I’m a fan of pro wrestling as you know. One of my favorite places to go to get up to date information on pro wrestling is What Culture. While I do not always agree with the messages, as anyone is likely to do, I have a great deal of respect for the website and the people who write the articles.
Recently, What Culture and founder Adam Pacitti started What Culture Pro Wrestling (WCPW). WCPW is a British based wrestling promotion operating out of Newcastle. The promotion is three months into its run and two major shows under their belt. While it may be a little early in its infancy to be adequately judged and to know of the promotions longevity, this will be a list of general pros and cons of What Culture Pro Wrestling.
5 It Shows the Viability of YouTube Based Wrestling Promotions
Traditional wrestling outlets tend to steer clear of YouTube, only seeing the website as a way of promoting their own ends. While some promotions like CMLL have used it to their advantage, WWE, ROH, and NJPW do not want to upset their endorsements on television, thus wrestling tends to not go up unless someone else’s posts it for the inevitable boot.
If this is any indication that a professional wrestling promotion is, not only a viable option, but a successful one, we could see even more promotions pop up to use YouTube as their launching pad. It is just my hope that they keep their shows and special events firmly on YouTube.
4 The HUGE Names they Recruit
I don’t know what Adam Pacitti did or has been doing, but the man has been recruiting MAJOR names in the professional wrestling industry. Seeing Damien Sandow show up as well as Will Ospreay are some people I expect. Ospreay is a British born wrestler and Sandow is a WWE name that was on the lower end of the card. Those are the “big” names I’m expecting. But when I see names like Jim Ross, Jay Lethal defending the ROH Championship, Eric Bischoff, Cody Rhodes, Kurt Angle, and so forth… It is certainly quite impressive.
Now please, do not take this as a slight towards Will Ospreay or Damien Sandow now Aron Stevens. What I am merely trying to do is make a point that they were expected HUGE names. A WWE talent and a British wrestling sensation. But when you are consistently getting huge names, that is something that is certainly special and adds a great amount of fan fare to each of WCPW’s shows.
3 The Plethora of Talent on the Regular Roster
Not only does WCPW been able to wrangle in some of the biggest names in pro wrestling, their permanent roster is also stacked with some of the biggest wrestlers that the United Kingdom has to offer. Their main roster consists of the “Mexican” wrestling sensation El Ligero. There is the big Irishman Big Damo, Rampage Jackson, Will Ospreay, Joe Hendry, Joseph Conners, and the list just keeps growing.
Now, if you are one of the standard British Wrestling promotions out there, your Revolution and Insane Championship Wresting of the world, then this is a rather standard roster. But when WCPW was announced, most people who followed the website seemed to have the general idea that the show was going to be whatever eight to ten wrestlers they could find. But instead, Pacitti and Co. have created, arguably, the best and most well received version of British wrestling with a solid cast of the best wrestlers the British Isles has to offer at their disposal.
2 A True and Consistent Representation of British Wrestling
For anyone who is a fan of pro wrestling from around the world, you would know that there are five countries that are consistently producing the best wrestlers and promotions. Those countries are USA/Canada, Japan, Mexico, India, and the United Kingdom. Out of the five of them, tragically, British Wrestling kind of gets screwed over even by today’s standards. Myself personally, I am able to watch wrestling from Mexico and Japan relatively easy. But British Wrestling? I typically find myself finding whatever Revolution video is out there.
WCPW breaks the mold in that regard and gives us a consistent representation of British Wrestling. I know that I can watch WCPW Loaded and their monthly special event each week and see the truly best that the UK has to offer.
1 A True Fan Made Wrestling Experience
Adam Pacitti and the rest of the on air personalities of What Culture’s Pro Wrestling YouTube channel bring a strange sort of charm that is almost impossible to bring to other wrestling promotions, a fan made charm.
WWE, Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, Lucha Underground, and so forth are all wonderful promotions that put on excellent shows. But the fact of the matter is that these are all promotions made by people who are within the system of pro wrestling to some extent. They are either owned by or backed by former wrestlers, bookers, and so forth. This is where What Culture Pro Wrestling differentiates itself from the rest of the pro wrestling world. WCPW is a pro wrestling promotion that is made by pro wrestling fans for pro wrestling fans.
Whenever I watch WCPW, I know that this is made by a group of people like me. It is made by a group of people who grow increasingly irritated at some of the tropes and condescending tones that wrestling promotions can take. WCPW is made and ran by a group of people that get it, and while they can sometimes make similar mistakes, the charm still remains.
4 All About the Authority Figures and a Few Self Servicing Fan Moments
I love it when situations come up where the someone who critiques another person’s work does the exact same thing when given the opportunity. I will get into this more later, but this section does deserve its own spot away from the other major “booking mistakes.” But, the point I am getting at is the fact that WCPW is, primarily, focused around Adam Pacitti, Adam Blampied, Jack the Jobber, and so forth with the wrestlers typically coming in second place. Considering that Pacitti is the face owner and manager while Jack and Blampied play managers, there is an lot of non wrestlers being front row and center for a wrestling program. After hearing these various members of the What Culture staff bear down on WWE and other promotions for focusing on authority figures, it is somewhat ironic that they would, themselves, turn around and book their program in a strikingly similar fashion.
The other part of this section goes into the obvious, though understandable, fan servicing moments. I do get it, part of the charm of this is the fact that the guys running this show are wrestling fans. So when guys like Eric Bischoff and Kurt Angle and so forth show up, it is understandable they will want to have a segment with them… But damn some of it is just painful, forced, and takes away from the show. The most egregious example is Simon Miller and King Ross on commentary which luckily met a somewhat quick death. While I find both men to be impressively entertaining in their segments… They just weren’t great at calling matches tragically. Other moments include the Blampied vs. Bischoff trash talk segment as well as the constant involvement in the main event level match ups.
3 A Women’s Division with Only Two Women… One of Which Keeps Making Mistakes
Sigh… I get it, I really do. Women’s wrestling has become huge as of recently with the dawn of the four horsewomen and the elimination of the “Divas” tag line (now just to get rid of TNA’s “Knockout” tag). Bayley, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte have been tearing up the world and you want to capitalize on that… But I don’t think you can have a viable women’s division complete with the WCPW Women’s belt with only two wrestlers, one of which isn’t that good.
Bea Priestley and Nixon Newell have been locked in a feud for the belt for several weeks now. This culminated in a Last Woman Standing match at WCPW’s Stacked in which Newell won the championship… In twelve minutes… And the match wasn’t that great to begin with. I give Priestley and Newell credit for putting for a lot of effort, but these two cannot carry a division on their own and, tragically, Nixon Newell has made major and noticeable botches in each of her matches. These aren’t just minor botches either, these are nasty hard to miss botches that could seriously injure herself, Priestley, and are noticeable to just about everyone who knows how bumping is supposed to work. I am sorry, but WCPW should have probably focused on making a Tag Team division first and have Priestley and Newell wrestle the men akin to Lucha Underground. This just won’t carry for an entire division.
2 Rookie Booking Mistakes
This is something that is just unavoidable when you have a rookie booking staff, you will make rookie booking mistakes. These mistakes have been seen at every level of the card, some are somewhat harmless and others are becoming noticeably painful. The first match in WCPW history ends in a dubious finish, the focus of non wrestling talent, and the booking of short term wrestlers with a more prominent name value to go over long term wrestlers are just three examples of growing pains within the WCPW.
The most noticeable of all the offenders falls to the treatment of the WCPW Championship and I do not mean tearing up the cardboard belt. The WCPW belt has so far had two holders, the inaugural holder Big Damo, and the recent champion Joseph Conners who turned on his “friend” Joe Hendry in order to get the win. The problem I have seen with this part of the card is the fact that the two major shows have seen the swerve angle where you go in not expecting Big Damo and Rampage to do a face heel turn or Conners to do a heel turn. A good swerve or surprise finish is always a treat… Unless it is happening every damn time the belt is defended. Then that little delicious treat turns into morbid obesity and you just become tired… I hope that analogy didn’t go too far off the tracks. My point is that sometimes a simple clean finish or a simple cheat finish is the proper way to go. I can let it slide for being early in their life. But they need to start mellowing out and soon.
1 They are Still Missing those True Must Watch Moments
The biggest problem facing WCPW at this stage is the fact that there just isn’t anything that is keeping me coming back for more. I feel like I need to watch WWE to keep up with the stories and see good matches, I keep up with Lucha Underground because it is the greatest fucking thing to happen to pro wrestling in decades, I keep up with AAA for being a beautiful trainwreck, I keep up with NJPW, ROH, and so forth for similar reasons as listed before… But WCPW… There is nothing that is luring me in and keeping me watching episodes of Loaded each week. There is nothing tempting me to click on those channels. There is no BIG DEFINING part of Loaded that separates it from the pack.
WCPW needs to be able to cultivate those wrestlers that people need to watch and those moments that people need to see in order to keep their program as a viable wrestling promotion.
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