The first half of True Legacy – WhatCulture Pro Wrestling’s most attended show to date – featured some interesting matchups, to say the least.

Originally taped as a three-hour event in Altrincham in early October, WhatCulture has edited the show so it’s not exactly following the same order that fans watching live would have seen…

The show opened with El Ligero pulling into the car park with his Internet title in tow. Amid the sea of rubble (which included a crowd barrier, bizarrely), we see the promotion’s insufferable GM who rushes in to kiss the masked man’s arse. Ligero vs. Pete Dunne is on the card tonight, and El Ligero’s also been added to the tag team title tournament… but he’ll have to find a new opponent because “El Desperado is unavailable”. Pacitti has a new partner in mind, but he doesn’t reveal, instead walking off as Ligero despondently locks his car.

If only we’d seen that segment at the live show… but we’ve beaten that horse before! Dave Bradshaw and Jim Cornette’s doing commentary for this special event, by the way. From the hard camera, it’s pretty clear that there’s places where seating could have been set up, but instead there’s just empty gaps in the covered-over ice rink.

WCPW Tag Team Title Tournament, First Round: Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) vs. The Business (Liam Slater & Johnny Moss)
So, Moss and Slater have gotten a tag team name – “The Business”. I fully expect someone on commentary, possibly named Alex, to make a “they’re killing the business” gag with them down the line.

This was the show opener on the night, and it showed as the crowd ate up just about everything, including an early victory roll from Bate… even if he just got a count of one over Slater. We got Moss and Seven again – reprising their match from two weeks’ ago on the show – and we started with a ripcord shoulder tackle. Which had little effect. Moss and Seven bounced off the ropes with their Newton’s cradle-esque shoulder tackles, before upgrading to vicious chops, and then suplexes as Moss took Seven down with an overhead belly-to-belly. After being tagged in, Slater took a front suplex onto Seven from Moss for a near-fall, before Slater took the hand-me-off hanging vertical suplex from both halves of Moustache Mountain.

Seven slammed Moss, then Slater onto Moss, and finally Bate onto Slater… before the youngster Bate returned the favour onto the poor “Lazarus Kid”. They tease slamming the referee, but Moss and Slater end up slamming their opponents simultaneously. A Cactus Jack-esque clothesline from Slater takes out the two youngsters, before Trent Seven flew into them with a tope, with Johnny Moss completing the set with a monstrous somersault senton.

Seven chopped away at Moss outside, and of course, it leads to Seven accidentally chopping the ringpost. They return to trade German suplexes, before Bate flies out of the corner with a back elbow, and then helps Seven land a double suplex for a near-fall. Tyler Bate lands a bridging suplex on Slater, ending only when Trent took a German suplex from Moss onto the bridge… that looked nasty for all involved. All four men connect with simultaneous, circular forearms, then chops, with the series ending with some big boots from Bate, as he went for the airplane spin/Giant swing combo.

Moss dumps Bate with a lariat, before a Fisherman’s buster took down the youngster. Trent Seven then got neutralised with a fireman’s carry as Liam Slater leapt off of Seven’s back for a swandive headbutt as “The Business” booked a semi-final with Prospect. As on the night, a fun opening match, and the Business hasn’t been killed yet! ***½

We’re taken to much-earlier-in-the-day as Joe Hendry walked outside the arena with a travel suitcase and a cup of coffee. Hendry repeats his claim from earlier that now he’s faced Kurt Angle, the next chapter on his WCPW career opens as he gets a title shot tonight. Either way, “it’s been quite the run for Joe Hendry”, which sounds like an exit promo…

WCPW Internet Championship: Pete Dunne vs. El Ligero (c)
This was the match where the “cheap Jack Swagger” stuff reared its ugly head in Altrincham… Dunne jump started the match by biting Ligero’s fingers as he was in the corner, but Ligero punches free and hits a ‘rana to take down Dunne.

Dunne blinds Ligero with his own cape as he rushes in with some knees to the head, then an enziguiri that set the cape free! Ligero hits back with a slingshot Ace crusher through the ropes, but Dunne quickly replies with a rope hung DDT for a near-fall. Those “cheap Jack Swagger” chants took hold here as Dunne mocked the “we the people” pose before going after Ligero’s fingers.

Dunne dumps Ligero with a back suplex, before they start trading shots back and forth as the Drop Dead attempt from Dunne’s blocked and met with a lariat off the ropes. Ligero connects with a wheelbarrow facebuster for a near-fall, before springboarding off the ropes into another Ace crusher as Dunne rolls to the outside. That leads to an apron spot – with Dunne teasing a German on the apron – but instead Ligero switches it into a death valley driver on the apron. They return to the ring as Ligero tried for a Mexican wave, but after missing Dunne, the Bruiserweight bites the Mexican’s foot en route to a gutbuster, then a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall.

Another Drop Dead is switched into a DDT by Ligero, but Dunne hits back with a snap German suplex, only for Ligero to follow up with a reverse ‘rana. The tables kept turning back and forth as a C4L from Ligero was cut-off by a forearm from Dunne, who then went back to the Drop Dead, but that proved to be the fatal error as the Drop Dead was yet again countered, this time into a small package for the win. A nice, albeit short match, and Dunne’s still waiting for his first win in this group ***

It’s perhaps worth noting that during this match, the recorded-on-the-night commentary talked about “two thousand plus” fans in attendance. Not that any wrestling promotion would ever inflate figures, but if that 2,600 number is accurate, then this is straight out of WCW with the announcer underselling the crowd.

Dunne attacked Ligero after the match, but was quickly sent to the outside courtesy of a low-bridge from the champion. Travis Banks runs out to join the beatdown, as Dunne takes the microphone and announced that he and Banks had formed a team: the Strong Style Collective. Banks demands that they’re thrown into the tag team tournament, and invites a partner out for El Ligero… and out comes Alberto el Patron to a monster pop. So much for Ligero’s match being “next week”, eh?

WCPW Tag Team Title Tournament, First Round: Strong Style Collective (Pete Dunne & Travis Banks) vs. El Ligero & Alberto el Patron
Patron rushes to the ring and dropped both of the Collective, dispatching them from the ring. Ligero rushes into Dunne and Banks in the aisle with a tope con hilo.

The crowd couldn’t help but chant Patron’s old ring name, as he took over on Banks with some mounted punches. Patron edges ahead of Banks with an enziguiri, before we go to that incredibly contrived double stomp… but Banks sits up and throws Patron down. Pete Dunne tags in, but Patron again overcomes the pair of them before making the tag out to Ligero, who also outsmarts the heels. An enziguiri meant for Dunne connected with Banks, before Ligero hits another Ace crusher, sending Dunne on top of his partner as Ligero earned a near-fall out of that.

Alberto causes a distraction on the outside for some reason as Dunne and Banks stand on the crotch of an upside-down Ligero in the corner. Dunne works an armbar on Ligero after that, before a freed Ligero hits a tiltawhirl into a DDT as he makes the hot tag to Patron.

Patron drops Banks with a tiltawhirl backbreaker, before Banks shoves Patron into a blind tag, which ends up with Ligero connecting with the Mexican Wave splash for the near-fall. We’re back to Dunne and Ligero, with Dunne nibbling away at Ligero’s fingers… Ligero replies by biting Travis Banks, and in comes el Patron to get bitten as he completes the set by flipping off Dunne and kicking him.

Patron takes a cannonball in the corner from Banks, before the heels focus on Ligero. The Internet champion gets bitten after he bounced back from a double headbutt, before a C4L on Banks leads to the Drop Dead from Dunne for the win. Well, Ligero can’t win them all, especially tag matches with partners who also have “el” in their names! This was another decent, but short, tag match in front of a crowd that ate it up. ***¼

We go outside the building with Prospect – as James Kennedy appears to tell his crew that there’s been a change of plans with “Team Kennedy”. Kennedy’s got a special beast for his team, in the form of Primate.

Elimination Tag: Prospect (Alex Gracie, Lucas Archer & Drake) & Primate vs. El Desperado, Prince Ameen, Gabriel Kidd & Rampage
Considering this was meant to be a team warfare thing, Rampage’s team sure did have a whiff of “who’s not booked already?” about it. Desperado spent his entrance waiting in the aisle, playing around with Primate’s mask, before trying to throw himself into the “boo/yay” cheers with Ameen and Kidd, to little response. Ah, the dangers of a casual crowd…

Rampage rushes to the ring and lays out Drake with a clothesline at the bell, as Primate’s held back by a struggling Kennedy outside the ring. Prince Ameen gets decked by Rampage, and that leads to our first elimination as Drake steals the pin. Gabriel Kidd comes in and dropkicks Drake, before working over Gracie, who managed to blind tag out to Lucas Archer.

El Desperado eventually gets tagged in, and he ends up shoving Kidd before they somehow managed to work together, booting down Archer. Desperado returns the blind tag favour, forcing Kidd back into the match. Drake gets shoved down after tripping Kidd in the ropes, before Kidd gets a near-fall from a sunset flip on Archer. An O’Connor roll gets him a near-fall, but Kidd takes a shot from Gracie after the kick-out, and gets rolled-up by Archer for the elimination.

Desperado returns to ring, since Rampage was the main event of that team, and he went back and forth with forearms with Drake. The masked man’s dragged down into the splits after a kick is caught, but Desperado rolls back up, only to fall to an enziguiri from Drake for a near-fall. There’s a bunch of roll-ups for near falls back and forth, before Drake gets another two-count from a stalling bridging German suplex.

Drake puts on the brakes to avoid a ref bump, but Desperado takes advantage of a cowering referee to get in a low blow before a roll-up eliminates Drake to make this a 3-on-2 affair. The rest of Prospect rush the ring, taking down Desperado with their Ace Crusher/Flatliner combo, as Gracie makes the cover to eliminate the Japanese star. That leaves us with Rampage against Prospect and Primate… and yep, Prospect get killed. A double team clothesline knocked them down as Rampage ran wild, before a uranage eliminates Alex Gracie. In rushes Lucas Archer off the top rope, and he gets a similar treatment as we’re down to Rampage and Primate.

We finally get to the part of the match we wanted to see, and the two big guys trade headbutts back and forth, then clotheslines, before a Samoan drop from Rampage is returned with a Mountain Bomb-esque throw from Primate. Rampage drops Primate with a powerbomb, but he’s unable to make a cover as Primate rolls to the outside.

Rampage follows him, but gets held back by Kennedy as he tried to return to the ring, and that gives Primate the opening for a spear, before the Tazzmission-like choke forces the referee to instantly call the match. This match just felt massively rushed to me; the impression we had going in was that Rampage was picking his team, but instead he got a trio of guys to make up the numbers. In terms of building up Primate, this worked, but I don’t have faith that the booking here won’t keep him far enough away from Prospect. **

We’ve got a backstage segment with Joseph Conners building up his title defence against Joe Hendry in the main event (of the first half). Conners reckons that Hendry is “a wannabe celebrity”, and promises to end him tonight.

WCPW Championship: Joe Hendry vs. Joseph Conners (c)
Joe Hendry came out to a version of the Foo Fighters’ “My Hero”, whilst Joseph Conners had a new video – with a lot of the roster on this show getting new videos and graphics.

The match started with Hendry taking down Conners with some ground and pound, forcing the champion into the corner… and this feels like they have an issue to settle, even if it was only brought back to the fore on the TV between the iPPV and this show! Hendry takes down Conners with a leaping knee strike, before he backdropped Conners to the outside, where we saw some chops between both men on the floor. Hendry repeatedly drops Conners into the apron, before the champion avoids the Freak of Nature fallaway slam on the floor. Conners isn’t so successful at avoiding a back body drop onto the floor, but he repeatedly tries to put distance between himself and Hendry.

Hendry rushes back to the ring to break the count, then returns to the aisle to try and suplex Conners there… but instead the challengers gets suplexed in the aisle. Conners looks to take the countout win, but Hendry returns at the count of nine and gets met with an avalanche attack in the middle of the ring. They quickly go back outside as Conners stomps Hendry on the floor, before a short-arm clothesline gets him a near-fall back inside.

Conners rakes the eye of Hendry, before laying into him in the corner with elbows and clotheslines. I think it was around this time – at least in the live show – where the crowd started to get distracted by two people on the hard camera side “having a match” between themselves… which led to some shouts of “whoo!” that didn’t fit in with anything that was happening in the match. Undeterred by the distracted crowd, Hendry fought back with an inverted neckbreaker on Conners, then a DDT for a near-fall. Hendry tried for a powerbomb, but instead Conners freed himself and connected with a Falcon arrow for a near-fall. There’s more of the crowd reacting to stuff not happening in the ring, as Conners slingshots into the ring with a DDT for a near-fall, before Hendry turned the tables with a Dominator that got him another near-fall.

The crowd chant along as if we’re getting mounted punches in the corner, but instead we get a small package in the ring as Hendry’s latest comeback ended with him clotheslining Conners to the mat. They trade shots back and forth once more, before Hendry takes Conners into the corner for more shots, only to be met with a push-down stomp from the champion.

Conners goes up top, only to get caught with an uppercut from Hendry, who then tried for the Freak of Nature off the middle rope… and succeeded! Conners rolls outside almost instantly though, and seemingly went under the ring, before returning to try for a belt shot. Hendry blocks the belt shot, then goes for another Freak of Nature, which gave us a TNA-level of contrived ref bump, as Hendry staggered back so much that Conners’ legs knocked down the ref. Unless Hendry was going to give Conners a fallaway slam out of the ring, I don’t quite know how that could have been logical…

Nevertheless, with the referee down, Conners scurried for his belt, and of course we get the belt shot as the referee was still selling, and that’s the win for the champion. An unedifying finish, but given that most of this crowd were distracted by something else, it wouldn’t be too far to say it was a deserved finish. Up until then, it was a good match, but my God, that finish hurt so bad. **¾

At a guess, I’d suggest that there was some editing to the crowd noise, since there was no response for when the impromptu wrestling-match-in-the-crowd was ended by way of security ejecting both guys… and that’d also explain some of the weird reactions from the crowd. With Joseph Conners going to the back, that’s your lot. No YouTube-only drop in for “come back next week for these matches”… just a flat ending for those of us who don’t watch live, or are too cheap to pay for their Extra service (where, by the way, the week one main event would seemingly have been a mid-card match. Great way to build your World title, eh?)

As a first half, this was a good show – the crowd felt really hot throughout, save for the weird editing, and the only bad match we got was always going to struggle given the time it was given. Having seen this live, it sure was odd seeing the “final” version of this show. This was the first time that WCPW’s had a “two-parter” special, as their previous specials (“Built To Destroy”, “Stacked”) all being one-parters that were live-to-tape, rather than this format, which felt almost like a throwback to those old WWE Superstars tapings, where things get chopped up and placed out of order.

With another live iPPV at the end of the month, WhatCulture probably couldn’t have done two “three hour specials” in a matter of weeks, but it sure does feel like they’re doing too many specials right now. Then again, so are WWE, and it’s not like we’re getting much here that WWE haven’t done before!