Insane Championship Wrestling Fear & Loathing VIII, 15/11/15 SECC GLASGOW!
I was lucky enough to attend Insane Championship Wrestling’s biggest ever show at the SECC in Glasgow on Sunday 15th November, Fear & Loathing VIII. Here is my review of that special evening.
Joining the queue you knew that this was going to be a special night, a mass of people mostly in ICW shirts and the buzz and smiles on everyone’s faces added to the excitement. There was the occasional Polo Promotions chant as they made there way past the queue and Mark Dallas passed the fans which caused rapturous ICW chants that must have scared the life out of any staff or people going to other events in the SECC! As the queue moved further down the corridor for the VIP meet and greet, the more the excitement grew and that’s when I spotted the unannounced part of the meet and greet…from the corner of my eye I spotted a bearded man sat at the table, it was only one of my heroes Mick Foley!!
As the queue got into the room where the meet and greet was taking place I could feel my hands shaking, first though before meeting anyone I collected my free Fear & Loathing tshirt and magazine. First up was the ICW World Heavyweight Champion Drew Galloway,then Zero G Champion Stevie Boy, next up Grado who was his usual self and then at the end of the line was the hardcore legend Mick Foley! I was shaking I was that nervous to meet him but then Mick spotted my retro Mankind shirt and gave me the thumbs up and told me to take a seat. He drew me a Mr Socko and posed for a photo with me, a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.
As I made my way into the hall that the show was being held in, first thing I noticed was the big screen (or Big Telly as Mark Dallas referred to it) and the screens above the ring which just gave it that big event feel. Managed to get myself a great view just behind the commentary desk and four people away from the barrier, even half an hour before bell time the buzz in the place was amazing with the 4,000 in attendance creating a great atmosphere.
The night opened in usual fashion with Simon Cassidy being welcomed to chants of “It’s your fault” and then introducing the announce team of Billy ‘Fucking’ Kirkwood, wearing his kilt and William ‘Frigging’ Grange. Kirkwood whipping up the already hyped crowd into a frenzy with some great gags.
Then hit the familiar music of ICW owner Mark Dallas, who came out with Chris Toal, Sweeney, someone who looked like his caddy and bottle of Jack Daniels and golf club in hand. Dallas thanked the crowd and was about to leave the ring until Toal asked him to tell everyone in attendance “The whole fucking story” which ended up being that next years Fear & Loathing IX will be held at the SSE Hydro which can hold 13,000! This is yet another step up for ICW putting on a show in the same venue such as WWE, NXT and TNA!! A huge jump from performing in front of 60 people at the Maryhill Community Centre to now playing one of the biggest arenas in the UK.
Red Lightning came out to interrupt the good feeling in the air and demanded that this rise in fortune for ICW is all down to him and that without him as GM it would not be the same place. Just as things were getting heated Mick Foley entered the ring decked out in his plaid jacket and Jim Cornette shirt, which sent Lightning reeling back up the ramp. Foley then spoke to the crowd and got an amazing reaction with hundreds of Mr Socko’s up in the air, which was a sight to behold.
Simon Cassidy introduced the first competitors of the night, the battle of the ex Bucky Boys. Davey Boy was first out accompanied by The Wee Man echoed by chants of “Here We, Here We, Here We Fucking Go” and then the Zero G Champion his former tag team partner Stevie Boy of the New Age Kliq. The match pitted speed against strength, with Davey’s strength taking the early advantage and the fight soon headed to the outside with both exchanging offence. Stevie Boy hit the Devils Halo (Flip Piledriver) but to his amazement Davey kicked out and then hit the same move on the champion to pick up the win and become the new Zero G Champion. Davey Boy’s victory was met by a rapturous noise from the majority of the crowd and also a huge smile on the new champions face.
Second match of the night was a six man tag between Liam Thompson, Lionheart and Doug Williams against Noam Dar, Kenny Williams and Joe Hendry. Noam Dar received the biggest reaction of the night so far which he thoroughly deserved as in my opinion he is possibly the best talent currently working in the UK. Not be out done though was Joe Hendry, who was played to the ring by his own version of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball and rolling down the ramp in a giant inflatable ball. The match opened with the trio of Thompson, Williams and Lionheart dominating Kenny Williams. Noam Dar finally got tagged in and delivered two dives to the outside take out his opponents. Lionheart left the ring and went towards the fans at ringside and seemed to attack a fan, dragging him over the barrier and beating him down. The fan happened to be an actor from BBC show Scot Squad whom Lionheart had been exchanging abuse on Twitter with weeks leading up to Fear & Loathing, the police from the show then came out and arrested Lionheart. Back in the ring Dar, Williams and Hendry all had a crazy 5 man submission locked on the opposing team. Then the figure of Jimmy Havoc appeared in the ring and laid out the heel wrestlers and revealed an ICW shirt underneath his trenchcoat with the fans going crazy for his appearance! Kenny Williams then hit the quiff buster and got the win for his team. The action did not end there as Carmel Jacobs returned to ICW and laid out her former fiancé Liam Thompson with a steel chair and challenged him to a match at The Fifth Annual Square Go in January.
The first ever ICW Womens Champion was to be crowned in the next match between Nikki Storm and NAK member Kay Lee Ray, that was until Commissioner for the evening Mick Foley appeared and made the match a Three way dance adding Viper into the match! This match was unreal from start to finish with all three women hitting high impact moves and several top rope moves involving all three, including a powerbomb and superplex. Viper also hit a top rope splash onto the fallen Kay Lee Ray, ending the match with an Electric Chair drop on Kay Lee Ray on top of Nikki Storm and then getting the pin on both of her opponents to become the first ever ICW Womens Champion. The emotion shown when she was handed the belt showed how much it meant to Viper and the crowd showed their appreciation.
The battle of the big men was up next with Joe Coffey meeting ECW legend Rhyno! Rhyno was welcomed to a respectful welcome by the ICW crowd but it was nothing in comparison to the reaction the Iron Man received with the fans bellowing out the chorus of Black Sabbaths Iron Man and thumping their chests to the beat. Rhyno picked up the early momentum and suplexed Coffey onto the ring apron and then both exchanged offence with Coffey getting the upper hand. Rhyno stopped this assault from the Iron Man and assembled a table in the ring. The Man Beast then gored Joe through the table and attempted to get the win but only managed a two count. Coffey mounted a comeback and hit a spear of his own followed by the discuss lariat and getting the three count. This victory will surely propel The Iron Man back into the ICW main event picture and quest for the ICW World Heavyweight Championship.
The ICW Tag Team Titles were on the line with the longest reigning champions in ICW history Polo Promotions, Jackie Polo and Mark Coffey defending against Kid Fite and Sha Samuels of The 55. Both teams got great reactions from the crowd, with the champs getting a thunderous cheer and The 55 booed out of the building. The 55 got an early advantage by getting Coach Trip and DCT sent to the back, they then singled out Jackie Polo hitting several Scoop Slams and Fite hitting the DOA. But the champions gained the upper hand when James R Kennedy failed to distract the referee and Polo Promotions hitting their finisher the Old Man Of Hoy and retained their titles! Both Coach Trip & DCT returned to the ring to celebrate with the champions with a bottle of champagne.
The Six Man Cage Match between Legion and The New Age Kliq had been building for a year and was set to come to a head. Mikey Whiplash, Tommy End & Michael Dante against Chris Renfrew, Wolfgang & BT Gunn waged war inside the steel cage, the rules were the first team to all escape the cage would be the winners. The noise was deafening throughout this match with the chants from NAK and Legion. When the match started all 6 men collided with men being thrown into the steel, Tommy End and BT Gunn hit powerbombs on the other four competitors as they tried to escape. Wolfgang then ascended the cage and attempted a moonsault but missed and then Legion took advantage and pushed the fallen Wolfgang out of the cage, giving Legion the 3-2 advantage inside the cage. Legion then made the most of the advantage and began to dismantle Renfrew and BT Gunn, before all 3 attempted to escape. Wolfgang pulled Dante out of the cage but the remaining NAK members in the ring pulled Whiplash and End back into the ring, they then began to decimate Legion before Tommy End was dragged out of the cage by Wolfgang leaving Whiplash alone with Renfrew and Gunn. The NAK then hit several double team moves on Whiplash ending with the Killer Boots Man from the top of the cage and Renfrew escaped the cage, BT Gunn left to beat down a fallen Mikey Whiplash. But things did not go as planned as Whippy fought back and the two both battled up the cage, with the other 4 men fighting on the outside and setting up four tables on the outside below Gunn and Whiplash. The brawling above ended in both men falling from the top of the cage and crashing through the tables at the same time. There was no way to tell who hit the floor first and as End and Dante were carrying Whiplash up the ramp he pushed his team mates away and got back in the cage with a mic and told Gunn it wasn’t over until he had killed him. Gunn accepted and returned to the cage and the action did not last much longer with both men beaten, BT Gunn hit the bloodline and got the win for the New Age Kliq in an amazing cage match and one of the “I was there” moments in ICW history.
The Black Label’s Jack Jester tool on his rival the Beast Of Belfast Big Damo in a heavy hitting contest which first came about when Jester cost Damo the ICW World Title at Shugs Hoose Party II in July. The match kicked off with a battle around the ringside and into the crowd, including Jester hitting Damo with several chair shots. Damo mounted a comeback and attempted a Van Damonator but Jester intercepted and hit Damo with a Tombstone which showed great strength, Jester gained a near fall. Damo hit back with a brogue kick and returned the chair shots from earlier in the match and then hit the Belfast Drop on top of a chair for the victory.
Finally the main event of the night was upon us, the Insane Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Title match between the Champion Drew Galloway and Challenger Grado. The atmosphere when Grado entered was electric with near enough all 4,000 fans singing Like A Prayer and Grado looking great. Galloway entered the ring with a live version of his entrance music, looking as good as ever. Drew started the match in dominant style hitting various offensive moves and keeping Grado’s momentum to a minimum, until Grado hit a stunning hurricanrana, a cannonball to the outside and hitting an RKO out of nowhere (just had to put that in) gaining a near fall. But the champion hit back or should that be chopped back lighting up Grado’s chest. Grado hit a low blow to stop Galloway in his tracks and then hit the Wee Boot but only managed a 2 count. Drew countered the Get To Ya Bed into the Future Shock DDT and then a Death Valley Driver onto a steel chair but could still not keep the man from the Tap End Of Stevenston’s shoulders on the mat. Galloway was getting desperate and knocked referee Thomas Kearins out and GM Red Lightning came to the ring, only to be stopped by Commissioner Mick Foley with Mr Socko to a rapturous response from the crowd. Back in the ring Grado hit the Wee Boot on Galloway again and ICW owner Mark Dallas counted the three count and Graeme Stevely the man they call Grado is the new Insane Championship Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion!! The SECC was electric while Grado and Foley celebrated in the ring, they were then joined in the ring by half of the ICW roster and a touching moment while best friends Grado and Noam Dar celebrated together. The mood in the crowd was brilliant random people hugging and shaking hands, swear I even saw a few people crying.
What an amazing night of wrestling that took place on 15th November 2015 at the SECC in Glasgow, I am so glad I had a ticket and was a part in yet another night that put Insane Championship Wrestling further in the limelight than they ever were before. If Fear & Loathing VIII was anything to go by the future for ICW is looking very bright indeed and they will only go from strength to strength and with a computer game set to be released on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 next year, things are only going to get bigger and better. If I was you I would buy the ticket and take the ride!!
SOMEONE STOP THE DAMN MATCH!!
Be sure to check out Fear & Loathing VIII and all the other great ICW shows at https://icwondemand.pivotshare.com and let us know what you thought of the show and give our page a like on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SomeoneStopTheDamnMatch