WCPW began their run of special events in Newcastle on Monday night, with another YouTube special. This one, called “Exit Wounds”, was celebrating the main WhatCulture YouTube channel getting a million subscribers…

Yeah, these show names aren’t great, especially when you have to shoehorn them into a sentence, like “who’ll be leaving Newcastle with Exit Wounds”. I didn’t know Tyneside was big into gun crime… We’ve got Dave Bradshaw on commentary alongside Matt Striker, which… I’m sure we’ll talk about throughout! After last week’s final (for now) episode of Loaded, we only knew one match – but in the days going into the show, the card slowly filled up, with the inclusions of a pair of “showcase” matches featuring Rev Pro and Ring of Honor. A curious combination, politically speaking.

The show opened with Striker running down some potential replacements for Martin Kirby, who was naming his replacement as GM later tonight. Somehow, I don’t think Dario Cueto, Teddy Long or Eric Bischoff would have been viable as a permanent replacement, although Dave Bradshaw sure summed up some sentiment by wishing that it wasn’t Alex Shane…

Prospect (Lucas Archer & Alex Gracie) vs. Drake & “Bad Bones” John Klinger
So, despite being booted out of James R. Kennedy’s management, Archer and GRacie get to keep the Prospect name? They have collection buckets for their Orlando trip, whose Indygogo campaign (at time of writing) is about ¼ of the way to its £2,000 goal.

Something something “they signed Bad Bones to put him in the opening match storyline”.

Prospect jump their opponents at the bell, taking out Drake with an Eat Defeat/legsweep combo, before Gracie drilled him with a high knee. Bones throws Gracie into the ringpost as the bad guys take over, with Bones targeting Archer’s left leg. Alex Gracie finally tags in and kicks away at Drake, sending him flying before Drake and Bones go for a double-team suplex… only for Gracie to turn it into a double-neckbreaker on the Geordie and the German!

A kick to the back of Drake’s head succeeds after Gracie missed at the first time, before they drill him with a Flatliner and Headlock drinker… James Kennedy then creates a distraction as Prospect looked to have this won. Kennedy tells Archer and Gracie that he’s the only one going to Orlando… that distraction’s enough for Bones to hit Archer with a chair, before Drake locks in a kneebar for the win. Way too short to be anything bar a storyline match, but this was fine for what it was. **

After the match, Kennedy taunts Archer and Gracie by saying that Orlando is dead for them, before saying that “(their) money, like your career, belongs to me”. So Kennedy’s dipping into their Indiegogo? Kennedy again fires Archer and Gracie, as the trio head to the back with Prospect’s collection bucket.

Dave Bradshaw notes on commentary that Johnny Moss is going to be out for another month due to the injury he got at the True Destiny ladder match. This segues into a way-too-quiet video package highlighting that match, along with Liam Slater’s surprise win over Zack Sabre Jr. last week.

WCPW Internet Championship: Liam Slater vs. Cody Rhodes (c)
We get a pre-match graphic, much like the early days of WCPW, only without the cool cartoon graphics, and we start with Slater jumping Cody and hitting a powerbomb, before a swandive headbutt gets him an early near-fall.

Slater throws in a Fireman’s carry gutbuster, then a gutwrench suplex as he keeps up the offence, before a crossbody’s rolled through and turned into a figure four by Cody. Liam makes the ropes, and rolls to the outside, where he’s joined by Cody, who threw him into the crowd in search of a count-out win. Sadly, we could barely see Slater thanks to the lighting around the ringside area… Slater returns to the ring, but he’s just stomped into the corner by Cody, who then followed up with a stalling front suplex. An O’Connor roll almost won it as Slater came back, only to get booted in the face as Cody rolled out of a sunset flip, before Cody grounded his challenger with an abdominal stretch attempt.

That’s worked out of by Liam, who sidesteps a charge into the corner from Cody, then landed a missile dropkick and a series of avalanche clotheslines, before a side suplex almost wins it. From the kick-out, Slater goes all Samoa Joe on us by turning Cody into a single-leg crab, but that’s quickly escaped from. Some iffy camerawork see Cody hit a basement uppercut to nobody in particular (?!) as he catches Slater on the top rope with a Muscle Buster of all things! That gets Cody a two-count, before Slater thought he’s come back by catching a leapover from Cody, only for Rhodes to slip out and turn it into a Cross Rhodes for a near-fall!

Another Disaster Kick is avoided, before Cody ducks a crossbody as Liam crashed into the ropes. Slater takes a springboard body press from Cody, before returning to the ring to take an Alabama Slam as the match briefly turned into a slugfest. A powerbomb from Slater leads to another swandive headbutt – but this time he misses, and Cody just picks up the pieces with a rolling prawn hold for the win. A pretty good match, but in spite of Slater’s win last week, you could tell that hardly anyone in the crowd considered him a viable threat here. ***½

After the match, Cody lingered in the ring and took the microphone. He called the fans family, and called Newcastle “a bunch of Rhodes”. That’s got to become an insult one day. He plugs the March 20/21st dates where the Bullet Club are on the card, and that’s all folks.

The Prestige
Cody’s stopped on the way to the back by the trio of Joe Hendry, Joe Coffey and Travis Banks. They’re in t-shirts that identify them as “The Prestige”, and it’s now Hendry’s time to talk. Hendry says that the torch was “taken from anyone who stands in the way of our progress in this business”, before telling us that there’s an atmosphere in wrestling. Hendry blames the fans for saying that “they think you can say whatever you want” at shows, calling them on their disrespect.

Joe Hendry says that they’re taking over because they can’t leave the business in the hands of those who came before them – because they fostered the environment they’re in now. Joe Coffey echoes Hendry’s words, as the crowd chants “boring”, before he recapped his 2016 – mentioning that he appeared on PROGRESS’ sold-out Brixton show for the Atlas title, wrestled Minoru Suzuki twice, and beat Kurt Angle in the biggest European indy wrestling show of the year.

None of those facts seemed to impress the crowd, and Coffey called the crowd for wanting to see so many imports. Then it was Travis’ turn to speak, as he threatened to punch everyone in the face if they didn’t shut up. Banks recalls the standing ovation he got against Zack Sabre Jr (the crowd chanted “we weren’t there”, because it was in Manchester… so Coffey called them out for being idiots for buying it on WhatCulture Extra). Banks then said he asked the company for a pay rise after that match… he was turned down, which led to this line:

“I may as well have gone to Orlando with Pete Dunne, because this company fucking sucks… They wanted to team me with Doug Williams, because we look similar.”

If true, those WCPW guys may need a new glasses prescription… apparently wanting Banks to call Doug, “Dad”. Banks took offence as Williams is an agent in WCPW, or as Banks put it, “a bell ringer in this company”. That seems to get Doug away from the production desk, as he heads towards the ring.

Hendry notes that they don’t do this for the money, they do it “for the Prestige”. There’s your faction name, and a big question as to why Banks was so peeved over a pay rise if they didn’t care about the money? Banks levels Williams with a forearm shot that was so hard, it knocked the camera onto the apron, as the camera work just went to hell here. Matt Striker got up to try and get involved, but the Prestige just went to the back as this segment ended rather awkwardly.

We get plugs for the Orlando show, then the Bullet Club shows in Manchester and Orlando, before we return to Matt Striker explaining and apologising for what just happened.

Delirious vs. Silas Young
Billed as a ROH showcase, this was a weird choice, particularly since Delirious wrestled only six times for ROH last year (not counting co-promoted shows). There’s probably better choices, but hey, if you’re the booker, why not get yourself in these spots?

Delirious does his usual act, stoically sitting in the corner before going wild when the bell rings. Young takes the microphone and berates Delirious for being “too stupid to wear a pair of shoes”, before he cheapshots Delirious at the opening handshake. Silas charges Delirious into the turnbuckles, ramming his head into it… but Delirious just continues after Young walks away. A series of arm wringers and arm breakers follow from Delirious, who then leaves the ring and scurries under the ring. Silas just stares there and ignores Delirious coming out the other side, as he returns with a baseball slide dropkick.

On the outside, Young catches Delirious with a side slam onto the apron, as the crowd pipe up with chants of “shit Tom Selleck”. Hmm. A bodyslam takes down Delirious, who takes a forearm and a hotshot on the top rope, before Young hits a slingshot double stomp off the apron. Young grabs a rear chinlock to try and force a submission, but Delirious works free and rakes away at the front and back of Young, before getting sent to the outside. Delirious blocks a suplex, then reverses it, before a series of wacky rope running sequences leads to a clothesline that knocks down Young. A DDT gets Delirious a near-fall, but Young comes back with a Finlay roll into the corner, then a springboard moonsault from a top rope headstand for another near-fall – with Young’s knees landing hard in Delirious’ head in the process.

From there, Young goes for a full nelson that’s wheelbarrowed for a near-fall, before Young hits the Misery (TKO) for the win. A decent match in parts, but otherwise this was just there. **¾

They announced during the last match that on the March 20th “Bulletproof” show in Manchester, Adam Cole’ll be defending the ROH title against Zack Sabre Jr. Does Zack need any more belts?! That show’ll be live on the Extra service, with highlights going up on YouTube later in the week.

There’s no VT, so we’ve got an awkward pause for our next match…

WCPW Women’s Championship: Kay Lee Ray vs. Bea Priestley (c)
They announce Kay Lee as a member of the “Filthy Generation” – much like they do with Will Ospreay, acknowledging factions that don’t exist in WCPW. Just for the sake of confusion. For extra confusion, the pre-match graphic shows Viper with Bea Priestley… but she’s nowhere to be seen.

Priestley levels Kay Lee with a forearm at the bell, then gets an open slap in response as the Scotswoman scores a couple of early near-falls. A series of forearms knocks down the champion, as does a low dropkick and DDT, but Priestley made a comeback, drilling Kay Lee with a German suplex onto the apron after having sent her challenger into the ringpost.

Kay Lee rolls back in just in time, but she takes a snapmare and a dropkick to the back for a two-count, before Priestley locks in a Rings of Saturn. That’s rolled back into a near-fall as the camera wanders again, returning as Priestley scored a near-fall of her own, before a few Irish whips into the corner led to Kay Lee landing a crossbody.

A springboard back elbow gets Kay Lee another near-fall, before something I guess was meant to be a DDT led to a Koji clutch that forced Priestley into the ropes – before tapping! An attempt at the Gory bomb follows, but Priestley lands a back suplex after freeing herself, then a running knee for another two-count. Kay Lee turns a wheelbarrow into a facebuster for a two-count, before she leaps into the corner and gets caught with the Cheeky Nando’s kick. Again, that’s only enough for the two-count, so Priestley goes back to the armbar, before Kay Lee rolls out and gets the Gory Bomb out of nowhere.

Kay Lee drags Bea into the corner and follows up with a senton bomb off the top, but that’s the cue for Viper to appear… she headbutts Kay Lee in full view of the ref, which doesn’t get a disqualification, but it does get a near-fall as Kay Lee kicks out of a schoolboy roll-up. The camera lingers on Viper as Kay Lee hits a tope onto her, before going back up top for another senton… that one misses, as the match ends with what was meant to be a roll-up with the feet on the ropes – except they just got the roll-up and nothing else. Bea retains, in a match that was fine, but felt distinctly unpolished at points. *¾

We cut to a way-too-quiet promo from Will Ospreay, who mentions the neck injury that Drew Galloway got at the hands of Joseph Conners last year. Will calls himself “more deadly” than Conners, before he gets really inaudible to end his promo.

Chain Match: Primate vs. Rampage
This is the sixth match in that best-of-seven series, with Rampage able to win the series – and a title shot in Orlando – tonight. Despite this being a chain match, this isn’t one of those “touch all four corners to win” match, as pinfalls and submissions will count.

Primate leaps into Rampage at the bell, but it’s the Yorkshireman who uses the chain for some punches first, before Primate leaves the ring and pulls Rampage into the ropes. Back inside, Primate pulls the chain off of his wrist, then tries to choke Rampage with it, only to get thrown to the outside.

Rampage also removes the chain from his arm, which completely neutered the stipulation of this match, but also leaving both men completely free. Primate moved the guard barriers twice when he was thrown into them, before he heads under the ring for a chair… but James Kennedy gets involved, and distracts Rampage for long enough to be given a German suplex on the floor.

They trade blows around the ring, before pulling themselves onto the apron for some more shots until Rampage dropped Primate on the apron with a piledriver. Rampage throws Primate into the ring and gets a two-count from it, then heads back outside for a table that he sets up in the corner. Primate gets a German suplex in to cut-off Rampage’s offence, as he then teased whipping Rampage into that propped-up table.

Rampage headbutts Primate to the mat, then takes a weak chairshot from James Kennedy… who cowers away as Rampage went after him. Rampage just takes the chair off him, only to get met with a spear through the table. Kennedy again gets involved as he demands Primate to finish the match, but a second spear only gets a near-fall as Rampage apparently busted open his ear during this.

Rampage blocks a third spear, and turns it into a piledriver… and that’s it! Rampage wins the best-of-seven series with a match to spare! It’s a shame something went wrong to kill the chain stipulation so early, but that was par for the course with this series. I’d be lying if I said this series wasn’t underwhelming – it had its moments, but a lot of this series was played out in front of a quiet crowd… **¼

They quickly cut away to yet another quiet promo, this time with Drew Galloway. It’s short, sweet, and damn near-silent.

El Ligero & Gabriel Kidd vs. The Prestige (Travis Banks & Joe Coffey)
Kidd and Ligero came out wearing “local wanker” t-shirts, which just got them jumped in the aisle by Banks and Coffey. Joe Hendry’s on commentary, and he makes a point of calling out Striker. In the same breath that Hendry said that Striker called himself a professional, Matt swears… and there’s a point proven, just as the commentary audio goes silent.

In the ring, Prince Ameen tries to attack Coffey and Banks from behind, but he’s easily taken out with some superkicks. Banks blasts Ligero with some elbows in the corner, before Coffey lands a big powerslam on Ligero for a near-fall. Coffey continues with a wheelbarrow facebuster to Ligero, again for a near-fall, as Gabriel Kidd gets booted in the head as he tried to enter the ring.

Banks tags in and slams Ligero for a one-count, before Coffey uses Ligero’s horns for a snapmare. Hendry kept interjecting in commentary to keep stating Prestige’s “mission statement”, whilst Banks and Coffey tried to double-team Ligero, only for the masked man to outsmart both of them as Kidd tagged in.

Banks accidentally runs into Coffey, before he’s thrown into his partner by Kidd who’s a veritable house on fire here. That ends when Kidd leaps onto the apron, only for Banks to pull him to the floor as Ameen did his “Whole New World” dive, which somehow isn’t going to be a DQ. Especially when Coffey press slams him to the ring only to get low bridged to the outside and in prime place for a tope con hilo from Ligero!

Back inside again, Coffey cuts off a C4L from Ligero as Kidd came in to chop away at both Prestige members. The numbers quickly go against him as Banks hits a diving lariat before a Giant Swing from Coffey lead to a springboard roundhouse from Banks for the win. As a match to establish Prestige, this was fine, but on TV this was badly disjointed thanks to the interruptions on commentary. ***

We’re taken backstage to Kenny McIntosh and Bea Priestley. Kenny says that Bea almost lost, but again, this is so quiet, I just give up.

Marty Scurll vs. David Starr
After an ROH match, this was billed as the Rev Pro Showcase… despite Scurll being the current ROH TV champion. Hmm…Meanwhile, David Starr came out with the wXw Shotgun championship belt. So… why wasn’t Marty in the ROH showcase match?!

Scurll grabs a wristlock at the bell, before a knuckle lock led to a series of monkey flips as both men struggled to gain an advantage. The crowd screamed for a chicken wing at the start, but he resisted as Scurll was taken down with a waistlock for a near-fall, before a hiptoss and a hip thrust led to a rather less graceful takedown.

Starr blocks a poke to the eyes and hits a forearm instead, before a superkick off the apron knocked Starr down as Matt Striker screamed David’s own catchphrase. Scurll trolls the fans by asking them to move as he teased throwing Starr… but they didn’t move, so he just threw Starr back into the ring. Back inside, they trade strikes, ending with another forearm from Starr as the American took over with forearms and chops in the corner. A springboard clothesline knocked Scurll to the floor as Starr connected with a tope, then another, then finally a third, sending Marty into the front row! A tiltawhirl facebuster gets Starr a near-fall, before he hits Scurll with a Flatliner from the ropes for another two-count.

Scurll comes back with a powerbomb counter to a ‘rana, before a massive lariat flipped Starr inside out. A brainbuster gets another two-count for the Villain, who took way too long to set up for a chicken wing, as Starr recovered and landed a forearm instead. Marty recovers with a “Just Kidding” superkick, only for Starr to come back with a chop block, then a Sharpshooter attempt, but that too is turned into a roll-up.

Starr’s sent to the outside, where he catches a diving Scurll with a DDT through the ropes and onto the apron, but Marty came back with another powerbomb from a ‘rana attempt as a clothesline left both men laying. A superkick to the head from Scurll looks to get him the advantage, but Starr snaps back with a suplex into an over-the-knee neckbreaker. The back and forth continues as Scurll hits a spin-out full nelson facebuster for a two-count, slipping into a finger snap from the kick-out.

Starr almost won the match with a roll through from a chicken wing, but despite getting a near-fall, he had no answer when Marty re-applied it and forced the submission. Fantastic stuff – that’s two shows in as many days that Starr’s stolen. Good stuff from both guys, and that really shouldn’t surprise you, as Starr got “please come back” chants! ****¼

New GM Announced
After an epic ten weeks (!) as WCPW GM, Martin Kirby came out to announce his successor. Kirby tells the crowd that he resigned, which gets him some love, before he tells the crowd that he wants to be WCPW champion.

Hopefully this time that dream doesn’t end with a maniacal GM screwing him. Kirby unveils his replacement as… Adam Blampied. The unveiling gets a huge roar for the guy who lost a loser-leaves-town match against Rampage a few months back. Kirby makes Blampied to not be a dickhead, and so the “tie of power”, as Dave Bradshaw coined it, is transferred.

Eh, as long as this doesn’t spark a flood of YouTubers coming back, I don’t mind. Blampied was the best of the bunch they had in terms of performers, so let’s see how this plays out. Blampied’s microphone is way too quiet as he asks for a round of applause for Kirby, before declaring that he was back. Adam puts the fans over, and the wrestlers too, naming Gabriel Kidd, El Ligero, Prospect, Slater & Moss, the Swords of Essex, Lana Austin, Little Miss Roxxy and a lot more. He owns up to “being a dick” to Rampage, and confirms that Rampage is getting his title shot in Orlando… before he’s interrupted by BT Gunn.

Yeah, that match was already booked, so this shouldn’t be a surprise. Gunn unzips his jacket to reveal a Prestige t-shirt as the rest of the group join him in the aisle. Prestige surround the ring as Kirby tries to fight them off, but he takes a springboard roundhouse from Banks, then the Black Coffey lariat, as BT Gunn lays waste to some referees.

In the ring, Kirby takes Joe Hendry’s Freak of Nature fallaway slam before Prestige corner Blampied. Gunn dumps him with an enziguiri as the rest of the group put the boots to him, as Hendry ends the assault with a Freak of Nature to the new GM. A brainbuster takes down Kirby, as referee Joel Allen is forcibly made to count a visual pinfall – and I guess Kirby/Gunn is off the books.

Whilst Travis Banks and his three Scottish mates celebrate, we’re abruptly taken to an advert for the WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup, with Joe Hendry screaming over it all. The trailer they use says “coming soon”, despite it being two weeks away (at time of writing).

They segue to another painfully quiet video package showcasing the whole Will Ospreay/Drew Galloway feud that started back at January’s Lights Out show.

WCPW Championship: Will Ospreay vs. Drew Galloway (c)
Ospreay pulled a page out of the Low Ki playbook, coming out in a suit dressed somewhat like Agent 47 from the Hitman video games. Again, they acknowledge CHAOS (which makes no sense as this isn’t New Japan) and the Swords of Essex (which does make sense here) for Ospreay’s announcement.

We have a jump start as the camera’s zoomed in way too much, so we just about catch the fringes of Ospreay’s shotgun dropkick to Galloway, but Drew comes back with ease. Will’s actually wrestling in that shirt and tie, which makes it look like he’s got an important business meeting to go to afterwards – and no time to change!

Galloway easily throws Ospreay into the corner, then biel’s him across the ring. They head outside, where Ospreay tries – and eventually succeeds – in shooing away some of the crowd, but it’s Galloway who capitalises on that as he launches his challenger into the seating area. Drew follows him and shoos the crowd again, dumping Will into a chair by the production area… something happens with Galloway and security, as Will comes back with a flip senton off the stage, then a springboard plancha into the crowd!

They both return to the ring, where Ospreay lays in some forearms that barely move Galloway… who replies with a single chop to take down Will. An overhead belly-to-belly suplex does the same job, but Ospreay recovers to throw Galloway into the ringpost as the Scotsman was sent onto the apron.

During this, Striker drops a line about how “the main event should be a culmination of everything we’ve seen throughout the night” – something that perhaps shouldn’t be said by commentators, unless it’s a dig at a certain 22-second main event we’ve yet to see! Ospreay utilises the ropes to trap Galloway, before he kicks away at a downed Galloway, who fights back from his knees, only to get kicked to the mat.

A pop-up backbreaker takes down Ospreay, as Galloway fired up with a forearm into the corner, then a diving clothesline, before a Futureshock DDT was blocked. Drew lands a Sky High powerbomb for a near-fall, before he was caught in the corner, only to avoid a Cheeky Nando’s kick and drop Will with a reverse Fly Swatter for a near-fall.

Drew tries for a superplex, but he gets crotched as Will knocks him into a Tree of Woe… only for Galloway to pop up and give him a spider belly-to-belly suplex. Ospreay lands on his feet and launched straight into a dropkick at the trapped Scotsman, following up with a Falcon arrow for a two-count. A leaping enziguiri and a German suplex follows, before the back-and-forth ends with a running boot to Ospreay that sent down the challenger.

Ospreay spits at Galloway as he tried for that Futureshock DDT again, so the champion just lights up Ospreay with some chops. Will comes back with a series of knee strikes, but Drew kicks out at one, only to fall to a diving dropkick for another near-fall. Out of nowhere, Galloway spiked Will with a short piledriver, then a Futureshock DDT, but Bea Priestley had snuck down to the ring and pulled the referee out. As Galloway quizzed the ref, Bea came into the ring and tried to low-blow Drew… but he caught her and dropped her with a headbutt.

That allowed Will to come back with an Oscutter for a near-fall as he seemingly showed little concern for his girlfriend, instead choosing to pound away on Galloway in the ropes. Ospreay mockingly set up Drew for his own move, but Galloway held onto the ropes as Will crashed to the mat, before he was deadlifted up into a powerbomb, then took a Futureshock for a near-fall. Galloway’s power comes into play again as he pulls Will off the mat into an attempted slam, but it’s flipped into a cutter, before Galloway caught an OsCutter and spun Will around as an eventual Futureshock DDT finally earned him the win.

That was a hell of a main event – Ospreay and Galloway worked well together after the opening piece in the crowd, and this ended up being a really fun title match all being told. ***¾

With Martin Kirby and Rampage lined up as potential challengers, the show faded to black, with nothing mentioned at all for next week’s Chain Reaction show from London (which’ll be available on-demand on Friday March 17).

Exit Wounds for me, was a show that felt distinctly patchy – and not just in terms of in-the-ring stuff. WCPW’s hallmark of all-over-the-place volumes returned with a vengeance, whilst the camera work looked distinctly off-key during the show, as we saw numerous times where we were either zoomed in too far (Cody Rhodes giving an uppercut to someone we didn’t see, or the jump start to the main event) or where the camera moved despite it being “live”.

WCPW are apparently hiring for new cameramen – which I’d assume is a sign that they’re looking for folks experienced in shooting wrestling matches – along with other tech staff. Whilst what they’ve achieved so far has to be acknowledged, the constant flubs with volume levels and wandering cameras do leave a slight tarnish to an otherwise polished product.

As for the in-ring stuff, it was good in parts – and whilst the new Prestige faction is intriguing, I can’t help but wonder how they’ll be able to gain traction once they finish their current run of weekly shows at the end of the month.