So the finals are on us. We have Ospreay vs Ricochet and Conners vs Kushida, both matches should be fantastic and any combination of the four in the final will make it one hell of a tournament ending.
KUSHIDA vs JOSEPH CONNERS
PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP SEMI-FINALS
Winner : Kushida
A match I never even thought of but which the second it opened the night you knew it was opening a very special night.
It was a very slow match showcasing the best of both. I feel Kushida always had the upper hand, he made it look so easy and no matter what Conners did he seemed to have a answer or if he didn’t it didn’t seem to phase him too much. Like most of his matches he kept looking for the Hoover Board lock, focusing on the arms and trying to cut Conners down whilst Conners used his vast play book to keep the pace, whilst slow, unpredictable. He was able to hit moves at crucial moments that Kushida wouldn’t see coming to change the pace.
Problem with Kushida constantly going for the same move is that it makes him quite predictable, whilst its fun for the fans to watch it means that Conners has a advantage, when Kushida then strays from the predictable attack on the arms is when he’s deadly and can once more out of nowhere stick you in a submission that you really don’t want to be in.
RICOCHET vs WILL OSPREAY
PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP SEMI-FINALS
Winner : Will Ospreay
The boys didn’t even take their jackets off. From the moment Ospreay got to the ring the two of them just fought with everything they had.
What can you honestly say about them? They are two men that are pretty much made for each other, their matches leave you breathless because the two of them just go together perfectly.
It was such a exciting match but there honestly isn’t anything you can say about it because it was a timeless classic between two guys who always seem to be there when there is a classic match happening nowadays. The ending was funny because it felt kind of out of the blue which is why their matches are always perfect because you expect something big and brassy and it ends up just being a wonderfully choreographed ending that makes you sit there and go holy shit.
Ospreay going on to face Kushida is just amazing.
MIKE BAILEY vs PENTA ZERO M
Winner : Penta Zero M
What a strange match up but at the same time whoever thought it up is a genius. I’ve slowly become a fan of Bailey’s and Penta is just a strange guy to watch in any given situation so its a wonderful match up.
Again it depends on Bailey’s opponent if he works for me or not. The fast kicks against the ropes to Penta just looked silly and from then on it was kind of just both of them walking towards spots. I don’t know I couldn’t get into the match myself and whilst I loved what they did it felt like a lot of walking and positioning and not enough actual action.
Probably didn’t help they came on after such a incredible match up like Ricochet and Ospreay.
Penta got a Fear Factor for the win but it wasn’t something I’d want to watch again.
RAMPAGE vs EL LIGERO
MAGNIFICENT SEVEN BRIEFCASE MATCH
Winner : El Ligero
I don’t know. I love Rampage. I really love Rampage. I love seeing him manhandle people, I love seeing him just breeze through competition and I love that even though he does all that he hasn’t got the WCPW title. I kind of find his struggle for it more exciting then Kirby’s.
I also love El Ligero. I love funny Ligero and serious Ligero and I just wish in a match like this he err’ed to the serious side more then the funny one. The running away from Rampage into him, the kicks that didn’t do anything yet he celebrated… I just.
It was a quick-ish match because of it, I guess we had to be happy that it was so that the two bigger matches got some time but I would have liked to see Rampage really tear into El Ligero and Ligero to actually get some offence in that looked good. Instead it was a low below for the win.
Blamps came out to let us know the first match for Refuse to Lose was going to be War Machine vs The Young Bucks. A interesting match up, maybe for the wrong reasons but I actually for the first time am a little excited for a Young Bucks match.
ALEX GRACIE vs ZACK SABRE JR
NUMBER ONE CONTENDERS MATCH FOR THE INTERNET CHAMPIONSHIP
Winner : Zack Sabre Jr
It was a really great match. Alex Gracie is a lot better then you would think at times, the guy is actually really great. He matched ZSJ really well and without the stupid comedy that marred his Kirby match you could see just how good he is.
Watching ZSJ go though is just a fun thing and Gracie didn’t try to beat him at his own game so we didn’t just have them rolling around and Gracie looking weak compared to Sabre we saw them both really go at it. I liked the moment when Gracie looked like he was going to cheat and then didn’t. Gracie would be a interesting guy to go up against Kid but obviously he still has his Kirby thing going.
In the end it looked like Sabre was going to murder Gracie, if he hadn’t submitted it looked like he would have twisted every part of his body in the opposite direction. He won by submission which made me sad because we didn’t get to see him throwing a hissy fit.
JACK SWAGGER vs JOE HENDRY
WCPW CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Winner : Joe Hendry
The battle of the Ankle Locks apparently.
It did lead to the wonderful reversal sequence that ended with both of them in a ankle lock but I wasn’t really too sure why it was such a big deal. To be honest it worked in the negative for Hendry because Swagger’s ankle lock just looks nasty compared to Hendry’s and even worse is that we now have a “double Hendry lock” which is like the Walls of Jericho but just look absolutely ridiculous and I really wish he hadn’t done it just after ZSJ gave us a masterclass of how beautiful submission wrestling can be.
It was a good match though, a little stop starty, I don’t think Hendry matched up well to Swagger, I think Hendry is a bit like a smaller Swagger but he doesn’t do anything quite as nasty looking. I love Swagger but I just didn’t get into the match to be honest and maybe just wanted to see one or the other dominate a little more then they did.
The Double Hendry Lock is going to be the bain of my life….
KUSHIDA vs WILL OSPREAY
PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP FINAL
Winner : Kushida
It was a final fit for a tournament of the quality it was. The two of them put it on the line and really stole the show. Stole the tournament.
I didn’t like the stuff outside the ring, they had to bring in the SCC to run around at ringside to cushion the moves, it didn’t look natural and the match didn’t need it even though it was there to showcase the absolute amazing talents of both guys. It just felt clunky. The stuff with Bea was beautifully done though, kind of wish they’d been smarter and got two guys to come down with Kushida so it wasn’t such a one sided ringside.
Boy was it good though, the styles work really well together and they both have such inventive move sets. I love watching Kushida and the match was given enough time to really play their strengths off against each other. It was a fight to who could hit the biggest move first and I was honestly beside myself when I thought Kushida was going to hit the Back to the Future off the top rope, I mean that probably would kill Ospreay but I wouldn’t put it past them to do it.
It had a little bit of everything and really rounded off a fantastic tournament.
That trophy is giant….
Well the World Cup was a success. I don’t care what anyone else says it really was. It was pretty wonderful to be honest. We got to see wrestlers from all over the world, a mixture of all sorts of styles and some absolutely fantastic matches. I think from the Round of 16 every match whether we knew it or not was pretty much a dream match.
I don’t think I can pick a favourite match from tonight let alone the whole tournament, I’ll probably attempt that when it gets to the end of the year, but it really hosted some amazing wrestlers and some fantastic wrestling.
Personally I don’t think there is enough thanks you can give to WhatCulture/WCPW for the World Cup which has been a long journey but one that had so many great moments that if you followed it from the beginning you really did feel like you were part of something special.
From the Round of 16 the matches have been given so much time so that you got to see some amazing matches. With the addition of Joseph Conners to the mix it really was just a amazing end to something totally special. I’d love to see it happen again, obviously not next year as its a big undertaking and the guys deserve not to have to do this again for a while, but I just think its a wonderful concept and really would love to see it again.
Overall the night was OK. The World Cup matches were spectacular but the other matches were a little on the tame side. Loved Gracie vs ZSJ though and hoping the Zack is able to dethrone Kid and win the Internet Championship. Also don’t want him to lose to Kid again and be nice about it, I love sulky and rude ZSJ and never want the man to change in anyway shape or form. Its funny that the Kid/ZSJ story was one of my favourites and completely disappeared, happy its back.
Alex Gracie is the guy we’re all going to have to keep our eyes on, I think WCPW have some decent plans for him and he’s really giving it his all. Just keep him away from comedy for a while please.
There isn’t much more you can say. It was just the perfect end to a amazing tournament. Well done to everyone involved and thank you so much to WCPW for giving us such a amazing treat!