The countdown to the first Pro Wrestling World Cup, sponsored by WCPW from the UK, continues to move closer to the tournament’s final rounds, but we still have a few qualifiers left to sort out the final entrants. This Sunday, Toronto, Ontario, Canada is the site of the Canadian qualifiers for the World Cup, put on in association with Smash Wrestling at the Phoenix Concert Hall. The event will be taped for broadcast on WCPW’s YouTube channel the following week.
So far, the following wrestlers have advanced to the World Cup finals tournament to represent their respective countries:
ENGLAND – Will Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr.
SCOTLAND – Drew Galloway and Joe Coffey
MEXICO – Rey Mysterio Jr. and Penta El 0M
As well, WCPW announced the first four names for the upcoming Japan qualifiers, being held July 9th, which is in conjunction with NJPW who are sending Jushin Thunder Liger, KUSHIDA, Bushi and IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi. This is alongside the already announced Germany Qualifiers on July 2, previously announced, and the still to be confirmed dates for the USA and “Rest of the World” Qualifiers, before the proper 16-man Pro Wrestling World Cup runs August 23 through August 26.
With that being said, here’s a rundown of the action this Sunday in Toronto, as Canada prepares to send it’s two entries to the World Cup this August.
WCPW PRO WRESTLING WORLD CUP: CANADIAN QUALIFIERS
Tale of the Tape
RENE DUPREE, 6’3″, 250 lbs, 33 years old, Moncton, New Brunswick, 21 year career, AJPW Goara TV Champion, OTT No Limits Champion, SWE Heavyweight Champion, WWE World Tag Team Champion (x2)
MICHAEL ELGIN, 5’11”, 245 lbs, 30 years old, Toronto, Ontario, 13 year career, AIW Absolute Champion, AAW Heavyweight Champion, IWGP Intercontinental Champion, NEVER Openweight 6-Man Champion, PWG World Tag Team Champion, ROH World Champion
It’s been a long time since many wrestling fans have seen Rene Dupree since his WWE run came to an end in 2007, but he’s been busy the past ten years, honing his craft in Japan and other international indies. Michael Elgin left ROH last year to go to NJPW, as well as became a major player on the international indie circuit. Dupree is a solid technical worker, but expect Elgin’s power to push him through to the next round. Elgin is on double duty (potentially triple or quadruple) as he has a warm up match during the earlier Smash show, Have Ring Will Wrestle, where he faces Zack Sabre Jr. for a shot at the Smash Championship later this year.
Tale of the Tape
HARRY SMITH (aka Davey Boy Smith Jr., DH Smith), 6’5″, 260 lbs., 31 years old, Calgary, Alberta, 17 year career, IWGP Tag Team Champion (x2), GHC Tag Team Champion (x2), Resistance Pro Heavyweight Champion, Stampede North American Heavyweight Champion, Stampede International Tag Team Champion (x2), WWE World Tag Team Champion (x2)
FRANKIE THE MOBSTER, 6’2″, 225 lbs, Montreal, Quebec, 20 year career, CZW Iron Man Champion, IWS World Heavyweight Champion, IWS World Tag Team Champion (x2)
Former WWE Tag Team Champion Harry Smith, son of the late ‘British Bulldog’ Davey Boy Smith, has become a force in Japan since leaving the WWE in 2011. He’s a 2-time tag team champion in both NJPW and NOAH, where his partnership with Lance Archer in The Killer Elite (as part of the faction Suzuki-Gun) has made him an impact player. Frankie TM is no stranger to the Toronot audience, as the former CZW wrestler is a regular with Smash Wrestling. Frankie will offer some power to counter Smith’s own, but expect the Junior Bulldog to advance.
Tale of the Tape
“SPEEDBALL” MIKE BAILEY, 5’8″, 175 lbs., Montreal, Quebec, C4 Champion, C4 Tag Team Champion, CZW Best of the Best Winner (2014), IWS World Champion,
BRENT BANKS, 6’3″, 170 lbs, Toronto, Ontario, 11 year career, A1 Alpha Male Champion, A1 Zero Gravity Champion, BCW Can-Am Tag Team Champion, C4 Tag Team Champion, SCW Tag Team Champion (x2), Superkick’D Champion
Mike Bailey is a martial arts aerialist who has put on amazing performances all over the world, including PWG, CZW, wXw, and CHIKARA, including winning the 2014 edition of the CZW Best of the Best tournament. Brent Banks is one of Canada’s best young talent and he’s tearing up the Ontario indie circuit right now. This will be the most athletic matchup of the first round, and while Banks has all the tools to go through, Bailey’s experience will push him through.
Tale of the Tape
KYLE O’REILLY, 5’11, 205 lbs., 30 years old, Vancouver, British Columbia, 12 year career, ECCW Champion, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion (x2), PWG World Champion, ROH World Champion, ROH World Tag Team Champion (x3)
TYSON DUX, 5’10”, 195 lbs., 38 years old, London, Ontario, 20 year career, AIW Tag Team Champion (x2), A1 Tag Team Champion, BCW Can-Am Heavyweight Champion (x2), BCW Can-Am Tag Team Champion (x3), Smash Champion (current)
Kyle O’Reilly is one of pro wrestling’s hottest free agents right now, after leaving Ring of Honor following an 8-year run this past January, after finally capturing the ROH World Championship. While his work with Bobby Fish in reDragon has some classifying O’Reilly as more of a tag team specialist, his recent ROH World title run – and his previous tenure as PWG World Champion – shows he’s a world class athlete by himself as well. He’s facing a true Canadian wrestling icon in current Smash Champion Tyson Dux. Dux has performed all over the world in his 20 year career, from Impact Wrestling to ROH, as well as being selected for WWE’s Cruiserweight Classic last summer. Dux will need to hope that O’Reilly is beaten up from his match against Jeff Cobb during Smash’s Have Ring Will Wrestle early in the day. But never say never for the veteran Dux – he defeated a maniacal Jimmy Havoc last month in a No DQ match to retain his title.
Gabriel Kidd is one of the UK’s hot up-and-comers, performing for the likes of SWE and Leicester Championship Wrestling, before the 20-year old headed to WCPW last year. He just defeated Cody Rhodes and current WCPW Champion Joe Hendry in a 3-way for the WCPW Internet Championship at WCPW No Regrets a few weeks back and looks to have his first title defence on Canadian soil, facing arguably the UK’s biggest star right now. Zack Sabre Jr. is an absolute workhorse (he’s facing Michael Elgin earlier in the day) and is the current reigning World Champion for three promotions, PWG, EVOLVE and Revolution Pro.
A few weeks back at the Mexico Qualifying event for the Pro Wrestling World Cup, “The Prestigious One” looked more like a Local Villain than a Local Hero, when he brutally beat down WCPW Champion Martin Kirby to the point of a match stoppage and claiming the title for himself. The WCPW Champion will be lacing up the boots for a special attraction match-up for the event, but it will be a non-title match. He’s facing a UK wrestling legend in El Ligero, a man of dubious Mexican heritage (perhaps he’s from the same village as El Generico?). Sure to be a classic mix of British wrestling with two guys who are reaching their peak.
MARTIN KIRBY vs TARIK
The man that lost the WCPW Championship to Joe Hendry is miraculously making the trip to Canada for another special attraction match. Kirby has been a veteran on the UK scene for 10 years, appearing for just about every major promotion the UK has to offer, from PROGRESS to ICW to Preston City and IPW:UK. He’s became one of the absolute crowd favourites since working with WCPW and he’s as passionate a performer as you’ll find. He’s facing another of Canada’s up-and-coming indie breakouts, Calgary’s Tarik. Tarik combines astounding athleticism with power and aggression – he’s easily one of the most complete packages Canada has to offer right now.