Many here at One Of Us have a little love in our hearts for pro wrestling. Aside from our wrestling podcast, Thumbtacks and Screwjobs, myself and others have written or spoken about wrestling on this site. While the WWE, for better or worse, is still seen as the king of wrestling entertainment, several independent wrestling companies have risen to prominence across the globe and using the power of the internet have garnered fans around the world. One such company is WhatCulture Pro Wrestling, otherwise known as WCPW. Much like OneOfUs.net, WhatCulture.com is a website covering a wide variety of pop culture entertainment. The UK based website has several successful YouTube channels, including the standout, WhatCulture Wrestling. The channel, which has over a million subscribers, grew so rapidly and had such a dedicated fanbase that WhatCulture decided to capitalize on this and the thriving British wrestling scene to form their own wrestling promotion a year ago.
Some might not have been expecting much from WCPW when it started, but any doubt about how serious they were about their promotion was soon put to rest. WCPW has worked with top names including Jay Lethal, the Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, Will Ospreay, Marty Skurll, Drew Galloway/McIntyre, King Ricochet, Rey Mysterio, and Kurt Angle to name a few. They have featured color commentary from the likes of Jim Cornette, Matt Striker, and Jim Ross. In addition to this several more locally known and respected UK based wrestlers including greats such as Martin Kirby, El Ligero, and Joe Hendry have become more well known to international audiences. WCPW flourished on YouTube and all was good in the world.
Then the YouTube Ad-pocalypse hit.
Instead of having me explain the ins and outs of what happened, why not here it from the source? Here is WhatCulture content creator Adam Blampied speaking on the subject at their Fight Back special held on June 2, 2017.
This is all bad enough, but it gets worse. I work nights, which means I often am asleep from the morning to mid afternoon. I had intended to get up early to watch Fight Back when it was initially streamed on YouTube, but my need for sleep won out over my alarm. I decided to wait until the stream was completed so that I could watch the show in full. I never got that chance. Minutes after the stream completed I went to go watch the show only to find that YouTube had blocked the video for supposed violations to their policies.
Not only is Wrestling not monetizable on YouTube… apparently it's not welcome at all. We have now been issued with a "Strike". #FightBack pic.twitter.com/MAPpKVv1S0
— DEFIANT Wrestling (@DEFIANTwres) June 3, 2017
It is unclear what part of the show violated policy and whether this block was made due to claims made by a person or persons or if this action was the sole will of YouTube itself. Either way, the damage remains the same. Not willing to sit by, WCPW went and posted the full show to their Facebook page (and as long as heading that way, make sure to like the One Of Us page as well if you haven’t already). It took three days, but I am happy to report that WhatCulture was able to successfully appeal the block and you can now watch the show as intended here.
Professional wrestling at its core is performance art. While some angles from some promotions have been questionable at points, that by no means that all pro wrestling is hateful. This isn’t just a wrestling issue, this is a creative arts issue! These are hardworking men and women being punished for the crime of wanting to entertain people and put on a wrestling show. Pro wrestling at its best is transportative. Yeah, it may be silly, but if you hand over your suspension of disbelief for a few moments it can capture the imagination like few other things in this world and let you forget your problems for a little while. It has done nothing to deserve the treatment it is getting and does nothing but hurt a people busting their asses day in and day out to make this existence on this planet a little more fun. Even if wrestling isn’t for you I hope you are able to still appreciate the art and creativity required to run a wrestling show.
If you want to help out and petition YouTube to correct this grievous error in judgement, you can do so here.
And that’s the bottom line, because… well, you know the rest.