Weans World (by Gary Henderson)

“See – when I was young, you used to go to the carnival in the city centre, and those were your big days out. Like that’s what you remembered growing up as these amazing experiences”- I overheard Ross Watson, PBW owner talking to a trainee as a strong crowd filtered out of the Dobbie Hall – “I want these kids to all look back and remember when the wrestling came to their town and they got to see guys like Grado and Wolfgang”. It was a pretty pertinent point. It’s dead easy to get caught up in social media and be left thinking that wrestling in this country is all adult themed, #britwres twitter, ‘workrate’ matches and all the inner politics and squabbling that comes with it. But while the violent and technical masterclasses in your ICWs and Progresses of the world are vogue – the bread and butter of this stuff is with the kids. The wee lad in the second row on Saturday night with the Rey Mysterio mask and ‘Big Bad Wolf’ t-shirt didn’t care how many stars Meltzer gave Wolfgang as he sat in total awe watching his 18 stone superhero soar high above the black canvas. Neither did the lad – Dylan I think his name is – who I’ve seen at every BCW or PBW show I’ve been to for at least five years. He’s sat there in the front row, every time, decked out head to toe in support of his favourites and savouring every high five or ‘too-sweet’ as they bounce past during their entrances.

As much as a rowdy, pissed-up, chanting bunch of grungers can add to a show – the high pitched screams of about 40 wee lassies when Stevie Xavier goes taps aff is up there. The aforementioned Wolfgang – along with his real life cousin and PBW Champion BT Gunn – stood in the venue doorway for a good half hour after the main event where they had beaten lumps out of each other. Every fan, every nervous wean scared shitless of the big man, every 20-something wrestling ‘connoisseur’ in their NAK hoodies, every dad giving the knowing wink and handshake, every one of them got a few minutes of their time. Some wanted an autograph, most just a hello, a high five and a selfie. Hundreds of them. I was on ‘security’ here and had mentioned to Wolfy that he could just give me a nudge and I would make an excuse or whatever and lead him away. He never did. He play-wrestled, bantered back and forth, lifted folk up and swung them about. As the last few filtered out, I told him that was some shift he put in there. “Aye, really enjoyed that though” he replied. “This is their WWE, they are their larger than life heroes” Ross carried on as he wandered off to oversee his merry (weary) band of trainees pull down the ring. The show itself is about 2 hours of a 12 hour day for the PBW crew. The ring gets loaded into a van, taken to the venue, sits outside the venue while we await janny approval to enter (this is important), gets put up, show time, taken down, back to its holding unit and unloaded again. It’s a long shift, and by about half past midnight I’m cursing the 16 and 17 year old wee fannies (endearingly) bouncing around with some reserves of energy I’m sure I could’ve mustered up about ten year ago.

But in among the engineering work and miles on the road (which I’ve done absolutely fuck all of by the way I’m talking more about the rest of them) there’s food and laughter and bonding and ideas aplenty. There’s flirting and silly drama, talks of goals and aspirations, nerves and trepidation. While at every turn I’m telling myself I’m too old for this and there’s something immature about me kicking about with folk half a decade my junior pretend fighting – the more I get drawn in by this daft business and all of the carry on that comes with it. On the show, there was an open challenge for Lou King Sharp (gimmick succinctly described as a 5”2 loudmouth creep) and Kriegers (taller, hairier, greasier, worse dancing loudmouth creep) PBW tag team titles. I forgot boaysiesssswrestling was fake for about five minutes and started asking LKS if he was looking forward to seeing who he was facing. After snapping out of that idiocy, I changed it to a cool, insider and trendy “Who you working sat wrestling friend Krissy (I’m using your shoot name bro)?” In-keeping with the emphasis on youth here, it would be two up and coming trainees at the PBW Academy – Darryl and Kris (not LKS confusingly). The two of them are everything I hate because I’m not. Young, athletic and ridiculously talented with the whole business in front of them. Kris has had a few matches in shows and had the mind-boggling honour of the ‘experienced’ member of his team at a ripe old 16 years. I know Kris well – started training with him on the same day about two and a half years ago in fact, but while I left he stuck with it and got very good. I remember him having a gob on him and having no lack of confidence. Thankfully, that’s not changed.

I hadn’t met Darryl before. I didn’t speak to him much during the day either. He was quiet, pretty shy and understandably nervous. This would be his main debut in front of about 400 people – on a show absolutely stacked with the best talent in the country (and Lou King Sharp too). I sat in the empty hall after set up and watched the four guys involved put their match together and work through sequences in slow motion as Darryls parents – who come up from Penrith every week to get him to training – looked on. Darryl and Kris were in the lucky position to be in there with a couple of guys who were more than happy to make them look like absolute superstars while coming across as a pair of numpties themselves.

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The open challenge gimmick is a tricky one to expose new faces to, because when the punters expect a surprise, they expect someone they know or some sort of grand return. This was partially avoided by it being made pretty clear it was an open challenge to academy trainees – but the point stands. When the two lads made their entrance after a rubbish and crap promo by Lou King Sharp the crowd were polite and gave them a warm – if unspectacular welcome. Fast forward ten minutes and the boys have been robbed of the titles by the shenanigans of Krie-King and the 400 strong in attendance were ready to set fire to shit and key some motors. Darryls mum was stood beside me, recording every moment and smiling like me every time I drive past a KFC. Most of the facebook and twitter feedback on the show had been commenting on the two youngsters and how well they done. Towards the end of the night, like many others, I made the point of shaking wee Darryls hand and telling him how brilliant I thought he had done and that he should be really proud of himself. His eyes opened wide and he beamed back “really, did you think it was good, thank you so much, did you really think it was good?” That was it right there man. It takes a lot to make me well up – usually a particularly well-acted advert, or a dog doing something that dogs don’t usually do – but I was nearly a wee blubberer then. Anyway, the next morning I went to training took a back slide and spiked my own head so that was good. Cheers

A fine read that was. Tune to mad Hendo next time he writes a thing. Also mega super thanks to Steven Mckinnon for the image.

Wrestling And Depression Part Deux

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ICW 6th Annual Square Go Review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 6th Annual Square Go Match

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

Wolfgang: Scotlands Big Bad Ambassador

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When Andy Murray walks out to compete at Wimbledon, as a nation we get behind him (At least those of us who don’t see a Scotsman being a sarcastic bastard as a bad thing do, and if you’re one of the “I don’t like him, he never smiles” brigade I suggest you take a look at your own miserable melt in the mirror and promptly shut yer hole). We do that because its rare for Scotland to produce such an elite sporting talent and to see him slugging it out with the very best for the top accolades in his sport is a source of national pride. Closer to home, Paul “Bearjew” Craig had MMA fans across the country getting behind him in his first UFC fight recently, a fight he won to plenty of acclaim from fans of the sport and casual observers alike. An overnight celebrity because he’s a Scot doing it at the highest level. Chest puffed oot, representing the boaysies. Ricky Burns is a world champion despite being nothing particularly special as a fighter because every time he fights in front of a home crowd he’s that much quicker, that much sharper, his punches are that much more emphatic. They’re that much more emphatic because thousands of hauf cut Glaswegians scream at the top of their lungs for him. He’s one of our own, out there doing his thing at the very top level. As a nation we do have a good reputation of getting behind our elite sportspeople and that should be no  different when Glasgow’s very own Wolfgang enters a 16 man tournament to crown WWE’s first ever UK Champion.

Pre-determined outcomes should have no bearing on how you see the bold Wolfgang over the course of this weekend if you’re a Scot. So fuck if its pre-determined, none of us know what the outcome will be, and he’s the main man. Our only representative of 16, which does stick in the craw a wee bit considering how strong the scene has been in Scotland in recent years,  but who better to carry our hopes than a guy who has been incredible domestically for the best part of a decade and a half. The self proclaimed regulator. The godfather of Scottish Wrestling, and I don’t mean he’s pimpin mad hoes and puttin them on trains, I mean he’s the leader of the pack. The overseer. The bad bastard who’s been laying waste to anyone with a set of plums big enough to have a go for nearly 15 years. This is HIS time and more people should be raving about this well deserved opportunity that is now so close the big man can probably sniff it. A place in the 16 man field to crown the first ever WWE UK Championship. An event that will stream live on the WWE Network. An event that will be a launchpad for many talented individuals to gain exposure their work has for so long deserved. But only one of them is a Scot. Only one of them is one of the most diverse big men on the planet. Only one of them is the current ICW Champion, and a guy who has been involved in every single step of British Wrestling’s resurgence. Only one of them represents us, and that’s why no matter how you feel about him when he scowls at ye and calls yer maw a snaggletoothed baw sooker at ICW, this weekend it disnae matter mate. If you’re still upset with him for splitting up the NAK, fuckin let bygones be bygones and brass knucks to the jaw be brass knucks to the jaw.Stuff your grudges in a sack and punt them into the Clyde. None of it matters. All that matters is that the big man comes home with that shiny belt. Biased as fuck and proud of it. Fight me about it.

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Journalistic integrity dictates that I should just give you a wee rundown on the competitors and really inform you as to what you might see this weekend when this historic tournament kicks off, but honestly, I can’t be fucked mate. No one needs to tell you how good Trent Seven is. No one needs to tell you how much of a prodigy Tyler Bate is. No one should need to be telling you how uniquely gifted Pete Dunne is. These are things I expect you as an audience to know, but here’s a thing you might not know. None of that shit matters because Wolfgang has them all beat. See yer wee favourite guy? Tell him to prepare his jaw for a mauling, because that’s how its going down. The same way it always goes down. The opponent lying spark out and the big bad wolf holding a shiny belt over his stupit napper. Recognise.

In all seriousness, I’ll make nae attempt to hide that Wolfgang is a personal favourite. The first match I seen in Scottish Wrestling was Wolfgang vs Noam Dar at ICW in 2012 and the fact that after this weekend they can both be found on the WWE network, doing their thing in real life actual wrestling matches is just nice int it. A nice thing for the Scottish scene in general, but just a nice thing for two genuinely hard working good folk who have worked very hard to hone their craft to the point that they showed up on WWE’s radar at all. Even if it goes no further for Wolfgang WWE wise, and even if he gets papped out in the first round (he fuckin better no) a wider audience than ever will get to see him do his thing and his thing is quite beautiful at full force. Like Andre The Giant’s forearm….wait…I think that’s a different thing we’re talking about now, but his wrestling talent is also very impressive and a potential second round match-up with his current ICW nemesis Trent Seven could be the match-up where both of them get to let their talent loose in full flow, and while my own pick is quite blatantly obvious from the content of this article, I definitely think the winner of that potential match-up will certainly end up in the final. A potentially pivotal bout between the two before they face each other in perhaps even more significant action at ICW’s Square Go a few weeks later. With Wolfys pride and joy, the ICW World Heavyweight Championship, on the line.

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For all I understand why he’s being billed as a big smashmouth brawler in all the media stuff I’ve seen about this tournament so far, Wolfgang in reality is far more than that. As well rounded a talent as this country has ever produced. As comfortable going to the top rope to get the job done as he is methodically punching the living shite out of his foes to put them away. While his impressive high flying has been self regulated (cause hes the regulator ye see) a bit since becoming the all conquering knuckle duster utilising baddie we see today, he is more than capable of doing things men his size shouldn’t be able to do, and as many beautiful David J.Wilson shots can attest to, one of these things is clearing the top rope with ease before landing all 18 stone of mass on his opponent like its fuck all. Like he’s Rey Mysterio in his prime, except one of Wolfgang’s morning shites probably weighs more than Rey. One of the things that got me personally re-hooked on Pro Wrestling as an adult was seeing him majestically fly over the top rope, landing on a certain Prince Devitt’s heid in the main event of ICW Hadouken in 2012. A match that was a proper escape from reality, as 700 folk were fully absorbed in something that would most likely be once in a lifetime. A match that might be the reason Wolfgang even has a place in this tournament at all, such is the extent of the pull Devi….I mean Finn Balor seems to have in WWE. If ICW has a special place in Finn’s heart then that was the match that started the love affair and from a personal perspective its fucking immense to see so many of the talents that helped re-ignite my own passion for pro wrestling make waves with the biggest company in the world in recent times. The icing on the cake would be Wolfgang coming home the first ever WWE UK Champion.

I’m sure whoever takes it will be more than worthy of it, and head ruling heart, I’d say Pete Dunne is objectively the favourite for it. Based on what WWE might be looking for in a talent going forward, his age and the amount of room for improvement he has, he might be the guy but with the greatest of respects to him, Jordan Devlin, the bold Martin Stone (wrestling under his old nxt name Danny Burch), Mark Andrews, T-Bone, Roy Johnson, James Drake, Dan Moloney, the devilishly handsome Trent Seven, Tucker, Saxon Huxley, Sam Gradwell, Joseph Conners, H.C Dyer and Tyler Bate, none of them winning it will be as special as the big bad Wolf raising that shiny belt above his napper at the end of it all. After 15 years of toil. 15 years of putting it all on the line. Make no mistake about it, this tournament and any opportunities that come from it wont define his already impressive legacy but it WILL offer him a real shot at turning this wrestling caper into a full time gig. Something that has to have been the goal from day one and something that seems perfectly attainable right now. So close he can almost taste it.

To the other 15 men going all out to win this tournament, you can hold on to hope for as long as you want troops. Sooner or later, Wolfgang will cut you down.

wolfyBig thank you as always to the wonderful David.J Wilson and his superb photos

An Interview With Lucha DS

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Lucha DS is a talented up and comer from PBW’s ranks. A guy who accentuated his strengths in life and moulded a wrestling persona out of those strengths. A dedicated student of the game who you should definitely be keeping an eye on, but with all that being said, the big thing I took from chatting to him was the answer to something I’ve always wondered but never really knows how to ask. A burning question you might call it. The thing I’ve always wondered is does wearing a mask when you wrestle not make it much more difficult? Why would you voluntary subject yourself to sweaty faced misery? After a few months the mask itself must be about 90% sweat 10% mask. Apparently it fucks with your depth perception which doesn’t sound ideal for doing a lot of jumping about, but this is the sacrifice of the Luchador. The dedication it takes to commit to that type of character and adopt its traditions. It is also the sacrifice for siblings of The Undertaker who have magically disappearing then re-appearing third degree burns on their face, but mostly luchadors. Lucha DS has had a cracking 2016 and tells us all about that, his philosophy on learning his craft, his philosophy on how good Liam Thomson is and many more philosophical things.


For anyone who might not know, tell us a bit about Lucha DS. What sets you apart from the rest?

I’d like to think I have a couple of things that make me stand out, apart from the obvious of being one of being one of a handful of people who work wearing a mask, which causes a lot of issues itself, like the fact I’m doing something really physical that puts me at risk of injury so why don’t I cover my face to not only impair my vision and depth perception but also restrict my breathing at times, not greatest idea but the mask is a fantastic part of the character and have to take the bad with the good parts to make it work.

I am very quick and agile and as nice as a flip can look, if you are just flipping for the sake of it then I may as well be on a trampoline, I think I am getting more experienced now with use of gymnastic ability to the point of making things work well in matches to tell a story, where the addition of the Lucha libre style can hopefully add to a match, a show and bring that bit of variety to the overall card.

You’re a PBW Academy trainee, and the most decorated student to come from their most recently opened Greenock school. I wanted to ask you how big a part PBW has played in your evolution from trainee to performer and how important them opening a school that was easy for you to get to was in you taking the leap of faith and giving this a go?

PBW give you all the tools you need to become a wrestler, you have to learn what they teach and not just moves but everything in between. The core of things everyone can learn but I feel the real strength of the academy has been that the coaches Kid Fite, TJ Rage and Gary Burns (who is my coach) teach the structure, timing and psychology of wrestling in a way that makes sense to me. The step between trainee to performer I feel is a role I haven’t went from one to the other I still feel I learn every single time I go to training or have a match on a show, I feel I have to take something from each match to work on to improve, I even have a journal where I have written every single match I’ve had and the feedback after matches I received and I read it all the time. The location of the school has been like winning a watch, being there from the beginning and working hard and the benefit of the small group numbers the first few weeks meant Gary was more intensive with that small core group. I am just glad that I went and tried it.

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You’ve appeared on a couple of PBW’s Greenock shows. Most recently in a singles match with one of the top guys in Scotland, former ICW Champion Jack Jester. How much of a buzz has it been to be able to perform in front of such big crowds in a place that holds personal significance for you?

That match was amazing, the crowd were red hot for me and Jack Jester being his usual big, smug, evil gloating self-enjoying every single time he hit me, had the crowd eating right out his hand, working against the top guys is what we all want to do, it’s how you improve, watching how they work up close you can’t help but learn. It being in the Greenock town hall just made it so much more special, standing across from Jester and other big names is such a cool thing to do, doing it when you can see and hear all your friends and family cheering you on just made it more fun.

Who is your favourite opponent so far and is there anyone you’d love to get in the ring with but haven’t had the chance to yet.

Favourite opponents is hard and I know everyone always says it’s a hard pick because you don’t want to forget a name, but I have had a few guys who I enjoyed working for various reasons. Kid Fite who I have had three really good matches against now, is top drawer, TJ Rage was great to work against I love the big guy vs the little guy matches, and again he’s a powerhouse and I thought we matched up well.

Liam Thomson was a memorable match, at the start of the new year Mav (Gary Burns aka former Scottish wrestler Scott Maverick) asked us to set some goals for the new year we would like to achieve and the previous year I didn’t hit any of the three I wrote, then this year I had four written, one of which was, “have a match against Liam Thomson, ( I even tweeted about it in Feb/March) Liam was the PBW champion when I was a fan and on shows I always try to watch the other matches. Liam always has great matches, so thought why not put it down and by chance, I don’t tell anyone what I have written I turned up to do the All Star camps during the summer and got told I was working with Liam and the match itself was great. I told him afterwards that I had written it and he tried not to look weirded out about it at all ha ha ha and was very nice afterwards.

Right now Source, GPWA and PBW are crossing paths and getting talent involved from the schools which is amazing to see, and there loads of matches in there that would be interesting. I’ve had matches against CS Rose and Sam Barbour recently that were good, so many guys just now are killing it, being in with your pals is good fun too from Krieger and Lou King Sharp who are so funny it’s hard not to break, to the big name talents like Wolfgang and Joe Coffey who are killing it at the moment. Good thing is promoters pick who I get to wrestle so it’s out my hands.

Why do you love wrestling? What makes you willing to put up with the undoubted pain and suffering that it brings just for that 10-15 minute release when you’re actually out there performing?

It’s like no feeling in the world, standing at the curtain as you music starts and hearing your name get announced is the bit when the nerves reach boiling point then it go time, you get out to that crowd and do what you’ve trained to do. I try to enjoy every moment, to take it all in because that’s what makes the hours gym less shit, travelling for hours on end less tedious, being away from my wife and son on sometimes my only day off that week worth it, to perform in the ring, have my match, entertain the fans, win or lose that ten, fifteen minutes pass like seconds, it really does. Then you feel sore that night the next day and I’m already counting down the days until I get to do it again.

Who are your inspirations and main sources when it comes to learning your craft? Folk will be expecting answers like Rey Mysterio and the like so shock them all and tell them how you’ve closely studied the work of Adam Bomb and have essentially based your career on him.

I have loads of guys who I love to watch, just now I’m on a Jack Evans, Areostar binge, I watch a load of wrestling from everywhere, i just got a copy of Flash Morgan Webster s DVD to watch, he is such a unique character, I trained last year with Kris Travis and he said something that day that stuck with me, learn what you can from everyone take what you like from them and make it your own, I like tlucha2o think like a DJ with music, I take what I learned like small samples of music and I just mix bits of this and that to hopefully make my own wee tune. Seminars are where you learn some golden stuff to take away and I try to attend as many as a can to learn from everyone who all got to differing places in the business by doing things there way. This year I done a four day seminar with Atsushi Aoki from all japan, and just on Sunday I was doing drills he taught me. I have a move that I do that the set up into it Big Damo drilled me on in a seminar he took before he headed to NXT. Inspiration can come from so many places with everywhere putting on top shows.

With the wrestling scene going through a boom period here and you being one of the many “new” talents looking to establish themselves, how do you plan on doing that and getting involved with a few other companies in the coming year?

I want to work more places in 2017 I had a great 2016, PBW giving me a real crack in some big shows, debuted for a few promotions such as Discovery and PWL, SSW giving me lots of opportunities to work almost every month for them last year.
I have a couple of Debuts lined up for the New Year, a diary that is looking busy.
I will do what I have done from starting out, be professional, work hard, make sure I’m working for the show and not myself, knowing where my match is on the card and trying to learn from every match, train just as hard and know what, be nice to folk, which isn’t hard to do. I don’t have an ego, everyone is all trying to reach the same goal, I want to be part of this business to have a career that I’m proud of, and make friends along the way.

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What’s the best and worst thing about being a pro wrestler? 

Best thing, is the wee things, a fan saying to you had a good match, a wee kid telling me I was their favourite on a show, a wee tweet from someone at a show I was on, who says how good the show was, but the best my wee boy walking in town and seeing daddy on a poster.

Worst thing, the day after a show, when you look and its maybe a week or two until you can do it again, it sucks real bad, I am such a grumpy bastard for the next few days and don’t hide it well.

Last but not least, tell us anything you want. Plug your social media. Tell us your favourite food from the region of Mexico your from. Anything you like.

I have a Facebook page that I appreciate a wee like on and a twitter that I plug any upcoming dates and appearances.
Come and check out the PBW academy if this is something you’ve ever wanted to do, come along and just watch a session see if it’s for you, there’s no pressure to have to get stuck right in. There are school in Greenock, Barrhead and Airdrie.
But most of all I just want to say thanks for reading this, fans who get out to shows and help this scene you guys are why we do it, and the reason we can do it, I am only getting started, so 2017 get out and see live wrestling.

If war games strategy is your thing, check out the recent episode myself Mav and Donnie T done for BBC it’s on iPlayer just now, Time Commanders.
And Merry Christmas

Thank you to the incomparable David J Wilson and Jamie Spaul for the accompanying images. 

Review: ICW Fear And Loathing 9 AT THE HYDRO

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From 30 people in Maryhill to 6200 in The Hydro. A fairytale. Rags to riches. Cindarella story. Started from the bottom now we here. Community centres to nightclubs to really big nightclubs to iconic music venues to really big iconic music venues to fuckin full scale arenas. You’ve heard it all before. If you were looking for anything any different from this review I’m afraid you’ll be sorely disappointed. The reason you’ve heard that patter a lot is because it IS amazing what ICW have done. This show happening at all represented monumental triumph not for British Wrestling, not even for Scottish Wrestling, it was a monumental triumph for ICW. For the people who worked tirelessly to get ICW to this point. The fact that it undoubtedly has a knock on effect for the rest of the scene is nice and important but it’s not the whole scene who get to bask in the glow of this. This is for the daft cunts who put their bodies and sanity on the line to make this happen. This was their night. They represented ICW above everything else and showed the world what ICW was all about. No it wasn’t the best ICW show ever. In fact ICW have run and will run better wrestling shows, but it was a remarkable spectacle and a fuckin good wrestling show to boot. A night to be proud of and a launching pad on the way to selling the fucker oot in a years time for Fear and Loathing 10.

It started with a Finn

The only thing more beautiful than Surprise Dev….sorry auld habits n that…Surpise Balor, is a Balor that you were very much expecting. Surprise Balor would have been nice, but the first time it happened I literally had to peel myself aff the fuckin floor. In case your new to this site or new to the concept of having functional eyes, Finn Bfinnalor is an attractive man. I’m burd daft mate. Love them. Boobs n that. Boobs aw day. But Finn is the exception. You are a died in the wool lying bastard if you can tell me with a straight face no matter what way you swing that ye widnae scran melted chocolate buttons aff that boys abs. In all seriousness but, it was so very beautiful to see him back in an ICW ring. Something I genuinely never thought would happen again. Not because he told us a lie when he said “It’s not goodbye, it’s just see ya later” he would never lie to us, but I just assumed it was modesty at play and he didn’t actually realise WWE would want to employ him forever and ever. They still do employ him btw, yet there he was, in some parallel universe where ICW run The Hydro and WWE allow contracted performers to appear elsewhere. Like a dream kiddin on its a human being. Balors Irish Dream. He spoke of not wanting to let cunts run riot in the company he loves and that he’d be behind that curtain dishing oot doings to anyone who tries it.

Joe Hendry vs Davey Blaze

This was always supposed to happen eh. Nae offence to “The Local Fire” but that’s a stupit name for a team that never did make a lot of sense. Two guys with completely different sets of ideals teaming for tenuous reasons. Perhaps more unnatural than that, a guy fae Glesga teaming wae a guy fae Embra! Like if Jack Jester suddenly started teaming with Solar or suhin ridiculous like that, you’d know fine well joehemian.jpgthe whole thing was gonnae end with Jester tombstoning him through the centre of the earth. Davey came out first and looked mean because he’s a baddie now, meaning he gets to use the Davey Blaze name and gets to wear the Davey Blaze pants. All very Blaze indeed. He looks exponentially more raging than he ever did and that’s nae mean feat cause he’s always at least a bit raging at something. Joe emerged to his own version of Bohemenian Rhapsody which was pretty fucking wonderful. As much as he wouldn’t much like the injection of profanity there, so fuck mate. I’ll fuckin describe yer brilliant entrance any fuckin way I want. It was heavy good, and the four Hendry heads looking at and interacting with each other was hilarious. It was all a ripping good time then a wrestling match broke out and ruined it aw.

Davey dominated the early exchanges, controlling the bout with jabs and calling people in the front row nasty names. He had Joe in a pretty sare looking Guillotine choke on the outside before Joe reversed it into a superb suplex on the ramp. Joe kept getting distracted by The Wee Man which gave Davey many opening to do many spears. He went up top and got caught and fallaway slammed to buggery because that’s not your forte Davey pal. Only time you should be up there is when you want absolutely everyone in the building to see you grabbing yer crotch as opposed to those just at eye level. While we’re on about crotches, I know he’s from Edinburgh but I’m absolutely not having Joe Hendry continually referring to Davey’s dick as his “Bobby” cause people fae Edinburgh definitely say “Boaby” mate. Even if they say it a bit funny, they say it. Naecunt calls it a Bobby.

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Joe gained the upper hand with that mad palmstrike thing he does which I’m very much intae. Its very street fighter as fuck, but Davey’s retort of a kick to the baws was very street fight as fuck. It was all fun and games until Joe took Davey up the top rope and tossed him clean over his heid for the win. A decent opener, and the right spot for Joe’s entrance to be in for sure. Wee Man took a fallaway slam before Davey took Wee Man up the road and Joe was left to soak in the adulation of the adoring public.

Carmel Jacob vs Kay Lee Ray vs Viper (ICW Women’s Title Match)

Kay Lee. Kay Lee. Kay Lee fuckin Ray ‘mate. I know her and Stevie are the fuckin dirtiest baddest baddies on the roster/residing on earth right now but this was their night and it was terrific to see them shine on the biggest stage ICW has ever appeared on. Viper emerged next and I’m nae lipreader but she definitely said “wow” when she went up to the second rope to have a good look at the crowd and that’s just so fuckin nice is it no. A unique moment on a special night. A lassie who’s wrestled all over the globe fuckin gobsmacked at the magnitude of this moment in her home country. The champ followed and if I knew this was the end I’d have greeted it so differently. Don’t go. No yet. There’s still so many more folk who need yer vitriol on the mic. So many more burds and the occasional guy who need DDT’d in tae next week.

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She went out on the very top and that’s really sound anaw. Went out as a bad bastard who eviscerates folk on the mic because as nice as it was to be able to cheer her for a bit when she was a goodie, that’s what she was put in out wee wrestling universe to be. Vicious. A killer. Up there with the very best when it comes to saying words and sounding like she fuckin MEANS them. When she stoated out at There’s Something About Maryhill with a mic in hand back in 2013, few were prepared for her to captivate them the way that she did. As a relatively new fan I’d only ever seen her in one or two matches and wasn’t fully aware of how good she could be on the mic and what she done that night blew me away. She’d take to the mic one last time for her final moments as a pro wrestler, but not before she fell on her sword one last time.

Kay Lee and Carmel were unthinkably on the same page for much of the early stages. Both stomping fuck out of Vipers bad knee and looking pure ragin’ about it. It was never lasting though. As much as they take pride in being the originators of women’s wrestling in Scotland, they take even more pride in being able to batter fuck out each other in spectacular and engaging ways. Them joining forces started to backfire quickly, Viper managing to regain her vertical base enough to lose it voluntarily in the form of a cross body which leathered both opponents. Viper then hit Randy Orton’s Chauffeur (The Viper Driver…see whit I did there? Wis pure shite eh?) only for Kay Lee to break it up with a Swanton. She was not to be denied on this night. ICW have only had a Women’s Title for a year now but she’s been the Women’s Champ for far longer. Nae disrespect to anyone else at all, but no woman in the company has been as integral to its growth as her and no other woman in the company got chucked like a fuckin dart by Mikey Whiplash, only to go on and STILL beat the cunt, so she deserved the moment. She deserved the recognition. She was well overdue the shiny shiny gold.

A nice wee three person german suplex thing happened in the corner, before Carmel lulled Viper in by pretending her knee was sare again only to take the knee brace off and crack her with it. Devious till the bitter end eh Carmel. Why be any other way when yer so fuckin good at being that. Kay Lee stopped the pin and weirdly seemed in control the whole way. With both opponents selling knee injuries she just seemed in control, not something that happens a lot in triple threat matches but it always felt like it was going to be hers. Viper was valiant. Carmel gave it all she had in her last ever match, but it was never their night.

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It was my favourite finish of the night anaw. Nae ambiguity at all. Kay Lee was hitting mad Gory Bombs on Carmel in the ring, knowing each one was putting her that bit closer to the title but she was smashing Viper on the outside with all sorts of suicide dives, keeping Viper at bay, making sure it was hers. It needed to be, and after a third Gory Bomb it was all over.

Carmel took the mic and basically told us she was done. The words “I retire” never came out her mouth so that leaves some hope that one day we’ll see her back but her words seemed to mean, at least for now, she’s gone. She bigged Kay Lee up about as much as you legally can big up a dirty heel because it made sense. It worked. If she’s gone and has had this sworn enemy for the duration of her time with the company, its only right that the person she done her best ever work with is a vital part of her exit speech, and she’s not fucking wrong. As talented as so many of these wrestlers are, especially Viper, for me Kay Lee Ray is a talent unmatched in the UK and I cannae fuckin wait to see what she does with that belt. Send aw yer best burds. See if they’ve got what it takes to take the title off a woman who would just as quickly stab ye in the neck as she would Swanton ye to keep a hold of that shiny shiny belt.

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If it is truly the end for Carmel, its been a pleasure watching her do her thing for the past 4 years. One of my personal favourites and while she’s entitled to her opinion that she no longer belongs in the same ring as the likes of Viper and Kay Lee, I’m gonnae have to respectfully disagree.

Stevie Boy vs BT Gunn (Casket Match)

In the lead up to the show, this was my favourite match on paper, for the simple as fuck reason that its BT Gunn vs Stevie Boy in the fuckin Hydro mate. A matchup that never has any prospect of being anything short of excellent. Two of the best we have in front of  a beautifully massive crowd of 6200. For all the chat about imports, the first three matches was made up of exclusively Scottish performers. Infact see the negative patter about the “imports” , it smells like import snobbery. If it was The Young Bucks instead of The Dudleyz and Adam Cole instead of Angle naecunt would have batted an eyelid about it, but because its big names, the show’s relying on imports to sell it. A crock of pure jobby that patter is. Stevie Boy got the jump on BT by waiting on him halfway up the ramp as soon as his entrance music hit, but BT had the pre-emptive jump on Stevie by literally jumping on him. As the casket had been rolled out and was dwelling ominously behind Stevie, mad BT jumped right out it and all of a sudden we went fae 0 to cunts smashing each other in 0.2 seconds.

BT was close to falling in the casket as Stevie performed various moves with this eventuality being his end game I assume. In other words, yer man wis tryin’ lit a berr so he wis. BT would not yield and got back into the ring via a mad spear through (pictured below by the talented gent known as David J.Wilson) the ropes before a mutual scudding session was ended when BT straight up jabbed Stevie. This was nae sort of wrestling “strike” this was a man punching another man square on the fuckin jaw, and that man going down to one knee in anguish. Startled by said scudding. A Canadian Destroyer nearly ended BTs night but he managed to poke a foot out the casket. I actually heavy enjoyed all the wee casket spots. Maybe that type of shit isnae for everyone, but I liked BT dragging Stevie back in when they were both in the casket and Stevie tried to escape. I liked that when the lid was shut for a while, instead of thinking they were in there trying to kill each other the crowd started chanting “Shaaaaaaaaaaaaggin” cause imagine they wur mate. Biggest show of their lives and they’re shaggin in a coffin. Only in ICW eh.

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They weren’t shagging, but they climbed out from doing whatever demented shit they were doing in there to get in about some sublime wrestling stuff. All sorts of mad kicks gettin slung towards each others jaws. BT tried to lure Stevie in to the casket with a handful of scud books, a wee satchel fulla tenner eccies and some pieces n jam but to no avail. Disappointed by his inability to end the match there and then, BT decided to just scramble the cunt’s brains with a superkick instead. Ye cannae be filthy as fuck with the most bangin entrance music ever if you’ve no got a brain. Luckily for him he shares that music with the new ICW Womens Champion. A fine set of hauners to have indeed. Out came the champ to tip it in Stevie’s favour, but BT was wise to it and hit them with a double springboard cutter. He’s played this game before and won but it wasn’t to be at The Hydro. They had too much. Kay Lee cracked him over the nut with a chair and as BT hung perilously on the top rope, Stevie powerbombed him on top of the casket, and calmly rolled BT inside. Closing the lid for a career defining win. 

Thought they both fuckin nailed it, there were some daft bits centred around the casket but that’s exactly what casket matches are and have always been. It still doesn’t detract from what was an excellent bit of storytelling and a huge power move seeing Kay Lee winning the title in one match followed by Stevie beating one of the best performers in the UK in the following match. The Filthy Generation are proof that the NAK split was the right thing, as they are now primed and ready to become key figures in ICW for a long time to come. The other guy who left the NAK that night has done no bad for himself either eh. Carries about a right big shiny thing and knocks cunts out for fun. Point is, its a story and Stevie and Kay Lee have carved out a beautiful, almost tragic end to theirs. Tragic for Carmel and Viper, one losing a title and a career the other seeing a moment that could have been hers snatched from her. Tragic for BT Gunn as he saw his protege and former best pal shove him into a coffin and close the lid. The only folk who didn’t  see their story end in anguish was Stevie and KLR themselves. A pair of low down dirty hooligans who combine their disregard for all human life that isnt their own with a fuckin abundance of wrestling talent. The Natural Born Thrillers.

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Polo Promotions vs The Dudley Boyz (ICW Tag Team Title Match)

Polo Promotions are already masters of the tag team craft, the only issue standing between them and being widely recognised as one of the best tag teams in the world is matches like this. Matches where big names get put to the sword. Matches that your casual every day fan forum dweller knows all about. It was enjoyable to hear Bubba on the mic bigging up both the match and Polo Promotions but it was all undone by him ending it with “Lets make it an No DQ!” in a company where every match is no DQ. That’s like getting to 90 minutes in the World Cup Final at 0-0, grabbing a mic and going “We don’t want this to end on a draw do we?! LETS GO TO EXTRA TIME” That was always happening anyway Bubba ma man. Cheers for yer input anyway. No DQ it was!

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It was a decent brawl to start with, after the Polo’s jumped on Bubba and D-Von, I assume to stop Bubba getting back on the mic and digging himself an even bigger hole by talking about how happy he is to be in Glasgow, England or suhin else daft.  The Dudleyz were on top early and D-Von even looked not completely puffed out for a spell. Rolling back the years with a pouncing neckbreaker and a shscoopsoulder tackle where he actually got a few feet off the ground. Polo derailed their wee renaissance with a double clothesline and subsequently scooped the ever loving shite out of the pair of them. So many Dudley scoops. Even Spike Dudley sponteanously stood up and scooped himself through the coffee table in his house. Wife had him committed so she did. Thought he was having Vietnam style flashbacks.

Folk have had a lot to say about the finish to this and obviously the 3D that didn’t happen was supposed to go some kind of other way. It was either badly mistimed or someone missed their cue but who the fuck cares man? Genuinely. No one knows exactly what was planned and no one will ever know because its not our fucking place to know. Its our place to reflect on what actually happened and what actually happened is Jackie Polo hit a spine shattering scoop slam on D-Von, that scoop slam landed on top of a steel chair and that was enough to put the most decorated team in tag team history to the sword. Game, set and STILL champs. 

For some reason after the match Davey and The Wee Man decided to take a saunter down to a ring that contained zero allies. Essentially the ring was full of Bloods, and Davey in his wee blue crip pants was like a red rag to a team of bulls. The Dudleyz urged Jackie and Mark to “GET THE TABLES” and they duly obliged. I suppose if Foley couldnae make it there was a cheap pop quota that needed met so it was to be expected, and an assisted powerbomb from Team 3D put Davey through the table. A wee moment of glory for the legends, but the real glory goes to the best tag team in Europe. Yer scoop slammin, cigar smokin, snug workin, leaders of the revolution and STILL your ICW Tag Team Champions. The undisputed Da’s of European tag team wrestling. Polo Promotions.

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Lionheart vs Aaron Echo vs Zack Gibson vs Liam Thomson vs Andy Wild vs Kenny Williams (Stairway To Heaven Match For The Zero-G Title)

Lionheart has been unrivalled lately and fully deserved the position he found himself in going in to the show. The fuckin Zero-G king. Considering they were competing for a belt called Zero-G the match was absolutely fuckin brimming wae gravity. A lot of big lads in there and Liam Thomson isnae exactly a high flyer, he does do a mean missile dropkick but none of yer 470 dragonfly senton moonsaults n aw that. The match had a fresh injection of Zero-G’ness when Mick Foley appeared on the screen to reveal that the match would have a seventh competitor. A man who lost his qualifier in dubious circumstances, and a man who’s been down on his luck lately. A man who wasn’t even on the card for the biggest show in Universal wrestling history. The biggest show in the history of sport. He wasn’t even invited to the party, so he had one of his own. Up a ladder with a shiny belt in his grasp.

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The match unfolded at a frantic pace and was one of the more eye catching matches of the night. Iestyn Rees and Aaron Echo both cleared the top rope with a pair of stoatin’ dives, before Lionheart superplexed Kenny off the top rope to a waiting group of bodies on the outside. Thank fuck they were where they were supposed to be, because if naecunt caught them, there would be a Kenny shaped hope in the Hydro floor for the rest of time and a new finish to this match due to one of the folk involved in it being incapacitated with a bad case of clinical deidness. Zack Gibson was the first man eliminated, which saddened me as he’s a huge talent. My personal favourite of the English talents that are occasionally utilised by ICW. At the same time it was nice to see Liam Thomson pin someone in The Hydro and his Backcracker out of the corner is a thing of beauty, so it was nice to see both Liam Thomson and that move looking as dyno’ as possible.

His reign as the king of dyno hings was short lived however, as the bold Andy Wild eliminated him with that sexy situout powerbomb he always delivers with aplomb. Lets take a wee moment to appreciate Andy Wild eh. Came from nowhere to earn a spot on this show and not only that, but came from nowhere to deservedly re-take a spot on the regular ICW roster. Hats off to the big man, and how beautiful would it be if this wee story ended with him becoming a 2 time Zero-G Champion? He got in amongst it with Aaron Echo after that. The man who earned his spot in the match the night before with a win over Ravie Davieawild and he showed he was more than worth the spot with an excellent showing. Beauty of a spinning forearm sent Wild into a daze, but big Iestyn Rees is always about the spoil the party. He only very recently won me over, and doing things like pinning Aaron Echo is a fine way to find yersell jumping straight out of the good books so it is. Remember when yees both done a mad dive together? Remember the glory days? Iestyn Ree clearly does not and we were down to the final four.

Aaron Echo and Kenny Williams are big pals, so fucking with one may lead to the wrath of the other. Even though Lionheart seemed to have big Iestyn under control, Kenny wanted to be the one to pap him out and duly was as he broke up Lionheart’s Styles Clash attempt before pinning Rees with the Quiff Buster DDT. Andy Wild was still in there keeping the fairytale alive, but three became two after a superkick followed by a rock bottom from Hearto put Andy away. A sare yin, but there’s no doubt Andy Wild is back and looking even better than ever since his win over Noam Dar. This wasn’t a wee nostalgia booking, this is a talented guy firmly re-establishing himself and that’s just fuckin beautiful is it no? We were down to two though. Of course we were. It could only be them. It could only end this way. Lionheart standing toe to toe with the natural air to the Zero-G throne. The fuckin bollocks.

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Everyone involved in the match deserved to have a spot on The Hydro show so the match made sense and was loaded with entertaining moments. Aaron Echo’s performance had already drawn huge amounts of praise for a very talented guy, but this is the feud. This has always been the thing that needed some kind of resolution and you have to give big Hearto credit for for being that constant thorn in Kenny’s side. The architect of his demise was also the launching pad for probably his best moment in ICW. They slung mad jabs at each other before Kenny took the upper hand by booting a set of ladders in to Lionhearts face. Lionheart’s retort was making a bollocks shaped hole in a mad giant set of ladders. A Rock Bottom while they both battled up a set of ladders each followed that, well and truly bursting Kenny and leading to the debut of his new gimmick. #BURST Kenny Williams coming to a show near you, gibbering about how he’s gonnae delete his brerr and how dyno xylophones are. He didn’t stay burst for long, as Hearto climbed that big banana ladder for another notch on the winpost ,Kenny was having none of it. It’s been Lionheart’s year but this wasn’t his night. The people needed to pop for The Bollocks, and The Bollocks did indeed pop moments later. Kenny hit a mad springboard cutter on Lionheart as he climbed the ladder before managing to rush up and grab the gold. Your new Zero-G Champion. 

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Hugely entertaining scrap if a bit short. Would have liked to see a bit more of Gibson forearming fuck out of folk but hopefully there’s more ICW’ing in his future. Cannae believe how much big Iestyn Rees has won me over, wee bit wary saying it too much cause he’s proper massive and might see fit to leather me but he was one of the guys I just didn’t get. The whole comparison with Masters and never liking Masters fucked it for him but he has improved a huge amount since his early PWE days and has earned his spot on the roster. Hopefully 2017 is injury free and full of backcrackers for Liam Thomson and it was nice to see him revive an auld feud when him and Andy Wild leathered each other but arguably the biggest impression made from the other 5 guys was big Aaron Echo making absolutely every moment of his time in the match matter. That’s the thing that sets him apart from the rest of the “new” talent in this country. His work in the ring is constantly engaging and everything fuckin matters. Nae wasted motion. If he doesn’t add his name to the list of Zero-G champions by the end of 2017 there’s something no right. He might need to get behind the rapid resugrence of Andy Wild in the queue, as he chases a second reign that would have looked impossible a year ago, but it was Kennys night and after 3 years of show stealing performances and constant improvement no one could begrudge him that.  His biggest challenge might just be the guy who stole the show in the very next match.

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Lewis Girvan vs Ricochet

It was a night with a lot of big moments. Career defining. Long storylines ending, and new ones beginning. Monumental shit. Arguably the match that had the least on the line storyline wise proved to be the very best contest of the night and probably done more for Lewis Girvan’s career than any other performance done for anyone else on the night. In there with one of the darlings of Indie wrestling in one of the biggest, most widely viewed shows in Indie Wrestling history and Lewis Girvan fuckin nailed it. 180 (darts), 147 (thats the highest break in snooker btw, we’re doing a thing here, bear with me), the perfect hat-trick, first place in the formula one race, the gold medal, the gold standard Shelton Bejamin, to be the best you’ve got to beat the best and Lewis Girvan knocked off a fuckin massive talent that I perhaps didn’t fully appreciate until having the pleasure of seeing him wrestle two nights in a row and thinking “I don’t know what the fuck he just did there, but I know I liked it”

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Ricochet fired out a wee tweet a few days before the match about being excited for the show even if he was down the bottom of the poster. Tongue in cheek for sure but perhaps the reaction to it gave him a wee insight in to how passionate ICWs fanbase can be. Don’t get wide mate, yer lucky ye even got the shout to be on the show and so whit if ye were amazin? Yer nae Bob Holly pal. Wind it in. He kicked the contest off by kneeing Lewis Girvan to the outside before nailing him with a suicide dive and a made springbaord dive into the crowd. This was approximately 2.75 seconds in to the match and that tells you all you need to know about Ricochet’s rapid skills. Followed that up with a springboard 450 like it was fuck all. Girvan imposed himself on it with a lovely wee hurricanrana followed by his own version of mad high flying shit as he set Ricochetgirv2 up on the barrier before going up top and landing on him with an emphatic knee to the melt. Givan’s not about the 720 corkscrew flippedy dippedy stuff but his work is flawless and the mesh of styles was lovely to watch. Tap wrestling stuff right here.

Standing shooting star press reversed into a traingle choke by Girvan was beautiful to watch. The whole thing was just joyful mate. They smashed each other with elbows, forearms, lariats, knees to the baw, Girvan pulled out a BB Gun and fired a few rounds in to Richochets temple, Richochet responded with a 540 shotgun blast to the melt. Beautifully choreographed wrestling warfare. Richochet fired about 70 kicks at Girvan in about 3 seconds before nailing a deadlift back suplex type thing because he also happens to be a fuckin tank on top of all the mad flippy goodness.

His next attempt at flippy goodness was reversed into a codebreaker from Girvan and from that point on it was always his. A Blue Thunder Bomb followed by a pin was reversed into a Crossface from Girvan and after a long sequence of Ricochet trying to get out of that Crossface to no avail he had no choice but to tap. He did manage to gain enough separation to go for the 630 splash but it missed, and after a cracking spike DDT the crossface was locked back in. It was more of a vicegrip than a submission hold and its hard to wrestle at the speed of life if you’ve been choked to death by Lewis Girvan so he made the right call tapping when he did. He lives to fight another day. Hopefully some of those days will happen in ICW. Even if we all need to invest in hard hats so he can fly all over the joint whatever way he wants.

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Its been a pleasure to see Girvan find his “thing” in wrestling. He’s been around ICW for 4 years and was always a reliable go to guy for a good match on any card but recently he’s found that connection with the audience that was maybe missing at times. A terrific display on ICWs biggest night will only strengthen his spot and him vs Kenny Williams for the Zero-G will be majestic when it eventually happens. For all the “best young wrestler” patter was used to rip the piss out him at times, he stuck with it and its caught on. Excited to see what 2017 brings for a guy who started off 2016 by repeatedly smashing folk in bollocks as part of the square go, in 2017 he’ll be looking to smash a different kind of bollocks to finally get the Zero-G crown he’s coveted for so long.

Wolfgang vs Trent Seven (ICW Title Match)

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Wolfgang is The Undertaker of ICW. That’s not just because they both like driving a motorbike roon the ring. Its not because they both love shaggin deed bodies. Its not even because they both favour a goatee beard over other types of beard its because no matter the character he protrays or the story he’s telling, you can rely on him to be central to any ICW show he’s on. With or without that shiny belt, he’s an icon in this company. With or without catchy Duran Duran entrance music, he’s one of the best performers in the companies history and on a historic night it was only right that he went in as the companies champion. When the big occasion comes, Wolfgang delivers and he was the perfect, unassuming, dangerous baddie to counteract Trent Seven’s overwhelming popularity. Trent had an army made up of more nations than Seven behind him for this one, but folk might have forgot, Wolfgang fuckin runs Glesga. This is his yard, and that steel structure they were stepping in to is his domain. If Trent was going to take that belt from Wolfgang his night would have to be a flawless one. He’d need to stick to the gameplan and no matter what the big bad bastard flung at him, he’d need to get up and show him it wasn’t enough. Most importantly, he’d have to stay true to everything that brought him this opportunity in the first place. Spectacular beard, spectcular principles, and making smart, well timed moves to bring the opportunities he needed to move into position for the title shot. The worst thing he could possibly do is play Wolfgang at his own game, because its his fuckin game mate. He wins. Always.

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Trent entered to a wonderfully passionate reception and felt the full power of 6000 behind him, but Wolfgang entered on a motorbike and motorbikes are cool so first blood to Wolfy. Trent wasn’t for fucking about and met Wolfy before he even got in the cage, before they battled their way IN to a 20 foot tall deathtrap. Perhaps an indicator as to where they both are sanity wise, but this is for the World Title mate. Sanity disnae matter a buggery. They started the war by trading Germans. Wolfgang swapping his Bastian Schwiensteiger sticker for Trents Jurgen Klinsmann limited edition shiny. Or suplexes. Whatever makes more sense in a wrestling context. A popup powerbomb had Wolfy in control before he broke out the gold plated demon that managed to topple an army. The brass knuckles that have claimed so many bodies in Wolfgang’s reign added another name to the list but this entrant entered his own name by playing Wolfy at his own game. He managed to get the knuckles and knocked Wolfys two front teeth out with a cracker of a shot, catching them in his back pocket so he could use them to kid on he’s a walrus later before hitting a spinless piledriver for a two count. Aye. Knuckle shot then a piledriver only got a 2. For all the momentum Trent carried in to this, he carried that momentum in to the moment Wolfgang had dreamt about from way before Trent would have even heard of ICW. If he was taking the belt, he was taking Wolfgang’s deid body with it because that’s the only way the big man was letting his shoulder hit the mat for a count of three.

Wolfgang was still well and truly out the game and Trent decided it was time to make like a banana and get the fuck out the steel cage. That’s a saying int it? See the thing about Wolfgang needing to be clinically deid to surrender his belt is that he was in there with a certifiable nutjob. A guy who’s went to lengths we’ve maybe never seen before to get the job done during his unbelievable battles wolfwith Mikey Whiplash and if anyone might have what it takes to go to the deep dark place a wrestler needs to go to if he’s able to murder another wrestler for the sake of a shiny belt, Trent Seven had it in him. Kicking out of a superplex from the top of the cage AT A COUNT OF ONE is living breathing proof of that. Mad bastard. I thought they were telling a beautiful story and if I’m honest I wasn’t daft on how it ended. Maybe this isn’t the end of the story, but as Wolfgang tried to climb out and Trent Seven caught him at the top of the cage, you wondered if he was going to a silly thing. He stashed they brass knuckles in his skants, but that’s not where ye use them mate. Not in a cage match. Not at the top of the cage. C’mon Trent pal. Yer better than that. Don’t dae it. Fur tha love ov gawd don’t do it.

He couldn’t resist though, and with them both perched at the top of the cage, with two tables waiting below, Trent inexplicably rattled Wolfys jaw with the brass knuckles and he majestically fell to his certain death, from 20 feet in the air through two tables Trent set up when they brawled on the outside. Becoming your first ever deid ICW Champion. Turns out even death wouldn’t be enough to take that belt from the Big Bad Wolf. Another name taken by ICW’s very own deadman. 

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I sincerely hope there’s another battle in this between them because it feels like it shouldn’t end on a mistake. The result of the following match might make Trent’s prospects of a re-match a bit more promising but at the end of the day he fucked up and has to own that. A careful campaign to become ICW Champion doon the pan because Wolfgang lured a beautiful man in to a dirty, dirty game. Maybe it just wasn’t his time, but Trent Seven has made an incredible impression on ICW over the past 2 years and there’s no doubt he’ll have more fights like this.

Team ICW (Chris Renfrew, Grado, Sha Samuels and DCT) vs Team Black Label (Drew Galloway, Kid Fite, Jack Jester and Bram) – Winner gains full control of ICW

The match for all the marbles as Mark Dallas put it. The match that meant everything. A match that was already loaded with emotion before Drew Galloway decided to douse that emotion in a gallon of petrol and set the fucker on fire by fooling us all with his wee speech the night before. A man who was integral in aiding ICW’s growth when he returned to the company 2 and a half years ago (aye its been that fuckin long since that night, unreal eh) dropping character to announce that he’d miss its biggest ever show due to a serious career threatening injury. Standing side by side with Mark Dallas as he announced he’d have to take a step back from wrestling only to land an almighty shot to his old pal’s jaw and an even mightier shot to his heart. Going in to The Hydro, Team Black Label undoubtedly had the mental edge and with Galloway cleared, even the physical upper hand on Team Dallas. A “team” who’s hopes very much hinged on two sworn enemies putting that shite on the back burner for the greater good.

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The entrances indicated they might just be willing to do that. First DCT came out with Coach Trip (with his son, which was a lovely n nice thing to see) and Colonel Mustard and The Dijon 5, the band who do his wonderful entrance music. It was a ripping good time already before Sha came out to his new tune, a parody of Park Life called SHA LIFE which was better than life itself. Normal everyday shite life can fuck off, SHA LIFE is where its at. Renfrew and Grado presented a united front with Mark Dallas, coming out to the ICW music and bumping fists before charging down to the ring for an almighty scrap. Stuff yer sorrows in a sack guys, this is a night to come together, jump about to a bit of Sha Life, and smash some very bad men. For the greater good. For ICW.

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Sha Samuels and Kid Fite have been leathering each other for a few months now, without actually ever managing to do it in a wrestling match setting, so it all spilled over when they got in amongst each other at the start of this. Would have liked to have seen them both involved for a bit longer, but their personal battle is for another day.fito As everyone had split off and picked a guy from the other team to batter, that left Sha and Fito in the ring to have a bit of a barney. Sha hitting a nice spinebuster before Fito eliminated him with that mega sare looking DDT he does. Fito’s joy was shortlived however as DCT snuck behind him for a cheeky wee rollup to pap him out, leaving the former 55, pint swiggin, mug mauling brothers to continue breaking our hearts by fighting to the back. Need to get these cunts together, sit a keg in the middle and let them hash it out like real men by gettin stupidly steamin and declaring their love for each other.

Bram and DCT renewed their rivalry for a bit before Jester snuck in and hit that mad high arcing pedigree thing he does called The Plunge To The Dungeon. Drew finally got his infinite evilness involved in the in-ring action after he nearly took Grado’s heid aff with a big boot. Grado vs Drew seems like a lifetime ago but it was only a year earlier that they combined to rip the roof aff the SECC in an incredible main event. Grado went to the shake, rattle and roll but before he could sharpen that bionic elbow, Drew straight up nutted him. Fuckin sit doon Grado mate. Renfrew was on hand to provide hauners for Grado, a sentence that just didn’t feel possible at the start of the year when they were verbally and physically decimating each other but this was no ordinary night. Renfrew had Billy Connollys big banana feet on for fucks sake, this was a special night. A very Glesga night. Renfrew went for the T-Virus, a move that would nae doubt compromise Galloways burst neck if it hit the mark but it was blocked and he had to be content with delivering one of they big banana feet right to Galloway jugular with the missile dropkick he calls Kiss Kiss Molly’s Lips.

DCT was the next one out, as he intervened in the doing Bram was giving Renfrew in the corner only to see Bram smash him in the baws and put him away with a piledriver. Aw fuck. A team of Drew Galloway, Bram and Jack Jester would be a difficult one for any two man team to topple, but a pair of guys who fuckin hate each other? Nae chance. On an ordinary night it wouldn’t be a go-er, but this night was far from ordinary. Renfrew and Grado shook hands and just fuckin went for it. Why no. Fuck all to lose except maybe their jobs if they didn’t prevail. Nae pressure boaysies eh.

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Bram was the first hurdle overcome for the unlikely duo, Grado hitting the R-Gra-Do outta naeplace to send the horrible cunt packing. He left his mark before he fucked off of course. It was never going to be a simple task to get rid of that big hooligan. He knocked the life out of Grado and Renfrew with a chair and left them for dead. Only stopping after Red jumped in to tell him they were deid 5 minutes ago and further chairshots at this point are just gratuitous. Bram eventually did bolt, but the odds of ICW continuing as we know it were shortened dramatically when Renfrew was about to take a shot to the heid with that massive studded dildo Jester carries about, only for Grado to take a bullet for the team and shove him out the way, taking a belting shot to the dome which was enough to see him eliminated. If this was the same, huffy Grado from the night before ICW were fucked. Even though he’d been eliminated the team still needed him. If Bram could stick about after he’d been papped out, so could Grado. Nae rules. Stakes have never been higher. Don’t abandon ship. No yet.renfffff

Red celebrated like it was a done deal at that point and you could see his point. Two of the longest reigning ICW Champions ever and best pals, against a beaten and battered Renfrew. Renfrew managed to chuck Drew to the outside to even the numbers up briefly, and in came Grado to provide the timeliest of hauners. Nailing Jester with The Wee Boot, a wee boot that sent him directly into the path of a Stone Cold Stoner. Jester was out, and one of the most emotionally charged feuds in ICW history would decide its future. Renfrew vs Galloway. Renfrew had Dallas in his ear right after Jester’s elimination. Delivering some rousing words. John Lambie-esque. Bring it home or you won’t have a home to go to after this. There’s no doubt his feud with Galloway put Renfrew on another level career wise, but he’d have to be willing to maybe end Galloways career for that journey to continue. You best protect ya neck kid.

They faced off, exhanging jabs before Drew flattened Renfrew with a snap piledriver. Maybe the only way to stop Renfrew going for his neck would be going after his. Renfrew nailed Galloway with a top rope stoner, a beauty of a hit that would somehow only prove to be the second most impressive execution of that move in the match. It looked a certainty to end the match only for Red to drag referee Sean McLaughlin out, flooring him with a jab and taking him out of commission. This is where I really struggle with folk questioning if the Renfrew arm drop thing was a genuine mistake. The original referee was taken out so it WOULD be Thomas Kearins overseeing the rest of the contest. Red, Jester and Drew looked set to put the finishing touches on their masterpiece only for Dallas to burst in like scrappy do on eccies to take the whole lot of them out. Raining rapid rights down on Red. His momentum was derailed by Drew removing his head with that big Claymore Kick but that sequence of events proved to be The Black Labels undoing. Seemingly possessed with a lust to see Mark Dallas personally suffer, Drew continued to batter him, taking his eyes off Renfrew, the man he still needed to pin to win the match and keep Red in charge. Jester’s attempts to get him to focus up fell on deaf ears and words were exchanged between Jester and Drew. Drew seemingly referring to Jester as the weak link, causing Big Kink to get the fuck outta dodge. A moment of anger that would cost big Drew dearly.

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He nailed Renfrew with a tombstone that probably would have got it done but nae ref meant nae count. This is where I have an issue, cause questioning if it was a real mistake is just not paying attention to the story. Thomas Kearins was humiliated, fired, laughed at, made to apologise for things he didn’t do, and just generally torn down by The Black Label. He then found himself refereeing a match that decided their future after not being initially assigned to that match. When Renfrew’s hand dropped for a third time when Galloway had that Crossface in. He took a long hard look at Renfrew. Almost willing him to wake up, and wake up he did. The match continued because Thomas Kearins was in charge and decided that if Team Dallas were going to lose, he would lose his job as a result, so it wouldn’t happen on something as underwhelming as a hand dropping three times. Think of it this way anaw, how often do you actually see refs do the hand raising thing in ICW? not often. So why would it happen in that vital moment if it wasn’t for a reason?

Still locked in the Crossface after three drops, it was only a matter of time before Renfrew WOULD pass out. Dallas knew he had nae choice but to thrust himself in the road of a phenom if he was gonnae get his company back but even a golf club accross the back barely made a dent. He swatted it away, before nutting Dallas and getting him in position for The Futureshock DDT. If only there was someone else. One more man with ICW in his heart and scuddin boots on his feet. Finn Balor. It’s never been nicer to see ye pal.

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Out came Finn to save the day but his main nemesis in his ICW days Jack Jester soon followed, dwelling ominously behind him as Drew looked on smugly. Fully expecting his Kinky brerr to crack this Irish cunt err the napper and bring it home. Jester was fuckin done though. Done being the hype man in The Drew Galloway Show. He handed that big dildo built for a 12 foot fanny to Finn and he duly cracked Drew over the napper with it, sending him right in to the best 360 Stone Cold Stoner of all time for the one, two, three. Renfrew pinned Galloway. Team Dallas beat Team Black Label. Good had triumphed over evil. 

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It was high drama and that’s what wrestling is supposed to be about. Nights like this need dramatic, heart wrenching, at times soap opera moments. It wasn’t the perfect wrestling match but it fuckin mattered. Every single moment of it did and when Red Lightning was told he was FIRED it felt real. It didn’t feel like he’d no longer be playing the role of ICWs half owner, it felt like he’d been sacked from his actual day to day job and that’s how it should be. All the credit in the world has to go to that man to making this storyline consistently engaging. Continually holding the good guys down, show after show, letting that frustration towards him build to come to a head poeticall. All the boaysies partied afterwards including Toal, Scott Reid and Sweeney. Sha even took a break from an intense game of deidys with Kid Fite to partake. Grado and Renfrew were co-existing. ICW is a wonderfully merry place without Red Lightning but I hope he’ll be back to spread his expertly crafted misery at some point.

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Joe Coffey vs Kurt Angle 

This was the main event because it was the fuckin main event. Simple as that. When since was it the role of a wrestling fan to wonder if an “import” had demanded the main event spot. When since did we just ignore the most consistent performer in ICW and perhaps the UK getting a spot he undoubtedly earned in favour of speculating if there’s a reason for it that you can put a negative spin on. The reason Joe Coffey vs Kurt Angle was the final contest on ICWs biggest ever show was the fact that Joe Coffey is one of the best independent wrestlers on the planet and Kurt Angle is a fuckin megastar. A dream match up that diehards and casual fans alike can dig their teeth into, perhaps even more so than the title match or even a match that literally had ICWs future on the line. Wrestling disnae always need to be about stupid dirtsheet patter and letting speculative pish overshadow real significant things that actually happened so leave that shite at the door and enjoy this for what it was. A dream match that pitted one of the best wrestlers in the world against an American guy called Kurt Angle.

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Angle entered to a friendly enough reception with a wee chorus of “You Suck!” from the Iron Man daft regulars. Perhaps he didn’t fully realise what ICW was all about until he got his first almost hostile reception since making his debut on the “Indies” after leaving TNA. A much loved, well respected guy, but he wasn’t OUR guy. The guy who stoated out to The Hydro as a walking saltire. It was the second time I’ve been near greeting in The Hydro in the space of a month after seeing oor Noam make his RAW debut in the very same building a couple of weeks earlier. They might be in different places career wise right now, but they both have career  making moments in that building within a couple of weeks of each other and that was a beautiful thing. Angle got a lovely reception when he was announced, because naecunt really thinks he sucks. A lot of folk just liked the guy he was facing that wee bit more.

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After a very wrestling opening, with a whole manner of tie-ups, side headlock takedowns and all that carry on, Joe gained the upper hand with a beauty of a missile dropkick that caused Kurt to spill to the outside. Fuck taking another one of them. Ye don’t win Olympic Gold Medals by standing there and taking hunners of missile dropkicks. How much better would Olympic Wrestling be if it did have missile dropkicks though? And run ins? The Jamaican wrestling team run in to some trouble so Usain Bolt literally does a run in but its so fast that naecunt actually sees it. Kurt lured Joe to the outside and jabbed him a bit, before they went back in and Kurt went up top, only to be caught and belly to belly suplexed by Joe. Top rope belly to belly suplexes are another thing that could definitely improve Olympic Wrestling, but it was a move straight of Angle’s post Olympic playbook. Yer man fuckin loves a rope assisted suplex and his nose would have been knocked well out of joint by Joe getting one in there first. Add that to getting paint all over him within about a minute and Kurt was not a happy chappy. Time for a wee bit of ANGLE SMASH.

He needed to rake Joes eyes to get a bit of respite from the battering he was on the sharp end of but even then, Joe floored him moments later withangleslam a big shoulder tackle. For a guy who’s been there, seen it, done it all, bought all the t-shirts,and cut them into wee vests, he seemed to be struggling to come up with answers to what Joe was chucking at him. Joe smelled blood and went for the Lariat but the cat like reflexes of Angle kicked in to gear and suddenly he was stringing together German Suplexes. Three of them got him a two count as he finally looked to be making a bit of headway but his Angle Slam attempt was expertly dodged, and turned in to a German from Joe. The second attempt hit the mark but nae amount of Angle Slammin was getting the job done the night. The only kind of slam capable of putting Joe to the sword on his big night would have been a world famous Jackie Polo scoop slam on top of a chair. Nae Olympic Gold nonsense was even making a dent. Joe did carry a problematic left leg injury in to the match though, and well, Kurt Angle is maybe the best in the world at turning a sare leg into a broken one. The ankle lock was in and Joe was in serious bother.

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He somehow battled out of it and not only that, Aw The Best For The Bells hit the mark moments later. That’s what his Discus Lariat is actually called. No Black Coffey, the Costa Clothesline or any other daft coffee related pun, but Angle got the shoulder up and moments later he once again had Joe in real bother. Serious shit. Squeaky bum time. Joe was in agony but even if Kurt locked it in tighter and even if he snapped Joe’s ankle clean aff and smashed him over the heid with it, he’d still didn’t have enough to get the job done. This was Joe’s night and as he locked Angle in the No Mercy Boston Crab, he never looked like he had it in him to get out of it. Angle duly tapped and Joe had the moment he unquestionably deserved. A fitting end to ICWs biggest ever show.

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Angle tapped out to a Boston Crab so any question of him being an egotist that demands main events surely goes out the window there. He got on the mic and said some very nice things about Joe, signalling his intent to come back for a rematch before leaving Joe in the ring to enjoy his moment with his people. A moment he earned by consistently stealing show after show. With Red Lightning gone from the company, it might have been a moment that saw the last of the roadblocks standing between him and a proper reign as ICW World Heavyweight Champion removed. He definitely has a score to settle with Wolfgang and if he has to smash 29 other guys in Newcastle to earn another shot, he’ll no doubt climb that mountain as well.

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A hugely enjoyable night. Enjoyed it personally a wee bit too much, to the point that I immediately whiteyed in a hedge after the show. A hydro hedge fulla whitey. Everyone involved should be immensely proud. If we’re giving it a star rating I give it a million magic stars out of 1000 chocolate starfishes. Chocolatey good so it wis. Star ratings for wrestling is stupit. Look at all these people. I give getting that many people into a building for a Scottish Wrestling show 4 billion stars. 

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Many thanks to David J.Wilson again for the wonderful photos. A very talented man who is a huge part of these shows. Seems to always manage to capture the special moments as they happen.