It’s been a while since Insane Championship Wrestling last visited Cardiff, but they came back, once again to the Tramshed. Just letting you know in advance, it was great.
Just as a heads up since it’s been a few weeks since this show, so most of the descriptions of the matches will be hazy and quick after a certain point. There was no seating at the Tramshed since most of their shows see crowds on their feet anyway, the temperature was pretty unbearable as the show went on, and the drinks were WAY overpriced (as most bars tend to do). But other than that, can’t complain, this was genuinely a great show – we had some WWE UK stars, an Impact Wrestling name or two, and a whole bunch of Dragon Pro Wrestling appearances, as a nice little nod to the promotion in Newport that could, and still does.
The show opened with greeting the already rowdy crowd as he was ready to get the cameras rolling for ICW’s on Demand service. When the cameras did start rolling, we were already introduced to the debuting Josh Holly, a young local upstart from Dragon Pro Wrestling (be prepared to hear from this place quite a bit), going off against another Welsh native, Iestyn Rees from The Mauraders.
Iestyn Rees defeated Josh Holly
Before the match started the fans were already wanting Iestyn to destroy the poor guy, but he got on the mic to give the local lad two options. One, they start the match, but with the condescending add on that Josh can pin him for a three count, while Iestyn must get a FIVE count to beat Holly. OR, Josh heads on home and saves himself the beatdown. Josh didn’t take kindly to this and pushed Iestyn. In return he got a few massive spears and clotheslines for his trouble. Josh did attempt a diving cross body not long after, but barely a minute into the match, Iestyn counters this into a Jackhammer type manoeuvre to get the five count pinfall. Iestyn holds Holly by the ankle like a trophy and walks off to the back. Though as Holly stumbled to the back with his head still rattled, the crowd took the high road they clapped and cheered for Holly for making his debut with ICW despite the crushing loss.
Wolfgang defeated Pete Dunne
This match up was between two of the biggest and best names currently part of the WWE’s United Kingdom Division, so you knew this match would going to be special. This was also a little different, especially on Dunne’s part as he seemed a lot more… playful with the people? You don’t often see this man crack a smile, not one of sincerity anyway, but here he did and he had a good time with the people. When he was on the offence at the start, he used other people around his as weapons against Wolfgang. He used the ref, one of the camera men, even a man from ringside. He even brought in a different fan, who fell in to ‘you f’d up!’ chants, and even threw Pete into Wolfgang. Much fun was had.
But both men were completely vicious to each other in different ways. Wolfgang had the power edge with a few surprisingly high risk manoeuvres from the top, while Pete also pulled of the unexpected flip or two with incredibly sickening strikes. The only real part that annoyed me and some people around me were a section of the crowd making ‘Attack Pro Wrestling’ references, chanting some obscenities against Shay Purser. Guys, I know Attack Pro had a show the same time as this event, but the last time I checked, this wasn’t Cheltenham. This is Cardiff. This is ICW.
The match ended when Dunne teased hitting the Pedigree on WG (referencing Triple H, who seems to be quite the Pete Dunne fan), but Wolfgang counters this and hits a Discus Elbow for the pinfall victory. After the match Pete bit the fingers of the ref and bowed to everyone in the crowd, seemingly as a goodbye of sorts? Maybe he’ll back, crazier things have, and still will happen.
BT Gunn defeated Lionheart
In this match Lionheart was heavily harassed by the crowd with your typical vulgar chants, while BT was much more liked. Thought I have to say… he looked better with longer hair. I’m sorry, maybe it’s just me and my think for people like long hair, but BT… just think about it. Lionheart took many shenanigans during the match, but Gunn was able to fight back with some big strike that echoes through the already noisy Tramshed. As the match drew to a close, Lionheart hit all the stops. A few Rock Bottoms, even a Styles Clash which got appropriate chants of ‘You’re not AJ!’ from the crowd. But BT was still able to kick out of them. BT managed to get the pinfall victory after hitting a Swinging Reverse STO.
Now while BT was celebrating, everyone noticed ‘The Local Hero’ Joe Hendrey jumps the railing and get into the ring with Lionheart. Apparently they are in a program where Lionheart had been saying some unflattery things when the two of them weren’t at the same show. Well on this occasion, Hendrey drove all the way to CARDIFF (que cheer for mention of place we are at!) to get in his face. He kept egging him on to do something, but Lionheart left and some officials came out to calm down Hendrey. No real scuffles were had, but Joe did issue an unsactioned match challenge to Lionheart for the future. That’ll definitely be something to look forward to, unless Lionheart finds some way to avoid it, and you can bet he will find a way for that match not to happen.
Polo Promotions (Jackie Polo & Mark Coffey) defeated The Bucky Boys (Davey Blaze & Stevie Boy)
Another active match from the fans as you’d expect, before the actual match started, a fan at ringside threw a drink over Davey, and I wasn’t sure if this was planned since Davey just laughed it off. But some people near me said that might have been a real thing. You can’t be too sure in the world of wrestling, but it that ‘fan’ threw the drink on him on purpose, then he clearly didn’t remember the number one rule of ICW’s live events. It involved a vulgar word, but he might not be allowed to attend the shows anymore as a result.
Still the fans did not like the Bucky Boys as Stevie kept getting tunes relating to his lack of hygiene, while Davey was a ‘Greasy …….’ I’m sure you can fill in the blank. Some more chants of ‘Head and Shoulders! 2 And 1!’ which was quite funny to be fair. The Boys used distractions and dirty tricks to get the advantage mostly (that wasn’t intended, I swear), but Polo and Coffey were able to fight back just as hard as they were beat down. I didn’t quite see the finish, but Polo Promotions ended up winning, and Stevie was stuck in the tree of woe on the corner even after the match had ended. There was a little bit of arguing between the two, mostly with Stevie yelling at Davey is I recall correctly.
ICW Zero-G Championship Match
Kenny Williams retained against Zack Gibson
Now leading up to this match, at one of the other Fight Club Tour shows running before this one, Zack Gibson nicked Kenny’s championship and claimed himself the number wrestler in ICW, in the country, and in the world. The people weren’t having this, and neither was Kenny as the two started out quite intensely right off the bat. There were some dives from Kenny as you’d expect, and soon the two brawled outside of the building where many people went out to see. When I made it out, I quickly saw Kenny jumping off of a stone wall and hitting a cross body on Gibson. Soon after Gibson had Williams in a Camel Clutch on a wooden table and benches. Also, odd mention, but while they were brawling, I could have sworn I saw a certain ‘Badman’ looking for something, or someone… eh, Wa ‘M I Sayin, it was probably just my imagination.
The action went back inside and it still just as vicious, especially when Zack was on the offense. Soon Kenny would fight back from the massive beatdown he was getting and this only spurred on the fan’s craving for blood… no seriously, they chanted ‘We want blood!’. They didn’t get that far, but we did end up seeing a super sick Tilt-a-Whirl DDT from Kenny which led to the champion retaining his title. He finally got his belt back and the people were happy it wasn’t in Gibson’s thieving grasp.
Trent Seven defeated Sha Samuels
This was definitely the most comedic match of the night as both Trent and Sha where having a drunken ole time. Yeah, backstory first. So both got nice reactions entering, but Trent got on the mic to acknowledge that Sha was soon leaving ICW, to which the crowd went broken with ‘DELETE!’ chants. Trent had a witty response saying, ‘Yes, delete that Facebook post!’ Trent then said he didn’t want to wrestle, and then he went back to bring out a bottle of Smirnoff. Enter an exchange of Trent and Sha downing several shots, and Sha also chugging from the bottle. Well, Trent tipped out his shots when Sha wasn’t looking and just acted like he drank them. The match would soon start, kind of, as Sha was having some… stomach issues. You should never drink and wrestle kids! Actually you shouldn’t drink at all. Not unless you are over eighteen. Hey this IS a young person’s website, there may be a few stragglers who might be reading this who ignored the 18+ (mostly likely) to read this. Trent even made things worse by hitting airplane spin on Shaw which made the big guy keel over. While he was having a quick snooze, the crowd chanted for Trent to, erm, ‘spoon’ Sha, which he did for quite the precious visual.
But what… IT WAS A ROUSE! Sha rolled Trent up, but he kicked out. The match carried on as normal for the rest of it, with many powerhouse moves by both. It could have gone either way, thought Trent did have the less intoxicated advantage, which may have very well led to his victory. He ended up hitting his Seven Stars Lariat for the pinfall win. Trent did a Triple H spit with some vodka after (everyone loves them some Hunter it seems, I can’t blame them honestly) and the two had some shots with the ref as well. Some good old fashion 18+ fun!
Kay Lee Ray w/ Stevie Boy defeated Sierra Loxton
This ICW womens match saw the debut of The Freaky Princess, Sierra Loxton, who some will know from places like Dragon Pro Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Chaos. The crowd were into here though mostly for patriotism case as they confirmed her too be from Wales. Still, it was great to see Sierra making her mark in ICW, and as an added note… her new hair colour, DAMN! I wish I could have hair that silver and sparkly, I’m not even joking. It works for her! The ICW Womens Champion Kay lee Ray, came out with fellow Black Label member Stevie Boy in toe, and the fans immediately focused their attention on him with chants for him to take a shower. I mean, yes he really should, but focus on the women guys.
I should also add that the Attack Pro! ‘RAFFLE’ chants came back here because, APPARENTLY, Sierra looks uncannily like Attack Pro’s raffle girl. I mean, first of guys, stop, no need to be salty you couldn’t be in Cheltenham. Second, they look, NOTHING alike. Tash has blonde hair and raffles books, Sierra has silver hair and… no raffles, come on now. Don’t be silly… (I’m actually aware both are one and the same, but don’t let them know that, SHHHHHH!!!)
For most of the match we saw KLR dominating against Loxton, and whenever Sierra would try to gain some form of offence, Stevie would interfere, pretty much ending her momentum. Sierra did manage to get into the match, even after a nasty landing on a Superplex from the top rope, which Sierra seemed to be holding her hand more from it. But Sierra still powered through, even with a mixture of ‘Wales!’ (generic) and ‘Sierra’ (Mindful) chants. AT least she had the crowds support, which gave her the adrenaline rush to hit some nice manoeuvres on the ICW Champion. She even hit some suicide dives onto Stevie Boy on the outside, which the people really enjoyed. Sierra seemed to have had the match won after hitting a spinning neckbreaker finisher, but Stevie pulled out the ref just before the three count. KLR used this distraction to hit a Gory Bomb and then a Swanton Bomb from the top rope to get the pinfall victory. Sierra was not happy with the way she lost the match, so to make herself and everyone else feel much better, she hit a German Suplex on both Kay Lee and Stevie. She then held up the ICW Womens Champion, signalling that this one off match/appearance was far from the last time she would be appearing for ICW.
Granted I will time travel for a brief moment, it might be a little while as when I talked with her after the show, she had an arm sling on, which means the damage to her hand was just as bad as it appeared in the match. I’m sure she’ll come back stronger than ever, ready for when she goes for the actual championship.
Grado defeated Chris Renfrew
This match was definitely a different one, especially in the demeanour of Grado. The last time I saw Grado, he was cracking jokes and having a good laugh with the people. Now? He seems to have pulled a Rock Hollywood turn where he let the fame of being an actor go to his head. A similar thing here as Grado seems to have led the success of his television for BBC, ITV (as the World of Sport Champion) and Impact Wrestling, all of which the people didn’t care for, ESPECIALLY Impact where they chanted a vulgar saying at the former initials of the company, ‘TNA’. Of course Grado caught onto that and said ‘Ah you’re doing yourself wrong there Cardiff’, which got a chuckle out of me. I mean, I agree.
If you want to insult another promotion, at least get the name right. They were TNA, WERE being the word in that statement. They also chanted something vulgar about the former majority owner ‘Dixie Carter’, but again, she’s not even the majority owner anymore. There’s hating something, and then there’s just being ignorant. Grado then went to make fun of Welsh figures like Gareth Bale, former WWE Star Mason, and former TNA/Impact X-Division Wrestler and current WWE United Kingdom Division star Mark Andrews, saying he better than all of them combined and such. He made ‘baaaaahing’ noises cause HAHAHAHA! SHEEEEEP! HE MAKES JOKES1 THAT’S COMPLETELY ORIGINAL AND INNOVATIVE. But saying all of this, even thought Grado is making everyone want to hate him, I have never liked Grado more than how he was being portrayed right now. It works, he found his calling, being a massive sod.
Grado soon noticed Chris was in his own little world, staring into space, but during the confusion, Chris speared the heck out of Grado and went after him. The match would follow with Grado being incredibly sneaking yet very arrogant to the Tramshed crowd. The match only ended up getting more and more exciting as things went on, even when people were being slammed into steel chairs being set up and guardrails.
Also, obligatory ‘this crowd’s dumb’ comment, or at least, some of them, there was a very small section of the crowd in the match who started a ‘We Are Awesome’ chant, which was quickly drowned out by boos from the rest of us who had enough common sense not to be arseholes.
Towards the end, Renfrew seemed to have the match one, but a strange message appeared on one of the monitors by the entrance ramp flickered, showing the message, ‘Obey’. This distracted him enough for Grado to hit a Skull Crushing Finale type move to get the pinfall.
ICW Tag Team Championship
The Marauders (Mike Bird & Wild Boar) retained against Modern Culture (Danny Jones & Edwin Ricci)
This match, to me personally, was the true main event. And no not because all were WELSH, or because I actually know all four of these guys in real life (but that has something to do with it of course). But it was just a damn great match. Which I’ll get into.
When both teams entered, the champions of course got the hometown support, even though Danny & Ed are also from Wales. The crowd did chant something at Danny when he tried to speak into the mic, but no sound would play. That something being along the lines of ‘You MESSED up!’ but replaced the messed word with something much more obscene. He responded them those people by saying ‘Your man MESSED up when she gave birth to you!’, dang butt! The two would then go on to demand that Bird & Boar put their ICW Tag Team Titles on the line, which they accepted.
Both teams were great in this match and the people responded with just as much support for them. Of course they booed Modern Culture, the plucky up and comers who were every bit as impressive as the veteran champions, showcasing impressing tag team manoeuvres. But the champions were able to get the better of the youngsters with their longer level of experience both as singles guys, and as a tag team. There were dives from Boar and Bird, heavy strikes, great feats of strength, and so much that I could go into too much ddetail, but I have talked enough in this review. In the end, the champions hit their Revenge Tag Team Finisher (Not sure if I should still keep calling it Ms Patterson’s Revenge, or something like The Marauders Revenge) on Ed to pick up the victory. Bird & Boar celebrated in the crowd with everyone to again, in my opinion, the match of the night. And if it ended there people would be completely fine, but nope, we still had one more match!
Main Event – ICW Heavyweight Championship
Joe Coffey retained against Jack Jester
So. Many. MATCHES. Luckily this was the last one, and it was for ICW’s top prize, their World Heavyweight Champion, which was held by the despised Joe Coffey, who much like Grado, has a change of attitude after aligning with Red Lightning Sports Entertainment. While this match started out as a non-title match, Coffey actually offered to put the title on the line, except with the most anti-climactic rules… they would be regular rules. Disqualifications, rope breaks, the sort of stuff people don’t like seeing in championship matches, since it gives Joe more ways for him to retain his title.
The two were even against each other to start, with both fighting outside for a little bit. There was a moment for best chant of the night as a majority of the people chanted ‘Lets Switch on the Air Con’, truer words has never been spoken. Jester wanted to use a steel chair on Joe at one point, but refrained from it as he would be DQ’d if he did. Coffey came back and got on the mic during his offence, complain about Travel Lodge or something. He put a card in Jester’s mouth at one point, I forget the context, but it happened.
There was a scare moment towards the end of the match as Jester was on the advantage where Coffey seemed to have hurt himself and was helped to the back by ICW officials. The ring announcer said Coffey suffered a knee injury and Jester was about to leave, but the champ came back as it was all a ruse! Coffey did attempt an Eddie Guerrero chair spot later on when he threw a chair into Jester’s hands and acted like he got hit with it when the ref noticed them. This didn’t end the match, but Coffey did get the last laugh as he hit a massive lariat to end the match. Grado appeared shortly after this and celebrated with his fellow Red Lightning associate. The crowd chanted ‘socks & sandals’ since Grado was wearing them during this, but it wasn’t the best note to end it on for everyone else, unfortunately.
This was yet another captivating ICW Fight Club Tour show. Some great action from Welsh veterans, and also for the welsh debuts and up and comers as well. The regular ICW talent was also on point and they tour thee building down. I’m sure whenever ICW returns to Cardiff, the action will be just as great!
Photography credits go to Insane Championship Wrestling and Gareth Bull Photography