Before ICW’s second last Edinburgh show, a nervousness had consumed me. Liam Thomson was due to appear to address his long injury lay off and that meant something horrible was at least a possibility. Maybe the game was a bogey. The injuries over the years have accumulated and this time there would be no coming back. Thankfully while the promo seemed like it might be heading that way, instead the seed was planted for a potential all Edinburgh feud with Joe Hendry one day and everybody emerged frpm it very much not retired. Massive relief. Liam Thomson wasn’t finished yet.
It would have been the cruellest of blows for Liam at that stage in his career. Only a few months removed from a WWE try out and in the midst of what was one of the most entertaining feuds in ICW last year, if not in the companies whole history; It looked like Liam Thomson was right on the cusp of getting the recognition his talent has deserved for a long time. The feud in question had reached the stage where Liam had little else to lose. Already a sink, and then a whole house down, there was little else Wolfgang could conceivably take from the poor man other than one or more of his countless degrees. For Christ sake, he came out for his next ICW match with his worldly possessions in a back pack, scranning the living daylights out of a steak bake some kindly stranger had no doubt purchased for him as he took a nap outside Buchanan Bus Station covered in newspaper. He was homeless, hopeless and ready for an almighty pay off in a feud that saw two opponents who have saw plenty of each other over the years in Scottish wrestling somehow break new and hilarious ground in their personal battle. No doubt the pay off would have been beautiful. Hopefully it still will be one of these days. But Liam was unfortunately forced to postpone it to deal with something a touch more serious.
One thing the promo Liam cut in Edinburgh made clear that if he was being truthful for the first part of it, that his medical situation was not good and he was basically advised to chuck this whole wrestling patter. A hard pill to swallow, but some folk just can’t do it until its absolutely taken out of their hands. Pro wrestling keeps drawing them in. Liam Thomson has always struck me as that type of guy. Never consumed by ego or the politics of it all, just a guy who loves pro wrestling and enjoys going out there and doing it well. That’s why personally even though for the vast majority of the times I’ve seen him he’s been a villain, he’s always been a big favourite of mine. Whether its being a bit of a hardnut bastard with Fight Club, scudding his real life missus Carmel Jacob with a chair in the name of inter-gender wrestling madness, or being the cocky bastard telling weans to shut it at family shows. Most of the time he’s been a baddie. In fact I’m struggling to recall a time I’ve watched him in any other capacity. That’s what makes what happened at ICW on Saturday night so special.
ICW is a place where its probably more accepted than anywhere else for villains to be cheered. It just is. Maybe folk think its cool and edgy to do the opposite of what you’re supposed to do. Maybe folk just love bastards. Who knows. Liam Thomson however…he’s never been one of yer cool t-shirt slingin heels. He was never in the NAK. Fight Club were always the baddies. Anyone cheering for the guy who swings steel objects at his Mrs probably isn’t all there in the mental department, so you can go ahead and ignore any cheers he got in that storyline as well. Even during the fun and games of the Wolfgang feud, you couldn’t call him the good guy. More of a dafty who just wouldn’t learn his lesson to leave the big bad Wolf alone.
Yet when that hooded roughian provided Ravie Davie with some timely hauners, right in the middle of Liam’s ex tag partner Kid Fite and his two bestos stomping a mudhole in him and walking it dry, the crowd went mental. The assumption probably being that it was Davie’s cousin Zander, but then the figure slung a beautiful t-bone suplex that made you think otherwise. The penny had probably dropped with a few folk, but when the hood came down and Liam Thomson revealed himself the roof came clean off the place. In a weekend Grado made his first appearance for over a year, somehow he wasn’t the one who got the loudest crowd reaction. People were absolutely fucking delighted to have “Bad Boy” Liam Thomson back and rightly so.
After years of giving him the boo’s his villainous work deserved, all the character stuff was stripped away and what was left was 1,000 odd people appreciating someone who has done a lot for their entertainment. The noise was no accident, it wasn’t to do with folk just reacting to a surprise, it was fans recognising they almost lost a brilliant talent long before that talent was done with wrestling and it was a massively heartwarming thing to be in the crowd for. One of the things that will stick in the mind when we’re aw heavy old and the 1000s of matches we’ve seen all kinda roll in to one. Moments like that never fade. Hopefully it can be a springboard for one of the most technically proficient (not to mention fuckin hilarious) wrestlers Scotland has ever produced making the comeback to end all comebacks and winning every shiny belt in Scotland.
Welcome back Liam. Away and get yer sink back mate. Wolfgang’s in America a lot these days anyway. Next time hes over there, gain the trust of whoever holds his spare key and you’ll no even run the risk of the polis nabbing you for breaking and entering.