Noam Dar helped put the British wrestling scene back on the map as an independent star but he shone so brightly he missed out on the biggest opportunity of his independent career when moving to WWE, now he's back in ICW at Fear and Loathing XI.
The last few years has seen the British wrestling scene grow at an incredible rate. That's why several of the stars from these shores have taken part in the Cruiserweight Classic and both years of the Mae Young Classic and why the WWE UK Championship and NXT UK were born.
Noam Dar's performances, both in Scotland and England, were impossible to ignore and the Scottish Supernova was included in the Cruiserweight Classic. He soon signed for WWE full time.
At the time ICW, Dar's home promotion, were getting ready for their first show at Glasgow's SSE Hydro. Signing for WWE meant he missed out on the opportunity.
On Sunday Mark Dallas and his promotion return there for the third year in a row for Fear and Loathing XI and this time Dar gets to return 'home' to compete. For him it means a lot:
"I think being able to appear at a home promotion whilst under contract at WWE is a unique opportunity so it's perfect scenario really. The chance for me to come back and have a nostalgic trip and see everyone and also to see how far ICW has come.
"To be able to come back and wrestle at the Hydro for a company I once wrestled for in front of like 25 people at May Hills Community Hall is great to see and it's also great to see how well all the boys are doing."
Dar's RAW debut was at the Hydro. Image: WWE
Dar explained that before he'd moved away from Scotland the ICW performers were getting ready to fight at the Hydro for the first time for Fear and Loathing IX and how missing out left him feeling:
"The original show was obviously something that was in the dreams of the company. It was one of those things that we were told as a roster was going to happen sooner or later.
"Getting signed and moving to America and then realising that month I wouldn't be able to perform on, what at the the time everything was working toward, there was definitely a bit of sadness there. But getting to do it again, obviously I've performed at the Hydro a few times, but I think this will be very special and unique."
ICW has become one of the UK's biggest promotions in the last three years with Fear and Loathing being their showpiece event in Glasgow every year.
In the past few years Mark Dallas' promotion has called on some of the world's biggest stars to help promote the event with Kurt Angle, Rob van Dam, the Dudley Boyz, Kevin Nash, Mick Foley and Finn Balor amongst the names to have some involvement.
Dar during his original ICW days. Image: ICW
This year though the outsiders have been limited. James Storm is a regular on the shows and other than him it's the Briscoes, Jeff Jarrett and the returning Dar.
The Scottish Supernova says that the changing in tactic, relying mainly on the homegrown stars of ICW and the rest of the UK scene, shows how much the company has grown since he left:
"The promotion has grown to no end and that's always been the case with ICW, each year it exponentially gets bigger.
"It shows how mainstream ICW has become, being able to run an arena that size with almost all home grown or domestic talent shows the confidence the company has and the strength of the products. The first few Hydro shows really needed a name like Kurt Angle but now they're at the stage where they can run an arena like that and get good houses it's testimony to how well they're doing."
And when it comes to performing on Sunday the 25 year old will be teaming with a pair of ICW originals in Wolfgang and BT Gunn as the trio take on 'British Strong Style' stars Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne and Trent Seven and Dar is looking forward to teaming up with two guys he knows very well and the chance to take on an 'Auld enemy:'
"For me being part of this big tag team match, personally when I first started wrestling Wolfgang was one of the guys that really looked out for me since day one so I've always appreciated that. He was one of the big names in the scene when I first started. Same with BT Gunn so it's even more exciting to be part of a match I have personal connection with.
"And it'll be fun to have a good old classic Scotland vs England rivalry, every now and again you have to break out the Braveheart undertones and get it happening."
Dar's development was hit late last year by a knee injury that required surgery and a recovery time of at least five months.
As with his original RAW debut, his return came came in the UK as a surprise on the NXT UK show in Albert Hall in June as part of a four way match to determine a number one contender for Dunne's UK Championship.
The Scot was successful, against Flash Morgan Webster, Mark Andrews and Travis Banks, and went on to face Dunne in the first episode of the new NXT UK show. He has since returned to 205 Live but the new UK based brand is somewhere he'd like to perform again:
"Absolutely NXT UK is something I'm very passionate and excited about. Just being part of those first shows, the Albert Hall show as well, was very special for me because I'd just come back from six months out injured so I hold that dear to me.
"It's a very unique brand, it's going to have a great following, it's good to see guys have the chance to work with WWE, talented guys, to develop and showcase within the company."
The WWE superstar has been impressed by a number of people on the show but three names really spring to mind for him:
"I'm super impressed with Kenny Williams, I think he's really stepped up since that opportunity and done well.
"Wild Boar is a guy, I think is someone who's so different to anyone else you'd see on a show, and he's been consistently good for a long time.
"Then it's amazing to see Dave Mastiff get opportunities because he's an O.G of British wrestling and has been at the top level for years and years and he's been patient and held off and he's been rewarded for all his hard work now."
Mastiff has finally been given his big opportunity with WWE. Image: WWE
The Israeli born superstar is focusing on the here and now and right now he wants to get his chance at winning his first piece of WWE silverware:
"Short term goals right now is to just consistently enjoy what I'm doing and stay focussed on exactly that, the short term. It's very easy to get lost in all the opportunities and potential with all that's going on but I've always worked better by looking at what's in front of me and right now what's in front of me is trying to get the Cruiserweight championship off Buddy Murphy so that's what I'm concentrating on right now."
Dar has had a recent title opportunity against Pete Dunne. Image: WWE
Finally back to Sunday at the Hydro. It promises to be another excellent night showcasing the best that the UK scene has to offer with some excellent matches.
Joe Coffey going up against brother Mark, Grado taking on James Storm and Kenny Williams coming up against his former friend Aaron Echo are amongst the matches that will really show off Scottish wrestling but it is the ICW Heavyweight title match that Dar is most looking forward to:
"I'm super invested in the Lionheart vs Jackie Polo ICW Heavyweight title match. For me those two have had such a good, unique and sometimes intense, and legitimate rivalry over the years. A lot of people haven't had the same kind of intensity.
"I'm a huge fan of both guys, I think they're both amazing at what they do. It's been a great build up and it's title vs career which is always a fun stipulation, I'm really looking forward to that one."
The Scottish Supernova shone too bright to get the chance to appear for ICW at the Hydro the first time round so expect him to be explosive on Sunday night as he finally gets that opportunity.
ICW: Fear & Loathing comes to The SSE Hydro on Sunday 2 December. Tickets available from Ticketmaster. Open to ages 16+.