A shocking finish to the first episode of Loaded from London came after a fine rematch between Martin Kirby and Will Ospreay.
#TLDR: WCPW’s debut in London came with debuts, shocks, and plenty of WWE-esque references to “our nation’s capital” in a good episode of the show.
The Full Review: The show opened with a video package of GM Adam Pacitti in his usual holier-than-thou self. It’s a package that was designed to get heat from the London crowd, after decrying that “for so long, London’s had to deal with a weak wrestling scene” and talking down “hipster rubbish”.
Yep, they’re not being subtle anymore. And I’m fast-forwarding.
Of course, these are from the London tapings, and my God we start with a to-camera piece from Dave Bradshaw and Alex Shane. Its an improvement that makes this feel more like a TV show and less a collection of matches thrown together.
Before the opening match, we get a backstage promo from Doug Williams. He’s sick of the attention that Joe Hendry got for his match with Kurt Angle, and puts down Hendry as a “local zero” for always losing.
Doug Williams vs. Joe Hendry
Hendry rushes the ring and launches into Williams with right hands, before grabbing a headlock and scoring a shoulderblock. Williams wriggles out of an early Freak of Nature attempt, before eventually taking a back body drop.
Williams kicks the rope into Hendry’s thigh then throws him out of the corner with an Exploder. Another clothesline from Williams eventually gets him a near-fall, before a springboard kneedrop saw the veteran retain the advantage.
Hendry gets near-falls from a sunset flip, then a roll-up, but Williams quickly grabs a rear chinlock. A diving European uppercut out of the corner knocks Hendry down once more, but Hendry countered a Chaos Theory by holding onto the ropes, before hitting a neckbreaker.
Hendry fires back with a DDT for a near-fall, before he takes an overhead belly to belly from Williams. The end then came out of nowhere as Williams rebounded off the corner, before walking into the Freak of Nature fallaway slam as Hendry took the win. Decent match, but it sure did feel like an out-of-nowhere ending. ***
After the match, Hendry took the microphone and issued a challenge to Joseph Conners. He was fed up of Conners cheating to win, so he’s suggesting a “no rules” match. Or to be more specific, on the November 30 Delete WCPW iPPV… in a steel cage match. Yep, that woke up the crowd!
For a company that’s gone on record as saying that they don’t see themselves as a British promotion, they sure did love having Dave Bradshaw say “our nation’s capital” like he was Michael Cole…
We then get a backstage segment with Scott Wainwright and Paul Robinson. The Swords of Essex have debuted in WCPW. They’re here to destroy the tag team division… and “if you live by the Sword…” they get interrupted by Will Ospreay for an impromptu full-fat Swords of Essex reunion. Wainwright and Robinson offer some help if Will needs it in his match later on, and I smell shenanigans down the road.
Curious that the Swords mentioned dominating the WCPW tag team division, but didn’t refer to the ongoing tag team tournament.
Swords of Essex (Paul Robinson & Scott Wainwright) vs. Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate)
The music the Swords have been given really doesn’t fit them. They found a way to make Paul Robinson not quite as threatening as a 10-stone guy who’d quite likely kill you should be.
Robinson gets a chant of “Poor Man’s Kirby”. Because he’s bald. Yep, this is from the same group whose fans that gave you the “Cheap Jack Swagger” shtick… Robinson lights into Bate from the off, biting his ear, before the youngster just slaps Robinson’s jaw in reply. Tags lead to Seven and Wainwright coming in, but the two Swords end up taking body slams on top of each other, before Bate, then Seven add to the fun. They tease slamming the referee, but Robinson broke it up as the Swords got back into the match.
Wainwright chops down Seven, then lands a kneedrop as Robinson tags back into the match. Robinson gets “Gillberg” and “skinny white man” chants (we’ve found the level, guys), as he hooked away at Seven in the ropes. Seven reverses a suplex attempt from Robinson, who then gets used as a human pass-the-parcel between Seven and Bate, with the long hanging suplex getting a near-fall in the end.
Robinson blind tagged out as he ran the ropes, and that led to a back cracker as Robinson raked the eyes of Seven. Wainwright earned a two-count from there, before Robinson came back and bit away at Seven. The comeback from Trent Seven looked to be cut short, but he pulled Robinson off the top and landed a clothesline on the way down.
We returned to Bate and Wainwright, with a dropkick taking down Scotty, before Bate’s bridging German suplex getting him a near-fall. Tyler gives Wainwright an Airplane spin, before adding a Giant Swing on Robinson to the equation. Again though, Robinson makes a comeback with an elbow off the middle rope, before Seven obliterated him with a German suplex.
Trent was taken out quickly afterwards with a rolling death valley driver from Wainwright, before a lariat from Bate ended the sequence. Moustache Mountain looked for a top rope powerbomb sequence, but the Swords fought out as Wainwright hit a Codebreaker in the corner to Bate, before Robinson’s springboard double stomp ended up giving Wainwright the win – albeit with his feet on the ropes. A fun debut, but Robinson felt a little watered down in this environment. I’ve a feeling the crowd is going to push a lot of his buttons here… ***¼
That’s another loss for Moustache Mountain – although in this match, a loss for either team wouldn’t have been good news.
Another backstage segment now with Joe Coffey. He’s reminiscing over his two losses to Minoru Suzuki, then mentions how he’s been entered into the tag team tournament. He’s teaming with another Coffey – his brother Mark. Hopefully this is a reborn Joe Coffey, and not a way to send us into a brother vs. brother-we’ve-just-met feud.
El Ligero’s opponent for the next match was decided via a fan poll. Marty Scurll, Prince Ameen and Gabriel Kidd were the choices, and the overwhelming winner was: the Villain! 65% to 30% for Kidd and 5% for Ameen.
WCPW Internet Championship: El Ligero (c) vs. Marty Scurll
Scurll knocked Ligero out of the ring with an umbrella shot at the bell, before throwing him back in and almost won the match with an underhook suplex.
A springboard dropkick got Ligero back into the match, before he faked out a dive and connected with a cannonball off the apron. Scurll found himself thrown into the turnbuckles, before rebounding with an armwhip to take down the champion. The Villain knocked Ligero down with some chops, before stomping away at the champion’s knees.
They went outside as Scurll dumped Ligero with a back suplex onto the apron, but once they returned, Ligero turned the tables with some chops of his own, before a middle rope dropkick town down Scurll.
An attempt at the C4L was cut-off with an uppercut, but Ligero landed a spinebuster slam after Scurll charged at him. A Mexican Wave was quickly aborted as Scurll lit into Ligero with a superkick and a bodyslam into the ropes for a near-fall. They kept going back and forth, before Ligero fell for the “Just Kidding” superkick, but an Ace crusher from Ligero briefly got him some hope… only for Scurll to hit back with a brainbuster.
After Scurll took an enziguiri in the corner, Ligero went for another Mexican Wave, but Marty got his knees up before blocking another C4L and snapping the champion’s fingers. A chicken wing followed, but Ligero rolled through for a near-fall, before he was thrown to the outside. Scurll grabbed his umbrella and hid it from the referee, but Joel Allen grabbed it as Scurll went to swing it… which let Scurll grab the Internet championship belt. That backfired quickly as Ligero schoolboyed him and snatched the win. A pretty good match, with the right finish, seeing how Ligero’s sticking around. ***¾
After the match, Ligero was kicked low by Scurll. As they cut away for no discernible reason. A real “to the back!” moment then… That cut-away was just to show a replay of the finish, but did they really need to cut so quickly?
We’ve got a backstage segment with Adam Pacitti. He’s speaking to another WhatCulture guy in Jack The Jobber. It’s more of the intentionally out-of-touch, delusional tripe, thankfully interrupted by Will Ospreay. Will thanks Pacitti for bringing in the Swords of Essex, and in turn, the GM asks Ospreay to beat in Kirby’s head. Instead, Ospreay tells him that he’ll kick his teeth in if Pacitti comes out during the match. I’m sure some people have that fantasy anyway.
Next up was an in-ring promo with Joseph Conners. Alex Shane and Dave Bradshaw allude to a Ligero/Conners match, which I don’t think has been announced? The crowd chanted “You Screwed Hendry”, which led to the champion admitting it, and addressing Hendry calling him a coward earlier. The crowd ate this up, as Conners addressed how he killed Ligero’s winning run, the UK tour of Cody Rhodes and Martin Kirby’s dreams. He even bragged (in character) about how he came close to killing Drew Galloway… and they played the footage of the dressing room beatdown, then the Righteous Kill DDT that (as of writing) still has Galloway out of action.
For the record, Galloway on his Rev Pro shows last week called that move careless. Good to see how that’s been turned into an angle. The long and short of it was that Conners agreed to Hendry’s steel cage match – and Conners threatened to go one step further against Hendry.
Another backstage skit followed where James R. Kennedy addressed Rampage’s loss at the True Legacy show. He brings up how he’s gotten Primate on his side, and this looks to be building up to a best-of-seven series between Primate and Rampage, with seven different stipulations. I hope the last one is a straight-up wrestling match! The segment ends with Kennedy pointing to an ambulance, as he “hopes you’ll walk out in one of these”.
More from Conners backstage now, and he’s interrupted by Gabriel Kidd of all people. Kidd’s unhappy at how gloaty Conners had become, and that ended with Conners threatening to end his career. Kidd takes him up on that threat, and that’s our match for next week.
Martin Kirby vs. Will Ospreay
Well, first time around, this match ruled. Let’s see if second time around matches it!
When the match finally got going, they started with a tie-up that forced a rope-break, before Ospreay did his Okada-esque clean break. Kirby slaps back and takes Ospreay into the corner with forearms, but Ospreay uses his speed to fight back with a dropkick, before faking out a dive.
Kirby rolls in as Ospreay did his pose, and threw in a kick from the ground, before lifting up Ospreay for a hanging suplex. Ospreay got out and scored a near-fall from an O’Connor roll, before taking another dropkick. An attempted chop from Kirby’s turned into an eye poke, which is followed up by the Puppy Power shoulder charge for another near-fall.
Kirby keeps up the pressure with a pendulum backbreaker out of the corner for a near-fall, then whipped Ospreay into the corner hard. Some knees to the midsection eventually spur Ospreay into a comeback, courtesy of a clothesline out of the corner, before a series of forearms leads to a springboard off the ropes and finally a corkscrew overhead kick.
That kick earned Ospreay a near-fall, before an OsCutter was avoided by Kirby. A springboard forearm took down Kirby, as a standing corkscrew moonsault got another near-fall for Ospreay. Kirby was lifted onto the top rope, but he fought out of a superplex, shoving Ospreay down, only for Will to come back with a ‘rana… which Kirby turned into a sunset flip for a near-fall.
Another OsCutter was turned into a backslide for a near-fall from Kirby, with Ospreay grabbing a handful of trunks with a roll-up for another two-count. Kirby came close with a Michinoku driver, before going for that Zoidberg Elbow. Adam Pacitti came out to interrupt, because of course he has to.
Ospreay used the distraction, but fell to an enziguiri, before countering a suplex into a stunner… which somehow led to a ref bump. Kirby hits a pop-up Sable bomb, but both men crashed to the floor as the Swords of Essex ran out. Robinson swung ang missed with a baton, but Ospreay grabbed it and hit Kirby with it… and we have our heel turn! A knee trembler followed, and Will Ospreay got the win! A really good main event, with a surprising finish to boot. ***¾
Adam Pacitti announced this series is tied at 1-1, and we get the reveal that the Swords of Essex are part of the Pacitti Club. Of course, they can’t have a new act come in without being part of the derivative stable. I wonder how this will go down in parts of the country where Essex isn’t hated?
Anyway, Will Ospreay is now a heel, which at least gives him some freshness here outside of a novelty. I wonder if that British Triangle Championship will find its way into this group?
My dislike for the played out to death heel GM act aside, this was a good episode of Loaded. They debuted a new team, who after being weakened, were made to look like killer heels (finally!), and we have some direction at least for the next iPPV. Onwards and upwards, eh?