Wrestling Review //
ICW No Holds Barred
Volume 5 - Deathmatch Circus

For the weekend of Deathmatch Circus, this was the third and final show of the weekend.    If you know anything about ICW No Holds Barred, you know they're going out of this weekend with a bang.   In our fifth volume, we have a real who's who of previous volumes with a few added special guests thrown into the mix for fun.   I feel like nearly every match on this show was main event worthy.

Things kicked off strong with Homicide vs. SHLAK in a barbed wire match.   This was the first time we saw this type of match in the No Holds Barred series and what two better men to compete in it than Homicide- who has seemingly seen and done everything- and SHLAK who had the torch passed to him by Necro Butcher.   These two went through hell together and in only a way which Homicide can do, he soaked his entrance mask in bleach and made SHLAK made it to end the match.   It's kind of crazy when you think what Homicide did at Volume 1 to Casanova Valentine and now at Volume 5 to SHLAK.   This might be the end for Homicide, but as we all know about wrestling: never say never.

Perhaps the craziest aspect of the Homicide-SHLAK barbed wire match was that it was only the first match!  Tony Deppen came out to have a sort of open invitation fight, which brought out Chris Dickinson.    There was this whole ordeal with Chris Dickinson back at the Fourth of July show where he was booked for ICW NHB, then GCW decided to run a show so he dumped ICW NHB in favor of going to GCW and... yeah, ICW NHB didn't take that well.  I was surprised to see him here, but I do believe this to be his one and only appearance in ICW NHB.   As I type this now, Dickinson is in NJPW.   All the best to him.

Reed Bentley and Dale Patricks had the rematch, as was stated during the afternoon show, and this just makes me want to search IWTV for more Dale Patricks matches and I think he's done a bunch in IWA-MS so that might be my next stop on my deathmatch tour of IWTV.   Eddy Only defeated Alex Ocean in what was my least favorite match of the night (which is saying a lot, because I loved all these matches)  Post match Nick Gage came down in a truck and introduced New Jack to the chains.  New Jack got into the ring but didn't fight anyone and then he seemingly gave the approval to Alex Ocean and if you asked me what fighter on this card most reminded me of New Jack it would not be Alex Ocean.  

Following this was a match between Mance Warner and Casanova Valentine.   What's funny is that after ICW NHB Volume 1 I took a photo with each of these two guys and they each took the photo of me with the other.   How often can you say that?  Ol' Mancer got Casanova Valentine tied up in the chains with barbed wire and the ref stopped this one.    AKIRA and Jimmy Lloyd had what was an inevitable meeting but I would have liked to see it go on just a little bit longer.  

In not-even-the-main-event, Pagano took on Eric Ryan in a Funhouse Deathmatch.   This was such a great match complete with a "Kill The Gringo" chant.   Before the whole pandemic happened, we were to see Pagano at NHB Volume 2.   I was ready.  I had been studying his matches because I love lucha libre and I love deathmatch wrestling, so when you combine the two you get something unique which I think every wrestling fan needs to see at least once.   One day, I will get to see Pagano wrestle in person.   One day.

The feud between The Rejects and Ohio continued in the final match as John Wayne Murdoch took on Atticus Cogar.   When I went to NHB Volume 1, I saw John Wayne Murdoch vs. Eric Ryan and I will admit that I had never heard of either of them before that night.   The fact is, in the time from that match until here, ICW NHB has done just a fantastic job of presenting these fighters in a way so that you know who they are.  

When you have someone like SHLAK, who is just this big tattooed covered guy, and someone like AKIRA, who is a samurai type fighter, you can tell them apart based on their appearance, sure.   But sometimes I feel like deathmatch wrestlers all get lumped in together because they wear similar gear and have beards.   How do you tell the difference between someone like Eric Ryan and Reed Bentley, to someone who is not familiar with them?   But I give all the credit in the world to ICW NHB for helping each and every character stand out and shine in their own light.  


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