Will Ospreay returned to the 229 to take on Connor Mills as Rev Pro closed out their year’s shows in London.
Ricky Knight Jr. pinned Callum Newman in 13:55 (***¼)
Lucian Phillips & Yota Tsuji pinned David Francisco & Joshua James in 14:43 (**¾)
Robbie X pinned Lee Hunter in 11:39 (***)
Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper pinned Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis in 13:21 (***½)
Michael Oku pinned Dan Moloney in 16:22 (***½)
Shota Umino pinned JJ Gale in 13:55 (***¼)
Will Ospreay pinned Connor Mills in 15:49 (***½)
We’re back at the 229 in London for the last of the monthly shows before they get rebranded to “Live in London” in 2022. Andy Quildan’s flying solo on commentary, at least for now…
Callum Newman vs. Ricky Knight Jr.
Apparently this was meant to be a tag match, but Roy Knight was still injured… so we get this singles match instead, once RKJ had gotten rid of someone’s turkey hat.
It’s a pacey start, with RKJ trying for a springboard cutter and a Fire Thunder driver early before he hauled up Mills for a stalling suplex. It’s enough for a two-count, as Newman came back with a springboard uppercut and a tope to the outside. RKJ return with a tope con giro of his own, before Newman’s Sasuke special wiped out the tag champion.
Back inside, Newman hits a standing shooting star press for a two-count as Gideon Grey dropped in. A corner death valley driver stuffs Newman, before dropkicks continued to wear out Newman ahead of an elevated DDT for a near-fall. Newman stays alive, kicking out of a sitout powerbomb, before a series of kicks just earned Callum a big clothesline.
RKJ baited Newman to fire up, but an exchange of elbows eventually woke up Newman as he began to pepper Knight with kicks. A shooting star press is next for a near-fall, before he took too long with a follow-up, allowing RKJ to pop up and bring him down with an avalanche death valley driver.
Newman escapes a Fire Thunder driver, but gets his handspring turned into a German suplex… as a Fisherman’s DDT nearly put him away. RKJ heads to the corner looking for an avalanche Fire Thunder… but Newman escapes with a reverse ‘rana, which RKJ landed on his feet from, before a spin kick, a Dragon suplex and a punt kick led to the Fire Thunder Driver as RKJ left with the win. Newman had a brief window of opportunity, but this was mightily one-sided as RKJ took home the win. ***¼
David Francisco & Joshua James vs. The Legion (Lucian Phillips & Yota Tsuji)
It’s another outing for the Contenders, and we’ve got Gideon Grey leaving commentary to do ring announcing for his charges… which now include a very reluctant Yota Tsuji.
Phillips and Francisco start us off, with a cross chop knocking Francisco back ahead of some shoulder tackles and a backbreaker. Tsuji’s tagged in, but so did Joshua James, as the Contender scored with some shoulder tackles of his own. Tsuji escapes a slam, but ended up running into it seconds later for a two-count.
Phillips returns to take over on James with strikes, as the Legion gradually took control… but Yota Tsuji wouldn’t indulge in any double-teaming, refusing to take a shot at James’ ribs. Targeting James’ ankle, Phillips leaps in with stomps, before a chinlock was broken up by James, who capitalised on Tsuji’s hesitation by sidestepping a charge that sent Phillips to the outside.
A pop-up spinebuster from James has Tsuji down, allowing Francisco to tag in as he tried a suplex on Phillips. It’s broken up with a handful of hair, but Francisco windmills away with punches into the corner instead before Phillips returned the favour with body blows. A fallaway slam from Francisco gets the Contenders an opening, which Tsuji tried to shut down as he was baited into chops.
Phillips tries to help out, but Francisco kicks him away as a back suplex/neckbreaker combo nearly put Tsuji away… as did a diving kick from Francisco, before we got back to elbows. An enziguiri from Francisco earns him a clothesline, before Tsuji went up top and teased a shooting star press… Phillips tags himself in to steal the pin, but Francisco kicks out.
A left hand knocks out Francisco as Phillips and Tsuji got into a shoving match… Tsuji aims a spear at Phillips, but instead it hits Francisco, and that’s enough for the win as the Legion got the win by hook or by crook. Tsuji’s clearly not on board, but that’s the story. **¾
Lee Hunter vs. Robbie X
Two thirds of the Dream Team collide in a match that just felt “there” on paper, at least as far as “why?”
A tentative start sees the pair look for an advantage, with the pair eventually trading pinning attempts en route to a stand-off. Robbie X downs Hunter with a hammerlock, before some headscissors led to pinning attempts and an armbar from Robbie. Armdrags keep Hunter down, but Hunter’s back suplex lands for a two-count… only for Robbie X to quickly return with a standing moonsault.
Hunter retaliates with a tree of woe and a hesitation dropkick, while a back elbow drew Hunter a two-count. A battle over a suplex ended with Robbie X blocking a small package as he overpowered Hunter into a suplex, following with a moonsault out of the corner for another two-count as the match remained finely poised.
The pair continue to switch as Robbie X blocks a reverse DDT, then scored a roll-up for a two-count as the pair traded boots and kicks from there. Another reverse DDT attempt ends with Robbie X hitting a handspring cutter… and the XClamation ends it. A perfectly fine match, but it didn’t feel like it had any juice to it. ***
Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. Sunshine Machine (Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper)
This was Aussie Open’s first outing for Rev Pro since they lost the tag titles to the Knights… and they get to work quickly, jumping Mambo and TK before the bell.
When we got going, Mark Davis tried to beat Mambo with a slam before TK took them outside for a tope. A neckbreaker followed as Mambo took out Fletcher with the Macho Man rope hang, but a quick turnaround sees Fletcher almost shut the door on Cooper with a Michinoku driver.
TK’s sunk with a Davis chop as the Aussies pulled ahead, as Cooper’s beaten into the corner… but he gets free of an attempted double team and flung Kyle with a back body drop. Davis is still around and stops Mambo from tagging in, before he came in and worked on trying to pop TK’s arm from the shoulder.
Cooper gets to the ropes to force a break as Fletcher tagged in… this time Mambo saved himself from being taken off the apron as TK finally tagged out, bringing Mambo in to try and clear house. We’ve a back elbow out of the corner to Davis, then a springboard armdrag to Fletcher as a Blockbuster nearly ended things for Mambo.
A quick turnaround sees a double team Go to Sleep and an assisted Aussie Arrow nearly put away Mambo, before Mambo found a way in with a tiltawhirl into a reverse DDT. Davis is back and takes an Exploder, before the Aussies hit back with a pair of half-and-half suplexes.
All four men are in as Mambo hits a Reefbreak to Davis, before TK’s 450 splash nearly won it… Dualling topes from TK and Mambo are caught and turned into a Super Collider on the outside, but TK shrugs it off as the front row gets a little too close to things, with TK moonsaulting off the apron for good measure.
Things head back inside as Davis escaped an Air Raid Crash and buckle bombed Mambo into TK on the corner… More double teams ensue as this becomes a tornado tag in all but name. TK’s eventually dropped with superkicks ahead of as Coriolis, but TK rolls outside as the legal Mambo countered a Coriolis into a DDT, before he cradled Fletcher for the upset! This was an odd one – it was full of action, but the finish really felt like it came out of nowhere, with TK and Mambo getting their biggest win in Rev Pro here. ***½
Post-match, Mark Davis shouted down heckles as he and Kyle put over TK and Mambo… saying that there was no shame in losing to them. Davis then retold the story of how Andy Quildan brought Aussie Open back earlier in the year, before putting over the British independent scene. This was too much of a U-turn in hindsight, and of course, it was… as Davis and Fletcher sneak attacked TK and Mambo afterwards, laying waste to them with chairs before Fletcher threw out some choice words.
They then targeted the ref, slamming Oscar Harding before stripping him of his belt… so they could whip TK and Mambo with it. Ring crew try to help, but they’re similarly laid out as TK’s hung over the ropes with the belt. Jarringly violent, and not the usual sort of thing you’d get from Rev Pro…
Dan Moloney vs. Michael Oku
This one was obviously non-title, as Michael Oku was looking to take on a heavyweight ahead of his match with Will Ospreay in the New Year…
Shoulder tackles from Moloney give him an early advantage as commentary ruminate over the opportunities both men have had… Headscissors and a dropkick from Oku take Dan outside, but Dan stays out to compose himself. Problem was, he had to defend a half crab when he got back in, but easily pushes Oku away to the outside as Moloney marched Oku around ringside and into the ring post.
Back inside, a stalling suplex and a thumbs up drops Oku, who then began to fight back… only to get wrecked with a bodyslam for a two-count. A Falcon arrow’s next for Moloney after a brief struggle for a backslide, but Oku again responds by going up top for a missile dropkick. Oku adds a DDT and a Quebrada for a near-fall, before another springboard dropkick took Moloney off the apron.
Oku followed out with the Fosbury flop, but it’s caught and turned into a tombstone on the floor. Eventually, Oku’s rolled back into the ring as Moloney picked up a two-count, before Oku retaliated with kicks. He’s flipped back to his belly as Moloney added a fantastic Ricola bomb into a death valley driver for a near-fall. Someone’s dug out their old Claudio tapes…
Moloney caught Oku up top as he went for an avalanche slam, but Oku countered into a DDT… then went up again for a frog splash for a near-fall. A half crab followed, but Moloney gets to the rope. In response, Moloney tries for a Drilla, but Oku countered with a Code Red… and there’s the win as Oku sneaks one out. Pretty good – and a match that could have gone either way given both are engaged in feuds… but it’s Oku who snuck out the win. ***½
Post-match, Robbie X ran out to attack Moloney from behind, getting a measure of revenge for York Hall…
JJ Gale vs. Shota Umino
At some point I’ve realised that JJ Gale’s song’s been loosely based on Gangnam Style, and now I can’t unhear it.
Once he’d given a kid a t-shirt, Shota makes a steady start as he took Gale down in an armbar, before a side headlock was escaped with Gale returning with an armbar of his own. We head outside with a dive from Gale, following with a senton atomico back inside as we lose the picture for a while… it’s back with Shota on top, and then the picture goes again.
Stomps from Umino go as intermittently as the picture does here, as “this wrestling show became a podcast.” It looks like one of the camera feeds was problematic to say the least, but it means that we lose a lot of Shota’s offence as we return with Gale hitting a springboard uppercut, then a double jump moonsault. So JJ stands for Jesus, Jesus now?
Gale rolls through a 450 splash as Umino came back with uppercuts of his own, leading to a Fisherman suplex for a near-fall. A Death Rider looked to follow, but Gale counters out into a Falcon arrow that gets a near-fall, before the pair began to trade forearms… with Gale firing up repeatedly ahead of a Shota uppercut.
Umino’s superkicked as he went for a discus forearm, but manages to avoid a dropkick as the pair went tit-for-tat… Gale’s senton bomb nearly wins it, before his springboard cutter was blocked as Umino returned with a pumphandle powerslam for a near-fall. Shota followed up with a running twisting facebuster, and that’s your lot as Umino managed to put away Gale in a match that was a lot more even than you’d expect. ***¼
After the match, Gideon Grey came to the ring and seemed to suggest that he wanted Shota to join the Legion… but he’s got a surprise that’ll help tempt him – a sneak attack from behind with his cane. Lucian Phillips drags out Yota Tsuji afterwards to continue the beating, but Yota won’t join in… so Phillips just hits a pop-up knee before he threw Tsuji to spear Umino with.
Connor Mills vs. Will Ospreay
Mills was out on his own for this one, while Ospreay had all his belts with him…
Ospreay shuts down some chants before the bell, then headed outside as he dipped into the Larry Zbyszko and stalled for time. When we did start, Ospreay took Mills into the ropes and threw in a cheapshot… Mills swings for Ospreay in response, and we’re back on the outside. Back inside, Ospreay’s caught with a mid kick as Mills began to catch the champion with a series of strikes, finishing with a springboard European uppercut for a two-count.
Ospreay clings to the ropes to try and block an Irish whip, eventually returning with a handspring enziguiri for a two-count. We’ve got a singalong-with-Bieber as Ospreay hits some chops, then a front facelock suplex for a two-count, before Mills’ elbows sparked a fightback that ended with a Quebrada into Ospreay, following with a rebound lariat that gets a near-fall.
A bodyslam cuts off some strikes from Ospreay, as Mills then went back up top… but he had to roll through a 450 splash as a springboard forearm turned things back around. Kawada-ish kicks left Mills in a heap, while a run-up enziguiri took Mills into the corner as Ospreay then set up for a superplex.
Mills takes Ospreay down, but Ospreay runs back in, and after a slip, wasn’t able to do much as both men exchanged headbutts then crashed off the top rope. Second time’s the charm as Mills hits that 450 splash for a near-fall, before a Dragon screw from Ospreay span Mills outside for a plancha.
A forearm to the back of the head has Mills down as Ospreay hit almost a springboard Hidden Blade… then a sitout powerbomb for a near-fall. Mills hits a quick return as he countered an OsCutter into a Tower of London, which was the cue for Michael Oku to come down and cheer on his friend.
Ospreay hits back hard with a chop as the pair trade strikes, leading to a hook kick from Ospreay and a head kick from Mills. A Stundog counters the Millshot as the pair turned up the tempo. A Hidden Blade’s avoided as Mills hits a rebound Millshot, dumping Ospreay into the ropes for the sake of it, before a Burning Cutter’s escaped.
From there, a Hidden Blade from Ospreay would have gotten the win, but he pulls up Mills for a second Hidden Blade… and that’s enough for the win. Not quite the blow-out you’d have expected given the roster placings, but the story they were telling here was Ospreay making an example of Michael Oku’s friend ahead of their match in January. ***½
After the match, Stephanie Chase interviewed Ospreay… who threw in some cheapshots before the focus shifted to that Ospreay/Oku match. We get the “little boy” reference from Ospreay to the Cruiserweight champion, before Will bust out an early Christmas present for Oku – front row tickets for York Hall for his mum and family. If only so Ospreay could see the look on Oku’s family’s face when he got beaten…
In response, Oku brought up a story about his first match that shot down Ospreay’s claim that “he always believed in him,” before comparing Ospreay to PAC as far as Oku losing the first time around to someone… and then beat them in the rematch. There’s a few digs about Ospreay’s draw with PAC and the reactions after that, along with how some said how Oku had a better match than Ospreay after the last York Hall show (ahem).
This was a decent show, even if it felt odd as the “bridge between York Hall shows,” and perhaps a little flat as a result. Still, with limited shows between the two York Hall cards, this managed to get the wheels rolling for the next big show – even if we had the unfortunate month-long delay in this hitting VOD.