Saturday 6 September 2014

ICW - 1.21 Gigawatts Great Scott

Disclaimer: As with my Fierce Females - Strewth Sheila review, both events taking place on the same day!, I will be taking a slightly different tact here. Less blow-by-blow. For those who want more of that kind of style, there are other articles you can check out instead. Here's my take on the night's proceedings.

ICW - 1.21 Gigawatts, Great Scott!
Sunday, August 31st 2014
The Garage, Glasgow. 7pm
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Who is Jack Jester? That's the question on my mind right now. What do we really know about the "Hardcore Icon"?

I've seen Jack Jester do some awful things to his opponents. I've seen Jack throw Crazy Mary Dobson off a balcony. I've seen Jack put Sabu through a table. I've also seen Jack take some amount of punishment in his time, an absorption I thought had culminated at Fear & Loathing VI where then-Champion Mikey Whiplash brought a noose into play during his attempted defense of the ICW Heavyweight title. Whiplash was unsuccessful that night, and years of blood, sweat and tears seemed to be worth it as Jack Jester was crowned our new ICW Heavyweight Champion. The ABC was ecstatic, everyone wishing Jester well and reaching over the barricade to pat him on his bloody back.

But that was then.

Jester's title reign began well enough. Dispatching of Chris Renfrew and Kid Fite, the fans had Jester's back more-or-less all of the way. Of course, both Renfrew and Fite have their fans, but Jester was still the people's champion. Then came Fergal Devitt, and whether it was a desire to chain him to the country or just admiration for his skills, a few more of the fans began to cheer against the Champion.

It cannot be overlooked that on that night, the New Age Kliq's Chris Renfrew won the Square Go and a title shot against Jack Jester at any time. Over the ensuing months, Renfrew teased and threatened and tortured Jack with that title shot hanging over them, and every step of the way an ever-growing and audible segment of the crowd were cheering Chris on. That madness still hasn't stopped.

With this all going on in the background, Jack Jester also had to deal with his friend and former Champion Red Lightning making threats towards him. Lightning may or may not have been genuine in wanting to dethrone Jack to save his friend's body, but what is indisputable is the fact that Red Lightning was also in the back of Jack's mind, his friend challenging him to defend the title.

With all this swirling around, Jack managed to defend against Joe Coffey and James Scott at the same time, two men with their own section of the crowd behind them, and an unforgettable four-way match at Still Smoking featuring Wolfgang, Chris Renfrew and Sabu. This match ended with Sabu by Jack's side, helping him see off a post-match attack, only for Sabu to turn on Jack Jester and near kill him with a pair of scissors, pointing to the ICW belt as his motivation.

With the championship causing his mortal enemies and friends alike to come at him from all corners, one could easily forgive Jack Jester for beginning to show some cracks, but still the ICW crowd were behind him and still the Icon charged on. He defeated Red Lightning in a match where Red seemed to really take on the "tough love" mantra and nearly broke Jack's back all alone. In the heat of the moment, perhaps Red Lightning's true motivations shone through, as he risked permanent damage to his so-called friend to try and take back the Heavyweight title.

Jester next faced Wolfgang, and here the crowd were at their most split. 50/50, right down the middle, the crowd cheered for both Wolfgang and Jack Jester to take home the title. But Jack dug deep and produced something memorable in retaining what was his.

Fergal Devitt got another crack at Jester's legacy, in his farewell match to ICW. To say the crowd were distraught is an understatement. But despite winning the match, it was not Jack Jester who got the ovation. It was not Jack Jester who had the whole lockerroom in the ring singing his praises. It was the departing Devitt.

Still, he soldiered on. Up next was a tag match with his sometime enemy Jimmy Havoc. Havoc had agreed to team up with Jack in a Falls Count Anywhere match against The NAK, with the promise of a sporting, if bloody, title shot in the near future. During that match, Jimmy abandoned Jester and, in a scene becoming all too familiar, came back out only to destroy the Icon, threatening his very life and showing that there are truly no friends when you are the Champion.

Finally, we arrived 6 weeks ago at Shug's Hoose Party, a show that easily sold out the huge ABC venue where it all began for Jack. Defending his title against the world-renowned Martin Stone, Jester dispatched of his foe. But there were no theatrics, no reaching over the barrier to pat his back, not a lot of acknowledgement of or towards his fans. Jack Jester didn't seem happy or elated to have retained, he seemed exhausted. The stress of his entire run seemed to be written on the man's face as friend after friend had turned on him in seeking the title. Then the NAK's music hit. Then Chris Renfrew came out. Then the crowd truly turned. For months they had hung on. Giving respect to his opponents, sure, but there for Jack the majority were. Not on that night. Not at Shug's Hoose Party. They were behind Chris Renfrew. Jack Jester finally had no-one.

No-one, but the returning Drew Galloway!! Long before my time, Drew and Jack were allies, friends. They somewhat grew up together through wrestling. While Drew got offered an invitation to the US to become WWE Intercontinental and Tag Team champion, Jack stayed home. Jack helped grow ICW up from the ground level to it's now dizzying heights. Jack Jester got the ICW Heavyweight Championship and defended it through hell. Now at his lowest, with Drew by his side, Jack visibly had a weight lifted off his shoulders. He smiled. He cried. He had an outpouring of emotion as Drew helped him dispatch off the NAK.

But as with Red Lightning, as with Sabu, as with Jimmy Havoc, the lust took over. The desire to be the man, the head honcho, the ICW Heavyweight Champion. Drew claimed he "didn't want" to do what he did, but he did it anyway. He put his friend down at his lowest, threw him through a table, and declared that Drew Galloway will be the one to take ICW global, that in his opinion Jack Jester had done a fine job but his time was over. Jack Jester disagreed.

Speaking with both words and actions, Jack Jester violently attacked the relatively harmless DCT in a completely uncalled for attack, showing not only his dominance but also the cracks in his sanity. This was followed up by another title defense, this one coming against the NAK's lackey Dickie Divers. To the shock of many, the crowd seemed to be behind Divers!! Jack Jester once again emerged victorious, but the union of fans and wrestler was swiftly crumbling.

Which brings us to tonight. Jack Jester was not the only one to defeat Mikey Whiplash last year. Mark Coffey did so also, but only won the Zero-G title following that encounter. Since then, Mark had been calling himself the REAL ICW Champion and would finally get a chance to prove that in a one-on-one match with Jack Jester. In addition, Drew Galloway would be making his in-ring return to ICW, facing Darkside for a title shot at Fear & Loathing VII, with both the NAK and Jack Jester banned from ringside. Here is what transpired:

Promo - Mark Coffey vs "Jack Jester"
Jackie Polo was once again joining Billy Kirkwood on commentary, and after the usual pre-show banter, it was time for Mark Coffey vs Jack Jester! Or so we thought. Once again, Chris Toal came out dressed up as Mark Coffey's opponent for tonight, but while Mark had Toal up for the Tombstone, making light of Jester's devastating finisher, the REAL Jack Jester appeared and like a freight train on speed he dispatched of the Zero-G Champion. This Jack Jester was not here to play.

Match 1 - Chris Renfrew vs Grado for the Square Go title shot
As I said, not going into the full blow-by-blow but suffice to say - Grado does not suit swinging a steel chair! It's a testament to his character that he rarely needs to resort to such means, but when your opponent is Chris Renfrew and Chris Renfrew brings a chair into the fray, you're going to take any opportunity you get.

As it goes, Grado's attempts to take Renfrew out only resulted in Grado hitting the top rope and catching the chair with his forehead as it bounced right back at him! From there, Grado threw the chair at Renfrew but Renfrew retaliated, going for the top rope Stone Cold Stoner. Grado managed to stop this and attempt to retaliate, but Renfrew in turn caught him with a huge clothesline.

There was a Wee Boot to a cutter that got a 2 count. An F5 got another 2 count. At one point Grado managed to successfully utilise the chair in the form of a Roll & Slice. None of it was enough. Not when Chris Renfrew has three pals at his disposal to cause distractions. It worked originally at the Square Go, where Grado put Renfrew out but the ref was too distracted with BT Gunn to acknowledge it, and it worked here when Dickie Divers appeared and distracted Grado long enough for Renfrew to roll him up. Just to add insult to injury, I'm pretty sure Renfrew had a fistful of tights while he was getting the 3 count. Another loss to Grado, another victory to the gang.

Promo - Sha Samuels
Before Chris Renfrew and Divers could disappear, Sha Samuels came out. He is quite enjoying ICW it seems and especially enjoying the chance to destroy "jock cunts". He wanted another one to take out and, as he spotted The NAK still in the ring, Chris Renfrew shoved his so-called friend Dickie Divers into Sha Samuels and ran away with his Square Go title shot safe.

Match 2 - Sha Samuels vs Dickie Divers
I always enjoy unannounced matches. I especially enjoy them when they start with Sha Samuels hitting a move early (a Michinokour Driver I believe) and nearly getting the pinfall victory within the first minute or two. But Dickie kickie-d out, because he's Dickie Divers and slowly but surely, just as Kenny is too much The Bollocks to be held back by the scummy Kennedy Administration, the crowd are beginning to realise that Dickie Divers' talents are too good for The NAK.

Despite his gumption (and a delicious top-rope flying elbow), Dickie Divers could not prevail. Sha Samuels hit the piledriver for the pinfall victory, but I think we can all agree that Divers standing with the ICW crowd may have been the real winner here.

Match 3 - Noam Dar vs Joe Coffey
These two are in the middle of one of the greatest series of all time. Currently slated to be a Best Of 5, and the score being 1-1 going into this one, we are all truly blessed to be witness to such awesomeness. I won't spoil the actual match leading up to it, but the ending came as Noam Dar briefly contemplated using a hammer to get himself the victory before coming to his senses, just in time for Joe Coffey to get 6 swings and a Boston Crab in, forcing Noam to tap and Coffey picked up the submission victory. Between the biting last week and the almost-attack with the hammer, Noam Dar's happy-go-lucky personality is beginning to get tested by Joe Coffey I think.

At any rate, both men took to the microphone after the match and the gist of what they said is this - they are not satisfied with being dubbed "the future", or with being on the opening segment of the card. They are the present, the best of the wrestlers, and should be on the main card to properly showcase their talents. Not many would disagree.

The ring broke during the previous match, and the sound quality was really, really awful. The microphone was continually cutting out, something which needs to get looking at closely in future events. At any rate, we had an intermission early and, following the three amazing matches so far (plus Fierce Females earlier in the night), it was welcomed.

Match 4 - BT Gunn vs Wolfgang - Dog Collar Match
We needed the intermission before this. I cannot imagine enduring it without. Lots of action with the chain before BT allowed himself to be chained. Once that happened, it was "go" time from Wolfgang. A big splash over the top rope. Wolfgang using the chain to drag BT around a bit. An amazing kick from BT in the corner. Wolfie then launches BT into the crowd in one of the most scary moments I have ever witnessed. Between this and throwing BT off a roof at Still Smoking, I genuinely think that one day Wolfgang may take it too far and seriously destroy BT Gunn. But then, BT Gunn is the man who seems hellbent on murdering Wolfgang, so it balances out. Wolfgang then dragged BT Gunn back into the ring, using the chain like a fisherman's line.

A whole bunch of stuff happened. I'm sure at one point BT Gunn done that enziguri from the ground that I love. Both men ended up going over the top rope at opposite sides of the ring, effectively hanging each other. Luckily, the speed of the ringcrew and the strength of the wrestlers managed to avoid us witnessing a double death.

The strain on the chain was far too much however, as it snapped apart at some point. Wolfgang took this opportunity to wrap himself in the chain, splashing BT in all four corners. A chain-assisted spear followed, but it was only good for a 2 count. Wolfgang then tried a swanton bomb, but with BT Gunn rolling out of the way and the chains still around him, it did more damage than good. BT then connected with a Superkick, but it was also only good for 2! From there, BT Gunn went up-top but Wolfgang caught him on the way down with a snap slam and got him in the Cloverleaf, but it was not enough.

Dickie Divers and Chris Renfrew, seemingly having settled their differences, came out to assist BT Gunn, and during the confusion BT managed to wrap a chain around his knee and deliver a Codebreaker, clinching the pinfall victory and putting him 3-0 in this rivalry.

This battle has taken these two to three different cities, and in each one BT Gunn has come out victorious. This fact seemed to sink into Wolfgang as, while BT Gunn kept the NAK at bay and earnestly offered his hand, Wolfgang accepted. He shook BT Gunn's hand. The rivalry seemed over. Wolfgang seemed to accept BT was the better man, and BT in return seemed to be calling an end to NAK hostilities. But the rest of The NAK were clearly not consulted in this, as Renfrew and Divers attacked Wolfgang regardless.

Momentarily fending off his comrades, BT Gunn slipped back into his NAK persona and wrapped the chain around his fist, delivering a knockout punch to Wolfgang then locking him in a crossface. With his options having fully run out, what will Wolfgang do next?

Promo - Mark Dallas
It was at this point that Mark Dallas came out. After the NAK getting involved in near enough every event so far, he was here to lay down the law. If the NAK got involved in Darkside v Drew Galloway, then Chris Renfrew would be stripped of his Square Go title shot and the team would be stripped of their Tag Team Title championship. Likewise, if Jack Jester got involved, then he would be stripped of his ICW Heavyweight championship. That out of the way, on to the next match.

Match 5 - Carmel Jacob & Liam Thomson vs Kay Lee Ray & Stevie Boy
Not even going to attempt to describe this match. There are write-ups elsewhere but I just recommend that you check it out as soon as it hits Youtube/DVD. The ending came as Kay Lee Ray got isolated and hit with a Liam Thomson backcracker then Carmel spear for the pinfall. What followed afterwards was an amazing "promo", as Carmel pointed out that behind the scenes, Kay Lee Ray and Stevie are two of her best pals. All four of these wrestlers deserve our respect and admiration for what they have done, and what they will continue to do.

Carmel hinted that Kay Lee Ray may be moving on to other promotions in other countries, and wished her friend well in whatever she did next. All four hugged and shook hands, savouring the moment and the brief breakdown of character and bad feelings...  until Carmel and Liam attacked KLR and Stevie, laughing maniacally as they did so. It seems, for Carmel at least, the character never stops. The character and person are one in the same. On one hand, she will wish her friends well. On the other, she will never stop attacking whoever is put in front of her until she cements her legacy as the premiere wrestler in the country.

Match 6 - ICW Heavyweight Title - Jack Jester (c) vs Mark Coffey (the Zero-G Champion)
As outlined above, Mark Coffey believes he is the REAL ICW Champion. As also outlined above, Jack Jester is having none of it. Jack Jester is, quite frankly, having none of anything any more. Jack Jester is history - what exists now is simply the force driving the body formerly known as Jack Jester as it annihilates anyone and everyone.

The body began with that intention, cracking Mark Coffey in the skull with the title belt as retribution for the earlier humiliation. From there, Coffey tried to recover and backup the words he's been saying for the best part of a year, that he is the wrestler, the REAL ICW Champion, but you cannot wrestler against an unhinged force.

To his credit, I believe Mark may have managed to kick out of a Tombstone, and got some really healthy looking suplexes in, but this was while wrestling was going on. Wrestling got abandoned during this match. A chair got introduced, and with his mentor looking on, Mark Coffey tried to put Jester down with said chair, only he wound up cracking himself with it instead.

Jack took the chair and used it to hit... himself. Several times, proving that the man had left and only the force remained. He then got Mark Coffey into the Tombstone piledriver, for the pinfall victory and to retain the ICW Heavyweight title. But this was never about the title, it was never about the pride. It was about proving a point and, celebrating his win by proceeding to smack himself silly again with the chair, the point was proven. Jack Jester is no longer a man, no longer a Champion. He is a force.

Match 7 - Kid Fite v Damo v Joe Hendry v Kenny Williams - #1 Contender to the Zero-G Championship
On any other night at any other venue in any other company, any one of these matches could more or less be the main event. We just had an ICW Heavyweight Title match, but yet there was still more to come!

Each of the four competitors have a huge slice of the fanbase in love with them. As I already detailed, each one has a reason to hate or mistrust the other. This was set to be explosive. Perhaps sensing the tension, Kid Fite set us off on a comedic tone as he came to the ring dressed in Stevie Boy's tracksuit top and cap. A bit of banter followed, before Fite relented and gave Stevie back his clothes.

As Fite, Damo and Joe Hendry entered the ring, James R Kennedy took to the microphone to inform us that his unwilling client, Kenny Williams, would not be taking part in tonight's match, for his own safety. Or something along those lines. It didn't really matter what Kennedy says, because soon all anyone could hear was THE POWER OF LOVE, as Kenny came to the ring regardless, decked out in full Marty McFly gear to his new entrance music.

With all four competitors now in the fight, the trio of Kenny, Hendry and Fite temporarily teamed up to try and take out big Damo. It was a tactic that didn't really work, and what followed was an incredible match, with stories-within-stories all throughout. Damo at one point seemed to go for the Van-Damo-Nator once again, only this time to be stopped by Kenny. Full of new-found confidence following his breaking out from Kennedy's will, Kenny was on fire throughout, keeping low when the situation necessitated it, and getting involved whenever any of the other three seemed likely to snatch the victory.

As Kid Fite and Damo's personal rivalry reached its apex and the two battled outside and to the back, only Joe Hendry and Kenny remained. Somewhat stablemates, but really mortal enemies, Hendry wasted no time in putting his strength advantage to good use and getting Kenny caught in the Freak Of Nature falaway slam, only for Kenny to roll with the impact and grab Hendry in a rollup for the victory!

Post match, despite shock all around within the ring, James R Kennedy seemed to be sensing the adoration of the crowd for their new #1 contender and actually congratulated Kenny. Dubiously, Kenny seemed  to accept, but Joe Hendry was furious. Seething with rage, he half-heartedly gave his congratulations to Kenny too, before Timm Wylie ran from behind him and caught Kenny with a surprise spear. What Kennedy thinks of this remains to be seen.

Main Event - Winner Gets An ICW Heavyweight Title match at Fear & Loathing VII
Drew Galloway vs Darkside
Such history! Darkside was the one who took Drew Galloway's ICW Heavyweight title on Galloway's exit from ICW, and here he is blocking Galloway's return to the Heavyweight scene. Although Drew had a lot to say about where he felt he belonged in the company, talk means nothing unless you have action to back it up, and action is something Darkside has in plenty of reserve, delivering a kick to Drew in the corner while Drew was getting checked.

Drew however was also here to show he meant business. A Futureshock DDT attempted early, but Scott managed to block it. The two battled to the outside, over the barrier and into the crowd, where Drew showed just how huge he truly is as he threw the former James Scott straight into the air and against the balcony area of The Garage.

I took this opportunity to catch a quick break, as the two were battling on the opposite side of the arena from me, and upon my return I was greeted with the sight of Drew Galloway in mid-air, flying out of the ring and over the barrier to land on his opponent somewhere in the crowd. Size, strength and the agility to literally fly. Drew Galloway has it all.

What he also has is a title shot at Fear & Loathing, as Drew Galloway hit the Futureshock DDT to pin Darkside and gain the victory. What followed next... just watch while I regroup myself...

That's right. That is myself and dozens of others running in fear from a wrestling ring. That is me truly believing that Jack Jester had just doused Drew Galloway in petrol, catching us with quite a lot in the process, and was about to set fire to him. Ergo, the fire was in real danger of burning my leg.

But it wasn't fire. The force that was Jack Jester had simply used coloured water to prove his point, but he promised it would be fire next time. And who can blame him? As much as Drew Galloway was the very first ICW Champion, he is not the one who dragged ICW from Maryhill to the City Centre. He is not there when the fighting spilled out into the streets, in Glasgow, in Edinburgh, in Newcastle, in London. He was not on the Vice documentary, the BBC documentary. He did not have his head nearly sliced off by Sabu, his life threatened by Jimmy Havoc, and ice bucket struck over him by Red Lightning. He did not throw Mary Dobson off the balcony of the Garage, or officiated Carmel and Kay Lee Ray in a Last Woman Standing match. He did not battle Fergal Devitt to the acclaim of worldwide fans. He did not help sell out the ABC or the London o2. Jack Jester was there.

Jack Jester has been here all along, through thick and thin. Jack Jester has endured the betrayals, of his friends, his enemies and sometimes even the fans. But when over 1000 of us cheered on as Drew Galloway announced his intentions, as hundreds of us chanted Galloway when he stated that Jack wasn't the man, wasn't the wrestler to bring ICW to the next level, something has severely snapped. It has happened before, where a Champion is being told he is not the main event, not the star attraction, but never before has it been so overt, literally in Jack Jester's face, and oh so very personal.

These men are friends, or were friends, and here is one telling the other... "Sorry, friend, you're good - but you're not good enough". Jack Jester had won his championship through blood, pain, violence, and he has kept it through betrayal, visiting marauders, death threats and the constant presence of the NAK, waiting for him to snap.

What was it Drew Galloway said? "I'm not a good guy. I'm not a bad guy. Drew Galloway is an entity." I'm not disputing that at all. Drew Galloway has been willing to do and say anything to Jack Jester to show that he is truly an entity, and an entity hellbent on getting the ICW Heavyweight title once again and dragging ICW forward with him to the stratosphere. Drew Galloway is an entity.

But Jack Jester is a force. When a force meets an entity, only destruction can come out the other side.

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