Britain’s third all-female wrestling promotion debuts today, with promises of it offering a different sort of product to the likes of the World Association of Women’s Wrestling and Pro Wrestling: EVE. Insane Championship Wrestling: Fierce Females is hyping an evening of hard-hitting wrestling action, coupled with burlesque dancers (which explains the poster’s similarities to the one for the film Burlesque) and a more edgy atmosphere.
Emanating from The Arches in Glasgow, Scotland, the main event of the debut show is a Last Woman Standing match between longtime rivals Kay Lee Ray and Carmel Jacob. The pair also managed to gain some pretty good exposure for the show this week when they were part of a two-page spread in The Scottish Sun newspaper. Other matches on the card include England’s Lisa Fury (replacing an injured Jenny Sjodin) and April Davids against twins Kasey and Leah Owens from Northern Ireland, Miss Nicola Storm facing the “Technical Supremo” Fiona Fraser, and the “Fighting Irish” Rhia O’Reilly taking on England’s Holly Rocamora.
Ringbelles is on hand to provide live results, and we’re looking to deliver photos and interviews after the show. Click after the jump and keep hitting refresh to see the outcomes as they happen – in the meantime, have a listen to Storm’s Women Of Wrestling Podcast where she discusses Fierce Females, EVE, Glasgow slang and more.
1. Miss Nicola Storm pinned Fiona Frazer following a Perfect Storm.
2. Viper beat Bete Noire with a face first electric chair drop.
3. Rhia O’Reilly defeated Holly Rocamora with the Rhiajustment.
4. Erin Angel bested Sara Marie Taylor with a moonsault.
5. Leah & Kasey Owens beat Lisa Fury & April Davids with stereo middle rope clotheslines.
6. Sakura Lilly pinned Kirsty Loveign with a flying bulldog.
7. Carmel Jacob beat Kay Lee Ray in a Last Woman Standing match when referee Jack Jester didn’t see KLR get back to her feet.
So, to some thoughts on ICW’s first venture into an all-women’s promotion…
• Firstly, the venue was terrific. Located in a nightclub which is located under Glasgow’s busiest railway station, it was the perfect location for what purported itself to be a slightly more adult-themed, underground wrestling show. It certainly managed that.
• As for the audience, with an attendance of 300, it was a legitimate sell-out, so that’s a great thing. Plus, with the acoustics of the Arches, it meant that it was never quiet in there. Some of the chants were very Scottish, and also at times very crude – “get her pumped” and “kick her c*nt in” were two of the repeated chants for the heels – but the strange thing is that it wasn’t done with malice, and is reportedly expected from an ICW crowd. It works for the show, the wrestlers react to it correctly, and everyone enjoys themselves.
• Unfortunately, the first match of the show suffered from first-show-itis, in that it probably wasn’t the finest way to kick off the promotion. While the chain wrestling between Miss Nicola Storm and Fiona Fraser was good – and at times, excellent – the contest fell apart near the end when a Fraser headscissors went awry, and the referee bizarrely stopped counting the winning pinfall before then counting the three, leading to the flattest of finishes. Storm gave the ref the dirtiest of glares before making her way to the back.
• On a side note, Storm’s entrance theme for her holier than thou character is great. It’s her reading rhetoric about the virtues of family entertainment, making her the perfect heel for an ICW crowd. Meanwhile, my first look of Fiona Fraser may have been tainted by a botch and shoddy refereeing, but she’s someone to keep an eye on.
• Similarly, Bete Noire put up a great showing against the talented Viper in a hard-hitting battle which picked the crowd up again. Brawling into the crowd, they really lumped each other with shots which resonated around the building. Back in the ring, Viper connected with a thumping Alabama Slam before missing a Vader Bomb, but Noire was unable to capitalise, as her moonsault attempt saw her eat the knees of her opponent. She finally came unstuck while going for a victory roll, which was countered into the electric chair faceplant by Viper for the win.
• You know what to expect with a Rhia O’Reilly match these days, and that’s a safe pair of hands. Her match with Holly Rocamora may not have been the most dynamic outing on the show, but it more than did its job, as she ended up getting abuse from the fans while Holly garnered a lot of cheers – partly endearing herself by lifting up her skirt to give the fans a flash of her underwear, which in this environment, really established the face-heel dynamic. O’Reilly’s Rhiajustment DDT looked brutal too, spiking Rocamora’s head into the mat for the win.
• Sara Marie Taylor has an amazing figure, isn’t afraid to show it off, and it was all out there for her match against Erin Angel. However, despite that being a catalyst for cheers, Sara is a full-blown heel in ICW, and is accused of being a loose woman, amongst other things. It made the heat for the match really easy, and Angel was beloved as a result. Sara was also constantly distracted by ICW favourite Wee Man, who was in Erin’s corner, and was also treated to a stinkface by the Englishwoman. Erin’s moonsault garnered her the win, but I’m hankering more for her frog-splash these days, which is a thing of beauty.
• You wouldn’t expect April Davids to be involved in a comedy match, but this is what we saw as part of her tag team encounter, aligning with Lisa Fury against Kasey and Leah Owens, with the twins being the babyface tandem. Fury hammed it up for the laughs, while Davids took care of the wrestling, starting out with suplexes and stretches, and the most brutal-looking punt between the legs that I may have ever seen. However, she also brought the funny by whipping her bra out from under her gear to choke Leah with it while she was held in a Mexican Surfboard. The Northern Irish sisters were on the backfoot for most of the match, with Leah taking the bulk of the punishment, but a falling out between Davids and Fury saw them fall victim to stereo middle rope clotheslines for the double pin.
• The Owens Twins are the only female wrestlers in Northern Ireland, which means most of the time they only wrestle each other. Obviously, there is only so much you can learn from wrestling the same person constantly, but as a team, there is something there to watch out for. Very pretty, and easy to like or hate depending on what’s called of them, they deserve to get more bookings in Great Britain. However, the hair extensions – most of which were pulled or fell out during the match – aren’t necessary…
• It was not a misspelling in the results when you saw the name Kirsty Loveign. It’s Kirsty Love’s new character – a rock chick with a chip on her shoulder, managed by James R Kennedy, who walks around with a can of hairspray all the time. She went up against Sakura Lilly, a Londoner who told me afterwards that this was only her second match that wasn’t a trainee show. You couldn’t have known she was that new. Coming out following a performance by one of the excellent burlesque dancers which were peppered throughout the proceedings, she wielded a katana and sported some pretty severe facepaint. Coupled with the tattoos, she really looked the part.
• Admittedly, the action wasn’t without faults, but that is to be expected for someone who is still finding her feet, but Lilly did get the crowd going by chopping Loveign in every corner and along every rope. However, Kirsty got her revenge with chops so loud that somewhere, Mercedes Martinez broke into a smile. As you expect from Kirsty now, her charisma is amazing, and she used it to the fullest here, pulling faces and throwing tantrums, though it was Sakura’s aerial assaults which got her the win, including a second rope dropkick and a flying bulldog for the pin.
• No doubt about it – Kay Lee Ray and Carmel Jacob’s Last Woman Standing match was the best match I’ve seen in person all year. With a long-running rivalry, you knew these women were going to give it their all, and that’s exactly what happened, as they brawled outside the ring pretty much from the start. An early tope by Ray got the proceedings off to a bang, and then the pair fought all over The Arches – much of which happened out of sight from me, so I’ll have to catch the DVD for the lowdown on what happened – but they also didn’t skimp on the weaponry. Jacob really laid it in with the kendo stick shots, but her use of a steel chair backfired when KLR connected with a dropkick which saw the chair blast Carmel in the face so hard that she could have easily been knocked out. The chair was also used against her in a double stomp from the top while Jacob was in a tree of woe, which elicited a huge gasp from the crowd. Ray also popped the audience when she dived from the top rope over the barricades onto Carmel.
• However, it was Jacob who controlled the bulk of the match, and took things to a new level when she produced a bag of thumbtacks – though they also came back to haunt her, as she ended up getting thrown from the top rope onto them, but avoided the subsequent Swanton Bomb attempt which made many fans think Ray had broken her neck. Seriously, these women have no fear.
• The finish came when both fell from the walkway and crawled into the ring while special referee Jack Jester counted them down. Unfortunately, because they were on opposite sides of the ring, he couldn’t look at them both at the same time. That meant that he missed Ray getting to her feet while his back was turned as he looked at Jacob, and turned around to see KLR slumped on the mat again. Meanwhile, Jacob rose at 9 to get the controversial win.
• However, KLR went nuts after the match, attacking Jacob and leaving her laying following a Swanton with a chair on Carmel’s chest. That looked like it really hurt Ray.
• This means the pair are 1-1 in crazy matches, as KLR won the deathmatch between the two last year. Surely another match has to be on the cards.
• So that was Fierce Females. An enjoyable show, albeit with a few kinks to iron out and a few bumps along the way. The refereeing error was a massive shame, some women were wrestling each other for the first time so it was a little awkward at points, it would have been nice to have known the whole card ahead of time, and the sound system could have been a bit better, but overall, I’d give it a thumbs up. The next show is taking place on the weekend on May 3-4, and if you can, check it out. Sure, the language might be 18+ at times, but it’s all done with a big smile – after all, this is Scotland, and swearing comes naturally to them. It’s one of the reasons why the country’s so great.
• Finally, we managed to get hold of Kay Lee Ray for a quick chat following her defeat. Click here to listen.
– Lee Burton