by El Specifico.
ICW’s run at the Edinburgh Fringe festival concluded this past weekend with three title matches, a special benefit concert for the 55, the continuation of the tournament to crown the first ever ICW Women’s Champion and the return of Kris Travis to an ICW ring. Whilst perhaps lacking the intensity of The Ministry of Silly Headlocks, A Horse, A Spoon, And a Bucket concluded with a huge announcement that pits arguably the two biggest names in ICW against each other in a tantalising main event for Fear and Loathing VIII.
Only two shows in Glasgow remain before ICW embark on their biggest UK tour to date. With the main event booked for Fear and Loathing VIII, all roads lead to the SECC on November 15th as ICW continues to gather momentum towards one of the biggest nights in British wrestling history.
A Horse, A Spoon, And a Bucket began with two of ICW’s most exciting young wrestlers.
Lewis Girvan vs Lou King Sharp
The best young wrestler in the world, Lewis Girvan, is the first to make his way to the ring. As ever, Lewis Girvan asks Champagne Simon Cassidy to remind the audience he is the best young wrestler in the world to which the fans respond with “who are ya?”. After being rehired by Toal last week, weighing in at a rip, cut and jacked 8 and a half stone, standing at a colossal 5ft 4′, Lou King Sharp makes his way to the ring making his debut as part of the Toal family.
Lewis Girvan emerges on top of the initial exchange as he works the fingers of Lou King Sharpe. Chants of “Lou King Sharpe” echo around the arena as Lewis Girvan takes the opportunity to chat with the announcer Simon Cassidy- Cassidy reminds everyone it is pronounced “best young wrester”. As Girvan returns to the ring, Lou King Sharp lands a thesz press to ground Girvan before the best young wrestler rolls to the outside for a chance to rework his game plan. Girvan is interrupted as Lou King Sharp connects with a tope con hilo- Sharp looks for a second but is halted by Girvan who this time wisely spikes the ropes before Sharp has the chance to fly. Girvan, now in control, delivers a delayed vertical suplex followed by two back breakers before applying a rear chin lock.
A sunset flip allows Lou King Sharp to gain some momentum in the match- a spinning clothesline positions Girvan in between the middle and top rope as Lou King Sharp hits the 0141. Sharp connects with a diving cross body before heading up to the top rope- Girvan, this time, catches his opponent before driving him into the mat with a devastating powerbomb. Girvan, after kicking out of a surprise small package, lands a half and half suplex before missing a double foot stomp. A single leg drop kick is dodged by Lewis Girvan before Girvan delivers a dragon suplex- again, Lou King Sharp demonstrates his resilience by kicking out at 2. Girvan, showing signs of frustration, delivers a ddt into a neckbreaker to pick up the victory.
Winner: Lewis Girvan
Girvan, not content with the victory, begins the post match beat down before the Tim Wyllie and Kid Fite arrive as Girvan flees- Kid Fite hits the D.O.A. brainbuster as ICW General Manager, Red Lightning, makes his way to the ring.
Red Lightning Arrives
Red Lightning, mic in hand, trash talks the man he fired a few months ago. After calling for a referee, Red Lightning covers Lou King Sharpe for the three count thanks in no small part to the 55. Red Lightning reminds all the fans of his unbeaten record over the past two weeks. Thanks to the 55, Red Lightning is now 3-0 after pinning Joe Coffey, Noam Dar and now Lou King Sharpe.
Red Lightning informed fans in attendance that he has cancelled the flights of the Sumerian Death Squad members, Tommy End and Michael Dante, before stating that there is a working relationship between the Black Label, comprised of Red Lightning, Jack Jester and the ICW World Heavyweight Champion Drew Galloway, and the 55.
Damo vs Kid Fite
To the delight of the crowd, Damo puts an end to Red Lightning’s filibustering as he attacks the 55’s enforcer, Tim Wyllie. Damo and Kid Fite brawl around ringside. Unsurprisingly, it is the bigger man, Damo, who gains control of the match after driving Kid Fite into the ring post then barricade.
The bell rings as the match is now officially under way- Damo offers Kid Fite a free pass to attempt to knock him over. Fite accedes but barely makes an impression on a man well over double his size as chants of “you can stick your 55 up your arse” ring around the arena. A shoulder block sends Kid Fite reeling to the outside but as Damo heads outside he is ambushed by Tim Wyllie and Kid Fite in a two on one assault tantamount to a mugging before being rolled back in the ring. A ferocious Misawa elbow sends Damo crumbling to the mat for the first time but isn’t enough to secure the pinfall. A drop kick followed by a senton by the 330+ pound Irishman brings a close fall- after dispatching Tim Wyllie to the outside, Damo connects with an impressive superkick before delivering the O Connor roll to pick up the victory.
Damo, distracted by the 55, doesn’t have much time to celebrate as Jack Jester blind sides the Beast of Belfast with a chair shot. Jester, aided by the 55, work over Damo’s left knee with several brutal chair shots to send a potent message to anyone interfering with the business of the 55. Miraculously, Damo manages to leave the ring on his own volition.
Joe Hendry Benefit Concert
Accompanied to the ring with a guitarist and Stone Cold Bobby Roberts, ICW’s resident musician, wearing a delightful Christmas jumper embroidered with the words ‘Local Hero’, made his way to the ring to perform a benefit concert for the 55.
To begin, Joe Hendry delivers a delicate acoustic version of Calvin Harris and Rhianna’s We Found Love before seamlessly transitioning into a new song. Replacing the TNT lyric from ACDC’s TNT with Joe Hendry, the local hero proves once again why he has one of the most unique gimmicks in the world of professional wrestling that would shame any X Factor-y pretender. Joe Hendry slows things down with a touching rendition of What if Joe was one of us? as the crowd show their appreciation with a roar of approval. After a series of vocal exercises, the local hero returns to where it all began with the song that reached number one in Estonia, I C Double Me and You.
Much to the disappointment of the fans, Joe Hendry stops midway through the song to state his dismay at the lack of opportunities he receives in ICW. Hendry reminds the audience there are two things he has never done in ICW: the first is swear, the second is use a weapon- two of the things responsible for ICW’s popularity. Hendry, the antithesis of ICW, continues on to state that James R Kennedy, leader of the 55, has driven the local hero to consider using a weapon on him. Hendry proceeds to a PG Pulp Fiction weapon selection between a mic stand, a samurai sword or a guitar. Before a decision can be arrived at, the 55’s enforcer, Tim Wyllie. emerges from behind the curtain to put an end to all “this musical bullshit”. Wyllie, after delivering a ferocious spear to Stone Cold Bobby Roberts, is smashed over the head with a guitar as the local hero does something he has never done in ICW.
ICW Tag Team Championships: Polo Promotions vs IRN JEW
After successfully earning the number one contendership for the ICW Tag Team Championship after defeating The Rodgers Brothers. After successfully defending their number one contendership against against The GZRS, the fan-favourite team of Grado and Colt Cabana, IRN JEW, are finally granted their shot at Polo Promotions’ ICW Tag Team Championship. Polo Promotions, the longest reigning tag team champions in ICW history, head into the match after an impressive victory over the Sumerian Death Squad albeit with an assist to the N.A.K.
Mark Coffey and Grado get things under way but before any exchange occurs, Grado tags in Colt Cabana. Cabana and Coffey exchange a series of wrist locks before Coffey applies a side headlock- Cabana reverses with an arm drag take down as we see a more subdued, serious IRN JEW tonight. Cabana, demonstrating his technical proficiency, escapes a head scissors with a head stand before a sunset flip brings a near fall. Cabana makes the tag to Grado before a series of double team manoeuvres on Coffey’s left arm- after Coffey escapes the hold, Grado offers Coffey a chance to german suplex him. Coffey declines and, instead, tags in his partner, Jackie Polo, for the first time in the match. Jackie Polo immediately lands his patented scoop slam before slapping on a side headlock. Grado, with considerable history between himself and Jackie Polo, escapes the hold with an arm drag take down. Grado successfully makes the tag to Cabana- a drop kick by Jackie Polo disorientates Cabana to present an opportunity for Polo Promotions to send Cabana on a visit to scoop slam city before asking “who bad?”.
After several scoop slams, Polo Promotions cut off Colt Cabana in the corner before the Grado comes to the aid of his tag team partner. Grado, though, is sent to the outside after a brief flurry of offence- Cabana temporarily breaks the flow of scoop slams with a roll up but Jackie Polo continues with the scoop slam before heading to the top rope- Polo meets a face full of Cabana’s boot. Cabana makes the tag to Grado as the Ayrshire Dream enters the ring with several elbows. Grado lifts Jackie Polo for the Get Tae Bed but Polo escapes only to walk into an R-Gra-Do as Edinburgh comes unglued!- Polo kicks out at 2. Grado calls for the F5 but Jackie Polo pushes Grado into a headbutt by Mark Coffey. Jackie Polo tags in his partner after a shoulder breaker- Mark Coffey connects with a bridging back suplex- Grado kicks out at 2. Temporarily distracted by Colt Cabana, Mark Coffey walks straight into an F5 by Grado- Grado connects with the assisted roll n slice…1…2…. Coffey extends his arm to the ropes to break the count. Cabana, after being tagged in by Grado, looks for the GTS but Coffey reverses before connecting with a lariat followed by a diving elbow. Jackie Polo sends Grado to the outside before Polo Promotions connect with the assisted bridging german suplex to pick up the win and make it 294 days as ICW Tag Team Champions.
Winner: Polo Promotions
Although not nearly as hilarious as IRN JEW’s match with The GZRS last week, this match here showcased a different side to Grado and Cabana. Anyone familiar with indie wrestling can testify to Cabana’s technical acumen but it was Grado who will have surprised many with his technical ability.
ICW Zero-G Championship: Stevie Boy vs Wolfgang
After a heated discussion with his former ally the Wee Man, Stevie Boy offers an open challenge for his ICW Zero G Championship with the caveat that said challenger must have previously won the Zero G Championship.
Wolfgang, fellow member of the N.A.K. and pioneer of Scottish wrestling, emerges to challenge for a title he defeated Andrew Wilde for over three years ago. Clearly, Stevie Boy doesn’t want to be part of this match as he pleads with Wolfgang to lay down for him. After a handshake, Wolfgang hesitantly lays down….1….2… Wolfgang’s pride doesn’t allow him to have a match end like this.
Wolfgang and Stevie Boy lock up as Wolfgang uses his strength advantage to ground Stevie Boy with a side headlock. After a series of reversals, both men begin dancing before Stevie Boy connects with the hadouken of doom as Wolfgang crashes to the mat in slow motion before the ref counts to three.
Winner: Stevie Boy
As Wolfgang and Stevie Boy celebrate in the ring, Mikey Whiplash’s music begins to play. Without fellow Legion members Tommy End and Michael Dante, ICW’s necromancer emerges at the top of the ramp alone before calling the ‘match’ an abomination. Whiplash reminds fans that he, too, is a former Zero G Champion as he makes his way to the ring to challenge Stevie Boy.
ICW Zero-G Championship: Stevie Boy vs Mikey Whiplash
As soon as Whiplash enters the ring, Stevie Boy begins the beat down before a lariat almost takes Stevie Boy’s head off. A vertical suplex by Whiplash is reversed by Stevie Boy into a brainbuster- Whiplash kicks out at 2. A superkick by Stevie Boy is dodged by Whiplash- who unloads with several uppercuts in the corner before connecting with one from the top rope. Stevie Boy lands an elbow to end Whiplash’s momentum- Stevie Boy, heading up top, looks for a leg drop but is caught on the shoulders of Whiplash who proceeds to deliver three consecutive power bombs.
An enziguri by Stevie Boy temporarily prevents the Zombie Maker before Whiplash connects with a series of ferocious uppercuts. Whiplash, this time, connects with the Zombie Maker but before he has a chance to make the cover Wolfgang and BT Gunn come to the aid of their N.A.K brethren. Wolfgang connects with a shot with the brass knuckles as BT Gunn and Stevie Boy hold Whipash up- the sultan of silent hill, Chris Renfrew emerges from the curtain, plaster cast on his injured left hand. Whilst Stevie Boy and BT Gunn deliver a series of brutal stomps, Renfrew dares anyone to challenge the N.A.K.. Renfrew informs the crowd Whiplash’s punishment is ten whips with the cane. After ten devastating whips of the cane, the N.A.K. tie Whiplash up with a metal chain before dragging him out of the ring as the N.A.K. make a powerful statement of intent heading into their steel cage match vs Legion at the SECC.
Winner: no contest
Kasey Owens vs Viper
ICW’s tournament to crown the first ever ICW Women’s Champion continued this past week as Viper made her return to ICW after being piledriven through her wedding cake by Bram on her and D.C.T.’s wedding day. At A Horse, A Spoon, And a Bucket, Viper faced a woman synonymous with tag team wrestling. As part of The Owens Twins, Kasey has made quite an impression on the ICW faithful but faces her toughest task yet in a singles competition against Viper.
A quick roll up attempt by Kasey Owens begins the match before Owens lands a sunset flip- as expected, Owens’ speed allows her to gain the initial advantage before the strength of Viper is illustrated by a devastating lariat. A drop kick sends Owens to the outside before she recovers to plant Viper face first into the ring apron. After an irish whip into the barricade, Owens rolls Viper back into the ring. An attempted ddt is reversed into a vertical suplex by Viper before she drives home her advantage with a scoop slam. Viper, building momentum, attempts a running senton but misses as Kasey Owens escapes just in time. Owens, sensing an opportunity, attempts a penalty kick but misses before connecting with a cross body take down- kick out at 2 by Viper. As the two return to their feet, Viper and Owens trade vicious forearm blows before Viper delivers a Viper Bomb to pick up the victory and advance to the semi finals.
After the match, Viper’s husband, D.C.T., made his way to the ring to address Bram. Once again, the international sex hero D.C.T. reiterated that he is coming for Bram. A strong performance here by Viper ensures she heads into the semi finals with Nikki Storm and Layla Rose. With one semi finalist yet to be determined, Viper remains my pick to be crowned the first ever ICW Women’s Champion.
ICW Heavyweight Championship: Drew Galloway vs Kris Travis
18 months ago, Kris Travis was diagnosed with stomach cancer. After a long and arduous recovery, Kris Travis miraculously makes his return to an ICW ring at A Horse, A Spoon, And a Bucket to raucous chants of “welcome back”. Red Lightning, as is seemingly tradition now, gave the ICW World Heavyweight Championship, Drew Galloway, his introduction. Accompanied by Jack Jester, Galloway makes his way to the ring surrounded by boos that were once cheers.
Galloway immediately demonstrates his size and strength advantage by pushing Travis into the corner whilst still wearing his hoodie. Again, Travis attempts to lock up with Galloway but Galloway just pushes him back into the corner. Travis, encouraged by the crowd, escapes the corner with several elbows before connecting with a hurricanrana that sends the champion to the outside. Flustered and frustrated, Galloway removes his hoodie before trading chops on the ring apron. An enziguri by Travis sends Galloway stumbling back into the ring. A second hurricanrana attempt by Travis is reversed into a gut buster by the champion before the cerebral Galloway begins to work on the stomach of Travis. Several shots to the stomach result in a chin lock by Galloway in the centre of the ring- Travis reverses with a crucifix but a forearm followed by a single knee gut buster allows Galloway to remain on top. Stalking Kris Travis, Galloway unloads several big right hands to the stomach of Travis. An attempted leg drop by the champion is dodged by the challenger- an enziguri knocks Galloway off balance before Travis, mustering all his energy reserves, lifts Galloway up and connects with a death valley driver- Galloway kicks out at 2. A lariat followed by a spinning heel kick ensures Travis is able to connect with a bulldog for another near fall.
Another enziguri sends Galloway to the outside- Travis, famed for his high flying ability, connects first with a baseball slide followed by a tope con hilo into the crowd. After rolling Galloway back into the ring, Travis attempts a cross body but is reversed by Galloway into an inverted alabama slam. Galloway, sensing imminent victory, shows the thumbs down before a Future Shock ddt is reversed with a kick to the face. Travis heads to the top rope before an enziguri sends Travis off balance. Galloway joins Travis on the top rope before delivering an inverted superplex to the challenger…1…2… Travis remains in the contest with a late kick out. Galloway, increasingly angered by Travis’ resiliency, calls Red Lightning over to the ring apron- Red Lightning holds Travis’ flaccid body up before Travis ducks out the way as Galloway’s boot connects with Red Lightning. As Galloway turns around, Travis connects with a superkick- Galloway flips off Travis before connecting with an enziguri. Galloway, after ragging Travis to his feet, delivers a Future Shock ddt to retain the title.
Winner: Drew Galloway
After the match, Red Lightning, speaking on behalf of the Black Label, remarks on how Kris Travis has impressed all in attendance tonight including himself. Red Lightning proceeds to ask Travis to join the Black Label. After a minutes deliberation, Kris Travis hugs Galloway and high fives Red Lightning before telling them where to stick their offer with an emphatic “fuck you”. Inevitably, the beat down begins by Galloway and Red Lightning whilst Jack Jester heads to find his corkscrew. Jester gestures to reveal his intentions before Grado rushes out to make the save. It isn’t long until the numbers game catches up with Grado- but out comes ICW’s Ironman Joe Coffey to make the save. Coffey has Galloway positioned for the Future Shock ddt before Jester blind sides Coffey with a cheap shot from behind as the Black Label control the ring.
A huge roar breaks out as Damo, injured left leg in cast, hobbles down to clear the ring as Grado, Coffey, Travis and Damo stand in the ring whilst Galloway, Jester and Red Lightning flee to the outside. Grado, displaying intensity not at all associated with his happy go lucky persona, lambastes Galloway for ducking his challenge over the past month before calling him McIntyre and the chosen one. Having succeeded in getting a reaction out of the champion, Galloway retorts that he is the chosen one of professional wrestling to which Grado responds he is the chosen one of ICW underscored by wild cheers. Galloway, visibly agitated by the support Grado is receiving, remarks that people come to see ICW for him, the wrestler, and for Grado, the clown, before accepting Grado’s challenge at ICW: Fear and Loathing VIII, November 15th.
Red Lightning, though, has other ideas and states that the match will not be going ahead before ICW owner Mark Dallas, after a six month hiatus, returned to hand Red Lightning his final warning. To chants of “thank you, Dallas”, ICW’s owner announces that the match will be happening at the SECC. Chants of ICW reverberate around the arena as the huge announcement of the main event for Fear and Loathing VIII concludes what has been a fantastic run at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.
For me, Grado vs Drew is the only match ICW could have booked to headline the biggest show in their history. The match pits Drew Galloway, the man who has turned his back on the fans to secure his position as champion, against Grado, the man of the people. It is undisputed champion vs underdog, pure athlete vs the jester, corporate vs the people and it is going to be fantastic.
Give this company your money.
Our thanks to El Specifico for contributing the show review the the Wrestle Ropes website. Check out El Specifico’s blog at www.thespecificluchador.blogspot.co.uk.