Last night I decided to jump on a bandwagon. That bandwagon was Insane Championship Wrestling, the Scottish wrestling promotion that just seems to be getting bigger and bigger. This was in part due to a BBC documentary they were featured in, but mainly down to the their strong roster of talent and the very YouTube friendly Scottish crowds. Last night they rolled into City Nightclub in Edinburgh, a place I never thought I would watch wrestling in, and put on an incredibly entertaining card. Rather than doing a full run down of it, I figured I’d just do a general opinions piece, which I hope is actually more interesting.
First off, the crowd were fantastic throughout the entire night. As I said before, the Scottish crowd is playing a big part in ICW’s growing reputation and you can see why. They are into everything that is happening in the ring and the wide range of inventive chants is constantly entertaining. Nearly all the talent also do a great job of interacting back, never hesitating from jawing back and forth with the more vocal audience members. It can take you a little while to get in on all the in jokes, particularly if it’s your first event, but I don’t really see it as a problem. This doesn’t feel like an audience likely to turn on newcomers and my own experience suggested anyone would be welcome.
The talent themselves pull out all the stops to impress. I think it would be hard to name a match as ‘the worst match of the night’ and almost equally hard to push one as the best. It was a card that was stacked full of strong competition and almost every bout hit the ball out of the park. Whether it was the brawling styling of the Buckie Boys or the technical masterclass that Mikey Whiplash and Darkside put on, everything was a thumbs up from me. It’s also nice to see the depth of talent they appear to have available. There are few companies that can puton a full card without one bummer and yet on a night when someone like Drew Galloway wasn’t available, ICW were still up to the task.
If you share a similar hard on to Mr McMahon, ie you need your wrestlers to all be six packed and 7 foot tall, then you might leave disappointed. ICW isn’t full of people who look like they spend every minute of the day in the gym, although Johnny Moss looks like he gives it a good try. However, I genuinely think that works in their favour. They have embraced being different and the incredibly Scottish feel of the night makes it all the better. Sure, characters like fan favourites The Buckie Boys might bemuse people outside of the country, but in an Edinburgh or Glasgow venue they are treated like local heroes. Even little things like the audience chanting ‘aye’ or the frequent use of the word bawbag, all stands to give ICW an edge, but also a charm, that you get from very few other promotions.
ICW seems to be going from strength to strength. The success of characters like Grado, who is on TNA’s British Bootcamp and the return of Drew Galloway following his release from WWE, seems to suggest this isn’t likely to change any time soon. They are putting on a genuinely different form of wrestling, which appeals to the over 18 crowd (all their shows are over 18 only) and who are fed up with the shit that WWE peddles to us on a weekly basis. By not taking itself too seriously, but at the same time putting on some genuinely brilliant wrestling, they have hit on a combination that is getting over and quite frankly I hope it continues to do so.
As I said at the start of this piece, this was my first ICW event and I can honestly say I am not sure why I have taken so long to join in this particular trend. They are onto something truly special and I genuinely think this is the most fun I have ever had at a wrestling show. If you are at all interested, I would get yourself down to a show as soon as possible, because good things are happening in wrestling in Bonnie Auld Scotland.