The person who wrote this didn’t want credit, so I will call that person A.Trialist and let him/her carry on the great A.Trialist legacy of many lower league Scottish Fitba games and friendlies across the globe. Continue reading
Wrestling is all about trickery. Making the audience buy in to something that might not be 100% real. There are feuds and rivalries between people who are the best of pals away from the ring, and the trickery there is convincing you that they aren’t best pals; that all the jabs chucked, and running knees to the baws delivered were all real. Fuelled by true friction. The majority of wrestling feuds are between two people who can at least tolerate each other. There’s always an element where the characters have to inject a certain amount of emotion into it to make it believable. Also known as “acting”
Jackie Polo and Lionheart are not acting.
When this rivalry first emerged it made all the sense in the world. They do have completely different wrestling philosophies. Lionheart has always been an avid self promoter and there’s fuck all wrong with that. If you have a name that people recognise, and accolades people might take notice of, tell everycunt. Shout it fae the fuckin rooftops, cause shouting it leads to opportunities, and opportunities leads to money. Its as simple as that. Everyones looking for the best way to get people through the door to see them do that wrestling carry on.
Jackie Polo self promotes in a different way. Jackie Polo lets the world know that in his eyes, he’s the best Scotland has to offer. In that ring, on the mic, and in any sort of competitive scoop slamming competition. He’s the guy. Come see him if you want to see perfection. Simple as that. Two different ways of doing things. Two different attitudes towards everything. They clash. No matter who you believe when it comes to the origins of this unrest, its very clear by the way the “shoot” interview in January ended, that this is real. These two fucking hate each other and there’s a good chance this match ends in a no contest because they beat each other to a bloody pulp. ICW has had plenty of extreme moments, but they’ve had nothing as extreme as two guys vehemently battering fuck out each other. The difference between this feud and pretty much every other feud in Scotland recently, is that these two truly hate each other and cant wait to show 1,600 in the Barrowlands just how real it is.
Theres an aspect of this match, and the main event at Barramania that some folk might be overlooking. This is the old guard vs the new school. This is auld Crossroads vs the revamped Crossroads. This is the auld dugs vs the slightly younger dugs. This could mark the dawning of a new era. Ye see Jackie Polo wanted Lionheart in the first place so he could prove that he was better than him. That he had surpassed any level Lionheart had ever reached. He thought Hearto was on his way out, and he should have stuck to the first retirement. Whilst that infamous tweet was undoubtedly disrespectful, it was a sign that Jackie Polo never felt Lionhearts injury was relevant in a wrestling sense because in his eyes, he had already retired, and Jackie Polo was charged with delivering one last nail in the coffin.
But Lionheart never gave up. He worked his way back. No matter what you think of Lionheart, you cant do anything but admire that. Not only a career threatening injury, but a life threatening injury. He bided his time, and rebuilt. Now he can do the thing he loves to do again, and in his eyes that means Jackie Polo dies. Thats where the venom comes from. Its fuck all to do with any of the personal stuff both Jackie Polo and Lionheart himself have brought up. Its fuck all to do with any shots they’ve taken at each others careers. Its to do with two guys not liking each other. To the point that one of them didnt even have a sympathetic word when the other almost had his retirement taken out of his own hands. Jackie Polo doesn’t respect Lionheart, and Lionheart couldnae give a shit about that, but the fact that Jackie Polo almost found humour in the fact that Lionheart might not be able to do the thing he loves anymore? Thats when professional courtesy goes out the window, and the punches dont get pulled. The elbows get properly dropped. Right on the pointy bit. The rocks are properly bottomed. The hazards are real.
The problem for Lionheart there is that Jackie Polo disnae gie a fuck. Jackie Polo has had the guts kicked out him by Johnny Moss and still got the win. Jackie Polo has sat in front of an audience that chose to turn the other way, and remained undeterred, delivering a performance every time. Jackie Polo wanted this to be real, so he could show the world that Jackie Polo is not a character. Jackie Polo is not an exaggeration of a real man. Jackie Polo is real. There’s a Mr and Mrs Polo, and they still sing that song to me, about the time they called him Jackie. He didn’t want a match with Lionheart because he felt it could further his career as Jackie Polo the wrestling character, he wanted the match because as a man, Jackie Polo disagrees with the way Lionheart goes about his business. He feels that he’s an arse kisser, and if Jackie Polo can take enough jabs at the old dog to have him biting back, that’s exactly what he wants. Hearto SHOULD want to legitimately knock fuck out of him, and Jackie Polo is undoubtedly ready to fire legit blows back at him. Say what you want about Jackie Polo, but its exactly a year since this match was supposed to take place, and he’s kept this feud hot. Considering how fast things move on in indy wrestling, that no mean feat.
While the hatred between the two is undoubtedly real, there’s no doubt that they both know this could be the best match of their careers. Jackie Polo told the audience it would be rubbish. It very well might, but matches of this nature rarely disappoint. Polar opposites they might be, but they’re both performers at the end of the day and both want to showcase themselves in the best way possible. The best way to do that is to steal the fuckin show, and batter each other afterwards if ye must. The outcome of this match may give some indication as to what way the title match might go, because make no mistake about it; the majority of folk reckon Lionheart has it won. The crowd expects and they’re expected to get their moment. Obviously a no contest is possible but unlikely, so if ICW really want to show people they are putting their faith in the new school, having Polo come out on top would make a huge statement, and maybe give Joe Coffeys legions of fans a bit of hope when he faces up to on of Lionhearts old pals, the original Scottish superstar Drew Galloway.
For me a Polo win would be a brave but logical move, because Polo was the one who made Scottish Wrestling real to me. That character made it feel like it mattered. If a guy could inject so much commitment into a character, and keep it going amidst unspeakable amounts of abuse, and the occasional threat of retaliatory urination from Sweeney, it must matter. These guys must be serious. On the other side of the coin, when I went to my first ICW show, the only person I was told about was Lionheart. He was “the guy whos wrestled for WWE and TNA” and he had a belter of a match with Mikey Whiplash that night, Truth be told, I’ve scarcely seen him have a shite match, and he undoubtedly earned all those accolades you hear rhymed off when his name’s mentioned, but to gain those accolades he needed opportunities to shine. He probably needed someone older and more experienced to step to one side and let him climb up the ladder.Theres certainly a thirst from a lot of folk to see Lionheart punch Polo’s cunt in, but maybe there’s a way to do that and still have Polo with his hand raised in victory. Maybe the valiant comeback can be equally valiant in defeat as it would be in victory.
Lionheart certainly has plenty left in the tank and will have a new lease of life since his recovery, but when you put the personal shit aside, it might make sense for Polo to win. The shock value alone would make it worthwhile, because wrestling is about trickery. Wrestling is about convincing the audience that what they’re watching is 100% real, and there’s nothing more real than something that leaves you slack jawed, wondering what the fuck just happened.
That last image, and all the other ones were of course provided by David J Wilson and his excellence. The shoot interview they are taken from can be found on ICW On Demand.
Sweeney’s a frightening man. My first glimpse of him in a wrestling ring involved him diving over the top rope in the Square Go and eliminating himself just so he could batter Rob Mackai. As poor as that is strategy wise, it shows a dedication to leathering cunts that not many can match. Things have been a wee bit different for Sweeney recently though. Dare I say it, showing a bit of a softer side since the birth of his second daughter. God love any poor bastard the lassie brings home when she’s older right enough, but maybe Sweeneys days of smashin jaws and bootin baws are behind him. Or maybe not. Thats why you interview folk. To find such things out. Have a swatch, or else what the fuck else did you open the link for? Exactly mate.
So tell us how you got started in the life of cri…I mean wrestling. The wrestling business is what I mean. No other kind of business that may or may not be legal.
There’s no real way of answering this without sounding like everyone else. One thing I have heard in a lot of interviews is people saying they watched it as a kid then fell away from it or grew out of it. Then as they get older they re-discover it. In my case I never grew out of it or fell away I stuck with it through the good times and the bad times I still watched every week through the dark days of 1995 and then watched it become the in thing again through the attitude era.
The thing is when I was young there was no Scottish wrestling scene so my teenage years were spent getting drunk experimenting with drugs and girls along with getting into fights and being arrested. But to answer your question I found out about the Scottish Wrestling Alliance through Adam Shame. He was a friend of a friend and after contacting him he told me to come along to training. I was 25 at this point and came into wrestling already having a family. So when I see the youngsters coming up now and see the opportunities available to them I hope they realise how good they have it.
You seem to be a bit less…..how can I put it without you leathering me……a bit less vicious these days. Since Mark Dallas announced to the world that you had become a father on the day of Fear and Loathing. Was that something you knew he was going to do?
To answer the first part of your question yes over the last 2 months something has changed I no longer want to look for trouble or get into fights i’m looking to settle down and watch the youngsters do their thing. In regards to the Barrowlands no I did not know Mark was going to mention me becoming a father again. (I already have a 12 year old daughter) but that was the night where everything changed to stand there and have near 2000 people chanting my daughters name was beautiful and made me question what I have to be angry about. That day was the strangest weirdest and best day all rolled into one. I started the day in a hospital delivery room watching my daughter be born a few hours later I was standing in the Barrowlands in front of the best fans in the world bar none and finished the day rocking my daughter to sleep. How can you get a better day than that?
You simply cannot. Unless it involves cake, and hauf bottle, but even then, thats just a wee added bonus.
You left the last Spacebaws show under a cloud of uncertainty. Speaking of your eye being off the ball, and maybe accepting a backstage role at ICW. So I suppose the question is, is there any backstage role that needs a guy who can punch through bulletproof glass?
No there isn’t and that’s exactly my point that guys gone he’s no longer around and I don’t know if he will ever be back or if the fans would even want him back.
Seriously though, what’s the score? Are you done with ICW? Will we not get to see you heider folk over the top rope at the Square Go this year? Say it aint so.
When I was brought in it was as a bit of a problem solver. Mark Dallas had a problem he would call me I would sort it its that simple, one of Marks biggest problems was Jackie Polo who was trying to take the company from him I sorted that and he went away and so did I. Then he came back so I came back I’ve been hounding him for the better part of 2 years but after going one on one with him (and beating him) in Edinburgh during ICW’s fringe run I feel there’s not much else for me to do to him I guess you could say in a way he’s earned my respect. So no you won’t see me in the Square Go.
Spose we’ll settle for an old photo of Sweeney battering Jester then eh.
You and Renfrew are having a cracking time as Street Justice over at Pride. Tell us a wee bit about Pride, and how the Street Justice thing came about?
Street Justice is mine and Renfrew’s way of letting off some steam and having fun. ICW is the big time and is the biggest company in Europe I don’t care what anyone else says that’s the way it is and that’s all business. So we use Street Justice as a little experiment and have a lot of fun doing it. It actually started as a drunken conversation between me and Renfrew that just kept cropping up (Renfrew was one of the first people I met in SWA and we have been good friends ever since) then Pride Wrestling got in touch and the rest is history. In regards to Pride the last year has been a great one for the company and its growing each show. I have personally suggested to the booker that he may have to look for bigger venues.
You’ve had a rivalry with Jackie Polo since you first came back to ICW 2 years ago, and it continues to be as bitter as ever. How much fun has it been getting to batter him, considering he’s a pal? Is it even possible to be Jackie Polos pal actually? I imagine he’s just Jackie Polo 24/7.
Whoah whoah whoah! hang on I didn’t say we were pals I said he’s earned my respect there’s a big difference. Next Question …..
Jackie Polo will always be an enigma eh? Here’s Sweeney leathering Polo. One picture is from 2010, the other from 2014. Can you guess which one is which? I’ll give ye a clue, the one where both wrestlers look like younger versions of their current selves is the old one.
Speaking of Polo. He claims to be Scotlands BEEEEEEEEEST wrestler. Is that something you’d agree with, and if not, who is the best in the country right now in your opinion?
That’s a tough one as the talent is so good at the moment. When I broke in Scottish Wrestling was on its arse we were wrestling in front of sometimes 30 people but we still went out there and put in a shift. There are a lot of people who have been weeded out over the years and deservedly so. Jackie gets it and he had to earn his spot the hard way he was written off by a lot of people because of his attitude but that didn’t put him off. One of the reasons he has my respect is because he doesn’t change for anyone he does his own thing and you can’t fault that. Other talent on the scene at the moment who I enjoy watching are guys like Mark and Joe Coffey, Lewis Girvan, my little buddy Solar ( who had a cracking match with DCT at Fear and Lothian II) and Kenny Williams.
Favourite wrestling/wrestling personality of all time?
Ultimate Warrior was the guy who got me interested but Shawn Micheals was the guy that made me stick around and keep watching then came Steve Austin who made it cool again to be a wrestling fan.
Favourite match of all time if you have one?
Steve Austin Vs Bret Hart Wrestlemania 13 hands down closely followed by Mark Sweeney vs Chris Renfrew in KWA December 2008. You can ask Chris about that one Haha.
I shall. I interview the cunt once a week these days anyway, in the meantime, here’s some photos of the aforementioned match (Sweeney vs Renfrew, not Bret vs Austin)(although that bit in brackets was probably pointless, you’ll see the photos)(thats them below)(have a look)
Last but not least, anything you want to tell us about (like the new range of Sweeney name branded cowboy hats you have coming out…etc) feel free to do that here.
I could sit here and talk all day about things that I enjoy in wrestling and probably even more so about things that annoy me but we will save that for another day as that would be better suited for a podcast as there’s not enough of them around . Thanks for the chat Mertin and remember ………Patter!!
Patter indeed big yin. Hopefully the Snapmare Necks podcast is a rousing success and we’ll have the big man on for a proper chat soon. Not to ruin his hard man image or that, but he sourced out all these photos tae. I may or may not have captioned them right enough. Need to shoehorn my shite patter in anywhere I can eh. Big thank you to Sweeney for doing this, giving us a wee insight to his career/life, and keeping the Jackie Polo enigma strong.
Follow Sweeney on that twitter if you so wish, by going here
A wee picture of an imminent powerbomb to round us off. Polo’s going up hiiiigh.
Photo credits as always to the bold David J Wilson, and of course Chelsea Cochrane. And whoever took the ones of Sweeney vs Renfrew anaw. Cheers for the polaroids ma man.
When you talk about wrestling, casual observers pretty much see wrestlers and thats it. Continue reading
Dearie me. This is it eh?
There are very few matches in wrestling that can give you the feeling Wolfgang vs BT Gunn in a steel cage does. With the rivalry coming to boiling point, having seen them knock the utter fuck out of one and other for the best part of a year, this is the one. The brutality that was the Dog Collar Match will look like a stroll in the park with the dog after this. The last man standing match will look like some sort of really violent two-man yoga session compared to this. Even the massacre of Wolfgang in London will look like a surprise party compared to the pain these two are going to inflict on each other this Sunday. Renfrew vs Drew has a prize-fight sort of feel. Fuelled by the drive to win. Fuelled by mutual respect, and mutual disrespect at the same time. BT Gunn vs Wolfgang is a wee bit different. BT Gunn vs Wolfgang is driven by the basic human emotions we all experience in life from time to time. Frustration, unrequited love and the innate desire to knock fuck out of your cousin. Continue reading
I won’t lie, this is the one interview in the world I never expected to get. Back when I didn’t take this quite as seriously as I do now, I don’t think Mikey Whiplash was a great fan of my writing. Which is sound. I think I won him over a bit, and I’d be utter shite at this if I didn’t at least try to get him to answer a few questions for us. He done so in a most entertaining manner. Continue reading