Monday, 5 January 2015

Best of British II - Insane Championship Wrestling




The Lestrange Lock's Lily Lestrange puts her case forward for Insane Championship Wrestling being the best wrestling company in the United Kingdom today!

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           It was about 2011 when my passion for wrestling rekindled itself.  I casually watched WWE whenever it was on TV before that, following the career of CM Punk as he claimed The Nexus as his own before finally winning the WWE Championship. After that I was hooked. I would talk to my fellow fans online every Monday whilst watching RAW and then the same went for any PPVs as well. This went on for ages as my amazement with the promotion grew but it wasn’t enough. I was beginning to get bored and needed something more. I asked about on Twitter and it was suggested to me that I go to live shows right here in my hometown of Glasgow, held by a promotion called Insane Championship Wrestling. Wrestling? In Glasgow? Surely there wasn’t a promotion right on my doorstep that I had no idea about?! Turns out that there has been for a good while now, more the fool me!





         I was told that ICW were branching out by putting on a show in the Edinburgh Playhouse that had matches featuring Colt Cabana and Sabu. I’d known of Colt from following Punk’s career and every wrestling fan knows of Sabu, so I got myself a ticket and off I went to their sold-out show “Dave’s Not Here Man”. This was my first time going to a live show and my first experience with an indy promotion so asides from the obscure references in their event names and the imported stars I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I mean, how could a promotion based in my city ever compare to WWE? Well let me tell you, ICW blew them out of the water that night and they have continued to do so for me to the present day. 
 
The second match on the card for that night was Kay Lee Ray vs. Carmel in a Last Woman Standing match and I was completely astounded that women could wrestle like that these days; after having to deal with the Divas division in WWE for years before now I just couldn’t believe what was in front of me. At one point Carmel DDT’d KLR from the bar and for want of a better term I marked out something stupid. These two are some of the best female wrestlers that the UK has to offer; I was sure of it at the time and after watching them feud over the past year I’ve never been more convinced of it. As soon as that DDT happened that was it; I was already booking my tickets to the next show in my mind. I was still chanting away as I wandered lost about Edinburgh on my own after the show and I didn’t even care because I had so much adrenaline running through me that I would’ve superkicked anyone that looked at me the wrong way.




      I stayed true to it as well; for the remainder of 2013 I only missed one show and I’ve only missed a handful this year. I’ve watched the promotion go from struggling to sell out a community centre to having its own documentary on the BBC (and a sequel soon to follow), be the only promotion in the UK to have an online streaming service and selling out one of the greatest venues in the world, the Barrowlands. But how has ICW managed to achieve such greatness, you ask? Bringing in talent from overseas has definitely brought in a wider audience: we’ve had people like Prince Devitt, Paul London and Brian Kendrick become regular faces at shows plus some one-offs like Hardcore Holly who only a few weeks ago managed to leave our own Chris Renfrew’s chest looking like a pound of mince. Even WWE’s Drew McIntyre, who started his career in the ring at ICW as Drew Galloway, has come back to his roots and is currently the ICW Heavyweight Champion. 
 
      Of course, their regular roster deserves the most credit for their success. B.T Gunn and Wolfgang have been feuding for the best part of a year now and we’ve seen Wolfgang throw Gunn from a sound system and the pair of them nearly hanging each other from the ropes in a dog collar match, this year-long spat is yet to get boring. In Newcastle, Chris Renfrew vs. Jimmy Havoc in a Geordie Rules match saw Havoc spewing at ringside after having one shot of whisky too many and him jamming a dildo into Renfrew’s mouth after knocking him silly with a baking tray. Because rule one of a Geordie Rules match is that there are no rules and dildos are fair game, right? There's also been the Best-Of-5 feud between Noam Dar and Joe Coffey, two lads who don’t need gimmicks because all they have to do is step into a ring together to wow the crowds. If you like pure, unadulterated wrestling then these matches are gonna be your thing. Then of course there’s Grado, Scotland’s answer to Scotty 2 Hotty; people may question his wrestling abilities but he’s undeniably one of the greatest entertainers in the business today. You could hate him in the ring but still sing his entrance song “Like A Prayer” every time; there’s just no hating the guy, he’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face at every show. 



 
       The uniqueness of these kinds of feuds, matches and wrestlers is what makes ICW special; we have absolutely no idea what we’re going to get with the next event and that’s why we love it. Hell, they’ve even sold out shows without even announcing a match on the card before. ICW has something for everyone (as long as you’re over 18) and the sense of kinship from not only the roster but the fans themselves will have you never wanting to miss a show again. 

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      We'd like to thank Lily Lestrange for taking the time to write for us. You can find her other work at thelestrangelock.blogspot.com, as well as follow the blog on Twitter @LestrangeLock. ICW can be found at insanewrestling.co.uk, as well as on Twitter @InsaneChampWres and on Facebook here.

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