What Culture Pro Wrestling Loaded Episode 5: I’m Impressed
WCPW Loaded Episode 5
Date: August 8, 2016
Location: 02 Academy, Newcastle Upon Tyne, England
Commentators: Alex Shane, Dave Bradshaw
This is What Culture Pro Wrestling, which is a promotion created by Whatculture.com, a pop culture site with a bunch of top ten lists and such. For some reason they started a wrestling promotion in the UK and it’s been getting some solid reviews. Solid enough that someone asked me to take a look at them so let’s get to it.
As is almost often the case with indy companies, I have no idea what to expect coming into this and know nothing about the promotion.
We open with a graphic saying these wrestlers aren’t accurate portrayals of their real lives. “Our ring is actually a young single father. Sometimes his mind wanders when he lies awake at night. What happens when he gets too old to do this? Who will provide for Little Timmy then?” Oh this is going to be FUN.
A guy (presumably a boss) is on the phone with Roman (oh yeah I’m going to like this) and says he can’t hire Roman until he’s clean. Apparently his name is Adam Pechitti and he’s the GM. I love it when promotions that love to poke fun at WWE always goes with the exact terminology WWE uses. Anyway, WCPW Champion Big Damo has injured someone named Rampage so we need a new #1 contender. Therefore tonight, it’s Douglas Williams vs. Aaron Stevens (Damien Sandow). The announcement is done in less than two minutes (counting the earlier graphic) so they’re already on a roll.
The set is simple with a ramp and three screens, the middle one featuring the company logo. Works for me.
Noam Dar vs. Will Ospreay vs. El Ligero
Dar has a Star Wars theme (DAR WARS!) so hopefully he impresses me a bit more than he did in the Cruiserweight Classic. As the announcers talk about Dar nearly beating Jay Lethal to take the ROH World Title, we get some dancing with the ring announcer. Ligero is a bull themed luchador. Ospreay was in that really well received match with Riccochet a few months back and then had the match against Vader as a result.
Dar dances around a bit at the bell and I can’t understand British chants. An EL LIGERO chant starts up but it’s quickly off to ALL THESE GUYS. The only contact in the first minute and half is a few handshakes. Being so polite is quite British of them. They finally get things going and everything misses until it’s a standoff for a round of applause. Ospreay starts firing off some strikes as the announcers talk about Will feeling the pressure of being considered one of the best in the world.
Ligero is sent outside but Dar can’t get anywhere on Ospreay’s knee. The announcers debate what the fans might be chanting with one of the commentators saying he speaks fluent What Culture fan. Ligero kicks Ospreay in the face as they’re doing the two men in, one on the floor formula. Dar comes back in and catches Ligero in a kneebar (I’m really not wild on this move towards submission cruiserweight wrestling). The save doesn’t work for Ospreay as he gets caught in a kneebar at the same time.
Dar and Ligero exchange strikes until Ospreay moonsaults into a double kick to the head to put all three down. Ospreay starts picking up the pace and sends Dar outside so he can kick Ligero in the corner. That sets up a big running flip dive over the corner to take Dar out again, assuming you ignore most of the dive missing him completely. Something like a Phenomenal Forearm drops Ligero but he ducks a Rainmaker as New Japan’s influence hits another promotion (it’s still just a freaking clothesline).
Dar comes back in and dropkicks Ligero out of the air but Will makes the save. A rollup into a faceplant drops Ospreay but it’s Ospreay making a save of his own at two. All three are down for the FIGHT FOREVER chant and it’s time for the strike off. Ospreay does one of those WAY too complicated flips into a kick to the head (which didn’t appear to connect) before the Oscutter (springboard into a cutter) is good for the pin on Dar.
Rating: B. That was the only possible option for the ending as Ospreay was definitely stealing the show here and being treated like the top star. The announcers hyped this up a lot more than it deserved but that’s what you’re going to get for a long indy triple threat. This was a lot of fun though and Ospreay looked like a star, which was the entire point. If you’re a fan of this style, you’ll LOVE this match.
A heel stable called the Prospect talks about how bright their future is. Whoever the leader (his name might be James R. Kennedy) is who welcomes a new member named Drake.
Joseph Conners comes up to a guy named Joe Hendry (seems faceish) and they seem to be a team having issues. It seems that they’re arguing over who gets the most spotlight during their entrance and Conners is getting sick of this whole thing. He leaves Hendry on his own and Joe looks frustrated.
Joe Hendry vs. Alex Gracie
Gracie has Prospect with him. Hendry seems very popular and his entrance video is him singing a wrestling themed version of AC/DC’s TNT (“Cause I’m Joe Hendry, I’m dynamite, Joe Hendry, I’m always right, Joe Hendry, my first name is Joe!” Oh I think I’ve got a new favorite indy promotion.).
Joe takes him straight to the mat to start and it’s time for a Prospect meeting on the floor. Back in and they seem to botch something so Hendry goes with a hard clothesline to drop Gracie for two. Sometimes you just need to hit someone really really hard. As the announcers make jokes about being attracted to each other (it fits in context), another Prospect member sneaks in for an Eat Defeat/Russian legsweep combo to take over on Hendry.
We hit the chinlock for a bit before Prospect is right back on Hendry. Back in and they chop it out with Hendry making a comeback but getting distracted by Prospect. Eat Defeat looks to set up something from the top but Joe grabs a fall away slam for the quick pin. Seriously, a fall away slam?
Rating: D+. It’s pretty clear that Hendry is much more of a character than a wrestler and there’s nothing wrong with that. The in ring part wasn’t great but at least the pre-match was really entertaining and made me want to see more of Hendry. Prospect seems to have potential as well but a clean loss doesn’t help them.
Post match Prospect beats on Hendry until Conners makes the save. Both guys get interview time but Hendry says this is Conners’ chance to talk. Conners thinks there are problems but it’s Prospect behind those problems. They have each others’ backs though and that’s all that matters. Hands are shook and things seem to be fine.
Grado runs into someone not important enough to name and they both take off their shirts. Insults are exchanged but they quickly apologize. The announcers say the other guy’s name is Martin Kirby. Good enough.
Here’s General Manager Adam Pacitti with something to say. He gets right to the point: there’s going to be a women’s division and it starts RIGHT NOW.
Bea Priestly vs. Nixon Newell
Bea is the heel here and both women are rather good looking. Feeling out process to start as they work on wristlocks with no one getting the upper hand. A chop and strut out of the corner make Newell even more popular and Bea rolls outside for a breather. Bea sends her into the post and licks Nixon’s face to freak the announcers out.
Back in and things slow down a lot, as you might expect when a heel takes over. A really weak looking kick to the back gets two for Bea but a better looking kick to the face gets the same. To crank up the gross factor, Bea takes the gum out of her mouth (Who chews gum while wrestling?) and puts it in Nixon’s mouth.
Possibly due to the high levels of WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, Nixon gets a near fall of her own off a Shining Wizard. Bea gets the better of an exchange of kicks to the face and drives a knee to the face for two. Nixon gets all aggressive again and headbutts her down, setting up a really sloppy looking Canadian Destroyer for the pin.
Rating: D+. This was better than a lot of women’s matches you’ll see outside of WWE but there was a lot of room for improvement. Then again, this was just the debut for the division so it’s not like they have anywhere to go but up. Both women looked passable out there and seem to mainly be needing polish, which will come over time.
Liam Slater and Johnny Moss, a new team, are getting ready for their match when James R. Kennedy comes in to recruit Slater to Prospect. Moss basically throws him out because he wants to fight Prospect tonight.
Prospect vs. Liam Slater/Johnny Moss
It’s Drake/Lucas Archer for the team here. The announcer compares Prospect to New Day or the Freebirds as they regularly change members. I actually like that as everyone knows who those teams are and there’s no reason to act like this is anything new or to act like they don’t exist. Also, and perhaps above all else, they don’t pretend like WWE is some horrible promotion. It comes off like WWE exists, they’re good, but check out this new promotion as well because it can entertain you as well. That’s really refreshing and it’s nice for a change. Slater isn’t very big and looks to be the speed guy while Moss is built like a tank.
Moss headlocks Drake to start and it’s off to the very skinny Archer, who loses some chest skin in the corner. Slater comes in and the announcers bill him as Moss’ protege. That makes a bit more sense as Moss really doesn’t look like he needs much help. Some technical stuff puts Drake down but he knees Liam down to take over.
It’s back to Moss a few seconds later so the announcers can keep sucking up to him. Slater gets kicked in the head though and it’s time for the double teaming to begin. That goes nowhere though as it’s off to Moss who cleans house with a double suplex. A jumping tombstone plants Archer and Drake gets pulled out of the air, setting up an avalanche headbutt from Liam for the pin on Archer.
Rating: C. This was ALL about Moss who looked really impressive. He’s basically Ryback with the great look and in ring abilities to make it work even better. I had a lot of fun watching him while the other three were just kind of there. Prospect is a group that looks good on paper but haven’t actually been the most impressive in the ring.
Some guy who calls himself a Prince leaves a hotel and insists that some guy who he refers to as his servant carry him to the arena. The servant reluctantly agrees.
Douglas Williams is offended that Aron Stevens is called a fellow wrestling legend. I’d be offended by that as well. Williams goes on a short rant about British wrestlers going overseas and turning their backs on wrestling. “Let’s make ourselves great again.”
Douglas Williams vs. Aron Stevens
Stevens is of course Damien Sandow/Aron Rex. The winner gets a WCPW Title match at some point in the future. Before we get going, Stevens uses his towel to wipe down the top rope for far longer than is necessary. A wristlock sends Williams out to the floor and I think the fans call him boring. To keep the fans entertained, Stevens does a cartwheel. Back in and Aron sends him into the corner a few times before going back to the wristlock. I’m so thrilled that Stevens is bringing that cutting edge generic offense to the UK.
Stevens is sent outside as the announcers bicker over Youtube subscribers. We hit a figure four necklock as the USA chants begin. The fans want Aron to do some very horrible things to Williams but settle for a suplex. I think you can guess the chant for that one. Williams goes up and tries something like a Swanton but lands SQUARE ON HIS HEAD.
Thankfully he’s not dead and Stevens can hit a few clotheslines, followed by a running flip neckbreaker for two. Williams tries a running knee but his leg gives out (the leg injury might explain the crash) so Stevens sits down on a sunset flip for the pin and the title shot. The count might have been a bit fast too as Williams looked badly hurt.
Rating: D+. Aron Stevens is just not very interesting. He got over with the whole stunt double thing and the solution now is to take away everything that made him popular in the first place? The match was messed up by the injury and Williams not being able to continue but everything before then didn’t work well either. It doesn’t help that I haven’t seen Stevens do anything great since he left do WWE and this didn’t change that trend.
Post match Adam Blampied comes out with the WCPW Title and talks long enough until Big Damo can come out and hit Stevens low. Trash talking ends the show.
Overall Rating: C+. I had a lot of fun with this one. Like, a lot of fun with it. I’m actually looking into going to see this promotion when I’m in Orlando for Wrestlemania weekend and they’re making their American debut. They’re far from perfect but they come out with a confidence that you don’t see a lot of promotions have. Their in ring work could use some polish but the fans care and they clearly have some money to spend on imported talent. This was a lot of fun though and you get a bunch of stuff on a single episode. Good show here and a promotion I liked WAY more than I was expecting to.
Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book, KB’s Complete Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Volume V at Amazon for just $3.99 at:
And check out my Amazon author page with cheap wrestling books at: