mark my words

Mark My Words: WhatCulture Pro Wrestling

WhatCulture WWE is the reason this site exists, as after they turned me down for a writing job, I decided to start my own site, and now, almost nine months later, I’m pretty proud about where we are. This started as me recapping Raw and SmackDown on my own as something to do while I was off work waiting for a stomach operation, which I had the night after WrestleMania. I still recapped half of ‘Mania, although I’ll admit I got someone else to cover Raw the night after my surgery. At the time, I was in a lot of pain, so was often up late at night, which meant recapping from 1am wasn’t a problem. In the nine months that have passed, people have slowly been brought into the fold – Sora and Kenji at first, then Jess and Jordan, before Survive joined us as our NXT recapper. Between the lot of them, they’ve helped me make this into a site that mostly updates every day, and covers as much as we can with such a small, unpaid team. I’m really proud of them.

WhatCulture is something different. They’re a huge site, for a start, they can afford to pay their writers, while I can’t even afford to pay myself, and they recently got a point where it was clear they could us their personalities to sell the articles and videos they had on the site. Hell, you can spot WhatCulture signs at every Raw, pretty much, because smarks love other smarks who share their opinions, and we like them even better when they’re funny. The videos are good fun, the guys have huge personalities and their interplay is hilarious, so it makes sense that they’d want to move that into a larger arena.

So, bring on WCPW. WhatCulture Pro Wrestling is putting on a hell of a show, and they’ve got incredible talent like Joe Hendry, Noam Dar, El Ligero – Jay Lethal showed up, for goodness’ sake, and they’re bringing in Will Ospreay and Damien Sandow, too. They’re doing a brilliant job, and while I may be a little bitter they didn’t take me on as a writer, I’m going to support the hell out of their promotion. It’s mostly UK wrestlers, but they’re getting a good few talents from other promotions who are willing to pop in for the show, and the UK talent they have is great. I’ve just watched the second WCPW Loaded, and it was phenomenal, I was utterly blown away. Talking with Jordan at the same time as we were watching, we kept saying just how much we were marking out. For me, that’s not a big deal, I get excited when I can reach a high shelf, but Jordan is the smarkiest smark I know, and prides himself in the fact, so to know he was having the same reaction as me… that’s when you know they’ve got something good.

WCPW is fun partially because it’s by smarks, for smarks. They know what we want to see, they know what we want to chant, and they know that a certain level if dissatisfaction with the product is what we’ve become used to. They know the spots we want to see, and better than that – they know that we know that they know. It’s an insular little in-joke, something that shouldn’t work as the basis for a whole promotion, but it does, it’s a whole story in a story that involves the crowd and makes them part of the action. These guys have managed to create something that’s funny and good, when most wrestling promotions still can’t balance the two – and it’s rewarding to see fans take wrestlers they enjoy and put together their own show, to see someone’s fantasy bookings become a reality.

Sure, there’s some issues with the sound mixing that mean people talking at ringside are almost incomprehensible, sometimes even when they’ve got a mic in their hands, and the levels drop wildly when commentary drop away and they cut to a backstage segment, but there’s bound to be teething problems with new set ups, and they’re still learning their way around it, but for something that could have been a fun little gimmick that had no substance, WCPW is doing a damn good job of proving it’s here for more than that.

I’ve got tickets for the shows on the 27th and 28th of July, with Will Ospreay and Damien Sandow, so I’m pretty damn excited to go, and we’ll see if I can’t recap something for the site. WCPW Loaded can be found on WhatCulture Wrestling’s Youtube channel, and it’s well worth a look.