After four weeks off, WhatCulture returned to iPPV with their No Regrets special – headlined by Drew Galloway being forced to defend his title against everyone before heading off to WWE.
The show kicked off on FITE TV with the introduction of Matt Striker, whose Saved By The Bell-inspired video was almost perfect… except someone decided to introduce him as “Staring Matt Striker”. One R makes all the difference! We’ve got got the insanely dark arena set-up where if you leave the ring, you’re damned near invisible.
Drago & El Hijo de Dos Caras vs. Juventud Guerrera & Rey Fenix
Your dark match were “the guys from the Mexican World Cup qualifiers who weren’t booked”… Juventud’s back in a mask for some reason, which I’d hope is for a reason more than “you’re Mexican, put a mask on”.
This was a decent lucha-style match, but unfortunately the usual suspect let the side down. El Hijo de Dos Caras was the guy who somehow managed to fall down slamming Drago at the last WhatCulture iPPV, and whilst at times he looked quite decent, there were moments where I thought that referee Joel Allen would have been a better luchador than him!
Caras’ spear gets a near-fall on Juvi, who replied by superkicking him onto the apron as the crowd woke up. Unfortunately they ended up fighting into the dark ringside area, before Drago landed a tope con hilo to the outside. Back inside a tiltawhirl DDT from Juvi takes Caras to the outside for a plancha. Thing pick up when Fenix and Drago come in, with Fenix landing a wheelbarrow roll through into a legdrop, before Drago takes a couple of chops.
Drago nearly kills Fenix with a running Blockbuster that went awry, but Fenix got a receipt immediately by planting him with an Ace crusher. A low dropkick from Fenix saved Juvi from a roll-up, but he’s almost killed a second time, courtesy of a high angle German suplex from Caras. Yeah, tonight wasn’t a good one to be Rey Fenix. Nor was it a good night to be a TV monitor, as Caras’ tope sent Juvi into the commentary table, wiping out the TV… in the end though, Fenix got his payback for nearly being killed, landing a ripcord head kick to Drago, before a sit-out tombstone for the win. Pretty fun, but there were some moments that just didn’t click. **½
The main show opened as mime culture, before the audio came on in time to introduce a special guest commentator: Stu Bennett (formerly Bad News Barrett). Who immediately called the company WPCW.
Travis Banks vs. Penta el Zero M
For some reason Banks came out to his old music and video, eschewing all Prestige branding. Yeah, I don’t know why either, as he wore the Prestige tee as a facemask.
This was pretty good, even without my biased marking, starting with Banks landing a series of arm drags early, only to telegraph a drop down and get kicked in the ribs. A series of Slingblades take Banks to the outside, but he recovers… and flings himself back out with a tope! On the outside Penta chops Banks against the post… and ends up hitting the steel himself as Banks ducked a second chop.
Penta nearly wins it when he powerbombed Banks onto a knee, but a lackadaisical cover gets a near-fall, allowing the Kiwi to get back into it with a cannonball. A pumphandle driver gets Penta another two-count, but Banks retaliates with a sit-out Michinoku driver, only for a Destroyer off the middle ropes to… but Banks popped back up and gives Penta his own finisher. That package piledriver is only good for a two-count, so Penta one-ups Banks with a package piledriver on the apron.
Nevertheless, that package piledriver didn’t keep Banks down for too long, as they quickly jumped to the finish, with the Slice of Heaven (roundhouse out of the corner) for the win. Really hard-hitting stuff, and two guys who are really good at their craft putting on a good wrestle. Who’d have thought it? ****
Prince Ameen vs. Brandi Rhodes
Based on a Twitter feud over Prince Ameen being mean to Brandi’s dog (seriously… at least it wasn’t a Japanese shampoo commercial), this was the opposite end of the spectrum to what we just saw.
We start with some shoving, before Ameen shoved Brandi in the boobs, sending her to the ropes. She grabs a chair, but ends up taking a knee drop for a near-fall as the crowd remained silent. Ameen grabs a chinlock to keep Brandi on the mat, and eventually he takes her to the top rope for a superplex attempt… but Brandi shoves him away and delivers a missile dropkick instead.
A crossbody somehow sends both participants into the crowd, before Ameen gets shoved into the ring post as he tried to lawn-dart Brandi there. That leaves Ameen out cold on the floor, but Brandi decides not to take the count-out win, and she pays for it as Ameen charges her down with a shoulder tackle back inside.
Brandi tries to take Ameen down with clotheslines, but he no-sells it and goes all Stardust on us… before Brandi kicks out of a chokeslam. Ameen misses a Magic Carpet frog splash… Brandi connects with hers, and that’s enough for the win. Well, this wasn’t horrid, but given that Ameen had been portrayed as a sympathetic guy, I didn’t get the sudden switch to the defacto bad guy here. They hugged it out after the match, making everything we just saw moot. *
After this match, Dave Bradshaw announces that the Alberto el Patron vs. Joe Coffey match is off, because Alberto’s ill. Fair enough, but that’s got to suck for anyone who paid for this show just to see Alberto, unless he literally started throwing up just before his match was due to start.
Instead, we get a video package building up Gabriel Kidd interrupting Joe Hendry’s whine at the Scottish World Cup qualifiers, and that’s somehow gotten those two a shot at Cody Rhodes’ Internet title.
WCPW Internet Championship: Joe Hendry vs. Gabriel Kidd vs. Cody Rhodes (c)
Throughout the match the big push was that Gabriel Kidd was 0-26 and hadn’t won a match. Perhaps not in WCPW or some other promotions, I guess… given that WCPW had been “dark” for a month, stuff like the Kidd losing streak was firmly put on the back burner.
They play up Kidd as a goof, as he tries to hug Stu Bennett at ringside, because Cody just did. The try-hard stuff is really off-putting, especially after seeing how he acted around the Bullet Club that time he was a “one night only member”. We start with everyone going for pins, as Hendry tries to win it early, but this was very much patterned on WWE-style triple threats, with one man on the outside a lot.
Hendry’s stalling suplex gets him a near-fall on Cody, and now they all go to the great dark outside, where Cody throws forearms at Hendry whilst Kidd waits to leap up for an Asai moonsault onto the pair of them. Cody and Joe end up on the stage, and we know how well that’s lit, where Hendry connects with a side Russian legsweep, allowing the “Prestigious One” to celebrate as if he won the title.
When everyone returned to the ring, Gabriel Kidd had been well rested, scoring an atomic facebuster on Hendry for a near-fall. Hendry replies with an ankle lock to Cody, but Kidd leaps in and grabs Cody’s hand to stop him from tapping, before dragging the champion to the outside to force a break.
Kidd takes over with a hotshot, before the world’s weakest ref bump (a slow airplane spin apparently knocked down the ref). That leads to a visual pin for Kidd, who then decides to go for a moonsault… and misses, allowing Hendry to get the ankle lock again. He escapes that, as Hendry goes for a superplex on Rhodes, but Kidd cuts it off and tries for a Doomsday Device. That doesn’t go well as we end up with Kidd low bridging Hendry to the outside, only to fall into a figure four from the champion.
Some punches in that figure four leave Kidd down for a Cross Rhodes… but he kicks out as Hendry tried to steal the pin. A Freak of Nature fallaway slam’s aborted as Rhodes throws him to the outside, only to wander into a small package as Kidd snatched the title! A suitably surprise ending as Kidd finally got his first win… and my only nitpick about this (apart from Dave Bradshaw stealing the JR line from Survivor Series 2002, or Matt Striker forcing us to accept this as a feel good moment) is that this would have been so much more effective had Kidd had a few weeks of TV getting closer to the win before this, rather than being dark for a month. ***½
After the match we had Brandi Rhodes and Prince Ameen out as Cody placed the belt around Kidd – and now the question is, how does Kidd handle the pressure of going from zero to hero?
El Ligero vs. Rey Mysterio
Rey was announced as “the living legend”, which made the ears of Messrs Sammartino and Zbysko prick up. Mysterio in a singlet and long tights is a weird look, but it’s really just his old gear with a singlet.
Speaking of gear, Ligero was out in trunks, which is just plain weird. Ligero tries to snatch a win with a roll-up after a handshake, before we get a spot of lucha with a ‘rana from Ligero. Rey replies with a headscissor to take Ligero to the outside, where he joins him with a baseball slide as they enter the dark void for a moment, before they work a monkey flip that somehow turned into a 619 attempt.
Ligero backdropped Rey onto the apron to avoid it, before trying ambitiously for a springboard headscissor takedown to take Ligs to the floor. Back inside, a rope hung DDT keeps Ligero on top, but there’s not much else going on until Ligero throws Rey outside as he looked for a countout win.
Rey returned to the ring and took Ligero to the corner for some chops, but the tide quickly turned back and forth, ending with Rey just about pulling off a springboard bulldog off the middle rope. A 619 follows, but Ligero ducks away and retaliates with a Code Red for a near-fall, before an enziguiri knocks Rey into the middle rope as Ligero tries for his own 619. The 0113 misses though, as Mysterio instead lands a tope con hilo to Ligero, sending both men into the dark void.
We get that 619 anyway as Rey’s headscissors knock Ligero into the ropes… but Ligero catches the 619 and turns it into a double-knee facebuster from a tombstone position. The Mexican Wave almost wins it, but a C4L misses and is turned into a roll-up for a near-fall, before Rey goes for the 619… and slips to the outside. After getting back in, Rey counters a powerbomb into a headscissors as we finally get that 619, before the Frog Splash gets Rey Rey the win win. This was good in waves, but I’m never a fan of matches where someone keeps spamming for one move and failing unless there’s a clear fight over it. Mysterio looked fine, but obviously a long step away from his best. ***
No Regrets Rumble for WCPW Championship
So, because Drew Galloway had signed for WWE, WCPW’s General Manager(un-named because they did some YouTube story where they renamed Adam Blampied as Plumpy, which explains why he wasn’t on this show as they avoided crossing the proverbial streams) decided to put Drew in a Royal Rumble match with the title on the line. You see, so Drew has to beat everyone if he’s to retain his title and take it with him to WWE.
Hey, it was a good stipulation on paper.
Drew Galloway – in storyline – demanded on being the first man out, whilst Martin Kirby was the second one in a match where eliminations could take place via pinfall or over-the-top elimination. Hey, I was a fan of those when I played TNM7, considering it’d allow for almost clusterf***-levels of absurdity.
The early going was focused a lot on Galloway and Kirby, playing up Galloway as the current champion and Kirby trying to win the title. Just like Gabriel Kidd, that story would have resonated more had the promotion not just had a month off. Out at number three was Drake, which went as well as you’d expect, as Galloway pinned him within seconds of him getting into the ring. Fourth out was the debuting Kid Fite, whose entrance video reminded me that Payback was tonight, and he was thrown out in plenty of time to walk back to Scotland to watch the PPV.
Number five was Bad Bones, who brought a baseball bat out with him, and although he cleared the ring, the bat was only there so he could have a stick fight with Alex Gracie, who came in at six, before number seven was revealed as his Prospect partner Lucas Archer. Immediately, Archer sets up a table and tries to suplex Bones through it. Of course, the German fought free and resisted…
The eighth man out was Scott Wainwright, who’s probably being left with little to do when Will Ospreay’s in Japan after Paul Robinson announced his retirement-of-sorts a week ago. They switched Wainwright’s music to “my old man’s a dustman” because every bad guy here has to have some comedy nuance to keep them from being big time apparently. Bones blasts Wainright with a middle rope Codebreaker, and now we go to number nine… Primate. Yeah, what I said about bad guys who need to have a comedy element? He was wheeled out in a Royal Mail cage (called a “Yorkie” for those who care), and despite having been managed by James R. Kennedy last time we saw him, he’s now managed by King Ross. Yes, he of the the plastic crown and cheap cape… I guess those Orlando vignettes of the two of them happening to go shopping together translates to that.
Ross strokes Primate’s beard and brings down a metal bin for him to play with, and Primate instantly spears Bad Bones for a quick pinfall elimination. Take out the comedy stuff, and this is how you build a monster heel. Another spear drills Wainwright, and now Primate gets the bin… which he plants Wainwright in for a baseball slide dropkick into the corner.
Number 10 is revealed as Juventud Guerrera, straight off of the pre-show, and seemingly came with a mask based on the old Portuguese Man O’ War, Aldo Montoya! Zack Gibson’s out at 11, and he comes out doing his usual promo, which doesn’t resonate anywhere near as well here. He calls himself ITV’s “national television wrestling star”, which might give some of you plenty to read into. Gibson also tears into Matt Striker and Stu Bennett for having meet and greets, which he didn’t, and that gives a guy who’s only been here once before something to moan about.
Rockstar Spud is a pleasant surprise at number 12, dressed to wrestle, rather than ring announce, but his ring gear isn’t plastered with company logos. He’s attacked by Gibson as he tried to get into the ring, before being dropped over the crowd barriers. Our 13th man out is Johnny Moss… who of course uses the music shared by his tag partner Liam Slater, but Matt Striker ruins the surprise a la Bobby Heenan. Moss throws everyone around for the fun of it, then starts chopping at Primate until entrant 14 appears as Travis Banks… who gets a belly to belly from Mossy too.
Number 15 is Matt Striker, who was far from subtle in teasing his entry in the prior countdowns, and Matt goes straight after Gibson with chops and a big boot. Yeah, I’m not so struck on the aesthetic of a guy dressed in smart casual gear wrestling in Converse trainers. Striker then has a go at chopping away on Banks, and we then see number 16 come out as Sha Samuels.
There’s a LOT of World of Sport and Impact guys in this match, isn’t there?
17 is Doug Williams, who gets an audible pop, and he goes straight for Travis Banks to play up that expired feud based on some WCPW writer believing Doug was Travis’ dad. The ring’s getting full, and although there’s been a few eliminations, it’s very much unspectacular stuff at the moment. The 18th entrant is BT Gunn, who has shaved the straggly bits of his hair, and makes a beeline for Striker as the Prestige pair look to team up.
Number 19 is Prince Ameen, whose first order of business is to give Gibson a spinebuster, before trying to eliminate Gibson and Galloway at the same time. Good luck with that! We’re two-thirds of the way through the entries now, with number 20 being Viper. Who blasts Spud with a forearm immediately before handing him a Michinoku driver… Gibson gets a forearm too, before he resists an elimination and powders to the outside.
Viper continues a trail of destruction, planting Ameen with a back suplex before clotheslining him to the outside… but Galloway nonchalantly gets rid of the Scotswoman instantly. Just in time for number 21 as Rey Fenix entered the fray, taking down Gunn and Banks almost immediately. Eventually Gibson’s behaviour gets too much, and Stu Bennett gets involved, putting on an elbow pad and wipes out the Scouser with a Bullhammer elbow on the floor. Zack gets rolled in, allowing Spud to land a big splash off the top, and now Zack’s eliminated.
22 is Adam Pacitti, and to me this just screams “this was meant to be Alberto”. He lays into Martin Kirby, but it doesn’t work… and he’s quickly cornered by Spud and Galloway, as they set up for a powerbomb with the added help of Fenix, and the former GM is done. Thanks for coming! Next out at 23 is El Ligero… and I’ll just skip to the next gag, as number 24 was Fat Ligero. Remember, the overweight guy that dressed up as Ligero in the early days of WCPW when he was feuding with Martin Kirby?
Regular and Fat Ligero do the Doink mirror movements before hugging it out, and we trundle onto number 25, who was Dave Mastiff. Hey, another World of Sport guy! He goes straight for the guy he’s friendly with in another universe, squashing Fat Ligero before eliminating Spud. The Prestige take a powder to avoid Big Dave, as Fat Ligero is powerbombed and pinned… but regular Ligero’s offer of a Banter Thumbs Up earn him a pancake as Mastiff rips off a horn from the mask and throws Ligero out.
26 is Cody Rhodes, whose graphic still listed him as the Internet champion for some reason. He boots away at everyone, before spiking Fenix with the Cross Rhodes for a pinfall. Was Fenix trying to get killed tonight? Out at 27 is Rey Mysterio, who eliminates Mastiff with a West Coast Pop after Cody had given Big Dave a Disaster Kick. 28 is Joe Coffey, for the first time tonight, and now we have three Prestige men in the match with Gunn, Banks and Coffey. Cody’s low bridged out of the match by Coffey, before Mysterio joins him courtesy of a press slam to the floor by Gunn.
Number 29 comes out as Rampage, who instantly clotheslines Banks out of the match, before a piledriver gets rid of Gunn. Rampage squares off with Coffey, who begs off as he’s left one-on-three, but he’s peppered with shots as a uranage from Rampage leaves him down, but there’s no cover as Rampage, Galloway and Kirby decide to chop – and eye poke – the Scotsman.
The last man out is revealed as Joe Hendry, and they help to eliminate Rampage as we’re down to Hendry, Kirby, Galloway and Coffey as the final four. Drew headbutts away from a Coffey piledriver, and instead eliminates Joe with a Futureshock DDT, before Hendry eliminates the champion with the very same move… but that seemed to surprise everyone! I guess it’s because nobody ever gets pinned with their own move usually?
We’re down to Hendry and Kirby… Kirby survives an elimination, but falls into a Freak of Nature fallaway slam. He escapes and lands an enziguiri, leaving Hendry down… but he insists on going up for the Zoidberg elbow. For once, Kirby lands it, and that’s enough to get the pin as the former GM becomes champ! That’s two firsts in one night, and that was one hell of a pop for Kirby’s win! A fun Rumble, but it did drag in places, and could have done with a couple fewer entrants as some of the debutants didn’t click with a crowd that perhaps guessed the first two would be in the running at the end. ***
Well, this was a weird show to watch. Aside from Ameen/Brandi, there was nothing overtly rotten, but this just felt like a flat event. WCPW would go to Coventry 24 hours later for the Mexican World Cup qualifiers, and despite both shows featuring largely the same names, it felt like that was the stand-out event from the double header, rather than this show where the promotion all-but-guaranteed a new champion… and delivered.
There will be people questioning why a lot of the new faces in the Rumble happened to be affiliated with World of Sport, but let’s see how this plays out. WCPW’s back on YouTube next week with the Mexican World Cup qualifiers, before a pair of shows in May and July – which is a far cry from the weekly shows they were planning at the start of the year!