What Culture celebrated their millionth YouTube subscriber by offering up a livestream of their major Exit Wounds show for free on YouTube. The show was headlined by the WCPW Championship match between Drew Galloway and Will Ospreay, and also featured the announcement of the new General Manager, two offer matches from Ring of Honor and Revolution Pro Wrestling and a bunch more.

What Culture Pro Wrestling
Exit Wounds
March 6, 2017
Northumbria Students Union
Newcastle, England

Watch: YouTube

Matt Striker is joined by Bradshaw on commentary for the night’s proceedings.

Bad Bones & Drake def. Prospect

This was a short opening match that started well with a good energetic pace only to end abruptly when James Kennedy came out to distract the ref, allowing Bad Bones hit a chair shot to the knee of Archer. This allowed Drake to pick up the submission win with a modified kneebar. Moving on. **1/4

WCPW Internet Championship
Cody Rhodes def. Liam Slater

This was a solid match that clearly had the aim of putting Slater over strong in defeat, something I’m very much behind as an idea as he’s got a lot of potential. He got in a lot of offense, and even got to kick out of Cody’s Cross Rhodes finisher. However, they never earned the epic feel with their work that they were clearly hoping to portray, with a lot of the earlier portions of the match coming off as pretty uninspired, so while the story they were telling was sound it didn’t connect like I’d imagine they hoped it would. For this to work fully the match would have needed to be a memorable match where Slater went down valiently, but like so many Cody matches this ended up being a good but overall completely forgettable encounter. Cody picked up the victory with a flash pin after Slater had missed a diving headbut. ***

After the match the newly formed heel group The Prestige, consisting of Joe Hendry, Travis Banks and Joe Coffey, came out to stare down Cody as he walked back up the ramp. I imagine this was done to set up a trios match between The Prestige and the Bullet Club team of Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks when they are over later in the month for the Bulletproof iPPV.

After that The Prestige took to the ring and got their agenda over, which was fairly generic heel faction stuff. Not getting the opportunities they deserved, being passed over for imports, being disrespected by management… You know the sort of thing, nothing radical or all too new here. While overall the delivery here from all three guys was pretty good the biggest problem here was that they were simply talking for far too long. All told the segment ended up going comfortably over fifteen minutes, which was about three times the length of time needed to convey their point.

Within the overly long segment they seemed to set up two matches. The first was between Travis Banks and Doug Williams, something that sounds fun, while the second appeared to be between Joe Hendry and Matt Striker, which sounds the exact opposite.

Silas Young def. Delirious

This was an ROH offer match, and my goodness if there’s nothing more fitting to exemplify ROH’s sorry state of affairs in 2017 than these two being their go to guys to make a good impression for their company. I like Silas fine, but he’s far from the most exciting of wrestlers, and mixed in with Delirious, who hasn’t had a good match pretty much since he transitioned to an office role, and you’ve got the predictably boring outcome which was this match. The most noteworthy part of this period was the announcement over commentary that Adam Cole would be defending his ROH World Championship against Zack Sabre Jr. at Bulletproof later this month. Oh, and also when it looked like Silas nearly killed his booker when he landed knee first on Delirious’ face off a moonsault. Thankfully Delirious seemed relatively okay, and Young quickly followed up with the Misery TKO to pick up the victory. **

WCPW Women’s Championship
Bea Preistley def. Kay Lee Ray

Priestley won the title from Nixon Newell on a recent Loaded after the help of Viper, so the focus going into this one, instead of being the match itself, was how Viper was affiliated with the champion and whether she would interfere again. As such, despite the work being solid, the crowd always seemed to be waiting for Viper to come out which prevented them from getting invested in any of the earlier portions of the match. This wasn’t helped by the commentary also seeming far more interested on the Viper situation than the match that was occurring in front of them too. As I said though, the action was solid with KLR looking good and Priestley being the solid and improving prospect that she is. Predictably Viper came down for the finish, with some uninspired ‘ref looks the other way’ interference, assisting Priestley and allowing her to retain her title with a roll-up after KLR missed a senton bomb. **3/4

Chain Match
Rampage def. Primate

This was match six in the seven match series between Rampage and Primate, with Rampage being up 3-2 going into the contest. While this was a chain match in name, there appeared to be some sort of malfunction with the chain which lead to it being ripped off within the first minute and cast aside not to be used again throughout the rest of the match. That slight weirdness aside, this was a fun big man brawl, with a good use of plunder and build to big spots while still maintaining a flow (all the more impressive since it probably had to be called on the fly after the chain broke). Rampage picked up the win, and the 4-2 victory in the series, after kicking out of a spear after being put through a table, then catching a second spear and hitting a piledriver.

I really liked that Rampage won the series here and that it didn’t go to the last match. All too often in wrestling series a lot of drama is lost in the earlier matches as it’s a near certainty that things will end up going to a final match. Having a best of seven end here in match six is not only refreshing, but it will also enhance the next best-of-x-series that they host as it will make the fans believe that every match matters and could go either way because the certainty that they’re going to a final match was removed here. Plus it puts Rampage over really strongly going into his title match in Orlando at Mania weekend, and still doesn’t make Primate look weak as he was able to go toe-to-toe in every match and even managed to get the better of him a couple of times. ***1/4

The Prestige (Coffey & Banks) def. El Ligero & Gabriel Kidd

Prestige attacked Ligero and Kidd on their way to the ring to kick this one off fast. This was a good match that did a great job of giving the new Prestige faction a strong first  win. Ligero is perfectly used in this enhancement-to-the-stars role; he never loses anything from a loss and always makes his opponents look great when getting the better of him. Prestige sealed a dominant victory by pinning Kidd after a pop-up European, lariat, giant swing and Kiwi buzzsaw kick combination. ***1/4

Marty Scurll def. David Starr

This was RPW’s offering to the show and, in stark contrast to ROH’s contribution, both on paper and in reality this was a highpoint for the card. While things took a little while to get going, overall this match just had a far higher level of energy to its work than anything else on the card to this point. It wasn’t any type of great example of storyline or anything, it was just an exciting, fun, high paced back and forth indie match between two charismatic hard workers. The crowd was very receptive, and Scurll especially just came off as another tier above everybody else on the show so far in terms of star aura and feel; he’s always attention grabbing and compelling in everything he does. The match had a lovely flow to it, with no real down periods, and didn’t overstay its welcome at all. A total thumbs up, and it also served to give Marty a strong win going into his World Cup matches later this month as he picked up the submission victory with the crossface chickenwing and after much fighting Starr eventually succumbed. ***3/4

Next up we got the announcement of the next GM, with Martin Kirby chosing to step down from the role and moving back into a wrestling capacity. The new GM turned out to be Adam Blampied, one of What Culture’s YouTube personalities who started in WCPW as a heel manager but had been absent for several months after getting his comeuppance in a No DQ match with Rampage. Here he came back as a face, promising not to be a dick and putting over the roster. Usually I wouldn’t be a fan of having the YouTube personalities in big roles, but Blampied did excellently with this promo, taking the focus off of him completely and making it all about the very talented group of wrestlers that work for the promotion. You got the vibe here that he was going to be a straight laced face authority figure who isn’t the focus of storylines and more just fills a role. For that Blampied is a good choice, as he’s an eloquent speaker who is well liked by the crowd.

This then lead to BT Gunn coming out, who was Kirby’s scheduled opponent for the show, but half way down the rap he took off his jacket to reveal a Prestige shirt. The other three members of the group then came out, and the four of them beat down Kirby and Blampied.

WCPW Championship
Drew Galloway def. Will Ospreay

Ospreay came out in a Low Ki-esque hitman get-up but without any trousers; a bizarre look for sure. These two told a nice simple story of Ospreay having to use his superior speed to keep the tempo high and get in and out quick to inflict mage to the monstrous Galloway, as whenever Galloway managed to get his hands on Ospreay he would either maul him or throw him around the venue. Ospreay worked super hard here, taking some crazy bumps like the one below into the crowd.

The match as a whole way very sports entertainment-y, with a heavy reliance on finisher kickouts and a fairly substantial portion of the match based around Bea Preistley interfering on Ospreay’s behalf. That’s not even necessarily a criticism, WCPW’s target audience is very WWE-centric and as a result the crowd was very receptive to this style of main event. It may 100% not be my personal preferred style of match, but the two guys did a great job with it and the match ended up being a really satisfying main event to the show. I especially enjoyed the finish, which saw Ospreay counter out of a tombstone into hitting a cutter, then attempt to go for his OsCutter finisher only to be caught in mid-air with a spinning Future Shock DDT by Galloway for the victory. It was the perfect conclusive ending to the story they were telling: Ospreay went for the same move once too often and got caught by Drew’s superior strength and got planted. This isn’t a match of the month contender or anything, but as a main event in front of this crowd it more than did its job. ***3/4

Final Thoughts:

Exit Wounds was a thumbs in the middle outing for WCPW. The first half of the show came off pretty uninspired, with most makes falling around the okay range, and the early talking segment hurt the pace of the first half. The show ended strongly though, with two very enjoyable matches and a good angle to close out the show. Neither Galloway-Ospreay nor Starr-Scurll are quite must-watch material, but both are very good and I’d wager almost everybody would enjoy them quite a lot. It did a good job of building to both the UK World Cup tournament and the Bulletproof iPPV later this month too.