An Interview With Mark Coffey

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“I just don’t agree with people who try and separate themselves from the locker room. Its almost in an attempt to make yourself seem more important. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together. We all share the one locker room. We’re all one”

Mark Coffey

A lot of making an impression on people is in how you carry yourself. On many occasions in wrestling someone with a bit of swagger can catch the eye of fans long before a more polished in-ring talent without that swagger would be able to. Mark Coffey has managed to seamlessly mesh the two things together from the first time I seen him wrestle and with only 7 years graft under his belt he seems to have naturally become one of the leaders of the locker room. A firm believer in unity amongst his peers, he marries that desire for unity with a desire to forearm folk’s teeth clean out their heid. That’s what makes him unique, and someone I’ve been absolutely gantin’ to interview for a long time. His belief in ‘the boys’ and fondness for the bond a growing band of the locker room seem to have shines through with every sentence and that all for one, one for all mentality can only be a good thing as British Wrestling powers forward.

Polo Promotions

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As I sauntered towards The Venue in Carlisle for the hotly anticipated Target Wrestling show taking place that night, at 4pm in the day the last thing I expected to see was fans already queuing up.  Yet as I approached I seen 4 or 5 guys huddled round the entrance; Happily chatting away. Most, if not all of them had one thing in common other than being clinically insane to voluntarily be in a queue rather than a pub a 3 full hours before a show. The other thing they had in common was being Polo Promotions to the core. Donning the club colours proudly, feverish at the prospect of the duo who run Carlisle taking their main even tag team vision and turning it into a reality. Polo Promotions are incredibly popular with the fans of Target Wrestling and enjoy an electric rapport with its fan-base, which brought about a momentous occasion on June 17th 2017. Polo Promotions vs Moustache Mountain. Two of the finest teams in the country. Two of the finest teams on the continent. And the two teams who made the concept of having a tag team match as your standalone main event a reality, but make no mistake about it, if it wasn’t for Mark and Jackie Polo pushing for this for a long time, it may never have been a reality.

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“This (Target) is just great because up until the match with Moustache Mountain the crowd have been 100% in our favour. Tonight its going to be more of a 50/50 because of how popular Moustache Mountain and British Strong Style are, but up until tonight we’ve had most of the crowd with us. This is like a testing ground for everything we do. Because we get on so well with Ryan (Devlin) the promoter, John who does a lot of the booking as well, and the fans. They trust us enough that when we go “can we try this?” when we want to do new things, they trust us to do it.”

That trust and the right team to make the match as huge as possible popping up was the perfect mixture of circumstances to make the whole thing come about. With Carlisle bathed in beautiful sunshine and their opponents bathed in beautiful facial hair, it was the right amount of beautiful shit to bring about a beautiful main event. “We’ve been pushing for ages saying we’re a main event tag team. We can put on a main event calibre show. Tonight is a culmination of all that. Of us telling Ryan we can main event and him agreeing that we need to go that way. Getting the right opponents so its a big enough tag team match for a British Wrestling company to go with as their main event. The way you look at shows now, particularly in independent wrestling, guys have a lot more freedom. You notice it a lot on shows now that when it gets to the main event, the crowd struggle. Because they’ve seen everything they could have possibly wanted to see. Sometimes 3 or 4 times over. If you put a tag team match out last, you couldn’t possibly have seen it before. They might have seen a tag match somewhere on the card, but not a main event tag match”

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For what felt like hours, they chanted. They sang. They made every manner of noise they possibly could for tag team wrestling in the main event. When Moustache Mountain entered you could hear a pin drop. The away team. Respected, maybe even feared a bit, but not supported. Not yet anyway. Their fans would get more vocal as this whole saga played out but in that moment they almost seemed scared. Like an away fan at a European game nestled in the home end. Fearing the repercussions of even giving the natives a sniff of the possibility that you might not be one of them. Moustache Mountain will no doubt go up and down the UK this year but I sincerely doubt they’ll face an atmosphere like this again anywhere they go. Rabid loyalty to a pair who might not be born and bred in the city, but a pair who have grown to be two of Carlisle’s favourite sons, as Mark recalled upon proudly.

“A lot of our matches have a derby day feel but this sort of has a Champions League feel. The thing I’m most pleased and excited about is going on in the main event. That’s something we’ve really pushed for. We also pushed for a Tag Division in ICW and I think as a duo we’ve done as much as we can to achieve that, so lets start pushing tag wrestling. Having this match in the main event slot is a win in our column. So we’re gonna keep pushing that way. This is the first step. This is like an achievement unlocked kinda thing. That’s the best thing about it and why we really appreciate it down here. Not only are the fans phenomenal for us and they have been from day one, but Ryan, John etc have been great with us and to get that wee nod from them in having us in the main event tonight is special”

The match was indeed special and became another in a long list of outstanding bouts the team have been involved in this year. Many of those coming in ICW, the company where the team rose to prominence as a duo after singles success and a company where the duo have always been polarising figures. In stark contrast to the almost universal acclaim they get in Carlisle, even when they were devilish big bad baddies, they still had a vocal band of followers, and since transitioning to become fan favourites, its only served to split the audience more. Its an environment that Mark seems to have a huge amount of fondness for. “I love it. We’re lucky enough that most matches we do have a. I don’t want to say ‘big match feel’ because it sounds a bit up your own arse, but it has that sort of derby day feel. Everyone’s up for it. You look at the match with The Kings Of Catch. The crowd were going back and forth for the whole thing. I think that plays into our favour because we’re used to it, whereas our opponents might not be. I said that recently about me and Trent in the singles. He’s not used to that atmosphere either. He’s used to everyone singing for him, and having the Trent Seven army. He’s not used to half the crowd staying faithful to his opponent. So it always kinda plays into our favour. I always say it would be nice if everyone did cheer for us, Jackie doesn’t care either way but I think aw yeah it would be nice, but we’ve experienced it so many times. That’s our atmosphere now, that’s what we bring to a show. The last three times we’ve been down here at Target, the match hasn’t been able to start for 10 minutes. We get in the ring and there’s 10 minutes of absolute chaos before the match starts”

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That chaos and the seemingly never-ending duel between the “Polo Promotions” half of the crowd and the “get tae fuck” team of dafties (sorry journalistic integrity n that, need tae stay impartial, you’re all entitled to your opinion’s, its just a shame those opinions are  very wrong) was never more apparent when the duo took on international superstars and IWGP Tag Champions War Machine at Barramania. “It was a wee check against our name to go in there and have a good match with the IWGP Champs at that time. I think we proved a decent point to the crowd but i think we proved an even bigger point to War Machine themselves, both in the ring and backstage. A lot of guys are afraid when bigger teams come in, but they were coming in to our company. The thing seems to be they (imports) come in, call the shots, and if you disagree you’re wrong. Fuck that. We built this house. I’d like to go again with them. The only fear id have is that with the first match being so good the expectation is there for the second one.”

The team came up ever so slightly short against War Machine, but they managed to topple one of the finest teams in wrestling history at ICW’s Hydro debut. Retaining the ICW Tag Titles against Team 3D aka the legendary Dudley Boyz.  “The match with Team 3D was a great indicator for us. No team has the accolades that team 3D do, they’ve held every major tag title there is. A strong argument could be made for them being the greatest team in pro wrestling/sports entertainment history. So it was a good test to see where we stood on a stage with one of the greats”

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Whilst the outstanding contest with the former ROH and IWGP Tag Champs, and the victory over the most decorated tag team in wrestling history solidified Mark and Jackie as a force to be reckoned with on a wider scale, its the work in building ICW’s tag division that seems to be a personal source of pride, tempered with frustration at times “We worked a bit with The Purge recently and the first match we had was great. Worked with them the next night and it wasn’t good. Then we worked with them 2 or 3 more times and you could see them getting better and better andmcoffey6 its frustrating because you could see the difference in them from the first match to the last and there’s no solid plans to use them going forward. If you’re going to pull the trigger, go the full way. Don’t half pull it. But I feel positive about the tag division right now.”

Bird and Boar may sit on top of the tree right now and have been superb performers since debuting as part of the tag team tournament that took place when Polo Promotions vacated their titles, but the tag division they currently rule wouldn’t exist if not for Mark and Jackie’s record setting reigns with the titles. A fact Mark is rightly proud of

“When we started tagging in ICW, we realised there wasn’t much of a tag division at that time and we wanted to rebuild it. Teams nowadays are a means to an end to a lot of guys. They do it so they can split up eventually. To get on the card, get experience and move further up the card. We just wanted to be a proper team who moved up the card together. Looking at it now, specifically when we came back from the match with the Hunters, I felt very good. Thinking about what we’ve done overall in 2, 3 years worth of pushing. Saying we need a division and recommending teams. Now I think we have a strong division. There’s us, Bird and Boar, The Hunters, Kirby and Hayes had a match on the tour and are coming back. Kings of Catch (who the Polos face at ICW in Edinburgh this Sunday) even The Buckys popped up again. The Purge. Its great and its moving forward. We’re almost where we need to be as a tag division and then when you throw guys like War Machine in. Its a nice bonus. The get to fuck side of the crowd were a bit like “why is it Polo Promotions in with War Machine but i think that was strongly outweighed by by the pro Polo Promotions side”

The quality of the match itself was proof enough that Polo Promotions deserved that match. Stealing the show, and continuing to add weight to their desire to make tag team wrestling a main event fixture. “I think tag wrestling is on the up and is seen as something that’s cool again. People want to team up. Guys like Gallows and Anderson, The Revival and even The Young Bucks are making it more appealing. I don’t understand why you wouldn’ t want to do it to be honest. I’m big on team sports and very much see wrestling as a team game. When you lose you lose, when you win you win, but if you do stuff in groups its definitely more rewarding. I feel weird now having singles matches”

Fuck Yer Coffey, We Want Tea. Then Mark Coffey won the Zero-G

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“If you think about it from when I won until when I lose it you can look at it like a book. There was a beginning, a middle and an end, and its closed now. A lot of people just think about what they’re doing immediately, they don’t think about after that. Being able to look at the whole thing and move on, its something I’ve got a lot of pride in”                                                                                   – Mark Coffey on his Zero-G Title run

A popular, not to mention hugely inventive (naht) chant in my early days attending ICW shows was “Fuck yer Coffey we want tea” aimed at both Coffeys, but when Mark Coffey took the Zero-G Title with a clean win over then ICW Champion Mikey Whiplash, that all seemed to die down. Even those who didn’t naturally gravitate to Mark and his brother Joe had no choice but to recognise their talent in the ring. His run as Zero-G champ might have had a wee Balor shaped mishap in the middle when Fergal Devitt showed up at Still Smokin unannounced to end Mark’s first reign. That blip serving as the middle part to a story Mark looks back on with a great amount of pride.

“My thinking at the time wasn’t that this is the midcard belt. My thinking was that this is the championship, and the main title was the hardcore championship. ICW being what it is, with the rules being at the refs discretion and Jestemcoffey8r being who he is and doing what he does. All of his matches were going to be violent, so again, my thinking was I’ll main event with my title. *laughs* It was never gonna happen…well apart from me and Kenny main eventing Spacebaws that time. That whole run, from winning it to eventually losing it is something I have a lot of Pride in. As one whole piece. A lot of people struggle to look at the bigger picture and just take wrestling as it comes, but if you think about it from when I won until when I lose it you can look at it like a book. There was a beginning, a middle and an end, and its closed now. A lot of people just think about what they’re doing immediately, they don’t think about after that. Being able to look at the whole thing and move on, its something I’ve got a lot of pride in”

Having toppled the ICW Champion at that time with a clean win, Mark carried the moniker of being the “Real ICW Champion” for a while. A tag that was only shed when the champion who eventually did usurp Whiplash, Jack Jester, beat Mark in a match for the title. That match, and a shot at the title Mark recently had against then champion Trent Seven served as a reminder that while singles wrestling might not be high on Polo Promotions agenda at the moment, there’s an audience ready and willing to chuck their support at both parties if the unthinkable does happen at Shugs House Party 4, where they face The Maruaders in a match that will see them forced to split if they lose. “The first title shot I got against Jester when I held the Zero-G, I thought I got quite a bit of support. That surprised me. I didn’t think there was any support for me in that one. The one with Trent I realised ‘oh shit, there is a lot of support for this’ and not only that, there was a lot of support from the locker room. That’s kinda what me and Jackie have become. Not locker room leaders, but just…the boys. I think I’ve got it on Twitter somewhere, that the best part about wrestling is being one of the boys. Its not that I don’t like these people, but I just don’t agree with people who try and separate themselves from the locker room. Almost in an attempt to make yourself seem more important. At the end of the day, we’re all in this together. We all share the one locker room. We’re all one. We try and bring that atmosphere and there’s a big group of us now that are all pals. Everyone is getting that feeling now. The feeling of, this is what it’s about. It’s about the boys. That’s the way it should be”

Indeed it was the backing from his peers that humbled Mark the most before his title match with Trent. Most other opponents on a routine Garage show would have put up a good fight without much hope that they might actually take the title, but there was an outpouring of support for Mark that heralded a real belief that “The Power Forward” might actually go ahead and fucking do it.

“The support from a lot of the locker room meant a lot, it was surprising to get a lot of support from the audience because all I’ve ever been was the midcard champ or tag team guy, so to get a sniff of it and for folk to go “aye, this should happen” and for them to really get behind it, it meant a lot. It would have been nice to win it and would have been a massive upset. I think its something that would really have boosted The Garage as a venue. You see a lot of ‘big game hunters’ and ‘celebs’ coming out when the big shows come around and it does my nut in. They appear on Hydro day or Barras day and hit out with a tweet about how much of a big fan they are. No you aren’t. Fuck off. Where are you when we’re doing The QMU? That’s why I like smaller shows. Don’t get me wrong, I like every show, but I enjoy more intimate venues like The Garage and the QMU. I think for a while there, now that everyone has an on demand streaming service, so they’re all concerned about interviews, cameras, lighting and all this shit. Fuck that. They’ll watch it no matter what. Give everything you have to the people that are in the building at that time. The people who have showed up that night and paid more for that single ticket than they would for a month (or even 3 months) of the on demand service. Give them more that night than what goes into putting an on demand show together”

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The “we’re all pals” movement that has seen the formation of almost a brotherhood is something almost unprecedented. Forgoing the in-fighting that tears locker rooms apart, replacing it with days out on the swally watching Scotland snatch a draw from the jaws of a glorious victory against England. “It just kinda happened. We realised none of us had a show and we all went out to watch the Scotland game at Oran Mor. I see guys in wrestling a lot more than guys I grew up with. Mates who you try and make plans with. So thats kinda cool. A lot of the boys are standing up for the boys now. You cant pay people next to nothing anymore. Me and Jackie have set our stall out, and you might notice we dont work at a lot of places other people do because they’ve not agreed to pay us what we’re asking for”

He Aint Heavy….He’s My Brotherrr

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While Mark’s tag team legacy will be largely attributed to achievements as part of Polo Promotions, he first broke on the the scene as part of a tag team with current ICW Champion and his brother Joe Coffey. The team seemed to naturally go in their own directions, and last year they had their first high profile foray into feuding against one and other. Having matches in SWA and PWE, with one in particular tinged with regret for Mark.

“(Working with Joe) Its a challenge. A lot of people just see me and Joe as brothers and assume they must like the same things. They must do the same things. But we dont. We are so far opposites, and wrestling is where its become so apparent that we are thinking totally different ways. We are chalk and cheese when it comes to wrestling in terms of what we like, what we do and what we try to do. So its a challenge. You’re in the ring with someone thinking the totally opposite way. When me and Joe tagged together it was the same thing and it worked against us at times. I felt anyway. We had some good, some bad. But he would bob, I would weave and vice versa. Whereas with me and Jackie, again we are total opposites in terms of personality wise, but in that case opposites attract. He’s so extrovert and I’m so introvert, that he’s sort of pulled me out my shell, and at the same time I’ve sort of tamed him a wee bit.”

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“Working against Joe….it was what it was. I’d have liked it to have been better. I’d have liked it to have been in a different place than SWA if I’m honest. One day in ICW I think it will happen. It has to. When the time is right. I think the idea did get floated in early 2013 and I said no, and they said “why not?” and I said “well….why?” and they were like “brother vs brother” and I said no because it would just be about that. I think Joe was kind of up for it, but I said no him when we do it, its going to be the main event.”

Perhaps with a certain shiny belt Joe currently carries on the line at some point? One can only imagine the atmosphere if Joe in his current villainous form defended the gold against his brother. Hopefully without illness or injury getting in the way as it did when Joe challenged for Mark’s SWA Title last year.

“I was disappointed in the match that ended it. Its nothing to do with the company, or the match stipulation or anything. Its nothing to do with any of that. I was just unwell. Thats my lasting memory of it. It was the week after Barramania last year, and I woke up the morning after Barramania violently ill. Coughing up blood and stuff. Me and my mate watched Wrestlemania that nigmcoffey3ht and it obviously got worse without sleeping so I woke up the next day in an absolute mess. Didn’t leave my bed for 3 or 4 days. I live three floors up and the thought of going down to get food and stuff was a no go. Eventually my mum phoned and asked if I needed anything brought up and I said “Yeah…bring me 4 mcflurrys and 4 milkshakes. That…and Tesco pink doughnuts” and she was asking why and all I could say was “I don’t know, I just need it, bring it” I just needed sugar and cold things. It pisses me off because that day David Wilson was there doing photos and he done the photo that got used in the FSM one to watch article. My bellys hangin out. I’ve got tits, but I’ve got a big left tit and small right tit and I hate it because people still use that photo! Soon as I got in the ring, the cage I think is built for a slightly bigger ring to sit on top of it, but with that ring it cant so it sits on the floor. So you have to go up under the ropes to get in the cage, and even just doing that, Thomas (the ref) asked if I was awrite, and I said “I’m knackered…I’m blowing up here, I cant breathe” and he was like “fuck sake mate. I felt disappointed in myself and that id let down Joe. It was what it was and I needed to just get through it that was that”

Japan Ground Zero (One)

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Mark kickin the tits clean aff Aaron Echo

Even though they may not have worked out as a tag team and have differing views towards the industry they both work in. Joe and Mark do have a lot of similarities. Aside from their DNA (huvin the same maw n da n that) the pair both got the chance to cut their teeth with a stint in Japan working for Zero One, who were affiliated with the Source Wrestling School the brothers came from. Mark recalls on his stint in the far east and how it shaped him as a performer today. When in doubt, be John Cena. Never give up.

“When I was there I lived with Jack Gallagher and Jon Gresham (now of ROH). He’s another I’d love to see in ICW. Bring him in and stick him in a Zero-G match. They’re missing a trick on that so badly. I’ve been pushing for that for ages. Him vs Kenny would be great. I got to spend a lot of time with him and he’s so smart. He tells you things you’d never have even thought of it. When I went over there, my main thing was to work on finishing a match better. When I think about it, my first couple of training sessions over there. I was the shits. When I went over I thought yeah, I’m cool, and then I quickly realised I don’t know anything. The first few days we were there we didn’t train, and I was dying to see what it was all about and then we finally did and I had no idea what was going on. Shinya Hashimoto’s son Daichi was working for Zero One at the time. We were doing some ring drill, and I didn’t have a clue what he was saying. For some reason he ran off the ropes and dropkicked me right in the knees, and I just fell like a tonne of bricks, and I’m thinking “what the hell’s happening here” . There was a few times I knew in my head what was going on, but realised its just something I’d need to put up with”

Putting it with it would mean taking a power of Germans. Something John Cena also has notable experience in himself. I’m not saying Mark Coffey is Scotland’s answer to John Cena or anything but well, he clearly is. Deal wae it.
“They held me behind in training twice. Once was to get Daichi to practice Germans on me. I took about 25 in a row. Another guy I’ve been trying to get over to the UK, Dylan. Guy from New Zealand, 6 foot 4, jacked to the gills, I can’t not see him in WWE in the future. He’s just built for it. He was really good to me. So he was like “let’s go back and get something to eat and train” and they stopped us and went “No, Coffey stays for ring training” and I seen Dylan looking back, he didn’t say anything but he had a look that said “I’m so sorry mate”. So yeah, I went back, took all these Germans, and my mentality was just keep getting up. Keep getting up. In the end it was him who gave up. They done it again a week later and I took like 30 spears. I ended up being sick but he was hitting me square in the belly. So I went out, was sick and got back in the ring before they said stop. I think that’s one of the big things you need to do over there. Keep getting up. Even if you did want to quit, you couldn’t say you wanted to quit. ”

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Another thing Mark and Joe have in common is their involvement in ITV’s revival of World Of Sport. A full run of shows were announced for May this year but have been “postponed” until further notice. Many believing that it’s dead in the water. Even if it never happens, over a million people were watching The Coffeys in a scudding war with the bold Rampage Brown and Ashton Smith and in the immortal words of DDP, that’s not a bad thing…it’s….A GOOD THING.

“I know a lot of the boys are kinda frustrated. Last year ended on such a positive and such a high note for a lot of people. We were thinking “this is actually a thing now, British Wrestling is becoming something where you can make a living and you don’t need to leave the country”  Then this year we’ve seen it fall quite drastically quite quickly. I think a lot of the boys are thinking “fuck, we were so close” but you’ve just got to keep doing it. We’ve got to accept the fact that this current crop of talent in the UK right now might not make a full-time living out of wrestling, but the next generation might if we keep doing what we’re doing. Because if i look back when I started there was no one. Big Damo taught me and he’s been wrestling 6 years, which is less than I’ve been wrestling now. I don’t feel like I could teach somebody now. There was no one for us to turn to. Apart from guys like Robbie Brookside, and even Drew Mcdonald stayed down South, so these guys weren’t readily available to turn to. In America you’d probably have one veteran in every car going to a show and 3 or 4 more backstage but with us we were more flying by the seat of our pants and teaching ourselves. Now I think if we’re 40 and we’re still doing this here, at least we’ll have accomplished something and young guys coming up will have someone with 20 years experience to turn to. ”

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Despite frustrations about how the World Of Sport endeavour has panned out, it seems to have been the breeding ground for the locker room unity that has grown since and even without the show itself, it still may turn out to be the driving force behind the continuing rise of British Wrestling, and the lessening need or desire for performers to give it up.

“I think people need to justify it less. When I started about a year in I done a show with literally 4 people there. I wrestled Lewis Girvan, he’d been at it maybe a year longer than me and its something I wouldn’t even want to look back at now to laugh at. I think it would genuinely make me sick. Back then you’d be worried sick wondering if anyones going to show up. Now you know at least there will be people there. Its nice to go into certain shows now knowing its sold out. I think guys that are 2 or 3 years in, wrestling guys who have been doing it the same length of time. In a building that has more people in the back than it does out front, you can understand thinking “whats the point?” but now that’s less likely because people who’ve been doing it that length of time can look around at people who have been doing it for a long time and think there’s value to keeping at it”

The World Of Sport(s) Entertainment

Moving too far away from what made the ‘pilot’ of the WoS a success seemed to be the problem for the show. Teaming up with Impact Wrestling and allowing the company to not only impose their will, but a lot of their talent on the roster. I was admittedly a wee bit feart to even ask Mark about it all. Overstepping is always something I try to avoid when doing these interviews, and make no mistake about it, World Of Sport was an opportunity that could have been life changing. A palpable annoyance almost paired with renewed motivation poured out of him as he explained further.

“We were told to hang tight and see what happens. They’re still trying to sort it all out. I just think they got in bed with the wrong burd. They’re a TV mcoffey13company, great at TV, but they didnt have anyone wrestling related in the office. Apart from when they got on board with Jeff Jarrett. When they phoned up to tell me it’s not happening yet, I didn’t lose my shit or anything, because I kinda knew it was coming, but I swore at them, and I’d been very professional to that point but I just thought “fuck it, its not happening, or you’re telling me now it might not happen, I’m just gonna tell you what I think” If you’re asking my opinion and you’ve not asked any of the boys their opinion; I’d say tell Impact Wrestling to fuck off. They’re bringing in guys I’ve never even heard of. What’s wrong with our guys?”

That palpable annoyance over it all gradually turns into a huge amount of pride over the show that did air on ITV on Hogmanay. A continuance of the comradery that burns bright in a locker room more united than ever in the face of adversity. If the show ever does end up happening, it should happen with the talent who were involved in the first place “The best thing about it was the roster that was there was so unselfish. There was a general atmosphere that didn’t say “We’ve got this thing, its ours, lets not let anyone touch it” everyone wanted to just do a good job, and the mentality was “if we do this well, it will be good for everyone” . I think they saw how big wrestling had got in this country and they weren’t prepared for dealing with the inner workings. How you deal with certain talents, etc.”

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“That was another thing we got a lot of support from the roster on and it was nice. You do start to wonder, why have we become these martyrs? Its gonna benefit everyone, and someone needs to do it so fuck it. ”                                                                                                                                                       – Mark Coffey on Polo Promotions departure from ICW in 2016

The postponement came around the same time as 5 star Wrestling cancelling their 170000 man, 45 year long tournament, where the winner is the last one to retire. The combination of the two breeding a lasting annoyance at the pitfalls that come with British Wrestling’s “revival”. Although kind words were reserved for WCPW who also had to cancel shows around that time for different reasons “That, along with this 5 star thing that went down. I was supposed to be on all these Friday dates, and I said to him “can we confirm this now?” and he never got back to me. I actually feel for WCPW because they’ve been tarred with that brush a bit when in reality they didnt book a bunch of shows and go “we aren’t doing these now” they were honest and came out with their reasons for cancelling. I thought that video they put up was great and explained it well. They almost dumbed it down, but in a good way, explaining this is how we get our money, and if we don’t get that money we can’t pay these guys so we can’t run these shows. But with all that happening, and a lot of shows being cancelled recently, in my 7 years of wrestling, id had 3 shows cancel on me until January this year, and since January I’ve had 20. At that stage you start to count the money you’ve lost and go “fuck”. So there’s a unity now. Theres a lot of unity in the ICW locker room, and a feeling of “let’s do this for the boys, lets stick together and make sure this is good for everyone”

The spate of cancellations came not too long after Polo Promotions ended a self-imposed exile at ICW. Sacrificing their own interests and taking a step back from the company for a variety of reasons. Relinquishing their tag titles only to scoop them up again upon their return in a ladder match with the team who ‘won’ the tag titles in their absence ‘The Local Fire’.

“Money wasn’t the issue. It was a load of different things and it was one of those things where a lot of the boys felt the same way so we just took the hit for it. I went in to the office to speak to them and it quickly turned into a shouting match, so I thought ‘fuck this, im not having it anymore’ It was becoming too much of a headache. I avoid wrestling from about 9 o’clock at night before you go to bed, because if you think about it gives you a headache. It was left on Dallas mcoffey12saying I still want to work with you in the future, so it was left open-ended. I’m all about putting the power in the boys hands, and you know, there’s a lot of people backstage now that aren’t wrestlers and there was this feeling that they’re more important than us. I don’t mean that in a bad way, they are important, but at the end of the day if the backstage interviewers, the graphics guys and all that show up but the wrestlers don’t, there’s no show. All these people bought tickets to watch nothing. If it’s the other way about, there’s still a show there. The show goes on. It was a feeling that we’re undervalued. That was another thing we got a lot of support from the roster on and it was nice. You do start to wonder, why have we become these martyrs? Its gonna benefit everyone, and someone needs to do it so fuck it. ”

Every End Has A Start

polos3Despite the setbacks its important to remember just how far the independent scene in wrestling has come, both locally and globally. Mark is no different to many wrestling fans in the sense that wrestling for much of his life was just WWE. Maybe Japan a bit, but mainly WWE. Nowadays WWE are featuring British Wrestlers prominently and cherry picking the ones they think can make a difference for them. A compliment to what’s going on in the Independent wrestling scene here and beyond. “I didn’t know Indy wrestling was a thing until about 2009. I knew there was things other than WWE out there but I never watched it. I’m not gonna claim I was a big fan of this, that and the other. Nah. I’d seen Japanese shows and stuff like that and thought “aye…that’s cool…there’s Prince Albert!” *laughs* I remember picking up a magazine at that time, it must have been FSM or something and seeing Brock Lesnar when he was working for New Japan. This was when he first had that sword tattoo and I couldn’t believe what I was seeing”

His introduction to life outside WWE via Brock Lesnar’s frankly terrifying chest tattoo quickly led to the Source Wrestling School. The very existence of which seemed surreal at the time. “Joe and Jackie found the SWA school and I couldn’t stop laughing about it. Not in a mean way at all, i just couldn’t believe that something like this existed to close to home. Even wanting to be a wrestler. People always say how they watched their heroes, and said how they wanted to do that. I would always watch them and go ‘Thats amazing, I’ll never be able to do that’ the thought of me doing that is outlandish. Then I went to an SWA show with Joe and Jackie one time and thought “Fuck….I can do that!” I think it was more the physique of people who made me think I couldn’t. Because I was always very heavy. I was a very fat child, and I played rugby since I was 5 so I didn’t need to look good. As long as I could go. For the position I played in rugby I was always the fittest. So it didn’t matter that i was carrying a bit of weight as long as I could run fast enough, but getting in to something where you need to take your top off? Seeing some of the guys, the physiques now have improved tenfold as to what they were, but looking back, even me at my worst, I looked at guys back then and realised I was in better shape than them. For my first couple of matches I changed my training, then I seen pictures back of me and I thought aw god, I look terrible. Then I dropped just as much weight as possible, but it does creep back on. I think going to Japan as well, they did say to me you’re mid way between a Junior and a Heavyweight, what do you want to be? and I was like “aw yeah, a heavyweight, naturally” and they said you need to put on 10kg. So I ate everything in sight. I ate everything in sight, but I trained like a loony, came back, I was still eating everything in sight but not training like a loony *laughs* ”

“We Are A Main Event Tag Team”

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“Everywhere we go we get such a spit atmosphere and its weird. I always crack the same joke to Jackie. The moment we’re in the ring at ICW or wherever and you’ve got one half chanting “Polo Promotions” and one chanting “get tae fuck” or whatever, I always turn round and say to him “It’s like being John Cena innit”. Like we’re the John Cena of tag team wrestling” –                                                     – Mark on the mixed reaction Polo Promotions get in ICW

With the prospect of having to split in ICW hanging over Polo Promotions there’s no doubt their desire to become a tag team who regularly main event shows up and down the country will continue even if it’s not in ICW.  There’s a passion in both men when they speak about it, and there seemed to be genuine appreciation for the support they had after their victory over Moustache Mountain at Target. The pair exited through the crowd, shaking hands with fans. In their element as the main event tag team they’ve long desired to be.

“If we had to split now it would be hard. Especially coming off the back of the singles match with Trent and it got such a great response. If we split now I wouldn’t get that same organic reaction. If we were to split now I’d be swimming against the tide to move up the card in singles. So it would be a lot of treading water. In my mind, its logical to put a tag team match on last. It happens in Japanese wrestling a lot as well. If a singles match goes on last you have to be so invested in the story to get into it, but with tag team wrestling there’s more to keep you engaged. More people involved and just more action. Looking at this right now. This venue is perfect (for the match) we’ve got seating, its tiered, and over there is the Jungle (Polos singing section) the all signing all dancing section which is just the faithful. You’ll hear a lot of noise from this section tonight”

He wasn’t wrong. They are Polo Promotions supporters. Faithful through and through. Over and over. They will follow you.

Huge thank you to Mark Coffey for his time. Also big thank you to the amazing work of David J.Wilson, Chelsea Cochrane, and whoever took that photo from the crowd at Target. It captured a wonderful moment so well done to ye. 

Follow Mark on Twitter HERE
Like Polo Promotions on Facebook HERE

 

GPWA Asylum Invitational Review

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Its two weeks since it happened so admittedly some of the details might be a bit sketchy but it was important to get this reviewed simply because of how important the tournament itself was. 16 up and coming talents from the three top wrestling schools in the west of Scotland. It was for my money anyway, something any wrestling fan in this country should have an interest in. Having a glimpse into the future of the product you enjoy now. Getting to know talented folk before they end up breaking yer heart abandoning ye for the WWE like Noam did. Whilst I’m gonnae talk about all 16 matches in some sort of detail one thing I took away from the whole event is that an event full of “trainees” never yielded one bad match. These folk from different school who had never really worked with each other besides a few exceptions somehow managed to gel and put in top performances in every match. A remarkable feat.

Night One

Ravie Davie vs Matt Daly

Intriguing from start to finish. Daly dominated the middle of the match with some methodical, sare looking offence before Davie took over with his usual brand of enthusiastic jaw scudding. I find it impossible to fathom whit kinda evil must exist in your soul to come anything close to disliking Ravie Davie but each to their own I suppose. My only problem is no being able to catch whit hes saying when he does his pre-match rap and that upsets me cause I want tae rap along with him. Enjoyed the match. Davie progressed with a big bastardin heider to knock MAAAAAATT DAAAAALY out. Davie took to the mic afterwards and let us know he was winning the whole fuckin thing. Bold statement from a bold man.

Krieger vs Danny Cantrell

Sophie’s choice here innit. Danny is someone im pally with from his pre grappling days and I mind him going to his first ICW when he turned 18. Fuck if I mind right it was the day of Surprise Devitt taking the Zero-G title. So there’s a bias there.We shared a moment eh. Against anyone else I’d have been aw Danny, but fuckin hell, this one was hard. Big Krieger just has “it”. That thing that you can’t teach. One way or another he has everyone watching him absorbed in what hes doing and over the course of this tournament he was undoubtedly the one who fans gravitated towards the most. I dig it a lot. It just works and his tag team with Lou King Sharp is one of the most entertaining things in Scotland today. Was proud to see my pal hold his own with one half of the PBW Tag Team Champions but also kinda happy Krieger progressed thanks to a beautiful combination of kicks cause he’s a crackin talent. His wee pre match “sexy dance” got the ring announcer for the night Molly Spartan involved but his big finale of gettin the tits oot was not mirrored by her despite his best attempts. Better watch yersell mate. The big bad wolf is always watching and they knucks are probably always within arms reach. Protect yer domepiece at all times. Krieger advanced but ma man Danny held his own in the face of a much bigger opponent, and even survived a hate crime when Krieger cried him a “big Emo”.

Irving Garrett vs Scott McManus

Pick of the first round for me in terms of match quality. A cracking mesh of styles, summed up by the duelling chants of “holds” from Garrett, met by Mcmanus’ cry of “throws”. Holds and throws mate. That’s what this wrestling caper is all about. Its nae secret I have a rampaging hard-on for Irving Garrett as a wrestler, but Mcmanus also caught the eye with his unorthodox style. Looks like he could knee ye in the temple from aw sorts of angles. Hugely enjoyable match. Irving Garrett for me is one of the most complete in ring talents in Scotland and must be utilised more. His finisher is a side Russian leg sweep and he turns it onto a submission that looks like it would make ye greet instantaneously and that’s how he rounded this off but the hard work was done with all the mad looking submissions he was getting in about before that. Weakening the opponent for the mega sare finish. McManus was equally important in making this match as good as it was though and will feel unfortunate not to have gone further.

Leyton Buzzard vs Kez Evans

Kez Evans is a slightly peculiar case. He main evented the first Asylum show when it was under the ICW banner and had a stormer with big Wolfgang. Really good match and he showed a level of ability far beyond the experience he had. Maybe needs a wee something extra character wise to pair up with his unquestionable skill in the ring and he seemingly found it here. Brutally knocking eleven shades of shite out of Leyton Buzzard when he took what would be regarded an upset win with a rollup after Kez dominating the match. Kez mocked his opponent from the start, so of course he would be raging at losing to someone he was pretty much pointing and laughing at throughout. The doing that commenced shortly after was almost unavoidable but regardless, Buzzard progressed to face Aaron Echo in the next round. Just what yer needing after taking an almighty scudding, a match against the most accomplished talent in the tournament who’s also probably about double your weight.

Aaron Echo vs Jack Dillon

The favourite against one of the underdogs was always going to go one way, but credit to Jack Dillon for at least managing to to showcase some of what he’s capable of over the course of it. Something about Aaron Echo is a wee bit different from the other 15 competitors. With the greatest of respect to them all, Echo carries himself like hes the finished article and even if he isn’t the finished article yet, carrying yourself with that level of conviction goes a long way to convincing folk that you are. He showed a proper villainous side as the tournament wore on but this was more of a straight up, nae messin win. Taking Dillon out with a thunderous Pumphandle Slam.

Devin Fawkes vs Kai Williams King

This was a bit easier to choose sides cause Devin’s my pal and I didn’t really know much about Kai Williams King beforehand. Not making it to many Asylum or Source shows due to the day job made this tournament a lot more eye opening than it might have been and Kai Williams King certainly showed he has something. A big lump of a guy tae. Fawkes cut a promo beforehand deriding Williams-King seemingly ignoring him as a threat and treating the first round as formality and it certainly wasn’t that. Fawkes is adept at they big dirty kicks to side of the dome and slung some vicious chops. Taking his deceptively agile opponent out his stride and even catching his attempt at a big running boot to the chest and sweeping him, causing him to land beak first on the hardest cunt in wresting, the ring apron. Fawkes was giving it the “this is my house patter” which was mirrored by KWK, and I dunno if this mean’s they’re flat mates or suhin. If there isn’t at least some kinda joint tenancy at play here it cannae be both of yer gaffs. Who’s hoose is it? Williams-King did eventually gain some momentum and took the win with a German Supelex that turned into a rock bottom type of thing.

The Sam Barbour Experience vs Dylan Angel

I liked this a lot for two reasons. First and foremost, it was was really good match. Dylan Angel is very talented at that mad Will Ospreay backflip stuff and managed to showcase his talent while making his opponent look fuckin excellent. When ye go to a show like this ye need to be open minded and give folk a chance to make a fan out of you, and Sam Barbour certainly done that for me. I really had no idea he was as good as he displayed over these two shows and that’s reason two for liking this. I became a fan of a wrestler and promptly added him to the constantly growing list of “gid cunts that dae the wrestling”. He has a really neat bridging northern lights suplex that I enjoyed whenever he busted it out, but even aside from the high level of talent he has in ring, he has whatever that character is meant to be locked down. Yer man has a hand signal and pretty much everyone there was mimicking it. Anything remotely villainous was met with a “that’s not handsome” chant so he seems to have convinced the audience “handsome” is a blanket term for things that are morally upstanding. He won with the hangman’s DDT but Angel could definitely consider himself unfortunate to be going out. A bit like Scott McManus he managed to shine even in defeat.

Lucha DS vs Kieran McColm

Another interesting wee mesh of styles and the start of a bit of character development for Kieran McColm. In all 3 of his matches the crowd favoured his opponent despite him being a happy go lucky Bob Backlund-esque type of dude and by the third match he was starting to resent it. In this one he was happy to let the crowd go Lucha daft and responded to it by doing hunners of good wrestling. A very talented dude who showed why he managed to keep up with Tyler Bate on a Source show not long ago. Lucha kept McColms skills at bay with some slick Lucha stuff. With the springboards, and the moonsaults and aw that stuff. The 205 live material. It was a strong finish to a first night that was competed at a stupidly high standard and McColm joined the quarter final lineup with a crossface. A handshake was exchanged afterwards despite initial resistance from Lucha, momentarily forgetting his Lucha manners before restoring balance in the Lucha universe by eventually agreeing to the handshake.

Night one ended with the Quarter Finalists being brought out and Aaron Echo punching Leyton Buzzard square in the mouth leading to a big 8 man stramash. I hope future wrestling tournaments take heed and stop having folk who are gonnae wrestle each other soon go face to face, cause it invariably leads to someone getting punched in the mouth. Ravie Davie and Echo were the two last men standing, some foreshadowing for what was to come in night two perhaps? Keep reading these words to find out. And these ones. And aw the ones below this.

Night Two

Quarter Finals

Aaron Echo vs Leyton Buzzard

This was a bonafide scudding from the beginning. The smallest guy in the tournament going against the favourite to win it was always going to be a rough time for Leyton Buzzard but chuck in the fact he got leathered after his match just 24 hours earlier you had to wonder if there was even any point in him showing up. He did have a wee 1-2-3 Kid type of spell in the match where he made the arrogant big dude giving him a doing a bit worried, but the fairytale was never on the cards. This was the start of Echo properly morphing into a big no gien a fuck baddie, when he chucked Molly Spartan off her chair in order the use that chair for nefarious deeds. There wis surely another chair he could have used in the area, its a wrestling show ffs. There should be a 3 steel chair minimum for all wrestling shows, just in case. It was dominant from Echo but the use of the steel chair when he most likely didn’t need it to get the job done is some wicked behaviour.

Kai Williams King vs The Sam Barbour Experience

Probably just edged Garrett vs Ravie Davie for match of the Quarters. This is when Sam Barbour proper started to shine for me, and him and KWK (it said that on his gear and its easier than typing the full name) seemed to have aw sorts of chemistry. The big boot KWK does on the apron that was foiled the night before against Devin Fawkes, connected emphatically in this match, making Barbour’s performance in the remainder of the match all the more remarkable considering he had to pick the remnants of his ribcage up after the kick. Barbour does this thing where he tells the opponent to “relax” before attempting to boot their heid aff their shoulders, a play on his theme music whilst also telling his opponent hes about to get knocked the fuck out. Effective on many levels, but again it was the Hangman’s DDT that got the job done after KWK missed from the top rope.

Krieger vs Kieran Mccolm

The moment of the weekend happened before this match even began, as Krieger broke out the sexy dance routine, once again pulling the straps doon only for WWE superstar (look out for the interview, coming…..probably today) Wolfgang to emerge before he could try and drag the poor ring announcer into it again. Instead Wolfgang joined Krieger and Molly Spartan in a spot of sexy dancing, a fact that I’m sure was of great relief to Krieger who must have anticipated he was about to be on the sharp end of a sound thrashing. It was Wolfy who whapped the dids out instead, ripping his t-shirt off, revealing a big tattoo that said “Product Of The WWE Performance Centre” before leaving Krieger to get on with the grapplin. One has to ponder if the shenanigans took Kriegers eye aff the ball a wee bit but this was also the start of Mccolm acknowledging that the crowd were heavily favouring his opponent and him getting a bit pissed off at it. In-ring ability wise he’s another who is at a level far beyond his years, so why don’t they love him like they love sexy dancing? One of they questions we’ll never get an answer to but he took the crowd favourite clean out the equation with the crossface and advanced to the semis.

Ravie Davie vs Irving Garrett

The battle of two GPWA mainstays. Garrett signalled his intent to knock Ravie Davie out of the tournament in his post first round promo, and Ravie Davie used that same promo opportunity to tell everyone he intended to show them why he’s “the best hing gaun” in Scottish Wrestling right now. Something had to give. One of them was certainly heading up the road. Garrett responded to Davie’s usual “Whits happenin troops!” pre match war cry by telling the crowd “Holds! Holds are what’s happening” so reading between the lines there, I think he was intending to utilise some holds over the course of this match. This certainly ticks all the boxes for a cracking rivalry, two guys who are polar opposites both in character and in wrestling style. Really enjoyable scrap, was sad to see Garrett go out thanks to a big scudding heider from Davie, but the dream lived on for Davie and he moved on to write a new chapter in his rivalry with Aaron Echo in the semi finals.

Semi Finals

The Sam Barbour Experience vs Kieran Mccolm

Another standout match in the tournament and the match where Sam Barbour solidified himself as a top talent as opposed to a guy who had a couple of flukey good matches in a row. Three out of three being belters certainly means something. If McColm was the thorn in PBW’s side, yer man Barbour was the Source destroyer and managed to extinguish their hopes of being the school responsible for the first winner of the GPWA invitational by taking McColm out. It was interesting to see that wee bit of frustration from McColm to get the crowd on his side eventually coming to the boil as he lost his cool a wee bit with the home crowd. Its that wee bit of attitude that will take him to the next level. Something he’s trying hard to achieve, shedding the “Underdog” moniker and singlet for trunks and snazzy jacket. Its unquestionable that aw the best wrestlers in the world wear trunks and a snazzy jacket to the ring. Wrestling is mainly being as snazzy as possible without wearing something that could shrink if ye get heavy sweaty. A difficult balance to strike. Barbour once again put his opponent away with the Hangman’s DDT, but I’m sure he has a much sexier name for it than that.

Aaron Echo vs Ravie Davie

Echo entered first and waited patiently in the Asylum bogs for Davie to emerge, blindsiding him before the bell and subjecting him to a pre match skelping. Yet more villainous behaviour from Echo who does seem to suit the role of ruthless bad yin down to a tee. He’s more than capable of getting the job done without using such tactics, but why leave anything to chance when ye can batter folk with a chair instead? He flung Davie about a bit before finally getting the match start. Davie did enjoy a wee spell on top. Hitting that Pele Kick and the springboard moonsault he busts out every now and then but anything he flung at Echo just couldn’t match Echo flingin a chair at Davie with the referee out of the equation. I’d always found a right good chair throw a lot more emphatic than a chair shot, if its done right it’s certainly acoustically pleasing at the very least but it was a right shame to see Echo lowering himself to such things. Hingin aboot bathrooms just to get the upper hand in a fight. Throwing lassies aff chairs. Surely by this point he should have had a dedicated chair for use in these matters, but yer man seemed to be enjoying chucking Molly Spartan off a chair that didnae even look comfortable anyway. It was probably already creating a bit of sore arsedness and into the bargain she had to deal with gettin flung about. Echo did indeed take the win with that chair throw as the favourite to win it all put the fan favourite out.

Fight Club vs The Purge

A smashing choice as the only non tournament match of the weekend. Ye need that wee breather between the Semi’s and the Final and it was also a chance for GPWA to showcase the most polished tag team to come from the school to date. The Purge were the goodies and very popular with a crowd who were largely made up of regular Asylum show attendees, and Fight Club just had a fuckin great time as the baddies. Liam Thomson seems to be having the time of his life anytime he enters a wrestling ring right now anyway, and Kid Fite was in fine form. Ripping the piss out of someone’s choice of headwear before jawing with folk in the crowd as he hung about the apron, certainly not inviting a tag. Liam Thomson’s one of the finest grapplers in the land after all, why get in amongst it if he’s doing the job  just fine on his own? First time in a while I’d seen The Purge and they have what it takes to become a staple of the tag division up and down Scotland and beyond. They contributed to a proper fun match, even if it did end in some sare baws as Fight Club took advantage of the ref being out the equation to deliver a double baw hit for the win. I dunno why folk bother doing moves after they’ve dunted someone in the baws; ye kick me in the baws I’m down for a count of 300 at least never mind 3.

THE GRAND FINALE

The Sam Barbour Experience vs Aaron Echo

A fitting pairing for the final. Aaron Echo the most accomplished talent in the field going in to the tournament, and Sam Barbour the guy who in my eyes anyway, turned the most heads in the tournament. Certainly anyone who hasn’t been to a lot of the Asylum shows will have seen a level of ability from him that they maybe weren’t expecting. Being a GPWA guy up against the big dominant baddie who had gradually become more and more of a baddie as the tournament went on meant the crowd were hugely on Barbour’s side. Not that Echo was giving anything resembling a fuck. He came to win a tournament and clearly had no qualms with whatever tactics he had to use to complete that objective. A credit to all the schools involved that such a high quality tournament was brought to an end by an absorbing final. Barbour really had Echo worried throughout and gave him his toughest match of the tournament, but the big man made use of a slick reversal before rolling Barbour up with a handful of tights to get the pin and become the first ever winner of the GPWA Asylum Invitational. A wee cheeky handful of tights and more attempts to use a steel chair didn’t go down well with all observers, namely a certain big bad Wolf (him thats in WWE, read part one of the interview coming….in a few hours, or it might already be oot depending on when you’re reading this) who saw Echo attack Barbour after the match and could take no more. He emerged at to commend Echo’s talent and congratulate his victory before going straight to Da mode and telling him how he was disappointing at some of the more sleekit tactics he used to get the job done. Challenging him to a match at the next Night At The Asylum show. Wolfgang vs Aaron Echo. With big tournament wins comes big opportunities it would seem.

Overall really enjoyed both nights. The tournament was a rousing success and will hopefully grow and grow from this point on. If its a yearly thing its another thing for “trainees” to shoot for. Winning that tournament and having people sit up and take notice. Of the 16 matches, none were anything approaching bad, which is a pretty amazing thing considering the level of experience amongst those who took part in them. A sign of how high standards are across the board and that can only lead to a bright future. asylum2echo

Photo of the winner taken by the extra talented David J.Wilson

An Interview With Krieger

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Krieger throwing up gang signs moments after being given detention for wearing a singlet to school

When I first gave big Krieger a shout about doing an interview, he was not one half of the PBW Tag Team Champions. In between me asking and eventually sending him questions, he had somehow become one half of the PBW Tag Team Champions and that got me thinking. What if this is a trend? What if this is the winter of gold for Krieger’s young and old, and if I wait it out just a wee bit longer, he’ll be WWE Champion by the time I send the questions. Ever since I pulled the trigger and actually got this done, Krieger has won The TNA X-Division Title, The GFW Grand Atlantic 12 Gold Bars for £11.99 Title, The Nobel Peace Prize, The Formula One Drivers Championship, The ICW Zero-G Title, The WWE Smackdown Womens Title and The Johnny Thighslaps Award For Excellence In Wrestling Realism, so he’s on pace to have won every award available to the human race by the end of 2016. A number of postal votes for the US Presidential Election are said to have Trump and Clinton crossed out and “Big Krieger fae the wresslin!” scribbled in their place, but we pride ourselves on getting these interviews BEFORE the big break happens so we can be all smug lit that “See him? Knew about him before knowing about hings wis even a hing m8!”

So the questions were sent, and the big charismatic baw booter provided answers. Probably while he was covering Kevin Owens to become only the third ever WWE Universal Champion.


So new PBW tag champs eh? Ye think yer a big shot now do ye? Nah seriously though, how did it feel to take the titles on PBWs biggest show of the year?

Means the world. The fact that it’s for PBW who trained me and taught me everything I know makes it that much more special. The fact it was with Lou was special for me also because he has always went out his way to help me. When it became clear that our characters fell within the same ballpark it would have been easy for him not to be too keen on it but instead he went out his way to advise me on how to carry a character through a match. When you put they two factors together it was an honour.

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You and Lou King Sharp have been tagging for a wee while now and are part of a growing division of young tag teams in Scotland. How far do you see this team going and will there be a plentiful amount of dancing and maw shaggin along the way?

No need to worry, for the foreseeable future I’ll be dishing out scuddings and Lou will be sending yer maw scuddies. The tag division in Scotland is full of great talent. It’s no my place to say where we fit into that, that is the job of fans and promoters to decide. We will continue to work as hard as anyone and take any opportunity that comes our way.

You recently had your first run on the holiday camps with Kid Fite and co. How was that experience? Getting to wrestle so much in a short period, do you feel it helped your learning process a lot?

I had a 9/10 week run wrestling the best in the UK 5 days a week. If I wasn’t working them, BT Gunn and/or Kid fite gave me feedback after every one of they matches. So to answer your question it made me much better. At my stage of development what I was crying out for was reps. Consistent work, improving my wrestling and fine tuning my character. Thanks to Kid Fite giving me the nod I got all of that this summer. There is a long way to go for me and I have a lot of improving still to do but the camp run made huge improvements to myself.

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How would you describe your character? Like if I’d never seen you do your thing, how would you sum yourself up? Just a mad patter merchant that loves scuddin cunts?

Fito (clown owes me a fiver for plugging him so much on this) likes to describe me as “Lous big mosher brother” I think for a one sentence answer that’s the best.
Just a mad patter merchant that loves scudding folk is my tinder bio.
It was actually an interview with the bold Fito conducted in Kriegers car that made me pay particular attention to him, and sure as fuck he proved to be the standout on the trainee show PBW were running in Greenock that night. So a plug for a plug int it. If the guy who does the single greatest snap suplex in wrestling thinks yer decent, you must be doing something right. 
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You’re a PBW academy graduate. Tell us a bit about the school and what sets it apart from the others? Who have your main influences been during training?

One of the great things is that there are loads of top schools in Scotland each trained by people who have a wealth of experience. For me PBW has been brilliant, TJ Rage and Kid Fite trained me and they are very much believers of you get out exactly what you put in. If they see how bad you want it they will do everything in their power to make it happen for you. I am a prime example of that. If you work your arse off for they two they will give it back tenfold. My biggest training influences (outwith my trainers) is probably Kenny Williams. Kenny has only taken training a handful of times whilst I have attended but he started where I did and look where he is now. One of the very best in Europe

You make your first (I believe) main roster ICW appearance soon. Has becoming a regular there been a goal for you, and how do you intend to make that happen?

Anyone who says they wouldn’t want to be an ICW roster member is at the noise up. Of course that’s a goal but, at the moment, possibly unrealistic for myself. My immediate goal is to solidify my place in the promotions I work for in Scotland and build on my work down south. If I can do that and make a bit of a buzz around myself then ICW could become a regular thing but only if I continue to work hard and improve.

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So you tag with TJ Rage and Lou King Sharp. One big, one wee. Aw the dynamics. The big question is, who’d ye like better?

Fuck me. Both teams bring their own benefits and challenges. Both of them are extremely talented and I need to be at my best to not look out of place when I team with either of them. I appreciate the help both these guys continue to give me.
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The classic “I prefer the wee guy but don’t want the big guy to leather me” response. Safe but respectful. Hopefully reading this wee bit means big TJ will batter him anyway for a giggle.
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With Scottish/British wrestling going through a “boom” period right now, how much of a buzz is it to be slap bang in the middle of it trying to carve out a name for yourself in an era where opportunities are plentiful?
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The generation that have came before us have taken Scottish wrestling to a level never thought possible. They are the reason people like myself have the opportunity to hone our craft in front of packed out venues up and down the country. Without their hard work none of us would stand a chance. It undoubtedly is easier for us to make a break nowadays but fuck me we don’t half have a hard job following this group of wrestlers.
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Who were your wrestling influences growing up? Anyone in particular you try to channel through your own work?
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Growing up it was the attitude era guys as I’m sure krieger10most 22 year olds would say. In terms of people who I try to replicate I would probably say Michael Hayes. Guy was a big flamboyant guy who could either make a crowd love him or hate him, if I can replicate that even 50% we might have something.
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No gonnae lie, got a wee semi for that answer. Being a generic pants n kickpads wrestler man is fine, but unless you’re flawless at the grapplin’ it’ll go nowhere. Be a fuckin freebird and be something. 
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Anyone on the scene you’ve yet to aim the scuddin boots at but would like the chance to? 
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A few cause it’s too hard to just say one Stevie Xavier. Guy is a class act. Never seen him have a bad match. Aaron Echo, never really crossed paths despite training almost exact the same amount of time.
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Aaron Echo vs Krieger for the PBW Title will happen one day. Mark my wildly speculative words.
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What’s the big aim for Krieger? What are you personally looking to get out of this wrestling carry-on? 
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The big aim is to make a living from this carry on. I want to get to a level where this can be my full time job. In order to do that I have a lot of improving to do, so immediate plan is to continue to ask anyone and everyone for advice and make the most of every opportunity I get.
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Last but not least, tell us literally anything ye like. Plug yer social media if ye want. Tell us yer favourite sweetie. Favourite juice to enjoy in glass bottle form. Whitever ye fancy ma man.
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PBW academy has schools in Greenock, Barrhead and Airdrie every Sunday.
PBW has launched its on demand service where you can see any PBW show soon after its been. This includes Noam Dars last match for PBW(me and lou pure scudded him) that time me and Lou battered two power rangers. That other time me and Lou scudded Wolfie and Hearto just cause we could and soon our glorious tag title win.
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BCW needs no plugging as it sells out 3 month in advance nowadays but they have given me so many opportunities I need to to thank them here.
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Twitter- @kriegerPBW
Instagram- @KriegerPBW
www.facebook.com/KriegerPBW/

 


Big thank you to the massively talented David J.Wilson for the photos and to big Krieger for his time. Talented dude. Lots of charisma and seems to be finding his niche so keep an eye out and come and see his ICW main roster debut at The Garage the night before Fear and Loathing at The Hydro. 

Bon Voyage Noam. We Hardly Knew Ye.

noamprofAugust the somethingth 2012. I stood in The Garage nightclub for only the second time ever, eyes fixed on this wee wrestling ring with a patchwork blue canvas that looked like someone had stapled a B n Q tarpaulin on the actual canvas underneath to cover up some unsightly blood or spunk stains. Honestly, aside from being aware of Grado thanks to my pals who had been at the show previous going “check this funny wee cunt oot! he wears a bloody bumbag!” and being told Lionheart had wrestled for both TNA and WWE (probably because he had taken great pleasure in announcing it at the previous show, but thats neither here nor there m8s, bow down to your Zero-G king) I had absolutely no idea what to expect from ICW. This mad Scottish Wrestling thing that had built up a bit of a cult following thanks to some chaotic shows in Glasgow’s City Centre and a late night TV show cancellation because some helmet spending his Da’s money didn’t think there was any problem firing things like blood soaked brawls and grown men attacking each with dildo’s on at 6 in the fucking morning. The night began with this wee fuckin probable chino wearing, hair swooped to the side, smiling at you like he’s better than you in every way shape or form arrogant wee cunt cutting a promo about exactly how much better he is than you. About how your maw thinks of him as “the son she never had” and they talk about you behind yer back. Basically, what I seen in front of my very eyes was a wee dick. That wee dick had his arrogant promo interrupted by Wolfgang and they had a match that very quickly told me this ICW caper was nae fuckin joke. That arrogant wee dick would go on to conquer the world. That arrogant wee dick was Noam Dar.

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That was probably the only show I attended that he portrayed that character and he very quickly shed the cockyness to become one of my personal favourites on the scene, thanks to his unrelenting wrestling talent and general being a sound cunt-ness, but that match with Wolfgang stuck out because it was the very first match I’d seen at a Scottish Wrestling show and well….if this wee 18 year old, who looks like he weighs 4 stone soaking wet can be this good…..how good are the rest of the cunts on this show? As it turned out, ICW were spoiling us by opening the show with two of the very best but even after the show that thought lingered. How in the name of god can this cunt be 18 and be better at wrestling than I’ve ever been at anything? When I was 18 my two main achievements in life were beating the second ranked player overall in the world at Pro Evolution Soccer, and my da getting me Paul Dickov’s autograph at a charity night. This wee cunt’s going toe to toe with behemoths like Wolfgang and knocking them stupid with all sorts of mad kicks and things that bend your legs in ways that legs are not supposed to bend. That first year of attending shows cemented the love for Noam’s talent. A main event spot against his pal Lionheart at Oran War showcased his ability to captivate an audience well before he’d gained the experience necessary to be so unspeakably good at it. As a cunt a solid 4 years older and decidedly less talented it was difficult to figure out if I was possessed by envy at his talent or just completely captivated by it but either way, I needed to see more of whatever sorcery was at play to create the fuckin magic he comes up with in that ring.

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As would be the case with any teenager told that the world one would day be theirs from a very young age, there were teething problems. Being one of the few talents coveted both north and south of the border he could pick and choose his shows and sometimes those choices perhaps brought the ire of the promotions who gave him the opportunities to get to the stage where he was seen as a must have talent for promotions up and down the UK, but at the end of the day, that’s no Noam’s fault and making that early impression down south was no doubt essential in making him the performer he is today. Cause fuck yer comfort zone. Swap it for a miserable 10 hour megabus hellride and get doon to that London to snap peoples knees in half. Its what god, yer maw, yer da and and aw yer mad uncles intended for him. ICW has always been his home though. ICW was the place that made him. As he said in his own words last night, when he walked into the Community Centre in Maryhill, his life changed forever.

He always thought the pinnacle of his wrestling career would be one day making it to WWE, but on the 8 year journey he took to get there, he found a wrestling education and a home in ICW. Last night, he finally flew the nest. Its a natural thing in life to move on from the place you grew up in, and as much as I hope he comes and says hello whenever he can, it’ll be a sad day if we ever see him in ICW in a professional capacity again. That will mean they didn’t see it. They didn’t see what 700 folk were on the verge of simultaneous tears over in The Garage last night as he gave us one last masterclass against arguably his best opponent and one of his best mates in Andy Wild. The gift he possesses and the age he is should mean this is a lifetime gig for him, and if Fergal Devitt can make it to the very top, you better fuckin believe Noam Dar can follow suit. This isnae just a talented wee guy for the Cruiserweight Division they’ve signed, this is a guy, if given ample opportunities, can be a leading man in the world’s leading wrestling company so if he’s ever on an ICW show again professionally, ye can assume Vinny Mac has fucked it. Just like he did with The Chosen One, but this time with The Special Wan.

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Of course the ending had to be beautiful. It couldn’t be any other way could it. Andy Wild was the Zero-G Champion right as ICW were on the cusp of big shit. He was on the first two 1,000 plus sellout shows, and stole one of those shows in a match with Noam that really had no right to be match of the night. A card loaded with heated feuds and “money fights” and a couple of pals having a scrap for the fuck of it blew the rest of it out the water. So Noam used his final match to pay it forward. Shining a bright light on a tremendous talent we should all be more aware of and having another absolute stormer of a match, ending with an emphatic sitout powerbomb to give Andy Wild the win. Paying it forward to the guy who grew up with him in wrestling, and showing his appreciation for the guy who might have taken a slightly different path in wrestling and life, but is a bigger part of Noam’s success than anyone really knows. While his farewell words encouraged the fans to continue to support ICW as a company and the talent in the back, he’ll hope beyond hope that a byproduct of his departure sees the re-emergence of Andy Wild as a regular in ICW. The guy who beat that guy fae the WWE, ye know the wan? wee Jewish fella? Cruiserweight classic? Robbed aff the ever so bendy probably at least 75% elastic Zack Sabre Jr? Aye. Ye ken who I mean. Yer a smart kid. It was classy to give up having one last win in ICW knowing how much the win would do for Andy Wild and it was just a reflection on how classy the wee cunt is in general.

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So for that magical night in The Garage where you overcame Drew Galloway to keep a hold of your job, being swept aff the upper tier balcony like an empty pint tumbler in the process, we thank you Noam. For that beautiful best of 5 feud with Joe Coffey, for my money the best pure wrestling feud I’ve seen in ICW, we thank you Noam. For every single time you and Andy Wild stole the show across the past 5-6 years, we thank you Noam. For the fun and games of The Pinky Party in the last few weeks, we thank you Noam. For every dive, every kneebar, every wrist kiss, every time ye namedropped “Martin Smiff wae the big beard” in a promo (so one time) every single anything you’ve done in ICW and Scottish Wrestling in general, we thank you Noam. Naw fuck it, I thank you Noam. Personally. For making each and every show you were ever on that much more fun. Just by being you. Thank you for being the reason Sha Samuels is allowed to smile on shows now, because how the fuck could ye not if Grado and Noam are yer best pals? He might be the best villain in Europe but in ICW at least, he’s now better known as the worlds angriest good guy, but there was nae anger last night. Only genuine emotion from Noam himself, Sha, Grado on facetime fae America (to the one cunt who gied it “Fuck TNA” when they seen Grado, fuck up and fuck off) everyone gathered on the stage to say their goodbyes. The sold out crowd chanting his name over and over and over until they couldn’t chant it anymore. Until the tears took over. Thank you Noam. He’ll see things we’ll never see, but the memories will live forever.

Thank you to David J.Wilson and Robbie from Warrior Fight Photography for the photos. And thank you to Noam Dar for being Noam Dar. Have I said that enough? One more time wae feeling eh.  WE LOVE YOU NOAM…WE DO…WE LOVE YOU NOAM…WE DO…WE LOVE YOU NOAM …WE DO…OHHHH NOAM WE LOVE YOU. 

Aw the best. xx catch ye 😉

 

ICW Fight Club Review (September 2nd 2016)

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Folk are very split about this Team Dallas vs Team Black Label carry on. People don’t like aspects of the storyline. Seen it before. As much as I understand where that point of view comes from, without this storyline we don’t get Red Lightning. Well we might have him in some capacity, but this version of him? Nah. Even at a 50/50 split in the ownership he’s still at his brilliant best. Wielding that power, and basically existing as a walking middle finger thrust right in the crowd’s face. He came out and immediately tore Simon Cassidy to shreds, after our esteemed ring announcer tore his “nephews” the rich kids to bits on one of the Asylum shows. Rounding off the tirade with a brutally emphatic “yer shite”. He’s no shite, but that’s how good Red is at being the perennial baddie. He can deliver absolute out-and-out lies with such conviction that you at least believe HE believes them, and for a wee second ye actually wonder if Simon Cassidy is actually shite.

He then went on to explain how Wolfgang was most certainly NOT shite, and the shiny gold thing round his waist was proof of that. This is the part I don’t get about folk not being into the storyline,  because on more than one occasion as a fan, you’ve been sent home raging. Joe  Coffey won the ICW Title and Wolfgang cashed in his shot at the most logical time and folk considered that to be some kind of insult. Unless Joe was to somehow get run err by a bin lorry or suhin, catching him seconds after he’s just produced a monumental effort to beat Big Damo was fuckin smart, and you’re supposed to be sent home raging sometimes. Progress sent their fans home raging for the best part of two years when Jimmy Havoc was champion and do you know why they did that? Cause cunts bought they tickets mate. Cunts snapped them up, cause they wanted to see if the next show would be the one where he’d  finally get what was coming to him. Judging by the amount of bodies in the ABC for Shugs 3 and the amount of bodies in The Garage for this taping, it would appear the moaning means fuck all, and for every person who thinks this storyline is shite, another 5 are buying tickets to the next show, just in case that’s the one where someone finally puts Red Lightning on his arse. Just in case thats the one where Wolfgang’s opponent picks up the brass knucks and knocks the big bad wolf the fuck out before taking his shiny pride and joy aff him. Dallas eventually stoated out and threatened to strip the BELT aff him if he laid a finger on him, so instead he laida finger and many other body parts on DCT. The man who answered his challenge for an ICW Title match, only problem was, he answered that challenge with a concussion….

Wolfgang (c) vs DCT – (ICW Title Match)

People should really have a long hard think before they wrestle Wolfgang in general. Big tank of a cunt who can fly, and has a wee button on the side of his haun that turns his knuckles into brass plated death instruments. Deciding to wrestle Wolfgang with a fuckin concussion is just ill-advised. Dallas reluctantly and perhaps mistakenly agreed to let the match go ahead despite DCT not having medical clearance and adrenaline carried him through the early stages and scoops were being dished out left, right and centre before DCT’s shaggin legs finally gave oot. Aw they years of having to support the weight of aw the heavy-set burds he rode in The Savoy’s toilets finally took its toll, or maybe it was the concussion or something, but either way, he collapsed, and so did his chances of becoming the ICW Champion.

He battled bravely, but wrestling a guy who already had a size and power advantage over you while you have a concussion and he disnae, and he has two pairs of brass knucks tucked in to his boots and you don’t is…silly. Wolfgang jabbed fuck out the resilient International Sex Hero, before a popup powerbomb and a one-two knockout combination with the double brass knucks led to Thomas Kearins calling it. DCT was laid the fuck out, and the big bad wolf had made an almighty statement. Don’t fuck with the guy wae the shiny waist and even shinier knuckles. He will leave you lying in a pool of yer ain mess.

Kenny Williams vs Aaron Echo

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Honestly thought he’d have got sick of them long before now, but it appears Aaron Echo’s affiliation with the Hi-Tec hat wearing walking scudbooks that make up the rest of “The Rich Kids” is stronger than ever. He is the triumphant boaby and they’re his annoying pubeless baws, and they either need to drop naturally or Echo needs to drop them by force. Pretty sure there’s a metaphor hidden in there somewhere but long before Echo was a rich kid, him and his auld pal Kenny done battle in one of Echo’s first ICW matches in a match that experts called a “stoater” so we could expect more of the same here eh? Especially with oor Kenny having an almighty bee in his bonnet having been handed the ICW Zero-G Title at Shugs 3 only to have it snatched back off him immediately.

Kenny was in frantic slingin’ elbows fae aw angles mode early on, before a sentient scrotum in a green jaisket held his leg when he went up to the to rope, causing a worrying looking situation where it appeared that Echo was going to suplex Kenny right into the area of the crowd I was standing in. No needin a Kenny Williams slung at me big man, please refrain from throwing any Kenny Williamses at this time. Instead Echo set him up for that sare looking slingshot double stomp thing he does with the opponent set up in the corner leading to a display of dominance that was only derailed when his pals got involved again, as Kenny pretended to be dead while one of them held him awkwardly for about 10 minutes before Echo realised and jumped oot, Kenny of course moved out the road and Echo walloped his pal before we got back to the scintillating in-ring goodness. Kenny went for the middle rope clothesline and was met by Echo’s newly baldy dome, before a second attempt at it hit home. Anytime the match was looking like the absolute cracker they produced before, one of chuckle brothers got involved and fucked it. As Kenny went for a sunset flip, Echo held on to the middle rope and his wee pals held on to him, enabling him to get a very cheaty win. 

Echo departed by telling the commentary team that his win would be the start of something good. I sincerely hope it is for him and he goes on to batter aw the cunts (eventually his two pals at some point anaw surely) but it could also be the start of something good for Kenny. It was the first time after a loss where he looked genuinely downtrodden as if he was looking for answers and that could mean the time travelling “General Bollocks” happy go lucky caper becomes a thing of the past, and we’ll get Kenny pulling his hair out after defeats and cutting holes in his skinnies as he slowly transitions into a moody wee menthol fag smoking “AH HATE EVERYCUNT, ESPECIALLY MA MAW!” goth. 

Lewis Girvan vs Colt Cabana

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This was…..aye. Odd. Tense as fuck. You could tell during his entrance this wasn’t the Irn Jew Colt. This wasn’t the excited to be wrestling with or against Grado, Colt. It seemed like a Colt Cabana who didn’t really want to be there. Everyone seen all the patter on Twitter about it so obviously something happened between the two of them, but ultimately, who cares? I’m pretty sure folk have disputes a lot in wrestling, maybe some people don’t actually like each other, but fans shouldnae be able to notice that. There’s still a job to be done and while the match was actually hugely enjoyable, there was something off. Colt wasn’t his usual self, and there was a team of folk to my left who were extremely excited to see him when he came out. Folk like that deserved a bit better, but who am I to judge him? Maybe he had the cauld, or he was right nervous about making it back to Edinburgh in time for his last show of the Fringe, but either way, him looking not that fussed to be there, and leaving after his win like there was a moving car going past The Garage that he had to jump in to left a bit of a sour taste.

See if there’s genuine friction between them, they should maybe sit down together and watch the match at some point in their lives. Actually sit and take it in, because when they weren’t nipple crippling each other and generally drawing each other daggers, they worked well together. Match was loaded with sexy wee pinning combinations and Girvan brought all the skills out in Colt. I suppose folk who despise each other do have history for having good matches together. Bret Hart very rarely ever had a bad match and he hates everycunt, so it can be done. At one point Colt started dishin out mad chops and slaps to the chest and there was something unsettling real about it all. He held him in a front facelock for about an hour afterwards, clearly worried he’d annoyed his young opponent to the point where he might have decided to bite his ear aff and spit it at him. Everyone kept their ears. Instead Colt won with a wee rollup and was gone within 20 seconds of that win.

I’m really not having that the reason he left so swiftly was that he had a show to make in Edinburgh. Having a show to make in Edinburgh doesn’t prevent you from spending a minute with the crowd. Pretty much looked like he didn’t want to be within 100 feet of Lewis Girvan and that was the reason for his swift departure but at the end of the day, no matter what went down with them, Colt still won. Surely that should evoke enough happiness to at least dish out a high five to someone with one of yon Cabanarama heidbands on. A wee part of me was quite sad it was over because I enjoyed many aspects of the match, but it was also quite awkward to watch at times. If I wanted to watch cunts who proper hate each other have a scrap I’d lead a group of Celtic fans to Andy Goram on the day of an old firm game. That’s no what the wrestling’s for. Be good to each other.

Krobar vs Iestyn Rees

Fuckin huge shame for Krobar but very early in the match he took a right sore hit off one of the barriers and the match had to be stopped. A strange way for big Iestyn to get his first ICW win and he didn’t seem to want the match stopped, but it had to be. Krobar took a sore yin and looked out the game immediately after. It was definitely the right call to end it before further damage was done. Hopefully another opportunity comes his way soon.

Stevie Boy vs BT Gunn

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He’s a right wee bad bastard these days but how can you be a human wrestling fan and not love Stevie? He comes out to the best tune ever invented on this planet we call earth, and batters folk in the most palatable way possible. Everything he does in that ring is just “aye…aye mate….keep daein that” to the point that there’s maybe only one wrestler out there that might be very slightly better at wrestling in that combative style and that happens to be the guy he’d be facing in this here match. This is maybe the third or fourth time they’ve wrestled in singles in ICW and for me this was the pick of the bunch. Something so much more natural about the dynamic where Stevie is the baddie and BT has all the crowd support. It just worked and this match was an utter stormer from start to finish.

It more like an episode of Gladiators than a wrestling match when these two batter each other. They are pretty much a pair of walking assault courses and when they collide, it leads to a lot of assault. A lot of kicks to the face, and chops designed to dislodge ribs. If they did end up teaming together regularly when they were both in the NAK, they would have definitely done the tag team division Just-Uz (ye see the joke there is….ah you get it, yer a smart kid) but they are so much better suited as enemies. Stevie spat right in his foe/best pal’s face and away they went. Rapid jabs from both before BT levelled Stevie with a sickening chop. The tone had been set. A chair was immediately introduced and coincidently referee Thomas Kearins took a seat moments later. The chair was involved but instead of sitting on it he got cracked over the napper with it, a moment that caused Stevie and BT to briefly halt their attempts to kill each other before quickly getting right back in to kicking each other square in the jaw. Shots each. The ref being down isn’t a huge problem when a superkick party is happening, but BT ended the sequence with a Tiger Bomb and there was naecunt to count the pin. That’s when John Anderson being oot the game needs dealt with, so in came…eh…I don’t know the name of any other refs in Gladiators so this is falling on its arse. It was Sean McLaughlin to the rescue, sliding in to count a 2 on Stevie. The crowd were counting before he arrived, but you do not have the counting expertise of Sean so please do not interfere with his work in the future.

More than his work got interfered with moments later as he also fell victim to chair-err-the-napper-itis, an illness that appears to be claiming referee’s up and down the country. John Rowbottom woke up wae a sare heid the other morning, nae idea why. Its spreading. So with Sean out, BT once again found himself with no-cunt to count his pin, and during his futile attempts to wake one of the deid refs up, Stevie hit the Destroyer on a chair. Still nae ref. We’ve only got 2. Gladiators might have had more actually, so it probably would have helped if this was actually an episode of Gladiators, but luckily for Stevie, Kearins was stirring and he woke up just in time to count a two on BT and go straight back to sleep thanks to a right hook to the temple from Stevie. A cautionary tale. If you come within 100 feet of Stevie Boy and BT Gunn fighting, yer gonnae end up catching something to the jaw and going to sleep. Be it a stray kick, punch or pool cue. Its happening. BT responded to the latest ref casualty with a brainbuster on to a chair. This time it was Sean’s turn to wake up briefly and count the two, causing BT Gunn to fire into a blind rage and decapitate Sean on the spot. Samurai sword took his heid clean aff. Nah I jest, he survived long enough to see Stevie split BT’s skull in half with a thunderous chairshot, before BT somehow managed to perform a top rope Angle Slam with his skull split in half. Remarkable feat that somehow STILL didn’t get the job done. Stevie didn’t even get his full arm up, he just shifted his shoulder off the canvas and no more. A top rope Angle Slam mate. That would be enough to slay a giant. That would put John Cena away ffs. But no Stevie. No the day.

He made it to his knees. Defiant. Three members of the NAK decided to split the group up that night back in March, but he’s adamant it was his doing. The mastermind. The mad reverend. BT Gunn is the kind of guy who has trigger points. Words you can say that cause a reaction in his brain. Whenever someone speaks of any kind of death of the NAK, he’s fuckin off. You’ve brought this on yourself. A couple of beautiful kicks to the jaw followed by a Destroyer from BT finally brought it to an end. The match anyway. As gutted as he would have been to lose the match, it was still all to play for on Stevie’s end. The end game was never winning a wrestling match, it was always killing BT Gunn.

There seemed to a semblance of respect between them immediately after the match before Stevie went for blood. He placed BT’s head in a chair before kicking it, causing the immediate death of BT Gunn. He then put another chair round his neck and hit that chair with ANOTHER chair. Pretty much mutilating a dead body in public at that point before disappearing through the curtain as if it was nothing. If Stevie Boy isn’t the best villain in ICW right now, show me who is. Who else is so fuckin outwardly evil with nae moments of relief? There’s nae wee funny moments with Stevie, nae one liners, he’s just a mad killer and when he’s given a platform like the one he had with BT, he shines.

Cheers to David J.Wilson for the excellent photo at the top of the page.

 

 

ICW Shugs House Party 3 Review

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Pro wrestling is about moments. Back in January at the Square Go, after a 2 year long violent journey, Chris Renfrew defeated Grado in the most emotionally charged ICW match in history to become ICW World Champion. His reign lasted just over a month, before he became the first victim of “The Troubles” (thats what Big Damo calls they rapid elbows btw) and finally getting that emotional moment he worked so hard for, it all fell apart at the seams for Chris Renfrew. Banned from the company he loves, no longer entitled to compete for the title he fought so hard to win, watched his NAK family disintegrate in front of his very eyes and as of right now no longer even employed by the company, his loyalty to Mark Dallas cost him his family, his title, his job and the place he calls home. While Renfrew stood up for what he believed in then watched it dismantle his world, someone very close to him made a different decision that night. It was almost like he foreseen Renfrew’s plight and decided he wanted absolutely nae part of it. That’s the man with the knowing smile and the sleek looking briefcase pictured next to Renfrew here. That man is Wolfgang.

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Say whatever the fuck you please about how this night ended. As paying customers you’re entitled to it and if you were annoyed by how it played out, by all means have a right good moan about it, but don’t try and tell me Wolfgang does not deserve to be where he is. If ICW was built from the ground up, yer man laid the foundations and helped lay the first bricks. Before ICW was selling out yer SECC’s and running places like The Hydro, Wolfgang was one of the major players in getting the company within pumpin distance of these extraordinary feats by helping establish a cult following for the company across Glasgow, and as if I don’t go on about it enough, but Wolfgang vs Prince Devitt changed the way I viewed pro wrestling as an adult. As a live experience and as a standalone wrestling match it blew me away and got me personally hooked on the very special scene we have here, so as Prince Devitt aka Finn Balor gets ready to main event WWE Summerslam this Sunday, how could it be an injustice that his opponent that night sits atop the ICW mountain? Isn’t that the least the big brute deserves after years of leaving them slack jawed with his deceptive agility and that he seems to seamlessly mesh with raw power? Ever think the reason you weren’t thrilled when his moment finally came is that he’s just that good at being a belligerent baddie that all of the good things he’s done before no longer mattered? Think about it. The guy famed for being able to perform physical feats guys his size shouldn’t be able to, became ICW champion by knocking an already knackered champion out with a pair of brass knuckles. If that’s not truly becoming a “villain” I don’t know what the fuck is.

ICW Shugs House Party 3 was as about as wrestling as it gets. Good guys done good things, bad guys done bad things. Bad guys became good guys and joined up with their good pals. Bad guys said good things about good guys. A bad guy and a bad burd fought a good guy and his good pal. A good guy avenged the untimely loss of tash and a wedding ruined at the hands of a very very bad guy. A guy helped a guy he vehemently hated 6 short months ago for the greater good of the good guys, and the bad guys walked away smiling despite their hardships earlier in the night, because bad times don’t last, but bad guys do 😉

The night started with Billy Kirkwood pump…I mean introducing the show with So Cal Val who was there doing backstage stuff for the Fite Network, before a vitriolic bit of promo work from The Wee Man ahead of the Tag Title Tournament final got us started wrestling show wise. A promo he ended with “wrestling is for kids” because if turning into a black vested supervillain wisnae enough, he wanted to become a sworn enemy of the virgin community anaw.

To be the champs you have to beat the champs…

The Local Fire vs Bird and Boar – Final Of The ICW Tag Title Tournament 

The become a champion you have to beat a champion. Unless its a new title, or the former champions are deid or in jail, that’s the rules. Mark Coffey and Jackie Polo are still alive and as far as im aware, whilst they “left” ICW, that really just means they were no longer looking for bookings from that company. They didn’t leave permanent positions, so if they decided to once again make themselves available for ICW duty, they immediately become the ICW Tag Team Champions once more, and yer wee dug and pony tourny means ride aw.

Having said that, Bird and Boar and The Local Fire have been the undoubted successes of the tournament that seen many more well known teams fall by the wayside. Bird and Boar becoming more established in the company having beaten The 55 and The Sumerian Death Squad to get there. The Local Fire going from a bit of an on again off again patchwork team to one of the most established and cohesive teams kickin about. They even do songs together now, and when they jump in for a wee Mcdonalds they know each other’s order off by heart; singing it in perfect harmony while the cunt at the till wonders what kind of alternative dimension they slipped in to. Anyway, Mark and Jackie unfortunately aren’t here and working off the assumption that they won’t be back, we’d just have to accept the winners of this as the tag champs eh.

Davey had a gammy foot and was limping about a bit throughout the match. Combining the limping with calling Wild Boar fat a few times, while Wild Boar responded with mad sentons. Loves a good senton so he does. Davey took a right horsing for a bit before hitting Boar with a move he calls Tramadol Nights and tagging in Joe Hendry for some rapid lariats and a ddt. With the momentum successfully shifted, Joe hit a fallaway slam on BOTH the bird and the boar, before the two teams stood toe to toe leathering each other with heavy forearms and jabs. Bird and Board bust out their double team move Mrs Pattersons Revenge, which is probably a reference to some mad Welsh carry on, but its a cracker of a double team effort involving knees and frog splashes. It would be a double team effort that would bring the contest to an end as well, as a double team fallaway slam crowned The Local Fire your NEW ICW Tag Team Champions.

Can there really be new champions if the old ones still exist? As purple and pink blood still runs through the veins of the ICW Tag Titles (in this metaphor, the titles are living things btw) Polo promotions still have a legit claim to the tag team throne, and when the their music hit and the troops emerged, it immediately rendered the whole tag title tournament irrelevant. Nah I jest, its an achievement and we officially have two sets of champions now, but The Local Fire’s reign will always be shrouded in doubt until they beat the guys. Not the good guys, not the bad guys, THE guys. The Real Deal and Nature’s Gift To Grapplin. Polo Promotions. As they stopped at the top of the ramp to survey the supposed new kings of the tag division, Polo sparked up a cigar. 50 quid doon for smoking indoors, not even the beginnings of a fuck given. It was an almighty statement, and even if they aren’t back for good and just fancied fucking with whoever happened to win the tournament, that wee 5 minutes of them coming out and staring Joe and Davey down was enough to tell you that these cunts NEED to be back in ICW. The level of fan support and talent they possess makes them essential. 

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

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Lionheart may or may not be a fanny. Its not for me to tell ye if he is or isnae, and I certainly wouldn’t go writing articles about it or that, but one thing he most certainly is, is a smart man. A man who knows that when your opponent is making his entrance and you are yet to enter, for that wee moment in time, he’s no got a fuckin clue where you are. Ye could hop in a taxi to your opponents gaff and ride his missus for all he knows, he’s too busy jumpin aboot high fiving folk to have any clue. Lionheart didn’t jump in a taxi to go n pump Kenny’s missus but. Instead of hitting it fae the back, he hit Kenny in the back, giving the champion the upper hand from the word go. Smart thinking for a fanny eh?

Kenny quickly got a foothold in the scrap though, as the pair briefly flirted with the ring before making their way into the crowd. A wee battle on the bar, led to Lionheart tumbling to the floor and Kenny loassin the plot. He climbed up on to the wee ledge above the bar and yer man only went and hit a moonsault from about 20 feet in the air. I appreciate Lionheart’s abilities and have enjoyed his run with the Zero-G belt immensely, but if one of the two guys in this match is a “bad motherfucker” its the one wae the hi-tops and skinnies, daein death defying moonsaults.

They got in amongst it in the ring with the wrestling moves and whatnot, leading to a beauty of a spot where Kenny tried a top rope Hurricanrana only for Hearto to catch it with a Styles Clash in mind, before Kenny regained his momentum and hit the ‘rana after all. Tap stuff fae a cuttla tap boays right err. It was a belter of a match as it always is between these two, and Hearto showed more character than a Brendan Rodgers post most interview when he got the shoulder up after the Quiff Buster, before Kennys world was turned upside down when he became a TWO TIME ZERO-G CHAMPION…..for about 5 seconds. In a rare error, referee Sean McLaughlin counted three, when Lionheart got his foot on the ropes at 2. Senior referee Thomas Kearins came out giving it aw that “haw haw, hey hey, whoah there, ell Leeeeonhearto had the old fit on the rope there buddy, restart this mother!” and restart it they did. A pair of superkicks, a rock bottom and a frog splash later, Lionheart had retained. 

LT Degree With Debbie Sharp

Liam Thomson is one of the best wrestlers in Scotland. One of they guys who never has a bad match so he is. Tidy in all aspects of the wrestling game, particularly any aspect involving the backstabber. The LT degree has been an entertaining romp for the past few months and has proven that he has the patter to match his skills in the ring, but I’d say its had its day now and it would be lovely if we could see oor Liam do a bit more of that wrestling thing he’s so very good at. This episode was so that he could tell Debbie Sharp he actually likes her, only for Debbie to reveal she actually wants to pump Sammi Jayne. Sammi politely rejected the applibaetion (thats lit…an application to become bae…….wordplay n that) and Liam got heavy raging before Christopher Saynt appeared with a group of drag artists. Liam and Saynt had a wee standoff, which led to Liam referring to the group as “trannies”, leading to a swift slap to the dial from the tallest one wae the crackin set ah pins, and a flying kick from Saynt. I love ye Liam mate, but transphobia isnae funny. Hopefully this will signal the end of Liam Thomson doing more talking than wrestling as it looks like Thomson vs Saynt in the near future.

DCT vs Bram

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ICW ring announcer Simon Cassidy is great at his job. So much so that every single person he introduces is done with the same level of vigour. Professionalism at its finest. With one exception, and that exception is whenever he gets the truly unique honour of introducing his best friend, a certain Mr D…..C……T. On this occasion, he got to introduce his best friend as he made his way into a steel cage match on a fucking PPV so Simon gied it fuckin laldy for him as the big man made his way to the revenge pit. The steel sided warzone where Bram would finally have his comeuppance. I know its wrestling, I know him and Viper aren’t really married, but in this wee world of ours everything is real and that big bastard fuckin piledrove your missus through the cake on the happiest day of your lives. Get him fuckin smashed, not in the name of “fuck TNA” or any other trivial pish, do it because that’s how DCT handles his business. An eye for an eye. An erse slap for an arse slap. A piledriver for a piledriver.

DCT was a man possessed in the early stages. And no the usual kind of possessing that happens to him when his eyes turn red and he starts shagging everything in a 20 mile radius.This was pure “I’m gonnae rip your heart out, shite on it, put it back in, rip it out again, wash the shite aff it, then eat it” vibes as he sent Bram over the barrier as the battle started before Bram could even make it to the cage. A procession of scoop slams followed, but a wise man once told me “no one gives a shit about the moves we do” so I’ll try and keep that kind of patter to a minimum to avoid boring the tits clean aff yees. Bram had a spell of, for the lack of a better term, knocking the living fuck out of DCT for a bit, but DCT would not yield. He’s the guy that got whipped to within an inch of his life wae a belt the first time he “wrestled” in ICW and he’s the guy who had to stand idly by and watch his poor missus get her arse skelped before being sent scalp first through a big cake. He’s been through worse than a few heidbutts and a pair of middle fingers from a beard wae a thug attached. Come ahead ya big diddyride.

All of a sudden after a dropkick and a wee stumble back, Bram found himself in the exact same position DCT did that fateful night a year ago. Arms tied up in the ropes. Forced to see the horror unfold. This horror wasn’t seeing his spouse get her heid split in two though, this horror was seeing his own heid get caved in as DCT rained rapid jabs down on Bram’s skull, but auld lumpy hud tae ruin it eh. With the ref down, big Flex came to Bram’s rescue but a decidedly less lumpy being had DCT’s back as the ol ball and chain came to her man’s aid. Viper climbed to the top of the cage and crossbodied the daylights out of both Bram and Flex, before Coach Trip dragged Flex out the ring and out the equation altogether, leaving DCT free and clear to climb out the cage and soak in the adulation of 1,200 screamin “OH” at the top of their lungs. First time he’ll have heard such a thing since he ran through 50 hen parties in the one night back in the day. DCT wasn’t interested in their adulation yet though. Not until justice had been served. Justice for the ruined wedding, justice for the tash, justice for just being an unpleasant big bastard in general. Justice for having Viper in his grasp once again, how fuckin dare ye mate? DCT put victory on the back burner to come to his wife’s aid, before scoop slamming Bram from the top of the cage and scudding Bram with the polo mallet and escaping once more, but nah. Not yet. An eye for an eye. A piledriver for a piledriver.

That moment where DCT replicated Bram’s arse slap/piledriver combo to enable him to pin the big brute and win the match felt like a career maker. DCT isn’t some kind of technical wizard in that ring, but he can fuckin fight and has more charisma than many who fit the stereotypical “wrestler” bill better than he does, and he deserved to pin a bit internationally known cunt on his PPV debut. He deserved that moment. He deserved to have a match that people will talk about for a long time to come, and I don’t think I’ve ever been more personally buzzin for someone to get that moment. DCT for life. Oh.

The Black Label vs Noam Dar, Grado and ???? (Team Dallas)

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Sha Samuels is the most natural villain in British pro wrestling. To the point that using him in any other fashion is just not using him right. It would be like buying expensive paint brushes and using them to batter emulsion on tae yer bedroom walls. Having said that, there’s always an exception. John Cena was a bad guy once anaw mind. A battle rapping bad guy to be precise. So in a world where the guy who slings a ridiculous amount of merch to kids can be a battle rapping, doctor of thuganomics, there’s certainly room for the East End Butcher to pal about with his two bestos. It wasn’t looking likely right enough, as Sha came out with the rest of The Black Label as per usual, but when Team Dallas emerged still a man short, and surveyed The Black Label from the entrance way, you could tell something was afoot. There was nae hint of worry amongst the troops, in fact they looked quite confident. Gallus even. And when Grado gied it “no pinky…no party” we all knew. Sha had dropped a wee bit behind the rest of The Black Label and pointed his pinky towards the sky, before starting to leather fuck out the label as Grado and Noam joined him. SHA SAMUELS IS THE THIRD GUY. HE’S ONE OF OUR OWN! HE’S ONE OF OUR OWWWWWWWWWWN. SHA SAMUELS. HE’S ONE OF OUR OWN!!

The Pinky Party rained down mad rights n lefts on The Black Label before Noam landed a beauty of a suicide dive on a selection of them. Grado went up top for a wee slice of senton action, before Sha rounded off the high flying madness with a flying elbow off the top. Imagine villain Sha daein a flying elbow and sending the crowd daft? Unthinkable, but the times are a’changin and that means keep an eye oot for any flying Sha’s in your area. Red Lightning got right up in Sha’s face after that, before Sha chucked him in the ring for a staredown with Dallas which was broken up when a wrestling match broke out amongst the carnage. A fuckin wrestling match mate, who’d have thunk it.

Sha predictably got isolated and battered for the first part of the match. Not predictable cause he gets battered a lot or that, purely because he’d literally just turned on the guys he was against and they might not have been very happy about that. He finally got back to his buddies and tagged Noam in for what has to be the hottest tag in the history of pro wrestling. I’m no exaggerating mate. Folk in the front row were liberally applying suncream on their domes such was the ferocity of the heat kickin aff this tag. Noam went mental for a while, slingin mad dropkicks, before tagging Grado in for a tag that was even hotter! I’m no kiddin guys. Somedy stuck an uncooked beef joint, yorkshire puddings, totties and veg next to this tag, and 5 seconds later they had a beef dinner sittin in front of them. That’s how hot it wis. His momentum was short lived as Drew and Wolfie hit Grado with a double team Razor’s Edge off the second rope, before it all went a wee bit mental and we had everyone battering everyone, including Sweeney getting ko’d by Wolfgang and Scott Reid heroically hammering Drew Galloway in the baws.

Drew recovered  from the baw bashing and managed to turn a wee boot attempt from Grado into a big fucker of a powerbomb, before locking in that crossface aided by Jesters big chainmail dildo/orifice maimer, only for the lights to go out and just like Shugs House Party 1, everything changed. That night the lights going off and coming back on saw Drew Galloway return, and cost Chris Renfrew the ICW Title. This time Renfrew was the guy costing folk important shit as he hit Galloway with a stoner before dragging his sworn enemy Grado on top of Drew for the 1,2,3. Team Dallas wins. 

Dallas took to the mic to give an emotional speech about how ICW is for everyone and you can be yourself, so I guess that means Sha Samuels is actually a really nice guy deep doon if this is him being himself eh? A nice guy with unlimited access to meat cleavers right enough, so don’t get wide just because he’s allowed to be pals with Grado and Noam now. The moment where Sha joined the boaysies was incredibly beautiful and one that’ll not be forgotten. Nice that he gets to team with Noam a few times before he leaves us aw behind and becomes the most famous jew since that polis Mel Gibson slung racial slurs at.

BT Gunn and Carmel Jacob vs Stevie Boy and Kay Lee Ray (The Filthy Generation)

Stevie and Kay Lee’s music man. I know they’re baddies and that’s fine, they wear it well, but that tune is just too good. Its enjoyable in a way that makes ye want tae tan a bottle of buckie and 4 eccies in a wanner and spend the rest of yer night heidbutting a face ye drew on yer own hand. BT Gunn revealed his mystery partner to be ICW Women’s Champion Carmel Jacob, meaning Carmel and Kay Lee would be renewing their long standing rivalry for the first time in a while in ICW. Exciting, gid wrestling stuff all round.

They all proceeded to set about each other, and in terms of chemistry in that ring, Stevie and BT are better at setting about each other than any other two people in the company. Carmel and Kay Lee probably coming a close second. In fact Kay Lee and BT have bags of it anaw, which makes you wonder if there’s anyone who doesn’t have in-ring chemistry with BT Gunn. He’s just that fuckin good, ye could fire a mop wae slinky’s for arms in there with him and he’d drag a cracker of a scrap out of it. Kay Lee and Carmel battled for a bit, Carmel coming close with a Fisherwuman’s Suplex, surely a wee feud for the Women’s Title on the cards there unless some big bastardin American company steals one or both of them. BT and Carmel then set both of their opponents up in the corner, before taking shots each to chop them admist a deafening backdrop of “BT…BT…BT FUCKIN GUNN” is anycunt more popular than BT Gunn in ICW right now? Probably not. Rightfully so cause the cunt gets rid of more talent when he takes his morning shite than most folk ever actually possess. He strung together about 40 different kinds of kick in the one go on Stevie, before Kay Lee hit the Gory Bomb on him to switch the momentum back in favour of the baddies.

Weirdly for a real life couple and a long standing tag team, Kay Lee and Stevie kept fuckin up and hitting each other, yet when it came to the vital moment they were more cohesive than ever. First and foremost, BT kicked out of the destroyer somehow cause he’s some kind of atomic choppin’ cyborg, but when Stevie went for it a second time, BT blocked it only for Kay Lee to crack him over the nut with a chair, and Stevie to finish the job by easing into a roll-up for the win. They then followed that up by trying to kill him with a chair before security intervened and stopped murder. Jackie Polo had already smoked a cigar ffs, ye cannae have murder on the same show as indoor smoking. The C in ICW disnae stand for “Crime…aw the crime” cmon noo. Wee bit of revenge for BT costing them a place in the tag tourny final, but they’ll fight again and it will be beautiful. 

Legion vs Moustache Girvan 

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Expected some manner of shenanigans here with people turning on other people, and those people gaun “haw? whit ye daein turnin on me? thats shite mate” but in truth, it was maybe the least shenanigan riddled match of the night. Instead of shenanigan riddled, it was simply a wonderfully entertaining, non stop, out and out scrap between 6 hugely talented individuals, rounded off with people being really nice to each other on the mic. Lovely.

Girvan and Whiplash teed off on each other with rapid forearm smashes, before Tyler Bate bamboozled Dante with some slick movement. How ridiculous is Tyler Bate btw? Cunt’s 19 and has the physique and talent level of a young Mr Perfect. Just makes ye feel…..whits the word……auld. Thats the word. Heavy fuckin auld. Like an auld creaky kneed Granda shouting at the weans next door for kicking their ball in yer back garden. We then got a beautiful glimpse of what a Tommy End vs Trent Seven match would look like, but the post match speeches would suggest that’s a match we won’t ever actually get to see and that’s nothing short of heartbreaking. Know who’s stupidly underrated? Big Dante. He can go like fuck and displayed some beautiful agility for a guy his size when he rounded off a series of dives by clearing the top rope with a dive of his own (he leaned on it a wee bit, but so fuck, he’s huge and jumped really high, that’s what’s important here) As sad as it is that Tommy End may no longer be gracing ICW, don’t fuckin sleep on big Dante. He could easily be a factor in the future.

Everyone hit everyone for a solid 2-3 minutes, and it was honestly too much to keep up with. I think at one point Trent sprouted an extra heid, and Tommy End had kicked it before it had even fully emerged. Rapid kicks from all over the globe. Was nice to see Lewis Girvan match, if not exceed the level of so many talented cunts. I dunno what it is, but since that match with Lionheart there’s been an extra assurance about everything he does. Hopefully that means he’ll be shedding the “future star” tag and folk will consider him in the upper echelons in the here and now. Fuck being the future. Be the present. Noam Dar got that future patter for years, well what is he now? Very much the here and now. Age disnae matter a fuck, being able to tell engaging stories in that ring does, and yer man Girvan has all the tools when it comes to that. He and Tommy End both locked in a half crab each on Whiplash and Trent respectively, before slapping fuck out each other when they realised they both had the same move in and quickly decided…THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE!

As Trent had put Whiplash away with a piledriver off the middle rope in Birmingham the night before, he could be forgiven for thinking it would get the job done here as well, so he went ahead and done that very move only for Whiplash to KICK OUT EMPHATICALLY AT ONE. A one count. No even anywhere near a near fall. As far away from a fall as you can get. Proof if it was ever needed that Mikey Whiplash and Trent Seven will not stop until they kill each other, and probably everyone else on planet earth. He followed that up with a big heid remover masquerading as a clothesline and that did indeed get the job done, bringing what was maybe the best 1o minutes of pure entertainment of the night to a close. 

Whiplash got on the mic and laid it all out there for Trent. Insisting he no longer wants the main event at the Hydro because Trent deserves it more and urging everyone to make our voices heard and get Trent in that ICW Title Match. Hard to argue with anything he said really, up until the match immediately following this one, there had been no better match in ICW this year than Trent Seven vs Big Damo for the ICW Title, and his performances in general have been unspeakably good. If he isn’t in the title match, he should absolutely still be a prominent figure on the card. Even if that means risking seeing him hit a piledriver from the top tier of the Hydro, right through the middle of the ring. Tommy End then took over to bid a fond farewell to the promotion he’s spent 3 years performing for, and as nice as that was, and as much as we’ll miss the ridiculously talented big warrior, we know its not the end big man. We’ll be seeing you kick fuck out of aw sorts of cunts on that telly and hopefully one day in person again. 

Big Damo (c) vs Joe Coffey (ICW World Heavyweight Title Match)

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This is his time. His moment. Joe Coffey stood on the edge of the big one. The shiny prize he’s fought tooth and nail to get within shaggin distance of. Big Damo has been as dominant a champion as ICW have maybe ever had, but even 25 stone behemoths can’t stop destiny. It was finally going to be his, after 3 years of turning in outstanding performance after outstanding performance. 3 years of jumping through proverbial hoops. 3 years of battering down obstacles both real and storyline. Over a year after his last shot, Joe Coffey once again found himself in the main event of a big ICW show with the title on the line, and this time he would make no mistake.

What a fuckin stoater of a match. Its unlikely anything in ICW history will ever top Renfrew vs Grado for emotional investment, but there was something about this that left you feeling like both of them had drawn upon every single reserve they possibly could. Knowing victory meant not only being the ICW Champion, but victory would also mean earning the right to face Kurt Angle in front of 11,000 at the Hydro. Career defining shit right here. The fact that having great matches is just what Joe Coffey and Damo do together was almost rendered irrelevant because this was a different kettle of fish altogether. This wasn’t two guys who genuinely like each other having a scrap for the sake of it, for the duration of this match they wanted to maul each other and it showed as Coffey came right out the traps with a dropkick, before they laid into each other wildly with punches. If this was going to be Joe’s time, he was going to have to fuckin earn it, because its hard to get anything away from the grasp of a 25 stone giant, far less a prize that giant has fought his whole career to earn. Either turn up armed with a bazooka and a cigar hingin out yer gub, or there’s nae real point in turning up at all. You’ll be going home empty handed.

Damo weathered the early storm and firmly took control after hitting that big rib rattling senton against the barrier. Joe had silver paint on and alot of it ended up on Damo early on, so much of the early stages was basically The Iron Giant repeatedly standing on Joe Coffey’s neck. No whit yer wantin. Every attempt by Joe to get a foothold was slapped down by the champ, before he stood on Joes chest, only for Joe to reverse the senton attempt and hit the springboard crossbody to get a wee bit of momentum on the go. Big uppercuts and jabs sent Damo into the corner, before a few splashes got Joe’s tail up but Damo battered him down again before hitting the mark with a firemans carry drop into a beauty of a senton. Whit is it wae Irish wrestlers and sentons though? Every variant of the senton is used by every Irish wrestler at least 15 times a match, and naw that’s no an exaggeration. You’re an exaggeration and so’s yer maw.

Joe took a leaf out of Ireland’s book soon after with a rolling senton of his own followed by a picturesque splash from the top rope. Joe continued to build that momentum, a runaway train he wis, last stop, awthebelts. Damo derailed the train with a crossbody which must have been like getting hit by a train, before blocking a second attemot at the discus lariat with a straight up headbutt. Not a wrestling type headbutt, more like a fight to the death type of headbutt. Joe didnae die though, instead of dying he performed a feat of incredible strength, which is probably as close as ye can get to the opposite of dying, cause Joe Coffey’s no a normal man, he’s made of actual real bits of iron. A superplex from Joe was followed by a fuckin brutal looking forearm exchange. They were hitting each other guys. Nae two ways about it. Really hard. With hard  bits of their body. The hardest bit of Damo’s body is probably his elbows. Nothing scientific about that assessment other than the plethora of deid bodies he’s left behind in his title defences. Anyone unsure Damo would go to the flurry of elbows to the side of the dome he calls “The Troubles” in a match against such a close ally, needn’t have wondered. Down came the elbows. But Joe wasn’t still. Joe had something in him that no one else who’s taken those elbows had. It was like someone stepping through a wall of bullets and walking up to the give the middle finger to the shooter. He somehow made it to the ropes and became the first person to survive “The Troubles” .

The trouble with surviving the troubles is the fact that they’re fuckin troublesome. A 25 stone man elbowing yer cunt in for any length of time is going to leave its mark, even if it doesn’t knock you clean out the game. Damo hit the Ulster Plantation and some how Joe kicked out. Some how, some way he hoisted a shoulder aff that canvas, because it was his night…or at least, it should have been. Another attempt at the troubles was blocked, before Joe kicked Damo in the back of the head and hit a quite beautiful German Suplex, followed by a big bastardin lariat to the back of Damo’s heid, and finally finishing the brute off with a huge lariat to the front. JOE COFFEY IS THE ICW CHAMPION. THE TWO TIME WRESTLER OF THE YEAR AND PERENNIAL MAN OF THE MATCH HAS FUCKIN DONE IT. Damo stopped on his way up the ramp to beat his chest in honour of the man who’s responsible for the only two clean losses he’s suffered in ICW in the past year. It looks like farewell from Damo, as he deservedly looks to go overseas for the next portion of his career and what better way to go out is there than having the match of the year so far with one of your best mates, before passing the torch to him? Perfection so it was. Almost too perfect….

Wolfgang is a big part of the reason I fell back in love with wrestling and him winning the ICW Title is something that absolutely had to happen at some point in time.  This, in my opinion anyway, wasn’t the right point in time. The match those two had deserved to stand alone, so as much as I love big Wolfie, I’d rather have toasted his grand slam win and his first ICW title reign without feeling gutted for a guy who fully deserved that moment and fully deserved to soak in the adulation for it. Having said that, that was the whole fuckin point was it not. The goodies got to win earlier, and Dallas gained ground in the power struggle so of course it had to end with Red Lightning giving us all the middle finger and folk having anger fits. Wolfgang cashing in on a tired champion after his cronies took Damo out of the equation was the only way he could really cash in, because he’s a proper villain. Think about it, when did ye last see one of they perfect photies from David J.Wilson of Wolfgang in mid air? Ages ago, because baddies dont make people go “oooooh”. Proper baddies don’t dae Swantons to put their opponents away. Why bother when its no rules and you can fire some brass knuckles on and knock the cunt clean oot instead? Joe did fight. He kicked out the first time and managed to hit a lariat in anger, but as Red stopped the ref counting the three, Wolfgang had enough time to stick the brassers on and knock Joe the fuck out to become your NEW ICW Champion. 

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Really good show n that. Totally wrote this ages ago, I just eh……forgot to put it out. Honestly. Still tickets for the show at The Garage on Sunday. Go to that. 

 

Cheers as per to David J.Wilson for the photos.

ICW Fight Club Review – May 20th Show (Joe Coffey vs Jack Jester)

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The show kicked off with one man’s pain. He took a gamble and it backfired, so not only does Chris Renfrew no longer have the right to compete for the ICW World Heavyweight Title, he no longer has a job. He queried if it would even be worth his while if he was to lose the plot and start taking scissors to pregnant burds and executing ring announcers. Is any of it worthwhile if there’s no goal at the end of it? No belt to compete for? Surely thats what any wrestler aspires to be. The champ. Renfrew’s nae different. You have to imagine that shiny trinket of wrestling excellence is the thing that continues to drive Joe Coffey through all these hurdles put in front of him. In the year and a bit since he got his shot at Barramania 1 its seemed to be hurdle after hurdle. When he’s in the process of knocking down roadblocks, Red Lightning’s 100 feet down the road setting up more. Joe’s gamble was a bit more cut and dried than Renfrew’s though. He wins and he gets a title shot, he loses hes gone. Simple as that. There’s nae wee surprise firing here, if Jack Jester emerged victorious Joe Coffey was oot the door. It just couldn’t happen. He’s too vital. He represents hard graft and dedication to being the best you can possibly be actually mattering a fuck and if he goes its fucked. Nae Renfrew representing everything ICW is, was and wants to be. Nae Joe Coffey leading the rebellion. Nae fuckin point really is there? They’ve won. The bad guys run the show now and they’re just gonnae fight each other and have a laugh from now on. If you’ve got a problem with it you’ll get invited into the ring for a scrap and/or an 8 week initiation period to see if yer cut out for the pro wrestling malarkey. But if the show started with sorrow, it ended with jubilation. From one man’s pain came the triumph of an Iron Man.

The Local Fire vs The Rich Kids Of Instagram

Osiris told us all 3 of them would be wrestling in this match, and then gave it “Freebird rules baby!” Freebird rules means any 2 of a team of 3 can defend that team’s tag titles, disnae just mean 3 folk can wrestle 2. This incorrect statement, and the fact that they wear hats with light up bits on them gives me an itchy dislike for The Rich Kids Of Instagram. An itch that could only be scratched if a grizzly bear ate the cunts, or if Aaron Echo saw sense and battered fuck out the other two. Nah I jest. Good on them n that. But see if they’re rich and Red Lightning is their uncle, surely he must be rich as well? Rich enough to perhaps be able to purchase and second, and maybe even a third pair of denims. But listen, there was a wrestling match here and The Wealthy Weans of Whatsapp were up against a Joe Hendry and Davey Blaze with problems. A Local Fire that might be about to be extinguished. Mistrust in the ranks. A bucky bottle shaped dent in Joe Hendrys heid and heart. The prize? A place in the next round. The tag belts on the line. Or maybe some shiny new belts if Polo Promotions decide to punt theirs on Ebay.

Can it really be considered a 3 on 2 match if 2 members of the team of 3 spend the majority of the match gettin chucked about like wet washin? Big Echo looked impressive as ever but for the most part Davey and Joe ragdolled his “cousins”. Love the wee Sasha Banks-esque double stomp in the corner thing Echo does though. Much like his shites, its always money (trying to work the gimmick into a bit of patter there, cause they’re supposed to be rich so im impyling they shite £50 notes. Did it work aye? Good) but The Local Fire eventually overcame the numbers game, and some internal dissent when The Wee Man came out to wind Joe Hendry up to win the match with mad fallaway slams. The double fallaway slam on Echo, before Kyle Khaos and Austin Osiris took one each, and Davey finished Khaos off with a big bastardin spear. Game’s a bogey.

Ye know what they say though eh? the bogey’s are always greener on the other side or eh….something. Joe Hendry chased The Wee Man behind the curtain. Leaving Davey to deal with dark side of the bogey as they say (really need to cut this metaphor, its no working, nor is it even a metaphor) as he was subjected to a 3 on 1 beatdown from The Richies. The bold Ravie Davie saved the day, appearing to springboard double dropkick Osiris and Khaos before inviting big Echo to come ahead, and sharing a wee moment with Davey Boy before disappearing screaming “fuck the system!”. With tensions rising in The Local Fire, is there an alliance brewing between the two Daveys? Wid their tag team name be “Double D’s doon tae yer knees?” Who knows mate. Who fuckin knows what this mad wrestling patter will chuck at us. Just strap yourself in good n tight and enjoy the ride.

The LT Degree With Sammi Jayne

Since Liam Thomson is all about degrees and therefore all about education. Instead of analysing this weeks LT Degree, I’m going to outline exactly what we learned from it. And oh boy, that was indeed a vast amount of things. About to be presented to you in informative bullet points so you absorb each piece of information individually and profoundly. Drink it all in. Become LT. Absorb the D.

  • Liam Thomson has a MASSIVE cock. Here’s a recent photo of him taking it for a nice walk as proof of the fact.liam
  • Sammi Jayne was promised the Women’s Title if she was to align herself (mind, body and soul) with Liam Thomson and Debbie Sharp. A group they have dubbed “The LT Degreeeeeeeees”. The nature of this role is yet to be outlined properly, but basically it seems to involve and lot of holding stuff for Liam Thomson while advocating the fact that he has a massive dick. Massive. Honestly like a fuckin treetrunk wae two watermelons underneath.
  • Carmel arrives to inform us that Liam Thomson’s dick is in fact really wee. Like mind how ye used to/probably still get spaghetti and sausages? Know how the wee sausages? Like one of them, but half the girth. She also goes through every match he’s had this year, detailing how he lost them and telling him that’s why ICW aren’t booking him in matches. Because he always loses them. The first non penis related point of this weeks show, which was a refreshing change of pace.
  • Carmel then turned her attentions to Sammi Jayne, who hadn’t spoken yet despite being this weeks guest on the show because in case you haven’t gathered it by now, the LT Degree isn’t really a chat show, more the place people go to get therapy for genital fixations. Carmel challenged Sammi to a last woman standing match for the ICW Women’s Title, but before she gave her answer to that question…..
  • THREESOME DENIED. A fine attempt from Thomson, but that possibly massive but probably toaty willy will not be gettin double dipped. Instead Sammi his a beauty of a German Suplex on Debbie, before passing comment on her “massive fanny” and suhin about his boaby no touching the sides. Before she went on to accept Carmels challenge and they had a right good staredoon to round it all off. Nae idea when this match will actually take place but it’ll likely steal the show on whatever show its on let me tell ye that. Did ye let me? Well then I’ve tellt ye.

Kay Lee Ray vs BT Gunn

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It’s extremely difficult to dislike Kay Lee Ray and Stevie Boy even though they’ve turned into right vengeful bastards, cause of that fuckin entrance tune. I commend folk who are able to see past that and still give them shit for their collective sins, because as soon as I hear that tune all I want to do is cover mysell in UV paint, get good n sweaty and heidbutt some inanimate objects and/or human people. Point is, its a fuckin tune, and this was a fuckin match. That might no seem very descriptive but if you’ve seen it, you’ll know why it fits. Ye struggled to catch a breath watching it so fuck only knows how the people actually performing it managed to keep that relentless pace going. One of the most absorbing matches of the year so far, but what else was gonnae happen when two of the very best in the UK/World came face to face and completely disregarded traditional gender roles in the name of kicking fuck out each other.

Well “kicking” is underselling it a bit. It was more than just kicking. Any part of human anatomy that can conceivably be used to strike another human was in play here. At one point BT ripped his own shin off and cracked Kay Lee with it before a new shin immediately grew in its place because that’s BT Gunn. That’s how his talent sometimes manifests itself. Growing new shins and caving in chins. That’s what BT Gunn does. Stevie Boy took a suicide dive that bent guardrail before taking an accidental kick in the chest aff his burd, which looked unpleasant but also probably straightened oot his spine after the guardrail spot. That’s what a solid relationship is. Even during acts of accidental violence, your still looking out for yer other half. Kay Lee’s game as fuck, but sometimes gameness comes hand in hand with daftness and Kay Lee made the extremely ill advised decision to start a chop war with BT Gunn. That’s like….well…there actually isnae anything you could even compare that does it justice. Its just no a thing any sane human would think of doing. I’d hand BT Gunn a machine gun and start a gun fight before I’d volunteer to take any chops from him. But there they were. Chopping fuck out each other for their sins. Kay Lee was slingin’ two handers but BT’s were still causing the most damage to both Kay Lee’s chest and everycunt elses eardrums. BT was on top but Stevie got his neb in again and the tide had firmly turned when Kay Lee done a mad bunny hop off the top rope before landing and hitting the Canadian Destroyer. I dunno if the hop was for momentum or just pure showmanship (showomanship? ) but it looked sare as fuck. Somehow BT kicked out and found a second, third and probably a fourth wind to hit the Gory Bomb on Kay Lee. Her ain move no less! Still only 2. Maybe it would actually need settled with a gunfight, or at least some kind of samurai sword based duel.

The chop procession continued, but this time it was joined by all sorts of kicks, as they pretty much stood in the middle of the ring, right on that ICW logo, engaged in a bitter fight to the death. You would never believe they’re actually pals, this was like suhin outta Kill Bill at times, as a kick to the baws was met by a kick to the fanny, followed by the heinous act of BT throwing Stevie at his missus while she was hung up in the corner. If a match involves a man being flung at his burd that’s instantly 5 stars in my book. A superkick exchange led to Kay Lee being reduced to one knee. With a smirk on her face that said “Dae it……kill me” DOOOOSH! The knockout blow was delivered with a sickening superkick to the temple and that finally got the pin. BT Gunn keeps on fighting the good fight.

Really didn’t expect to enjoy BT this much as an out and out good guy but he pulls it off and doesn’t sacrifice any of the trademark brutality wrestling wise. Stunning bit of wrestling so it was. Proof that no matter what dwells between yer legs, if yer game for a fight, and the person opposite is also game, a fight will indeed take place. Stevie jumped in to attack BT only for Viper to provide hauners, she actually full on launched Kay Lee into the crowd before she even got to the ring anaw. Proper launched her so she did. I dunno if shes an NAK affiliate now, or just BT Gunn’s designated burd hauners, but they seem like good pals and that’s nice. Its nice that he has a new burd pal since his last one stopped being his pal and started being a person that kicks him in the baws a lot.

Mikey Whiplash vs Johnny Moss

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This was Whiplash’s last match in ICW for a while. Fans have questioned if his departure is down to a real life issue or part of a storyline, but I don’t get why it matters or why people need to know. No matter the reason for it, its bad news regardless. No matter the reason behind it, the end result is him not wrestling in an ICW ring for a while and that’s not an ideal situation. An ideal situation in any wrestling promotion would always involve Mikey Whiplash wrestling folk. This match spelled out exactly why that is, as it was a masterclass from both. Whiplash had the Polo Promotions squad jersey hanging out his trunks. A nod to departed comrades before he departed himself. If anyone had a problem with it, they could direct it at the spit Mikey Whiplash left on the ICW logo before he departed through a side exit. The match was a beautiful display of holds followed by an equally beautiful display of just about everything else. I’m ill equipped to properly put it into words. Mossy kneed the shite out of Whiplash before Whiplash cleaned him out with a clothesline which brought the hold for hold part of the match to an end, eventually leading to Mossy hitting a perfect German Suplex with a belter of a bridge for the win. 

Considering how reluctant Whiplash has been to shake hands with folk lately, even one’s he respects and dare I say ones he actually LIKES, but Mossy’s handshake was accepted because he’s fuckin Johnny Moss. He could shag yer wife and you’d still accept a handshake off him because fuck dealing with the consequences of not accepting it. The main one most likely being an inability to eat food due to no longer having teeth. After Mossy departed, the air of mutual respect left with him. All that was left was Mikey Whiplash’s unrelenting anger for the company he was once the champion of. The company he gave everything to, including a shiny big grogger right on the logo before he left. Maybe for a wee while before returning in dramatic fashion. Maybe for good. Who the fuck knows, but one thing we do undoubtedly know is that its bad news. Just like the Polos leaving, even Billy Kirkwood and Renfrew being fired, no matter if the reasons for these departures are “real” or “fake” who the fuck cares when the end result is talented people no longer performing on wrestling shows? Its a shite situation, but one talented person who wasn’t quite done with the company yet had the opportunity to provide a chink of light in amongst the shite. That man is an Iron Man. That man is Joe Coffey, and his task was beating Jack Jester by any means necessary to secure a title shot and keep his job. Easy eh? Well…..

Joe Coffey vs Jack Jester (Coffey wins he gets an ICW Title Shot, Coffey loses he’s gone from ICW)

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Joe Coffey beating Jack Jester in a one on one shenanigan free wrestling match is still a formidable task. Going up against a former ICW Champion and probably the only guy who’s ever threatened to shove a chain-mail dildo up his arse is never an easy task, doing it in a situation where the mug mangler Sha Samuels is the guest ring announcer? It gets just that wee bit harder. Add Kid Fite into the mix as “Dr Watson” the ringside doctor, a sinister picture starts to form. Chuck big Flex in as ringside enforcer, with a sprinkle of Lionheart as special guest ref and you’ve got yourself a fuckin stitch up. The man making sure the stitch up went to plan was the big boss man (no the actual one, he’s deid) Red Lightning as the timekeeper. Dae timekeepers exist these days unless someone with bad intentions needs an excuse to be a ringside? Its a dying trade anyway. But Joe didn’t just have Jester to contend with, he had a whole squad of cunts who don’t really think much of him to contend with anaw. Mere mortals wouldn’t have a hope in hell, even the Iron Man might struggle, the mighty wrestler would struggle to wrestle his way through this minefield, but Joe Coffey with a chip on his shoulder and vengeance in mind? The old spraypainted No mercy vest that he wore back in the day when he was all about screaming at Grado and making Red Lightning pay for his sins? Get out that cunts road before he knocks yer heid aff and punts it into the stratosphere in defiance.

Before Joe was introduced, Red asked for anyone who wanted to hauner Joe to step forward now or forever hold their hauners, AND IT WAS THEM. POLO PROMOTIONS MUSIC PLAYED AND THE PRODIGAL SONS HAD FINALLY CAME HOME. Or so we thought, it was a ruse. Everycunt fell about laughing as there was no Polo Promotions to save the day. There are no heroes in this tale. Only villains having a right gid laugh at their work. Sha eventually saw fit to introduce a man he almost fondly referred to as “The Iron Mug”. Joe Coffey. In amongst the shenanigans, it has to be said that Joe and Jester had a pretty decent match. If its done right and the various shenanigans involved are timed well, a match ridden with interference can actually feel cohesive and good and the atmosphere in the place definitely helped it. Joe got a right feel good factor into the place when he tossed Jester over the barrier before launching himself right over it. He then found a bin, smacked Jester with it before proudly declaring “I FOUND A TENNER!” to scenes of wild jubilation. Maybe this would be Joes night after all. Any night where you find a stray tenner in Glesga and its not attached to some sort of dug shite based prank, its a good fuckin night. A night where the gods are smiling on you. It certainly seemed that way when Joe got the Boston Crab locked in good n tight right in the middle of that ring, but nah. Not that easy Joe san. Red told the troops to surround him and a beatdown was delivered. Lionheart even getting some sly kicks in while pretending to try and bring some order into the situation, but Joe was not for yielding. A big dive over the top rope on to EVERYCUNT, immobilising the troops briefly before Jester took over.

The tables had turned. Joe fought for his ICW life as Jester mangled him with chairshot after chairshot. Every conceivable type of chairshot was used including shooting the chair out of a cannon, and launching it from the top of The Wallace Monument right on to Joes heid. But he kept on fighting and was offered a glimmer of hope when Joe Hendry and Davey Boy turned up to huckle The 55 out the building. The numbers still weren’t in the Iron Mans favour but you got the feeling things were going his way. Even when Lionheart refused to count the pin after he hit the tombstone Kenny Williams was on hand to lay Hearto spark out with a superkick. Unfortunately for Kenny, big Flex was on hand to chokeslam him clean oot his bollocks, before Joe hit the Discus on Jester.

Only problem there was…nae ref to count the pin. Lionheart was stoatin’ aboot lookin steamin, and even if he was fine he’d have slow counted it tae fuck anyway. In came exiled former senior referee Thomas Kearins, illegally entering himself in to proceedings from the crowd and getting to a count of two before Lionheart suddenly found a second win and knocked him out with a superkick of his own. Joe had apparently grown tired of the biased nature of the officiating and decided enough was enough. Down went Hearto thanks to the discus but one person that had flew under the radar pretty much the whole time was Jester. Plotting whit orifice he was gonnae probe next with that shiny fake boaby while Flex delivered a chokeslam for a two count performed by Sean McLaughlin, who had emerged to become the third and final man to take charge of this chaos. With Sean in there you guaranteed impartiality and handsomeness so we were on to a winner the minute he appeared. A fair fight. Who’d have thought it possible at the start eh. The numbers game was finally evened up as Big Damo the man who Joe Coffey would likely face for the title if he was to win provided unlikely hauners. Clearly thirsting for the challenge Joe would bring. They always have cracking matches and Joe was (to my knowledge) the last person to gain a clean win over Damo in ICW so its only right that he gets his shot. And get it he did.

The finale was unrelenting. They stood toe to toe leathering each other, before a few attempts at the Discus were blocked, only for Joe to finally find the sweet spot and connect with a beauty of a lariat. LIGHTS OOT FOR BIG KINK. JOE COFFEY HAS CONQUERED. Damo made sure Red Lightning rung the bell and Joe finally had a well earned second shot at the gold. Against at times impossible looking odds, he prevailed in the most dramatic way possible. His win was more than just a guy winning a wrestling match though, it was Joe Coffey overcoming the odds to take a spot that he’s well and truly earned. I know it, you know, Damo knows, and now The Black Label and all their affiliates know it anaw. Mark in yer diaries for…eh…sometimes in the not too distant future. Joe’s getting his shot!