By Doctor Bedlam
It’s Fear and Loathing time again dear readers, the biggest show of the year for ICW, and this year its at SWG3. Let us get on with the report shall we?
I am not a fan of Fear and Loathing being over two nights, just putting it out there now, that’s something I felt should be exclusive to Shug’s Hoose Parties. I may be a cynic thinking the reason it was over two nights because it’s a smaller venue, but that’s just me.
I have to give special thanks to the SWG3 security for being nice and taking good care of people. Apparently they handed out ponchos to people who queued early to keep them dry and made sure people were okay for the toilet and stuff, little things like that make a difference, thanks guys.
I did notice, especially on the Saturday, there were some more fancy dressers in the queue (I suppose it’s frustrating when Halloween is midweek, do you have the party and dress up stuff before or after or even both) and I will admit it gave the queue a certain party atmosphere.
There did seem to be some crowd trouble, more so on night one, from the chaos of the queuing system to fans fighting and throwing things into the ring (drinks and stuff, the toilet rolls were… kinda okay considering they were supposed to be Japanese style streamers). This sort of fan behaviour tends to happen at the bigger events, which is to be expected I guess, and not a lot ICW or the venues can do beyond remove them from the arena. Its’ just sad when grown adults do these things to try and ruin it for others.
By the way dear reader, you will notice in my last review I put up a prediction for the title belts for his event, I believe it was the Tag and Women’s belts would change hands but the Zero G and World titles wouldn’t and as you will read, I guessed right.
Mark Coffey & Power Forward vs Andy Wild & More Than Hype – Remember how excited we all are about the Mark Coffey and Andy Wild feud? Well here’s not one but two matches this weekend featuring them against each other. I don’t know what’s worse, the fact this half baked feud is getting two matches this weekend or that More Than Hype can’t get on the main card.
Jordan Devlin vs Kenny Williams – This was a solid match that drew the crowd in and was more or less the sort of match you’d want to start the show proper with Devlin being a deserving winner.
Alexander Dean vs Aaron Echo – I love Aaron Echo as a performer, but I get the feeling there needs to be some sort of development and advancement in him and his character. A win in this match would have been a good start, but alas it wasn’t to be. Instead Alexander Dean won and now Aaron is back to milling around unsure of what’s happening next. It was a good match, I just think the wrong guy won I guess.
The Kinky Party & Noam Dar vs The Kings Of The North – Oh for the love of… just split them up already. I honestly thought Noam Dar would be the catalyst to break them up but no (if I’m honest the Anti-Fun Police storyline was the perfect time to break them up). The Kings of the North were an amazing team to watch and with all three having something different to bring to the table I can see why it was changed to a six man tag. I know Maxted gets all the Love Island stuff shouted at him but, like a good heel, he revels in it. I hope to see all three of them more in the future.
Grado vs Ravie Davie – Now this may sound sarcastic but it’s not, ICW has had a strangely close relationship with Scottish comedy. From Still Game to Scot Squad and now Burniston, but historically these sort of unusual connections tend to work oddly well and tonight was no exception. Though if your unsure about “widden pallets” (beyond the dictionary definition of wooden pallets) just look it up on YouTube. Now, for me, this was match of the night. It had everything you could want in a match like this with Davie really stepping up to the mark and showing us what he could really do. Of course we can’t forget about Davey Blaze and his big return, a very welcome one at that, can’t wait to see what ICW do with the former Zero-G Champion.
Sami Callihan vs BT Gunn – I will be honest, I was unsure if BT’s back was ready for such a match yet but what we got was an awesome match from the former ICW champion as he took on the current IMPACT Champion. Sami is one of those wrestlers you see from America and immediately think he would fit into ICW and he did, as an import makes sense. Yes, TNA/IMPACT seems to be the promotion everyone likes to hate and chant against (though lately it’s actually fairly decent for the most part), but its rare to get a current champion like that. Can’t get more relevant than that can you, this was a match of the night contender.
Kid Fite vs Chief Deputy Dunne – You know something, I enjoyed this more than I imagined I would have if it had still been Paul Robinson. I always felt Dunne would be a great singles wrestler and in my eyes he proved me right. It’s hard enough going toe to toe with a ring veteran like Kid Fite, even more so when your only there due to someone pulling out, great match.
Viper & Kay Lee Ray vs Xia Brookside & Angel Hayze – This was a solid match and was good to see new talents get showcased at ICW’s biggest show, Angel Hayze and Xia Brookside were both amazing and worthy opponents for Viper and KLR and hope to see more of them both in the future.
Liam Thomson vs Wolfgang – Apart from the fact that it was obvious Liam was retaining, this match was just as good as the previous encounters they had, though my eyes still water when I think of the hot sauce down the trunks. Even though it had seemed the whole sink thing had been done away with at Shug’s I suppose they needed to bring it back to make some sense of the match stipulation. As I said, great match, some interesting spots and a satisfying ending to the match. Just a shame that it was more of less a foregone conclusion Liam was retaining.
Ten Man Battle Royal – Luca De’ Pazzi won this pre-show match but if I am honest, most of the guys in this match could easily be regular features in ICW and probably should. Hopefuly Gonzo gives them more of a chance, but in saying that you take Lucha DS for example, how in the bloody blue hell is this the first time I seen him in an ICW ring in Glasgow? How? It’s amazing when you consider the amount of people they bring in, not just for big events but Fight Clubs, from far and wide when there’s a ton of Scottish talent that ICW never seems to bother with. That said I loved the guy as Paxxo but the Luca De’ Pazzi gimmick is growing on me, as I said before it has shades of Alberto Del Rio.
The Fite Network vs The Nine9 – Personally I was supporting The Nine9, but it was a match were both teams were so good it didn’t matter who won. I did love The Fite Network’s Super Mario entrance, it was a good way to start the second night proper.
Aivil vs Kasey – YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally, it took them bloody long enough. I had a fear going into tonight that they would have Aivil lose then find some weird way to stretch out the feud with Aivil trying to get ways around the stipulation, but I am relived I was wrong. I can’t wait to see what Aivil’s title reign is like (as long as it’s not just rematches with Kasey of course). Maybe we will see that feud between Aivil and Isla Dawn I have mentioned before, now that would be awesome or maybe Angel Hayze, she has more than procved herself. As for Miss Brookside, I’m sure we can see her get a shot or two, the potential opponents are (or should be) endless.
Andy Wild vs Mark Coffey – Yay, this feud again. Andy wins after coming back from being one fall down and nursing an injury. Personally I was just glad the feud was over. The match itself was great of course, but the way the feud was done just eroded my interest in it. Literally nothing was explained, then they unmask Power Forward (you’ll never guess what? the one with the long blonde hair was Grant McIvor who knew?). Mark said something about the whole thing was to give them an opportunity or something like that, personally I couldn’t see how it did. They put these guys in black outfits and masks for almost a full year, never explain a single thing about them, only to unmask them an get beat up by the guy supposed to be leading them. What was even the bloody point of the feud beyond Marks comment “you should be higher up the card” that’s not a bloody reason. This is almost as bad as the weird reasons Renfrew feuded with people in the last year or so of his ICW career.
The Purge vs Kings Of Catch – When I started writing these reports I was so indifferent to The Purge it was unbelievable but it seems the creation of the Bad Company stable has been the spark they have badly needed. They have a purpose now, a place on the roster and it has showed they have grabbed the opportunity with both hands. They went from that tag team they brought out once in a while when they could be bothered, to an essential part of the roster. This was my match of the night, everything worked so well, the two teams meshed together, there was the right mix of wrestling and hardcore, though I don’t know what the most horrifying image: Aspen landing on the cut open Monster cans or Krobar laying on the carpet grippers. Both the Kings of Catch and The Purge gave us their all in this match and it showed.
Noam Dar vs Keiran Kelly vs Leyton Buzzard – Okay, where do I start? First why did Noam have to win? Surely they could have used this opportunity to get one of the others over (I would have went with Kieran Kelly, who I feel such a win would be a great boost. Leyton is already getting crazy over with his Captain Buzzard gimmick) and what was Noam, heel or face? Or just Noam? If he had won, got on the mic and did the “you gave me quite a challenge better luck next time guys” sort of thing it might of been somewhat worth it but no, he came in did his routine, pinned one of them and left. You may think I’m being harsh on him but (as a face anyway) I just can’t like the character he chooses to portray in the ring. I’m sure hes a nice guy out of it but between the multiple gestures, nicknames and what-have-you, and the fact it doesn’t matter what type of match or the stakes behind it, he always in my opinion came across as unrelatable and too arrogant to work as a face. It’s just my opinion though, but yes he should not have won here.
Kez Evans vs Ilja Dragunov – This match was good but I fear it was cut short for time. It’s just the ending seemed sort of rushed. Think on it, it’s a nice back and forth match then boom a three count and over. It felt like it should have been a near fall, if that makes sense, considering they brought in Ilja in the first place would seem strange if they did, the sad part was it was really good until that point.
Iestyn Rees vs Scotty Davis – I think Iestyn Rees is amazing. However I have to wonder, as this match had the least build up, why wasn’t this scrapped and give the other matches a little longer, sometimes it does seem as if ICW can stack a card a little too heavy if you get my meaning. It was a decent match though.
Stevie Boy vs Joe Coffey – I know some people loved this but it seemed a bit odd to me when they did the Joe “getting injured for real” then going to the back, only to come back out in his Gallus trunks. What was the point really? You can’t argue that he went from ICW Joe to NXT UK Joe because there’s little to no difference. It’s not like Mankind leaving only to return as Dude Love or Bray Wyatt leaving and re-entering as The Fiend or something, all he did was change his trunks, that’s it. Plus I don’t like when they fake a “real” injury, it means when someone does get injured for real some fans think it’s a work. The match outcome, like the main event the night before, was a foregone conclusion too. Don’t get me wrong the actual match, once it got started, was outstandingly amazing and was a great main event and worthy of Fear and Loathing.
All in all, while very predictable, was largely better than last year. For the most part it made sense and was enjoyable. My only complaint about the building was it looked narrow and meant two of the sides couldn’t have many people in them but it’s a small detail. Also either both nights didn’t sell out, or people bought tickets and didn’t go, or bought a seat buy chose to stand instead. Who knows, but interesting to note for future reference.
Mark Dallas hit upon an interesting point that even though the media looks down on “Sports Entertainment” on a whole (much in the same way I switch off when I hear the dreaded words comedy drama. In my head it means its not funny enough to be a true comedy and not dramatic enough either and sometimes means oh sure you’ll have laughs but you’ll be made feel guilty about it later.. yeah I really hate the phrase comedy drama). I mean the sports world doesn’t take it serious, despite the obvious athletic abilities of the performers, and the entertainment world has a chip on its shoulder about wrestling too even though as Dallas said, unlike TV and theatre, it’s not the same stuff that can be repeated. It’s always first run is the only run you get, and they don’t get any credit for any of it. You take RUDO, for years he would go out and spout hate filled promos to crowd who wanted his blood (I remember one fan whom I think actually thankfully got banned, kept shouting that he hoped RUDO would end up wheelchair bound) he expertly stopped hecklers in their tracks. I’d like to see… say John Barrowman… keep his cool in a room full of people who hate him and see if he fares as well. What I love about wrestling is it’s a physical sport, like boxing or MMA, but whereas you do hope they don’t rough each other too much, or see incidents like boxers getting brain damage, in the ring because you’re just watching they simulate a good ol’ fight and from the entertainment side. It’s like a bunch of fight scenes without all the filler in between, Dallas, get ICW on BBC Scotland, really stick it to the snobs.
I know some of you think (or even out and out say) why do I bother going to ICW when it seems all I ever do is complain, I realise at times it can sound like I have a total downer on ICW and seem severe with certain wrestlers and storylines and if I do seem that way, I do apologise. I am, as I say at the end of every report, merely voicing a personal opinion and as with any opinion article not everyone will agree with what I say but that’s just a fact of life. I only ever comment on the in-ring personas of wrestlers and never take it personal. I pay my ticket just like any other fan and I do want ICW to do great things, but it’s just as important to know what isn’t working as well as much as it is to know what is working. If I am honest, I genuinely enjoy writing these reports, it actually helps me get more into the events for some reason. I am pleased by the mostly positive feedback I do get from the fans (yes there is the odd nasty one here and there but that’s bound to happen).
One thing I want to say is how great most of the fans of ICW are, you guys really make the show what it is. Sure you do get the odd person who does something stupid like throw a drink into the ring or something like that (though I have noticed this is more prevalent in the bigger events, not so much the Fight Clubs and I have covered this earlier) but for the most part the fans have been so very welcoming and friendly. Some of you already feel like family, to those good kind and loyal ICW fans I say thank you for supporting ICW through thick and thin. It’s not always an easy journey but it’s one worth taking. After all, why bother paying the ticket and not take the ride? Exactly.
Oh I know some people out there really want to know who I am so, okay, if you want to know who Doctor Bedlam is, I’ll tell you.. it’s me.
Sorry couldn’t resist.
Hope you enjoyed my thought and opinions.