In a shocking announcement from the UK scene, one of the scene’s biggest promotions, Defiant Wrestling, announced on Thursday it was closing up shop and that with “a heavy heart that we today announce that the journey must come to an end.”
It has been an absolutely incredible journey over the past three years, but it is with a heavy heart that we today announce that the journey must come to an end.⁰⁰
To each and every one of you who worked on a show, attended a show, or watched a show… thank you. pic.twitter.com/ox6G9cNWAH
— DEFIANT Wrestling (@DEFIANTwres) August 1, 2019
Formed by several of the creative minds behind WhatCulture, the company began as WhatCulture Pro Wrestling (WCPW) in May of 2016. Lead by Adam Pacitti and Adam Blampied, WCPW became a fresh new face on the UK scene. Combining some of the top stars from other UK promotions like PROGRESS Wrestling, Revolution Pro (RevPro) and Insane Championship Wrestling (ICW), they combined the best of the UK and Irish wrestling scene alongside notable international stars like Kurt Angle, Drew Galloway (Drew McIntyre), Cody Rhodes, The Young Bucks, Rey Mysterio Jr. and much more. They also were able to use Ring of Honor and NJPW stars on occasion as well, making it a truly international brand.
They launched their weekly program, WCPW Loaded, that June, with each episode airing for free on their YouTube channel, and had their first special event, Built to Destroy, that July. In October, they had their first live PPV, with Refuse to Lose, headlined by Kurt Angle versus Joe Hendry.
In the fall of 2017, Adam Pacitti, Adam Blampeid and several other WhatCulture personalities departed the company to form Cultaholic, and with that WCPW was rebranded as Defiant Wrestling, starting with their December PPV, #WeAreDefiant. Former WWE Superstar Wade Barrett (now under his real name Stu Bennett) became the new general manager, and Defiant Loaded relaunched several weeks later.
It’s been just over three years since WCPW changed the game in the UK indie scene and while it had its detractors in the UK for being more “WWE” than most UK promotions, it brought an international audience to many of the UK stars – many of whom have gone on to great success in WWE, NXT/NXT UK, NJPW and elsewhere around the world.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can re-watch past episodes of Loaded and select matches from PPVs and the WCPW World Cup on their YouTube channel.