The first of ICW’s big four events in 2019, the Square Go, takes places this Sunday at SWG3 in Glasgow, Scotland. Modelled on the Royal Rumble, with five of the 30 entrants bringing weapons into the match, this will be the 8th annual Square Go.
This weekend’s show will be the first time ICW have run SWG3, an up-and-coming venue in Glasgow. The venue’s official capacity is 1250 but I’m not sure how many that works out for when configured for a wrestling event. Either way, they are close to selling out for what is a reasonably solid card on paper. The Square Go has historically been one of ICW’s better events because the Sqaure Gos themselves are usually fine at a minimum and owing to the time they take, there are less matches on the rest of the card, giving them fewer opportunities to implement the nonsense booking that hurts the rest of their big shows.
I spoke about this on the podcast preview I did for this site before Fear & Loathing XI in December, but ICW are continuing to run a reduced schedule of events in 2019. The Square Go will be just their third event thus far in 2019, with the other two being shows at the Garage in Glasgow.
ICW Tag Team Championships
The P.O.D. vs. The Kings of Catch
The P.O.D. tandem of Smith and Brown started their second reign with the tag titles back at Fear & Loathing in December, cashing in their title shot won earlier in the evening to end the Kinky Party’s 231-day reign. This will be Smith & Brown’s second defence of the belts, having retained in the rematch against the Kinky Party at ICW’s last show of 2018.
The Kings of Catch really managed to break out on their own as an act last year. Following Stevie Boy’s injury, Girvan & Faith got more spotlight as a serious tag team and not just a nuisance interference act, managing to get over with the crowd to the point that they are now a serious babyface team.
Of all the belts being defended on this show, this one feels like the one most likely to change hands. In the build they’ve run with the ‘champions winning the singles matches’ gimmick, intimating that the Kings of Catch will overcome the odds to win the belts. Likewise, with this year’s Square Go marking six years since Girvan’s debut with the company and the next ICW show being in Faith’s home town of Aberdeen, it feels like the perfect moment to belt them up and let them have a run. Prediction: The Kings of Catch.
ICW Zero-G Championship
Joe Coffey vs. Ilja Dragunov
I for one am very interested to see how the Glasgow crowd respond to Ilja and in fact how this match pans out. I remain a big Coffey fan, despite his disappointing showing in the NXT:UK Takeover main event last month, and this is a good opportunity for him to have a really solid match with a top-tier talent without feeling the need to go for the ‘epic’ that he did against Pete Dunne. Coffey’s current storyline is that he sees the Zero-G title as his best way of winning back the World title, atoning for the main event of Fear & Loathing X when he lost to BT Gunn in the unification match. It’s almost certain that this is a one-off appearance for Dragunov as well, so look for the Iron King to keep rolling here, moving towards a likely World title shot at Barramania. Prediction: Joe Coffey.
ICW Women’s Championship
Kay Lee Ray vs. Toni Storm
Kay Lee Ray became the first three-time ICW Women’s Champion back at Fear & Loathing, defeating Viper in an excellent Queen of Insanity match. Since then KLR has officially joined the NXT:UK roster and this seems like a good way to spotlight her, especially if ICW is moving onto the Network at some point.
These two women have wrestled numerous times in the UK, Germany and Japan but never in ICW. In fact, Storm has only wrestled for the company once before, losing to Nikki Cross back in October 2015. This is my pick to be match of the night as both women are excellent, but much like the Coffey match before it feels like a good-quality placeholder to give the champion a good defence on a big show. Prediction: Kay Lee Ray.
ICW World Championship
Lionheart vs. Angelico
What can I say about this? Lionheart’s redemption story last year in ICW was good and since winning the belt he’s claimed that he only wants to face world-class competition. This bout will mark his third defence, having previously beaten Shigehiro Irie and Jody Fleisch. The story they’ve tried to run in the build-up to this one is that Angelico is both world-class and unbeaten in ICW; the latter statement is technically true, but his record is 1-0, having won his debut match last July against Mikey Whiplash.
Angelico is someone who I find aggressively boring in the ring and this match certainly has quite a low ceiling. My major hope is that this placeholder defence for Lionheart doesn’t go too long and that we get more enticing opposition moving forward. Prediction: Lionheart.
The 8th Annual Square Go!
Last year the Square Go was won by Stevie Boy, who finally eliminated Mark Coffey to become the seventh different winner in seven years. The previous winners were: Red Lightning, Mikey Whiplash, Chris Renfrew, Dickie Divers (who subsequently lost the briefcase to Renfrew in a ladder match), Wolfgang and Joe Coffey.
So far confirmed for this year’s match are: Grado, Viper, Jimmy Havoc, Paxxo, Wolfgang, Red Lightning, Andy Wild, Kieran Kelly, Krobar, Stevie James, Alexander Darwin McAdam, Sha Samuels, Jack Jester, Liam Thomson, Aaron Echo and Kenny Williams.
It’ll be very interesting to see how they book the match so that Grado and Jimmy Havoc don’t interact with Wolfgang and any of the other NXT:UK people but beyond that there’s a number of interesting storylines worth following in this year’s match.
The main one is the ongoing feud between Mark Dallas and Red Lightning, with the conflict between Dallas’ boys (Ravie Davie, Leyton Buzzard, Kez Evans and Joe Hendry) and Andy Wild’s crew of him, Kieran Kelly and Aaron Echo. The Dallas/Lightning feud is one as old as ICW itself in many ways, but now roles are reversed, with Dallas the heel authority figure and Red Lightning the babyface trying to stick it to the management. Say what you want about Red Lightning in the ring, he does cut a good promo.
It feels very much too telegraphed for Lightning to win, to my mind at least, with the most likely outcome Dallas costing him the match. Picking a winner is difficult because there’s no obvious name that I think they’re looking to elevate like in past years. If I was forced to choose someone it’d be Joe Hendry, as he’s recently left Impact Wrestling and is therefore a free agent, and because he’s Dallas’ golden boy at the moment. Likewise, Lionheart and Hendry’s history would make for an interesting future match should that be the route they go for. Prediction: Joe Hendry, with no degree of certainty.