DOUG WILLIAMS vs. BAD BONES - 4/10
A good little match for the time it got.
BULLET CLUB IS COMING IN NEXT MONTH - it will be Cole, Cody, and the Bucks.
WILL OSPREAY vs. RICOCHET - 7.25/10
I guess G-d was getting tired of the same old spots from these two so the top rope broke during this match. Because Matt Striker couldn't get through the first minute of the opener of the main show without saying something stupid, I'm just going to mute the whole damn show for a while. I said what I meant when I finally quit Impact. My resolution for 2017 is only to watch wrestling I enjoy, and for a promotion that I have very little intention of following along with the storylines like WCPW, that includes not subjecting myself to commentary that makes me throw things.
Yeah, okay, so I turned it back on to see how they would handle the broken top rope. Unlike JR and Striker, I'm not going to give these guys extra credit because the top rope broke. The match was great, but it wasn't the sort of performance of a lifetime that Ross and Striker (especially Striker) seemed to think it was.
JAMES R. KENNEDY PROMO - it wasn't a bad promo or anything, but when JR pitched it I was kind of expecting it to something that would explain the feud to new viewers like me, which it really didn't do.
BEST OF SEVEN SERIES FOR A WCPW TITLE SHOT MATCH #5: I QUIT MATCH:
Rampage vs. Primate (w/James R. Kennedy) - 7.5/10
JR pointed out to us that there were no disqualifications in this match at least three times in the space of two minutes. The match was really great. They told an excellent story with Primate working the ribs and Rampage working the head, but I think the thing I will really take away from this match is what a difference it made not having a microphone. Without the microphone to let us hear the referee asking the wrestlers if they wanted to quit and the wrestlers' defiant responses, this match just didn't feel as dramatic as it should have. Also, not having a microphone made WCPW look really, really bush league. Even promotions that run high school gyms have microphones. Who the hell doesn't have a microphone?
Aside from that, the only thing I didn't like was the finish, which saw Kennedy throw the towel in for Primate. It's an I Quit match. How can someone else quit the match for me?
At one point JR noted that one of the competitor's ribs might turn out to be a "cause for consternation" and it made me have one of the revelatory moments where you can take a feeling you've been having and finally find the right way to put it into words. When JR said this phrase, he said it like a perfectly normal person in a perfectly normal tone of voice. Whenever Matt Striker uses a big word he slows down when he says it. JR feels like he's calling the wrestling match. Matt Striker feels like he's trying to impress me with his big vocabulary and wants to make sure I noticed that he said this fancy word.
GABRIEL KIDD ASKS EL LIGERO TO BE HIS PARTNER TONIGHT IN THE TAG TITLE MATCH - Ligero accepts. Then some other guys showed up and said they would be in the match, too.
DRAGO vs. EL HIJO DEL DOS CARAS - 5.75/10
Why do the announcers always refer to Chavo Guerrero Sr. by his goofy WWE name? Don't get me wrong: It was a great heel gimmick for him, but it seems so odd to refer to him by a name he went by for only a fraction of his career, and especially when even people who only saw that WWE run will understand who you are talking about if you just called him "Chavo Guerrero Sr."
The match did its job as a palate cleanser, but it was clear here that Drago was stuck with a guy who isn't in his league, and that the crowd was disappointed that they weren't getting to see the originally advertised Drago vs. Fenix match.
PROSPECT PROMO - fine.
ZACK SABRE JR. vs. TRAVIS BANKS - 7.5/10
SCOTT WAINRIGHT PROMO - Paul Robinson won't be here tonight because he got drunk last night and beat up three bouncers so he got arrested. Okay...
Robinson says he has a back-up plan for a partner.
LADDER MATCH FOR THE WCPW TAG TEAM TITLES:
Johnny Moss & Liam Slater(c) vs. Gabriel Kidd & El Ligero vs. Prospect (Alex Gracie & Lucas Archer) vs. The Swords of Essex (Will Ospreay & Scott Wainwright) - 4.5/10
This match was a huge mess on many different levels. The camerawork was bad, the announcing was bad (more on that in a moment), and the action was almost all meh at best. The match felt choppy, like it had been chopped up into clear "segments" that each had one-line descriptions... and while that sounds like the sort of thing that could make for a match with an extremely well-told and simple story, this was not that. The first part of this match could easily be labeled "obligatory dives" and so everyone got the chance to get their dives in, including some guy named Prince Ameen who wasn't even part of the match and I had no idea whose side he was supposed to be on... and he of course had to do his dive with a magic carpet that said "A Whole New Word" on it because apparently this match needed to have comedy in it. More on that later as well.
From there we moved on to "ladder-based offense" and everyone got to do some of that. Then we moved on to "everyone tries to get the belts" where everyone got to get a false finish or two in and then we got the finish. The problem was that you didn't have guys going for the belts during the first two parts of the match or guys doing dives in the latter two, so it all felt very artificial- like they sat around before the match with a big chalkboard and wrote down what they thought fans would expect to see in a Ladder Match and then put together a match whose goal was to check off all of the boxes in a way that would be as easy for the wrestlers to remember as possible rather than them going out there and trying to have "their own" Ladder Match.
At one point Lucas Archer had El Ligero down on a ladder and decided to do The Worm... and of course by the time he finished his "theatrics" (as Wikipedia would call them) Ligero was able to move out of the way and Archer hurt himself. This prompted Jim Ross to chime in with one of the most simple and wonderful burials I have ever heard, saying, "well... he got his Scotty 2 Hotty routine in, but at what cost?" The Worm in and of itself is ridiculous, but Scotty 2 Hotty was an undercard guy whose gimmick was that he dances. That, combined with the fact that he was the first person to do it results in fans giving him a bit of a pass when he does it, but anyone else who does it doesn't have this protection, so they look like a complete and total idiot, especially when the other guy moves.
Both Archer and his tag partner Alex Gracie came off the total f*cking idiots several times in this match. The worst of it was one spot where the ladder was lying down in the ring and Johnny Moss, who is big and strong, went to pick it up... and Archer & Gracie decided that the best way to stop him would be to lie down flat across the ladder, adding their own weight to its own to make it heavier to lift. If they wanted to stop him from picking the ladder up, why didn't they just ATTACK HIM?! The reason, of course, is that someone thought that this would be a really cool spot to do in order to show off Moss' strength, and, unfortunately, many wrestlers nowadays seem to have forgotten (or, possibly worse, never learned) that just because something would look cool doesn't mean that you should do it.
And speaking of idiots, it was just minutes after Ross' wonderful burial that I mentioned above that I was pushed over my limit and had to once again mute the show. Aside from Ross' above line the commentary for this match had not been good at all. It was just Ross and Striker spouting clichés and occasionally doing things just to entertain themselves (like breaking out into a Terry Funk impression) and it was clear that they just didn't care one bit. Then we got a spot where two guys were having a tug of war with the ladder, and f*cking Striker decided to break out his evil old wizard voice and say "He who wields the ladder wields the power," at which point I was hoping Ross would take off his headphones and beat Striker to death with him. Instead Ross referred the ladder as a "somewhat unwilling tag partner," and I began to hope that while JR was in the process of beating Striker to death, Striker would get a number of very good licks in on JR as well.
IT'S A F*CKING LADDER! It has no preferences one way or the other about being used to hit someone, because it's an [i]inanimate object! It has no preferences on anything at all because IT'S A G-D DAMN LADDER! Why do announcers insist on saying stupid sh*t like this? Why can they not just say "he hit with the ladder" or something basic and simple and intelligent like that? (From what I've been told it only got worse, so doing this might have actually saved my life, as JR saying "that's essentially 3-on-1, if you consider that the ladder has a family" surely would have caused me to have an aneurysm.)
They did a spot where Gracie was on top of the ladder and got his pants pulled down to reveal that, underneath them, he was wearing purple tights with JR's face on the back below white lettering that said "oh my gawd!!" Then, with his tights around his ankles so he couldn't do much, Johnny Moss slowly climbed up the other side of ladder, and stared at Gracie and Gracie then slowly climbed down while everyone laughed. Then Moss shoved him off the ladder and he landed on Gabriel Kidd's outstretched knee in an atomic drop. Yes. This guy got special tights made so that he could do A COMEDY SPOT IN A F*CKING LADDER MATCH FOR THE TAG TEAM TITLES.
Eventually Moss got injured and had to leave. Then Gracie & Archer's pal Drake came out, ostensibly to help them, but when Gracie & Archer were about to grab the belts, he turned on them and shoved the ladders over, and believe me: you will NEVER see a spot like this come off as less dramatic than this one did. Kidd was then about to win the match but Ospreay gave him an Os-Cutter out of nowhere and the Swords of Essex won the titles.
Look... I am a huge fan of indy wrestling and have tried to turn WWE-only or TNA-only fans on to indy wrestling for years, and no matter how many times you tell them that guys they love like CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Austin Aries, Cesaro, the Motor City Machineguns, etc. made their names in promotions like ROH, PWG, and IWA Mid-South, they often have this insurmountable attitude that "any wrestler good enough for me to go out of my way to watch would already be signed by a 'big league' company" and I HATE that attitude... and yet, after watching this match I finally understand where that mentality comes from. Of the eight wrestlers in this match, the only one I had seen a lot of before is Ospreay, and the only other two I had heard much- or even really anything- about in various wrestling websites and forums were Scotty Wainwright and El Ligero... and the reason for that is clearly because they were MUCH better than the rest of the pack. Aside from Moss no one else in this match in this match seemed to even be mediocre. While it's clearly not fair to judge these guys by just one match, I couldn't help but think that the reason I hadn't even heard of any of these other guys before was that they weren't good enough for anyone to mention, and surely if they were good enough, I would have at least heard of them before.
WCPW WOMEN'S TITLE MATCH:
Bea Priestly"(c)" vs. Tessa Blanchard - ...
The reason for the quotation marks is that Bea Priestly is not the real champion. Rather, she and her Pacitti Club pals injured the real champion Nixon Newell back in December and Bea failed to win the title from her. Bea then stole the championship belt and has been going around calling her herself the "true WCPW Women's Champion." She was scheduled to "defend" her "championship" against Tessa Blanchard tonight but Tessa couldn't make it so Bea cut a promo making an open challenge which resulted in...
WCPW WOMEN'S TITLE MATCH:
Nixon Newell(c) vs. Bea Priestley - No rating, EXCELLENT segment.
Nixon Newell makes her big return. They wrestled for a few minutes until Bea went to go get a chair. The ref took the chair away from her, but this was her plan all along, as she then picked up the title belt and went to hit Nixon with it but Nixon moved out of the way and she accidentally hit the referee. Nixon fired up and hit some moves and then hit the Shiniest Wizard for what clearly should have been the win but the referee was down. Nixon went to go check on the ref, and while she was doing so Bea got the chair and went to hit her with it but Nixon ducked it, picked up the title belt and nailed Bea with the belt. She made the cover and recovering referee slowly counted the pinfall and Nixon "won" her title back. A great moment, and, with the benefit of hindsight we can see how it helped build to the next night's No Disqualifications match between these two women as well.
WCPW WORLD TITLE MATCH WITH MARTIN KIRBY AS SPECIAL GUEST REFEREE:
Drew Galloway(c) vs. Joe Hendry - 7.75/10
The moment this match came on as the semi-main my Spider Sense started tingling, but thankfully it was only done so the fans wouldn't leave the show bummed at Hendry's clean loss rather than so they wouldn't leave the show furious after seeing Hendry get screwed out of the title. This was just a hard-fought, emotional match where the sentimental favorite happened to come up short in his big chance. I'm quite curious to see where Hendry goes from here.
KURT ANGLE vs. ALBERTO EL PATRON - 7/10
This would have been fine if it was any other match, but a match between these two guys needed to be A LOT longer than fourteen minutes and needed to be a lot more intense. This was a freakin' dream match, but it didn't get the time to be one.
A pretty good show from WCPW, but unfortunately a lot of the main matches didn't deliver to the level they could have. Still, the storylines in the top two title matches were enough to convince me that I should at least try to follow WCPW, as there is some pretty interesting booking going on at the top of cards.
STUPID ANNOUNCER QUOTES
1. Striker (during a double-down)- "For those of you who are new to pro wrestling, the fighters have until the count of ten to reach their feet, otherwise the referee's discretion comes into play."
No, Matt. The referee's discretion doesn't come into play at all. A wrestler who doesn't answer the ten count is considered to be eliminated from the match by technical knockout. Those are the f*cking rules, and they're pretty damn clear.
Oh. And who the hell does Striker think has chosen WCPW iPPV to be the first pro wrestling match they watch?