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ICW Fight Club: Episode 97 Recap

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It’s a sad time in ICW, where the go home episode of Fight Club is aired long before Shugs Hoose Party. We now have a gap of 3 weeks in our Scottish wrestling content, what am I going to watch?! Enjoy this review, it has to last you until July 28th.

The Kings of Catch vs. The Rudo Brand w/ Red Lightning

Our opening contest finally saw these two bickering teams face off. With no tag title defense scheduled yet for the Hoose Party, it was assumed (then later confirmed on social media) that the winners would go on to battle The Kinky Party.

The clashing styles in this match made for an interesting watch. The Rudos pure power proved to be too much for The Kings for the majority of the bout. Bram & Iestyn isolated Aspen, and (despite their inexperience as a team) made sure that Lewis wasn’t in their corner any time the Hardcore Hippy escaped their grasp. The decisive victory came from a Wyn Jones Driver and a Dante’s Inferno Piledriver that laid out both Kings at the same time. The entirely despised heels didn’t even need Red to interfere. The Kinky Party should be concerned.

We cut to our new alliance of Kasey and The Wee Man, who are discussing strategy for Kasey’s title opportunity at Shugs. They have a message for Viper – that she should focus on her new career, beating up daytime television hosts. I thought this was an inspired way to use Viper’s mainstream success against her.

Kid Fite vs. Ravie Davie

A familiar tale continued next as poor, sweet Ravie Davie had to confront yet another man who attacked him unexpectedly. The perpetual underdog looked to put to bed one of his demons before his big match with James Storm.

Out of the gate, Kid Fite attacked Davie as he made his entrance. The vicious strikes continued, and Fite looked more dominant than I’ve ever seen. Whilst mounting a comeback, Ravie Davie made the mistake of trying to hit a Somersault Coast to Coast too early. One chair throw and a Keylock DDT later, and our young hero was defeated once more.

Fite cut a great promo (from a chair positioned on top of his incapacitated rival) about how he put ICW on the map. At night 1 of Shugs, he wants to beat Davie again so that he can’t compete against Storm the next day. It was later announced that it would be the winner of the first match that would face The Cowboy. An interesting set up, which means we will have at least one wrestler on both nights of the show.

Before the main event could take place, we had an appearance from Mark Dallas. He brought out everyone’s favourite double J in professional wrestling, “Just Justice” Jackie Polo. After talking about the weather and venue for Shugs (whilst continuing his trademark exaggeration of southern Americans) Polo wanted to know who he’d be facing in his big money match.

We cut to Lionheart drinking backstage, and Sha Samuels calling him pathetic. After a pep talk and a slap, we finally saw the rebirth of one of ICW’s top stars. Once back in the ring, Justice mocked and slapped Lionheart, and earnt himself a Rock Bottom. The rematch is set, and it has a lot to live up to! This whole segment was great, and I’m just so excited for more of these two men.

Viper & DCT vs. Stevie Boy & Kay Lee Ray

To end the road to the Hoose Party, we had some entertaining intergender action involving the competitors fighting for the Heavyweight Championship on the 29th. Before the fun could begin however, referee Sean McLaughlin presented Stevie with a beautiful new belt. The most important title in ICW has always been my least favourite aesthetically, but that is no longer the case!

This was a high paced, attention holding contest. Both of the real life couples worked together in an enjoyable fashion, filling the match with some great double team moments (including a Doomsday Device delivered to our champion). Kay Lee Ray, in particular, was also flying around like a rag doll. Particularly impressive, was when she was thrown off the stage by Viper into the male competitors. Eventually (despite some interference from the Kings of Catch) as Stevie was aiming to pick up the win with a Glasgow Destroyer, Viper rolled him up for the 3 count. I very much enjoyed how equal the male and female competitors looked in terms of power level here, and the unique finish of the Women’s Champion pinning the Heavyweight Champion was perfect.

Before the episode could come to its finale, we had one last appearance from the boss. Mark Dallas told Stevie that he runs the show around here, and that he couldn’t just keep taking the contracts of his talent. To punish this behaviour, Dallas changed the stipulation of our upcoming title match. Loser leaves the country.

The final Fight Club before the big event was brilliant. The hottest feuds were built up, and the new stipulations & matches kept me guessing what would happen next. My only complaint (about this and previous episodes) is the lack of clarity in what happened to the Coffey brothers’ involvement in Shugs. I imagine it is NXT UK related, but one of the marquee matches vanishing from a card is obviously disappointing. Despite this slight annoyance, I cannot wait for the Hoose Party!

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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