By Martin Smith
Posted On 17-11-2016 23:37 GMT
January 24th 2016. ICW Champion Grado stood opposite his opponent for the evening, Chris Renfrew. No ordinary title defence considering the man facing him was his mortal enemy, but the fact that the whole basis for their deep seated mutual hatred was Renfrew questioning Grado's loyalty to ICW and Grado staunchly defending himself makes the position the two find themselves in on Sunday all the more shocking. On the same side, fighting for the same cause. ICW's cause. Mark Dallas's cause. No hatchets were buried in the making of this team. In fact the hatchet is still sitting in the middle of ring, full to the brim with weapons, with Grado and Renfrew at opposite corners ready to charge at each other, grabbing whatever they think is most likely to take a limb from the other.
Renfrew took Grado's title that night, and while neither had long reigns with the highest prize in ICW, they both made it to the mountaintop after long arduous journeys to get there. Both proved at one point they were the very best in the company at that time. They are both pivotal members of Team ICW, and for Team ICW to prevail they need to get on the same page. If not the same page, at least get them in the same library. In the general vicinity of the same book. Its not optional anymore, they NEED to settle this, because for every disagreement that drives Team ICW further apart, their opponents grow stronger. Already a well oiled machine, used to having each other's backs, The Black Label as it stands go into The Hydro heavy favourites.
Whilst the two former ICW Champions on Team Dallas despise each other, the two former ICW Champions on Red Lightning's squad couldn't be more in sync. Best pals for years, Jack Jester and Drew Galloway actually did manage to bury their own hatchet from a monumental feud which saw Drew end Jester's year long ICW Title reign to embark on his own year long stint at the top. Formidable as individuals, but reading from the same demonic hymn sheet? Forget about it. Throw Bram and Kid Fite into the mix and you have a team of dyed in the wool bullies. Bullies who can smell the weakness coming from Team Dallas and will do absolutely everything they can to exploit it. Each and every man has a personal score to settle with someone on the other team, but in terms of issues in house? Not a one. Not even a morsel of disdain.
Kid Fite will be going after Sha Samuels looking for revenge for him swapping sides at Shugs House Party 3, but he does so with 3 men watching his back. Can Sha say the same? When Bram goes after DCT looking for vengeance for his humiliation inside a steel cage the very same night, he does so safe in the knowledge his team are united behind him. Does DCT have that safety? The thing Renfrew and Grado are maybe forgetting as they get caught up in hating each other all over again is that this is bigger than them in so many ways. Maybe the penny dropping on that front is Team ICW's only hope, or perhaps their big hope lies in the other side's hidden weakness. The one they don't want anyone to believe actually exists. The injury status of Drew Galloway.
Drew Galloway insists he is fighting fit and will be wrestling at The Hydro but a legitimate career threatening injury is nothing to be sniffed at, and as much as he wants us all to believe his refusal to wrestle on the tour was his choice, it wasn't. Drew Galloway has never visited a town he didn't want to wrestle in because wrestling consumes him. Every waking moment is dominated by the business he grew up in. The business that taught him everything he knows. Mark Dallas has stated that his team's strategy will be to go after Drew's injury, so to quote the Wu-Tang Clan, you best protect ya neck Mr Galloway. If there is still a weakness there, the magnitude of this fight means that the opponents won't flinch at the prospect of dropping Drew on his head. Even with that potential worry, Team Black Label still stand out as favourites. As long as Grado and Renfrew keep butting heads, the collective force of The Black Label still trumps a rag-tag bunch of guys who could turn on each other at any moment. The biggest thing that could tip it in Team Dallas' favour isn't any injury to The Black Label's main man. Its something more primal than that. Something simpler. Defend your colours.
The thing Renfrew and Grado may or may not be struggling to see is simple, if they lose, it's all over for everyone. Sure, there might still be a wrestling company, it might even still be called ICW, but if Red owns it all, they're ALL out the door. Each and every one of them. No way a squad of would-be usurpers can stay. They picked their side. If Chris Renfrew and Grado want the same ICW they made their names in to exist on Monday morning, it's not optional, success won't happen without it, so they HAVE to come together. No two ways about it. Even if they need to sit and air out real life grievances and get it all in the open so they can both move on...do that. Make it happen, because without it you aren't just letting ICW down. You aren't just letting Mark Dallas down. You aren't just letting DCT and Sha Samuels down. You're letting down each and every person who's grown to know and love ICW. You're letting down everyone who's allowed a Sunday night at the wrestling to be their escape. You're letting down every fan, past, present and future because the memories the past fans enjoyed won't matter a jot. The memories being created for the present fans won't matter a jot. As for the future fans? There won't be any. They won't exist because two stubborn bastards couldn't just let it lie. For the greater good, they must, or a team who might have had enough to beat them in any case will run riot. A disjointed Team Dallas don't have a shot against a team as formidable as Galloway, Jester, Bram and Kid Fite, but a Team Dallas who, for one night only, are a real team? They might just have a shot. And the ICW we know and love will stand proud at the end of the biggest, most vital night in the companies storied history.
∙ BT Gunn VS Stevie Boy - Casket Match
∙ Team Dallas VS Team Black Label - For 100% Control Of ICW
∙ Trent Seven VS Wolfgang