Jackie Polo is right.
Maybe he always has been. Maybe there is no character at all. Maybe his name is actually Jackie Polo, he wears singlets and suit jaiskits in public and goes about bellowing “JAAAAAAACKIE” in peoples faces, waiting for them to provide the “Polo” but one thing for certain is that Jackie Polo is fucking right.
If you don’t know what he’s right about, listen to the Wrestleshark podcast here
To sum it up, the podcast starts with him pretty much saying there is almost no negative media coverage of ICW, in blogs, magazines, radio shows or anything else. Including this website right here, which has become almost an ICW shrine lately rather than a wrestling website. Something I never intended to happen, but when you end up pretty much building your whole life around a touring wrestling company, its hard to get emotionally invested in anything else. Thats not an excuse (it is) but it is a reason. Being shrouded by depression back then didn’t help, and often writing was a chore that I was on autopilot for, but even then, there should have been criticism. It’s almost like I wrote as an employee of ICW, without having any of the perks that might come with that. I paid for all my tickets, and my travel, so I could cover the shows for FSM and the site. With that being the case (and I was more than happy to do that so I’m able to write honestly) I really should have said what I felt. I should have said I found the Jimmy Corkhill shit cringy, and that a Brookside cunt has no business being in a wrestling ring. I should have said that a lot of Leeds felt phoned in, and if you want to get a low crowd excited about your show, you probably shouldnt do it hungover as fuck. I should have said bits of Dundee felt last-minute, and that Gigawatts was an exhausting show with no lulls whatsoever in 3 and a half hours.
But I kept schtum. Instead bigging up everything I loved (which was the larger percentage of what I seen from ICW last year), bigging up the Damo vs Dave Mastiff masterpiece, and the near perfection that wad the Newcastle show. Writing essays about every Joe Coffey match. Dissecting every Renfrew promo. Pretty much calling BT Gunn the Scottish Shawn Michaels. Telling Wolfgang every 5 minutes that him vs Devitt made me love wrestling again, and writing a 12,000 word chore of a read about the Square Go cause the show was genuinely brilliant. But where has championing the positives and ignored the negatives got me personally? People are fond of me and what I do, and thats nice, but ultimately once it stops being a tool that people can use to further their own interests, it stops being relevant. If I dropped off the map completely, naecunt would give much of a fuck. Not when mainstream media are interested anyway. Although as helpful as that coverage is, mainstream media is not the way to keep wrestling fans engaged. On Demand, youtube and articles in wrestling magazines and websites do that, and for that to be a true reflection on the product people are going to actually see, it has to be truthful. If a match is off, there has to be a place where you can go to find that out. It doesn’t have to even totally rip the piss out of the match, but if things didnt go well, people should be told about that with the same amount of vigour as when things are perfect.
I suppose the realisation hit me recently when I had the dispute with the O2 ABC and used the audience I do have to gain support and raise awareness of how I was treated. Whilst I understand why people discouraged me from pursuing it (truth be told it would cross my mind to do the same if the roles were reversed) but when you think about it….why does someone who pays for a ticket and waits in the same queue as everycunt else, have ANY responsibility for ICWs reputation or standing in any way shape or form? Tell me why its my responsibility to make sure wrestling continues to happen in the ABC? At the end of the day, all I am is a punter with a legit complaint about being poorly treated and challenged to a fight by a bouncer because he refused to let me see if my ill friend was awrite, and I’m being told to watch what I’m doing? I’m sorry but thats wrong. My conduct in this situation and my pursuit of it had absolutely nothing to do with ICW or wrestling. It happened after the show, and I never once stepped foot in the place when I argued with the bouncer. I was outside the whole time, so even on the off chance the ABC decided one punter with a grumble meant they didnt want 1,200 people in their shelling out on fiver pints and 6 quid haufs, they would have no grounds to pursue it anyway. It didnae even happen on their property. I couldn’t be arsed pursuing it further anyway as I’m never in the place and they clearly weren’t going to back down, but I shouldn’t have felt like talking about it would affect my reputation. Something I worked extremely hard to build and was seemingly in a precarious position for no reason.
Although I did resent the implication that the reason Mark Coffey and DCT needed promoting was that no one fights their corner, so Jackie has to. I’m never done sooking up Mark Coffeys erse and the only lowlight of the Square Go for me was the abject lack of him being involved. Hauf my tweets on Snapmare Necks are just “International. Sex. Hero” cause thats what the fuck DCT is, and people need tae know. Polo Promotions peak my interest a lot more than most things in ICW but I suppose that can get lost in the shuffle when your reviews are essentially humorous sooky overviews rather than genuine reflections on how certain things made you think and feel, and from now on I will strive to make my stuff a lot less restrained. I still like about 80% of what comes out of ICW, maybe even more and whatever I do write about them will always be largely positive because thats how I view the product. It made me love wrestling again and gave me an outlet for the thing I do best, but does that mean I owe it to them to promote it as much as possible? I dont think so. I owe the same to ICW as I do to every other company in the world that I cover, and thats to give the best platform I possibly can for what they do. Nae sugar coating. Nae paid promotions. I dance to no ones tune, unless someone wants to pay me a salary to write about wrestling. Something which almost seems like an impossible dream at this stage. ICW will continue to grow with or without me, so even if I continue writing about it without the endorsement of people involved, people will still read my stuff and no matter what I say, people will still go to ICW. So where’s the use in me holding back from time to time? It benefits no one.
I wont lie, I really only titled this “Jackie Polo is right” so he’d read it. He strikes me as the type who is very secure in how right he is on pretty much everything. I always thought Jackie Polo was 100% a character. There was a real man, with a real name and different persona somewhere and he only lets it out on the odd occasion, but unless he’s got me well and truly fooled, and I now honestly think Jackie Polo the real person is not far off the guy you see in wrestling. Jackie Polo probably isn’t his real name. He probably doesn’t carry a polo mallet around with him, but the way he speaks and the honesty he tackles things with feels authentic. Jackie Polo has no time for most wrestling folk, and thinks it’s a closed shop to people like him. Unless they have something different. He has believed he had something different since day one. Something better. Something he was prepared to be an impossible, single-minded cunt about to get it across the way he envisioned and there can be fuck all but admiration for a man who goes about his business the way he does. Even if it’s viewed as eccentric, or people think he’s a wanker. He does not give a fuck. He’s not in wrestling to make pals and be invited to everyone’s Christmas night oot, he’s in it because it’s the thing he was born to do. Since we’re being honest and vowing not to sook up peoples arses for the sake of it. I don’t think Jackie Polo is the best wrestler in Scotland as he loudly proclaims (or even the best in his stable, cause Mark Coffey 4 life), but he is undoubtedly the one with the greatest understanding of how to manipulate peoples emotions and have them invested in what he does in one way or another, and there’s a genius about that which shouldn’t be overlooked. The Wrestleshark podcast was eye opening in a lot of ways, because it turned Jackie Polo from almost a mythical character into a proper person. A guy who does it differently for a reason. A guy who wants to put the final nail in the coffin for the boys club by outworking and out-thinking Lionheart when they meet at Barramania.
With his friend Joe Coffey going for the ICW title on the same night, Barramania could be the night where the guys who do it a wee bit differently finally get their shot.