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ICW Fight Club Episode 95 & 96

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British wrestling has never been hotter. With NXT UK killing it with their 2 night debut and World of Sport looming, ICW couldn’t have chosen a better time to upgrade their weekly show. I’ll be covering the first two episodes of this new era below, but before I begin I’d like to discuss these improvements.

The entire presentation is that of a professional, big budget TV show. The opening theme song and video feels more like a music video than the beginning of an Indy wrestling episode. And finally (the addition I am most excited about) they have added replays! Gone are the days of carefully rewinding to watch the insane spots. All in all, Fight Club has undergone a delightful & necessary face lift.

Episode 94

We opened the show with another appearance from the drunken failure Lionheart. He was sent home by Dallas, when will this man get his head in the game?! Also we briefly saw BT Gunn lying battered, and declared unable to compete against The Purge’s Stevie James tonight (with implications that Stevie’s teammate Krobar was the cause – are we witnessing the beginning of a new, more ruthless Purge?).

Chris Renfrew & “Shotgun” Kieran Kelly vs. Leyton Buzzard & Bantz

With 2 in ring debuts alongside relative newcomer Leyton, this match boldly showcased a lot of new talent for a new era of ICW. We also had the high stakes of Kieran Kelly’s ICW contract!

All 3 of the rookie wrestlers put on a hell of a performance. Bantz was a dominant force throughout – while Kelly and Buzzard displayed their ability to wrestle a top-tier, high-flying contest. The former referee is now an official ICW competitor, as after laying out Leyton with a Cranium Destroyer he scored the pin.

To top off an incredible opener, Renfrew was allowed to pick a stipulation for his Shugs match with Joe Hendry. He cut an intense promo about Joe moaning about his place in ICW, whilst also never turning up! Then it was decided, Renfrew Vs Hendry will be a Glasgow Street Fight. I am so ready for this!

We cut to outside, to see Lou King Sharp and Krieger contemplating their title opportunity next week. Lou wanted to get kinky to prepare for their opponents, and asked to have his posterior whipped. Hilarity ensued.

Irving Garrett vs. Aaron Echo

It was time for the third debut of the night. This wasn’t just a showcase bout though, it was a battle between two winners of WES’s Drew Galloway Invitational tournament.

The match itself was a little on the dull side, the pace and intensity just didn’t peak. Garrett wrestles an impressive technical style not commonly seen in ICW, implementing an array of submission holds. Echo ended up on top however, ending the debut of The Bone Collector with an Echo chamber. Despite my opinion of the bout, Irving’s fervent physicality is something I’m interested in seeing again in ICW.

After some entertaining backstage segments (in which the most important revelation was Jack Jester’s love of ASMR) we moved onto the episode’s main event.

Stevie James w/ Krobar vs. BT Gunn

In typical BT Gunn style, the lack of medical clearance meant nothing to him. With Gunn less than 100%, the outcome of the match became intriguingly less certain.

This contest was hard-hitting from the get go. BT’s offense was the usual compilation of hard knees and kicks, which Stevie struggled to survive. Thankfully both members of The Purge were present, and Krobar decided his friend needed a helping hand. Although his attempts to interfere were unsuccessful, he did bring Gunn’s rookie pal Kez Evans out from backstage. Evans accidentally distracted his friend, allowing Stevie to get the rollup victory and the first pin fall on BT in 8 months. The show went off the air as Kez tried to apologise.

The first upgraded episode of Fight Club was very interesting. It was a forward thinking card, with more ICW newcomers taking part in matches than established talent. The show was mostly enjoyable, and I’m more than willing to forgive a few missteps in the search for ICW’s future stars.

7.5/10

Episode 95

Aivil vs. Kasey

The show began with an immediate women’s division match, and a rare solo appearance from Aivil! I’ve been hopeful that the former Jokey would make a name for herself in singles competition for a long time, so I’d love if this is the beginning of something great.

This contest was more about Kasey who, fresh off a loss against Viper, had a lot to prove. Kasey was incredibly intense, and dominated much of the match. Aivil finally turned the tide of battle, and looked to score the win by locking in a submission hold (which commentary didn’t call, and I didn’t even slightly recognise). However this was interrupted by The Wee Man. He distracted everybody and was able to pass Kasey a bat, this was used to lay out Aivil and steal her win. The Wee Man has been teasing a new managerial role for weeks, and now we know which talent he is aligned with. A great match, which elegantly told us the tale of Kasey’s desperate turn to the dark side.

We were sent to Mark Dallas’ office next, as Chris Renfrew brought Kieran Kelly to sign his contract. Renfrew’s unprofessional door hitting was blamed on the former referee, and Mark was almost angry. Then he decided it showed that Kieran has balls, and deserves an opportunity. He was given a contract for a match at Fear & Loathing (the Wrestlemania of ICW) which will change hands if he is defeated under 24 hour rules. The segment was very entertaining, and the chaotic clause in Kelly’s contract is guaranteed to provide hours of entertainment.

ICW Tag Team Championship Match – The Fite Network (Lou King Sharp & Krieger) vs. The Kinky Party (c)

The only title match on either of the episodes I’m covering today. We do not see nearly enough of Lou & Krieger in ICW for my liking, and their sexy dancing before the bell was everything I’ve ever wanted.

This was so much fun! We got our usual pathetic Lou King Sharp offense with no selling from Sha, some beer spitting, and even a reference to Chucklevision from the Kinky Party (which almost definitely went over the heads of international viewers). Retaining the title was an easy affair for The Kinky Party. Once The Fite network were suitably brutalised, an Axe Handle assisted Tombstone put the young contenders away. Thoroughly entertaining.

Traditional Rules Match – Andy Wild vs. Mikey Whiplash

Prior to our main event, we had a backstage interview with a gimmickless Mikey Whiplash. He explained that he would be stripping away all of his character traits to become the greatest technical wrestler the UK has ever produced. Even without face paint, Whippy is still an intimidating man.

As promised, the match got off to a methodical start, with Wristlock reversals and bridging pin attempts. Wild worked Whiplash’s arm, and attempted to make a deathmatch wrestler tap out (it didn’t work!). When a Zombie Maker and three Suicide dives didn’t work, Mikey’s frustration led him to bring a steel chair into the mix. While the ref was threatening to disqualify Whippy if he used the object, Andy took advantage and hit Wildest Driver into a bridge to claim the glory. The losing Mikey Whiplash (although frustrated) even raised Wild’s hand. Has he truly turned a corner and become a pleasant individual?!

To end the show, we saw our champion Stevie Boy and his Filthy lackeys mocking a drunken Lionheart. With a fire lit under him, it looks like his pity party is over.

We had a lot of plot development in this episode of Fight Club. Characters changing their attitudes, opportunities given and a lot of entertainment throughout. I would have appreciated a little bit more chaos, but the unpredictability of the show was very much appreciated. As ever, I eagerly await the next installment.

9/10

Chips lives in a tiny seaside village in the north of England, where he watches a ridiculous amount of wrestling on demand, and then writes about it! His main passion is British wrestling, but he has an eclectic taste. Follow him on twitter @fishchipswhips where he talks more about wrestling, video games and everything else!

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