Featuring Kurt Angle vs. Cody Rhodes, the second half of WCPW’s True Legacy show filled in the blanks from Altrincham.

Last week, if you watched on YouTube, you’d have gotten a “fade to black” moment, with no information on the rest of the card… part two opens with Adam Pacitti hyping up Big Damo outside the arena. Pacitti’s playing his usual loathesome, off-the-rails GM character here, demanding that Damo “ruins” Kirby.

Joe Coffey vs. Minoru Suzuki
An unannounced rematch from the iPPV, Suzuki gets the Will Ospreay treatment here – in that they acknowledge his Suzuki-gun group, without any description of what it is, or its importance. It may just be me, but unless you flesh them out, some details can be superfluous…

Suzuki starts by aiming some kicks at Coffey, before going for a wristlock that gets reversed back and forth. After some ground work, both men kip up and square off, butting heads as the Scotsman started a chop battle. Minoru won the chop battle, but lost the war as a diving shoulder tackle knocked him down, before a deadlift gutwrench suplex earned Coffey a near-fall.

Suzuki catches a lariat on the apron and turned it into a rope-hung armbar, before dragging Coffey outside the ring for a spot of brawling by the barricades. They went up the aisle (not like that) as Suzuki connected with a run-up PK down the aisle, before returning to the ring in search of a count-out. After Coffey returned to the ring, Suzuki caught him in a camel clutch, but Coffey reached for the ropes before starting another chop battle… which led to Suzuki grabbing one and going for a Fujiwara armbar as Coffey scrambled for a break. Suzuki went over the arm again in the ropes, before ending up in another chop battle, which this time ended in a front facelock on the Scotsman. The front facelock’s turned into a guillotine, but Coffey powered out and turned it into a hanging vertical suplex, before landing a pair of avalanches.

Coffey nailed his springboard crossbody out of the corner for a near-fall, before Suzuki turned the tables with a snapmare and another PK for a two-count. After Minoru argued with Steve Lynskey over the count, he set up for a Gotch-style piledriver, before ducking the Black Coffey piledriver. The second one hit, as Coffey landed a deadlift bridging German suplex to almost win it.

Another Black Coffey’s ducked as Suzuki briefly had a sleeperhold in. The sleeper was reapplied as a set-up for the Gotch piledriver as Minoru nonchalantly made the successful cover. Better than their iPPV match, but going 0-2 against Suzuki doesn’t do that much for the guy who’s actually staying around. Even if they did shake hands afterwards. ***¼

They follow-up with a promo with Joe Coffey, who throttles Kenny McIntosh supposedly as he was headed backstage after the match. Yep, Coffey’s frustrated, and that might just have cemented his place as a babyface!

Big Damo vs. Martin Kirby
So the story behind this match is that Adam Pacitti rehired Big Damo to take out Martin Kirby. Shame none of this was explained to the live crowd! Dave Bradshaw continued to play up the heel-but-just-for-Martin-Kirby act that usually would lead to a match… if Dave were a wrestler (or maybe if he understood the time/space continuum)! Kirby spent the opening moments buzzing around Damo like a fly, before hitting a trio of dropkicks to take down the Northern Irishman. An early attempt at the Sable Bomb failed like you’d expect, as Damo back body dropped out of it, before taking the action outside, sending Kirby into the guard railings. Back inside, Kirby’s caught in a camel clutch, before a Fireman’s carry slam and a back senton earned Damo a near-fall.

Damo fought out of a suplex attempt from Kirby, who somehow reversed it into a snap suplex, before nailing a back elbow off the top rope for a two-count. The Belfast native rolled to the outside, where he caught a cross body by Kirby… Kirby wriggled out and hit back with a tope after posting Damo, but ate a shotgun dropkick after they returned to the ring. Another back senton flattened Kirby, as did a Vader bomb as Damo scored another two-count. Kirby kicked his way free from a powerbomb, but ate a low cross body as Damo picked up another two-count. Damo went for the Ulster Plantation, and actually hit it, but Kirby kicked out at two.

Damo went for another Ulster Plantation, but Kirby turns it into a victory roll for a near-fall, before landing a Rocker Dropper. Kirby called for the Zoidberg Elbow, but Damo cut him off in the turnbuckles, and tried for a superplex. Instead, Kirby worked free and landed a powerbomb out of the corner, and that was enough for him to get the surprise win. A decent David vs. Goliath outing, and one the crowd seemed to like, which never hurts. ***½

After the match, Damo pulled Kirby out of the corner and offered a handshake… and the pair ended up all hugs. At least until Adam Pacitti came out screaming and playing the spoiled brat GM act. Pacitti was annoyed that Damo couldn’t put away Kirby, and he goes to fire him… but Damo grabs the microphone and tells him he resigns. “This Wednesday”, Damo flies to Orlando (as in “this Wednesday” when the show was taped, since he’d had two NXT matches before this aired!), and that led to a largely inaudible promo from Damo thanking the crowd.

Damo asked Pacitti to turn around, and he gets a jump scare from Kirby, before scurrying out of the ring. Eh, it’s the same issue with heel GMs. Unless they replay the “I’ve got a wrestler representing me” angle, the heel GM’s never going to get a true comeuppance… and since the first few months of WCPW already had that angle, it’s just going to mean a lot of time-filling segments.

After a plug for WCPW running in Milton Keynes on February 12, 2017 (Valentine’s Day weekend… I’m not touching any jokes that that combination can create, but hey, it’s an iPPV on a Sunday – a day wrestling fans are more used to, so thumbs up for learning), we’re taken to a recap from the iPPV where Kimber Lee lost to Nixon Newell, the post-match attack and Kimber’s attack on Little Miss Roxxy on Loaded a few weeks later. This leads to our next match:

Streetfight for WCPW Women’s Championship; Special Guest Referee: Melina – Kimber Lee vs. Nixon Newell (c)
Melina gets some dubbed in music, since they used her WWE theme live (which you could hear underneath the dubbing), and we get the “you still got it” chant. For someone walking to the ring. Uh-huh… Kimber Lee and Nixon Newell get plus points for wearing jeans to a street fight, and Kimber hid at ringside as Newell made her entrance… this led to Kimber decking Newell with a pump kick at ringside, as the match started on the floor. We get what a chop would look like in ice hockey, with the shirt pulled up over Newell’s head, before Nixon returned fire with a forearm to the mush.

Kimber takes some chops against the ring, before she gets whipped into the barriers once more, with Newell adding to the punishment by clotheslining Kimber into the crowd. Nixon does a lap around the ring, before diving over the barriers and into the crowd, which becomes the venue for the match for the next few moments.

The camera crew has a hard time finding both women, which is a massive negative for these kind of matches. They eventually pick them up by the timekeeper’s table, where Newell takes a suplex onto the floor. Kimber grabs two pints from a fan, and they end up having a drinking contest in the middle of a street fight… which sorta turned into both women spitting beer on each other. They finally return to ringside, where Kimber grabs a pair of chairs from under the ring, and sets them up for a sit-down slug-fest. Eventually, Newell gets the better of things, and stuffs Kimber Lee’s head into a chair, before missing a punt kick through a chair. Lee gets a near-fall from a head kick, before she takes a superkick to the head as Newell went back outside for… Cody Rhodes’ face mask? She puts it on and headbutts Lee for a near-fall, before the fight goes onto the top rope, where Kimber hits a senton bomb for another two-count, having headbutted Nixon down to the mat.

Yep, that elicited “Brother Nero” chants, because of course everything has to be approximated to a “bigger” promotion. Kimber tried for a powerbomb, but Newell came back with a Stunner, then a Welsh Destroyer for the win. Slightly better than their iPPV match, but I would have enjoyed this more had the in-the-crowd portion of the fight been better produced… **½

After the match, Kimber Lee tried to attack Newell, but Nixon ducked as Melina hit the LA Sunset/legdrop assisted DDT as the segment ended with some half-hearted dubbing.

We’ve got a sit-down promo with Kurt Angle, building up his match with Cody Rhodes. Kurt mentions how Cody beat him “a few months back”, and promises to prove why he’s the greatest of all time. Cody gets a retort, but there’s little of note here.

Cody Rhodes vs. Kurt Angle
Cody got the loudest pop of the night, almost matched by the “you suck”s for Kurt Angle. They both had a hyperbole-riddled, main-event-style introduction, before the match started with both men soaking in the crowd.

Cody plays to the crowd by doing a cartwheel and a Tye Dillinger-esque “ten” – getting one of the loudest cheers of the night. Another cartwheel from Cody gets the same result, before Kurt… then referee Steve Lynskey did the same. Hey, it’s eating up time into Kurt’s ten-minute match. They finally get going with shoulder blocks, before Rhodes lands a leapfrog into a hiptoss that seems to exacerbate a knee injury.

Rhodes rolls to the outside for a breather as the referee checked on him, before someone from the back to help more. Cody continued by dragging Angle outside the ring, before Kurt backdropped him into the crowd. They fought briefly in the crowd, before returning to the ring as Angle stomped over Rhodes’ injured knee… which somehow led to chants of “are you watching Vince McMahon?”

Look, I know fans aren’t high on Vince for doing nothing with Cody, but mocking WWE for letting Cody leave – when he was in a middle of a match that was hurt by injury – is far from the best time to do it!

Angle worked over Rhodes with a toehold, before the pair accidentally butt heads as Cody looked to rebound out of the corner. They work back-and-forth “yay/yay” punches (in the absence of a true heel), before Cody fired up with some forearms, only to fall into a German suplex. Cody hits a PK-like knee to Kurt’s face for a near-fall, but Angle quickly goes back to the rolling Germans, before Cody gets the springboard Disaster Kick for a near-fall.

More rolling Germans from Kurt come after the kickout, getting Angle another two-count. Cody pushes out of an ankle lock, but quickly takes the Angle Slam for another near-fall. Rhodes gets caught in the ankle lock a second time, but rolls through to send Kurt into the corner, before nailing the Cross-Rhodes for yet another two-count. Rhodes tries to end the match with a moonsault, but Angle rolled away as Rhodes hit an empty pool. They teased another Angle Slam and another Cross-Rhodes, but Kurt locks in a grounded ankle lock that forces Cody to tap. This was unfortunate – if the plan was to build in an injury, it really killed the flow of the match from the start… if that wasn’t the plan, the match really hurt regardless. It seemed to be in line with what Kurt’s matches have been like post-TNA; decent, but nowhere near the level that you’d expect from “indy main events” in 2016. **¾

Looking at how this was edited together, somehow the “TV version” was worse than what we got live. The rearrangement of these matches left a lot to be desired, particularly as we had repeated spots in back-to-back matches: in the form of crowd fighting in the streetfight and main event. Not in terms of an overall show, but it really did feel like the best matches were lumped on first part of this special.

In spite of that criticism, WCPW are making improvements – from booking iPPVs on “traditional wrestling nights”, to having somewhat coherent booking. Sure, there’s things like the TV show feeling like “just a bunch of matches”, save for the main events, but this is a million miles away from the rinky-dink stuff we had back in the summer when this group started.

It may not be my cup of tea most of the time, but it’s clearly working with a certain fanbase. Why they’re trying to appeal to other sections with the booking of indy stars (Minoru Suzuki, to name one) or giving otherwise pointless background info on others, I’ll never know!