Jamie Hayter was the latest challenger as Gisele Shaw’s Undisputed British Women’s Championship was put on the line in the latest Epic Encounters main event.
JJ Gale & Callum Newman pinned Gideon Grey & Chris Ridgeway in 15:16 (**½)
Southside Championship Tournament – Bracket B: Ricky Knight Jr. pinned Rob Lias in 13:28 (***)
Kanji submitted Bobbi Tyler in 11:31 to retain the Southside Women’s Championship (**½)
Kid Lykos II pinned Connor Mills in 11:38 (**¾)
Southside Championship Tournament – Bracket B: Screwface Ahmed pinned Joel Redman in 7:03 (***)
Jamie Hayter pinned Gisele Shaw in 12:16 to win the Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship (***½)
There’s no pre-show promo this time as we instead open with highlights of last time out, and it’s straight to the ring as Andy Quildan and Dean Ayass are on commentary. There’s a blast from the past.
JJ Gale & Callum Newman vs. The Legion (Chris Ridgeway & Gideon Grey)
We’re told that Gideon Grey got a good price for Sha Samuels… some wheeling and dealing there. Grey starts out with Gale, but Gideon’s perhaps taking the Contender lightly.
He tags in Ridgeway to sting Gale with kicks, before Gale’s attempt to ground Ridgeway ended in the ropes. Ridgeway goes for a wristlock, then worked around into a side headlock, only for Gale to shoot him into the ropes. Ridgeway avoids a dropkick and goes back to the headlock on the mat, before he punted Gale in the back ahead of a STF. Some eye rakes keep the hold on as Ridgeway transitioned from hold to hold, moving into an ankle lock. Gale manages to get free and hit a dropkick for a two-count, then whip Ridgeway into the corner as a rather questionable tag’s allowed. Newman’s corkscrew senton atomico lands for a two-count, as he then returned the toe hold, but Ridgeway slips free.
A headbutt from Ridgeway stops Newman, but the pair exchange kicks before Gideon Grey caught Newman in the ropes in mid-handspring. That allows Ridgeway to capitalise with more kicks, including a PK to the back, before Grey came in and landed a floatover suplex for another two-count. Ridgeway’s back to brutalise Newman with a hand crab and some kicks, as Grey returned for some more stomps. Grey’s short-range clothesline drops Newman, as did a spin-out suplex, but Newman’s up at two as the Legion continued to dominate. Double-team stomps follow before Newman slipped under a Grey clothesline, then tripped him ahead of a standing moonsault knee drop… giving him time to make the tag out to Gale, who cleared the apron before going after Grey.
Gale’s diving uppercut off the ropes takes down Grey, before Newman’s diving knee leaves Gideon down. Newman picks him up and puts him in the ropes for a slingshot knee drop… but Newman looked to hurt himself in doing so before Gale came in with a roll-through into a Falcon arrow for a near-fall, as Ridgeway shoved Newman into the pin to break it up. Ridgeway’s back, but his PK misses as Gale ducks, before a German suplex was blocked in the ropes. More kicks break that grip as a rebound German suplex almost puts Gale away… and while Gale tries to fight back with right hands, he’s dropped by Ridgeway once more before a front suplex and a superkick from Gale bought him some time.
Gale doesn’t go for a tag out, but instead went for a springboard cutter. He’s caught in the midsection in mid-air, then punted by Ridgeway as Grey returned to pick up the pieces… but he wandered into a roll-up as JJ Gale snatched the upset! A decent, if not long opener, with the defacto “contenders” pairing pulling off the unlikeliest of wins. **½
Post-match, Andy Quildan’s pulling a Paul Heyman (or a modern-day Scott D’Amore), coming in with the headset on… Gale wants any challengers, while Gideon offered a singles match with Ridgeway and Gale, along with a few choice swear words.
Southside Championship Tournament – Bracket B: Rob Lias vs. Ricky Knight Jr.
On paper, you’d have to expect RKJ goes through in this sudden death outing…
From the opening lock-up, Lias takes down RKJ… but Knight reverses the wristlock, then has it reversed back on him. Knight’s roll-up gets a two-count, as he went to the mat, exchanging front facelocks with Lias. A side headlock’s pushed off, but RKJ returns with a shoulder tackle before he slide under Lias… catching him ahead of a dropkick. Lias heads outside and wanders into the entry way… he drew out RKJ and sweeps him onto the apron before posting the former Speed King champion. A slam leaves Knight on the floor as commentary talked about the Iron Fist final for the title – that’s a 30 minute Iron Man match that can end decisively in a KO if you go down that road.
Stomps from Lias keep RKJ in the corner, before a diving kick took Knight down for a two-count. Some eye raking on the ropes lead to RKJ lifting Lias onto the apron, but a clothesline knocks Knight down… he’s back to catch a sling shot, then drill Lias into the corner with a death valley driver. A dropkick keeps Lias in the corner, as does a low one, before RKJ took to the ropes ahead of a diving European uppercut for a near-fall. Lias tries his luck with a roll-up, but Knight kicks out and hits a big boot ahead of another two-count. A leap off the top rope’s booted away by Lias, as both men were left laying momentarily. They trade right hands as they get back to their feet, then elbows, as the tit-for-tat continued until a springboard uppercut from Knight almost led to the win.
Knight tries to pick up Lias, but it’s blocked as Lias comes back with a Cloverleaf, but Knight’s able to claw his way to the ropes. Lias keeps going with a knee strike, then a TKO/facebuster, but Knight’s up at two and builds anew with a shotgun dropkick, before a springboard moonsault gets him a near-fall. A sitout powerbomb gets a similar result for Knight, who got slapped… and just drills Lias with a Fire Thunder driver for the win. Lias tried to beg for mercy, took the piss, and paid for it. A good showing from both men, as RKJ goes on to face Redman or Ahmed in the block B semi-finals. ***
Post-match, RKJ says he’s still on track in his mind to beat Will Ospreay – but he’ll go through as many people as it needs to to get there.
Southside Women’s Championship: Bobbi Tyler vs. Kanji (c)
I’m guessing to avoid confusion with the “Queen of the Ring” tournament Rev Pro’s done in the past, they’ve renamed the Queen of Southside title here. Kanji’s held the title for over 18 months, having beaten Shanna for it in July 2019 – but save for the Charles Crowley jaunt, she’s not wrestled since October 2019 after breaking her wrist.
Tyler goes after Kanji’s arm from the off, but Kanji flips free and traps Tyler in a chinlock, taking her to the mat. Tyler slips out and applies her own chinlock, before she clung onto a side headlock. They take it back to the mat as Kanji’s escape just had her charged down, but she rolled past Tyler and sweeps the leg as she took the upper hand once more. A baseball slide trips Tyler as a step-up legdrop gets Kanji a two-count, but Kanji misses a charge into the corner as Bobbi stepped aside. Tyler rolls Kanji back down for a chinbar, as the challenger kept Kanji under her foot. Right hands from Kanji offered hope, but Tyler trips her with a dropdown, then hit a single leg dropkick for a two-count.
Kanji tries to charge back, but she misses and gets sent onto the apron… then kicked off of it as Tyler then distracted the referee with her golf club, allowing Zoe Lucas to post Kanji. Back inside, Tyler charges at Kanji with an elbow, before some elbows set up for a roll through into a Stretch Muffler-like toe hold. Tyler tries to follow up, but she’s caught with an O’Connor roll for a near-fall, before she kicked Tyler down… a springboard forearm clips Tyler, before a splash in the corner and a 619 had Bobbi on the ropes. From there, Kanji crucifixes Tyler into an armbar, but the triangle armbar’s blocked and ends up the ropes.
Kanji goes for another springboard, but Tyler pulls her down into a Blue Thunder bomb for a near-fall. The pair trade some more back-and-forth strikes until Tyler hits a clothesline into a rebound Flatliner in the ropes for a near-fall. Tyler goes back up top and nails a crossbody for a near-fall, then from the kick out goes for a package piledriver… but Kanji escapes and unleashes with some kicks before the triangle armbar forces a sudden stoppage. This was largely fine – with some exchanges perhaps not being as smooth as you’d expect, but that’s what a long lay-off can do. **½
Post-match, Zoe Lucas snatches Kanji’s belt… but her bid to lay out Kanji was stopped by… Aleah James? How old is this footage? They tease Aleah as a future contender, before Tyler and Lucas attack… Zoe escapes with the belt, as I guess that’s the next match.
Kid Lykos II vs. Connor Mills
Mills charges at Lykos II at the bell, cornering him with right hands, but Lykos escapes and hits a dropkick that barely gets a one-count.
Lykos II calls for a brainbuster, but Mills escapes and switches a tonne of waistlocks before a diving European uppercut to the back left the newcomer down. A shoulder tackle from Mills doesn’t move Lykos, but a second one does, and a third. Lykos II falls by Michael Oku, and manages to dupe the referee into thinking Oku’d tripped him… and Oku gets thrown out for that. A roll-up from Lykos gets a two-count, before Lykos I distracts Mills on the apron. It doesn’t work as Mills hits a springboard uppercut off the top. Lykos II rolls under the ring as Connor Mills goes after the original Lykos… Lykos II pops up on the other side eventually, then charges Mills into the ropes for a tiltawhirl DDT as Mills was stuck in the ropes.
That gets Lykos II a two-count, before some stomps set up Lykos II for… a drink? It distracts the ref as Lykos I chokes Mills in the corner, as we don’t get the old Lykos “pissing with the water bottle” spot. Lykos II keeps going with a back elbow for a two-count as Andy Q brings up Lykos II’s transformation from Joe Nelson as part of the Schadenfreude & Friends shows. A big back body drop from Mills propels Lykos II into the air, but Lykos II is back with a discus elbow and a dropkick into the corner. Mills tries to respond, but is spun down with a diving kick for a near-fall, before another brainbuster was escaped. Mills fights back with a front kick in the corner, then a Quebrada for a near-fall.
The pair trade elbows as they fight to their feet, where Lykos’ leaping knee rebounds Mills into the ropes… a second one of those led to a rebound lariat from Mills, before an ugly reverse ‘rana from Lykos dumped Connor. Mills again tries to fight back, but he’s caught on the top rope with a Spanish Fly for a near-fall, before a third attempt at the brainbuster was turned into a Millshot. From there, Mills tries to go for a Burning Cutter, but Lykos II drops onto the apron and saves himself. Lykos II heads under the ring again, forcing Mills to give chase… we see a hand, but it’s original Lykos, who punts Mills low, then cracks him with a baking tray behind the ref’s back, before a brainbuster from Lykos II gets the win. The finish won’t please everyone, but I thought it was an inventive way to (re) establish Lykos I as more than just a body at ringside. **¾
Post-match, Lykos I mocks Oku as the “paperweight” champion, then issued a challenge for Lykos II to go for the title.
Southside Championship Tournament – Bracket B: Joel Redman vs. Screwface Ahmed
Redman eliminated Ahmed from bracket A two shows ago – and now the latest member of the Legion can get his revenge.
We start off with Redman lifting Screwface onto the apron, quickly bringing him back in with a superplex… but Screwface rolls outside to avoid an early pin. He trips Redman from the floor, before Redman returned the favour back inside the ring. Ahmed kicks him away, but gets taken into the corner before returning with a suplex for a two-count. A slam and a sit-down splash from Ahmed gets him another two-count, but Redman capitalises on some hesitation, rolling up Ahmed for a two-count. Screwface quickly returns with a big boot, then some ground and pound on Redman, as Gideon Grey came out and tried to choke Redman… but the former Rev Pro tag champion brushes him off.
Screwface stays on top of Redman, hitting a Pedigree for a two-count, before he went up top and misses a swandive headbutt. Redman leaps back in with some right hands, then tried to hook Screwface in a backslide… but Screwface blocks before a snap powerbomb left Ahmed down. Redman goes back up top for the Bomb Scare knee, landing it flush for a near-fall. Out of nowhere, Screwface comes back with a discus clothesline off the ropes, leading to Andy Quildan blowing some speakers as Ahmed almost nicked the win. In response, Redman lands a tombstone, but Gideon Grey puts Ahmed’s foot on the rope to save the match, before Ahmed returned by Rolling the Dice for the win. They kept this brief, and it was pretty good for it – Screwface faces RKJ in the block B semi-final, putting him three wins from the Southside title. ***
Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship: Jamie Hayter vs. Gisele Shaw (c)
A rematch from the first behind-closed-doors Epic Encounters, and we start off fast as Hayter looked for a suplex, but ended up having to avoid getting tripped up by Shaw.
They change tactic and go to a lock-up, before Shaw’s drop down led to Hayter trying a back senton… but that misses, as does a flip legdrop from Shaw, as they tried to hit a big move early on. After a reset, Shaw grabs a side headlock, then charged Hayter down with a shoulder tackle before a leg sweep and a flip senton landed for a two-count. Uppercuts from Shaw keep Hayter in the corner, but the challenger recovers and uses a boot choke to keep Shaw down. A suplex takes the champion out of the corner, before a slam led to a one-count as Hayter looked to control things. There’s a front facelock from Hayter, but Shaw fights out of the hold, before an axe kick left Shaw on her knees.
Shaw lands an elbow from her knees, but Hayter takes her down and had her under her boot for some more kicks. A sleeperhold follows, which almost squeezes the title away from Shaw, but Shaw gets free and caught Hayter up top with a gamengiri, then brought her down with a superplex. Both women look to trade right hands as they fight back to their feet, but it’s Hayter who chained strikes together first, before Shaw replies with uppercuts and kicks. Shaw ducks a clothesline and turns it into Eat Defeat, before a spinebuster gets a two-count. Shaw tees up for a superkick from there, but she whiffs as Hayter then eats a spinning enziguiri for a near-fall.
Hayter counters a spear with a clothesline, then hits a sliding lariat and a back senton for a two-count. Shaw elbows out of a waistlock and hits a German suplex, then nails a springboard cutter for another two-count, before the levering armbar was countered with a roll-up for a near-fall. Shaw goes back to the armbar from the kick-out, but Hayter rolls out again and comes back with an over-the-knee brainbuster… and we have a new champion! Jamie Hayter wins the Rev Pro women’s title for a second reign after a great back-and-forth match – as Gisele Shaw loses her title one week short of the one-year anniversary. ***½
Post-match, Hayter seemed to almost mock Shaw in defeat, saying “the title’s home now.” Shaw gets a response, promising to challenge once again as they look to be making this a trilogy. But first, Gideon Grey’s out to do his best Bruce Forsyth impersonation… as Skye Smitson appeared in the ring. There’s no attack though, so no Bruce-y bonus there, as we instead get a brief staredown as Smitson looks to be next in line.
Amid the highlights, they repeat that Charlie Sterling vs. Dan Moloney in block A, and Screwface Ahmed vs. Ricky Knight Jr. is the block B semi-final. There’s no date set for Epic Encounters Nine, by the way, so they’ll be back when they’re back… A solid show from Rev Pro, as they continued the “runners up” bracket – but we’re now within sight of the Southside tournament final, with both blocks finals now set. The main event was easily match of the night, and sets up for the rubber match down the line between Shaw and Hayter.