Insane Championship Wrestling returned with a bang as they put on Fear and Loathing XIII in November.
The last mega wrestling event of 2021 happened on November 20th and 21st. Fear and Loathing XIII was a 2-day event in Scotland’s Barrowlands. Why am I gushing about a European wrestling event that happened more than a month ago? The story behind it is astounding.
ICW (Insane Championship Wrestling) has teetered on the brink of destruction when COVID-19 reared its ugly head. They were originally tagged as one of the greatest wrestling brands in Europe, filling up the Hydro with thousands of surly fans. When the pandemic shook the world, it was unknown whether ICW would kick out at the three count. This year, ICW finally got its wrestling boots on and it has all led up to Fear and Loathing XIII.
Most people have no clue what ICW is, nor could they locate it on the Peacock network. The WWE network adopted this EU brand allowing the US to enjoy the spiritual successor to ECW. Fear and Loathing XIII is the Super Bowl, The World Series, and the (dare I say it) WrestleMania of the brand.
But the world has tons of mid-level wrestling gigs, what makes this one so special? ICW is not just a deathmatch factory that takes other indy wrestlers and trashes them, nor is it a junior hoping to become as glamorous as WWE. ICW is a blend of drama, deathmatches, Scottish humor, cruiserweights, legacy matches, and bar brawls. Next to the waterfall of WWE, it might seem like a faucet, but I can attest that ICW has more heart and brains than half of the high-budget gigs out there.
Here’s why you should check it out now!
The Zero-G Division at Fear and Loathing XIII
When ICW was starting up again in 2021, a lot of their original stars were working for NXT UK. They had to start fresh with some younger talent. Daz Black became a rising star who won the Zero-G title from Kez on a TV taping. The Zero-G is a mid-card title that focuses on speed and agility. It’s not quite a cruiserweight promotion, but most competitors in the division can do some nifty flips and spins. Daz Black faced off against AJPW’s Francesco Akira. Both men brought their best lucha libre, but it was Daz Black with the curb stomp.
Daz Black is a hot commodity of talent and charisma and I would not be surprised if NXT UK offered him a contract.
Night 2 of Fear and Loathing XIII had a ladder match to determine the number 1 contender, which was captured by Dylan Thorn.
Jason Reed and Chris Bungard (of Bellator MMA fame) at Fear and Loathing XIII
It’s not Rhonda Rousey versus Stephanie McMahon (thank God), but Jason Reed is a hotshot wrestler who likes to run his mouth off at the fans with Coach Trip by his side. Chris Bungard signed a contract to fight Reed in this one match promising to break his arm. Jason Reed was able to get in a few dirty tricks and weapons to slow down the MMA fighter, but in the end, Chris snapped Reed’s arm and put him to sleep with a chokehold.
Theo Doros vs. Ravie Davie at Fear and Loathing XIII
Theo Doros had been complaining that ICW is too loose with its rules (it is called Insane Championship Wrestling) and challenged Ravie Davie to a Glasgow street fight. If Theo won ICW would have to follow official rules. Theo Doros won the brawl, which forced officials to make the remaining matches timed. The audience made it clear that they hated time limits in matches and it became the running joke of the evening.
Angel Hayze vs. Molly Spartan at Feat and Loathing XIII
ICW’s female division is very humble. The locker room usually only has six women in rotation at a time. Angel Hayze, the young lioness, and Molly Spartan both got into the finals for the vacant women’s division title. While Angel is a featherweight to the hulking and bullying Molly Spartan (who plays a bully very well) Angel was able to gain a huge upset win. Angel had rightly earned a title that was empty since March 2020.
Leyton Buzzard at Fear and Loathing XIII
Leyton Buzzard is what happens if The Miz and Ric Flair form into one person. He is sultry and self-promoting, but also an absolute beast in the ring. His ring presence is worth WWE’s salary. He loves to brag and complain like a young Chris Jericho, but when he gets a win he earns it. He battled LJ Cleary to a beautiful match with lots of near falls. Leyton pulled out a variation of a sharpshooter and won a well-fought match.
Kez Evans vs. JAXN at Feat and Loathing XIII
The heavyweight title had been vacant since March 2020 when Noam Dar sought greener pastures at NXT UK. Kez had one a 40 man battle royal and was promised a #1 contendership. After the pandemic, the title was relinquished and 8 men had to battle in elimination matches to see who would be the contenders in the main event for night 1. JAXN, former tag team, and heavyweight champion made his glorious comeback to the ICW ring and earned himself a title shot. Kez Evans fought him tooth and nail, but JAXN was the better wrestler and won the title.
24 hours later…
JAXN was cutting a ring promo at night 2 of the event when he was blindsided by DCT (a wrestler who is certified crazy). Kez Evans immediately came out and enacted a rematch clause. He hit JAXN with the Kez Dispenser (a sit out piledriver) and won the title.
ICW is notorious for switching things around with cheating heels and Kez is notorious for picking fights with wounded wrestlers, but it’s all part of the territory. In the style of ECW, the only rule is that there are no rules.
The King of Insanity Match at Fear and Loathing XIII
It amazes me that WWE wants to be associated with ICW knowing that bloody deathmatches are their thing. ICW doesn’t rely on deathmatches nor do they abuse them, but when it comes time to have a King of Insanity match you can set your watch to broken furniture and bloodshed. BT Gunn and Stevie Boy are the few remaining veterans of ICW, both being grand slam winners of all the titles. Stevie Boy came out of ICW retirement to put his title of King of Insanity against his greatest rival and friend BT Gunn.
This match included multiple table spots, glass tubes, stapler guns, tacks, barbed wire, ladders, Legos, and the occasional wrestling move. It was BT Gunn who drove Stevie Boy off the ladder into two tables covered in barbed wire. The crowd was ecstatic to see the two legends go at it. This main event for night 2 was a symbol that the pandemic couldn’t keep ICW down and that they were able to keep the spirit of insanity alive.