Craig Wilson and Brian Damage
It’s that time again as we look back at This Week in Wrestling. In this edition, Craig talks Insane Championship Wrestling’s ‘Fear & Loathing IX’ from last Saturday while Brian shares some of the most interesting pictures and videos he’s stumbled upon over the last seven days.
ICW ‘Fear & Loathing IX’ review
Last Saturday, I was fortunate enough to join over 6,000 others at the Hydro in Glasgow for the biggest European wrestling event in over three decades.
Scotland’s own Insane Championship Wrestling, undoubtedly one of the hottest wrestling acts in the world, staged the ninth instalment of their annual ‘Fear and Loathing’ spectacle at the brand new SSE Hydro.
The event marked a startling transformation by the promotion led by Mark Dallas. Just a decade previous, the promotion hosted an event in front of 60 people within a town hall in the city of Glasgow. Ten years later, after a progression which had taken in a host of top venues across the city, the promotion finally reached the Hydro.
Just a week or so after the WWE had held both Raw and Smackdown in the same venue, the move from the SECC last year – which hosts 4,000 – was unquestionably a risk for Dallas and co, especially when the WWE events were factored in.
But, in the end, it proved to be a hit, certainly from a wrestling standpoint.
An influx of performers from across the pond joined some of the hottest acts plying their trade this side of the Atlantic. The card featured a mixture of established American acts such as Team 3D, Kurt Angle along with Finn Balor – in a non-wrestling capacity – alongside homegrown stars like Grado, Drew Galloway, Lionheart and others.
As well as star-power, fans in attendances – and around the world, thanks to ICW on demand and Fite TV – were treated to a card that featured something for the announced 6,193 who paid in. According to Wrestling Observer, that figure made the show:
“the biggest show by a UK promotion for three decades, and no other non-WWE show has topped that for almost 15 years.”
And those of us there were treated to a cracking show.
The main event pitted Joe Coffey against Kurt Angle, ICW Champ Wolfgang faced Trent Seven within a cage, a terrific four vs four tag match which had control of ICW on the line, Team 3D battled ICW tag champs Polo Promotions, the women’s title was on the line in a triple threat bout while the Zero G belt was up for grabs in a “Stairway to Heaven” ladder match.
On the night, we got two title changes (Kay Lee Ray winning the women’s title from the retiring Carmel and Kenny Williams triumphing in the sadly rushed Stairway to Heaven match to win the Zero G title), a casket match (Stevie Xavier bested BT Gunn) the cage match and appearances from Team 3D, Kurt Angle, Finn Balor as well as a video – face time? – cameo from Mick Foley. Oh, and a terrific bout between Ricochet and Lewis Girvan. It is a joy to see someone like Ricochet perform live and he made Girvan, an up and coming talent on the Scottish scene, look very good in what was definitely the best match of the evening.
If you are fortunate enough to have ICW perform on your back door, you are in store for a treat. I paid £35 for seats on the first tier – the equivalent at Raw and Smackdown would have been over £90 – and, I felt, I was treated to a vastly superior show to either of those.
It’s not a lie to say that there was something for everyone on this card. I’ve read a lot online about ICW fans getting a lot of flak. Sure, there are moments they go into things for themselves but what sporting fan base can’t you level that reaction at?
One thing is for sure, they are right behind this organisation. It’s a perfect match. And ICW have had success in bringing non-wrestling fans to their shows, in no small part due to the party atmosphere of one of their shows.
For the faint hearted? Not so much. But if you’re a fan of Attitude Era WWE or ECW, then ICW is the promotion for you.
Oh, and tickets are already on sale for ‘Fear and Loathing X’ at the Hydro next December. There are worse things you can spend your pennies, or cents, on…
Please excuse the nudity if it offends you, but I had to post this new ad of Alicia Silverstone posing with nothing more than a Wyatt family mask!
Show of hands, who here remembers the WWE’s Federettes from the 1980’s?
This young man would go on to a pretty damn good pro wrestling career!
Anybody remember when you had to order a wrestling pay per view this way?
Before unicorns, rainbows, Booty O’s and Francesca there was this guy…
Who the heck bought this?!?
Despite the…ummmm…interruption, Scott Hall still plays it cool like only a bad guy could.
Here is a super rare look at Ted Dibiase in his first days with the WWF BEFORE he became the Million Dollar Man…
Last Week on the Blog
Last Sunday we previewed Survivor Series; on Monday we had part 91 of ‘Wrestling with Sin‘; we revisited our earlier ‘Book or Cook‘ piece on Heath Slater on Tuesday; on Wednesday we looked at the various attempts by the WWE in the past to create a light heavyweight division; Thursday saw us list our Top Five favourite ECW Matches and Moments; and we rounded off the week looking at Raw and Nitro from 20 years ago this week.
Next Week on the Blog
All previous ‘This Week in Wrestling’ pieces can be read here.