What Culture Pro Wrestling made their debut in Milton Keynes for their fourth iPPV True Legacy. The show was headlined by Kurt Angle, in his last match to take place on British soil, against Alberto El Patron, and featured a stacked undercard highlighted by yet another match in the series of Ospreay vs. Ricochet and Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Travis Banks.
What Culture Pro Wrestling
February 12, 2017
Milton Keynes, England
Watch: What Culture Extra
Jim Ross and Matt Striker took on commentary duties for the night.
Ricochet def. Will Ospreay
We kicked things off hot here with one of the most anticipated matches on the card. Unfortunately though the action was never allowed to reach its true potential due to the top rope breaking early in the match on a handspring, something that’s unfortunately been occurring far too often on iPPVs in 2017. After a period of the ring crew clearly panicking while the two high flyers fought around the outside, the decision was made to completely ditch the top rope and wrestle the bulk of the match with just the bottom two.
All things considered, the two adapted really well to the setback with them putting together a very enjoyable match within the confines they found themselves in. As you’d expect there were several moments of awkwardness, especially early on, where one of the two would go to run the ropes then have to catch themselves mentally, but as the match went on they seemed to get used to it and managed to regain a flow. Ricochet picked up the victory with the Vertigo inverted DDT.
The rope breaking stopped this match from being any sort of great match in the traditional sense of the word, and we were lucky it didn’t lead to anybody getting hurt, but in some ways it made it all the more interesting a spectacle by virtue of being able to see the two guys adapt on the fly. A tricky one to rate overall, but I’m going to throw. ***1/2
I Quit Match
Rampage def. Primate
Ring was back in one piece by the time this one started. This was match five in a best of seven series, with the scores being tied two apiece before this match took place.
I didn’t feel this one at all. They did your hardcore spots well enough, with a table break, a chair tower and a few assorted other big spots, but the in-between portions were really lacking. The pace was too slow and the intensity too low, and overall the match never hooked me in. I wasn’t alone in that either, as the crowd was dead between spots too. Rampage went up 3-2 in the series when Primate’s manager threw in the towel while his charge was being choked with a chain while tied in the ropes. **3/4
Drago def. El Hijo de Dos Caras
This was originally scheduled to be Drago vs. Pentagon Jr. but Pentagon was pulled last minute (with the official line being illness), so El Patron’s younger brother stepped in to keep the authentic lucha feel. Unfortunately, just because a guy is from the right country doesn’t mean he’s a good fill in; Caras had a horrible showing here. It would have been one thing if the match just suffered from not having Pentagon’s charisma, but Caras was sloppy, his was laborious in his movement and he botched the finish. This was ugly, and the less said about it the better. *3/4
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Travis Banks
This was a rematch from a recent episode of Loaded where Banks pulled off the upset victory, and before that a critically acclaimed match in Fight Club Pro. This ended up being another quality addition to their series. Like most encounters Sabre dominated the early portions with targeted matwork, gaining an early advantage by zeroing in on Banks’ arm. Banks fought back into the match with hard striking and bomb throwing, with Sabre matching him all the way. At one point it looked like Banks may repeat his upset victory with him gaining the upper hand as the two men emptied their arsenals, only for him to get caught in 3-in-1 scissored armbar and eventually being forced to tap out.
The early portions of this match didn’t quite do it for me the way I expected them to going in with these two guys. The work was all very crisp, but I felt like there was a lack of purpose. However, about half way through, when Banks really started working back into the match, the encounter really kicked up several gears and from then on I loved what I saw. Banks looked strong in defeat, and overall this did a really good job setting up both guys going into the Pro Wrestling World Cup which they will both be participating in. Match of the night. ***3/4
WCPW Tag Team Championship Ladder Match
Swords of Essex (Wainwright & Ospreay) def. El Ligero & Gabriel Kidd + Johnny Moss & Liam Slater + Prospect (Gracie & Archer)
Paul Robinson was originally set to be representing the Swords with Wainwright, but Ospreay ended up stepping in and pulling double duty. This was an incredibly fun match, all be it very tropey. The more experienced guys did a great job in guiding the greener guys through, and everybody got their chance to shine. The crowd was kept engaged throughout, and they did a really good job of cycling through the participants to at least blur the ‘climb, pull down, spot, repeat’ formula.
The top spot in the match was Will Ospreay taking a Doomsday Device when atop of Lucas Archer who was in turn on the shoulders of Johnny Moss. It was one hell of a bump.
Perhaps the biggest negative for this match was the production. With eight men in a match I know it can’t be easy, but there were several occasions where big spots were half-missed or shot from an angle that wasn’t very clear. They also tried to cram a few too man story points in, and as a result they lost some of their impact.
Overall though this was a blast to watch, with Slater, Ospreay and Moss all having great showings. The Swords of Essex became new champions following Ospreay hitting an OsCutter off of the top of one of the ladders. ***3/4
Nixon Newell def. Bea Priestley
Nixon was subbing in for Tessa Blanchard here. This was a nothing match. The action was fine but uninspiring for the few minutes that it went on for, before quickly becoming a game of “let’s hit each other with belts while the ref is distracted”. Nixon connected with the last belt shot, and thus won the match. **
WCPW World Championship
Drew Galloway def. Joe Hendry
After their previous encounter ended in a double pin, WCPW GM Martin Kirby is the special guest ref. This was a fair match that you could tell both wrestlers wanted to be so much more. They wrestled like they were aiming for a traditional big time title match with an epic feel, but it just never quite came together. What was really lacking was any sort of genuine babyface fire from Hendry. Galloway did a good job in setting the match up for Hendry, but try as he might he just didn’t seem to have it in him to really make the viewer want to really push for him to win. What we were left with was a well worked match that fell flat; an empty shell of an epic. What a shame. Galloway retained with a Future Shock DDT following a tombstone. ***
Kurt Angle def. Alberto El Patron
I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this one. Angle in 2017 is obviously very limited, and Alberto hasn’t set my world on fire for a long long while, so going in expectations were very very low. The two guys worked really well together stylistically though, with their sports entertainment submission based styles meshing really well. They didn’t overstretch themselves, instead putting on a really tight match that they really got the crowd into. While there were elements of a ‘greatest hits’ match, they really put a level of effort into the flow of the match and the counter sequences to make it feel like way more. While this match likely isn’t going to be showing up on any match of the year ballots, it ended up way surpassing my expectations and being a very satisfying main event. Angle picked up the win in his last UK match with his patented ankle lock. ***1/2
Post match, Hendry came out to celebrate with Angle, putting him over as a legend, before turning heel by hitting Angle with a low blow followed by an Angle Slam.
True Destiny ended up being a solid iPPV outing for What Culture that just lacked that one really great and memorable match that would have put it over the top. Perhaps if Ospreay and Ricochet hadn’t have had to make do with a faulty ring then they could have delivered that. Commentary was solid throughout, and the crowd was pretty good for the matches that mattered. All in all a very slight thumbs up. You can watch the replay on the What Culture Extra subscription service for $6.99.