The fall-out from Epic Encounter hit the London Cockpit as we had something of a mystery show on our hands!
With all eyes on Epic Encounter, only the two matches were announced for this – Chris Brookes vs. Fred Yehi, and Jeff Cobb vs. Travis Banks, as the defeated tag title challengers from Friday were thrust into singles action. We’re joined by the same crew from York Hall, with our new ring announcer and the two Andys on commentary… but first, our new ring announcer has a guest for us, as Travis Banks came out with some bad news. It seemed that Banks picked up a foot injury on Friday, and as such he was advised not to compete tonight against Cobb. Rob Lias was quickly out to mock Banks for being a coward… and it led to our impromptu opener.
Travis Banks vs. Rob Lias
Banks wasn’t even in his usual ring gear, wrestling in a t-shirt, shorts and trainers… and while he put up a fight, taking Lias to the outside with chops, working his way up to his usual cannonball finale. An early attempt at the Slice of Heaven saw Banks stick his foot awkwardly in the corner, and that was the turning point as Lias put the boots to Banks, before trapping him in a wacky cross-legged clutch for the quick submission. The finish left the Cockpit silenced, and I’d dare wonder if this is leading to anything down the line?
There’s a missing scene as the tag team match featuring Jinny & Sierra Loxton vs. Bobbi Tyler & Zoe Lucas was cut from the VOD. The aim seemed to be to keep building the feud between Tyler and Jinny… however, the finish was an errant shot from Sierra to Jinny, prompting the women’s champion to walk out… Tyler rolled up Loxton for the win, so is Sierra in line for a shot too?
Fred Yehi vs. Chris Brookes
Having picked up a loss at York Hall on Friday, Chris Brookes was looking to get back to winning ways against Fred Yehi, who picked up a win via stoppage over Josh Bodom in his Rev Pro debut on the same show.
Yehi tries to keep the match on the ground, but Brookes does his usual “I’m tall and can reach the ropes from anywhere” deal… which didn’t help him in a seated surfboard! They’re taken outside as Brookes throws Yehi into the ring post, but back inside Yehi starts on his stompy offence, before returning the favour as Brookes was taken into the post. Brookes recovers by trapping Yehi in the ring apron for a stomp of his own, as the tables turned a little, with Brookes going back in with chops and a leg grapevine, but Yehi’s stompy offence knocked Brookes back to the mat. Death By Roll-Up almost got the win, but Yehi kicks out and escaped a brainbuster before throwing some knees at Brookes, followed by the bicycle up-kicks.
Yehi counters the brainbuster for a near-fall, but his follow-up powerbomb’s lost as Brookes countered with an Octopus hold. Somehow, he’s able to escape with a Dragon screw before a powerbomb got him in place for a Koji clutch… but Brookes stands up out of it and dumps Yehi with a German suplex instead. The slingshot cutter almost ends it, as does a brainbuster, before Yehi just rolls him to the mat with a headlock takedown-come-cradle, and that’s the flash pin! A bit of a wacky finish, but Yeho getting two wins in back-to-back shows perhaps indicates there’s plans afoot for Fred to be a regular? Decent match, but nothing that would turn heads. ***¼
Adam Brooks vs. Kyle Fletcher
Brooks is back to his older gear for this battle of the Aussies.
Rev Pro’s been talking up Brooks’ unbeaten streak, so it’s perhaps not a surprise that this was more of a showcase for the Loose Ledge. Fletcher gets into it with a roll-up and some chops, before a missed leap off the top allowed Brooks to get back into it as he yanked Fletcher to the mat by his hair.
Brooks turned up the aggression as he whipped Fletcher into the corner, but Kyle returns the favour with some forearms before trying to win with a schoolboy. Fletcher just runs into a knee to the gut from there as the match gets a little more even, with the Aussie Arrow returning with a springboard crossbody. A Quebrada gets Fletcher a near-fall as he found himself on the offensive, before he runs into a Downward Spiral into the corner as Brooks mocks him, only to get met with a big dropkick.
Fletcher tries for his Aussie Arrow lawndart, but instead has to make do with a facebuster off the middle rope that spiked Brooks for a near-fall. The Loose Ledge manages to make a comeback with his backpack stunner, before his attempt at a brainbuster is turned into a small package as Fletcher followed up with a Michinoku driver for a near-fall. Kyle again goes for the lawn dart, but somewhere in all of this, the middle turnbuckle cover had been removed… that gives referee Chris Roberts something to do, as he misses a low blow from Brooks, before the pump handle lumbar check gets the win. This was fine, but it suffered a lot from what I’m beginning to call the Bodom Syndrome – in that you’ve got a guy who’s sorta portrayed as a bad guy, but treated as a good guy by the crowd for little reason… which ends up hurting their matches. ***
TK Cooper wandered out after the match and issued a challenge to Brooks, noting that both of them were undefeated, and perhaps they should match up. The Loose Ledge was a little non-committal, as he headed to the back leaving TK to mull over it.
David Starr vs. Chuck Mambo
Insisting on coming out first, David Starr again introduced his personal referee, Shay Purser (who had been in action earlier for the edited-out women’s tag match), and had his own cue cards for “Generic Ring Announcer #3”. Not that they were much use, because he still messed up the intros. You had… one job!
The story here was that Starr who called himself the best of the best – even taking a shots at “man who paid to see me wrestle” (who just happened to be former FWA wrestler Mark Sloan…) is refusing to giver title shots easily – citing the hoops he had to jump through to get his one-on-one, fair shot against Kurtis Chapman. His opponent here tonight, therefore, had a bit of an incentive to win, although it wasn’t made clear if it’s a “beat me, then get a title shot” deal… but by the end, it was a moot point for Chuck Mambo.
Originally starting out on the defensive as Starr worked over his arm, while verbally berating Mambo for being beneath him. That led to Mambo coming in with some Gory specials, teasing a submission before pulling Starr into a surfboard as he showed some lucha inspiration, sending Starr to the outside for respite. Mambo uses a hair-pull to get Starr onto the apron, but a Cherry Mint DDT tease is blocked as Starr comes back in instead with a back elbow and a sliding splash in the corner for a near-fall.
Shrugging off the flurry, Starr distracted referee Shay with a “loose turnbuckle”, giving him a chance to rake away at Mambo’s eyes as we got the first sign of how naive the “independent official” Shay was. Some roll-ups drew near-falls back-and-forth as Starr cuts off Mambo with a backbreaker, before mocking Mambo with some chops. Another flurry of offence rocks Starr, as does a tiltawhirl backbreaker and a Blockbuster, as Mambo seemingly edged closer to victory.
A Bad Burrito attempt from Mambo was countered with a roll-up as Starr worked his way up to the Product Recall, but Mambo blocks it and scales the ropes, only to get brought down with an armdrag for a near-fall. The pair exchange strikes until Starr’s lariat left Mambo prone… Chuck’s able to counter a Blackheart Buster into a Bad Burrito before going outside for a parkour-like stomp off the apron… but Starr catches him back inside with a knee, before being sent to the outside with a Dragon suplex.
Mambo doesn’t go after him, rather asking referee Shay to hold up the count, before charging into a Cherry Mint DDT… and unlike Chuck, Starr’s more than happy to take the count-out… and gets it as Mambo couldn’t beat Shay’s ten count. It’s been a while since we had a count-out, but this was a nice way to further establish Starr as an underhanded, “win at all costs” champion without going down the hackneyed routes. ***½
Josh Bodom vs. Dan Magee
Built out of the aftermath of Bodom’s loss to Fred Yehi on Friday, this was either going to go one of two ways: a brutal squash, or another step in Dan Magee’s rise. In the end, we sort-of got both…
Magee had already beaten Bodom in a three-way in Southampton, so this was the natural next step, especially since his win over Zack Gibson last time at the Cockpit seemed to be his farewell. He showed little fear against Bodom, squaring up to him at the bell, but it was Bodom who was the early aggressor as his merry band of followers sang along against the range of whatever-the-crowd-could-chant-Dan-to.
Magee was smart to some of Bodom’s stuff, but couldn’t avoid a dropkick as Bodom started to wear him down. A German suplex took Magee into the corner, ahead of a running enziguiri… but Bodom’s ground-and-pound offence was stopped when he was lifted to the apron, before an attempt at springboarding back in was cut-off with a dropkick. That’s shrugged off though as Bodom kept throwing the heavy shots, before falling to a Side Effect and a sliding Flatliner, as he hauled Bodom up for a Slingblade for an eventual near-fall. Bodom’s back with more strikes as he looked for the Bliss Buster… Magee shoved off and got an enziguiri before the Bliss Buster spikes Magee for an arrogant near-fall.
Bodom tries a tombstone as he looked for a new finish, but Magee leaned back and turned it into a wacky variation of a reverse DDT… and that’s enough for the win as Bodom blew his stack again! A decent match, but a lot of this match was Magee surviving… and we all know how the underdog formula worked long-term for Chapman! ***
After the match, Bodom charged to the back once Magee went through the curtain… and it seemed he used a back passage to sneak up on Magee, bring him back out to ringside and give him the beating he had originally planned. A tombstone on the apron left Magee laying, and continued the building of Josh Bodom as a Loose Cannon. Tellingly though, Magee now has wins over Bodom and Zack Gibson (who, if you believe the news, is done with the company because of the WWE UK deal).
Legion of Lords (Lord Gideon Grey, Rishi Ghosh, No Fun Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.) vs. El Phantasmo, TK Cooper, Flash Morgan Webster & Kurtis Chapman
If you watch all of Rev Pro’s output, you’ll be aware of the tensions within the Legion of Lords – from Gideon introducing a “new best friend” in No Fun Dunne, then leaving Rishi Ghosh to tag with Los Federales Santos Jr.
Thing is, while Gideon thought that was a booby prize, it turned out that the “B-team” were more successful… so much so he wanted to tag with Ghosh again… only for them to come up short in Southampton against the Arrows of Hungary last month. So after a delayed apology, the Legion of Lords reunited for some nice, chaotic eight-man tag team action, against a ragtag bunch of good guys… and Kurtis Chapman. Intentionally or otherwise, Chapman wanted no part of “wear each other’s gimmicks day”, sticking to his tracksuit jacket as TK wore Flash’s glasses and jacket, while Webster himself borrowed El Phantasmo’s ring gear. This keyboard warrior’s no fun. Aah.
Rishi goaded Chapman with a David Starr t-shirt, and that sparked some fight out of Kurtis before the bell… and of course, the crowd boo as Rishi tagged out. We’ve all your favourites here, as Santos his No Fun Gun on TK, before accidentally looking at it during the circle game… Dunne and Phantasmo had a flurry, with ELP getting a crossbody and a Quebrada for an early near-fall, before Flash hits a slingshot roll-up on Gideon Grey as the Legion of Lords were in trouble.
Dunne turns it around as he drops a knee on Webster for a near-fall, as Flash seemed to be taking the brunt of the offence for a spell here. Flash tries to fight back on Santos, scoring with headscissors that took the big man into the ropes before the hands-up headbutt worked on everyone… but Rishi. Hard man haircut!
TK gets instant revenge with a headbutt of his own, before the Mexican Santos is punched out, as he finds that yelling your nationality isn’t a guarantee of success. A Parade of Strikes broke out there, leading to a bicycle knee from Webster to Santos, before a satellite DDT from Chapman drew boos. That sparks a Parade of Moves as Andy Simmonz sounded bored, ending with the Ghosh Buster as referee Chris Roberts had long since given up any hope of control, as he waited for the match to settle down naturally.
Adam Brooks wanders out to distract TK Cooper – then pulls him out as that somehow isn’t a DQ. Cooper goes to the back to take care of the Aussie as Chapman’s left isolated against the Anti-Fun Police… even more so when Dunne and Webster fought to the back, leaving Phantasmo and Chapman at a 3-on-2 disadvantage. Santos misses a charge into the corner, allowing Chapman to tag in Phantasmo, who flew into the big guy before ‘ranaing Ghosh into Santos ahead of a DDT.
Gideon eats an enziguiri from Phantasmo, who brought Chapman back in to set up for a Sega Mega Driver that spiked Grey on his head with a thud. In response, Santos dumped Chapman with a Big End for a near-fall, then again with a big splash out of the corner before Gideon Grey demanded to be tagged in for the pin. He demanded that Rishi and Santos went to the back so he could claim the glory, but Gideon misses a top rope legdrop as Phantasmo tagged back in for the senton/moonsault combo, and that’s the win! This one was wild and all over the place, but in a good way – heck, and it even broke up several stories too, as I suspect we’re getting ELP vs. Chapman at some point given the hints between those two? ***¼
Jeff Cobb vs. Mark Davis
With Travis Banks on the shelf, our main event was the obvious choice: two big lads from one of the matches of the night from Friday!
We started with the usual Big Lads Spots, with shoulder blocks to establish both men as the immovable objects. Davis eventually won out, before they show off their agility with leapfrogs and cartwheels. Big men shouldn’t be able to do stuff like this… although Cobb did need a helping hand from a kip-up, so it’s all good… A ‘rana from Cobb shocks Dunkzilla, who replies with a springboard armdrag as these guys are doing moves folks half their size would struggle with. Cobb’s shoulder tackle took Davis down, as the pair resumed by trading forearms back-and-forth, before Cobb lifted Dunkzilla up into a stalling suplex.
Cobb keeps up with clotheslines before whipping Davis into the corner for a near-fall, but Dunkzilla fights back with right hands and forearms before running into a spinebuster… a spinebuster that gave way to a People’s Moonsault, with a little extra help from Dunky’s elbow pad. Davis is back in again with some kicks as he took Cobb into the corner for a sliding forearm, as he then proceeded to restrain Cobb with a Cobra Twist.
Davis hauls Cobb up for a gutwrench suplex… but the favour’s instantly returned as they exchange suplexes with the big lads throwing each other around for fun. Clotheslines follow, as both men crashed to the mat… Davis gets up first and tries a crossbody, but it’s caught and turned into an Oklahoma Stampede for a near-fall. A powerbomb and a lariat from the Aussie almost won him the match, before an Alphamare Waterslide’s wriggled out of as Cobb teases the Tour of the Islands.
Davis fights that off and gets his Waterslide anyway for a near-fall, before the pull-up piledriver is blocked, as Cobb returns fire with a piledriver of his own, as a Tour of the Islands gets the win. A fun main event, but one that perhaps felt a little on the flat side. ***
Live at the Cockpit 29 was a fun show, but one that felt a little like a bit of an “undo” from York Hall. Losses for Aussie Open, albeit in singles competition, take a lot of the wind out from under them after their win over the Chozen Bros on Friday night. Whether those were the original ideas, had this show been a warm-up and not a cool-down remains to be seen – but it sure was strange coming in here a week later after Super Strong Style 16’s clash forced a change in date.
Elsewhere, the only real story that looked to progress was within the Legion of Lords, as their dissolution appeared to continue, while I guess the editing here means there’s question marks surrounding the direction of the women’s title. Rev Pro won’t be at the Cockpit in June, as they’re taking a month off to run in Southampton instead… and with the Rev Pro-assisted New Japan shows at the end of June/start of July, we’re looking at almost two months before we’re back at the Cockpit.