Preview: ICW Fear & Loathing XI

img_0236

For the third year running, Insane Championship Wrestling return to Glasgow’s SSE Hydro this Sunday evening for their biggest event of the year – Fear & Loathing XI. Since the first Hydro show in 2016, ICW have left their mark on the prestigious venue, hosting names such as WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle, current NXT North American Champion Ricochet, and the legendary masked man Rey Mysterio. It’s also been the host of some of ICW’s most incredible moments in the past two years, seeing moments such as Carmel Jacob’s retirement, the dissolution of The Black Label, and the inaugural King of Insanity Match in a match that was, well, insane! This year, they’re back bigger and better than ever…

43766983_10158148576075620_458609443861430272_n

Title vs Career Match for the ICW World Heavyweight Championship
Jackie Polo (c) w/Coach Trip vs Lionheart

It’s the big one. One man’s title. One man’s career. The fourth match. Jackie Polo and Lionheart do battle once again, this time with a whole lot more than just pride at stake. After their rivalry was reignited at the 7th Annual Square Go!, Polo won their encounter at Barramania after blasting Lionheart with the Polo mallet while Lionheart won the following bout at Shug’s Hoose Party 5 after kicking out of a Styles Clash to quite the reaction from fans. Despite the loss, Polo found himself in line for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship, which he won from former Polo Promotions ally DCT. With Lionheart defeating BT Gunn to determine the challenger for Fear & Loathing XI, it became crystal clear we were being treated to Lionheart/Polo IV. Being ever so desperate to capture the championship that has eluded him hsis entire career, Lionheart has also vowed to leave ICW and never return should he come out on the losing end here. Just Justice will do anything in his power to ensure he’s able to rid ICW of Lionheart but with thousands of screaming fans in attendance saying his name, it could very well mean history will be created for Lionheart.

Prediction: Lionheart

As much as I’ve been entertained by this Just Justice schtick, there’s no chance Lionheart’s losing. ICW have made him look like a complete star (not that they needed to of course) since the fans endorsed him, and it’d be a waste to have him end it here without capturing the biggest prize on offer in Scottish wrestling.

42349704_10158088256330620_8680735809864728576_n

ICW Zero-G Championship
Mark Coffey (c) vs Joe Coffey

In a match originally scheduled for Shug’s Hoose Party 5, it’s a battle of brothers as Mark Coffey defends his Zero-G Championship against Joe Coffey. Following his Gauntlet Match victory at Barramania 4 to lift the vacant title, Mark was confronted post-match by the shocking return of Joe, a man who hadn’t been seen since his loss to BT Gunn at the previous Fear & Loathing. The Iron King made it clear his intentions were set on the Zero-G Championship, seeing as he had accomplished all the other singles achievements under the ICW banner. He was the winner of the Square Go! Match in 2017, has won the World Heavyweight Championship on two occasions, and has main evented both ICW shows at the Hydro with a win over WWE Hall of Famer Kurt Angle in 2016 and a loss to BT Gunn in 2017 to determine ICW’s Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion. While he sits 1-1 at the Hydro, Mark is 2-0 as he and Jackie Polo firstly defeated Team 3D in 2016 and then The Marauders in 2017. This is his first singles showing at the Hydro though, so he may feel an extra bit of pressure on him. While Joe is positioned as the front guy of Gallus in NXT UK, it’s Mark who should remain at the forefront of ICW’s Zero-G division.

Prediction: Mark Coffey

Seeing as I’ve predicted every other championship to change hands, the only one I see staying the same is Mark Coffey holding on to the Zero-G Championship. Either way, I think it’s best if someone not signed to NXT UK wins the championship ASAP so that ICW can guarantee they’ll be available for all shows. Someone like an Aaron Echo, a Kid Fite, or a Kieran Kelly.

45885839_10158241972365620_5509696682826137600_n

ICW Tag Team Championships
The Kinky Party (Jack Jester & Sha Samuels) (c) vs ALPHA/EVIL (Iestyn Rees & Bram)

On night one of Shug’s Hoose Party 5, The Kinky Party defended their Tag Team Championships against the ALPHA/EVIL pairing of Iestyn Rees and Bram. No-one was expecting this to be one of the highlights of the weekend. There wasn’t much background heading into it, but that didn’t stop the four men involved in the action from delivering a showstealing performance that even saw Bram do a Swanton Bomb off part of the stage setup. Seeing as the match was so good, RUDO agent Red Lightning made The Kinky Party an offer that if Rees was able to beat Sha Samuels in singles action, then his boys would get another crack at the doubles gold. The Alpha Male did of course go on to pick up the win as Jack Jester inadvertently blasted his own tag partner across the face with a steel chair. The two sides now have the opportunity to steal the show at the Hydro and given what we saw from them the last time around, they very well may accomplish just that. The slight miscommunication on the part of The Kinky Party coming into the show will perhaps be a major factor in the rematch, something which could cost their Tag Team Championships that they’ve held for eight months.

Prediction: ALPHA/EVIL

I love everything about ALPHA/EVIL. Just two big brutes smashing their way through anyone who dares stand in front of them. The Kinky Party have had some slight miscommunications in the build to the match that actually led to the RUDO lads getting their title shot, so maybe this is the end of the road for them as a team.

43515926_10158132393330620_2464519545172262912_n

Queen of Insanity Match for the ICW Women’s World Championship
Viper (c) vs Kay Lee Ray

Last year’s Fear & Loathing saw the inaugural King of Insanity Match take place, as Stevie Boy, Chris Renfrew, Mikey Whiplash, and Jimmy Havoc went to war in a Fatal Four Way Death Match that saw Stevie come out on top. Now, we’ve got the Queen of Insanity Match as Viper puts the ICW Women’s World Championship up for grabs against Stevie Boy’s other half Kay Lee Ray. Following her loss of the gold to Kasey in a Triple Threat Steel Cage Match at the last Hydro show, KLR made it her mission to never challenge for the Women’s Championship again. She instead wrestled those on the male roster, with matches against the likes of Lionheart and Kez Evans, while also entering the Square Go! Match back in February. Viper wasn’t going to let her off that easy though, pleading for The Queen of Hardcore to return to the women’s division that she helped build in ICW. The challenge was accepted for Fear & Loathing XI and the challenger left her mark, giving The Vixen of Violence a Gory Bomb through two steel chairs covered with thumbtacks. Gruesome stuff. Since the first champion was crowned in November 2015, only three women have been able to capture ICW’s women’s strap on two occasions, those being the two competitors in this match and Kasey. The first lady of The Filthy Generation has the chance to make history by not only becoming ICW’s first Queen of Insanity, but also ICW’s first three-time Women’s World Champion. That’s an opportunity she can’t be willing to toss away.

Prediction: Kay Lee Ray

To be completely honest, I haven’t a clue who to pick here so I’ll go for Kay Lee Ray seeing as Billy picked Viper. Can’t get more predictions right if we’ve both got the same picks, you see. While Viper’s done some great things with the championship (including making it an official World Championship), I feel like her time has come to an end. Plus, The King and Queen of Insanity just sounds really cool.

46512367_10158262969900620_5053277869854162944_n

#1 Contenders TLC Match
The Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) vs The P.O.D (Rampage Brown & Ashton Smith) w/The Wee Man vs The Purge (Stevie James & Krobar) vs The Kings of Catch (Aspen Faith & Lewis Girvan) vs The Fite Network (Lou King Sharp & Krieger vs Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins w/Vicky Haskins

No matter who walks out with the ICW Tag Team Championships, they’re new challengers will be determined on the same evening in a six-team Tables, Ladders, and Chairs Match. It’s a star-studded match, featuring the current Tag Team Champions of Pro Wrestling Elite, Premier British Wrestling, and WrestleZone, as well as the former ICW Tag Team Champions and teams that have previously held gold in PROGRESS Wrestling, Defiant Wrestling, Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro Wrestling. There’s not really too much of a story other than the fact there’s six teams vying to earn a future shot at the Tag Team Championships. The Kings of Catch are the firm fan favourites coming in, rising to the top of the British wrestling tag scene and gaining respect in ICW thanks to their incredible performances. If any team other than Aspen Faith and Lewis Girvan walks back through the curtain victorious, boos will ring throughout the streets of Glasgow. That’s not a prediction, that’s a fact.

Prediction: The Kings of Catch

I mean, obviously.

45890262_10158239988240620_6895762116205084672_n

Noam Dar & Bad Company (Wolfgang & BT Gunn) vs British Strong Style (Pete Dunne & Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate))

In terms of star quality, this will be the biggest match on the card as British Strong come to ICW as a single unit for the first time. Everyone knows how respected they are in the wrestling world, and how could someone not respect them? They’ve assisted in NXT UK becoming a thing, with Pete Dunne still as the reigning United Kingdom Champion and Moustache Mountain being former NXT Tag Team Champions. As singles competitors in ICW, it’s Trent Seven who’s had the most success as he’s a former ICW World Heavyweight Champion. Who did he win the gold from? One of BSS’ opponents in this match and fellow NXT UK star, “The Regulator” Wolfgang. For just over a year, Wolfgang has been leading Bad Company, a group that also includes The Purge team of Krobar and Stevie James, and the most recent addition BT Gunn. Wolfgang and Gunn revealed themselves as two of three opponents for British Strong Style at a Fight Club taping in the middle of November, with the third member being a complete bombshell as current WWE superstar Noam Dar is coming back again. Dar made his first return at Shug’s Hoose Party 4 last summer, teaming with Sha Samuels in a victory over Joe Coffey and Bram. It says a lot that five out of the six competitors in this match are under some sort of WWE contract, and perhaps being without a contract could affect BT Gunn’s performance here.

Prediction: British Strong Style

When Noam Dar was announced, it sort of came out of nowhere, seeing as it was literally out of nowhere at the end of a show just weeks before this. Along with that, there’s rumours of WWE being more strict regarding their NXT UK guys and where they can work. While ICW are safe with that as they’re a partner promotion, who are they more likely going to put over when considering this – the team with three NXT UK guys or the team with two?

42494589_10157903493319126_1744232711926579200_o

Joe Hendry vs Mikey Whiplash

Given his status as a lover of having a blood-covered ring, Mikey Whiplash has been barred from competing in Death Matches by ICW owner Mark Dallas. This has however come with some consequences for Mr Dallas, as The Necromancer isn’t one for following rules. As a result, Dallas has required a bit of assistance from Joe Hendry and Leyton Buzzard, with The Prestigious One finding himself almost having his head caved in by a golf club for his troubles. At a recent Fight Club taping earlier in the month, Dallas tried to outsmart Whiplash by calling in a favour from his pals at WWE as current SmackDown Live! superstar and former ICW World Heavyweight Champion Killian Dain made a one night only return and defeated Mikey. The Beast of Belfast did however give respect to Whiplash, clearly not taking the side of Mark Dallas like he had hoped. Despite this, the odds are stacked against Whippy. Joe, Leyton, Mark, plus a certain Wildman may look to get involved as support for either side…

Prediction: Joe Hendry

He can wrestle. He can sing. He can podcast. He can present. What can’t Joe Hendry do? I’ll tell you what – lose. He’s currently my pick to win the 2019 Square Go! Match, so he needs to start building steam somewhere. Why not on the biggest show of the year?

46863377_10158286436950620_8237315865737953280_n

Special Guest Referee – Jeff Jarrett
Grado vs James Storm

When Grado returned to ICW at the end of July following a year away tending to other business, it didn’t take long for James Storm to lay his eyes on the former World Champion. The Cowboy doesn’t take too kindly to the fun and games Grado puts on for the audience, much preferring to smash beer bottles over people’s heads if he wants to grab their attention. Distractions from Storm on the video screens have cost Grado a match or two as a result, lighting a fire inside Grado that we’ve not seen since the days of his rivalry with Chris Renfrew. The match was already heated enough but just recently, ICW management added a special guest referee in the form of WWE Hall of Fame inductee Jeff Jarrett. Jarrett knows both of these men very well, having spent years working alongside The Bearded Outlaw in Impact Wrestling and also being the one to welcome Grado back to ICW at Shug’s Hoose Party 5. Given that he’s randomly been announced as the referee, it’s pretty much a given that someone’s getting a guitar smashed over their head. Whether on purpose or accidentally, there’s a feeling inside of this writer that Grado will be meeting the instrument head-first.

Prediction: James Storm

Jarrett being there makes it too obvious for a Grado win. As I mentioned, it’ll be Grado getting a guitar to the head, either intentionally or not.

46159226_10158045800999126_7656558707324485632_o

Aaron Echo vs Kenny Williams w/Red Lightning

It’s been about seven months since Kenny Williams turned his back on now-former best friend Aaron Echo. That fateful night was Barramania 4 at the end of April, as Williams low blowed Echo to put an end to their friendship in favour of signing a contract with Red Lightning‘s RUDO Sports & Entertainment Brand. Seven months later and they’re yet to face off, let alone have too much interaction with each other. That is of course due to the fact that a number of the NXT UK tapings have clashed with ICW dates, leaving Kenny unable to appear in the Insane Fight Club. Despite that, Aaron Echo was never going to let this just go away. He wants to show everyone that he’s not just that lad who was kicked in the nuts by the WWE guy. This is the match that could send Echo’s career into the stratosphere. A win over someone high up the pecking order in ICW would indeed do wonderful things to help Echo’s career, and perhaps even earn him an opportunity at the Zero-G Championship. Unfortunately for him though, Kenny’s under contract to Red Lightning, a man who as a million tricks up his sleeve. Thus, it won’t be the easiest of nights for The Author of The Echo Bible.

Prediction: Kenny Williams

While Aaron Echo’s recent promo was really, really good, he needs to show he can back it up in the ring when he’s against a star the calibre of Kenny Williams. While a win here could propel him to bigger and better things, I’ll stick with The Lucky Yin. Always stay lucky folks.

Stacked card doesn’t even begin to describe this show. As of writing, extremely limited tickets are still available from www.ticketmaster.co.uk. VIP doors open at 3:45pm, where fans can meet Jeff Jarrett and British Strong Style. Everyone else will be let in at 6pm, with the first bell at 7pm. If you’re going, I’m incredibly jealous of you! I’ll be watching On Demand, as you all should do too.

Announced Matches
Title vs Career Match for the ICW World Heavyweight Championship – Jackie Polo (c) w/Coach Trip vs Lionheart
ICW Zero-G Championship
– Mark Coffey (c) vs Joe Coffey
ICW Tag Team Championships – The Kinky Party (c) vs ALPHA/EVIL
Queen of Insanity Match for the ICW Women’s World Championship
– Viper (c) vs Kay Lee Ray
#1 Contenders TLC Match – The Briscoe Brothers vs The P.O.D w/The Wee Man vs The Purge vs The Kings of Catch vs The Fite Network vs Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins w/Vicky Haskins
Noam Dar & Bad Company vs British Strong Style
Joe Hendry vs Mikey Whiplash
Jeff Jarrett as Special Guest Referee – Grado vs James Storm
Aaron Echo vs Kenny Williams w/Red Lightning

Advertisements