ICW had a great 2016, setting attendance records and expanding the brand. The company further developed its relationship with WWE, leading to an appearance from Finn Balor at its biggest show and Insane alumni including Noam Dar and Big Damo (now Killian Dain) were picked up by WWE, demonstrating what a good eye for talent the crew have. 2017 already looks like it is going to top last year for the company. Excitement is sky high for the 6th annual "Square Go" (ICW's Royal Rumble with benefits) in Newcastle. The company will be out on tour in Southamption, Sheffield and Manchester (Feb 17-19) and Liverpool, Bristol and Leeds (March 10-12) and that's not to mention Fear & Loathing X on November 19 in Glasgow (tickets for all events here). In order to get hyped for the insane year ahead, we spoke with ICW's top tag icons, Jackie Polo (JP) and Mark Coffey (MC) aka Polo Promotions. The current and longest reigning tag champs are hard-hitting, uncompromising and just plain brilliant at entertaining. 2017 is going to be big for Polo Promotions, so make sure you get to see them in your town. For now, read all about it...
How long have you known one another and how did you get to be a team?
MC: Well we met when I was what, three years old? Jackie was friends with my brother Joe [Coffey] who's also a wrestler. Jackie is just as much of a big brother to me as Joe is - friends forever. When we started wrestling, to get me some more experience they'd put me in with Jackie so that he could help me out and to show me the ropes.
JP: Well that trend has now been reversed...
MC: We just have a real natural chemistry in the ring and we really enjoy it which makes things a lot easier. It's not like we're fighting against something or we don't want to be a tag-team. That's pretty much all we want and it's a dying art in wrestling. There's so few tag-teams and even less guys who are clear that's what they want to do. They don't have the Shawn Michaels boyhood dream Wrestlemania moment, to win the belt by themselves. We want to have that moment together, we could spend our whole adult lives working in the same ring night after night. That's what we're chasing.
JP: It takes a certain type of individual to do that. It's like a marriage in a way. You have to be a bit selfish and a bit of an egomaniac to do this job so it's unusual for people to be happy in that environment and to be sure it's a route they want to go down.
MC: A lot of people don't want to share the limelight but there's nothing I can think of that's better than being stood in the spotlight, having my best friend stood next to me.
JP: You get to share all these cool moments and lean on each other in difficult times. It's definitely more satisfying to do it together.
Team 3D have done that very successfully and you faced them at Fear & Loathing IX. Were you looking forward to that?
MC: Facing teams like that is exciting. With the exception of facing Brian Kendrick and Paul London, it was the only other team that we watched when we were younger. In a way it's a wee bit surreal but that's wrestling right now. There's a lot of things happening which you wouldn't have guessed or imagined would happen. That match was one we wanted in order to improve ourselves because they're the guys we want to be.
You guys are one of the longest running and most successful tag-teams in ICW. Are there others coming through you think we should look out for?
MC: Guys like Mike Bird and Wild Boar - we faced them recently. I think Jackie, you'd been in the ring with Boar before but I'd not been in the ring with either of them. That was a pleasant surprise. A good, hard-hitting hardcore match. It was like "right, let's do that again!" The London Riots who we faced in London, let's do that again. The thing we want is teams - not just guys that are being used together... "I'm not doing anything, you're not doing anything lets be a team"
JP: Or guys that are singles competitors who used to be in a team, that's frustrating as well.
MC: We are after guys who go "This is what we want to do!" It's the same as us and its being a tag team.
Given what you've said is there no singles run in your futures? You trained individually?
MC: We both work singles matches occasionally. It's just a nice break but personally I think it's a wee bit lonely now when you're in the ring.
JP: In an ideal world, I'd have 100% of my matches as a tag-team wrestler. Of course people have different needs and want different things from us at different times and there are conflicting schedules. The only way we'd be prepared to do a singles run on a longer term is - we have to be prepared for injuries or if one had to take time off, the other would be encouraged to continue. It's not our mission to do that though.
Is your mission a spot with WWE?
MC: The goal is everything! It's to wrestle. The goal in my mind anyway, for us, is to wrestle everywhere as a team. The goal is to do this for as long as we possibly can as a team, a career tag team and if that means WWE, great. If it means New Japan, great. If it means Mexico or anywhere we can do this together as a team...
JP: If it means ICW and staying in Britain... If there is the capacity to have a full time career doing this? That's what we want.
No doubt this will be music to ICW fan ears. Make sure to check out Polo Promotions at an ICW event soon.