By Doctor Bedlam
Hello loyal readers, the Doctor is back, now whereas in the past I have only gave snippets of ideas for ICW, I feel after my last specials, instead of pointing out the many, many flaws of ICW I devote an entire special to giving constructive suggestions/ideas/musings on what I feel could help ICW.
Before I do I wish to point out, as I believe some people were a little unsure how true the arena capacity numbers in my previous special were, I got those numbers from the actual sites of the arenas, but of course it doesn’t take into account the fact there is going to be a ring, entrance, TV stuff, seats (in some cases anyway, as some are standing capacity, areas not being used for various reasons, I don’t think the balcony was used in the O2 last year) and that sort of thing but in fairness I every arena would have the same issues anyway but there you go.
Also I have too, with deep regret, decline an invite to ICW’s Asylum to meet and interview Mark Dallas himself, for now anyway, but I do genuinely and deeply appreciate the offer and may take it up sometime in the future.
Anyway, on with the special…
Now I will admit these are subjective ideas and not everyone will see them as improvement but I think they would be so here goes;
Realistically, I feel first and foremost I’d try and tone down on the import/guest appearances and focus more on developing existing and more local talents (not saying I’d stop them entirely more lessen them and/or instead of booking a few guys for single dates try and book one or two for several) and even, when I do bring them in, it wouldn’t be for title shots. I felt the Square Go title matches (with the sole exception of the tag team match) had imports challenging for the belts and I said killed the drama of the matches, yes they were good matches, just lacking the drama. Plus I feel there is a lot of amazing talent in Scotland that ICW could showcase and regularly, the fact that the King of the Hawners is only about the second time Ryan Griffin has appeared in ICW seems crazy to me (yes I am a fan of the guy). I know some people may see this as a step back but not really, promoting local talent is what made ICW what it is.
Now this may be an unpopular suggestion, but I’d keep ICW in Glasgow with the occasional Edinburgh show no tours or anything like that at least for a while. I guess I just feel that while touring is fun and all, the main core of the fan base is in the Glasgow area, though if ICW did get a TV deal, something I’d push hard for, then yes of course tour again but not before that. On Demand is not a true substitute for TV, especially as it’s not an app you can download.
Another unpopular, and admitted petty thing, I’d do is stop with the weird naming of events. I’m sorry no-one has came to ICW purely because the event had a stupid name and equally nor have people left when it was simply named Fight Club. Is it that hard to name it something fun yet somewhat wrestling related. Let the wrestling do the talking, the fact is a lot of people don’t refer to these shows by the “interesting” names when talking about it, so yeah, I’d scrap the silly names.
I’d bring the ICW title to the fore again in the sense there will be storylines and feuds over it, not the bland stuff they have done recently. ICW, in the past, has had a habit of making the belt, at least on a face, seem secondary, like an afterthought. I know, in general, it is easier to book a heel champion in feuds but surely any creative worth a damn could come up with something. This has been ICW’s Achilles heel, its booking of face champions. I’d want to either get the belt off Lionheart or, seeing as Joe Hendry AND Red Lightning want that belt, they could easily come up with something to make the title the focus of the company again. You never treat the champion as an afterthought, he has to be the forefront, where it’s happening. Right now his matches, so far, feel like exhibition matches so yes I want that belt, with or without Lionheart, being put to the fore again.
One of the things I’d deeply want to do is create a new title, the European title (I even have my own design for it in my head, think attitude era Intercontinental title but no globe in the middle, instead an oval ring of stars with the ICW logo in the middle). I’d have a King of the Ring style one night tournament for it but ideally, I could easily see, Aaron Echo being the inaugural European Champion. The main reason for this belt, and why it has such a generic name, is to free up the Zero G title.
Speaking of the Zero G title, we have the potential to make a truly exciting cruiserweight/X-Division style division, think on it, imagine guys like Kieran Kelly, Leyton Buzzard, Ravie Davie, Lou King Sharp and add guys like Ryan Griffin, Saqib Ali and Christopher Saynt. Having a division for the smaller/fast-paced guys is one of the things people still talk positively about WCW and TNA for their divisions like that and that’s the way the Zero G division was originally set up to be and could be again.
I’d wish to diversify the women’s division (ICW has notoriously seemed a bit narrow of mind when it comes to its women, at one point, as I have said before, it consisted of two people), with Kay Lee Ray and Viper on WWE’s radar it’s the perfect opportunity to build up new talents. We already have Kasey and Aivil, but we need more regular performers, it’s not like there aren’t enough female performers out there, there’s a whole promotion full of them in Glasgow alone, ICW could have a truly awesome women’s division.
I’d standardise early entry (as much as possible anyway). Meet and greet with getting to ringside early and, if possible, maybe an exclusive match possibly between some Asylum trainees or something, you know, a nice wee dark match. I feel if people knew exactly what VIP entailed before buying it would help matters plus you find 99.9% of people buy it to get their spot early first and foremost, meeting the wrestlers is a close second, also it gives people real value for money.
The only true weekender show should be Shug’s, it’s been like that for years, turning the other shows into weekenders is a bit much and takes away from the uniqueness of Shug’s. I think if we are going to have yearly tournament show have it in one evening. I mean, I remember the first ever King of the Ring, the one where Bret Hart defeated Razor Ramon, Mr Perfect and Bam Bam Bigelow all in one night, it turned me into a fan of the guy. It doesn’t need to be trios tournaments, could be a tag event one year, singles the next, or something different. Imagine this, a weird marriage of a tournament and Survivor Series where you start off, say, with a group of four wrestlers but if someone is eliminated from your team in a match, that’s them eliminated for the whole tournament. This is merely one suggestion, there are other ideas, including a way to spice up the Square Go but that’s one I’m keeping to myself… for now.
The Garage, our Impact Zone, our ECW Arena, for now, is sufficient and I’d continue to have shows there but if ICW wants to realistically have shows at bigger arenas I would consider finding a bigger place regularly, though don’t know where yet. Though SWG3 seems a forerunner, but depends on availability, though I am curious about the Kelvin Halls they did host SWA before, but it is something they really should consider. Also while The Hydro is a glorious arena, and sometime in the future going back is an option, the reality is Braehead or Emirates are really the biggest I’d aim for at the moment. Braehead has history of holding wrestling events but part of me thinks the Emirates, due to it not holding a wrestling event before (at least to my knowledge), would be an ideal arena, eventually looking to The Hydro for Fear and Loathing 20.
Now these are just some suggestions, I have more and I know some of these ideas will be easier to implement than others and accept that yes I’m not in the business but these are things I myself (and indeed some other fans I have spoken to over time) think could be beneficial to ICW. Though initially things may be rocky but worth it long term, while yes these are things I would love to see personally, I have omitted other suggestions that were pure pie in the sky and that would be a bit, well while I personally would like, might not be the best for business. So if you are reading this Mr Dallas I just wish to say I love ICW and even though at times it doesn’t seem like it, I am only trying to help, I have been a regular attendee for about nine years now and hope to be for a long time yet.
My next special will be unusual as I aim to try a way to fantasy book the show after King of the Hawners but, let’s be honest, a lot of fantasy booking stuff can be a bit… written to please the writer alone. I am going to try and book it in a way that fits in with the continuity already set out as much as possible but also how to implement some of my ideas in a way that works. It will be a challenge, but an interesting one.