Insane Fight Club – A Review

ICW

Be something else.

If ye want eh. Nae pressure, but if it’s in ye, then be something else. If it’s in yer heart, and ye wake up every morning knowing that the only way tae achieve true contentment is tae dae that thing that a burning passion for exists inside yer fuckin soul, then dae that thing. Dae it tae yer hauns don’t look like hauns anymore. Dae it tae feet swell up tae twice their normal size (in fact…don’t dae that…thats probably not healthy, and it’s a fine way tae burst a pair of slippers) Dae it tae people get sick of ye tellin them about it, and when they get sick of it? dae it a few times more. Be who you are. Don’t let anyone marginalise and belittle you for having dreams. Even if those dreams urnae entirely based in reality.

The above are all things I already knew, but until something like Insane Fight Club comes along, yer faith in such things can waver. Life can wear ye down. Force ye tae conform. Force ye tae settle. Settle intae a person characterised by a 9 tae 5. Living in a bubble. Daein the same things day after day, week after week, month after month…year…after year, after fuckin year. I wis one of those people. Aside fae going tae watch Celtic I lost aw the passions that defined me as a wean. Allowed what they aw told me was normal to define how I saw the world. Wrestling’s fake, it’s for weans, you’ll grow outta that son. Ye can pick a trade, like the fitbaw, go for a pint in the same pub every week, come hame tae monotony and like it. Thats whit life’s aboot. Huv a job, huv a family, lose aw the passion for everything ye’ve ever believed in, and become a clone. Talk tae yer mates about the wife and weans. Talk tae yer mates about that wee barmaid that shows ye 3 quarters of a tit when she bends doon tae fetch yer bottle of of whitever generic lager yer drinkin oot the fridge. Be whats accepted. Be clean-shaven. Keep yer hair its natural colour. Don’t have tattoos where anyone can see them. Dont think, dont do, dont feel…anything.

Or you could be something else.

You could be someone else.

You could be…you.

For me that’s what Insane Fight Club was all about. Exposure for a company that encourages you tae be you. Encourages entertainment to be fuckin entertaining. Encourages people tae come together and celebrate originality. Cause that’s what professional wrestling is about and always has been about. That’s why most people dont get it. That’s why most people pull that face when ye tell them yer gaun tae the wrestling. ye know the one I’m on about eh. THAT fuckin face. Like ye instantly morphed intae a 5 heided alien and shat in their back pocket. Whit the fuck are you…an adult…daein gaun tae the wrestling? They might get it now eh.

Wrestling for me has also always been about storytelling, and that wis the very first thing I realised about ICW when I attended my first show 18 months ago. These cunts wurnae fuckin aboot. They didnae want ye tae leave the venue satisfied wae what ye got for yer tenner, they want ye tae leave captivated. They wanted ye tae tell yer pals, and for them tae tell their pals, and for their pals tae go up the roof of the high flats and shout it tae anycunt in earshot. ICW is here. Ye bored wae how yer life’s gaun? Bored wae watchin the same shite on the tele and daein the same shite? Be something else if ye want. Come wae us tae The Garage. Jump on the train wae us tae Edinburgh. Be something else.

Be someone like Grado. A guy who on the surface is just like you and me. He goes tae his work, he loves his faimly, he loves his burd. He has worries, he has heartache, he faws oot wae folk, he makes in wae them again. He gets steamin and does daft shit, might even whitey noo and again, but on the weekends? he’s a superhero. When he puts that singlet on and gets the patter gaun in front of a camera? he’s a fuckin SUPERSTAR, with a palpable charisma, and love for what he does. Something ye cannae fake. Something ye cannae quite put yer finger on either, but its something that keeps yer eyes glued tae whit yer seeing. Its something else. When the show opened tonight wae him going through his entrance routine, staunin up on the bed, clatterin his heid aff a lampshade and gien it laldy. That same light wis in his eyes that we all see when he actually makes that entrance at ICW. That same light ye seen when he spoke of his pride about wrestling his hero. See that light? that’s the light of a man chasing a fuckin dream, and going places wae it. After this? fuck knows. It’s hard to envisage a situation where that kind of exposure tae his humour and all round brilliance disnae lead tae stardom. I cannae imagine a scenario where this disnae lead tae Grado making a living off being Grado. Being Grado is nae mean feat btw. It takes a fuckin huge set of cojones tae strut intae Nicky Clarks salon and be Grado. It takes an even huger set tae wander up and down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh in a singlet being Grado, cause a hilarious cunt in a singlet isnae the norm. Its no whit they expect. It’ll get ye funny looks, but fuck the funny looks. Dae it anyway. Dae it because its who you were meant tae be.

Be someone like Jack Jester. Be a dreamer. If ye can make a list of what ye want tae be when ye grow up and that list includes “Wrestler, Tattoo Artist and Clown” then yer haufway there. Comfortable in yer own skin. Support of a good family behind ye who don’t try to force ye intae being something yer not. Like everyone else, making his family proud is a big deal tae Jack Jester, so tae become ICW Champion at the show where his da first seen his wee boy dae the thing that makes him happy must have been overwhelming. More than a feeling. A fuckin moment. When one of yer best mates can grab ye seconds before ye go out there in front of over 1000 people, and tell ye that hes proud of ye, and this is your moment, that’s when ye know ye’ve picked the right path. That’s when ye know being something else wis the right choice. That person was Mark Dallas, the founding father and owner of ICW, and he gave Jack that speech right before having to watch two of his best mates beat each other tae a bloody pulp. The match was Mikey Whiplash vs Jack Jester for the ICW Title and it wisnae for the faint hearted. Corkscrews, hangmans rope, elbow drops through tables, blood in so dense in yer eyes that ye cannae see the guy who yer pretty much trying to kill. A fuckin war, and much like Jesters da in the audience, Dallas watched it wae that same parental anxiety. As iconic a moment as it was when Jester rolled Whiplash up to realise his dream, I imagine the feeling for Dallas was more of a relief. His pals brutalised each other for the entertainment of you and I, but they came out of it alive. And Jack Jester came out of it as the ICW Champion.

As a dyed in the wool fan, the person I learned the most from in this documentary was Mark Dallas. Mark Dallas disnae put out youtube videos giving ye an insight as tae who he is. Mark Dallas disnae knock a hunner shades of shite out of cunts. Mark Dallas is the fuckin boss. If shit goes wrang, it’s on him. With the weight of expectation on his shoulders with each and every passing show, it would be incredibly easy for him tae be ICW. 24/7, that’s aw he’d be. Eat, sleep, drink, shite and breathe ICW, but that’s no what Mark Dallas is about. He’s committed tae making this company a success aye, and long term he’d love tae be able tae facilitate a situation where each and every wrestler on his roster can call themselves a full-time professional wrestler, but Mark Dallas isnae all about ICW. Mark Dallas is about his family, he’s about his mates, he’s about having the life that you and I all secretly crave. Or perhaps not so secretly. He gets tae live the dream, and have aw the stresses and strains that come wae it. He gets tae staun in the middle of a venue as big as the ABC, look intae every single corner of it and go “I’m gonnae full this fucker full of people” He gets tae sit down wae another one of his best mates (a mate named Chris Renfrew who happened tae crack him over the back of a skull wae a kendo stick not long beforehand) and he gets tae construct aw these storylines that we buy intae month after month. That’s his fuckin job, and it’s probably a lot less secure than what a lot of folk call a “job” but its a job worth doing. A life worth living. When he told the story about his wee boy telling him he didnae want tae go to nursery that day because he felt “different” it melted my heart. If it didnae melt yours yer made of stone mate, seek help for that. It must be a parents worst nightmare that, cause even if ye encourage different, it’s no something ye want yer wean tae feel in a negative light. Its no something ye want tae be a worry. Its something ye want tae see worn like a badge of honour. So he had a wee greet in the other room, composed himself and showed his boy that its awrite tae be different. Different’s cool wee man. Different is whit ye want. Different just means ye think in a way that they cannae understand, but why would ye want them tae?

Were there any negatives? I widnae say so. If its a case of personal preference, I’d have loved tae have heard from Red Lightning a bit. A captivating man with a mic in his hand, but in terms of giving yer average punter a wee glimpse of what ICW is all about, with only an hour tae work with, the documentary was near perfect. It’s the first documentary of this nature that didnae try tae rip the pish either. It wisnae about making wrestling seem stupid, and poking fun at those who put their heart and soul intae it. It fuckin glamorised it, and rightly so. It made me proud to be a wrestling fan, a Glaswegian and most importantly, it made me proud tae be a fan of ICW. A place where its awrite tae be different. A place where its awrite tae have a pillow fight in the middle of George Square. A place where its awrite tae wonder how a midget could be best used creatively (sorry Chris, luv you bbz x) A place where its awrite tae encourage the viewers of a national TV show tae let Davie feed ye his gravy. A place where its awrite tae be something else. If ye want tae that is. Nae pressure 😉

ICW is more than an independent wrestling promotion. ICW is a culture. ICW is the place where I re-discovered my passion for professional wrestling, and if ye could watch Insane Fight Club and not rediscover yours, or at least come out of it with a respect for what these men and women put on the line every single time they step through that curtain, then I dunno mate. There’s somethin wrang wae ye.

Honestly. It’s awrite. Be something else. Look intae that mirror in the morning at yer battle worn coupon and say it with me….”ITS YERSEL!!!”

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