On January 18 of this year, upstart UK promotion WCPW (WhatCulture Pro Wrestling) announced that it was staging the world’s first Pro Wrestling World Cup. In a press release sent out, WCPW announced the following:
WCPW has announced the launch of the inaugural Pro Wrestling World Cup, a first of its kind 64-man tournament.
Run over ten separate dates beginning March 21st, the Pro Wrestling World Cup will see competitors from six continents compete in eight preliminary tournaments to be held in several different countries.
The preliminaries will see eight men competing in a single fall elimination tournament. Each preliminary tournament will consist of competitors from a single country: Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Scotland, USA. A tournament will also be held for competitors from the Rest Of The World, with eight further countries represented. Two winners will proceed from each tournament.
A two-night, 16-man, final will be held in the United Kingdom in the summer.
The first preliminary event to take place on March 21st will be the regional tournament for England, and is set to be held in Nottingham.
All Pro Wrestling World Cup tournament matches will be broadcast for free on the WCPW YouTube channel, with the two-night final being broadcast live.
Professional wrestling fans in over 180 countries have viewed WCPW content, with more than 130,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel, after launching in June, 2016.
What We Know So Far…
1. The Entire Event Will Be Free To Watch
WCPW has had great success out of the gates mainly due to the amount of promotion they’ve done via YouTube, where their flagship program, WCPW Loaded, airs weekly. While they do have their own iPPVs, they’ve announced that this entire tournament will be aired free on their YouTube Channel.
2. England’s Qualifying Tournament Is Set
England, the host country, has their Qualifying tournament set for March 21st at Harvey Hadden Sports Village in Nottingham, England. Not only has their date and venue been secured, they’ve announced the eight men qualifying for England’s two spots in the World Cup itself. And looking at the line-up, it’s just about every English wrestler that people were critical of the WWE for not including in their own WWE UK Championship tournament (although to be fair, most are under contracts that would have prohibited it). Also, keep in mind that some UK talent who would have previously participated in the World Cup, such as Pete Dunne, Trent Seven or WWE UK Champion Tyler Bate, are no longer allowed to due their new WWE contracts.
Will Ospreay, London
Notable Accolades: Rev Pro Cruiserweight Champion (current), ROH World Television Champion, Progress World Champion, Lucha Britannia World Championship (x2), NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 2016
Rampage Brown, Leeds
Notable Accolades: Progress Champion, Preston City Wrestling Tag Team Championship
Zack Sabre Jr., Isle of Sheppey
Notable Accolades: PWG World Champion (current), wXw World Champion, Rev Pro British Heavyweight Champion, wXw Light Heavyweight Champion, Pro Wrestling NOAH GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion (x2), IPW: UK Unified British Tag Team Champion (x2), DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion
Martin Kirby, Northallerton
Notable Accolades: PCW Tag Team Champion (current), Rev Pro British Tag Team Champion
‘The Villain’ Marty Scurll, Cambridge
Notable Accolades: ROH World Television Champion (current), Progress World Champion (x2), Rev Pro British Heavyweight Champion, Rev Pro British Cruiserweight Champion, PWG Battle of Los Angeles 2016, DDT Ironman Heavymetalweight Champion, IPW: UK British Cruiserweight Champion, IPW: UK Unified British Tag Team Champion (x2)
Magnus, King’s Lynn
Notable Accolades: GFW Global Championship (current), TNA World Heavyweight Champion, TNA World Tag Team Champion (x2), NJPW IWGP Tag Team Champion, Pro Wrestling NOAH GHC Tag Team Champion
Zack Gibson, Liverpool
Notable Accolades: Futureshock Champion (current, x2)
Jimmy Havoc, Camden
Notable Accolades: Progress World Champion (longest reigning), IPW: UK World Champion (current), IPW: UK All-England Champion
3. Canada’s Qualifying Leg Has Found It’s Home
On February 11, it was announced that Toronto’s SMASH Wrestling would be the host for the Canadian qualifiers. With their recent announcement of moving into a new, larger home for their shows (the legendary Phoenix Concert Theatre) for their April 9 show (card unknown), with England’s qualifiers two weeks earlier, one could speculate that April 9th’s debut show at the Phoenix could be the Canadian Qualifiers for the Pro Wrestling World Cup. No combatants have been announced yet.
As the weeks unfold, more details will emerge, as WCPW partners with regional promotions in the other countries, and the qualifying eight wrestlers are announced. We’ll keep you updated as information is released.
Main Photo: WCPW