Insane Championship Wrestling
Square Go 2016
The Barrowlands Ballroom, Glasgow
January 24, 2016
Watch: www.icwondemand.com

Winner gets No.30 in Square Go, Loser not in Square Go
Lionheart vs. Kenny Williams

Keeping up with Williams’ various Back to the Future inspired outfits, I loved the Hawaiian shirt Doc Brown look we got here. With every Williams’ match we edge closer to a Douglas Needles get up. Williams was so much fun here that he even managed to bring some light to the perma-dreary Lionheart. Lionheart’s trunks were emblazoned with Kill You– I assume a reference to having to watch his matches. Anything of note in this match came from Williams whose stand out spot was a perfectly executed springboard back elbow and a dive through the ropes onto Lionheart were the highlights of a just so-so match. Lionheart got the win with a victory roll and a handful of tights.

ICW Tag Team Title Match
The 55 (C) vs. Polo Promotions

This match suffered on a number of fronts. Firstly, it was the third match there two teams have had in quick succession underscoring the need for new teams in the tag team division in ICW. Secondly, the match was overly long. The pace of the match was on the slow side although it did pick up with the entrance of Mark Coffey who was the best of the four here. However, even his increased work rate could not last as this match seemed to just keep going. The injury to Jackie Polo’s knee was nicely used in the finish to the match as Coach Trip threw in the towel with Polo in a half Boston Crab. These two teams need to be kept apart for a while now.

Carmel vs. Liam Thomson

The story had been well built up here with the ending of Carmel and Thomson’s relationship and Thomson’s jealousy of Carmel. Unfortunately, little, if any, of that came through in a match that meandered aimlessly. Again, the match was too long and the punishment delivered by Thomson made Carmel’s kick outs and come back harder to believe. Carmel took a completely unnecessary bump through a table at ringside. She got the win with after a weak chair shot. Both worked hard, especially Carmel, but in this reviewer’s opinion was the worst match of the card.

ICW World Championship
Grado (C) vs. Chris Renfrew

This had a big match feel from the beginning and the crowd were audibly invested. Grado had a different look wearing Mick Foley’s plaid shirt, trunks, a tan and a subtle new attitude. Still a face on his way to the ring, there were some great little moments indicating an increased cockiness. The crowd were solidly behind Renfrew. This felt like a legitimate fight, with the emphasis on fight.  Grado took the majority of the offence and was bleeding heavily midway through the match.  Both men exchanged finishers and Grado also hit Renfrew’s Stoner on him for a long two count. Renfrew got the win and became new champion after a rock bottom on Grado. After the match, the NAK came to the ring to celebrate with Renfrew. As Grado left, he went head to head with a fan on the ramp suggesting that a Grado heel turn is well underway. Best match of the night by some distance and a really enjoyable brawl.

The Square Go Match

For those of you that may not know, the Square Go match is a Royal Rumble-style match where five participants are permitted to have weapons. This year’s Square Go provided a healthy assessment of where ICW is at in terms of its talent pool and future directions. The match struck the right balance of comedy, building talent and building storylines to make the viewer very hopeful for 2016 in ICW. The comedy highlights were the crowd catching and crowd surfing Lou King Sharp back to the ring after he’d come over the top rope. Later they caught Lewis Girvan and dumped him causing his elimination.

Semi-regular ICWers, The GZRS, Trent Seven, Dave Mastiff and Jimmy Havoc all contributed excellently and the groundwork was set for a Whiplash/Havoc match in the future. Numerous main roster angles and feuds were set up or built upon during the match including Noam Dar and Jack Jester, Wolfgang and Jack Jester, Mark Dallas and Red Lightning. Others got their moments here too including relatively new ICW wrestler Massimo, Mark Coffey and, the main man of the match, Joe Coffey. Joe came in at No.1 and almost went all the way only to be eliminated from the final two by Wolfgang. While it was clear he crowd audibly wanted Coffey to win, the victory of NAK member, Wolfgang, forced the crowd to pick a side and, it sounded like the majority went with Coffey. 2016 looks to be the year of Joe Coffey pursuing the NAK and the ICW title which is absolutely fine by me.

Final Thoughts: The first three matches were relatively disappointing in the context of this being an important show for the company. That being said the title match and the Square Go match were both excellent. There were signs of new stars, new feuds and changes in direction for some wrestlers which is a good place for ICW to start in 2016.