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The Week In British Wrestling: New champions crowned in ICW & OTT

Main photo by David J Wilson

Here’s five things you need to know about British wrestling this week:

1) Seven takes the title at Square Go!

After coming so very near to beating Wolfgang for Insane Championship Wrestling's Heavyweight title at the huge Fear & Loathing IX show last year, Trent Seven made the most of his second opportunity at the promotion's annual Square Go! event last Sunday to walk out in possession of the belt.

Both men have since been featured on WWE's United Kingdom Championship tournament -- and worked on NXT cards -- and it speaks volumes to ICW's relationship with WWE that they're still booked as such a huge part of the company.

Weird, then, that a wrestler contracted to ITV's World Of Sport -- Joe Coffey -- won the Square Go! rumble, a 30-man battle royal in which five competitors are randomly drawn to enter with weapons. Coffey had signaled his desire to go after the ICW title at last month's Friday Night Fight Club taping, and Seven will now be firmly in his sights.

Bird & Boar pulverize their way to the titles -- photo by David J Wilson

As well as the ICW Heavyweight title, the promotion's other belts were also on the line, with Bird & Boar culminating their rampage of late with a tag team victory over Polo Promotions. The other two champions -- Zero-G title holder Kenny Williams and Women's champ Kay Lee Ray -- were more successful in their defenses, seeing off Ricochet and Kasey Owens, respectively.

There was one further match on the card -- which went out live as an iPPV on Fite TV and is available to watch on ICW On Demand -- which saw Lewis Girvan -- who himself beat Ricochet at Fear & Loathing -- defeat Andy Wild to become the number one contender to the Zero-G title.

ICW return on Sunday with a FNFC taping at the Garage in Glasgow.

2) Sabre Jr. restated his title claim at the Cockpit

After seeing off longtime frenemy Marty Scurll at Revolution Pro-Wrestling's High Stakes event last month, Zack Sabre Jr. also dispatched a spirited "Speedball" Mike Bailey at the promotion's Live At The Cockpit 13 last Sunday, before restating his aim to go after the RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion soon -- regardless of whether that is Katsuyori Shibata or Will Ospreay, who will meet for the belt at New Japan's New Beginning show this weekend.

Josh Bodom also had words for Ospreay and Shibata and promised to unify his Interim British Cruiserweight title with the version Ospreay currently holds, all after seeing off the challenge of Oliver Carter, who was making his second RevPro appearance.

Sabre Jr. & Bailey face off at the Cockpit

The tag team division received a further shot in the arm when it was announced that #CCK -- the team of Chris Brookes & Travis Banks, who attacked Undisputed British Tag Team Champions Joel Redman & Charlie Sterling at High Stakes -- will get a shot at the belts on next month's Cockpit show, announced after Brookes attacked Ryan Smile, who had just beaten Banks.

As a result of that, #CCK will also face Smile & Shane Strickland at April's Cockpit show, which may -- of course -- end up being for the titles!

Other results from the show -- which is already available to watch on RevPro's On Demand service -- saw Timothy Thatcher defeat Lord Gideon Grey, and Dave Mastiff down Eddie Dennis, as well as wins for Zack Gibson, The London Riots, and Marty Scurll. RevPro are back on February 24th in Portsmouth.

3) The party girl had a mixed weekend at Martina's Gaff Party

Although not technically part of the United Kingdom, the Irish wrestling scene has always been a close step-sibling to BritWres, and I have featured Over The Top Wrestling in this column before.

With the ties becoming closer, perhaps 2017 should be the year when they're featured regularly, and last weekend's Martina's Gaff Party 2: Back In The Dr. Dre seems as good a place to start as anywhere.

The event was held over two days -- at Dublin's Tivoli last Saturday and Belfast's Mandela Hall the following day -- and featured a strong mix of the best Ireland, the UK, and the greater indie scene has to offer.

The headline attractions -- two Matt Riddle matches, against Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate, respectively -- did not happen, probably due to some complications with the latter two's WWE UK contracts, and Riddle instead ended up facing Marty Scurll and a now-fit Mark Haskins.

Marty Scurll, all villainous in Dublin

Dunne was funneled into an OTT No Limits title match against Ryan Smile, which Smile won to ascend to the top of a promotion where he is very popular. This may also signal the future direction of OTT, who have had shows on FloSlam -- which is on the WWE naughty list -- in the past. Dunne rebounded in Belfast with a win over Mark Andrews, who had lost to the returning Haskins in Dublin.

The eponymous host of the shows, Martina The Session Moth, lost in the opener in Dublin to Jinny, who is building a great reputation as a heel in OTT, but teamed with The Lads From The Flats in Belfast to beat Jinny, Paul Tracey & Rene Dupree (dug up from who knows where).

Also on the shows, Eddie Kingston picked up a couple of wins, The Kings of the North defended their OTT Tag Team titles, and WWE UK's Jordan Devlin won one and lost one, to "Speedball" Mike Bailey and Tyler Bate, respectively.

Drew Galloway made an appearance to announce he'd be in action at Scrappermania III in April, and the promotion also announced that The Elite -- Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks -- would face The Uptown Funkers at the same event.

Both events will soon be available to watch on OTT's Vimeo pages, and OTT are back in Dublin on March 4th.

4) El Ligero showed Ethan Page is All Ego

Outdoing OTT's double shot were Southside Wrestling, who held three events in two days last weekend -- a daytime double in Nottingham on Saturday followed by a return to their spiritual home in St. Neots on Sunday.

As usual with Southside events, the shows were built around seeing the best of the UK scene in action against top imports, with El Ligero's Southside Championship match against Ethan Page on Sunday the highlight for indie scene watchers.

Ligero won that battle to keep his title, and beyond that the focus was deservedly on British scene veteran Stixx's final match, a Southside Tag Team title affair. Stixx had hoped to go out as champion -- he held the belts with youngster Chris Tyler -- but they fell to the new team of Guilty By Habit (Damian Dunne & Robbie X).

That team fell at the first hurdle the following night losing their newly-won titles to the makeshift duo of Nixon Newell & PJ Black. Things are never dull in Southside for long!

A very painful Destroyer for Newell and KLR -- photo by Brett Hadley

Newell had returned from a tour of Japan with Kay Lee Ray for Stardom, and the two faced off in Nottingham in a Fans Bring The Weapons match, which Newell won after a wild brawl which also involved Alex Windsor and Impact Women's Champion Rosemary. All those women -- as well as Little Miss Roxxy, Kasey Owens, Ruby Summers, and Southside Women's Champion Melina -- were in action across the weekend for a promotion which prides itself on a healthy women's division.

There were a total of 21 matches across the three shows, and others in action included WWE UK's Joseph Conners and HC Dyer, Southside Speed King Champion Bubblegum, Colt Cabana, Eddie Edwards, Andrew Everett, and the Inter Coastal Violence Factory.

You can see the shows on Southside's On Demand service, and the promotion return for a joint double shot with Kamikaze-Pro this Saturday in Birmingham.

5) Sides are picked at Kamikaze (and other stuff)

Preston City Wrestling ran a quick weekend double in Blackpool and Liverpool last Friday and Saturday, with EVOLVE Champion Timothy Thatcher, Lucha Underground's PJ Black, and Dick Justice over to supplement the regular roster. The show at Blackpool's Club Domain was headlined by a PCW Cruiserweight title match between Ashton Smith and Bubblegum, while PCW Heavyweight Champion Iestyn Rees also defended his title against T-Bone.

The next night, at Liverpool's Fusion nightclub, saw Smith pick up another win in a non-title match against Joey Hayes, but was topped by a 30-minute iron man match between Dean Allmark and Bubblegum.

ITV World Of Sport's Kenny Williams picked up a couple of wins, while it was 50/50 for the likes of Thatcher, Justice, Black, Chris Ridgeway, and T-Bone. PCW return with the Kris Travis Memorial Tournament on February 25th & 26th.

FutureShock Wrestling began a new chapter with their debut show -- Burnout! -- at a new venue, The Mercure Dunkenhalgh Hotel in Accrington. The show was main-evented by a Mikey Whiplash victory over WWE UK's James Drake, with undercard backing from a FutureShock Women's Championship match between Lana Austin and Isla Dawn.

There was also wins for Sexy Kev, Cyanide, Danny Hope, and FutureShock Tag Team Champions Wonderland. Next up for FutureShock is Manchester on February 19th.

Mikey Whiplash brings the pain to James Drake -- photo by Tony Knox

Shady Nattrass started his reign as Target Wrestling Champion with a stern test in the shape of Jimmy Havoc, and initially escaped with his belt after a DQ loss. However, Havoc demanded the match be restarted as a no DQ match, but Nattrass still managed to overcome the challenge, battered and bruised.

The Target Tag Team titles also saw unfamiliar challengers when Jonny Storm & Jody Fleisch made a rare trip up north to take on The Guest List, which on this occasion consisted of Martin Kirby & new member Mikey Whiplash.

The Coffey Brothers, Jackie Polo, and Rampage Brown were also in action, and Target are back on February 25th with a free show at Carlisle's MegaCon.

Finally for a packed week, Kamikaze Pro-Wrestling returned to the Empire in Coventry for Underground III, which saw Relentless Champion Dan Moloney reveal himself as the fourth member of The Bigger Picture, alongside Marshall X, Damian Dunne & Robbie X.

The show ended with a face off between those four and the good guys -- Chris Brookes, Lee Hunter, Omari & Kamikaze Champion Clint Margera, and inter-faction strife looks on the cards.

Margera and Moloney had earlier defended their titles -- against Mikey Whipwreck and El Ligero, respectively -- and there were also wins for Melina, Travis Banks, Marshall X, and Ryan Smile, who beat Colt Cabana in the main event.