WCPW – No Regrets, 29/04/17, Sports Central Newcastle

Firstly, I don’t particularly writing negative things about shows I attend. Usually I am invited as a guest of the company and as I haven’t paid for a ticket I don’t believe it is appropriate to criticise a company unless I deem it absolutely necessary. But at the same time I don’t like writing reviews that don’t fairly depict the experience of attending the show.

That being said the “show” part of No Regrets was great, maybe even better than great and the only reason I had a negative experience was because of things that happened prior to the show starting. My No Regrets experience started a few days beforehand when I had problems contacting WCPW to give them the name of our competition winner, usually my contact with WCPW is done through Adam Clery (who some of you will know from WhatCulture’s content) but unfortunately Adam C was on holiday meaning I was given another email address to contact and for whatever reason there was no reply to that email which led to me being anxious about this until the day of the event when, thankfully, Adam Pacitti (who I had contacted through his personal Facebook) managed to get the tickets emailed through to our winner a few hours before the show. I’m not sure why this wasn’t as easy as just putting a name on a list as usual but being left without a point of contact was not a pleasant experience as I was concerned that the tickets we had been promised may not materialise.

Also in the build up to the show my editor spoke was assured that I to would be given a chance to interview Stu Bennett (formerly WWE’s Wade Barrett) but details of when and where this would happen were not forthcoming. Again I contacted Adam Pacitti and he helpfully suggested I arrive at the venue for 4:30 which I was happy to do. I arrived at around 4:10 but WCPW security had no idea what I was talking about. Eventually I spoke to someone else and was told that Bennett was in the meet and greet which ended at 5pm and someone would come get me at some point after that. That didn’t happen. What did happen is I stood back and watched the chaos from the various meet and greets. The problem seemed to be that there were multiple M&Gs and they were in two different building meaning that people had to run from one to another to make sure they made the different cut off points for entry. The most popular M&G seemed to be Rey Mysterio (understandably) but because many people had tickets for multiple stars they were either stuck in queues for other performers and ended up being late to Mysterio’s or had to leave Mysterio’s without getting photos taken so they could make the other M&Gs and come back to Mysterio afterwards. Obviously this wasn’t ideal and I heard several people complaining to the poor WCPW security guy who could only apologise and let them by even though the cutoff point had passed. This meant the meet and greets overran which had a knock on effect with the VIP entry being late, general admission being late and of course me not speaking to Bennett, although it wasn’t until 6:15 (more than two hours after I arrived) that this was confirmed.

I did not attend the VIP part of the event but several of my friends did and they were unhappy that the room that the VIP was held in was too small for the number of people meaning many of them just ended loitering outside it until they were allowed into the main room where the show was taking place. I have attended multiple WCPW events and this is the first time I have ever heard anyone say anything negative about the VIP experience which is often amongst the most popular part of the show.

After my two hour wait and the disappointment of finding out there would be no interview I contemplated leaving and watching the show another on WCPW Extra. In fact when I took my seat on the balcony and was immediately blinded by a rogue spotlight the decision was almost made. Thankfully I took a moment and had a look around and saw an angel, a beautiful (in his own way) angel in the shape of Maffew from Botchamania. I have attended many an event with Maffew and his overwhelming positivity always makes any show better so when I saw he was sitting by himself I decided to switch seats. Between having someone to quickly vent to and having a different viewpoint (one without a spotlight) things started to take a turn for the better. We were also joined by former WCPW referee Chris Thompson who is also always good for a laugh.

We joked when So Cal Val’s microphone didn’t work and then enjoyed a great opener as the team of Juventud Guerrera and Rey Fenix took on Drago and El Hijo Dos Caras. Seemingly fought under lucha libre rules (which Maffew is far more familiar with than I am) this bout was the perfect combination of high flying flips and hard hitting strikes to get the crowd going and forget any hassle from before the show. The match ended when Fenix hit Drago with a Fenix Driver and Juve was able to cut Dos Caras off and prevent him from making the save. I read some criticism of Juve online but I didn’t see anything from his performance that suggested he should be looking to wrap up his 25 year career anytime soon.

The lucha match was part of the pre-show so the first “proper” match of the show was also the one I was most looking forward to. In his brief period in the UK Travis Banks has established himself as one to the best around and having seen him have a Match Of The Year candidate with Zack Sabre Jr at WCPW Lights Out I was excited to see him take on Penta el Zero M. Although shorter than I would have liked the match didn’t disappoint. The highlight of the match was a brutal package piledriver that Penta delivered to the Kiwi Buzzsaw on the ring apron which both Maffew and I were in awe of. Banks won the match shortly after that when he hit his opponent with a springboard enziguri from the corner.

Next up was Prince Ameen vs Brandi Rhodes. WCPW played a video package that explained why this was a grudge match of sorts. From what I understand Prince Ameen had said something derogatory about Brandi’s dog which led to her giving her dogs Ameen’s shirt to her dogs to do what they wanted with, her dogs had thrown up on the shirt and because of this there was now going to be a match. The best part of the package was definitely hearing Cody Rhodes say “Prince Ameen is a real piece of shit”, I have watched the original interview in full and there were several other insults thrown at Ameen. According to Cody he is also “The biggest jabroni I have ever seen… the definition of Jabroni”, “makes terrible jokes”, “should not even be setting up the ring, he should be mowing Joe Hendry’s lawn” and best of all “a rat bitch”. Given how Cody usually conducts himself in front of a camera it was fun to see him be a bit more glib.

The match itself was entertaining (as Ameen matches always are) but failed to really get going. Ameen, who was introduced as ‘The Indian Dream’, dominated the match from the beginning and used his size and strength advantage against the much smaller Brandi. Fortunately for Mrs Rhodes, Ameen took too long when climbing to the too to his ‘Whole New World’ splash and she was able to avoid it. She then turned the tables when she grabbed Ameen’s ‘magic carpet’ (which is actually more of a rug) and hit Ameen with his own manoeuvre for the win.

Cody Rhodes making his entrance

After one match involving a Rhodes the crowd we treated to another as Cody defended his championship against Joe Hendry and Gabriel Kidd (both of whom were mentioned in the previous video). Despite Rhodes’ popularity the crowd were split between him and Kidd. The match started with Hendry dismissively shoo-ing Kidd away do that he could mix it up with the champion. Once underway the match was a fantastic showcase for all three men who put on a great showing. Anticipation started to grow as Hendry and Rhodes battled on the outside and the feeling was that there would be a new champion when Hendry hit a side russian legsweep at the top of the entrance way and Rhodes appeared to be legitimately hurt as officials and his wife came out to check on him and offer him treatment while Hendry and Kidd battled in the ring. There were near falls and submission attempts from both men along and at one point it looked like Kidd had it won but referee Sean McLaughlin had taken a boot to the face and was unable to make the count. It seemed like Hendry was going to sneak a win when be locked in his ankle lock but Rhodes managed to make a save. The final two minutes were hectic as Kidd survived a Freak of Nature Slam attempt, an ankle lock, a figure four and a Cross Rhodes before catching Cody Rhodes in a roll up to gain his first WCPW victory and his first ever championship. I have met Kidd on several occasions and was over the moon to witness his triumph, for me the image of a wide-eyed Kidd looking around in disbelief of what he had just achieved was probably my favourite moment of any WCPW show I have attended.

Following that match, and in particular the emotional ending, was not an easy task but El Ligero and Rey Mysterio both gave their all in their match. Mysterio rolled back the years as he hit a diving seated senton onto the outside early on but unfortunately the match didn’t live up to its early promise and soon became a by the numbers Mysterio match with the 619 being teased throughout with Ligero avoiding it in various ways. There was a scary moment towards the end when Mysterio attempted the 619 but seemed to not get a grip on the rope and he ended up on the outside clutching his arm, thankfully he seemed to be OK and was soon back in the ring and finally hit the 619 on the fourth or fifth time of asking before hitting a splash and then pinning Ligero for the win.

El Ligero and Rey Mysterio before the opening bell

The main event of the show was a 30 man championship rumble match with the champion Drew Galloway starting off. Given the number I participants in the match it would be impossible to do the whole match justice so I will just mention the more memorable events and place a table with all the important information included in it.

Martin Kirby started off against Galloway but neither placed a hand on each other before entrant number 3, Drake, made his way to the ring. The two teamed up momentarily hit the Calling Spots champion with a double back elbow before Galloway picked him up, hit the Futureshock DDT and pinned Drake to eliminate him (oh yeah, this rumble had eliminated via pinfall, submission or being thrown over the top rope BUT weapons were legal). Next out was Kid Fite who was able to get some offence in before being chucked over the top by Kirby. For a moment it seemed that Kirby and Galloway would work in tandem to eliminate every other participant but that thought dissipated quickly when Bad Bones emerged at number five holding a baseball bat and laid out both men. He was then greeted with a loud chorus of “You’re just a shit Perry Saturn” by the crowd, this displeased Maffew greatly as he is a huge Bad Bones fan.

Alex Gracie was next out. He appeared with a pair of sticks and started to expertly twirl (I can’t think of a more menacing verb) them before disarming Bad Bones. He and his Prospect teammate Lucas Archer then tried to powerbomb Bones over the top onto a table that Archer had set up on the outside but their attempt failed when the brute fought back.

Scott Wainwright made his entrance to “My Old Man’s a Dustman”. This was amusing when I watched this live but even more so on playback when the commentators informed the viewer that King Ross had been playing around with Wainwright’s music.

Speaking of Ross he accompanied Primate to the ring after wheeling him out in a trolley.

Zack Gibson had a memorable rumble as he spent the first few minutes walking around the outside with a microphone talking about being “Liverpool’s number 1”, being a ITV star and asking where was his meet and greet. I like Gibson but given how hectic the M&G was he should probably be thankful he wasn’t involved in it. Later in the match Gibson wound frustrate Stu Bennett enough that he would don his red armband and deliver a bull hammer elbow to the King of Scouse Style, roll him in the ring and let Rockstar Spud get the easy elimination.

Speaking of Bennett, he showed cat like reflexed when one of Gracie’s sticks were batted out of the ring towards a member of the crowd only for Bennett to effortlessly catch it in one hand before taking a bow while the crowd cheered.

The Babe of Brutality and the Vixen of Violence, Viper made her entrance, decked Spud and Gibson with incredibly Stiff forearms. These had been turned into gifs and memes before I arrived home. Vixen also managed to eliminate Prince Ameen before being unceremoniously thrown over the top rope by Galloway.

Adam Pacitti entered the rumble, tried to attack Kirby from behind only to be Sable Bombed by Kirby (with the help of two others) and pinned. Pacitti managed to enter the ring, attack Kirby, be eliminated and walk backstage before the following competitor was even announced. Well done Adam!

The loudest reaction for an competitor was surprisingly for ‘Fat’ Ligero who entered at 24, one after regular Ligero. The two did the classic mirror spot before teaming up briefly before Dave Mastiff eliminated them both.

The last two men standing were Kirby and ‘The Prestigious One’ Joe Hendry. Kirby managed to skin the cat and then get out of the Freak of Nature Slam. He knocked down Hendry and went for the Zoidberg Elbow, at which point Maffew screamed “what’s he doing that for?” before hitting it for the first time to ever and pinning Hendry to become the fourth man to hold the WCPW World Heavyweight Championship as the crowd erupted. Kirby has been the most popular man in WCPW (and beyond) for most of their history and it was great to see him finally hold their title aloft.

Kirby setting up AND hitting the Zoidberg Elbow
Kirby celebrating after winning the rumble and becoming the WCPW World Heavyweight champion

Overall WCPW No Regrets was a brilliant show. It saw storylines come to an end, it saw two crowd favourites pick up huge victories and the fans in attendance went home happy with the image of Martin Kirby celebrating being the lasting image of the show. If it hadn’t been for the stress before the show I would have been tempted to say No Regrets was almost perfect.

Thank you once again for your hospitality WhatCulture!