In case you’re unfamiliar with the Pro Wrestling World Cup, this is an ongoing tournament presented by What Culture Pro Wrestling. WCPW are one of the fastest rising wrestling companies in the world and ensuring they continue their rise in the wrestling scene, they announced the Pro Wrestling World Cup which consists of 64 of best male professional wrestlers in the world.
The Pro Wrestling World Cup is broken down into 8 preliminary tournaments each consisting of 8 wrestlers from the respective country. The countries are: Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Scotland and USA with a final preliminary will be a Rest Of The World which will have a further eight countries represented. Two wrestlers from each preliminary will advance to a 16-man tournament that will be held in the United Kingdom in the summer.
When I first heard about the this tournament, I’ll admit I was wary of this and thought it may be a victim of overkill and fans losing interest. In wrestling there is so many tournaments and I thought with a 64 man tournament this could be overkill, don’t think it helped as when WCPW announced this tournament 5 Star Wrestling announced that they’re holding a tournament with 128 competitors stretching over 30 events. However with two preliminary tournaments in the books and four more booked so far, I strongly believe the tournament has been a success so far and in summer the two day final will be received well from the WCPW fans. You can watch every show of the WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup for free on WCPW’s YouTube channel.
WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup: England Qualifier Recap!
The England qualifier was the first preliminary tournament to take place. The event took place March 21st in Nottingham, England and is available for free on WCPW’s YouTube channel. The 8 competitors for the English qualifiers were; Will Ospreay, Rampage (Rampage Brown), Zack Sabre Jr, Martin Kirby, Marty Scurll, Nick Aldis (Magnus), Zack Gibson and Jimmy Havoc.
The 1st round matches of the English qualifier saw:
– Will Ospreay defeating Martin Kirby
– Rampage defeating Nick Aldis
– Zack Sabre Jr defeating Marty Scurll
– Jimmy Havoc defeating Zack Gibson
This created the 2nd round matches of Will Ospreay vs Rampage and Zack Sabre Jr vs Jimmy Havoc which saw Will Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr become victorious and progressing through to the Pro Wrestling World Cup Finals.
With this event showcasing eight of the best wrestling to come from England, it also included matches featuring some of the best talent from around the world including a ROH World Championship match.
The Bonus matches included:
– Liam Slater & Matt Riddle defeating Prospect (Alex Gracie & Lucas Archer)
– ROH World Championship Match – Champion Christopher Daniels retained against El Ligero
– WCPW Championship Match – Champion Drew Galloway retained against Ricochet
– Main Event Match – The Prestige (BT Gunn, Joe Coffey, Joe Hendry & Travis Banks) defeating Bullet Club (Adam Cole & The Young Bucks) & Gabriel Kidd
Some matches produced some solid action, however some matches didn’t deliver as well as they could have but overall this was a good show which is worth checking out. The bonus match for the WCPW Championship between Drew Galloway and Ricochet was the stand out match and that alone is worth checking out the WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup English qualifier show.
WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup: Scotland Qualifier Recap!
Next up in the Pro Wrestling World Cup was the Scottish qualifiers which took place March 23rd in Motherwell, Scotland. The event is is available for free on the WCPW YouTube channel. The 8 competitors for the Scottish qualifiers were; BT Gunn, Drew Galloway, Joe Coffey, Joe Hendry, Kenny Williams, Lewis Girvan, Liam Thomson and Mark Coffey. The event also had bonus matches that featured El Ligero, Grado, Martin Kirby, Marty Scurll, Matt Riddle, Travis Banks and Will Ospreay.
The 1st round matches of the Scottish qualifier saw:
– Kenny Williams defeating Joe Hendry
– Joe Coffey defeating Liam Thomson
– BT Gunn defeating Lewis Girvan
– Drew Galloway defeating Mark Coffey
This created the 2nd round matches of Kenny Williams vs Joe Coffey and BT Gunn vs Drew Galloway which saw Joe Coffey and Drew Galloway become victorious, progressing through to the Pro Wrestling World Cup Finals in which they will join England’s finalists Will Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr.
It is worth noting that since the Scottish qualifiers, WCPW Champion and Scotland finalist Drew Galloway has resigned with WWE for their NXT brand. There isn’t any update on the status regarding the Pro Wrestling World Cup however I imagine WCPW will address that upon Drew’s departure.
The bonus matches included:
– Grado defeating El Ligero
– Martin Kirby defeating Travis Banks
– Main Event Match – Will Ospreay defeating Marty Scurll and Matt Riddle in a triple threat
Compared to the English qualifier, I didn’t think much of this show. With the crowd being quieter than the usual WCPW crowd and the first half of the show not producing the best of matches. The second half matches saved the show from being a bad show, especially the final two matches which saw Drew Galloway & BT Gunn put on the best tournament match and the main event between Marty Scurll, Matt Riddle and Will Ospreay is worth watching.
WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup: Mexico Qualifier Recap!
The Mexican qualifying rounds set the tone of what fans are to expect when it comes to the international qualifiers as they’ve brought in some of the best Mexican wrestlers there is. This qualifier took place on April 30th in Coventry, airing for free on What Culture’s YouTube channel on May 5th. The 8 competitors for the Mexican Qualifier were; Rey Mysterio, Penta El Zero M (Pentagon Jr), Rey Fenix, Juventud Guerrera, El Higo Dos Caras, Drago and Alberto El Patron.
The 1st round matches of the Mexican qualifier which saw a match between two of the biggest names of the whole tournament as Rey Mysterio defeated Alberto El Patron. Other 1st round matches saw:
– Penta El Zero M defeating Rey Fenix
– El Ligero defeating Drago
– Juventud Guerrera defeating El Higo Dos Caras
This created the 2nd round matches of Penta El Zero M vs El Ligero and Rey Mysterio vs Juventud Guerrera which saw Penta El Zero M and Rey Mysterio become victorious, progressing through to the Pro Wrestling World Cup Finals.
The bonus matches included:
– Hardcore Match – Primate defeating WCPW Tag Team Champion, Scott Wainwright
– Rampage defeating Travis Banks
– Cody Rhodes defeating Drew Galloway
– Main Event WCPW Championship Match – Joe Hendry defeating Martin Kirby to become the new WCPW Champion.
The Mexican qualifier had Stu Bennett (who worked as Wade Barrett in the WWE) on commentary who was entertaining throughout the show . With no surprise Cody Rhodes vs Drew Galloway and Penta El Zero M vs Rey Fenix were great matches and worth checking out. The WCPW Championship match between Martin Kirby and Joe Hendry was for an acquired taste with Kirby taking a great amount of punishment, also the hardcore match between Primate vs Scotty Wainwright was enjoyable to watch. Overall I enjoyed the Mexican qualifiers event and would recommend checking out this show if you haven’t already. You can watch the show HERE
WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup: Canada Qualifier In Association With SMASH Wrestling!
WCPW and Canada’s SMASH Wrestling are coming together to present the Canadian Qualifiers in Toronto, Canada on May 14th. The 8 competitors for the Canadian qualifiers are; Michael Elgin, Kyle O’Reilly, Harry Smith (Davey Boy Smith Jr), Rene Dupree, SMASH Champion Tyson Dux, Brent Banks, Mike Bailey and Franky The Mobster.
The 1st round matches for this tournament qualifier are the following:
– Rene Dupree vs Michael Elgin
– Mike Bailey vs Brent Banks
– Harry Smith vs Frankie The Mobster
– Kyle O’Reilly vs Tyson Dux
The Canadian qualifiers could make for some interesting matches, assuming that Michael Elgin, Mike Bailey, Harry Smith and Kyle O’Reilly to be the four to advance through to the Semi Finals to create some good matches to determine who will progress through to the Pr Wrestling World Cup Finals. Also confirmed to appear at the Canadian Qualifiers ; WCPW Champion Joe Hendry, Martin Kirby, El Ligero and Zack Sabre Jr.
WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup: Germany Qualifier In Association With GWF!
WCPW and German Wrestling Federation (GWF) is another international relationship being created through the Pro Wrestling World Cup as they come together to present the Germany qualifiers on July 2nd in Berlin, Germany. The 8 competitors for the Germany qualifiers are; Axel Dieter Jr, ‘Bad Bones’ John Klinger, Juvenile X, Cash Money Erkan, Tarkan Aslan, Pascal Splater, Lucky Kid and Crazy Sexy Mike.
The 1st round matches for this tournament qualifer are the following:
– Axel Dieter Jr vs Tarkan Aslan
– ‘Bad Bones’ John Klinger vs Pascal Splater
– Juvenile X vs Lucky Kid
– Cash Money Erkan vs Crazy Sexy Mike
It is worth noting that the rumours are that Axel Dieter Jr will shortly be heading to WWE, therefore whether Dieter Jr will be in this tournament will remain to be seen.
WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup: Japan Qualifier In Association With NJPW & Rev Pro!
One of the biggest success’s this tournament has created is the relationships being made between WCPW and other companies from around the world, more specifically the recently announced Japanese qualifiers which is in conjunction with New Japan Pro Wrestling and their UK partner Revolution Pro Wrestling. This brings me to the Japanese qualifiers that will be held on July 9th in Manchester, England. So far four of the eight Japanese competitors from NJPW have been announced for the tournament and they come with great pedigree as they are Jushin Thunder Liger, KUSHIDA, Bushi and IWGP Jr Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi.
WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup: USA Qualifier & Rest of the World Qualifier!
At this moment in time, no details have been announced regarding these two qualifying tournaments.
Due to the announcement of the Japan qualifier being in association with NJPW, I for one hope that the USA qualifier will be in association with ROH. On previous WCPW events we’ve seen ROH showcase matches and seen the ROH World Championship defended so hopefully ROH will be providing some of the best American wrestlers in the world for this tournament.
If I’m being honest I’m excited to how big What Culture Pro Wrestling can actually become and regarding the WCPW Pro Wrestling World Cup, when it comes to tournaments there is so many prestigious tournaments. Tournaments that I and many other fans from around the world look forward to watching are NJPW’s G1 Climax & Best of the Super Juniors, PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles and PROGRESS’s Super Strong Style 16. Hopefully WCPW are going to following in their footsteps and the Pro Wrestling World Cup can continue bringing the best companies and wrestlers from around the world together and do something truly special.
Thank you for reading, feel free to share your thoughts on the column, on the tournament and what you’re hoping to come from the Pro Wrestling World Cup to my twitter account @kurtjohansson93