I'm taking a break from wrapping presents, roasting chestnuts and thinking of festive cliches...because it's time for some ICW Fight Club! I'm an absolute sucker for cheesy Christmas wrestling, so I was extremely excited for this show. On commentary (and in lovely yule tide attire) we are joined by Billy Kirkwood and William Grange.
ICW Tag Team Championship Number One Contenders Match - The Govan Team vs. The Purge vs. The Fellas in Yella vs. The Fite Network (Lou King Sharp & Krieger)
Look how stacked the ICW Tag Division is! We have 6 really fun and talented teams on the card tonight, and next episode we have The Kinky Party and the Polos for the title. What a time to be watching ICW for all the tag wrestling fans out there!
This was a good (and chaotic) match, that was elevated to a great match by how plausible it was for any of the teams to win. Both members of The Govan Team stole the show with huge moves to the outside (Zander with a cannonball over the ropes off Ravie's Back, Davie with a springboard moonsault from the inside of the ring...be still my beating heart).
Every team got over and looked stronger going forward after this Number One Contenders match. The Govan Team are a great "Big Spot" pair, The Purge are a force of brutality, The Fellas are the most fun team on the roster, and The Fite Network have the ultimate ragdoll that is Lou King Sharp. After a video played showing the Martina heel turn, Ravie left in a huff as Zander pleaded. Then after Kid Fite ran in to take out the Fellas with a chair, we were left with two teams. One MDK (double team tombstone finisher) later and the Purge look to dethrone the winners of next week's title contest. This was my match of the night.
We had a fairly middle of the road promo from Dickie Divers, calling out Atterhagen for a rematch later. Then Jennifer Louise backstage was looking for an interview when she was stolen by The Filthy Generation. Lewis and Aspen talk about both Sabu and the team of Kenny Williams & Aaron Echo not having what it takes to bring down the Generation. They dominate the world. The fact that Stevie Boy let his underlings do all the talking for him just makes him look like a huge star. I loved this segment!
The Govan Team dissension begins with arguing backstage, the Martina heel turn has affected Davie really badly and the storytelling is incredibly interesting.
Dickie Divers vs. Tor Atterhagen
It's time for a squash match from ICW's new Goldberg, Atterhagen. So far I'm enjoying the monster that is Tor, although time will tell how his act will progress with potentially longer matches. After some great big man power moves (Lariat and Gorilla Press fun time!) one Fallout Wave Spear put Divers away. A good squash and a dead Dickie!
Veronica interviewed the victorious Purge backstage, who planned on demolishing vodka to celebrate (which I have a headache just thinking about) and look forward to their Square Go Title match. Wolfgang congratulated his baby boys and issued an open challenge for the next episode as Bram cannot make the show, interesting stuff.
DCT and Coach Trip cut an impassioned and fantastic promo in our next segment. DCT isn't interested in Frankincense and Myrrh, and next year he's making sure he gets some Gold! Just a delightful, unique speech.
Veronica continues her adventures in interviewing, and gets a word with the newly destroyed Divers. He is certain he won the match, and then collapses onto a booth. Funnier than even a joke from a cracker.
Kenny Williams & Aaron Echo vs. The Kings of Catch
After telling the crowd his next goal is the 2018 Square Go winner, Kenny Williams was once again abandoned by another competitor in the match - as Aaron Echo's music played and he didn't come out. I am entirely unsure if this is the start of a really weird angle, or if Williams is just really unlucky that everybody who is supposed to join him in the ring is slightly late! Echo did join him after only a minutes or so of handicap beat down.
Commentary did a fantastic job of selling the friendship of Kenny & Aaron, immediately dispelling my assumption that the Kings would win due to prior teamwork. The buddies backed up these comments with some delightful tag moves, my personal favourite being William's tope through the big lad's legs. The Kings of Catch were as cohesive a unit as ever, giving their opponents a run for their money with possibly my tag move of the year. A Doomsday Device on the outside, with the top rope clothesline replaced by a tope! The back and forth action came to a close when Kay Lee Ray interfered (shocking nobody) and allowed the Kings of Catch to hit an Apter Burner for the victory.
This contest finally sold me on Aaron Echo, fueled my adoration of Kenny Williams and also continued to build The Kings of Catch as future tag team champions (I would bet my rented house on it!). Another great match where everyone involved got over.
We then cut to Lionheart, with a message to ICW fans. He wants us to know that even though Bram & BT Gunn is booked at the Square Go, his title match next week is not just filler. He has momentum from winning the biggest match of his career against RVD and plans to win the title next week. As always Lionheart's promo felt intense and real, and sows a few seeds of doubt in the outcome of next episodes quest for the gold!
Continuing backstage, we find Aaron Echo feeling blue that he let Kenny down when he took the pin in the previous match. The Bollocks reassured Aaron (because he is a lovely boy) and said he'd need backup to win the Square Go. We already have the narrative building for the ICW rumble equivalent. All of the best rumbles have a few story threads going in, so colour me excited for February!
Now it's time for the segment of the evening! Enter Joe Hendry and Leyton Buzzard for the Xmas Extravaganza. The Prestigious One began to shush the crowd, but then stopped?! Because it's Christmas and he had cards! Joe then (successfully) tried to get the crowd to chant "I WOULD LIKE A CARD"...which was simply wonderful. Leyton has a card for Joe, which says "Merry Christmas Dad, you're one in a Minion" (because Leyton is weird and fantastic). Unfortunately Joe soon turns on the fans, telling them that they are the reason (although he's had a successful year in a multitude of ways) he's not in the main event. For all of our insolence Christmas is cancelled. The Christmas Cards are ripped (including Buzzard's), Santa's face torn and Leyton is told to give a freak of nature to the tree. Only one man can stop this festive destruction, and a festive countdown reveals Santa (played this evening by Chris Renfrew!). Joe ate a Stoner and Leyton went through a tinsel coated table with a disgustingly nasty Rolling Fireman's carry! This was everything I love in cheesy stupid wrestling, and I'm intrigued by the bizarre match up of Renfrew and Hendry.
A double feature from Santa Renfrew lead us to our main event. Firstly he came to the aid of poor Dickie Divers, hugging him whilst maniacally wishing him a Merry Christmas repeatedly. Then as Hendry excitedly told us that he was going to get his big break in a marquee match against Chris Renfrew at the Square Go, Santa ran in and attacked poor Leyton Buzzard with a plastic sled. Never change Chris!
Stevie Boy vs. Sabu w/ Genie
I have an interesting relationship with Sabu, in that I think he is entirely awful but sort of love him for giving us so many botch compilations. I was beyond intrigued in his ability in 2017.
There were 2 ways in which Sabu managed to get through a match in 2017. He taunted a lot instead of wrestling, and he caught chairs thrown by Genie and threw them at Stevie. Luckily for me we did also get to see Sabu's signature jumping-off-a-chair botch. After taking almost every bump in the match (including an unexpected leg drop through a table) Stevie Boy was saved by his Kings of Catch. Thanks to the distraction he was able to hit the Glasgow destroyer for the victory. The fact that our King of Insanity needed help to beat a man that finds walking a struggle didn't sit well with me. This was (despite my perverse enjoyment of this car crash) my worst match of the night.
After the match Stevie tells his lackeys to "Get that piece of shit out of my ring" and proceeds to take over the show. All 4 members of The Filthy Generation take seats in the ring as Stevie cuts a great promo, officially putting himself in the Square Go to finish off the episode.
I really enjoyed how much this was just "The Filthy Show". Pushing Stevie Boy as a main eventer after his victory at Fear & Loathing feels very natural, and I'm going to predict right now that he will win the Square Go. There was enjoyment to be had from every match on the card (even Sabu!) and we have some exciting new feuds going forward. I'm already looking forward to the Square Go.
We have one more Christmas show to go before we are dragged kicking and screaming into 2018. With all the ICW titles on the line but very little chance they will change hands, it will be an uphill battle to make the matches to feel in any way meaningful. Although I'm concerned, I'm sure that the baby Jesus (who would not be over in ICW) will provide us with a decent show! Until then, enjoy your winter celebration of choice.