Michael Oku challenged Will Ospreay for the British Heavyweight title at York Hall as Rev Pro produced a hot Saturday night’s wrestling in London.
Alex Coughlin defeats Gideon Grey via referee stoppage in 1:43 (NR)
Shota Umino pinned Yota Tsuji in 16:30 (***¼)
Dan Moloney defeats Callum Newman in 13:30 (***¼)
Alex Windsor pinned Charli Evans in 13:12 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship (***½)
Ricky Knight Jr. pinned Luke Jacobs in 22:02 (***¾)
Gabriel Kidd pinned Francesco Akira in 14:45 (****½)
Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper pinned Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher in 26:42 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Tag Team Championship (****)
Will Ospreay pinned Michael Oku in 41:10 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship (****¾)
We’re back at York Hall for the first time in 2022, but we’re interrupted by Gideon Grey. Andy Quildan and Stephanie Chase are on commentary… Gideon wanted to show Yota Tsuji a killer instinct, and had an open challenge that he expected to be answered by Joshua James or David Francisco…
Gideon Grey vs. Alex Coughlin
…instead it was answered by the arrival of Alex Coughlin, who’s on a brief excursion to Rev Pro.
Grey tries for a cane shot to start, but ends up getting thrown across the ring in an overhead belly-to-belly before the bell. A gutwrench suplex chucks Gideon again, but he’s able to come back with an uppercut and a headlock takedown ahead of a submission attempt… but Coughlin just powerbombs his way free.
Coughlin scoops up Grey for a deadlift gorilla press slam from there, changing it to a fallaway slam before a rear naked choke forced the stoppage. An impactful return to Rev Pro for Coughlin, as Gideon’s night started poorly.
Yota Tsuji vs. Shota Umino
Tsuji was accompanied by Lucian Phillips as Gideon had been carried away…
We eventually open with a handshake, as Tsuji took Umino to the ropes for a clean break, before the pair trade shoulder blocks, then forearms, ahead of a low dropkick from Umino. A slingshot DDT from Umino followed for a two-count, as Phillips then tripped Umino in the ropes… which led to a distraction that Tsuji capitalised on with almost an Eat Defeat.
Umino’s taken outside as the pair brawl around ringside, with Tsuji throwing some chops before he began to toy with Shota back in the ring… at least until a diving uppercut from Shota created an opening. Shota pulls ahead with more uppercuts, then a running seated dropkick and a Fisherman suplex for a near-fall, before a back body drop threw Umino to the mat.
An arm whip from Tsuji, then a curb stomp, has Shota back outside for a dive, before a teased Vertebreaker was blocked by Umino. A slap gets him free of Tsuji, as Phillips sides in Gideon Grey’s cane. Tsuji grabs it, but directs it towards Phillips, knocking him off the apron, as Shota and Yota went back to trading elbows.
Tsuji’s boot gets caught as he gets caught with a pop-up knee, but shrugged it off for some superkicks… only to run into a dropkick. A lariat wipes out Umino as both men were left laying. Tsuji picks up with a wheelbarrow slam for a near-fall, but another dropkick stopped him ahead of a running Diamond Dust from Umino for a two-count. A head kick stopped a Death Rider as Tsuji took things up top, but his superplex is countered into an avalanche slam for a near-fall as again Tsuji was left holding his head and neck.
So of course, Shota goes back to that as he tries for another Death Rider, but the referee stopped it to check on Tsuji. The match isn’t stopped, so Umino spikes Tsuji with that spinning neckbreaker, before a Death Rider finally ended it. The Legion’s bid to take out Umino backfires, but Tsuji came pretty close without having to lean into any of the Legion’s devious tactics. ***¼
At the end of the match, Gideon Grey (seemingly after having had some smelling salts) joined commentary, chasing away Steph…
Dan Moloney vs. Callum Newman
Newman’s involvement with Moloney at the 229 earlier in the month led to him replacing Robbie X, who was out with injury.
Newman surprises Moloney, taking him outside for a dive, then a Sasuke special as things stayed on the outside. Eventually Moloney caught Newman off the apron and swung him into the guard rails, before Newman was thrown into the crowd… only for him to return with a vaulting headscissors over the rails and back towards ringside.
The pair head towards the stage as Newman dove onto Moloney as he tried to bail, and then we’re back to ringside as Newman got himself posted… which bought Moloney enough time to do a pose-down as Newman recovered. Back inside, Callum takes a snap suplex for a two-count, before some chops led to more two-counts for Moloney.
Arguing with the ref created a brief opening for Newman, but he’s quickly dumped with another clothesline, then a dropkick, before Newman took Moloney into the ropes for an over-the-top 619 and a slingshot double knee drop back in. A springboard European uppercut gets Callum another two-count, while a satellite DDT nearly made Dan a part of the mat.
Moloney’s trash talking earned him a headbutt, but he fought back with chops, shrugging off Newman’s responses before he got punched out. A hook kick from Newman and a swinging Fireman’s Carry Flatliner nearly gets the upset. Newman’s attempt at a leap off the top was aborted as he ends up getting caught with a spear… Newman escapes a Drilla, but then got caught up top as Moloney teased an avalanche Drilla, but again Newman armdrags free.
Newman misses shooting star knees, as Moloney rolled up Newman for a Vertebreaker… and then finally a Drilla as Moloney got the win. The early crowd brawling perhaps felt odd, but fit in with Newman’s early “stick and move” tactics – in the end though, Moloney had more in him and was able to leave with the win. ***¼
Post-match, Moloney hits a second Drilla, spiking JJ Gale… then bopped the mic as he took aim at the crowd. It felt a little like when Ned Flanders blew his top at the village of Springfield with all of the “I don’t like you” stuff… then called out Andy Quildan and told him to “see what’s really going on around here.”
Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship: Charli Evans vs. Alex Windsor (c)
Evans made her return to Rev Pro at the start of the month, and was granted this shot by Alex Windsor on her return from injury.
The opening lock-up sees Evans take Windsor to the ropes, before forearms led to a shoulder tackle from Windsor. Charli responds with face-washing boots after pulling Windsor to the corner, before Windsor threw Evans back into the buckles.
Boots in the corner keep Windsor ahead, as did a bow-and-arrow hold, before Evans chucked Windsor with a snap T-bone suplex for a two-count. A roll-through into a knee strike keeps Charli ahead, as a Fisherman suplex leads to a two-count, before some chops were avoided by Windsor, who took things back to the corner.
A leaping clothesline from Windsor pulls her ahead, as did a knee strike, but Evans was able to find a way back in with a superplex. We reset with an exchange of elbows, but it’s Evans who lands what looked like the killer shot, which Windsor shrugged off as the pair looked to one-up each other with German suplexes and headbutts.
Evans nicks ahead again with a hanging neckbreaker through the ropes, then a Magic Screw for a near-fall, before another running knee nearly took Windsor’s head off. Another German suplex followed for a near-fall, before a tornado DDT from Windsor gave her an opening… setting up for a Coast to Coast on Evans, who manages to respond with a Saito suplex as she tried to force a stoppage… but Windsor manages to return with a pop-up powerbomb and a Michinoku driver as the back-and-forth finally ended. This was hard-fought – and with a few more hints of a stoppage because the main event here can’t have one – but it was a close shave for Windsor here. ***½
Post-match, Evans and Windsor hugged it out before a returning Debbie Keitel came through the crowd and laid out Windsor with a Stroke. Evans tried to make a save, but ends up taking a knee strike before she took the mic and mocked “best friends pro wrestling” because of that handshake. Keitel noted she had to fly herself here to get some face-time with management, then bragged about having sent Hyan packing back in September…
Keitel claimed she only lost to Alex Windsor last year because she’d taken a few shots to the head… and “if I can’t remember, then it never happened.” Comparing how Rev Pro “covered Windsor in cotton wool” to her situation, Keitel then called out anyone to face her… which led to the return of Hyan, who eventually speared Keitel and sent her packing.
Luke Jacobs vs. Ricky Knight Jr.
Dubbed as the “fight for the future” in the build-up, this was a match that RKJ had asked for just after Christmas… back when he’d held half of the tag titles.
We’ve a tentative start that gave way to the pair trading wristlocks, then shoulder blocks before a boot from Jacobs earned him a big dropkick from RKJ. After a brief trip outside, RKJ hauls up Jacobs for a stalling suplex, following up with chops in the ropes… which Jacobs demanded more of as he held himself up in the ropes.
A standing moonsault lands next, but Jacobs returns fire with a suplex of his own, then a spinebuster, before RKJ offered up another exchange of elbows. Knight’s corner death valley driver plants Jacobs, leading to a low dropkick and one through the ropes, before a draping DDT was blocked by Jacobs.
Things head outside as Jacobs went for a baseball slide… but he’s caught as Knight dumped him with a draping DDT from the apron to the floor. Back inside, a swinging side slam lands for a near-fall, before an attempt at the Fire Thunder Driver was slipped out of as Jacobs hits some rolling German suplexes.
A missed lariat allowed RKJ in with a powerbomb, sending Jacobs rolling to the outside as the pair proceeded to fight on the apron… leading to Jacobs just charging RKJ into the ring post before Knight countered by powerbombing him onto the wooden walkway with quite a sickening thud.
Jacobs recovers and manages to drop RKJ back-first across the guard rails, then posted him as the rapid comeback seemed to be on. Stomps from Jacobs keep him ahead, at least until he took a hook kick and a clothesline from Knight. The Fire Thunder Driver’s again escaped as Jacobs’ lands a superkick and a clothesline of his own as we go back to the trading of elbows.
Rapid-fire elbows from RKJ looked to end Jacobs as the back-and-forth resumed, leading to an Angle Slam from Knight for a near-fall, before Knight’s trip up top led to a fall to the floor. Jacobs tries to capitalise with a tombstone, but RKJ’s up at two as he took a Saito suplex for another near-fall…
Knight’s suplex forces him back in it, as did an elevated DDT, but a Figure Four from Jacobs keeps things even… until Knight rolled the hold over to force Jacobs to separate. Keeping wrist control, Jacobs throws some chops, before Knight broke free for one of his own, only to run into a sit-out powerbomb, then a lariat for some more near-falls. A moonsault looks to follow, but Jacobs crashed and burned… allowing RKJ to hit a wrist-clutch Made in Japan for a near-fall.
From there, a Fire Thunder Driver is again escaped as Jacobs tries clotheslines, only to eat a Rainmaker and the Fire Thunder Driver as Jacobs became part of the mat briefly for the pin. This perhaps could have done with being a little shorter, but make no mistake this was a cracker of a match as Jacobs continues to establish himself as a singles wrestler here – but also continued to heat up RKJ for an eventual title push. ***¾
Francesco Akira vs. Gabriel Kidd
Strap in folks, this one was a thriller live… as we had a battle between two guys who spent the start of the pandemic in Japan. All Japan vs. New Japan… here we go!
Kidd shoots out of the damned blocks with slaps as he took Akira into the corner before he just FLUNG him with a Saito suplex. Damn Gabe… That early flurry gets a two-count as Akira had to fight back with a superkick and a palm strike of his own to take Kidd outside. An Asai moonsault followed from Akira, before he put Kidd in a chair and sent him through the rails with a shotgun dropkick.
They head up the walkway as Kidd ends up striking Akira, then cleared the fans sitting by the aisle as he ended up hitting an Exploder onto the ramp. Ow. Returning to the ring, Kidd gets a two-count, so he leaps up for a back senton as Kidd was enjoying himself on his York Hall return. A low dropkick from Kidd ends up cracking Akira in the side of the head, prompting the Italian to fire away on Kidd, only to get lifted to the top rope as he’s knocked down to the floor.
Akira just about beats the count as he came in with almost a Ricola bomb to buy him some time. Kidd gets back up with some chops as he started to tenderise the “junior’s” chest, in spite of Akira’s attempts to stop him with forearms. A big right hand knocks Kidd into the corner, as he ends up having to shake things off before we went back to elbows.
Double sledges continue to light up Akira’s chest as Kidd went from front to back, but that just fires up Akira some more as Kidd offered himself up. Another double hander has Akira into the ropes, while some right hands led to a half-and-half suplex from Akira… then a shotgun dropkick and running knees to Kidd in the corner,
An elevated German suplex nearly wins it for Akira, but a swift lariat from Kidd gets him back in it, ahead of a sheer drop brainbuster. It’s still not enough though, so Kidd switches to a spinning tombstone, and that’s all folks. An instant classic of a sprint that will have a lot of comparisons to big time matches in New Japan, but it’s crystal clear that this Gabriel Kidd is a far cry from the one of just three years ago. Akira more than held his own, and gave plenty in defeat, but this was always going to be a struggle for him. If you love Gabe’s match with Eddie Kingston on New Japan Strong, then this is going to be right up your alley! ****½
Rev Pro Undisputed British Tag Team Championship: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. Sunshine Machine (Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper) (c)
This one was requested by TK and Mambo after the beatdown they got before Christmas from the former tag champions… and subsequent attacks that led to them getting banished from the company over the holidays.
TK and Mambo jump the Aussies before the bell as all hell breaks loose around ringside, which looked to lead to the Aussies walking out… but they’re chased onto the dark stage as they fought for a suplex, before Mambo climbed onto TK’s back for the circus trick that ended with Mambo diving onto Fletcher and Davis.
Heading back to the ring, Mambo gets a near-fall before he hit the springboard armdrag to Fletcher, who then ate the Combo Meal elbow drop/reverse DDT. Davis manages to tag in as the challengers hit a back senton on Mambo for a two-count, then a snap bodyslam… before another chucked Mambo into the corner.
A fightback from Mambo ended with Fletcher pulling TK off the apron as the Aussies continued to bound ahead. Another snap slam, this time from Fletcher dumps Mambo, as he’s kept in the corner before a springboard back elbow from Mambo bought him time to tag in TK Cooper… who’s instantly decked for a near-fall as Davis just picked up where he left off.
Cooper’s rolled into a Boston crab, then a STF, before Fletcher came in for more slams as the Aussies looked comfortable. A roll-up gets TK a two-count out of nothing, but he’s quickly dropped again with another clothesline before Davis wiped Mambo off the apron… that leaves TK prone again as he’s taken outside and lawn-darted into the ring post by Kyle. Back inside, TK keeps fighting for freedom, knocking Davis off the apron before finally making that tag out to Mambo.
A spinning back elbow from Mambo has Fletcher down, while headscissors take Davis outside ahead of a Blockbuster to Kyle for a near-fall. Palm strikes from Mambo earned him a single, more violent one from Davis, before another chop had Mambo down once more. Davis keeps hold of the wrist as he controlled Mambo, only to get winded by a rib shot… which he quickly shrugs off as he lariat’d Mambo in the back of the head.
Kyle’s back for the double-team Alabama Slam/sit-out powerbomb, as Mambo looked to be reduced to running on fumes. A back elbow from Davis lands, but Mambo quickly returned for a superkick, only to get buckle-bomb’d in response. Mambo’s back cracker countered an Alphamare Waterslide attempt, as TK tagged in and traded with Fletcher… only to get suplexed into the corner. A belly-to-belly from TK fires him back for a two-count, before a Reef Break from Mambo, then a frog splash nearly ended things.
Dualling dives to the outside from TK and Mambo push them further ahead as a 450 splash from TK drew a two-count as all four men traded in the middle of the ring. Boots knock down the champions, but TK shrugs it off because… and being Samoan means that he gets a few more shots to the head, leading to almost a Torpedo Moscau from TK that left everyone laying.
Another attempted double-team from the champions ends when Kyle lawn-darted Mambo into TK, sparking another flurry from the challengers… until Mambo countered a Coriolis into a Destroyer. A roll-up nearly puts Davis away… while a retaliatory piledriver from Davis, a Fletcher tombstone, and that double-team crucifix slam almost forces the win.
Davis throws in the tag title belts to be used as weapons, but the belt shot misses as TK and Mambo end up grabbing them… leading to referee Chris Hatch turning his back so they could superkick the belts into the Aussies. The Designated Driver follows on Davis, then a shooting star press to Kyle… but Davis pulls out the referee to keep things alive.
Things heat up some more as TK’s powerbombed onto the edge of the ring, while Fletcher low blowed Mambo behind the ref’s back. A sliding punch from Davis leads to the Coriolis, but TK makes the save to keep the match alive, but the danger quickly returns as Mambo had to fight out of an avalanche Coriolis… doing so as TK returned to lift Davis into a torture rack, which Mambo leapt off of as he crumbled Kyle with a Destroyer. Captain Midnight’s Revenge followed on Davis, with the gutbuster proving to be just the job as the champions retained in hard-fought fashion. ****
They play the slickly-produced Robyn Goding hype video ahead of this…
29.01.2022 | York Hall
Ospreay Vs Oku
Revolution Pro Wrestling
— ᵂⁱˡˡ ᴼˢᵖʳᵉᵃʸ • ウィル・オスプレイ (@WillOspreay) January 27, 2022
Rev Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Michael Oku vs. Will Ospreay (c)
We had some main-event entrances here, with Oku getting a rejigged version of his Mikey Rukus-produced theme, while Ospreay’s entrance video had strong echoes of his WrestleKingdom intro, rattling through his in-ring achievements. Part of the build to this was that Ospreay had bought front row tickets for Oku’s girlfriend and family, which you know will come into play here…
York Hall had a big fight feel live for this, with a molten atmosphere just for the entrances. At the bell, Ospreay takes Oku to the ropes for a clean break… Oku swung for him after being patronised, but gets caught in a side headlock amid some dualling chants. A push-off from Oku sees him downed with a shoulder tackle, but he returned with armdrags and some pop-up headscissors.
Chops in the ropes from Oku lead to him getting taken up top, as he gets dropped across the ropes ahead of a back suplex as the cruiserweight champion was bounced down for a two-count. Forearms from Ospreay help him take Oku to the corner for more chops as he continued to dictate the pace.
Ospreay sidesteps a missile dropkick attempt, as Oku finds a way in with a satellite DDT as the pair began to trade blows, leading to an Oku dropkick and a back cracker… then a springboard moonsault that landed for a two-count. Ospreay’s taken outside as Oku warmed up the crowd for a Fosbury flop, but Ospreay evades it and instead met Oku on the apron as he eventually clotheslined him back into the ring.
A springboard forearm back inside gets Ospreay a near-fall, as a spinning backbreaker kept Oku spinning after the impact for a similar result. Oku’s elbowed as he went for a German suplex, before a wall-flip enziguiri kept the defending champion Ospreay ahead, before a handspring attempt was met with a reverse ‘rana from Oku. Heading up top, Oku’s stopped by Ospreay’s headbutt, but manages to avoid anything more as he got down and dropkicked Ospreay on the top rope.
Oku returns up top for a top rope ‘rana attempt, but Ospreay’s block ends up earning him a propelled ‘rana for a near-fall. A Fosbury flop followed to the outside after that, but a springboard back in is recovered as a flip ‘rana from Oku got him even closer. A trip up top from Oku ends with him taking an ugly fall as Ospreay shoved him into the timekeeper’s desk… and this being British wrestling, of course it didn’t break, as the lighting structure moved more than the table.
With Oku having asked for no stoppages in this one, the match must continue… so Ospreay pulled Oku back towards the ring, punching him in the head to draw some blood. Kicks blast past Oku’s head, but Oku responds with a flurry of elbows, only to get spun around for a hook kick. A trip to the corner for a Cheeky Nando’s followed, then another as Oku eventually fell to the floor.
Of course, Ospreay followed outside and got into it with Amira Blair – Oku’s girlfriend – who’d been getting progressively animated at ringside (as you’d expect)… and threw her drink at Ospreay after he’d blown her a kiss. The touchpaper’s lit and things threatened to really blow up as Ospreay pulled her through the crowd rails, before Oku’s shotgun dropkick sent Ospreay careening into the railings.
Going back to the ring, Oku’s draped across the ropes, but recovered with a springboard enziguiri on the top rope that sent Ospreay down and into the crowd, as the guard rails scattered… just so much for Oku to take to the top rope and dive into Ospreay with a froggy crossbody. Back into the ring again, Oku leaps with a knee drop to the back of Ospreay’s bent knee as a set-up for a half crab, opting to throw in some grounded Dragon screws to help his case first.
Ospreay manages to dive into the rope to force the break, but a Dragon screw through the ropes sets up for a reverse ‘rana attempt from Oku… but Ospreay slips out and hits an Oscutter onto the edge of the ring. Oku narrowly beats the count-out, but swiftly put into his own half crab, almost a half-a-Lion Tamer, as the ropes again save the day.
Ospreay picks up Oku for the Chelsea Grin, which set up for a Hidden Blade… but Oku ducks it, only to run into a one-man Spanish Fly for a near-fall. Oku blocks a Storm Breaker and returns with a tombstone as we get the Okada pose for the heck of it, just as Ospreay sat up… countering a second Rainmaker into a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall. Another OsCutter lands but Oku kicks out as the crowd continued to get behind Oku… while a Hidden Blade still couldn’t finish it off.
Another Hidden Blade’s teed up, but Oku rolls him through into a half crab… reapplying his grip in the middle of the ring before he countered Ospreay’s escape into a Styles Clash. The half crab’s reapplied as York Hall anticipated a tap… but Ospreay got to the ropes, and that looked to be Oku’s last hope.
The pair trade inside cradles for two counts as Oku took Ospreay to his knees for a diving knee to the back of the head… a frog splash looked to follow, but Ospreay rolled away and instantly struck back with a Hidden Blade. A second one to the face followed, but Oku peeled a shoulder off the mat to save the match. One more Hidden Blade follows, but Ospreay pulls Oku off the mat so he could dish out another… then another… then another… which prompted Connor Mills to pop up onto the apron to tease throwing in the towel.
Amira Blair comes from the crowd, as Oku begged Mills not to throw the towel. He didn’t… Ospreay blows another kiss to Blair as one more Hidden Blade was again pulled up. Blair grabbed the towel and throws it in… except… no stoppages. So Ospreay wipes Oku’s blood onto the towel and threw it back at her, before a Storm Breaker planted Oku for the pin. At over forty minutes, this was an epic, but unlike prior “big time matches” this one didn’t feel like it dug stupidly deep into the box of tricks – I mean, we didn’t have Benny Hill chases or boxing poses! The match won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but as far as the execution of the story – Oku wanting one more shot, baiting Ospreay into it, then hanging with a more violent Ospreay only to lose at the last hurdle… this was excellent. ****¾
After the match, Amira Blair lashed out at Ospreay some more, as medics tended to Oku… before the night ended with Ospreay laying down the two Rev Pro title belts… and reveal a velvet bag that had a massive new title belt inside it, which looks to be replacing the pair of belts that he’d been carrying around since beating Ricky Knight Jr. last year.
Closing out the show with a hattrick of home runs, Rev Pro are keeping pace at the top of the food chain in the British scene – with their big matches coming to a head at just about the ideal moment. Who you call number one in the UK may well be down to a matter of taste right now, and while some of the match times on show here could have done with a slight shaving, bell-to-bell, at their best and on this form, Rev Pro appear untouchable.