It’s amazing how much a show can be overshadowed… but luckily for you that bit’s on the cutting room floor as Rev Pro put on another hot Cockpit show.
Getting the elephant out of the room early, the show featured a segment with Sam Adonis attacking Kurtis Chapman after his match, with the end goal being to set up a match with Chris Brookes down the line. Somewhere in this though, Adonis thought it’d be a good idea to throw out several slurs, which led to the crowd turning their back on him. An apology from Rev Pro was issued on the night, and later again the next day as they confirmed they’d rescinded their bookings, and the entire thing would forever be the live crowd’s dirty secret.
Anyway, we’re back in a sweltering Cockpit, with the two Andys on commentary… and Andy Quildan’s doing double duty going from commentary to ring announcing.
Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs. Hunter Brothers (Jim Hunter & Lee Hunter)
Much like their impromptu outing for wXw back in March, this was GOOD.
From the opening handshake, we’ve a bit of a tentative open as the two teams looked for an opening, with Jim Hunter edging out Kyle with an imploding standing senton. The Hunters exchange tags as they isolate Kyle in their own corner, surviving a roll-up attempt before Fletcher was able to tag out. Lee tries to chop against Mark Davis, but it goes badly as he took a high five… before tagging in Jim, who gets punched out, then pancaked. He’s squashed again courtesy of a back senton from Davis, who picks up a near-fall, all as the Aussies looked to be in cruise control. While marvelling at the Aussies’ frequent tags, the Andys talk about extending their visas, just in time for Lee to crash into Kyle with a dropkick as the more established pairing tried to edge back into it.
Kyle’s now finding himself isolated as the Hunters exchange quick tags and keep him away from a tag, but just like that Fletcher hits a Michinoku driver before tagging back out to Mark Davis as the Hunters ate chops and clotheslines for fun. A whoopee cushion sit-down splash out of the corner from Davis keeps Lee down, before Jim tags in, gets punched out, then squashed by a High Fly Flow from Kyle Fletcher as we keep on going. There’s a nice scoop into a reverse DDT from Jim for a two-count, before superkicks become the order of the day as the ring fills… just as Kyle leaps into a pair of them, before Mark Davis hit his one-handed powerbomb… before Lee Hunter caught him with a Code Red for a near-fall!
The Aussies turn the tables with an assisted cutter for a near-fall on Lee… but the double-team powerbomb’s escaped as the Hunters hit back on Davis, leading to an assisted backflip kick! Davis gets wiped out by a tope con giro by Jim on the outside, before the Hunters chased the dragon on Fletcher, who then ate a senton bomb/neckbreaker for a two-count. We still keep going as Davis slams both Hunters at the same time (good LORD), before the double team double underhook powerbomb only drew a near-fall on Lee.
Undeterred, the Aussies look for the Fidget Spinner, but Jim makes a save as he struck out on the Aussies… only to get laid out with a pull-up piledriver as the Aussies finally dumped Lee with a Fidget Spinner for the win. An amazing content to open the show – and an emphatic yet competitive victory for the Aussies. Make time for this one – you’ll even forget the ITV “on the wonk” hard camera too! ****¼
Lord Gideon Grey’s out next – he’s got a manager’s license for the next match, which includes the ability to yell at the sound booth, as he’s giving Rishi Ghosh a test (or is that a punishment?) against the Great O-Kharn. Complete with Gideon giving a bug-eyed, maniacal introduction for the travelling Young Lion!
Rishi Ghosh vs. Great O-Kharn
After recovering from motion sickness (cheers for not cutting away from the cameraman as he repositioned himself!), we get going with Rishi just getting shoved away, before his headbutts were shrugged off, as O-Kharn repeatedly slammed Ghosh to the mat.
Ghosh baseball slides to the outside as he looked for a breather, but instead O-Kharn gives chase as he gets suckered back into the ring for some stomps from Rishi. Clotheslines are next as O-Kharn’s barely fazed, which meant he could hit a shoulder block, only for Rishi to pop up and land an enziguiri as his comeback was on track. A German suplex gets stuffed as O-Kharn put on the brakes, before he opted to choke away at Ghosh, then play a game of “got your nose!” as Ghosh finally mounted a comeback… that quickly ended with a Mongolian chop. Ghosh gets taken into the corner with some Snake Eyes, then down to the mat in a crossface, twisting at Rishi’s neck some more as another rope break was eventually called.
O-Kharn heads up top, but he takes too long and gets brought down with a stunner, labelled the Ghosh Train, as he finally gets off that German suplex to continue the comeback. A bicycle kick into the corner, then a spear takes O-Kharn down for a near-fall… but that’s the beginning of the end as O-Kharn hits back with a waistlock takedown, before a claw led to the back-stretching submission for the win. This was fine, but it felt like an extended squash to highlight O-Kharn – with the ringside cameras completely missing the reactions of Gideon Grey that added an extra thread to the match. **¼
Post-match, O-Kharn hits the flying Mongolian chop to Rishi, after Gideon’d shoved his (former?) tag partner into harms’ way.
Rev Pro British Women’s Championship: Bobbi Tyler vs. Jamie Hayter (c)
We’re still in “champion against challenger of the month” matches in the women’s division, as Bobbi Tyler rolled down the proverbial conveyor belt. At least Jamie Hayter’s mannerisms make her look like she’s above all of this.
From the off, Tyler grabs a headlock and scores with a shoulder tackle as she tried to snatch some early pinning attempts. Another headlock follows as they head to the mat, but Hayter manages to edge ahead with a shoulder charge before embarking on some pinning attempts of her own. Tyler looked nervous and pensive after those, but she springs back into action, only to run into an elbow before Hayter caught her with a suplex, then a neckbreaker as the champion eased ahead.
That suplex looked to have done some damage, but Tyler’s able to respond with a Miz-like corner clothesline and a boot for a near-fall, then with a kick to the back. Back-and-forth strikes follow, but Tyler sneaks in a Dragon screw before she’s met with a German suplex, and now the Hayter comeback was on, as another suplex dumps her into the corner… and it looked like it was that suplex that caused some of the shoulder injuries that Tyler picked up here.
There’s a running knee into Tyler in the ropes for a near-fall as she was left prone on the mat… but she’s able to counter a Sharpshooter into a modified STF that Hayter punches free of, before we go to a cross armbreaker, which forced Tyler to struggle into the rope as she clearly favoured that shoulder. A neckbreaker over the knee doesn’t help things, but Tyler is able to hit a German suplex for a near-fall as she kept the match somewhat even.
Another knee to the face rocks Tyler, who’s able to counter a Falcon arrow into a small package for a near-fall, as a big boot gave Bobbi some more time. Duelling kicks follow, before another neckbreaker from Hayter left her open for a head kick, then an awkward lifting reverse DDT for the win. This was fine for what it was, but the Rev Pro women’s division needs a LOT of work while Hayter’s away in Japan for STARDOM. Bobbi Tyler’s torn rotator cuff and fractured shoulder will put her on the shelf for a while, but all credit to her for gutting through the match despite those knocks. **
Adam Brooks vs. Jonah Rock
Small(er) Aussie vs. Big Aussie closes out the first half of the show, well… once referee Shay Purser’s done fiddling with the canvas and/or boards!
We started with Brooks getting thrown around with ease by Rock, as the size difference was proving to be a little tricky to overcome in the opening stages. When he resorts to sneaky tactics, Brooks has a little more luck, but he still can’t get past the sheer size of Jonah, who knocks him into the ropes with a right hand before a back elbow took down the Loose Ledge. After an eye rake to Rock, Brookes does a Yano by removing the turnbuckle padding, but Rock no-sells a shot to the head before he clotheslines it away… only to get tripped into the corner as Brooks finally gets a foothold into the match while commentary screams at Shay Purser for not knowing how to tie those pads back on.
In the meantime, Brooks shoves Rock’s face into the seating decks, before we’re back in the ring as Brooks picked up a one-count from a low dropkick. A series of kicks helps Brooks stay ahead, before he’s forced to roll away from a sit-down splash as Rock looked to squash Brooks out of a sunset flip attempt. An alternative to the 619 catches Rock in the ropes as the match remains on the mat… and as soon as they were back up, Brooks was right back down courtesy of a Samoan drop.
An avalanche squashes Brooks in the corner as he’s forced to switch out of a suplex… only to get caught with a DDT and a Dragon suplex for a near-fall. The pair exchange forearms and enziguiri next, before Rock’s lariat flipped Brooks inside out. Brooks again goes low as he mule kicked Rock in the corner, before building on that momentum with a running dropkick into the corner, and a Meteora off the top for a near-fall. Rock’s power shows again as a brainbuster gets him a near-fall, but his Battletoads splash off the top is cut-off as Brooks shoved the ref into the ropes.
What’s next was Brookes going up top himself for a senton bomb for the win. This was a pretty decent David vs. Goliath match, with Brooks showing he’d not against taking any kind of shortcut to take the win. ***½
Chris Ridgeway vs. Kurtis Chapman
These two have met previously, with Ridgeway getting a win in a non-title contest back when Chapman held the gold.
The crowd were a little too eager for Chapman’s destruction here, and we start with Ridgeway grounding Chapman as he began stretching him with a modified STF, before a surprise small package almost gave Chapman an upset. That just earns him a kick to the leg as Chapman went outside to try and shake it off, before he returned to grab a cravat, only for it to be escaped as the pair stood off.
Chapman manages to edge ahead, tripping Ridgeway and tying up his legs en route to an inverted figure four, ending with Ridgeway grabbing the bottom rope. Duelling heel hooks follow as they tried to force the other to submit, but it’s Ridgeway who punches his way free as he grabs Chapman’s heel and rains down some more blows. Chapman does throw plenty of strikes himself, but he ends up getting caught in a front facelock as Ridgeway rebounds with an up kick and a kick to the chest. Yeah, it’s fair to say that Chapman’s playing catchup, even more so when he’s knocked through the ropes with some body blows and a series of kicks, sending Chapman down to the outside. Perhaps unwisely, Chapman beats the count-out, and returns to take more of the same offence, before he surprises Ridgeway with a banana split?!
Fortunately for Ridgeway, he’s able to reach the ropes as Chapman had his best chance of winning yet… but a kick to the chest barely registers as Ridgeway again hits back, surviving a roll-up before he was pulled into an arm triangle. Ridgeway escapes by standing on Chapman’s head before countering into an ankle lock, and an eventual roundhouse kick, then a bridging German for a near-fall.
There’s a Dragon suplex next, then an axe kick as Ridgeway keeps up, before he looked to sink in a rear naked choke… but Chapman flipped out and almost pinned him! Straight from the kick-out though, a PK knocks out Chapman… and as soon as Ridgeway looked to follow-up, the referee waves off the match. A sudden ending as Ridgeway’s threat was underlined nicely here – now, can he appear regularly and build up some momentum going into next month’s British J Cup? ***¼
Something on the cutting room floor…although it was briefly referenced by Andy Simmonz at the start of the next match.
Legion of Lords (No Fun Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.) vs. Chuck Mambo & Sugar Dunkerton
With the crowd a little stunned from what they just heard, this was perhaps the best match Rev Pro could have thrown out to try and get everyone back on-side.
We started with a lot of playing to the crowd, with Dunne declaring “no fun” (ahh) while Mambo of course pulled a rib, blasting Dunne’s megaphone into his own ear. He’s deaf (ahh)? All four men were tagged in early, with Sugar Dunkerton getting highlighted a lot more here than he did last month where he was lost in the shuffle in that eight man tag… as he starts by showing Santos how to dance, finishing with a wave that even suckered in Dunne. It worked.
“Sugar and Chuck” double team Santos for a bit, but the tables quickly turn as Mambo gets cornered and stomped on by the Anti-Fun Police. I don’t think it was payback for the Riptide ring… especially since Chuck’s quickly out as the action remained brisk, with Dunkerton making Santos “accidentally DDT” his superior, much to Santos’ disbelief.
That forced Santos to think about pulling out the No Fun Guns, but instead we’ve a spinning heel kick that obliterated Sugar D for a near-fall. The police brutality continued, with Dunkerton getting trapped in the corner for a while before he snuck back with a dreaded double back rake. Oh the pain! That allows a hot tag back to Mambo, who lands a Blockbuster on Dunne for a near-fall, before a Gory bomb gave another two-count, as the good guys tried something out… which kinda worked.
A surfboard with a flying stomp thrown in!
It’s good for a near-fall as Santos makes a save, and the Anti-Fun Police hit back with an assisted Big Ending as Mambo was left on his own… at least until Dunkerton made a save, causing Dunne to hit his own man with the springboard lungblower. That allowed Mambo to come back in with a Bad Burrito to Dunne, before Dunkerton just about got off a Gotch tombstone, as a frog splash from Mambo finally put away the chief of police. This was enjoyable fare, with a finish that was a little off, but on the whole a good match to snap everyone back after (redacted)! ***
Kip Sabian vs. Sean Kustom
This was Kip’s Cockpit debut, having tussled with Josh Bodom on the promotion’s prior Southampton shows. It also meant that Andy Quildan was threatened with doing the “Superbad” intro… but instead he just got the crowd to do it for him. Meanwhile, Kustom still doesn’t have his own music, instead just getting “a later part of I’ve Got The Power”.
To the untrained eye, these two had a similar look and character, mirroring each other as we got another reference to Sam Adonis on commentary as someone didn’t read the room right. As for the match, KS and SK (see, even the initials mirror) catch each other’s kicks, before they sent each other into the ropes, with Sabian edging ahead with a ‘rana and a leaping knee. A sliding lariat from Sabian gets just a one-count, before Kustom feigned injury as he slipped out of a suplex… commentary played up a recent dislocated ankle that Kustom got on a Southside show, but nobody in the crowd “got it” as the eventual payoff was delivered, by way of a forearm smash to Sabian. There’s some ground and pound too as Kustom’s ankle was magically better, allowing him to enjoy some offence, even flipping out of an Irish whip into the corner so he could return in with a neckbreaker on Kip.
Kustom’s in with a dropkick to keep Sabian down, but a springboard enziguiri connects to send Sean off the apron as we head outside, with a nice slingshot legdrop on the apron for Sabian. Returning to the ring, Sabian regains that step over Kustom, landing a springboard missile dropkick, before a rebounding German suplex off the ropes and a cross-legged brainbuster almost put away the Aussie.
Kustom manages to hit back himself, rolling back off the ropes before hitting an over-the-knee reverse DDT and a butterfly brainbuster to Sabian… but it’s not enough, as he’s prompted to go up for a frog splash which misses, allowing Sabian to land a Rocker Dropper to give him some respite. That respite quickly ended when he looked to take Kustom down with a Burning Hammer off the top, but instead we get a sit-out version as Sabian manages to get the win. A decent match that would have played much better in front of a crowd that was more familiar with their characters – but a good starting point for Kip if he is to be a more prominent part of Rev Pro. ***¼
David Starr & Josh Bodom vs. Dan Magee & El Phantasmo
For the “go home” show for the Summer Sizzler, Rev Pro smashed up two matches for a tag team main event. Speaking of “smashed”, Andy Q messed up the introduction for David Starr once again, even when he was presented with the lines on the back of a t-shirt… inches away from him!
David Starr instantly tagged out when he figured he’d be facing off against El Phantasmo… so it’s ELP and Josh Bodom from the off, working well together as Phantasmo largely avoided Bodom’s offence before taking him down for a one-count. Dan Magee gets the tag in, but he runs straight into the Lo-Bodom-Knee before he was cornered for a brief spell, with David Starr of course willing to come in against the Product.
Magee manages to hit a SANADA-like double leapfrog/dropkick combo, but he takes his eye off the ball and allowed Starr to come back in with a boot before a springboard crossbody put Magee back ahead. He tags in ELP, but Starr again scurries away, scared of facing the Canadian as we’re back to Bodom and Phantasmo… this time with differing results. Phantasmo’s trapped in the corner with some kicks from Bodom, sending him to his knees before a springboard crossbody allowed ELP back into it, with a Quebrada getting a near-fall.
A double team back body drop almost flung Bodom into the ropes as Dan Magee returned to pick up a two-count… but he’s quickly met with a roundhouse kick to take him outside, as David Starr took advantage, dumping him onto the apron with a backdrop suplex before Bodom tried to pick apart the pieces. Starr’s back in to try and keep Phantasmo out of it, as Magee was forced to survive a prolonged spell of double-teaming, with Starr and Bodom working well to keep the inexperienced man in the ring. Magee tries to fight back, charging into the corner to make a tag, but Starr’s distracted the referee… so it doesn’t count! Classic bad guy teamwork like that always makes me smile. They keep Magee in the wrong corner for a little longer, with Bodom again taking shots at him from the outside while Starr ran his mouth at ELP… and we know what this is building up to.
After ducking a head kick, Magee manages a pumphandle Go To Sleep on Bodom, then finally makes that tag out to El Phantasmo… just as David Starr had tagged in! Josh Bodom’s out on the floor, so there’s nobody to save the Product, as ELP goes right in with a takedown and some punches. Starr escapes a back body drop, but ends up having to take a superkick before a Han Stansen lariat waffled his next challenger, as duelling strikes took both men back up to their feet.
They start throwing in boots for the sake of it, then slaps, as Bodom and Magee dragged themselves in to join the party… but it backfires as Starr accidentally lariats Bodom, before an elbow laid out referee Shay Purser in a hectic finish that saw Magee land a Bliss Buster to Bodom, before a whirlibird neckbreaker put down Starr… just as Chris Roberts came in to make the three-count! A satisfying end to a match that had been somewhat one sided…but a fine preview to the Summer Sizzler. ***½
The commentary for the final three matches was rather subdued, as you’d expect given the Adonis incident… although the differences between the two Andys was rather stark. One clearly wanted to forget the incident, while the other seemingly held out hope that it’d be tidied up in production, rather than dropped entirely. That aside, Rev Pro’s August Cockpit show was a fun card from top to bottom, even if they struggled to match the intensity that we saw in the opener. Once again, the Cockpit continues to provide its customary value for money cards – and a (mostly) enjoyable table-setting for their big York Hall show.