WARNING STRONG VIOLENCE AND LANGUAGE AHEAD

Welcome back to ICW NHB. In the build-up to Mania, ICW had their own celebration of all things violence with a whopping 4 shows across the IWTV Showcase of the Independents. First up is Here and Now, a celebration of the new and old-school battling out for superiority. This show would feature a whole host of new faces of the company going toe-to-toe with regulars and legends alike. It was going to be a show for the ages and would feature the in-ring return of New Jack! Let’s get into the violence.

Fights, Camera, Action

Tony Deppen defeated Daniel Garcia via KO Knee

Up first was a battle of the tough guys ahead of the Battle of the Tough Guys tournament. Tony Deppen and Daniel Garcia are not too different. Both are heavy-hitting technical marvels that like to hurt people to prove a point. They were about to kill each other. This started as a pure grappling bout. The pair fought for mat control and as Garcia started to get the grappling advantage, Deppen laid in the forearms. Garcia elbowed back and Deppen bit at his toes. After a reset and more striking the pair fell to the mat again for another round of attempted grappling. I say attempted because it quickly turned into another grounded strike fight. Both guys nearly brained the other with forearms and stomps and Garcia used the chains to choke and elbow Deppen again. The two went into a slap fight and Garcia just shit tossed Deppen into the chains. Deppen stomped Garcia’s barefoot, then caved in his chest with a double stomp but Garcia caught the KO knee into a Stomping Crab and tried for another German. Deppen kicked low and scored the win with the KO knee. This had been a brutal fight that saw Deppen take a cheap shot when he realised Garcia was getting the better of him. A brilliant opener for sure.

Lee Moriarty defeated Steve Madison via Pop-Up Flatliner

Up next was the best wrestler on the US indies and the IWTV Independent Wrestling Champion taking on another accomplished grappler as Lee Moriarty met Steve Madison in the ring. This was a double debut and Moriarty was more than up for the challenges of the chains and Madison. We started with a strong lock-up and Moriarty showing a bit of TAIGASTYLE. The pair continued to reach grappling stalemates so Madison used the chains to wind Moriarty. Madison pressed that advantage for all it was worth, clubbing down Moriarty and trying to choke him out with a rear chin-lock. Moriarty fought back up and put Madison on his back with a sliding double stomp. Madison slammed him back to the mat after Moriarty tried an armbar and put Moriarty in the Sharpshooter. Moriarty escaped by breaking Madison’s fingers and smashed him back to the mat with a Russian Leg Sweep. Madison came back with a backdrop driver and Moriarty dodged doom to end the match with a pop-up Flatliner. Much like the first match, this was an excellent technical bout. It meshed old and new-school in a great way and made both guys look great. Post-match things got even more interesting as Scoot Andrews attacked Lee Moriarty. Maybe we’ll see Moriarty back in another classic match.

Super-Fight 3: Justin Kyle defeated Bruce Santee via Roundhouse Kick KO

Hoss fight time. We’re at the rubber match of the Kyle/Santee feud. At one apiece it’s all to play for here. We know what to expect and we got exactly that, the pair were going to beat the shit out of each other one final time for ultimate supremacy. This opened with heavy punching and more as Kyle started showing off a more dynamic range of kicks and strikes. Santee caught Kyle into a slam and the pair continued to rabidly maul each other on the mat. Kyle told Santee to get the fuck up and swiftly put him back down with more violent punches. Santee rolled out and Kyle followed him out with a Superman Dive, completely breaking the laws of physics. Santee hated being upstaged and hammered Kyle back down in-ring. The pair continued to tee off on one another and Kyle started faking out Santee. Kyle backed Santee up and scored the KO with a roundhouse kick. After three events, we finally had a definitive winner. Justin Kyle. Yet again, this was a wild brawl of punches, kicks, and elbows. If you’re into that shit, you’ll love this. if you’re not, move onto the next match. I for one have loved all their encounters and this took it to the next level.

Jon Davis defeated Dominic Garrini (w/Kevin Ku) via Sit-Out Piledriver

Jon Davis scares me. That dude is a legit badass, with some of the deadliest strikes in the game. Dominic Garrini scares me. He too is a legit badass with an assortment of BJJ techniques and nasty strikes to catch you with. This was basically a match made in heaven. These two started with slugs and both guys upped the ferocity of their strikes and chops as the exchange continued. The pair transitioned to kicks and Garrini finally took Davis to the mat with a barrage of Kawada Kicks. He couldn’t celebrate though as Davis instantly dumped him with a Saito. He started dismantling Garrini with stomps and slams, taking his time and making sure Garrini felt it. Garrini clutched to the chains for dear life and unloaded a ton of palm strikes to Davis’ ribs before stunning him with a jumping knee. He launched Davis with a German and nearly KO’ed him with a running knee. Davis caught himself as he was whipped at the chains and caught Garrini into an STO and Shining Wizard. Garrini hit back again with more lethal strikes and folded up Davis with a Powerbomb for another near fall. Davis played possum, whipped Garrini into the chains, and ended him with the Sit-Out Piledriver. This was all shades of vicious and was the perfect match for the two. It was competitive, wince-inducing, and showed that some people can hit even harder than Garrini.

Brandon Kirk (w/Kasey Kirk) defeated Danny Demanto (w/Mittens) via Kasey Kirk Tack Bat

Ah, old wounds don’t heal too well. Brandon Kirk is already 1-0 against Danny Demanto following a brutal Pit-fight that saw Kirk get set on fire. Now, he was looking to make it 2-0 in the chains. Both men had back-up, Kirk had his wife, and Demanto had Mittens in his corner. This was going to get wild. Kasey started with a live mic and a pissed crowd until Larry Legend interjected and told her to shut up. Kirk attacked early and the pair brawled into the crowd, Demanto introducing Kirk to a chair. He broke a razor-board over Kirk and put him through a table with a diving elbow. He attacked Kirk with a baseball bat and Kirk went to the eyes. Demanto threw him through the crowd and gusseted Kirk’s head. Things went from bad to worse as he attacked Kirk with hot sauce, salt, and lemon juice, all to those cuts. Kasey distracted Demanto and Kirk swung a tack bat into his head and shoulder, then gave him the gusset treatment. He smashed a keg into Demanto’s balls with the baseball bat and adjusted a fuckery door on the outside. They danced around DVDs until Kirk launched Demanto over the chains and through the door. Demanto was a broken mess on the outside so Kirk threw rivalries aside and helped Demanto to the back… OH WAIT, Demanto was faking and blindsided Kirk with a lariat. He jumped up onto the bar to gloat and ignored Kasey screaming at him to Gonzo Bomb her onto her husband below. Kirk kicked the dick in the dick and baited him into knocking out Mittens with a water jug. Kirk downed Demanto with lariats and nearly scored the win with a small package. They traded headbutts on their knees and Demanto powered Kirk into a Suplex position but Kasey hit him in the gut with a tack bat and Kirk fell into the pin for the win. He had stolen another win over the boss and once again, left him bloody and broken regardless of the damage he’d gained in the process.

Dan Maff defeated Calvin Tankman via Burning Hammer

Hoss fight #2 time. Calvin Tankman was finally debuting for ICW and was taking on some tough competition in Dan Maff. Both guys are well-rounded athletes but who would be the better fighter here, the new blood or the old veteran? As expected, this opened with a strike exchange and the pair tried to go for broke with tackles. Tankman scored the knockdown and the pair brawled outside, taking the fight all around the building. A door was set up and a chair met Maff’s back. Maff gave back in kind and the pair headbutted themselves loopy. After staring each other down from across the ring, the pair got back in and beat the shit out of each other again. Maff launched Tankman with a half and a half, then crushed him with a superkick and senton. Tankman seemed unfazed as he floated over into a pop-up back elbow, backbreaker and lariat. The door was set up and Tankman broke it and Maff with a spinebuster. Maff kicked out so Tankman flooded the ring with chairs and dumped Maff onto them all with a running powerslam. Maff still kicked out and rolled to the outside so Tankman put him through another door with a suicide dive. Maff wouldn’t stay down so Tankman took to the top and destroyed him with a Frog Splash. Maff kicked out of that too and Tankman was in fits. Tankman sent him into the corner but Maff slipped free and superkicked Tankman into the Burning Hammer for the win. This was ridiculously tough. These two beat each other from pillar to post as neither man would stay down until Maff hit his killing blow.

Nolan Edward defeated Jake Crist via Barbed-Wire Door Drill Bit

It’s no flinch time. Nolan Edward has been on a tear through ICW. Whether he wins or loses, he always burns whatever stage he’s on down. Now, he was being given one hell of a test, the big debut of the Modern-Day Man in Black, Jake Crist. Edward always shines brightest against the best and Crist has been in this game for a long time. Edward was going to beat him or die trying, especially since there was fuckery aplenty. Crist wasted zero time and booted Edward in the head and followed him out with a dive. They fought into the crowd and Crist filled the ring with chairs. He got to into that and Edward attacked, scraping his boot into Crist’s face. The pair re-entered the chair-filled ring as Crist leaped from the top with a crossbody. The head kicks continued and Edward sent Crist into the chains for a neckbreaker. He tried to tap Crist out with the Gory Special and scored a near fall with a Gory Bomb. Both guys nailed the other with strikes or kicks and Edward dumped Crist through a door with a Spin Cycle. He set up a second door but Crist was on him and dumped him through with a DVD. Edward kicked out so Crist tried again with a brainbuster. Stiff chops followed from both and Edward dropped a trio of knees. Crist escaped a choke with a cutter and pelted Edward with chairs. He dragged Edward to the top and Superplexed him into the chair pile. That got two so Crist set up a barbed-wire door but Edward had woken up and dragged him face-first into the wire. He wanted to cause damage from the top but Crist cut him off with a Crist Cutter through the door. One wasn’t enough so he set up a second barbed-wire door and pelted Edward with another chair. They fought to the door and Edward took the win with the Drill Bit through it. This had been one hell of an even bloodbath. Crist brought his A-game but Edward was just too invincible for him.

The Carnage Crew (Tony DeVito & HC Loc) & New Jack defeated The Rejects (John Wayne Murdoch & Reed Bentley) & Neil Diamond Cutter via Guitar to Head on Cutter

Last but not least, the main event. The Carnage Crew were back together and they were being joined by an absolute legend of the hardcore game, the infamous New Jack. Their opponents, the Rejects, ICW’s top stable, and Neil Diamond Cutter, one of the most resilient men in the deathmatch game. This was going to be a brawl for the ages. New Jack didn’t even appear at first as The Carnage Crew were jumped by Cutter and the Rejects. The fighting broke out everywhere as The Carnage Crew felt the wrath of the Rejects and Cutter. The Crew got back into it as DeVito handled the Rejects and Loc threw Cutter through a razor-board. Murdoch saved Cutter and started fucking up Loc as Bentley launched DeVito at the chains. The Rejects double-teamed Loc as DeVito stapled dollars to Cutter. There was too much action for the cameras to keep up with as Loc was crushed through a door with a rolling senton. DeVito smashed everyone in with a door and once again the action went everywhere. The Carnage Crew dumped Cutter on his head with a Magic Killer DDT and The Rejects did the same to DeVito. Just as things looked their worst for the Crew, New Jack finally appeared and threw in a trashcan full of weapons. He mashed everyone with weapons and destroyed Cutter with a guitar to the head. That got the win and old-school got the win here. This was a bit shorter and less New Jack than I’d have hoped for but it was a fun little brawl and we got to see New Jack in a match in 2021, which is pretty cool.

Best of the Bouts

  • The show opened with not one, but two excellent technical bouts that proved the company was more than a one-trick pony. Both fights had different feels with different approaches to their wrestling.
  • Bruce Santee and Justin Kyle managed to up the ante for their rubber match and put on their longest, nastiest battle to date. Kyle managed to steal the show with his dive and Santee fought like a monster until the very end.
  • Jon Davis vs Dominic Garrini was the ultimate heavy-hitters bout of this show. It was very well-paced, very uncomfortable at times, and perfectly meshed both guy’s styles together.
  • Calvin Tankman and Danny Maff threw everything but the kitchen sink at each other in their war. It was an ultimate battle of the big men and stunned everyone with Tankman’s ability and Maff’s durability.
  • Nolan Edward and Jake Crist took the gold medal for the bloodbath of the night as they had a nasty barbed-wire and chair fight that made both look like stars. Demanto vs Kirk was cool too but it was more of a fuckery fest and less of a match, which I’m fine with. It served its purpose as well as some laughs. The main was fun but it won’t win any awards any time soon.

What’s Next?

  • ICW just teased a potential Lee Moriarty and Scoot Andrews feud. Could we see the Black Nature Boy back in action and could his time back be spent against Lee Moriarty? If so ICW may have just lit the fuse on an explosive feud.
  • A lot of the faces in this tournament took part in the Battle of the Tough Guys tournament the next night so you have to factor in the shit they went through here into how they’d be performing across the next two nights of action.
  • We need more Jon Davis in ICW. If any guy would be perfect for a slugfest in the chains, it’s him. Same with Calvin Tankman, following that performance. Plus, we could always use more Jake Crist if he’s available.
  • Will Danny Demanto ever beat Brandon Kirk and will he still have Mittens as a friend after braining him with a water jug?
  • The Carnage Crew wants another round with the Rejects. It seems one win wasn’t enough and they got a fever for fighting. Bring it on fellas, it could be a nice little war. New Jack just wanted to throw the trashcan at them.

All images courtesy of ICW NHB Twitter, FREEBIRDS Shop, Kayden