El Phantasmo recorded perhaps his biggest win to date in Europe on Rev Pro’s latest Cockpit show.
With the heavy snow in the UK having perhaps threatened the show in the run-up, we came in with a rather light six-match card advertised… which was reduced to five on the morning after Flash Morgan Webster pulled out as a precaution after suffering a shoulder injury. The flu-ridden Andy Quildan was pulling double-duty on commentary and ring announcing in lieu of the absent Steve Lynskey.
Legion Of Lords (Los Federales Santos Jr. & Rishi Ghosh) vs. Never Say Die (Alex Cupid & Dillon D’Angelo)
This was originally meant to be Ghosh and Gideon Grey teaming up… but the Lord had alternative plans that involved helping his best friend No Fun Dunne prepare for his Cruiserweight title challenge. So Gideon’s out, and in his place there’s a replacement best friend for Rishi: the debuting Los Federales Santos Jr!
Santos had a few folks who recognised him from his PROGRESS debut the prior week, and were glad to see him… even if they thought he was Eric Cartman dressed in black.
Speaking of debuts, it was a Rev Pro wrestling debut for Never Say Die – with Alex Cupid having previously appeared on commentary for them last year. Santos took them both down with a clothesline as he took exception to them playing rock, paper, scissors, and it was an impressive showing from Santos, who took D’Angelo into the corner early on so Rishi could throw a headbutt or two.
A nice spinning heel kick-assisted German suplex gets Santos a two-count – and gives us a lesson in Spanish – as this latest iteration of the Legion of Lords looked comfortable. Santos’ front suplex gets a near-fall, but Never Say Die try to fight back, with D’Angelo’s punches only annoying Santos ahead of a retaliation enziguiri. Alex Cupid’s in to drop Rishi with a flapjack as the comeback finally begins, with D’Angelo taking the long way around for a standing moonsault for a near-fall.
Santos swings and misses with a clothesline as D’Angelo hits a forearm off the top, while Cupid followed up with a missile dropkick as Never Say Die looked to be in form… until they tried a double-team suplex that Santos easily reversed. A big splash out of the corner from Santos adds extra damage… and that’s enough as he dragged Rishi onto D’Angelo’s body for the pin. A solid enough debut from the “New” Legion of Lords (uh oh at that name), but there were more than a few moments that looked a little less than polish with commentary frequently calling out “wasted motion” and the like. **¾
Adam Brooks vs. Dan Magee
With Flash Morgan Webster out, Brooks’ replacement opponent was… Dan Magee. A little underwhelming, as Andy Simmonz on commentary poked fun at Magee’s ring music.
After refusing the initial handshake, Brooks went straight for Magee’s wrist, but the Rev Pro Contender’s able to get back in with a low dropkick and a sliding Flatliner for an early near-fall. Brooks comes right back as he pulls Magee off the top rope, and it’s fairly one-way traffic here as the “Loose Ledge” nailed a low dropkick before cinching in a chinlock. Magee tries to fire back, but he’s taken into the corner before Brooks landed a knee to the gut and a back senton as Magee struggled to chain anything together offensively. Chops in the corner follow from the Aussie, despite Magee’s attempts to respond, but at least Dan’s finally able to land a Slingblade as he caught Brooks unawares.
Another boot off the top looked to have Brooks wobbling, but he’s back in and tried to bring Dan out of the corner with a backpack stunner… only for Magee to escape… but his back gave out as he tried to grab a single-leg crab. Magee manages to hold on with a uranage, but he can barely make a cover, and ends up falling as Brookes came back with his version of the Cheeky Nandos.
A slingshot into a DDT from the apron nearly gets Brooks the win, before he gets caught up top with an uppercut as Magee put his own back on the line with a superplex… which he turned into a spider suplex as he pulled himself back up into a cannonball senton off the top! He tries to chain that together with a big splash, but Brooks gets his knees up in time, and followed up with a backpack stunner out of the corner for a near-fall of his own.
Brooks tried to finish off Magee with the Meteora, but Magee rolls through into a single leg crab – right as another debutant appeared on the apron in the form of Sean Kustom. The referee misses Brooks’ tapping, as well as the low blow as a pumphandle Blue Thunder Bomb puts away Magee. A valiant effort from Magee, but the muted crowd throughout didn’t seem too impressed by this. ***¼
Eddie Dennis was introduced next as he addressed the crowd ahead of the surgery he’d have the following day to repair a torn pectoral. He thanked the crowd and Rev Pro as he reflected on that upcoming surgery, and how he’d not be back in Rev Pro until he was able to wrestle again… when he’d break his losing streak. It wasn’t a segment without interruption though, as Josh Bodom crashed the party – and took credit for the injury. You sure about that? Of course, Bodom’s temper led to Eddie throwing a forearm, but Bodom quickly overwhelmed him after he kicked the “crippled man” (cheers Simmons) in the arm.
That bleeds into the next match… with Zack Gibson coming out and inadvertently having the crowd cheer for him and Josh Bodom’s upcoming trips to Asia. Don’t worry, Zack’s already back from China…
Josh Bodom & Zack Gibson vs. Team Whitewolf (A-Kid & Adam Chase)
A-Kid starts off against Gibson (cue the Scouse accents) as Zack took him into the ropes early, before Josh Bodom rudely dumped Adam Chase to the outside ahead of a backbreaker/stomp combo on the floor.
Back inside, Bodom chops his way through Chase, before Gibson tagged back in to keep the pressure on, decking Chase with a back elbow while berating A-Kid for daring to stray out of his corner. It’s very one-sided, as Chase struggled to get out of the wrong corner for a while… but when he does, A-Kid unloads with a crossbody to Bodom and a PK to Gibson on the apron as the kid flew around!
Bodom gets caught on the top rope with a gamengiri and a sliding German suplex, before a springboard Total Elimination from Team Whitewolf almost got them the upset. Dropkicks took Chase and Gibson to the outside, but Kid’s not able to capitalise as Gibson returns to stop a superplex and instead pull him out of the corner for an eventual Ticket to Ride/coast-to-coast senton combo.
Gibson and Bodom continue with a double-team Bodom Breaker – set-up kinda like how the London Riots used to do their District Line powerbomb – but the Spanish hit back with an Ace crusher from Chase and a frog splash from A-Kid for a near-fall… and that’s the end of their offence as Gibson and Bodom got back in gear pretty quickly, as A-Kid ate a Bliss Buster and a Helter Skelter in short order for the win. Decent stuff as Gibson and Bodom pick up yet another win… but with the tag title picture already decided through to at least May, they feel like they’re going to be in a holding pattern for a while longer. ***
Rev Pro British Cruiserweight Championship: No Fun Dunne vs. Kurtis Chapman (c)
Chapman’s latest title defence came against No Fun Dunne as his weird interpromotional flirtation with the Legion of Lords continued. Seriously, look it up on Cagematch – it’s a good job everyone follows promotions inside little vacuums (except when they want to crossover!).
Chapman’s able to weather the early storm and take down Dunne with a headlock suplex for a near-fall, only to get suckered into the “false alarm” enziguiri as Dunne fought back, clubbing him to the mat with axehandle smashes before a pendulum backbreaker garnered a near-fall.
Clearly having watched tapes of someone much bigger than him, Chapman grabbed the face of Dunne and slapped him… but Dunne punches back before headbutting the champion to the outside, right in front of Gideon Grey, who teased getting involved. He eventually does, holding Chapman in the ropes but Kurtis moves as Gideon inevitably gets knocked down while Dunne ate a Finlay roll for good measure. Forearms and dropkicks into the corner keep Chapman’s momentum up, as does an axe kick as Chapman’s forced to fend off more interference from Gideon.
A flying stomp to a doubled-over Dunne’s good for a near-fall, as Chapman then ducks a false alarm enziguiri and replies with a Code Red for a delayed near-fall. Dunne retaliates with a spear after a spot of rope running, allowing the crowd to show off what Santos had taught them earlier. Furious slaps are exchanged between the pair, before a knee from Dunne is followed up with a clumsy-ish tornado DDT as Chapman had to negotiate the badly-placed referee in the corner.
Dunne’s right back with a slingshot back cracker through the ropes as he almost nicked the title, then again with the rope-hung Fun’s Over DDT… and the frustration told as Dunne and Gideon attacked the referee, which led to a mass invasion as Ghosh and Santos were called out to help with the beatdown. It backfires though, as Chapman cannonballed into Rishi before Santos accidentally wiped out Gideon with a spinning heel kick!
A Blockbuster gets rid of Santos, as we’re back to one-on-one, only for Dunne to nail a superkick before a second Fun’s Over DDT was countered into a tornado DDT from Chapman, who followed up with the awkward Chapman clutch to retain the title! Entertaining stuff with the bumbling Lords somehow unable to make their numerical advantage count… but we’re still nowhere near anything like a dominant title defence from the “Super Contender”. ***¼
CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks) vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis)
Unannounced tag team action started the second half of the show, while the on-screen graphic once again thought that Lykos was a search engine. It’s a weird choice of match, given that both teams have high profile outings at the next York Hall show in May…
We start with Fletcher and Banks swerving each other with cartwheels, before they both swung and missed with kicks as they tried to draw the proverbial first blood. They quickly tagged out to their larger partners, who start by throwing chops… and yeah, after taking one, Chris Brookes hurriedly tagged out.
Banks throws, and gets floored, by chops as the Kiwi Buzzsaw was double-teamed for a spell, only for Brookes to turn things back around as he decided that chops were the right answer… against Kyle Fletcher, who found himself isolated as CCK took him into the corner while exchanging rapid tags. Mark Davis doesn’t help things as he keeps the referee distracted while Fletcher’s stomped on the arm, as a set-up for… you know what from Brookes.
Travis Banks lends a spare finger too for a double wet willie, or as Andy Q called it “double penetration”. I’m sure that reference has this site flagged a little differently now…
The decimation of Fletcher continued, but some chops from Banks finally wake up the young Aussie, as he fires back with forearms before tagging in Mark Davis to keep it up with chops and clotheslines in the corner. A sliding forearm into the corner left Brookes rocked, before Fletcher’s back in as the Aussies combined a Praying Mantis Bomb and a sit-out spinebuster for a near-fall.
CCK quickly shrug it off and go right back to work on Fletcher with a superkick-assisted brainbuster for a near-fall, before Davis shoves away an attempted “sick tag move” as he just booted Brookes in the head. Davis catches a superkick and teases a pull-up piledriver, but Banks avoids it as he ended up taking a double-team Ace crusher as the Aussies continued to get closer. Banks eats a big flapjack from Davis, who tries to follow up with a deadlift German, nailing it after using the limp Banks to clothesline his own partner. Since he’d taken enough of them, Fletcher tries to chop his way back into the match against Brookes, before superkicking him into the path of a pull-up piledriver… only for Brookes to turn it into Death By Roll-Up for another two-count.
CCK have a go after that, with a Slice of Heaven and a slingshot cutter almost getting them the win, before Fletcher somehow kicks out of a powerbomb with a kick on the way down, as Davis came right back with a one-armed powerbomb to Banks. Brookes makes the save after a Fidget Spinner, before he eventually takes a piledriver as the pace gets perhaps a little too frantic in the closing stages, ending with Fletcher taking an avalanche Kiwi Krusher for the win. A nice, hectic tag match – one that kept both teams looking strong going into their matches in May… although the headline was designed to be CCK standing tall at the end of it. ***¾
David Starr vs. Jody Fleisch
Starr was in fine form before the match here, harrassing Andy Quildan for not giving him a proper intro… or for “releasing the promos”. That ended up putting Andy in quite the spot when Starr did his own intro in his special “Andy Voice”…
I now want to see Starr do this in every promotion he’s in. Regardless of whether or not he’s playing a conspiracy victim.
Jody Fleisch got a mild reaction, it had to be said, and he was attacked at the bell as Starr was more than happy to bend the rules as far as he could. Fleisch managed a response, including leaping over a kick from Starr and meeting him with a dropkick as the Product powdered to the outside.
Starr tries to sucker Fleisch in with a handshake, but it doesn’t work as Jody lands some headkicks before Starr fled again to escape the 720 DDT. It quickly broke down into a game of cat and mouse, which Fleisch wins out on as he takes Starr into the turnbuckles before throwing him to the outside once more. An attempted dive’s met with a Cherry Mint DDT as Starr caught Fleisch, but he opted to take a breather and hope for a count-out win rather than stay on the “Phoenix”.
Back inside, Fleisch has to fight out of a surfboard stretch, which Starr turned into a roll-up for a near-fall, before keeping up the pressure with the Pretty Pumped inverted slam. Fleisch fights out of a Product Placement and comes right back with an Awful Waffle for a near-fall of his own. Fleisch nails Starr with a reverse ‘rana, but Starr’s just got enough in him to hit the Han Stansen lariat to leave the veteran laying. Another ‘rana off the top surprises Starr, but Fleisch calls for the 720 DDT and gets sent flying as Starr hits the ropes and followed up with a Blackheart Buster to nearly put him away.
The Product Recall’s stuffed as Fleisch finally lands that 720 DDT… but Starr barely gets up before the three-count is made, as Starr hurriedly rushes in with a discus forearm to the back of Fleisch’s head before nailing the Product Placement for the win. A resounding victory for Starr, whose promos are still under lock and key – although he has now been granted that “last chance” title shot against Kurtis Chapman for May’s York Hall show. ***½
After the match, Jody Fleisch hung around, and ended up getting attacked by Adam Brooks – in street clothes – and Sean Kustom, who’d changed into his wrestling gear. Not sure why… Brooks, where he was meant to introduce Kustom to the crowd, put the boots to Fleisch to set-up a tag match in Southampton with Will Ospreay the following week.
El Phantasmo vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Your main event then, was a non-title outing for Zack Sabre Jr. against one of the Cockpit’s favourites in El Phantasmo… once the bell was finally rung.
Sabre refused to shake ELP’s hand, and started by chasing the Canadian to the floor before the pair grappled for a while, with Sabre trying to focus on Phantasmo’s right arm. ELP’s even to it in parts, but Sabre viciously goes back to the arm as they went back-and-forth on the mat.
Sabre forces Phantasmo to bridge up from a knucklelock, but a fist to the gut breaks that as they monkey flip around like we’re back to the classic World of Sport days! The ELP rope-walk ends as you’d expect, with Sabre pulling him down before whipping the arm into the mat, as he started to renew his focus on Phantasmo’s arm. It doesn’t last too long as ELP fought back, taking Sabre into the corner with a dropkick before his attempt to bring him out of it ended with him getting trapped as Sabre floated beautifully into an armbar.
Sabre uncharacteristically went up top, and was caught with a dropkick… only to reply with some more arm work as ELP tried to capitalise. An enziguiri on the top followed from the Canadian as he finally got the top rope ‘rana off, ahead of a big splash that got him a near-fall. Phantasmo tries to out-submit Sabre by catching him in an ankle lock, but Zack quickly stands up and transitioned into a guillotine and an armbar, holding on as Phantasmo rolled through into yet another submission attempt.
Another rope break got ELP free as the pair traded shots, ending with Sabre again suckering Phantasmo into a rolling cross-arm breaker. After escaping, a pop-up cutter gets ELP a near-fall, before he went up top for a senton bomb… which misses as Sabre capitalised with a PK to leave both men laying. We’re back to strike exchanges as Sabre tried to impose himself again, nailing an upkick to the arm before catching an enziguiri and turning it into an ankle lock… but Phantasmo rolled up Sabre and stole the huge upset! A shock result (and another bad day at the office for the sound guy, saved by a spot of overdubbing) as ELP survived for long enough to snatch the win. ***½
Enraged, Sabre waved off the loss as something that didn’t matter since it was a non-title affair. After saying it didn’t guarantee ELP a title shot, he had a change of heart… as long as he took the match right now. Another change of heart led to Sabre threatening to walk away if he was forced into it, before the original (?) offer was put back in place… with Phantasmo accepting.
Rev Pro British Heavyweight Championship: El Phantasmo vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (c)
This time around Sabre wasn’t holding back as he went right after Phantasmo with kicks and stomps, picking up where they left off as a Dragon screw dumped Phantasmo down to the mat.
A PK’s tried, but caught, as Sabre slapped his way free before he’s nearly rolled up for a second time… but let’s face it, a title change was never on the cards, no matter how many roll-ups Phantasmo tried to shock the champion with. Still, ELP had plenty left in him to kick out from another PK and a Euro clutch, but an air of inevitability grew round the match. Phantasmo tries a Quebrada, only to get caught in an armbar that he had to powerbomb out of… leading to a moonsault that got ELP a near-fall. He goes for the arm-trapped whirlibird neckbreaker, but Sabre slips out into the Euro Clutch, and that’s all folks!
Rev Pro’s March trip to the Cockpit was business as usual in the ring, but for some reason it felt a little lacking in terms of crowd reactions. Only six announced matches left us with a light card, as the loss of Flash Morgan Webster on the day of the show reduced expectations somewhat. Still, with Rev Pro building to their York Hall show in May, we’re sort of in a massive holding pattern until then, and while the Adam Brooks/Will Ospreay build continues, it’s not going to be paying off anytime soon – as Ospreay’s got El Phantasmo at Epic Encounters.