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Manopera! Episode 32: The Best and Worst Wrestling of 2016


Joined by special guest Nicholas Jason Lopez of Pro Wrestling Opinion, our hosts break down the best and worst in pro wrestling for 2016.

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WCPW Loaded Episode 2: The Rampage Continues


by Frank Lucci

After a somewhat uneven debut episode, WCPW is back with their second edition of Loaded – featuring Ring of Honor Champion Jay Lethal.

Will the second episode top the first? Spaceman Frank is here with the answers.

Segment I: Intro/Adam Pacitti In-Ring Promo

Sadly, the previous episode’s audio problems still persist as the intro music is way too loud, commentators King Ross and Simon Miller are nearly perfect (albeit a little quiet) and backstage segments are…bad. It’s not the segments themselves, it’s the audio quality that make what could be great promos suffer.

Thankfully, WCPW keep to the Ross and Miller segment/match/backstage formula they used before so it is easy to skip ahead. In addition, some of the wrestler’s entrances can drag, especially when they take up precious minutes in these 15-30 minute videos.

Anyway, Pacitti informs everyone that due to the security guard’s neck being broken (receiving immediate smarky, “Bullshit” chants) by Rampage Brown last week that the piledriver is banned from WCPW. Pacitti hilariously adds that this is “just like other, less successful promotions,” drawing heavy cheers from the fans for the thinly veiled WWE reference. Backstage we get an Adam Blampied and Brown interview that does its job, but is forgettable.

Segment II: The Primate vs. Drake

King Ross has a piledriver protection helmet made of plastic (God, I love him).

Our first match features Drake (a generic looking wrestler with no hair and a beard) battling against The Primate (a larger generic looking wrestler with no hair and a larger beard). The Primate also has a female manager who is so forgettable I won’t mention her again. What we have here is a basic squash match that has The Primate throw Drake around until Drake gets a nasty cut behind the ear that bleeds quite a lot. One spear later and The Primate wins.

Afterwards we get multiple backstage interviews informing us that Prince Ameen will team with Gabriel Kidd tonight. Drake is enraged and encouraged to call out Big Damo by heel manager James R. Kennedy. In other seemingly unrelated news, both “Local Hero” Joe Hendry and Joseph Connors are also mad over their last week losses as well.

Segment III: Joe Hendry and Joseph Conners vs. Prince Ameen and Gabriel Kidd

Ross and Miller’s segment is cut short by another Conners/Hendry backstage segment where they talk about sticking together (which immediately makes me think one is turning on the other). If you watch this continuing from the previous video, that’s four interviews (including two in a row) from the same two people.

Going back to commentary, Ross accuses Miller of being a Trump supporter and a racist for not standing when Prince Ameen enters (which is way more entertaining than the previous four interviews). Hendry sings his own theme song and calls himself a “Global Hero.” Five stars.

We finally get this highly built tag team encounter nine minutes into the video. The faces work the crowd (making a big deal of tagging each other in and out when the crowd chants for it) and in general have a lot of spots concerning high-fives. This is fairly weird considering we got all those interviews about how serious each competitor was for this match. Conners gets worked over until Hendry gets the hot tag. The finish comes after the faces do a double backbreaker spot into Conners “Righteous Kill” DDT, but Hendry blind tags himself in to show dissension. While overall a nice match, this one gets bogged down by all the earlier interviews and it’s many comedy spots.

Segment IV: Ring Of Honor Champion Jay Lethal vs. El Ligero

Unlike the last video, Ross and Miller’s segment is mercifully short and we get to the match quickly – with the added intrigue of El Ligero receiving a future ROH title shot if victorious. El Ligero gets a good pop as does Lethal, who also gets “You are wrestling” chants from the crowd.

Opening with lots of fast-paced back and forth/feeling each other out spots that are pretty excellent, Lethal eventually takes over and mixes headlocks into some nice combination sequences; including a headlock takedown into a dropkick spot. It’s nice to see a champ enjoy himself and interact with the crowd, as Lethal gives several Macho Man “Oh yeahs” to the delight of the crowd.

El Ligero wrestles back control of the match with a quick reversal of a delayed vertical suplex into a hip-toss and cannonball spot on the apron to the floor. “Lucha Dragon” chants from some crass members of the crowd get boos from the respectful remainder. Several quick near-falls show how athletic both men are. The duty finish sees Martin Kirby attack both men, causing the match to end in no-contest.

Lethal puts over El Ligero and promises that regardless of the outcome, he will get a title shot at some point in the future. A great match with a disappointing finish that makes sense given Lethal’s status as a traveling champion from another promotion. This should have been the main event but there’s still the matter of crowning WCPW’s first world champion.

Another backstage interviews sees The Primate getting taunted by “Iron Man” Joe Coffey followed by more Rampage and Blampied bromance.


Segment V: Noam Dar vs. Rampage Brown

The main event sees the potential WCPW Champion versus the man who will be competing in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic (which is airing a “Bracketology” special tonight on the WWE Network).

The early portion of the match sees Brown imposing his will on Dar as he uses his speed to get out of potentially sticky situations, prompting the crowd to respond with several Star Wars inspired chants for the Israeli Icon. Brown gets firmer control of the match after pushing Dar off the apron into the security barrier. The crowd fires off some more creative chants before they get lazy and simply scream, “Fuck you, Rampage.”

Dar focuses on kicks to Rampage’s legs to try and take the big man down, but Brown manages to rally each time and beat the piss out of Dar. Dar begins laying into Brown pretty heavily and gets a kneebar/ankle lock style submission in, but Blampied causes a distraction so his man can break free. Blampied starts telling Rampage to hit the now-banned piledriver, but Dar turns it into a rollup for a near-fall. Rampage then powerbombs him into oblivion for the win. A solid match with good psychology and storytelling, but the Lethal/El Ligero match was more fun to watch. Big Damo and Jack the Jobber come out for a big brawl to end the episode.

This was an up and down episode of WCPW Loaded. The two big matches delivered, but the first few segments dragged with all the interviews and so-so matches. Hopefully in the future they balance out the segments better and fix those pesky audio problems.