By Doctor Bedlam
Its that time again where I take an in depth look at the most recent ICW Fight Club from the eyes of a mere fan and deliver my findings to you dear readers.
Having a show not only later than usual but also the same day as a WWE show was a gamble, but one I feel mostly paid off as you will see, the only real down point was the fact that once again it over ran but you will read more about that later, for now lets look at the event shall we?
The Titans vs The Kings of Catch – Once again the Kings of Catch showed the crowd (and lets face it all those backstage) just how over they were and how stupid Renfrew’s claims REALLY were. The Titans, albeit with the most generic team name ever (I mean they weren’t THAT tall or muscular to carry off team name like that… mind you this is wrestling… where a Dutch tag team could call themselves Sumerian Death Squad) showed they were no pushovers but the night did belong to the Kings. When I first saw them it did appear like they were just going to be a generic team with a rather odd name (you gotta admit the name does sound like something you may give to a DVD about the worlds best goalkeepers) but have carved a proper and lasting identity. For ages Lewis Girvan was the guy they would loudly proclaim as one of the best young talents in the business then strangely proceed to do sod all with and Aspen seemed to be doomed to be brought in on the odd occasion, now they are possibly the most over guys on the roster.
Joe Hendry vs Andy Wild – The leader of the Wild Boys won, thanks in part due to interference from Whiplash. I have to say the match itself was as you’d expect from both wrestlers, a solid match, and Joe Hendry is reveling in the role of the man who wishes to be the new face of ICW. I have to admit, Dallas as heel, in a time when the idea of a heel boss has been done to death, is surprisingly refreshing. I’m sorry, as a face he had a tendency to drag out and milk every promo and reaction. I understand sometimes it’s good to build up anticipation and stuff but boy he would go on a bit, as a heel he is calculating and ruthless and it is an interesting idea. The idea that he feels he is taking ICW in a naturally evolving direction and feels the fans and some of the old guard are stuck in the past and resisting the changes that, in his opinion, will keep ICW going for a long time to come. It is a new spin on heel boss, though I personally think he has a point, but then the best heels usually do (it’s just how they go about it that makes them heelish).
Paxxo vs Mark Coffey – Now I will admit I had no idea who Paxxo was before this match and figured that this was just gonna be a by the numbers Mark Coffey win. While Mark did win, this was in no way easy or simple. Paxxo gave a performance that would have been worthy of winning the belt, his look alone made him stand out, his ability, well Mark Coffey is considered one of the best in ICW and Paxxo could clearly keep up with him easily, I hope this is not the last we see of him.
Liam Thomson and Grado (AKA Team It’s Yer Sink ) vs The Fite Network – A good comedy tag team match and certainly captured the crowds imagination. Liam is having fun with his sink loving persona, The Fite Network are finally finding their groove and Grado was… well Grado (though I dunno why but that weird thing he does with the high kicks in the direction of his opponents before a match… I wish he’d stop that… it just looks weird as hell). I suspect we will now see a continuation of the old Fite Club feud that, in my opinion, never really had a satisfactory ending. I wonder if it’s possible to hand a sink from a ceiling or pole… just a thought.
Ashton Smith vs Lionheart – While this was a good match, I did think when I heard about it at first that Ashton was a strange choice of opponent for Lionheart. I mean the guy is a great worker but to me I can’t stop thinking of him as the guy in the tag team with Rampage Brown who doesn’t have a cool name (think on it RAMPAGE Brown and… Ashton Smith… well c’mon). Naturally after Lionheart picked up, what was a very hard fought, win Polo came out and delivered a rather curious promo that I only hope is elaborated on, basically I think the gist of it is that Lionheart has only ever beaten Polo under his Just Justice character… but never as plain old Jackie Polo, does that mean hes ditching the gimmick for the Hydro? Only time will tell.
Joe Coffey vs Aaron Echo – Now there isn’t much I can really add to this match, when you put two talents like these two in the ring you are not going to get a bad match and what we got was a joy to watch. Sure, it was setting up Echo vs Kenny, but the match on its own was great with Echo showing how well he is developing and Joe demonstrating why WWE have shown the interest they have in him.
The Kinky Party vs The Purge – Well I do admit this match did not interest me at all, the team I just can’t get behind against the team I don’t think should ever have gotten together in the first place. It was no surprise when the Kinky Party won. I know it sounds like I am being harsh but the whole Kinky Party bit is wearing a bit thin (and I think we need both guys in the singles ranks more) and The Purge just seem to… just… be there. I’m sorry to any Purge fans but they haven’t exactly set the tag ranks alight, I really hope RUDO win the belts at Fear and Loathing.
Mikey Whiplash vs Damo – Before the show people thought we would see the return of Tommy End due to the history between them. Damo was another popular choice from what I got from the fans (some even thought Nikki Storm would be there too to cancel out any potential interference from Aivil) and it was good to see Damo getting a heroes welcome from the fans. The match itself was, well it’s Whiplash and Damo of course its going to be an awesome encounter and Damo’s promo after it echoing the sentiments of the fans in regard to Whiplash. The man is one of the best wrestlers on this planet and I think he deserves another run with the belt.
Isla Dawn vs Aivil – Ah now after such an intense bout before it, you can imagine it would be daunting for any performer going out for this match, not that it showed, in fact it was as good if not better. Isla Dawn is a well known and respected wrestler and once again Aivil still managed to once again showcase her phenomenal talent. From the moment her theme hits till the final bell you get more than just a mere wrestling match. I know I say this a lot but Aivil has an uncanny ability to suck the crowd into her matches without the need to directly interact with them in the style of the legendary Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts. Isla proved to be an excellent opponent and the two of them produced one of the best matches of the night, though one has to wonder how long before we see Aivil with the Women’s title. It may sound like I am heaping a lot of praise on Aivil in my articles but think on this, she has captured the ICW crowd imagination without ever having to do a single promo on the mic, without any high fives and knowing winks/pointing to/kissing/etc specific super-fans, without actively encouraging any crowd reaction, as I said Jake Roberts would be impressed with such an ability.
BT Gunn vs Wolfgang – A typical match for them, i.e. bloody brilliant. I can’t believe I first saw them over eleven years ago (Wolfy was always Wolfy to be fair, not much has changed style-wise but BT back then looked like a cross between Jeff Hardy and Road Dogg) and y’know they still excite me to this day, however after the match, I have to admit I feel kinda bad for Purge (probably the only time you’ll ever see me say that). Many saw Wolfgang and The Purge as a potential threesome to face Tyler Bate, Trent Seven and Pete Dunne but instead Wolfy wants BT. Now BT is, of course, real life family, so he makes sense, but for a partner… Noam Dar?… Really? Feels so shoehorned, he’s not a natural choice for the third man. I can’t help but wonder if Renfrew hadn’t did what he done, what would have happened with this, but seriously Noam bloody Dar? Fine have him on the show, maybe in a match against Andy Wild or someone, but not this, it’s obvious he is shoehorned in, I know a lot are excited to see him… I’m not… why?
Where do I start with Noam Dar? It’s not that he’s rubbish, he’s not, he’s a great talent, however, it seemed at some point someone told him “Noam my dear boy, you can not pose enough”. He would strike a pose after about every second move, his gimmick seemed to fluctuate randomly as well as his logos and phrases, at one point he had “Cinderella man” on his trunks for no real reason (not to mention at one point he had a ring jacket with a scorpion on it because… seriously why? hes not Sting, it just seemed random). The poses were especially weird, I can understand his hands behind the back arrogant pose, though I remember during a match against Andy Wild he, in order to do the pose as soon as he got back into the ring, actually tried to get in the ring with his hands already behind his bloody back, quit worrying about the pose and just get in dammit! As for his weird wrist kissing one, seriously, he’d do that at literally random moments (now if he had just punched someone with that hand it might of made sense, but not after every bloody move). The most bizarre usage of it was when Red Lightning was GM and canceled a match between him and Kenny. Kenny, suitably annoyed, threatened to hit Red with his hoverboard (Kenny’s gimmick at the time was full on Marty McFly) Noam walked over to Red and slowly (and some may say seductively in a creepy way) kiss his wrist in Reds face while grinning weirdly. So Kenny was gonna cave in Reds head… WTF was Noam trying to say with that gesture? Do I even want to know? I do hope he has matured from all that and concentrated on what brought him to the public eye in the first place, his great work-rate (no I haven’t seen him in WWE, though I have read a few US reviewers who, well they aren’t fans, one even commented on his posing though they thought the wrist kiss was, and I wish I was making it up, squeezing a sponge) when he knuckles down and concentrates on the match he’s great and a great heel on the mic (as a face, not so much).
The later start time was no real problem, bear in mind the doors used to open at 7:30pm so only an hour more queuing time in reality for fans however the finish time of midnight didn’t happen, in fact it was a full half hour later. Now it may not seem like much but when you say an event will finish at a certain time, especially on a Sunday, and you repeatedly and obviously over run time and again somethings not right. Maybe book one less match, maybe not have that long ass promo? I mean three hours for ten matches with promos, breaks and ring maintenance thrown in, believe it or not bad timekeeping like that can adversely affect companies, just see WCW Halloween Havoc 1998 as an example of this. Plus it means you have the unfortunate thing of people needing to leave before the main event, sometimes less is more guys.
In general it was a solid night, one of the better Fight Clubs of recent time.
Hope you enjoyed my thought and opinions.