11th April the annual WWE Live Tour has rolled into Nottingham’s Capital FM arena, except we aren’t at the Capital FM arena. Steelchair are at the legendary Rock-City, to enjoy Insane Championship Wrestling’s brand of adult only hardcore wrestling. The Glasgow based promotion has been gaining much momentum in the last couple of years, and with the return of former WWE man Drew Galloway last year ICW’s star is bigger than it has ever been. The Insane Entertainment System Tour is the companies 2nd tour of England, with venues such as Liverpool’s O2 Academy and London’s KOKO to follow on from a night in the worlds most famous toilet circuit venue.
The show titled, The Princess is in Another Castle, opened with a billed singles match (after a promo by James R. Kennedy, who the crowd didn’t like) between Mikey Whiplash and Chris Renfrew, however due to a sneaky attack by Renfrew’s NAK brother Wolfgang and then save by former NAK man Dickie Divers the match became a tag team match. It was a pretty decent opening match, and the non-family friendly crowd we’re certainly in from the get go, shouting an array of expletive based chants at Wolfgang and Renfrew, most based about Wolfgang’s larger frame, not that this stopped the big man from hitting a Senton Bomb from the top rope for the win.
Up next the ‘Prodigy’ of Scottish Wrestling Lewis Girvan (essentially a poor man’s Drew Galloway) was in action against Zero-G Champion Kenny Williams. The two men went back and forth in this one, with action spilling out of the ring at one point and the match finally being won due to the use of Williams’s hover board (sorry, forgot to mention Kenny Williams has a Back to the Future gimmick going on, it’s actually pretty good). Anyway Williams retained the title, with Girvan complaining that he managed to get a leg onto the rope to break the pin, however I didn’t see it.
‘Party’ Marty Scrull followed, it would seem that many of the Nottingham crowd didn’t appreciate his top-knot haircut and they weren’t timid in letting him know this. He was facing Noam Dar, who was immediately over with the fans and got into bit of Hogan-esc crowd participation. After five minutes of dicking about the match got under way. Both competitors seemed technically very impressive, and it was a good match which ended with Scrull tapping out to Dar’s variant figure-four leg lock.
The final match before the half time interval featured BT Gunn, another member of NAK (and possibly a member of Slipknot) vs a man who really needs no introduction other than this – “the homicidal, suicidal, genocidal, death-defying SABU” It’s hard to believe that Sabu is the same age as a certain WWE superstar who appears once a year on the biggest stage of all, only to disappear again but it is true. The Hardcore Legend might not be as quick and agile as he once was, but fuck does he put on a performance, still hitting the “Air Sabu” like it’s 1999. After some interference from Mikey Whiplash on Gunn, Sabu hit a chair assisted leg drop from the top rope for the win and the crowd was happy, with Sabu leaving to chants of “you’ve still got it” and “thank you Sabu.” If this was to be Sabu’s fair well tour of the UK, then he’s certainly going out still pushing the boundaries and living up to his innovative legacy, however I get the feeling that he’s not planning on throwing the towel just yet (unless Bill Alfonso gets his way).
After the 20 minute interval there were two more matches, one for the Tag Team Titles during which rumour has it somebody broke a jaw. However Steelchair was backstage talking to Grado and Galloway (which you can read soon) ahead of their title match.
The stage was set for the Main Event of the evening, a match to decide the ICW World Heavyweight Championship between Drew Galloway and the man from the top-end of Stevenston Grado. Grado is an icon of the UK independent scene, with crowds North and South of the border loving him. When “Like a Prayer” hits, you know the room is about to go wild, and it did. After the ICW Champ, and former WWE “chosen-one” Galloway had entered the ring there was a bit more dancing and a crowd rendition of “Like a Prayer” before the match got under-way. Surprisingly Grado but up a hell of a fight and certainly gave Galloway a run for his money getting a couple of near falls and at one point going high risk from the top of the guard rail. This match was what ICW is all about, with Drew Galloway finally putting Grado away with a Piledriver onto a steelchair, and then a Futureshock to retain the ICW title.
However unfortunately for Galloway and Grado, celebrations were cut short by the return of Jack Jester, the man Galloway beat at Fear and Loathing VII to win the title, and who hasn’t been seen in ICW for months. Jester seemingly only had one thing on his mind revenge, attacking Grado with a steelchair before brutally attacking Galloway with a steel chain before hitting a Tombstone onto a steelchair leaving Galloway crumpled and broken in the ring, starting the road to what will undoubtedly be the showdown of blood filled revenge fuelled showdowns in the future.
If you get the chance, I highly recommend you get yourself to an ICW show. ICW is the future of professional wrestling in the UK, and arguably Europe as well, it captures a sense of nostalgia that to someone of my era is just what is missing from the current content of the major US promotions. You can catch ICW on the following date in the following locations:
IES Tour: Paperboy – 18th April – Birmingham O2 Academy
IES Tour: Alex Kid in London – 19th April – London Koko
IES Tour: Up Down Left Right A C Start – 26th April – Sheffield O2 Academy
IES Tour: Flawless Victory – 3rd May – Glasgow Garage
Waynestock: Long Before Wesley Snipes – 25th July – Glasgow Maryhill Community Central Hall
Waynestock: Shug’s Hoose Party II – 26th July – Glasgow O2 ABC
Fear and Loathing VIII – 15th November – Glasgow SECC
With tickets available from: http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/ICW-Wrestling-tickets/artist/825377
Or you can subscribe to ICW’s On Demand service, which is only £9.99….no wait sorry! It’s only $5.99 which works out at about £4.00.