The go-home episode of Loaded confirmed the tag team tournament final… and featured a tonne of backstage segments.
#TLDR: Plenty of backstage segments, a long, passionate post-show talking segment that changed the main event, and some alright action. Yep, it’s the go-home Loaded to WCPW’s next iPPV…
The Full Review: With WCPW’s latest iPPV taking place this Wednesday, the go home episode of Loaded looked to bring some answers to the question: why is Will Ospreay aligning himself with a stereotypical heel GM?
Going into this, I’m assuming that we’ll get a minimal mention of the Coffeys’ debut and victory in the tag team tournament, in a match that was unceremoniously thrown onto a show called “Reloaded” (and recapped here)…
We start with an “earlier today” video of James R. Kennedy meeting with Lucas Archer and Alex Gracie. Apparently they’ve got a big match tonight, but Primate is missing. Drake’s looking for him… so that means Prospect will be alone tonight. Does that mean they’re going to replay the Primate skits from Reloaded? Prospect were left saddened once Kennedy left the room, and I guess that means they have a tough match.
They replay the end of last week’s Ospreay/Kirby match – and the shenanigans that followed with Will turning heel and joining Generic Heel General Manager Pacitti… which segues into another to-camera piece as Dave Bradshaw promises that our tag tournament finalists will be decided tonight. So the Coffeys debut should have been last week?
But first, because this is patterned after WWE some weeks, we have a talking segment! Pacitti and the Swords of Essex come out, complete with a recycled graphic that didn’t list Ospreay as a member… The GM acted like a cocky heel with his three goons around him, whilst Ospreay got massive “you sold out” chants. Ospreay ran down his CV, mostly featuring his New Japan accomplishments, and then labelled himself a “Pacitti Head”. Yeah, let’s not mention that a CHAOS member in New Japan is in a group with knock-off Bullet Club shirts here, eh?
Ospreay reckoned that he was making stars in WCPW, and by that logic, he could destroy somebody too. He’s also sharing his glory with the Swords of Essex, and also with his girlfriend, Bea Priestley. In the middle of this, Pacitti had to turn around as he was sitting backwards on a chair, showing his arse crack. And there was me thinking that was a smart chant against Ospreay. Of course, she’s in a knock-off Bullet Club shirt too.
Martin Kirby snuck in after Priestley appeared, and gave low blows to Robinson and Wainwright. Ospreay got one too, after some comedy stuff from the cocky heel, but Priestley gave Kirby a low shot as he cornered Pacitti. Cue a mugging, ending with a Shining Wizard to Kirby, who’s supposedly suffering a concussion. Give your fanbase some credit in 2016, eh? The extendable baton comes out again, but instead Pacitti’s allowed to slap Kirby for some of the weakest slaps I’ve ever seen in wrestling.
If you’re going to build to this spot, at least prepare for it, eh?
The Raw-esque opening segment ended as I was left wondering if I was watching an updated version of late-era WCW…
We’ve got a backstage segment with Drake, who’s found Primate and tries to lasso him. It’s the same one they aired on Reloaded a few days earlier.
Another backstage segment with Prince Ameen… he’s apparently got a production company and he’s created a new movie: Gabe’s Odyssey. It’s a recap of Gabriel Kidd’s WCPW career, mostly the parts where he’s bumping and selling. “Who can break Gabriel Kidd’s defeated streak?” – that was funny
Another segment with Drake and Primate followed, then we went to our first match, just 24 minutes into the show…
WCPW Tag Team Title Tournament Semi-Final: Prospect (Alex Gracie & Lucas Archer) vs. Liam Slater & Johnny Moss
The Prospect graphic listed everyone, not just Gracie & Archer… they’ve ditched the “All Business/The Business” name for Moss and Slater.
Slater was isolated early on by Prospect, as Archer and Gracie exchanged frequent tags. Slater made a comeback, busting himself open with a Kokeshi-like diving headrop, before breaking out of a full nelson. Dave Bradshaw on commentary is asking “where’s James Kennedy?”, so this is like Lucha Underground and WCW where the commentators don’t see the backstage stuff?
Johnny Moss came in and chopped away at Archer, who then became isolated as Prospect got a taste of their own medicine. Moss pulls off an Argentine backbreaker on Archer, who then got decked with a hiptoss for a near-fall. Archer managed to get a wheelbarrow roll-up for a near-fall, but he then gets caught in a German suplex as Gracie was forcibly tagged in.
Gracie chopped Moss, which had little effect, but the returned chops sure did rock Alex. Moss caught a cross-body from Archer, and nearly fell into the corner, but their attempted rocket-launcher finish ended when Slater slipped on the ropes. That opened the door for Prospect to throw Moss outside and double-team Slater, knocking the youngster down with a double knee strike.
Archer went all X-Pac on us with a Bronco Buster on Slater, who finally made a comeback with a headbutt before tagging Moss back in… who killed Prospect with clotheslones. An overhead double underhook suplex came next to Gracie and Archer, as did a double suplex, before Slater took the pin to qualify for the finals. Good stuff, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Moss and Slater get the gold next week. ***
Drake’s still hunting a Primate, but his rope’s snapped. Yep, if you saw Reloaded, this is all old stuff.
What isn’t old stuff if the Joe Hendry promo that followed, building up the steel cage match with Joseph Conners at the iPPV. We then go back to Primate hunting; again, it’s what we saw on Thursday’s Reloaded.
WCPW Tag Team Title Tournament Semi-Final: Strong Style Collective (Pete Dunne & Travis Banks) vs. The Coffeys (Joe Coffey & Mark Coffey)
Sure enough, they didn’t reference the Reloaded match; Dunne and Banks jumped the Coffeys at the bell, isolating Joe in the ring with a forearm and a cannonball as a kick-assisted release suplex picked up an early near-fall.
The Coffeys tried a comeback, but Mark got caught with a pair of apron dropkicks as he was stuck in the corner. That “shit Jack Swagger” chant re-emerged here, as Dunne worked an armbar into a pin on Mark for a near-fall. Dunne stomps on Mark’s knees after some attempted biting, but Mark finally made another comeback with a Russian legsweep on Banks.
Pete Dunne came in to bite Mark’s hand as he tried to make a tag out. Joe finally got the tag in and hit an inverted Giant Swing on Banks, before dropkicking Banks into DDT’ing his partner. A standard Giant Swing looked to follow, but Dunne rolled up Joe for a near-fall as the “Iron Man” hit back with chops to both members of the Collective.
Joe fell to a double headbutt, but Mark Coffey threw himself in with a cross body to Banks, who eventually hit back with a diving clothesline and a brainbuster. Dunne broke up a German suplex pin with a double stomp off the top, before leveling Joe with a forearm as he came off the top. A roundhouse kick assisted German suplex almost got the Collective a near-fall. Another roundhouse kick from Banks was cut-off by a forearm from Joe, but the Coffeys kept the offence going with a pop-up uppercut, as the Black Coffey earned the Coffeys the victory… and an all-babyface tag team tournament final. Alright then… ***½
After the match, Banks and Dunne attacked the Coffeys, choking them in the corner, before Liam Slater and Johnny Moss made the save. That led to the expected staredown, building up next week’s tag team title tournament final.
Yet another backstage segment, this time with Prospect drinking wine. They’re drowning their sorrows, as the WiFi password for the Coronet theatre is shown in plain sight. Drake’s celebrating finding Primate, and this leads to arguments amongst all three members of Prospect. Kennedy wants Drake to “take care of Rampage”, and Drake wants to do it himself… Except Kennedy orders Archer and Gracie to help. More backstage segments, I fear.
Drake vs. Rampage
Ah, it’s actually a match, not another backstage spot! Drake shoulder charges Rampage at the bell, but Rampage shoves him away. Wash, rinse, repeat. Rampage chops at Drake on the floor, before Kennedy interjects himself as Rampage went to the top rope. That led to a kick from Drake, who fired back with forearms, only to fall into a uranage.
Rampage went for a piledriver, but Drake slipped out and hit a middle rope Codebreaker for a near-fall. Another comeback for Rampage as he pulled Drake off the top rope and into a piledriver, and that’s your glorified squash! Not a bad match, but it’s a squash! *
Prospect ran out to attack Rampage after the match, but he easily dispatched them. Just like in Altrincham!
James Kennedy built up the first of the best-of-seven match at the Delete WCPW iPPV. That then took us to a backstage segment between Pete Dunne & Travis Banks and Moustache Mountain. Trent went to shake Pete’s hands, but instead they got bitten as the Strong Style Collective beat up Trent and Tyler.
Rampage is backstage, and supposedly he got changed in the time it took for Dunne and Banks to beat up Moustache Mountain. Primate appears and kills Rampage, then walks off.. How many backstage segments?!
Gabriel Kidd vs. Joseph Conners
This is non-title, by the way… Kidd got chants of “Kiiiiing” because he was wearing a t-shirt of another WhatCulture “personality”. Thanks for reading, Ross! We look forward to another pseudo-shoutout!
Conners started with a series of holds to a background chant of “bullshit champion”, but Kidd hits back with a monkey flip, sending Conners into the ropes. The champion returned with a slap, and Kidd hit back – all of these slaps, by the way, much stronger than the weak effort that Adam Pacitti hit Martin Kirby with earlier.
Kidd was dumped outside, which gave Conners a chance to pound away on Kidd’s back on the apron. Conners kept up the attack, before being caught as Kidd switched a suplex into a release suplex – something that went unnoticed. Kidd fought back once more with forearms, before hitting a death valley driver bomb for a near-fall.
Conners caught Kidd with a push-down stomp in the corner, but the youngster responded by knocking the champion onto the top rope… but again, Conners knocked him down as he went for another move. Again Kidd fought out and dumped Conners with an Iconoclasm for a near-fall.
From the kick-out, the see-saw action continued, with Conners landing a lariat out of the corner for a two-count, earning him a redux version of “John Cena Sucks”. Except they changed it to “Joe Conners”. Inspired! Kidd almost took the win with a small package as Conners came off the ropes, before a sit-out reverse DDT saw him get another two-count.
A double underhook from Kidd was backdropped out of, as the pair exchanged running clotheslines, before Conners caught a DDT and turned it around into the Righteous Kill DDT out of nowhere for the win. Given how under-rated Kidd is here, this was a revelation, but also, the right result for a go-home show. Where Kidd goes from here is crucial – if we’re still stuck in the “you’re my servant” shtick with Ameen, then this surprise performance could well have been for nought. ***¼
After the match, Conners took the microphone and mocked the crowd, before inviting a photographer into the ring to take shots of the destroyed Kidd. Conners went under the ring for a steel chair, and threatened to Pillmanise Kidd’s neck… but Prince Ameen sauntered out to make a save. Conners knocked Ameen of the apron, then went back to climb the ropes, as Joe Hendry rushed out to make the save. The two came to blows as Kidd was dragged out of the ring, ending with Conners getting out of the Freak of Nature fallaway slam, and then left Hendry laying with a belt shot.
Conners threatened to break Hendry’s neck, but the lights went out… and when they came back on, a wild Drew Galloway appeared in the ring. Conners scurried away as the man whom he injured a few months ago returned… before Galloway cut a promo name-checking a tonne of promotions, detailing his journey in wrestling. Which is good and all, but Galloway vs. Conners isn’t the match we’re being asked to pay for, is it?
Galloway talked about his way to WWE, his mistakes there, and his release from the company, before reinventing himself without the WWE machine behind him. Eventually he circled back to the injury, where Galloway blamed Conners for costing him three months’ work… and yes, he’s back. Next week… inside the steel cage! It’s now a three-way! The show ended with Hendry and Galloway working together, as Conners took the Freak of Nature fallway slam onto a steel chair.
This was a fantastic, passionate promo from Galloway. But this was not the time or the place for it. It totally took away the focus from Joe Hendry and that match they’ve been building since True Legacy – but hey, lets see how they work this on the iPPV.
As a go-home show, it worked well in changing the main event and setting up the tag title tournament finals. But just like their first iPPV, they barely mentioned the rest of the card until the closing credits. Great promotion, eh? They copy the WWE-esque backstage segments, but not the during-the-show promotion of the PPVs? What the heck?