With the British J Cup less than a week away, Rev Pro had the small matter of their monthly Cockpit show to pull off… and they loaded their July show up big time, with plenty of big lads, wrestling!

Max Voltage vs. Angelico
If Cagematch is right, this was Max’s first match in eight and a half years, having left wrestling to go into comedy. This was originally meant to be a three-way, with Ryan Smile dropping out (something Andy Simmonz referenced on commentary, but the actual announcement, along with the snafu with the live stream starting late because British Summer Time surprised everyone).

There’s a fair bit of delay at the start as the crowd serenade both guys, including with an under-appreciated chorus of “Danger Danger, Max Voltage!” as they worked over each other’s arms early. From there, Voltage heads for a handspring elbow, but he’s caught, and this seems to have the pace of “killing time” as both men openly pause… and of course, out comes Zack Gibson with a live mic. Of course, this being Rev Pro, there’s mic issues, so a lot of Zack’s standard issue promo’s inaudible, save for him continuing to build up his feud with Will Ospreay.

Anyway… we end up with a change to the match…

Max Voltage vs. Angelico vs. Zack Gibson
Voltage has enough of Zack’s talking and takes him out with a tope, as the Scouser’s thrown to the ring to get bounced between the two fliers. Sadly, Voltage ended his alliance as he searched for the win, as he hit a drop toe hold before blasting Angelico with an uppercut. Gibson returned to shove Angelico off the top rope and turn his attentions to Voltage, stomping away on the returnee.

Angelico keeps getting knocked off the apron by Gibson, who was getting serenaded by as many songs that the crowd could think of with the word “world” in it (or should that be “werld”?)… that did detract a little from Voltage’s comeback, as he punched back into it before hitting a handspring back elbow… before Gibson just threw him out of the ring.

That was the cue for Angelico again, and this time he actually made it into the ring, scoring with a Capoeira kick to get a near-fall. Voltage returns with a tiltawhirl DDT for another two-count on Gibson, before the two fliers combined to hit simultaneous double stomps to Gibson’s back. Zack rebounds with a Ticket to Ride, before Voltage hits a ripcord Slingblade to take the Scouser down, but Zack gets back up and works over the arm again.

A straight right hand to the arm leads him into a Ricola bomb set-up for a Helter Skelter for a near-fall, but Angelico breaks it up and knees Zack as the Scouser came off the top rope. In the end though, Voltage tried to steal the win with a springboard splash to Angelico… but Gibson pulled him off the pinfall attempt and forced a submission out of the Shankly Gates. Fun enough, but the match didn’t feel fast-paced enough for what they were trying to convey in the storylines. ***

Rev Pro British Cruiserweight Championship: David Starr vs. Josh Bodom (c)
A rematch from their non-title match in Orlando over WrestleMania weekend, and Andy Simmonz has changed his feelings towards Josh Bodom quite markedly. As in a full-on Theresa May-style U-turn.

Starr grapples with Bodom on the mat, using a half-nelson roll-up for an early two-count, but the champion made a point of chopping down Starr with kicks to the leg – a tactic that continued throughout, but Starr was able to get some shots of his own in, dropkicking Josh off the apron before punching Bodom in the midsection as he returned to the ring.

Starr’s gone a weird shade of red on one of the cameras, whilst he tried to make Bodom’s chest go that same colour. Bodom cuts him off and gets a double stomp, as he goes back after Starr’s leg throwing more kicks as he tied him up in the ropes. A belly-to-belly superplex sends Bodom down as Starr caught him off-guard… but Bodom’s able to keep slapping away at that left quad of Starr to free himself of much danger.

Bodom rolls Starr into a single leg crab after escaping a suplex, but Starr kicked him in the jaw… only to run into a hiptoss knee and an enziguiri. Likewise, a flip senton from Bodom keeps up the pressure, before a Bodom Breaker saw him collect a near-fall. Things almost turned around in the challenger’s favour when he shoved away from a Bliss Buster and replied with a DDT onto the apron, before a massive clothesline and a Blackheart Buster saw him come close to the title.

A Product Placement attempt follows, but Bodom again mule kicks the legs before going for another Bliss Buster. That’s blocked, but a running knee to Starr in the ropes softened him up, as the Bliss Buster secured the win. I really enjoyed this outing – yes, it was short, but Bodom made a point of working the leg, and it paid off in an unusual way… i.e. not a submision! ****

London Riots (Rob Lynch & James Davis) vs. RJ Singh & Dan Magee
James Davis came out… with a plastic broom! He’d been in Cologne for PROGRESS the day before and lost his trusty cricket bat, so this was his “make do and mend” swap.

The Riots started against Magee, making him “earn his handshake” as they looked to make his inexperience pay… including Davis shoving away a bulldog attempt and following up with a forearm smash. RJ Singh comes in and has some more luck with sunset flips to Lynch, before launching Rob with a back body drop as RJ was on a roll.

A somersault into a ‘rana keeps Lynch on the back foot, but Singh tagged in Magee and quickly ate a German suplex as he went for a springboard off the ropes… leaving Dan pretty much on his lonesome in the wrong corner. Magee tried to stop the tide with a sunset flip, but Davis just lands a back senton to crush him for a two-count, as Lynch took over with a series of clotheslines in the corner.

Singh manages to get back in with a tag, and quickly drops Lynch with a neckbreaker before sending Davis out on top of his partner ahead of an Anchorman cannonball! Back in the ring, Lynch kicks away a BHF but runs into a superkick from Singh… then replies with a clothesline as both men were left laid out. Magee tagged back in, but was quickly outclassed… although he did manage to hit a corkscrew senton out of the corner to knock down Lynch. Singh tries to intervene, but his leapfrog’s crushed with a spear before returning to nail Davis with a Diamond Dust that led to a big spray of… I’m guessing beer?

That left the Riot down for a Singh-ton Bomb, but Lynch viciously knocked RJ off the apron as Magee ended up fighting into a GBH slingshot spear… and that’s all folks. A weird mix of squash and competitive as Magee took a pasting, but this was a good showing from the Riots. ***¼

After the match, a man in a hoodie and a balaclava hit the ring and took down Singh, before spraying his hair green. Unfortunately the green showed up better on camera as James Castle (we presume) and his guerrilla warfare just got mocked. They cut away pretty quickly from that, so I’m guessing it didn’t go down as well as hoped.

Keith Lee vs. Matt Riddle
Their third match in eight days, Keith Lee and Matt Riddle clashed horns in the UK for the first time… in what was his first tour of the UK.

After they bumped fists, they bunched each other in the chests with forearms as the slugfest began in earnest. Lee got the upper hand early with those heavy hands, before he was rocked with a knee strike and some forearms as Riddle took an opportunity created by a ref break, and these two were throwing bombs of all varieties.

Riddle tries for a leaping forearm, but he’s caught and nonchalantly tossed overhead by Lee, who then shocks us all with a step-up ‘rana. You read that right. Keith Lee can fly!

They go back to the chops as a double handed chops sent Riddle to the mat, before Lee again tossed Riddle with a Biel throw. Riddle tries to slap back into the match, but those huge arms of Lee clubbed Riddle down again, before he made a fatal error… you can’t German suplex Riddle! Except he quickly came back with a pop-up uppercut before Riddle hits the Pele kick to knock the big man down.

Riddle manages to deadlift Lee up into a gutwrench suplex, before resisting Lee’s fightback… and crumbling to more double-handed chops. Out of nowhere, Riddle popped up with a Bro to Sleep and a German suplex for a near-fall, as he then went to a series of kicks to a kneeling Lee. Lee comes straight back with a fireman’s carry into a discus forearm, but a second attempt ends with Riddle slipping out and laying in some knees. A Fisherman’s buster followed for a two-count as Riddle almost got the win. Some back sentons couldn’t do the job, but after some more chops and a Pounce, Lee looked like he was back in it… However, Lee got too confident and was caught with an Exploder into the corner.

Nevermind, Lee snapped back with a Spirit Bomb that bounced Riddle high into the air… but the Bro still kicked out! This intense sprint quickly came to a close not long after, when Lee went for another fireman’s carry back elbow, but Riddle slipped through into a small package and that was enough to get the shock win! A hell of a sprint, a bit of a sloppy ending, but a lot of fun to watch! Can we have these guys back again? ****¼

Rob Lias vs. Sha Samuels
The main show apparently picked up the live stream here, just in time to see Rob “Ricky” Lias cutting a promo to a camera. With no microphone. Whoops.

Lias quickly headed outside as Sha chased after him, but he couldn’t stop himself from running into a Michinoku driver as Sha picked up a near-fall. Flippy Sha looked to return, but Lias shoved Chris Roberts into the ropes as Sha was trapped in a Tree of Woe – and things looked to turn around from there…

Except Sha planted Lias with a spinebuster for a two-count, before going up top for that moonsault… which misses as Lias then cracked him with a German suplex to nearly win. Lias decides to take off Samuels’ braces to whip him with… but for some reason that’s not a DQ. Yep, Incompetent Chris Roberts strikes again! Sha responds by punting Lias below the belt, and that’s a DQ? The crowd boos, and so they should given what the set-up was. Samuels whips Lias to the back, and I’m saddened by how cheap that finish was… and how short the match was! *½

Lias comes back with a chairshot as he laid waste to Sha around ringside… Lias headed to the back, as Sha chases Roberts away with a chair before grabbing Andy Quildan and demanding a match against Lias… under his rules. Hopefully that works out better for him than it did against James Castle!

Sami Callihan vs. Eddie Dennis
Once again on commentary they took shots at Eddie Dennis’ losing streak, which stretches to 10 matches as he’s yet to pick up a win in Rev Pro. Eddie then offers to just lay down and take the expected loss so both he and Sami have an easy night, and don’t have to go at it in the humid Cockpit.

Callihan falls for it, and gets rolled up for a near-fall… and that probably was a big mistake as Sami spat at Eddie. Who replies with a forearm as he quickly lit up Sami in the corner with forearms and chops, before snatching another two-count out of a swinging side slam. From there though, Sami put the boots to Eddie as he ordered his Welsh opponent to stay down, as they went on a trip around ringside where Sami got chopped… and Chris Roberts did not count.

The tables turn as Eddie takes a spit-laden chop, but he catches a lap of honour around the ring and dumps Sami onto the apron with another swinging side slam as the match returned to that thing with the ropes. You know what I mean – these guys probably forgot it! Eddie looks to hit the Severn Bridge (crucifix buckle bomb), but Sami slips out and takes him into the corner for some face-washing boots and a running kick.

Some superkicks and forearms get Sami firmly in control, but he’s again thrown outside for a tope con hilo from Eddie, but his attempt to follow up with an elbow back in the ring saw him crash and burn as Sami again took over for a spell. Another thunderous forearm from Eddie cracks Sami, but his attempt at a sunset flip almost went awry… until Sami turned it into a Code Red for a near-fall before locking in a Stretch Muffler.

Eddie rolled free though, and managed to dump Sami with the Next Stop Driver… but Sami ends up fighting free and superkicks Eddie in the knee as he’d escaped a superplex. More kicks finally knock him down for just a one-count, but Eddie couldn’t get back to his feet as Callihan was able to lock in another Stretch Muffler to force the submission. As ever, a fun outing from Eddie, and I’d have to wonder if his decision to move “full time” will lead to a swing in fortunes… at least in terms of results. ***¼

After the match Callihan gets the microphone… and ends up fighting a losing battle with it as he cut a promo on Martin Stone ahead of their match in August. Including an admission that he crapped his pants as Sami shouted his promo to the crowd instead.

Dave Mastiff vs. Donovan Dijak
These two wrestled in Portsmouth in May – on a show we’ve not yet reached – and Tall Don bum rushed the ring as he went for a big boot, before Mastiff’s attempt to trap him went awry as Dijak slid through the ring apron.

Some crowd brawling follows as they wander around the ring, but second time was the charm for the apron spot as Mastiff eventually threw Dijak’s arm into the ringpost. Yes, here in Rev Pro Mastiff’s just playing a big nasty bastard, without any of the comedy you’d see at PROGRESS… which can be quite jarring when a chunk of the same crowd go to both shows.

Mastiff’s weight sends Dijak crashing to the mat as Don went for a Feast Your Eyes, and it was pretty much a one-armed Don from there as Dave kept going after his left arm. There’s a lot of clubbering here as Mastiff kept his American foe down, but Dijak used his speed to nearly snatch a win with a small package, then sidestep a charge as he tries to fight back.

A big boot from Dijak earns him a near-fall, but his attempt to go back with a chokeslam was countered as Mastiff lands a German suplex and a back senton to nearly win. Mastiff nearly does it again when he clobbers Dijak with a diving crossbody, but again Dijak’s able to get back in as he sets up Dave for a superplex. Yet again, Mastiff shoves him down, but Dijak kipped up and pulled him off the top in a Fireman’s carry, turning it into a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall.

Dijak followed up with a moonsault for another two-count, but Dave again gets back up and dropkicked him into the corner for a cannonball… but Mastiff pulls up Dijak at two as he wanted to inflict more punishment. With a sadistic gleam in his eye, Mastiff pulls Dijak up by the arm, stretching the worn-down limb… but Dijak roared back and hits forearm after forearm to free himself… only for Mastiff to come back with a Finlay roll and a trio of sentons for yet another near-fall!

After blowing his nostrils on the Tall Don, Mastiff picks him up and dumps him onto the top turnbuckles… but despite fighting back, Dijak misses a Spiral Tap and curses like a good ‘un. A cannonball doesn’t wipe the smile off his face, but it does get the win – in a match that I think I’d have gotten a lot more out of had I seen the Portsmouth match, but this was a pretty decent big lad’s match. ***

Before Mastiff could do anymore, the crowd freaked out because Keith Lee made his way out. Can you guess where they’re heading next?? No date has been booked, but my mouth’s watering already.

Rev Pro British Tag Team Championship: Kurtis Chapman & Josh Wall vs. CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks) (c)
So, the Contenders’ pairing have picked up some wins in the past few shows, beating the London Riots at the Cockpit, and former CZW tag champs Scarlet and Graves in Portsmouth, so this is their reward. In my mind… this was a bit of a strange match to book, especially given that one of the tag champs (Chris Brookes) has a world title match next month!

Brookes starts off by pounding on Kurtis Chapman, booting him to the outside before dumping him on the apron with a back suplex. Then it was Travis’ turn… and yes, he was willing to lay into the most undersized contender in Rev Pro. Yes, Chapman tried to fight back, but it was literally men against boys… but in a match that probably should have been a squash, or at least, a spirited squash, this started to veer into the kind of match you play on WWE 2K17 when you’re playing a friend who has no idea what they’re doing… but you want to be nice and not squash them.

In a shout-out to Zack Sabre Jr, Brookes contorted Chapman with a modified Octopus hold… but Kurtis gets free and chopped away on the tag champ, only to run into a big boot. There more joint manipulation as Brookes wore over the leg before getting a two-count on Kurtis, who again replied with a slap to the chest of Travis Banks.

Yeah. Don’t do that. The Kiwi snapped and stomped away on Chapman from there, but the kid finally came back and scored with a tiltawhirl DDT to Brookes as Josh Wall got the long-awaited tag in! He clears house on Banks with a double stomp before running into Brookes with a PK on the apron… it continues with a Finlay roll and a moonsault for a near-fall, and Wall keeps up the pressure with a springboard dropkick as he gave the tag champs a run for their money.

Chapman even came back into it with a flip dive off the top rope to the floor, landing on his feet too… although without much heft to him, it had little effect. Things go a little awry when they try and modify CCK’s own finisher, with a double stomp replacing the back senton, but Chapman overshoots and barely grazes Banks… so his reward is to flip onto Banks for a near-fall after being lifted into a powerbomb by his partner.

Banks recovers and kicks away at the contenders some more as things turned around, even more so when he popped up from a Wall German suplex, before a Slice of Heaven ended up taking out Chris Roberts to a huge pop! The match continues though with Banks dropping Wall with a clothesline, as CCK tease some belt shots… but Rob Lynch comes out and hits Banks with a belt, then Brookes with a spear!

Chapman looked to pick his spot, but he took too long as Banks was able to kick out at two… but the Contenders fought back some more, only for Wall to eat a spinning Kiwi crusher (Fisherman’s driver) off the top. Of course Roberts lost control as everyone was legal, allowing Chapman to hit some cannonballs… only to get caught and killed with a powerbomb/bicycle knee by CCK for a near-fall. Another Slice of Heaven sets up Brookes for a slingshot cutter, but still the kids kick out… and this is now beyond the point where this match ought to have ended.

Things got brutal from there as Chapman took a pasting, including a Whirly Bird neckbreaker, a Michinoku Driver and a PK… but still he kicked out. Brookes then ties up Chapman in an Octopus hold, allowing Banks to kick him in the head some more, and finally that was it! Brookes gets the pin on Chapman in a good main event, albeit one that went insanely long… especially when you consider that a week later one team was in an unadvertised bonus match and the other in a fairly high-profile tag! ***¼

Overly long main event aside, and one which continued to tease to a CCK/London Riots blow-off, this was one of the better Cockpit shows. Teases for Lee/Mastiff down the line are always nice, as are the monthly appearances of RJ Singh and Eddie Dennis. I’d have preferred an angle instead of the Sha/Lias match we got… or at least, less use of the fabled “Roberts Crutch” when it comes to explaining iffy decisions. But yet again, those who paid £135 last year for a Cockpit season ticket are probably enjoying some of the best value in London wrestling… and will likely be seeing their like swelling in 2018!