18 Reasons To Go To ICW Fear and Loathing

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Its 18 reasons because there’s 18 matches announced. The reason is the wrestling. These articles tend to do a bit better if you make it a list so here we are. I wanted to review France 2000 as well but I’ve no had time so here is this instead. You should come to the shows. For the various reasons stated below. Continue reading

The Jackie Polo And Lionheart Saga – Fear And Loathing 11 MAIN EVENT Preview

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Some people will tell you the best stories are true stories. A true story gives you the chance to empathise with the characters, a feeling that if it can happen in their lives, it can happen in yours just as easily. Some will tell you the more outlandish the story the better and that fiction is the best form of storytelling. Escapism. Where we can create other universes, superheroes, aliens, even the lord god himself can exist in the land of fiction. For me, a combination of the two is perfection and that’s why wrestling exists. For people who like their reality to not be all that real…but they want it to be at least a wee bit real at the same time. They want it to feel authentic. They want the two people staring each other down in the middle of that ring to look like they want to murder each other. They want it to be Jackie Polo vs Lionheart.

The first time around I have absolutely no doubt they legitimately hated one and other on a personal level. Hate is a strong word but it’s not used without basis here. There was no mutual respect. No secret friendship. Nothing resembling a relationship of any kind except perhaps co-workers. When Lionheart broke his neck a rivalry based on mutual dislike became a rivalry based on white-hot hatred. Real heat. “Another retirement looms” might seem like three simple, almost innocuous words but the timing of it lit the feud on fire. Pals of Lionheart absolutely fuming with what was deemed to be Jackie Polo making light of something life altering and potentially career ending. Did Polo flinch for a second? Did he fuck. The reason for that is simple. Jackie Polo is the best character in the UK today. When it comes to being absolutely 100% committed to whatever he’s doing in wrestling, there is simply no one better. He knew what he was doing when he tweeted that and didn’t regret it for a second. Why would he? You were supposed to hate him and if you think what he tweeted crossed a line? Good. Use that hate and boo that ears clean off him the next time you see him live. When he’s a villain there’s few who come close to doing it the way he does.

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He will ignore you when you ask for a photo outside the venue. He will chuck your autograph book in a puddle and watch as your treasured memories become soggy scribbles. As part of Polo Promotions when they were baddies they were bad, they used dirty tricks, anything it might take to get the job done and when the crowd started to go with them? He chucked himself right in to that as well. If you ever wanted a photo or even an interview (hint, hint) with him, that was your chance. His character was a fan favourite so you got that with all the bells and whistles. The teletubbies dancing, high fiving, ice cream tanning, scooptastic, all singing, all dancing Jackie Polo and when that was over and CAPTAIN JAAAAACK came back, he had to find a way to make them hate him again. Too many were still cheering. Still loyal to the scoop. He had to become something else.

While all that was happening, Lionheart was picking himself off the floor. Stunned by his comeback from a career threatening injury being met with, to tell the absolute truth, indifference. The crowd weren’t with him. As much as I’m sure everyone was happy to see him back doing what he loves doing, it wasn’t enough to get them to throw their backing behind him, and it crushed him. Not Lionheart the wrestler, Adrian McCallum the human being was dumbfounded by it. How could this be? How could they possibly prefer the guy who had based a lot of his career around winding folk up as much as possible? What did he have to do to get them to love him? Break a few limbs as well? Lose an eye? A baw? What would it take. Truth be told nothing he could have overcome to make it to that match would have been enough. Once the audience have made their minds up, there’s little you can do to change that and even if it wasn’t a landslide, Polo had them that night. They wanted him to win and when he did, they revelled in it much like Jackie did himself. It was time for Lionheart to become something else. In wrestling if you can’t adapt, you can’t have a career at this. It’s as simple as that. Things change, opinions change, and when they do? You have to change. They didn’t want to cheer? Ok then. Make them boo as much as possible instead. Make them belligerently thrust the middle fingers in your face like Austin in the late 90s. Make them hate ye. Make them care.

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While Lionheart was becoming the “fanny” who ruled the Zero-G Division, Polo was happily dominating the tag division alongside his best pal Mark Coffey. After that first match, there was two chances of Jackie Polo and Lionheart ever meeting again. Nane and fuck all. It just wasn’t on the cards. They were happy to do their own thing entirely separate from one and other until things changed again. Suddenly over the course of his feud with Joe Hendry, the crowd started to back Lionheart. Who knows what made it turn, maybe it was a simple as the performances he was putting on in the ring, maybe he was just giving off that energy that wrestling fans cling to. That energy that makes you believe this and this alone is what that wrestler lives for. This company, this title, these fans. He suddenly became the guy who he wanted to be that night at the Barrowlands a few years earlier when he hit rock bottom at the sharp end of Jackie Polo’s boot. You’d think a neck break would be the lowest of the low when it comes to reflecting on your career to date, but to me anyway, that night was even worse for Lionheart. They rejected him and it hurt. He was defeated and it hurt. Then it was suddenly on the cards again. Almost from nowhere. Standing face to face in the middle of the ring during the 2018 Square Go you felt it. This wasn’t just a wee throwback scrap. No nostalgia at play here. This was it. It was on once more. It was only a matter of time until they would meet again.

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Polo tried his absolute best to become the bastard he once was and continually resisted the match. Even breaking out a wee fake retirement to kick it all off. They still weren’t having it. Polo Promotions for life. There’s a charisma about the guy that once you really see it, its hard to unsee it and suspend your disbelief to dislike him. Its something I’ve never personally found possible. Even through the never-ending This Is Your Life segment, and the pacing slowly up and down the ring in Edinburgh just to see how long folk would keep reacting to it, and even the Hillsborough reference when ICW debuted in Liverpool, you can’t take your eyes off it when he’s on his game. Once you start appreciating his work you can’t suddenly unappreciate it. A true villain and a master at getting a crowd to care about what he’s involved.. Even if the thing they care about is his untimely death. The sequel came around. Barramania 4. A full 3 years since they first sold out that venue with just their match announced. It was happening again, Polo finally signed on the dotted line and we were finally getting the sequel. This time the crowd were split down the middle I’d say. Lionheart no longer considered the perennial fanny by most, even some Polo fans must have at least had a grudging respect for how he turned it all around and with that we just had a rip roaring screamer of a match. The match of the year so far in ICW but what made it so good was that sense of desperation in Lionheart. He NEEDED that win, whereas Jackie Polo was sure he was getting it no matter what.

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On that night self-assurance trumped desperation. Jackie Polo won once again and a crestfallen Lionheart was left considering if he’d made the right decision to get back in the ring with a man who just seems to always get the better of him. His bogey team. A guy who had taken up residence in Lionhearts conscience and was showing nae signs of giving up that lease anytime soon. Lionheart chucked it after that. He was done. Another retirement was less of a looming possibility and more of a certainty until one almighty slap from Sha Samuels woke him up. This wasn’t over yet. Not by a long shot.

When Jackie Polo emerged at The Barrowlands as “Just Justice” Jackie Polo it must have been disorienting. Even a wee bit funny. What was he uptae? What was his game with this patter? His game was simple. Get them to hate ye again. The perfect opportunity popped up at Shoogs Hoose Party a few months later when DCT stunned the world and became the ICW World Champion. An unthinkable rise from being the guy taken under Polo’s wing a few years earlier to join Polo Promotions, to being the first one from that stable to earn the right to call themselves champ. But first on that very same weekender came act three. A generous offer from ICW promoter Mark Dallas had ol Just Justice signing on the dotted line for Lionheart vs Polo 3 and when Lionheart was finally convinced to give overcoming his greatest foe one more shot, the seed was truly planted for what’s to come this Sunday. This time it wasn’t desperation fuelling Lionheart, it was a sense of injustice. A sense that he’d let Jackie Polo win the mind games for too long and on this night he would not be beaten. Even if Jackie pulled a shotgun out his trunks and blew Lionhearts head clean off, he was still getting his hand raised at the end of that match.

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It was another blistering encounter and confirmation that despite their deep-seated disdain for each other that they had chemistry in the ring. Neither of them probably wanted to admit that to themselves or each other when they first locked horns, but things change. They probably didn’t hate each other on a personal level quite as much as they did back then (although I sincerely doubt you’ll see them out for a beer together anytime soon) and it was another match that was captivating from the very start. Could Polo do the unthinkable and hand Lionheart a defeat that would be impossible to come back from? The very possibility of it had everyone transfixed. Every near fall. Every time Polo hit a big time move and Lionheart somehow got the shoulder up there was gasps. A growing feeling that this was finally HIS night. Low and behold it was. Even the very move that broke his neck wasn’t enough to put him away that night. When that final frog splash landed and the referee counted the three it was a release. It was redemption. Finally he’d proved that he was at the very least capable of beating Jackie Polo. Something he and many others have doubted at various points in this saga. Did he have it in him to block out that wee voice telling him he cant do it. Did he have in him to block out his opponent telling him he can’t do it? The answer was yes.

With newfound belief, Lionheart immediately stated that he was coming from the Grand Slam at The Hydro. The ICW Title being the only major title in Scotland he has never held (besides the one in the promotion he promotes himself) and a title he has come within bawhairs of holding on many an occasion, he wasn’t up for settling for a spot in a multi man stramash or a feud against a younger talent where he made them look dynamite as he done often in his Zero-G Title run, he wanted the glory. He wanted that shiny belt and DCT would be the man who he’d have to overcome to finally reach his destiny. Until it all changed….again.

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No one was really sure what kind of character Just Justice was at that point. There was humour to his character, and no shortage of patter in that impeccable Southern accent. There was no longer any doubt as to which side of the hero/villain divide he leaned towards that night at The Garage, when DCT’s title defence against Bram descended into chaos, ol Just Justice made his way from his position on commentary that night to seemingly jump to his pal and former stablemate’s aid. Or did he? Instead he tore his pals world apart. Took his trusted mentor and manager Coach Trip and summoned him to stand by his side as he picked his old mucker apart. Leaving us in no doubt as to who would be answering DCT’s open Title challenge at the next show. Jackie Polo smelled blood and not only that, he smelled gold.

In his mind that title was going home with him and its that unwavering self belief that makes you either love or hate Jackie Polo. When he squeezed the life out of DCT with a side headlock to the point that he just couldn’t go on, he had won the companies biggest prize with something so simple it was perfect. Even Jackie Polo diehards didn’t know how to react as he unleashed a merciless beating on DCT after the match before almost dismissing the title and leaving through the crowd. No fanfare. No parties. No hugging his most loyal fans and blowing a kiss to the Mrs. None of that. Outlaws don’t play that shit. Outlaws take what they want and move on to the next one. In the company where the majority of the fans would at one time face the opposite direction whenever he appeared, he was now the man, and he’d cut down one of his most trusted allies to do it. If he’s willing to do that to his pal to take the title, think what he might be willing to do to someone he fucking hates to keep a hold of it, especially when the match takes centre stage at a beautiful big building like The Hydro.

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Lionheart’s career is on the line and he finally has the opportunity he’s always wanted against a man he’s always wanted to gain the upper hand over. All the pieces seemed to be falling in to place nicely for him to be crowned the main man, but wrestling is never that simple. “Just Justice” Jackie Polo may have taken a loss to Lionheart at Shoogs Hoose Party but Lionheart had never beaten Jackie Polo. He’s never beaten the man who’d get drunk every night and talk about virility with some old grandmamma decked out like a christmas tree. He’d beaten JJJP, but he’d never beaten “JAAAAAAAAAACKIE POOOOOOOLO!” the most vicious, ruthless, unapologetic bastard on the roster and a guy who could not give a fuck about your reputation or what this means to you, only what it means to HIM and all this means to him is hanging on to that gold and finally putting the Lion down for good. On paper Lionhearts motivation may be seen as greater the Jackie Polo’s. Not only does he win the title he’s always coveted, he keeps his career alive, and technically levels their personal score at 2-2, but when Jackie Polo took the hat and jacket off, dropped the accent, and subsequently dropped Lionheart like a sack of totties at the last Garage show you saw the rebirth of Jackie Polo. You saw someone who couldn’t give anything even resembling a fuck if Lionheart’s career ends this Sunday. The only thing he cares about is leaving a stunned Hydro STILL the ICW World Heavyweight Champion.

That’s what makes this, for my money anyway, the biggest main event in the history of the company. Simply because this feud has meant so much over so many years and even when it wasn’t actively happening you always felt it there. Under the surface. Ready to explode at any time. What better place for it to explode than at the biggest show of the year, in the main event, all eyes on them.

Thanks as always to David J.Wilson for the photos

ICW Fear And Loathing 11 Preview – AT THE HYDRO

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What happens when brothers go to war? What happens when two tag teams who just about murdered each other a few months ago get another chance to murder each other? What happens when SIX tag teams most likely DO murder each other in a mad TLC stramash? What happens when you need make a choice between a the king of Benidorm and his jetsettin back elba-in former best pal? What happens when 3 of Scotlands finest exports take on 3 ‘big strong bois’ with even bigger reputations? What happens when the boss sends in the prestigious one to end a legends career? What happens when two of the finest female wrestlers on this planet fight for the right to be queen? What happens when a man will do ANYTHING to get his sink back (again) ? What happens when when a returning hero goes to war with an unhinged cowboy? What happens when one of the very best feuds this country has ever seen finally comes to an end with the companies biggest prize on the line? What happens when you throw all that in the melting pot, mix it up real nice, and pour in to a big fucker of a building? You get the strongest card ICW have ever ran (in my opinion) at The Hydro. A stone cold stoater of a show that you should make a point of being at.

Grado vs James Storm – Jeff Jarret Special Guest Referee

It was weird last year without him eh? A great show but just not the very best an ICW show can be, simply because he wasn’t there. Grado doesn’t make ICW on his own, but when he’s firing, at his brilliant, charismatic, passionate best, he makes it unique. A place where wrestling isn’t the same as all yer other big time “indy” companies. No disrespect to anyone but it feels like ICW have made a real effort to set themselves apart again this year and inject that passion in to what happens in the ring. That wee bit of humour. Seeing Grado back at his vibrant best has been a pleasure but not as much as a pleasure as it’ll be seeing him leather James Storm aw err that Hydro. He’s been cuttin about bottling folk and being a vicious bastard for too long now and he’s unleashed the beast. No Brock Lesnar, but ICWs version of Grado. The guy who usurped Drew Galloway in front of 4 thousand folk at the SECC. The guy who has took numerous scuddings off a plethora of big, angry, bulldug chewin a wasp faced bastards and kept on coming back for more. Doesn’t do him any harm that the ref is his best pal but there’s always some scope for that to change. One guitar shot could shock the world. I don’t see it, but if Shawn Michaels can throw Marty Jannetty through a windae, anything’s possible.

Prediction – Several cowboy hats

Aaron Echo vs Kenny Williams

It’s a shame this hasn’t had as much build between the two guys as it could have but hats off to Kenny. Opportunities are there to make this wrestling thing a full time gig and he’s taking them and making the very most of them. Also hat’s off to both Aaron Echo and Red Lightning for building this well in Kennys absence. Red has been brilliant on the mic and has lit a fire in Aaron Echo. A fire that will be aimed squarely at his former best pals jaw. Massive opportunity for Echo to have an outstanding singles match on such a huge stage and I think he’ll take it and this one will be a barn burnin belter. Kenny is undefeated at Fear and Loathing so the weight of an Aaron Echo win and what it would mean going forward shouldn’t be underestimated.

Prediction – Flying back elba’s and lots of them my friend

The Kinky Party (c) vs Alpha/Evil (Iestyn Rees and Bram)

Thought this match on the Shug’s weekender was a standout, one of the matches of the weekend easily. Folk go on about various tag teams across the UK and I get it. They do the big eye-catching double team stuff and folk love it. It’s a certain style and can be great to watch. At the same time, there’s nothing wrong with it all happening at a slower, more violent pace. It’s all storytelling and they told an outstanding story between the four of them on that occasion. A story told through two absolute monsters trying to viciously beat the humour out of two ICW legends having the absolute time of their lives together. It wasn’t the time for a laugh in Bram and Iestyns minds and The Kinky Party quickly got that All the laughs, the crowdsurfing, the patter was nowhere to be seen. They just left that match thankful to still be champions and I imagine it’ll be the same again if they can overcome Bram and Iestyn once more. No matter what they’ll push each other the limit once again.

Prediction – Plenty of beer after the 1,2,3

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The Briscoes vs The Fite Network vs Haskins and Havoc vs The Kings Of Catch vs The Purge vs P.O.D

Hard to preview a match with so many moving parts. If we’re going by momentum then Kings Of Catch have to be the favourites but the competition is….well…..some would say fierce. I’d personally say “certifiably insane” would be more apt, but aye. Some scary bastards. The Briscoes might have some rotten personal opinions and about 3 and a half teeth between them but they are an outstanding tag team and a couple of dudes who thrive in amongst chaos. Rampage and Ashton were so impressive in their short reign as tag champions and are about as dangerous a tag team as you’ll get in the UK. Haskins and Havoc absolutely slayed it with The Kings Of Catch the last time they were up here and are two of the most talented guys out there. The Purge are on a decent run of form after a dodgy patch with the odd domestic dispute thrown in and do not fuckin sleep on ma boys Lou King and Krieger. If its entertainment you’re after on the Scottish scene, they’re yer main boys but their abilities as a tag team should not be undersold. PBW tag champs for…well forever seemingly, and a team that know how to get the job done. It’ll be a big messy affair that’ll no doubt go all over the Hydro but its hard to look past The Kings Of Catch despite the stiff competition. They have the crowd with and rightly so after a year of turning in tremendous performances.

Prediction – Jay Briscoe walks under 40 sets of ladders and lives the rest of his life standing in dug shite, looking at his shoe and going “fuck sake” 

Viper vs Kay Lee Ray – Queen Of Insanity Match For The ICW Womens Title

This could quite easily main event this, or any show in Europe. Two of the finest talents in the world, colliding in an environment where there’s no rules. Nothing technically stopping them from killing each other (apart from being best pals n that but kayfabe m8…sshhhh) and the title on the line. The build for it has been perfect and has largely kept them away from each other in terms of matches aside from that hilarious 6 person tag at the Glasgow Uni show, but still very much had them in each others faces on the mic, and in physical confrontations. That scrap they had at The Garage was one of the best segments on the show and it wasn’t even a match. It was just two women brutalising each other for the sake of that shiny belt and the right to be called “Queen Of Insanity” . Will Kay Lee join King Stevie and make their future wedding a bit more royal or will Viper add the Queen Of Insanity to her growing list of accolades?

Prediction – Bloody women!

Mikey Whiplash vs Joe Hendry

Joe Hendry is one victory away from finally grabbing the brass ring. Dallas finally on side, and charged with the task of vanquishing his newest enemy, he wins this and he gets all the silver. The troublesome thing about that is he’s going at it with a guy who’s stopped giving a fuck. When you’re directly going head to head with the boss and defying his orders, you’ve officially stopped giving anything resembling a fuck. Especially when you’re too good at your job to sack, so instead Dallas is sending Joe Hendry in to end Mikey Whiplashes career. I think this will be Joe’s best ICW match and could sneak and in and steal the show. Especially if Kieran Kelly and Leyton Buzzard have a part to play which I suspect they will after they tear the roof off The Garage the night before.

Prediction – Joe Hendry sharpens the top of Leyton Buzzards dome and launches him at Whiplash like a dart

Wolfgang, Noam Dar and BT Gunn vs British Strong Style 

Couldn’t give a monkeys about that half sleeping promo the big strong boisies cut about how Scottish Wrestling is pish or whatever the fuck it was meant to be saying. You’re all great wrestlers and that guys, Pete Dunne arguably one of the very best in the world right now, but that was some phoned in nonsense and the IYT (ICDUB YUNG TEAM) are coming to ram they tired sounding words down your complacent throats. Wolfgang and BT Gunn joined together once more for the common good and throw a slice of NOAM FUCKIN DAR on top and its the very definition of a dream team. BT Gunn was the man at The Hydro last year and has had a tremendous couple of years wrestling at the very highest level in ICW, and Wolfgang could have a decent match with a mop pail (literally) so It can’t fail to be a good match really, 6 of the very best the UK has produced in the one match, but hopefully BSS give us a bit more in the ring than they did in that promo. Hashtag save Scottish Wrestling…or whatever

Prediction – Noam comes out, we all have a wee cry…or maybe just I have a wee cry

Mark Coffey (c) vs Joe Coffey – ICW Zero-G Championship Match

This needs no words but I’ll type some anyway. A match I personally wanted to see from the first moment I saw them both wrestle. A match we have seen in some family companies but with the greatest of respects to them, it needs a stage like this to be at its very best. It needs a stage like this for that contrast in styles to set the world alight. Not to hype it up too much or anything, but its going to be fucking terrific. I’d put my house on that. It’s for a title but even without that at stake, it would still be a highlight. Another match very much worthy of the main event spot and if a match of such significance wasn’t taking place for the ICW Title I suspect that’s where it would have wound up, giving Joe Coffey The Hydro main event hat-trick. Very hard one to call. Impossible really. All I can really say for sure is that they’ll hit each other really hard and it’ll be a treat for anyone lucky enough to see it

Prediction – Their maw giving them a right good telling aff for fighting

Jackie Polo (c) vs Lionheart – ICW World Championship Match

I’m planning on writing an article about this rivalry tomorrow so I’ll keep it relatively short here. It’s a monumental match. One of the biggest main events in the company’s history. Simple as that. No rivalry has had as much bitterness as this one has. No rivalry has had as much genuine hatred as this one has. No rivalry has ever felt as authentic as this one has. Their first match was really just two guys who fuckin hated each others guts trying to stop themselves having a real life fist fight and the end result was…..well, we’ve all seen it, but the two matches this year? Two absolute stormers from two men at the very top of their game. Performances that earned them this spot at the very top of the card. Performances that will see this match go down in ICW history no matter how it ends. Even if it means another retirement looms, or you’re saying Lionhearts name after he makes history.

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Prediction – CAPTAIN JACK is back

Have a great time no matter what. That’s what the wrestling is for and we have a smashing weekend of it coming up starting off with The Secret Show at The Asylum tomorrow night. It’s a smashing card from top to bottom and the fact that it’s almost become the norm for ICW to run this massive building is absurd. Help them fill it up and buy tickets.

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BONUS CONTENT – LIAM THOMSON VS KID FITE – SINK OR….WELL SINK

Nae way on this earth this sink situation doesn’t get its conclusion at The Hydro in some way or another. Even if it’s not an official match, you’ll see them in that building somewhere and that sink will be central to any/all shenanigans that may be afoot. Liam Thomson has been faultless since his return and Kid Fite hasn’t missed a Fear and Loathing in ICW’s history so you’ll see them and it’ll no doubt be fuckin’ great.

Insert real conclusion here….wrestling n that. Thanks to David Wilson for the photos as per. 

 

 

 

The Top 20 Folk Who Might Win The 2018 Square Go

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The data’s been analysed. Theories have been organised from most likely to least likely. Win percentages cross referenced with height and age, and all of that thrown in a pot to produce this here article. I can now reveal the 13 men most statistically likely to win the 2018 Square Go.

Or this is a lot of speculative shite about a wrestling show. Ye know. Either/or. Who really gives a fuck? Why 20 guys? Why no just do all 30? Why anything?

Mikey Whiplash

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Won the first Square Go I seen with my own two eyes after a helluva battle in the final two with Jack Jester and went on to become the man to usurp Red Lightning as ICW Champion. Had a stormer of a match with Jordan Devlin recently as well. One of the best matches I’ve seen live in a long time. That would make it seem like hes hot on form, but wrestling is pre-determined and form is of little consequence. I predict he’ll enter early and be in it a long time. Or maybe he’ll enter late and be in it a short time. Its aw guesswork.

Odds – 30-1

Ravie Davie 

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If Bram wins the title in his match with BT Gunn we could very well see Davie boy do it. Had a gallant effort in their last year and definitely isnae a stranger to a bit of a Square Go so you never know. If him and Zander are both in it they need to form an alliance quick and avoid aw the big bastards that will no doubt be in it but Divers won it one year mate. Anything’s possible.

Odds – 30-1

Iestyn Rees

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An absolute Adonis of a man and now he has the first ever Square Go winner and former ICW Champion Red Lightning behind him, he could be the dark horse to win the whole thing. Tall muscular dudes tend to be favourites for battle royales going in after all. I mind watching the 94 Rumble and commentators heavy bigging Adam Bomb up then he got papped out within 2 minutes of going in so aye. Adam Bomb wont win it, but big Iestyn might. At the very least he’ll pap a few folk out and establish himself as a big time factor in the new year.

Odds – 30-1

Kenny Williams

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Beat Rey Mysterio at The Hydro in a five-star performance and has conquered the Zero-G Division so a serious push at the big belt has to be on the horizon for the bollocks. Also has his big pal Aaron Echo in there and they might team up to eliminate aw sorts of cunts Diesel and Shawn Michaels style. He’s definitely due a re-match with BT Gunn after losing the Zero-G to him but Kenny winning it makes sense and making sense is important in wrestling. It’s no like anyones ever gave birth to a hand or any mad shit like that. All serious business so it is.

Odds – 30-1

Mark Coffey

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Seeing Mark Coffey win the Square Go would be an unmatched buzz but there a huge dose of the fear about this since Rampage and Asthon won they belts. Right before the Square Go. A match where its every man for themselves and both members of Polo Promotions will most likely enter? Aw nut. Please no. I’m not ready to see them fight. It was hard enough seeing Mark and Joe fight each other, but not the Polo Promotions brethren. I hope they both enter early, work together to eliminate everyone and when it comes down to they two, they simultaneously eliminate themselves and BOTH win the Square Go. Like Lex Luger and Bret Hart both winning the 94 Rumble because they completely avoided the camera angle that showed whose feet touched the ground first.

Odds – 60-2

Jackie Polo

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Polo Promotions have become such a fixture in the tag division that folk seem to forget how much of a big deal they were as individuals. Jackie Polo vs Lionheart sold out the Barrowlands before anything else was announced. Jackie Polo vs Mark Dallas had the whole Garage captivated, watching Jackie turn battering his boss into some kind of artform. Not quite in the Stone Cold mould of bedpans over but he brutally dissected the ICW owner before a string of hauners helped Dallas overcome. Point is, Polo Promotions are wonderful and should never split, but don’t write off the possibility of one of them winning it. If that can happen without any friction between the two occurring its a win-win.

Odds – 60-2

Chris Renfrew

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Won it twice before (sorta, he won Divers briefcase so it’s basically the same thing) and he’s not under anyone’s spell anymore so why the fuck no Renfrew? His two Square Go cash-ins were two of the most memorable matches in ICW history after all. One big obstacle standing in front of him winning it is being Santa Claus cause that’s a full time concern really. Sorting out presents for literally every living being in the world. That’s no a job ye can phone in is it. His promo after knocking 70 shades of shite out of Leyton Buzzard was his best work on the mic for a long time. The fire still burns. He wants that shiny belt back.

Odds – 30-1

Stevie Boy

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I read a thing earlier that really convinced me he might win it. Guy seemed to know what he was on about. Really done his homework. Definitely a favourite.  😉

Odds – 30-1

Lewis Girvan

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Lewis Girvan is very good. Good enough to be beating the likes of recent WWE signee Ricochet at the Hydro a year and a bit ago. That win should have been the launching pad for him to be a big time factor as a singles wrestler but the path he’s gone down since is something else. Something different. Part of a brilliant tag team who seem to improve with every match and also part of a stable running riot through ICW right now and it suits him. He wears that wee nasty streak well. Don’t see him or Aspen actually winning it but they may very well be very big factors in someone else winning it.

Odds – 30-1

Aspen Faith

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Love this photo cause they all look heavy raging at whoever’s taking it. Like how dare you photograph us when we’ve aw just got our hair heavy wet and pulled it over our faces? The very cheek of it. Aspen was another who flitted in and out a bit of ICW on the Spacebaws shows and whatnot so undoubtedly its his career that’s benefited the most from the emergence of the Kings Of Catch and them joining up with Stevie and Kay Lee. Very good wrestler, nae doubt him and Lewig Girvan will scoop up the tag titles at some point down the line if they keep going the way they are. He probably won’t win this but if him and Lewis Girvan draw numbers close together they’ll be hard to shift.

Odds – 30-1

Tor Atterhagen

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An absolute unit of a boay. Has done nothing but wreck cunts since his debut. That would suggest he has a good chance. Know what else him being a big baldy tree wae a beard would suggest? Fuck getting on the wrong side of him. Fuck doing things like calling him a big baldy tree wae a beard. That’s just asking for bother so it is. Might not actually win it but he seems magnetically drawn to throwing Divers about like wet washin so he may at the very least eliminate Divers in a hugely inventive, really sare fashion. His elimination will probably be all the folk he battered at the end of the last Fight Club taping teaming up and high fiving after he goes out while he mentally assassinates them all.

Odds – 120-4

Wolfgang

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Lost the title at this event last year in a brilliant match with Trent Seven then entered the Square Go and made it to the final two. that’s what’s known in pro wrestling as “an absolute cunt ae a shift” Had the year of his career last year and it couldn’t have happened to a better guy really. He’s also a guy who’s been at the very highest level for a long time, its just that more folk are starting to notice. That’s what happens when yer moonsaulting, powerbombing and swan-tonning all over yer WWE Network.

Odds – 30-1

Aaron Echo

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If he’s gonnae win it all he can’t be doing shit like the mad behaviour pictured above. Being able to clear the top rope isnae actually an advantage in this situation but big echo has been knocking down the door for ages and a match like this is where a man like him has his career made. Even if he doesn’t win it a solid shift that has the commentator reminding how long he’s been in every 5 minutes is what you’re after. Carving out a wee niche for himself as the guy who turns up a wee bit late so he might draw an early number and just saunter out last no giving a monkeys. Where in the rules does it state that the performer actually has to come out when his number’s called? Naeplace. I personally read the rulebook cover to cover to make sure this is indeed a fact.

Odds – 30-1

Sha Samuels

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As with big Echo, if Sha takes the photo above as some kind of instruction manual rather than a cautionary tale, big man’s got nae chance. He’ll have Sha-saulted himself clean out the picture. Keep that weapon in the holster for this yin big yin. He’s stated that his intention if he wins is to bend the rules a bit (mind ive just read the rulebook, so this is coming from a place of great knowledge) and cash in for a shot at the tag titles with Jaaaaaaack but what if Jaaaaaaaaack beats Jimmy Storm and goes on to win the belt on Monday night? Well the Kinky Party throw hands? Do kinky parties usually involve folk doing stuff to each other with their hands? I dunno mate. Never been to one, but I hear there’s a lot of slappin involved. As much as I think Stevie’s the favourite and all that, I promise ye, if Sha is the last man standing I’ll tan a ten deck of Tennents Lager in the one go and go streaking down Sauchiehall Street screamin “EAST!” in everycunts face. Thats a promise.

Odds – 30-1

DCT

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Recently scooped up his first main singles belt when he won the Reckless Intent Title and that’s fucking superb so it is. DCT is one of our own. A wee secret almost. Tucked away up here doing his thing very very well. Winning the Square Go would almost be like revealing him to the world. Look at this mad charismatic bastard. You can keep yer mad choreographed dance routine flip contests. Give me DCT going to war with the likes of Joseph Conners and Renfrew aw day long. Is that a way of saying DCT is better than Will Ospreay? You can draw your own conclusions as the reader but ask yourself this, can Will Ospreay even grow a tache? Probably not. DCT has to shave every 45 minutes to keep the tache from re-emerging on his glorious coupon to go with that glorious singlet. Know what other accessory would go nice with both tache and singlet? A wee briefcase with a very important contract in it.

Odds – 30-1

Kid Fite

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Much like the Filthy Generation the Fite Network are a squad. A unit. A team that understands teamwork above all else will help them prevail. The thing is, every team has a captain. A snarling leader on and off the pitch who represents the team’s interests. Someone who leads the charge. That leader in this case is Kid Fite. Had a cracking feud with Wolfgang after Wolfys feud with Liam Thomson was unfortunately cut short due to the bold yin’s injury. Really good matches while they both used the platform to elevate the up and coming tag teams who came from their respective schools.

Odds – 30-1

Lou King Sharp

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I think it was the 2015 Square Go he had a cracking run? He was in it for a while and when he was tossed out at one point the crowd caught him and sent him back in. It was all very lovely but that was back when he was giving it the underdog patter. Now? Yer man’s a thug. Making up for his size disadvantage by giving off the air of man who would stab ye for the rest of yer McChicken Sandwich. If he’s stab ye for fast food, just think what he might do to win the Square Go. Him, Fito and Kreiger will be hoping to draw numbers close together so they can make the dream work via some top quality team work. Might not actually win it but he’ll be heavy entertaining as he always is. Good to see him back in amongst it at least after a couple of years of dipping in at out of ICW.

Odds – 30-1

Krieger

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Love big Krieger. Very likeable big guy. I know that’s not what the Fite Network are going for but charisma is charisma mate. Can’t be contained. Self proclaimed as having the most underrated arse in Scottish Wrestling. Know what helps get peoples arses the respect and admiration they deserve? Winning the Square Go. Winning the ICW World Title. Becoming one of the most recogniseable arses in wrestling. He might not do it this year but he’s a guy ye could easily see doing it one day. Lazer sharp focus. Eye of the Krieger locked in. It’s all there for the big man. Feel like I’m just saying words now so I’ll end it by calling him a big ride. So aye. Krieger’s a big ride.

Odds – 30-1

Joe Hendry

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When he revealed the WCPW Title on an ICW show and declared “I’m the Prestigious One!” it was such an emphatic, bold move. I never saw it going down the road it has. It’s brilliantly entertaining and his alliance with Leyton Buzzard has brought a very talented young performer into sharp focus so that’s good but in Joe’s case, he needs something like this. If he’s still dead set of taking all the titles, he needs a strong Square Go. A winning Square Go. One strategy that might work is him tossing Clayton as anyone who comes near him but I imagine chucking him at big Tor will be akin to a fly landing on you and me.

Odds – 30-1

Lionheart

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Lionheart’s seemingly a full-blown good guy now. Imagine someone told ye that just over a year ago. You’d think they’d taken some heavy good gear and you’d immediately enquire as to where you can source some of said gear, but since the Joe Hendry feud folk have slowly but surely came around to the idea the Hearto’s the fuckin man. His work over the past two years certainly warrants him winning this and it would be a buzz if he did. The ICW Title is the only one missing from his own Grand Slam bid (of Scottish heavyweight titles, not the ICW grand slam) and beating the only current grand slam holder to get it would be a poetic sorta thing. Goes in full of belief, so if you’re the owner of one of they taps he had with “Believe” on it and you believe in Lionheart’s bid to win it all, wear the tap mate. Represent. There’s no need to hide you’re allegiances now. Big man is and out and proud good yin and 2018 might be Mad Leon’s time.

Odds – 30-1

So in conclusion, everycunt might win it. It’s a battle royal. Maybe it’ll be none of these cunts? Joe Coffey could come from nowhere and make his big comeback to win it for the second year running. Grado might blow the roof aff the joint and win it all. Finally avenging Renfrew snatching the 2014 Square Go from his clutches. Its aw guesswork. Get a high stakes sweep on the go with yer pals where everyone chucks their car keys in and the winner wins everycunts motor. 30 motors. One for every day of the month. Any months wae 31 days ye take the bus on the 31st. Enjoy the show. Square Go is always a belter.

 

(PS…Stevie’s winnin it but xxxxooooxxx)

PREVIEW: ICW Women’s Title Match INSIDE A 15 FOOT HIGH STEEL CAGE

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I was trying to be JR wae the title there, did it work? Wis it Oklahoman AF? Anyway. The  thing about the lead up to Fear and Loathing I’ve enjoyed the most is that all of the big matches have been built up perfectly. This one is no different. Kay Lee Ray won the title at The Hydro last year, taking it from Carmel before she retired in front of 6000+, in a match that also involved Viper. It was an emotional moment for all involved, but Viper you’re a dafty if you think Viper’s forgotten. She was almost an afterthought as Carmel lavished praise on Kay Lee Ray and herself while Viper sat simmering and beltless. Still bemoaning the loss of the title she became the first ever winner of at the SECC a year earlier, the flame never stopped burning. In her eyes that’s still her belt. The desire to get it back has never been stronger. Its almost as if Viper stepped in to Carmel’s role as the Kay Lee Ray’s constant foe in this mad wrestling world. No matter what else she’s involved in, her and Viper are drawn together. Anytime they’re in the same building, hands will be thrown. Something will most certainly go down and one if not both of them are coming out the other end of it missing a tooth or five.

Kay Lee’s battles with Kasey have been more of a recent concern for her, but the ferocity of the matches in that feud probably makes it feel like they’ve been trying to kill each other for a lot longer. Their matches over the Shug’s House Party 4 weekender were huge for Kasey. Showing she was capable of stepping up when it mattered the most, and holding the title with conviction after her two victories over Kay Lee. Any win over one of the best wrestlers in the world is a big thing, but doing it twice in a row in entirely different circumstances is something else. An incredible platform that shes taken full advantage of. Her reign might not have lasted long, but the circumstances she lost it in should give her a fire in her belly. In a captivating main event at a recent Garage show, Kay Lee took full advantage of the vast array of hairy hauners she has at her disposal in Stevie Boy and recent Filthy Generation recruits Lewis Girvan and Aspen Faith, and despite some hauners provided on Kasey’s behalf halting the inevitable, Kay Lee eventually took back the title in a main event that could easily rival anything ICW have put on all year.

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Even Kasey and Viper have a bit of an issue with each other. Kasey beating Viper to earn her shot at Shug’s was a rare defeat for the vixen of violence and one that kept her away from one of the biggest shows in ICW’s calendar. Not something she’ll have forgotten. So the rivalries are there. The only thing missing was some kind of structure to the whole thing. Something to keep all the shenanigans away. Well shenanigans excluding folk jumping from 15 feet in the air because we’ll probably see plenty of that as this huge encounter takes place inside A MOTHERFUCKIN STEEL CAGE. I know this isn’t news. Even if you didn’t know before you opened this page, its in the title but still. Its a big enough deal to give it the all caps treatment. Nae danger.

It would be patronising to say its a big deal because its an all female steel cage match, and to me that’s not why its big. Its nice that these opportunities are coming to female talents more often as a result of this big women’s revolution carry on, but to me this is huge because its three very talented people being given a huge spotlight. Anytime a steel cage is involved in ICW it takes centre stage and being involved in a match like this as opposed to a straight up triple threat somewhere else on the show gives it the opportunity to truly steal the show. To be the match that everyone stoats out the venue buzzing about.

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Wrestling at its very best is when you are completely lost in it. Not over analysing every wee detail. Being there and being involved in it. Its that feeling that you’re witnessing something that you wont ever see the like of again. The three women involved in this match have been involved in so many of those moments its hard to imagine this match being anything but excellent. One of those moments was Viper herself becoming embroiled in her man DCT’s battle with Bram inside the steel cage, and her exploits that night represents the only experience any of the three have with the dangerous structure. Perhaps a slight advantage for her going in, but Kay Lee Ray is not one to back down from an opportunity to produce something you wont soon forget. Her match with Mikey Whiplash in Edinburgh happened the best part of 4 years ago yet fans still fervently discuss the events of that scrap. Namely the event that saw Kay Lee launched arse first into the crowd, with a sickening landing that felt like it had certainly caused her premature demise. She got up and won the match but. Cause she’s Kay Lee fuckin Ray. That’s what she does.

This match certainly represents something historic in ICW and in the careers of the three women involved but I don’t think it being historic will matter a fuck to any of them if the match isn’t a show stealing belter and that’s why I think it will be exactly that. A culmination of a lot of hard work building a story that will come to a dangerous, not to mention probably very sare, conclusion.

Seriously. Three wumin who proper hate each other jumping about a steel cage. Buy a ticket. Immediately https://www1.ticketmaster.co.uk/icw-fear-loathing-x-glasgow-19-11-2017/event/3600517298384AB0

Preview: ICW Fear And Loathing X – Joe Coffey vs BT Gunn – Champion vs Champion

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

PREVIEW: ICW Fear And Loathing X – Lionheart vs Rob Van Dam vs Zack Gibson

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When Joe Hendry beat Lionheart at Shugs House Party 4, something happened. Something that no amount of steering the story in a certain direction could stop. After years of derision aimed in Lionheart’s direction and a solid year+ of him being straight up called a fanny time and time again by hundreds and at times thousands of people, the people loved him again. Maybe not all of them, but a large enough percentage to see one of the most interesting things wrestling has to offer happen in front of our very eyes. The auld double turn. Baddie becomes goodie, goodie becomes baddie. Hero becomes villain, villain becomes hero. The whole landscape changed for Lionheart that night and it led to an opportunity he had more than earned. The big bout at The Hydro with the whole fuckin show. Rob Van Dam.

The difficult thing about it is that Rob Van Dam very much fits in with what ICW are and what the fans want it to be, so they are instantly geared up to cheer for him. That’s why you get the likes of him involved in a show like this, because a lot of fence sitters end up pulling the trigger on getting tickets because of folk like RvD. People who haven’t bothered their arse with wrestling for years see him on a poster and think it might be for them again. If folk are geared up to cheer for him and you put him in there with a guy who people are only starting to enjoy cheering for again after a long hiatus from doing so, the whole equation lacks a vital thing. A thing it needs to really feel like something more than two guys who love a frog splash and a sexy big dropkick. It needed to be a bit nastier. It needed the best villain in the United Kingdom today. Step furrit, Zack Gibson.

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Over the past year and a half, Zack Gibson has gone from an occasional visitor who would impress without making a lasting impression, to one of the most engaging talents in ICW. A huge part of him carving out that reputation was something so simple it seems almost effortless when he does it. That promo. If you’ve not heard it before I’m sure you will SOOOOOOON (sorry). You see, Zack Gibson is Liverpool’s Number One. That’s already recognised, but SOOOOOON we will recognise he’s ICWs number one and shortly after that the whole fuckin world will recognise how good he is. There’s only so long you can ignore such a convincing self proclamation before you begin to realise its not just a promo. Its not hyping up something that isn’t there. Zack Gibson is one of the very best and absolutely stands alone as the best villain in the UK right now. He has an uncanny ability to spark the most apathetic crowd to become united in their hatred of HIM. That bad bastard who verbally dismantles your heroes before he sets about snapping their arm off and slapping them with their own hand.

While Lionheart’s feud with Joe Hendry showed him in his very best light and earned him this opportunity, there’s no doubt Gibson’s feud with Kenny Williams over the Zero-G Title was a big part of him having such a big match on the big show. Without that, he might have had to settle for another spot in a big multi man stramash but with the greatest of respects to that type of match and the competitors in the ladder match this year, he has earned something better. The strength of his work this year has made him part of the brickwork at ICW and while he was unable to wrestle due to injury, his scathing words towards Lionheart on ICW’s recent tour shows have made this match feel massive. Lionheart has had to listen to the same pish that he’s had aimed at him for donkeys but no matter how similar the content of Gibson’s barbs are to that of many others who have tried to tear Hearto down before, he delivers it in a way that you could fully see the recipient of his verbal doing losing the fuckin plot and going apeshit. In Lionheart’s case, his version of going apershit was taking an already hugely dangerous opponent in Rob Van Dam and saying to himself “know what we need instead of this mad bastard? this mad bastard AND a vicious Scouser who’s gonnae try and break my arm”

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That’s the mad bit about this. Lionheart DEMANDED Gibson be added to this match. Gibson after all insisted him not wrestling on tour was HIS choice because he was raging that “LionMark” (ready made dope tag name if we ever get that Hearto n Mark Coffey tag team no one knew they needed till right now) already had that match at The Hydro while he had fuck all. That palpable rage supposedly led to him pretty much going on strike until he got what he wanted and Lionheart took the bait as all good heroes are supposed to. That’s what makes this match loaded with intrigue because this was supposed to be Lionheart’s big moment of redemption. The moment he wanted his comeback from that horrendous neck injury to be. The crowd go wild for him, he beats the big ECW legend, and the adulation from all corners comes pouring in the weeks and months that follow. Another bastard of a baddie has come along to fuck with that and that disrespect should not and will not be treated lightly. Lionheart isn’t going in to this for a fun wee jump about with RvD any more, he’s going in for the biggest test of his wrestling career, looking to unleash retribution that leaves Gibson SOOOON to be recognised by his dental records alone.

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While Gibson and Lionheart’s feud has taken centre stage in the build up to this, Rob Van Dam has an opportunity to cement himself as one of those “imports” who never really felt like one. Like Paul London and Brian Kendrick who came in and instantly felt like they belonged, RvD ‘s appearance may well be the start of many marquee matches involved The Whole F’in Show. For me, having two top talents in there with him gives him more of an opportunity to impress. Years of jumping into and off of things that a human being really shouldn’t be jumping in to and off of has likely taken its toll on his body, not to mention years of partaking in the consumption of a certain herb that makes ye really like eatin cheeseburgers taking a toll on his cardio. Having two others in there who are locked in a deeply personal feud meaning all eyes aren’t always on him gives him the chance to get in amongst it and show The Hydro the very best of RVD when he chooses to. Some well timed dives on to Gibson and Lionheart while they heider each other to the brink of death. Remember this isn’t just a guy who was one of yer ECW cult heroes, this is a guy who had an arena so united in their support of him that they were ready to fuckin murder John Cena if he dared beat their man. This is a superstar we’re dealing with here and ye know whit, its a guy I’ve just got a major soft spot for so it is. He’s that rare type of wrestler who doesn’t just entertain, he sparks the imagination of his audience as well. He makes anything seem possible.

If you aren’t planning on coming to The Hydro, and the image of Rob Van Dam attempting to break up a fight between a Scotsman and an Englishman by utilising aw sorts of mad fly kicks doesn’t change your thinking then I dunno mate. Maybe this wrestling carry on isnae for you.

Seriously, scoop up some tickets right here. Still available so they are. http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/icw-fear-loathing-x-glasgow-19-11-2017/event/3600517298384AB0

PREVIEW: ICW Fear And Loathing X – Kenny Williams vs Rey Mysterio

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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.

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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.

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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

PREVIEW: ICW Fear And Loathing X – Polo Promotions vs The Marauders

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Some matches just feel, I dunno….right. ICW could have done a lot of things with the tag team titles. They could have got a big name in like last year, even making this a triple threat and maybe getting more casual eyes on two of the best teams in the UK. They could have made it one of they four corners matches that naecunt remembers ever and chucked The Kinky Party and Kings Of Catch in there rather than having them in separate matches, but it wouldnt have been as good as the two separate matches will undoubtedly be. Its a testament to how well Bird and Boar have been established as genuine threats to Polo Promotions reign as the top guys in the tag division, that this could only be one team vs another. Nae shenanigans. Nae pals. Nae Iestyn (card always subject to Iestyn right enough) just two teams settling it once and for all. The fitness tests have been completed and Mark Coffey isnae feeling dizzy this time boyos. If toppling the legendary Dudley Boyz with a scoop slam last year was a buzz, winning back the tag team titles is the whole fuckin bee hive. The word “destiny” is chucked about too much in wrestling, but winning them back on the grandest stage of em all feels like “destiny” for Polo Promotions. It feels like their moment to have all eyes on them while they celebrate auld pals, just being auld pals….with shiny belts.

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When I first clapped eyes on Jackie Polo, a large percentage of the audience had chosen NOT to clap eyes on him. Having only been to Celtic games and a couple of dozen gigs in my time until that first show, it was a surreal experience to see paying patrons willingly not watch the action they had paid to watch. So repulsed they were by “The King Of Chat” they chose to face the bar instead. It took a few shows to grasp what was going on, but when the penny dropped it was life changing. They were doing it because he had them eating out the palm of his hand. The same way he had them with the Lionheart This Is Your Life segment at the first ever Shug’s House Party where he had a large percentage of the crowd positively ragin’to the point they were ready to start flinging cups filled with their sweet, angst ridden tears toward the ring as if they’d just witnessed Hulk Hogan turning heel. Bad guy, good guy, chat show host guy, commentator guy, whatever hat Jackie Polo sticks on in the wrestling, he’s a fucking maestro at it. The fact that all that genius happened BEFORE Polo and best pal Mark Coffey took over the tag team division makes their legacy all the more impressive.

You see, Mark Coffey had done not too badly for himself as a solo act either. After going his separate ways from his brother and current ICW Champion Joe, Mark made the Zero-G division his own, holding the title on two separate occasions for over a year all in. A loss to the man now known as Finn Balor the only blip before he eventually surrendered the title to Kenny Williams for good. The level of support Mark received when he was handed an ICW Title shot against Trent Seven earlier in the year on a random Garage show shows you just how high Mark is regarded amongst the ICW fans and especially his colleagues. For the most part during his Zero-G run he also portrayed the bad guy, yet he was just that good in the ring that fans gravitated towards him. Individually they were great, but as a unit Polo Promotions bring the very best of each other to the forefront. A bond that only being real life best pals can form.

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A match can’t feel this important on its own, and it would be remiss of me or anyone else to diminish just how brilliant Bird and Boar have been since establishing themselves as a proper rival to Polo Promotions in the ICW Tag Division. Until the 3 on 2 match at Shug’s, they were the first team who put a consistent streak of getting the better of the Polos together and even then they’d argue the only reason Jackie and Mark toppled them that night was the endless array of hauners they called upon to get the job done. An argument that becomes void when they have a sentient statue of a guy called Iestyn Rees in their corner all the time, but for that night only they could at least claim the numbers advantage wasn’t in their favour. As much as Polo Promotions getting the job done feels like something that just HAS to happen, imagine what the win would do for Bird and Boar going forward? The one’s who usurped the Polo’s and secured their spot as ICW’s premier tag team in the same building greats like 50 Cent, Gary Tank Commander and Prince have plied their trade. It would be a fitting end to a feud that in their eyes, they’ve always had the upper hand in. In their eyes, that night in the ABC was a mere blot on the copybook and The Hydro isn’t going to be them standing by watching the Polo’s fulfill their “destiny” but instead represents a chance at redemption for Bird and Boar for the events of that night.

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A stunned silence followed Bird and Boar’s coronation as tag champs in Newcastle when the crowd who hadn’t seen Polo Promotions beaten in ICW for over a year, finally saw them toppled in brutal circumstances. The first thing that personally caught my eye about Bird and Boar was that brilliant double team finisher and when Mrs Patterson got her revenge that night the air of invincibility about Polo Promotions was clouded in doubt for the first time in a very long time. That vulnerability led to a wee period of turmoil with Scotlands BEEEEST tag team seemingly on the verge of splitting after a tough loss to The Kings Of Catch in Edinburgh. The thing about that is, as powerful as wrestling can be in making and breaking friendships, it can’t touch ones that existed before wrestling did. It can’t touch blood brothers who care about each other more than they care about their spot on the card, and that is what truly sets Polo Promotions apart.

polosmarauderssWell that and the way they crowd react to them. A team who seemingly stand for all that is good and pure, getting told to “get tae fuck” by half the audience is a phenomenon to say the least. One that Jackie’s past in the company perhaps covets, but even at that, its been a long time since anyone faced the bar cause Polo was on. Its been a long time since he was the guy who snuck a wee Hillsborough reference in to a promo in Liverpool (and lived to tell the tale, all the more impressively) but that ability to get a reaction of some kind no matter what is a skill that cannot be taught. A skill that makes anything involving him must see.

No matter if you’re “Polo Promotions” or inexplicably “get tae fuck”, this match matters. It matters because the performers in it make it matter and considering the performers are an all Scottish tag team up against an all Welsh tag team, it makes it all the more captivating to see. Nae Young Bucks required to make this something worth your ticket money, just two sets of folk who have been pals since they were young bucks (that was such terrible patter, I apologise) going toe to toe for the gold. Nae stipulations, nae wildcards this time, nae imports, nae shenanigans, just two of the best tag teams in the UK going at it in a match that truly matters.

Buy tickets for The Hydro using the link below. Or be a dafty and don’t.

http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/icw-fear-loathing-x-glasgow-19-11-2017/event/3600517298384AB0?bba=1

 

A Wildly Speculative Article Regarding The Participants Of The Number One Contenders Ladder Match At ICW Fear and Loathing

ICW recently announced that their most recent shot at running The Hydro will involve a multi man ladder match for a shot at the ICW Undisputed Championship at The Square Go. With only two of the six competitors announced, now seems like the perfect time to talk absolute shite about who might make up the rest of the field. Shite that could have been adapted to list article form, but instead is introduced by stupidly wordy title as if I’m trying to break a Guinness World Record or suhin (as far as I’m aware wrestling blog stuff isnae regularly recorded, but it should be) cause list articles are the death of creativity or something. Anyway. Here’s some wrestlers who might join Bram and Jody Fleisch in the match. Some of them will make a lot of sense, some will make a bit of sense as outside bets, and others will be varying degrees of fuckin ridiculous

Iestyn Rees

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He doesn’t have a match yet, because all the big rides are being announced last it would seem. Him being involved in this would make plenty of sense. Him winning it would make even more sense. He’s spent the best part of this year squashin’ various geeks (and CAV) and if the 90s taught us anything, that inevitably leads to shiny belts. If it’s not as the winner I definitely fancy him to be involved and you can count on him being as shiny as humanly possible. I don’t think there’s a performer in ICW who’s improved as much as he has over the past year and rounding that off with a win here would be just reward. Having said all that, if he fucks with the Polo’s trying to get the tag titles back. Me and him have a problem. Not a problem I’ll do anything about because he’s fuckin massive and carved out of granite but still….a problem.

Aaron Echo

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Another big ride without a match announced, he made a bit of a breakthrough in ICW when he worked his way on to the Hydro card last year. Since then he’s had some good moments but still seems to be waiting for that defining win that seems him in a position that his talent no doubt deserves. Stoatin out for his second Hydro appearance, stealing the show and becoming the number one contender might be that moment. Either way he’s one I expect to be involved and if he doesn’t win it, he’ll come within bawhairs of doing so.

Andy Wild

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Him making it on to the The Hydro show last year was a bit of a fairytale considering he hadn’t been involved much before he brought Noam Dar’s ICW career to a close with a win. That match gave him a bit of momentum for the first time in a long time and he wore it well, having some cracking matches with Kenny Williams, Lewis Girvan and co before kinda fading again. Recent photos appear to show him in great shape and he’s certainly capable of going out there and performing again. Might be slightly too late for another Andy Wild for The Hydro push but if he doesn’t make it on to this show I hope 2018 will be the year he really establishes himself again. A very talented wrestler and a smashin guy. Fuck it. The get Andy Wild on The Hydro show movement starts HERE. Again.

Krieger

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Currently embroiled in this entertaining wee bit of gang warfare between Kid Fite’s crew and team vroom vroom oan the motorbike, but if that feud isn’t settled at The Hydro, Krieger could be one of the dark horses for this match. A very talented, charismatic guy who is now getting a bit more recognition north and south of the border, big Scudmaster Sexy certainly wouldn’t be a waste of a jersey if he is one of the chosen six.

Sha Samuels

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I know, I know, he’s on the show already right. But hear me out. Is it likely that anyone on the card will be involved in two separate matches? No. Should it happen in Sha’s case because I personally want him to win? Aye. Nothing further to add if im honest. Sha being the number one contender would be sound. He probably wont be but imagine he done a big shooting star press aff a 40 foot ladder through a big table, and stood up straight after gien it “EASSSSSST” somehow already clutching two beers. It would be smashin eh? And in this life, there’s not a thing wrong with wanting to witness heavy good shit.

Charlie Sterling

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An outside bet considering he’s not been seen in ICW for a wee while but the impressive Charlie Sterling certainly has plenty of attributes that would make him a good addition to a mad ladder based stramash. Particularly the fact that he’s heavy good at jumpin aboot but also good at power moves, making him whats technically referred to as a “powerful jump abooter”. The perfect type of wrestler to be when it comes to ladder matches. Even if he doesn’t appear at The Hydro I hope we see him back soon. Guy is crazy good and a mad ride to boot. I need to stop calling folk rides in this article. Professionalism.

Ravie-Davie 

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Suspended as fuck but with Bram in the match it makes sense to think Ravie Davie will at least be involved. Even if he’s not announced for the match, he’ll be out there causin aw sorts of havoc to get to Bram. Put it this way, if I had to put a fiver on the person most likely to crack Zack Gibson err the nut wae a micro scooter, that fiver would 100% be going on Ravie Davie. If he’s in the match, him winning it would be fairytale stuff but I don’t think its quite his time yet. I think his role will be stopping Bram winning it, leading to Bram punching fuck out the other eye socket.

Lou King Sharp

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Often seen gyrating and occasionally tagging with a man who featured earlier in the article, mad Krieger, Lou King Sharp has been about a wee while now and has had his ups and downs in ICW. A sensational showing in the 2015 Square Go was never really capitalised on and until joining up with Krieger and Kid Fite recently he was in and out of the picture. Now he’s a regular again and displaying all the charisma and tenacity that first got him noticed, if he joined the field here he would be an underdog but that’s what big multi man ladder matches are for eh. For folk to come from naewhere, win them, win shiny belts and in due course, fight Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania for the WWE Title. Imagine Brock vs LKS but for a wee second. He’d suplex him so hard oor Lou widnae wake up until the next year’s Mania. Which would be in a different city, meaning he’d just wake up alone in the middle of an American Football field, asking the wee guy cuttin the grass if he won.

The Sam Barbour Experience

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When I went to the GPWA Invitational a few months back I knew of most of the competitors and the ones I was already very aware of impressed as they always do. The standout of the folk I hadn’t seen a lot of was SBX. Big time outside bet considering his main role in ICW lately has been backstage interviewer but he’s certainly a talent and is one that could easily make the breakthrough in the new year if he keeps grafting at it.

Liam Thomson

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Huge relief when he didn’t retire at the last Edinburgh show. One of the very best in Scotland and one that you maybe don’t realise just how good he is until you don’t get to see him wrestle for a while. No idea if he’ll bit fit in time for the show at all but if he is it would be a smashing way to end a rough year both in real life and storyline life. I mean does he have a place to stay yet? Does that place have a sink? Either way a wee Hydro pay packet wouldn’t go amiss. I’d actually rather see him vs Joe Hendry in a singles match tbh but any slice of Liam Thomson we can get would be certified *tasty*.

Joe Hendry

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Like I said in Liam’s bit, their heated wee bit of promo action in Edinburgh gave me a hankering for an all Edinburgh singles scrap but there’s a good chance yer Prestigious One might wind up involved in this. With the year’s he’s had he’s another who would have to be in with a shout of winning it and him with a title shot against either of his prestigious pals at the Square Go would be hot shit. The viciousness of the words he fired at Liam in Edinburgh would suggest that he’s no fucking about and that mean streak might mean there’s actually NO grandiose entrance video this time no matter where he’s involved. After Bohemian JoeHendree last year it would be difficult to produce anything that tops it anyway.

DCT

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Look at that majestic creature in that fuckin glorious singlet and tell me that’s not a man ready for a big title shot on a big show. Recently he’s been having some stoating bouts and will forever be one of my favourite’s. There’s folk ye develop a soft spot for early on and it just disnae go away. He could pump ma maw and not only would it not be surprising, I don’t think it would be that upsetting either. He’s just a big likeable bastard and the prospect of him and Bram battering lumps out each other again is a laugh. For those who doubt what Bram can do, think about where DCT was before their feud and where he is now. His matches with Bram undoubtedly added a lot of legitimacy to him as a guy who can hold his own in the face of pure evil. If he is involved he’ll certainly entertain and him in the main event of the Square Go is some shit I’d personally love to see.

Kid Fite

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On top form lately in recent matches with DCT and Wolfgang. Would be a hugely deserving participant and winner of this. Plus he ALWAYS has brilliant matches with Joe Coffey so if Joe prevails in the main event, it would be a smart move taking that match up to the title picture. I have a feeling he’ll be involved somewhere else on the card but if it’s here he has to be in with a shout of winning it. Definitely in with a shout of executing the sharpest, crispest most delicious snap suplex of the whole show anyway. That’s for true.

Davey Blaze

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Davey’s been on a bit of a cauld streak of late, since the humbling at DCT and Coach…I mean Adam Shame’s hands at Shug’s but some rousing words from The Wee Man, who has been excellent as a baddie, seems to have jolted the big man into gear. If DCT’s involved I fully expect Davey to join him. This is gonnae be one of they everlasting feuds where they pass the feud down from generation to generation until we’re at Fear and Loathing 200 and its their great great great great great great grandson’s having a scrap on a hoverboard made entirely of candy floss and holograms. I dunno why I think candy floss will be a prominent part of future engineering.

Zack Gibson 

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He is the finished article and if you can name 5 folk better than him in the UK, you’re either lying or really don’t like Scousers because he has it all. A brutal, methodical wrestler and one of the most convincing on the mic. The only thing missing is one of the main shiny belts in the UK. If his feud with Kenny is any sort of indication, if he’s thrust into a proper feud with a title on the line, the best he has to offer will invariably come out. If he’s involved he has to be the favourite to win it and correctly so. A massive talent and probably the best villain in the UK right now. SOOOON to be recognised as the number one contender. Perhaps.

Could go on listing folk all day but I think the 45 folk already on the list will do for now. Hope this piece of nonsense was awrite. Will be writing more preview stuff before The Hydro and hopefully a few interviews if I can fit them in. Wrestling. Come to the show. Tickets still available because The Hydro is massive and unless you’re Celine Dion, selling the fucker out in advance is a hard task. Get them here