Cody Rhodes vs. Kurt Angle
WCPW True Legacy
8th of October 2016
Silver Blades Arena – Altrincham, Manchester, United Kingdom
The Match: The match starts with some lighthearted Britwres Indy schtick as Cody does a cartwheel and does a Tye Dillinger “TEN” to a massive pop, leading to a second cartwheel with Kurt Angle and referee Steve Lyndsey following suit. We get going with shoulderblocks, before Rhodes’ ankle buckles on a leapfrog, causing him to roll to the floor for a breather. The commentators criticise Rhodes’ choice of short boots, saying they give less support. The referee checks on Rhodes, followed by someone from the back.
Cody drags Angle to the floor where Angle backdrops him into the crowd. After some brawling in amongst the fans, Angle goes to work on the ankle, stomping away at the knee and ankle. Angle applies a toehold, but Rhodes breaks out of it. Rhodes goes to rebound out of the corner, but they accidentally butt heads. They trade right hands as the crowd chant “YAY!” for both men, until Cody takes control with forearms. Angle comes back with a German suplex, only for Cody to hit him with a nasty knee to the face for a nearfall.
Angle quickly goes to the rolling German suplexes, only for Cody to retaliate with the springboard Disaster Kick for a two count. Angle hits some more rolling Germans for two. Angle smells blood and goes for the ankle lock, but Cody pushes out, before walking into an Angle Slam which gets 2.9 for Angle. Angle gets the ankle lock again, only for Cody to roll through and send Angle into the corner. Rhodes hits the Cross Rhodes for 2.99 before crashing and burning on a failed moonsault attempt. Both men attempt and fail to execute their finishers again before Angle catches Rhodes by the injured ankle, grapevines, and forces Rhodes to submit in the ankle lock.
Why Does It Define 2016?: This match is a perfect cross section of several interesting aspects to 2016 wrestling. First of all, Cody Rhodes’ departure from the WWE was one of the most talked about stories of 2016. He has found considerable success touring the world including PWG’s BOLA tournament, TNA Bound For Glory and ROH Final Battle, even winning the Global Force Wrestling NEX*GEN Champion last weekend.
Cody is the latest in the line of former WWE employees taking the independent scene by storm and making a living for themselves. Similarly, Kurt Angle’s departure from TNA at the start of the year has allowed him to work a more limited schedule, spacing out his independent bookings and extending his in-ring career by a few years in the process.
In addition, the setting for this match has played a massive role in the 2016 wrestling story. What Culture Pro Wrestling has been one of 2016’s biggest success stories. Evolving from the What Culture Wrestling YouTube channel and a running joke revolving around predicting PPV results, WCPW has now become a full fledged player in the British Wrestling scene, bringing imports such as Minoru Suzuki, “Broken” Matt Hardy and Alberto Del Rio alongside Angle and Rhodes to these shores.
After suffering the long ordeal of phantom money marks, holiday camp promoters and endless Alex Shane schemes, it’s nice to see companies like ICW, RevPro, PROGRESS and WCPW finally showing the world what British Wrestling can really do when it’s got a bit of steam behind it. In all honesty, a match like this, featuring two of the biggest names in the business fighting in ALTRINCHAM OF ALL PLACES, broadcast on iPPV with Jim Ross on commentary should tell you everything you need to know about modern day British wrestling.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this match. This match felt like a spectacle, with both Rhodes and Angle being given bombastic main event introductions. Everything about this felt like a huge deal and the crowd were into absolutely everything, popping huge for both men and staying interested throughout. Both men soaking in the atmosphere at the beginning really showed you that this was more than just another Indy booking. Rhodes’ post-match promo showed that this clearly meant as much to him as it did to the fans watching on.
Some people were critical of the work in this match, calling it a typical post-TNA outing for Angle and very typical for the sporadic matches he is working nowadays. This very much follows the “Indy Dream Match” formula, mixing the greatest hits from Angle and Rhodes for a very entertaining match. For what this represents for British wrestling, for the crowd reaction and for Kurt Angle doing a cartwheel, I would recommending giving this a watch.