A capacity crowd flocked to York Hall as Rev Pro returned for Epic Encounter – featuring Aussie Open vs. the VeloCities for the first time in the UK.
Michael Oku pinned Connor Mills in 17:37 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship (****¼)
Charlie Sterling, Nick Riley, Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II pinned Chuck Mambo, TK Cooper, Shota Umino & Yota Tsuji in 15:43 (***½)
Ricky Knight Jr. pinned Aaron Henare in 16:16 (***¼)
Luke Jacobs pinned Robbie X in 16:30 (***½)
Gabriel Kidd pinned Dan Moloney in 10:06 (***½)
Alex Windsor pinned Kylie Rae in 22:54 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship (***¾)
Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis pinned Jude London & Paris De Silva in 26:59 (*****)
Minoru Suzuki pinned Michael Oku in 19:53 (***½)
— To watch this show, head over to the new-look (and new site, powered by Vimeo) RevProOnDemand.com – they’re currently running a two-week free trial. Just make sure you cancel your subscription on their old Pivotshare page unless you want to be billed twice!
We’re coming from a virtually sold-out York Hall in London for this one, with Andy Quildan and Gideon Grey on commentary. It’s a slightly changed card, with Jeff Cobb having to pull out due to injury, while Will Ospreay was taken off the card hours before bell time, having been diagnosed with a kidney infection.
Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: Michael Oku (c) vs. Connor Mills
Oku’s out first, but Connor Mills doesn’t force him to pause this time around…
We open with a lock-up as Mills took Oku into the corner, with a clean break coming… a side headlock from Oku’s clung onto as he then rolled down for a half crab, but Mills escaped for an armdrag, before see-saw sunset flips trolled Chris Hatch early on. They bridge up and backslide down for a near-fall as we then reach the stand-off.
Things get tetchy as Mills went for a side headlock… got shoved off and charged down Oku. A ‘rana and a dropkick from Oku has Mills in the corner, before we got some more pinning attempts. A Quebrada from Mills misses Oku, but the Kitchen sink knee and kick to the back absolutely didn’t, before Mills springboarded in for a European uppercut. More uppercuts have Oku down, with chops taking him into the corner, while a low dropkick crashed into the champion for a two-count. Mills measures up Oku, but they end up trading right hands, leading to a leaping Kane-like clothesline from Oku, who goes up top for a missile dropkick that drilled through Mills for a near-fall.
Mills gets back up, then escaped another crack at the half crab as a Quebrada took Oku down. Clotheslines in the corner lead to an elbow from Oku… but a rebound lariat on the way back from Mills lands for another near-fall. Standing switches dizzy the pair as Oku runs out of the ring, taking Mills with him to break the grip… before he returned to hit a dropkick through the ropes ahead of the Fosbury flop. My word, that’s even more hairy with the ringside as close as it is today.
Back inside, Oku heads up top for a frog splash, but took way too long as Mills got the knees up… but Oku stops himself and tried again for a half crab. Once more, Mills pushes off, but ends up eating a spiking satellite DDT as Oku finally got the half crab in. A rope break saves Mills, who heads to the corner to cut-off Oku up top as he brought the champion down with a superplex… rolling through for a rebound Millshot, bouncing Oku off the ropes for good measure for a near-fall.
Oku escapes a Burning Cutter, but has another satellite DDT uppercutted away… before he superkicked another go at Mills’ Quebrada as both men were going to the proverbial well too often. It’s back to the half crab from Oku, who leans back even more as Mills got to the ropes… and so the break’s called once more.
Oku lifts Mills over the top rope to the outside, but Mills lands on his feet, and caught another Fosbury Flop, turning it into a Tower of London. HOLY HELL THE SPLAT THAT MADE. Back inside, a 450 splash off the top nearly won it for Mills, who went back to the Burning Cutter, landing it… but Oku’s got his foot under the rope all along, and the ref only notices it after Mills went to grab the belt.
The match resumes, with an Oku roll-up… but Mills kicks out at two and started to burn a hole in Oku for that. Things break down between the pair as a hockey fight broke out in York Hall… a roundhouse from Mills, a misdirection knee from Oku, and a rebound lariat from Mills keeps it even, until Oku spiked himself and Mills on the reverse ‘rana. Oku gets up first to hit a frog splash, but Mills is up at one, before a snap ‘rana spiked Connor for the win. Holy hell, we’re just one match deep and I’m already regretting missing this show – a banger right out of the gates as Connor Mills gets more fuel to add to the eventual split with the false finish that saw him literally hold the title. ****¼
After the match, Mills snubbed Oku’s offer of a handshake… and these guys have to tag together??
Oku hangs around afterwards and told the crowd he was busting a gut for Rev Pro and the British wrestling scene… then said that he wasn’t done for the night, as he then called out Minoru Suzuki for tonight’s main event. Dear Lord…
Lykos Gym (Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II) & Smokin’ Aces (Charlie Sterling & Nick Riley) vs. Sunshine Machine (Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper), Shota Umino & Yota Tsuji
This was a preview for the Great British Tag League, and we’ve a curious team on the one side, as Shota Umino only joined the Legion (on loan) after Gideon Grey’s maneuverings made it seem like Sunshine Machine were the aggressors towards Yota Tsuji. Shota’s not exactly happy to be coming out with the Legion’s music, but if it works, it works, right?
Things start with the match spilling outside, before Kid Lykos II rattled off a series of forearms to Shota… who blew them off and had his eyes raked. A back elbow and a low dropkick off the ropes puts Shota ahead, as Lykos II tagged in Charlie Sterling, whose shoulder tackles eventually ended up with Shota taking him down. Tsuji’s in as the Mount Tsuji splash gets him a two-count, before Nick Riley came in whipped Sterling into a revolution kick on Tsuji. Elbows from Tsuji have Riley on the ropes, but Sterling returned for a spinning backbreaker that a springboard elbow drop from Riley added to for a two-count.
Some headscissors from Tsuji get him free as Chuck Mambo tagged in to go for Riley with a springboard armdrag, leaping over Sterling’s attempted break as TK Cooper came in to help with a Combo Meal for a near-fall. A jawbreaker from Riley gets him free as the Lykii came in for some double-teaming, with Mambo getting held in the ropes as Kid Lykos II pulled out that resistance band that the wolves twanged into Mambo’s face. Straight Outta Dragongate.
Kid Lykos I puts the boots to Mambo in the corner, before the Smoking Aces took over with slams and standing moonsaults… but Sterling missed his as Mambo sat up. Kid Lykos II’s in to keep Mambo at bay, while Riley dumps Mambo in the corner, but had his superplex thwarted as Mambo knocked him down for a Blockbuster instead.
Kid Lykos is back to clear the apron as Mambo was kept isolated… he boots away the wolves, then hit a springboard back elbow out of the corner before finally tagging in Tsuji. Clotheslines wreck the wolves as Tsuji followed with a back body drop that lofted the wolves damn near into the ceiling. Riley eats a knee, before Sterling ran into a wild discus lariat… that helps clear the ring as Tsuji nailed a Space Flying Tiger Drop… Lucha Tsuji’s back!
TK Cooper blind-tags himself in as Tsuji was celebrating… but Riley elbows away TK’s dive as the Smokin’ Aces ran riot, leading to a tope con giro from Sterling into the pile on the floor. Kid Lykos II’s Orihara moonsault adds to it, before the elder Lykos with a senton cannonball off the top. Sunshine Machine do their circus trick as Mambo leaps off of TK’s shoulders with a senton, before we returned to the ring with everyone on the Sunshine Legion team tagging in.
It means we’ve got a full ring again as Shota hits a kick-assisted reverse DDT, TK a senton bomb to crush Sterling, whose attempt to get up saw him get squashed again with a Mambo frog splash. LOVED that little detail of him trying to actively avoid it. It’s good for a near-fall, as Riley tagged in and helped as his knees took Chuck Mambo’s fall from a back suplex. The Wolves are back as Mambo continued to take a beating, but Tsuji and Umino break up the pin, before Tsuji cleared the ring… only for a running Spanish Fly from Riley to stop him in his tracks. A big ol’ Parade of Moves broke out, leading to TK catching the wolves on the top rope for a one-on-two Spanish Fly. TK’s resurgent… but Kid Lykos twangs the resistance band into his face.
A blinded TK accidentally headbutts Tsuji, and with TK trying to apologise to Shota… we get a shoving match that ends with TK taking a German suplex. Things break down as Mambo eats the spinning facebuster from Shota for a near-fall from the Lykii as the makeshift Legion abandon the match. That leaves us with a slice of the wacky tag match from PROGRESS a week earlier, as Mambo nearly wins with the German Suplex Turbo Charged by the Power of Friendship, only to get caught with a staggered pair of cutters from Sterling.
Riley’s Tiger Driver gets rid of TK, while an assisted piledriver from Sterling was enough to put Mambo away after a quarter hour of fireworks-like wrestling. Yes, this veered into my pet hate again, but given the back story was the tag league and all four of these teams being in it for itself, I didn’t mind it… as much! ***½
Post-match, the Smokin’ Aces dump the Lykii out of the ring…
Aaron Henare vs. Ricky Knight Jr.
Henare was the late sub for Jeff Cobb here, with RKJ needing a win in order to book one final shot at Will Ospreay’s Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship.
RKJ charges at Henare with a boot as we open with the rope running, leapfrogs, baseball slides and the big ol’ dropkick from Knight. Henare’s left seated as he took a kick to the back, but he shrugs it off and got back up, shoving off a side headlock as we saw shoulder tackles between the two, ending with Henare bulldozing through Knight.
Henare takes RKJ down for a kick to the back, but Knight asks for more as they trade the spinal kicks. RKJ’s tossed outside as they change tact, with Henare going into the guard rails, while RKJ was given similar treatment as they almost tore apart York Hall. Henare avoids a suplex onto the timekeeper’s desk, reversing it as RKJ hit the floor before Knight returned with a back suplex onto the apron.
Knight repositions that desk, but ends up putting Henare in a chair and clotheslines him out of it. He goes again for it, draping Henare over a chair before he leapt off the ramp… and crashed into the chair as Henare rolled off in time. Back in the ring, Henare targets that midsection with some kicks to RKJ, who ends up taking a suplex and a PK for an eventual two-count. Kicks from Henare see him you with RKJ, who replies with chops, before he caught a leaping shoulder tackle and countered it into a death valley driver in the corner. Dropkicks into and through the corner keep Henare on the back foot ahead of a London Bridge DDT for a near-fall, before a stalling suplex dropped Henare.
Chops keep Henare on the back foot, as did a poke to the eye, before some trickery ended with Henare just clotheslining RKJ in the corner. A Blue Thunder Bomb’s next from Henare, before step-up knees and clotheslines in the corner led to a running Samoan drop… and a standing moonsault, because why not? It’s good for a two-count, with Henare adding a full nelson afterwards, taking RKJ down to the mat.
Escaping, RKJ manages to return with a Destroyer out of the corner, only for a Toa Bottom to take RKJ down. They get back up to trade palm strikes, then German suplexes, before RKJ backflipped out of the corner for a reverse DDT for a near-fall. A full nelson slam and a folding powerbomb from Henare tries to get it over the line, before more strikes left them both on their knees… RKJ knees away a headbutt, then ducked a leg lariat from Henare as a flash roll-up got the win. A big test for RKJ here sees him outsmart Henare – and get himself that much-coveted shot at Ospreay’s title. ***¼
Post-match, Henare tries a cheapshot, but gets sent packing…
Robbie X vs. Luke Jacobs
The delayed pay-off to a mini-feud that’s bubbled through Rev Pro, as these two have traded wins over the past while. Commentary notes that Robbie’s yet to win at York Hall, while Luke Jacobs was accompanied by Ethan Allen for this.
We open with a handshake, and a line from Beyond the Mat, as Robbie X gets backed into the ropes.. From the break, Jacobs worked the arm, going for an armbar, before a side headlock was pushed off, with Jacobs bulling through Robbie X, who kept kipping up… only for his hiptoss/dropkick attempt to get countered with a slam instead. Chops take Robbie X to the corner as Jacobs as an Irish whip bounced Robbie X across the ring, while Jacobs continued to mug the former Southside Speed King champion.
Robbie turns up the pace and finally lands that hiptoss/low dropkick, before chops barely faze Luke. A rear spin kick took him down for a standing moonsault as Jacobs was forced to kick out, only to get dumped across the ropes. A springboard dropkick takes Jacobs down to the floor… but he evades a baseball slide as Luke folded him on the apron with a back suplex.
We’re back on the floor as Robbie’s thrown towards the barriers, but he recovers with a moonsault off them… only for Jacobs to catch him and lawn dart Robbie into the front row. JESUS LUKE. Back in the ring, Luke maintains control before Robbie X’s attempted comeback ended with a wicked back elbows as he came off the ropes. A second back suplex bounced Robbie off the apron, but he’s back to trade – and get knocked down – with chops.
A kip-up ‘rana caught Jacobs off guard, as did a spinning enziguiri… more kicks follow into the corner as a shooting star press out of it nearly put Jacobs away. A crossbody off the top’s rolled through as Jacobs countered Robbie X into a fallaway slam, following up with a clothesline and a suplex into the corner as the beating continued. Jacobs adds a brainbuster too, but Robbie kicks out, then took Jacobs onto the apron for a handspring kick that took him to the outside as well.
Robbie followed up with a moonsault off the top, then rolled Luke back inside for a near-fall. Luke looked to bail, but Robbie joins him on the walkway and back body dropped away a powerbomb attempt. Robbie stays there and leaps off the runway with a leaping Koppo kick/cannonball to Jacobs, who’s then taken inside for a diving kick into the corner… and a split-legged moonsault for a near-fall.
A back elbow from Robbie X looks to set up for the X-Clamation… it’s countered, while a follow up backflip kick was kicked away as the pace was turned up a notch. Robbie’s reverse ‘rana earned him a snap German suplex, but another reverse ‘rana lead to… an X-Clamation that’s swatted out of mid-air with a lariat! The pair trade forearms as Robbie X looked out on his feet at times, as we go back to those blistering chops before Jacobs ran into a squatting Finlay roll!
Robbie X heads up top for a Spiral Tap, crushing Luke for a near-fall, before a Kamigoye-like knee led to the X-Clamation! This time it lands, but Jacobs kicks out at two, as Robbie X stayed on him with a trip up top… but the superplex is countered into almost an avalanche Styles Clash! A burning lariat flips Robbie, but he’s up at one… so Jacobs smashes him with a second, then a goddamn Screwdriver for the win. Holy hell, that was fantastic. Luke Jacobs is hitting a rich vein of form, but Robbie X remains luckless at York Hall. Run this one back whenever you like, lads! ***½
After the interval, we’re interrupted by Dan Moloney’s new music. He’d not been booked, as commentary mentions he wanted an “epic encounter.” Dan wanted Minoru Suzuki, but instead got a returning Gabriel Kidd.
Dan Moloney vs. Gabriel Kidd
We open this one with a lock-up and a side headlock… the push-off sees things break down into back and forth elbows.
Moloney’s left rocked, as Kidd offered more shots… and got a knee to the midsection before they traded Saito and German suplexes. A spear from Moloney shuts it off though, as both men were left laying. They head outside to trade shoulder tackles and chops, ending with Moloney chopping the post before he got shoved into the guard rails.
A lap of honour from Kidd ends with him getting caught with a spinebuster onto the edge of the ring, as more chops then followed with the pair returning to the ring. More chops go higher as things break down again with forearms, before a palm strike nearly knocked Kidd down. There’s a cheeky kick on the way down as Moloney continued to bully, but that just sparked another exchange of chops between the two.
Moloney’s shotgun-like chops eventually earned a response, before a dropkick cut off Kidd at the pass. Getting back up, the pair trade clotheslines until an enziguiri from Moloney led to a Black Hole Slam that nearly put Kidd away. Kidd’s lifted to the top rope for a superplex… which Dan rolled through, only to get caught with a brainbuster in return. Kidd tries to follow up with a tombstone, but gets Snake Eye’d into the corner… before some rope-running ended with a spear for a near-fall for Dan. Kidd flips off Moloney, who replies with a Drilla attempt, only for Kidd to hit the Bull lariat for a near-fall… before he scooped up Moloney for the spinning tombstone for the win. This was a cracker of a sprint that had Kidd and Moloney as equals. ***½
After the match, we get a handshake… and the universal belt motion from Gabriel Kidd.
Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship: Kylie Rae vs. Alex Windsor (c)
It’s a European debut for Kylie Rae, who walked straight into a title shot here…
We open with a tie-up into the ropes, but there’s no break as they get into the middle of the ring, with Windsor grabbing a wristlock, which Rae flipped out of to reverse it. Windsor responds by grounding Kylie in a front facelock, but its escaped as a waistlock then gets broken, with the feeling out process continuing.
A headlock takedown from Rae follows, before Windsor’s headscissors to escape saw Kylie roll free. Windsor returned with another side headlock, which Kylie couldn’t push out of, as the pair ended up staying close by. Windsor avoids the headscissor escape and gets things back up before scoring with another headlock takedown as Rae was getting frustrated. Eventually, Rae manages to work out with headscissors, then ducked another headlock as armdrags and a dropkick had the champion on the back foot. A kick to the midsection from Windsor stops Rae in her tracks, but Kylie counters a powerbomb… then saw her crossbody get turned into a fallaway slam.
A sleeperhold keeps Rae down briefly, but her escape ends as low dropkicks peppered Rae for a two-count. Rae comes back with an uppercut in the corner, then got lifted to the apron… she heads up top for a leaping armdrag, then a lucha roll-up as Windsor was starting to come unstuck.
Rae traps Windsor in a crossface, but it’s broken up as Windsor rolled up and hit a superkick for a two-count. A surfboard stretch from Windsor’s next as she wound up on Rae’s arms, then scored a two-count before taking things into the corner for some shoulder charges. An Irish whip keeps Rae in the corner, but Rae gets an elbow up as Windsor charged into the corner… then a boot… before another lucha roll-up led to a low superkick.
Windsor takes things outside, looking for an Air Raid Crash, but Rae fights out as the pair trade elbows, leading to Rae teasing a German suplex into the railings… then opting for a superkick. A headbutt from Windsor followed as she lulled Rae in, as both women fell to the floor. They make it back to the ring, as they trade running forearms in the ropes, ending with a Blue Thunder Bomb as Windsor saw her earlier O’Connor roll blocked. A Sharpshooter’s next out of Windsor, but Rae makes it to the ropes as the match continued.
Rae snaps back with a roll-up for a two-count, then rolled into a STF as she kept Windsor away from the ropes… it’s back to the crossface as Rae rolled them back into the middle of the ring, but Windsor rolls up for a two-count, then ate a superkick and a wacky TKO for another near-fall.
Stomps keep Windsor down, as Kylie then put her backpack on… and missed a back senton. Windsor retaliates quickly with a Shining Wizard for a near-fall, before they went back into the corner. A superplex is countered into a Ligerbomb out of the corner for a delayed two-count, before Rae dead-weighted herself. It’s a ruse, of course as Rae suckered Windsor in for an inside cradle, then a Mistica as it’s back into a crossface…
Windsor manages to break the grip, then rolled in for a Sharpshooter… but Rae defiantly rolled free and sent Windsor into the corner. Another superkick led to a Fireman’s carry, but a cross-legged Emerald Flowsion ends up getting the win in what was an absolute barn burner. Some of York Hall actually booed that result, but Alex Windsor squeaked out the win and continued her reign as champion. ***¾
Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. The VeloCities (Jude London & Paris De Silva)
I’ll hold my hands up – I’ve not seen either of their matches in Australia, but have heard enough opinions from people who I trust to be relishing this one…
The crowd weren’t taking to the VeloCities (maybe York Hall were more into Stevie Night Heat?), but the yay-boo stuff ended with dualling reverse ‘ranas and a step-up elbow into Mark Davis as the VeloCities started off hot. A dropkick takes Davis outside, while Fletcher ended up taking a paid of superkicks as an enziguiri and moonsaults forced Kyle outside.
Baseball slides take Davis back outside as dualling topes keep Aussie Open on the back foot, before the third ones were caught and turned into a Super Collider on the outside. Aussie Open wreck the VeloCities with aprons onto the edge of the ring as that early flurry seemed to smoulder out.
Davis and Fletcher bring in the VeloCities with stalling superplexes, which led to a two-count for Fletcher on De Silva. Kyle scoops up and dumps Paris with a snap bodyslam, while chops from Davis keep de Silva in the corner. Paris ducks a chop and tries to fight back, but got run into the corner before an Irish whip made de Silva inadvertently cannonball into the buckles.
Paris puts on the brakes as an up kick stopped Davis ahead of a swinging ‘rana into the ropes… but Davis shakes it off and hits a crossbody, a snap slam, and a back senton as Aussie Open were just toying with their foes. Kyle’s back in for his lofty bodyslams, before a press slam was escape… only for Kyle to scoop up Paris for another suplex, this time throwing him into the buckles. Goddamn.
Davis tags in and just leans on de Silva for a two-count, but Paris kicks out and throws a series of forearms… only to get slammed again. Paris misses the back senton, then avoided a charge into the corner, before he finally made the tag out to Jude London. Kyle’s back too, but takes a Slingblade before Davis was dropkicked into the corner. An errant charge from Davis catches Fletcher ahead if a leaping armdrag/headscissors off the top from London.
London heads up top for a moonsault, which saw him crack Kyle in the head with his knees, but Kyle pulls himself up and lifts de Silva to the outside… superkicking him into Davis’ grasp so Dunkzilla could lawn dart him into the ring post from the floor. WHAT ON EARTH, LADS? Back in the ring, Fletcher tries to drill London through the mat with a Ligerbomb, getting a near-fall as Paris was left dazed on the floor.
Fletcher swats London with forearms, but his follow-up suplex was blocked… so it’s back to the forearms until Jude reversed the suplex. A head kick knocks Kyle, who then caught Jude… who eventually got free and hit a Stundog Millionaire. De Silva’s in for a tornado DDT to Davis off of Fletcher, following with a spinning heel kick to Kyle for a two-count. A deadlift German suplex from de Silva’s elbowed away, but the up kick connects again before Fletcher got caught with a crucifix bomb for a two-count. A superkick gets Kyle free as Davis tagged in and tried to double-team… eventually catching Paris as he popped him up into a kick. An assisted Aussie Arrow followed for a two-count, as London dove in to break it up.
More double-teams isolate Paris ahead of the double-team sit-out spinebuster as Jude again breaks up the cover… and get dumped to the outside with a dropkick. Davis tags back in, but gets caught with strikes from de Silva, whose flurry had Davis covering up… until a straight right hand dropped Paris. A SPINNING Alphamare Waterslide is next for a near-fall, with Paris flipping off Davis on the kick-off for extra effect…
Davis grabs the arm and dragged Paris to the corner for an avalanche powerbomb, but Paris wriggles out… then caught Davis between the ropes with a satellite ‘rana to drive his head into the apron. A satellite DDT followed back inside, as Fletcher and London began to trade blows. Kyle’s elbows had more effect, but a roundhouse kick stopped Fletcher, before the pair traded dropkicks in the ropes.
London’s next up for a Grimstone, but he countered out into a… Sega Mega Driver?! Is Kurt getting royalties for that? Kyle just about kicks out from that, before the VeloCities peppered Kyle with double-teams – hitting two diving kicks in the corner, a snap German and a Tiger suplex with assistance on the pin for a near-fall. The double-teaming continues with Fletcher getting held on the top rope by London as a top rope ‘rana from de Silva and a Blockbuster from London almost winning it.
Davis returns to try and clear the decks, but a slingshot from Fletcher led to London hitting a swinging DDT to Davis, before a handspring cutter knocked Kyle. A reverse springboard Slingblade has Kyle down ahead of a tope’d DDT to Davis on the outside. Back inside, London hits a Blockbuster to Kyle on the apron, then followed through to take Davis down on the floor, before a Dragonrana from de Silva nearly put away Fletcher.
Kyle’s pulled up for a big lariat off the ropes, which still doesn’t get it done. Aussie Open held on as a Parade of Moves broke out… de Silva’s knocked into the corner for Davis’ sliding punch, only for London to follow with a Coast to Coast! London’s met with a brainbuster onto the top turnbuckle for a near-fall as de Silva’s shooting star press keeps it alive.
De Silva heads back up top with London as they Spanish Fly each other into Aussie Open on the floor. Back inside, Davis neutralises London as de Silva’s met with a Fletcher superkick… a Davis boot, and then a lofted Coriolis for a near-fall as Jude launched himself into the pile to break it up. Paris is cornered for another sliding punch, as another Coriolis… is countered into a pop-up DDT from de Silva!
Paris returned to the top rope for a goddamned shooting star DDT, but Davis throws London into the pile to break the cover. Another double-team from the VeloCities is stopped by Davis, who held onto London’s ankle from the floor, allowing Kyle to pull de Silva down into a Grimstone. London’s legal, but gets met with a kick in the corner before an avalanche Coriolis planted Jude in the middle of the ring… and that… was… that. Well, I went full five on FTR/Briscoes, and this one may well have been better. I’m not breaking scales, but if there’s a better match this year – tag or otherwise – then it’s got quite the way to go to top this. *****
Michael Oku vs. Minoru Suzuki
Now for something completely different – as double duty Oku took on a fresh Minoru Suzuki. A Minoru Suzuki whose return to the UK for the first time since December 2019 suddenly wasn’t for a shot at the Undisputed British Heavyweight title that he used to hold…
Cue (almost) 1200 people singing Kaze Ni Nare, and some duelling crowds. Needless to say, Oku’s Cruiserweight title isn’t on the line here, as he played up the “Suzuki’s gonna kill you” chants at the bell. Suzuki goes for the arm early, but Oku’s front facelock is broken as Suzuki went for Oku’s fingers before yanking the arm down. A side headlock from Suzuki’s taken into the ropes for a break, but Suzuki doesn’t back down from a shoving match as Suzuki joined in with the crowd’s chants. Oku responds by taking down Suzuki for a half crab, but it’s countered into a heel hook that Oku quickly backed out of.
Oku offers a knuckle lock, but he toys around with Suzuki… who just slapped the taste out of his mouth. There’s a response as Oku threw a chop, then found out with Suzuki’s reply that he had, indeed, effed up. Suzuki offers himself up for Oku as they keep trading, even if Suzuki barely registered Oku’s chops at first, before he baited Oku intot he hanging armbar.
Oku manages to pull out and counter into a half crab in the ropes, letting go so he could drop Suzuki to the floor as Oku began to target that right leg. Wrapping the leg around the guard rails, Oku kicks away some more before they return to the ring. Chops from Suzuki earn him a dropkick to the leg, then some kicks to that leg as Oku ends up taking away the former champion’s base.
Suzuki looked to fight back to his feet, offering himself to more shots from Oku as he went. A low dropkick keeps Suzuki down, before a snapmare and a PK blasted Oku for a two-count. Working over Oku’s wrist keeps Suzuki in control as he moved into a double wristlock, then stomped it behind Oku’s back. Another stomp, this time to the elbow, followed once Suzuki had quietened down the crowd, before some kicks to the head woke Oku up.
Oku trades some elbows, which just played into Suzuki’s game as we eventually got the CLONKER that took Oku down to his knees. Recovering, Oku tries more elbow strikes, but another CLONKER doubled him over… only for him to fire back again and again. Another massive elbow staggers Oku, who replied with one of his own before a change of tack led to the misdirection knee.
It doesn’t knock Suzuki down, so Oku hits it again, which is good for a near-fall as the upset nearly came off. Suzuki pushes off a half crab, but had to kick out as Oku returned with a jack-knife cover… it’s kicked out of as Suzuki looked to roll Oku up for a Gotch-style piledriver, only to get met with a Dragon screw.
Oku goes back to the half crab from there, finally applying it, only for Suzuki to crawl to the ropes to force the break. A dropkick to the leg from Oku has Suzuki back down, which led to a trip up top for a frog splash… but he took too long as Suzuki easily got the knees up to block it. Damage be damned.
Suzuki gets back to his feet as they exchange elbows once more, before a running dropkick from Suzuki had Oku down. From there, Suzuki slid past Oku for a rear naked choke, reapplying it when Oku slipped free, before spinning him into another elbow strike as a delayed Gotch piledriver planted Oku in the middle of the ring for the win. A hearty effort from Oku, but this was a bridge too far for him on a night where he bookended the card. ***½
Post-match, Suzuki took the mic, but opted to kick Oku out of the ring before asking Will Ospreay to take care… and then dropped a F-bomb for good measure. It looks like Suzuki’s wanting to keep his name on the list of contenders for Will Ospreay, who’s going to be a very busy soul when he’s healthy. Connor Mills came out afterwards to raise Oku’s hand, and if you’re waiting for the big blow up, well, you’re still waiting!
Since the return of live shows, Rev Pro has excelled at making their big shows feel like big shows – with the York Hall cards in particular being can’t miss affairs. This one was absolutely no exception, and while it unfortunately lost its planned main event, the rest of the line up more than delivered. Get yourself signed up to the new Rev Pro VOD platform (you’ll get that two-week trial even if you’ve recently signed up for Pivotshare), and strap yourself in for the opener and the Aussie Open/VeloCities tag.