Insane Championship Wrestling ‘I Am The Walrus’ at the O2 Academy in Liverpool on October 11th 2014
Picture Credit:The O2 Academy Liverpool
It was a surreal sight that greeted me as I made my way up the road to the O2 Academy. Not only was ICW appearing at the event, but a slipknot tribute band were also scheduled in a separate room. So after figuring out that the dude with the clown mask and in front of me was not paying tribute to Doink, I made my way to the second, slightly smaller queue for a night of ICW mayhem.
After climbing what seemed like a never ending flight of stairs (and building up a considerable thirst), I arrived at the room. After checking out the merchandise (and purchasing a couple of dvd’s and t-shirts) I made my way to ringside. The lack of seating adds to the unique atmosphere of ICW..you feel so close to the action your almost part of the show yourself!. I could have done with a seat when I found out that the bar was charging £4.50 for a pint of Tueborg..but that’s concert venues for you!.
The evening started with an announcement that the show was being taped as part of the BBC documentary sequel “Insane Fight Club 2” and then Billy Kirkwood was introduced and warmed the crowd up with a couple of minutes of (very funny) comedy.
First match out of the gate was what was supposed to be a singles match between Kenny Williams and Stevie Boy for the ICW Zero G championship…however “Delicious” Danny Hope came out and through his (no doubt tasseled) hat into the ring, turning this into a triple threat match. This was a great choice of opener with all three guys putting together a fast paced sprint of a match with plenty of good wrestling and the odd flippy spot. The finish came with Kenny Williams rolling up Stevie Boy to retain his title.
Next out was Sha Samuels who certainly didn’t endear himself to the Liverpool crowd with his cock-er-ny antics. The roof was nearly blown off (for the first time of the night!), as Like a Prayer signified the arrival of the one and only Grado. The dude reminds me of Dusty Rhodes in terms of connecting to the crowd as an everyman, who clearly is having the time of his life in the business he loves. Mr Samuels was treated to chants of “Cockney Wanker” and more amusingly “He’s just a fat Eric Cantona”, which he thrived off. After a slower paced back and forth encounter, Sha Samuels surprisingly took the win.
Jack Gallagher came out next wearing a Manchester City top, which straight away positioned him as someone the partisan crowd wanted to see get beat by his opponent Kid Fight. This was a tight mainly scientific encounter, and my hat is off to Jack Gallagher, as he showed loads of personality interacting with the crowd (something he has not really done in his appearances for Infinite Pro where he comes across as an earnest if somewhat bland grappler-see Backlund, Bob). In the end Kid Fite prevailed, sending the Manchester Mat Technician to the back with a loss.
Out next was Jack Jester, who paid tribute to one of his mentors and his opponent for the night, “The Liverpool Lad” Frankie Sloan. Before these two could lock up, out came Jackie Polo along with Mark Coffey, who berated the pair in the ring, leading to the decision to make the bout a tag match between the arguing teams. Coffee and Jester did most of the heavy work, leaving Sloane and Polo to have numerous humorous exchanges inside the ring, and after a polo stick shot by Sloane, a Jester piledriver put Polo away. This did not shut the defeated Polo up though as he ran down Liverpool on the mike until a very familiar piece of music hit and the theme from Brookside brought out Jimmy Corkhill (Dean Sullivan) to the second thunderous pop of the night as he defended his city’s honour…by punching Polo in the mouth!. Clearly loving the adulation from the crowd he was paraded around the ring by Jester and Sloane, sending the crowd into the intermission more than happy!.
We came back from the break to an ICW grudge match between Chris Renfrew and Wolfgang. This was a violent sprint of a match with both hitting big moves. Wolfgang got the pinfall after a swanton bomb. This bought out the other members of the NAK, Darkside & Dickie Divers and they attempted to attack Wolfgang but were thwarted by the Sumerian Death Squad….which lead us directly into the next match of… The Sumerian Death Squad (Tommy End & Michael Dante) versus New Age Kliq (Darkside & Dickie Divers). An awesome back and forth match with both teams hitting multiple double team maneuvers. In the end the tag team experience of the SDS told as they overcame their NAK opponents.
It was time for our main event as BT Gunn made his was out to face the champion The Drew Galloway. Galloway made his way out to a huge pop and positively oozed star quality, making me question the decision for his “best wishes in his future endeavors” he had received from the WWE. Still, there loss is our gain, and both men certainly put in a performance worthy of the main event, battling all over the venue, including a sick dive from Gunn onto Galloway, achieved after climbing a A/C pipe at the side of the stage. Unfortunately the NAK cut short the match, choosing to interfere, leading to the referee calling for a “no contest” decision..this bought out Jester and most of the lockeroom, leading to a big schmozzle in the ring with the heels facing off against the faces before being beaten to the back. During all the commotion ICW owner Mark Dallas made his way out from the back and set a match for the next night in Leeds of Drew Galloway & Jack Jester will face Wolfgang & BT Gunn. The music of Grado hit once more as the faces celebrated with the fans at ringside.
So my first time experience of seeing ICW was an overwhelmingly positive one. All of the workers put in a proper shift, and after talking to my fellow fans, most seemed to be leaving home happy and eager to see ICW in Liverpool again!.