As the hangover from Insane Championship Wrestling’s Shug’s Hoose Party weekender clears, the attention now turns to their biggest show of the year: Fear & Loathing XII.
With two nights of action scheduled for the 2nd and 3rd of November, the taping for ICW’s weekly on-demand show Fight Club will begin this weekend and will start guiding us towards the main feuds and match-ups we can look forward to seeing in three months.
As we start our journey down the road to SWG3 in Glasgow, this year’s venue, we can reflect on what was an important and newsworthy weekend back in July. Over the two nights of action at Shug’s Hoose Party 6 we saw a farewell, a retirement, a title change, a triumphant return coupled with a crowning of a new ICW World Champion, up-sets and a former multi-time NJPW Junior Heavyweight champion and current NXT star main event in his debut match.
Joe Hendry said goodbye to ICW as he left to sign for ROH, Jackie Polo bowed out of competitive in-ring competition (for now), Liam Thompson defeated NXT UK’s Joe Coffey to become the new Zero-G Champion, Stevie Boy returned and defeated NXT UK’s Wolfgang to become the new ICW Champion, Leyton Buzzard replaced Grado and overcame James Storm (of TNA fame), and KUSHIDA replaced Jeff Jarrett to take on Jackie Polo in night one’s main event.
With these images in our rear-view mirrors, and the crowd’s roar from Stevie Boy’s victory still ringing in our ears, we look ahead to Fear & Loathing and who could shine brightest at ICW’s biggest show of the year.
Who can grab the attention? Who has all the momentum? Who has the spotlight fixed on them? We take a look at a handful of stars who could potentially answer these questions as ICW speeds towards Fear & Loathing XII.
5. Ravie Davie
Since graduating from the Glasgow Pro Wrestling Asylum (GPWA), Ravie Davie is in his fourth year as an active competitor and he could potentially be on the brink of bursting into the main picture sooner rather than later.
After defeating The Sam Barbour Experience at SHP6, Davie has his sights set on fan-favourite Grado as he looks to continue his winning ways.
These two will lock horns this weekend in what could be the biggest match in Davie’s early career. Having previously battled with the likes of James Storm, Iestyn Rees, and Bram, Davie is no stranger to handling himself in the ring with larger opponents. He will see Grado as a sizeable foe and a good opportunity to move one step closer to the ICW championship gold that has alluded him until now.
Having participated in multiple Tag Team and Zero-G championship matches, Davie has yet to taste title match victory and have a belt around his waist, but could 2020 be the year we see him hold gold?
The once-beloved, but now rouge wrestler will no doubt still have his eyes set on Rudo Lightening, who he was originally set to battle with at SHP6 before injuries prevented that from happening. Could a potential showdown at Fear & Loathing XII be on the cards for Lighting and “The Fresh Prince Of Drumoyne Square”? We will soon know his potential destination after his battle with Grado this weekend.
4. Kieran Kelly
Kieran Kelly is known as the “Underdog”, but could soon meet his potential and become one of ICW’s prized possessions soon enough.
The SWA: Source Wrestling School graduate has had a very strong run in ICW to date, picking up more wins than losses since his debut in early 2018. He hit the ground running with victories over Leyton Buzzard and Ravie Davie throughout 2018 but has continued on a strong run in 2019.
As part of Andy Wild’s “Wild Boys” with Aaron Echo, he got to the final of ICW Trios Tournament “King of Hawners,” losing out to BT Gunn, Krobar and Stevie James. Not only did he defeat UK veteran Jonny Strom but, he put in a great showing recently at SHP6 where he again teamed with Echo in a hard-fought but losing effort to the Kings of the North: Bonesaw and Damien Corvin.
Next up for Kelly is Iestyn Rees. On paper, this is a huge mismatch, but Kelly has the ability to forget what things look like on paper. He rarely outweighs his opponents, but what he lacks in weight he more than makes up for in guts and fighting spirit. That was on full display at SHP6 as he fought off the Kings of the North, sometimes single-handedly while his partner had been taken out. Kelly can rally and use his speed and agility to dazzle Rees and keep the big man guessing.
The future in ICW is bright for Kieran Kelly. The potential is there, the ability is there, the fighting spirit needed to survive in ICW is certainly there, all he needs is a good run of wins and soon enough the only way will be up for this “Underdog”.
3. The Kings of Catch (Lewis Girvan and Aspen Faith)
As part of the Filthy Generation, with NXT UK’s Kay Lee Ray and new ICW World Heavyweight Champion Stevie Boy, Lewis Girvan and Aspen Faith have been tearing up the ICW tag division recently.
Their most recent outing was a weapons filled tables, ladders, and chairs effort against The Nine9 (Dickie Divers and Jack Morris) and British legends Jody Fleisch and Jonny Storm where they victoriously defended their ICW Tag Team Titles.
Their efforts inside the ring have not gone unnoticed either. They have recently been added to AEW affiliated OWE UK’s Tag Team Championship tournament where they will line up against opponents such as Cima, Lindaman, Shighiro Irie, and T-Hawk.
The Kings of Catch will headline the upcoming ICW Fight Club taping when they team up with ICW Champion Stevie Boy to take on BT Gunn, Stevie James, and Krobar in six-man tag team action.
Throughout the years at Fear & Loathing, Girvan and Faith can boast that they have shared the ring with the likes of Ricochet, Jimmy Havoc, Mark Haskins and the Briscoe Brothers to name a few, so they have the ring experience to add to their already stellar in-ring work. Could a breakaway into the singles ranks be the next step for the ICW tag champs? Or can they continue to dominate the division and hold onto the straps leading into 2020? Only time will tell.
2. Kasey Owens
The current ICW Women’s Champion is back at the top of the Women’s Division after regaining the strap against Aivil and Kay Lee Ray at July’s Fight Club taping.
But Kasey has not always had it her way throughout her ICW career. She has had to fight for the spotlight with the likes of Nikki Storm (Nikki Cross), Viper (Piper Niven), Kay Lee Ray, Session Moth Martina and most recently Toni Storm. But her hard work, dedication, and effort have paid off as she is back at the top of the mountain and the one with the most momentum in the division.
With a lot of names being lured away to the NXT UK expanding women’s division, it is now Kasey’s time to shine and step in to show why she is ICW’s #1 female again. Her most recent feud with Aivil spanned the second half of 2018 and spilled into 2019, coming to a head at Shug’s Hoose Party 6 where she retained her belt after a short, but brutal weapon filled battle with her nemesis.
With the Wee Man at her side, the reigning and defending champion should be planning a long reign. A title victory and successful defense in July have laid the groundwork for what should be an equally impressive end to 2019.
And who knows, after her impressive display at the NXT UK taping in Glasgow this year, it might be a struggle for ICW to hold onto their #1 competitor in their women’s division…
1. Leyton Buzzard
Coming off one of the best wrestling weekends of his life, Leyton Buzzard will look to continue his upward projection when he battles Kez Evans this weekend at ICW Fight Club in Glasgow.
Back at ICW Shug’s Hoose Party 6, Buzzard worked both nights of the two show weekender, when he beat now Ring of Honor bound Joe Hendry and then former TNA World Heavyweight Champion James Storm. Storm was originally scheduled to face Grado, but when the Cowboy jumped and injured Grado before their match, Leyton Buzzard was ICW owner Mark Dallas’ hand-picked replacement.
Running on fumes from his victory the night before against Henry, Buzzard swooped into action and took to the skies to floor and frustrate Storm. With help from a heroically returning Grado, Buzzard was able to pin James Storm and notch up one of his biggest victories to date.
What’s next for Leyton Buzzard? Next up he will grapple the same wrestler he shared the ring with in his second-ever professional match, fellow “Dallas Maverick” Kez Evans. Evans himself is coming off a loss at Shug’s Hoose Party 6 against BT Gunn so he will be pulling no punches when these two square off.
Further afield, the sky is the limit for Captain Buzzard. With his momentum in ICW being sky high, big things could be on the radar of the GPWA graduate as he will no doubt look to add to his SHP6 notches by adding more names to his defeated list at Fear & Loathing XII.
A lot of questions were answered at Shug’s House Party 6, so a lot of new questions will need to be asked as ICW rumble down the road towards Fear & Loathing XII. Will potentials be fulfilled? Will expectations become reality? Can momentum keep on rolling or as the weeks roll on are some on the road to Fear & Loathing destined to crash?
Could the answers be completed by some on the list above? Only time will tell.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @oli_iai. Thanks for reading!