Video: Insane wrestling star Grado raises eyebrows in Leeds city centre

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With a megaphone in hand, a Lycra-clad man claiming to be “the world’s greatest professional wrestler” has raised eyebrows in Leeds city centre.

Cult Scottish wrestling figure Grado, one of the stars of Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW), visited Millennium Square today to drum up interest in the adult-only fight show set to arrive at Leeds O2 Academy on October 12.

ICW wrestling star Grado rallies support in Leeds city centre. Picture by Steve Riding.

ICW wrestling star Grado rallies support in Leeds city centre. Picture by Steve Riding.

The X-rated wrestling craze, which has proven a big hit in its native Glasgow, and was the subject of hit BBC documentary ‘Insane Fight Club’ earlier this year.

Now on its maiden tour of the UK, Grado, a former call centre worker named Graeme Stevely, donned his cap and jumpsuit to rally support joined by fellow wrestler Chris Toal, who came dressed in an ICW sandwich board.

The pair, who were being filmed for a follow-up documentary, even joined in and danced with Essex band New City Kings, who were busking in the city centre ahead of a gig at The Library pub in Hyde Park.

Grado told the YEP: “We are trying to get a bit of momentum and raise a bit of awareness so people might see my name on my belly, find out the date, and come and see the show.

“It’s adult entertainment, it’s a soap for adult men. There’s not just wrestling but there are surprises too. It’s aimed at an adult market and doesn’t insult your intelligence.”

ICW was started by former lifeguard Mark Dallas six years ago as a group of friends putting on a show in a Glasgow youth club.

After a brief break due to low attendances, ICW restarted aimed at being a form of “violent theatre” that would prove an alternative to heavily censored mainstream wrestling on TV.

Mark said: “In 2010 it just started to take off and the shows sold out, so we moved into a nightclub where people could drink and it was only over 18s – we have been doing really well.”

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Insane Championship Wrestling is coming to Leeds on the fourth date of its ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ of the UK.

Shows in Newcastle, Dundee and Liverpool will take place before the O2 Academy experiences the uncensored ICW roadshow, which will then head to Birmingham.

Among the wrestling stars on show will be cult figure Grado, who also appeared in the 2012 VICE documentary ‘The British Wrestler’, and former WWE star Drew McIntyre who now wrestles under his real name Drew Galloway.

Galloway spent seven years in America, during which time he won the WWE Intercontinental Championship and was a WWE Tag Team Champion with Cody Rhodes.

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