The Scottish leg of WCPW’s World Cup Qualifiers have thrown up some results which, in hindsight, were quite interesting…
Taped in Motherwell in late March, this show was released on the Friday before WrestleMania, which unfortunately meant it got lost in the shuffle here, and no doubt by many others, judging by the 41,000 hits this video’s had in the week between it being posted and my reviewing it (vs. the 92,000 hits from the England show)… and before anyone accuses me of an anti-Scottish bias for the delay… look at my surname.
Anyways, we’ve got Matt Striker and Sean David on commentary. If that last name’s making you scratch your head… me too. Apparently he’s done work for ICW and 3CW, but that’s about it. Unless they’re doing a Matt Striker-plus-local-guy routine, I’m guessing Dave Bradshaw was unavailable?
After they fade away from the commentary team too soon, we move to an annoyed Joe Hendry doing a video package with Kenny Williams. Same format as the others: sit-down pieces, mixed with clips from BCW for Kenny Williams. Curiously, those clips from BCW were of Kenny facing Big Damo (now Killian Dain) from June 2015, and now I’m wondering if this was an idea straight out of WCW…
Pro Wrestling World Cup – Scottish Qualifier – First Round: Joe Hendry vs. Kenny Williams
So, they recorded a knock-off of “Power of Love” for Kenny Williams, which ranked up there with the stock music WWE managed to find that approximated “Sledgehammer” for Tyler Bate. Of course, Matt Striker has to hit us over the head with Kenny’s “Back To The Future” gimmick, because nothing can ever be subtle.
A nice, brisk opening sees the pair trade holds, whilst Matt Striker notes that the drop-down spot “is designed to trip your opponent, but never seems to work”. Travis Banks says hi.
Williams leaps over Hendry, then low bridges him to the outside for a diving dropkick through the ropes, then a tope before a diving uppercut off the top almost won him the match. Hendry nicely counters a tiltawhirl DDT into a suplex as he got back into the match, at least until Williams scored a rebound lariat for a near-fall. We move up to an ankle lock from Hendry, but Williams rolls through and manages to get almost a victory roll on Hendry for the pin! Pretty fun as an opener, and that’ll just give Hendry something else to moan about! ***¼
After the match, Hendry accosted the referee, and then we move to a video package for the next round: Joe Coffey and Liam Thomson, again with footage from BCW, this time of Thomson beating on Kenny Williams and Drew Galloway.
Pro Wrestling World Cup – Scottish Qualifier – First Round: Joe Coffey vs. Liam Thomson
We’ve got arm-based fun to start us off here, with Coffey also using Thomson’s arms to strangle himself. Coffey heads outside after a brief flurry, and manages to uppercut Thomson as he went for a dive, but the lighting is still horrific so we can barely see them brawling outside.
Somewhere, Thomson got busted up, before Coffey did the hotel room key gimmick, shoving his Travelodge card into Thomson’s already bloody mouth. That’ll definitely make the hey work better! Coffey continues to wear down on Thomson, but he misses a Black Coffey and ends up taking a back suplex from Liam.
Thomson succeeds with that tope at the second attempt, but he tries for a missile dropkick back into the ring. He misses but manages to roll up from a Boston crab attempt into a near-fall, before a wheelbarrow roll-up also got Thomson a two-count, as did a Victory roll. Coffey fights back, shrugging off a back cracker, only to leap into a powerbomb as Liam keeps racking up those two-counts. Another back cracker is blocked as Coffey finally gets the Giant Swing, then a Boston crab as Thomson finally taps. This picked up as it went along, but so far we’ve not had any of the expected silences from crowds not used to non-WCPW guys. **¾
Matt Striker leads us into… Matt Striker building up the Mexican qualifiers at the end of April.
El Ligero vs. Grado
Ring announcer Stevie Aaron helpfully tells us that this is a non-tournament match. Of course, because Ligero isn’t Scottish! It looks like they played Madonna live, because we get a dubbed in theme, with a New Japan-esque “music has been altered due to copyright” blurb for Grado’s entrance, except you can hear the proper music whenever the commentary team talk. Perhaps that should have been a “wild line”… which’d have allowed them to remove this “cannot unsee” moment:
SD: “Grado… is the Hulk Hogan of Scotland”
MS: “I’ll be on the lookout for his videos”
Cheers Matt. At least you didn’t go down the “he’s wildly racist?” route…
For some reason, the Scottish crowd have turned on Grado, leaving the R out of his name. It’s all comedy at the start, with Grado getting cheers for leaning into the ropes. It’s an easy crowd, huh?
Grado pratfalls Ligero for a near-fall, before Grado acts stunned that Ligero could score with a shoulder tackle. He withstands some slow-mo tackles from a blown up Grado, before the Scotsman tries to pull off a headstand into the corner, then a 0141 (619) that crumbled badly.
Grado heads to his bum bag and pulls out an El Generico mask, which leads us into some lucha! This is the fastest I’ve seen Grado move… ever! He gets dizzy up on the top rope, and eventually goes for a big splash onto an impatient Ligero… who rolls away and unmasks him. Dusty punches and a Bionic elbow follow from Grado, who follows in with a cannonball for a near-fall.
Up next is a bag of Doritos… which Grado eats before spreading onto the mat like they were thumb tacks. Ligero takes the R-Grado into the Doritos, and that’s the win. A comedy match, that by the end of the night, this would be the second-longest match on the bill. Ye Gods… If you like Grado, then you’ll like this. *½
Pro Wrestling World Cup – Scottish Qualifier – First Round: BT Gunn vs. Lewis Girvan
Girvan takes the match to Gunn in the early going, working over the Prestige member’s wrist, before he countered some headscissors into a bow-and-arrow hold.
Gunn dives out into the dark abyss known as ringside, before Girvan flew into him with a tope con hilo, before ducking a chop as Gunn slapped the ring post. A double stomp misses, as Gunn comes back with a hiptoss knee strike for a near-fall, before Girvan launches back with some clotheslines and elbows.
Girvan slips out of a superplex position and catches Gunn with a One Winged Angel for a near-fall, then an enziguiri and a small package… but Gunn comes back with a superkick and a series of roundhouses, before they roll back and forth with roll-ups for near-falls. Is every tournament match going to feature that spot?! From there, Gunn has had enough and snaps back with a Sister Abigail-esque DDT for the win. Decent, and perhaps the best Gunn has looked so far? ***
Another video package follows for Mark Coffey vs. Drew Galloway. There’s clips from Mark’s brief run with WCPW last year, but no mention of his heel turn ahead of his unexplained departure.
Pro Wrestling World Cup – Scottish Qualifier – First Round: Mark Coffey vs. Drew Galloway
Coffey’s entrance looks like an old VHS tape, complete with a pre-screen that could have passed for a technical flub. His music’s ultra generic, and I’m not sure if I’d be inviting comparisons to Iron Mike Sharpe, but there you go. Coffey gets a streamer thrown to the ring for his entrance, which the camera misses and sees Striker call the fans “markish”.
Pot. Kettle. Black.
Coffey’s cagey at the start, as the crowd chants “3MB” at Galloway. Seriously? After a dropkick, Coffey takes Galloway into the corner for some chops, but the match turns around as Drew makes a comeback, only to get forearmed to the dark abyss of the ringside area. Drew returns the favour on those chops, then slingshots Coffey into one of the steel beams under the ring, to barely any reaction from the Motherwell crowd.
Back inside, a forearm decks Coffey for a near-fall, but Mark comes back with a leaping enziguiri as Galloway came off the ropes, then threw in a back suplex for a near-fall, before be countered a Futureshock DDT into a vertical suplex. A Sky High powerbomb almost gets it for Drew, as does a snap piledriver, before his Claymore kick attempt is cut-off by a massive forearm from Coffey.
At the second attempt, Drew nails that Claymore kick before finishing off Coffey with the Futureshock DDT to book his spot in the second round. Nice and hard-hitting, and I was again surprised to see how over Coffey was here given he’d not been in WCPW for months. ***½
Up next is a rematch of sorts from the Magnificent Seven match at Bulletproof…
Travis Banks vs. Martin Kirby
Kirby gets jumped at the bell… at which point Matt Striker throws in a mention that these two were tag team partners at one point. Literally… for ONE match in February 2016 for Grand Pro Wrestling. That’s… nevermind. Fact checking Matt Striker is fun!
Banks works over Kirby’s arm early on, but he misses a knee drop as Kirby rolled to the outside, before being forced to kick out of a sunset flip. They head to the dark abyss again, and return as an enziguiri in the ropes takes Banks down briefly, as did a Slingblade, before a pull-back neckbreaker gets Kirby a near-fall.
Kirby misses what looks to be a Rocker Dropper, which leads to Banks landing a modified Michinoku driver. A Sable Bomb’s backdropped out of, before the pair counter each other’s brainbusters, ending with a roll through into a superkick from Banks… but Kirby finally lands another enziguiri as he goes onto what I swear Sean David called Kirby’s “party piss”.
Yes, I know he said “party piece”. Banks rolls away from a Zoidberg elbow, but Kirby landed on his feet before Eddie’ing it up, playing possum as Banks went for the same move. Travis misses of course, which leads to a Sable bomb for the win. A nice easy watch, further underscoring Kirby’s top contender’s status for after the promotion’s trip to Orlando. ***
We get a “I don’t have this on the format” moment as the Prestige’s moment hits. I hate that sort of thing as a fake “this isn’t planned” set-up. Joe Hendry’s out in a suit, and commentary pulls the “get security out here because this isn’t planned”. Hendry snubbed a kid on his way to the ring, and as he’s about to explain “Prestige’s manifesto”, Gabriel Kidd heads out to cut him off. Kidd wasn’t booked to wrestle, but he’s still here giving us revisionist history about how the crowd loved him until he turned on Kurt Angle. Have we all forgot about how much of a prick Hendry was to Joseph Conners?
Kidd accuses Hendry of attacking Prince Ameen previously, and then gets laughed at when he acknowledges being win-less. Oh dear. He goes through Hendry’s “blown opportunities” for the title, and that eventually makes the former Local Hero snap into the 19-year-old, whipping him with his belt. Apparently security are MIA, so Matt Striker (of all people) gets up from the commentary table and slides into the ring.
Matt then takes the microphone and introduces himself to Hendry, because of course they’ve never met before. Apart from those segments where they’ve interacted on commentary. Cue a small penis joke from Striker, who then calls Hendry a mark for trying to get himself over by beating Kidd. Yeah, this is Striker at his insufferable worst, and it leads to Striker challenging Hendry for WCPW’s Orlando show. They censor Striker’s closing line, as he invited Hendry to “come to my hometown and get your ass kicked”. They’re going to Orlando, not Queens…
Up next is a pre-taped promo for WhatCulture Extra, featuring such no-longer-featured benefits like WCPW shows a day early. There’s a blatant jump-cut to remove the no-longer-featured live streams of reactions to Raw and SmackDown, and now we’re back to the action.
Pro Wrestling World Cup – Scottish Qualifier – Second Round: Joe Coffey vs. Kenny Williams
Striker’s anti-Prestige for this, which is a little weird since he’s only meant to have beef with Joe Hendry, but we’ll roll with it.
Coffey blasts into Williams with a shotgun dropkick during the introductions, and they quickly go into the unlit void as Matt Striker can’t help but drop S-bombs. Williams avoids an apron powerbomb and kicks Coffey, only to get sent into the front row which… we can barely see because WhatCulture can apparently only afford to light their new 21ft ring.
Back inside, Coffey lands a spinning backbreaker before using his Prestige t-shirt to snapmare Williams. From there, Coffey tries for a single-leg crab, but Williams makes the ropes before it can be fully applied. There’s some fun spots where Williams rolls across the ring to avoid Coffey, before reversing the hotel card camel clutch spot, only to get backed hard into the corner.
A springboard back elbow succeeds for Williams, sending Coffey to the floor for a tope into the aisle. Back inside, Williams gets a near-fall from a headlock driver, then decides to head up top for a moonsault… he lands on his feet, but gets powerbombed out of a ‘rana as Coffey followed up with a Giant Swing and a Boston crab. Williams gets the ropes to break free, but he’s uppercut’d out of the sky as Striker swears again, before a high-angle Boston crab forces the submission. Solid work from both these guys, as Coffey booked his spot in the final. ***½
Since young Matthew likes things being flagged clearly as opinion… it is my view that he’s switched to being goddamned unbearable for that match. He’s can be a good commentator, but he veers too much onto the other side of that divide – a view that many seem to share.
Pro Wrestling World Cup – Scottish Qualifier – Second Round: BT Gunn vs. Drew Galloway
I’m so fed up of that air raid siren intro for the Prestige. It’s not so bad when they’re only on the odd match in a card, but ¾s of a show overrun with them is beyond overkill.
Another jump start sees Gunn almost win it with a kick before the bell, and we hear on commentary that Gabriel Kidd got a concussion from that Joe Hendry beating earlier. Must have been a real hard whipping…
Galloway comes in with some chops that Striker grunts along to, but Gunn quickly comes back with a snapmare and a dropkick. Some slaps just rile Galloway who slaps his way back, then lands an axehandle off the top before clotheslining Gunn to the outside. There’s more brawling in the dark, going towards the stage where Gunn’s suplexed.
Galloway carries Gunn back towards the ring, but BT slips out and shoved Drew into the ringpost, but again Drew comes back with a superplex as Gunn struggled to maintain any advantage. A Claymore kick takes Gunn down hard, before a wandering camera catches Galloway wrestling Gunn into an inverted Fly Swatter. Another comeback from Gunn ends with a flying Codebreaker that almost won it, but Galloway shoves his way out of the swinging DDT before snapping into a piledriver, then a Futureshock DDT for the win. Good back-and-forth here, and I’d have liked to have seen this match go a little longer – but easily the best of all the tournament matches tonight. ***¾
So, Galloway makes the finals… a move that will need tweaking, given that Drew has rejoined WWE, and may not be allowed to do more than drop the WCPW title.
An advert for the Orlando State of Emergency show airs, which is impressive given that this was only posted on YouTube 24 hours before it took place. Perhaps an advert for when it would air would have been more appropriate? (Answer: April 7th on WhatCulture Extra, our review will follow sometime next week)
Will Ospreay vs. Matt Riddle vs. Marty Scurll
Billed as a WCPW exclusive, it’s a rehash of one of those great matches from 2016 with added Bro. Ospreay demands that the crowd sing Happy Birthday to Bea Priestley, then rattles off into a pro-England rant, which gets exactly the reaction you’d expect.
Ospreay and Scurll target Riddle early, but their early double-teaming just earns them a bunch of gutwrench and German suplexes before their numbers advantage worked out again. Will fakes out a dive to Scurll, only to get kicked in the head by Riddle, before eating a couple of forearms and an Exploder suplex.
The “bro-ton” back senton gets Riddle a two-count, but then Marty Scurll comes into pump the brakes and almost kill Riddle with a pumphandle-over-the-knee-neckbreaker. Riddle barely registers some kicks from Scurll as he launches into some forearms… but Ospreay trips him in the ropes and drags him into that dark abyss.
A series of waistlock reversals just earn Scurll and Ospreay a double German suplex as Riddle came back into the match, following up with a pair of Pele kicks as a Fisherman’s buster gets a near-fall over Ospreay. Next up is a delayed piledriver on Riddle that gets Marty Scurll his first near-fall before a double handspring overhead kick from Ospreay gets him back into the match.
Ospreay falls for the “Just Kidding” superkick, before a series of kicks and knees sets up for a triple roundhouse kick to leave everyone laying. They work up to a series of strikes from their knees, before Ospreay and Scurll combine to superkick Riddle to the floor. That’s followed with a finger snap on Ospreay, before Riddle’s Bro to Sleep is caught and met with a toe snap from the Villain. The pace quickens with a Cheeky Nando’s kick, before Riddle catches an OsCutter and turns it into a tombstone slam for a near-fall as Bea Priestley pulls the referee.
Riddle stalks Priestley on the outside, and she quickly gets caught between Riddle and Scurll… with a tope from Ospreay wiping out his girlfriend. On the outside, Scurll waffles Riddle with his umbrella, before catching Ospreay in a chicken wing back inside for the win. That finish felt a little flat and out of nowhere, but otherwise a perfectly fine triple-threat. ***½
Compared to the English leg, this series of World Cup qualifiers was more consistent, but distinctively felt lacking. Granted, the big names from earlier in the week (Bullet Club) had gone, but this just felt like it was missing something. The addition of the Matt Striker/Joe Hendry angle didn’t help things, as I feel that these shows should have been kept entirely separate from the main WCPW canon, rather than be made to feel like they were just set-ups for other cards.
What Worked: It was nice to see some of the non-regular WCPW guys getting a shot, with Kenny Williams and Mark Coffey taking their chance,
What Didn’t: Way too much Prestige. Yes, the bulk of the group is Scottish, so it was to be expected, but it just felt that this was the Prestige Show featuring Matt Striker. Speaking of… he’s always been a bit of a Marmite figure, but this seemed to have been the show that he got too comfortable and became unbearable on play-by-play.
Also… the trigger *needs* to be pulled on Gabriel Kidd now. Having crowd audibly laughing at him should never be in the plans for a “plucky underdog who eventually comes good”… and with no new WCPW shows until the end of April, it’ll be interesting to see what this time off results in.
Thumbs: Up – despite there being no stand-out match, this is a worthy watch if you’re in search of some Scots-flavoured gaps!