The fall-out from True Destiny began on the penultimate (for now) episode of Loaded.
For some reason, the entire show went up on-demand on YouTube this week – which renders that Extra subscription useless this week. The show opened with the ending of the True Destiny iPPV, where Joe Hendry paid tribute to Kurt Angle… by low blowing him. Leicester is the venue of this week’s show, and if you didn’t like them from the iPPV, I’m afraid we’ve still got Jim Ross and Matt Striker on commentary.
Joe Hendry comes out to start the show, to a few boos which give way to chants of “Local Wanker”. This is your usual promo to reinforce the heel turn – Hendry’s mad that Kurt tried to beat him in October with the Hendry Lock (y’know, that hold he’s always used), and that’s where things started to go wrong for Hendry. He blames the fans for not supporting him, so Angle paid “for the fans’ sins”.
Hendry promises to bring prestige back to the world of professional wrestling… which isn’t too far from what I gather his ICW character was at one point (at least judging by his ring music). That brings out Alberto el Patron onto the stage, also with a microphone, and his first act is to say “shut the (blank) up Joe”.
Yep, Bertie’s on a sweary promo rant that’s muted!
Patron’s annoyed that he interrupted his match… except he came out after the match. The crowd want Alberto to (blank) him up (not censored). Apparently Hendry’s mum called Alberto, which gives way to some jokes about Hendry’s mum wanting Alberto… and that quickly segues into Alberto going around the ring getting the crowd to shout “local wanker” into the microphone.
Hendry wants to fight Alberto… but not until next week. Well, that at least set something up, but someone really needs to tell el Patron not to swear on his promos, especially if they have to keep editing him out.
A quick shot backstage shows Bad Bones John Klinger – he tells us he doesn’t care about titles, winning or losing; all he cares about is money. Bad Bones is a gun for hire. An interesting way to unveil the character after his dark match last week.
Drago & El Hijo de Dos Caras vs. El Ligero & Gabriel Kidd
They feuded on the iPPV, now they’re partnering… and el Hijo de Dos Caras has shed his Max Moon-inspired gear!
Ligero and Drago start us off with leapfrogs and roll throughs, and all sorts of stereotypical lucha goodness. After both guys miss dropkicks, Caras comes in and demands to face Gabriel Kidd, which we get as Kidd grabs a headlock and lands a shoulder tackle. They go back and forth on those, until Kidd tripped Caras… then tries a hiptoss, only for it to be sort-of blocked and met with an upkick.
Caras gets a tiltawhirl backbreaker on Kidd for a near-fall, before he kicks and elbows away at the youngster. Drago tags back in to keep up the offence, kicking Kidd in the back for a near-fall, before Ligero tags in and gets a similar result from a diving dropkick. A standing moonsault connects from Ligero, again for a two-count, before they suddenly go to some strikes and a duelling crossbody that led to a collision.
More tags bring us back to Caras and Kidd, with a delayed spinebuster from Caras and a spear getting a near-fall, before Kidd kicked away a discus forearm. Unfortunately Kidd had no answer to an assisted DDT from the luchadores as Ligero had to break up the cover, before taking a flipping Blockbuster DDT that looked brutal.
El Hijo de Dos Caras gets assisted into a tornillo to Ameen and Kidd on the outside, before Ligero dives over Kidd and Ameen for some reason to cannonball into Drago. Another dive follows from Caras, who lands a step-up senton, and that’s the cue for Prince Ameen to climb up and unveil his “A Whole New World” carpet for a Magic Carpet Dive.
They return to the ring since that last one wasn’t a DQ, as Kidd boots Drago, then hits a Finlay roll. That’s a set up for a Mexican Wave from Ligero and a moonsault from Kidd, but that’s only good for a two-count, and Drago overcomes some attempted double-teaming with a headscissor to Ligero. Drago tags in El Hijo de Dos Caras, who just blasts Kidd with a discus forearm for the win. Well, this was miles better than their iPPV singles match, which isn’t saying much! **½
Here’s a freebie for you Ross: in spite of having a week to edit, JR signs off this segment by calling this “an outstanding tag team match to kick off WCW Loaded”.
“Bad Bones” John Klinger vs. Rampage
We start with headlocks and shoulder tackles as Rampage briefly sells the injuries from the I Quit match a week earlier, but he launches into Bad Bones in the opening stages.
A back body drop and a slam get Rampage a near-fall, but Bad Bones comes back with an Irish whip into the corner as the German starts to target the taped-up ribs of Rampage. Bones hits a dropkick as the crowd launch into those Perry Saturn chants, silencing those when a low-pe takes Rampage into the crowd barriers.
Bones heads up top and lands a missile dropkick to keep Rampage down, but the plucky Yorkshireman tries to come back with some forearm shots, only for Bones to get another knee to the midsection to take Rampage back down. Rampage kicks away from a back body drop as he throws Bones onto the apron… but a slingshot spear keeps the German on top
A superkick to the head knocks down Rampage, but he comes back big time with a clothesline as they launch into some boo/yay forearms, ultimately ending with a Saito suplex from Rampage. That gets Rampage a near-fall, as follows up with a uranage, forcing Bad Bones to the outside, where he reaches under the ring for a chain, then uses it on the head of Rampage for the cheap DQ. Eh, a decent Big Lads Match, but this was hurt by a crowd that seemingly didn’t know who Bones was. **½
After the match, Bones continued to drill Rampage in the ribs with that chain, with the only thing officials could do was ring the bell. James R Kennedy’s waiting for Bad Bones on the ramp, and it looks like he was the guy who paid off Bones for this. Presented without comment for those keeping score: the crowd here gave Bones chants of “Perry Saturn”, “Moppy” and “shit Luke Gallows”.
Next is a backstage promo with Nixon Newell, who reminds us that she’s been away in Japan bettering herself. She tells us she saw what Bea Priestley did with her belt… before offering a title match to Bea, or anyone.
Travis Banks vs. Ricochet
“This should be quite the one-on-one match-up, we’re told”. In spite of that blatant line-off-a-script, this should be really great. Banks was announced at 92kg – as opposed to the 32kg on the iPPV, which is a hell of a weight-gain!
Ricochet teased running at Banks with a pump kick, but thought better of it as they instead dabbed at each other, rather than shake hands. A trip from Ricochet sees him work a toe-hold over Banks for a brief moment, as they worked up to a hammerlock, with Ricochet escaping and kicking Banks’ arm away.
Another waistlock from Banks gets countered into a wristlock by Ricochet, only for the American to get taken down as Ricochet worked a more grounded style than we were perhaps used to seeing. Banks grabs a headlock again, but Ricochet escapes as he pulls a Marty Scurll, snapping the fingers of Banks. Erm, gimmick infringement, anyone?!
A lot of near-misses off the ropes end with Banks being taken down with a headscissors and a dropkick, before Ricochet fakes out a dive to the Kiwi on the floor. Eventually, Banks heads back in and tries his best Ricochet impression, doing an intentionally-awkward back roll, before dropkicking Ricochet after he did the standing backflip pose.
Banks utilises the opening with some running uppercuts and a cannonball into the corner, and that seems to spark a chant of “let’s go Kiwi”, as Banks stomps away and grabs a toe-hold on Ricochet, as he targeted the high-flyer’s legs. The Kiwi keeps chopping and drilling Ricochet with forearms, but eventually Ricochet fires back with strikes and a DDT, sending Banks into the corner.
A 619 in the corner takes Banks down for a springboard back elbow, before an attempt at a Regalplex is elbowed out of. Banks gets a superkick into the middle ropes, which allows Ricochet to hit a Codebreaker out of the middle rope to end a flurry of offence with a near-fall. Banks escapes a Benadryller, but takes some forearms and uppercuts, before he flips Ricochet with a lariat and a brainbuster for another near-fall.
Ricochet knees his way out of a suplex, then rolls up Banks for a two-count, which gives way to the rolling Northern Lights suplex… but Banks rolls through, lands a kick to the chest, then a sit-out brainbuster. Holy hell, that looked brutal! That’s good for another near-fall for the Kiwi, who then misses a springboard roundhouse kick as he then goes back and forth with kicks.
A diving dropkick takes down Ricochet, but Banks can’t capitalise with a cover, which draws “fight forever” chants, and I’m inclined to agree. They trade chops and forearms again, before Ricochet rolls up Banks off the ground, but gets caught with a brainbuster for another two-count. Ricochet rebounds with a bicycle knee strike, as he goes up top for a shooting star press… which is aborted. Banks tries to hit a crossbody off the top in response, but he’s just about caught in a fireman’s carry as Ricochet nails the Benadryller for another close-near-fall.
From the kick-out, Ricochet kicks away at a defenceless Banks, before lifting him up for a spinning inverted brainbuster, and that’s all folks! What a clinic – we weren’t disappointed, as these two put on a hell of a match, even if the crowd seemed to be muted for parts of it. ****¼
Drake vs. Alex Gracie
“This is an interesting story involving Drake… we’re not talking about the athlete, we’re talking about the athlete that wrestles for WhatCulture Pro Wrestling” – Jim Ross, shooting down any chance of a surprise battle rap in Leicester.
Alex Gracie marches to the ring to fight Drake, but James Kennedy is hot on his heels to try and calm things. Oh, and receive chants of “shit George Michael”. So, Gracie’s quickly calmed down after Drake cost Prospect the tag titles… Kennedy says he must punish Drake for that, by booking Drake vs. Gracie – winner goes to Orlando.
So we get going when Lucas Archer’s sent to the back, and Gracie starts by superkicking Drake after unsighting him with a t-shirt. Kicks and slaps follow, as does a hip attack in the corner, before Gracie hits a full nelson slam. This may be the most offence Alex Gracie has had in WCPW… Gracie chases Drake outside the ring, then attacks him on the floor, before returning to the ring where he takes a big boot and a suplex. A butterfly suplex gets a near-fall, but Gracie comes back out of nowhere with a belly-to-back piledriver… but James Kennedy pulls the referee out of the ring to stop the three-count.
It takes a while for Gracie to realise what’s happened, but that game of cat and mouse ends with a Codebreaker from Drake, who then gets the win. So the eventual heel turn gets minimal reaction, and I guess Prospect are splitting from Kennedy and Drake? Decent for what it was, but you’re not going to get very far with a two minute match… *¾
Lucas Archer runs back in to attack Drake, before he turns his fire on Kennedy, who slaps him. Drake chops Archer’s knee, and Kennedy finally gets the mic as he explains that he is the one who should be getting the chants. He mocks Archer and Gracie’s dream of Orlando, before he “fires” Prospect. Jobbers turning on jobbers rarely elevates anyone, historically speaking. At least that’s the millstone away from Archer and Gracie, the latter of whom has shown elsewhere that he’s got something.
The Swords of Essex come out and immediately deck ring announcer Stevie Aaron. Scott Wainwright awkwardly burns the crowd as he introduces the team, before Ospreay turns down any chance of a rematch by noting that Moss is injured. Will turns his sights onto Drew Galloway, which brings out Martin Kirby for some reason.
Kirby’s out with “Jack The Jobber” who gets a chant so loud that Kirby stops his promo. Yep, this is the reason why I didn’t like the YouTubers being on the show…
Kirby stumbles over his promo, and references “last night’s” tag title match (there’s another freebie, Ross) – a result that apparently made Scott Wainwright the “most successful big man since Duke “The Dumpster” Droese”. Someone in the crowd reckoned that made no sense… Kirby rejects Will’s request for a title match, which led to Ospreay superkicking Jack. So that’s why he was out!
The Swords double-team Kirby briefly as Drew Galloway heads out to make the save, and we head to a break?! Oh, it’s just so they can plug the Bullet Club’s appearances next month, and apparently while we were gone, Martin Kirby went all Teddy Long… but since there’s no Undertaker, we have a tag team match. Holla holla.
Swords of Essex (Scott Wainwright & Will Ospreay) vs. Martin Kirby & Drew Galloway
Kirby and Galloway start on top, with Drew taking down Ospreay with a massive waistlock and a biel throw into the corner. Drew no-sells some slaps from Will, as a single chop knocks Will into the ropes before Martin Kirby tagged into the match.
Kirby hits a stalling suplex that ends with an eye poke, but the Swords come back as Ospreay’s tiltawhirl backbreaker is met with an axe kick by Wainwright. The cameras barely picked up Ospreay throwing Galloway into the barricade, as the hard camera focused on Kirby being choked in the ropes.
That leaves Kirby isolated for a spell, with Ospreay slingshotting into the ring before landing a Sebastian-esque backheel to the GM… who tried to fight back, only for an uppercut to keep him down, with a knee drop from Wainwright only serving to make things worse. An abdominal stretch, with some extra cheating from Ospreay, is broken up by way of a hiptoss when that cheating’s broken, and Kirby finally tags out as Galloway drills Ospreay with a big boot.
Wainwright eats an overhead belly to belly, whilst Ospreay’s brought into the ring the hard way… just so he can take a belly to belly himself. A snap powerslam gets Galloway a near-fall on Wainwright, before he blocks a big boot out of the corner from Scotty with an inverted fly swatter for another two-count. The pair exchanged chops, with Wainwright coming up short, before he escaped a slam to tag in Ospreay… who hit an enziguiri off the apron, before Wainwright came in to assist with a backcracker for a near-fall.
Kirby drops Ospreay with an enziguiri, before Wainwright gets a slam… but of course, Kirby’s attempt at the Zoidberg elbow goes awry when Ospreay pops up for a ‘rana, before he goes after Galloway again with a Yakuza kick. A suplex fails, but a knee strike and a Falcon arrow does not… but Will tries to go up top and gets caught. Some biting gets rid of Galloway, but Kirby pops back up and eventually gives Ospreay a ‘rana off the top rope, landing into a Galloway powerbomb for a near-fall.
Wainwright comes back and trades shots with Kirby, eventually getting dropped by a Slingblade before the match turned into a cavalcade of kicks that left everyone on the mat. We resume with Kirby and Wainwright again, the latter of which lands a kick to the knee before bending over to take a clubbing blow that came seconds later. A pop-up flapjack downs Kirby, who rolls away from a Lionsault and follows up with an axe kick for a near-fall on Wainwright.
Kirby calls for a Sable Bomb, but Ospreay’s dropkick ends that as he then low bridges Galloway and gets rid of him with a tope. The end quickly comes as a dropkick-assisted death valley driver is enough to put away Martin Kirby to bring a fine main event to a climax. ***½
After the match, Galloway clotheslines both of the Swords, before he unleashes on Wainwright with chops in the corner, only for an OsCutter to leave the WCPW champion laying.
As a supposed “lame duck” show, with Loaded going off the air, this wasn’t a skippable show by any means, but it did feel weird. The issues we mentioned on the iPPV still existed; as much of a legend that Jim Ross is, his commentary here was bordering on bad – not so much for the in-ring stuff, but the “between the notes” just felt so bland, it was like someone played out these matches on a video game, then played back JR’s lines from that simulation.
With Will Ospreay vs. Drew Galloway announced shortly afterwards for the March 6 YouTube special, the question remains: what will the final Loaded (for now) set-up next week, as WCPW enters a period of no TV and just special events.