When Andy Murray walks out to compete at Wimbledon, as a nation we get behind him (At least those of us who don’t see a Scotsman being a sarcastic bastard as a bad thing do, and if you’re one of the “I don’t like him, he never smiles” brigade I suggest you take a look at your own miserable melt in the mirror and promptly shut yer hole). We do that because its rare for Scotland to produce such an elite sporting talent and to see him slugging it out with the very best for the top accolades in his sport is a source of national pride. Closer to home, Paul “Bearjew” Craig had MMA fans across the country getting behind him in his first UFC fight recently, a fight he won to plenty of acclaim from fans of the sport and casual observers alike. An overnight celebrity because he’s a Scot doing it at the highest level. Chest puffed oot, representing the boaysies. Ricky Burns is a world champion despite being nothing particularly special as a fighter because every time he fights in front of a home crowd he’s that much quicker, that much sharper, his punches are that much more emphatic. They’re that much more emphatic because thousands of hauf cut Glaswegians scream at the top of their lungs for him. He’s one of our own, out there doing his thing at the very top level. As a nation we do have a good reputation of getting behind our elite sportspeople and that should be no different when Glasgow’s very own Wolfgang enters a 16 man tournament to crown WWE’s first ever UK Champion.
Pre-determined outcomes should have no bearing on how you see the bold Wolfgang over the course of this weekend if you’re a Scot. So fuck if its pre-determined, none of us know what the outcome will be, and he’s the main man. Our only representative of 16, which does stick in the craw a wee bit considering how strong the scene has been in Scotland in recent years, but who better to carry our hopes than a guy who has been incredible domestically for the best part of a decade and a half. The self proclaimed regulator. The godfather of Scottish Wrestling, and I don’t mean he’s pimpin mad hoes and puttin them on trains, I mean he’s the leader of the pack. The overseer. The bad bastard who’s been laying waste to anyone with a set of plums big enough to have a go for nearly 15 years. This is HIS time and more people should be raving about this well deserved opportunity that is now so close the big man can probably sniff it. A place in the 16 man field to crown the first ever WWE UK Championship. An event that will stream live on the WWE Network. An event that will be a launchpad for many talented individuals to gain exposure their work has for so long deserved. But only one of them is a Scot. Only one of them is one of the most diverse big men on the planet. Only one of them is the current ICW Champion, and a guy who has been involved in every single step of British Wrestling’s resurgence. Only one of them represents us, and that’s why no matter how you feel about him when he scowls at ye and calls yer maw a snaggletoothed baw sooker at ICW, this weekend it disnae matter mate. If you’re still upset with him for splitting up the NAK, fuckin let bygones be bygones and brass knucks to the jaw be brass knucks to the jaw.Stuff your grudges in a sack and punt them into the Clyde. None of it matters. All that matters is that the big man comes home with that shiny belt. Biased as fuck and proud of it. Fight me about it.
Journalistic integrity dictates that I should just give you a wee rundown on the competitors and really inform you as to what you might see this weekend when this historic tournament kicks off, but honestly, I can’t be fucked mate. No one needs to tell you how good Trent Seven is. No one needs to tell you how much of a prodigy Tyler Bate is. No one should need to be telling you how uniquely gifted Pete Dunne is. These are things I expect you as an audience to know, but here’s a thing you might not know. None of that shit matters because Wolfgang has them all beat. See yer wee favourite guy? Tell him to prepare his jaw for a mauling, because that’s how its going down. The same way it always goes down. The opponent lying spark out and the big bad wolf holding a shiny belt over his stupit napper. Recognise.
In all seriousness, I’ll make nae attempt to hide that Wolfgang is a personal favourite. The first match I seen in Scottish Wrestling was Wolfgang vs Noam Dar at ICW in 2012 and the fact that after this weekend they can both be found on the WWE network, doing their thing in real life actual wrestling matches is just nice int it. A nice thing for the Scottish scene in general, but just a nice thing for two genuinely hard working good folk who have worked very hard to hone their craft to the point that they showed up on WWE’s radar at all. Even if it goes no further for Wolfgang WWE wise, and even if he gets papped out in the first round (he fuckin better no) a wider audience than ever will get to see him do his thing and his thing is quite beautiful at full force. Like Andre The Giant’s forearm….wait…I think that’s a different thing we’re talking about now, but his wrestling talent is also very impressive and a potential second round match-up with his current ICW nemesis Trent Seven could be the match-up where both of them get to let their talent loose in full flow, and while my own pick is quite blatantly obvious from the content of this article, I definitely think the winner of that potential match-up will certainly end up in the final. A potentially pivotal bout between the two before they face each other in perhaps even more significant action at ICW’s Square Go a few weeks later. With Wolfys pride and joy, the ICW World Heavyweight Championship, on the line.
For all I understand why he’s being billed as a big smashmouth brawler in all the media stuff I’ve seen about this tournament so far, Wolfgang in reality is far more than that. As well rounded a talent as this country has ever produced. As comfortable going to the top rope to get the job done as he is methodically punching the living shite out of his foes to put them away. While his impressive high flying has been self regulated (cause hes the regulator ye see) a bit since becoming the all conquering knuckle duster utilising baddie we see today, he is more than capable of doing things men his size shouldn’t be able to do, and as many beautiful David J.Wilson shots can attest to, one of these things is clearing the top rope with ease before landing all 18 stone of mass on his opponent like its fuck all. Like he’s Rey Mysterio in his prime, except one of Wolfgang’s morning shites probably weighs more than Rey. One of the things that got me personally re-hooked on Pro Wrestling as an adult was seeing him majestically fly over the top rope, landing on a certain Prince Devitt’s heid in the main event of ICW Hadouken in 2012. A match that was a proper escape from reality, as 700 folk were fully absorbed in something that would most likely be once in a lifetime. A match that might be the reason Wolfgang even has a place in this tournament at all, such is the extent of the pull Devi….I mean Finn Balor seems to have in WWE. If ICW has a special place in Finn’s heart then that was the match that started the love affair and from a personal perspective its fucking immense to see so many of the talents that helped re-ignite my own passion for pro wrestling make waves with the biggest company in the world in recent times. The icing on the cake would be Wolfgang coming home the first ever WWE UK Champion.
I’m sure whoever takes it will be more than worthy of it, and head ruling heart, I’d say Pete Dunne is objectively the favourite for it. Based on what WWE might be looking for in a talent going forward, his age and the amount of room for improvement he has, he might be the guy but with the greatest of respects to him, Jordan Devlin, the bold Martin Stone (wrestling under his old nxt name Danny Burch), Mark Andrews, T-Bone, Roy Johnson, James Drake, Dan Moloney, the devilishly handsome Trent Seven, Tucker, Saxon Huxley, Sam Gradwell, Joseph Conners, H.C Dyer and Tyler Bate, none of them winning it will be as special as the big bad Wolf raising that shiny belt above his napper at the end of it all. After 15 years of toil. 15 years of putting it all on the line. Make no mistake about it, this tournament and any opportunities that come from it wont define his already impressive legacy but it WILL offer him a real shot at turning this wrestling caper into a full time gig. Something that has to have been the goal from day one and something that seems perfectly attainable right now. So close he can almost taste it.
To the other 15 men going all out to win this tournament, you can hold on to hope for as long as you want troops. Sooner or later, Wolfgang will cut you down.
Big thank you as always to the wonderful David.J Wilson and his superb photos