I was compelled to write something about Martin Stone immediately after Shug’s House Party, but when I opened the page, it just wouldn’t flow. So I left it. Then more and more time when by, and it didn’t seem relevant, but for some reason all these weeks later it seems to be making sense in my head, so fuck it, here’s some words.
Personally I was sceptical of ICW booking Martin Stone for his debut in a match with Jack Jester for the ICW Title, because it didnae make any sense. A guy just released from WWE NXT, making his ICW debut, straight into a title match, but when I made that judgement, I forgot something important. I know fuck all.
Its a dangerous trap to fall into as a fan. This sense of “I know what’s best” and that unerring ability to sound like a complete fuckin arsehole as you tell others how you see it. Even if you find yourself making a fucktonne of sense, its still a strange attitude to have. Judging others for seeing things differently, and believing your opinion matters a fuck, when you’ve never done it. Never had the balls to book a venue, a team of wrestlers, and to put a show together. Its probably the only profession in the world that everyone thinks they could do a better job than the people who actually do it, never experiencing the pressures and politics that come with the job, and completely fucking ignoring the level of expertise and foresight it takes to get it right. So I didnae like Martin Stone getting a title shot in his first ICW match, I had a list of alternatives in my heid, and I voiced those alternatives to pals. Not a word of it mattered a fuck.
Knowing that is half the battle I suppose. That your words about what could be done better don’t mean anything. Its just talking for the sake of it eh? I know wrestling companies should be geared towards what fans want to a degree, but at the same time, fans are not led by what’s best for the company long term. If we all buy in, and suspend disbelief like we’re supposed tae, our ideals on how a wrestling show should be run stem from that suspension of disbelief, and that should render our opinions fucking useless. It would be like a fitba manager picking his team based on who the crowd cheers for the most. It might get more bums on seats for a few a games initially, but once the gloss wears off and the balance of the team is shot tae fuck, leading to inevitable failure, those who demanded it will demand something else. “This isnt good enough! We need BETTER” Aye but…you asked for this in the first place did ye not? Away on a tangent here, but the point is, its a vicious circle. Listening to fans, following their lead and when their agenda changes, following that shit again. Stupid as fuck. So me not seeing the point in a Martin Stone title shot meant fuck all, and he proved that when he done his job to fucking perfection.
People almost forget this match ever happened because of the chaos that followed, and that’s what makes Martin Stone done that night so good. He went out there, had a combative match with an established champion in a promotion completely new to him. Gave us all the middle finger to let us know he was the villain of the piece, but he didn’t overdo it. He didn’t jump into the crowd and start headbutting folk, and he didn’t pull a picture of your Auntie Jean out his back pocket and let it on fire. He was just a mean looking big cunt. The match wasn’t spectacular, but it was necessary in the context of the show. For The NAK’s run in to make sense, Jester had to have already been in a war that night. He had to be weak, because Chris Renfrew’s whole ethos behind this cash in has been based on watching Jester fall apart at the seams, while he waits for his chance to strike, and that was it. Having emerged victorious in a good old fashioned scrap with Martin Stone, Jester was there for the taking. Is there anyone on the current ICW roster who wasn’t involved elsewhere on the card that could have made that believable? Darkside is the only guy I can think of, but for Drews run in to be as effective as it had to be, he needed to take out the whole of the NAK, so that rules Darkside out. ICW needed someone who could have a believable, big hitting, no frills scrap with Jester, and then they needed that opponent to instantly no longer matter. Martin Stone done that job brilliantly. Without Martin Stone, the brilliance in the video below disnae happen..
Martin Stone played an invaluable role in this fucking brilliance, and if you’re really looking to put a pro Martin Stone slant on it, you could say he single handedly galvanised Scottish Wrestling. That’s fucking stupid obviously, but no one really talks about what his role and they should. When they needed a guy to make people care about the title match, before departing like it never happened, Martin Stone was that guy.
I was partly inspired to write this by reading some similar patter from PROGRESS fans about him making his debut for them in a number one contenders match. How he didn’t earn that spot, and only had it because of his raised profile due to his WWE stint. After the match many were complimentary about his work, and admitted their comments were hasty. Wrestling fans driven by emotion eh? It’s fuck all new. Being handed these opportunities and knocking it out the park every time, whilst a few fans look upon him with raised eyebrows is something Martin Stone is making a habit of. Its a strange thing to see such a significant step up in a wrestler’s career leading to a bit of negative stigma when that wrestler re-emerges on the Indies after it maybe doesn’t go exactly as planned in the big time. A bit of tribalism in there, with some sections of fans staunchly guarding this new and improved British Wrestling scene. Almost challenging Martin Stone to prove himself once more, and it seems that he keeps on laughing in the face of these challenges and making an impression anyway. I look forward to seeing his heidbuttin, jaw smashing, full-on style back on these shores sometime soon.