Ladies and Gentlemen, boys, girls, and everyone in-between welcome to the Deathmatch Circus. ICW NHB overcame every potential fuck up to deliver the much-anticipated Volume 5 show and gave fans one hell of a show. We’d see SHLAK clash with Homicide, Casanova Valentine battle Mance Warner, see who answered the Tony Deppen fight me challenge, Pagano take on Eric Ryan, AKIRA vs Jimmy Lloyd and much much more. It was going to be a true festival of fuckery and we were all along for the ride.

No Ropes Barbed-Wire: Homicide defeated SHLAK via Bleach Mask Choke-out

First up was the no-ropes barbed-wire match between the Public Animal SHLAK and the Demon Homicide. Whenever Homicide dons that mask, shit gets nasty. He waterboarded Casanova Valentine with bleach, imagine what he’d do here. They locked up and reached a stalemate. They went for a second and SHLAK raked the eyes, sending Homicide reeling. They went into a third and Homicide got the advantage and threw SHLAK against the barbed wire. SHLAK knocked Homicide into the wire and started raking at his face. He knocked Homicide into the corner and dropped him gut first over the wire with a gourdbuster. Homicide got justifiably pissed off and kicked SHLAK down then made him bite the barbed-wire. Homicide then wrapped SHLAK’s arm around the wire and launched him through a barbed-wire door. Homicide tried for a lariat but couldn’t get the momentum and ate a clothesline from SHLAK. He hit a running power slam onto the wire door and gave Homicide a face full of wire. Homicide pulled out his fork and started stabbing away at SHLAK’s forehead. He sent SHLAK into the wire multiple times and stabbed away at the inside of SHLAK’s mouth with the fork. He bailed to the outside and threw a chair in-ring but Homicide followed and garrotted him with the barbed-wire. Homicide smashed him with the chair but SHLAK tanked it and hit a powerbomb. He hit a second and punched the chair into Homicide’s face. He then gave him a DVD to the door and tried for a Suplex. Homicide reversed and SHLAK ate a snap Suplex into the wire. He hit SHLAK with a brainbuster across the chair and hit a Texas Piledriver. He then filled his mask with bleach, put it over SHLAK’s head, and choked him out with barbed-wire, forcing a ref stoppage. The Demon claimed another victim in a horrifically brutal style. It was a bold way to open the show and a very fucking scary finish. Homicide left SHLAK with the mask and left laughing.

Tony Deppen defeated Chris Dickinson via KO Knee

The chains were back and Deppen was here for a fight. He was originally meant to fight Eddie Kingston but plans changed. He ran down his former opponents, citing they were all scared of him. One of those former opponents was Chris Dickinson and he was here to fight. It would be Zubaz pants vs daisy dukes in a slug-out match. Dickinson stormed the ring and the pair instantly teed off on one another. Deppen tried to take advantage with a kick but Dickinson turned it into a Dragon Screw. He dumped Deppen with a DVD and locked in a half crab into an STF. Deppen threw some slugs but Dickinson chopped him down and dropped him with a Suplex. Dickinson locked in a knee lock around the chain but Deppen chopped free. He couldn’t take advantage as Dickinson nailed him with a basement dropkick and hit two grounded Dragon Screws into an inverted Figure Four. Dickinson mockingly freed him then dropped him on his head with a German. Dickinson hit Deppen with a thrown door and twisted Deppen’s knee again. Deppen spewed profanities and insults but it did nothing to phase Dickinson. The door was set up and Dickinson tried to fire Deppen up but knocked him back down with a forearm. Deppen escaped a DVD and launched a series of strikes but got chopped down again and put through the door with a Brainbuster. Deppen egged Dickinson on and had his head caved in by a broken door. He set up a second door and tried to put Deppen through it with a top rope Pazuzu Bomb but Deppen reversed and put Dickinson through with a Superplex. Deppen successfully struck back and launched Dickinson outside with a dropkick. He then dived onto Dickinson with a Tope Con Hilo and hit a codebreaker in-ring. He then trapped Dickinson’s arms and rained down KO forearms on the back of his head. Dickinson caught another kick into a Dragon Screw and locked in a Figure Four. Deppen tried to reverse the pressure so Dickinson hit him with a chair and locked on a Jack-knife pin. He hit a powerbomb and stormed off to the back and returned with a tube bundle. Deppen dodged the swing and cracked the tubes against Dickinson’s back. He dropped a KO forearm on Dickinson and hit the KO Knee for the win. Deppen finally got his first ICW win and it was in his best ICW match to date. This was a physical, stiff bout of sickening levels without the deathmatch fuckery. Dickinson apologised for not appearing sooner and put ICW and Deppen over then threatened any fake fuckers who had shit to talk about him.

Reed Bentley defeated Dale Patricks via Burning Hammer

Next up was Eddy Only getting in the ring with a neck brace and a cigarette. He ran down Alex Ocean and threatened to work a headlock all match. Turns out he’d come out for the wrong match. It was in fact time for the rematch of madness, Reed Bentley vs Dale Patricks 2, Ass Harder. Patricks made his entrance and was ambushed by Bentley and pummelled by a trashcan lid. He took a tack bat to Patricks’ back but got hit in the head by a six-pack of White Claw. Patricks hit him with the trashcan lid then took a trip into the ring post. Bentley hit him with a tube-covered crutch and slammed him into the floor. Bentley tried to chain work but Patricks caught him and dropped him back first against them. He continued by smashing Bentley in the ribs with a broken door and breaking tubes over his head. Bentley tanked it and smashed tubes on Patricks’ head and back. Bentley got Patricks onto the ring apron and dropped him through a can and carpet strip door with a Pepsi Plunge. The ring was covered in VHS tapes and Patricks dropped Bentley onto them with a back-body drop. They had a VHS bar fight and moved to slugs then Bentley reversed a chokeslam into a roll-up. Patricks hit the chokeslam on a third attempt and then crushed a tube bundle into Bentley’s chest with a running body attack. Bentley reversed a follow-up into a ripcord forearm and dropped Patricks on his head with a Saito. He hit the bundle bell clap and went top rope. Patricks grabbed him by the dick and drove him through a tube cabin. He sat Bentley down and went top rope for a Senton Bomb but only got the chair. Bentley dropped him with the Burning Hammer onto the mangled chair and got the three-count. This again was amazing. It had no ass shenanigans this time and just turned into a plunder fest with some great displays of wrestling thrown in. Reed Bentley refuses to be slept on anymore and I hope to hell he’s pushed to the moon. I also hope we see Patricks back. He’s a fun guy to have in a match and clearly willing to do anything.

Eddy Only defeated Alex Ocean via Tube Bundle Shadow Kick

Eddy Only was back out and ingratiating himself with the crowd. He was actually out for the right match this time and still had the neck brace. Ocean came out to a massive prop and looked to rack up another win. Only threatened to leave then locked in a headlock. The crowd chanted “Fuck your headlock,” but it didn’t dissuade Only who broke a tube with his foot and doubled-down on the headlock. Ocean stomped the foot and stunned Only with a jab then escaped another headlock with a tube to the head. Ocean kicked tubes into Only’s chest and searched for more plunder. Only retreated to the corner and was hit by the world’s nastiest nutcracker as Ocean broke tubes into his groin with two chairs. He then broke tubes into Only’s face with a running dropkick. Only teased a tube attack then reapplied the headlock. Ocean escaped and ate a Spinebuster into some tubes. The headlock came back then Only carved up Ocean with a broken tube. Only put Ocean in the neck brace, threw some jabs, and locked in yet another headlock. He fought off Ocean and put him through a door with a backdrop. Ocean escaped eating glass and headbutted a tube into Only. He threw off the neck brace and drove Only into the canvas with a chain-hung Jay Driller. Ocean kicked down Only and broke a bundle into him with a Shadow Kick for the win. Ocean racks up another win, this time under the right circumstances. Props to Only for sticking to his game plan but it didn’t pay off for him. 44OH! tried to attack but Gage appeared in the back of a truck with a friend. Motherfucking New Jack got out of the truck and stormed the ring with a chair. Cogar ran off whilst he had the chance but 44OH! is in New Jack’s sights and he lit them up on the mic then showed respect to Ocean and lapped up the fan’s applause.

Mance Warner defeated Casanova Valentine (w/Riley Madison) via Cowboy Boot Beatdown

After intermission, we got the return of the Brooklyn Black Death. After a war with SHLAK on Volume 4, he was coming after Mance Warner this time. We all know what these two are capable of and now they had a ring of fuckery to do it with. They started with a hockey fight and Warner sent Valentine out with a headbutt. They traded chops outside then Mance attacked Valentine with a tack bat. A cameraman got taken out and Valentine slapped Mance with a cut-out of his own head. Valentine interrupted some fan’s drinks (he wasn’t wearing a mask fuck him) and Warner fired back with a can then a tube to the head. Valentine drove him into a ring post and smashed a bundle over Mance. Warner staggered off and threw a fan’s chair at Valentine then hit a death-defying eye poke off the chair. Valentine retreated into the ring and ate a swinging neck breaker. Mance set up for Knee Pad Up Knee Pad Down but Madison grabbed his leg and Valentine put him through a barbed-wire door with a DVD. Jesus wept as Valentine came out of the move with a halo of barbed wire around his head. Valentine followed up with the Text Message Breakup to the broken board and distracted the ref so Madison could put a cigarette out on his head. Valentine crushed Mance with a running splash and set up a door. He missed two elbow drops and got speared through the door by Mance. Warner beat him down with the broken door and hit the jabs into an eye-poke roll-up. Valentine responded with a lariat and broke more tubes on him outside. Mance avoided a tube bumper sword and broke it over Valentine. He hit Knee Pad Up Knee Pad Down for one and followed up with a second for two. Valentine retreated to the chains and Mance followed with jabs then removed his boot and hit Valentine with that for good measure. He wouldn’t stop and Valentine was KO’ed. The ref called the match and Warner picked up his second W of the weekend. This was amazing. Both guys went all out and Valentine was a trooper for wrestling a match with barbed-wire stuck in his hair. Warner took to the mic and put Valentine plus the fans over despite busting a tooth and ran down any fucking detractors to the deathmatch art.

AKIRA defeated Jimmy Lloyd via Red Mist Bridging German

Next up was a match that I was incredibly excited for. AKIRA and Lloyd are both guys that love to do ridiculous things to win. Both are also incredibly durable. Lloyd wanted AKIRA to prove himself since he was now ICW’s golden boy. There were scissor boards, fuckery doors, and more to emphasise the message. They locked up and dragged each other towards the fuckery before AKIRA took Lloyd over and trapped an arm. Lloyd locked in head scissors so AKIRA floated over and escaped. Sword duelled light tubes then Lloyd kicked away the sword and got caught in a cross arm breaker. Lloyd tried to escape with a tube but AKIRA rolled over into a triangle and broke the tube over his head. AKIRA hammered Lloyd with knee strikes and more in the corner then pummelled him with running forearms. Lloyd was helpless as AKIRA whipped him into the other corner and did the same again with kidney punches. Lloyd kicked AKIRA off and broke a bundle on his head then stabbed him with a broken tube. He locked in a side headlock and tried to stab AKIRA in the chest but AKIRA broke free and took a throat full of chains. AKIRA escaped disaster and stabbed a gusset plate into Lloyd’s forehead then drove some kind of sharp board into Lloyd’s gut with a double stomp. AKIRA got a gusset hammered into his head and superkicked another out of his mouth. He planted AKIRA with a swinging Flatliner but only got two. They fought around a knife board until Lloyd drove AKIRA onto it with a Blue Thunder Bomb. Lloyd dropped him on it again with a Michinoku Driver but could still only get two. Lloyd fought AKIRA off and drove him through another board of blades with the Assault Driver. AKIRA kicked out and Lloyd put him through a flaming table with the same move but AKIRA just, pardon the pun, fired up and kicked out at one. He cut himself with a tube and hit Lloyd with a bridging German. He hit a half and a half so Lloyd hit a Dragon Suplex. Lloyd tried to fire up but AKIRA hit him with red mist and put Lloyd through a barbed-wire door with a Bridging German for the win. This was fucking amazing. The bumps, the blood, the beatings. All offered a sick match for sick people. AKIRA continues to wow, as does Lloyd and the victory came from one of my favourite moves, red mist. AKIRA got put over and Lloyd gave a big fuck you to anyone complaining about him.

Pagano’s Funhouse Deathmatch: Eric Ryan defeated Pagano via Half Crab Stomp

You can’t have a circus without clowns. So, it makes sense that Pagano gets a match at the Deathmatch Circus. He was originally meant to fight Alex Colon but due to injury ICW had found a fitting replacement, Eric Ryan. It was King of Death vs the psychotic deathmatch clown. Oh, and this is a funhouse deathmatch complete with a thumbtack pinata. They locked up and Pagano wrung him into a stiff kick and launched him. He did the same again and sent Ryan reeling against some tubes. They traded arm drags and lariats and chops until Pagano launched Ryan with a Suplex. Pagano tried to charge Ryan but Ryan launched him into the top and broke a bundle on him. Ryan pulled out a fork and stabbed at Pagano’s face. He littered the ring with forks and suplexed Pagano onto them. He gave Pagano another stabbing and broke another bundle on him with a senton. Pagano trash-talked in Spanish and earned a rain of fists from Ryan. Pagano continued to be defiant and had another bundle headbutted into him. He attacked Pagano with broken glass but Pagano answered back with some quick kicks and a leaping neck breaker. He hit Ryan with a blockbuster and hit another neck breaker. He wound up Ryan and threw him through a tube cage with a sit-out hip toss. Ryan bailed outside so Pagano followed with a light tube suicide dive and attacked Ryan with a beer. He hit a dancing knee strike and whacked Ryan with the pinata. Ryan tanked it and tripped Pagano into a chair covered in tubes. Pagano completely no-sold this then picked Ryan up and carried him around as he set more tubes onto the chair and put Ryan through it with an Air Raid Crash. Pagano hit a moonsault off the top but Ryan dodged and broke another bundle into him with a cannonball. He dragged Pagano into the glass, locked in a half crab, and stomped on the head of Pagano. The ref stopped the match and Ryan was declared the winner, getting the upset of the night. This was great but I feel these two could have done way more with a bit more time and planning. This match may have been the biggest victim of sudden changes. That being said they worked with what they had and I will never say no to more Pagano in my life. Pagano once again put over deathmatch wrestling and the people over and asked for a Mexican deathmatch at the next event because remember, it’s not a party without the clown.

John Wayne Murdoch defeated Atticus Cogar via Avalanche Deep South Destroyer.

Last but not least, the match to usurp the main event. Atticus Cogar got his wish as he was in the main event against the Duke of Hardcore, John Wayne Murdoch. The king would defend his throne against 44OH! in a ring full of fuckery. There were leftovers from other matches and a whole host of extras including the rubber chicken. I may be opposed to 44OH!’s methods but I think Cogar is great and am happy to see him in the main event. Murdoch made Cogar step to him and took him down for some ground and pound. Cogar escaped and took a bundle to the head. Cogar bailed to the outside and cracked Murdoch in the back with a skewer covered bat. Murdoch fired back with the same bat and stabbed Cogar’s back. He hit him with more tubes and rained down punches. Cogar answered back with a headbutt and broke more tubes on Murdoch then hammered in the gusset board. Murdoch hit a nutcracker and attacked Cogar with a gusset plate. More tubes broke and Cogar gave Murdoch a tack bat to the head. Murdoch broke free and threw Cogar threw a door and into the apron. They got back into the ring and Murdoch punished Cogar with forearms. Cogar caught Murdoch and put him through a barbed-wire door with a Suplex. He broke a mini tube sword over Murdoch’s back and tried to set up a fork stack. Instead, Murdoch broke a tennis racquet on him and landed some jabs but missed the bionic elbow and got thrown into the forks. Cogar hit Murdoch in the balls with a golf club and cut Murdoch up with a broken tube. He then stabbed Murdoch with a fork but Murdoch picked him up and slammed him through a tube door with a spinebuster. Murdoch was set for the chair Brainbuster but Ryan rushed the ring and broke a tube on Murdoch. He locked in the half crab stomp and hammered at Murdoch’s head. Reed Bentley scared of Ryan and Murdoch kicked out of a pin. Cogar set up a door but took too long so Murdoch recovered and hit him with more tubes. Murdoch put a log cabin on top of the door and the pair fought up top. Murdoch caught him up there and finished Cogar with a Deep South Destroyer off the top through the glass and door. Cogar put up one hell of a fight but he couldn’t fight off the Duke of Hardcore here. This was the feel-good ending to a hellish weekend of violence. The King of ICW holds his crown for another day.

So, there you have it, ICW No Holds Barred Volume 5 Deathmatch Circus, reviewed for your reading pleasure. What a fucking weekend eh? This event could have failed five times over as it hit setback after setback but ICW management made it work and put on one hell of an event. The matches were great, the spectacle was great and the audience was hot all the way through (though many of them should have had their fucking masks on.) It went from a pit to a barn to the final outdoor venue with all the fuckery you could imagine. ICW is making stars and might just have some of the best matches on the indie circuit right now. Long live fucking deathmatches.

All images courtesy of ICW NHB Twitter, Chris Grasso, Kayden (KVR216)

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