Wrestling was built on good vs evil. The tried and tested dynamic that makes feuds happen naturally because one side is so fundamentally different to the other. Hogan ate his vitamins and said his prayers, while Andre ate whole coo’s and prayed that Hogan would shut fuckin up. Undertaker was nothing but an unsuspecting WWF Title challenger with a long-lost (assumed deid) brother, before that brother revealed himself to be Kane and set him on fire. Mankind had the people behind him, while The Rock had a steel chair and battered his melt in with it. The point is, wrestling was built on hero vs villain, and as much as WWE tries to blur the line between the two, one way to take that line out of the equation completely is to have two forces that aren’t opposing because they see the world in two entirely different ways. This is villain versus different kind of villain. The New Age Kliq and Legion will both admit to being inherently evil at the core.
So why do fans identify with the groups so much? Simple. We’re all fucking evil aren’t we. We all wish we could stand opposite our perceived enemy with a weapon in hand, like Mikey Whiplash and BT Gunn did in London, and we all wish we could brutalise our enemy. No repercussions. The only retribution you have to worry about is taking the same amount of punishment that you’ve dished out. Something both the NAK and Legion seem to have no problem with. What’s a pain threshold? That’s something mortals deal with. Normal people issues. There was no such thing as a pain threshold when BT Gunn took his lashes in the presence of his brothers in Edinburgh. There was no barrier to be broken apart from the barrier that literally broke when Whiplash went through it,, because when it comes to pain with these two groups, there’s no such thing as too much. There was no such thing as a pain threshold when Mikey Whiplash stood on top of a pair of steel steps with blood pouring down his face and told the world the NAK and Legion would end this in a cage, and it will end. Definitively. With someone being carried out the same way Mikey Whiplash was carried in to last years Fear and Loathing. That bodybag signified a re-birth, but if a bodybag is used at the SECC it will signify the demise of someone’s soul.
The match itself is nothing short of organised chaos. The fact that all 6 men involved have made it to the show alive is a feat on its own. The “Road To Fear and Loathing” Tour was more like the attempted murder tour for the two factions, as their war culminated in a mass brawl in Nottingham that required Mark Dallas to rush out in his jammies and threaten them all with the sack if they didn’t stop trying to at least partially maim each other before the big match at the SECC. A lack of Tommy End and Michael Dante on some shows has left Whiplash exposed to the NAK numbers advantage, whilst Legion have isolated Renfrew and BT Gunn for punishment away from the watchful eye of the Kliq on a few occasions. This time there’s no games. There will be no involvement from Stevie Boy or Kay Lee Ray you’d assume, as they both have singles matches to worry about that could go on to define their careers. It’ll be Wolfgang, Chris Renfrew and BT Gunn versus Tommy End, Michael Dante and Mikey Whiplash and the only factor that can tip it in the favour of one team is whatever team is willing to go further than the other. There may be a point where both teams are faced with a situation that calls for them to do something more drastic than you’ve ever seen. Maybe the only way one side can claim a victory is to claim a life. Or at the very least, claim a set of baws.
Christ knows how the cage is supposed to contain them. With it being a multi man match, I don’t know if climbing out the cage is really a viable way to win, or the cage simply serves as a way to keep others out and as an instrument for destruction. It would maybe be better for everyones safety if a joiner was commissioned to build a barbed wire roof for it just in case Wolfgang decides it’s a good idea to stand on top of the cage and Gorilla Press Dante into the crowd. He’s a big lad, so someone would need to deal with that hurtling towards them from about 30 feet in the air. Even with a barbed wire roof, you’d imagine someone would be mental enough to try to break through it and by “someone” I mean “BT Gunn, Mikey Whiplash, or both”. While Wolfgang and Dante are the biggest two in the match and will to doubt spend its duration trying to spear each other in half, BT and Whiplash are undoubtedly the craziest, so that leaves Tommy End and Chris Renfrew as the deciding factors. The thinkers. The plotters. The dare I say….leaders.
Despite being the mouth piece of the NAK, Renfrew has always shied away from the word “leader”. In his eyes there is no leader of the NAK, and if there is. It isn’t him. Just because he does his talking with actions and not words, doesn’t make BT Gunn any less of a beacon of what everything the NAK stands for. The only reason Wolfgang will stand beside his cousin and Renfrew in that steel cage is because BT Gunn made it so. Showing Wolfgang he was willing to sever their ties for good in ICWs first steel cage match between the two. He was literally hanging from the cage by the throat and as the life left his body, Wolfgang knew he had to open his eyes. BT Gunn brought Renfrew out of his pro-ICW haze and showed him that ICW weren’t the ones who had his best interests at heart. Only the NAK did, and an NAK that exists in this day and age had to be about comradery. It had to be about loyalty. It had to be about putting your body on the line knowing that your brother (or sister) is willing to do the exact same thing. However, a leader needs a voice. If you’re the one who defines what your group stands for to a wider audience, you ARE the leader and in the NAKs case that’s Chris Renfrew. Renfrew stood by Stevie Boy as he made the most difficult decision of his career, to shed the tracksuit and the hype man, and go out there to find his voice. Renfrew is the leader simply because people follow the NAK due to his words. Leaders bring followers. Followers can turn a Kliq into a movement.
Tommy End has to be the leader of Legion because he thinks clearly in a world of chaos. He’s not prone to impulsive acts of violence, it’s all measured. All very well thought out. Whilst Legion are the group that are more akin to a cult, truth be told they both are. Legion might present themselves more in that way, but a cult simply means devotion towards a particular object or figure. Both of these groups look up to the same figure for different reasons, because the figure doesn’t actually exist. The word “devil” creates images of a big red dude who has horns, breathes fire, and sticks pineapples up Hitlers arse for fun, but the devil in their case is the demon they each carry with them. Each member of each team carrying a slightly different version of the same thing. The devil that exists inside Tommy End isn’t about self-mutilation or destruction. The devil inside Tommy End knows how much punishment he has to endure to enable Legion to inflict slightly more punishment on their opponents in order to emerge victorious. Tommy End is the leader because without his orchestration, the pieces don’t fit together. The same applies for Renfrew. If the NAK appear to be a family in the eyes of the fans, Chris Renfrew is the Da.
If Renfrew is the Da, BT Gunn’s the unhinged uncle who you know has done time but don’t really want to know what for. Wolfgang is the brother that never done time because the polis are shite feart of him, while Kay Lee Ray and Stevie Boy are the new generation. The young casuals who’ll make sure the Kliq continues to evolve. An impenetrable setup on paper. They have the numbers, they have a situation where everyone has a unique role, all geared towards a common goal. It will take an entity like Legion to tear that down. Three guys who have the physical capabilities to do it, and mental capacity to last the course, but the key battle is the one between Renfrew and Tommy End. Last year when the teams faced off at the Barrowlands Renfrews soldiers weren’t upto scratch, so he set about recruiting new ones. Last year Tommy End knew that and Legion won the battle. The addition of Mikey Whiplash made them too strong for the version of the NAK they faced that day. That was the battle that started the war and now the two factions stand opposite each other as equals, it will come down to the battle of wits between the leaders. A battle of wits that will manifest itself in a battle of fists, sticks and cold hard steel. A battle that will turn into an all out war and a war that will claim the souls of those who aren’t prepared for where it’s about to go. If you’re NAK till death, or one of Legion’s “many”, you will see something special inside that steel cage, and the chances are you’ll kiss goodbye to someone you love. Don’t look back in sorrow if your favourite wrestler is never the same though. After all, its all fake isn’t it?
Credit to David J.Wilson for the photos.