by Frank Lucci
WhatCulture Wrestling has quickly become one of the premiere pro wrestling channels on YouTube and from humble beginnings in late 2014, the channel has managed to eclipse the subscriber count of TNA.
An extension of the WhatCulture.com, the British brand has become so successful that they recently started their own wrestling federation, WCPW (What Culture Pro Wrestling) and have filmed several episodes for online release.
The first episode is broken down into six separate uploads which can be viewed in about an hour and a half. Production wise, the set looks amazing and the video production is top notch. Special mention goes the comic book style drawings of the wrestlers that begin each match. However, the audio is hit or miss. The announcers (King Ross, who is great and Simon Miller, who is…there) come out clear, while everything else from the crowd (interviewers, etc) is muted. This is especially bad during backstage interviews where whoever holds the microphone is the only person who can usually be heard.
Segment I: WCPW Introduction
WCPW General Manager Adam Pacitti starts the show off. He thanks the crowd for supporting the channel and announces he will reveal the WCPW Heavyweight Championship at the end of the show. We also get a backstage segment where Adam Blampied makes fun of Jack the Jobber. Nothing much here unless you’re new to the channel.
Segment II: Alex Gracie vs. Gabriel Kidd vs. Joseph Conners (Triple Threat Elimination match)
This video sets up the formula for each segment after this (logo intro, King Ross and Simon banter, match, backstage interview). The Ross and Simon sections are decent but nothing special and the backstage interviews suffer from the aforementioned audio problems.
As for this match itself, this was a good opener. Each man worked hard, but this was set up to establish Connors as an up and coming babyface and Gracie as the opportunist heel with partner Lucas Archer and manager James R. Kennedy. Conners has a great DDT finisher that he uses to beat Kidd, but Gracie gets DQ’ed when his gang attacks Connors. A good start to the program but pretty forgettable in the long haul. Highlights include the crowd calling Gracie and Archer “bum boys” for having their names on the back of their tights and some good three man spots.
Segment III: El Ligero vs. Martin Kirby
Perhaps the most entertaining match on this episode, as this is all comedy. Both men represent different Nintendo franchises on their gear, as Ligero has different Mario icons on his gear and mask and Kirby has, well, Kirbys. The story of the match is Martin being a ridiculous Bo Dallas type who tries to copy Ligero’s poses. When the two actually wrestle the action is crisp and El Ligero wins with an epic tornado DDT.
Segment IV: Prince Ameen vs. “Iron Man” Joe Coffey
Ameen has a so-so in ring interview before the match, which is helped by King Ross’ commentary. Ross, being King, refuses to sit during Ameen’s speech and hypes his fellow royalty (I like how the announcers and wrestlers actually acknowledge the crowd’s chants, unlike the WWE where most people just steamroll through interviews). When “Iron Man” Joe Coffey comes out, the crowd sings Black Sabbath’s legendary “Iron Man”riff (which I love). Wrestling wise however, this is pretty so-so with an abrupt finish when Ameen walks away from the match and gets counted out. An unfortunate low point in the show.
Segment V: “Local Hero” Joe Hendry vs. Big Damo (Winner faces Rampage Brown for the WCPW Heavyweight Championship)
The main event of the show sees Local Hero Hendry (literally referred to as such) and Big Damo fighting to be Jack the Jobber’s representative. Hendry makes an Adele parody video (which is gold), causing Damo to snap and attack Hendry before the bell.
This match is one big brawl, with both men pulling off some power moves – including Hendry hitting a big fallaway slam on the massive Damo. A ref bump causes Jack to become involved as he tries to stop the modern day gladiators from using a steel chair. Both attempts fail, but it is Damo’s use of the chair that helps him defeat the Local Hero. A decent showing that sets up a big hoss match between Damo and Rampage.
Segment VI: WCPW Title Reveal
Pacitti comes back out to reveal the new title, which looks pretty good. However, this brings out Brown and Blampied. They poke fun at Pacitti and hype Brown up as a future champ before Rampage goes on a tear and chokes Pacitti. This brings out a random security guard who gets a piledriver for his efforts. The episode ends with Brown ripping up the cardboard WhatCulture belt.
Overall, this was a good showcase of what we can expect from WCPW. There definitely needs to be some work, but the skeleton of a quality wrestling show is here.