Photos taken by the always wonderful David J.Wilson.
No. Its not happening. Not tomorrow, not ever. Joe Coffey must remain.
Joe Coffey was a bit of a myth when I first started going to ICW. He wasn’t there in physical form, but he was spoken about. He was the guy in Japan. The guy with the mad skills who was sent out there to be chopped to within an inch of his life in the name of character building. The lean mean suplex machine who was over there learning how to knock people’s heads off their shoulders safely. Safe decapitation, its a real thing. When he came back he was angry. Angry that his brother, who he tagged with a lot more often than they do now, wasn’t given the opportunities Joe was assured he’d have when he was gone. Angry that his own opportunities were limited to him having the match of the night tucked away somewhere in the middle of the show. That anger was palpable and sustaining a serious injury only fuelled it more. That Joe Coffey hasn’t been seen in a while. Or it hadn’t been until Barramania 2, when he had Red Lightning’s windpipe at his mercy as he demanded a match with the boss. Joe wins, he gets that title shot. Joe loses, he’s gone. Unfortunately it won’t be Red on the sharp end of Joe’s wrath due to an injury of his own (that wankers cramp patter is dire right enough, if you’re wanking enough that having a burst shoulder is a real possibility, you should do less wanking, or at least less wanking that places such an incredible strain on your shoulder) but Jester is a more than ample replacement and he’s in the firing line. He stands between Joe Coffey and his destiny. He stands between Joe Coffey and the ICW Champion.
A lot of the problems Joe cited back then are still problems today. New and evolved versions of those problems. Mark Coffey has long since established a reputation in ICW as former Zero-G batterer of Fergal Devitt and 413 day Tag Team champion, yet still felt strongly enough about his current situation in the company to depart. Joe and Mark have been doing their own thing for a while now, but that’s still his brother. He will still have felt that and will still empathise with his situation even if it doesn’t directly affect Joe as much as it once did. The fact that it’s his brother is enough to suggest that the anger will still be there. The anger at still finding himself in the middle of the card after years of putting in shift after shift of top quality pro wrasslin will also be bubbling away and as much as keeping Joe away from the main event for a while has been storyline, the end result is still Joe Coffey not being in main events when he’s burst his arse to earn that spot. That has to breed something. A real bitterness amongst the wrestling façade. A real anger that simmers beneath The Mighty Wrestler front. A real desire to smash cunts behind the aesthetically pleasing warpaint. The Mighty Wrestler, Iron Man, Iron Spartan, painted up, elaborate entrances Joe Coffey is a guy you could see in NJPW. A guy you could see in WWE. A guy you could see anywhere in the world doing his thing. But is it the guy he needs to be to book his title shot against Big Damo and get back to where he belongs at the top end of the ICW card? Maybe not.
Maybe we need that wide eyed nutjob who knocked fuck out of Grado with a crutch. Blaming him for the injury that wiped out a chunk of his career and seeking vengeance. Maybe we need that psycho who took great pleasure in putting the cross armbreaker on Sean Maxer, pretty much pulling his arm out its socket and handing it to him, in his return match after his stint in Japan. Maybe we need the animal he stood toe to toe with Mikey Whiplash in a cage for SWA and took absolutely everything Whiplash had to throw at him only to prevail regardless and end his 3 year reign with the SWA Title. Maybe we need the guy who stood opposite his own flesh and blood in that very same cage a couple of years later and made us believe he actually wanted to inflict pain on his own brother. Maybe we need the guy who came out on top of two of the finest wrestling feuds I’ve seen in ICW with James Scott and Noam Dar respectively. Maybe that borderline animal with the chip on his shoulder is version of Joe that can overcome the odds and beat Jester in the face of certain hi-jinks. That’s the guy that could take 4 or 5 chokeslams from the Flexus Rattlesnake and get right back up. That’s the guy that can take 15 elbow drops off the bar, 4 tombstones and an apron legdrop and still come back for more. That’s the guy who could book his spot back where he belongs in the main event, allowing him and Damo to recreate the masterpiece they produced in Edinburgh last year, when (correct me if im wrong) Joe got a clean win over Damo. One of the few people who have managed that in ICW since he became the beast. There’s was no flurry of elbows knocking him daft that night because if there’s one advantage Joe has over many of Damo’s challengers is that he knows him inside out. That’s a fact that should give Damo a large dose of the fear. Its also a fact that could give us one of the best ICW Title matches in history.
Or what’s the alternative? Joe loses, leaves for good, and a section of fans leave with him. Its not even a question, its not something that should be shrouded in doubt, its a necessity. Joe Coffey must win. He has to. Somehow. Some way.