We’re back at York Hall as Ricky Knight Jr. and Will Ospreay turn two titles into one as Rev Pro finally unifies their top titles.
Ethan Allen & Luke Jacobs pinned Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper, Shaun Jackson & Kenneth Halfpenny & Doug Williams & Brendan White in 11:40 (***)
Shota Umino pinned Dan Moloney in 14:17 (**¾)
Michael Oku pinned Robbie X & Chris Ridgeway in 12:37 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship (***¼)
Yota Tsuji pinned Mark Haskins in 21:45 (**½)
Gisele Shaw defeated Hyan by 2 falls to 1 in 19:02 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship (***½)
Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis pinned Michael Oku & Connor Mills in 27:38 to win the Rev Pro British Tag Team Championships (and retain the PWA Tag Team Championships) (****¼)
Will Ospreay pinned Ricky Knight Jr. to unify the Rev Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight and British Heavyweight Championships in 32:30 (****½)
For the first time since the pandemic started, Rev Pro’s back at York Hall – it’s surprisingly packed considering everything with Britwres… Andy Quildan and Gideon Grey are on commentary.
Sunshine Machine (Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper) vs. Doug Williams & Brendan White vs. Two Extremely Athletic Men (Kenneth Halfpenny & Shaun Jackson) vs. Young Guns (Ethan Allen & Luke Jacobs)
Winner gets a shot at the Rev Pro tag team titles… and we’re likely to get a lot of WRKHRSE in this.
We open with a jump as TK and Mambo go after Halfpenny and Jackson – getting some payback for their attack a week earlier on the pop-up show. That leaves the Young Guns in with Williams and White for the opening stretch, and we’ve got a lot of White in the early going… not just talking about trunk colours either.
A backbreaker and a back body drop from White clears out team TEAM, before Williams came in to help with a rowboat as all hell broke loose momentarily. The Young Guns forcibly take control, moving Mambo into their corner as they isolated him with strikes. There’s a nice butterfly suplex from Allen for a two-count, before dualling topes on opposite sides of the ring from TK and Mambo wiped out the field. A reverse DDT/splash combo nearly gets the win, while TEAM’s Drayton Manor pop-up powerslam could have gotten them the win… but they don’t capitalise and Brendan White clears them out.
White gets a little too ahead of himself as the Young Guns swarm him, but a leaping uppercut from Williams makes the save before Jacobs ate a Chaos Theory for a near-fall. Doug gets carried away and hits a dive to the outside, while White’s moonsault off the turnbuckles adds to the mix, before TEAM tripped up TK and Mambo. Their strikes on TK lead to him headbutting Halfpenny, before Mambo dove off of TK’s shoulders into the pile on the floor. A Burning Gutbuster double-team has Halfpenny down, but then the Young Guns run in… a low blow from Jacobs and a kick-assisted piledriver sorts it out as they make the most of the no-DQ rules to snatch the win and the title shot. The intensity from the Young Guns made them stand out from the pack here, and got the show going to a hot start. ***
Shota Umino vs. Dan Moloney
A rematch from Bristol in July, as Shota Umino and Dan Moloney looked to stake an unofficial claim to be first in line for the unified Rev Pro title. Shota’s still carrying two jackets, as he’s not learned how ungodly warm York Hall can be…
Commentary brought up how Moloney “felt he had something to prove” – perhaps we ought to skip mentioning that Manchester show? Moloney strikes first, then blistered Shota with chops, prompting Umino to go after the taped-up knee. A missed dropkick gives Umino an opening, with a slam and a back senton following for a two-count, before things spilled outside, where that knee was homed in on. Moloney turned it around with a back senton onto the edge of the ring, and that began a long spell of offence from Moloney, who got a two-count out of a dropkick before Umino took down Moloney with a suplex before a backfist cracked Umino ahead of a lariat. A chop helps Moloney take Shota up top for a superplex, before an Alabama Slam dropped Umino ahead of a short spear for a near-fall.
Somehow Umino kicks out of the Drilla – apparently the first time in Rev Pro that’s happened – prompting Moloney to pull down his knee pad and strapping… he looks for it again, but Umino slips out and hits a powerslam instead. Moloney gets back in with a clothesline in the corner, before an avalanche Drilla’s fought out of. Moloney’s caught with an avalanche slam instead, before the Death Rider gets the win. This was fine, but Umino perhaps spent too long on the defensive in the middle portion – but was able to hold on past a Drilla to eke out the win. **¾
Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: Chris Ridgeway vs. Robbie X vs. Michael Oku (c)
We finally get the match that was scheduled for the 9 Year Anniversary show, after Gideon Grey nagged the match back into being.
We’ve “anyone but Ridgeway” chants before the bell, and we start with Ridgeway getting dropkicked to the outside as Robbie X and Michael Oku trade countered ‘ranas. A cartwheel dropkick gets rid of Oku, but Ridgeway’s in and takes one too before Oku’s dropkick sent Robbie X flying. Ridgeway takes over with some kicks as he looked to isolate Robbie X, hitting a nice pop-up knee and a Kitchen sink, before he went outside to take a shot at Oku… who returns to help Robbie X superkick Ridgeway to the outside. A satellite DDT neatly drops Robbie X through the ropes to the floor, complete with a neat image of Robbie X sinking out of camera view after he landed on the outside.
A Fosbury flop wipes out both men as Oku looks to control things, throwing in a springboard moonsault for another two-count. Ridgeway tries to return, but gets caught in a stacked-up half crab, but both Ridgeway and Robbie escape, allowing Robbie X to run wild with topes, including one that dumps Oku over the rails and into the front row. Back inside, a kick to the hamstring, a roundhouse and a shooting star press gets Robbie X a near-fall, with Ridgeway’s Goomba stomp and brainbuster keeping the tit-for-tat going. More kicks from Ridgeway, then a gut punch weakens Robbie X, with a Fisherman buster and PKs almost getting the win. Ridgeway pulls Robbie X into a crossface, but Oku breaks it up… and gets pulled into an ankle lock instead. There’s one for Robbie X too after his moonsault attempt, before Oku’s springboard moonsault took him into a triangle armbar. A crossface follows, but the ropes don’t save Oku, as Ridgeway rolled with him to the floor before hitting a suplex.
In the ring, Robbie X is blocking kicks as he powerbombs Ridgeway for a near-fall, before a Spiral Tap landed… but Oku breaks up the cover with a frog splash, then piled onto Robbie X for the win. This was a good three-way with Oku having to take a beating – and fight off the numerical disadvantage – to escape with a win… but you got the sense that his days as a double champion were numbered. ***¼
Mark Haskins vs. Yota Tsuji
Tsuji’s still looking for his first win in Rev Pro, having willingly given up a win over Robbie X because of how he’d gotten it. Tsuji arriving here with new gear perhaps should have been a sign…
Haskins sprays his water bottle at Tsuji before the bell, and we get going with Haskins stomping on Tsuji. Haskins is sent outside, where Tsuji fakes out a dive… so he can fan himself. The legend of York Hall’s temperature clearly got through to him… The pair fight up the rampway, but Haskins regains the initiative back at ringside as he wrapped Tsuji’s leg around the ring post. Some t-shirt choking from Haskins back in the ring leads to some more leg work, as he wore out Tsuji’s left knee, leading to an Indian Deathlock that Tsuji tries to chop his way out of.
A low dropkick from Tsuji stops Haskins, who’s then met with a knee breaker, then Dragon screws before a splash to Haskins’ leg bothered Tsuji… because he landed on his bad knee doing the splash. Another Deathlock, this time from Tsuji, has Haskins in bother, but after getting free Haskins does his misdirection dive, then followed up with a flying double stomp. Tsuji kicks out at two from that, then had to scramble to the ropes from a leglock, before kicks took Haskins down. The pair catch each other’s kicks and fight to get their legs back… an elbow from Haskins does that, ahead of the roll-up death valley driver, before Haskins got dropped with a clothesline.
A backbreaker’s next from Tsuji, who then bust out a Giant Swing ahead of a Boston crab. Haskins hits the mat like he were going to tap, but he manages to get to the ropes, and roll onto the apron, where he ends a battle of strikes with a death valley driver onto the edge of the ring. Frustrated, Haskins heads outside for a chair, which he used to distract the ref as Gideon Grey left commentary to try and intervene. Except Tsuji spears Gideon… and had to kick out of a roll-up before he finally caught Haskins with a headbutt… then a sorta-Vertebreaker for the win. That finish needs a little polish, but it’s enough to get Tsuji his first win on excursion. Technically, this was fine, but I don’t think the crowd were really thrilled with this going north of 20-minutes – regardless of the storyline being told. **½
Post-match, Gideon tries another sales pitch for Tsuji, who responds by chasing the Legion’s leader away.
Best Two Out Of Three Falls for Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship: Hyan vs. Gisele Shaw (c)
Hyan’s final show in the UK (for now, at least) and it’s a championship match on her birthday…
Shaw’s the early aggressor, but Hyan knocks Shaw off the ropes to the outside, before a dive landed for just a one-count. Back inside, Hyan gets a near-fall from a Northern Lights, but quickly taps after the kick-out after Shaw applied the levering armbar to take an early lead. Shaw looks to follow up with a pin following a kick to the back, before a stomp to the elbow weakened Hyan. A crossbody from Shaw intersperses attacks on the arm, before a running European uppercut nearly got Shaw the shut-out win. A draping DDT keeps Shaw ahead, while Hyan’s inside cradle gave her hope… only for a spear to return for a near-fall for Shaw.
A twisting Vader Bomb adds another near-fall, but Hyan hangs up Shaw in the ropes, then hits a Glam Slam to tie things up! We’re down to sudden death, as is usual in these kind of matches, and from the restart Hyan charges out with forearms before Wasteland and a leg drop almost led to the upset title change. A Samoan driver from Hyan nearly gets the win, while a backbreaker and a powerbomb combo got Hyan ever closer… Shaw escapes a second Glam Slam and hits a half-and-half suplex, then a springboard cutter, but Hyan gets the shoulder up… only to be rolled over into the levering armbar.
Hyan rolls free, and tries to pull Shaw back up off the mat, landing a rolling death valley driver in the end. Shaw told Hyan “I made you,” which got the expected result as a hockey fight breaks out with windmilling punches, before a knee strike led to a near-fall… followed by another levering armbar as Shaw forces the submission. This one started slow, but my word the crowd heated up into the deciding fall as Shaw got nasty to retain her title. ***½
Post-match, Shaw took the mic and put over Hyan… then wished her a happy birthday before Hyan gave her parting words and exited stage left. Shaw stays behind to celebrate, but gets interrupted by the returning Debbie Keitel, coffee in hand. Amid the “Starbucks wanker” chants, Keitel chucks the coffee in Shaw’s eyes, then whipped her with a belt as Hyan ran back out to make the save… only to get caught with a draping Pedigree as Keitel looks to be the next thorn in Gisele Shaw’s side.
Rev Pro British Tag Team Championship x PWA Tag Team Title Championship: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) (PWA) vs. Destination Everywhere (Connor Mills & Michael Oku) (Rev Pro)
Let me preface this by saying that I know I’m a miserable sod who can be a stickler for a tag rules… this was an instant classic of a match, but it fell into the “eh, why bother with the legal man” tap that a lot of tag matches seem to wander into.
Mills and Davis start, but Mills gets thrown aside early on before an early cross armbar attempt ends with Mills scurrying into the ropes. Apparently Mills is doing a charity MMA fight next month, so that was a good piece of preparation as things quickly settled down with Oku and Fletcher tagging in. A shoulder block has Oku down, but a missile dropkick turns things around as we get a double-team wheelbarrow bulldog and an assisted moonsault for a two-count. Mark Davis comes in to clear house, punching out Oku then flapjacking Mills as the aggression ratchets up. Davis charges into the corner, where he’s kicked by Mills before a flying ‘rana from Oku and springboard moonsaults from both men had Davis rolling to the outside for respite.
Dualling topes end with the Davis and Fletcher catching Oku and Mills… then running around ringside to smash them with a Super Collider, before a clothesline back inside nearly put Oku away. Chops and a thrown slam have Oku down, as Davis tried to pin Oku after a chop. Mills tries to make a save, but Fletcher swarms him and knocked him to the outside… only for Oku to snatch a near-fall from a roll-up as the Rev Pro tag champions were finding their opportunities limited. Oku manages to get free and tag in Mills, having dropkicked Davis off the apron, as the Rev Pro tag champions tried to isolate Fletcher. A discus boot takes Kyle to the corner, before an Arabian press from Mills dropped Davis on the floor, ahead of a springboard uppercut to Fletcher back inside. Mills’ punches are stopped with a superkick, which leads to a rebound lariat that almost got the win, before a Burning Cutter from Mills was escaped.
Superkicks lead to a brainbuster from Fletcher for a near-fall, before Mills rolls through a tombstone. A double-team Go 2 Sleep and the assisted Aussie Arrow gets Fletcher another near-fall, before Mills somehow recovers from a lawndart to hit the Millshot. Tags bring us back to Davis and Oku, with the latter getting splatted with a back senton, before Oku shrugged off chops… and got dumped with another slam. Oku rolls away from a back senton, but can’t get the half crab as an inverted slam and a diving elbow from Davis led to a near-fall. A Fidget Spinner’s countered into a ‘rana as Oku was still proving to be a slippery sod, as he then helped out on a double-team reverse suplex for a near-fall. A Doomsday Device is next for a near-fall, and it’s around here that the concept of the legal man’s taken a running jump out of the building. May as well have made this a tornado match, lads.
A seated senton out of the corner from Davis wipes out Mills, but I’ve lost track of who’s legal as the Parade of Moves ends with a satellite DDT. Fletcher’s pop-up powerbomb, then a Ligerbomb followed, before a Grimstone’s countered by Mills into a reverse ‘rana, complete with Fletcher doing the KENTA pose after the landing. Tags bring us back to Oku and Davis, and we’re back to the chops, before a punch and the Alphamare Waterslide looked to get the win. Oku slips out and tries his luck with a backslide, which amazingly doesn’t go wrong… until Davis wallops him with a clothesline. Oku lands on his feet from a reverse slam, returning with a misdirection leaping knee strike, but Oku takes way too long on the top rope and gets chopped to pieces again. He’s not meant to be a percussion instrument.
Oku slips under a superplex and takes out Davis’ knee, following up with a top rope ‘rana… a frog splash follows, before a half crab was kicked away. Mills leaps in off the top with a frog splash to keep Davis down, while another one from Oku targets the leg as the Rev Pro champions looked to push for the win… but Fletcher tries to break it up… it backfires as a small package gives Oku hope, and another opening for a half crab, only for Fletcher to chop block the knee out of Oku. While Fletcher held Oku down by the leg, Davis heads up top… but Mills grabs hold of him as again the legal man concept ends with an avalanche double-team Go 2 Sleep… before whatever the hell that inverted assisted Razor’s Edge move is gets them a near-fall. The barrage from Aussie Open continues, and mercifully a Fidget Spinner puts Oku away as Aussie Open regain the Rev Pro tag titles some two years after losing them. This was a cracker of a match, buoyed by the hot crowd… but depending on how much you’re a sticker for tag rules, your enjoyment may well wane. ****¼
Post-match, Aussie Open offer a not-at-all-gloating handshake… but Connor Mills drags Michael Oku away as we got a glimpse of the sourness between the two that was patched up a year ago…
Rev Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship x Rev Pro British Heavyweight Championship: Ricky Knight Jr. (c) vs. Will Ospreay (c)
Since Ospreay won the Rev Pro title last time out at York Hall, Ospreay’s gone on to win more hardware… while RKJ went on to lose the Southside Speed King title, and trade up for the vacated Southside belt (which he then traded up again for the old-design Rev Pro British Heavyweight title). It all ends here – does Will Ospreay finally get that belt, or does RKJ leave York Hall as the big man of British wrestling?
Both men shot out of the blocks as RKJ hit the “blink and you’ll miss it” series that ended with a dropkick to take Ospreay to the outside. Knight followed him, putting Ospreay into a chair for a lap-of-honour clothesline out of it, before the pair traded strikes on the outside, before we return to the ring for a nifty back body drop. A chop from RKJ stings Ospreay as the former Southside grand slam winner was taking an early advantage, with a stalling suplex leading to a two-count. They head back outside as Ospreay posts RKJ, then went under the ring for a table. As in a proper table, not a (forbidden) door…
Ospreay teases a suplex through the table, but RKJ scoots around before the pair scooted away from it – complete with the comedy noises everyone who’s ever been in a sports hall or a basketball court would be familiar with. Moving the table away put RKJ at a disadvantage, as he’s caught by a draping DDT from Ospreay back in the ring, as Ospreay then began to target the lower back of the disputed British champion. RKJ fires back with a flurry of shots, before a death valley driver planted Ospreay into the buckles. A pair of dropkicks took Ospreay into the corner, then back outside, where a running dropkick knocked Ospreay through the rails. A draping DDT off the guard rails keeps Ospreay in trouble as he’d already come up bleeding from the earlier dropkicks, as RKJ then pulled out a second table, which he put Ospreay across as he looked to stomp hit a stomp.
Ospreay rolls away, so RKJ hits a Ryan Smile-esque tope con giro across the turnbuckles into a pile on the floor, following up with a senton bomb back inside for a near-fall. A Fire Thunder Driver looks to be next, but Ospreay fought free and avoided a Hidden Blade-ish forearm, returning with a hook kick… A second Hidden Blade’s blocked as RKJ rolled through in search of a Fire Thunder Driver, but Ospreay’s back out with an enziguiri before a Norwich Sunrise out of the corner almost got Knight the win! Heading up top, RKJ punches and headbutts away on Ospreay, who then repositioned himself as the pair fought around the table, teasing a superplex through it, only for RKJ to get knocked across the ropes ahead of a guillotine shooting star press from Ospreay.
Ospreay goes for an OsCutter, but RKJ blocks it… the ref’s knocked onto the apron, before an errant boot from Ospreay dumped Oscar Harding through the table. A huge pop for that, before RKJ’s Fire Thunder Driver led to a visual seven count as they did the thing I hate – going for a pin knowing full well the ref’s out. Chris Hatch jogs to the ring as a replacement, just as RKJ went up for a 450 splash, but Ospreay kicks out at two! RKJ calls for a Hidden Blade, but Ospreay rolls onto the apron to save himself… Knight joins him there as they tease the Fire Thunder Driver through the table, before an OsCutter dropped RKJ onto the apron. Beating the count, RKJ slides into the ring into the path of a Coast to Coast dropkick, sending him back outside as they again tease that table, before both men ended up in the front row. They set up that spot you’ve probably seen on Twitter, where Ospreay leaps onto the apron, then back for a rewind OsCutter through the table… which doesn’t break, so expect to see that on Botchamania any week now.
After breaking the double count-out, Ospreay lands an OsCutter for a near-fall, before he took Knight into the corner for a Cheeky Nandos… followed by, erm, a Kawada Nandos? From there, Ospreay hauls up a bloodied RKJ for an avalanche Electric Chair Driver, but it’s still not enough, as Ospreay then went for a Hidden Blade… but RKJ drops down to avoid it. Knight’s starting to look like he’s running on fumes, but he slaps back from his knees as both men looked to go for a KO. A hook kick drops Knight though, who then fought back with a spike ‘rana, only to get caught with another hook. He counters a Chelsea Kiss into a backslide, but a Spanish Fly keeps the match teetering, before Ospreay swung and missed again on a Hidden Blade, as RKJ manages a rebound lariat instead.
Knight tees up for something, but an avalanche Fire Thunder Driver’s blocked as Ospreay ends up getting crotched as his counter was stopped. Instead, we get a Tiger superplex as I audibly shriek, good for a near-fall… while a spinning Fire Thunder Driver ended with Ospreay luckily able to stretch a foot onto the rope as York Hall booed, perhaps sensing that was Knight’s big shot. From there, RKJ shrugs off a palm strike and offered out Ospreay… who looked to be backing away. A flurry of palm strikes knocks Ospreay down, as did an OsCutter from RKJ… but Knight pulls up Ospreay as he wanted to finish him with a Hidden Blade… and that’s the fatal flaw from Knight, as Ospreay countered with a leaping knee, before a Hidden Blade to the face got the win. RKJ’s fascination with out-Ospreaying Ospreay costs him in the end, as a sudden, not-so-Hidden Blade shuts the door on the main event, ensuring that Rev Pro’s return to York Hall closed out with a bang. ****½
We’re not done though, as RKJ’s shrugging his shoulders post-match, only to get caught with a Hidden Blade. Shota Umino runs out to make the save, decking Ospreay… but the Young Guns run out to swarm him. Aussie Open are out next to level things up, as things set up for a six-man staredown. EXCEPT… Mark Davis swerves us all and clotheslines Umino… Ospreay superkicks Ethan Allen and there’s a switch reverse as the Young Guns are kicked out of whatever partnership they had with Ospreay. It’s Ospreay and Aussie Open who stand tall to end the night, after they bust out a load of moves to the Young Guns… RKJ staggers back to the ring, grabbing the ring bell as a weapon, but he had no chance, and was ultimately put away with an OsCutter out of a Fidget Spinner set-up the night ended with the image of Aussie Open in United Empire shirts.
Head over to rpwondemand.com to watch this – at time of writing they’ve got a two-week free trial, so there’s no excuse not to dive in, even if you are just picking and choosing…
A newsworthy end to High Stakes then, as the United Empire both arrived in Rev Pro and gained some new members – albeit after a Russo-esque series of twists and turns that led to Aussie Open aligning with Will Ospreay. Considering the “damage” done to Britwres, the fact that Rev Pro’s come close to home runs with their first two big shows back in the pandemic is a real sight – and while some of the first half may not have hit the spot, this is right up there with the best of the scene right now.