ICW Fear & Loathing VIII (15/11/15) Review

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The queue stretched from one end of the SECC hallway to the other end and back again! When we actually got into the Hall it was a very impressive set up. The ring had 4 screens suspended above and the cage was around them. There was also a big screen at the entrance way. All in all a very professional set up.

Before the show began we had a trailer for ICW’s upcoming video game set for release on PS4, Xbox One and PC. I’ll reserve judgement on it until more info is out but I hope it turns out well. Billy Kirkwood then came out to hype up the crowd and

We then had Mark Dallas out to open the show proper. Accompanied by Chris Toal and Sweeney, he greeted the crowd and talked about ICW’s humble beginnings to its great heights now. He made reference to their TitanTron or “Big Telly” in a funny little exchange. Dallas was about to leave until Toal grabbed the mic and insisted he tell fans the Whole [CENSORED] Story (The review is PG). It was at this point that Dallas announced that tickets for next year’s instalment will go on sale on Thursday and it will be held in the SSE Hydro, an arena that holds about 12,000. It’s well received by the fans. Out comes Red Lightning, ICW’s resident corrupt GM. He has a go at Dallas for suspending him and complains about a lack of following disciplinary procedures. Dallas is about to fire him for breaching his suspension when out comes the guest GM for the evening, Mick Foley. He gets a huge reaction. Before he can getting talking properly, Red Lightning tells Mick “You were never my hero” before leaving. Foley addresses the crowd, dropping a rare Foley F-Bomb while talking about the size of the crowd. It was a nice way to start the show and the live crowd adored Foley.

ICW Zero G Championship: Davey Boy w/ The Wee Man vs. Stevie Boy [c]

The former Bucky Boys clashed in this personal match. Davey Boy has been wanting his hands on Stevie for month’s since he was betrayed by Stevie. These two did a lot of exciting moves to kick off, including a Suicide Dive by Stevie that led to him vomitting on the stage and a huge over the top dive by Davey. After a very back and forth match, Stevie attempted his Canadian Destroyer finisher (for easiness for those who aren’t familiar with the product, I’ll refer to moves by their most common names) which was then countered allowing his Spear to only get a 2. Stevie went for the Destroyer again but was distracted by the Wee Man, who then was on the receiving end of a superkick allowing Stevie to hit the Destroyer, but he only got a 2! In the end, Davey Boy hit a Destroyer, impressive for a guy his size and got the three! A great a victory that the crowd were very into. A great match to open the show!

The Champagne Local Bollocks (Noam Dar, Joe Hendry & Kenny Williams) vs. Liam Thomson, Lionheart & Doug Williams w/ James R. Kennedy & Timm Wylie

The first team came out separately. Kenny Williams came out rocking a Back to the Future Part 3 Poncho, cowboy hat and hoverboard look. It was very cool. Joe Hendry’s entrance was an amazing cover version of Wrecking Ball, incorporating a “Hendry Ball”. It was quite a sight to behold. The Heel team came out together. Kenny Williams and Noam Dar dived on them and tossed Kennedy into his former client, Hendry who hit a Fall Away slam on him. When the match started it proper it was a fun match. Lionheart was particularly hated by the fans, getting abusive chants when he wasn’t even in the ring. You have to really admire how he’s managed to build that up when you consider a year ago he was injured with a broken neck. The match itself was pretty standard with guys taking turns to do there thing. Particular highlights included Kenny Williams high pitched yelps when doing high spots and Noam Dar having 2 men in a submission at once leading to a big pile up everyone has a submission part. In the end Wylie got involved, leading to a heel beat down, causing the lights to cut out. When they returned who was at the top of the ramp? Jimmy Freakin’ Havoc (I like my reviews to be PG) Despite Doug Williams best efforts at friendship, he hit every heel with the Acid Rainmaker and revealed an ICW tank top under his trademark entrance jacket. This then let the faces get a three man pile up on Lionheart to pick up the win. However, after the match there was a heel beatdown on the faces. However, they scattered when Carmel Jacob, the ex-fiancée of Liam Thomson returned to ICW and decked Liam with a chair. After that, Lionheart was forcibly ejected by the stars of Scot Squad, the Scottish sitcom that Grado appears on. After that, Carmel Jacob challenged Liam Thomson to a match at the Square Go. So a lot of stuff went down in this match!

ICW Womens Championship Tournament Final: Nikki Storm w/ Sammii Jayne vs. Kay Lee Ray

At least, that’s what the match was supposed to be. After both women made their entrances, we got the second appearance from our GM for the night Mick Foley. He said that he is going to make some changes to the match. Firstly, no non-combatants at ringside so no Sammii Jayne and he was also adding a third participant to the match, Viper who was cheated out of a finals place. So we got…

ICW Womens Championship Tournament Final: Nikki Storm vs. Kay Lee Ray vs. Viper

This was a great women’s match. Storm and KLR are in my opinion the 2 best female wrestlers in Europe and Viper for someone so short into her career is a great talent. Viper was very popular with the crowd, womanhandling the two smaller competitors for much of the match. Several times in the match we got a tease for a 3 woman tower of doom spot with someone cutting off the other two. Eventually though we got Nikki Storm superplexing Kay Lee Ray while being powerbombed by Viper. A particular highlight was Viper hitting a huge splash on Kay Lee Ray for a 2 after Nikki broke it up. The majority of the match was a swing of momentum between each woman, making for a very exchange of near pinfalls. In the end Viper hit a huge almost World’s Strongest Slam onto Kay Lee Ray from the second rope! Then hit an electric chair drop on Nikki Storm dropping her onto Kay Lee Ray! Viper pinned both and became the first ever ICW Women’s Champion! It was a great moment and Viper was a deserved winner.

Rhyno vs. Joe Coffey

This was another match I was really excited for, and it didn’t disappoint either! Joe Coffey had a special entrance as hooded Iron Man masked singing a chant in support of Joe Coffey (to the tune of the Lion Sleeps Tonight). The sound of the arena singing along to Coffey’s Iron Man theme was a great spectacle. He was painted up with a white IronMan design incorporating the Zero 1 logo. Joe Coffey’s chants/singalongs may be the best in ICW. Seeing these two powerhouses go at it was great! Joe Coffey is a great wrestler being a powerful wrestler, agile and super popular with the crowd. Highlights of this match include Rhyno backdropping Coffey onto the ring apron, the referee standing up to Rhyno, Rhyno at one point hit an amazing spinebuster. A huge reaction came when Joe Coffey retreived a table and brought it into the ring. Rhyno set it up in the corner. He tried to Gore Coffey but Coffey dodged and attempted the Discus Clothesline but Rhino dodged that and Gored him through a table. He went for the cover and only got a 2! Rhino’s face was one of the highlights of the show as he was in pure disbelief. After a Discus Clothesline, a Gore and another Discus Clothesline from Coffey he pinned Rhino to get the win. The two beaten and battered men then shook hands after the match. It was a great match and a great showing by both guys.

ICW World Tag Team Championship: The 55 (Sha Samuels & Kid Fite) w/ Timm Wylie & James R. Kennedy vs. Polo Promotions [c] (Jackie Polo & Mark Coffey) w/ DCT & Coach Trip

The 55 came out wielding hammers. Polo Promotions are the longest reigning tag team champions in ICW and they are extremely popular. Jackie Polo had a tribute to the recently deceased Nick Bockwinkel on his wrist tape. The 55 jumped Polo Promotions during the introductions. These two teams had a good tag match. However, early in the match the Polo Pormotions ringside crew were thrown out leaving the 55 with the number game as they isolated Mark Coffey and Jackie Polo in turn with interference behind the referee’s back. However, Polo Promotions were able to overcome it hitting an assisted German Suplex on each man for the win. Cue a big post match celebration as DCT and Coach Trip returned to party over the fallen 55.

6 Man Tag Steel Cage Match: New Age Kliq (Chris Renfrew, BT Gunn & Wolfgang) vs. Legion (Mikey Whiplash, Tommy End & Michael Dante)

This was probably the match I was most looking forward to and it didn’t disappoint. We got an awesome hype video for the history of the bloody feud between both sides. A feud over a year in the making. It was an escape the cage match where the winning team had to escape the cage. Of importance once a member escaped the cage they were barred from reentering. The entrance of Legion was an amazing spectacle, masked men in suits bearing candles lined the entrance ramp and then Legion came out with hoods up and in Whiplash’s case a ghoulish devil mask. After unmasking all 3 members had the familiar white and black face paint that Whiplash normally has. The brawling started after a brief staredown. Towards the beginning we had a crazy 6 person tower of doom style moment, with End and Gunn powerbombing the other men of the top rope. We got a Dante and Wolfgang slugfest which I hoped would happen. Wolfgang was the first out of the cage but not of his own choice. Wolfgang hit a huge senton off the top of the cage and missed everyone. So Legion threw out Wolfgang giving them a 3 on 2 advantage. All 3 tried to escape but only Dante was successful after some help from Wolfgang. When it was the 4 men, in particular I loved when End and Whiplash did a variation of the SDS move where End lifts up a man and tosses him to Dante for a powerslam with Whiplash instead hitting a cutter. End then “escaped” with help from Wolfgang as Whiplash was brought back into the ring by BT Gunn. We then had one of the craziest spots I’ve ever seen in my life. Renfrew on the top rope held Whiplash and BT Gunn hit the Killer Boots from the top of the cage. It was insane! Both the remaining NAK members went to leave but BT Gunn returned into the cage. Leaving BT Gunn and Whiplash alone in the cage. Both of them climbed to the top and after some brawling up high we saw a very scary part as both men fell from outside of the cage into tables set up underneath. What in particular made it scary was you know that Whiplash is willing to do anything as a wrestler. It was 2 tables behind each man and the far one from Whiplash didn’t break causing his head to smash into the table. BT Gunn’s two tables didn’t break and I’m amazed he wasn’t seriously hurt. BT Gunn was helped by his partners but Whiplash looked to be seriously hurt. It looked very real and very scary. Whiplash reenters the cage and gets a mic, challenging BT Gunn to come back as Whiplash is still breathing and he wants BT Gunn to be the man to kill him. The NAK attempt to hold back Gunn but he decks Renfrew and reenters the cage too. After a short exchange of forearms, BT Gunn decked Whiplash with a superkick. Both sides indicating this awesome rivalry is over. I don’t think I can do this match justice as it was non-stop action for the whole of this match. I’d recommend watching the show for this match alone, it was a great match with high expectations that didn’t disappoint. An excellent end to an amazing rivalry.

We then had a short intermission with the cage being dissembled.

Jack Jester vs. Damo

This was a fun match. Damo is a very popular man for good reason. There was a small bit of crowd brawling in the match with Damo doing the standing on someone to the Senton on the arena floor. We got a tease of the Coast to Coast that Damo does but Jester managed to cut off and car Damo from the top rope to the centre of the ring for a Tombstone. Jester did a 10 punch corner spot but with steel chair, which looked very nasty. Damo hit both a Brouge Kick and a Finlay Roll onto a steel chair but didn’t get the win. In the end he threw the chair into Jester’s head and then hit the standing senton onto a chair on Jester’s chest to get the win. It was a fun match.

ICW World Heavyweight Championship: Grado vs. Drew Galloway [c]

Before the match we had the second hype video of the night. The minute Grado appeared onscreen the place went nuts. The sheer noise in this match was crazy. When Grado actually made his entrance every single person was singing along to Madonna. I’ve never seen a crowd so into everything a wrestler does. It’s unbelievable to see how beloved Grado is. He’s also lost a lot of weight and gotten in better shape. Drew came out in his old white WWE gear with the Saltires on and had his theme song performed live. I can’t exaggerate how loud the crowd was. There was no silence for the whole of this match. Highlights include Grado’s Dusty Rhodesesque jiving, Grado hitting a hurracanrana then following it up with a cannonball from the ring apron onto the floor, a “R-Grado” (its an RKO I just love the rename) on the ring apron to Galloway and a German Suplex by Galloway that sent Grado into the turnbuckles neck first! Drew at one point teased a Futureshock DDT from the top only to get a Rock Bottom of Grado. The story of this match was mostly Drew and Grado exchanging big moves with neither man being able to get the win with finishers and super finishers. Towards the end, Drew set up the chair and hit a Celtic Cross onto the set up chair.. Sadly, poor Thomas Kearins got decked by Drew and Red Lightning came out. Foley pulled down Lightning and decked him. Foley pulled out Socko and hit the Madible Claw to Jester who was sprinting to the ring. Red Lightning got in the ring with a chair, Foley tripped him from the outside sending the chair across the ring. Galloway grabbed it and turned to Grado. Grado hit the Wee Boot on the chair in Galloway’s hands smacking it into his face. Mark Dallas ran to ring to count the pin. 123! What came after that 3 is one of the most amazing things I’ve seen in my life. To say that the crowd were ecstatic would be an understatement. People were literally jumping up and down with joy like a kid at Christmas. It was a sea of hands in the air as people cheered. This is the most pleased I’ve seen a crowd ever. Grado celeberated with Mick Foley and the entirety of ICW’s faces came out to celebrate. In a nice moment, Foley gave Grado his famous red flannel shirt. The celebration after this match must’ve been at least 10 minutes and it was amazing. If you dismiss Grado as a “comedy” wrestler, you are wrong. He gave his all in this match and he put in a phenomenal performance. Grado thoroughly deserves his title win. Drew Galloway and Grado had to put on the main event of the biggest UK wrestling show of the past 30 years and they didn’t disappoint.

In summary, if you don’t have ICW On Demand, you need it for this show alone. It was the best wrestling show I’ve ever seen live. In particular, the cage match and the World Title match were absolutely amazing. I’ve already booked my tickets for next year’s show at the Hydro and I would thoroughly recommend everyone do the same!

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