WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup Finals: Night 1





WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup Finals: Night 1

By Big Red Machine
From August 23, 2017

WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup Finals: Night 1

PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
"Speedball" Mike Bailey vs. Travis Banks - 7.5/10


This was an excellent opener. It was exciting, fast-paced, and fun. This was one of those times when I thought that kicking out of finishers in the opener was a great idea because it put immediately made the tournament feel like something huge. I wouldn't have anyone kick out of too much for the next couple of matches, but I think doing it in this match was definitely the right call.

PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Bad Bones vs. Penta El 0M - 6.5/10


A good change of pace from the previous match, full of impactful moves but without very many big kickouts... aside from that one spot at the end with the Canadian Destroyers which... why even do a second one if the guy is just going to kick out but then you're going to beat him two moves later? What is even the point of that, other than to hurt Petey Williams' feelings?

MARTY SCURLL & WAR MACHINE vs. THE PRESTIGE (BT Gunn, El Ligero, & Joe Hendry) - 5.75/10


This match went on for WAY too long (eighteen minutes) with nowhere near enough going on to justify it, and a lot of the stuff with El Ligero came off as completely goofy so it felt like the babyfaces were wrestling with an advantage because the heels had this total goofball on their team rather than a real wrestler. Marty got the pin on El Ligero but got jumped after the match. Based on last night you'd think this would have been a set-up for Will Ospreay to come out and help Marty again but he never showed up.

PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Hiromu Takahashi vs. Lucky Kid (w/Tarkan Aslan) - 7/10


A pretty great match aside from the pointless Darryl-based shenanigans. At least this time Hiromu claimed it was actually his forearm that made contact with Lucky Kid and not Darryl. Hiromu is pretty good at mixing up his usual stuff and finding new ways to get into it which helps his matches always feel fresh, and Lucky definitely held up his end of the bargain.

PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Ricochet vs. Angelico - 7.75/10


A great match that built up to the expected crazy athletic stuff very well before ending in a random submission that somehow managed to totally work with the match.

JOE COFFEY PROMO - He says he's getting a bye because Elgin was too scared to show up and face him. The heel announcer said this was true and the babyface announcer did not provide any alternative explanation. My best guess is that after he won his qualifier, NJPW booked him out for the tour with CMLL that started on what would have been the final night of the tournament and thus everyone knew he wouldn't win so WCPW decided it was better to just not pay to fly him over. Then some guy who appeared to be a company official (although he was wearing a New Day t-shirt instead of a suit or, say, a WCPW shirt) came out and announced that there would be no byes and he had procured a replacement opponent, so we still got a...

PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Joe Coffey vs. Joseph Conners - 6/10


The crowd went nuts for Conners, who is apparently under contract to WWE and WWE let him work this week... and I do mean week because this show was on a Wednesday and Conners is at least coming back tomorrow because he got the win. The match was decent, but they had a few spots that just didn't look very good.

PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Kenny Williams vs. KUSHIDA - 6.25/10


Williams came out in gear that was a tribute KUSHIDA's Back to the Future theme. They then played off of that with a bit of mirror image stuff. Both guys worked the arm throughout the match, and although there was no way KUSHIDA was losing, they did manage to come close to making me doubt that on one or two nearfalls. KUSHIDA showed Williams respect after the match by letting him wear his winter coat/vest thing.

PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Jay Lethal - 8.25/10


There was a surprising amount of crowd support for Lethal considering that not only is this show in Zack's home country but he is also technically representing England here in this tournament, but it worked out quite well as these guys chose to have Lethal be in the structural role of the babyface. Lethal had a heavily taped (and padded) elbow, so Zack went right for that and Lethal sold it wonderfully. Lethal made most of his comeback without using the injured arm, instead relying on either kicks or moves he could do with one hand. The major exception was an absolutely crazy Inverted Finlay Roll, and even that is really more in the core and shoulders once you've got the guy up. Almost every time that Zack was able to cut Lethal off, it was either by going to the arm or because the arm gave out, and eventually Zack wrapped Jay up in a submission targeting the arms and Jay had no choice but to quit. Wonderful storytelling and selling.

PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Rey Mysterio Jr. vs. Will Ospreay - 8/10


Exactly the crazy display of athleticism you'd expect it to be. They even managed to find a new way to set up the 619! After the match, Ospreay cut an extremely emotional promo about what Rey has meant to him personally and to the wrestling business. Rey got to respond and showed his respect as well, but that Ospreay promo is the sort of thing you never forget.

Final Thoughts
A GREAT show from WCPW, with solid wrestling all up and down the card, topped off by two awesome matches and an emotional moment between a young man and his childhood hero. This whole tournament was one hell of an ambitious project by the folks at What Culture, but it's final phase has gotten off to quite the good start.

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