Commentary on the in-ring or mike prowess of those named in the #SpeakingOut story should not be taken as support for them in general. I believe her.
On we go with the third show in this series. It is the 5th May 2017 and we are in Planet Ice, Coventry, for the Mexican Qualifiers of the WCPW Pro-Wrestling World Cup! Your main event tonight: newly crowned WCPW Champion Martin Kirby makes his first defence against the Prestige’s Joe Hendry (ssh, it’s actually only announced at the show)!
We open with a video recap of the recent No Regrets show, where the soon-to-be-departing Drew Galloway put his title on the line in a 30 man gauntlet battle royal (not a Royal Rumble, oh no), entering at #1. It was a decent match as I recall, featuring plenty of star names from Britain and abroad, and ended with Joe Hendry pinning Galloway before being pinned in turn by Kirby, who actually got to hit the Zoidberg Elbow for once. The video package is decent enough by indie standards, even if it’s trying so hard to be WWE it’s sort of cringe.
World Cup opening titles and away we go. Matt Striker and Dave Bradshaw introduce us to the, ahem, super-Spanish climes of Coventry, where a raucous crowd welcomes the start of the show. They outline that Drew Galloway’s farewell match will take place later, against Cody Rhodes. Before any of that though, an entrance and appreciation for special guest commentator Stu Bennett, who I’m sure is probably going to wind up back in a ringside/production role in the Fed eventually. His entrance music plays too loudly over Striker, in the first production mishap of the day.
Before we can go to any matches, out comes Joe Hendry and Travis Banks (ugh) of the Prestige. Banks on the mike, who demands people stand and show their appreciation, and will “punch every man, women and child in the face” who doesn’t, “especially the children”. Way to not over-egg it Travis. He decides not to assault the audience, and instead hands the mike off to Hendry, who tries to shush the audience instead for a bit. He says they need to right some wrongs, because since Banks beat Penta El Zero M at No Regrets, that means he should get an Internet Title shot. “What” chants, and Hendry not super happy about that. Runs down how he beat the WCPW Champ, but somehow isn’t the champ. More shushing, and someone should tell Hendry that there’s a difference between a catchphrase that gets heat, and something that makes the audience not want to see you. Anyway, Hendry says they aren’t leaving until someone from management comes out to address the situation. Unfortunately, you know what that means…
Out comes Blampied, because having one show without him was too much of a treat. Tries to get the crowd going, refers to Banks and Hendry as “pendihoes” and makes clear that he’s the one who runs WCPW. Says Banks does have a match, but not for the Internet Title: instead, he’ll go one-on-one (playa!) with Rampage, which gets next-to-no pop. He then goes on to give in to Hendry’s demands for some reason, and awards him a WCPW Title match against Kirby tonight. More shushing from Hendry, who isn’t sure they can trust Blampied, and asks that the owner come into the ring and shake on it. Down comes Blampied, and I’m so waiting for a beatdown here. “It’s just a handshake” says Bennett. “And every wrestling wedding goes well” retorts Striker. Anyway, Blampied eats a fallaway slam from Hendry, but I might be the only one cheering. Blampied carried out. It isn’t exactly Austin/McMahon is it?
Tale of the tape, and the Lucha Bros are about to implode! In broken English Rey Fenix tries to get across that he feels honoured to come to England to represent his country. Penta is also happy, but comes off better because he sticks to Spanish. They acknowledge that the two are a team, but will go at it anyway. Poor Fenix really struggling with the English. Penta will win because he is Penta El Zero. Fenix is here to show us what he is all about. Whatever, I’d be psyched for this with no preamble.
Penta El Zero M vs Rey Fenix (WCPW Pro-Wrestling World Cup Mexican Preliminary Semi-Final #1)
I’ll never be able to keep track of Pentagon’s name changes. Striker namedrops Lucha Underground here, which is nice. Penta certainly the more over with this crowd, but Fenix doesn’t have “Ciero Miedo”. Handshake, and away we go.
Tie-ups and push-offs. Penta takes off a glove, “Ciero Miedo”, but Rey with a wrist-lock. Hold chains, Penta handstand into a pin for two, but Fenix counters it back for a leg-lock. Zero out of it, then into his own leg-lock. Then kicks, then duelling pin attempts, nice chains, standing moonsault from Fenix, more chains, and we finish with stereo kip-ups. Very nice.
Rey with a hurricanrana that sends Penta out, and follows up with a Corkscrew Dive over the top, beautiful. Fighting at ringside, Penta into multiple ring-posts. Back-in, the footage skips a bit, and when it resumes Penta re-takes the advantage, and delivers a vicious chop to Fenix. Penta jawing with the ref. Penta counters a Fenix comeback with a corner-assisted backstabber, for two. Trading forearms, Fenix eats a super-kick, but follows back with a cutter for two. Rope-assisted side-kick from Fenix, boot to the corner, schoolboy roll-through, super-kick, roll-through splash, but only two. Quite the chain from Fenix there.
Fenix with a springboard nothing countered into a Michinoko Driver for two. “This is awesome” chants. Counter-chains in the corner, Fenix with a Frankensteiner off the top, then into a Mexican Destroyer, amazing move, but only two. “Holy shit” chants. Penta set-up on the second rope, “Ciero Miedo”, and lands his own Destroyer. Package Piledriver, and that’s the 1, 2, 3 in just under nine.
Winner: Penta El Zero M, and the art of lucha.
Verdict: The video has missing footage here, but even with that this was bad-ass. These two can go.
Handshake and Fenix raises Penta’s arm, as both guys get a standing ovation. Straight into the next Tale of the Tape.
Drago is representing AAA and Lucha Underground (woo!). He’s one of the best in the world. Ligero shrugs. Drago is representing Mexican wrestling. Ligero holds up his passport and gives a thumbs up. I actually liked this, these two are so radically different.
Drago vs El Ligero (WCPW Pro-Wrestling World Cup Mexican Preliminary Semi-Final #2)
Big reception for Drago, who is another Lucha Underground mainstay that is far more than his amazing ring-gear. Ligero announced as “the Mexican Sensation” and again I can hear Jordan Devlin in the back of my head: “He’s from Leeds!”. Also all I can hear is “sexual predator”.
Ligero offers a hand, but Drago attacks. Takedown and a choke, but Ligero to the ropes. Ligero grabs a leg and pulls Drago around, before offering the leg to the ref. Nice bit of comedy, that Striker feels the need to explain as a legitimate strategy. Ligero with the knockdowns now, but Drago avoids a corner splash, goes for a powerbomb, transitions into kicks, an enziguri, and then a mat stretch, great sequence.
Ligero battles out with his own strikes, pumphandle facebuster for two. Bennett calls him “Drey-go”. Ligero dumped out on account of a dodged charge, and then Drago with the tope through the top and middle rope. Back in, but only two. Drago hits a running, swinging DDT thing that looked amazing. Looks for the Dragon’s Tail pin, but not able to get it in fully and Ligero kicks out. Ligero with strikes, hits the C4L DDT, and that’s the pin in just under six and a half.
Winner: El Ligero, the Mexican community of Leeds and not much else.
Verdict: Stunned by the finish, and so was the silent crowd. They got Drago across the Atlantic for less than seven minutes work.
Show of respect for Drago after, but the crowd deathly silent.
An ad for What Culture Extra (6.99 dollars per month!) and then straight into out next match.
Scott Wainwright w/Bea Priestley vs Primate (Hardcore Match)
Wainwright is one-half of the WCPW Tag Champs with Will Ospreay, hence why Priestley is out with him This match set-up after the two tangled at No Regrets, where Primate showed Wainwright up. Wainwright out of the ring during Primate’s entrance to make the attack, so we open with brawling. Primate going for a Piledriver, but gets rana’d onto the floor instead. Driven into the ring, Wainwright with metal sheets and lays into Primate’s head. “Get the tables” chants. Primate set-up on a chair, and takes a Corkscrew Senton off the apron.
Back in the ring and the match has officially begun. Priestley nails Primate with the Women’s Championship belt, perfectly legal, but only good for two. Wainwright produces a bag, and struggles to open it in an amazing botch. He eventually gets it open, to cheers. It has thumbtacks, which are sprinkled around the ring. Wainwright has Primate up but he powers out, and hits an Exploder into the corner. Primate throws a few chairs in the ring and sets them up around the tacks. Primate puts Wainwright in one and sits in the other, and the two exchange slaps and headbutts from seated positions. Primate pours a few tacks into the mouth of Wainwright and gives him one more slap, for two. Brutal stuff.
Primate setting up for a running attack but Priestley distracts him. Wainwright with a Death Valley Driver, for two. Primate back-up, hits a German Suplex that leaves Wainwright on his front. Priestley off the second rope, caught, and Primate powerbombs her into the tacks for “Holy Shit” chants. Wainwright goes for something off the top, but gets speared into the tacks instead, and that’s good enough for the 1, 2, 3 in just under five and a half.
Winner: Primate and tack aficionados everywhere.
Verdict: Quick hardcore match with a few good spots.
Tale of the Tape for what has to be the biggest match of the card. Rey Mysterio proud to be representing Mexico, and is wary of El Patron’s power, height and psychology. But he has the lead in experience. Alberto El Patron does not appear to have recorded something for this, and that’s not terribly surprising, is it?
Rey Mysterio vs Alberto El Patron (WCPW Pro-Wrestling World Cup Mexican Preliminary Semi-Final #3)
Not a hope El Patron wins here, because it’s a 50:50 chance that he even shows up for stuff. Also he shouldn’t win because Jose Rodriguez is a scumbag. He gets a good pop though, and Stu Bennett brings up the League of Nations of all things. And wow, a few guys try and get a “League of Nations” chant going. Maybe it had more penetration than I thought. Mysterio out to a knock-off of his “Booyaka” theme.
“Perhaps the most hot-headed man I’ve met” says Bennett on Patron, and that’s like old Attitude Era stuff calling Benoit “a killer”. Patron mocks Mysterio’s height and gets a middle-finger in response. Drop-kick sends Patron down, some chains and Patron set-up on the ropes but dodges the 619. Doesn’t dodge the West Coast Pop to the outside though. Back in, Mysterio to the top but gets tripped and then worked over in a Tree of Woe. Back to the top and Patron trying to rip the mask, to boos. Another Tree of Woe, but Mysterio dodges a spear. Headbutt from the top for two.
Mysterio with the missed corner charge now, and then slid out to the floor. Bennett, prepping for his future cross-examination, says that “Patron is a true predator”. Yikes. Fighting up the ramp with Patron on offence, then back in. Patron to the top, hits a clubbing forearm for two. Resthold for a bit until Mysterio battles out. Another Tree of Woe for Mysterio, that’ll be the third, and getting a bit boring now. Patron going for that stomp, but gets thrown off. West Coast Pop, some chains, and a pinning attempt for two.
Rey to the top but gets a knee to the head and falls, but only two on the pin. Patron signalling for his armbreaker finisher but Mysterio counters out. Patron on the ropes, another 619 but Patron up to hit a Tilt-A-Whirl Backbreaker, then a super-kick for two. Rey counters out himself with a Tilt-A-Whirl DDT, now able to hit the 619, then a splash from the top for the 1, 2, 3 in just under eight and a half.
Winner: Rey Mysterio and us, because we don’t have to watch Patron anymore.
Verdict: These two have done it better, but fine for what it was.
Tale of the Tape for our last preliminary semi. Hijo de Dos Caras is here representing Mexico to show the world that he can be the best…”of the world”. Juventud Guerrera is happy to be here with similar legends. Caras is young, strong and bigger, even if his English isn’t the best. Juicy will need to be smart to beat him. Not a tonne of fire here, or to any of these. Just let them speak Spanish!
Juventud Guerrera vs El Hijo de Dos Caras (WCPW Pro-Wrestling World Cup Mexican Preliminary Semi-Final #4)
Dos Caras is a Mexican indie from the same wrestling family as El Patron (his brother) but I’ll try not to hold that against him. You might remember him as jobber Memo Montenegro during a very brief run in the early days of NXT. Juve needs no introduction.
Dos Caras throws Juicy around with a waistlock, then kip-up chains to applause. More chains, a loose head scissors sends Caras out, followed by a big tope from Guerrera. Caras back with an apron head smash, then follows up with a powerbomb on the apron. Back inside he gets two. Necktie resthold. “Juve” chants and Guerrera powers out, only to eat a running knee smash for two.
Caras goes for a big flipping German but Juve lands on his feet, more chains, then an awkward Frankensteiner, followed by a drop-kick. Dos Caras counters with a big clothesline, and both down. Dos Caras with an awkward crossbody off the second rope, then Irish Whips lead to him hitting a big spear for a near-fall. Juve dodges a rolling elbow and hits a loose rana, then his own running knee for the 1, 2, 3 in less than five and a half.
Winner: Juventud Guerrera
Verdict: Not exactly sloppy but verged on it. Seemed to end in a hurry: did that last knee strike make too much contact?
A video package for the Internet Title Triple Threat at No Regrets follows, where Gabriel Kidd pinned Cody Rhodes with a roll-up to win the title, to the displeasure of other participant Joe Hendry. Playing this up like it’s the greatest upset in wrestling history, which is a bit of a stretch.
Kidd and Prince Ameen coming out six days removed from No Regrets. Ameen says they are here to celebrate nine months of hard work that culminated in Kidd’s title win. “You deserve it” chants. Kidd on the mike, says he hasn’t had the easiest run, reflecting on his losing streak and apparent near-firing. Turns into a Daniel Bryan thing fairly quickly, “Fight for your dreams” etc, and suddenly Travis Banks hits the ring, blindsides Ameen and gives Kidd a low-blow. Holds the Internet belt and taunts Kidd. And here comes Rampage. I’m hoping they didn’t have Kidd/Ameen out here just to make a needless promo and get ambushed.
Travis Banks vs Rampage
Rampage in hot, and some brawling before a ref appears to ring the bell. Big uranage from Rampage. Banks scatters to the second rope but gets knocked out of the ring. Brawling on the outside, brutal chop from Rampage. Banks trying to fight back in what amounts to a very slow circle of the ring. Banks eventually back in to hit a tope, to mild applause. Rampage into a ring post, and eventually we are back into the ring.
Crowd not into this one at all. Banks with a corner drop-kick for one. More strong-style strikes, a weak-sounding chop in the corner, running elbow strikes, but eventually Rampage sends Banks spinning with a big clothesline. Banks strikes easily accounted for by Rampage’s big power moves. A big clothesline gets two. Banks jumping off the second rope is countered into a Spinebuster for two off a stack pin. Kick to the jaw from Banks, running knee for two, and Striker keeps complaining that the ref is counting too slow. More entertaining than the match.
Banks hits the Slice of Heaven for two, and isn’t that meant to be Banks’ finisher? Both guys to the outside, Banks grabs a chair but before he can use it Gabriel Kidd appears to grab it. Rampage gets the advantage, rolls Banks back in. Goes for a reverse suplex, Banks lands on his feet and hits a leaping clothesline for two. Banks going for a Piledriver, but Rampage throws him off. Hits his own Pieldriver, and that’ll be all in just over eight minutes.
Verdict: A little dull, with too much ringside brawling.
Jack from What Culture is on next to run-down the card for the Canadian qualifier. Davey Boy Smith Jr, Rene Dupree and WCPW debutante Kyle O’Reilly are the stand-outs. The package cuts off before Jack is finished talking.
Brandi Rhodes out to announce her husband ahead of the next match. She dubs him just “Cody”, but WCPW will refer to him by his full name the whole time.
Drew Galloway vs Cody Rhodes
This is Galloway’s WCPW farewell match, as he’s actually wrestling for NXT by this point, which is noted here (“off to Orlando”). You would assume that means he’s going out on his back, though Rhodes hardly needs the rub. Big reception for Galloway, and you could argue that the promotion really needed someone like him to be the top star.
Delay as Cody needs two attempts to throw his shirt to a kid at ringside. Handshake to start, and before anything happens the crowd is chanting “This is awesome”. Way to go smarks. Noted that the two held the WWE Tag Titles together at one point (around the same time as old DX and various iterations of the Nexus/Corre, so lets not get too excited about it). Tie-up, wrist-lock chains, Galloway floors Rhodes with a shoulder charge, leading the American Nightmare to take a break on the outside. Test of strength, headlock from Drew, and another shoulder charge, and man they look brutal.
Rhodes managing to get some of his own with the help of the ropes. Another handshake, more headlocks and wrist-locks and shoulder charges, but this time Galloway kips up, only to get hit by the Rhodes uppercut. Nice set of moves. Rhodes Cactus Clotheslines Galloway to the outside, then a plancha from the top. Shares a kiss with Brandi then back to the ring. Rhodes goes for an up and over off an Irish Whip, but gets nailed with a kick to the mid-section, then a big throw for two. Galloway continuing the power moves, with a lifting suplex for two. Good pace to this one.
Rhodes rallying back, but then eats a headbutt, but only two. Powerbomb, then a sit-down one for two. The wrestling was a bit too entertaining, so Galloway grabs a table from under the ring and sets it up on the outside. Corner splash from Drew, but Rhodes intercepts him on the top, and able to nail a second rope superplex, that sounded really loud. Rhodes knocking Galloway down repeatedly, hits the Beautiful Disaster kick, but Galloway stays on his feet. Galloway counters out of a Hangman DDT, then able to hit his reverse Alabama Slam for two. Goes for the Future Shock, Rhodes counters into a Figure Four. After a while screaming Drew turns it over, and both men get to the ropes. Excellent back-and-forth.
Rhodes to the top, Drew dodges his attack. Going for the Cross Rhodes, Galloway avoids and then nails the Claymore, but still not a finisher so only two. Galloway unhappy with the ref and gives him a shove. Brandi complains, and gets the bird from Galloway. Rhodes looking for the Beautiful Disaster again with Drew on the apron, Galloway ducks and Brandi gets it instead. As Rhodes sees to his wife he eats a big boot from Galloway, and both hit the table, which collapses but doesn’t break. “Holy Shit” chants. Cool sequence.
Galloway taking Rhodes back in the ring, a cover for two, as Brandi is helped to the back. Rhodes set-up on the top, but is crotched before he can do anything, ending up in the Tree of Woe, but able to grab Rhodes by the skull and toss him off. Inventive. Galloway called for another Claymore, Rhodes dodges, Galloway has Rhodes up for a fireman’s carry swing and the ref gets nailed. Double crossbody and both men down. Suddenly Drake is in the ring stamping away on Rhodes for some reason, explained by Striker as this just being his way of getting attention. Bennett is annoyed, into the ring and delivers a Bullhammer to the delight of the crowd. Weird, random and unnecessary segment.
Galloway and Rhodes slowly back to their feet with the ref still down. Duelling strikes, then boots. Cody counters a Future Shock into a Cross Rhodes, slow count and Galloway kicks out at two. “This is awesome”, and it is pretty good. Rhodes dragging Galloway up, crucifix pin but Galloway out and hits the Future Shock, but only two in a bit of a surprise. Rhodes up in the fireman’s carry again, Galloway going to the top but Rhodes lands. Galloway going for the Sunset Flip, Rhodes counters into his own pin and that’s enough in just over 20.
Winner: Cody Rhodes, and I wonder if this a mis-guided effort to make him WCPW’s next “the guy”.
Verdict: Great match, slightly ruined by a stupid interference spot.
Rhodes calls for his music to cease, and gets on the mike. Thanks Galloway, and says he considers Galloway and Stu Bennett some of his true friends, though he initially calls Bennett “Wade”. Congrats “Drew McIntyre” on re-signing with WWE, and says “he still is the goddamn Chosen One”. One more handshake and an embrace. Newly re-christened McIntyre on the mike, says he’s happy his last WCPW match was against Rhodes and with Bennett in attendance. Thanks the crowd for their support for indie wrestling, and promises that he “will be the first fucking British World Heavyweight Champion”. Three years on, mission accomplished, thank you Drew (if you only count the Fed that is). “You deserve it” and cheers all round. A nice goodbye. One thing to note though is that there is nary a mention of Galloway’s place in the World Cup Finals, that now is forefitted you would presume. I’m sure they will get to it eventually.
A plug for an upcoming Edinburgh show from Joe Hendry and into the next tournament match.
El Ligero vs Penta El Zero M (WCPW Pro-Wrestling World Cup Mexican Preliminary Final #1)
Wonder how these guys will get on following the last match. Hard to know who’ll win this, with Penta the bigger star but Ligero more of a WCPW guy. I know who I want to win anyway. Penta offers a hand, Ligero replies with a middle finger. Ligero immediately sends Penta out with an enziguri, going for a tope but catches himself when Penta moves, gives him another finger instead. Weirdly crude from El Ligero, who you would more associate with comedy babyface work.
Ligero on top with strikes in and out of the ring, and they make a point to say that this is way outside of Ligero’s usual form. Lots of forearms and strikes for a few two counts. Ligero mocks Penta’s catchphrase, and that leads into some dulling strikes, with Penta nailing a big head kick then a Slingblade for two. Looking for the Package Piledriver but Ligero rolls out. Some nice dodges on the apron from Ligero, leading into a mid-rope cutter. Super-kick from Penta, then nails a second rope Destroyer, but Ligero basically no-sells it, and then hits his own running version. It’s amazing how meaningless the Destroyer has become in certain ways, considering how amazing it looks when done right.
Exchanging chops on the apron, Penta fighting out of a fireman’s carry, then hits the Package Piledriver on the apron to “Holy Shit” chants. Bit of a delay to get him back in, so only two on the pin. Ligero back up, another middle finger, so Penta gives him another super-kick. One more Package Piledriver, and that’ll be all in seven minutes on the dot.
Winner (and advancing to the Finals): Penta El Zero M, and the power of celebrity over company men (kind of).
Verdict: Short but sweet, Ligero’s strike heavy offence made it interesting.
Bennett egging it a bit by claiming Mexico City will be abuzz with talk of Penta’s success. Ligero offers a hand and this time Penta gives him a finger, to cheers.
Adam Blampied (ugh) promotes a magazine or something, I genuinely made an effort not to pay attention, and we’re onto the next match,
Rey Mysterio vs Juventud Guerrera (WCPW Pro-Wrestling World Cup Mexican Preliminary Final #2)
It’s all late 90’s WCW up in here. One of the things I noticed during Rey’s entrance is that the ring mat has bobbles and folds in it, which is not so good. Anyway, I assume it’ll be Mysterio here, with all due respect to Juicy. Juventud upset at the “619” chants, and takes a temporary powder pre-bell. Hesitant handshake to start, and away we go.
Some nice chains and kip-ups to start, followed by dueling pinning predicaments. Stu Bennett recalls wrestling Mysterio in Mexico, and I bet that was a happy reception. More chains, and no one can get an advantage. Dueling middle fingers, and what is up with that all through the night? I don’t recall it being a lucha thing. Juicy with chops, then a rana sequence from Rey where he seems to fly off Juventud, and then Juventud waits a beat before spinning, looked stupid. Juicy spilled to the floor, dodges the baseball slide, and then trips Mysterio on the apron.
Back inside, headlock from Guerrera, and now dominating for a bit. Eventually Rey hits an enziguri, and Guerrera waits a bit before falling on the ropes, but up ahead off the 619. I’m not sure what’s going on here, but Juventud doesn’t look so hot. I’m hoping it’s just fatigue. Mysterio trying to lock in an Octopus, but Juicy to the ropes. Guerrera to the top but crotched. Rey to the top, but taking strikes and Juventud nails a Frankensteiner. Juicy back to the top, splash, but only two. Rey back up, hits a rana, 619, splash, and that’s it in under eight and a half.
Winner (and advancing to the Finals): Rey Mysterio, and boy that finish came out of nowhere.
Verdict: Guerrera seemed quite off at parts of this, and you hear some not-so-great stories about the guy between drugs and “going into business for himself”, so who knows. Not a great match.
Blampied is back on my TV screen for some reason, announcing a few participants for the Japanese qualifiers, and please go away. Straight into our main event.
Martin Kirby (c) vs Joe Hendry (WCPW World Championship)
The crowd goes mild for Kirby, who has been champion for less than a week in broadcast terms, and less than a day in filming terms. Hendry out without any of the Prestige, but I’m sure we’ll see some of them. This is either just a first step on the road for Kirby, or he’s the most transitional of transitional champions.
Hendry taking a powder on the outside after losing a few lock-ups, while Bradshaw rightly asks again why this match is even taking place. Wrist-lock chains, Kirby with takes over with a rana. Surfboard stretch into a pin for two. They mention that Joe Hendry is training to be part of the wrestling competition of the 2018 Commonwealth Games, and Wiki tells me he actually did make it to that, but lost his only match fairly comprehensively in the 97 kg category. Going to the outside, Kirby with a big Irish Whip to Hendry, but Hendry catches himself, and then dodges a charge: Kirby hits the barricade hard. Kirby on the ground for a while, with Hendry having to break ref counts to keep the match going. After a few minutes, and after the crowd has been killed dead, Hendry rolls him back in, but after a suplex a medic is out to see to Kirby. Not sure if this is a shoot or not, possibly doing a HIA?
Hendry out again jawing, and eventually throwing Kirby onto the barricades. Back in and working him over for a while, and this is either a really well-done work in terms of “Kirby is concussed” or they’re continuing with Kirby legit hurt, and if it is the first it’s an odd choice because the crowd is so uncomfortable. The way the commentators are arguing about it, with Striker asking what happens if Kirby dies in his sleep tonight, I imagine it’s a work but why? Eventually Kirby rallies back with a Slingblade and a small “Martin Kirby” chant starts, but there’s little passion in it.
Kirby trying to nail forearms, but he keeps stumbling, and you’d imagine this would be stopped if this was for real, right?. Ref checking on Kirby, Hendry trying to get at Kirby but the ref holding him back. Now Hendry slamming Kirby’s head into the mat off a Tree of Woe, so yeah, this is a work, but what a bizarre way to book a main event. Striker asking if Bennett is going to do something about this, and Bennett refuses, totally happy with what is happening. Ref checking on Kirby again, and why no stoppage? Hendry to the other corner, charging but the ref gets in his way to stop him and that’s enough, the ref calls it in just under 19 minutes. It takes another minute or so for them to announce the winner, to eerie silence.
Winner (and new WCPW Champion): Joe Hendry, and shooting yourself into a work I guess.
Verdict: I’ll say this, it’s not a bad in-ring story for a match that isn’t the last one to go on show, provided you tighten it up to maybe ten minutes so people in the crowd aren’t left wondering if they’re going to be called as witnesses at a pending court case . But this is the main event, and it’s for the title so I find this either thing a little bit grotesque if I’m being honest. Joe Hendry is yet to even remotely impress me.
Matt Striker off the commentary desk and arguing with the ref. Takes another minute for Hendry’s music to play. A few cheering in the crowd, but it’s mostly just weird silence, and that’s how we end things for this show. My internet research finds people split on whether Kirby was hurt or not, but he can’t have been.
Best Match: The Lucha Bros match was pretty good, but I’ll give to Rhodes/Galloway, which had a really good indie rhythm and served as a nice farewell for Drew.
Best Wrestler: You know what, I’ll actually give it to El Ligero, who did his usually thing well in his first match then completely flipped it into a strong style heel for his second.
Worst Match: The main event. Uncomfortable to watch nearly all the way through.
Worst Wrestler: I suppose it has to be Juicy, who either wasn’t properly selling Mysterio’s offence deliberately, or wasn’t capable.
Overall Verdict: But for the title match I would have called this a pretty decent show, with not much in the way of a downside. But, and I don’t want to harp on the point, finishing your three-hour+ show in that manner is asinine, just from an atmosphere perspective if nothing else. A few worth checking out here, like the tournament semi-finals and Galloway’s goodbye, but OK to give most of the rest a miss.
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