By Doctor Bedlam
Greetings again good reader and welcome to my thoughts on ICW’s big summer event Shug’s Hoose Party 5, now you won’t get blow by blow, move by move accounts of the matches, you can get that in the many other reviews on this site and other places, instead you will get thoughts and feeling about each match from a fans viewpoint (specifically my viewpoint). I will stress, however, these are purely my opinions and should be seen as such, so without further ado lets get started shall we?
Ravie Davie vs Kid Fite – Now, I knew this match would be good and had a feeling Davie would win and I knew the match would be a good match, however, I was not expecting Liam Thomson to return and yet I am glad as the Fight Club feud was never really properly resolved all those years ago and you just know the matches will be good. Davie is the sort of wrestler I usually dislike but he seems to have a likable quality. His win here once again proved that while he may not be the biggest strongest dog in the fight but he will give his all, so not only do we get a great Liam Thomson and Kid Fite feud, we also get Davie against James Storm, a match people have been anticipating since Barramania.
Lewis Girvan vs Sam Barbour – This was, for me a nice little match, yes it may have been slower paced than what we are sometimes used to and yes some of the crowd weren’t really into it but Lewis Girvan showed once again why he is one of the best talents in Scotland (though at what age do you stop being referred to as the best YOUNG wrestler?) and Sam Barbour, even though he did lose, there is the potential there. Maybe because there was no storyline to the match that as why the crowd were relatively subdued. I find as a general rule, matches with a storyline behind them seem more exciting because there is the emotional investment in it, something matches like this don’t, it’s just one of those things.
Angelico vs Mikey Whiplash – You know, Whiplash as well as being helluva scary even without the face paint and the trappings of Legion is one of the most talented wrestlers I have seen, period. Angelico was more than a worthy opponent for him, this was possibly the match of the night, there was a feeling not only did they respect each other but were in their own way enjoying the bout, a true joy to watch, too many highlights (I do have many more matches to get through y’know). Whiplash looked to be delivering a promo announcing his retirement, but was interrupted by Aivil who handed him his Legion mask as a way to show him he is still needed, and I agree with her, ICW needs Whiplash, it needs Legion.
Joe Hendry vs Chris Renfrew – This match was a decent match, I know some people will complain that “it wasn’t a real street-fight” but in reality a street-fight in wrestling terms translates into hardcore match (yes ICW has took them to the actual streets before but it can’t always happen that way) Renfrew, as we know, is very comfortable in this sort of match and whenever I’ve seen Joe in a match with hardcore elements he tended to appear awkward doing it (I remember one match with Jack Jester for example, you could tell he was uncomfortable with it) so to see Joe win… and indeed win well was a very nice surprise, I can only hope this leads to better things in ICW for Joe, if you ask me (and I know you didn’t but it’s my report so I’ll say it anyway) Joe deserves a title run and has done for a while now and when he cut the promo on why he turned heel I did find myself agreeing with him, when someone on the ICW
fan Facebook page questioned why DCT got a shot people said “he has worked hard for ages, is over and deserves it”, well I am saying it now, if you, my good readers, truly believe DCT deserves to be in the title picture then surely, surely Joe Hendry does too, the sheer amount of work in the ring and out he puts in (bloody hell at one point he would tailor his entrance theme to match whomever he was facing) hes represented his country (granted he didn’t win a medal… but still) if that’s not someone who deserves a title run I dunno who is, Renfrew’s promo at the end, while somewhat valid I can’t help but think it was a bit unneeded, we DO respect Joe, he’s a heel, we are booing him, that’s what happens (I thought that’s what happens anyway), it felt a little bit as if he was trying to, in a way, keep the focus on him. Joe has been over with the crowd for a long time, almost from day one in ICW and did not need Renfrew to deliver that sort of promo. Also I wish to say on a personal note as a fan who also is a designer, while I personally find it silly, Renfrew’s new tie dye t-shirt is a step up from the Rick and Morty inspired ones (I’m sorry Rick/Renfrew looked nothing like Renfrew, I mean at least photoshop his hair off, it’s not that hard to do, sorry I had to get that off my chest).
The Kinky Party vs Iestyn Rees and Bram – Well, just when you thought it was safe after the street-fight, this match comes rolling in, now yes, I don’t like The Kinky Party as a team, I’d rather see them as singles guys, these are still four amazing talents in that ring and you knew it was going to be good, now The Kinky Party won, while I was disappointed with that, the match itself made up for it in intensity, yes we knew any match with Jester is going to end up in chaos. Bram jumping off a speaker to put Jester through a table being a notable highlight, Sha overwhelmed Iestyn to gain the pinfall, I will say one thing, Iestyn Rees is one to watch, even in his days as Bird and Boars stablemate as The Marauders (Bird and Boar.. sounds like a nice wee Yorkshire pub doesn’t it?) the guy was impressive, I have seen him in other companies, once even wrestling Chris Masters, ICW have a real talent in this guy.
BT Gunn vs Walter – There’s not much you can say about this match that hasn’t already been said, everything about Walter is amazing, his hard hitting style, his way of working a match, hell even his entrance had people talking and I’m sure the halls of the arena are still echoing with the sound of his chops. I feel that this is not the last we have seen of him, The attack on BT Gunn after by Kez Evans nicely set up a match between the two, but by then Walter had clearly made his mark (in more ways than one).
Jody Fleisch vs James Storm – Two of the men that, if you had to ask me to name my top all time wrestlers, they would both be on the list. This was a pleasure to watch, even when Jody picked up an eye injury due to being whacked in the face, but as we saw later he did recover well, this was a nice little match to ease us into the main event, Jody battling hard only to come up short, but in the end the crowd were the true winners.
Just Justice Jackie Polo vs Lionheart – Well, Lionheart finally got a win against his long term nemesis and while it was a decent match, it was obvious there was a clash of styles (even the promos are completely different, Lionheart is always been serious and shoot style, Polo has always been more strictly kayfabe which has always made promos between the two feel odd) or the fact that apparently while respecting each other, they just don’t get on well backstage but these things happen, there are some wrestlers who, while being very talented, can’t wrestle certain others (one that springs to mind is Matt Morgan and Hernandez, great guys but their matches against each other blew) I get the feeling this feud is done and dusted and maybe that is a good thing, though I, like many others, were shocked to see Lionheart take a Styles Clash off Polo.
Kez Evans vs BT Gunn – This match is a follow up to the events that transpired during the BT and Walter match, now this match, for a starter match was very intense, you could almost feel the hatred coming off Kez with every blow and impact. That said, it was a genuine shock to see him actually win, it looked like BT had things under control. On a side note, it’s funny how just about every ex-ICW champ seems to either disappear or end up going over in the card (not saying Walter was a step down… bear with me on this train of thought) it’s rare to see an ex-champ demand a rematch (in fact I think the last one WAS BT against Red Lightning) just a random musing, but I do hope this results in a proper feud as they do work well together.
The Kings of Catch vs The Hunter Brothers – This was an okay match, I had never seen The Hunter Brothers before so didn’t know what to expect, however I will say this, The Kings of Catch were the ideal team to face them, it had flow to it, a smoothness, it was a match you could hold up as a good example of modern tag team wrestling, I feel Lewis and Aspen are really coming into their own now, though can someone explain the whole “Apter burn it down” thing? (I assume it’s a reference to the old Apter magazines) thanks. After the match Renfrew came out to interfere in a promo were they made a valid point about how they deserve to be in the title hunt, Renfrew challenged them to a match at the next event and said he will pick a tag partner, now I think it’s either going to be Kieran, after all they have been working closely together, or are we going to see a reunion of The NAK with BT now he’s no longer champion? I wonder if at the end Renfrew will once again have a promo verbally putting them over like hes done with Joe Hendry and Kieran, I’m sorry I’m a cynic, but it feel like its almost as if he wants to say to people “see it’s me that’s got these guys over, me Chris Renfrew, I’m the guy who got the Kings of Catch/Joe Hendry/whomever else over”, Chris is a great guy and I, despite how it sounds, do respect the guy. I just feel its a lil’ too much if you get what I mean and I’m not the only one that thinks this, but I will say this, it’s just an opinion, but I do think Kings of Catch are definitely future tag champions.
Andy Wild vs Jody Fleisch – Andy Wild was on the card at my very first ICW show (and he looked a lot different back then) and he was always a great performer, he had a great series of matches with Liam Thomson and Noam Dar but he took and break and came back a lot bulkier and it took the fans time to adjust to his new look and style but now with his army of loyal WIld Boys behind him (A special shout out to Paul, Peter and William for keeping the faith with him), he is steadily rising up the ranks in ICW once again, a concern before the match was Jody’s eye, which had been injured the night before but luckily it looked worse than it was and he was cleared to compete and the two of them produced, for me, was one of the most enjoyable matches of the weekend from a purely wrestling standpoint, it was just a good honest to goodness wrestling match, Andy got the win but I do hope it is not the last these two compete against each other
Grado vs Just Justice Jackie Polo – This was a match made by Jeff Jarrett himself and you know what, while I have never been a Grado fan, he and Polo actually work surprisingly well together in a way I never expected, it was a great match with the both wrestlers struggling to maintain an advantage. I get the feeling Grado’s time in America with Impact Wrestling has done him wonders, he seems a more polished product now. Polo, as Just Justice, showed once again why he is one of the best all rounders in the company, his promo before the match with Jarrett was a thing of beauty, the match itself, he played the perfect dastardly heel Grado thrives on competing with, a feud between them is something I wouldn’t say no to. Also, I have to say, Jeff Jarrett singing after the match was a thing of beauty.
Aaron Echo vs Jeff Cobb – Now Jeff Cobb has been tearing things up in Japan and in the American Indy scene and has now came over here, Aaron Echo was probably a surprise choice of opponent for him in some peoples eyes but you know what Aaron performed amazingly well in this, like the Andy Wild and Jody Fleisch match was a pleasure from a purely wrestling standpoint, though it did seem to get a mixed reaction from some in the crowd, Jeff pulled out all the stops and then some, Aaron held on, waiting for his moment to strike and he did it well, picking up the win.
Ravie Davie vs James Storm – Ravie Davie or Davie Ravie as James Storm put it is a fearless wee bugger isn’t he? He’s not the biggest guy, he’s not got the physique of a Bram or an Iestyn Rees or anyone like that but by God he gives it his all, he is a perfect example of a good underdog. He’s like a wee pitbull, never giving up, he knows there’s a good change he’ll get beaten within an inch of his life off James Storm but he just kept going at him. Not even a beer bottle to the head could keep him down, Storm to his credit played his part beautifully, I’d go as far to say this was the match of the night, you have to see this match for yourself. The aftermath, I have to admit got quite awkward, basically first Zander, then Leyton Buzzard came down to stop James Storm further injuring Davie after picking up the win thanks to cable ties, Joe Hendry then entered and chased Storm off, helped Davie and gave a promo that started off okay but then it turned dark, he demanded Leyton, whom did train with Davie, to beat up his old training buddy but it got a little awkward when he kept yelling at Leyton to hit Davie, I love Joe Hendry but, that was uncomfortable to watch.
Viper vs Martina vs Kasey Owens – Anyone who knows me knows I am a huge Viper fan, always liked her from the first time I saw her at the first ever Fierce Females (back with it was affiliated with ICW) but I guess partly due to it being after the Davie and Storm match I found I couldn’t really get into the match, Kasey was taken out of the picture by Aivil, whom obviously is still aggrieved by Kasey cheating to win to get the chance at the title against Viper, and it looks like Kay Lee Ray will feud with Viper, Martina just seemed lost in the shuffle, she was the odd one out, Viper retained so I’m happy but the match itself, it was a good match but for whatever reason just couldn’t get too excited about it.
Stevie Boy vs DCT – Okay I will be honest I have conflicting feelings, you see, I have always admired DCT even back in his days in SWA as one half of Muay-tache, he does have the ability to know where and when not to play up the gimmick in the ring (Ravie Davie is another example of this) and has evolved throughout the years, I will always remember years ago at the show ICW There’s Something About Maryhill, he was in a eight man elimination tag match among guys like Grado and it was DCT who got the biggest reaction and that was only about his second ever appearance. He has always had the talent not just in the ring but to get the crowd behind him, that said however, I can’t help but wonder was this the right time to take the title off Stevie Boy? His first real big defense and he loses the title? The stipulation also means it’s highly unlikely he’ll be coming back for the title soon, this is genuinely bewildering, The Filthy Generation were getting over like crazy, people wanted to see them do well, the crowd in general wanted to see Stevie win (the green streamers thrown in at the start way outnumbered the yellow for DCT for example plus there were a lot wearing Filthy Generation t-shirts) surely this can’t be the end of them? Also, at least where I was, there did seem a very mixed reaction to DCT winning. I guess the best way to put it is I WANT to be excited and happy for DCT but I felt Stevie should have been the one to leave victorious, that there was more they could have done with him.
General Thoughts and Musings
Jeff Jarrett, although he wasn’t out that often actually genuinely seemed delighted to be there, and I am glad no-one did any anti-TNA stuff to him, the guy just loves wrestling he had the wide eyed wonder of a big kid, it’s hard not to like the guy “ain’t I great” you bet you are Jeff. Maybe get him back for Fear and Loathing?
Before this weekend some have questioned why DCT only to get the stock “he’s over, has worked hard and deserves it” argument. I’m sorry but this exact argument has been used time and again for guys from Trent Seven to Grado and as I said before if DCT deserve it, why not Joe Hendry, or Jackie Polo or half, if not all, the roster. I’d like to think they work hard to get to were they are, plus and I’m sorry if this shatters anyone illusions about wrestling but there is another factor, as well as working hard and deserving it, it helps if the people booking the show like them too be it for good reasons like that they truly believe that wrestler has earned it and likes what they see or for dubious reasons like they are friends with them. Whatever the reason that’s a huge factor in it, it’s naive not to factor that into things, if it went on pure talent and over-ness Joe Coffey would have been champion way before he eventually did get a decent run with the belt. He worked hard as hell and deserved it a long time before he did get it, but that’s a rant for another day.
I don’t know if it was the arena itself or what but it did seem like the crowd weren’t all that into some of the matches, it seemed most notable in the Girvan vs Barbour and Echo vs Cobb matches, yet I read on the Facebook pages that everyone (at least the ones who comment on the page) had a great time so could it just the the venues acoustics just made it sound like the crowd weren’t as interested at times (it can happen) it could also be these matches were after emotionally intense matches but who knows for sure.
One thing I do notice, and it is in no way a new thing, the amount of people who have to leave before the main events at ICW to catch last buses and trains. ICW has had a habit of running on a bit it’s not as if it’s happened once or twice but happens a lot, you see people on Facebook saying they have had to leave early after nearly every event. Surely something can be done, maybe cut out or shortened a match, drop a promo segment, start earlier, something, also if you go to, say PWE or SWA and have early entry that’s exactly what it means you can get in early find your spot and get settled before everyone else gets in. ICW don’t most of the time it just means you get inside earlier but not always anywhere near the ringside area, sometimes it’s meet and greet, sometimes not, sometimes you only get in ringside just as the general ticket people get in (which defeats the point, you could get the same effect by simply being near the front of the queue) maybe they need to decide on one blueprint for what happens in early entry and stick to it, I understand different venues may have different rules, but early entry should be exactly that, it is for other companies.
I will commend ICW for continuing to be sensible with their imports, instead of simply getting guys with name value but who are maybe ten or even twenty years past their prime, they instead get relevant imports. Some have never been in WWE but have made their names elsewhere like Jeff Cobb and Walter and who can put on amazing matches, keep up the good work guys.
In closing, Shug’s Hoose Party 5 had great wrestling, lovely venue and was in general a good weekend, but there were a few things that, in my eyes anyway, detracted from it slightly, but yes it was overall a good weekend.