Wrestling And Depression Part Deux

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I first wrote about depression around 2 or 3 years ago now. Excuse the ballpark figure, but who can be arsed actually fact checking when it involves such strenuous activity as typing a word into a search bar. Point is, it was a while ago now. That first post was to be perfectly honest a liberating experience. To have so many people not only appreciate the most difficult words I’d ever managed to string together somewhat coherently, but to tell me the words helped THEIR struggle and they saw some comfort in reading about someone experiencing similar things that they do on a day to day to basis trying to conquer this beast once and for all, it was the most surprising and rewarding thing I’ve ever stumbled into. Not to mention the wee added bonus that writing about it became therapeutic and helpful to my own battle. We’re all winning out of this one guys. I planned to write a book about this soul sucking affliction and I still plan to/have written bits and pieces but how can anyone who’s such a horrendous, fucked up mess of a human do a thing like that? Write a book. Please. Try sorting out the sorry pile of humanity that looks back at ye in the mirror first eh. Having ambitions is silly. Goals are for other people. Better people. People who have it together. People who know who and what they are. Not you, with the apprehension and the sweat rapidly racing off your forehead like its late for getting in some other poor cunt’s eyes. Not you constantly making excuses to stay in your own wee safe haven. Away from them. Away from the eyes, and the judgement. Away from anything that isn’t perfectly still.

The thing about mental illness I’ve learned above all other things is that it’s a sneaky wee bastard so it is. Let your guard down to it and it’ll eat you alive. Stop doing the things that make it better and guess what? It’ll get fucking worse won’t it. Of course it will. Self explanatory. Don’t deviate from a path that brought success. Don’t take your eyes off the ball, or the ball becomes a medicine ball dipped in concrete heading right between your eyes, taking your head off your shoulders. And there lies the problem with being involved in something that relies on your brain being functional, creative and open. When I first started writing about pro wrestling it consumed me with fuck all but pure joy. Fuck all but worry free escape. Who gives a flying fuck who says what about it, its only words. The logical side of the brain can tell you that sunny shit all day long. You could even give someone a job following you about whispering “You’re fuckin amazin, and yer dick is perhaps the most aesthetically pleasing one ever conceived” in your ear every 5 seconds and it still wouldn’t work. You’d just be a mentally ill cunt with a wet ear listening to the even louder voice in your head telling you its not possible. You can’t do it, you’re the guy who had a panic attack in Central Station and had to get the bus home quietly in angst soaked tears because getting a train to a college course that was supposed to put you on the path to journalistic superstardom was too much that day. You’re the guy who pursued fuck all in a romantic sense for the best part of 10 year because the image that looked back at you in the mirror was sad, specky and definitely dying alone. Why even bother trying. Why.

I guess what I’m trying to articulate is that suffering from anxiety and depression is like a constant internal battle. For a while the side telling me I was worthless and good for fuck all except crustin up socks won every single day. A landslide in favour of fuck all. Sit and do nothing. Watch a TV series. Watch another one. Drink a beer alone. Drink 12 beers and a half bottle of vodka alone. Vomit up 12 beers and a half bottle of vodka alone. For fuck’s sake don’t let your brain wake up and realise what you’re trying to do to it. I wanted my brain to die. I wanted it numb. Having no thoughts other than how I’d be spending the next hour of that present misery ridden day. When I started writing regularly for the first time since I was at school the other side starting grabbing the odd unlikely win. The side that saw the good shit. The side that thought a life of eternal solitude wasn’t a guarantee. Don’t get me wrong, even the more positive side still thought that one was likely, but at least I was open again. I had purpose, and felt like something I was doing mattered and I honestly had no expectations from it at all. Everything was a bonus. Everything felt so very “yasss”. A wrestler agreed to an interview? Fuckin yass. Many wrestlers agree to interviews? Fuckin yass, plus yaldi, plus OOOH WEE. A wrestler agrees to a sit down interview? Fuckin yass plus yaldi, plus OOH WEE, plus OH MY MY, WHAT A GUY. Mick Foley DM’s you at 1am saying he really liked that piece you linked him to about ICW and that he was a big fan of your style. Fuckin…are you……is this….a joke? HOW? WHAT? WHY? REALLY??? NO WAY. Naw….naw fuck off mate. Naw.

You catch the drift there, point is, it was fucking emotion I’ve never really felt before. Mick Foley is my all time hero in wrestling and up there with my auld man, and former Celtic playmaker Lubomir Moravcik when it comes to my heroes in life generally. There’s no one I looked up to as a young yin quite like Mick Foley. Maybe its because I grew up overweight and he didn’t have the chiselled abs like the rest of the spandexed bruisers I loved watching batter lumps out each other. Maybe it was because his character tore his hair clean out his skull and I felt like doing the same to mine (figuratively like, I was bald as fuck from ages 15 to 25). Maybe it was because up against all kinda of evil he still had a soft side. Almost a innocence that remained it tact no matter how many things lined with thumbtacks got smashed off his skull. No matter how many times a “game” wielded a sledgehammer at him. No matter how many times an Undertaker actually tried all he could to put Mick Foley in the ground for good. He never relented. I love John Cena more than most, but as far as I’m concerned he’s borrowing “Never give up” from a man who literally didn’t seem to know how.

I don’t know if this deep seeded desire to never give in was driven by the voices in his head telling him HE couldn’t do it, but the fact is something kept telling Mick Foley to get up and that resonated with me. I remember staying up till 4-5am to watch the 2000 Royal Rumble, when I was at an age where staying up till that time was actually not allowed as opposed to an ill advised decision I make regularly as an adult. WWE had recently secured a deal with terrestrial TV station (purely used that word cause typing channel twice in a row wis hurtin ma brain) Channel 4, meaning the Royal Rumble could be watched without me having to beg my mum n dad to shell out 15 quid for the PPV on cable. Mick Foley under his perhaps most fabled Cactus Jack guise would challenge Triple H for the WWE Title that night and honestly, as much as the death-matches with Terry Funk and the one where he was tossed from 30 feet in the air through a table probably brought him closer to his maker than any other contest, something about this one felt more brutal. The punishment he took that night just seemed to mean more for some reason, because in my naive little brain I was CONVINCED he was taking that title from the man attached to a nose known as Triple H. Good would triumph over evil for once. Violence for the sheer fun of being violent would triumph over huge nosed violence for personal gain. Sitting on the edge of my seat quite literally watching that, and the heartbreak that came with Foley’s loss to The Rock at that same event the year before after the most sickening and probably slightly illegal attack with a steel chair I’ve ever seen are two of the most prominent and important memories I have from growing up watching wrestling. Seems weird that two of the moments I remember more than most are two high profile “failures” but it felt good to believe in someone and be lost in those moments so much that it almost felt like YOU were there. That time period solidified Foley’s role as my hero, the gift (and perhaps the curse) he gave me in 2015 was a different kind of heroism.

I think the most troubling aspect of being validated by my all time hero was the fact that I suffer from mental illness at all. If I didn’t, such a beautiful joyful thing could never have been turned into a negative but almost instantly when I read Mick Foley’s first DM to me I wondered what made me worthy of that? I mean think about it for a second, of all the wrestlers who have gone on to write books, Mick Foley is by quite a distance the most esteemed as an author and has gone on to write several more critically acclaimed books. He has a talent for this very thing I’m doing right now. To have him tell me I was talented at a thing he’s very talented at himself was just incredibly surreal. To have him vow to share my work on social media platforms where literally millions of people follow him was almost too much. I felt mostly great about it all, but the doubts were still there. The doubts that it was all a fluke, and maybe if I hadn’t written about a promotion he was about to appear for, he wouldn’t have read it at all. Truth be told that’s probably the case as he likely gets linked to all sorts every day in his social media life. The perils of being a famous man on social media. I wondered why it was right that social media connecting us all made it so easy for me to make an impression on a man who had to do a lot more to make an impression on me all those years ago. All I did was include his handle in a tweet to get him to notice me, when he nearly fuckin died trying to entertain me.

When I first started writing I had absolutely no expectations for it, but the all-time, never to be reached but keep shooting for it anyway goal was to interview wrestling people. That was it really. I’ve always been interested in stories more than any kind of critical evaluation when it comes to wrestling, so when folk occasionally pull me for not being critical enough it kinda baffles me. I’m not in an informed enough position to fire a star rating at you or tell you what you done wrong in a match and I never will be. Its a role I’ve never been comfortable with in the slightest, but telling someones story? I’m all in for that. Getting the chance to sit next to people you admire and have them give you the time of day enough to really get something good out there is a buzz I’ve never come close to doing anything else “professionally” and when I started doing it, that unattainable goal was sitting next to the man I admired the most in wrestling and getting to pick his brain a wee bit. So I figured “fuck it”. He messaged me after all. He’s in the country for ICW in a few weeks. Why not just ask. What harm can come of asking? Well, him saying no, but apart from that? A no can only kill the self esteem after all, the human shell would still remain. BUT HE FUCKIN SAID YES. Cutting a long story very slightly shorter, he said if he had the time he would do an interview with me and a month or so later there I was. Sitting next to Mick fuckin Foley with a dictaphone and my actual phone just in case the dictaphone fucked up, asking him questions. Interviewing Mick fuckin Foley. Fuck.

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It went by in a 15 minute literary heart attack. A blur. Somehow I was coherent. Somehow I asked questions that mattered to me and mattered to him. Besides transcribing it the day after I haven’t actually ever listened to it back, but a recording exists of me interviewing Mick Foley. That’s real and it fuckin scared the living shite out of my barely functional brain. How did we manage that one? The interview happened after a Micks standup show the night after ICW at the SECC, and he left for Manchester right after, with everyone else still at the venue. I remember standing outside waiting for a taxi when Billy Kirkwood pulled up on his way out asking if I was ok for a lift, and as soon as he pulled away a few tears ran down my cheek. I don’t know what specific feelings were attached to those tears at the time, but christ, around 2011-2012 I didn’t see a future for myself at all. In life. The only thing preventing multiple suicide attempts was cowardice and a reluctance to leave my loved ones with a similar pain to the one I felt every day just from being alive. The best future I seen for myself was somehow getting some kind of IT job as far away from the world as possible and becoming one of those middle aged guys with a shit tonne of money cause they spent their 20s and 30s hidden away from the world getting really invested in weird Japanese porn. The point is, to go from that daily torment to standing outside The Stand in Glasgow after having a dream literally come true, and being able to tell my long term partner about it later carried a significance that can’t be summed up properly with words. My self worth had never been higher in my adult life than it was at that point and well…fuck. Where do we go from there? The only way is dooooooown.

Truth be told from the moment I put that interview up until very recently something’s been missing. I don’t love doing this any less than I did at all. In fact quite the opposite. Often me not writing much is due to loving it a bit too much and fretting about coming up to this imaginary standard I’d set in my head. Truth be told if Mick Foley liked anything about my stuff it wasn’t the quality control aspect of it. I write what I feel and overthinking is very counter productive to doing that. Or at least doing it well. I went off anti-depressants, then back on them, and finally off them again. I got a job and for the first time in many years, maybe ever, I had a pretty normal life on the go. Girlfriend, job, even some friends for fucks sake! Something resembling a social life. Things to do that made sitting torturing yourself over the words you are writing and the word’s you haven’t been able to muster just wasn’t the same anymore. I think for a wee while I was denying it to myself that this is what I want to do with my life and quietly that was wreaking havoc on my self esteem all over again because I stopped doing one of the things. The things that made this mental illness shit seem like less of an “illness”. The things that lifted the proverbial black cloud. The key one was undoubtedly throwing myself fully into something I loved. Something I felt deep down I was born to do. Being a writer. Spending every spare moment writing for better or worse. It has to be this again.

For the past few months, on and off, I’ve struggled again. For the past 2 weeks or so, its been an unrelenting restlessness. A feeling that I’m not doing enough that’s been impossible to shake. Weirdly working in a paper shop was one of the triggers. Front page of one of the rags with a shiny celebrity (be fucked if I know who) telling us how she “Beat” depression. Turn to page fuck yersell to read how you can beat it too! The only time the media really want to cover mental illness is when there’s chaos involved in the lows, or triumph in the highs. No one wants to talk about the day to day struggle. No one wants to cover a story about a person having what they consider to be a good day purely because they overcame depression enough to eat a meal and leave the house. No one wants to talk to you about coping mechanisms, they either wan’t you to be a mess drowning in substance abuse or “cured”. There is no cure. You could be months, years, fuckin decades free of it and one day it could decide to fuck with you again for no reason. That’s the nature of it and telling folk otherwise, pushing this stupid idea that if you do certain things or be a certain way you can be rid of it for good, is something that will forever insult and eat away it me. The only thing you can do is make day to day life easier. Sometimes a lot easier. You can recover and learn to live with it. You can find things that help rather than habitially doing things that harm. One of the few things that helps me is doing this. Because it always has been and always will be a coping mechanism and that’s ok. I think I resented it being a coping mechanism for a wee while and stopped writing about mental illness because I only wanted happy things to be attached to this but that’s not what writing is. Writing is getting the wet-suit on and scuba’ing to the deepest darkest shitest most self doubt ridden corners of who you are and pulling out the words regardless. Fuck giving up. Fuck going backwards and reverting back to the guy who wanted to die. Fuck watching this writing caper pass me by for another minute. While having a full-time job fucks with it slightly, no more excuses. No more letting my brain talk me out of doing what I love. No more of anything between 3 and 6 weeks going by without a single word going on this site. I interviewed Mick Foley ffs. I am something. I am someone. I have depression.

ICW 6th Annual Square Go Review

sqgo2In its 6th year of being a thing, the ICW Square Go was held outwith Glasgow for the very first time this year. Newcastle has arguably become ICW’s second home, boasting good turnouts and fine atmospheres when the boaysies hit the toon, but taking one of their biggest events out of Glasgow was undoubtedly a bit of a risk. A risk first and foremost of unsettling the perennial moaners who think everything related to the company of any significance needs to happen in Glasgow or it just plain disnae count. A risk of perhaps not carrying on the special legacy of the show itself and risking it being below par in a different setting. A risk considering the fact that humans are at risk of spontaneous combustion at any time and any of the performers could have literally exploded at any time during the show. A risk….ach ye get the fuckin point eh, life is risky, but the 2017 Square Go in Newcastle was a stormer. Not that I’m personally advocating it being held there every year as a 20 minute bus to town is always more palatable than a 4 hour one to Newcastle but having one of the big shows in Newcastle every year is certainly a shout because they fuckin get it. Perhaps even more than some Glasgow crowds do these days. They get what ICW is all about and adjust their behaviour accordingly. AKA they go fuckin daft for it, and the 2017 Square Go was certainly a show worth whipping the skants aff for. Emotions.

Polo Promotions (c) vs Bird and Boar – ICW Tag Team Title Match

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The ICW Tag Division has been Polo Promotions out on their own for the best part of 2 an a half years. Only The 55 briefly provided regular competition as the Power Forward and Scotlands Beeeeeeeeest stood head, shoulders, knees and toes above the chasing pack. As shocking as the outcome of this match was, it was shocking and necessary at the same time. The extremely talented Bird and Boar have quietly built a reputation for their performances in ICWs tag division since making it to the final of the tournament to crown new champions after the Polos departure from the company in March last year. Along with The New Nation they have injected new life into the tag team division. At some point one of these teams was going to have to get one over on Polo Promotions. At some point someone had to get the edge, because the triumphs mean that much more with the odd dose of heartache chucked in for good measure. The titles will always be synonymous with Jackie Polo and Mark Coffey and I hope they win them again. Fuck it, I even hope yer 442 happens one of these days, but it wont be anytime soon. In fact, according to calculations, it will be at the very least 442 days from ICWs next show. Bird and Boar carried out the perfect execution of a solid gameplan. Hit the guy who you gave a concussion to a few weeks previous in the head. Hit him in the head a fucking lot. A plan Bird and Board were carrying out to perfection early on. Keeping Coffey isolated and hitting him with all sorts of Alabama Slams. Double team stuff involving bulldogs and sitout facebusters and just generally smashing him err the back of the dome.

The isolation of the Power Forward was brought to a close when he drove hard and dunked on Bird and Boar’s daft Welsh heids, or in other words he hit that penalty kick thing he does square on Bird’s jaw, freeing him up for a tag so hot it had ye sweatin oot that stone ye packed on shoving selection box fudges in yer gub at Christmas time. ENTER JACKIE POLO. Chop, jab, chop, jab, chop, jab, repeat to fade. Repeat till a Welsh guy’s jaw becomes nothing more than a stencil of a jaw. The idea of a jaw still existed, but physically it was no more than blueprints. In other words, Jackie jabbed and chopped his jaw clean aff. That’s the point we’re swinging for here. All the hits came out, rounded off with a nice atomic drop straight into the bridging Northern Lights suplex. Gid wrestling shit from nature’s gift. He took the boaysies to a scoop slam settlement after that, but the scoops done little to derail them. It was their night and nae doubt about it at all, Bird and Boar brought a level of performance worthy of champions. I particularly enjoy how much of their double team stuff is them chucking each other at their opponents in a variety of ways. Its good to watch. They’re good to watch and a couple of bad bastards intae the bargain, and in this lovely slice of tag team storytelling, the bad guys win. The bad guys win in every slice of any type of storytelling really, but that’s gettin in tae some deeper shit that needs left for another day. Focus on the wrestling for now, and the heartbreaking way in which Polo Promotions lost the gold.

Bird smacked Mark with an all too familiar chairshot for a two count, before lining up a much more sinister con-chair-to situation that Jackie broke up with a fuckin spleen remover of a spear. More a right good rugby tackle masquerading as a spear but it done the job as Jackie Polo continued to provide timely hauners to his dazed partner. Polo then hit a shoulderbreaker right into a sick looking crossface. Absolute snap yer neck, back and eh…face, all at the one time kind of thing, but just as Bird looked like he was about to tap, Boar broke it up with a Frog Splash before once again isolating Coffey and hitting their double team finisher, one of my favourite double team moves I think I’ve ever witnessed and have the pleasure of witnessing on a semi regularly basis. Semi regularly giving me a regular semi. Mrs Pattersons Revenge. I don’t get the reference, but I imagine its some kinda Welsh shit. Like John Hartson, leeks and Ryan Giggs shagging his brothers missus. Breaking it down its basically Mike Bird gutting his opponent by embedding his knees into the midsection before Boar comes off the top and sandwiches the aforementioned gutted opponent with a frog splash. A move worthy of winning any tag team match. Even if it was a fucking punt to the gut when it ended this one and Polo Promotions reign along with it.

A hugely important win for Bird and Boar and perhaps an important defeat for the Polo’s as well. Do they continue their quest to be regarded as the best tag team in the world and go after the titles again, or is this it. Personally I reckon they still have another epic run in the tag division in them, but who the fuck cares what I think, they’ll continue to do precisely whatever the fuck they want.

Lewis Girvan vs Andy Wild – Winner Is The Number One Contender For The Zero-G Title

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Felt a bit shite for these two as they were originally scheduled to be in a Triple Threat match with Kenny for the title on this show, but yer man Ricochet swooped in and snatched that title shot clean aff them like the big famous faster than the speed of shite American man he is. Kenny vs Ricochet is money and he was the last guy to pin Kenny in ICW so is technically due a shot, but Andy Wild and Lewis Girvan are definitely both more than deserving contenders and would undoubtedly have tore the house down with Kenny in their own way if they had the triple threat match for the belt. Instead they had a rematch following their ambiguity ridden contest to decide the number one contender and that’s still a nice thing, and it was indeed a very nice match. Also generally sound to see Andy Wild in a singles match again on one of ICWs showpiece shows. A role he is familiar with from the past and a role he’ll be hoping he gets to be familiar with in the future. Keep chucking folk clean err yer heid with that belly to belly suplex and I doubt we’ll be seeing Andy Wild leave us again anytime soon.

Girvan barely had the chance to catch his breath after a taxing jump from the middle rope to the canvas when making his entrance before Andy Wild was on him like chicken fried on rice. Big man had nae intention of leaving Newcastle without a shot at the Zero-G Title in his back pocket, and was on a mission to secure just that, chucking Girvan off the ropes with a beautiful overhead belly to belly. As motivated as he was to get back in the title picture, Andy Wild lost this match so I dunno if that means he literally can’t leave Newcastle until he secures a Zero-G Title shot now. Typed wursells into a corner here it would appear. Andy mate, if yer still in Newcastle right now, feel free to leave, it was just a figure of speech and I’m sure a Zero-G Title shot is right roon the corner mate. Get yersell up the road.

For Lewis Girvan that title shot is a frisbee heading straight between his eyes as he gets his shot this Sunday at The Garage. The latest shot for him in what has seemed like an endless quest to become the champion and carry on his gold laden legacy that began when he became ICWs first AND ONLY Catchweight Champion. He took Wild down with a gorgeous German Suplex before securing the win with a spinny bulldog type takedown followed by the same submission hold that made the bold Ricochet tap. Lewis Girvan vs Kenny Williams this Sunday. Pretty neat even if I done a wee greet for Andy Wild. Your day will come chief. Keep that chin up and keep chuckin cunts aboot, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in this life so far is that chuckin cunts aboot ALWAYS gets results. 

Kay Lee Ray (c) vs Kasey – ICW Women’s Title Match

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Kay Lee Ray is the fuckin boss. Nae disrespect to Sasha Banks, who is an incredible talent n aw that, a worthy carrier of the “Boss” nickname, but look at Kay Lee ‘fuckin Ray and tell me she’s no the absolute undisputed boss. No even amongst females, the boss of all humankind that happen to do the wrestling. Stoats out to the best entrance music on planet earth, with a wee look in her eye that says no matter how good you are, or how much you bring it, she’s gonnae bring it that wee bit more. Even if her opponent comes up with a career changing, life affirming, crowd captivating performance for the ages, Kay Lee will come up with something that wee bit better. She carries that belt like its been with her since the womb, even though ICW wisnae even a thing when she was in the womb, cause that’s just how convincing she is mate. In that womb inventing shit. Probably had her maw’s vital organs paying her rent for 9 months for the privilege of existing in the same body as her.

Kasey has a right good bit of momentum lately and is a very handy wrestler in her own right. Maybe she had Kay Lee’s number and we’d have another shocker on the cards. She certainly seemed to have the mental edge early on when Kay Lee responded to her offer of a handshake by spitting her chewing gum out in Kaseys hand, only for Kasey to scoop it straight into her gub and chow down and that spit slathered goodness. Ye dae know shes probably kissed boys with that mouth eh? And boys are disgusting mate. Kasey plainly gies nae fucks. Kay Lee contended with a lot of neat stuff from Kasey early doors and gained the upper hand by sidestepping a springboard cross body before taking Kasey to every corner and chopping the tits clean off her. I realise this has different meaning for Women’s matches and while its clearly a joke when talking about mens matches (unless its a Big E match right enough but his bosom is thankfully still in tact) folk lacking in a sense of humour might not get that its a joke, so in the interest of typing far too many words to explain something that could have been explained much more easily using less words, Kay Lee Ray did not actually chop Kasey to the extent that her tits actually fell aff. She did however, chop her really hard.

Kay Lee had the guillotine choke in hard ready to record the bossiest of victories only for Kasey to deadlift her right into a brainbuster in a sequence of moves you could describe as some real good wrestling shit. Kasey was impressive throughout and has certainly carved out a wee niche for herself in ICW lately, not to mention an expanding and increasingly vocal following. Fair fucks to her because shes had to proper graft at it to get there and is seeing that graft bearing fruit, a lovely wee combination of moves rounded off by a boot to the chops in the corner had her with the upper hand but it takes more than that to put the queen of the fuckin world to the sword. Kasey hit that springboard crossbody at the second time of asking but was soon picking her teeth up aff the canvas thanks to the Gory Bomb for a two count. Kay Lee’s finisher is The Gory Bomb, but she tends to do it 2 or 3 times in a row to finish off matches these days, probably because doing a more 2 or 3 times is about 2 or 3 times more painful than doing it 1 times. Simple mathematics mate. Did you no go tae school naw?

Kasey tried to get a cross armbreaker in but to no avail. A shame for her as it would have unquestionably been quite sare, but her valiant challenge was soon at its end with Kay Lee finished off with a Swanton Gory Sandwich. Which is the incredibly unimaginative name I’m giving two Gory Bombs with a Swanton in the middle. Kay Lee wins again. A baddie who wins clean because she’s just that fuckin good. Got a problem, write tae yer MP, while the rest of us fuckin wreck the place while her and Stevies music plays. Kay Lee Ray remains your ICW Women’s Champion, but this match certainly secured Kasey’s place as a worthy contender for that belt. Very good match. Overall I give it 19 and 1/2 stars out of 19 and 3/4s.

Kenny Williams (c) vs Ricochet – ICW Zero-G Title Match

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Watching Ricochet wrestle is like when you read a really good story with no punctuation no sentences no time for such frivolity when the action is coming at you so hard your eyes can barely stay in your skull your heart can barely stay in your chest your lungs can barely keep taking in air watching is a bit like reading this seemingly neverending sentence in the sense that when you do eventually get to the end of it you’re not quite sure what you just witnessed but you know it was good somehow someway it was fucking good no wait it was fucking great no wait it was so fucking great it made you finally put a full stop in.

Kenny Williams has been on a rerr terr since becoming Zero-G Champion once again at The Hydro and this match was utterly fucking breathtaking at times. Ricochet and folk of his ilk occasionally get pelters from the likes of Jim Cornette and other pre-historic windbags who think wrasslin should be plain ol boots, elbow pads and thumbs to the eye wrasslin at all times, but wrestling has evolved and now has guys who are more athletic than yer average decathlete and d’ye know whit old timers? thats just fine so it is. No one’s forcing your eyelids open and placing you at a show/in front of a TV making you watch it. I’m sure there’s some auld Glacier matches on the WWE Network you could be wiring into instead. Kenny vs Mr O’Shea (robbin Stevie Boys patter there soz x) was delightful and I was delighted to be in attendance for it. Now that we’ve all established we’re having a delightful time, lets talk about some pro wrass…I mean, sports enterta…i mean, its fucking wrestling mate.

The bold yin had hit a suicide dive on Kenny before the bell had even finished ringing before catching the champ mid air into a backbreaker. For all the flying about shit, Ricochet is quite a powerful chap anaw. He got Kenny in a standing bow n arrow stretch before gently easing him to the corner and chibbing his poor heid aff the middle turnbuckle a few times. Cheeky as fuck. Mr big famous American McCheekybaws is whit we’ll call ye fae now on. Kenny struggled to get a foothold in it all early on as the fleet footed fucker had him seeing stars but eventually he got in about it with a back elbow on the apron before they both done about 12 moves each in 3 seconds. Well that exaggerating a bit, but ye catch my drift. It was like the broadband I used tae steal fae the cunts next door; Super fast, and responsible for a lot of erections.

They stood and forearm smashed each other to fuck, and that signalled a slowing down of the action. A lot of matches don’t get past walking pace far less standing up and literally walloping a guy wae yer forearm pace so the fact that is was a slow down in the action tells you all you need to be knowing about this one. Ricochet reversed a Quiff Buster attempt into a Northern Lights suplex like some kinda 25 limb huvin cyclops of a cunt. How are you doing the things you do. Kenny nailed it on the second attempt right enough, but only for a thoroughly exasperating two count. Ricochet got a taste of similar exasperation  when Kenny kicked out of his shooting star press. Aw the near falls, aw the big massive moves to no avail and it was a cheeky wee rollup that got the job done for Kenny as he withstood the flippiest array of offence he’s ever faced to hold on to the gold. Official match rating – tap banana pal.

Wolfgang (c) vs Trent Seven – ICW World Heavyweight Title Match

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The Big Bad Wolf has had the edge over oor Trent. Make no mistake about it. Whilst Trent has had this almost romantic relationship with ICW and its fanbase, a romance that has driven him to victories over some of the very best in the company, yer man Wolfie is a guy who’s always had that edge. He’s turned Trent from a happy go lucky moustache twirling, front row winching, piledriving machine to a guy who cost HIMSELF the ICW Title at The Hydro by deciding he had to put those brass knuckles on and smash Wolfie while they were both perched on top of a steel cage. Turning Trent from charmingly reckless to just plain old reckless. A loveable dafty to just a dafty. Then Wolfie overcame his familiar foe by just simply being the better man when the two faced each other in WWE’s UK Championship tournament. The tide was due for turning. Trent is too fucking good for it not to and eventually he figured out what it took. Just keep getting up. Keep getting up and keep forcibly inflicting blunt trauma to the opponents skull. Even if the cunt’s a superhuman flying wolf, he’s going to eventually fall. On this night there as just nae way Trent’s shoulders were sticking to the canvas for a count of three, even if ye attached an anchor to the cunt and put the ring at the bottom of the ocean, still nae way he’d be down for free and logistically it would be really difficult to aim him in such a way that he’d even land in the ring at all, but that’s neither here, nor is it there. Wrestling match.

What a match it was. It kicked off fast paced which caught me off guard a wee bit. All sorts of chops and finisher attempts. Both seemingly trying to get it over with quick before someone ended up falling from a great height on to some form of hard surface. These are boys wae WWE commitments, cannae be breaking yer neck on a Sunday night in Newcastle then ye get the call to batter lumps out Mojo Rawley on Smackdown on Tuesday and ye need to tell Daniel Bryan “cannae dae it mate, ma neck got shattered to bits cause Wolfgang chucked me down a mad green tunnel and I fell into hunners of gold coins” so it made sense to try and end it early but it was to no avail. This was always going to be an epic, and if everyone’s necks were in tact at the end up, we’re winning. They took it into the crowd and literally burst a hole in a wall which reminded me of the time recently Sha Samuels chucked Kid Fite into a puggy and went “send the bill to Dallas!” like being on a wrestling show makes you immune to the consequences of breaking shit. Poor Dallas. Cunt’s got a family but cannae take a wage oot to feed them cause his employees keep throwing each other in tae stuff and bursting it. I don’t think the puggy broke right enough, but our need to gamble is a symptom of how broken our society is, and that’s deep.

After making a Trent shaped hole in the Newcastle Academy’s wall, Wolfy dragged him to the side of the ring only for Trent to try and suplex him on the narrow metal ramp ICW use for shows in not massive venues. Wolfy eventually reversed it into a backdrop and that was the point I realised I love Trent very much. Too much to take any pleasure in seeing his spine get leathered aff some cold hard steel so many times, even if my heart wanted Wolfy to retain, my heid also wants Trent Seven’s spine in tact. Can we just take the ramp after they make their entrances when Trent has a match? I don’t want to see the man die one day cause he thought it was a cool idea to take a powerbomb off The Garage balcony on to the ramp. The ramp’s role in the action wasn’t done, with Wolfgang proceeding to chuck Trent into the crowd before hitting a motherfuckin’ standing moonsault off the stage to the floor. Wolfgang is 6 foot suhin and 18 stone of big bruising bastard so the fact that he does majestic almost floaty moonsaults will never cease to be amazing to me. Nae doubt about it, if it was to be his last night as ICW World Champion he was putting on a show. A snarling at the crowd, knocking fuck out his opponent, and displaying his full range of skills type of show. Its just a shame for him he ran into the rubber band man on this night. He was never staying down for the three. Impossible. An indestructible tower of handsome wae a beautiful beard attached to it. It was his night, but in truth it was both of their nights. They tore the house down, and if they didn’t fuckin hate each other so much it would have been the type of fight ye shake hands about after while the crowd chant “both these guys!” and completely forget whit wrestling actually is. Also, please dont chant “both these guys!” quietly like both if ye want, but please pick one when the actual wrestling is happening.

Wolfy launched a near deid looking Trent into the ring only for Trent to somehow power up and immediately land a suicide dive square on Wolfys chin. Wolfy’s immediate and devastating retort was to hit a popup powerbomb on the apron because of course it fuckin wis. It was literally the only thing left that might hurt him more than the punishing he’d given him throughout the match but it still didn’t get it done. There better be a machete or a rocket launcher or suhin in that singlet big man cause if not, yer no puttin el Trenty boy down. Trent invited him to hit him with more. Is there anything else? Kitchen sink perhaps (oh ho, we’re planting seeds, stay tuned to see where this one goes) or maybe the only thing that could do it was Trent’s own go to move. The piledriver. Nailed it. 1,2,3……surely.

Not on this night. A bullet to the brain followed by welding his shoulders to the canvas just in case still wouldn’t have been enough. It was just Trent Seven’s time to become ICW Champion. Simple as that. He kicked out of that at one before hitting a dragon suplex straight into the piledriver. It felt like all that pressure, all that punishment, all that momentum Wolfgang had instantly transferred into Trent’s body. Like when ye could steal the opponents finisher in WWE 2ksuhin. He stole Wolfys lifeforce. That was it. Game over. But Wolfy had reserves. Wolfy is the fucking World Champion, and it was gonnae take more than a single piledriver to get it done. Try 15. Try a mallet err the napper. Try the rainmaker clothesline for another two count. Fuck. Maybe neither of them were gonnae win and they’d just keep doing this until they both die off or just agree to a draw and go home while theres still enough left of them to vaguely resemble a human being. Fuck.

Lowblow, slam-dunk, into the swanton that he calls “The Howling” from Wolfy. Impressive. Nae dice. Two count. How is he still kicking out? Someone was definitely gonnae die for this shiny belt. A shiny reminder of who the fuckin best is. Chair shots to Trent’s back seemed to weaken him but he Hulked up once again and pulled they brass knucks out his skants one more time. This time he knew what he wanted to do. Catch him up top, KO with the Brass Knuckles, piledriver straight on to some steel chairs. Deid. Trent Seven is your new ICW World Heavyweight Champion.

Wolfgang’s recent rise to prominence as ICW Champion and a standout in the WWE UK title tournament has been as invested in anything to do with wrestling I’ve personally been in a long time, so I say this with a heavy heart, but Trent certainly deserved it when it was all said and done. He has put his body on the line and captivated this audience and the reaction for him winning said it all. The people wanted it and he deserved it, but fuckin appreciate what Wolfgang was as your ICW champion and appreciate what he means to Scottish Wrestling. An ambassador. A standout performer every time he gets in that ring. And a fuckin good guy into the bargain. Even when he’s playing a right bad yin. I hope he goes over there and smashes it but still gets to stay here and smash it, so basically we need Wolfgang to be smashing every promotion, everywhere, forever. Congratulations Trent. Just the winner of a 30 man over the top rope scrap to worry about now. Nae big deal. Match rating 115 stars out of 114.2.

The 6th Annual Square Go Match

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Weird as fuck that this year’s Square Go started off with two of my favourite cunts and they are such polar opposites in terms of character. Lionheart was quietly ICW’s 2016 MVP, elevating other talents and himself in the process during his run with the Zero-G Title. Ravie Davie I just dunno what kind of evil ye need to be to not like this guy. Each to their own n that, but I’ve seen nothing from him in the ring that suggests he’s not capable of being a professional wrestler. Quite the opposite in fact, he’s got a quirky style and I’m intae it. So what’s the problem some folk have? Is it offensive that he seems to be having the time of his life? Should he fire out some passive aggressive tweets about wrestling fans and the rules if they have the audacity to try and interact with him aye? Ye prefer that? The crowd in Newcastle fuckin loved him and rightly so. Him and Lionheart duked it out for a bit before both landing on their erses after a double clothesline.Chris Ridgeway was next in and for a brief moment Davie forgot the rules to this wrestling caper and actually trusted a villain. Shaking Ridgeways hand seemingly in agreement to join forces to leather Lionheart only for Ridgeway to scud his jaw with a big sexy kick.

Aaron Echo joined the party after that, and this time it was Lionheart and Ridgeway who forgot the rules. Shaking hands with a good guy seemingly with the agreement that all three of them would smash fuck outta David The Rave-id, pap him out, and huv a wee tea break after it, but Echo was having none of it and levelled Ridgeway with a beauty of a spinning forearm. Next up we had Sam Barbour another GPWA fella who stuck his lolly in Ridgeways gub, before Johnny Moss entered and ended aw the nonsense. Knocking everycunt down before mercilessly tossing Ridgeway out. Next in was Rampage Brown and I fuckin unashamedly love Rampage Brown right. I really dae. He should be an ICW regular in more places than Newcastle, but his first action was the most disappointing part of the Square Go for me as he papped Aaron Echo out. Was really hoping for Echo to get a good run this year, he’s had hunners of momentum and is an outstanding talent in general. Gutted to see him go out so early but see next year? big man’s winning it. He has all the tools and over the next year we’ll see it all come together and Aaron Echo will be a major player in ICW and wrestling in general. Rampage continued to run riot. Dumping Sam Barbour out, before Ravie Davie made an ill advised attempt to get in the middle of a Rampage and Mossy staredown and got tossed out with reckless abandon. Nae amount of puffing the chest oot is gonnae help when you’re wilfully getting in amongst a couple of big eat the breid bastards like them. After Davie was disposed of we had the showdown we all wanted from the moment they entered. Mossy and Rampage. Two guys who I’m sure we’d all welcome seeing a lot more of in ICW, and two of the finest heavyweights in Europe. Fuck it, the world. Fuck it even more, the universe. They chopped vital organs out of each other before Lionheart done a wee sneaky in and eliminated them both. Another sickener, would have liked to have seen both of them in for longer, forming an unlikely alliance to eliminate everycunt but we did get to see Mossy chuck Rampage clean over his heid with a belly to belly to throw and that was good content indeed. The best of content.

Stevie James entered next, followed by 2016’s most improved Welshman, the bold Iestyn Rees. Never has a wrestling opinion I’ve held changed so drastically than my opinion of big Iestyn. Could not go him at all, didnae get it, was not my cup of tea at all but I was wrong. Over the past 6 months or so he’s slowly turned me into a believer and the shite Chris Masters patter is utter nonsense cause Chris Masters is absolutely shite enough all on his own. A shiter version of him would be someone exactly like him cept he cannae make his pecs dance. Iestyn entered with the leather strap and scudded Stevie James a belter wae it, before his Purge team-mate Krobar entered with a Kendo Stick (not a crobar….for some reason) and provided some timely hauners, before Davey Boy entered and took everycunt out with a variety of spinny spears. Joe Hendry was next up with a new entrance video poking fun at Lionheart taking selfies with his dug again. Its a laugh n that right, I get it, but see when you’ve got a cute dug, you have a moral obligation to take a hunner million selfies with it so the next wee ditty referencing this fact should be CELEBRATING the selfies. Maybe a wee montage of all the best yins with a Phil Collins number gently serenading us in the background. Joe added injury to insult when he flung Lionheart over the top rope only for Hearto to climb back in and eliminate Hendry. Never been a fan of that rule, that people not in the match can eliminate ye. Imagine ye faw aff yer horse in the grand national but its perfectly legal to jump on a moped and run doon the rest of the field so no one else gets to win. Nonsense. Oh speaking of folk not in the match, Austin Osiris and Kyle Khaos came down and were immediately tossed out by The Purge and in entirely related news, I love The Purge now. Even though one half of them was tossed out after being put through a table by Davey Boy before DCT entered the fray to save the day (HES GONNA SAVE THE DAAAAAAAAAAAAAY)

DCT made a beeline for Davey probably because they heavy hate each other these days for some reason. Flex Hunter was next in, entering with his new manager the bold Chris Toal, chucking out fellow GPWA original Krobar first before standing toe to toe with big Iestyn and getting the better of my new favourite wrestler, eliminating him and looking mean as fuck. Folk compare him to big Nash but yer man was busting out spin kicks to the jaw here, and they didn’t look incredibly awkward so give the Flexas Rattlesnake a bit more credit than that eh. Even if his jacknife is on point, he’s nae Kevin Nash copy. Hair’s a different colour n everything. Jason Prime was in next and that was when this Square Go really started to take shape, I’d genuinely forgot The New Nation were with The Wee Man anaw but out came Alexander Henry next to form an alliance with Davey Boy. Three guys, one entrant in at a time, toss them out one by one and fight it out between the three of ye. Big Flex was out anaw thanks to about 50 folk, so surely it would be plain sailing for the wee mans trio of terrors, as they heartbreakingly papped DCT out anaw. Christopher Saynt was the next entrant and was duly disposed of despite coming close to sending Henry packing before their wee party was broke up by not one, but fuckin BOTH of The NAK entering one after the other. BT getting rid of Jason Prime, before Renfrew fended off an onrushing Davey Boy to enter and send Henry over the top rope. Renfrew was also in hospital earlier in the week and wasn’t supposed to be there, but the Square Go is his show. The Square Go made him famous, and if he wasn’t having one of the best matches of his career in the title match this year, he was just gonnae have to fall out with his best pal instead. Is it NAK till death, or  NAK till the death of BT Gunn and Chris Renfrew’s friendship?

Davey was tossed out like a used Johnny before BT and Renfrew teed off on each other with sickening chops. Folk tend to sleep on Renfrew’s chops because BT’s are so notoriously sickening but Renfrew is one of the better chopslingers in this grapplin game and more than held his own as they sorted this tension out the only way they know how. Leathering each other and everyone within a 50 mile radius of them, but they were soon working as a unit again when the next entrant revealed himself to be their mortal enemy and the guy I quietly hoped would have his big moment on this show. Career making shit if someone like Stevie Boy was to win it, and here he was, entering with hunners of momentum and a decent number anaw. If he could survive the NAK barrage it might just be his. Kenny Williams stoated out for some reason and tossed Stevie to the wolves, before Kay Lee Ray attempted to provide hauners for her man and got a kick square in the jaw for her troubles. Kid Fite was next in to provide some knock yer teeth oot and shove them down yer maws throat type of Glesga-ness to the affair, forming a brief alliance with Stevie before Martin Kirby entered to a huge reaction. Fito reminded Kirby of his ill fated run with The 55 (before it became a tag team it was a stable with hunners of folk in it) and ordered him to run out to the nearest Costa and get yer auld Da Fito two muffins. Nae drinks, cause unless its lager or anything oot a glass bottle saying “Barrs” on it, its no passing Fitos lips. Kirby was having none of it and shook off the ghost of his ICW past with a big kick to Kid Fites dome. Sha Samuels was next in to a rapturous reception, which is nice but still fuckin weird to hear folk go daft for the best baddie in the UK. He immediately set about Kid Fite, probably because he stuffed him in the boot of a car the last time they seen each other and being in the boot of a car is uncomfortable. I hope their feud gets a big spot on a big show. Its not really happened for a variety of reasons but there’s nae doubt that there’s a cracker of a scrap in them that deserves a big stage. James Scott appeared next and was impressive throughout. He’s been on the ball since making his comeback and it makes ye wonder why he was ever away. Mind you the wee spell not seeing him wrestle made you appreciate how good he is. From one Jimmy to another as yer man Jimmy Havoc made his ICW return next. Coming in and leathering everycunt with some serious rainmakers. Absolute sickeners. Even when hes a good-ish guy in the wrestling he still gives off the vibe of a guy who would stab you for the rest of yer pint and thats a level of danger that can win a Square Go. Easy. Unless you meet a foe who cannot be stabbed, like a man made of iron.

Joe Coffey entered at number 26 and for once, the thing that was supposed to happen only went and happened. After the best part of 3 years grafting to get to the very top, only to be knocked back down time after time. No yet Joe. Its not your time yet. Keep at it though. Keep on having the best match of the night and knocking yer pan in and one day it’ll come. He probably stopped believing it would. After lasting the whole match last year only to be toppled by a fresh as a fuckin daisy Wolfgang at the last hurdle. Earning the right to face Damo for the ICW World Title again and conquering the beast only for that same fresh as a fuckin daisy Wolfgang to stroll out and snatch it all away once again. Two guys the big bad Wolf has almost had a hex over for the past year toppled him in the same night. A cosmic shift and one that will see the hunger sparked in Wolfgang once more. At the top of his game and the shackles of being an out and out baddie take off him, he’ll be just fine after this but right now as far as the title’s concerned Joe and Trent’s time. Joe immediately put Sha Samuels, Kid Fite and Martin Kirby out before a familiar foe surfaced to fuck it aw up once more. None other than Liam Thomson wae the kitchen sink. Naw wait….it is Liam Thomson with a kitchen sink, but that’s not the foe we’re on about, instead Wolfy jumped out, mistaking the sink Liam had for his sink at home with the intention of delivering a sound thrashing to the guy who stole his sink. Not content with delivering said thrashing, Wolfgang decided to take his place in the Square Go as well. Getting that shiny belt back almost as soon as he dropped it. Tap of his fuckin game. It might have been a night where the big man snatched joy from the jaws of misery but it wisnae. It was Joes night. My heart wanted it to be Stevie Boys night but he was dumped out unspectacularly as Wolfgang hit the ring. Better days are coming for you Stevie ma man.You n Aaron Echo in the final two next year.

Drew Galloway represented major competition to both of the most recent former ICW Champions entering at number 28. Fresh and right good at slinging out doings. James Scott got slingshotted clean out by Joe Coffey somewhere in amongst it all before Joe and Drew renewed their own bitter rivalry with a chop war, ended by that whole row of yer bottom teeth removing kick he does, before he dished out a Futureshock to Wolfgang for a giggle. Big man looked fired up and took Jimmy Havoc out the equation with a big boot before another former ICW Champion entered. The man who usurped Drew, and the man who had every single body in Newcastle singing his tune. Fuck yer copyright. Mare lit fuckin…..copySHITE. WHEN YOU CALL HIS NAME, GRADO’S GONNAE TAKE YE THERE.

Of course he instantly stood toe to toe with Renfrew because they cannae be in the same building without somehow ending up jabbin each other. Cunts could be at the opposite ends of Buchanan Galleries, absent mindedly shopping away and 5 seconds later they’re chuckin each other intae the Pizza Hut buffet. I actually dunno if Buchanan Galleries has a Pizza Hut, but the point is, they fight a lot. They jabbed each other repeatedly before Renfrew got BT Gunn involved and whipped him towards Grado in the corner. Grado lifted him over the top rope on to the apron and ducked as Renfew came flying in forearm first, knocking BT Gunn aff the apron. Aye. That’s right. Chris Renfrew put BT Gunn out the Square Go. NAK fans hold on to yer arseholes because this one seems to be happening. Its either a big tease or we’re gonnae see BT Gunn and Renfrew smashing each other again soon. Renfrew barely had time to aim a “mate….sorry” at BT before Grado and papped him out. There would be no NAK winner of the Square Go this year, and maybe nae NAK at all soon.

Last but not feart to stick a finger up yer bum was Jack Jester. Right in amongst the battle with Drew Galloway because they hate each other again n that. Seems like a decade ago Drew settled his feud with Jester by ending his year long reign with the belt. Ye just get used to them palling aboot, being really sarcastic and pretending to jizz on folk. But there they were, sluggin it out, exchanging hits to the baws before Drew tossed Jester on the apron and aimed a running boot at him only for Jester to pull to top rope down and bounce him out. There goes the big guy, and here comes Galloway vs Jester part two. Jester barely had time to enjoy it before Grado had taken advantage of him hovering near the ropes too long and slung him out. And then there were three. The last three guys to hold the ICW Title not called Damo or Chris Renfrew. Dont think that stat works actually. Point is, they’ve aw had the belt. Wolfgang had it like an hour earlier. They aw want it again. Wolfgang and Joe came to a weirdly heartening understanding to battle it out as the final two one last time and joined forces to put Grado out. Poor Grado. He was pretty much single handedly responsible for eliminating three former ICW Champions and they were both lit “oot ye go”. Oot he went. One more time. Coffey vs Wolfy. Big time shit on the line.

Fair fucks to them both, because they pretty much had a match to finish this off. Exchanging finishers with Coffey missing The Swanton and Wolfy hitting the discus. Both having their fair share of wobbles on the apron as they desperately tried to stay in it. Joe also logged a worrying amount of time on and around the top rope. Always a dangerous game in a battle royale, but it was his night. Nae way anyone was coming in between him and the big prize again and Wolfy attempted to dump Joe out , only for Joe to smash Wolfy tae fuck over the top rope with “Aw The Best For The Bells” to become the number one contender once again. It was his night and he fuckin undoubtedly deserved it. The spoils without anything or anybody fucking it up. As frustrating as its been at times, its a tremendous bit of storytelling for him to triumph in the midst of so many former champions and folk who have actively stood in his way in the past. Poetic to finally get there by putting the big bad Wolf to the sword. 

Trent stoated out for a wee look at his first hurdle. Whenever he takes his shot, he’ll forever be Trent’s first hurdle as champ. He’s always in there mentally. A danger at any time, and a guy who can beat anyone in the company fair and square, so imagine how much of a danger he’ll be when he can pick his moment? Nae wonder Trent came out. He needed to show Joe he wisnae feart. Come ahead whenever you’re ready Iron Man. Wolfy had one last desperate grab at Trents belt before being ushered away raging. The adversity will definitely work in his favour in the long run but it was a pure gutter to see him knocked off his perch then booted in the baws when he tried to get back on that perch. Double perch related traumas for the big man. Trent called for a couple of beer and they toasted their respective victories but each toast got more “my Da’s bigger than your Da” and eventually they needed separated. Joe wanted to cash it in there and then but he’s smarter than that. He’s learned from all the shite slung at him. Wait for the right moment. It all ended amicably but that battle will happen with that shiny belt on the line, and when it does it’ll be fucking immense.

The Square Go overall was excellent. Tag title and world title matches both top drawer. Every match was fucking excellent actually. More Aaron Echo in the Square Go and more Stevie and it would have been perfect but that’s just personal preference. The final moments were reserved for the all-stars and maybe Stevie’s not in that bracket yet but if he’s not he’ll get there. He’s right on the cusp of it. Overall I give the 6th annual square go a star rating of Alan Shearer cannae jump. Cheers Newcastle x