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Southampton Music Home Page > Features > Insane Championship Wrestling > Insane Championship Wrestling

You may be wondering, why is there a feature on wrestling in a music mag? Insane Championship Wrestling came from
humble beginnings at a community centre in Glasgow and in less than a decade has gone from a cult regional phenomenon
to a promotion renown across Europe and the world. Get yourself to a (strictly 18+) show, the atmophere, the noise,the performance, the carnage... as good as any rock show. We spoke to some of the stars heading to Southampton in October...

DREW GALLOWAY
The first ICW Heavyweight Champ in history, Galloway is a perfect blueprint for what a professional wrestler should look like, and has tasted success the world over. Grizzled from years of touring the globe, he has returned to where it all started, eager to prove that heís still the king of the mountain in this country.

How do you think wrestling in the UK compares with wrestling in the USA?
Both are completely different but so much fun. In the US I tend to work with known names and the fans are so knowledgeable while back home in the UK the guys are uber-talented pushing to make a name and the fans are truly part of the show. These days itís not over the top cartoon characters but characters that people could encounter in real life and can relate to, which creates an even better atmosphere and investment from the crowd.

Who was your favourite wrestler growing up?
Bret ĎHitmaní Hart. Itís crazy most of my heroes became friends and fans of mine as we think alike when it comes to wrestling. One of my fave pics I have is myself and Bret when I was IC champion.

What do you think is causing the growth in popularity that weíre seeing for wrestling at the moment?
In the UK in particular it is the level of talent. When I left there were only so many guys who were real good but now there are so many and they all work different styles. With ICW obviously the insane fight club documentary helped but the people running the company as well as a few others in the UK get it and are putting on great shows with great talents. Word of mouth spreads fast.

How do you prepare for a fight?
I have so many fights each week in different countries with different opponents, itís impossible to prepare in advance. I take each match as they come.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to become involved in wrestling?
Get that education, itís very difficult and there are very limited spots for a full time wrestling career. Itís only sensible and common sense to have a fall back plan.

Why should we come and check out ICW when it comes to town?
Itís a show for everyone. You donít have to be a wrestling fan to be an ICW fan. Youíre a bunch of adults, drinking, having a laugh and watching violence, comedy, interaction and girls. Itís a little of everything for everyone and I guarantee if you give it a chance just once youíll be sold.

BIG DAMO
In modern pop culture, Irishmen are looked upon as jovial, fun-loving and partial to a good time. The latter can certainly be said of Big Damo, although his idea of a good time is kicking the living sh*t out of anyone who stands in his path. One of the most intimidating figures on the ICW roster, thereís giddy delight once fans realise the powerhouse is on his way to the ring, knowing theyíre going to see something special.

Do you think that the spectacle, characters and costumes are an important part of the sport? 
Of course. The spectacle is what gets people in the door. The costumes differentiate us, make us stand out from each other. Individuality is key. Itís probably the reason for my own success, because I look different than most humans on the planet, let alone other wrestlers. For the fans of wrestling, starting with children, the attraction to wrestling is all about the colours and larger than life characters. For an adult fan, itís likely more about the skill, the ability of the performer to suspend the adultís disbelief. In the 70s being a good wrestler was enough. In the 80s and early 90s everything was very character driven. Nowadays you must be both in order to succeed.

How do you think wrestling in the UK compares with wrestling in the USA?
We in Ireland and Britain gave wrestling to the world. America made it more glamorous, more dramatic and a lot simpler. They
marketed it beautifully and as a consequence our scene in the UK fell away. There were still some legends performing, but without television there were less opportunities. Our best had to go abroad to continue working. Because of this a huge gulf was created between the two nations. But we are returning; the last decade has seen a rise in British and Irish wrestling. The gulf that was once massive is now very narrow. Our skills are now on a par with anyone in the world, and itís no surprise that so many Europeans are being brought to America to perform.

Who was your favourite wrestler growing up?
Fit Finlay

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to become involved in wrestling?
Find a reputable school and donít waste your money or time just because another school is closer.

Why should we come and check out ICW when it comes to town?
ICW is the number 1 promotion in Europe and it is catered 100% for adult wrestling fans. We will give you a bit of everything. We
have big names like Drew Galloway and Grado, we have comedy matches, technical wrestling matches, hard hitters, high flying
and death defying acrobats, and a wide array of characters in between. Including me; a 23 stone man who flies.

NOAM DAR
Heralded as the future of Professional Wrestling and a definite must-see talent. Technically gifted, lightning quick and always exciting to watch, Noam has already carved out quite a legacy for himself in ICW, capturing the ICW Zero-G Championship twice already, and cementing himself as a figurehead of the Zero-G division. Itís only be a matter of time before ICW Heavyweight Championship gold hangs around the waist of Professional WrestlingísĎChampagne Supernovaí.

How do you think wrestling in the UK compares with wrestling in the USA?
I think for the most part it compares very well. Firstly, if you compare the ratio of successful independent promotions in relation to the land mass the UK measures up better. We are saturated with fantastic promotions and workers alike, up and down the country with all demographics catered for. ICW is especially flipping the notion that "American is bigger and betterĒ on its head, we are doing something not only fresh and exciting but we also have the numbers and the revenue to challenge any independent promotion in the world.

Who was your favourite wrestler growing up?
Well Iím pretty young, so, unfortunately my first Wrestlemania as a fan to wrestling was Wrestlemania 20 so I canít give the stock answer of Hulk Hogan or Warrior. For me, Eddie Guerrero was my original favourite who I still regard as such to this day. I donít believe there was anyone who used every aspect of his physical attributes & personality better to create a complete entertainer as
much as he did.

How do you prepare for a fight?
Iíll find a picture of my opponent and stick it up on a dart board and throw darts at it all week... Just kidding. I have a set routine of exercises and stretches to get the blood flowing, but normally the roar of the crowd is enough the get the adrenaline pumping.

Do you think that the spectacle, characters and costumes are an important part of the sport?
Of course. Wrestling cannot be defined by one aspect therefore itís always evolving. Itís often referred to as "physical theatreĒ in my opinion the physical/sport side is impressive enough to be classed as entertainment alone, however when elements of showmanship and theatre are added, it makes it like no other genre of entertainment.

Why should we come and check out ICW when it comes to town?
The fantastic level of wrestling aside, what I believe has made ICW such a successful company with a cult following like no other is that it truly provides a complete night of entertainment for every type of fan, including the "Iím not a fan of wrestlingĒ fan. This mindfulness of varying demographics is no mistake, each show is set up as such to maximise the ICW experience. Whether youíre
simply looking for a good night out and to have a laugh with your mates or if youíre a diehard pro wrestling fan who wants to sink in to the live experience of a more realistic and intense product, ICW is the place for you, and yes, there will be alcohol, lots of alcohol.

MARTY SCURLL
ĎThe Villainí Marty Scurll: Known across the globe as a man who understands what it takes to be a good host, ĎPartyí Marty Scurll is a born entertainer. Much to the bemusement of his opponents, Scurll isnít a case of being all style an no substance however, and many foes find that one out the hard way.

Do you think that the spectacle, characters and costumes are an important part of the sport?
Absolutely. Fans connect with the characters. Without the characters and drama itís just two men beating each other up (fun for some, not for all!) Professional Wrestling is like the circus, there is something that will appeal to everyone, if you donít like the clowns, youíll like the tightrope walkers, and if you down like them, youíll like the animals, and so on. Wrestling brings all its crazy characters in to one world for the fans to enjoy, suspend their disbelief, and really feel a part of something. In my opinion thereís no other entertainment like it in the world.

What advice do you have for anyone wanting to become involved in wrestling?
Get in the best physical condition possible, do your research and find a good, reputable wrestling school.

Why should we come and check out ICW when it comes to town?
ICW provide a show like no other, the atmosphere cannot be matched. You wonít find this kind of atmosphere at a gig or at the theatre, this is a show that really has to be seen to be believed. A real life stunt show happening before your very eyes; itíll make you laugh, cry, scream and shout all in one sitting. Everyoneís there to have a good time and even if you are not traditionally a wrestling fan, I can guarantee you will enjoy this. Itís a show like no other!

How do you think wrestling in the UK compares with wrestling in the USA?
Traditionally Iíd say it was the styles that separated us from the Americans, ours being a much more technical and rough and ready style where theirs was a much more flamboyant and in your face style of Pro Wrestling. Iíd like to think now wrestling in the UK has adopted the good from both worlds and is now as much of a well-rounded product as it can be. The high budget glamour of American wrestling on TV is always going to appeal to the masses, but wrestling in this country offers a huge alternative, one that is literally getting more popular by the day.

Who was your favourite wrestler growing up?
My generation was all about Bret Hart, and later The Rock and Stone Cold Steve Austin, those guys were my favourites but do you know who else I loved? Vince McMahon! The guy wasnít even a wrestler, he was the ĎEvil Bossí who would attempt to make his wrestlers lives hell, and would often end up getting his arse kicked for his efforts on most occasions, but his facial reactions and character were second to none. Go Vinny Mac!

10 October @ Engine Rooms

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