Review: Insane Championship Wrestling ‘GONZO #1’

Here we are, I’ve finally made some space in the real life schedule to sit down and watch some more wrestling. I had three shows on my watch list and I let you decide which one to start with. Insane Championship Wrestling announced their new show concept, a show to bring in young talent, more names that have never set foot in an ICW ring. From the line up there was some young talent from Premier British Wrestling’s Academy, wrestlers from Ireland along with some of the regular ICW roster that everyone is familiar with.

Taking place at The Asylum on October 12th, we were on the road to Fear & Loathing XII with plenty of opportunity to earn themselves a place on the big show at SWG3.

Jordan Devlin defeated Kieran Kelly by pinfall.

‘The Irish Ace’ Jordan Devlin, NXT UK star, returned to ICW to take on ‘Shotgun’ Kieran Kelly who was riding high on his breakout year in ICW. Devlin and Kelly tied up to kick off with fast counters including a gorgeous flip out of a Package Piledriver attempt by Kieran Kelly.

Devlin focused his attack on the back of Kelly with a hard backbreaker before toying with Kelly with hard kicks and forearms. Kelly fought back and hit a smooth Frankensteiner from the top rope. Devlin sprung back into action with a springboard rolling cutter but only got two. Kelly hit a Panama Sunrise, followed by a tornado DDT that could only get a near fall. Kelly went to the well once to many and saw his frog splash attempt landing onto Devlin’s knees before having his head kicked in and finished with a pull up back suplex for the win for ‘The Irish Ace’.

Fast paced, fantastic action, a brilliant opening contest. Even in defeat Kieran Kelly looked like an absolute star. For only about seven minutes of action there was plenty to enjoy.

Power Forward (???, ??? & ???) defeated Ian Skinner, Darren Vice & Dean Ford by pinfall.

Since this show happened, we now know who Power Forward are but let’s keep the mystery going for the sake of this review eh.

A big brawl to start off the match with all six men throwing hands in the early going before the match settled down. The PBW team started with quick tags with Ford showing off his educated feet with all the kicks. After another skirmish Power Forward took over. It got a bit scrappy in the middle portion. Power Forward tried to cut off the ring and keep Darren Vice away from his partners but eventually Skinner got tagged in and went kicking, hitting one of the Power Foward with a brainbuster. Skinner and Ford looked to be on top but they celebrated a bit too early and Power Forward attacked, scooping Skinner onto one of the other’s knees to get the pinfall.

Power Forward looked a little bit lost, they wandered and punched and wandered, I didn’t feel like they were a team but three guys that happened to be teaming up and got a three for one on balaclavas. Skinner, Vice and Ford were a bundle of energy. Ian Skinner comes across as an absolute maniac and it’s incredible. All three put in a great showing but I was particularly impressed by the tag team cohesion between Skinner and Dean Ford, a tag team I could see making an impact in ICW in the near future.

ICW Women’s World Championship Number One Contendership – Aivil defeated Isla Dawn by submission to earn an ICW Women’s World Championship match at Fear & Loathing XII.

The ‘Twisted Priestess’ against the ‘White Witch’ is, on the surface, a match made in heaven. Isla Dawn ironically twisted Aivil after the early back and forth with a wrenching half crab. Aivil reached the ropes, leading to a springboard bulldog for a two count.

They struggled to get to the apron with a suplex then Dawn landed two knees onto Aivil’s face which looked to knock Aivil loopy. They battled back and forth with forearms. Aivil wriggled out of an Electric Chair, hit a spear and locked in a Mutalock for the tap out.

Well this wasn’t pretty and the ending was flat. Not a good showing from either, Isla Dawn looked very sloppy and Aivil looked to be on the back foot after the apron knee smash.

Kez Evans defeated Michael May by pinfall.

After a brief lock up, Kez Evans took May down with a side headlock. May went for technical moves and speed but Evans found a space to blast May with a punch and punished May with a hard Irish Whip into the corner. A Kez Dispenser was wriggled out of but May received a Senton for his efforts. Kez found another opening to bludgeon May with a forearm before throwing him with a belly to belly, leading to a Garvin Stomp, disrespecting May with paintbrush slaps to the head. May fired up after taking chops and forearms, knocking Evans down with a dropkick from the ropes. More hard strikes traded before May locked in a crossface only for Evans to reach the ropes. Evans hit the Kez Dispenser to win.

I find Michael May to be quite boring, when he fired up towards the end I finally got invested with May. Kez Evans soaked up the boos and he was very good in this one. He looked to take great glee in throwing hands and booting his opponent. He’s cracking in the ring yet still so unlikable. It’s hard nowadays to not fall into the “cool bad guy” but Kez Evans is so hard to like but at the same time he’s clearly very talented.

Jason Reed defeated The Sam Barbour Experience by pinfall.

Reed went onto the attack during the entrance of SBX as they went to the outside. Reed back suplexed SBX onto the apron, aiming his attack onto the lower back of Barbour with stomps and shoulder barges. SBX was able to get a T-Bone suplex in for a near fall followed up with a big boot. Reed was able to snap Barbour across the top rope back first, hit a nice spinebuster then clubbing the back of SBX. Barbour hulked up with punches, big boot and a leg drop for two. Some miscommunication followed but Reed eventually hit a swinging side slam for another near fall. Reed moved out of the way of an attempted dive which allowed Coach to appear and strike SBX with a bottle of the bubbly which let Reed muscle SBX up with a sit out powerbomb to win.

This one fell apart in the second half with these two not clicking and it got scrappy and it stuttered. Started off well but as it went on, the match broke down. Personally, I found the Hollywood Hogan get up quite corny but it went down well with the live crowd.

Luca De’ Pazzi turned up, he tried to introduce himself but kept getting interrupted. He declared himself the most handsome man around here and slapped SBX, announcing his entry into the Fear & Loathing XII rumble then escaping the retaliation from SBX.

Kenny Williams defeated Scotty Davis by pinfall.

Williams got a bit nippy on the microphone but was getting ragdolled by Scotty Davis in the opening exchange. They exchanged counters before Davis once again muscled Williams about before a couple suicide dives and a moonsault to the outside. Williams countered a springboard with a springboard back elbow of his own to take over. Davis fought back but was laid out with a Uranage. Davis hit a Chaos Theory german suplex that could only get two, he kept the grip for an Angle Slam type move for another two count. More hard kicks, Williams tried to go for the headlock driver but Davis got Williams into a modified Rings of Saturn, Williams escaped and went back to the headlock driver. After a struggle, Williams grabbed Davis’ mustache which allowed him to hit the headlock driver for the win.

Williams raised the hand of Davis before hitting a straight punch and launched a post match attack until Jordan Devlin rushed out to make the save.

Due to their similar looks it was like watching mirror images. Like that Spider-Man meme. Scotty Davis made everything look effortless, there was a couple points where they both got a little wobbly but I think that was them getting a bit carried away with the pace. Great match, it made me want to see more of Scotty Davis.

Lewis Girvan defeated Stevie James by pinfall.

It started with some trade off chops before breaking down into a brawl to the outside. It wasn’t long before the weapons was brought in with James introducing a chair but found himself crotched onto the ringside barrier. James brought a chair but was met with Girvan throwing a fan into the face of Stevie James feet first. The match moved into the crowd, Girvan tried to shut James out of the building but James returned as they continued to brawl. Girvan was having a ball hitting James with the ring bell hammer. Girvan set up a chair construction but found himself flying into the structure which looked painful. James took over with the chair, laying into the back of Girvan. The plunder continued to be introduced with James bringing in a Kendo Stick but was battered with a crowbar from Girvan.

Both men battled back and forth with weapons, Girvan hit a stunning triple powerbomb, with the exclamation point being a sit out variant. James brought in a ladder, sliding it into the ring and setting it up, climbing it with Girvan following. Girvan knocked James onto the table set up at ringside before attempting a chair assisted elbow drop from a ladder but missed and crashed through the table.

james hit a piledriver, Girvan countered a second piledriver attempt, spun James around into a one man Apter Burner through a couple set up chairs to win.

This was down and dirty, it seems to be a pattern with ICW, they have matches of different styles but there’s at least one original recipe ICW chaos. This served as a preview to the Kings of Insanity match between The Purge and The Kings of Catch. Both looked great in this one. It looked painful and it was enthralling to watch.

ICW Zero G Championship – Liam Thomson defeated Leyton Buzzard by pinfall to retain the ICW Zero G Championship.

The main event, Liam Thomson defended his ICW Zero G Championship against Captain Leyton Buzzard. It started off even but Liam Thomson slowed down the pace to take control. Buzzard tried to pick up the pace but posed on the ropes for an out of ordinary amount of time which allowed Thomson to dropkick Buzzard and resume control of the match. Buzzard kicked out of a crisp Northern Lights suplex. Thomson took the match into the crowd, Buzzard once again tried to fight back but was scoop slammed onto the floor for this troubles. Thomson focused his attack on the back of Buzzard. Buzzard once against picked up pace with an enziguri and a big lariat. Buzzard fired up with a running shooting star press and follow up missile dropkick from the top rope for another close near fall. Buzzard dodged a top rope diving headbutt but any follow up was blocked by Thomson as he suplexed Buzzard off the top rope.

The referee was knocked down after Buzzard pushed Thomson off the second rope, which let Buzzard hit a pop DDT from the second rope then a 450 splash onto Thomson but there wasn’t anyone to make the count. Thomson rolled out of the ring but was met with a plancha to the outside. Buzzard followed up with a crossbody and an Uranage but it couldn’t get the job done. Thomson went to use the title but changed his mind. More back and forth with neither man able to keep down the other. Both men used the title belt on the other for a near fall. Punches and chops traded with Buzzard hitting his own backcracker, out of nowhere Thomson hit a backcracker from the second rope to retain.

This was certainly a marathon. The pace almost ground to a halt ten minutes in and that was with twenty-twenty five minutes left of run time. It picked up in the final stretch but I felt like there could’ve been ten minutes taken out of this and it would’ve been more enjoyable. Buzzard looked like a star in this one even though the result was never really in doubt.

First GONZO in the books, plenty of positives coming out of the show with Ian Skinner, Dean Ford, Darren Vice and Scotty Davis being excellent. A couple slow paced matches but the opener and Williams-Davis were incredible along with the Girvan-James plunder filled chaos.

The full show is available to watch on YouTube. Check it out below:

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