WhatCulture is a list making machine. No seriously, they bloody love lists. When they started making YouTube videos the realized there was a big market they could cater for: Pro Wrestling fans. In the short space of 2 years, WhatCulture has created a YouTube empire and in 2016 created their very own wrestling promotion, WhatCulture Pro Wrestling (WCPW).
There are some wrestling fans who hate the idea of WCPW, labelling it as a YouTube show rather than an actual promotion, and in some ways they’re not wrong. But what they are wrong about is how good the product actually is. WCPW is inching its way towards being the top British wrestling promotion, and it’s not hard to see why. With a talented roster, compelling storylines and some incredible in-ring action, WCPW deserves all the praise it gets.
But what if you’ve never heard of WhatCulture? Why should you start watching WCPW? Well never fear, because I’ve written a list (in true WhatCulture style) about the five things you need to know, if you haven’t seen WCPW.
5. Their First Episode was Rubbish
A solid way to start talking up WCPW, I know. But hindsight is a wonderful thing. Well, it is when it isn’t blatantly obvious how rubbish something is. To be fair to the fledgling company didn’t falter when it came to in-ring action or developing and creating storylines (despite their very first match ending in a DQ), but rather their production values.
I mean I’m not too sure, but I think they might not actually be standing in front of a brick wall in the picture above. Maybe?
The issue came from inexperience, with the company relying on online writers and personalities to step up and become wrestling characters. The jump was just too much. The commentary was obnoxious and distracting, and everything seemed a tad too hammed up for a promotion that wanted to be taken seriously.
Thankfully though, the company realized this and started making changes and are still learning from their mistakes.
4. Money can buy ANYONE
When an incredibly successful YouTube channel can create a moderately successful wrestling promotion and then manage to book one of the worlds greatest in-ring wrestlers in the form of Kurt Angle, you know they’re working with some serious money. WhatCulture are making the ‘Big Benjamin’s’, and are not afraid to throw it around a little. Or a lot. More like a lot.
Seriously though, the list of imports they managed to get on a recurring basis is nothing short of impressive. Damien Sandow, Cody Rhodes, Drew Galloway, Alberto El Patron, Matt Hardy, Kurt Angle, EC3, Melina, Bully Ray, Jay Lethal. Not to mention non-wrestling talents like Bret Hart and Eric Bishoff. Hell, they even had Jim Cornette and Jim Ross on commentary.
While big names mean big draws, it also comes down to how well they use these stars with their own talent. And while WCPW have done a fairly good job of integrating the roster with part-timers, they need to be mindful in going back to the money to buy big stars. While these names get a big pop in the short term, they should be aiming to build storylines and their own characters to create a larger fan base in the long-term.
3. The ‘Adams’
It all began with one Adam. Then they got a second one. Add ridiculous stipulations, a cardboard belt and a whole lot of wrestling reacting and you end up with a successful product. Adam Blampied and Adam Pacitti are arguably the original faces of WhatCulture Wrestling, and in turn WCPW. However, if you were to watch WCPW today, you wouldn’t see either of them as on screen personalities (both were written out of the show).
Both Pacitti and Blampied are about as entertaining and charismatic as their wrestling knowledge is deep. Which is a hell of a lot. Their brief stints as on-screen personalities in WCPW were great and exactly what the fans needed to make the slow transition from YouTube lists to wrestling promotion. Hell, Blampied even got in the ring with former ECW wrestler Rampage (and was promptly murdered). It’s without saying that without the two of them, WhatCulture wouldn’t be anywhere near the levels of success they’re currently achieving.
But actually though, have you seen a What Culture video? If you haven’t, do yourself a favour. You might just be more of a fan of it than you thought you’d be.
2. The Roster Changes. A lot.
A lot of casual fans tune into wrestling to see their favourite stars wrestle each week. They’re exclusively on one show, and that brings the casuals back for more. However, in 2016 British wrestling was massive. Indy promotions will share wrestlers on their promotions and reach agreements the benefit all parties.
However, there’s one little promotion that ruined this up a little bit. You may have heard of them? WWE.
Both Noam Dar and Big Damo have moved onto the bigger promotion, with the recent news of a further four wrestlers (Joseph Conners, Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven ) scheduled to compete in the WWE UK Championship tournament, forcing them out of WCPW. One can only assume that bigger names like Joe Hendry (Local Hero) and Joe Coffey will get their opportunities in WWE soon enough.
To an extent, this is a great thing for British wrestling. But on the other hand, WWE has a long history of poaching from other territories. Hopefully this doesn’t damage the incredible British scene.
1. It’s Actually Really Good.
For a company in it’s first year to be where it is at the beginning of 2017, you have to be impressed by it. As mentioned previously the roster of worldwide superstars is astonishing, as well as the showcase of some of British wrestling’s best up and comers. The in-ring action is as good as any promotion worldwide, and the company is growing.
They have an iPPV coming up in Orlando, Florida during WrestleMania season for god’s sake!
They have 4 championships at the moment, with a tag-team and women’s division. Wrestlers Drew Galloway and Cody Rhodes both hold WCPW gold at current, which automatically elevates the fledgling belts. It’s clear that WCPW are planning for the long haul here in trying to build prestige into their championships.
But it’s more than the in-ring action that keeps people coming back to WCPW. The storylines are solid while simple. Martin Kirby at current is proof of how writing can get a character over just as much as their natural talents. There’s a good balance between in-ring comedy and hard-hitting matches, and its this balance that makes WCPW so easy to watch.
If you’re new to the Indy scene, I would highly recommend WCPW as a launching pad.