Welcome one, welcome all, to the first-ever “Weekly Spotlight”. Every seven days I’ll be taking one Independent Wrestling company and having a closer look at them. I’ll start each article with a short history, followed by the five matches that I consider the best that they have to offer on their YouTube. If you only follow the WWE then this will, hopefully, help you to expand your horizons when it comes to Pro-Wrestling and if you’re already a fan of the Indy circuit then at least you might be able to find a hidden gem to watch that you didn’t know about.
Right, I think that’s pretty clear, so let’s lace up our boots and head to the ring.
Insane Championship Wrestling: A Brief History
The mad genius that is Mark Dallas started Insane Championship Wrestling, aka ICW, back in 2006. Having learned the ropes from the inside, quite literally as he trained as a wrestler to get to know about the business, he would launch ICW in Glasgow. The initial run would last less than a year and the company would go on hiatus until 2009 but when it returned it would go from strength to strength.
In this writer’s humble opinion, ICW is currently the best Independent Promotion that wrestling has to offer and the list of performers that have stepped between the ropes and into their ring only goes to prove this. Drew Galloway, Big Damo, Grado, Noam Dar, these are just a few names to grace the company and is a testament to just how well thought of, and beloved, that ICW is among the wrestling community.
Yet no article about this company would be complete without a mention of the greatest to ever lace up the boots for ICW; Adrian “Lionheart” McCallum.
McCallum was a revelation when he first appeared in 2011 and would, eventually, go on to become the face of the company. He was untouchable in the ring whether he was super-kicking everyone in sight, flying through the air like Eddie Guerrero, or throwing hands with the best of them and when they put the title on him in 2018, it was the logical choice. Lionheart was admired by all.
He would hold this title until his untimely death in June of this year at the age of 36 and the world is a sadder place now that Adrian McCallum is no longer in it.
RIP Lionheart, you are greatly missed.
WWE UK Championship Fatal Four Way
This was something that nobody ever thought would happen. A WWE Championship match outside the confines of Titan Towers just seemed like the fever dream of a mad-man, but when that mad-man happens to be Mark Dallas, then anything is possible.
At the time, Pete Dunne was the WWE UK Champion and he would defend the title inside an ICW ring against Trent Seven, Wolfgang, and BT Gunn in what was easily a contender for Match of the Year.
With high flying moves blending seamlessly with all-out brawls, the WWE UK Championship Fatal Four Way is high action, top octane, from start to finish. If the thought of watching an 18 stone man cannonball his way over the top rope into the other competitors on the outside doesn’t fill you with childish glee, then maybe pro-wrestling isn’t for you.
Glasgow Street Fight 2018
This is just insane. When these ten wrestlers got to war, nothing and no-one is safe. The announcers warn that you should “Put a gum shield in your arsehole” because “This is going to be ugly as f*ck” and they really aren’t lying.
It doesn’t take long before the whole thing spills out into the street, making it an actual street fight, and bodies are soon piling up as chair shots are unleashed, wrestlers are dumped into the back of waiting vans, as well as being bounced off of shipping containers.
It takes around seven minutes for the action to make its way into the ring but it doesn’t stay there very long as we’re soon back on the outside, with over the top rope moves laying wrestlers out, left, right and center.
Even when the dust finally settles and a winner is declared, that’s not the end of the carnage. I don’t want to spoil it for you so I’ll just say any time that a nightmare shows up, you know the body count is going to be high.
Queen Of Insanity
I’ve got a soft spot for Hardcore Matches. I don’t know why as they can be unbelievably brutal and make me want to stop looking at the screen but for some reason, whenever I find one I just can’t help myself. It may have something to do with the fact I can’t believe that two human beings—or sometimes more—would be willing to put themselves through so much pain just to entertain me. Or it might just be that I’m a sick bastard but whatever the reason, me and Hardcore Wrestling go together like ham and eggs.
The Queen Of Insanity match between the superb Kay Lee Ray and Viper for the ICW Women’s World Championship is a fantastic example of the genre. It doesn’t take long before all pretenses of wrasslin’ are dropped and the two ladies take to beating the hell out of each other with whatever they can lay their hands on.
Kendo sticks, chairs, barbwire tables, thumbtacks, if these two can hurt each other with it, it’s fair game. There are some truly “Holy S*it!” bumps throughout and it’s definitely not one for the squeamish among you, but if you can keep your lunch down then the Queen Of Insanity is a hell of a ride.
Drew Galloway vs Jack Jester
I don’t think that anyone could’ve predicted just how much of a sensation the former Drew McIntyre after he left the WWE in 2014. After all, this is a guy who’d seemingly had the wrestling world laid at his feet when Big Vinny Mac had declared him The Chosen One. Only to see it all disappear in a cloud of McMahon logic after he was lumbered with some of the worst gimmicks in the companies history.
No, 3MB wasn’t any good, sorry.
So back to the Independent’s he went and somehow, miraculously, he rebuilt his reputation and became The Scottish Psychopath and had a massive draw that he’d only ever hinted at during his run in the major league.
This fight with Jack Jester is proof (if it were needed) that Galloway can be the sort of guy a company gets full behind and pushes to the moon. It’s hard-hitting and brutal and like most ICW matches doesn’t stay inside the ring that long. Both men leave everything on the table as they batter each other from pillar to post and, let’s face it here, who doesn’t love barbwire baseball bats?
Good Housekeeping Match
If you’re a fan of wrestling, then what should you show someone who isn’t to try and get them to see your chosen sport in a different light? You could go for The Macho Man/Steamboat match from Wrestlemania III or the Kenny Omega/Okada bouts from NJPW that broke Dave Meltzer’s own rating system. Personally, I sit them down, make them a cup of tea, and put on the first-ever ICW Good Housekeeping bout.
There hasn’t been a word invented yet to describe just how mental, insane, mad, out of this world, that this is. Mensaneold is the closest I can come up with. It’s also something I can’t do justice to in print, so I’m not even going to try.
All I can say is that this very well might be my favorite wrestling match of all time and that if you’ve never seen one guy drop kick a washing machine into another, then you haven’t lived.