Wolfgang – Built Fae Girders (Interview Part One)

wolf5

As hard it might be to imagine anything other than the imposing, deceptively floaty big unit of a man who we now know as “Wolfgang”, the big bad Wolf was once a young pup. A young pup who spent his youngest days growing up on an estate called “Haghill” in the East End of Glasgow. A place my missus also happens to hail from, and has described as “rough as fuck” in the past. Rough it may be, but it was the place that Barry Young’s love affair with Pro Wrestling had its beginnings. “It started when I was about 6 or 7 growing up in Haghill” he explained. A place notorious for its “young team” and a breeding ground for many a childhood scrap. Something Wolfgang himself never took a great amount of interest in. “Like the majority of wrestling fans, it was the first thing I remember seeing was wrestling, I couldn’t tell you who it was specifically but I imagine it was Hulk Hogan as he was my hero. I had wee cousins and mates from Haghill and we’d play wrestling. We used to play wrestling on this gable end and it was just concrete. So even from that age I would mimic what I’d see on the tele and by this point I didnt really know modern day wrestling. I only knew Hulk Hogan, The Ultimate Warrior and all that.”

Indeed he grew up in an era familiar to many of us, where WWE only existed on SKY and the only people who had SKY were confirmed or suspected drug dealers. How else would such a lavish lifestyle be possible? It was an era where a wrestling fan was only as good as his tapes. An era where Silver Vision provided an education better than any subject at school could. For me it was Summerslam 90 and WWE Year In Review 1993. For Wolfgang it was…  “One was Royal Rumble 91 where Hulk Hogan came out and just smashed everybody and won it. I’d watch that over and over. The other one was mega matches, where you’d get to see a bit of macho man and stuff. I would watch them religiously and anywhere I went where I wanted to watch wrestling I’d take them with me. So its been a love affair as far back as I can remember. ”

wolf2

A love affair that often led to a young Wolfgang demolishing his maws furniture. Maws will tolerate a lot of things from their boays, but there’s a limit to the amount of beds you’re allowed to break doing tombstone piledrivers before you end up sleeping on the deck. “You’ve no idea how many beds I’ve broke powerbombing my cousins through them. Showing them what wrestling is by actually doing it to them. The amount of times I’ve powerbombed my cousins when they didn’t want to be powerbombed *laughs*. I was actually watching tapes of what we used to do out my back garden the other day ”

It was these early years on the mean streets of Haghill that saw the start of a trend for the big man when he moved to Carntyne, a place that housed the the Haghill Young Team’s most storied rivals “When I was 10 I moved to Carntyne and that’s who Haghill used to fight. It would be he Haghill Powery against the Carntryne Goucho. I turned again like I’ve often done in my career with the various labels. Whatever one’s the most popular I go with that. ”  It wasn’t until his first encounter with BT Gunn that Wolfgang started to consider wrestling an interest that went beyond bursting his maws furniture. Although the genesis of the “Extreme Wrestling Federation” would still require a wee bit of furniture to get the ball rolling.

“My first day at secondary school I met BT Gunn. I heard him talking to someone about the Ken Shamrock/Foley/Rock cage match they had, so I just kinda drifted towards him, and I got close enough to go “are you two talking about wrestling”. Tam was kinda just above me on the social scale, because he was into fitbaw and I’m sure a wee bit of street fighting when he was staying up in Riddrie. When I moved to Carntyne this was the first time I’d had a big back garden. He eventually came down and we’d put on these wee shows together. We changed the name so many times but I think the one we eventually stuck with was the Extreme Wrestling Federation, and there was nothing extreme about this. We had my ma’s cushions put on to a bit of astro turf my Da brought home. We had poles dug into the ground with washing lines tied round. So you couldn’t run them, couldn’t climb them, they were really just there for show. So I’ve loved it ever since the “dont try this at home” era” and now he’s on the show’s that have the “Don’t Try This At Home” warning before they air. Anything is possible kids. Although if you’re a kid reading this, ignore the profanity please. Stay in school. Don’t do drugs.

wolf

Wolfgang after being powerbombed through his Ma’s dining table for saying the gravy she made with his roast dinner was “thick enough to grout tiles”. Circa 1996.

Following the move to Carntyne, Wolfgang had his first exposure to new era WWE. Gone were the Hulk Hogans and Macho Mans, and in their place we had tits, unfiltered violence, blood, more tits, more blood, Savio Vega and a baldy guy who tanned cans in the ring. Paradise for any young man reaching a certain level of ‘maturity’. “When I turned on Sky the first thing I seen was Ken Shamrock belly to belly suplexing the entire Nation of Domination on RAW, and I was blown away by it. All the people I knew were all gone, or they’d become commentators or whatever. I fell in love with it all over again at that point. I loved this new, fresh style they were doing and I was just hitting puberty at the time so it was perfect”

Boasting years of experience with the EWF, Wolfgang was itching to finally join a proper wrestling school and turn this wrestling caper from fantasy to reality. Unfortunately he was looking for a career path that literally didn’t exist in those days. Almost as if you needed to know a secret handshake or a password to gain access to the boss level, then if you beat the boss you MIGHT be able to get some wrestling training. If you’re lucky.
“After wrestling out my mums back for so long, my dad came home with a newspaper article saying Jake The Snake was coming to a wrestling school in East Kilbride. I’d tried various ways to get into wrestling, including amatuer wrestling, and couldn’t get in. Couldn’t find a school and low and behold, WWE hall of famer Jake The Snake was coming to a wrestling school about 20 mile from my house. So I jumped on it right away.”

This would prove to be a vital time both personally and career wise for Wolfgang. In an era where wrestling and particular wrestling training wasn’t anywhere near the standard it is now, a bit of handy advice from a beleaguered veteran and meeting a merry band of brothers who would end up sticking with him throughout the years are undoubtedly big reasons why young Barry not only stuck with the wrestling, but a big part of the reason slightly aulder Barry is enjoying the most successful period of his career 15 years on.
“Jake wasn’t there the first day, but Red Lightning, Drew Galloway, Mark Dallas and Kid Fite were all there. I’d took a couple of pals with me, because it was always like I wanted to do it but I needed a pal there. It turned out one week one pal wouldnt go, and the other week the other wouldn’t, so I was the only one who really stuck it and the more I went the more I got to know Red Lightning, Galloway, Dallas etc and became close pals with them. When I started training our coaches always used to talk about how bad they had it, and now I’ve started coaching I’m trying no to be that guy, but it rings true sometimes just how hard we did have it.”

wolf9

His first “match” was another eye opening experience for Wolfgang, and one he must consider an important one to reflect on when its all said and done and all anyone remembers is the glory days of ICW running places like the SECC and Hydro. It wasn’t always glory. It wasn’t always stoating out in front of 6,000 with aw sorts of pyro flying in and around your eyes. It took a lot of hard work and a lot of fighting against the bad and promoting the good before the balance started to shift and British Wrestling began its revival.
“I was just watching my first participation in a show not long ago, and it was me, a couple of other trainees, and the pro’s at the time, who lets face it, weren’t really in the best shape, they weren’t doing wonders for pro wrestling. I mean the attendance was dire, looking back I don’t remember it being that bad. I remember it being bad, but no THAT bad. I imagine its because its the first times I’d been in fronwolf11t of an audience like that. So you think of it being bigger, like “there was 500 of them there, they were aw going wild!” when really there was like 3 people in the crowd. ”

The standard of training at that time mostly existed as a “How not to train people to wrestle” guide for future reference and it was less the influence of the trainers and more the influence of his peers that helped Wolfgang become the polished, knuckle duster slinging bad mamma jamma we see today “When I started out it was on judo mats and we would just get powerbombed and stuff like it. It was more like we were getting bullied by the people training us but we were more learning from each other along the way. We were sort of this clan of people who watched wrestling, then mimicked it and got to experience it. When I first started the standard was bad aye, and it took a long time to sort of wean the bad stuff out. My first match I wore all white and sorts Sting type makeup. It was ridiculous. So I started off doing tag stuff and that was how I started going down south a lot. Down to Newcastle with a company called WZW. I was only about 16-17 then and I became and inter-promotional Champion” *laughs*

Whilst its since gone on to become synonymous with wolves, the name “Wolfgang” originally had nothing to do with wolves at all. It was instead derived from watching The Munsters.
“Wolfgang was meant to be this dark and mysterious character and it was never anything to do with Wolves. It was just the name. I wanted to be a kinda Sting character, with the face paint etc. When I wrestled oot ma back garden, my wrestling name was Damage. When I started training I told them my wrestling name was “Damage” . I dunno why, I always liked these one word names. Like Sting, Kane, etc. When I was in school I was watching The Munsters and Eddie Munster turned into a werewolf. He was called Eddie “Wolfgang” Munster, and it sorta came from there. I liked the werewolf aspect of it because people have always said I’m a different person when I get in the ring. Wrestling helped bring me out my shell in a lot of ways. Anybody who knows me will know that back then I was very quiet. I was just this wee, quiet, polite guy. My Ma had taught me my manners and to say please and thank you but when I got into a wrestling ring my character came out and my personality just flourished. So the link with werewolves is more that there’s two sides to me. The wee quiet guy and the werewolf that’ll tear you apart.”

wolfgang

His first wrestling road trip at the tender age of 15 turned out to be a life affirming event for young Wolfgang, as he finally got to meet the man who’s potential presence at a local wrestling school got him started. Whilst the hero in question, Jake The Snake Roberts, wasn’t doing very well at that time, the interaction with him is still held up as one of the key reasons for Wolfy’s success a story that came full circle when the two spoke again at Wrestlemania. An opportunity that only came up because of how much good Wolfgang done over the course of the UK Championship tournament that put him in that position in the first place. “The first time I got to step in a wrestling ring was down in Melksham for a compny called 3CW. We got on this mini bus, first time away from home, me Lightning, Drew etc. We were going down to work for a promotion run by the mate of the guy who was training us. It was my first time being away from my Ma n Da when I was about 15-16. I never ended up getting on the show, but that was the first time I actually met Jake. It was at the time he wasn’t really doing very well, but I always credit him for helping me out. I got to speak to him for 5 minutes back stage and it just blew my 15 year old mind. This icon was sitting in front of me speaking and its the exact same as watching one of his promos. You were just hooked on every word he was saying”

Jake’s own personal turnaround when he previously seemed at death’s door is proof enough in itself that anything is possible with a bit of hard work and elbow grease. Getting to speak to him again would have felt like an impossibility at one stage in both their respective journeys, yet the stars aligned for a reconciliation behind the scenes of the grandest stage of them all. The stage Jake once graced and the stage Wolfgang is shooting for. The be all and end all for anyone who’s ever laced up a pair of boots, or in John Cena’s case, double knotted a pair of gutties.
“I recently got to thank him for what he said to me at Mania this year. 15 years later. To be able to see him in those circumstances, where I’m on the other side of the guardrail was amazing. When I seen him I got goosebumps, because I always wanted to meet him again to kinda thank him for whatever he did do for me. And I got a chat with him, he said one of the nicest things he could have said to me. That he was very proud of what I’d done. He could just have been saying that to get me away from him, but it was nice to have that. A bit of a full circle thing for me. ”

wolfy

Whilst that was one chapter in Wolfgang’s career that finally had its conclusion, another that might never see its end game is the story he is constantly crafting with BT Gunn. A rivalry that goes all the way from the Extreme Wrestling Federation in the backyards of Carntyne, to steel cage and dog collar matches in ICW. Its a rivalry Wolfgang clearly holds dear and a story that will seemingly forever be open ended. A story where a final chapter will only be written when one of the men draws their last breath.
“A match that gets overlooked is one in 2012 when BT was champ and it was one of the best matches we’ve ever done. I think it was overshadowed a bit because it was the night Iceman retired, but people really believed I could take it. No matter how many times a match has been done in the past, you can still get fans invested in it and we always tried to make the match something new and different from the last one. We did that with matches like the cage, dog collar, last man standing matches. Dog collar is one of my favourites because it was a really good match. Something substantial came from that stipulation, and I was really happy with that piece of work. The use of the dog collar was good as well. Whether we’re against each other or on the same side, its always something I throw myself into because I care about and I always want the story of me and BT Gunn work. BT Gunn is just incredible though. Quietly the best wrestler in the UK and my favourite wrestler to watch”

It seemed a far fetched notion in late 2014-early 2015 that BT Gunn and Wolfgang would ever end up on the same side, but this is wrestling. Things can do a full 360 in an instant and see you fighting wars alongside long time sworn enemies like its fuck all. Whilst the prospect of getting to team up with a guy who you know for a fact is really good at wrestling due to him doing wrestling stuff in thwolf10doge direction of your face for years beforehand must have been an attractive one, the idea of going a full calendar month without catching a team handed doing from the NAK certainly appealed to Wolfgang as well. “I was getting fed up of the NAK crushing my skull. The conclusion came at Barramania 2, when Divers was feuding with Renfrew and everyone thought I was coming down to save Divers. The reaction for turning the W into an N was the easiest nights work I’ve ever had. Easily the biggest reaction I’ve got for doing so little. Some people seen it coming, a lot of people wanted it to happen but the buzz after ending the feud with BT and joining the NAK is one I’ll never forget. Getting to team with BT after years of knocking seven shades of shite out each other, and getting to work with Renfrew who’s someone I always looked up to in terms of promo skills and addressing the camera. Being that close to him I got that knowledge, it still took me a long time but I’m starting to get there now.”nak

His alliance with the NAK was a shot in the arm for Wolfgang in ICW and returned him to the role of villain for the first time since The Gold Label’s tenure in ICW. Whilst he admits his more natural role in wrestling is as a crowd favourite, being able to do both is essential in an era where more different companies than ever might be looking to use a wrestler for different roles. “I’ve always been more comfortable as a babyface. When ICW started it would be me feuding with the likes of Red Lightning, but that all changed when The Gold Label started. It was basically me, Lionheart, and Red. We were 3 best mates, and we were the best of a bad bunch, and to put three of the better guys together was something that hadn’t really been done and something I was really excited about doing. Then James joined. I was kinda the big bad bruiser of the group, I had a lot of fun doing that stuff. One of the best times up until that point. That all kind of fizzled out and I would turn face from that point, no really feuding with anyone in particular I was just sort of the good guy on the show that would turn up and knock fuck out of someone. I got to be myself more from that point and show my personality like the Wolfgangnam style video and the Finding Wolfgang skits *laughs* . Thinking about it that’s embarrassing looking back on them now, I’ll need to get them taken aff *laughs*.

nakwarrior

The bad news for the big man there is that the internet is forever. The good news is, at least its just a couple of funny videos and nothing involving anyone’s nipples. While the goofier side of Wolfgang was allowed to run wild back then, in the NAK it was all business and Wolfgang looks back on the feud the group had with Legion as a particular highlight.
“Three of the best in Europe vs three best mates. Stevie and Kay Lee were obviously part of that when they joined as well. Some of the matches we had were incredible. Edinburgh 3 on 3 with Stevie, me and BT was a brilliant match. Went all over the venue. Then the cage match at the SECC to end it. Cage matches are difficult on a show like that where you’re not going to get a huge amount of time, but the big thing I done in that match was again coming off the top of the cage. That seems to be my favourite thing about it. Climbing up it and jumping aff it. ”

wolfcage

The battle in the cage, which Wolfgang admits he’d have liked more time in after being eliminated early, brought the fued and seemingly the NAK to its natural end. As red hot and engaging as they were at the time, they were too driven individually to stay as a unit for the long whole. For the group of real life pals, it was very much time to divide and conquer and after a wild night in The Garage when they split and ended up wrestling each other in a wild Fatal Four Way for Renfrew’s newly acquired ICW Title, the turbo charged all star NAK was no more. “That brought the feud with Legion to an end and at that time we sort of lacked direction as a group. Being in the NAK was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in wrestling ,because it was me and my genuine pals. At Halloween in 2015 we all came out as Batman villains and I’ll never forget that. Its one of they things that makes me love wrestling, and one I’ll look back on in 20 years time, as you don’t really get the chance to take it all in when its happening. After the Legion feud was over everybody wanted to do their own thing, and from my point of view I was a sick of being part of a group. I’d been in the Gold Label, The NAK, even The Black Label although I felt I was never really fully “in” The Black Label. That was Drew, Jester and Andy (Red Lightning), and I was just their big mate.”

“I’ve always said Wolfgang isnae a bad guy, he just keeps bad company”

wolfwwe

There’s not likely top be many people that can pinpoint being in the bath as one of the key moments in their wrestling career but after years of graft, going up and down the UK taking (seldom) and dishing out (often) doings with little or no prospect of it going any further had began to bear fruit a few years earlier with rise of ICW and British Wrestling as a result, but the sweetest most ripest of wrestling fruit came to him pretty much as soon as his baws hit the water on one fateful evening when wrestling royalty phoned. “It all started for me in the lead up to The Hydro. We were on tour with ICW, in Manchester I think. I was against Noam, and at this time Regal was doing the rounds and scouting for it. I met him there and didnt really speak to him, but I was on with a guy Regal knew. I knew I’d be the guy with the ICW belt, and if Regal was sitting watching with Dallas he would be explaining how he’s going to be the guy with the title.”

Its a nice thing that the match responsible for WWE sitting up and taking notice of Wolfgang is the same one that made me sit up and take notice of him in 2012. The first match I seen in Scottish Wrestling happened to be Noam Dar vs Wolfgang. A cocky young Dar cutting a promo telling me and aw my pals we were aw smelly virgins (not true at all btw…I don’t smell…) before Wolfgang came out and gave him a doing. A routine that would repeat on the night it all changed.

“I had to show up that night. Noam kept me right though. I thought I’d have to go out and keep up with Noam, but that was never the case. I think the reason I got noticed in the first place is that I look like I can beat people up. That was what Noam was saying, they’re no looking for all the bells and whistles, if they look at you and think ‘I reckon this guy could batter this person’ then that’s what they’re after. So poor Noam, I just spent the whole match beating him up.”wolf8

Regal making a swift exit meant Wolfgang pretty much considered that to be that, but nothing’s a foregone conclusion when mobile phone technology means being in the bath isn’t a barrier between you and achieving your wildest dreams, so really there’s nae excuse for huvin BO at all. Don’t tell me you smell like a foot cause you’re waiting on NASA to phone and offer ye that job driving the spaceship mate. Nae excuses. Wolfgang got to the WWE via the bath, so really anyone can do anything they want and still be clean.

“I didnt really get the chance to speak to him after, but Noam passed me his email address so I sent him an email asking for feedback on the match. He sent me oneback explaining the next tryout was full but he’d give me a shout down the line. Fast forward about a month to The Hydro show and he emails asking for my number and within about a millisecond I sent it. I waited by the phone like “where urr ye Regal” and I waited and waited on him before I eventually decided he must just be looking for my number for future reference. So I jumped up the stairs for a bath after a few hours, forgetting the time difference and hes phoned me just as I’ve got in the bath. So there I am submersed in water , talking to William Regal. I thought to myself I better get out of here eh, so I’m out, walking about the house in a towel with William Regal on the phone telling me there’s gonnae be this 16 man tournament to crown the first ever WWE UK Champion, and you’re gonnae be the only Scottish guy in it. ”

Nae pressure there then eh?

A fine note to leave it on. Bath related shenanigans. Part Two will be up tomorrow at around 6pm. Tell yer pals. Share this piece of loveliness. Do it. 

READ PART TWO HERE

Credit to David J.Wilson, Warrior Fight Photography and anyone else’s images I might have used for the fine work. All talented humans

Wrestling And Depression Part Deux

Image result for wrestlers shaking hands

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

mciker

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

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

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

Wolfgang: Scotlands Big Bad Ambassador

wolfbike

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.

wolffff

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.

wolfgang

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

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

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

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

An Interview With Krieger

krieger11

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.

krieger2.jpg

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.

krieger5

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. 
..

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.

krieger9.jpg

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.
..
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.
..
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?
..
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.
..
Who were your wrestling influences growing up? Anyone in particular you try to channel through your own work?
..
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.
..
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. 
..
Anyone on the scene you’ve yet to aim the scuddin boots at but would like the chance to? 
..
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.
..
Aaron Echo vs Krieger for the PBW Title will happen one day. Mark my wildly speculative words.
krieger.jpg
..
What’s the big aim for Krieger? What are you personally looking to get out of this wrestling carry-on? 
..
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.
..
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.
..
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.
..
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.
..
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.

noam

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.

dardive

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.

10446650_1609918945906724_6221099234143743973_n

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.

noam3

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 😉

 

WWE Wrestlemania 32 Preview/Predictions

WM

Everything’s bigger in Texas they say. Including levels of disappointment in significant events. Continue reading