sit doon, and kindly cover up yer semi’s. Embarassing yourselves so yees are. Its fuckin LIVERPOOOOOOOOOLS NUMBEH WUN. Zack Gibson. Like it or fuckin lump it.

Zack Gibson has quietly been killing it for a wee while in ICW, particularly on the mic. Know why? He quite plainly disnae give a flying fuck about being cheered and has catered his character to be as much of an annoyance to the audience as possible. Like a good fuckin villain should. Wrestling does have this grey area between hero and villain now, and that’s aw fine. Dance along the line if it works for ye, but there will never not be room for real baddies who get pure enjoyment from fuckin wae folk. Red Lightning is one of them anaw, but the relevance of that will be revealed shortly (who we kiddin there? It’ll be revealed in about 10,000 words) but the point is, Zack Gibson was the last guy. Until he wisnae cause who the fuck says a scramble needs to be six guys? It’s an open challenge and if the whole Nation Of Domination came doon and said they were in the match that’s how it would have to be. They did not, but BT FUCKIN GUNN did, and 6 became 7.

BT Gunn and Matt Cross flew about together for about 10 seconds which was enough to convince me all the matches from now on should be BT Gunn vs Matt Cross matches. Everywhere. I  jest n that but them two wrestling each other would be some of the dopest shit. Zack Gibson continued his hot streak of being brilliant at being an absolute worst cunt by dismantling a tower of doom suplex thing in the corner. Every other competitor slotting together like some kinda mad game of wrestler jenga before big Zack burst in and knocked the whole tower doon. Followed it up with a sexy big chinlock because fundamentals are important. Even in a mad flippy Zero-G showcase, a right gid chinlock to give you a breather and the opponent a sare chin is still effective.

Everyone bar one very important exception had a wee shot of being interim Zero-G Champion. First was Charlie Sterling, who had his shot of it via a shooting star headbutt after a lovely wee sequence of him doing some mad agile stuff. I’m a heterosexual man, got a burd and everything mate, ask anyone, absolutely daft for fanny, but some lifeforms supersede sexual preference and with that being said, I’d maybe….probably……definitely pump Charlie Sterling. The big ride lost his interim champ status thanks to a Ravie Davie heidbutt and folk went mental for about 20 seconds before he lost it to the impressive ‘Flash’ Morgan Webster doing a hoppy backwards Hurricanrana thing. Who the fuck knows whit ye cry it but it looked good and he was a pleasure to watch throughout. Poor Ravie but, didnae even get to savour it for a full minute. Flash held on to it for a wee while, keeping everyone out the ring. A solid strategy until the poor boy got flip fever. After Kenny and Davie both nailed dives into the crowd, up Flash went for some ill-advised show stopping. Hitting a superb dive, before Matt Cross usurped his interim status with a springboard cutter back in the ring. If there’s any lesson to be taken there, it’s that doing big dives makes ye quite tired and more accustomed to being pinned by springboard cutters.

Sadly for the magnificently bearded American, his interim reign was also short-lived. BT Gunn came very close to ending it, but Zack Gibson tossed him out the ring when he was on the verge of becoming the first ever ICW (interim) Grand Slam winner, and locked in Shankly’s Gates on Cross to begin his stint as Zero-G Champ. With minutes left Kenny Williams had seen his belt passed aboot like a joint at a hoose party, but good joint etiquette dictates that the roller of said joint, or in this metaphor the holder of said belt, gets the last shot of it. It’s just manners int it. Kenny hit a mad reverse DDT thing and become the 6th and final interim champion of the night. Despite a grand slammin (sorry) effort from BT Gunn to take it aff him. Deep down we all knew it would come down to them, as impressive as the other dudes were, these two had the most at stake. BT Gunn wants that Grand Slam so much its palpable. Yer man’s building a legacy and shit like that is what it’s all about. He had Kenny in a crossface for the whole of the last-minute of the match but Kenny would not yield. He held on the his face and in the process held on to his shiny belt. The Zero-G Open continues.

Entertaining romp. Thought everyone was impressive. No big on their being so many “interim” reigns in a 15 minute period but it made sense as the only one NOT to get a pin was the man it would have meant the most to (even if it’s no officially a title reign, BT Gunn being Zero-G Champ for a millisecond would have meant a lot) so aye. Enjoyable way to kick off the show and mad Kenny wound up emerging from the chaos looking unbeatable and hard as nails for surviving a one minute crossface.

Polo Promotions vs War Machine

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Arguably of the matches on the card this had the least at stake storyline wise. Nae gradual story being told over the course of multiple shows. Nae bad blood. Just two of the finest tag teams on the planet bringing the absolute best out in each other in a brutally hard-hitting scrap. Seen a lot of good tag team shit in ICW since 2012, but I have to say this edges the whole fuckin lot of it as my favourite tag match in the company. To steal the show on a card that had so many matches with personal aspects and titles on the line says it all about the story they told. War Machine will likely not be kicking about the “indie” scene long. Truth be told, neither will Polo Promotions if anycunt’s paying attention, but as long as they’re all still available for selection, fuckin pick them. Have this match a million times. If War Machine are available fly them err. Bring back concord flights and have a dedicated War Machine concord plane to fly the big majestic bastards to every ICW show. Best of 5? Try best of 50. Too far? Fuck ye. No far enough.

The match of course kicked off with a big shoulderblock war, because what else would 4 big fridge sized dudes be doing to start off a match. Raymond Rowe edged Mark Coffey in the hoss war, kicking off an early period of War Machine dominance. They’re a machine built for fuckin war, of course they’re gonnae be good at throwin folk about, but Polo Promotions are both upwards of 6 feet tall. Both big stocky lads, and yer man Rowe was chucking them about like empty ice cream cones (empty cause they need SCOOPS, get it? aye, yer a smart kid, you get it) performing a whole manner of suplexes before him and Hanson started tagging each other in with their forearms. There’s a thing ye cannae usually comment on, both these teams have a unique way of tagging. The Polo’s with their gentlemanly no wasted motion handshake tags, and the big Viking fuckers tagging each other in with forearms smashes. Dare to be different. If you’re an up and coming tag team out there looking for a hook, try tagging each other in with elbow bumps or if yer totally aff yer nut, headbutts. Dare to Zlatan.

Polo took some punishment off Big Hanson, including a beard infused chinlock, and considering the big fella’s got a family of Hawk’s living in that beautiful tapestry of hair he calls a beard that shit was mad dangerous, a back body drop bought Polo enough time for a tag and for Coffey and Rowe to re-assume their shoulderblock war. This time Coffey getting the edge and taking the big fella off his feet. Coffey followed it up with some forearms smashes that Rowe was HEADBUTTING away. If you’ve seen a Mark Coffey match before you are well aware he does not hold back when it comes to levelling cunts jaws with forearms and the big man swatted them away with his dome, before sending Coffey down with a combination of kicks and a forearm of his own. Big Hanson then proceeded to run from corner to corner clotheslining both Polos for what felt like hours. Incredible athleticism for a guy that size, but the Polos kept scrapping. Mark taking the big man off-balance before Polo took him off his feet with a high crossbody and they finally managed to nail him with a double back suplex. Polos in the ascendency going into the final furlong.

They stood team to team. Toe to toe. Sizing each other up. If there were judges in pro wrestling, the scorecards would have been all even at that point. Two top quality teams who had given each other the absolute business. As much business as they could handle. It all came down to the final chapter. The “Big guys throw other big guys into other big guys” chapter. Hanson and Rowe performed a mad Hardy Boyz looking move in the corner where Hanson flipped off Rowes back, before Rowe basically powerbombed Hanson into Coffey. Hanson must be a bawhair aff 300 pounds and is 100% a viking and Rowe looks like the enforcer for some kinda murderous biker gang, so they have no right to be doing late 90s/early 2000s Hardy Boyz shit, but do they look like the type of folk to be worried about what they should be doing? Polo injected a bit of momentum back into his team with a morale boosting pair of scoop slams. Somehow managing to nail Hanson with one, but the big man brushed it off, up right away screamin “come ahead!” in Norweigan right in Jackies face (I know he isnae actually Norweigan but there’s some kinda Scandinavian lineage there for sure) they nailed Coffey with a big double team powerslam. Hanson hitting a fuckin 300 pound suicide dive on Polo to stop him breaking up the pin but Coffey kicked out at two. Our boaysies wurnae done yet.

Coffey bravely kicking out of the first devastating double team move only served to annoy War Machine I think. Up Hanson went, and down he came with a legdrop from the top rope as Rowe had Coffey up for a belly to back suplex. A move they call fallout, probably because most of the opponents vital organs fall out their arse when they take the move. That was enough to put Polo Promotions away but if there’s nae rematch I am fucking done with this wrestling carry on. Why would you want this match to happen only once? If there’s one thing we’ve learned from movies is that the sequel is always better than the first one. Or something like that…

Wonderful, show stealer of a match that had no right to be going in. As good as stories with a slow build can be, sometimes just a brilliant match is enough of a story on its own.

Stevie Boy vs Chris Renfrew (Last Man Standing Match)

barrasenfstevFrom a match with very little personal bad blood attached to it, to one that was absolutely soaked in it. A year of these cunts hating each other after being brothers in arms for over a year before it all went wrong. One of those friendships that had a brotherly bond combined with both parties having the sneaking suspicion one could stab the other at any time. Stevie stabbed first, and I don’t think Renfrew has truly ever managed to pull that knife out his back. The dagger Stevie, Kay Lee Ray and Wolfgang drove through his heart is still there anaw. Amazing that a guy who got figuratively stabbed twice won a brutal TLC match later that night, but that’s just the kind of Rambo cunt Renfrew is. Stevie emerged with Kay Lee Ray but quickly sent her away. This was his fight. Stevie vs Renfrew. Last Man Stabbin.

The early part of the match was mainly them chucking each other into various hard surfaces in the East End of Glasgow, before Renfrew hit a Stoner on a table. Not through  a table in a wrestling way, I mean he scooped the cunt on to a real table. One ye could sit a buffet, or some VCR’s on without break it, and performer a Stone Cold Stoner on that hard surface. No gonnae lie, looked like he picked up a sare arse in the process. Because really real tables are probably not fun to land on. It was entertaining but I’ve never been hugely into Last Man Standing matches. Dunno why, it’s just rarely a stipulation that grabs me. Renfrew hitting a big Senton off the barrier is some shit capable of grabbing me but the first significant count happened after that when Stevie hit the destroyer. Renfrew made it to his feet and floored Stevie with a pair of Stoners. The second coming off the top rope that got Stevie to a count of 9 before he rolled out the ring, grabbed a kendo stick and smacked Renfrew between the eyes wae it. He set up a pair of chairs, no doubt so him and Renfrew could sit down with a few brewskies and talk this whole mess out. Man to man. Much to Stevies dismay, Renfrew had other ideas and decided a double underhook piledriver through the chairs was a better idea than any kind of peace talks. In any case, when given a choice, Renfrew will probably always go with the one that leads to somecunts heid getting split open. That would have been a fitting end to what was a brutal affair, but as the ref got ready to count to 10, Renfrew knocked him out with the Kendo Stick. He could have just picked Stevie up to break the count, but once again when presented with two options, he went with the one that was most likely to split a cunt’s heid open.

Renfrew whipped out the cable ties the same way Stevie had used them on him about 6 weeks earlier and went to fuckin work. A few brutal Kendo Stick shots knocked Stevie out, before Renfrew decided it was thumbtack chair time. Someone else had other ideas, someone else thought instead of it being thumbtack chair time, it was actually drag Renfrew under the ring time. Probably to murder him or at least stick a tongue in his ear or suhin. The man who emerged to drag Renfrew to hell was revealed to be MIKEY WHIPLASH, who then re-emerged to hand Stevie a noose before disappearing under the ring again. Probably to start feasting on Renfrew’s rotting corpse, or maybe he had a crossword book under there, who knows how long he had to wait under there mate. Maybe he brought a wee puzzlebook to pass the time. Point is the whole thing kinda ended in limbo. Nae winner or losers, nae definitive end to this whole saga, but Mikey Whiplash is back and it would be quality if this is somehow leading to a beautiful feud between him and Stevie. A right good feud with Whiplash could be the thing Stevie needs to move up to that permanent main event level and it would also just be a fuckin treat for the senses. As for Renfrew, who knows. BT Gunn and him still have some unresolved business but he might just be living underneath a wrestling ring in The Barras now. Maybe Whiplash has an underground dungeon that only appears when a wrestling ring is built on top of it and Renfrew’s gonnae be trapped there till the next Barras show. Its all up in the air. Wrestling.

DCT and Viper vs Davey Blaze and Kay Lee Ray

This one came about in an odd fashion, after Viper pinned Kay Lee at a Fight Club show ,her reward for pinning the champion was eh…a mixed tag match? It would have been difficult to do two more singles matches on a card loaded with them, but I didn’t really get these two feuds kinda being shoehorned together, even if DCT and Viper tagging together is always an undisputed winner. Davey injected a bit of unexpected heat into the whole thing but absolutely killing it on a backstage promo where he called Coach Trips wee boy “specky” and called his DCT and Coach Trip arseholes, before smashin fuck out the wee mans easter egg. There waere consequences for his sickening actions though. Smashing a wee boy’s easter egg apparently gets ye a Square Go with a big massive UFC guy. Who fuckin knew mate. Dallas, Sweeney and Toal formed like voltron as “Team Da” and made Paul “BearJew” Craig special enforcer for the match. Another who’s felt Davey’s verbal wrath recently as he viciously flipped his nickname upside down and called him a “JewBear” at another recent Fight Club taping.

A wee forgotten aspect of this is that Davey Blaze and Kay Lee Ray once kinda shared a tag title reign. Kay Lee filling in for Davey when he was injured when The Bucky Boys had the titles. So a married couple against a couple of folk who were once married to the same belt. Throw in some UFC guys, and baseball bat wae a horses face on it and you’ve got yourself a party. Viper tossed Kay Lee to the outside in almost a suicide dive that hit both DCT and Davey before Viper went up top, only for Wee Man to stop her from doing a big dive. Worried for her safety of course. He must have been worried about her neck anaw, cause he then went on to hold a baseball bat across her throat as Davey got ready to smash another few eggs, but a wild BearJew appeared to save the day. And the eggs.

Another UFC guy got involved called Chris Bungard, who apparently turned on BearJew for some reason. Hitting a low blow before they scudded each other around the ring in a very UFC’ish fashion for a bit. Bearjew taking the other guy down with a lovely throw. Everyone else with baws took a baw hit, including referee Sean McLaughlin, before Kay Lee Ray took a jab to the fanny. It’s all about equality at the end of the day, if baws can get hit, so can fannies. Wrestling int it. Davey hit a spear and a spinebuster on Viper because ICW mixed tag matches actually allow for real inter genderin. Kay Lee got the pin on DCT after a baseball bat shot from The Wee Man. This is what the whole enforcer business was designed to stop. I dunno if this is leading to an MMA fight in ICW or these dudes doing a bit of grappling, but the lack of enforcing meant DCT needed another saviour as he was being subjected to a post match beatdown. He needed the head of Swat Team Da. The man who had to literally pick up the pieces of that poor wean’s broken easter egg. Fuck a Coach Trip. We’re no going wur holidays here, the man who emerged to give Davey the father of all doings was none other than ADAM SHAME. The man, the myth, the legend. A big fuck off boot to the chops taught Davey a lesson only a Da could teach. Don’t call weans specky. Don’t smash their Easter Eggs, and most important do NOT call their Da’s arseholes if their Da’s are former big bastardin SWA Champions. Shame on you.

Drew Galloway vs Jack Jester (Barbed Wire Ropes Match)barrasdrewjester

When Drew Galloway came back to ICW, it was thriving. Pulling in bigger crowds than it ever has, putting on shows more regularly than ever before, and generally creating a bit of buzz on the European Wrestling scene. When WWE released him he knew ICW was going to be integral in his own personal relaunch, and knew how important it was to make an Impact there as soon as possible. How many folk have a moment like his return at Shugs House Party so soon after being released by WWE? If ICW wasn’t as strong as it was, that moment wouldn’t have been possible.  The views on the youtube video would have been a few thousand rather than hundreds of thousands. It was a big deal because it blew the roof off the place in a way that wouldn’t have been possible in a smaller venue with less of a rabid crowd. Simple as that. Drew’s moment was the first in a long line of moments and achievements that have since led to WWE signing him again. This time signing him as a guy who’s barely 30 with 15+ years experience all over the world. A guy who wasn’t content to live off nostalgia bookings using his WWE name and gimmick. A guy who wanted to do something different. To truly stand out he needed ICW, and to move to the next level, ICW needed him. That night he returned, he saved his old friend Jack Jester from the NAK, and thwarted Chris Renfrew’s attempt to cash in his ICW Title Shot he earned from winning the Square Go earlier in the year. He then celebrated with his old pal, only to knock the living shite out of him moments later. Lobbed him through tables and aw sorts. It was some brutal shit, and led to Drew ending Jesters year long reign as ICW Champion at ICW’s first Barrowlands show, so its only fitting that this chapter in Drew’s ICW career ends in the same place. Against the same opponent. Stories n that. Sometimes they come full circle. Sometimes they end with having a hunner puncture wounds in yer arse because yer pal baseball slid ye into a barbed wire board. That’s life.

If you’re wondering why they made it a Barbed Wire Ropes match, it’s fairly fuckin obvious is it no? I’m sure Drew would have taken a wee bit more punishment if he wasn’t a current WWE employee, but you need to be some kind of mad lunatic to actually expect a guy who’s just secured a second crack at his dream job to willingly be tossed in about barbed fuckin wire. The match was given that stipulation because Drew was going out as a stone cold killer. The same way he came in. Sacrificing his best pal for what he seen as the greater good. I’ve been going to ICW since 2012 and have seen Jack Jester take some of the severest doings I’ve ever seen anyone take in wrestling matches, but this was the heaviest one I’d seen him take in ICW. In terms of the ferocity of what Drew slung at him and the amount of times he had to literally rip barbed wire out of his skin, it was at the very least the most profoundly sore looking one. Its not like Drew was swanning about, dishing out a heavy doing and taking zero dunts either. He took punishment. He took a suplex on the floor. You ever took a suplex on a hard floor? Me neither, but I imagine its fuckin sare. The fact that he was willing to be anywhere near any amount of barbed wire for your entertainment is plenty enough risk. Imagine you got yer dream job, a bit of stability, ye tell the wife it finally happened, you’ll no need to always be on a plane, more time at home, more normality, then ye tell yer wife a day before you’re due to start the new job, you’re going down to your old job to have a chainsaw fight with one of yer old co-workers, then yer gonnae swallow a gallon of petrol and shove a lit match up yer arse, blowing ye hauf way across the east end of Glesga. Expecting Drew to get mauled by some barbed wire knowing what was at stake for him is a bit weird and selfish. If he chose to do so, fair enough, but expecting him to is perverse. Jester on the other hand, did choose to do so, and it looked….well depending on your neurological reaction to pain, it didnae look fun.

The barbed wire board he was baseball slid onto earlier magically turned into a table. Jester set it up, but after a battle on the apron, found himself once again with an arse fulla puncture wounds. Drew then ran a barbed wire crown over his pals forehead, carving “NXT IS DA PLACE 2 B” on his skull before running his napper along the barbed wire ropes. A second barbed wire table was entered into the mix, this time Drew powerbombed Jester through it. There was no wee bouncy clean landing either, it broke awkwardly and he stuck to the fuckin thing like a mouse with a gub full of cheese. Drew then literally ripped him off the mass of barbed wire and wee broken bits of wood, straight into the first of at least 4 Futureshock DDTs. He also kicked a barbed wire bat into his face, and I don’t mean that like it was a bat with barbed wire wrapped round it. The bat part was also barbed wire. It was basically just like someone carved a bat shape out of a block of barbed wire, then wrapped more barbed wire around it to make extra wire-y. Definitely said barbed wire too much here. Point is, blood pouring from numerous orifices, Jester kept getting up. He even nailed Drew with a tombstone, but that was as close as he came to winning. Drew eventually put him away with a big shot to the skull with the aforementioned barbed wire bat and that was that. It ended as it start. With one pal knocking fuck out the other. Friendship.

Drew invited Jester and Dallas to join him in the ring as he made a wee farewell speech. It’s nice that he was even able to have the match at all, and it being given the Barbed Wire stipulation to me was a way of Drew going out looking as dangerous as possible, while making Jester look like a bad ass dude who can withstand a heavy barbed wire based doing. Drew completely dropped character and thanked everyone which was confirmation if it was needed that he is, at least for the foreseeable future, done with ICW. If it is the last time we see him in the company, he deserves a lot of credit for helping elevate ICW and put a lot of eyes on the company on a global scale. He needed them as much as they needed him, and at this stage they both leave each other in a stronger position than they were before. The perfect way to end it if ye ask me. He put the title and the company on a platform then used that platform to show the big boys what they were missing. All the very best to ye big man.

Sha Samuels vs Kid Fite (Barras Street Fight)

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This was essentially presented to us as an ongoing brawl throughout the night, as we seen a couple of video clips of them scrapping before they eventually emerged at ringside. Would have been a buzz if they just kept appearing around the venue every so often. Popping up during the Zero-G open so Sha could dae his moonsault and be amongst aw the other high flyers. His people. The backstage bits did involve Sha having to jump out the way of a car being driven at him. The man at the wheel was the source of some confusion amongst the audience. A chant of “who the fuckin hell are you?” even emerged, and let me tell ye, what a bloody outrageous thing that was if I’ve ever seen an outrageous thing. That’s the man Krieger (I get it right this time? Fuckin better huv) one half of the maw pumpin, jaw duntin, PBW Tag Team Champions Lou King Sharp and Krieger. Big Scudmaster Sexy. One of Fito’s elite group of hauners providers, providing timely hauners and perhaps more importantly, a motor that he’s willing to drive into cunts at the behest of Kid Fite.

The second wee clip seen them battling round The Barras market, chucking each other in to shutters and whatnot before they eventually emerged for all us to see. Knocking lumps other each other before Sha disappeared up that top rope to hit the worlds greatest moonsault. Before Christopher Daniels gets on the line about gimmick infringement he better look at a fuckin clip of this majestic thing. Sha Samuels very well might be the best out-and-out villain in British Wrestling history, but him not being a villain in a few companies lately has meant the big man’s bustin out aw sorts of moonsaults and that’s just a blessing I don’t think any of us expected in this lifetime. Savour that shit. If ye were there in person, you saw something truly beautiful. Pigs might not be able to actually fly, but the big hair geezer’s that butcher the pigs apparently can.

Sha took a big grogger to the face, before Krieger got involved again and took Sha off his feet. A big sweeping DDT on to a chair was nearly enough to end it but big Sha would have his moment. In the history of one guy holding a second guys arms so a third guy can hit the guy with a chair, has it ever ended any other way than the guy doing the holding ending up getting smashed over the melt with a chair? Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it, and repeat it Kid Fite and Krieger did. The chair shot took Krieger our the equation briefly. Enough for Sha to hit a big Firemans Carrry Situout Slam situation to bring this endless scrap to an end.

They even had a wee beer together afterwards. The very thing their whole alliance was based on in the first place. Another story ending the same way it started. Pals knocking fuck out each other, not being pals for a while, then becoming pals again by knocking fuck out each other and drinking beer about it afterwards. The way it fuckin should be. Or suhin. A beautiful moment for Sha, but one he might be struggling to look back on with fondness after the heinous, unspeakable acts that took place a wee bit later on.

Lionheart vs Joe Hendry

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The heinous unspeakable acts didn’t happen here, even though Lionheart did full on scud Joe Hendry on the side of the heid. This wasn’t the feud ending match clearly. They’re building it a bit more before they have a stoater but it was another chapter in the story. Tell ye whit, I was completely convinced it was all “story” as well, even though they’ve done a stellar job of making it seem real as fuck. Watching this back was the first time it’s crossed my mind that maybe there is a bit of bad blood there. They seem genuinely agitated at each other and unable to control the urge to bypass the wrestling to proper leather each other. Every move in the wrestling match portion of this looked 5x sorer than it usually would. Everything had a bit of extra added oomph, and as much as I suspect that’s just them selling the whole thing really well, who the fuck knows mate. Maybe they do really hate each other and the blade that Lionheart said he had for Joe Hendry if he got out of line again is real. Maybe Joe’s gonnae fallaway slam Lionheart aff the Kingston Bridge if he talks smack about his woman again. Who the fuck knows. What we do know is that match got thrown out on a count of Lionheart full on punt kicking the side of Joe’s heid.

The genuine remorse that Lionheart showed after it made ye wonder as well, but then again he also had a large part of an audience in Edinburgh thinking he’d legit broke his neck again before he hopped up and Rock Bottom’ed Kenny Williams so who knows whit this devious character is capable of. Who knows when they’ll have this rip-roaring stoater of a match Lionheart promised us either. They’ll need to stop legit battering each other and do some wrasslin if its ever going to come about.

Grado vs Wolfgang

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Grado’s fuckin sick ae it. I dunno what part of that is difficult for folk. If you’ve watched ICW for the past year and a bit, you know fine well what he’s sick of. The shite. The patter. The moaning. He does the same thing every time they say, Like A Prayer, funny promo, wee boot, hame. He disnae care, too busy acting and making an Impact abroad (see whit I did there? done an Impact joke earlier anaw, its aw about subtlety and nothing says subtlety like detailed explanations of jokes….) He’s no loyal enough. ICW disnae matter to Billy Big Baws fae the BBC. You’ve changed Grado. You used to be one of us, now you’re one of them. Once the everyman, now the arrogant man wae the fancy tan. FUCK TNA, FUCK TNA, FUCK TNA…..AWWWWW BUT HOW ABOUT FUCK YOUS INSTEAD?

All those accusations, all the folk that turned against the cunt because he came from nowhere to be a proper star. Type of cunt ye see in the paper as a charity golf do wearing the same polo neck as Andy Goram and Frank McGarvey having a fuckin ball while hittin some fuckin balls. Type of cunt ye see in the paper writing a fuckin weekly column in the paper. That’s the level he’d reached. He wis in a national newspaper every week. No bad for a dafty, but he’s no really a dafty is he. The character you see in ICW and everywhere else isn’t a real guy. Graeme Stevely is a guy with a lot of charisma and he carved out a character that highlighted all the happiest, sunniest parts of himself because it fuckin worked. It still works all over the world, but it had been most prevalent for the longest time in ICW and in ICW shit had changed. Particularly the crowds at The Garage were giving him mixed reactions. For whit? Whit was the big crime?

Fair fucks to big Wolfgang here as well. Never been hotter property than he is right now. One of the absolute standouts in WWE’s UK Championship tournament and in general can’t put a foot wrong right now. He prevailed in the match itself and continued to elevate his own status, and the popularity he has now will probably see him slowly go back to being a crowd favourite. That, along with Drew’s departure leaves room for two big bad baddies at the very top and a couple of unlikely suspects took those positions before anycunt else got a sniff of them. Grado started strong as fuck, Wee Bootin and R-Gra-Do his way to a pair of two counts. Wolfy busted out his big moves early anaw, landing his Swanton that he calls “The Howling” somewhere in the region of Grado’s baws before Grado’s attempts at the same move came up short. Couldnae just let Sha have his moment eh, had to try and outdo the ShaSault. I think this fame carry on might be going to his head.

Another thing occasionally levelled at Grado from cunt’s who don’t have a fuckin clue whit they’re on about is that he can’t wrestle. He is bad at the wrestling, because he lacks agility, and couldnae batter out some mad choreographed Will Ospreay stuff cause he’s a wee chubby guy. Cunt’s that cannae wrestle don’t bust out Death Valley Driver’s dae they? Did you know before this match Grado could do a Death Valley Driver? Nah mate. Keeps it in the locker for a rainy day, but he cannae wrestle really. Its all an act, these stories he crafts aw err the world. Its all trickery. Greener than Nathan Jones so he is. He got in the ref’s face for failing to count the three and turned round into a big shot to the temple with the trusty brass knuckles for the win. Wolfy’s still a baddie at heart, but when it was all said and done he wisnae the biggest baddie in the ring.

Sha Samuels came out for moral support as Grado took to the mic, seemingly to deliver some bad news. He gibbered about an “offer” for a bit and seemed in genuine angst to tell us what the fuck he was on about only for him to turn round and boot his best pal square in the baws. Whit. The. Fuck. As Sha rolled about like any sane man who’s been toed in the baws would, Grado cut his most beautiful promo in wrestling yet. That electric charisma being used to power evil instead of good. One thing ye could quite clearly see from the promo he cut at the time of him and Renfrew’s heated feud is that with a bit of annoyance behind him he’s a different animal. A guy not to be fucked wae or fucked aboot. No feart to say shit that needs said. As much as him getting on the mic and getting each and every person who’s doubted him TELLT was part of his character evolving, you could tell it was a wee bit cathartic for him anaw. Letting all those frustrations out as he told us all HE runs the place. We’re all there because of HIM, and if ICW want to continue using his name to sell out shows, they’d need to go through his newly appointed agent. Red Lightning. Aye. He’s fuckin back. Deal wae it.

Tell ye something, the whole Black Label vs ICW thing as a story line had its flaws. There were moments where it was disjointed and didn’t make hunners of sense, but Red Lightning from a performance aspect was untouchable throughout. An absolute integral part of shows, so the fact that he’ll once again be a part of ICW shows isn’t a bad thing. To assume its the start of the same storyline again and this is just Black Label 2.0, or Gold Label 3.0, or the fuckin first ever Purple Label is a bit daft. Lets see where it goes. The two guys who main evented the first ICW show I ever went to against each other for the ICW Title forming an unholy alliance and Grado’s a fuckin baddie. How can that not be an exciting thing? This is one of those rare things in wrestling that hasn’t actually been done before at all. Even John Cena was a villain once upon a time, but Grado? That guy fae the BBC? It’ll never work. Except the reaction it got and the way it was executed makes it pretty clear that it already has.

Bird and Boar vs Rampage Brown and Ashton Smith

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Tough ask to be the meat between a sandwich of Grado turning heel and a World Title Match. Even tougher to follow one of the best, if not THE best tag match ICW has ever seen earlier in the night, but this was a stellar tag team title match in its own right. Bird and Boar are delightfully good at chucking each other into their opponents and do some double team shit you’ll no see anywhere else. Easy to see why Rampage and Ashton kept their wee alliance on the go from the WoS thing as well, Rampage’s raw power meshing well with the agility of Smith. Fuckin travesty its took Rampage Brown this long to get a spot on a Glasgow show though. One of the best heavyweights in the world and a cunt who’s look and style has ICW written all over it. Hopefully this show is the start of many appearances for him on the bigger shows.

The match was heavy entertaining, it’s a shame the crowd were a bit drained for it but it was excellent viewing. Rampage made his Glesga impact by haphazardly lariating fuck out of anyone Welsh that made the mistake of being within 10 feet of him. Impressed by Asthon Smith as well. Moves brilliantly for a dude who’s about 6’4. Iestyn Rees came out with the marauders, shirtless and oiled up because even when yer no wrestling, if there’s an audience out there, its important to be as shiny as possible. He was quickly chucked out and the portion of the match that didn’t have him at ringside was an evenly matched affair. Bird and Boar keeping their larger opponents at bay with aw sorts of good double team shit, but they struggled to withstand the big man’s power as he ran clean through a double clothesline attempt and levelled them with a pair of clotheslines of his own. It looked like Rampage and Ashton would have the dream Glesga debut but the aforementioned Iestyn Rees got involved again. Why did he even agree to it in the first place if ICW’s nae rules? I dunno, maybe Thomas Kearins looked like he wis ready for murdering a cunt and the big man got the fear, but Iestyn eventually came to his senses, realised he could dae what he want, came back out and took Rampage out of the equation before Bird and Board hit Mrs Pattersons Revenge on Ashton to retain.

Trent Seven vs Joe Coffey (ICW World Title Match)

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If you watched this match and the word “boring” entered your psyche at all, suhin’s fuckin very wrong with you. Or at the very least, you should be watching something that isnae called professional wrestling. This was fuckin terrific and was only narrowly beaten by one of my favourite tag matches ever as match of the night. Joe Coffey has been the standout performer when it comes to putting on the best wrestling matches in the company for years now. So often denied when going for the big prize, but three years in a row of being voted the best wrestler in the company by the fans told the folk at the top something. This guy’s money and deserves to have the faith put in him. Trent Seven managed to do a remarkable thing and got so many people behind him there was almost no choice but to give him the title and the top spot. Something had to give. Two of the most popular characters ICW have showcased in recent memory, one of them was going to end up a wee bit more popular than the other when the dust settled, because that’s how wrestling works. One’s a baddie, one’s a goodie. Always.

They battled with shoulder tackles, neither man giving an inch, Trent mocking Joe’s chest beating antics, and getting took out with a dropkick for his cheek. They chopped each other back and forth before Trent done that fuckin god forsaken chopping the ringpost thing. MATE. I’d get it a bit more if one of the times ye set a guy up on the ringpost and went for a chop that the chop actually landed. Even just one time. The move would make more sense, but does the fact that EVERY time ye dae it, the cunt moves and you break your hand on a ringpost no make ye really re-consider your decision to have it as part of the repertoire? Who am I to tell a World Champion how to do his World Champion’ing, but ffs, at this stage you’re just wilfully causing the destruction of your own hand and its no big or clever. Joe sent Trent into the crowd before clattering him with a dive over the barrier on to the floor to move comfortably into the ascendency. All cause Trent’s more fond of smacking Poles about than a member of the EDL. Get it? Cause they’re racists and Poles…..ach forget it. Wrestling.

They entered into the knocking the living daylights out each other section of the match, combining about a thousand chops each with headbutts, straight jabs, more headbutts, forearms, headbutts, lariats and also some headbutts thrown in for good measure. Joe ended that brutal sequence with a dropkick and some splashes in the corner before nailing The Fall From Nebula to take Trent off his feet. He took Trent up top going for that skull shatterer of a piledriver Trent does from up there but Trent had it scouted. Probably because he’s the only cunt on the planet mad enough to do top rope piledrivers and is therefore the most able to recognise when one is about to happen. Reversed it into a powerbomb followed by that spinny piledriver he does for a two count. They battled a bit on the ramp, blocking each others attempts at various suplexes before Joe hit the sarest of Germans. We then entered into a section of the match I never expected to see before it, the Roman Reigns vs Triple H section. Joe perhaps nodding towards what was to come by paying tribute to the biggest baddie in the wrestling world today, Roman Reings. A SuperIronMan Punch came close to getting the job done, before a second attempt at it was avoided and Trent hit a Pedigree followed by another piledriver that couldn’t get it done either. This was Joe’s night. A discus lariat attempt was ducked and referee Sean McLaughlin was taken out of the equation, before Joe took Trent out with a lariat anyway and agonised over the decision he was faced with. Use the belt and knock Trent out and see your journey to finally become the ICW Champion end in bittersweet triumph. Or put that shiny instrument of destruction doon and win it the right way. There right way in wrestling is often the stupidest way though. The history books don’t have the manner ye won the title beside yer name, only the fact that you did indeed win it and in the end, for maybe the first time in about 5 years, that ruthless side of Joe Coffey re-emerged and he flattened Trent with the belt, before locking in a Boston Crab that eventually made Trent tap. It was finally his. For good this time. At long last, Joe Coffey is your ICW World Champion.

The superman punchin and the devilish look in his eyes told us this was a different Joe Coffey from the one we’ve seen churn out show stealing performance after show stealing performance for 4 years. The superhero paint was replaced by dark eyes and an even darker demeanour and the sudden appearance of Red Lightning at ringside provided a stark reminder of the last time Joe wasn’t a fan favourite in ICW. The Save Pro Wrestling Joe Coffey who decimated Grado and humiliated Red Lightning on the night his own ICW World Title reign ended, was now seemingly aligned with them both. A grudge Red seemingly could never shake off during his spell as ICW GM/owner/general annoyance to anyone who wasn’t his pal, but its all over now. Joe getting sick of the constant setbacks and turning to the dark side in order to become the top guy makes plenty of sense, but aligning himself with a guy who for the past 2 years has tried to stop him succeeding at every turn didnae make as much sense as Grado’s turn. Why trust him now? It’s the first chapter in a story and its intriguing to see where it goes. Dallas recently having a bit of aggro with Jackie Polo and now being levelled by Joe Coffey as he aligns himself with his biggest enemy spells worrying times for the head honcho as half the squad that helped him keep a hold of ICW are seemingly heavy annoyed at him.

Overall the show had a bit of everything. Some things felt slightly rushed but its hard to give 10 matches all the time they need. Don’t write off new storylines before they’ve even really started because ye didnae like the old storyline. Red Lightning is a top performer and him being involved again is fuck all but a good thing. Thanks for reading, thank you Drew and most importantly, don’t vote for the fuckin Tories

 

Review: The Van Dammage – Neon and Noisy

vandammmmLife’s all about taking on new and exciting things that make you and yer wee man aw tingly. I’ve reviewed a lot of stuff. Wrestling shows, and well…..other wrestling shows. Some wrestling shows thrown in there too, and some live events involving professional wrestling. Know what isn’t a wrestling show? A collection of music known as an “album” That’s an entirely different form of entertainment where you can’t cover up your lack of knowledge of the subject by simply knowing the name of a bunch of suplexes, much to my dismay. The Van Dammage are an 80s synthwave collective made up of magical musical magician/musician David Lo Pan, and vocalist/lyrical type person Becca Starr (totally didn’t gather this information entirely from their Facebook page which you can like right here) and in case you hadn’t gathered that means they make 80s synthwave tunes.

The album is called “Neon and Noisy” because its 80s as fuck and the 80s was about as neon and noisy as life got. Trust me mate, I lived the 80s for the 8 months of my existence I spent in them. It wis aw tassles, and taking a black-light to the dancin’ to see who was gettin a sly tug on the dancefloor. A wild time, filled with drugs, irresponsible behaviour, and and haircuts that ye know have a wee shaved bit somewhere but there’s so much other shit going on that locating the shaved bit is almost impossible. We came here to review to music, and by fuck are we going to do that. Don’t ask me how, but its happening.

Aim Right And Fire

Ever fancied filling yer bath full of Red Bull, sitting wae a gigantic straw in it and playing about 3 months worth of Space Invaders in a single day? This is the tune to be doing that to. Like the opening theme for a right good sega game, but a sexy sega game at the same time. A rousing opener to this thrill ride.

Electrifying

The most electrifying song in musical entertainment. There was definitely more potential in that patter than what I’ve made of it but listen, I’ve no got time to be sitting here chopping and changing jokes till we finally find the right fit. In the middle of reviewing a music album of music here. This is definitely more of a shagging tune than our thrill ride of an opener. A tune where gettin sweaty and gyrating isnae an option. It’s not a thing your brain tells you to do and ultimately its up to you whether you carry it out, its a necessity. You should be gyrating right now even though you’re no even listening to it because of the power of persuasive text is too much to repel. Gyrate. Get electrified. Dae it.

Back To The 80s

Back? Where were in the first two tracks like? These tunes are absolutely dripping in 80s-ness. A bit more laid back than the first two tracks. The kind of tune that could easily be the soundtrack for that post gettin yer hole glow. Which makes this the shaggin portion of the album.

Liberate

This is the boss level shit. A bit more serious as the title would suggest. If the album is its own wee story then so far we’ve had the rousing opening titles, the pumpin, the post pumpin kick back and think about all the pumpin session, and now we’re asking to be liberated of the harrowing memories (or nightmares) of that burd/boay ye pumped cause ye got all hopped up on 80s electropop and cola drinks with vodka.

Winless Game

Mainly filling this “review” with daft patter because much like the world of pro wrestling, I’m pure not coming from an informed enough position to tell you what’s up or indeed what isnae up with this album musically. However, last I checked I am indeed a human and most humans for one reason or another can recognise when someone is better at singing than other humans so I feel informed enough to be able to tell you that I heavy enjoyed the vocals on this and its probably my favourite tune of the whole experience so far. This is the part of the story where all hope is lost of ever forgetting a lost lover, but who gies a fuck if yer making or at least listening to some dope syth’ed up 80’s tuneage.

Cougar

This is plainly about a dirty auld lady getting her lady end away and it gave me a semi, so I guess this is the part of the story where everyone gets semis. I dunno. Tune but.

Darkest Night

Any tune that reminds you of Jake The Snake’s theme music is the kind of tune ye need to be listening to frequently. For nostalgia purposes but also for the handy bonus of having a brain that’s constantly ready to prepare you for fending off the attack of a snake. Definitely overtaking Winless Game as my favourite tune so far. Gorgeous so it is.

Thoughts Unheard

Life affirming montage music. That part of the story (aye we’re back to it being a story again, everything is a story, your life is a story, make your own ending, be your own star or suhin) where the protagonist overcomes that obstacle put in front of her/him but does it heroically with sexy upbeat music to go with the sexy upbeat life changes documented in said montage.

Golden

Ahhhh I ken this yin! Christopher Saynt’s quite brilliant ICW entrance music right here on an album of music. This is the part of the story where you’re listening to an album, writing about it, and go “ahhhh whit I know this yin!” when this very song comes on. An important part of the plot I’m sure you’ll agree. Objectively the best tune on the album so far and considering many of them have been excellent and none shite, that paints a vivid picture of just how much of a fuckin non stop, runnin amok tune this is.

Clamber

Is it possible for an 80s synthwave tune to be a bit angsty? If it is, this is what this is. A bit angsty. Like the kind of 80s synthwave tune you’d listen to if you’d just been kb’d from your favourite establishment for wearing a visor and having neon shoelaces. A good tune, gently transitioning us into the grand finale….

Two Sides

See, the whole story thing had a plan all along, because what does a story always have? That’s right, two fuckin sides. Its come full circle. An emotional, titanic ending tp the journey. Genuinely does feel like the culmination of a right good story told in tunes. Maybe I just see everything as a story. Fuckin pro wrestling, constantly influencing every thought I have and decision I’ve made since the first time I seen Earthquake sit on Hulk Hogan and I was genuinely convinced he’d died from sitting on his face. Maybe the government was right to ban it in porno eh. If Earthquake taught us anything, its that sitting on faces IS actually dangerous, and on that note, the album is over, and therefore, so is this review.

If you’re into 80s electro synthwave tunes it goes without saying that you’ll be baws oot and waving them aboot for this, but if you’re into being entertained by music in general, I enjoyed it and as you might have gathered from the thousand and a bit words above I’m not the most musically intelligent man on the planet. I like hip-hop music, the whole Mcfly back catalogue and tunes that give you at least a semi, maybe even a three quarter chub, and alas, that means I like 80s synthwave. So if you’re looking for an album that will justify your decision to rip the roof off your Ford Focus (i know less about motors than music so if that’s already a car that’s roofless, kid on I said a motor wae a roof) and drive about looking for paint that glows in the dark so ye can draw wullies on folk that they wont see till the night time, this is that album.

First time I’ve ever reviewed a music album, and will most likely be the last, but I enjoyed the shit out of this and that means I give it the maximum score that can be awarded in the musical reviewing game. A massive ONE MILLION vinyls out of a million. 

 

 

 

Weans World (by Gary Henderson)

“See – when I was young, you used to go to the carnival in the city centre, and those were your big days out. Like that’s what you remembered growing up as these amazing experiences”- I overheard Ross Watson, PBW owner talking to a trainee as a strong crowd filtered out of the Dobbie Hall – “I want these kids to all look back and remember when the wrestling came to their town and they got to see guys like Grado and Wolfgang”. It was a pretty pertinent point. It’s dead easy to get caught up in social media and be left thinking that wrestling in this country is all adult themed, #britwres twitter, ‘workrate’ matches and all the inner politics and squabbling that comes with it. But while the violent and technical masterclasses in your ICWs and Progresses of the world are vogue – the bread and butter of this stuff is with the kids. The wee lad in the second row on Saturday night with the Rey Mysterio mask and ‘Big Bad Wolf’ t-shirt didn’t care how many stars Meltzer gave Wolfgang as he sat in total awe watching his 18 stone superhero soar high above the black canvas. Neither did the lad – Dylan I think his name is – who I’ve seen at every BCW or PBW show I’ve been to for at least five years. He’s sat there in the front row, every time, decked out head to toe in support of his favourites and savouring every high five or ‘too-sweet’ as they bounce past during their entrances.

As much as a rowdy, pissed-up, chanting bunch of grungers can add to a show – the high pitched screams of about 40 wee lassies when Stevie Xavier goes taps aff is up there. The aforementioned Wolfgang – along with his real life cousin and PBW Champion BT Gunn – stood in the venue doorway for a good half hour after the main event where they had beaten lumps out of each other. Every fan, every nervous wean scared shitless of the big man, every 20-something wrestling ‘connoisseur’ in their NAK hoodies, every dad giving the knowing wink and handshake, every one of them got a few minutes of their time. Some wanted an autograph, most just a hello, a high five and a selfie. Hundreds of them. I was on ‘security’ here and had mentioned to Wolfy that he could just give me a nudge and I would make an excuse or whatever and lead him away. He never did. He play-wrestled, bantered back and forth, lifted folk up and swung them about. As the last few filtered out, I told him that was some shift he put in there. “Aye, really enjoyed that though” he replied. “This is their WWE, they are their larger than life heroes” Ross carried on as he wandered off to oversee his merry (weary) band of trainees pull down the ring. The show itself is about 2 hours of a 12 hour day for the PBW crew. The ring gets loaded into a van, taken to the venue, sits outside the venue while we await janny approval to enter (this is important), gets put up, show time, taken down, back to its holding unit and unloaded again. It’s a long shift, and by about half past midnight I’m cursing the 16 and 17 year old wee fannies (endearingly) bouncing around with some reserves of energy I’m sure I could’ve mustered up about ten year ago.

But in among the engineering work and miles on the road (which I’ve done absolutely fuck all of by the way I’m talking more about the rest of them) there’s food and laughter and bonding and ideas aplenty. There’s flirting and silly drama, talks of goals and aspirations, nerves and trepidation. While at every turn I’m telling myself I’m too old for this and there’s something immature about me kicking about with folk half a decade my junior pretend fighting – the more I get drawn in by this daft business and all of the carry on that comes with it. On the show, there was an open challenge for Lou King Sharp (gimmick succinctly described as a 5”2 loudmouth creep) and Kriegers (taller, hairier, greasier, worse dancing loudmouth creep) PBW tag team titles. I forgot boaysiesssswrestling was fake for about five minutes and started asking LKS if he was looking forward to seeing who he was facing. After snapping out of that idiocy, I changed it to a cool, insider and trendy “Who you working sat wrestling friend Krissy (I’m using your shoot name bro)?” In-keeping with the emphasis on youth here, it would be two up and coming trainees at the PBW Academy – Darryl and Kris (not LKS confusingly). The two of them are everything I hate because I’m not. Young, athletic and ridiculously talented with the whole business in front of them. Kris has had a few matches in shows and had the mind-boggling honour of the ‘experienced’ member of his team at a ripe old 16 years. I know Kris well – started training with him on the same day about two and a half years ago in fact, but while I left he stuck with it and got very good. I remember him having a gob on him and having no lack of confidence. Thankfully, that’s not changed.

I hadn’t met Darryl before. I didn’t speak to him much during the day either. He was quiet, pretty shy and understandably nervous. This would be his main debut in front of about 400 people – on a show absolutely stacked with the best talent in the country (and Lou King Sharp too). I sat in the empty hall after set up and watched the four guys involved put their match together and work through sequences in slow motion as Darryls parents – who come up from Penrith every week to get him to training – looked on. Darryl and Kris were in the lucky position to be in there with a couple of guys who were more than happy to make them look like absolute superstars while coming across as a pair of numpties themselves.

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The open challenge gimmick is a tricky one to expose new faces to, because when the punters expect a surprise, they expect someone they know or some sort of grand return. This was partially avoided by it being made pretty clear it was an open challenge to academy trainees – but the point stands. When the two lads made their entrance after a rubbish and crap promo by Lou King Sharp the crowd were polite and gave them a warm – if unspectacular welcome. Fast forward ten minutes and the boys have been robbed of the titles by the shenanigans of Krie-King and the 400 strong in attendance were ready to set fire to shit and key some motors. Darryls mum was stood beside me, recording every moment and smiling like me every time I drive past a KFC. Most of the facebook and twitter feedback on the show had been commenting on the two youngsters and how well they done. Towards the end of the night, like many others, I made the point of shaking wee Darryls hand and telling him how brilliant I thought he had done and that he should be really proud of himself. His eyes opened wide and he beamed back “really, did you think it was good, thank you so much, did you really think it was good?” That was it right there man. It takes a lot to make me well up – usually a particularly well-acted advert, or a dog doing something that dogs don’t usually do – but I was nearly a wee blubberer then. Anyway, the next morning I went to training took a back slide and spiked my own head so that was good. Cheers

A fine read that was. Tune to mad Hendo next time he writes a thing. Also mega super thanks to Steven Mckinnon for the image.

Wrestling And Depression Part Deux

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I first wrote about depression around 2 or 3 years ago now. Excuse the ballpark figure, but who can be arsed actually fact checking when it involves such strenuous activity as typing a word into a search bar. Point is, it was a while ago now. That first post was to be perfectly honest a liberating experience. To have so many people not only appreciate the most difficult words I’d ever managed to string together somewhat coherently, but to tell me the words helped THEIR struggle and they saw some comfort in reading about someone experiencing similar things that they do on a day to day to basis trying to conquer this beast once and for all, it was the most surprising and rewarding thing I’ve ever stumbled into. Not to mention the wee added bonus that writing about it became therapeutic and helpful to my own battle. We’re all winning out of this one guys. I planned to write a book about this soul sucking affliction and I still plan to/have written bits and pieces but how can anyone who’s such a horrendous, fucked up mess of a human do a thing like that? Write a book. Please. Try sorting out the sorry pile of humanity that looks back at ye in the mirror first eh. Having ambitions is silly. Goals are for other people. Better people. People who have it together. People who know who and what they are. Not you, with the apprehension and the sweat rapidly racing off your forehead like its late for getting in some other poor cunt’s eyes. Not you constantly making excuses to stay in your own wee safe haven. Away from them. Away from the eyes, and the judgement. Away from anything that isn’t perfectly still.

The thing about mental illness I’ve learned above all other things is that it’s a sneaky wee bastard so it is. Let your guard down to it and it’ll eat you alive. Stop doing the things that make it better and guess what? It’ll get fucking worse won’t it. Of course it will. Self explanatory. Don’t deviate from a path that brought success. Don’t take your eyes off the ball, or the ball becomes a medicine ball dipped in concrete heading right between your eyes, taking your head off your shoulders. And there lies the problem with being involved in something that relies on your brain being functional, creative and open. When I first started writing about pro wrestling it consumed me with fuck all but pure joy. Fuck all but worry free escape. Who gives a flying fuck who says what about it, its only words. The logical side of the brain can tell you that sunny shit all day long. You could even give someone a job following you about whispering “You’re fuckin amazin, and yer dick is perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing one ever conceived” in your ear every 5 seconds and it still wouldn’t work. You’d just be a mentally ill cunt with a wet ear listening to the even louder voice in your head telling you its not possible. You can’t do it, you’re the guy who had a panic attack in Central Station and had to get the bus home quietly in angst soaked tears because getting a train to a college course that was supposed to put you on the path to journalistic superstardom was too much that day. You’re the guy who pursued fuck all in a romantic sense for the best part of 10 year because the image that looked back at you in the mirror was sad, specky and definitely dying alone. Why even bother trying. Why.

I guess what I’m trying to articulate is that suffering from anxiety and depression is like a constant internal battle. For a while the side telling me I was worthless and good for fuck all except crustin up socks won every single day. A landslide in favour of fuck all. Sit and do nothing. Watch a TV series. Watch another one. Drink a beer alone. Drink 12 beers and a half bottle of vodka alone. Vomit up 12 beers and a half bottle of vodka alone. For fuck’s sake don’t let your brain wake up and realise what you’re trying to do to it. I wanted my brain to die. I wanted it numb. Having no thoughts other than how I’d be spending the next hour of that present misery ridden day. When I started writing regularly for the first time since I was at school the other side starting grabbing the odd unlikely win. The side that saw the good shit. The side that thought a life of eternal solitude wasn’t a guarantee. Don’t get me wrong, even the more positive side still thought that one was likely, but at least I was open again. I had purpose, and felt like something I was doing mattered and I honestly had no expectations from it at all. Everything was a bonus. Everything felt so very “yasss”. A wrestler agreed to an interview? Fuckin yass. Many wrestlers agree to interviews? Fuckin yass, plus yaldi, plus OOOH WEE. A wrestler agrees to a sit down interview? Fuckin yass plus yaldi, plus OOH WEE, plus OH MY MY, WHAT A GUY. Mick Foley DM’s you at 1am saying he really liked that piece you linked him to about ICW and that he was a big fan of your style. Fuckin…are you……is this….a joke? HOW? WHAT? WHY? REALLY??? NO WAY. Naw….naw fuck off mate. Naw.

You catch the drift there, point is, it was fucking emotion I’ve never really felt before. Mick Foley is my all time hero in wrestling and up there with my auld man, and former Celtic playmaker Lubomir Moravcik when it comes to my heroes in life generally. There’s no one I looked up to as a young yin quite like Mick Foley. Maybe its because I grew up overweight and he didn’t have the chiselled abs like the rest of the spandexed bruisers I loved watching batter lumps out each other. Maybe it was because his character tore his hair clean out his skull and I felt like doing the same to mine (figuratively like, I was bald as fuck from ages 15 to 25). Maybe it was because up against all kinda of evil he still had a soft side. Almost a innocence that remained it tact no matter how many things lined with thumbtacks got smashed off his skull. No matter how many times a “game” wielded a sledgehammer at him. No matter how many times an Undertaker actually tried all he could to put Mick Foley in the ground for good. He never relented. I love John Cena more than most, but as far as I’m concerned he’s borrowing “Never give up” from a man who literally didn’t seem to know how.

I don’t know if this deep seeded desire to never give in was driven by the voices in his head telling him HE couldn’t do it, but the fact is something kept telling Mick Foley to get up and that resonated with me. I remember staying up till 4-5am to watch the 2000 Royal Rumble, when I was at an age where staying up till that time was actually not allowed as opposed to an ill advised decision I make regularly as an adult. WWE had recently secured a deal with terrestrial TV station (purely used that word cause typing channel twice in a row wis hurtin ma brain) Channel 4, meaning the Royal Rumble could be watched without me having to beg my mum n dad to shell out 15 quid for the PPV on cable. Mick Foley under his perhaps most fabled Cactus Jack guise would challenge Triple H for the WWE Title that night and honestly, as much as the death-matches with Terry Funk and the one where he was tossed from 30 feet in the air through a table probably brought him closer to his maker than any other contest, something about this one felt more brutal. The punishment he took that night just seemed to mean more for some reason, because in my naive little brain I was CONVINCED he was taking that title from the man attached to a nose known as Triple H. Good would triumph over evil for once. Violence for the sheer fun of being violent would triumph over huge nosed violence for personal gain. Sitting on the edge of my seat quite literally watching that, and the heartbreak that came with Foley’s loss to The Rock at that same event the year before after the most sickening and probably slightly illegal attack with a steel chair I’ve ever seen are two of the most prominent and important memories I have from growing up watching wrestling. Seems weird that two of the moments I remember more than most are two high profile “failures” but it felt good to believe in someone and be lost in those moments so much that it almost felt like YOU were there. That time period solidified Foley’s role as my hero, the gift (and perhaps the curse) he gave me in 2015 was a different kind of heroism.

I think the most troubling aspect of being validated by my all time hero was the fact that I suffer from mental illness at all. If I didn’t, such a beautiful joyful thing could never have been turned into a negative but almost instantly when I read Mick Foley’s first DM to me I wondered what made me worthy of that? I mean think about it for a second, of all the wrestlers who have gone on to write books, Mick Foley is by quite a distance the most esteemed as an author and has gone on to write several more critically acclaimed books. He has a talent for this very thing I’m doing right now. To have him tell me I was talented at a thing he’s very talented at himself was just incredibly surreal. To have him vow to share my work on social media platforms where literally millions of people follow him was almost too much. I felt mostly great about it all, but the doubts were still there. The doubts that it was all a fluke, and maybe if I hadn’t written about a promotion he was about to appear for, he wouldn’t have read it at all. Truth be told that’s probably the case as he likely gets linked to all sorts every day in his social media life. The perils of being a famous man on social media. I wondered why it was right that social media connecting us all made it so easy for me to make an impression on a man who had to do a lot more to make an impression on me all those years ago. All I did was include his handle in a tweet to get him to notice me, when he nearly fuckin died trying to entertain me.

When I first started writing I had absolutely no expectations for it, but the all-time, never to be reached but keep shooting for it anyway goal was to interview wrestling people. That was it really. I’ve always been interested in stories more than any kind of critical evaluation when it comes to wrestling, so when folk occasionally pull me for not being critical enough it kinda baffles me. I’m not in an informed enough position to fire a star rating at you or tell you what you done wrong in a match and I never will be. Its a role I’ve never been comfortable with in the slightest, but telling someones story? I’m all in for that. Getting the chance to sit next to people you admire and have them give you the time of day enough to really get something good out there is a buzz I’ve never come close to doing anything else “professionally” and when I started doing it, that unattainable goal was sitting next to the man I admired the most in wrestling and getting to pick his brain a wee bit. So I figured “fuck it”. He messaged me after all. He’s in the country for ICW in a few weeks. Why not just ask. What harm can come of asking? Well, him saying no, but apart from that? A no can only kill the self esteem after all, the human shell would still remain. BUT HE FUCKIN SAID YES. Cutting a long story very slightly shorter, he said if he had the time he would do an interview with me and a month or so later there I was. Sitting next to Mick fuckin Foley with a dictaphone and my actual phone just in case the dictaphone fucked up, asking him questions. Interviewing Mick fuckin Foley. Fuck.

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It went by in a 15 minute literary heart attack. A blur. Somehow I was coherent. Somehow I asked questions that mattered to me and mattered to him. Besides transcribing it the day after I haven’t actually ever listened to it back, but a recording exists of me interviewing Mick Foley. That’s real and it fuckin scared the living shite out of my barely functional brain. How did we manage that one? The interview happened after a Micks standup show the night after ICW at the SECC, and he left for Manchester right after, with everyone else still at the venue. I remember standing outside waiting for a taxi when Billy Kirkwood pulled up on his way out asking if I was ok for a lift, and as soon as he pulled away a few tears ran down my cheek. I don’t know what specific feelings were attached to those tears at the time, but christ, around 2011-2012 I didn’t see a future for myself at all. In life. The only thing preventing multiple suicide attempts was cowardice and a reluctance to leave my loved ones with a similar pain to the one I felt every day just from being alive. The best future I seen for myself was somehow getting some kind of IT job as far away from the world as possible and becoming one of those middle aged guys with a shit tonne of money cause they spent their 20s and 30s hidden away from the world getting really invested in weird Japanese porn. The point is, to go from that daily torment to standing outside The Stand in Glasgow after having a dream literally come true, and being able to tell my long term partner about it later carried a significance that can’t be summed up properly with words. My self worth had never been higher in my adult life than it was at that point and well…fuck. Where do we go from there? The only way is dooooooown.

Truth be told from the moment I put that interview up until very recently something’s been missing. I don’t love doing this any less than I did at all. In fact quite the opposite. Often me not writing much is due to loving it a bit too much and fretting about coming up to this imaginary standard I’d set in my head. Truth be told if Mick Foley liked anything about my stuff it wasn’t the quality control aspect of it. I write what I feel and overthinking is very counter productive to doing that. Or at least doing it well. I went off anti-depressants, then back on them, and finally off them again. I got a job and for the first time in many years, maybe ever, I had a pretty normal life on the go. Girlfriend, job, even some friends for fucks sake! Something resembling a social life. Things to do that made sitting torturing yourself over the words you are writing and the word’s you haven’t been able to muster just wasn’t the same anymore. I think for a wee while I was denying it to myself that this is what I want to do with my life and quietly that was wreaking havoc on my self esteem all over again because I stopped doing one of the things. The things that made this mental illness shit seem like less of an “illness”. The things that lifted the proverbial black cloud. The key one was undoubtedly throwing myself fully into something I loved. Something I felt deep down I was born to do. Being a writer. Spending every spare moment writing for better or worse. It has to be this again.

For the past few months, on and off, I’ve struggled again. For the past 2 weeks or so, its been an unrelenting restlessness. A feeling that I’m not doing enough that’s been impossible to shake. Weirdly working in a paper shop was one of the triggers. Front page of one of the rags with a shiny celebrity (be fucked if I know who) telling us how she “Beat” depression. Turn to page fuck yersell to read how you can beat it too! The only time the media really want to cover mental illness is when there’s chaos involved in the lows, or triumph in the highs. No one wants to talk about the day to day struggle. No one wants to cover a story about a person having what they consider to be a good day purely because they overcame depression enough to eat a meal and leave the house. No one wants to talk to you about coping mechanisms, they either wan’t you to be a mess drowning in substance abuse or “cured”. There is no cure. You could be months, years, fuckin decades free of it and one day it could decide to fuck with you again for no reason. That’s the nature of it and telling folk otherwise, pushing this stupid idea that if you do certain things or be a certain way you can be rid of it for good, is something that will forever insult and eat away it me. The only thing you can do is make day to day life easier. Sometimes a lot easier. You can recover and learn to live with it. You can find things that help rather than habitially doing things that harm. One of the few things that helps me is doing this. Because it always has been and always will be a coping mechanism and that’s ok. I think I resented it being a coping mechanism for a wee while and stopped writing about mental illness because I only wanted happy things to be attached to this but that’s not what writing is. Writing is getting the wet-suit on and scuba’ing to the deepest darkest shitest most self doubt ridden corners of who you are and pulling out the words regardless. Fuck giving up. Fuck going backwards and reverting back to the guy who wanted to die. Fuck watching this writing caper pass me by for another minute. While having a full-time job fucks with it slightly, no more excuses. No more letting my brain talk me out of doing what I love. No more of anything between 3 and 6 weeks going by without a single word going on this site. I interviewed Mick Foley ffs. I am something. I am someone. I have depression.

ICW 6th Annual Square Go Review

sqgo2In its 6th year of being a thing, the ICW Square Go was held outwith Glasgow for the very first time this year. Newcastle has arguably become ICW’s second home, boasting good turnouts and fine atmospheres when the boaysies hit the toon, but taking one of their biggest events out of Glasgow was undoubtedly a bit of a risk. A risk first and foremost of unsettling the perennial moaners who think everything related to the company of any significance needs to happen in Glasgow or it just plain disnae count. A risk of perhaps not carrying on the special legacy of the show itself and risking it being below par in a different setting. A risk considering the fact that humans are at risk of spontaneous combustion at any time and any of the performers could have literally exploded at any time during the show. A risk….ach ye get the fuckin point eh, life is risky, but the 2017 Square Go in Newcastle was a stormer. Not that I’m personally advocating it being held there every year as a 20 minute bus to town is always more palatable than a 4 hour one to Newcastle but having one of the big shows in Newcastle every year is certainly a shout because they fuckin get it. Perhaps even more than some Glasgow crowds do these days. They get what ICW is all about and adjust their behaviour accordingly. AKA they go fuckin daft for it, and the 2017 Square Go was certainly a show worth whipping the skants aff for. Emotions.

Polo Promotions (c) vs Bird and Boar – ICW Tag Team Title Match

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The ICW Tag Division has been Polo Promotions out on their own for the best part of 2 an a half years. Only The 55 briefly provided regular competition as the Power Forward and Scotlands Beeeeeeeeest stood head, shoulders, knees and toes above the chasing pack. As shocking as the outcome of this match was, it was shocking and necessary at the same time. The extremely talented Bird and Boar have quietly built a reputation for their performances in ICWs tag division since making it to the final of the tournament to crown new champions after the Polos departure from the company in March last year. Along with The New Nation they have injected new life into the tag team division. At some point one of these teams was going to have to get one over on Polo Promotions. At some point someone had to get the edge, because the triumphs mean that much more with the odd dose of heartache chucked in for good measure. The titles will always be synonymous with Jackie Polo and Mark Coffey and I hope they win them again. Fuck it, I even hope yer 442 happens one of these days, but it wont be anytime soon. In fact, according to calculations, it will be at the very least 442 days from ICWs next show. Bird and Boar carried out the perfect execution of a solid gameplan. Hit the guy who you gave a concussion to a few weeks previous in the head. Hit him in the head a fucking lot. A plan Bird and Board were carrying out to perfection early on. Keeping Coffey isolated and hitting him with all sorts of Alabama Slams. Double team stuff involving bulldogs and sitout facebusters and just generally smashing him err the back of the dome.

The isolation of the Power Forward was brought to a close when he drove hard and dunked on Bird and Boar’s daft Welsh heids, or in other words he hit that penalty kick thing he does square on Bird’s jaw, freeing him up for a tag so hot it had ye sweatin oot that stone ye packed on shoving selection box fudges in yer gub at Christmas time. ENTER JACKIE POLO. Chop, jab, chop, jab, chop, jab, repeat to fade. Repeat till a Welsh guy’s jaw becomes nothing more than a stencil of a jaw. The idea of a jaw still existed, but physically it was no more than blueprints. In other words, Jackie jabbed and chopped his jaw clean aff. That’s the point we’re swinging for here. All the hits came out, rounded off with a nice atomic drop straight into the bridging Northern Lights suplex. Gid wrestling shit from nature’s gift. He took the boaysies to a scoop slam settlement after that, but the scoops done little to derail them. It was their night and nae doubt about it at all, Bird and Boar brought a level of performance worthy of champions. I particularly enjoy how much of their double team stuff is them chucking each other at their opponents in a variety of ways. Its good to watch. They’re good to watch and a couple of bad bastards intae the bargain, and in this lovely slice of tag team storytelling, the bad guys win. The bad guys win in every slice of any type of storytelling really, but that’s gettin in tae some deeper shit that needs left for another day. Focus on the wrestling for now, and the heartbreaking way in which Polo Promotions lost the gold.

Bird smacked Mark with an all too familiar chairshot for a two count, before lining up a much more sinister con-chair-to situation that Jackie broke up with a fuckin spleen remover of a spear. More a right good rugby tackle masquerading as a spear but it done the job as Jackie Polo continued to provide timely hauners to his dazed partner. Polo then hit a shoulderbreaker right into a sick looking crossface. Absolute snap yer neck, back and eh…face, all at the one time kind of thing, but just as Bird looked like he was about to tap, Boar broke it up with a Frog Splash before once again isolating Coffey and hitting their double team finisher, one of my favourite double team moves I think I’ve ever witnessed and have the pleasure of witnessing on a semi regularly basis. Semi regularly giving me a regular semi. Mrs Pattersons Revenge. I don’t get the reference, but I imagine its some kinda Welsh shit. Like John Hartson, leeks and Ryan Giggs shagging his brothers missus. Breaking it down its basically Mike Bird gutting his opponent by embedding his knees into the midsection before Boar comes off the top and sandwiches the aforementioned gutted opponent with a frog splash. A move worthy of winning any tag team match. Even if it was a fucking punt to the gut when it ended this one and Polo Promotions reign along with it.

A hugely important win for Bird and Boar and perhaps an important defeat for the Polo’s as well. Do they continue their quest to be regarded as the best tag team in the world and go after the titles again, or is this it. Personally I reckon they still have another epic run in the tag division in them, but who the fuck cares what I think, they’ll continue to do precisely whatever the fuck they want.

Lewis Girvan vs Andy Wild – Winner Is The Number One Contender For The Zero-G Title

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Felt a bit shite for these two as they were originally scheduled to be in a Triple Threat match with Kenny for the title on this show, but yer man Ricochet swooped in and snatched that title shot clean aff them like the big famous faster than the speed of shite American man he is. Kenny vs Ricochet is money and he was the last guy to pin Kenny in ICW so is technically due a shot, but Andy Wild and Lewis Girvan are definitely both more than deserving contenders and would undoubtedly have tore the house down with Kenny in their own way if they had the triple threat match for the belt. Instead they had a rematch following their ambiguity ridden contest to decide the number one contender and that’s still a nice thing, and it was indeed a very nice match. Also generally sound to see Andy Wild in a singles match again on one of ICWs showpiece shows. A role he is familiar with from the past and a role he’ll be hoping he gets to be familiar with in the future. Keep chucking folk clean err yer heid with that belly to belly suplex and I doubt we’ll be seeing Andy Wild leave us again anytime soon.

Girvan barely had the chance to catch his breath after a taxing jump from the middle rope to the canvas when making his entrance before Andy Wild was on him like chicken fried on rice. Big man had nae intention of leaving Newcastle without a shot at the Zero-G Title in his back pocket, and was on a mission to secure just that, chucking Girvan off the ropes with a beautiful overhead belly to belly. As motivated as he was to get back in the title picture, Andy Wild lost this match so I dunno if that means he literally can’t leave Newcastle until he secures a Zero-G Title shot now. Typed wursells into a corner here it would appear. Andy mate, if yer still in Newcastle right now, feel free to leave, it was just a figure of speech and I’m sure a Zero-G Title shot is right roon the corner mate. Get yersell up the road.

For Lewis Girvan that title shot is a frisbee heading straight between his eyes as he gets his shot this Sunday at The Garage. The latest shot for him in what has seemed like an endless quest to become the champion and carry on his gold laden legacy that began when he became ICWs first AND ONLY Catchweight Champion. He took Wild down with a gorgeous German Suplex before securing the win with a spinny bulldog type takedown followed by the same submission hold that made the bold Ricochet tap. Lewis Girvan vs Kenny Williams this Sunday. Pretty neat even if I done a wee greet for Andy Wild. Your day will come chief. Keep that chin up and keep chuckin cunts aboot, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in this life so far is that chuckin cunts aboot ALWAYS gets results. 

Kay Lee Ray (c) vs Kasey – ICW Women’s Title Match

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Kay Lee Ray is the fuckin boss. Nae disrespect to Sasha Banks, who is an incredible talent n aw that, a worthy carrier of the “Boss” nickname, but look at Kay Lee ‘fuckin Ray and tell me she’s no the absolute undisputed boss. No even amongst females, the boss of all humankind that happen to do the wrestling. Stoats out to the best entrance music on planet earth, with a wee look in her eye that says no matter how good you are, or how much you bring it, she’s gonnae bring it that wee bit more. Even if her opponent comes up with a career changing, life affirming, crowd captivating performance for the ages, Kay Lee will come up with something that wee bit better. She carries that belt like its been with her since the womb, even though ICW wisnae even a thing when she was in the womb, cause that’s just how convincing she is mate. In that womb inventing shit. Probably had her maw’s vital organs paying her rent for 9 months for the privilege of existing in the same body as her.

Kasey has a right good bit of momentum lately and is a very handy wrestler in her own right. Maybe she had Kay Lee’s number and we’d have another shocker on the cards. She certainly seemed to have the mental edge early on when Kay Lee responded to her offer of a handshake by spitting her chewing gum out in Kaseys hand, only for Kasey to scoop it straight into her gub and chow down and that spit slathered goodness. Ye dae know shes probably kissed boys with that mouth eh? And boys are disgusting mate. Kasey plainly gies nae fucks. Kay Lee contended with a lot of neat stuff from Kasey early doors and gained the upper hand by sidestepping a springboard cross body before taking Kasey to every corner and chopping the tits clean off her. I realise this has different meaning for Women’s matches and while its clearly a joke when talking about mens matches (unless its a Big E match right enough but his bosom is thankfully still in tact) folk lacking in a sense of humour might not get that its a joke, so in the interest of typing far too many words to explain something that could have been explained much more easily using less words, Kay Lee Ray did not actually chop Kasey to the extent that her tits actually fell aff. She did however, chop her really hard.

Kay Lee had the guillotine choke in hard ready to record the bossiest of victories only for Kasey to deadlift her right into a brainbuster in a sequence of moves you could describe as some real good wrestling shit. Kasey was impressive throughout and has certainly carved out a wee niche for herself in ICW lately, not to mention an expanding and increasingly vocal following. Fair fucks to her because shes had to proper graft at it to get there and is seeing that graft bearing fruit, a lovely wee combination of moves rounded off by a boot to the chops in the corner had her with the upper hand but it takes more than that to put the queen of the fuckin world to the sword. Kasey hit that springboard crossbody at the second time of asking but was soon picking her teeth up aff the canvas thanks to the Gory Bomb for a two count. Kay Lee’s finisher is The Gory Bomb, but she tends to do it 2 or 3 times in a row to finish off matches these days, probably because doing a more 2 or 3 times is about 2 or 3 times more painful than doing it 1 times. Simple mathematics mate. Did you no go tae school naw?

Kasey tried to get a cross armbreaker in but to no avail. A shame for her as it would have unquestionably been quite sare, but her valiant challenge was soon at its end with Kay Lee finished off with a Swanton Gory Sandwich. Which is the incredibly unimaginative name I’m giving two Gory Bombs with a Swanton in the middle. Kay Lee wins again. A baddie who wins clean because she’s just that fuckin good. Got a problem, write tae yer MP, while the rest of us fuckin wreck the place while her and Stevies music plays. Kay Lee Ray remains your ICW Women’s Champion, but this match certainly secured Kasey’s place as a worthy contender for that belt. Very good match. Overall I give it 19 and 1/2 stars out of 19 and 3/4s.

Kenny Williams (c) vs Ricochet – ICW Zero-G Title Match

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Watching Ricochet wrestle is like when you read a really good story with no punctuation no sentences no time for such frivolity when the action is coming at you so hard your eyes can barely stay in your skull your heart can barely stay in your chest your lungs can barely keep taking in air watching is a bit like reading this seemingly neverending sentence in the sense that when you do eventually get to the end of it you’re not quite sure what you just witnessed but you know it was good somehow someway it was fucking good no wait it was fucking great no wait it was so fucking great it made you finally put a full stop in.

Kenny Williams has been on a rerr terr since becoming Zero-G Champion once again at The Hydro and this match was utterly fucking breathtaking at times. Ricochet and folk of his ilk occasionally get pelters from the likes of Jim Cornette and other pre-historic windbags who think wrasslin should be plain ol boots, elbow pads and thumbs to the eye wrasslin at all times, but wrestling has evolved and now has guys who are more athletic than yer average decathlete and d’ye know whit old timers? thats just fine so it is. No one’s forcing your eyelids open and placing you at a show/in front of a TV making you watch it. I’m sure there’s some auld Glacier matches on the WWE Network you could be wiring into instead. Kenny vs Mr O’Shea (robbin Stevie Boys patter there soz x) was delightful and I was delighted to be in attendance for it. Now that we’ve all established we’re having a delightful time, lets talk about some pro wrass…I mean, sports enterta…i mean, its fucking wrestling mate.

The bold yin had hit a suicide dive on Kenny before the bell had even finished ringing before catching the champ mid air into a backbreaker. For all the flying about shit, Ricochet is quite a powerful chap anaw. He got Kenny in a standing bow n arrow stretch before gently easing him to the corner and chibbing his poor heid aff the middle turnbuckle a few times. Cheeky as fuck. Mr big famous American McCheekybaws is whit we’ll call ye fae now on. Kenny struggled to get a foothold in it all early on as the fleet footed fucker had him seeing stars but eventually he got in about it with a back elbow on the apron before they both done about 12 moves each in 3 seconds. Well that exaggerating a bit, but ye catch my drift. It was like the broadband I used tae steal fae the cunts next door; Super fast, and responsible for a lot of erections.

They stood and forearm smashed each other to fuck, and that signalled a slowing down of the action. A lot of matches don’t get past walking pace far less standing up and literally walloping a guy wae yer forearm pace so the fact that is was a slow down in the action tells you all you need to be knowing about this one. Ricochet reversed a Quiff Buster attempt into a Northern Lights suplex like some kinda 25 limb huvin cyclops of a cunt. How are you doing the things you do. Kenny nailed it on the second attempt right enough, but only for a thoroughly exasperating two count. Ricochet got a taste of similar exasperation  when Kenny kicked out of his shooting star press. Aw the near falls, aw the big massive moves to no avail and it was a cheeky wee rollup that got the job done for Kenny as he withstood the flippiest array of offence he’s ever faced to hold on to the gold. Official match rating – tap banana pal.

Wolfgang (c) vs Trent Seven – ICW World Heavyweight Title Match

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The Big Bad Wolf has had the edge over oor Trent. Make no mistake about it. Whilst Trent has had this almost romantic relationship with ICW and its fanbase, a romance that has driven him to victories over some of the very best in the company, yer man Wolfie is a guy who’s always had that edge. He’s turned Trent from a happy go lucky moustache twirling, front row winching, piledriving machine to a guy who cost HIMSELF the ICW Title at The Hydro by deciding he had to put those brass knuckles on and smash Wolfie while they were both perched on top of a steel cage. Turning Trent from charmingly reckless to just plain old reckless. A loveable dafty to just a dafty. Then Wolfie overcame his familiar foe by just simply being the better man when the two faced each other in WWE’s UK Championship tournament. The tide was due for turning. Trent is too fucking good for it not to and eventually he figured out what it took. Just keep getting up. Keep getting up and keep forcibly inflicting blunt trauma to the opponents skull. Even if the cunt’s a superhuman flying wolf, he’s going to eventually fall. On this night there as just nae way Trent’s shoulders were sticking to the canvas for a count of three, even if ye attached an anchor to the cunt and put the ring at the bottom of the ocean, still nae way he’d be down for free and logistically it would be really difficult to aim him in such a way that he’d even land in the ring at all, but that’s neither here, nor is it there. Wrestling match.

What a match it was. It kicked off fast paced which caught me off guard a wee bit. All sorts of chops and finisher attempts. Both seemingly trying to get it over with quick before someone ended up falling from a great height on to some form of hard surface. These are boys wae WWE commitments, cannae be breaking yer neck on a Sunday night in Newcastle then ye get the call to batter lumps out Mojo Rawley on Smackdown on Tuesday and ye need to tell Daniel Bryan “cannae dae it mate, ma neck got shattered to bits cause Wolfgang chucked me down a mad green tunnel and I fell into hunners of gold coins” so it made sense to try and end it early but it was to no avail. This was always going to be an epic, and if everyone’s necks were in tact at the end up, we’re winning. They took it into the crowd and literally burst a hole in a wall which reminded me of the time recently Sha Samuels chucked Kid Fite into a puggy and went “send the bill to Dallas!” like being on a wrestling show makes you immune to the consequences of breaking shit. Poor Dallas. Cunt’s got a family but cannae take a wage oot to feed them cause his employees keep throwing each other in tae stuff and bursting it. I don’t think the puggy broke right enough, but our need to gamble is a symptom of how broken our society is, and that’s deep.

After making a Trent shaped hole in the Newcastle Academy’s wall, Wolfy dragged him to the side of the ring only for Trent to try and suplex him on the narrow metal ramp ICW use for shows in not massive venues. Wolfy eventually reversed it into a backdrop and that was the point I realised I love Trent very much. Too much to take any pleasure in seeing his spine get leathered aff some cold hard steel so many times, even if my heart wanted Wolfy to retain, my heid also wants Trent Seven’s spine in tact. Can we just take the ramp after they make their entrances when Trent has a match? I don’t want to see the man die one day cause he thought it was a cool idea to take a powerbomb off The Garage balcony on to the ramp. The ramp’s role in the action wasn’t done, with Wolfgang proceeding to chuck Trent into the crowd before hitting a motherfuckin’ standing moonsault off the stage to the floor. Wolfgang is 6 foot suhin and 18 stone of big bruising bastard so the fact that he does majestic almost floaty moonsaults will never cease to be amazing to me. Nae doubt about it, if it was to be his last night as ICW World Champion he was putting on a show. A snarling at the crowd, knocking fuck out his opponent, and displaying his full range of skills type of show. Its just a shame for him he ran into the rubber band man on this night. He was never staying down for the three. Impossible. An indestructible tower of handsome wae a beautiful beard attached to it. It was his night, but in truth it was both of their nights. They tore the house down, and if they didn’t fuckin hate each other so much it would have been the type of fight ye shake hands about after while the crowd chant “both these guys!” and completely forget whit wrestling actually is. Also, please dont chant “both these guys!” quietly like both if ye want, but please pick one when the actual wrestling is happening.

Wolfy launched a near deid looking Trent into the ring only for Trent to somehow power up and immediately land a suicide dive square on Wolfys chin. Wolfy’s immediate and devastating retort was to hit a popup powerbomb on the apron because of course it fuckin wis. It was literally the only thing left that might hurt him more than the punishing he’d given him throughout the match but it still didn’t get it done. There better be a machete or a rocket launcher or suhin in that singlet big man cause if not, yer no puttin el Trenty boy down. Trent invited him to hit him with more. Is there anything else? Kitchen sink perhaps (oh ho, we’re planting seeds, stay tuned to see where this one goes) or maybe the only thing that could do it was Trent’s own go to move. The piledriver. Nailed it. 1,2,3……surely.

Not on this night. A bullet to the brain followed by welding his shoulders to the canvas just in case still wouldn’t have been enough. It was just Trent Seven’s time to become ICW Champion. Simple as that. He kicked out of that at one before hitting a dragon suplex straight into the piledriver. It felt like all that pressure, all that punishment, all that momentum Wolfgang had instantly transferred into Trent’s body. Like when ye could steal the opponents finisher in WWE 2ksuhin. He stole Wolfys lifeforce. That was it. Game over. But Wolfy had reserves. Wolfy is the fucking World Champion, and it was gonnae take more than a single piledriver to get it done. Try 15. Try a mallet err the napper. Try the rainmaker clothesline for another two count. Fuck. Maybe neither of them were gonnae win and they’d just keep doing this until they both die off or just agree to a draw and go home while theres still enough left of them to vaguely resemble a human being. Fuck.

Lowblow, slam-dunk, into the swanton that he calls “The Howling” from Wolfy. Impressive. Nae dice. Two count. How is he still kicking out? Someone was definitely gonnae die for this shiny belt. A shiny reminder of who the fuckin best is. Chair shots to Trent’s back seemed to weaken him but he Hulked up once again and pulled they brass knucks out his skants one more time. This time he knew what he wanted to do. Catch him up top, KO with the Brass Knuckles, piledriver straight on to some steel chairs. Deid. Trent Seven is your new ICW World Heavyweight Champion.

Wolfgang’s recent rise to prominence as ICW Champion and a standout in the WWE UK title tournament has been as invested in anything to do with wrestling I’ve personally been in a long time, so I say this with a heavy heart, but Trent certainly deserved it when it was all said and done. He has put his body on the line and captivated this audience and the reaction for him winning said it all. The people wanted it and he deserved it, but fuckin appreciate what Wolfgang was as your ICW champion and appreciate what he means to Scottish Wrestling. An ambassador. A standout performer every time he gets in that ring. And a fuckin good guy into the bargain. Even when he’s playing a right bad yin. I hope he goes over there and smashes it but still gets to stay here and smash it, so basically we need Wolfgang to be smashing every promotion, everywhere, forever. Congratulations Trent. Just the winner of a 30 man over the top rope scrap to worry about now. Nae big deal. Match rating 115 stars out of 114.2.

The 6th Annual Square Go Match

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Weird as fuck that this year’s Square Go started off with two of my favourite cunts and they are such polar opposites in terms of character. Lionheart was quietly ICW’s 2016 MVP, elevating other talents and himself in the process during his run with the Zero-G Title. Ravie Davie I just dunno what kind of evil ye need to be to not like this guy. Each to their own n that, but I’ve seen nothing from him in the ring that suggests he’s not capable of being a professional wrestler. Quite the opposite in fact, he’s got a quirky style and I’m intae it. So what’s the problem some folk have? Is it offensive that he seems to be having the time of his life? Should he fire out some passive aggressive tweets about wrestling fans and the rules if they have the audacity to try and interact with him aye? Ye prefer that? The crowd in Newcastle fuckin loved him and rightly so. Him and Lionheart duked it out for a bit before both landing on their erses after a double clothesline.Chris Ridgeway was next in and for a brief moment Davie forgot the rules to this wrestling caper and actually trusted a villain. Shaking Ridgeways hand seemingly in agreement to join forces to leather Lionheart only for Ridgeway to scud his jaw with a big sexy kick.

Aaron Echo joined the party after that, and this time it was Lionheart and Ridgeway who forgot the rules. Shaking hands with a good guy seemingly with the agreement that all three of them would smash fuck outta David The Rave-id, pap him out, and huv a wee tea break after it, but Echo was having none of it and levelled Ridgeway with a beauty of a spinning forearm. Next up we had Sam Barbour another GPWA fella who stuck his lolly in Ridgeways gub, before Johnny Moss entered and ended aw the nonsense. Knocking everycunt down before mercilessly tossing Ridgeway out. Next in was Rampage Brown and I fuckin unashamedly love Rampage Brown right. I really dae. He should be an ICW regular in more places than Newcastle, but his first action was the most disappointing part of the Square Go for me as he papped Aaron Echo out. Was really hoping for Echo to get a good run this year, he’s had hunners of momentum and is an outstanding talent in general. Gutted to see him go out so early but see next year? big man’s winning it. He has all the tools and over the next year we’ll see it all come together and Aaron Echo will be a major player in ICW and wrestling in general. Rampage continued to run riot. Dumping Sam Barbour out, before Ravie Davie made an ill advised attempt to get in the middle of a Rampage and Mossy staredown and got tossed out with reckless abandon. Nae amount of puffing the chest oot is gonnae help when you’re wilfully getting in amongst a couple of big eat the breid bastards like them. After Davie was disposed of we had the showdown we all wanted from the moment they entered. Mossy and Rampage. Two guys who I’m sure we’d all welcome seeing a lot more of in ICW, and two of the finest heavyweights in Europe. Fuck it, the world. Fuck it even more, the universe. They chopped vital organs out of each other before Lionheart done a wee sneaky in and eliminated them both. Another sickener, would have liked to have seen both of them in for longer, forming an unlikely alliance to eliminate everycunt but we did get to see Mossy chuck Rampage clean over his heid with a belly to belly to throw and that was good content indeed. The best of content.

Stevie James entered next, followed by 2016’s most improved Welshman, the bold Iestyn Rees. Never has a wrestling opinion I’ve held changed so drastically than my opinion of big Iestyn. Could not go him at all, didnae get it, was not my cup of tea at all but I was wrong. Over the past 6 months or so he’s slowly turned me into a believer and the shite Chris Masters patter is utter nonsense cause Chris Masters is absolutely shite enough all on his own. A shiter version of him would be someone exactly like him cept he cannae make his pecs dance. Iestyn entered with the leather strap and scudded Stevie James a belter wae it, before his Purge team-mate Krobar entered with a Kendo Stick (not a crobar….for some reason) and provided some timely hauners, before Davey Boy entered and took everycunt out with a variety of spinny spears. Joe Hendry was next up with a new entrance video poking fun at Lionheart taking selfies with his dug again. Its a laugh n that right, I get it, but see when you’ve got a cute dug, you have a moral obligation to take a hunner million selfies with it so the next wee ditty referencing this fact should be CELEBRATING the selfies. Maybe a wee montage of all the best yins with a Phil Collins number gently serenading us in the background. Joe added injury to insult when he flung Lionheart over the top rope only for Hearto to climb back in and eliminate Hendry. Never been a fan of that rule, that people not in the match can eliminate ye. Imagine ye faw aff yer horse in the grand national but its perfectly legal to jump on a moped and run doon the rest of the field so no one else gets to win. Nonsense. Oh speaking of folk not in the match, Austin Osiris and Kyle Khaos came down and were immediately tossed out by The Purge and in entirely related news, I love The Purge now. Even though one half of them was tossed out after being put through a table by Davey Boy before DCT entered the fray to save the day (HES GONNA SAVE THE DAAAAAAAAAAAAAY)

DCT made a beeline for Davey probably because they heavy hate each other these days for some reason. Flex Hunter was next in, entering with his new manager the bold Chris Toal, chucking out fellow GPWA original Krobar first before standing toe to toe with big Iestyn and getting the better of my new favourite wrestler, eliminating him and looking mean as fuck. Folk compare him to big Nash but yer man was busting out spin kicks to the jaw here, and they didn’t look incredibly awkward so give the Flexas Rattlesnake a bit more credit than that eh. Even if his jacknife is on point, he’s nae Kevin Nash copy. Hair’s a different colour n everything. Jason Prime was in next and that was when this Square Go really started to take shape, I’d genuinely forgot The New Nation were with The Wee Man anaw but out came Alexander Henry next to form an alliance with Davey Boy. Three guys, one entrant in at a time, toss them out one by one and fight it out between the three of ye. Big Flex was out anaw thanks to about 50 folk, so surely it would be plain sailing for the wee mans trio of terrors, as they heartbreakingly papped DCT out anaw. Christopher Saynt was the next entrant and was duly disposed of despite coming close to sending Henry packing before their wee party was broke up by not one, but fuckin BOTH of The NAK entering one after the other. BT getting rid of Jason Prime, before Renfrew fended off an onrushing Davey Boy to enter and send Henry over the top rope. Renfrew was also in hospital earlier in the week and wasn’t supposed to be there, but the Square Go is his show. The Square Go made him famous, and if he wasn’t having one of the best matches of his career in the title match this year, he was just gonnae have to fall out with his best pal instead. Is it NAK till death, or  NAK till the death of BT Gunn and Chris Renfrew’s friendship?

Davey was tossed out like a used Johnny before BT and Renfrew teed off on each other with sickening chops. Folk tend to sleep on Renfrew’s chops because BT’s are so notoriously sickening but Renfrew is one of the better chopslingers in this grapplin game and more than held his own as they sorted this tension out the only way they know how. Leathering each other and everyone within a 50 mile radius of them, but they were soon working as a unit again when the next entrant revealed himself to be their mortal enemy and the guy I quietly hoped would have his big moment on this show. Career making shit if someone like Stevie Boy was to win it, and here he was, entering with hunners of momentum and a decent number anaw. If he could survive the NAK barrage it might just be his. Kenny Williams stoated out for some reason and tossed Stevie to the wolves, before Kay Lee Ray attempted to provide hauners for her man and got a kick square in the jaw for her troubles. Kid Fite was next in to provide some knock yer teeth oot and shove them down yer maws throat type of Glesga-ness to the affair, forming a brief alliance with Stevie before Martin Kirby entered to a huge reaction. Fito reminded Kirby of his ill fated run with The 55 (before it became a tag team it was a stable with hunners of folk in it) and ordered him to run out to the nearest Costa and get yer auld Da Fito two muffins. Nae drinks, cause unless its lager or anything oot a glass bottle saying “Barrs” on it, its no passing Fitos lips. Kirby was having none of it and shook off the ghost of his ICW past with a big kick to Kid Fites dome. Sha Samuels was next in to a rapturous reception, which is nice but still fuckin weird to hear folk go daft for the best baddie in the UK. He immediately set about Kid Fite, probably because he stuffed him in the boot of a car the last time they seen each other and being in the boot of a car is uncomfortable. I hope their feud gets a big spot on a big show. Its not really happened for a variety of reasons but there’s nae doubt that there’s a cracker of a scrap in them that deserves a big stage. James Scott appeared next and was impressive throughout. He’s been on the ball since making his comeback and it makes ye wonder why he was ever away. Mind you the wee spell not seeing him wrestle made you appreciate how good he is. From one Jimmy to another as yer man Jimmy Havoc made his ICW return next. Coming in and leathering everycunt with some serious rainmakers. Absolute sickeners. Even when hes a good-ish guy in the wrestling he still gives off the vibe of a guy who would stab you for the rest of yer pint and thats a level of danger that can win a Square Go. Easy. Unless you meet a foe who cannot be stabbed, like a man made of iron.

Joe Coffey entered at number 26 and for once, the thing that was supposed to happen only went and happened. After the best part of 3 years grafting to get to the very top, only to be knocked back down time after time. No yet Joe. Its not your time yet. Keep at it though. Keep on having the best match of the night and knocking yer pan in and one day it’ll come. He probably stopped believing it would. After lasting the whole match last year only to be toppled by a fresh as a fuckin daisy Wolfgang at the last hurdle. Earning the right to face Damo for the ICW World Title again and conquering the beast only for that same fresh as a fuckin daisy Wolfgang to stroll out and snatch it all away once again. Two guys the big bad Wolf has almost had a hex over for the past year toppled him in the same night. A cosmic shift and one that will see the hunger sparked in Wolfgang once more. At the top of his game and the shackles of being an out and out baddie take off him, he’ll be just fine after this but right now as far as the title’s concerned Joe and Trent’s time. Joe immediately put Sha Samuels, Kid Fite and Martin Kirby out before a familiar foe surfaced to fuck it aw up once more. None other than Liam Thomson wae the kitchen sink. Naw wait….it is Liam Thomson with a kitchen sink, but that’s not the foe we’re on about, instead Wolfy jumped out, mistaking the sink Liam had for his sink at home with the intention of delivering a sound thrashing to the guy who stole his sink. Not content with delivering said thrashing, Wolfgang decided to take his place in the Square Go as well. Getting that shiny belt back almost as soon as he dropped it. Tap of his fuckin game. It might have been a night where the big man snatched joy from the jaws of misery but it wisnae. It was Joes night. My heart wanted it to be Stevie Boys night but he was dumped out unspectacularly as Wolfgang hit the ring. Better days are coming for you Stevie ma man.You n Aaron Echo in the final two next year.

Drew Galloway represented major competition to both of the most recent former ICW Champions entering at number 28. Fresh and right good at slinging out doings. James Scott got slingshotted clean out by Joe Coffey somewhere in amongst it all before Joe and Drew renewed their own bitter rivalry with a chop war, ended by that whole row of yer bottom teeth removing kick he does, before he dished out a Futureshock to Wolfgang for a giggle. Big man looked fired up and took Jimmy Havoc out the equation with a big boot before another former ICW Champion entered. The man who usurped Drew, and the man who had every single body in Newcastle singing his tune. Fuck yer copyright. Mare lit fuckin…..copySHITE. WHEN YOU CALL HIS NAME, GRADO’S GONNAE TAKE YE THERE.

Of course he instantly stood toe to toe with Renfrew because they cannae be in the same building without somehow ending up jabbin each other. Cunts could be at the opposite ends of Buchanan Galleries, absent mindedly shopping away and 5 seconds later they’re chuckin each other intae the Pizza Hut buffet. I actually dunno if Buchanan Galleries has a Pizza Hut, but the point is, they fight a lot. They jabbed each other repeatedly before Renfrew got BT Gunn involved and whipped him towards Grado in the corner. Grado lifted him over the top rope on to the apron and ducked as Renfew came flying in forearm first, knocking BT Gunn aff the apron. Aye. That’s right. Chris Renfrew put BT Gunn out the Square Go. NAK fans hold on to yer arseholes because this one seems to be happening. Its either a big tease or we’re gonnae see BT Gunn and Renfrew smashing each other again soon. Renfrew barely had time to aim a “mate….sorry” at BT before Grado and papped him out. There would be no NAK winner of the Square Go this year, and maybe nae NAK at all soon.

Last but not feart to stick a finger up yer bum was Jack Jester. Right in amongst the battle with Drew Galloway because they hate each other again n that. Seems like a decade ago Drew settled his feud with Jester by ending his year long reign with the belt. Ye just get used to them palling aboot, being really sarcastic and pretending to jizz on folk. But there they were, sluggin it out, exchanging hits to the baws before Drew tossed Jester on the apron and aimed a running boot at him only for Jester to pull to top rope down and bounce him out. There goes the big guy, and here comes Galloway vs Jester part two. Jester barely had time to enjoy it before Grado had taken advantage of him hovering near the ropes too long and slung him out. And then there were three. The last three guys to hold the ICW Title not called Damo or Chris Renfrew. Dont think that stat works actually. Point is, they’ve aw had the belt. Wolfgang had it like an hour earlier. They aw want it again. Wolfgang and Joe came to a weirdly heartening understanding to battle it out as the final two one last time and joined forces to put Grado out. Poor Grado. He was pretty much single handedly responsible for eliminating three former ICW Champions and they were both lit “oot ye go”. Oot he went. One more time. Coffey vs Wolfy. Big time shit on the line.

Fair fucks to them both, because they pretty much had a match to finish this off. Exchanging finishers with Coffey missing The Swanton and Wolfy hitting the discus. Both having their fair share of wobbles on the apron as they desperately tried to stay in it. Joe also logged a worrying amount of time on and around the top rope. Always a dangerous game in a battle royale, but it was his night. Nae way anyone was coming in between him and the big prize again and Wolfy attempted to dump Joe out , only for Joe to smash Wolfy tae fuck over the top rope with “Aw The Best For The Bells” to become the number one contender once again. It was his night and he fuckin undoubtedly deserved it. The spoils without anything or anybody fucking it up. As frustrating as its been at times, its a tremendous bit of storytelling for him to triumph in the midst of so many former champions and folk who have actively stood in his way in the past. Poetic to finally get there by putting the big bad Wolf to the sword. 

Trent stoated out for a wee look at his first hurdle. Whenever he takes his shot, he’ll forever be Trent’s first hurdle as champ. He’s always in there mentally. A danger at any time, and a guy who can beat anyone in the company fair and square, so imagine how much of a danger he’ll be when he can pick his moment? Nae wonder Trent came out. He needed to show Joe he wisnae feart. Come ahead whenever you’re ready Iron Man. Wolfy had one last desperate grab at Trents belt before being ushered away raging. The adversity will definitely work in his favour in the long run but it was a pure gutter to see him knocked off his perch then booted in the baws when he tried to get back on that perch. Double perch related traumas for the big man. Trent called for a couple of beer and they toasted their respective victories but each toast got more “my Da’s bigger than your Da” and eventually they needed separated. Joe wanted to cash it in there and then but he’s smarter than that. He’s learned from all the shite slung at him. Wait for the right moment. It all ended amicably but that battle will happen with that shiny belt on the line, and when it does it’ll be fucking immense.

The Square Go overall was excellent. Tag title and world title matches both top drawer. Every match was fucking excellent actually. More Aaron Echo in the Square Go and more Stevie and it would have been perfect but that’s just personal preference. The final moments were reserved for the all-stars and maybe Stevie’s not in that bracket yet but if he’s not he’ll get there. He’s right on the cusp of it. Overall I give the 6th annual square go a star rating of Alan Shearer cannae jump. Cheers Newcastle x