Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW) returns to Glasgow’s Hydro on November 19th with a card packed full of matches featuring the cream of British Wrestling. A highlight for many fans will be the King of Insanity match featuring Stevie Boy, Jimmy Havoc, Mikey Whiplash and Chris Renfrew who took some time out to chat with Greg Clark.
Chris, with Insane Championship Wrestling set to run the Hydro for the second time do you feel that after the success of last year’s show the pressure is even greater this time around?
Yeah man, I mean there is a certain level of pressure for every show we do but the Hydro is one of our Supershows so obviously there are a lot of eyes on us. If I’m honest I think there is a little more pressure this year because as you know Mick Foley couldn’t make last year’s show as he was at Survivor Series so he sent along Finn Balor in his place which was huge and because of Finns Association with ICW it was viewed as a bit of a homecoming by our fanbase and it put a few more eyes on us from people who perhaps wouldn’t have been familiar with us before. So obviously the pressure is on to live up to the success of last year’s event.
You’re in the King of Insanity match alongside Whiplash, Stevie Boy and Havoc. It’s going to be a wild brawl, how are you feeling about it?
Nervous would be a fair assumption! There are a lot of expectations attached to this match. As the matches between us have been progressing since the announcement of the Hydro match the bar has been getting pushed more and more. Mikey and I had a deathmatch in Edinburgh and pushed each other that little bit further, then Mikey and Jimmy had a death match recently in Cardiff and took the insanity to the next level. No pun intended. So the expectation levels are definitely there, I mean there are different levels of nerves but obviously you wouldn’t be a sane human being If you didn’t have some sort of concern for your wellbeing going into a match like this but the real pressure is making sure that something so long in the making lives up to the hype because let’s face it the build to this has been huge and that’s where the real pressure lies in making sure that we bring this home in the right way and no one leaves disappointed.
Part of the beauty of this match has been the build-up. This isn’t a King of Insanity match thrown onto the card to give four guys a spot. It is the culmination of several interweaving storylines. You had been under the control of Whiplash for six months before recently breaking free. Stevie boy and Havoc have been big players in this saga as well creating an intricate timeline setting up the match. Would you agree that is what makes this match appealing to fans?
Yeah, I think that while people are going to be into the match, the fact that we give them reasons as to why the match is happening is a big selling point. Getting people emotionally invested in not just what you’re doing but why you’re doing it is something I love. I think the fans are noticing that we are making this more intricate and it isn’t just violence for the sake of violence. A lot of times death matches and hardcore style matches almost get looked down upon but if you give violence a reason therefore giving it a bit more depth it attaches more emotion to not only the people involved but also the viewing public and so I think that is integral when the story is as violent and blood filled as ours. You can’t just do it and throw it away because violence means nothing if you don’t make it mean something. So yeah, the story has been an important part of all of this. That way we’re not just shocking people and giving them a big blood fest at the end of it all. It’s all about intertwining the personalities and stories to get the fans emotionally invested in the characters so that it doesn’t end up with four hunks of meat in the ring cutting themselves up, it’s characters that the fans genuinely care about regardless of whether they love them or hate them. They are genuinely invested in them.
This was certainly reflected in what has arguably been the main crux of the story. That being the relationship between You and Whiplash. You were under the control of Whiplash and when you finally turned on him the noise in the Garage was deafening. That must be satisfying to you as a performer?
It was. To get to that moment there was a lot of patience which can be a bit of a rarity in a world where instant gratification is in many cases he norm. A big part of the build was me being under Mikey’s control. I think people knew I was going to break free at some-point and I had come close a few times so when it finally did happen the place did go off and I think that is because while we did make the fans wait for that moment of gratification, it just made the moment sweeter when it finally arrived.
Having been in the crowd for the Edinburgh match I can confirm that the bar was indeed pushed and certainly did whet the appetite for the Hydro. With you and Whiplash there has always been the potential for chaos and Havoc being this years Combat Zone Wrestling Tournament of Death winner, Would you say Stevie Boy is the dark horse in the match?
Ah well, Stevie isn’t a stranger to this type of matches. If you think back to all the street fights he was involved in as part of the Bucky Boys and the New Age Kliq, he has always had the ability to reach into that dark place inside him which is a requirement for matches like this. Another thing you must remember is Stevie is a lot younger than us. He’s just about to turn 24. He’s eight years my junior and I’m the second youngest in the match! I guess the fact that he has maybe been allowed to slip under the radar a bit makes him a dark horse. I will not be taking Stevie boy lightly that’s for sure.
I think what is very intriguing about this match is while you are all hardcore wrestlers in your own right, you all bring very different qualities to the table. Is that something you will be thinking of when trying to strategise for the match?
Absolutely, I think everyone of us brings our own definition of crazy to the match and that’s what makes it so exciting. Whether you’re jumping off balconies, using weapons or using your body as a weapon we all bring or own elements of insanity to the match.
Outside of your own match, is there particular match on the card you are looking forward to?
Joe Coffey and BT Gunn. They are two of the best and the fact that both the world title and the Zero G title are on the line gives it a nice little twist. I’m also a sucker for a ladder match. I love to see crazy high spots having grown up in the era of the Hardy’s, Edge, Christian and Dudley Boyz, that kind of stuff will always pop me as a fan so I am looking forward to the six-man number one contender match and the girls three way in the steel cage. Viper, Kasey and Kay Lee Ray are storming it right now. If you haven’t seen the title match between Kay Lee Ray and Kasey from a few weeks back in Glasgow you are missing out. It was tremendous. It was a real stepping up point for Kasey but it proved once again that women’s wrestling in the UK has never been stronger and I can’t wait to see what these girls will do inside a steel cage.