By Doctor Bedlam
Well it’s that time of year, ICW’s answer to Wrestlemania and for the third year running is at the Hydro and you would think this is the perfect time to showcase all that is good with ICW… well that didn’t happen. Now it’s not as bad as 2012’s Fear and Loathing V but lets just say we are at a time when a sink gets more cheers than half the wrestlers, think about that for a minute. So let me, the good Doctor, deliver a report that won’t pull any punches, here we go.
First thing I noticed was once again VIP doesn’t mean early entry to ringside, as general entry was coming in VIP’s were herded like cattle into one little section. Could someone explain to Dallas what early entry actually means? Once again they are about the only company I know that does this.
Another thing was how empty it was, all we had was the floor and the raised seating sections, the next tier up which was used in previous occasions was curtained off. It’s like that time TNA did a show in Detroit in 2009, huge arena but they barely used any of it and the atmosphere suffered. There was real talk of relocating back to the SECC and maybe they should have, I understand Dallas wanting the Hydro, but ICW isn’t ready to full it yet. I wonder if his recent post about going elsewhere is a face saving exercise.
When it was announced Dallas would be talking first I was skeptical, would he be in character or what? As luck would have it he was in full “Mr Dallas” mode and told Toal and Scott Reid where they could go, it was great to see (I never liked when Dallas would come out with Toal, Reid and Sweeney as an entourage, it never really made sense why, okay, Sweeney was the bodyguard, Toal was… keeping Dallas straight with announcements… Scott Reid… yes why was he out there? Sure he does a lot backstage but he did bugger all onstage) it firmly cemented Dallas as a great heel (wouldn’t it be ironic if RUDO became ICW’s saviour?).
On with the matches.
TLC Match – YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!!!! SERIOUSLY?!?!?!? THEM????? Sorry, I apologise, but what is going on backstage at ICW? You have The Kings of Catch; the most over guys in ICW if not Scotland right now, The Purge; whom I personally don’t like, mainly for the fact that they do so little with them but I know winning it might actually give them some momentum and The Fite Network; who are finding their feet as a comedy heel team but who wins? The P.O.D. (Rampage Brown and Ashton Smith…. thank God they have a proper tag team name now) won, a team with no storyline going in and whom are not exactly a regular team in ICW, got put over before not one nor two… but three regular teams whom probably deserved it as much if not more and one of those teams being the most over team in Scotland? by rights, and as you know I will speak my mind on this… I’m no booker but even Stevie Wonder AND Ray Charles could see that The Kings of Catch were the team who should have won. On another note, it seemed odd to put, not just The Briscoes but also Havoc and Haskins in such a busy match, to be honest it did seem like there were too many teams, it was hard for all of them to truly showcase their talents.
Aaron Echo vs Kenny Williams – While this was a solid match and the right man won, when Aaron Echo pinned Kenny to the delight of… well it was hard to tell, the crowd seemed dead to this match and it wasn’t the acoustics trust me on that one. I don’t know if it was the shock of the previous result, or the problematic history this feud had with Kenny working elsewhere, it had been difficult for the feud to build momentum, even with Red Lightning himself goading Aaron at every opportunity, a match billed as a grudge between long time friends just fell flat on the drama front.
Joe Hendry vs Mikey Whiplash – Joe came out wearing his Commonwealth Games attire, which was a nice touch, now this was an awesome match but to be honest, when you look at who is in it does that really surprise you? Whiplash is one of the best wrestlers of our generation and Joe Hendry is finally getting the push he richly deserves, the ONLY negative I could give was they overdid the after match stuff but as for the match itself, amazing.
Mark Coffey vs Joe Coffey for the Zero G Championship – Now this was a technically sound and enjoyable match to watch, however everything surrounding it just detracted from it for me. For one the fact that the match was supposed to happen months ago and that even then neither were around enough to give the match the buildup it deserved. Fans outside barely mentioned the match in the Fight Clubs leading up to it. I mean the first time the Coffey brothers face each other in ICW, yet no-one really cared. Also this match should never have been for the Zero G title, the title was created as an X Division/Cruiserweight title yet ICW have, in recent times, treated it like a generic secondary title. ICW needs a third belt (one that is generic, a Commonwealth title for example, hell make Joe Hendry the first champion, it would fit the current storyline… which is why ICW probably won’t do it) return the Zero G to what it was initially for. Another thing, it was hard to get excited about Joe being Zero G champion, this is the guy whom last year was WORLD champion, I know other companies do this but I personally can’t understand why a wrestler would be excited about winning a “lesser” belt after holding the big one. Imagine winning Olympic Gold one Olympics and having to act excited about getting silver at the next, you wouldn’t, as I said, it was a good match in ring wise, but everything surrounding it… not so much.
Wolfgang, BT Gunn & Noam Dar vs British Strong Style – Now this match was always going to be a good one to watch with the talents on show, I admit I had never seen Pete Dunne before and was suitably impressed and was great to see Trent Seven and Tyler Bate back at ICW. We all know what BT Gunn and Wolfgang can do and while most people were excited about Noam Dar’s return, I wasn’t and even after watching him I’m still not. One thing I have noticed, after a friend drew my attention to it years ago, apart from the stupid poses (the wrist kiss being the most annoying) the guys offense is done too quick with no real show of impact. For example, the thing he does where he uses both hands to slap the opponents chest, punch the stomach then deliver an uppercut, he has done that for years and it never looks or is sold like it actually hurts in any way. I know people will say that WWE see something in him and that’s fair enough but its also the same company that thought Great Khali was a viable champion. It’s interesting that BT Gunn seems to have joined Bad Company with The Purge and Wolfgang officially by the looks of the entrance video, it’s certainly looking like a viable faction now. The biggest positive about the match was that it for the most part showcased the diversity that British wrestling has and that is what made the match work.
Kay Lee Ray vs Viper – This was a solid, if a little slow. starting match. You could tell Kay Lee Ray was more comfortable in hardcore matches than Viper, it was a nice touch seeing Stevie Boy come out at the end too though there was a fan I had to tell to settle down whom at the end, when Kay Lee Ray used the barbed wire to choke Viper out, was yelling “choke the bitch… make her bleed” for me that was a bit too much and it was said with genuine venom in the voice, there’s no place for that in ICW or anywhere else.
Liam Thomson vs Kid Fite – Now this match was going on even before the event, taking place in the area outside the Hydro, I’m sure people were bemused by a man with a sink getting chased by a man who looks like hes dressed in just his undies. The final part of the match happened after the ladies match with Liam Thomson winning back the sink. I want to take this time to address something, the sink, it’s like the episode of The Simpsons where Homer goes into space and still a carbon rod gets more praise than him. The sink gets more cheers than half the bloody roster, I heard more people chanting about the sink, talking about the sink, speculating about the sink than anyone ever has for… say… Aaron Echo for example. There’s something wrong there when people are more invested in a kitchen appliance than they are in actual performers, yes people will say Liam Thomson has played the part well and stuff but still, more people are caring about a bloody sink than in actual wrestlers. If ICW put as much effort into other storylines as they have into Liam Thomson’s sink, ICW would be way better than it is now.
Kinky Party vs Alpha Evil for the Tag Team Championship – Okay, be warned, this will get ugly. We had the hijinks we have come to expect from The Kinky Party before and the match itself was decent, however the ending, I don’t get it. Firstly Alpha Evil DON’T win then P.O.D. come in and cash in to win the titles, what is going on backstage? P.O.D, as a team, came in after not been seen as a team ever since they lost the belts to The Kinky Party (and even then they literally just appeared suddenly as Wee Man’s new clients and took the belts off Polo Promotions), they have came in with no storyline and been put over just about every bloody team in ICW. Alpha Evil were being built as the team to take the titles, The Kings of Catch are the most over team there is yet its the P.O.D. they decide to put over not just once but twice in one night? What was the bloody point of building up all those other teams for all those months just to have a team we barely ever see just waltz right in and win everything? Do they have something incriminating on Dallas or something? I mean what is it they see in P.O.D. but somehow do not see in The Kings of Catch, The Purge, Alpha Evil or Fite Network, four teams they have spent best part of the year promoting? I feel sorry especially for The Kings of Catch, these guys have been putting on the best performances of everyone at every ICW event they are on, they have been making videos in their own time to help get over, hell they even design and sell their own merch, whats the deal? I have heard several theories, one being that Dallas doesn’t like that they got over on their own, though I personally fear ICW will do with them what they did with Joe Coffey, only put the belts on them way after the crowd are hot for them (It is of my opinion that they dicked around putting it on Joe, he was red hot, best matches week in week out but by the time they did put the belt on him..the fans no longer cared as much I fear now the Kings of Catch will suffer a similar fate).
James Storm vs Grado with Jeff Jarrett as special guest referee – This was actually one of the best matches of the night mainly because the outcome didn’t seem like a foregone conclusion before (or in the case of the TLC or tag titles so out there to seem crazy ). Having Jeff Jarrett as a guest referee as opposed to something as great sounding but ultimately pointless task like guest commissioner and was brilliant in the role. His heel turn going on slowly as the match went further and added to the story in the ring without taking focus away from Grado and James Storm. For his part Grado stepped up his game and dropped some of his more silly elements from the match, yes, I want to see Grado more like this in the future, Jame Storm showed once again why hes one of the best in the business at what he does.
Jackie Polo vs Lionheart for the ICW World Championship – Now it was the best match I have seen between the two of them, not as awkward as previous ones have been although unfortunately ICW in the booking of the match might as well have just said “Lionhearts winning folks nothing to see here”. It was the same last year with BT Gunn, it seemed as if Polo was literally just a placeholder, I can’t think of one proper title defense he had in his entire reign (that guy from ICW security doesn’t count). The sad thing is, as crazy as the idea of Jackie Polo suddenly thinking he’s a mad cowboy is, the guy played the part perfectly. Though ever notice he rarely if ever even physically held the belt, as if he knew not to get too comfortable with it. As I said it was a solid match if predictable.
So all in all not the best Fear and Loathing I’ve seen, I know people will claim I am being too harsh. Maybe that I focus too much on the negatives and I should be happy ICW is succeeding, the problem I have with that is, while yes ICW is one of the better promotions out there and I am sorry this was not one of their best shows, and I am sorry yes they train and work hard to put a show on, I’d like to think they do their best in fact but the sad fact is its not always going to translate into a good show, the real blame lies with the bookers, not the wrestlers. I mean a bloody sink was one of the more over things of the entire night and some matches were so badly promoted it hurt the actual matches.
I love ICW, I really do despite how it sound., I just feel that it is always good to know where your going wrong as much as what you are doing right.
Hope you enjoyed my thought and opinions.