Rev Pro’s tag team division came into focus for their latest Cockpit outing, as CCK started out on the road back to their titles.
That wacky Rev Pro revolving door of voices gives us Steve Lynskey as our ring announcer, complete with a left arm that’s almost entirely in a cast. Trying to out-do the wolf, is it? The two Andys on commentary take a shot at his lack of any kind of rousing intro before we even hear any music!
Josh Bodom & Zack Gibson vs. Dan Magee & RJ Singh
Well isn’t this a wacky tag to open the show? Bodom’s got two big matches at Global Wars this week, but instead of anything to tease that, we’re getting this tag. Gibson also has some Global Wars action, against New Japan guys, which gives him a chance to take shot at the Bullet Club shirts in the crowd. Something tells me “those kind of fans” might be subscribing than more than the WWE Network…
Magee and Singh have been working a student/teacher dynamic in recent months, and things settled down to some decent exchanges against Bodom. Problem was, Magee tried to do a dropkick to Gibson on the apron, and misses, which drew scorn from commentary. As it should. They tried to save things with a dualling submission as the Ethnic Submission and a single leg crab forced the bad guys to claw towards the ropes for freedom.
Magee misses a blind tag, which he eventually pays for as Zack Gibson powerbombed him onto the apron, and that leads to a long period where the youngster was on defence. After initially going to the wrong corner, Magee finally gets the hot tag as Singh cleared house, taking out both men with a neckbreaker/accidental DDT combo.
That sparks a Parade of Moves, ending with a double jump cutter from Singh for a near-fall on Gibson. RJ comes back again with a Singh-ton Bomb to break up some Shankly Gates, but in the end Magee gets spiked with a Bliss Buster before a Bodom Breaker gets the win. Perfectly acceptable wrestling, but this match felt a little cold – especially when you consider that Gibson’s given himself the mantle of being the rightful challenger, there’s no way (on paper at least) they should have taken a loss here. ***
Dave Mastiff vs. Keith Lee
Back in July, this was built up as a future main event… problem is, Mastiff has been away from the Cockpit largely since then, and this being second on the card raised a lot of eyebrows.
Both men face Tomohiro Ishii on the Global Wars double-header, which makes this an even weirder match, but one that should help ramp up what’s been a pretty bad year for Mastiff, at least in terms of luck. First World of Sport, then 5*… with so many cancellations, it’s forgivable to think that Big Dave’s misery is more than a character!
This was worked in a slower, much more deliberate style than you’d expect in modern “big lads” matches, going for holds rather than big stuff early on. It did seem to take the crowd out of it, but at least we got some “oh my God, is the ring going to hold up?” spots, with both men hitting clotheslines at the same time, then duelling crossbodies, before bouncing to the mat.
The crowd at least woke up for those!
Lee sang as he gave and received forearm smashes, before hoisting up Mastiff onto his shoulders for a Benadryller-style forearm that got him a near-fall. More forearms see the guys clubber each other, before Mastiff’s crossbody and almost-nonchalant back sentons earned him a near-fall.
Lee wisely climbed out of the ring to avoid a cannonball, but it proved to be a wise step… despite fighting off a series of blows that threatened to send Lee into the crowd, before an attempt to suplex him back into the ring was adjusted mid-move, causing Lee to land onto Big Dave for the match-ending pin. This had its moments, but it was hard not to look at this as being a let-down. Perhaps we built it up too much in our heads? Either way, despite the names involved, I couldn’t get on with this bout. Sorry lads. *
Jinny vs. Charlie Morgan
The Jinny Train rolled on again here, as her 18-month undefeated streak in Rev Pro remained on the line. Andy Quildan dropped the bomb on commentary that the promotion would be holding a Women’s Championship Tournament in January – so that’s what the two January dates on those 2018 season tickets were for.
Jinny started out playing the Andy Quildan Censor, drilling Charlie Morgan with a forearm as she threatened to say her name. Charlie did offer quite a lot against Jinny, blasting her with a dropkick into the corner, but a superkick’s caught and met with a vicious knee as the tables turned.
There’s an impressive moment as Jinny pulled Morgan off the top rope into a backbreaker, before she made a point of working over Morgan’s recently-injured shoulder. In response, Morgan was able to land a release German before they traded stinging chops and forearms on the apron, ending with Jinny getting dumped onto the apron with a DDT. In the end though, Jinny’s able to fight back, and it’s that injured shoulder that forces the end when she trapped Charlie in a sitting surfboard for the submission. Perhaps the most competitive of Jinny’s recent matches here – which makes sense because if they’re doing the tournament in January, you need to have some familiar faces who can be a threat, rather than just bring back everyone Jinny’s beaten. ***
After the match Jinny took the microphone after verbally putting down a small child, she reiterated the January tournament, before issuing an open challenge for Rev Pro’s Uprising show at York Hall in December – so she could be “the first woman to step foot in York Hall”. Cannot think what this is an attempt to undercut, especially since there’s been several lucha shows there with luchadoras…
El Phantasmo vs. Flash Morgan Webster
Yet more shots at the camera crew, who get chewed out on commentary for not showing the crowd bringing glowsticks to the party. Yeah, the Rev Pro camera work isn’t exactly stellar at the best of times.
After everyone showed off with enough rolls to fill up a bakery, ELP finds a way to block Webster’s hands up headbutt… by grabbing a headlock. Glorious! Phantasmo keeps control from there, setting up Webster for a long series of rope-walking – a bit of a gamble after ELP had slipped on them during his intro – before he got pulled into an Iconoclasm for a near-fall.
An Undertaker-esque flying lariat from Webster keeps ELP down, as does a springboard moonsault and a Brit Pop Drop as the Mod nearly tore the Canadian apart. Phantasmo manages to sneak in a whirlibird neckbreaker, but his Lionsault takes him right into a guillotine as the match remained even.
Webster busts out Kazuchika Okada’s neckbreaker slam, just as Josh Bodom wandered out to be a nuisance. Flash dives onto him, appearing to injure Bodom’s knee in the process and that opened him up for a pop-up cutter from ELP… but it’s not enough! In the end, Phantasmo kicks out of an O’Connor roll, unwittingly sending Flash into a belt shot from Bodom, before capitalising on it for the win. Enjoyable stuff, as Bodom seems to have it out for Flash after their skirmishes last month. ***½
Rob Lias vs. Eddie Dennis
Was this the “tomato can” that Eddie Dennis would get his first win over? On paper, it’d seem so… but Eddie took Lias way too lightly throughout, openly joking about how easy it’d be.
Lias tried to play the fool, avoiding lock-ups before he’s met with a barrage of strikes… including a chop that it looked like he tried to get out of. Not gonna happen. Lias takes a lot, but after he’s crotched on the top rope he catches Eddie with a reverse DDT on the apron, and this led to a spell on top for Lias.
Perhaps Eddie was taking him too lightly for a spell, but a capture suplex takes Lias down before we’re back to the forearms and chops. A swinging side slam puts Lias down for a two-count, but after escaping a crucifix bomb, Lias tries to go for a piledriver… it doesn’t quite work as Eddie goes back to the crucifix bomb, before the Severn Bridge buckle bomb left Lias loopy for a clothesline.
Still, Lias gets up at two before eventually leaping into a piledriver that almost won him the match. A chair comes into play as Lias looked to add an exclamation mark… but it’s just a ploy as we lead into a superkick that wiped out Chris Roberts. Eddie’s Next Stop Driver gets a huge visual pin – one of my least favourite tropes – and just as Eddie went to check on the ref, he’s hit with a chairshot.
Lias tries to steal the pin, but Eddie kicks out… then decided that turnabout was fair play. Of course Chris Roberts saw that, and it’s an instant DQ. Eddie Dennis’ losing streak rolls on, and we’re getting closer and closer to him snapping. **½
Enraged, Eddie hit back on Lias afterwards, dumping on the chair with a Next Stop Driver, as the crowd sang out Lias with the Eastenders theme. Context!
Joey Janela vs. Ryan Smile
This was Smile’s warm-up for a Cruiserweight title shot at Global Wars, and after falling for a handshake from the “Bad Boy”, Smile had to fight outside the ring with Janela, who was eager to dish out chops and apron throws.
A dive from Smile took Janela into the crowd, but the head drops continue quickly after as Joey dished out a death valley driver into the corner followed up with a couple of German suplexes as Janela seemed to have Ryan’s number. It was quickly becoming a demolition job on the “All Day Star”, but Smile suddenly burst into life, taking Janela down with a springboard dropkick.
This match was very spitty, by the way, with Smile invariably spraying saliva as he took the big strikes. Pity the poor guy in the front row who got showered with it… They’re back on the apron as Janela looked to use the hardest part of the ring once again, this time spiking Ryan Smile on his head with a death valley driver. That was BRUTAL.
Back in the ring, Smile got fed up of Joey’s speech and threw him a couple of forearms to shut him up. A superkick from Joey sends more spit flying ahead of a ruinous package piledriver, but still somehow Ryan found a way to get up, and eventually found a way to take Joey down for a frog splash for the win. Enjoyable stuff, but my God, Ryan’s finding ways to scare us. ***¼
Legion of Lords (No Fun Dunne & Lord Gideon Grey) vs. Kurtis Chapman & Josh Wall vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. CCK (Travis Banks & Chris Brookes)
THIS WAS INSANE. No Fun Dunne is Rev Pro’s name for Chief Deputy Dunne – and once again Andy Quildan shoots on the camera crew for missing the shot of Balloon Rishi Ghosh, who’d been wheeled to the ring for moral support.
Or is that “to cheat”? Kyle Fletcher went in the aisle and “beheaded” Rishi early on, who I want back one day with “Just Married” scribbled on his head. And scars too, after Gideon burst it and sent powder flying into Kyle’s face from the off. The banter continues as Gideon threw some meek chops at Dunkzilla, suckering Davis into a chop to the balls… Davis then high fived him with gusto as the match started to cycle through all of the competitors.
Kurtis Chapman getting killed was an ongoing theme in this match: first with a Yakuza kick from Chris Brookes, then a backdrop suplex onto the apron. Someone needs to gimmick that part of the ring with some padding. Subvert the norms, I say!
Everyone works into a fun series of headscissors, which Chapman – of all people – comes in to turn over with a Boston crab, leaving the match looking like an out-take from the Human Centipede. We’re back to “killing Kurtis” again as all eight men fight around the crowd, and as ever, the camera crew does a stellar job of following it. Yes, that’s sarcasm.
Things eventually settle down back into the ring, as the Legion of Lords isolate and double-team Chapman, but when Josh Wall got in, things quickly turned around, courtesy of a big knee. A wacky swinging facebuster nearly gets Wall the win, but somehow Chapman becomes legal without a tag as Aussie Open have their turn at ending the Super Contender’s career.
Hard hits a-plenty to Kurtis, including a one-handed back suplex, before he snuck out and tagged in CCK, who made light work of Aussie Open, at least until they were taken out by a Mark Davis dive. More of those came as Josh Wall hit a springboard senton to the floor, followed by Kyle Fletcher, before Kid Lykos tried to get involved.
Quite rightly, the interference was stopped by Gideon spraying him with something, before batting him on the head with a newspaper. Something tells me he’s used to unruly pets… Lykos gets the dive off anyway, and we’re back in the ring for stacked-up Octopus holds. Kurtis Chapman tried to walk over the bent-over guys, and slipped, before doing his dive anyway as Chris Roberts gets fed up at seeing a second take of the same spot… and just breaks it up with a stunner to Dunne. Fair enough.
We’re back into normal service as the one-handed powerbomb from Davis builds up to a near-fall for the Aussies, before a PK almost took out the cameraman. At least, it did if you looked at the camera angle… Some fire from Chapman led to him just getting punched out by Davis as a Parade of Moves ensued, leading to more chaotic pinfall attempts. The Contenders almost won after Fletcher took the Sega Mega Driver from Chapman, before breaking up a cover from CCK’s “sick tag moves”.
Bad idea, Kurtis.
He was left alone with Brookes and Banks, and it was only a matter of time before he was kicked to his knees. Defiantly, he flipped off CCK and ended up paying, as a spiking Samoan driver put him on his head, allowing Banks to get the pin. CCK beat Kurtis Chapman by death – and I think that’s firmly put them back at the top of the pile for a tag title shot. If you like your chaotic matches, this is one for you – but one that’d been better being there live for. Look, when your own boss is slating you on commentary for repeated shows, you might want to buck your ideas up. Rev Pro’s camera crew are perhaps the biggest negative to these shows. ***¾
Everyone is trying to stop me. Nobody ever will. Aussie Open? LoL? CCK?
F#@$. Chris. Brookes. pic.twitter.com/KxF3JmJYaG
— Kurtis Chapman (@supercontender) November 5, 2017
Rev Pro’s November trip to the Cockpit was an enjoyable outing – although I can’t help but feel let down by the Lee/Mastiff match. In my head, I’d built it up to be so much more than the 80s-style lumbering that we got for the most part. An entertaining main event, plus several matches that set-up well for Global Wars later today (at time of posting)… yep, that’s another good £15 of a ticket from Rev Pro!