Insane Championship Wrestling
Long Before Wesley Snipes
Maryhill Community Centre, Glasgow
July 25 2015
Another sold out show from the Scottish super indie. This show was ICW’s warm-up to their big summer show, Shuggs Hoose Party which was occurring the following night. It was held at the company’s original venue, the Maryhill Community Centre. The show had the sense of a hero returning home surrounded by fans and well-wishers— in this case almost all wearing ICW t-shirts. The focus here was more on the in-ring product than being storyline driven and, for my money, it benefitted from it.
Billy Kirkwood and William Grange are on commentary.
Lionheart vs. Chris Renfrew
There was a nice high energy start to this one with Lionheart knocking Renfrew through the ropes and following up with a dive to the outside. While there, one of the fans gave Lionheart a PS1 which was duly smashed over the head of Renfrew.
Back in the ring Renfrew gained a measure of control with a spine buster before both men exchanged finishers. Renfrew’s NAK stable mate, Stevie Boy interfered allowing him to hit his Stone Cole Stoner (SCS) finisher for a two-count. Lionheart missed with a frog splash which allowed Renfrew to hit another SCS, again leading to a kick out. Both men exchanged finishers leading to close falls before we got more Stevie Boy interference causing a third SCS for the win.
After the match, Stevie Boy’s former Bucky Boys tag team partner, Davey Boy, hit the ring to confront him. Given the NAK’s reputation and form in these situation, this seemed foolhardy. Again, the NAK got the upper hand with Stevie Boy hitting the Glasgow Destroyer and Renfrew completing the T-Virus finisher.
Overall, this was a nice fast paced match and, in what would be a theme throughout the show the crowd were super hyped.
Kenny Williams vs. Jack Jester
Next up we got a pre-heel turn Jester although the seeds for a heel turn were being sown by Kirkwood who suggested this match was punishment for Williams’ recalcitrance toward Red Lightning. This one started slowly with Jester dominating. Williams got some offence knocking Jester to the outside and taking two consecutive dives through the ropes to attempt to take Jester down. Having caught Williams, Jester threw him into the guardrail. Williams worked the match well here with a lot of hit and run offence. Again, there was some hints of a heel turn as Jester seemed to take liberties with Williams. The match ended with a nasty lariat followed by a tombstone giving Jester the win.
Both men worked well here but the size imbalance between the two did take away from the match.
Noam Dar vs. Bram
However, there was an even greater size difference between these two but it was addressed well in what was, for me, the match of the night. Dar is so fantastically charismatic and likeable. At twenty-one years of age, one would hope he keeps developing and stays healthy. Dar started here with a series of dives through the ropes. When the match did get into the ring Dar hit a sublime Northern Lights suplex. The referee attempted to get Kid Fite and James R. Kennedy from ringside to no avail. Bram delivered an elbow to Dar who shook it off, catching Bram with a German Suplex. Bram’s frustration was highlighted as he resorted to using a chair to impede Dar. Bram then missed a series of punches as Dar responded with legitimately well executed kicks to the leg. These allowed Dar to apply an ankle lock. As Bram got free he hit Dar with a stiff punch and hit a DDT for the win. This was, without doubt, the best Bram match I have seen. Dar was excellent here throughout but Bram deserves credit for the level of offence he gave to Dar, which really added to the match.
After the match, Grado saved Dar from a 55 stable beat-down which lead to the next match.
Grado vs. ‘Darkside’ James Scott
Given that Grado had already been beat down by the 55, Darkside started stronger. The commentators were at pains here to get over how hard Grado works, what being a wrestler means to him and his new found mean streak. Grado hit a fall (dive may be too generous) from the guard rail. Darkside executed a reverse neck breaker after Grado dwelled on top rope. Grado kicked out here and fought back with his Ayrshire Dream elbow. Having gotten Darkside in the corner he delivered the crowd favourite Roll and Slice but only got two count. Darkside hit back with a sloppy GTS followed by a missed stomp, allowing Grado to utilise his Wee Boot for the win.
A short, enjoyable match here which could leave you with no complaints
DCT Stag Party- “Scoop Slam City, Bitch!”
Next up we got the fun—if slightly too long—DCT Stag Party in ring skit. This was all typical high-jinx but the highlight was Jackie Polo rolling out his Scoop Slam City on a series of ICW personnel.
Wolfgang w/ Stevie Boy and Chris Renfrew vs. Dickie Divers
This was more of an angle than a match. Divers attacked NAK before the match, but- as always- the NAK got the upper hand. ICW’s roster never seem to learn that lesson. In the ring, Renfrew stood above Divers leading the ICW crowd in singing “We’re having a party when Divers dies”.
Lewis Girvan vs. ‘Iron Man’ Joe Coffey
In the interest of full disclosure, I never really enjoy Girvan’s matches. This is more a reflection of my disinterest in the slow technical style rather than a comment on his proficiency. This match took the form of being a battle between Girvan’s technical style and Coffey’s high intensity approach. The match itself was well executed although Girvan’s various rest holds took me out of it to some degree. Coffey’s physicality did make the match more enjoyable. Of note in the match, Girvan hit an excellent double stomp from the top rope and Coffey executed a great upper cut/ German suplex transition which was really impressive. Coffey claimed the victory after executing his Discus Lariat finisher.
After the match, Coffey had a confrontation with Red Lightning (his former stable mate in the Gold Label group). Red Lightning told Coffey that he had beef with him and asked for a referee to come to the ring so they could fight. Red Lightning, of course, had one of his trademark changes of heart and left the ring. This could be a match that we do see at Fear and Loathing VIII.
Aaron Echo vs. Kid Fite
We had a teacher versus student here as Aaron Echo (making his ICW debut) took on Kid Fite. This match had its roots on one of ICW’s developmental Spacebaws show when Echo stood up to Fite. This match was typical student/teacher fare with Fite trying to teach Echo some respect through stiff elbows, nasty upper cuts and, what could be best described as, a ‘pop up kick in the rocks’. Echo’s offence looked impressive, if some of his mannerisms were 80s NWA babyface. Echo’s stand out moment here was a Twisting Fisherman Buster on Fite. After Fit picked up the win, he got on commentary to put Echo over. Another enjoyable short match with one or two stand out moments.
B.T Gunn/Mikey Whiplash Contract Signing
This segment began with Red Lightning explaining that he wanted both wrestlers to sign a document indemnifying ICW in the case where either man would be seriously injured. Red Lightning was really great here as he both gave the segment some legitimacy while at the same time indicating that contract signings in wrestling are ridiculous. He surrounded himself with an entourage of security and fussed about the wrestlers putting the correct date on the contract. There was some other nice little touches of legitimacy here including both guys being in street clothes sans face paint. Whiplash cut an excellent promo on B.T Gunn setting up their match the following evening at Hoose Party. Renfrew responded by asking NAK to bring out Whiplash’s friend, Jam O’Malley, whose dreadlocks they proceeded to cut off and throw to the crowd. Whiplash’s response was priceless as he told Renfrew he could not care less about Jam O’Malley’s hair. As the NAK attacked Whiplash, the big surprise of the evening came as Rhyno made his entrance to save Whiplash.
Rhyno got on the mic and said he was not there to save Whiplash but to challenge Drew Galloway for the ICW World Title.
Drew Galloway vs. Rhyno
It’s hard to know what to say about this match. First thing was although the crowd knew Galloway was retaining, they were super into the match. Secondly, there wasn’t much a match here. It was more of a wild brawl throughout the Maryhill Centre and out onto the road outside, followed by fifty or so fans. While there was not much to comment on here, the fans in attendance were having a ton of fun watching this. When the two did make it back to the ring Galloway was in firm control. The in-ring action was so-so. Galloway played his usual role of showing frustration when he could not put the match away. This led him to missing a top rope leg drop. As he became increasingly frustrated and sloppy, he got hit by Rhyno’s Gore picking up a two count. As Rhyno went for a second Gore, Galloway caught him with a knee and his Futureshock DDT for the win.
I was not overly enthused with this match but it got over with the live crowd and was well worked for what it was.
Final Thoughts: I found this a really enjoyable show and, for my money, was a better show than the Shugg’s Hoose Party show the following night. The stand out of the night was Noam Dar who worked an excellent match against Bram in my match of the night.