ICW Road To The Hydro – The Tour Report (Sheffield, Southampton, Bristol)

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ICW have been on tour in the lead up to its biggest show yet at the Hydro. Biggest show anywhere ever in fact. Know how WWE broke the attendance record for Mania last year by shutting the roof of the stadium and having a fitba tournament on top of it? ICW are having a whole other wrestling show on top of the Hydro, so fuck yees. Whilst its slightly humorous that they started “The Road To The Hydro” already quite close to The Hydro, before deliberately going quite far away from it  and working their back, there’s too much wrestling stuff to be writing about to get carried away with such trivial nonsense. Pure nae idea how I’m going to do this, but that’s the fun bit. Here’s some words about some tour shows.

Girvan prepares for Ricochet by having his heart torn out of his body. Watching on as Lionheart points and laughs at it

Sheffield saw the beginnings of a new chapter in the feud between Lionheart and Lewis Girvan. Girvan’s quest for that Zero-G seems neverending and included a brief spell of him wearing the old belt, insisting it was the “Catchweight” belt even though it had a massive G right in the middle of it. Defending it once and continuing to wear it as some sort of tribute to that one defence (an undeniably excellent match against Mikey Whiplash) before it was eventually taken away for eh….some reason, I’m no a historian awrite, point is he no longer has it, and he wouldn’t be wearing the real belt at the end of this one either as Hearto insisted it was non-title. Being the smart cookie he is Lewis Girvan had a proposal. If he wins their non-title encounter, one more shot at that shiny belt the following night in Southampton. Hearto wins? He gets to give Girvan wedgies every day for a year. No just any day they’re on a wrestling show together, I’m talking Lionheart moves in just to make sure the daily wedgie is always delivered. However, in the midst of another excellent match between the two, Girvan reversed a Styles Clash attempt into a pin and that was that. Lionheart had been pinned for the first time since Donald Trump was just a regular run of the mill sex offender instead of one who RUNS THE FUCKIN WORLD. The next night in Southampton was weirdly cruel on Lewis Girvan. Even though he benefitted from a quick count to have his hand raised, he still heard the words “and NEW ICW Champion…LEWISSSSS GIRVANNNNN” and really, no matter the circumstances, if you disappear behing the curtain with a belt round your waist having heard such words, that’s you champion. Update the twitter bio, dae a big massive FB status about it, put a right good filter on the Instagram photo of yer brand new prized possession. The works.

girvLionheart came out later in the night and with the help of Drew, managed to get Thomas Kearins to correctly reverse his decision. Well technically he should have restarted the match instead of reversing it but who has time for other matches mate. There’s a whole tour to be getting through here. Lionheart’s still the champion and one thing this whole drama ensured is that when Lewis Girvan does eventually take the belt properly, it’ll get an ear shattering reaction from the crowd. He seems to be putting it all together brilliantly lately and has more crowd support than ever.
He blew aff a bit of steam in Bristol the next night after his singles match with Ravie Davie turned into Girvan and Ravie teaming up against The Purge. Whit happened to the other Purge guy btw? Is he still involved or is that him oot the picture entirely? Either way, Girvan seemed to have a smashin time teaming with Ravie Davie. Imagine the sour faced Lewis Girvan that kept smashing folk in the baws at the Square Go was asked to team with Ravie Davie 6 months ago? he’d have dipped his thumbs in salt and shoved them in yer eyes. This Lewis Girvan had an absolute laugh riot and got his team the win with a mad elevated DDT on Stevie James.

Ladies who triple threat (a lot)

As the Women’s Title match at The Hydro is a triple threat, the early part of the tour was triple threat daft. Three way dancin ye oot yer pants. Kay Lee Ray, Viper and Kimber Lee engaged in a serious wrestle in Sheffield. Nae offence to our Viper or the impressive Kimber Lee. Fair play to the pair of ye there. But Kay Lee Ray has undoubtedly been one of the shining lights of Scottish Wrestling for years, representing both home and away, and if I’d tae pick a winner for the triple threat match at The Hydro it has to be her, so to see her win this and gather a bit of momentum was some buzz. A buzz totally in no way influenced by a desire to hear her and Stevie’s music as much as possible. Get a mad “she deserves it” chant on the go. Right now. I know this is words on a page but if everyone reading this does it at the same time, the noise will spread. Honestly. Do it the now. Haud on….are you actually daein it?
Viper and Kimber Lee were both in triple threat action again in Southampton the next night, this time with Pollyanna as the third competitor. The thing I like the most about the tour shows is getting to see folk wrestle I hear a lot about but never get round to seeing. There was a few instances of that in these shows, and we’ll talk about the most impressive one later, but Pollyanna was also fuckin excellent on first viewing. On the surface she’s a smiley probable maths teacher, but underneath shes a homicidal double stomping maniac. A murderer in sheeps clothing as the saying goes. Viper prevailed thanks to a move she calls Snakebite, but Kimber Lee and Pollyanna both impressed in what was a tidy wee bit of triple threatting.
So with a win each, Viper and Kay Lee faced off in Bristol to settle the score. Basically next goal’s the winner in wrestling ring, or it would have been if Kay Lee Ray didnae forgo the match entirely to knock fuck out of Viper’s leg. I’m sure Kay Lee Ray is a nice person n that, but as much as I enjoyed her as a goodie in ICW, there’s something so much more emphatic and almost authentic about her being a low down dirty bad yin who takes great pleasure in spitting on your dreams. She left Viper wae a sare leg, and a sare heart, wondering if her Hydro dream was fucked.

Davey and Joe

Jack Jester has annoyingly become one of my favourite things in ICW. Well maybe that’s pushing it a wee bit, but see before? Never really bought into what he was about. Nae disrespect or that, but it wasn’t for me, because the good but also really violent guy act never made sense to me. He’s a baddie. One of the best one’s we have, and when you put him in a position where he can be a right bad bastard he excels. A right sarcastic dildo wielding bastard so he is. Joe Hendry was his opponent on this night and Jester scooped up the win thanks to Davey Blaze blasting Joe in the baws.joewee.jpg They’re feuding don’t you know. It’s actually one of the main reasons they’re always shouting at each other in The Garage. They’re no just one of they couples who likes to go out together so they’ve got an audience to fight in front of, they’re performers who fight in front of a paying audience. Entirely different thing so it isnae. Davey himself lost to BT Gunn later in the night. Finish was a bit odd, as the ref had his leg pulled but counted the three anyway. Joe Hendry came out and really fuckin went in on Davey on the mic. Calling him an embarrassment and even saying he sniffs wee dugs bums and keeps a diary on the subtle nuances between the different smells contained within said bums. Joe proposed that if Davey wins their Hydro match he goes away for a year, but if Joe wins it he gets 5 minutes in wee mans ring. Or words to that effect. Either way it’s probably going to be unpleasant for the wee man. Even if Joe lights a few candles for the occasion.

Matters concerning Christopher Renfrew esq and Sir Trent of Seven

Chris Renfrew vs Trent Seven was a former ICW Champion vs a future ICW Champion. Even if its not at The Hydro, it’s happening for Trent. He does mad spinny piledrivers ffs. Fire that on top of how much of a beautiful human he is in general and you’ve got an ICW Champion in the making. This match was about as much violent fun as you’d expect. They went outside for a bit and went twos on a snout before returning to the ring to chuck tridents at each other before Trent took the win with one of a mad spinny piledriver I’m reliably informed (aka I made it up) he calls “The Pete Burns”.
Renfrew followed that scrap up with an even scrappier one in Southampton the night after. Taking on the debuting Clint Margera in a proper slice of hardcore. Margera is basically a less folically challenged, more English version of Renfrew and they knocked fuck out each other in between bouts of screaming “THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!” at each other. Renfrew killed Margera with the T-Virus on to hunners of tacks, before taking to the mic to welcome to him to ICW. I’m not sure if dead bodies can hear and comprehend words you say to them, but if they can I’m sure Margera will be hugely appreciative of Renfrew’s words.
Trent faced DCT in Southampton, in a classic battle between two guys who its completely impossible to dislike. If we were aw mad virgins, we’d have been chanting “both these guys!” throughout this encounter, following it up with a nice “this is awesome!” rounded off by chanting “graps!” repeatedly until our brains all implode at once. It was a lovely encounter between two lovely men. One who had his tash cruelly snatched off his beautiful coupon and another who’s built an empire on his own tash, which happens to be coupled with a beard ye just want to jump inside and bathe in. Once again the spinny piledriver got the job done but see aside from dropping him on his head with great force for the finish, this match was all about the mutual respect. An exceedingly sexy, respectful time. renfgradosha

Renfrew rounded off his own personal trio of scraps with an almost therapeutic match against Sha Samuels. There’s tension on Team ICW. Grado and Renfrew can’t get along, Sha is pretty much Grado’s best pal, so he’s obviously going to take exception to that and what better way is there to air out yer grievances with yer fellow-man and soon to be team-mate by smacking the taste clean out his gub. Bristol didnae get the memo that Sha’s a good guy in ICW now, because they called him a cockney wanker throughout and strongly favoured a Glaswegian over a fellow Englishman. Dunno why it continues to shock me that Sha gets nae love down south. One key difference to the scene down there and the one in Scotland, if yer a proper baddie you get the reaction a proper baddie should get in most cases. Wheras if yer Scottish and you wrestle in Scotland ,it disnae really matter what you do. You could pull yer skants down and literally pish on the audience while phoning each and every one of their maw’s to call them mad hoors and you’d still get a wee pocket of folk cheering for ye. We’re either twisted or a wee bit stupit. Renfrew won with the stoner before Sha dropped some wise words about them needing to come together for one night only, and offered his hand to Renfrew. A hand he definitely considered taking. At least for a second, but he vanished behind the curtain with nae issues having been resolved, leaving Sha to tell the whole of Bristol how much he fuckin hates them.

The ballad of Drew “no the night” Galloway,  as he tells the wee toons “fuck you”

Drew Galloway patched wrestling DCT in favour of coming out in jeans and a hoodie and leathering him alongside Jester. I take back the nice shit I said about Jester btw, because this theme of him battering DCT every now and then is not one I enjoy. Leave him the fuck alane. You anaw Bram. The whole lot of yees fuckin back aff. In Southampton it was Sha Samuels getting the treatment, as Lionheart sneak attacked the big man as he waited for Drew. The gruesome twosome then moved on to the whole sorting out the Lionheart Zero-G Title mess and threatened referee Thomas Kearins while Sha continued to sell the beating he just took. So basically Sha had a wee sleep in the ring while Drew screamed at Thomas Kearins and he was upside down read to take a Styles Clash. I hope he dreamt of smashin mugs. Aw the mugs. Coffee mugs, tea mugs, Aberdonians. Any kind of mug ye could think of. Really enjoying what they’re doing with Drew’s injury but. Keeping us intrigued. Everyone knows Drew is legit injured but him coming out and giving it all the bravado is adding an extra element to the storyline. Really hope when the day arrives that Drew is able to lace them up cause no matter what you think of him, him coming back to ICW was a huge shot in the arm for a company already on the rise and his ICW Title reign had a big hand in establishing the company in other countries so he deserves to wrestle on the biggest show in European history. Fuckin least the cunt deserves.
In Bristol Drew was supposed to wrestle Joe Hendry but once again came out in his civvys, team handed, before things took a bit of an interesting turn of events when Dallas challenged him right there and then to prove he was fit for the Hydro by fighting HIM. A bold move, even if yer 99.99999% sure a cunt has a burst neck, when that cunt is 6’4-6’5, and built like a tank, a proposal of fisticuffs is never a good idea. Lionheart persuaded Drew to leave it, before Dallas informed him he was still on the payroll and he’d need to fight DCT or that shiny belt would be whipped clean aff him. DCT looked on the verge of a big win before Lionheart flipped out of the “Tashmission” into a pin with a wee assist from the ropes. Bet Hearto wins his match at The Hydro clean as a whistle just to annoy folk even more. The 2016 Lionheart vindication tour keeps on making towns and taking names. Who’s next.

Joe collects another couple of skulls for the mantelpiece

Joe Coffey skipped the Sheffield show for the small matter of wrestling Cody Rhodes in from of 1,000+ people in Paisley, but returned for the Southampton show to batter fuck out of Josh Bodom.  To be quite honest I’d have enjoyed giving this aw sorts of shit cause I’m no a big lover of Mr Bodom, but it was irritatingly great. They proper smacked each other for ages, really hard, in the face and throughout the upper body. As unpalatable as I find Bodom on a human level is annoyingly difficult to deny he’s a talented boay and really brought the best out in Joe. Joe won because he’s a main made of Iron and that’s generally enough to beat guys who say “bro” a lot without a hint of irony.
Joe’s opponent in Bristol was big Iestyn Rees. Rees has been a fixture in Pro Wrestling Elite for around 2 years now and up until he wrestled Joe, I’m no feart to admit I really didn’t get it. He was clearly a physical specimen who had all the tools, but he wasn’t my cup of tea. It was his title defence against Joe that turned it round and I’ve been more and more impressed with the big man since. This match was undoubtedly his best in ICW and the momentum and confidence he’s gathered since aligning himself with Bird and Boar seems to be leading to good things. Joe scudded his nut clean aff his shoulders with a Discus Lariat for the win right enough, so things aren’t that good for the big yin yet, but he’s a sneaky wee outsider in the Stairway To Heaven match at The Hydro. No one’s talking about him winning it, which sounds like the perfect scenario for him to sneak in and do the business. Zack Ryder style. While everycunt’s looking elsewhere.
Joe Coffey is carrying a horrendously sare looking leg injury into The Hydro and he’s still turning in stoaters every single show. Kurt Angle better not even think about phoning this one in, because if he does, he’ll need an extra seat on the plane hame for his heid after Joe knocks it aff.

Polo Promotions march on

First stop on the road to chuckin a couple of specky old timers about The Hydro for Polo Promotions was an excellent encounter with The New Nation in Sheffield. I mind seeing The New Nation in the tag tournament to crown new champions after Polo Promotions left and thinking they’d be top drawer opponents for the Polo’s themselves. Thank fuck the boaysies are back doing their thing. Greet and moan about them leaving aw ye want, but why pre-occupy yourself with such silliness when you could just be fuckin happy two of the very best are dominating the tag division once again. Its heavy good that the likes of The New Nation and Bird n Boar got a foot in the door thanks to the tag tournament, but the division felt like a ship without a captain without the rightful champs. The REEEEEEAL champs. Next night in Southampton they had another cracker with Travis Banks and Chris Brookes, and solidified their position as the single greatest tag team in Europe. Certainly the best tag team to ever put the stupit Dudleyz through numerous tables at The Hydro on November 20th. Out with the very old, in with the Scotland’s BEEEEEEEST tag team.
They rounded off the tour of multi cultural doings with another stellar affair against Bird and Boar. The New Nation are gid and both right big bruisers, but of the teams who emerged from that tourny, Bird and Boar are my favourites for sure. Both cracking at the auld grappling, but quirky into the bargain. Lit are they really a Bird and a Boar? Is this human form we see them in simply an optical illusion or just some really flashy gear that turns animals into mental looking humans? So many unanswered questions. This one was the pick of the three matches for me, but it had one vital thing in common with the other two and that was yer Polo’s scooping up the win via Old Man Of Hoy (which is an assisted German Suplex, no a run in by a sea stack)

Wolfy the main event player

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Wolfgang finally realised his dreams when he took the ICW Title from Joe Coffey, but ever since the big man had his hand raised that night he’s been in an awfy bad mood it seems. Shouting at folk. Looking real mean. Knocking you, yer da, and aw yer mad uncles out with brass knuckles. Maybe that belt is a gift and a curse. With great power comes a great amount of brass colliding with a great amount of temples. Sha Samuels was the latest man to fall, before The Black Label wrapped him up in the ropes and set about him, only for an almighty rammy to ensue that somehow left Trent Seven in the ring, giving Wolfie all sorts of snash about how he was taking that belt aff him. For every sour face Wolfie pulls at someone, Trent is somewhere in the world rubbing beards and spreading happiness so in many ways this is the perfect feud.
Wolfgang followed that up with another brass plated win over Joe Hendry in Southampton the night after. Sneaking to the outside after taking Hendry’s fallaway slam only to knock him clean out as he dwelled on the outside. Trent once again ended the night with a mic on his hand well on top as he seemed to gain the upper hand on Wolfie on the first leg of the tour. Its hard not to love Trent, but there’s almost a wee air of cockiness about his words when he’s stepping in there with a legit ICW legend, and a man undefeated in cage matches. A man who fought with everything he has to get that belt, even if the actual title win wasn’t covered in glory, he still earned the right to call himself an ICW Champion. The big man roved beyond any reasonable doubt that no amount of brass knuckles to the temple finishes diminishes the quality he has in that ring, as he proved in Bristol the night after when he was one half of one of the best ICW matches I’ve maybe ever seen.
It was almost a feeling of nostalgia as Charlie Garrett jumped about the Marble Factory in Bristol like a man possessed. It reminded me of my second ICW show, late 2012, Wolfgang set to take on a guy I’d heard plenty about but hadn’t seen a lot of. That man was called Fergal Devitt and has gone on to do some decent stuff. You could call him noteworthy I guess, but that match changed the way I seen Pro Wrestling as an adult and really opened my eyes to the fact that it had something to keep me interested and even if the mainstream shit wasn’t floating my boat personally, SOMETHING was. Charlie Garrett’s display on his ICW debut was in a similar bracket to that. Not since seeing Uhaa Nation perform for the first time a couple of years back have I personally had that “Oh my fucking god, who the fuck is this magnificent bastard?” feeling as I had when I watched this match. Charlie Garrett is the fuckin baws and goes from 0 to moonsault in about half a second. Raw power moves to corkscrew sentons in a fuckin flash. A terrific debut from a guy I look forward to seeing a lot more from. Even looked like Wolfgang was about to shake his hand at the end despite knocking him clean out with the brass knuckles for the win. The video cut off before we got to see if he did indeed get that handshake, but in my head they shook hands, mutual respected oot their nuts. Keep an eye on Charlie Garrett but. A unique talent. Last time someone debuted in ICW anywhere near as impressively as that, he went on to main event The Hydro with the very man Garrett faced in Bristol, so who knows what lies in his ICW future, but based on that showing, there certainly will be an ICW future for him.

Damian Dunne and Dan Moloney also had a match in Southampton and it was very good but not linked to anything storyline wise so couldn’t put it anywhere else bar this awkward wee end bit. Well done to them both. Very solid wrestling stuff. 

Thank you to David J.Wilson for the photos which aren’t linked to the shows mentioned at all but I couldnae find any photos from they shows and shit is a lot easier on the eyes with a few photos so there we are. The photos used are from recent Garage shows and have some relevance to the words so…aye. David J.Wilson is god. 

 

 

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