Keen to uncover the background story to the ever popular “ONE FALL” chant that occurs at wrestling shows across the British Isles our research told us that Simon Cassidy of ICW fame was the man to contact and boy did he not disappoint.
Neil Rogers – How long have you been working with ICW?
Simon Cassidy – I started working with ICW about three and a half years ago now. It was originally meant to be a one night thing and apparently I did an ok job because I’m still there.
NR – Yeah you must have been doing something ok! Had you worked with any wrestling companies before?
SC – I had actually been doing it about 6 months when I started with ICW. In about 2008 I did a couple months of wrestling training fairly quickly realised it wasn’t for me and kind of abandoned it.
NR – Where were you doing your wrestling training?
SC – I was training at the time with SWA training school.
NR – Is that the one that Damo did and Mikey Whiplash does now?
SC – Yes at the time it was a different school though. Damo took over a couple of years after I had called it quits. Basically I was doing my masters in journalism at university and I was doing a lot of work on student radio and hosting events and things round about Glasgow, I then started a wrestling website with the man now known as DCT, and we were doing a podcast covering UK news and one day Big Damo asked if I would host one of their friends and family shows because they were short of a ring announcer. I said yes, went in and did it, started getting more regular bookings and working for other companies off the back of it. I initially got brought in one show to cover Sean David on commentary (a show which to this day I have never watched back) and had been helping with some backstage interviews for ICW, when out of the blue I got asked to fill in as MC.
NR – So was it after the first show for ICW that you did that they said they would have you back regularly or was it a little while later?
SC – I got offered the job in the most ICW fashion that I could think of which was I was told on the night originally it would be a one night thing. Leanne, their ring announcer at the time, was taking time off to have a baby, and they had someone else in mind to come in as their permament announcer. But obviously I was desperate to get the ICW gig, so I went out and did my very best because, you never know… even after the show when I thanked Mark Dallas for the opportunity, and spoke to Chris Renfrew and Billy Kirkwood, who I knew had put in good words for me and kinda vouched that I should get a shot, it still looked like I’d be involved somehow, but probably not as announcer. A couple of days later, I actually didn’t have my phone on me, I came back to three missed messages from Mark Dallas which simply said – “You’re my ring announcer. You sexy bastard. Buy a suit!” So the rest as they say is history.
NR – Yeah that is a fairly ICW way of dealing with things. That’s similar to when Noam Dar told me he didn’t answer the phone to William Regal because he was playing FIFA, another ICW way of dealing with things. So that would have been around 2013?
SC – Erm, around then 2012/2013, 2013 sounds about right, I have a shocking memory for dates!
NR – That’s fine! So that’s around the time ICW Fight Club aired on BBC? Just before they really took off like they have today? What’s it like working with ICW? Do you get recognised, do you get offered jobs with other places when ICW aren’t holding shows? How has life changed for you?
SC – Dramatically really, well for a start I now get to go on tours up and down the UK over to Ireland, I very rarely have a free weekend anymore. In working situation people don’t tend to recognise me if I’m not wearing a suit. I have quite literally walked backstage after a show, changed out of my suit, and walked back out and people have looked at me and asked “were you on the show?” or “Did you see the show?”
NR – And you had been calling all of it?!
SC – I was there for all of it!! To be honest it’s not like I get recognised and heckled, no one is really there to see the ring announcer, but occasionally a stranger will shout one fall from across the street.
NR – I was going to say that’s probably what I would shout at you if I just saw you randomly passing.
SC – You know the funny thing, I still don’t know what the appropriate response to that is. It throws me. I remember I was doing a festival with PBW but I had to leave on the Friday and there was a show on the Saturday but I was travelling back with Grado and we walked across from the tent that the show had been in and it was maybe 100ft and I swear 5 or 6 people screamed “it’s yersel” just across the field to him and ran over to take a picture with him and I was like how does he do it?
NR – It’s all he gets as well, I’ve seen it when he’s been in Newcastle and he just deals with it.
SC – Yeah he just rolls with it, he’s great about it. So so casual, he just smiles and takes a picture, I couldn’t do it.
NR – He is incredibly laid back though.
SC – Aye, I have one face I make in any picture, I don’t know what else to do.
NR – So how did the “One Fall” thing start? I always credit you and ICW with starting it is that right or have I got my history wrong?
SC – Well the first time I became aware of it happening was at a company that doesn’t run any more, it was a small show at a small Scottish town in the middle of nowhere and there was one guy in the crowd who kept shouting ONE FALL every time I did it then it just kinda kept happening. ICW is where it really caught on and took off from there. The weird thing was at first it genuinely threw me off. If you watch older stuff on demand I will repeatedly try and talk over it, it took me a lot longer than in theory it should have to just pause and let them carry on.
NR – I went to an NXT house show in Newcastle last year and the ring announcer didn’t seem aware of the one fall, he was talking over the crowd, it took him till the interval maybe someone told him to just wait a second and pause.
SC – Funnily enough I ended up talking to the NXT announcer after that because people kept tagging me in Tweets to him. He’s an absolutely lovely guy I think people perceived it as “ripping me off”…but it’s a crowd chant, that’s not ripping me off, it’s people enjoying a show. I didn’t invent the words one fall…I’m fairly certain Howard Finkel did. I trademarked it but that’s a different thing! My one gripe with some announcers who do one fall is when they try and egg on the crowd and make a big deal of it. The best feedback I’ve ever been given was from Mick Foley. After the SECC he complimented me and said I was really good at my job but “what I really like about you is that we forget about you as soon as you leave the ring, you don’t want people leaving the show saying that the ring announcer was really good.” Because if they mainly remember you, you’ve done something wrong, or taken away from the show. My whole thing is let one fall happen, leave a pause if it doesn’t happen it doesn’t matter because it’s an aside, it’s a little thing to enjoy. Whereas I think there are a lot of people who hold the microphone out to the crowd or they will say it a few times. You’re there to make the wrestlers look good, if the crowd are screaming one fall then you get an absolute chill down your spine but at the same time if you hold the microphone out to the crowd and they don’t do it, which they don’t do at a lot of the kids shows, then you just look stupid.
NR – It happens at most of the shows I’ve been to, I know of people who went to the World of Sport taping in the crowd who were told not to shout it for the recording. It seems to have become something that has become part of British wrestling over a very short space of time.
SC – I’m totally on board with it, it seems to be going around the world. I’m all for it.
NR – Wrestling fans are an odd bunch, it’s like with the 10 chants that are happening now or I watched some Australian wrestling and they have a crazy thing wherever the referee does a count and says one, the crowd go eh he he like the count from Sesame Street and they do that after every single number.
SC – Well that might be the best chant I have ever heard of!
NR – That hasn’t taken off, in Australia it’s huge but it hasn’t happened over here yet.
SC – I don’t know how to go about it but I really want to make that a thing, that’s brilliant! There’s only been two chants that somewhat bother me, I don’t like “save the table” I just think it’s stupid.
NR – I don’t like “Both these guys”, I’ll happily chant for both guys but I don’t like that as an actual chant.
SC – I would rather people go, lets go so in so then let’s go the other guy because then you are chanting his name, the other one that gets me because I don’t think I could count through it is when the fans count one in front of the referee. As silly as it sounds I think I would loose count, if I was the referee and I said 5 and the crowd said 6 I would probably go 7.
NR – Yeah, I’ve spoken to some referee’s often and I always say how impressed I am that they don’t get confused by it, it’s making counting to 10 a lot harder than it should be.
SC – Maybe that’s why they hold up their fingers so they don’t loose count.
NR – Might well be, do you have any other favourite chants than one fall?
SC – One of the old chants from ICW, there was a fairly skinny wrestler and the crowd used to sing “Feed the World” at him which I always thought was genius.
NR – Any reaction is a good reaction.
SC – I think you do get an awful lot of people online who disagree, I get a bunch of tweets daily saying that the one fall chant annoys them, that it has to stop, one said it had to die.
NR – But you can’t stop that happening.
SC – Yeah, my take on it is it’s wrestling fans having fun at a wrestling show, if they want to chant it go ahead, I’m not going to stop them.
NR – Do you feel disappointed if you ever call a match that’s not a one fall match like an iron man match?
SC – No I love it, although I did get slagged for announcing that a bra and panties match was one fall because technically at what point do you class that as a fall?? There was also a show I did in the Barrowlands, it was a two out of three falls match and I said the follow contest is scheduled for two out of three falls and a small amount of people in the front row attempted to chant two out of three falls and it just died, it just did not work.
NR – It’s too many syllables.
SC – It doesn’t roll off the tongue.
NR – When did you think to trademark one fall, when did One Fall media start?
SC – Really what happened was a few people had come to me and said that they didn’t understand why I wasn’t putting one fall on T shirts, honestly I was quite reluctant to do it on the basis of that’s an MC having merch. But then I kept hearing rumblings of other people planning to do it so I figured I may as well go down that route. But I made the conscious decision that I wanted it to be more a brand name than “that MC has his own t-shirts”. I wanted it to be this is a brand of clothing, some of them will say one fall, some of them won’t. So first I built it up a little bit, got a few batches of T shirts out in a couple of designs, they sold quite well then there was a couple of other companies and a couple of websites selling One Fall t-shirts. For the most part I messaged them and were absolutely fine with it then it kept crossing my mind that all it would take is one company to say no we aren’t fine with it. So I trademarked it. I recently sent a cease and desist, you feel oddly powerful doing it, they ignored a couple of polite requests so I sent that then they were really good about it.
NR – What would happen if they still ignored you? Would that go to court?
SC – Thankfully I’ve never had to go down that route to find out. I would have assumed there would be some kind of agreement. My favourite response so far was Mark Coffey’s reply which was “why don’t we just go and take them?!” In terms of One Fall Media, the company side of things I just decided to build it up a bit, I was hosting a few podcasts and that sort of thing, I figured I would branch out and make it more than just T shirts. So I’m now doing social media and PR support for a few companies and now running the One Fall Sessions podcast along with another new project I’m trying to do which is an as of yet unnamed podcast about ghosts, of all things, but that’s at the very, very early stages.
NR – These all sound really good and I’m sure I’ll check them out but the more you do the less likely you are to finish the 1001 things to do before you die, that seems to have disappeared.
SC – You know I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Billy Kirkwood and Chris Renfrew as being absolutely integral to where I am today. They brought me into what was at the time Pulse radio to co-host the Big Wrestling show at the time, I know it was Billy and Chris that vouched for me to get into ICW and put my name forward. The first night I came in was to fill in on commentary and then off that I went into backstage interviewing so I’ve done a lot of things with the two of them and Billy came up with the idea of 1001 things to do before you die. Him and Chris Renfrew were doing it, and another friend of Billy and myself did it and it was really good fun but as time went on getting the 4 of us in the room at the same time to make time to do the show, it was terrible, there was 3 months passing with no show it was just a logistical nightmare so we needed to call it quits on that for now at least.
NR – And no one was writing anything down, you were forgetting what was on the list.
SC – Well that was the thing, I believe Chris Renfrew wrote the official list but there definitely was one! The main list was on our Faceboo page as the pinned post. One day Facebook deleted the post; we went to it and it had just disappeared. We talked a lot of nonsense so it would have took a lot to go back and write it all again.
NR – I know the list so far was pretty crazy from it went from buying a round of drinks for the whole bar to shooting the Spice Girls into space or riding a Segway under a Giraffe.
SC – Someone actually contacted a safari park or a zoo to actually ask if they could ride a Segway under a Giraffe and they got an official response back saying we cannot condone this on any circumstances. It was one of those shows it didn’t get huge numbers but the people who listened to it were die hard into it.
NR – I loved it, the idea of riding down a log flume on a dolphin just appealed to me.
SC – I think my favourite was the Milan fashion week where we were going to gate crash it but you had to get onto the catwalk. I did a mini One Fall session at the Stand a couple of weeks ago, both Billy and Chris were on it and it was great fun so you never know, never say never.
NR – Going back to the chant, when you first became aware of it happening how many people do you think were in the audience?
SC – I can tell you exactly how many were in that audience because there was so few I actually sat and counted. There were 42 people in attendance and at the interval, still the strangest thing I have ever had to say on a wrestling show, I had to walk backstage after the interval and say, “guys no hurry, the crowd have gone to the shop.” I swear two thirds of them got up as one, went to the shop across the road and maybe 15 or 20 mins later I went up to the promoter and said so when are we going back and he said, oh you know when the crowd comes back, then there was the awkward silence when I said at what point do we accept that they aren’t coming back and start the second half anyway.
NR – Did they come back?
SC – Some of them did, I believe the show finished with 15-20 people in the crowd.
NR – That’s a shame.
SC – But you know what some of them are the best shows, the fact that the first time I encountered the one fall chanting was there, then up to the 6,200 people at Fear and Loathing, that’s a buzz.
NR – My wife and I have travelled up to the last two Fear and Loathing’s and they are fairly special being in the crowd, what’s it like when you are there? Can you hear the people shout it?
SC – Oh yeah, people kept asking me if I was excited for the show in the Hydro, I kept saying yeah I’m excited but I’m also terrified. People kept going but once you are out there you’ll enjoy it and I was like to a degree yes but I’ll enjoy it when it’s finished, once I don’t need to worry about cues and timings and who’s coming out when, when I don’t need to worry about that, then I’ll enjoy it.
NR – Was it extra nerve wracking being broadcast live so you had timings and everything to keep in mind and stick to.
SC – Everything was that strict with time, and hectic that I had not yet met or seen Kurt Angle before the show, so in the middle of a room with 6200 people in it the steel cage match is about to finish I had to grab a security guard and say you have to do me a favour you have to go backstage and find out Kurt Angle’s home town and how much he weighs and come back and tell me. He went oh where will I find him? It was probably harsher than I should have been but my response was I should imagine in the room that says Kurt Angle on it! My opportunity to go backstage had gone and the first time I met Kurt Angle was in the ring and then I briefly spoke to him afterwards to kinda apologise for not getting the chance to talk to him before, he was fine about it, I was terrified.
NR – Fair enough, its better to not say one if you are unsure.
SC – Well that’s the thing, the only thing more terrifying than that was when I first met Sabu was again in the ring because I think he missed a flight and was arriving late, he got in the ring and walked up to me and came in really close and asked if I knew his introduction and I say yes because I know what I’m planning on saying but I don’t know if that’s the same thing.
NR – Does he mean the homicidal, genocidal thing?
SC – He didn’t then murder me so I’m assuming that’s what he meant.
NR – Are there any other announcements that stick in your brain? Grado’s must be different because he does it in metric tonnes sometimes or when he changes his weight to the cast of something random.
SC – Grado’s is a funny one, sometimes he has a specific thing in mind about what he wants to weigh but sometimes I’ll just be standing in the ring and have to make something up.
NR – I was at a show when he was announced as the weight of the cast of Total Diva’s.
SC – That was a good one I enjoyed that, there’s been some absolute brilliant ones. I think my favourite person to introduce has been Fergal Devit just because of the list of all of his accomplishments. My claim to fame is that I announced him on so many shows that I no longer had to use the list I just could remember it.
NR – Can you still remember it? Just to put you on the spot!
SC – I would have to do it in an announcing way –
Ladies and Gentleman, introducing first from Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland, he is the:
Best of the Super Jrs 2010. Best of the Super Jrs 2013. 3x IWGP Jr Heavyweight Champion. 6X IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. 2X British Heavyweight Champion. Former Rev Pro Cruiserweight Champion. Former Pro-wrestling.IE Heavyweight Champion. Former ICW Zero G Champion. Prince Fergaaaaaaal Devitt!
I’ve missed out like seven.
NR – He’s lost a lot of matches to have all those former’s in his list.
SC – I remember reading a thing, was it Jerry Lawler’s book where he said he has held over 60 titles and he said that sounds impressive until you remember that means I have lost at least 59 of them. I think the best nod of recognition I have had since I started doing this was there was a show that Fergal was on and a message came back to me that he wanted to talk to the ring announcer. I went oh, ok, I went through and he was getting some paint done and I walked in, he turned round and said “oh it’s you, you know what you’re doing, I’ll see you out there” and that was it.
NR – Well that’s a vote of confidence right there!
SC – Yeah, well I think because I went from having it scribbled on a piece of paper to being able to go out and do it, that’s pretty cool.
NR – What’s it like being in the ring when Joe Hendry comes out and does one of his special entrances? When he’s in a Hendry ball or singing that Lionheart is a fanny.
SC – I remember I think it was Thomas Kearins was the referee and I burst out laughing in the ring and he went what you doing? You can’t laugh, you’re on camera and my response still is, because I realised I’m not very good at being serious, why should I be serious it’s funny and we’re currently working for a wrestling company, we should be happy to be here, it’s ok to laugh, it’s ok to break and I think folk enjoy seeing that.
NR – I really like the Jack Jester one where Jack Jester joins in.
SC – Oh aye, I think my favourite might actually be the Lionheart one, but I actually prefer the line Liam Thompson has failed his degree that’s in the middle of that song and nobody remembers it’s there.
NR – Well I think the first time he says it in the song the crowd are chanting Lionheart is a fanny again because they didn’t realise he was there.
NR – I’ve spoken to Liam Thompson and he said he wished it had been Liam Thompson is a fanny so he could have sold the T shirts!
SC – And he would have, unashamedly, he would have brought them out.
NR – Lionheart did didn’t he? Or someone was selling them at least.
SC – Yeah I’ve seen those but I’m genuinely not sure where they came from.
NR – I think Chris Renfrew has worn one, ask him.
SC – That’s not a bad shout actually because I know they get sold at ICW shows.
NR – So is that your favourite Joe Hendry entrance? The Seven Nation Army/Lionheart is a fanny one?
SC – Either that one or the Hendry ball at the SECC.
NR – That was spectacular to see that and not know it was coming, now when you know Joe Hendry is coming out there might be an entrance but that was the first one I was really aware of.
SC – I think my favourite part of that was that he was slightly too tall for the ball he was in so his legs were sticking out the entire time.
NR – I’ve spoken to him about that and apparently no one really believed he was going to come out and do it.
SC – t I think when Joe Hendry said he was doing a Miley Cyrus entrance in a ball at no point did I think he wasn’t going to do it. *laughs* I thought yep that seems about right.
NR – Ah on the subject of entrances, you said about memorising Fergal Devitt’s, Viper told me you are her favourite person to announce her because of the nicknames you’ve given her.
SC – OH! The vixen of violence, the babe of brutality, think at one point she was Mrs DCT.
NR – That’s the one, she says you are the best person to announce her for that. When I spoke to her she sang your praises immensely.
SC – Wow, didn’t know that. I love Viper.
NR – She’s pretty awesome, I’ve never met her but I’ve spoken to her a dozen times.
SC – She is, she’s amazing and the fact that she is having all the success she is having at the minute is amazing. The fact that, as she puts it, this wee Scottish lassie is getting to do all these incredible things and is tearing it up in Japan and America, it’s unbelievable.
NR – I don’t think there are many people better, there’s her, there’s Kay Lee Ray, I don’t think there are many better wrestlers not women’s wrestlers, no better wrestlers in general.
SC – Oh yeah I think in terms of the UK there are very few that can hold a candle to them and I think even around the world if you put them against….
NR – They wouldn’t look out of place.
SC – Yeah I think you could drop those two in any environment and they would fit in, they would roll with it.
NR – Do you have any particular favourite matches from your time with ICW that you have maybe watched and thought you were lucky to be there to see?
SC – I think there’s a few, from a personal standpoint, one of the ones that probably meant the most watching was DCT v Bram in a steel cage.
NR – Is that where Viper comes off the top?
SC – Yeah, purely because I’ve been friends with DCT since we were like 14/15, we both trained together, we started the podcast together. He also stopped training the same time I did but then he went back when Damo was in charge and has since become DCT. So to see him going from that guy that just wanted to get into it and be part of it to being one of the main events in front of over 1,000 people against this international star in a steel cage when three to six months earlier DCT was literally carrying Polo Promotions bags. He went from lower mid card to the upper echelon and he nailed it, absolutely nailed it and didn’t look out of place in the slightest so from a personal standpoint that’sone of my favourite matches.
For my own personal enjoyment factor I think the main event at the SECC had a very special feel to it because it felt they were on a different level and the crowd were so into it when Grado won the title.
NR – Well I was nearly in tears walking back after Grado won the title, my wife and I stayed at a hotel just over the river so its just a five min walk. I remember my voice was breaking because I had been screaming the whole time, my hands were sore from clapping and she looked at me and said that I looked like I was going to cry and I remember saying “I’m just so emotional”, I didn’t know what to do with myself.
SC – It’s one of those things, so many people said oh it was so obvious he was going to win, it should have been this, it should have been that but you know what sometimes the obvious answer is the right one.
NR – It was obvious that Rick Flair was going to get beaten by Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania but it doesn’t stop it being one of the greatest matches.
SC – Exactly yeah.
NR – There are moments where you can suspend your disbelief and wonder what if he doesn’t, it just takes one moment and then you can go from there, that’s my opinion for what it’s worth.
SC – Oh yeah, absolutely.
NR – I think Fear and Loathing 8 is probably the best wrestling show I have ever been to, Nine was great but I give it to Eight for the ending, that and the cage match with Legion and NAK.
SC – Ah yeah, I give it to Fear and Loathing 9 for the sheer scale of it and what this company from Glasgow had pulled off, for me makes it one of my favourite shows. Then there was the first time we ran the Barrowlands after Fear and Loathing was a very special night, had a special feel to it. The build up behind Drew and Jester was something we hadn’t really seen on that scale before, everyone forgets but Paul Heyman was tweeting about that and again that was only maybe 2000 people and it was this almost show heard around the world feel. To go from that to the next year and the SECC Arena then the Hydro, it’s unbelievable to see the progression but it’s hard to pick a favourite show.NR – That’s fair enough, just before we finish off if someone wanted to get a hold of Simon Cassidy or One Fall Media what sort of things is it you are doing? You have your podcast and the merchandise what other things does One Fall Media specialise in?
SC – Basically we are a multimedia service provider, the main branches of it are we are producing a couple of podcasts so we do the One Fall Sessions which is a live wrestling podcast, we are yet to put out the audio on any of it because we are trying to get the format sorted out before we start releasing the audio so at the moment it’s a live show. If you want more information on that you can go to the One Fall Sessions page on Facebook. We are launching a ghost podcast just a little branch away from wrestling and you can find that on the One Fall Media Facebook page, we offer PR and social media support, we currently run the social media accounts for the Source Wrestling School, Scottish Wrestling Alliance and Polo Promotions, Europe’s best tag team – for the record!
NR – I’m not disagreeing with you on that one.
SC – We also have the t-shirts etc which you can find at www.mansruinstore.co.uk. If anyone wanted to get in touch with me either to host a show or find out more about what we can do head over to the One Fall Media Facebook page, I’m on Twitter @Simon_Cassidy1 because someone who’s profile picture is an egghas the name Simon Cassidy so I couldn’t get it! So you could follow me there or email
NR – Cool
SC – That was a lot of plugs!!!
NR – No problem we will put all that in, thanks for your time.