Saturday, March 2, 2024

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Queen of Insanity at ICW Fear & Loathing XI

Free Match Friday is a new weekly feature from Diva Dirt. Every Friday, we’ll spotlight a great indie match available to watch for free online. Some of the best wrestling in the world is happening in high school gyms and sports bars and even, occasionally, in an appropriate venue for a wrestling match. For the inaugural edition, our free match is the soon-to-be-legendary title match between Viper and Kay Lee Ray at Insane Championship Wrestling.

Viper, who advanced to the quarter-finals of the inaugural Mae Young Classic as Piper Niven, is reportedly WWE-bound. Her long-time rival and best friend Kay Lee Ray, who also competed in the 2017 Mae Young Classic, might be right behind her. They’re two of the most exciting women’s wrestlers of their generation. I saw Kay Lee Ray at my second-ever wrestling show and I still remember the taste of my heart in my mouth as she flew from a balcony towards hard concrete.

Viper laid the challenge for this instant-classic match, the culmination of a years-long rivalry that, as Joe Anthony Myrick writes, “defines everything that ICW is about”. Viper offered to meet Ray, known as the Queen of Hardcore, in her own territory so Viper could prove herself worthy of the title. The result is one of the most electrifying matches that the independent wrestling scene has seen in some time.

I don’t want to give too much away – Free Match Friday will aspire to be spoiler-free, for your enjoyment – but I will say the Queen of Insanity match is both violent as all hell and extremely funny. The commentary team lose their minds for the whole match. It is, among other things, a great argument against the notion that deathmatches are just pointless, gross violence. This is a match with sky-high emotional stakes and clever booking. The twists and turns include a red herring weapon whose misuse will almost certainly surprise and amuse. Most of all, it’s an incredible display of in-ring capability. The ability to take a bump without harming yourself is possibly the most important skill a wrestler can have. Viper and Ray took some serious punishment in this match and then showed up four days later for a title match with Millie McKenzie at Fight Forever Wrestling. Little could further prove their immense talent.

Viper (probably as Niven once more) will soon report to the WWE’s new UK Performance Center. Though the restrictions in her contract won’t immediately end her indie career (nor would it end Ray’s if Ray follows suit), it is highly likely we’ll never see these women wrestle each other within five feet of barbed wire again. Take the opportunity while you can.

Check back in with Diva Dirt next week for another great free match from the world of independent women’s wrestling.

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