In ten day’s ICW will put on Fear and Loathing VIII at the SECC. It’s the biggest gate for a British wrestling show since Giant Haystacks fought Big Daddy at Wembley Arena and that alone is one hell of an achievement. When you consider that there will be no one under the age of eighteen at the show, it is even more impressive. ICW have set out to prove that if you offer a genuine alternative to the crap we’ve all been being fed for the last few years, the people will come.
And of course, they are not alone in doing this. In fact, UK wrestling is on the rise and companies like Progress and Revolution Pro are right alongside ICW in making a difference. Sadly, they’re both quite England based and I haven’t had a chance to see them in person, so I can’t really talk about them. On the other hand, I’ve seen plenty of ICW and it’s intriguing to see just what makes them stand out.
I’ve already alluded to the most obvious point, these shows are over eighteen only. This is adult wrestling and it doesn’t treat the audience like morons. If you go and see ICW you’re going to hear someone get called a cunt and if you are brave enough to shout something at a wrestler they’ll shout something right back. Touch one in a way they don’t like and they’ll probably knock you out. It’s the opposite of the watered down product WWE and TNA have been peddling for years and that hardcore group of wrestling fans who have grown up still loving this shit, now in turn love it.
This adult feel is backed up by one hell of a roster. ICW head honcho and general mastermind, Mark Dallas, seems to come from the Paul Heyman school of booking. He knows how to make people look good, no matter their weaknesses. The company is going into their biggest show of all time with Grado (and I mean this as no slight against Grado) going into a match with Drew Galloway for the ICW Title. And it isn’t a joke. Grado’s not just loved because he’s got a cool theme and does a little dance, he’s portrayed as a legitimate force if he can stop pissing about that is.
Finally, ICW has created a cult. And I don’t mean that in the Bray Wyatt shooting thunder from his hands way. Going to an ICW show you feel at home. You’re surrounded by fellow wrestling fans and they may all be drunk and shouting for blood, but they feel a great big family. Some may throw up the daft NAK symbol and be a bit too smarky for their own good but being in their company is still a pleasure. I’ve brought wrestling’s fan and people who have never watched a match in their life before to ICW events and they’ve all found something to love about it. Going into the SECC show ICW feel like a company that could take on the world and while that may not be entirely realistic. You can bet there’s a shitoad of people who are willing to follow them if they want to give it a go.