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The Week In British Wrestling: ICW split heats up; Doug Williams earns title shot

Chris Renfrew

Main image courtesy of David J Wilson

1) The New Age Kliq imploded.

Keeping their fans entertained before their next nationwide tour kicked off, Insane Championship Wrestling taped more TV for their Friday Night Fight Club show on Sunday, at the Garage nightclub in Glasgow. The show built to a four-way Tables, Ladders & Chairs match for the ICW championship, after Square Go title shot holder Wolfgang turned on his New Age Kliq stablemate - and ICW champion - Chris Renfrew. Stevie Boy & Kay Lee Ray also stood with Wolfgang, leaving just Renfrew & BT Gunn in the NAK.

In the main event it was Renfrew against Gunn, Wolfgang, and Stevie Boy, and the champion emerged with his belt after a brutal encounter. After the match, Wolfgang, Stevie Boy, and their new teammates in the Black Label, attacked Renfrew and ICW owner Mark Dallas, and things are really coming down to a "which side are you on?" situation.

Earlier in the show, ICW tag-team champions The 55 retained their titles, seeing off the challenge of Noam Dar & Kenny Williams, and ICW Women's champion Carmel was also successful, defeating Kasey Owens. The show also featured Grado, Drew Galloway, Joe Coffey, and Big Damo, as well as Lucha Underground's Son of Havoc, Matt Cross. The carnage will air on ICW On Demand in the next few weeks.

2) Joseph Conners won the Battle of the Egos.

Just bubbling underneath the main most talked about promotions, Southside opened their 2016 at the weekend with a double-shot at the Priory Centre in St Neots. The two shows in one day model has been used successfully by PCW in Preston, and has been adopted by Southside as a way of both doubling the fun for (particularly travelling) fans and cutting costs for bringing in talent.

Saturday's shows - the lunchtime Day Of Reck8ning and evening’s Battle Of The Egos 6 - saw the promotion bring in Leva "Blue Pants" Bates, Timothy Thatcher, Andrew Everett, Robbie E, DJ Z, and former-WWE star Carlito, to augment a solid base of European stars, including Will Ospreay, Tommy End, The London Riots, Mark Haskins, and Southside champion Joseph Conners.

On the earlier show, Conners's Righteous Army lost to the London Riots, thanks to Stixx preventing the heels using shenanigans, setting up the evening's main event of Conners versus Stixx for the Southside title in a Last Man Standing match. Conners came out of that one with the belt, when Stixx couldn't answer the ten-count after being bombarded with chairs. The Southside tag-team belts were also on the line on the evening show, as the London Riots & the BroMans faced champions The Second City Collective.

Once again, shenanigans was the order of the day, this time successfully, as SCC member Pete Dunne interfered to ensure his team kept their titles.

The evening show also saw Nixon Newell retain her Queen of Southside title, in a three-way with Leva Bates and Liberty, after Newell & Bates had teamed earlier in the day to take on the Second City Collective, whilst dressed as Han Solo & Indiana Jones. El Ligero had a good day, beating Damian Dunne in the early show and then becoming #1 Contender to the Southside title in a 6-way elimination match on the later show. Tommy End, meanwhile, did not have a good day - he beat Timothy Thatcher but suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for 3 weeks. Southside return on March 5th, with a show at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet, before another double-shot the next day in Nottingham. You can see their shows on their Vimeo page.

Courtesy: Tony Knox

3) Doug Williams is Nathan Cruz's destiny.

Another promotion to run 2 shows this weekend was New Generation Wrestling, although they split it over 2 days and in 2 cities. Beginning in Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday with Live In Stoke and ending in Liverpool the next day for Destiny, the weekend built to the Destiny Rumble, a 20-man over-the-top-rope Battle Royale to decide the next contender to Nathan Cruz's NGW heavyweight title. After winning a match earlier in the show to claim the prestigious number 20 spot, Doug Williams also triumphed in the Rumble, despite the attentions of NGW's top heel group The Control, eliminating Rampage Brown to earn a title shot.

The show at the Biddulph Leisure Centre in Stoke was headlined by Zack Gibson versus Rampage Brown, a match set up after Gibson made the save when Brown savagely attacked Ace Matthews earlier in the show, with Gibson coming out on top in a heavyweight battle. Also on the show, Cruz defended his title against Jason Prime, Bubblegum defended his Gen-X title against Robbie X, and The Proven defeated Liam Slater & Matt Myers.

Before the main event in Liverpool, at the famed Olympia venue, NGW Gen-X champion Bubblegum retained his title, seeing off the challenge of "Flash" Morgan Webster, Wild Boar, and Matt Myers, in a four-way, with help from Chardonnay. En lieu of defending his title, Nathan Cruz teamed up with Zack Gibson (they're teammates in PROGRESS, too, as The Origin), beating Rampage Brown & Mark Haskins, although the winners were attacked by The Control after the match. With The Control on one side, and a rag tag of NGW's top lads on the other, the spring looks like being a war in NGW. You can watch the British Wrestling Weekly show on local TV stations in the UK, and also on NGW's YouTube channel.

4) One Bad Apple didn't spoil this bunch.

Despite being the UK’s second city, Birmingham hasn’t exactly been a hotbed for professional wrestling of late, with the city centre especially out of bounds due to lack of suitable venues. The current vogue for running in nightclubs, however, has brought the grapple game back into the centre of our cities, and one of the groups to take advantage of that is Kamikaze-Pro. As well as shows in the centre of the city, the group run in venues in the suburbs. Their aim, since their formation two years ago, has been to bring back a decent scene to a city that once thrived in the days of Joint Promotions.

On Sunday's show, their latest at the Cadbury Club in Birmingham (and, yes, it is named after the chocolate), a 300-strong crowd turned out for Bad Apple, a show named in honour of special guest Carlito, who appeared alongside Timothy Thatcher, Leva Bates & Andrew Everett, as well as all the regular Kamikaze-Pro roster, which includes most of the Midlands' top names. Carlito worked the main event, losing to Ryan Smile (definitely one to watch for 2016), and then suffered the indignity of a beat down at the hands of Marshall X & Robbie X. DJ Z, who wasn't even booked on the show, ran out to make the save, and the fans were sent home happy after Smile got Carlito's apple spat in his face.

Earlier in the night, The Hunter Brothers retained the Kamikaze-Pro tag-team titles against Elliott Jordan & Mika, and Kamikaze-Pro champion Robbie X saw off the challenge of Andrew Everett, after interference from Marshall X. The show also featured Pete Dunne, Clint Margera & Dan Moloney, and Kamikaze-Pro return on March 4th with their first show in Coventry, where Lucha Underground's Angelico will make his UK debut.

Courtesy: 4FW by Oli Sandler

5) Target hit their mark, and other shows of interest.

Straddling the English/Scottish border with a double-shot, Target Wrestling crowned a new champion this weekend when the less-heralded (but no less formidable) half of the Sumerian Death Squad, Michael Dante, defeated Medallion for the Target Heavyweight Championship in Dumfries. The following night, in Carlisle, Dante made his first defense, successfully, against ECW-legend Tommy Dreamer, in a Falls Count Anywhere match, and the presence of the Dutchman at the top of the target tree makes things very interesting for fans in that area. Also on the weekend shows were Tommy End, Martin Kirby, Joe Coffey,and Big Damo.

Also doing double-duty were 4FW, with shows on Friday and Saturday in and around Bristol. The Price of Glory weekender featured PJ Black, who unsuccessfully challenged Mark Haskins for the 4FW Cruiserweight championship on Friday in Portishead, but defeated former 4FW Heavyweight champion Tiger Ali in Emerson's Green on Saturday. The current 4FW Heavyweight champion, Saime Sahin picked up two big wins, seeing off not only Tiger Ali in Portishead, but also Dave Mastiff in Emerson's Green, and he's building a strong case for UK Rookie of the Year.

Another rookie making an outstanding impact was Mega Pegasus, who beat Mastiff in his major show debut, before downing Crusher Lomaxx the following night. The shows also featured The Hunter Brothers and former FWA star Brandon Thomas, and the DVD should be available to buy from 4FW's website soon.

Lastly, in the RetroFutureVerse, Lucha Britannia showcased their latest episode at the Resistance Gallery in Bethnal Green, east London, on Friday. After defeating Freddie Mercurio in a Loser Leaves Lucha Britannia match last month, Cassius showed off his latest toy, the howler monkey Monito Aullador, and it was the interference of the simian pest that was instrumental in the champion overcoming the challenge of Neo Britannico (who fights in a very similar style to Will Ospreay, but I'm sure that's just coincidence).

Also on the show, Diablesa Rosa was crowned the Queen of Lucha Chaos, and the Fabulous Bakewell Boys were told by Grandpa Bakewell that they had to split up if they lost again. They did - to Santeria - and they will now have to go their separate ways. To finish the weekend, on Sunday afternoon, Lucha Britannia's training school - the London School of Lucha Libre - presented their first Lucha Libre League show, a family-friendly showcase for the school's best talent.