They always say good things come in pairs, and the Insane Championship Wrestling team proved this with a second trip to the Midlands in seven days – this time a visit to Birmingham’s hallowed O2 Academy, familiar territory following ICW’s last tour of England. The show opened with ICW commentator, good old Billy Kirkwood, cracking some jokes and getting the crowd going before the action began!
First up was a Fatal Four-Way, purely for the sake of having a Fatal Four-Way. Before the match, one half of the tag-team champions, Polo Promotions’ Mark Coffey, dedicated the match to his tag-team partner, Jackie Polo, who is currently sidelined with a broken cheek suffered the previous week “at the hands” of Davey Boy.
The other competitors in the match were Lionheart, fan-favourite Noam Dar, and some guy called Jack Gallacher, who the fans in the room felt was a “poor mans Sheamus”. Not so sure myself, unless similar skin tone and hair colour make you a “poor mans (insert wrestler here).” In fairness, the match was a fairly decent, and showed off some of what ICW has to offer, with the win finally going to Mark Coffey.
After the match, some bloke called Liam Thompson came to the ring – if the feelings of the crowd were anything to go by he’s a bit of a prick. He started spouting some bollocks (through the jeers of the crowd) about knowing who Kay Lee Ray was going to be confronting, and his call was answered when Kay Lee made her welcome return to ICW. Apparently this Thompson chap had hit his fiancé Carmel with a steel chair and Kay Lee wasn’t happy about it. Thus began an impromptu match between the two of them.
As weird as it seems, it’s always nice to see a female wrestler being given the chance to take on a male competitor and, really, it shouldn’t be weird! Despite losing the match Kay Lee showed some skills in the ring, bringing a high-flying element to the match, and the only reason Thompson picked up the win was due to nailing Ray with a chair. After the match, Thompson continued to attack Ray with the chair and seemingly Stevie Boy and Davey Boy of the Bucky Boys had seen enough, so they raced to the ring to save Ray, and Thompson scampered away.
As Kay Lee Ray was helped out of the ring by ICW officials, the Bucky Boys stood tall in the ring reaping the admiration of the Birmingham crowd. However, it didn’t last long as another impromptu match began as Wolfgang and BT Gunn came to the ring to start some trouble.
Having missed The Bucky Boys match the previous week, the pillars of the ICW tag division did not disappoint. Both The Bucky Boys and the New Age Kliq are arguably the most interesting characters in ICW. Yes, the Bucky Boys gimmick plays up to Scottish stereotypes but that seems to make them more loved than anyone else, and their wrestling ability makes them legitimate contenders in the wrestling ring.
The match also showed how much professional wrestlers put on the line with Wolfgang seemingly taking a legitimate knock to the head during the match. It was clearly causing him a decent amount of pain but he fought through for the benefit of the fans (backstage chatter suggest he may have suffered a concussion, but that was unconfirmed). In the end, the NAK picked up the win.
The final bout before the interval was a much-anticipated match between Chris Renfrew and the legend Sabu, and thankfully this week there were tables! Any time Sabu steps into the ring, you know that there is going to be an element of carnage, and weapons are going to come into play. The match at points spilled out into the crowd with chants of both ICW and ECW going around the room as the momentum went back and forth. There were then chants for a table to be brought into play, which this week happened, and Sabu eventually put himself and Renfrew through the table with a steel chair aided legdrop from the top rope to get himself the three count.
After the interval, your intrepid repoter scarpered backstage for some interview action with Stevie Boy, Kay Lee Ray, Mark Coffey, and Global Bollocks, which you can read exclusively on or in Steelchair in the coming weeks (plugged like a boss).
This meant I missed two and a half matches. However, Steelchair‘s Alan Boon was also in attendance. Over to Boon!
The first match after the interval was a number one contenders’ match for the ICW Tag Team titles, between The 55 and Global Bollocks. Yes, that’s right. Global Bollocks is the team of Kenny Williams – who rocks a Back To The Future gimmick, right down to his self-fastening trainers – and Joe Hendry, who has the catchiest theme song known to human ears. I’m singing it now. As I write. Days later.
The 55 are Kid Fite and East End Butcher Sha Samuels. Each team had a balance of hench brawling and aerial flying that lent the match a fast and furious, strong and stylish air. The 55 picked up the win, and will fight for the titles down the road, when little Jackie Polo’s cheek gets unbroken.
The massive frame of The Beast of Belfast, Big Damo, filled the entrance way for the next match. He was on with “hometown hero” Dave Mastiff, styled up with kneepads repping both the Black Country and the Cradley Heathens. These two HUGE fellas knocked seven shades of the proverbial out of each other, shifting the ring around the floor with the impact of their assaults.
This was professional wrestling at its most raw. Mastiff won, and afterwards Big Damo challenged him to a decider – an earlier match between the two had ended in a win for the Beast – in London the following night. And he dared the ICW “nancy boys” to make it a number one contenders’ match for the ICW title.
The next match saw Mikey Whiplash taking on the debuting Trent Seven, from local promotion Fight Club Pro. Seven received a great reaction from the fans, and this only seemed to fire up Whiplash. At this point, Shane returned from his talky talking…
Cheers, Boon! So we returned to ringside half way through the match between Mikey Whiplash and Trent Seven. This was a heck of a match! At one point Seven suplexed Whiplash from the ring apron onto the steel entrance ramp, resulting in both men being cut open. In the end, Whiplash won the match after hitting his finisher twice in quick succession, the first of which was kicked out of before the two count.
Seven certainly seems like a good booking for ICW. He has charisma, his style seems fitting of the hardcore nature of the shows and it will be interesting to see how he progress within the company. Personally I feel like a heel turn to join The 55 could be on the cards, but who knows which way he will go!
The night’s main event was billed as match between Jack Jester and Grado, with ICW champion Drew Galloway as a special guest referee. However, Galloway clearly thought this might steal some of his spotlight so he stripped off and decided to make the match a triple threat for the ICW World Heavyweight Title. Unsurprisingly, the crowd had no problems with this change in the card.
Once Drew was stripped off, it was time to welcome Grado! Put Grado on ANY independent show in the UK and the guy is going to get a pop. Put Grado on a UK filming of RAW or Smackdown and he’s going to get a pop! He might not hold the title, but Grado is ICW’s top star and even Galloway knows it, deciding to get in with the crowd and join in with the customary “Like a Prayer” sing-a-long.
As you would expect from Grado, Galloway, and Jester, it was a hard fought match, with Galloway stealing the win following a Jester DDT to Grado onto a chair. However, the action didn’t stop there, as Jester hit Galloway with a steel chair after Galloway begged for it, and then made off with the ICW Championship belt. He was then attacked on the ramp by Sabu who nailed Jester with a chair and left with the title, which sets up the Three Way Dance for the ICW World Heavyweight Title billed for the ICW: Alex Kidd in London event at KOKO in Camden.
So all in all ICW smashed it again! If you don’t believe the hype then you can always sign up to ICW’s On Demand service which is only $5.99 (https://icwondemand.pivotshare.com/) or go check out one of ICW’s shows (http://insanewrestling.co.uk/events.php).