The phrase “Lionheart is a hero” can be heard at ICW shows anytime the former champions name is mentioned. It’s never easy for anyone when a tragic event like Lionhearts passing especially with the circumstances which led the thirty-six-year-old to take his own life.
The wrestling community in Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom rallied around to support the family of Adrian McCallum.
The man, Adrian McCallum, attempted to save the life of a teenage girl from a fire months before taking his own life. The attempt to save the young woman is a testament to Adrian’s character, as his chant rightfully reflects a hero.
Lionheart had built a reputation for himself as a local talent wrestling for TNA in Glasgow in 2011 and wrestling for WWE in a dark match in Liverpool that same year later. His time in ICW was spent as a staple of the brand. He returned from an injury in 2015 after being told he may never walk again. To go from potentially never wrestling again to main eventing for the top belt in Scottish Wrestling is an incredible feat.
Although the tragedy of what’s happened is still fresh in our minds, let’s take a look at the career of one of British Wrestlings legends in the truest sense. One of Lionheart’s most significant achievements when he captured the ICW World Championship. Let’s look at the feud building up and the moment itself.
He beat BT Gunn on the 12th of October episode of Fight Club. This win gave him the right to challenge Jackie Polo for the ICW title later. He would waste no time in calling out Polo immediately after a physical match with BT Gunn. Polo would come out after Lionheart provided the soundbite for the promo. “You have the world championship, and I fucking want it.” Coach Steve would deck Lionheart with the title belt laying him out. Jackie would leave the prone Lionheart in the ring. On the 9th November Fight Club, he would meet Polo’s price – putting his career on the line. The main event match at Fear And Loathing would be Title vs. Career.
Jackie Polo and Lionheart were no strangers to each other in the ring, having had countless bouts against one another. Their match at the Hydro on ICWs biggest stage was the most important of all. The matchup was the main event. In short, the crowd was ready to see Lionheart capture the ICW title.
The match started at a methodical pace before Lionheart hit you’re a fanny early on. The contest would go on thanks to coach trip at ringside pulling polos foot onto the rope.
Coach would provide the distraction for Polo to regain his composure. Polo would hit his shoulder breaker and lock Lionheart into his side headlock. Polo won matches with his side headlock.
Coach would hand his belt into Polo, Jackie would use the belt to inflict punishment onto Lionheart. He fought back to neutralize the belt and remove it from the match. While Lionheart was on the receiving end of a beating from Jackie, the crowd began singing his theme. The crowd was getting behind Lionheart. It matched perfectly with Lionheart fighting his way back into the match.
Polo and Lionheart told the story with Lionheart coming out on top.
After winning the title, he celebrated by taking to the crowd to find his family to share the moment. Meanwhile, members of the ICW roster would come out to applaud Lionheart for his victory. The image of Lionheart winning the ICW title in the Hydro is a moment that will live on in the company’s history.
His career was full of great matches in addition to plenty of title wins as he would predominantly wrestle in Scotland and the North of England. He has held gold across twelve different promotions in the UK and Europe. Notable highlights of his career being a three-time NWA Scottish Heavyweight champion. Wrestling for the Ring of Honor championship against Nigel McGuiness and holding the Preston City Wrestling title three times. Lionheart has worked with many of the greats, including AJ Styles, Drew Mcintyre, and Jeff Jarrett, to name just a few. Lionheart had a great career he could be proud of.
The final tweet from Lionheart’s account was.
As we reflect on what’s happened, it’s vital to remember Lionheart for the work he put in the ring and the person he was.
If you’re having suicidal thoughts and need help, please reach out to someone. Some helpful resources are The Samaritans in the UK can be reached at 116 123. If you’re in the US or Canada, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. There are people who care about you and want you to be around.
Here’s a selection of matches from YouTube for anyone wanting to watch his work.
Lionheart vs Jackie Polo from Barrowmania 4.
Rob Van Dam vs Lionheart vs Zack Gibson Fear and Loathing X.
Lionheart vs (Current WWE Champion) Drew Galloway