When Joe Coffey finally peeled himself off the canvas, broken and battered, after Wolfgang mugged him at the end of Shugs House Party 3, you could have forgiven him for walking away from all this. Sickened after seeing a 2 year long struggle finally bear that golden fruit he was waiting for, it was all gone in an instant. He fought bravely when Wolfgang cashed in his Square Go briefcase to snatch the title from Joe’s grasp before he’d even had the chance to kid on it was a guitar, or thrust it aggressively towards a camera. The Square Go briefcast itself was another prize he snatched from Joes clutches as the Iron Man entered the match first and made it all the way to the end before being toppled by a freshened Wolfgang. The grim reaper of Joes hopes and dreams extinguished his title reign before its light had even been seen. After spending 20 minutes wrestling the championship off a bear in Big Damo, what hope did he have of fighting off a wolf with the scent of blood and a title he himself has had his sights set on for many years planted firmly in his nostrils? Even at that, Wolfgang benefited from a helping hand from the all seeing eye that is Red Lightning. Perhaps the true grim reaper of Joe’s hopes in dreams, as the two have been entrenched in a bitter rivalry that stretches back to the days ICW could only have dreamed of running The Hydro. Partly because it didnae exist.
As the old saying goes, when one door closes, an Olympic gold medallist looking for a square go walks through another one. Perhaps Joe would have downed tools if it wasn’t for the biggest match of his career being on the horizon, but his victory over Damo not only ensured him the right to call himself ICW Champion, it also earned him a pop at Angle at The Hydro. A dream match not only because of the track record his opponent has and the weight his name carries, but a dream match in terms of the style both men employ. A match made in heaven on paper, and a match that could easily be all handshakes and smiles if Joe Coffey allowed it to be. No doubt Kurt Angle would love to come to ICW, have a nice and easy night and walk away with a tidy profit in his back pocket, but Joe Coffey is sick of it. As he said the last time he took to the mic in an ICW ring, he’s not here to play second fiddle anymore. Not in a company he’s had to scratch and claw to earn every single opportunity chucked his way. No way. Not on the biggest night in its history. This isn’t their night. This isn’t a show marketed as “Big name Americans + the guys we rely on every other show” this is the biggest night in Scottish Wrestling history. They are invited guests to our own very own wrestling festival, and if Kurt Angle, Ricochet, The Dudleyz or anyone else lucky enough to be handed a golden ticket think its going to be an easy night, they’re in for a rude awakening. In fact they’re in for a bit more than that. They’re in for a good old fashioned doing.
Joe has prepared for Angle by insisting he was only interested in “money fights” in the wake of his ICW World Heavyweight Title defeat, knowing fine well his path back to the title he fought so hard for would be an almost impossible one. He certainly got “money fights” in his two encounters with Matt Cross. As the living breathing create-a-wrestler from Lucha Underground took Joe to his limits in Glasgow, before he evened the score in their second encounter at ICW:Scotchtoberfest in London. The deciding frame of that nailbiter will have to stay on the backburner for now, the simple matter of throwing an Olympic Gold medalist and former WWE and TNA Champion over his head understandably at the forefront of Coffey’s mind, but when they do have their decider it will no doubt be another display of why Joe Coffey is one of the most consistent performers in Europe today. The match with a legend such as Angle coming at seemingly the perfect time for Joe, having made his debut in the USA not long ago and impressive over there. A good showing against Angle could propel him to even greater heights.
The issue with that is that Joe Coffey doesn’t seem interested in settling for just a good showing. Why shoot for that when its something he could achieve in a Diazepam induced sleep, stringing together German Suplexes in a daze while dreaming about doing other German Suplexes to someone else. Or maybe an elephant. Point is, Joe Coffey isn’t interested in the handshake. The pat on the back. The patronising “well done kid, your time will come!” speech. In his own words, Joe Coffey is coming to The Hydro for the win, and unless Angle is planning on bringing the motivated, hungry for success version of himself that has managed to conquer any challenge laid out in front of him, its fair to say he just might not have the edge required to overcome a motivated, almost bloodthirsty Iron Man. Then again, is it ever fair to count out one of the best of all-time? That’s the calibre of opponent Joe is up against here, and no matter what end of his career Kurt Angle is currently at, he’s still Kurt Angle. He’s one of the few performing on the night who’ll step into that red hot Hydro atmosphere well used to having thousands upon thousands of eyes on him and having the owners of those eyes going home talking about how he stole the show. No doubt that this encounter has all the tools to do just that on a night where the world will be watching.