Wrestling Review //
ICW No Holds Barred
Pitfighter X5

While the ICW NHB shows have been tending to run with a Pitfighter on Friday and then the Volume on Saturday, this Pitfighter actually doesn't have a Volume the next day.  In fact, the next ICW NHB show after this is Volume 9 and it was almost a month after Pitfighter X5.   This was also the last show of 2020 and it was back in The Blood Shed in NJ, which if you were in NJ in December you know it was not warm.  

This was my first time seeing Aidan Blackhart but I think he put on a good show against AKIRA.   Isn't it funny how AKIRA started 2020 against guys like Matt Tremont and he seemed like more of the rookie fighting against the veterans and now he's somehow closer to that veteran position where he's helping to usher in new talent.   The year of 2020 felt like a lifetime, in many ways, and to see the growth and progress AKIRA has made throughout the year has just been such an incredible journey.

Another new name for me is Shane Mercer, who defeated Daniel Garcia by literally pulling the door off of the cage and hitting it into Red Death (which, of course, made ref stoppage)  This guy is a monster and when you talk about monsters there are quite a few in ICW NHB, so Shane Mercer seems like he'd fit right in fighting someone like SHLAK, Justin Kyle or our next match winner: Dominic Garrini.   While I've seen Gary Jay before, this was my first time seeing him in ICW NHB.   The thing about Gary Jay is that he always takes these bumps where he lands and you think "Well, he's dead" but then he just gets up and is somewhat fine.

Something that not a lot of people might know is that WARHORSE (the current IWTV Independent Wrestling Champion) was given this nasty scar on his mouth courtesy of one Gary Jay.  I would absolutely love if in 2021 we saw WARHORSE get into an ICW NHB ring (or pit) to take on Gary Jay for a bit of revenge.  Even just having WARHORSE defend that title against someone like John Wayne Murdoch is the type of thing I want to see happen in the coming months.   But, it's up to people who aren't me to make it happen.

Before the next match could start, Kasey Catal (who I always think is "Casey Katal" for some reason) cut a promo about how Brandon Kirk is a real man and he plays softball twice on Sunday mornings.   This lead to a discussion between the commentary team about John Kruk and whether or not he was alive and he is in fact alive and last I heard he did some kind of talk show deal on ESPN.   But could all this talk of softball bring Sid to ICW NHB?  (Probably not) This match was crazy because when Kasey tried to get involved she was stopped by Mittens and then later Brandon Kirk faked a dive from up where the commentary team was, which was really just a waste of time by him.

Brandon Kirk went through fire, wood and hit the ground and still managed to kick out after only a one count.    Though Danny Demanto didn't win this match he did talk after it about how ICW NHB was doing the best work of anyone in 2020 (which is true) and they did it all themselves, busting their asses and not with sponsorship or donations.   This kind of struck a chord with me because I remember a promotion (but I won't name them) who early on during the pandemic were running shows but you had to sponsor a wrestler, which basically meant you paid their booking fee.  It's been a while though and I haven't heard anything about that particular promotion but that obviously turned out to not be the best idea.

In what was dubbed a "Christmas Tree Death Match" Neil Diamond Cutter defeated Jeff Cannonball.   Both men have fun theme songs and at the end both of them were singing to NDC's music.   During the middle of this match, Jeff Cannonball did a Short Soda Review of a flavor of Mt. Dew which he said "It could be better" and I *think* it was about that new watermelon one.   Either way, that new watermelon Mt. Dew flavor really could be better.  The second to last match was stopped I believe because of the blood coming out of the arm of Casanova Valentine and in keeping with fairness, how much JWM got to patch up his arm during a match (the ref even helped him) but a seemingly similar situation gave Casanova Valentine a loss?  Hmm.

John Wayne Murdoch secured his Wrestler of the Year status in the main event by defeating Nolan Edward.   Nolan Edward has the nickname of "No Flinch" and I didn't really pay close attention to it until this match.  I mean, if half of a door is coming straight for your face, your instinct is to either move or at least turn your head, close your eyes, something-- but Nolan Edward just does not flinch.  This match was also a lot of fun to watch from a visual standpoint because the pit was really more weapons than space for the wrestlers to stand on and move around.  I give the referee a lot of credit during this match just for being in the cage.

Looking back at 2020, I think ICW NHB really started with this core group of wrestlers with names like The Rejects, 44OH! (who were not on this show at all), SHLAK (also absent from this show), Casanova Valentine and if he wasn't injured definitely Nick Gage as well.   Then they bring in guys like Dom Garrini and Tony Deppen sometimes, but there is also this way that throughout 2020 they just began bringing in new talent like Satu Jinn, Nolan Edward, Neil Diamond Cutter, Justin Kyle and others which I feel just really make the roster one of the best of any promotion in the world today.    Having watched this show, I can say now that I've seen all of the ICW NHB shows from 2020 and it really was their year.  No other promotion even begins to come close to this level of greatness. 


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