ICW Fear & Loathing IX Review by Adam Morrison

6193 fans packed into the SSE Hydro for ICW’s biggest show in history, Fear & Loathing IX. The show promised to deliver from the get go, with an absoultely stacked card on offer. From a casket match to a Stairway to Heaven match, this show had it all. I watched the show on ICW On Demand (Facebook for the first two matches due to issues with the livestream), but it was just as good as being there in person.

After issues with the stream, I saw a tweet from someone saying ICW were streaming live on Facebook. When it loaded, Finn Bálor was in the ring, saying he wasn’t just back to see some old friends. If anyone wanted to step out of line, they would have him to deal with.

10 minutes w/The Wee Man or Hendry leaves for 1 year

Joe Hendry vs Davey Blaze w/The Wee Man

The first contest saw former tag partners Joe Hendry and Davey Blaze collide. Hendry, as expected, had a custom entrance theme as he parodied Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapshody”. This was a hard hitting contest that went all over the ringside area and even up to the stage, where Davey managed to connect with his spear he calls the Sparrowhawk. Going back in the ring, Davey connected with a second Sparrowhawk, but it wasn’t enough. Picking up the first win of Fear & Loathing IX was Joe Hendry as he connected with a massive Freak of Nature off the top rope for the three count. As a result, he earned 5 minutes alone in the ring with The Wee Man. After nailing one Freak of Nature on The Manager of Champions, Davey Blaze carried his manager to the backstage area, leaving Hendry to celebrate his victory.

Triple Threat Match for the ICW Women’s Title
Carmel Jacob(c) vs Kay Lee Ray vs Viper

The second contest of the night saw Carmel Jacob defend her Women’s Title against Viper and The Black Label’s Kay Lee Ray in a massive contest, Carmel’s first bout since she was sidelined with an injury this past summer. The action was quick as you’d expect from women of this calibre. Viper nailed a huge cannonball off the apron, taking out both KLR and Carmel but she also landed hard on the floor. Viper nailed several Viper Drivers during the contest, but each one was broken up. Kay Lee Ray eventually picked up the win after taking Viper out with a suicide dive and then nailing Carmel with three Gory Bombs, cementing her ruthlessness and becoming the third ICW Women’s Champion in history.

Following the bout, Carmel got on the mic and made a shocking announcement; she was retiring from professional wrestling. She thanked Mark Dallas for giving her the opportunities that she recieved, before thanking the fans for all their support. She ended her latest pipebomb by saying Kay Lee Ray deserved to be champion and that she could face anyone and make them look good, no matter what. What a last match to have.

Casket Match
BT Gunn vs Stevie Boy

Following the women’s match, ICW ended their Facebook stream as the On Demand service was finally working. I came back on to see the casket match underway, with BT Gunn and Stevie Boy laying into each other with stiff shots. At one point, both competitors ended up inside the casket. Kay Lee Ray made her down to the ring, appearing to be in full condition after her gruelling title victory just moments earlier. After the introduction of a steel chair, Stevie powerbombed Gunn on top of the casket before rolling him inside for the victory. The sound of Gunn’s back crashing into the casket lid rung throughout the Hydro. As it stands, Stevie Boy is the winner of this rivalry.

No DQ Match for the Undisputed ICW Tag Team Titles
Polo Promotions (Jackie Polo & Mark Coffey)(c) vs Team 3D (Brother Ray & Brother Devon)

The next match saw Polo Promotions defend their tag titles against possibly the greatest team in professional wrestling history, Team 3D. Before the contest started, Team 3D got on the mic and asked for the match to be changed to a no DQ match, a challenge that would be accepted. A wild brawl ensued around ringside, then it just ended randomly. Team 3D were setting up for their signature 3D finisher, but Brother Ray became busy dealing with Mark Coffey, leading to Jackie Polo slamming Brother Devon on a chair for the win. It took a while for Polo Promotions’ music to play, so I’m wondering if it was genuinely meant to end there or if there was some sort of botch. Nevertheless, Team 3D went to hand the champions their belts but they were interrupted by Davey Blaze and The Wee Man. After berating both teams, they were taken out before Polo Promotions grabbed a table from under the ring. Team 3D then drilled Davey through the table with their trademark assisted superbomb. Team 3D and Polo Promotions celebrated together after the match before heading backstage.

Stairway to Heaven Match for the ICW Zero-G Title
Lionheart(c) vs Kenny Williams vs Andy Wild vs Aaron Echo vs Zack Gibson vs Iestyn Rees vs Liam Thomson

Before I begin, there was an interval either before or after this match (genuinely can’t remember), where it was announced ICW would be returning to the SSE Hydro on Sunday November 19th 2017 for Fear & Loathing X.

Wild, Thomson, Gibson, Rees and Echo all made their way down to ringside while a video package played to hype ICW’s first ever Stairway to Heaven match. Lionheart then made his way out, before Mick Foley appeared via satellite and announced Kenny Williams as a last-minute addition to the bout, much to the dismay of Lionheart. Eliminations came quick and fast, with Andy Wild, Zack Gibson, Aaron Echo, Liam Thomson and Iestyn Rees all being eliminated, leaving it down to Lionheart and Kenny. After several high risk moves, including Lionheart drilling Kenny into a ladder with The Elite, Kenny nailed a huge cutter off a ladder before retrieving the title belt from the ceiling to become a two-time ICW Zero-G Champion. This was a great match, the addition of Kenny was a nice little surprise. Hopefully we can see more Stairway to Heaven matches in the future.

Eliminations;
Zack Gibson by Liam Thomson, Liam Thomson by Andy Wild, Aaron Echo by Iestyn Rees, Iestyn Rees by Kenny Williams and Andy Wild by Lionheart

Lewis Girvan vs Ricochet

Now, onto the match of the night. Lewis Girvan faced one of the international guests for the evening in Ricochet. Flips to the outside from Ricochet, technical submissions from Lewis, this match was full of action. In one of the many surprises during the night, Lewis Girvan picked up the win over The Future of Flight with his trademark Peacemaker submission hold. The two shared a hug after the match after putting on a hell of a contest in front of the 6000+ audience. I’m sure I’m not the only one that thinks these two should cross paths once again.

Steel Cage Match for the ICW World Heavyweight Title
Wolfgang(c) vs Trent Seven

In the first of three main matches for the evening, Wolfgang put his ICW World Heavyweight Title against Trent Seven inside the demonic steel cage. Wolfgang had one of my favourite entrances of the night, as he rode a motorbike down to ringside alongside what appeared to be The Purge. The hatred between these two was shown on full display in this match, with the cage used to full advantage. Wolfgang tried to use his brass knuckles on Trent, but Trent manged to dodge the attack and take the weapon for himself. The two combatants scaled to the top of the cage, where they battled it out before Trent pulled the brass knuckles out of his trunks and whacked Wolfgang across the jaw. This caused the champion to fall from the top of the cage and through a table down below, left at ringside by Team 3D. As a result, Wolfgang retained his gold. The look on Trent’s face afterwards said it all as he looked devastated. Wolfgang retreated to the back with his title belt clutched to his chest. Trent Seven took in the audience’s admiration before disappearing behind the curtain.

Elimination match with 100% ownership of ICW on the line

Team Dallas (Chris Renfrew, Grado, Sha Samuels & DCT) w/Mark Dallas vs The Black Label (Drew Galloway, Jack Jester, Kid Fite & Bram) w/Red Lightning

The penultimate match of the evening saw the future of ICW on the line. Mark Dallas lead his team, Red Lightning lead his team. Only one man could take full reign of Scotland’s premier wrestling promotion. Like the Stairway to Heaven match, the eliminations started quick until we got to the final 4. Jack Jester took Grado out of the match after clocking him across the head with a metal pipe. Mark Dallas ended up inside the ring, where Drew Galloway was more focused on beating him down instead of concentrating on winning the match for The Black Label. Jack tried to get Drew back on track with winning the match, only for Galloway to call him the weak link of the group. Chris Renfrew nailed Jack with a Stone Cold Stoner, leaving it down to one man from each team. Jack Jester headed back up the ramp to leave Galloway to get on with the match. Galloway appeared to be looking to end the match, only for the evening’s guest enforcer Finn Bálor to run down due to the actions Galloway had been showing over the last few weeks. Jack Jester returned to ringside with the pipe, making it 2 on 1 against Bálor. But in one of ICW’s most shocking moments, Jester handed the pipe to Bálor and left The Black Label, siding with Mark Dallas! Finn used the pipe and hit Galloway in the ribs, before Chris Renfrew nailed him with a Stone Cold Stunner, complete with a 180-degree turn, to win the match and full control of ICW for Mark Dallas. Following the match, Dallas confronted Red Lightning in the ring and told him what he should of said a long time ago; he was fired! Security dragged him from the Hydro as Mark Dallas celebrated his team’s win.

Eliminations;
Sha Samuels by Kid Fite, Kid Fite by DCT, DCT by Bram, Bram by Grado, Grado by Jack Jester, Jack Jester by Chris Renfrew and Drew Galloway by Chris Renfrew

Joe Coffey vs Kurt Angle

Just like that, it was already time for the main event of Fear & Loathing IX. Joe Coffey made his way to the ring, dressed in a kilt and covered in Bravehart facepaint. His opponent for the evening Kurt Angle appeared on stage to a huge ovation. The two went hold for hold with each other, with neither proving to be technically superior over the other. Both nailed some of their signature moves, but Coffey managed to synch Angle in his No Mercy boston crab submission. In a surprising turn of events, Kurt Angle tapped out to give Joe Coffey perhaps the biggest win of his career. Following the match, Angle got on the mic and called Coffey one of the best in the UK. He ended his little promo by saying this was just the first, and let everyone know that they’re would be another match between the two! What a way to end ICW’s biggest show to date.

What a fantastic show this was. From the opener, to the Stairway to Heaven match, all the way to the main event, everything on this show was so well put together. Every match had a meaning and it looked like the wrestlers in each other actually despised each other. Mark Dallas and the whole of the ICW roster and crew should be immensely proud of what they accomplished. All eyes now look to Fear & Loathing X next year!

Quick Results
Joe Hendry def. Davey Blaze w/The Wee Man

Women’s Title:
Kay Lee Ray def. Carmel Jacob(c) and Viper

Casket Match:
Stevie Boy def. BT Gunn

Undisputed Tag Team Title No DQ Match:
Polo Promotions(c) def. Team 3D

Zero-G Title Stairway to Heaven Match:
Kenny Williams def. Lionheart(c), Aaron Echo, Iestyn Rees, Andy Wild, Liam Thomson and Zack Gibson
Lewis Girvan def. Ricochet

World Heavyweight Title Steel Cage Match:
Wolfgang(c) def. Trent Seven

100% Control of ICW Elimination Match:
Team Dallas w/Mark Dallas def. The Black Label w/Red Lightning
Joe Coffey def. Kurt Angle

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