April 22, 2024

ICW No Holds Barred #62 (4.20.24) review 

ICW No Holds Barred #62 (4.20.24) review 


April 20, 2024 


We’re in Red Bank (Chattanooga), Tennessee at the TWE Arena. I hopped on Google Maps to check the area out and it couldn’t be more Southern. From the eateries to the religion to the bars. I would go and watch a show here, without question.  

“What’s up, motherfuckers?” – Danny Demanto. The Reverend is out here early to point out everyone has been “smoking the devil’s lettuce” because it’s 4/20. The Rev demands Jaden Newman gets a title shot at Krule. Why does the Reverend, a spooky evil Kevin Sullivan type, represent a blue chipper like Newman? You can put on all the eye shadow you like, sir, but I don’t buy you as a warlock.  


Sean Campbell vs. Dr Redacted 

Who is Dr Redacted? Someone who watched Sabu’s ECW entrance or, possibly, Silence of the Lambs. I think it’s more likely Sabu. As with Mania weekend, we get a LOT of light tubes being smashed. How many tubes does this company go through? Jesus fucking christ. There’s a cloud of “spooky dust”. This is the kind of promotion where you go home with a lung full of broken glass and your clothes splattered with wrestler’s blood.  

I love these shows because something crazy happens in the first match (every time) and I’m screaming “oh my god” at the screen. This doesn’t happen anywhere else. In this match? A backdrop driver into a load of crutches stacked across two chairs. Obviously.

Then shopping cart. Then Redacted sentons a pane of glass into Campbell’s face. Oh my god. I swear, these sickos don’t give a single fuck. I love it here. Campbell, already dead, gets a fork board (!!!!!) splashed into his chest. “Nobody won that fucking match” – comms. Holy shit, this was just fantastic. ***½ 


H20 Tag Team Championship 

Michigan Pillars (Malcolm Monroe III & Tommy Vendetta) (c) vs. The Goons (Lizzy Blair & Payton Blair) 

This is not a death match, but it is a mess. Tommy Vendetta has a hell of a match with himself and a chair. They brawl around the building, and we see Dr Redacted waving at the camera from merch. The challengers get staple gunned IN FRONT OF THEIR MOM. When they try to actually wrestle the match completely collapses in on itself. I like MM3 but he can’t do anything right here. Whiffing strikes by a foot. Thighs slapping along for the amusement of the peasants. Piledriver into legos finishes for the champs. Surely, that’s going to hurt your knees more than the girl’s head? Anyway, this was quite bad. Let’s not speak of it again. 


Otis Cogar vs. Tank 

This is going to be two fat dudes stabbing each other in the head. Don’t expect too much analysis of this. When they attempt anything more complicated than hitting each other with shit, the match is awful. Cogar’s double jump senton through a table is happening in slow motion and Tank’s dodge is about as graceful as you would expect from Tank. Look, lads, you’re at the age where “movez” are not “you”. Tank can’t even do a drop toehold properly.  

Tank does make me laugh by charging across the ring with a pile of light tubes and missing. Cogar wins with a MOONSAULT. Strange things happen within the chains, brrrrrother.  


Post Match: Comms promise we will have death match wrestling in this building whether ICW run here or not.  


Colby Corino vs. Danny Demanto 

I don’t know what I love more here; Colby hiding from the increasing stacks of weapons or the lady in front row preparing to duck and cover when shit starts flying. Colby borrows quite a lot from his dad and it’s a shame there isn’t a modern-day equivalent of ECW because he’d be a star in it. Danny whacks Corino with a tiki torch, covered in gussets. Someone in the crowd yells “stick it in his ass” and Demanto obliges because “I’m a man of the people”.  

There’s a real sense of joy from this match. Colby having a riot getting creative with weaponery, blood everywhere, crowd cheering along. There is too much setting up of spots but given their horrific nature, you can understand the overselling. The funniest of this is Danny struggling to open a bottle of lighter fluid. Colby kicks out of the fire table spot and comms just start laughing, which sums up how far gone this match is. Danny takes the final table, covered in light tubes, and Colby wins. This was both ridiculously stupid and perfectly great entertainment. ***¼ 


Post Match: Danny Demanto addresses the rumours about ICW closing and he says he just needs a break to rejuvenate, and they’ll be back. “Is this our last show in Chattanooga? Probably fucking not”.  


IWTV Independent Wrestling Championship 

Krule (c) vs. Jaden Newman 

Krule continues to make a fan of me. He’s just a big scary dude. Jaden gets flat out punched in the face on the floor and dragged back to the ring. I dig a big guy who doesn’t sell and doesn’t take bumps.  

This is a cartoon, right? Newman breaks the remainder of this door over Krule’s head and he completely no sells it. Never, ever, lose that mask mate. It’s such a key piece in the armour of Krule. That you can’t see his face. When Newman gets a spell on offence, it sucks. Krule has to wait around for Jaden, and it doesn’t look good.  


There’s no finish here because Adam Priest runs in, followed by Matt Tremont, followed by Tank. The locker room empties, and everyone brawls to the back, after Krule hits a dive. This reminds me of Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels the month before Hell in a Cell. Only Newman isn’t Shawn Michaels, and the lack of finish isn’t protecting some huge PPV event to follow because they’re ‘maybe’ not running again.  


ICW American Death Match World Championship 

Matt Tremont (c) vs. Kody Manhorn  

Manhorn is half the size of Tremont, legitimately, and has to throw himself and plunder at Tremont to stand any chance. They do a tug-o-war thing into the post outside and hematomas are likely. Both guys busted open hardway. Kody tries so hard but he’s so small and he can’t do death match stuff. They fuck up multiple tube spots and it’s all on Manhorn. At one point just dropping tubes that Tremont throws at him. He doesn’t look like a big sports guy.  


We get a lot of “spooky dust” in this one due to the sheer destruction of light tubes. If the execution of Manhorn’s comebacks were well executed this would be a good match. The structure of it makes sense but the execution is wildly off, which shows you how hard it is to do death matches.  

The light tube duel, which is just hitting each other in the head with plunder, is easily the best part of the match because they do away with any complexities. Just, fuck it, break them tubes. The only big spot where Kody really lands it perfect is the DVD through the bumper with light tubes taped to it. I have no idea how he got Tremont up. Matt must have jumped into that like a motherfucker. Tremont hits his own, less impressive, DVD to retain.  


I liked this match but Kody Manhorn, despite his sacrifices, struggled to rise to the occasion. Considering it ‘could’ have been the final main event for this promotion in this building it came up short. There are still a bunch of unbroken light tubes hanging on the ropes at the end too.  


The 411: 

I thought this was a step down from their WrestleMania weekend show. Obviously, they can’t assemble talent like that every weekend. The effort was still there but the execution was less than ideal. A couple of matches landed hard though. Campbell vs. Redacted and Corino vs. Demanto were good. The latter was a bit silly but worked regardless. Campbell vs. Redacted was as good as those Mania matches and got me all excited, I was about to see a show on the same level. Alas.  

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