The plan today was to do a bit of a longer thing about Drew Mcintyres future and all that, but I’ve no got a long post in me today. Been looking at jobs, and putting my appendix on EBay, so right not I’m a bit too pre-occupied trying tae book mysell in tae have it removed without having appendicitis or anything. So we’ve pushed the Drew article till the morra, but it’s coming. Don’t sweat it.
Since not much has happened today, I decided to write a wee bit about one of my favourites on the Scottish Scene, and a guy who hasn’t been seen much lately, the bold Red Lightning. Lightning has always been a character who’s intrigued me. He was the ICW Champion when I first discovered the company, having just taken the belt from BT Gunn 2 shows prior to my first one, Super Smokin Thunderbowl. As an ICW novice, I had no idea to expect from this show, where he would defend his title against a guy called Grado. “He’s dead funny…if he wins he’ll jump intae the crowd!” I was told excitedly. That and “They have a guy who worked with WWE and TNA” (Lionheart) were pretty much the only pieces of info I had on ICW before going to my first show, but nae mention of the champ. Nae mention of the top guy. My pals had only been to one show, and only saw Lightning work a short re-match with BT Gunn, so they really didn’t have a chance to see him at his best. The match with Grado marked the start of a very underrated reign for Lightning, which for me was a vintage heel title run. Know what made it so special? He was always fucking over YOUR guy. Aye that’s right. You. No anycunt else, I mean you. If you were a regular at ICW Shows during Red Lightnings reign, he inevitably pinned one of your favourite guys. That’s what he done. That was the trademark of his reign. No matter who ye put in front of him, he would wind up pinning him in the middle of that ring somehow, and he didnae gie a fuck how much lying, cheating and stealing he had tae utilise tae get the job done.
The Grado match embodied everything that made Red Lightning such a strong champ, after seemingly dropping the belt to Grado in a sweat soaked, storytelling belter of a match, where Red led a decidedly less seasoned Grado through a match in a broken ring. After Grado pinned him and seemingly took the belt, Lightning appeared at the end of the show and demanded Mark Dallas and Grado joined him in the ring, where revealed that his foot was under the bottom rope for the decision. Dallas re-started the match, and Grados title reign was never official as Lightning hit the Michinoku Driver and fled intae the night with his reign in tact. Its wee touches like that which made Lightnings reign special for me. The rare thrill of giving the fans that big payoff, with the internet sensation, and perennial underdog Grado getting his big moment, only for the big bad bully to come along and take it away fae him.
He went on to continually deny ICW Icons from what they thought was their destiny. Chris Renfrew was defeated next, after he was revealed as Lightnings next opponent moments after Red ended the short (and unofficial) reign of Grado, but his dream died at the hands of his best mate BT Gunn. Returning to stab his pal in the back. Another wee touch that added to the sleekitness of Red Lightning. Did he put BT Gunn uptae it? Turns out that wasn’t the case, but once again, a wee bit of sheer evilness comes into play, and the result is Red Lightning pinning YOUR guy. Its always him stoating out with the belt, while the guy 90% of the crowd wanted to win is left on his back and THAT’S what a heel champion should be. The winner. No matter whit.
He continued that trend with successful defences of the belt towards the end of 2012, including an elimination fatal four way match at Fear and Loathing, where he put THREE of your favourites to the sword. Everyone seemed to assume that either Lionheart or Wolfgang were gonnae fulfil their dream of becoming the first ever winner of the Scottish Grand Slam. With Lionheart announcing his retirement at the end of that calendar year, with his last ICW match coming against Wolfgang at the December show Santa Gravy, I assumed that match would be a “One Last Chance” type scenario for Hearto, with Wolfgang taking the belt. It made sense. Wolfgang had been built up perfectly to that point, and has just had a breathtaking match with Fergal Devitt at Hadouken! so of course Red Lightning pinned your guy. He pinned both of them, and Noam Dar in the process. Disnae matter if Lionheart helped him pin Wolfgang in the end. That’s just another reason to hate him. A true heel champion. A guy who’ll defend against anyone they ask him tae, but if he needs tae dislodge a jaw or two with the belt and the plate that disnae stay on, he’ll dae it.
I suppose the whole point in this havering nonsense, is no matter how big or flashy ICW gets in the future. I’ll always look upon Red Lightnings reign at the top with a lot of fondness. Every good hero, needs a sleekit as fuck villain to add to their good guy credentials. Every good hard luck story, needs a bad bastard who swoops in at the end. In Red Lightning, ICW had the quintessential bad bastard. They had the guy who headed up the admittedly short lived, but brilliant Save Pro Wrestling Movement. Where Red added The Coffeys and Nikki Storm to his relentless pursuit of purity in Scottish Wrestling. With Joe Coffey seemingly hell bent on the destruction of Grado, that was another devilish element of ICW that had Reds stamp all over it. Red would once again overcome Grado in their second title match at Tramspotting, ICWs first Edinburgh show, before Red eventually dropped the belt to 2013 Square Go winner Mikey Whiplash. Whiplash made his intent to cash in his title shot known, after helping Red overcome Whippys long time nemesis Jack Jester, and he made it known to everyone that he had nae time for Red Lightning. If he was a man, he’d defend that belt against Whippy with honour. Another mark of a good champion is how he drops the gold, and Red could not have made Mikey Whiplash look any stronger. Having attacked him at the start of the show, and handed out a beatdown to Mikey throughout their match, a beaten and bloodied Whiplash rallied, and took the gold with a simple DDT on to the same Title belt that Red had made synonymous with him pinning yer guy, The tool that had been so useful in making Red the most effective heel in Scotland, was the one that would oversee his demise. Red Lightings reign was no more. And he would see himself fired. Banished fro the company for months, before returning to steal match of the night with Wolfgang in ICWs return to Maryhill, after being offered a chance to return to the company IF he could overcome the big man. The match saw Red slung face first intae the shutters at a nearby shop, and take numerous bin shots to the heid, before showing once and for all that the tables had turned, as Wolfgang, a man who he kept away from the belt he he was so keen tae take, was the man who would stop Red Lightning earning his spot on the ICW Roster once more. Kicking out of Reds Michinoku Driver, and eventually getting the job done wae a spear.
Outwith ICW, Red was part of one of the hottest wrestling angles in Scotland, when he engaged in social media warfare with Burnistoun star Rab Florence. Months of taunting after Oran War show ran by Florence and Still Game star Greg Hemphill, led to a tag match at the follow up show, The Kelvin Brawl, and in the last ever match of any kind held at the Kelvin Hall, it was Red who once again put yer guy two the sword. Red who stepped in front of a feverish crowd, and gave them the finish they didnae want. Planting Florence with a Michinoku Driver, and giving Hemphill the chance to seal the win. As if that wasn’t enough, he got the on the mic afterwards and insisted him and Greg were so scunnered by the lack of respect shown to them by the Scottish Wrestling public, that they were off tae Canada. For good. Living out the rest of their days in a wee shack off the coast of Toronto (Nae idea if Toronto has a coast or that, I’m no a georgraphy guy, the capital city of Australia is Canberra but, never forgot that wan…yer Brisbane and Syndey have aw the flashy shit, but Canberra’s where ye go for CULTURE) selling faulty fishing equipment to tourists, and laughing maniacally whenever cunts wid come in for a refund. The part that seemed to be overlooked a wee bit in that match as just how fuckin brilliant Red and Grado were in making that match good in a wrestling sense. In there with two relative novices, they turned it intae a storytelling masterpiece, cause that’s what red does. He’s no gonnae come off the top rope and hit ye wae any flippy shit. He’s no gonnae catch ye wae a European Uppercut in mid air when you’re going for yer crossbody, but he WILL tell the audience a story if ye let him.
So never forget that whilst ICW has experienced exponential growth over the past year, the first stage of its growth was overseen by one of the best sleekit heels in the business, and one of the best on the mic in Europe, the boldest of the bold, Red Lighting. Today’s video is in my opinion Red’s best wrestling match as champion, a defence against Stevie Boy of The Bucky Boys. For me its a match which is seemingly forgotten about a wee bit, but it remains one of my favourite ICW Title matches. It was the first match in Reds reign where I didnae see any chance of Red dropping the belt, only for him and Stevie to make me believe that he might. That was the beauty of it. In the course of that match, they turned my thinking round. Red managed to make me believe that Stevie might do it, before laying him out and sealing a rare clean win. The match starts at the 24 minute mark in the video if ye want tae skip, but I’d watch the whole video if I was you. You’re yer ain human person, so I cannae make ye dae anything mate, but at the same time…DO AS I SAY OR BAD SHIT MIGHT HAPPEN. Like…I might shut the blog doon, or eh….ye might get the cauld. Or yer hayfever will get really bad at least. Right stingy eyed. So aye…watch it.
And of course, a wee portrait of oor Red tae round it off. This has been patter about Rid Lichtnin, I’ve been a guy writing words. Tune in the morra for some words about Drew Mcintyre, and mibbe a drawing of William Regal looking dissatisfied with the peaches he just bought.
Aye that’s whit I’ll dae. A shorter thing about Red Lightning cause I don’t feel like I can put my all intae the Drew Mcintyre thing. 2000 words later, we’ve got a full overview of Lightings title reign. I’m a havering cunt. Red’s some man but. If ye wurnae aware of him before now, get yersell intae him. Red Lightning. The Peoples Wanker.