Everywhere I see British Wrestling being championed, its always the same thing. A small group of hugely talented (mostly English, not that there’s anything wrong with that..be who you are, stay tru to u) wrestlers who have made an impression all over the map being spoken about. Guys who have a foot in the door with the likes of NJPW, PWG, Evolve, ROH etc. Japan + big indies basically. That seems to be the formula to have everyone chattering about ye and that’s sound, but while everyone’s wondering when Mary Scurll’s gonnae end up on NXT, or when Will Ospreay’s next attempt to break the world record for flips is happening, sometimes shit maybe slips through the cracks. Outstanding wrestling stuff that’s out there, but maybe isn’t being championed enough. Outstanding shit that exists on the biggest card in European Wrestling’s recent history, just sitting in the background whilst the foreground screams “LOOK AT ME”. Plotting. Menacingly plotting. Ready to steal the show.
When BT Gunn vs Stevie Boy was first announced it didn’t even have any kind of intriguing stipulation, but it still felt huge that they had a one on one match on such a big stage. Their mutual hatred feels tangible, to the point that it almost forms a cloud and hangs over their heads, controlling them with puppet strings to carry out these unspeakable deeds on each other. They wanted each other dead and were willing to throw all sorts of mad kicks and the odd Canadian Destroyer at each other to get that job done. There was chants. A solemn proclamation from Renfrew…Stevie’s gonnae die, gonnae die, STEEEEEEEEEEEVIE’S gonnae die. There was a funeral. The death of the NAK was celebrated by a gleeful Stevie. Admitting murder in front of numerous witnesses because he just could not contain his excitement for another second. His excitement was short lived, the NAK aren’t dead despite the monster they created claiming it so. The mad Reverend was premature but the fact that these two mad bastards step in to a situation where one of them HAS to die for it to end makes this whole thing a lot more cut and dried. There’s no dread anymore. There’s no wondering when the death of one of your favourite wrestlers is coming, we now know it happens November 20th, 2016. The Hydro. BT Gunn vs Stevie Boy. Casket match.
This is the first match of its kind in ICW and that gives it even more significance because as heated and as real as their rivalry feels, the match will be a bit of a creative blank canvas for them when it comes to crafting the match itself. A couple of right good pals cooking up a beautiful story to tell in front of the biggest crowd of their storied history. In ICW’s storied history. In the storied history of Scottish Wrestling for fuck sake (am I saying storied history too much here? this is the most anyone’s said storied history in its storied history) its a shame they can’t be good pals after the fact. Its even a shame they can’t continue to knock fuck out each other after this one is done and dusted but a casket match is a casket match. The rules are the rules. When Yokozuna and hauf the locker room loaded The Undertaker into that casket at the 94 Royal Rumble he actually died. They only started calling him the dead man after that. He was actually called The Overtaker before it and his gimmick was being hopelessly addicted to gambling, so there can be only one. After this there won’t be any more show stealing battles. No one night only reformation of the NAK as the mighty squadron of mad bastards it once was. Only the victor, and his spoils, the rotting corpse of his enemy.
Folk wondered why the NAK split happened earlier in the year, and admittedly I was one of them. As a 5 person unit it felt like it had more legs, but wrestling is a neverending story, and the least it requires from those who follow it is a wee bit of patience. Wait and see how it plays out before writing something off. For me, the NAK split was designed to facilitate so many things on The Hydro card. It chucks 5 vital roster members who would maybe have been confined to the one storyline and scatters them all over the card, but Stevie and BT can’t separate. They never could. Blood brothers who won’t stop until the last drop of blood drains from at least one of them. You wouldn’t even be shocked if there’s no winner. They batter lumps out each other in new and inventive ways for a solid half hour, it ends as they both stand by the open casket, knocking the living fuck out each other, before they both pull a machete from each other’s back pocket and simultaneously decapitate one and other, gently falling in the casket at the same time to bleed out together. True blood brothers until the bitter end.
You might walk into The Hydro excited for Joe Coffey and Kurt Angle to put on a mad suplex clinic and that’s great. I’m excited for that too, and it absolutely has all the tools to steal the show itself. You might walk buzzin out yer chebs to see Trent Seven and the army try to prize the belt off the big bad Wolf in a steel cage, and that’s great, I’m buzzin as fuck to see that unfold as well. Maybe you’re even champing at the bit to see if sworn enemies Chris Renfrew and Grado can co-exist and help Mark Dallas take ICW back, or if Drew Galloways neck has healed enough for him to tip it in The Black Label’s favour and that’s awrite as well, if that’s your jam, throw it on and boogie ’til yer heart’s content. Whatever on the card you stoat in to that building most excited about will hopefully live up to its billing, but the match you’ll stoat out of the building thinking about will be The Oddity vs The Devils Spawn. The Student vs The Teacher. NAK till death vs NAK till I kill the cunts. BT Gunn vs Stevie Boy.
Thank you to David J Wilson for the wonderful images.