It had to be them. When your company holds its biggest show of the year. Even the biggest show in its history, you don’t leave the workhorses on the bench. You don’t leave the two guys who have been the very best in ring performers in the company for going on 4 years now on the sidelines. You don’t leave your two deadliest strikers farting about the midfield. The 2015 Wrestler Of The Year vote came down to a handful of votes between these two because they went out and killed it every single fuckin time and have continued doing so since. In fact naw, they’ve done it since the very first time both of them stepped in an ICW ring and that’s why they are two of only four people to have more than one reign as ICW Champion. When the big show comes around, don’t pick the team based on reputations. Don’t pick it because of what folk have done before. Pick it on current form. Pick the guys who are firing on all cylinders and as a result, are making the titles they hold seem hugely important. Pick Champion vs Champion. Pick Joe Coffey vs BT Gunn for AW the belts.
Joe has had some absolute stormers of late with the title on the line, and while no one could really see the likes of big Keith Lee or Moose taking the title and replacing The Iron King in the main event at The Hydro, Joe overcoming them in outstanding bouts while still retaining that villainous aura has made the title feel like the biggest prize in Independent pro wrestling again. Its a role that suits him, sitting on top of the pile, inviting anyone from any corner of the earth of thinks they have what it takes to come and have a shot at the shiny. BT Gunn on the other hand has been riding the wave of emotion that came with him winning the Zero-G Title and in turn, becoming ICW’s first ever triple crown winner. Grand slammer. Jaw tanner. The fuckin guy. His achievement happened after he toppled the first and currently only ever 3 time holder of the Zero-G Title Kenny Williams, and since then those two massive things happening back to back that title has felt huge, and in turn it makes this match feel more like a unification than the the top guy of one division taking on the top guy from another. The Zero-G title is no longer something you’ll see Joe Coffey opt out of winning as he once did back in 2013 when he was involved in the a multi man match with the title on the line and decided he plain wasn’t interested. It wasn’t the one he was after, but now? He wants it just as bad as BT Gunn wants to become the first ever three time ICW Champion. Because winning it makes him the undisputed top dog.
While they have high level performances in the ring very much in common, their paths to this massive match have been very different. Joe had cultivated a huge following over the past few years based on his eye catching matches and crowd pleasing mannerisms. Beating the chest, and being a walking advert for the marvel movies made him the most effective good guy in ICW by a distance. He was so good that it made Red Lightnings job as the authority figure trying to hold him down so much easier. Red is a guy who is already very good at his job, and having such a natural good guy to aim his heinous words at was perfect. The stuff between Joe Coffey and Red Lightning has been consistently great because they bounce off each other so well. Joe continually fighting for spots he rightly feels he deserves, while Red constantly represents the chosen ones holding him back. The auld pals act. As long as the likes of Red Lightning existed, there was no beating the system, so Joe decided to join them instead. Joe decided that no matter how hard he fought, even if he made it to the mountain top there would be some bastard up there ready to knock him all the way down, so he decided the buy in. Fuck it.
They’re not trying to save pro wrestling like they did in 2013. Their alliance then ended when Joe first showed signs of becoming the all conquering hero by unceremoniously stuffing tenners in Red Lightnings gub moments after he had lost his ICW Title to Mikey Whiplash. Tearing into him for valuing money over pride. It seems almost poetic that now he fights alongside Red with the mighty dolla at the forefront of their thinking. As a unit thats what its all about for them. Making racks, and laughing at any geek who tries to get in their way. The only thing is, BT Gunn is far from a geek. He’s been the best kept secret in British Wrestling for years now and is finally getting the rub his talent deserves. Companies chucking gold at him from all angles. He built up a menacing reputation as an unhinged baddie with the NAK and it was the perfect fit for him at the time. As part of that chaotic unit he was able to have superb matches all over the shop, flying under the radar as one of the very best because he was always part of something bigger. The NAK vs Legion feud has some of BT Gunns best work tucked away in it, and he continually had singles matches that caught the eye but it was the demise of the NAK and the almost awkward split between him and Renfrew that saw him take a different path, and in turn, saw him find his voice.
The silent assassin thing works well when you have a mouthpiece like Renfrew who can flesh out the character a bit with words, while BT backed it up constantly by being a stone cold killer in the ring, but when the split happened BT needed to stand alone. Even if its infrequent, he needs his voice to be heard and ever since he cut that promo challenging Joe to the match at The Hydro he’s become something else. No longer quietly one of the best out there, he is out and proud. The fatal four way match for the WWE UK Championship at Shugs House Party 4 cemented it. He really made you feel like he might actually win it and that’s a special thing. The audience completely bought in to the idea that BT Gunn was going to walk out of that match as champion and walk in to Vince’s office the next day demanding a job. How could he refuse the guy who overcame three of the most vital cogs in this UK division before literally stoating in with your property around his waist because he fuckin earned it.
No matter who comes out on top, there will be a lot of eyes on this match and rightly so. It deserves that spot at the very top of the bill. A pair of Glasgow’s own, in the main event of the biggest wrestling show Glasgow has ever seen, with the eyes of the world watching. Is there anything better than that? Besides smack, but smack kills.
Huge thank you to David J.Wilson for the photos used as per. Man’s a genius
Getting sick saying it now, but buy tickets here. Go to the show. It’ll be smashin. Wrestling. Beers with straws. I’m sure they serve pizza somewhere in The Hydro. Whit ye waiting for? https://www1.ticketmaster.co.uk/icw-fear-loathing-x-glasgow-19-11-2017/event/3600517298384AB0