On Sunday 17th September the O2 Academy played host to Insane Championship Wrestling and two Fight Club tapings (#67 and #68). Now those two tapings have been aired we are able to share our review of the event. Episode 67 is available for free on YouTube here and both episodes are available on ICW’s on demand service for $6.99 a month (approx £5.20) which can be signed up for here. Beware, the following contains spoilers for both shows. Obviously.
I was lucky enough to attend the evening with MEW owner Dan Fitch who was there to support his wrestlers (including his current champion Chris Renfrew) as well as scout some potential additions to his roster, which given the talent on show was a very good idea. Unfortunately/fortunately I did not bump into Jose Malergo’s although I was made aware of it midway through the show.
Before the camera started rolling the crowd were treated to a little slice of the magnificent bastard Billy Kirkwood. The UK’s best commentator decided that as ICW had never had a Geordie intro so he decided to welcome a random fan into the ring, said fan then somehow managed to slow motion fall backwards from the second turnbuckle as he tried to climb down. Thankfully he seemed fine afterwards so I could continue to laugh without the guilt of him having hurt himself. As far as show opening go that was one of my favourite ever.
The first match of the night was the advertised contest of Kid Fite, accompanied by his Cartel of Chaos cohorts Lou King Sharp and Krieger, against Wolfgang, who was accompanied by The Purge (Krobar and Stevie James). Well that was kind of the first match as the one-on-one contest lasted all of 50 seconds before Lou King Sharp got involved, he was quickly followed by Krobar then Krieger and finally James. Then out of nowhere The Wee Man appeared and ordered Davey Blaze to “get about them” and Blaze dutifully started to join the assault on Wolfgang and The Purge until DCT ran down to make up the numbers. Coach Trip then announced that this should be an eight man tag team match. Thankfully all eight men seemed to agree and referee Thomas Kearns was able to gain some manner of control. During the match Kirkwood helpfully pointed out that Kid Fite and his teams involvement in PBW and that their opponents involvement in GPWA, if someone was a first time viewer or did not know the competitors involved I think this would have made it clear why the opposing sides seemed to despise each other so much. Given how many promotions run in the UK and how many various storylines and angles each have I can understand why later companies don’t often reference smaller ones but in cases like this I believe it can add something. The match ended with a GPWA win after the Cartel abandoned Davey Blaze and he was hit simultaneously
with a pair of superkicks and a shot from a crowbar.
Next up was a segment with Mark Dallas and Ravie Davie. Dallas wanted to speak to Davie regarding the return of Bram from his suspension and wanted to get Davie’s word that the issue between he and Bram was over with. Given that Davie’s wedding to Martina the Session Moth was ruined and Davie’s face was rearranged by Bram he understandably refused to drop the issue and stormed out the the ring, bumping Dallas in the process. This prompted an explosion from the ICW boss who then proclaimed that he started the British Wrestling revolution, made the scene what it is and then demanded security remove Davie from the ring. Oh, and he also reinstated Bram.
Following that was the first Championship match of the evening as Kasey was set to take on Little Miss Roxxy. This was not only Roxxy’s ICW debut but also one of the best matches of her short career. She showed a level of aggression that I don’t think I have seen before and on a couple of occasions she came close to picking up the victory, unfortunately for her it just wasn’t meant to be as Kasey was able to grab the win as she retained her championship. As a fan of Roxxy I hope this isn’t the last we see of her in ICW.
Little Miss Roxxy was not the only person making their ICW debut on the show as The Kings Of The North (Bonesaw & Damien Corvin) were also making their debut to the company against Polo Promotions (Jackie Polo & Mark Coffey). Unsurprisingly this was an incredible contest as two of the best tag teams in the British Isles faced off against each other. In terms of tag team wrestling this match should be used as an example to any young wrestlers wanting to study their craft. Both teams were able to showcase what makes them unique and Polo Promotions were able to pick up the win and show why they are arguably the best team in British Wrestling.
After that barnburner of a contest it was time for Joe Hendry to pick his intern from the four final applicants. I don’t think words will do this segment justice so I would recommend you check this out for yourself, it is at approximately 59 minutes into episode 67.
The main event of the first half was The Filthy Generation (Stevie Boy, Aspen Faith and Lewis Girvan) versus Legion (Mikey Whiplash, Chris Renfrew and Michael Dante). I have written numerous times that Chris Renfrew has been involved in some of the most violent and brutal matches I have ever witnessed and this was no different. There were several points where I did not just worry about the safety of the men involved in the match but also for Calling Spots’ favourite referee Sean McLaughlin. This, for me, was match of the night and I don’t think many would argue. There were weapon shots, stunners from the top rope, a Glasgow Destroyer into an Apter Driver and even a tombstone from the ring apron through a table (see below).
The Filthy Generation picked up the win (with a and after the match Mikey Whiplash decided that if Legion are to win the war against Filthy Generation then he needed to remove the weaklink from the group. Given his body language and it appeared as if he was about to remove Renfrew from the group but instead it was Dante who would be removed from the faction. How was he removed? We’ll Renfrew blasted him with a chairshot so deafening his ears are probably still ringing and then Whiplash dropped him with two Death Valley Drivers, one of which was through a chair.
As the second half of the show began the crowd we treated to the Kinky Party coming out party. Much like the Hendry intern selection I think this is better to be seen than described so please check it out highlights of the segment here. Unfortunately the Party was interrupted when the team of Luke Menzies and ‘Turbo’ Josh Terry made their way to the ring and challenged Jester and Sha to a match. Their challenge was accepted but not by either member of the party but by a gigantic masked man who made his entrance and attacked both men. He appeared to tower over Menzies (who is not a small man) and then through both around as if they were rag dolls.
Johnny Moss vs. Lionheart was never going to disappoint. Two men as talented and experienced simply do not have bad matches. Despite how good this match was, and it was very good, it is what happened after the match that will be remembered as after a blood covered Moss had defeated Lionheart most of the roster emerged from the back and gave ‘The Vigilante’ the sendoff he deserved after his final match for the company. Mark Dallas spoke passionately about Moss being the first non-Scottish wrestler to perform for the company and not simply “phone it in” and declared how important he has been to the growth of ICW. For those that don’t know Moss is now off to run the WWE Performance Centre and we at Calling Spots would like to wish him all the best for the future.
Next up was Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) versus The Marauders (Mike Bird & Wild Boar). Similarly to the early tag match between Kings of the North and Polo Promotions this was a fantastic contest. The Marauders survived all of their opponent’s offence before picking up the win. As Moustache Mountain were dejectedly walking up the ramp Mike Bird added insult to injury by asking them to say hello to their pals in Florida for them. Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. I don’t think it is said often enough how genuinely funny Mike Bird is not just in the ring but especially on social media where he often seems to take great delight in trolling people. What he did not appear to find funny was the announcement after the match that at Fear & Loathing X The Marauders will be taking on Polo Promotions for the tag team championships in a match that will finally settle the argument of who the better team is.
The main event of the evening was a match that could have headlined any show in any country around the world as ICW World Heavyweight champion Joe Coffey defended his championship against NXT’s Kassius Ohno. Although there were a few hiccups, noticeably when Coffey fell on the outside of the ring (I’m not sure if he slipped on something or if there was a legitimate injury) this match was another great encounter. Both men showed off their hard hitting styles. The offense were so hard hitting that poor Thomas Kearns got caught in the cross fire and ended up lying unconscious with his eyes open, unblinking on the ring apron for at least five minutes while Sean McLaughlin ran in and finished off the match. In the end Coffey showed what makes him one of the best in the UK and pinned his much larger foe. Unfortunately he was not able to celebrate long as his walk to the locker room was interrupted by the announcement that he will be defending his title against ICW Zero G champion BT Gunn in a championship versus championship match at Fear & Loathing X.
Although ICW have ran several shows in Newcastle over the last few years this was, in my opinion, the best yet. Every match on the card was good or better and a lot of the ongoing storylines continued to grow and blossom. It is shows like this that make ICW one of the best companies not just in the UK but in the world of wrestling and I would encourage anyone who is a fan of wrestling to check them out either when they come to your area or to travel to Glasgow for the Fear & Loathing. As someone who has made the pilgrimage there for the last two years events (Fear & Loathing VIII is the best show I have ever attended) I think it is something every fan should do at least once. For more information on ICW events head to their social media pages or check out their website.