ICW Insane Entertainment System Tour- Flawless Victory
The Garage, Glasgow
May 3, 2015
ICW returned to its home turf for the final night of its successful Insane Entertainment System tour of the UK. One thing we knew going into this show is that ICW would not let the tour go gently into that good night, especially in front of their hardcore fans. As commentator Billy Kirkwood put it “All killer, no filler”.
The show started with an appearance from ICW on-screen boss, Red Lightning. Lightning said he handed the reigns of the company back over to Mark Dallas (ICW owner) for the tour but tonight he’d be back in charge. After Lighting threatens to throw a fan out of the building, the crowd tell him that “That’s not nice!” ICW crowd are so into everything and it really adds to the shows. Lightning goes on to say that he has told Big Damo O’Connor to stay away from the Garage tonight and that he will not be wrestling.
Lighting is then interrupted by ICW World Champion Drew Galloway. Galloway cuts a long-winded promo about what a fun loving guy he is, which is weird because that’s not his gimmick nor does he come across as that type of guy. Galloway told Lighting that he will defend the title against anyone.
Mikey Whiplash comes to the ring. As an aside here, proof that watching wrestling can distort your reality. Whiplash is a man who wrestles in makeup and fishnet tights, something I have taken for granted. Yet I’m thrown here by him sans facepaint wearing a hoodie. Whiplash is generally one of the strongest promos and characters in ICW. He pulls this segment together nicely and injects some reality into things. Lighting concedes to the crowd and the main event is set to be Galloway versus Whiplash.
Grado vs. B.T. Gunn: We get Grado first to the ring. As always we get some pretty tough looking ICW fans singing along to Madonna. Well, I assume they were singing as the music drops on ICW on Demand to avoid Madge coming looking for her pound of flesh. This means that I spend two minutes watching Grado dance in silence which looks like some weird modern art installation. B.T. Gunn’s new(ish) Leatherface/Vampire gimmick is pretty over, as is the New Age Kliq in general. The story of the match was the ongoing darkening of Grado’s character. He is also getting himself into reasonably good shape. Grado hit the Stephenson Roundabout (F-5) and the Rolling Slice (Cannon ball) for close falls. B.T. Gunn picked up the win with a nasty looking face buster. This was a good match and both men worked hard. A side note; at the conclusion of the match Gunn confronted a fan at ringside and it looked genuinely heated. It’s little touches like getting over an interaction with a fan at ringside that can make ICW special.
Darkside vs. Lionheart: ICW seems to be pushing the idea that the fans have begun turning on Lionheart, but judging from the non-response he got here they seem more ambivalent than anything else toward him. The man known as ‘Darkside’, formerly James Storm, is no longer a member of the New Age Kliq according to Billy Kirkwood on commentary. This match is super physical from the off and throughout. Both men have their working boots on here and everything is super crisp, particularly from Lionheart. At one point, Darkside attempts a Styles Clash which Lionheart counters. WIll every Lionheart match include some reference to the Styles Clash will appear in every Lionheart match now? Darkside picked up the win with nasty reverse chokehold. This was a really enjoyable match. Billy Kirkwood attempts to interview Darkside at the end of the match, and offer that Darkside refuses.
Back in the ring, Big Damo O’Connor appears and attacks Lionheart. The crowd was 100% behind Damo here.
Joe Hendry vs. Jack Jester: We get a Joe Hendry video just before this match where he serenades the two ICW interviewers- Veronica LeStrange and Jennifer Louise. Hendry is one of the most charismatic wrestlers on the ICW roster at the moment and this is one of his bigger matches to date. Hendry debuts his new single “What If Joe Was One of Us?” a re-working of a twenty year old song that he manages to get over. This might be an unpopular opinion, but I have never understood how Jester is so over and so my view of this match may be jaundiced, but I was disappointed. I was looking forward to seeing Hendry in a big match, but he got little meaningful offense for large portions here. The match ended with Hendry getting a near fall out of nowhere. Jester then hit a tombstone piledriver for the win. This was really disappointing. Hendry is super over with the crowd and the booking generally indicates that they are trying to build him toward a bigger program. This match did not fit with that narrative whatsoever.
Chairs Match – Dickie Divers vs. Chris Renfrew: We’re told at the outset that this is a Chairs Match because chairs are legal. Aren’t they always legal in ICW? In any event, I was hoping this would be livelier than Divers’ and Renfrew’s last outing. It was livelier, but it was pretty brutal as well. I’m not sure I needed to see Divers go face first into a thumb tack chair (I’m not sure what the proper name would be for a folding chair with hundreds of thumb tacks glued on it). Match ended with Divers hitting a Defacer into two chairs. I’m not really into these blood-fest matches but the crowd were really into this and responded well to it. Interesting to note that Divers got a favourable response at the end of the match as the crowd clearly appreciated his efforts.
After the intermission, the New Age Kliq came to the ring. Renfrew called out the Bucky Boys and told them that they have only ever pinned Divers, and have therefore never beat an NAK member. He says that he is confident that one NAK member, Wolfgang, can beat the Bucky Boys. Of course, the Bucky Boys accepted
The Bucky Boys w/Wee Man vs. Wolfgang: Early on the match became a one-on-one between Davy Boy and Wolfgang after Stevie Boy injured his arm and stayed down at ringside. After a spear from Davy Boy on Wolfgang, Stevie Boy made it back to the apron only to be pulled down by a figure in a black hooded top and balaclava. The disguised figure climbed to the top rope and hits a hurricanrana on Davy Boy. The hood came down and it was revealed to be Bucky Boy partner- Key Lee Ray. Ray makes her way back to the stage and is joined by her new teammates in the NAK. Gunn reveals he’s wearing a Kay Lee Ray t-shirt. Ray’s facials were excellent here. In the ring, Stevie Boy turns on Davy Boy ending the Bucky Boys team. This was a great segment and reinforces NAK as the major heel group within ICW.
We had Red Lighting out again, this time to call out Polo Productions where he informed Jackie Polo that he expected Mark Coffey to defend the ICW Tag Team Titles on his own leading to the next match.
ICW Tag Team Title Match – Mark Coffey (C) vs. The 55 (Martin Kirby and Kid Fite): This match started with some nice exchanges between Coffey and Kirby, then Fite. It did not take long before both heels beat down on Coffey. The 55 looked technically very sound here. The story of the match was Coffey getting some offense in, but not being able to capitalise on it without a partner. Then, Black Sabbath’s Iron Man blasts, as Joe Coffey makes his way to the ring. Joe wiped out Sha Samuels and James R. Kennedy from ringside causing a distraction which allowed Mark to cross body Kirby and Fite before finishing Kirby with the Spinning Deathwish. Not a bad match by any means and there’s a lot more in the Polo Productions/55 feud.
After the match, DCT called out Viper and asked her to marry him. The happy (?) moment is interrupted by Big Damo who proceeded to 69 squash (shudder) DCT and Viper. Red Lighting came out to confront Damo. Again, Red Lighting was great as he pleaded for him and his children for Damo not to hit him. He lifted Damo’s suspension and put him on commentary for the main event on the proviso that he did not interfere. Commentator Billy Kirkwood expressed his fear that Damo could “have his way” with him and he would be powerless to stop him.
No.1 Contenders Match for Zero-G Title – Noam Dar vs. Kenny Williams: There were some great technical exchanges in the early stages with Dar dominating. Williams came back into it with two high-impact DDTs. Dar caught Williams with a nasty knee and suicide dive on the outside. Dar teased blasting Williams with his hover board, but decided not to. These two had an excellent match with exchange after exchange and a nice little comedy spot with Dar’s Light Sabre and William’s Hover board. As the pair caught each other with a double lariat, Red Lighting reappeared. He got on the mic and told Dar and Williams that he had changed his mind- that this was not a No.1 contender’s match and that it was a no-contest. The crowd was pissed at this. Excellent match up until this point.
ICW World Heavyweight Championship – Drew Galloway (C) vs. Mikey Whiplash: For the second show in a row, Big Damo joins Kirkwood on commentary and he did an excellent job again in getting both men over. The match began with snapmare exchanges between the two. After a hard slap from Galloway, Whiplash took the match outside of the ring. The brawl ended up behind the bar of the Garage which caused an unintended moment of comedy as one of the bar staff hasn’t realised the fight was now beside her. Galloway began to dominate and hit a twirling slam into a concrete wall on Whiplash. Back in the ring, Whiplash gained some momentum hitting the Blue Thunder Bomb for a two count. Galloway threw Galloway from the top rope through a table on the outside which was particularly brutal looking. Galloway sold this like he knew he went too far. There was great storytelling here as an ever frustrated Galloway beat Whiplash and pleaded with him to stay down. Anyone who knows Whiplash’s character knew that wasn’t going to happen. Galloway picked up the win with the Futureshock DDT but, once again, he got the win while keeping his opponent looking super strong.
The show ended with a brawl between Big Damo and Galloway ahead of their July 26 title match at Shugs Hoose Part II. After show finished, we got footage of Whiplash being attacked by the New Age Kliq, indicating a development of the feud between them and Legion (Whiplash, Tommy End and Michael Dante).
Final Thoughts: Overall, this was a pretty loaded show. Highlights were the ongoing push of Big Damo O’Connor, the break up of the Bucky Boys and the ever-growing New Age Kliq. Williams/Dar and Galloway/Whiplash were very good and worth checking out. Jester/Hendry was disappointing and if ICW plans on building Hendry he has to be allowed look stronger than this. ICW’s building of storylines around simple narratives of good and bad, revenge and betrayal has always been a key pillar of their strategy and it is helping get a lot of this roster over. A fact exemplified here by the amount of times the crowd was split during matches.
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