The final sort-of build for Global Wars came to a head at the Cockpit, as Rev Pro’s monthly visit proved to be another fun outing.
This was a rare no-show for us at the Cockpit, but we can’t be in two places at once! Commentary’s handled by the two Andys – Quildan and Simmonz – and for some reason the audio mixing here is really, really quiet.
Josh Bodom vs. Kurtis Chapman
Originally slated as Bodom vs. Chris Ridgeway, injury forced a change to the line-up.
Bodom’s instantly in with his bullying, swatting Chapman with a forearm, but Chapman’s able to get free and land a new move tagged the Dreamcaster – or the Overdrive as fans of a certain vintage will remember it as. Bodom’s right up from that as be absorbs some shots from Chapman, and responds with a simple poke to the eye.
A clothesline’s next as Chapman remains on the defensive, with Bodom remaining aggressive… but he ends up getting caught with a lungblower out of the corner as Chapman was already forced to be scrappy. There’s an enziguiri to put Bodom back, but Chapman attacks from the bottom, kicking out Bodom’s knees to make him fall into some knees, and eventually to the outside as Chapman teases a Bliss Buster.
Of course, that’s not happening as Chapman instead nails a flying stomp as Bodom was doubled-over in the ropes. Chapman goes for the Dreamcaster again, but Bodom’s wise to it… but not to the Sega Mega Driver. Bodom manages to roll to the apron for safety, but he rolls back into another flying stomp as Chapman gets a near-fall. Bodom quickly turns it around with the Bodom Breaker, bouncing Chapman high off of his knees, before pulling him into the ropes for a Bliss Buster. Chapman escapes… but only lifts Bodom onto the apron, which earned Kurtis a tombstone onto the apron. It’s pretty elementary from there, as Bodom pulls Chapman into the ropes for a Bliss Buster… and that’s as close to a squash as you’re getting. Bodom’s “going heavyweight”, so this was a New Japan-ish “junior killed by a bigger guy”outing. **¾
Legion of Lords (No Fun Dunne & Rishi Ghosh) vs. Gnarly Neon Explosion (Cassius & Chuck Mambo)
This was advertised as Ghosh and Lord Gideon Grey representing the Legion of Lords, but Gideon was out in his Manager’s Jacket™ and instead gave his spot in this match to Rishi Ghosh, so he could prove himself.
Cassius started out by annoying Dunne by having fun, before some headscissors irritated Dunne some more. Cassius is like one of those bouncy balls, unable to keep still, and so he charges into Dunne with a Bronco buster, prompting the chief of police to tag out to Rishi Ghosh, who didn’t appear to be fazed. Mambo’s in too, but he runs into a headbutt before he scored with a drop toe hold en route to a surfboard! Rishi faceplants on his way out, but recovers by booting Mambo in the gut before a suplex was reversed with ease. Cassius is back in, as the Legion of Lords and up being human surfboards as Mambo and Cassius played patty-cake on their backs. The Legion turn things around with some dubious tactics, as they started to focus on and isolate Cassius.
Eventually Cassius scores with a clothesline as he dove out to Mambo, who flew in with a dropkick to knock Ghosh off the apron. A springboard Meteora took out Dunne, as did a Blockbuster, but Rishi’s in to break up the cover… but Dunne’s still left in as he takes a Bad Burrito and a tornado DDT as Cassius almost took the win. Rishi breaks it up again, this time throwing Mambo to the outside as Cassius was hauled up for a torture rack/knee drop combo that nearly ends things.
There’s nearly a miscommunication as a springboard lungblower from Dunne almost took out Ghosh, as a big Parade of Moves broke out… ending with an errant Ghosh headbutt to Dunne. Cassius tries to capitalise, but eats a wheelbarrow facebuster before Gideon Grey appeared and offered a cane shot as Rishi looked for the Ghosh-Buster. Of course, Rishi takes the cane by mistake, and it’s straightforward from there as a facebuster and a frog splash earned the Gnarly Neon Explosion the win. A nice even match, but this was more of a backdrop for the Legion of Lords storyline. ***
Post-match, Gideon chews out Rishi, saying that they’re “done-ahh”. Rishi Ghosh is no longer part of the Legion of Lords it seems…
Bobbi Tyler vs. Zoe Lucas
Tyler’s got a new look that almost screams “hippie” – and it’s her first outing at the Cockpit since she injured her shoulder against Jamie Hayter a few months back.
Zoe’s built up something of a winning streak while Hayter’s been in Japan, and we start with Zoe having to fight out of a hammerlock… which she does with ease. A cravat follows from Tyler, as they kept things at close quarters, but Lucas counters with one of her own, before cartwheeling to the mat as we got an old-school leg spreader. Tyler escapes by throwing Lucas’ head into the mat, before taking her into the corner for a diving clothesline, as some knees to the head follow on the apron. We’ve a hook kick from Bobbi, then a Flatliner out of the corner as her shoulder looked to have caused issues once more… not helped by an arm whip that saw Lucas dump her there.
Lucas keeps up on the shoulder, before connecting with a scorpion kick, a head kick and a death valley driver en route to a near-fall… but the Final Cut legdrop-assisted DDT gets the win. A pretty emphatic win in the end, as Bobbi Tyler’s shoulder issues were exploited in the end. **¾
Post-match we get an unusual interview with Generic Ring Announcer #3, who asks Zoe what her next aim is: was it the January Queen of the Ring tournament, or the women’s title? Zoe had a message for Jamie Hayter, calling her out for not defending the title and for not being here… but it turned out that the champion was here all along, as Hayter sauntered down to the ring and caught Zoe from behind. Yeah, that kinda came from the “naive babyface” playbook as Zoe didn’t react to the crowd’s warnings since she was too busy cutting her promo to camera. Lucas turns around and doesn’t say or do anything else… bar grab Hayter’s title before the two eventually came to blows. Save for the “I’m so focused I didn’t notice anyone getting in the ring” bit, this was pretty good – and finally, some build to a women’s title match. I just wish Britwres had another word to call females other than “bitch”…
MK McKinnan vs. David Starr
From Germany, I heard rave reviews about this match – so let’s see if it lives up to the hype. We’ve got David Starr’s new music, something he doesn’t appear to be too thrilled with if Twitter’s anything to go by.
Starr’s pre-match promo takes shots at the promotion’s “other champions” not being around… which was tied in with some murmurings around Germany about how Rev Pro’s main titles have been put on ice. One guy chanted for MK, which drew a pity “wah-wah” from Starr, who told MK that he didn’t deserve a shot at the Cruiserweight title. Yes, David Starr’s conspicuous bald-patch on his chest was visible here. Thanks, Jurn!
So we get going, but Starr powders to the outside and stares down the MK fan (who’s also the Josh Bodom Fan), before he returned to check some kicks from MK. Starr goes for the leg early on, before pulling him into a seated surfboard a la Liger, but he switches that into a pinning predicament that McKinnan kicked out of. Blocked hiptosses saw both men end up in the ropes, before MK nearly caught Starr with a hook kick as the cruiserweight champion again ended up in the ropes. We’ve a pratfall next as Starr tripped MK, but McKinnan ties himself in the ropes as Starr went for a gutwrench suplex. Starr’s back with a Thesz press for a near-fall, but he’s crashed into with a dropkick as MK keeps it even, charging him into the corner as some stomps had the Product reeling.
MK keeps up with some kicks in the corner, but Starr leaps over a charge and hits a Euro clutch-like roll-up for a near-fall as he was pulling some new tricks out of his bag. Chops follow as Starr takes over, squashing McKinnan with a sliding splash in the corner for another two-count. McKinnan lands a flurry of strikes before rolling through Starr for another head kick and a German suplex… but he ends up avoiding a Cherry Mint DDT before nailing a tope con giro through the ropes! Back in the ring, there’s more kicks from MK, then a right hand as Starr ends up on the apron again, this time for more kicks, before a senton smashed into Starr as he was doubled-over in the ropes.
Starr flips out of a rear naked choke, then cracks MK with a Han Stansen lariat. More strikes follow from the champion with forearms and chops, before he ran into a forearm… only to respond with a back elbow and another Han Stansen as MK looked to fight back. There’s another head kick and a Shining Wizard as MK came close to victory, before catching Starr in a rear naked choke that ends instantly with a rope break. MK ends up taking another pratfall, then a bridging pin as Starr came close, only to get hius lights knocked out with a big knee, then an inverted slam as McKinnan kept switching up his offence. Starr rolls to the outside again, where he catches MK with a Cherry Mint DDT and some superkicks before a snap German suplex and a diving Han Stansen… drew another two-count! Starr gets one more superkick for a two-count as MK seemed invulnerable, rolling up Starr from a Sharpshooter for another two-count.
Starr survives that and stomps MK’s arm as the pair traded more blows from their knees, with MK looking to edge ahead, only for another Han Stansen to put McKinnan down as the war continued. There’s some more chops as Starr traps MK in the corner, but he walks into some more of them as he mounted one more comeback, hitting some Machine Gun chops in the corner, before a pumphandled death valley driver led back to the Tazmission, then some Danielson elbows!
Starr looked to be in big trouble, as referee Shay Purser does the arm drop gimmick, but he fought free and flipped back in the corner for a near-fall. Another trip leads to a crossface on MK, but there’s a rope break as somehow McKinnan had enough left in the tank! Some strikes to the neck looked to weaken him some more as Starr lifts MK up top, but a superplex is thwarted… only for Starr to pop back up with a belly-to-belly superplex. Somehow, MK pops back and hits a running Destroyer, only for Starr to retaliate with a Blackheart Buster as we’re still swapping near-falls… until the Product Placement eventually earned the three count. Good God almighty – I may not have been sold on MK before this, but this was an outing that “made him” in defeat. A pleasantly unexpected banger of a match that you ought to check out! ****¼
Post-match, Andy Quildan waxes lyrical over how David Starr had the chance to use his belt as a weapon but didn’t… only for Starr to lay out MK with a belt shot from behind.
Great O-Kharn vs. TK Cooper
O-Kharn was accompanied by Gideon Grey, as I guess we’re in that wacky “sorta-following TV storylines, but not” timeline.
Gideon’s his manager now, and his mouthpiece. He calls for some new blood to face O-Kharn… and he’s found someone else in Rev Pro who’s undefeated: TK Cooper. Well, I mean we’re retconning Adam Brooks’ DQ win, so all’s well… O-Kharn jumps TK as he entered the ring, choking him in the ropes before dishing out some Mongolian chops as TK tried in vain to fight back. Some Snake Eyes dropped TK in the ropes for another two-count, before sandwiching TK in the corner and sitting on his head. So far, so very O-Kharn squash match…
Finally TK mounts a comeback, but he runs into a pop up forearm and a Mongolian chop for another near-fall… and we’re back to the old school stuff. Running TK’s eye along the ropes blinds him as chops followed in the corner, before the ropes saved TK as a crossface looked to force a submission. Another comeback attempt sees TK punch out Okharn ahead of an axe kick as he drew a two-count… before hitting a springboard moonsault that landed into O-Kharn’s knees. A front suplex comes next as the former Young Lion hits back, leading up to a flying Mongolian chop that TK superkicks away.
TK lifts O-Kharn onto the apron, then catches him in the ropes as we get a springboard flip legdrop for a near-fall. Out of nowhere, O-Kharn hits back with a flatliner before the claw-assisted back stretcher and a head-claw chokeslam picked up the win. Much like Kurtis Chapman in the opener, this was a massive squash – as TK Cooper lost his 0. Again. How much someone’s stock can fall… **½
After O-Kharn kept putting the boots to TK after the match, Rishi Ghosh hit the ring and laid into O-Kharn with a headbutt, prompting Gideon Grey’s latest charge to scurry away. Rishi challenged the “Dominator” to a match at Global Wars… so he can embarrass O-Kharn in front of his New Japan peers.
HxC (Dan Head & James Castle) vs. Team Whitewolf (Carlos Romo & A-Kid)
The pairing of Head and Castle have had quite a run in their brief time as a team – just about registering themselves in the largely forgotten tag title scene.
This was a rematch from over two months ago, when HxC debuted with a win. If you’re counting announcing clangers by the way, it came in this match, courtesy of “Carlos Romos”. We start with A-Kid taking down Head for a cross armbar, but it ends quickly in the ropes, so Kid goes back after him on the mat, before landing a dropkick that took Head into the corner. James Castle tags in, as did Romo, who scored a satellite roll-up en route to another dropkick as Castle couldn’t get out of the blocks.
All four men end up on the outside, but HxC took over back in the ring as Castle helped drop Kid’s neck on the rope. Castle keeps up the aggression with a waistlock takedown, while Head put the boots to Kid as the “home team” were having their way with some solid tandem offence. Kid ducks a double clothesline, dropkicks Head and makes the hot tag to Romo who cleared house by himself, going into Head and Castle with lariats in the corner, ahead of a reverse DDT/Flatliner combo that picked up a near-fall. A back elbow from Head stops things, but a lungblower and German suplex combo from the Spaniards helped them on their way to a near-fall.
Castle drags Head into the corner so he could tag in, but their fortunes don’t immediately change – Ramos hits Head with a cutter, before running into a knee. There’s a Spanish fly for Castle too, before he puts Romo in harm’s way as Kid crashed into his own man with a dropkick before a double stomp-assisted backbreaker got a near-fall on Kid. A superkick from Kid gets him a breather, but Romo tags in and runs into a shotgun dropkick as Castle keeps up the offence, almost getting the win with a double-team Roll the Dice on Romo.
An assisted DDT similarly backfires, before Team Whitewolf hit a missile dropkick/legsweep combo… and the Spaniards get the win! A solid back-and-forth outing – but again the tag team division are trading wins and losses, as the scene remains much of a muchness. ***¼
Jody Fleisch vs. El Phantasmo
Fresh off his British J Cup win, El Phantasmo warmed up for his Global Wars match with Rocky Romero with an outing against one of the pillars of Britwres.
They keep it grounded early on, with Fleisch looking for a headlock… but ELP slips out into a hammerlock, before a reversal sent him to the outside. Phantasmo tried to springboard his way back into the ring, but he slips… and saves himself from doing himself some damage. Fleisch leaps onto him with another hammerlock, but ELP escaped as he remained rather much unable to get into any kind of gear.
A bow-and-arrow hold from ELP looked to give him a foothold, but Fleisch flips out into a pinning attempt before some trash-talking from Phantasmo (who’s picked up the odd British insult or two) sparked another stand-off. They still keep it grounded though, with Phantasmo using a knuckle lock to try and pin Fleisch to the mat, leading to some neck bridges from Jody and a monkey flip as Fleisch tried to free himself. It’s an impressive sequence, which even took in a slapping battle that upgraded into chops as ELP went for a rope walk… which ended with a double-jump ‘rana for a near-fall. A chinlock follows, with Phantasmo bridging up to try and add extra leverage, before Fleisch feinted a back body drop and instead caught ELP with an enziguiri to counter the counter. The power game appears as Fleisch whips Phantasmo hard into the corner for a near-fall, before a backflip facebuster keeps the Canadian on the defensive.
ELP backflips of the ropes and begins to take to the air, chaining together a crossbody and a Quebrada for a near-fall. They take it outside, where Phantasmo kicks Fleisch around the crowd, before heading back into the ring as a slingshot senton turned into a hand-walking senton after Fleisch rolled away. Fleisch retaliated with an enziguiri and a reverse ‘rana, before scoring with a top rope ‘rana as ELP had headed up there. Phantasmo hit back with an enziguiri on the top rope to stop Fleisch, as another top rope ‘rana took down the veteran ahead of a frog splash that found its mark… but only drew a near-fall. ELP tried to do the Jody Fleisch 720 DDT, but he slips and ends up taking a handspring back elbow as Jody nearly made him pay for the imitation.
There’s a pop-up cutter from ELP, but Fleisch kicks out at two, and then catches Phantasmo up top for an avalanche reverse ‘rana! Fleisch tries to finish off with a 720 DDT, which connects… only to send ELP flying to the outside. Rolling him back inside, Fleisch heads up again for a shooting star press, but ELP rolls away and returns fire with a superkick… and that’s enough for the win! That felt a bit like a banana skin finish – with ELP “getting lucky”, winning after Fleisch jarred his knee on aborting a shooting star press. Still, this was a solid main event – even if the outcome wasn’t really indicative of any kind of push… then again, with ELP having lost so definitively to David Starr recently, it’s going to be a while before he’s in title contention again. ***½
Cockpit 33 was a mixed, but largely good showing. I wasn’t keen on having two glorified squash matches on the show, but this was a very good “holding pattern” show for those who had nothing to do at Global Wars in Brixton. Come for the excellent David Starr/MK McKinnan match, and hang around for the rest of the card!