Insane Championship Wrestling: 'There's a million things that can be done as a wrestling company,' says founder Mark Dallas

Insane Championship Wrestling, or ICW as it is more commonly known, is the brainchild of 29-year-old Mark Dallas. Operating out of Glasgow, Scotland, ICW is a wrestling promotion that has been growing monumentally in popularity over the last couple of years.

Until recently their biggest achievement was selling out the ABC Academy in Glasgow for the first time, a 1,300 seater venue, having only ever put on much smaller shows in the past. The build-up to that event was covered by the BBC for their documentary “Insane Fight Club”, which aired on the 11 March this year.

An ICW event isn't much like your average wrestling show and is aimed at a mature audience. Mark describes it as being like a trip to the theatre but with some very graphic, violent scenes and colourful language. He adds: “It's like a violent adult soap opera with a lot of twists and turns. It's not for kids and the story-lines aren't insulting to your intelligence”.

On Sunday 4 May ICW comes to London for a sold out show at Islington Academy, a landmark in the history of the company since they have previously only performed in Scotland. Asked about how he felt about selling out his first show down south Mark said: “I'm very excited about that. I'm a bit nervous, I don't usually get this nervous but it's a completely different audience and we've got to see how they react to our humour and other bits-and-bobs throughout the show. To see if it resonates with an English audience the way it does with a Scottish audience. I'm just over the moon that it sold out in advance”.

Internet sensation and ICW fan-favourite Grado will be appearing at the event, taking on hometown  powerhouse Sha Samuels in what is expected to be a very heated encounter.

Grado has become somewhat of a legend in British wrestling due to his cheeky behaviour, hilarious promos (often filmed by his Mum) and his ability to not take things too seriously (his entrance music is “Like A Prayer” by Madonna, for example). Eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed Grado signs on display at WWE events in the USA in recent months, including one during the opening sequences of Wrestlemania XXX in New Orleans at the beginning of April.

“We started to watch it on the big screen and the first thing we saw was somebody holding a Grado sign, at Wrestlemania! We're sitting on a couch in Glasgow and there's some guy holding this sign up as high as he can, and I was like “Grado, that's you mate!”.

Mark has big plans for ICW and sees no reason why they can't be recognised as one of the biggest and best brands in wrestling. International stars such as Sabu and Colt Cabana are part of the ever-growing roster and Mark would love to book Jeff Hardy, Scott Steiner and Rob Van Dam given the opportunity. His main objective is to get a TV deal for a regular wrestling show and for his performers to be getting paid full-time for the huge amount of time, energy, and quite literally, the blood, sweat and tears that they put into to making each show more memorable than the last.

Asked what else he would like to do with the company Mark replied: “I want action figures, I want computer games, magazines, the works. Maybe do music festivals, there's a million things that can be done as a wrestling company”.

Tickets for Sunday are sold out, but given their recent success it won't be your last opportunity to catch the likes of Jack Jester, The Bucky Boys and Mikey Whiplash in action wherever you are based as they plan to take their high-flying, table-smashing live show to every major city in the UK and Ireland.

Arts and Entertainment
Lou Reed distorted the truth about his upbringing, and since his death in 2013, biographers and memoirists have added to the myths
musicThe truth about Lou Reed's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths
Ed Miliband received a warm welcome in Chester
election 2015
Life and Style
Apple CEO Tim Cook announces the Apple Watch during an Apple special even
fashionIs the Apple Watch for you? Well, it depends if you want it for the fitness tech, or for the style
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Project Implementation Executive

£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Chiropractic Assistant

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chiropractic Assistant is needed in a ...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Account Executive - Midlands

£18000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They work with major vehicle ma...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides coaching ...

Day In a Page

NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

Let the propaganda wars begin - again

'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

Japan's incredible long-distance runners

Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

Tom Drury: The quiet American

His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

Beige to the future

Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own