Maryhill will always be a big part of ICW’s history. Its where the whole thing began after all, but somewhere along the line the company outgrew it and as a result new talent will never really know what its like to make their first impression on the company in that historic place. The growth of the company means that teeth are cut under the bright lights of The Garage now, and while that’s where Kenny Williams did make his ICW debut, it was a one-off show in Maryhill where he really opened people’s eyes to what he could do. In a match that on paper could just have been the purveyors of anarchy the NAK (the Renfrew, BT Gunn and Divers version) knocking the living fuck out of Team CK (Kenny as “Kenneth” teaming with former ICW wrestler Christopher) for a laugh, but they found something that night. Maryhill seems to have this power that if properly tapped in to, can take a performer to a new level. This was a crowd absolutely geared up to hate this wee walking quiffs in skintight chinos. They were so against ICW’s deep rooted ethos of not giving a fuck what anyone thought that watching borderline hooligans like the NAK batter them would represent a joyful experience. Almost a release at the end of a hard week. Yet many of the crowd that night got behind the quiffs. Many of the crowd that night realised that Kenny is indeed the bollocks. They dived all over Maryhill that night and took their tanking like warriors. Kenny in particular. While it was a losing effort that night, the respect they earned caused at least one of their careers to skyrocket.
That night proved to be a launchpad for him personally, and while his tag partner seemed to vanish off the face of the earth, Kenny got better and better. Almost as if they were twins and Kenny decided to scran Christopher in the womb in order to absorb his wrestling power. It soon became obvious that no matter how hard he and manager James R.Kennedy tried, that Kenny Williams was not a baddie. Not by any stretch of the imagination. As soon as “Kenny Is The Bollocks” became a thing and had its own merch line, it was over for any notion of that and slowly we began to get full blown good guy Kenny. The heir to the Zero-G throne. When he eventually did become to one to permanently usurp Mark Coffey from the top of that division it just felt right. A natural progression. As much as Mark Coffey absolutely owned it and made the division his own, he’s not a “Zero-G” guy. The name of that title was very much designed for the likes of Kenny, who isnae yer Will Ospreay doing aw sorts of 450s and making ye dizzy type of Zero-G but almost glides through the air effortlessly on that back elbow and works with a pace and precision that makes it look like he isn’t affected by gravity. Literally Zero-G.
Over the past three years he’s set about that division like Tommy Robinson sets about any civilian no wearing a giant poppy as a hat. After an excellent first reign where he held the gold for the best part of a year, he embarked on a seemingly endless journey to re-capture it, leading to the worst slump in his ICW career in the lead up to the last Hydro show before he won the Stairway To Heaven match. His second reign saw for me his strongest one on one feud take place with the best baddie in the UK right now, Zack Gibson. A feud that cemented both as two of the very best in the company and UK in general, and a feud that seemed genuinely bitter at points, with both men stealing the title when they didn’t hold it as they genuinely believed it belonged to them. Their battles elevated both the title itself and the performers involved to the point that while Kenny might not hold the championship going in to the show, its one of the prizes up for grabs in the main event, while both Gibson and Kenny are part of two huge matches elsewhere on the card. A rare case of both performers and the title itself emerging from a feud stronger than any of them were before it happened.
A vital cog in making all of that possible was Lionheart. A guy who was so good as a baddie when he had the title, that the release when Kenny toppled him at The Hydro last year was almost therapeutic. His masterful work during that run definitely earned him his place in the three way dance with Gibson and RVD, but his role in making Kenny vs Rey have such a big time feel shouldn’t be diminished. Kenny toppling Lionheart reminded everyone just how untouchable as an out and out hero he can be and when he overcame Gibson in a ladder match to seal a history making third reign with the title that’s been synonymous with his name, it almost felt like it was his time when BT Gunn toppled him a night later. This is always what he was meant to do at The Hydro and a match of that magnitude needs nothing to fight for other than the pride of winning it. In case it had escaped your attention, Rey Mysterio is a bonafide wrestling legend. Beating him would propel Kenny to something else. Something that might see his next appearance on RAW as the guy fighting Samoa Joe instead of the security guy haudin the big man back from dishin oot a scheme bootin.
Much like when Joe Coffey stood toe to toe with Kurt Angle last year, this type of match needs a venue like The Hydro. Well maybe not “needs”, it would be great anywhere but it DESERVES The Hydro. It deserves that stage because Kenny Williams has built a reputation as one of the best at his particular style of this wrestling caper and he gets to prove that on a massive stage against a guy who broke down barriers for guys Kenny’s size. He showed the world that even if you weigh half of the guy you’re fighting, if ye jump aboot enough he’ll get heavy dizzy, and if you aim for the knees a lot, you might even put some of these big oak tree lookin bastards on their arse. If Rey Mysterio can hurricanrana Triple H clean over the top rope to win the Royal Rumble en route to becoming a World Champion, Kenny Williams surely has it in him to beat Rey himself and earn a World Title of his own one day. He’ll be hoping that day is not too far in the future but for now a win over a living legend will probably do.
Cheers as always to David J.Wilson for the photos.
Get tickets for The Hydro right here and see Kenny elbow Rey’s wee heart clean oot his chist – https://www1.ticketmaster.co.uk/icw-fear-loathing-x-glasgow-19-11-2017/event/3600517298384AB0