How WCPC Should Have Booked: Joseph Conners’ Heel Turn (Part 1)
Hello there! I’m Thadd from The Total Depravity of Mannings, and welcome to How WCPW Should Have Booked, where I look back at infamous WCPW missed booking opportunities and talk about how I’d book them differently because I’m a smart ass.
Author’s note: I swear on my life, I have never heard of Adam the Blampied’s series How WWE Should Have Booked and definitely don’t recommend watching it. Right now.
That’s right, we’re talking about professional wrestling again today, because why not? I know, no one takes it seriously, but that’s too bad. Because at the end of the day, what professional wrestling amounts to is storytelling, whether that’s with words, or more often (and preferably) without words. And, as I’ve talked about before (and a lot of people a lot smarter than me have noted) storytelling matters. Telling clear stories, and telling them well, is important. It’s part of what makes (and keeps) us human. And if WhatCulture is going to point out when WWE drops the ball on their storytelling, I think it’s only fair if someone does the same for them.
The Original Booking
So, in one of WhatCulture Pro Wrestling’s first shows, Joseph Conners and “The Local Hero” Joe Hendry formed a tag team to take on Prospect, the main heel faction of WCPW (sort of like Nexus in WWE). Over the next two months, they built up a slow-burning feud between the two, with Hendry constantly upstaging Conners. He would interrupt him in interviews. In their first tag match together, Hendry blind tagged himself in and stole the pinfall. At one point Hendry made Conners come out to the ring with him just so he could call out another wrestler and demand a 1-on-1 match for a spot in the upcoming world championship, completely excluding Conners. Basically Hendry was acting like a bit of a cock.
It all seemed to come to a head on the August 8th episode of Loaded, WCPW’s weekly show. The Local Hero was booked to face Alex Gracie, one of the members of Prospect, in a singles match. Conners was especially peeved on this night because not only had Hendry cost them their match the previous week, but he had promised to write an entrance theme for their team that was evenly about each of them, and instead wrote this, which was almost entirely about The Local Hero and only mentioned Joseph Conners for one line (the line was “Joseph Conners”). As a result, Conners told Hendry he was on his own for his match that night.
So Hendry goes into his match with Gracie by himself, while Gracie has the other three members of Prospect watching his back. And because Prospect are heels, they’re cheating! They distract the ref, they double-team Hendry, they generally make his life hell. And yet, despite this, Joe Hendry, who had not won a singles match before this night in his entire WCPW run, wins. He takes Prospect on, 4-against-1, and beats them. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
Then, after the match, Prospect start ganging up on Joe Hendry, and almost immediately after that starts, Conners hits the ring and chases them off. Hendry gets on the mic and says something about how much that meant to him and he gives Conners his moment to shine. Conners gives a big, long speech about how Hendry was there for him when he needed a friend and how he’ll be there for Hendry, no matter what. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
Flash forward a couple of weeks and Prospect challenges Team Hendry, consisting of The Local Hero, Joseph Conners, and Grado (who really had nothing to do with anything and was just sort of thrown in there) to a 3-on-3 elimination match. Conners and Grado get eliminated early, leaving Hendry alone to take on Prospect alone, which he does. Again. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.
Then finally, at WCPW’s next special event, Stacked. Hendry and Conners have both been inserted into the world championship match, a 4-way match that also included Rampage Brown and the defending champion Big Damo (no, your name is stupid!). Over the course of the match, Hendry sacrifices his body several times to push Conners out of the way of danger; the final time taking a chair shot to the midsection from Damo… A chair shot that, for some reason, does not result in a disqualification, even though it was in full view of the ref. First of all, what? Secondly, don’t question it, it saves time.
Anyway, at the end of the match, Rampage and Damo are brawling on the outside of the ring, leaving Conners and a wounded Hendry inside. Hendry offers his tag-team partner a handshake, which Conners takes and then immediately turns into his finisher, the Righteous Kill DDT, beginning his heel turn. Conners goes for the pin, and… I’m not really sure what happens. The ref clearly counts to three, and Hendry never kicks out or even visibly moves, but, for reasons never made clear, the ref signals that Hendry was not pinned.
So then, with very little provocation, Conners grabs the chair that Damo had used on Hendry earlier and throws it in The Local Hero’s face. He picks it back up and smashes it
over Hendry’s back over and over again, completing his heel turn. He goes for the cover. The ref counts, one, two three. New WCPW Heavyweight Champion.
So yeah, there was a lot to like about this storyline. I liked that they put the belt on Conners in the end, and they did a pretty decent job of swerving the fans. They made it seem like Hendry was going to be the one to turn, and it was a bit surprising when Conners went heel, instead.
But still, it didn’t quite all come together. They started building the tension between the Joes, but then halfway through they completely undid that for no real reason, only to pick the angle back up again a few weeks later. Then the final event that caused Conners’ turn felt really small, and as a result his actual turn felt unearned. Also, Prospect was really buried by this angle, and for no real reason. And given that they’re some of the few heels on WCPW’s roster right now, they really need to be booked stronger to be a credible threat. Also, why were there no DQs? The match wasn’t announced as no disqualification, so using the chair should have been illegal. And if it was legal, why should we care that Conners used it? Why didn’t everyone use it?
So some good things, but also a whole lot of reasons it didn’t… really… work… And I can do it better.