On Saturday, July 27th, Insane Championship Wrestling returns to the O2 Academy in Glasgow, Scotland for night one of the sixth annual Shug’s Hoose Party. One of the premier matches from the event will see former allies collide, the mentor vs the former protégé, an accomplished professional and amateur wrestler vs one of the UK’s fastest rising talents. Joe Hendry vs Leyton Buzzard. If the former wins, then his old intern will have to remain silent until Fear & Loathing XII, wearing a mask in the process. If Leyton can pin Joe’s shoulders to the mat or make him submit however, then The Prestigious One will be banished from the ICW roster. It’s a huge match, and one that stems all the way back to September 2017.
Following his loss to Lionheart at Shug’s Hoose Party 4 in July 2017, Joe Hendry slowly became the villain of the pair as the fans began to sour on him in favour of cheering the late Lionheart. During this time period, Joe had began to change his persona in other promotions (notably Defiant Wrestling, or WhatCulture Pro Wrestling as it was then known), leaving The Local Hero behind him, and debuting The Prestigious One. It’s a change that hugely benefitted his career as he would embark on a lengthy reign as the WCPW World Champion, and would be involved in huge matches with names such as current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay, current ROH World Six Man Tag Team Champion Marty Scurll, and Five Star Wrestling legend Jake Hager (aka Jack Swagger).
In ICW though, he was still very much ‘that guy with the custom entrance videos who’s also good at the wrestling’ (catchy, I know). That fact all changed on August 27th, 2017 however at a show entitled We’re Calling It Rodney, After Dave. At this show, Hendry announced the death of The Local Hero, quickly producing the WCPW World Championship belt to a resounding chorus of boos and jeers from the audience. Shortly after this, The Prestigious One put out a job advertisement for one lucky person to become his personal assistant, resulting in several applicants stepping forward in the hopes of being selected. It wouldn’t be Cousin Zander, it wouldn’t be any member of Pure Gangster (remember those guys?), and it wouldn’t even be Thatcher Wright. As a mass brawl broke out between all those lads, Leyton Buzzard was the only applicant left standing with his CV in hand. Just like that, Joe Hendry had found himself an intern.
The months went by, and the relationship between Joe and Leyton flourished. Leyton was willing to do whatever it took to ensure success for The Prestigious One inside an ICW ring, even if it meant getting up in the faces of some of ICW’s most prolific names. They became one of the most enjoyable acts to watch on shows, thanks in part to a match that lasted almost three months when Joe battled Chris Renfrew all over Glasgow. Eat your hearts out Okada and Omega – they may have gone for a little over an hour in their NJPW Dominion 2018 classic, but they could never have gone for 76 days.
While this rivalry may have been between Hendry and Renfrew, it also put more eyes on Buzzard and “Shotgun” Kieran Kelly, with the latter being Renfrew’s own personal referee prior to becoming an official member of the ICW roster. While Joe and Chris were fighting it out, Leyton and Kieran were having a mini rivalry of their own, throwing dropkicks and all sorts at each other whenever the opportunity arose. Although these were usually short scuffles, it gave the ICW faithful their first proper look at what Leyton Buzzard was truly capable of.
As the months waddled on, it became far more clear that Leyton was a true star in the making. He may not be the biggest guy in that locker room, but he’s got everything else you’d expect from a grappler. His promo skills in particular have made him a joy to watch, while his incredible matches against the likes of Kieran Kelly, Jody Fleisch, and Ricky Knight Jr. have shown that he has exactly what it takes in order to make it within ICW.
In early 2019, Leyton would be on the receiving end of a few pinfalls in multi-man action, being pinned by both Andy Wild and Wolfgang to the dismay of Joe Hendry and the rest of The Dallas Mavericks. Despite being berated by his so-called pals, The Prodigy would continue his streak of putting in outstanding performance after outstanding performance. His aforementioned bout with Fleisch and Knight at So’s Yer Maw 2 was a showstealer, and it also marked the night where Leyton Buzzard had finally had enough.
With Joe Hendry blaming Leyton post-match for everything that had been going wrong in his career, the youngster would point out that Joe himself was the sole reason for his recent career disasters, including his loss in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. It was at that moment that the ICW fans realised that Leyton was no longer going to be pushed around by The Prestigious One, with that point being made crystal clear when he was laid out by Hendry. Finally though, Leyton Buzzard had stood up for himself.
Now, he finds himself being presented with what is arguably the biggest match of his career thus far. Sure, he’s been in championship matches and he’s featured on some of Scottish wrestling’s biggest shows in recent memory, but nothing compares to this. He has the chance to end the ICW career of one of the company’s most notable names, a former ICW Tag Team Champion, a main event calibre competitor, an accomplished amateur wrestler as well as a professional one. While there is the risk he’ll be forced to remain silent until November, it’s a risk Leyton is willing to take. Anything if it means sending Joe Hendry packing from Insane Championship Wrestling.
Will Leyton Buzzard regret his actions as of late, or will he follow through on his promise to be Joe Hendry’s last ever opponent in an ICW ring?
Credit for the pictures used goes to Warrior Fight Photography (promo pic) and David J Wilson (action pics).