Insane Championship Wrestling

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themib
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Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by themib » Mon Aug 10, 2015 8:22 pm

Many argue that Scotland's Insane Championship Wrestling is the biggest promotion in the UK, and it's certainly on par with the likes of PROGRESS Wrestling, Revolution Pro Wrestling, Preston City Wrestling and Southside Wrestling Entertainment. It's definitely had a lot of national exposure, with two documentaries (though you could argue more fun stories featuring the talent) on the BBC, and their bigger shows drawing well over 1,500 fans (i.e. comparable to the last time TNA ran Glasgow).

Their last big show was "Shug's Hoose Party II" a few weeks back, that saw ICW World Champion Drew Galloway turn heel and join forces with former rival Jack Jester and current ICW GM Red Lightning. They're currently on a four week residency "Flying Circus Tour" in Edinburgh during the Fringe Festival, and are about to go on a big UK tour in October, taking in most of the big UK cities, heading towards their biggest show ever, "Fear & Loathing VIII" on November 15th at the SECC in Glasgow, which has hosted WWE shows in the past.

A lot of their success is down to being in touch with the local Glasgow youth culture, and guiding their booking towards that for the most part, with some ECW and Attitude Era elements thrown in, along with some very good in-ring wrestling by the likes of Joe Coffey, Big Damo, Tommy End and Noam Dar. New shows usually go up within a week on ICW On Demand, which you can subscribe to from their website, and is available to watch on ROKU. The big shows are normally up a day after they happen.

Fear & Loathing VIII is currently set to feature Grado challenging for the ICW World Title, a six man cage match with Legion (Mikey Whiplash & The Sumerian Death Squad) vs. the New Age Kliq, Joe Coffey vs. Rhyno, and the final of a tournament to crown the first ever ICW Women's Champion - Nikki Storm qualified for the semi finals last night in Edinburgh. Mick Foley will be the guest GM for the night, hired by ICW owner Mark Dallas to overrule Red Lightning.

Any thoughts if you've watched a lot of ICW, or even just one show of theirs?

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by Padje » Sat Aug 15, 2015 11:13 am

I think they don't get enough credit when it comes to being the biggest company in the UK. It's almost like they're on the outside of the PROGRESS/PCW/RPW bubble, like an ECW to their WCW/WWE, despite being the only legitimate touring outfit. Hype is a big factor. PROGRESS draws the least of the 4, (correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it's PCW: 800, RPW: 1200 and PROGRESS: 700) but it's ability to sell those tickets in the shortest time gives credence to the idea it's the biggest/most popular, while ICW sees fit to book an actual arena in The Hydro.

That said, the show I went to was one of the most uncomfortable wrestling experiences I've ever had. It attracted a type of unique fan. The grotty types. The ones that don't really like wrestling, just want to see the blood. I guess they've been in stasis since XPW's demise, and were revived for this tour. The chanting wasn't funny or clever like at PROGRESS or PCW shows, or even particularly warranted. The lads in front of me exhausted every chant they knew before the close of the first match - 'this is awesome', 'fuck him up XXXXX fuck him up', 'you're gonna get your fucking head kicked in' etc) - so resorted to chanting for themselves ('We are awesome') before starting a chant aimed at another fan on the opposite barrier ('she's a crackwhore'). When someone made the mistake of laughing at one of the ring-leaders wrestler-aimed barbs, he turned to his cohort and stated "I'm over". I moved over to the other side after intermission.

The wrestling, outside of Damo vs Mastiff, was no great shakes. The Jimmy Havoc vs Jack Jester main event was just sharp plunder and no psychology. As is the way with a lot of these matches, the crowd would pop for the barbed wire spots, and stay silent throughout the rest. I'm a Havoc fan, but Jester...is Mark Dallas' friend I guess. Speaking of Dallas, he came out before the main event to run down the crowd at the Leeds show a few nights before.

I hadn't heard of Joe Hendry prior to this show, but now I'm certain he's going to be big up and down the UK in the coming years if WWE doesn't nab him first.

They're having a halloween show on my road, but my plan is to take a 2 hour train to Preston for their show/s.

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by SenorLARIATO » Sat Aug 15, 2015 6:24 pm

Padje wrote:I think they don't get enough credit when it comes to being the biggest company in the UK. It's almost like they're on the outside of the PROGRESS/PCW/RPW bubble, like an ECW to their WCW/WWE, despite being the only legitimate touring outfit. Hype is a big factor. PROGRESS draws the least of the 4, (correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe it's PCW: 800, RPW: 1200 and PROGRESS: 700) but it's ability to sell those tickets in the shortest time gives credence to the idea it's the biggest/most popular, while ICW sees fit to book an actual arena in The Hydro.
I'd say it's actually more to do with the stuff you outlined in the second half of your post - I like ICW, but it doesn't appeal to me as much as PROGRESS or RevPro do for many of the reasons you mentioned. Saw them last time they came to London and, while the wrestling wasn't outstanding, I had a good time and the crowd were a typical London wrestling crowd, albeit not as loud as they'd be at PROGRESS or as lively as the Glasgow lot. It certainly has an ECW, against-the-grain sort of vibe that obviously attracts a wide variety of fans and ICW definitely deserve credit for how well they've grown the promotion, but I think I set them aside from the other 'big' promotions in the UK because I don't see them as matching up when it comes to overall quality of the product.

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by Robareid » Sun Aug 16, 2015 11:50 am

Do PCW consistently draw 800, or is that just what they peak at? I didn't realise their numbers where that impressive.

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by themib » Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:17 pm

It didn't seem like 800 there a week ago. But then again I'm not good at counting heads.

Anyway, a bit of a crossover with down south today, as The GZRS from PROGRESS and IPW:UK are coming up to face Colt Cabana and Grado.

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by SenorLARIATO » Sun Aug 16, 2015 12:28 pm

I'm really looking forward to that one, Tom & Seb are rather green but they make the charisma stuff look absolutely effortless - Irn Jew should have a proper laugh with the GZRS, if I'm any judge.

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by themib » Tue Aug 18, 2015 12:10 pm

This Sunday's Edinburgh main event is Drew Galloway vs. Kris Travis for the title. Of course it's going to be another Red Lightning deal, and not anything serious with regards to a Trav push...

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by cheapshot » Thu Aug 20, 2015 2:23 pm

Robareid wrote:Do PCW consistently draw 800, or is that just what they peak at? I didn't realise their numbers where that impressive.
Yeah when IGNITE is sold out, they allow 800 in. They normally sell out now for all the bigger shows. And normally get 600-700 in on "normal" shows.
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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by Robareid » Thu Aug 20, 2015 6:07 pm

Thought it was something like that, still pretty impressive. I still wish they hadn't have gotten the ROH deal, that first set of shows they did really didn't capitalise on what they could have been. Hopefully this year's shows are better.

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by themib » Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:57 pm

Not sure how many wrestlers who've competed at WrestleMania have wrestled for ICW (can think of Galloway, Rhyno and Sabu off the top of my head), but another one's added to the list this Sunday night - Mickie James faces Kay Lee Ray in the last Women's Championship Tournament Quarter Final. The winner joins Nikki Storm, Layla Rose and Viper in the semi finals, which will take place during the Road to Fear & Loathing Tour. The final will be at Fear & Loathing VIII.

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by themib » Tue Oct 20, 2015 12:14 pm

Fear & Loathing VIII has sold out all 5,000 or so tickets with several weeks to go. It's the biggest gate in British wrestling (non-WWE) since Big Daddy vs. Giant Haystacks at Wembley Arena in 1981. They have to be commended for being bold and having their vision realised.

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by samptime » Thu Oct 22, 2015 10:34 pm

Went to one of their shows last year - it was okay, nothing great or anything.

The wrestling isn't as good as Progress, PCW, Rev Pro, so tbh I don't think I'll be going to see any further ICW shows in future.

But they have done really well to sell out their big show in a few weeks. Fair play. $150,000 house Meltzer said in the Observer. Impressive.

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by Robareid » Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:39 am

Yeah, it's not really a wrestling hardcore match quality nerd promotion, and they've proven that in certain markets that's not what you need to do well. They've almost become a part of the Scottish culture at this point, or at least the Glaswegian culture, and that's not really something you can say about any other non-WWE promotion in the UK or US.

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by rovert » Sat Oct 24, 2015 1:58 am

Robareid wrote:Yeah, it's not really a wrestling hardcore match quality nerd promotion, and they've proven that in certain markets that's not what you need to do well. They've almost become a part of the Scottish culture at this point, or at least the Glaswegian culture, and that's not really something you can say about any other non-WWE promotion in the UK or US.
Yep and those fans who grew up during the Attitude Era are well into the drinking age now and have a decent chunk for disposable income.

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Re: Insane Championship Wrestling

Post by Padje » Thu Oct 29, 2015 2:15 pm

As it's on my road I've decided to go to saturday's show in Birmingham. Wasn't a big fan last time, but this has been put in the much larger Academy room, which will help with sightlines and getting drinks and that.

Doesn't look like a great card, mind. There's a clear absence of Jack Jester, which I take to mean his match is a secret until revealed on the night. Other notable absentees are Kenny Williams, Joe Hendry and Whipwreck. It's not unlike ICW to have a plan for the event proper to surpass the advertised card. Last time they were here, Drew Galloway was advertised as the special referee in a Grado vs Jester match, only to make it a three way on the night itself. Sure it pops the crowd, but how many people may have come had they been guaranteed a Galloway match?

Bizarrely, ICW announced Damo and Mastiff vs Galloway and Jester, back in September. Mastiff is of course defending his title twice during that day far away in Preston. How does this sort of thing happen?


Card announced:
Galloway vs Spud
Flash Morgan Webster and Nikki Storm vs Kay Lee Ray and Stevie Boy
Joe Coffey vs Liam Thompson
Wolfgang vs Kid Fite
Grado vs Chris Renfrew
BT Gunn vs Trent Seven

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