Friday 11 July 2014

AWBA: ICW - What's Your Boggle? preview

Disclaimer: I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter.....

Insane Championship Wrestling - What's Your Boggle?
Sunday 13th July
o2 Academy Islington, N1 Centre, 16 Parkfield Street, Islington, London, England, N1 0PS

Tickets available via Ticket Master
ICW Online - Facebook // Twitter //

I am not bitter. Not bitter at all. No sirree, I have not been spending the last several weeks staring dead-eyed at my girlfriend as she discusses such trivialities as doing the housework or buying a new car. Nope, I have not fashioned a voodoo doll out of chest hair stolen from my buddy Shug, as the two of them make plans to book a bus, hotel and buy tickets to this event. I'm not concentrating all my mental powers at wishing my cousin Martin deep debt following one round too many. I don't hate each and every person who is going to attend this show, and I'm not going to distract you with an advert while I wipe away my tears and compose myself:

Okay, so maybe I am a little bitter that I was out of the country the first time ICW visited London, and maybe I am somewhat ticked off that I can't make this one either. Despite all that, I am a professional and will preview this show to the best of my anger-filled typing abilities. What will I be missing you be seeing on Sunday?

Grado v Sha Samuels
Ah, Grado. It's Yersel! The fun-loving wrestling fan turned national icon. Maybe you can dilute some of the rage sweat currently seeping out my pores.

If you don't know Grado by now, you're probably American. Luckily for you, Insane Fight Club, a documentary on ICW and the best thing the BBC has done since ever, is now available on Netflix, so get it seen. It looks like this:

Suffice to say, he's a highly entertaining wrestler who has the spirit and gumption to back it up. Thinking about him wrestle, even if I'm missing it, was making me smile - until I remembered his opponent is Sha Samuels, an absolute brute of a man who has over 200 matches under his belt and several titles in both the Heavyweight and Tag divisions. Although Samuels was on the losing end of a six-man tag match at the last London show, on a level playing field I fear for Grado's life. Grado was on the winning team at that event, but has since gone on to taste defeat at the hands of Liam Thomson, following that up with a tag team victory which unfortunately ended with his tag partner Johnny Moss turning on him. Not the greatest streak since their last meeting.
Prediction: Sha Samuels wins via destroying Grado and crushing what little happiness I have left.

BT Gunn v Wolfgang
I've touched on it before, and I plan to delve into it in more detail, but these two men don't like each other. They were cousins and best friends in 'real' life long before Gunn became the nefarious NAK villain he is today. Wolfgang seemed content to let his relation remain relatively alone until BT Gunn took a certain attack too personally, cutting at the symbolic locks of Wolfgang's hair. Since then, the men have prowled each other's matches, culminating in Wolfgang launching BT Gunn from atop a balcony back at Still Smoking, which led to a match at Jimmy Nail's Revenge, ICW's last foray into England. Rather than talk a lot of vague nonsense, I'll show you that match, which should set the scene for this second round. Having wrestled to an inconclusive finish, Wolfgang will be hoping the rest of the NAK keep away from his revenge. Luckily for him, they are involved in plenty of brutal matches of their own on Sunday. Anyway, here's the match:

Damo v Darkside
Remember when I said the NAK were otherwise engaged? Here's one of the three reasons why - Damo.

Damo is a physical specimen to say the least. He is also an incredibly accomplished wrestler, and with those two attributes combined it was bizarre to see on paper that the much smaller Darkside managed to get the win, choking Damo out in the process. However, upon closer inspection that victory came via NAK distractions. The NAK. If there is anything I hate more than missing a show in London, it's the NAK. Thankfully for Damo there will be no NAK tonight.

That's not to say Darkside on his own won't be a challenge. Far from it. A former two-time ICW Heavyweight Champion and a man who has stood toe-to-toe and traded victories with the Iron Man Joe Coffey on many occasion, Darkside has the skills and strength to overcome even man mountains like Damo. The question is - will he be able to do it on his own?
Prediction: Without the usual distractions, I see Damo taking this one.

Joe Coffey v Noam Dar
I was feeling a wee bit better about myself there. My Predictions were keeping me going, making me feel as though I was going to be part of the action along with you all. Seeing this poster has brought all my emotions crashing back down as I realise I won't get to see my favourite two pure wrestlers grapple each other in person and will instead have to rely on the patchy signal and patchy sobriety of my girlfriend's txt-by-txt commentary.

Woe is me, and woe is you if you live anywhere in England (anywhere in England is close to London, right?) and don't yet have a ticket for this. Noam Dar. Joe Coffey. The former is currently rebuilding his image and has a burning point to prove that he is the future of ICW, that he has the dedication to put on an A class wrestling performance each and every show, that he has more to offer than backstage interviews and cheeky wee videos about his dug.

The latter is the Iron Man. He is the one who currently carries the SWA Scottish Heavyweight belt. He is the one who has emerged from a series of wars with James "Darkside" Scott and may have been the catalyst to him joining the NAK. He is the one who came out of that series as the Iron Man. If Noam Dar is the future of ICW, it will be said that Joe Coffey is the future of all wrestling. This isn't hyperbole or hype, this is pure fact.

This will be an amazing pure wrestling showcase from two future stars for whom the ceiling can be as high as they want it to be. I predict great things from this, at the very least an enthralling story told by grappling and suplexing. I hate each and every one of you for being able to see this live.
Prediction: Joe Coffey has beef with the NAK. If there is one place those fuckers might interfere, it could be here. If they don't, I predict Joe getting the win, but Dar will surely put up an equal fight and earn himself higher still rankings at ICW.

ICW Tag Team Championship Match
The Bucky Boys Stevie Boy (c) & Greg Burridge v The London Riots
A tag title match with only one of the champions present?! An English stand-in for the none-more-Scottish Bucky Boy, Davey Boy?! Unfortunately it is true, as Davey's recent and serious leg injury has necessitated Stevie seeking out a replacement partner in order to defend the belts.

Apparently Greg is another cousin of the cousins Bucky, so hope remains that the two will gel. They had better, for their opponents are The London Riots, a cohesive unit that succeeded in dismantling the Coffey brothers, Joe the Iron Man and Mark the Zero-G Champion, at the last London show. A team that have battled through many a championship match, often coming out victorious.

Stevie Boy should not be discounted on his lonesome. He is singularly one of the greatest talents in ICW. His Canadian Destroyer is a move of beauty. He has no qualms about putting his body on the line to defend his title, a title he and Davey have defended through thick and thin. But it's one thing defending as a unit, and another defending with a distant relative who may not have wrestled in several months. Time, and you, will see if Stevie can do it on his own. I won't, because I'll be at home trying to practice the Canadian Destroyer on my couch and probably breaking my own neck in the process.
Prediction: The London Riots emerge victorious, keeping their ICW streak alive.

ICW Zero-G Championship 
Mark Coffey (c) v Kenny Williams

(I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter, I'm not bitter).

Since winning the Zero-G Title from Mikey Whiplash away back in September 2013, Mark has been proclaiming himself the "real" ICW Champion. You see, Mikey Whiplash at the time was also the ICW Heavyweight Champion, but that belt was not up for grabs on the night. Rather than whine about this fact, Mark Coffey has let his actions speak louder than his words, defending his title against all comers including Lionheart, Liam Thomson and Solar. Mark did briefly relinquish his title, but considering that was to one of the best in the world in Fergal Devitt, and considering he then won it back versus both Devitt and Noam Dar, it can be forgiven.

Kenny Williams has also been making a huge name for himself since that September show in Maryhill. It was on that night that the ICW faithful began to see through the horrible people Kenny had found himself in bed with in the forms of Christopher and James R Kennedy, and instead see the talent shining through. Since that time, Christopher has left, Joe Hendry has arrived, and the crowd have began chanting Kenny Is The Bollocks, because he is. Supremely talented, Kenny is more likely to fling himself around the ring than his opponent. The champion will need to work hard to keep the challenger grounded.
Prediction: As the man himself is about to tell you, Kenny will win, simply because he is the bollocks.

UPDATE: James R Kennedy is not happy at all with Kenny's action. This title match has NOT been sanctioned per the terms of Kenny's contract. What will this mean if indeed Kenny wins the belt?!

Falls Count Anywhere Match
Jimmy Havoc & Jack Jester v Chris Renfrew & Dickie Divers (The NAK)

Two title matches, but what of the ICW Heavyweight belt? Well I don't know how to break it to you, but it won't be getting defended, at least not in the traditional sense. This might seem like madness, but bear with me before you join in my delirious ranting and raving at the wall in petulant fury. At least you are getting to see this amazing match featuring the ICW Heavyweight Champion, Jack Jester.

A quick history lesson. The NAK had spent much of 2013 and 2014 tearing up the ICW Tag Team division. The team of BT Gunn and Chris Renfrew took out Team CK (Christopher & Kenny) then defeated Fight Club, The Bucky Boys and The Coffey Brothers in a four way match to win the belts. Gunn and Renfrew then defeated Team CK in their first defense, but unfortunately the team of Renfrew and Dickie Divers fought to a double-pin with The Bucky Boys, which ICW boss Mark Dallas took as an opportunity to vacate the titles.

Since then, neither BT Gunn and Dickie Divers nor the new combination of Darkside and Dickie Divers have been able to regain the belts. Despite this common link, Chris Renfrew insists he can trust Divers like a brother and has nothing but utter confidence that the duo will reign supreme in London:

On top of this bond of brotherhood, Chris Renfrew also has his Square Go championship shot. At any time, Chris Renfrew can decide to challenge Jack Jester for the latter's ICW Heavyweight title belt. Who said there wouldn't be a title match on Sunday?

Jack Jester is not a champion who will readily give up his belt. Since gaining the title at Fear & Loathing VI back in October following a bloody battle with Mikey Whiplash (footage of which you can view on the Insane Fight Club documentary on Netflix), Jester has engaged in some horrendous wars. Battles with Chris Renfrew, Wolfgang and Kid Fite, defeating Fergal Devitt (twice!), defeating the iron men Joe Coffey and James Scott in the same match, even surviving (barely, mind you) a four-way battle between himself, Renfrew, Wolfgang and Sabu that ended with Sabu draining so much blood from Jester's body. Many have come, Renfrew himself twice, but none have managed to snatch the belt away.

One of those barbaric defenses came at the last London show against Jester's tag partner of the night, Jimmy Havoc. Havoc is a UK king of hardcore, having much history with both Chris Renfrew and Jack Jester. You can explore the matches for yourself if you have a bloodlust, but the three way dance between Jack Jester, Jimmy Havoc and Crazy Mary Dobson was an instant classic, and the World Of Sport (with an alcoholic twist) matches with Chris Renfrew in both 2014 and 2012 are insane spectacles.

There had been deep-seated rumours of a heel-turn from Jimmy Havoc stretching back months. There are many factors to why this rumour has come about - Havoc's actions in other promotions, his growing ire within ICW, the fact that the NAK had been hinting at a 4th member for a long time. The turn of Darkside seemed to quell those rumours, along with the respect shown between Jester and Havoc during their matches, but it is always something simmering under the surface.

So many factors at play here - Chris Renfrew's title shot, Jack Jester's title and paranoia at who he can trust, unknown factors as to who the real Jimmy Havoc is, and Dickie Divers' track record, all coming together in what could be, and should be, a perfect storm. Again and again, all four of these men have shown their willingness to put their very life on the line in the name of enacting furthermore violence on their opponent at any cost. This will be a bloodbath.
Prediction: The streets of London will line with ambulances. I wouldn't be surprised if this gets taken to the streets. I genuinely believe Havoc and Renfrew and see no-one turning on anyone in this match. Whether Jester will have the strength to meet this match and a potential cash-in remains to be seen, but I've seen that man come through so much during his title reign I wouldn't be surprised. A winner? I'm not choosing, all four scare the hell out of me.


If you're going, I hate you. If you can't make it, I feel your pain. If you can go and you haven't bought a ticket yet, click this link right now and go, or I'll hate you the most.

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