I was gonnae write a traditional show preview since there’s a spare hour before the fitba but its ICW’s 10th birthday and that calls for eh….I’m no entirely sure whit, but something else. Do McDonalds still do they parties for weans where they shut off half the restaurant and chuck some coloured pencils at you and yer pals and call it a party? This will essentially be a version of that in literary form.
I went to my first ICW show in August 2012. Meaning my own association with the company now exceeds four years. In that time, while travelling up and down the UK to get to EVERY show has become impossible, I’ve not missed one Glasgow show. Lets aw pat me on the back and move on eh. Point in that is, how often do you go to an entirely new thing for the first time and get hooked on it to the point that if it’s a reasonable distance from your front door, you will be there. There wasn’t any point in early 2013 where I thought “Might just skip this wrestling thing” because it was essential. Every moment of it needed to be seen I felt that bad for folk not getting to see it, I decided to document those moments in the form of at times excessively wordy reviews. I mean I’m talking 15,000+ words for the wan show sometimes. It became a problem. I’d wake up in the middle of the night with a pen in my hand reviewing Dickie Divers matches I’d seen in my dreams. I’d be in the queue at the post office tutting at folk I thought were singing “Fuck yer Coffey, we want tea!” Drove me up the fuckin wall it did. Drove me INSANE you might say if you were a person who says things.
From early 2013 to early 2015 I reviewed every single ICW show that took place. Including 10 or so shows in England, hunners in Edinburgh, one in Dundee even, wherever they were, I was. Taking notes, marvelling at the fact that Nottingham sold pints that were actually 2 pints in the wan glass, taking more notes, being laughed at in Leeds for stoating about with a tap that says “Bollocks” on it, trying to take notes but missing a finish and just hoping and praying the guy who won used his usual finisher, going to Edinburgh 4 weeks in as row even though I wrote a short story when I was wee about how Edinburgh is hell on earth and if you don’t earn over 50k a year they punt ye doon a well, taking really difficult to read notes and struggling to decipher them a day later cause ye don’t know what in the name of fuck “Nom Dr win, Kneecup, bendy finish, sare…” means. All the name of commitment to something bigger than I was and something that I didn’t realise back then, had saved my life. Legitimately.
I’m no gonnae patronise anycunt and tell them that becoming invested in a wrestling company can and probably will turn their life around because it probably won’t but I can only speak from experience and say that if I never pushed through crippling depression to make it to that first show, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Going to that show and the shit that followed as a result completely changed the course of my life and tbh probably saved the fuckin thing because if shit continued to be as sad as it was back then, fuck that. I’d have maybe gave it till I hit 30 before giving up completely but fuck just putting up with yer own brain giving you nothing but torment. ICW changed that. ICW re-ignited two of my passions in life then done an unprecedented thing and managed to combine them. Pro wrestling had been all I fuckin cared about when I was wee but like every other wean who’s into it, they’re told over and over it’s for weans. Something you’ll grow out of when ye start getting hair on yer back and/or baws. so I gave it a by for years and had only been tentatively dipping a toe back in for about a year before going to see ICW. Even then, I was catching the odd RAW and most PPVs. Had nae fuckin idea other wrestling existed until it became all that existed, and writing had and will always be the thing I want to do with my life. For years I hadn’t being doing it at all, assuming it was this unattainable thing, but ICW made it feel attainable again. I wrote these things about their shows and folk liked them. This thing called self-confidence appeared for the first time since I was the school team’s keeper in primary school and I saved a shot wae my face, smashing my gegs to fuck in the process, before the cunt who smashed them scored with the rebound anyway.
I guess the point there is, I definitely felt a debt to ICW. I felt like I owed them my life in a lot of ways so felt almost duty bound to cover ever single sinew of every single show until the day I died. The big problem with that is, guess whit troops, believe it or not there isnae a lot of money in reviewing wrestling shows on a blog you operate yourself! I know eh. I said to Amazon I’d plaster their ads all over the site. “My weekly traffic is upwards of 400!” I’d tell them, before sliding them a blank piece of paper and getting them to write what they were offering me on it. Except I was never in any sort of meeting with amazon and I was sliding a bit of paper towards the dug as she sat doing that low-key growl dugs dae if yer within 5 feet of them and they have a bone in their grasp. Point is, I was putting mega hours into a thing and having so much positive feedback fae it but I hit a wall of personal shit and fell out the habit of reviewing every show, but I never fell out the habit of being into these shows. Folk have their opinions on ICW and the creative direction its taken this year since the split of the NAK, but look the fuck around ye man. Look at The Hydro having sold more tickets for wee ICW than 50 Cent and TNA combined (I was at both they shows and was able to count the attendance figures personally. 50 Cent had 369 folk, and TNA had Jeremy Borash, me, my pal and the Queen’s Park U21 squad who had just held a training session in the deserted car park) look at the TV deals and the fact ICW is now shown in well over 900 countries. Look at the high standard of wrestling shows that are produced at a rate no one in independent wrestling can match. We have something special here and it almost bothers me folk try to diminish it sometimes by doing that arsey thing so many wrestling fans seem to take pride in doing. Thinking they know better.
Opinions and flaunting them like the new leather jaiskit you got in Guthries closing down sale is aw good, but cunts just get scunnered and give up so quick. Somedy farts and gies it a right good sniff near ye at a show and that’s you done instead of just turning round and calling the cunt a clatty wee idiot. A storyline pops up you don’t like and all of a sudden ICW’s this and ICW’s that. ICW is a wrestling company and sometimes the direction of the storylines aren’t going to suit you down to a tee. So fuckin whit. Trust that the story will have a payoff worth waiting on and if it disnae, then you’ve every right to abandon it but abandoning it before it’s even got going is some strange behaviour. Don’t cut yer dick aff to spite yer baws guys. A company doesn’t exist for 10 years without knowing how to engage an audience. Fuck, it only took two shows and that second show involving a majestic man with a 12 pack named Fergal Devitt fighting the current ICW Champion Wolfgang to get me hooked for life. That was it. The atmosphere and match quality lit the fire. Wrestling had something to offer me as an adult. Wrestling was special again.
If there’s a central point in amongst all these tangents and rambling, it’s that ICW has been going for this long in an industry that doesn’t always lend itself to longevity. The cunt’s in charge know whits whit and tonight’s show if it’s about anything should be about celebrating. It should be about screaming at the very tap of your lungs for the one’s you love (even if they’re low down dirty villainous bastards, or they fuckin wee power ranger pricks) and booing the bastards, hopefully in the form of some inventive, witty, highly offensive chants lit the good auld days where folk didnae just transfer words that don’t fit into some mind numbing shiter of a chant from the fitba (Sorry but naecunts on fire, Will Grigg never even made it aff the bench for Northern Ireland in the Euros. Your heroes are frauds) lets huv a fuckin party, leave the group chat gossip at the door and lets aw fuckin love each other as wrestling people. Even just for the night. There’s no enough of us to do anything else is there. So look to your left at some point and cherish the human standing there. Even if that human is an arsehole. Embrace it. Embrace that arsehole.
In conclusion…(a letter)
Congratulations on the 10.
Thanks for saving my life.
Ask Grado if he’ll dae an interview fur me eh.
Cheers to David J.Wilson, a man who has been there throughout the 10 years, for the photos.