Rev Pro returned to York Hall as there were two scores to settle, with long-time title challengers looking to finally claim gold.
The two Andys are on commentary, and we’ve a new ring announcer too as Slick Lombardo took over at the helm.
Brendan White vs. Gabriel Kidd
A rematch from the Cockpit in March, we’ve got a rare Contenders’ match at York Hall. Rev Pro’s done a decent job with the reboot, but there’s something to be said for having a class of “rookies” who have years of experience under their belts.
This latest class of Contenders have been all about mat-based wrestling, and this was no exception as White and Kidd (who’s still waiting to get the second D on his name plate, Andy!) went back-and-forth with holds, while Brendan White’s extra size and strength enabled him to throw Kidd with ease.
Kidd wasn’t too show to throw shots though, as he comes close to the win with a dropkick, before he hurked up White for a sit-out powerslam for a near-fall. A low dropkick from Kidd gets another near-fall, only for White to come right back with a Blue Thunder Bomb-style backbreaker. Oof.
The pair go back-and-forth with strikes in the corner until White nailed a shotgun dropkick. Kidd retaliates with a butterfly suplex into the turnbuckles for a two-count, before he ran into almost an Angle Slam as the momentum kept on shifting. White’s springboard moonsault wowed the crowd for a near-fall, before he segued into a crossface that ended as Kidd got a foot to the ropes.
A Bossman slam from White gets him even closer to the win, before Kidd ducks a second one and comes right back with a brainbuster. White pops straight back up though, only for Kidd to land a discus lariat and a sit-out powerbomb for the win. An enjoyable opener, as I continue to be impressed by these guys – hopefully their stays in the Contenders’ division isn’t overly drawn out. ***¼
Chris Brookes vs. Artemis Spencer
Right now in Rev Pro, Chris Brookes is a bad guy… but you’d need to tell the crowd that. Lykos is out too, as Andy Boy Simmonz seemingly didn’t get the memo about Lykos having to retire…
Brookes starts out with the upper hand, taking down Spencer with a wristlock before a counter saw Brookes easily get to the ropes, thanks to his lanky frame. From the restart, Spencer catches Brookes with a dropkick, then some headscissors as Spencer manages to turn defence into attack with a lucha-style armdrag.
A ‘rana from Arty spikes Brookes for a near-fall, but a back senton from Brookes sees him get into it. The rope-hung neckbreaker’s good for a near-fall, before Spencer got thrown outside as Lykos put the boots to him briefly. Back inside, Brookes continues to wear down on Spencer’s legs… which didn’t seem to matter too much when Arty kicked away at Brookes in the ropes. There’s a diving dropkick through the ropes as Spencer looked to build momentum, then another, before Spencer crashed into Brookes and the side of the ring with a tope.
Back inside, Spencer has to abort a Whisper in the Wind before an over-the-top 619 finds its mark. His version of the Next Stop Driver connects for a near-fall too, before Brookes swing it back around with a slingshot cutter for a near-fall. Lykos gets involved again, holding Spencer on the top rope so Brookes can land a gamengiri… but that all backfires as the Canadian pushes Brookes onto the top rope for the impressive-yet-contrived back senton as Brookes was balanced on the top strand.
Chops and headbutts left both men reeling, before Brookes tripped and superkicked Arty… leading to a brainbuster attempt, but a spinning heel kick stops all that as Arty went for a lumbar check instead. Spencer tries to finish off Brookes with a Spiral Tap, but Lykos pulls out the ref to keep the match going.
Spencer threatens to knock Lykos off the apron, and eventually does so with that 619, before he leapt into a bicycle knee from Brookes. One Praying Mantis Bomb later, and Brookes still hasn’t gotten this won as Spencer kicked out, before an avalanche Praying Mantis Bomb was countered.
In the middle of that, Lykos undoes the turnbuckle pad, allowing Brookes to pull Spencer down into the exposed turnbuckles. One low blow, a Lykos baking tray shot and a roll-up later, and Chris Brookes has the win. Glorious cheating here Brookes, and hopefully this means we’re able to get a sustained run for Brookes in one form or another. ***¼
Dan Magee & Kurtis Chapman vs. Josh Bodom & Sha Samuels
We’ve a jump start here as Bodom and Samuels stormed the ring and started the match by brawling with Magee and Chapman around York Hall.
There’s a nice tope con giro off the entry way from Bodom before the bell, as that brawl propted Chapman to cannonball off the top rope into the pile. That brawl was tricky to follow as they went into the bar area, before Sha came back towards the crowd, stopping to get a selfie for good measure.
— Athers (@oldathers) May 10, 2019
Eventually all four men headed back on the right side of the barriers, but the bell still hasn’t rung as Bodom went up top and moonsaulted into the pile. Sha decides to repeat the trick, before they rolled Chapman inside as that bell finally sounded. It remained one-way traffic in the ring too, with Bodom catching Chapman with a kick to the back of the head.
A brief comeback from Chapman’s snuffed out by Samuels, but eventually Chapman gets something in with a lungblower out of the corner onto Bodom. Finally a tag brings in Magee, who unloads on Bodom with a sliding Flatliner that flipped Bodom inside out ahead of a back senton for a near-fall. Bodom elbows out of a pumphandle before he fell to an inverted Pedigree for a near-fall.
Magee ends up on the defensive after a cutter – which somehow got named after an Alex Shane catchphrase – before Bodom took him up top for an elevated cutter as well. Some double-teaming is overcome by Magee, who rolls through to Chapman for a tag, and it’s all Kurtis for a while as a satellite DDT puts down Bodom… before Chapman and Magee set-up for a double-team Slingblade to Sha.
There’s another lungblower for Bodom as Magee powerbombed Bodom onto Samuels for a near-fall, before Chapman suddenly went on the back foot as a missile dropkick was snapped into a powerbomb by Samuels. A tombstone from Samuels ends up getting countered into a Sega Mega Driver as Chapman gave himself some fresh hope, but Josh Bodom storms the ring as this one broke down again.
Magee surprises Bodom with a Destroyer, then a pumphandle knee, before the match ended out of nowhere when Samuels ragdolled Chapman in a Cobra clutch for the submission. Well, the former Contenders took a pasting here, and while they had some hope, it was only fleeting as the lack of experience cost them once again. ***¼
After the match, Sha gets out his iPhone and forces Gabriel Kidd to record a live episode of his “Mug of the Week” Twitter video to build up to his match with Minoru Suzuki two days later.
A-Kid vs. Matt Sydal
This was Sydal’s first outing in Rev Pro in almost three years, having last appeared against Big Damo. Commentary posited that this was a reprise of the Sydal/Will Ospreay feud from about five years ago… let’s see.
We start off somewhat technically, with Sydal and A-Kid scrambling on the mat, but it’s Sydal who looked to control the pace, keeping it low and slow as he exchanged bow and arrow holds with A-Kid early on. They move up to kicks, as A-Kid tries to up the pace with an armdrag and a dropkick, but Sydal just pulls himself into a corner for cover.
Some micks from Sydal led to a La Magistral for a near-fall as he looked to stay a step ahead of A-Kid, taking him outside with a hook kick as the Spaniard looked to be grabbing his wrist. Chops follow him around ringside, as Sydal keeps on top of him, only to get caught with a tiltawhirl headscissors before A-Kid rolled into a guillotine.
Sydal escapes, and quickly dumps A-Kid in half with a back suplex as the crowd… just struggled to care. Again, A-Kid tries to fight back with forearms, before he ducked a kick and took down Sydal with a dropkick. Sydal headed outside, and into the path of a Golden Triangle moonsault, before a bridging Northern Lights suplex looked to wind Sydal as he struggled to kick out.
A-Kid builds up more momentum, catching Sydal with a snap German suplex before a superkick drew a two-count. Sydal responds with a series of kicks, before he was forced to abort a shooting star press as A-Kid replied with a running Spanish fly. Apt.
A reverse ‘rana spikes A-Kid as Sydal tried to build up some more steam, before he’s caught out of nowhere in a Lebell lock… then a Rings of Saturn… but Sydal escaped and caught A-Kid in a modified cobra clutch, dragging the Spaniard down to the mat. A-Kid fights back with a springboard ‘rana, but Sydal rolls through and folds on top of A-Kid for the pin. This… was just boring. This isn’t the Matt Sydal that “made” Will Ospreay five years ago – a lot has happened in that time, and with Sydal having been in the largely unfollowed Impact until recently, whatever name value he had has long since dissipated. Disappointing, and not exactly the way you’d have wanted to go into the interval. **½
TK Cooper vs. Rob Lias vs. Carlos Romo vs. Shigehiro Irie vs. Michael Oku
This was advertised as a 5-way scramble, but we’ve got two changes from the off as Rob Lias jumped TK on the entryway – looking to get some revenge for TK inserting himself into his match at the Cockpit the week prior. The other change… was that Kip Sabian had been removed thanks to a phantom backstage attack.
As you’d expect, this started out fast-and-furious, with Irie getting the early shine with a bulldog and a slingshot splash on Romo for a two-count. Michael Oku goes back after Irie – just days after his battle with the former DDT star at the Cockpit – but Lias stops him from going for the half crab.
Those two go at it, with Lias spiking Oku with a DDT for a near-fall before Carlos Romo broke it up – and replaced Oku in the revolving door. Romo didn’t fare much better as Lias jumped him in the ropes, before an alternative shin breaker left Romo back on the mat ahead of a Sharpshooter. Irie’s back to break the hold, suplexing Lias out of it, only to get caught with a Shake Rattle and Roll neckbreaker by Romo for a near-fall.
Kicks from Romo get caught as Irie teases a pounce… but instead it’s Oku who catches Romo with a running dropkick before he got sent into the ropes for a bodyslam. There’s a wacky Quebrada from Oku that knocks Romo off of an electric chair – sort of a Doomsday Quebrada – but Lias stopped anyone from capitalising on it. That started a series of dives, but Michael Oku’s dive perhaps didn’t go as planned, as Irie just POUNCE’D him to the outside.
I loved that live, and on tape.
Irie hits a tope afterwards, before he flattened Romo with a big splash back inside for a delayed near-fall. Lias drags Irie into the ring post to stop his momentum, only for Oku to stop him with a leaping knee as Irie returns with that Bossman slam to put away the newcomer. The Parade of Moves continues with a Code Red from Romo for a near-fall… but Irie’s back with clotheslines and headbutts before he’s caught in a half crab by Oku in the middle of the ring!
Problem is, it’s broken up by Romo, who ends up with Oku piledriven onto him as Lias again failed to steal the pin. Lias looked to pick up the pieces with a Fisherman’s buster on Oku, but TK Cooper’s back out to break up the pin and shove Lias into the ring post. A Kotaro Krusher from TK dumps Oku, before a uranage and a standing shooting star press has Romo rocked. Irie gets some too, courtesy of a springboard corkscrew legdrop in the ropes. TK looked for a double jump Quebrada on Oku, which he connects with, only for Lias to steal the win with a roll-up and a big ol’ handful of tights. A fun scramble to kick off the second half – and it looks like we’re getting TK vs. Lias continuing on down the road. ***½
RevPro Undisputed British Tag Team Championship: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.) (c)
Having come up short at Uprising, Aussie Open ended up getting another shot via a tournament that started on the Rev Pro TV show last year. Would lightning strike twice?
We’ve a jump start because Suzuki-gun’s gonna Suzuki-gun, looking to bully and put away their challengers in short order. Problem was, Aussie Open were more than ready for this, showing no fear as they took Sabre into their corner for some early stomps, before following him outside… and even going after Suzuki too.
Suzuki gets free of Mark Davis on the outside and looked to go after Kyle Fletcher, but this time Kyle wasn’t backing down… which led to him getting caught with a hanging armbar as the champions turned the tables. Grabbing a chair, Suzuki chased away the referee as he eventually used it on Fletcher, choking the young Aussie by the guard railings for good measure.
Kyle tries to stand up to everyone’s favourite murder grandpa, but as soon as Suzuki grabbed him by the head, the York Hall crowd universally shushed themselves so they could hear the sickening thud of an elbow shot. It’d go from bad to worse for Kyle as he’d be caught in dualling submissions as the champions had made themselves a weak link to fo after.
Minoru got fed up with the crowd trying to rally on the Aussies, and we start to get the naughty boy Suzuki as he mooned Dunkzilla to try and get him to distract the ref some more. Eventually Dunkzilla comes in and lays into Suzuki with forearms and chops in the corner, before a Gold Coast Waterslide sent Suzuki crashing to the mat for a near-fall. Excellent fire from Dunkzilla!
…and then Suzuki flashes that murderous look, as the pair begin to trade thunderclap-like chops that ring around York Hall, before a rear naked choke from Suzuki looked to set up for the Gotch Piledriver… but Davis escaped and teased his own piledriver before a clothesline from the Aussie left both men down. Kyle’s back in, but his Aussie Arrow attempt is countered into an ankle lock as Sabre slipped free, but Kyle gets to the ropes and is able to hit back with a Michinoku driver.
Davis comes back in as the crowd started to get behind the challengers… only for Suzuki to run back in as dualling PKs leave the Aussies down, as we’re back to square one it seemed. More PKs flatten Davis for a near-fall, before we got a throwback to how Suzuki-gun won the belts, with duelling Octopus stretches… except this time Davis and Fletcher powered out into stereo death valley drivers.
Sabre tries to mount another comeback, but he gets caught with an assisted Aussie Arrow for a near-fall as Suzuki makes a save, only to take a double team GTS. A Sliding D greets Sabre in the corner, before he’s pulled into a Fidget Spinner for a near-fall as Suzuki dragged Kyle Fletcher to the outside.
Davis tries for the exclamation mark with a pull-up piledriver, only for Sabre to counter into an arm triangle that’s powerbombed away, before the pull-up piledriver lands for the title changing win! An excellent match to cap off the story of Aussie Open’s fight to the gold – perhaps a few months late given how much the Rev Pro tag title division blossomed in 2018, but it’s yet more gold for Aussie Open as they reach the top of the mountain. ****½
Ladder Match for RevPro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: El Phantasmo vs. David Starr (c)
Coming days after his New Japan debut, ELP was back in London for one more match ahead of his Best of the Super Junior tournament… and it’s no ordinary match. A ladder match against a David Starr who promised to bring “Davey Deathmatch” to York Hall.
Starr came out with the old title belt… and Shay Purser as his “independent referee”, despite Andy Quildan moaning about how Starr “fired him” months back.
ELP started off by taking Starr into the corner with forearms as this one started more like a fight than a regular match… before they shoved the ladders out of the ring so they could continue to brawl. Starr pulls ELP’s t-shirt over his head like a hockey fight, before he stomped on the newest member of the Bullet Club’s shirt. Starr tries to put some space between him and ELP, but only ends up eating a tope that knocked him into the front row ahead of a top rope moonsault as Phantasmo joined him there.
Still on the outside, Starr set up a pair of chairs next to each other, but he couldn’t suplex ELP through them as he instead got whipped into the crowd barriers before a back body drop dumped him into that chair bridge. ELP keeps him in a chair for a face-washing boot by the railings, which gave him an opening to go up the ladder… but Starr swats him down with a chair to the back before putting said ladder in the corner. I think you can tell where this one’s heading…
ELP puts on the brakes as Starr tried to throw him into the ladder, then again on a back body drop attempt before he hurled the champion into the ladder. A powerbomb attempt’s blocked by Starr as he managed to land a back body drop that damn near ruined the ladder, which meant that all of a sudden we were getting very twitchy about the other ladder…
Removing and parading his “independent” shirt, Starr gave ELP time to get back to his feet and spit at Starr… who replied with a chairshot. Well, that’s a somewhat valid reaction in this situation.
Unlike a tiltawhirl that saw Starr shove ELP chest-first into an open chair. CHRIST. That finally gave Starr an opening to go up the ladder, but instead he just dumps ELP onto the ladder before he went outside and brought in a table and some chairs. There’s more trash-talking that got more of the crowd on ELP’s side, before Starr tried to sandwich ELP between a chair and a table…
But ELP gets up and throws the chair at Starr, then sandwiches him in the corner with the edge of the table, along with a ladder and a chair against his face, before he went all baseball on us, using a chair to bat the pile into Starr’s head. That busted up the champion, and things were going to get worse as he got stuffed in a Tree of Woe in a ladder, before ELP landed a missile dropkick into his latest plunder pile.
ELP keeps up with an attempt at the CR2, turning it into Starr’s own Trapped Arm Bob Fossil piledriver. That’s not the cue to scale a ladder though, as ELP’s got a plastic bag… with a jar of drawing pins in. So. Many. Drawing. Pins. ELP spills them, but Shay Purser comes in to, as Andy Q said, “kick him in the dick” before Chris Roberts’ attempt to neutralise him was stopped.
We rush from that to a piledriver off the apron and through a table as Starr went all 1990s Terry Funk on ELP, before he tried to scramble up the ladder to get the new title belt… but Chris Roberts low blows Shay before pushing the ladder back to send Starr into the pile of pins. There’s a beating for Shay Purser too, who’s sent to the back with a body slam on the stage as Andy Q finally got to play out that one ATTACK! show he saw… even if this little bit of callbacks was rushed through.
Starr’s back with a taller ladder, as he and ELP were climbing at the same time… which led to the pair trading punches before Starr got knocked down… and eventually dropped with the new CR2 modified Pedigree finisher. From there, Phantasmo places the ladder on top of Starr – a callback to that Cockpit promo – but the ladder’s a little out of place, and it’s perhaps not a shock that Starr tried to lift it up, sending ELP crashing down to the floor, where there was no table to break his fall.
With ELP on the outside, Starr scales the ladder again, only for Phantasmo to do a Shelton Benjamin, springboarding in onto the ladder before he was sent flying when Starr threw some drawing pins at him from the ground. We’re back to climbing, with ELP this time grabbing the old title belt to knock Starr off the top of the ladder (more callbacks), allowing the Canadian to unhook the belt and win the title for himself. This was more of a streetfight than an old school ladder match, but this was thoroughly satisfying for it as it tied up so many loose ends in the long running storyline. Yeah, you could argue that they had a few too many callbacks, but these at least felt somewhat natural and not overly contrived in the match itself. ****½
Going in, this was a two-match show… and thankfully both these matches delivered in spades. Supported by an undercard that perhaps overdelivered (we’ll ignore the Matt Sydal match, like most of the crowd seemed to), this was one of Rev Pro’s better York Hall shows – if only for the pay-offs!