Rev Pro’s latest trip to the Cockpit was more of a stop-off for High Stakes as the promotion’s busy year continued.

With Andy Boy Simmonz in Japan, it was up to Dan Barnsdall to play the role of Generic Number 3 and colour commentator, finding out first hand why Andy Quildan wanted a separate ring announcer in the first place!

Rob Lias vs. El Phantasmo
Lias attacks Devlin before the bell, catching him after his backflip into the ring, but ELP’s able to overcome it as he went on to stomp a mudhole in Lias, before he threw a chop before he went for some rope-walking… complete with head chops in the corner before he leapt down and slugged Lias to the mat.

Lias responds with a neckbreaker and a step-up elbow drop as he tried to keep Phantasmo down, throwing some elbows while the crowd seemed to struggle to get behind Lias. On the outside, Lias continues to stomp on ELP, before ELP snapped back inside, chopping away on Lias… only for a rake to the eyes to stop everything in its tracks. ELP flips over Lias as a springboard crossbody and a Quebrada found its mark for a near-fall, only for Lias to hit back and land an elbow off the top for a near-fall. Lias looks for a Fisherman suplex, but ELP blocks it and comes back with a thrust kick to keep the match even, before Phantasmo had to abort a leap off the top rope, with Lias coming in with an enziguiri.

Lias keeps up with an elevated DDT for a two-count, before he’s caught up top with a gamengiri as ELP hit back with a top rope ‘rana, defying his shoulder issues, with a frog splash finishing off “rainbow Ricky”. This was okay, but the crowd didn’t seem to buy Lias as a threat – I enjoyed the focus on ELP’s neck and shoulder, except it didn’t play too much into the finish. **¾

Post-match, David Starr tried to sneak in and superkick ELP… he’s caught though, as Phantasmo commandeered Starr’s belt and after threatening Starr, then Chris Roberts, he laid out Rob Lias with it. One stare down later, and Starr’s sent packing, watching Lias eat a trapped arm Bob Fossil piledriver while ELP shouted out what I assume was his favourite mobile phone app.

Michael Oku vs. Kurtis Chapman
Apparently Michael Oku’s got a never-ending try-out for the 2019 Contender’s division. Nobody else seems to be though, so he may well be the one-man division!

Chapman’s looking to make the most of this as he tried to refocus after being swept aside by Chris Ridgeway last month, and Chapman’s all about the submissions early, grabbing a Dragon sleeper before stepping back when he saw Oku perhaps slipping free. A wristlock’s next from Chapman, who seemed to have a new sense of aggression here, but Oku slips free and goes for a single leg crab, prompting Chapman to go to the ropes before he pie-faced him.

A tie-up ends in the ropes, with Oku slapping Chapman as we again scramble on the mat, with both men grabbing heel hooks… but it’s Chapman who prevailed as he stood up and wrenched away on the toe hold. More slaps break it up, before Oku caught Chapman with a cracking leaping knee that almost wins him the match. Chapman counters back with a Codebreaker out of the corner as Oku managed to get his wacky bump for the day in, before Chapman caught him with a step-up enziguiri in the corner as the momentum continued to swing. Oku again tries for a single leg crab, but he gets tripped into another Codebreaker-like move for a near-fall. A cross armbreaker’s tried by Chapman next, but Oku’s too close to the ropes and gets himself free.

Oku manages to block as Sega Mega Driver, dropping Chapman across the top rope before rushing in with a dropkick, with a Jackhammer almost giving him his first win… but it wasn’t enough, and when Oku missed a clothesline, Chapman again goes for a Sega Mega Driver, which again gets blocked. The Half Crab’s finally applied by Oku, but again, they’re too close to the ropes. After the rope break, Oku sends himself sailing outside as he tried to go after Chapman… he ended up nearly sending himself into the crowd as Chapman turned it back around. Well, once he got clotheslined back into the ring, as he easily rolled away from a triple jump moonsault before a powerbomb left Oku open for a series of submissions, ending with a spine-bending stretch that forced Oku to tap. Oku came close to getting the draw, but this was a hell of a showing – even if the result wasn’t popular with the crowd. ***¼

Josh Bodom vs. Lucky Kid
It was a Rev Pro return for Lucky Kid here, who for some reason had dropped all of his RISE character, using his GWF music, eschewing the RISE pose… but still in the blue and black gear.

Bodom doesn’t seem want to lock-up, as he instead pushes Lucky Kid away so he could throw some chops and forearms, but Lucky’s back with a dropkick to take Bodom outside… following up with a plancha to the floor, only to get caught and dropped on the apron instead. Lucky gets thrown into the front row for a chop, before the favour’s returned. Back inside, a clothesline keeps Bodom ahead, with a back suplex getting him a near-fall.

Bodom begins to rough up Lucky Kid, but it just fires him up as Lucky hits some forearms… then gets hit, with a kitchen sink knee to the gut and a clothesline keeping the Berliner down. A kneeling pin gets a two-count, as Bodom was perhaps getting too arrogant… and quickly gets caught with a baseball wind-up style chop before a tiltawhirl cutter from Lucky got hm ahead. Elbows from Lucky Kid keep him ahead, as he had to flip out of a German suplex before a handspring back elbow puts Bodom down for a near-fall. Another tiltawhirl’s pushed off as Bodom kicks him for a near-fall, as Lucky Kid still clung on… only to get sent outside with a forearm before an Asai DDT left Bodom in the ropes.

A clothesline takes Bodom to the outside, but Lucky sends him right back in for a missile dropkick to the back as another tiltawhirl headscissors led to a crossface. Despite getting to the ropes, Lucky rolls Bodom into the middle of the ring, only for Bodom to get free and begin one more fight-back. A handspring’s countered into a German suplex before a Bodom Breaker and a Bliss Buster found the win. Pretty one-sided, all told, but Lucky bounced around like a good ‘un as Rev Pro’s on-off pushing of Bodom is making me lose interest in him. ***¼

Chris Brookes vs. Shigehiro Irie
Brookes was out with Kid Lykos, who was back to being his annoying sidekick here, complete with the trusty baking tray.

Brookes seems to be back to being a bad guy, with Andy Quildan referring to his “previous” form… and from the off Brookes doesn’t want any part of Irie, as he’s thrown down from a lock-up, before he scuttled out of the ring and walked to the back. Then re-emerged through another entrance… only to take another way out as Irie had to figure out which of the exits Brookes was going to appear from.

When Brookes did return, he tripped Irie as the pair looked for a toe hold… but Brookes’ lanky frame again confounded Irie, as we had a near-instant rope break. Next up, Brookes chops Irie in the ropes, but it barely fazed the former DDT star, who made Brookes beg off by simply taking a step forward. God, I love “oh, I done messed up” Brookes. The apology from Brookes wasn’t exactly believable, but Irie shook his hand anyway… and clung on before he whipped Brookes into the corners ahead of a long whip down by the arm. A bulldog out of the corner’s next as Irie keeps up with the slingshot splash, sending Brookes outside for some respite as the match took a turn for the weird.

Once Brookes had beaten down Irie, he waved the crowd aside, clearing half of one of the seating decks. It took Kid Lykos to herd the crowd away, and in the end it was a move too far as Irie just pounced Brookes over into the second row of the crowd. Yeah, there’s padding but Brookes caught the back of the seat on the way. Ow. Irie signals to take Brookes down with a powerbomb, but he’s caught on the apron as Brookes unsighted him with the ring apron for a series of stomps. Even the sheepdog Lykos gets in on the act, as stomps continued to weaken Irie. Back in the ring, Brookes stays on the arm with a series of elbows before he called out a brainbuster… and of course, it’s blocked and reversed, with Irie getting back into the game.

The Earthquake sit-down splash flattens Brookes next for a near-fall, before an attempt at a pounce is blocked, only for Irie to come right back with a snap piledriver. From there, Irie lifts Brookes onto the apron, before he countered a slingshot cutter into a katahajime… but Brookes rolled out to try and snatch a pin as the pain continued to trade blows. A bicycle knee cracks Irie, who hits back with a headbutt before an attempted at a Saito suplex was thwarted by a headlock. Instead, Irie has success with a death valley driver, before he’s forced to kick out from a roll-up as that Saito suplex finally lands. Irie calls for a Beast bomber, and flips Brookes inside out for a near-fall… because Kid Lykos placed Brookes’ foot on the rope to keep the match alive.

Lykos gets dispatched with a headbutt off the apron, looking to have done his job as Irie turned around into a Praying Mantis Bomb for a near-fall, before a grounded Octopus hold is broken free from. A second Pounce from Irie took Brookes into the corner… only for Irie to crash into an exposed corner, thanks to Lykos, who then interfered with a baking tray shot as a simple roll-up got Brookes the win. This was pretty solid, re-establishing Brookes and Lykos as an annoying tandem in Rev Pro… but if the intention was to get the crowd on Brookes’ back, well, it’s not worked. ***½

Lord Gideon Grey vs. MK McKinnan
This match had repercussions for High Stakes, with a stipulation that if Gideon Grey lost, he’d be banned from York Hall for the show.

Borrowing the idea from Chris Brookes, Gideon Grey ran backstage after his entrance, so he could attack MK McKinnan in the aisle. Yeah, we start in the aisle, as Gideon was determined that he was making it to High Stakes… by any means necessary. For some reason, Gideon swung at MK with a cane, but missed… as surely that’d have disqualified him? MK took over from there with kicks, including a pair of dropkicks into the corner before Gideon went all O-Kharn on us, raking the eyes before using a back suplex for a near-fall. From there, Gideon looks to chop away the ear of MK, before he took him into the corner and sat on him, a la O-Kharn (who was over in the States working for New Japan’s doomed US tour).

MK tries to come back with a small package before he tripped Gideon en route to a superkick and a sheer drop brainbuster that nearly ended it there. Kicks trap Grey in the ropes, as does a dropkick, which left Grey prone for a flip senton for another near-fall. Another roll through led to Grey being cracked with a kick and a German suplex, before a missed kick allowed Grey to go for the 50 Shade of Grey – the electric chair stunner – only for MK to slip out into a rear naked choke that instantly ended in the ropes.

More chops from MK, then kicks, keep Grey on the back foot, but he’s able to slip out of the corner and chop block McKinnan with his cane… and now Gideon’s got an open door as he stomped away on the compromised leg. A leg lock from Grey’s broken free as MK punches his way out, only for Gideon to go back to the eyes as he then kicked away at MK… who then tried again for the rear naked choke, only for Gideon to slip out into another ankle lock.

Grey stays on top of MK, only to get caught with a small package for a near-fall, then a pumphandle sit-out slam for another near-fall. The pair trade forearms for a spell, only for Gideon to stomp on McKinnan’s bare foot – which had been taken off earlier in the match. Another crack at the rear naked choke’s escaped, but in the end some Bryan Danielson elbows and a katahajime gets MK the win. This was pretty decent stuff in terms of the storyline – problem is, the Cockpit crowd don’t seem to buy Gideon as too much of a threat given how effective he’s become as a mouthpiece for O-Kharn and before that, the whole Legion of Lords storyline. How short people’s memories are…. Still, the sheer venom in MK after the match really makes you think that O-Kharn is in deep trouble at High Stakes… ***¼

Sammii Jayne vs. Yuu
This was a bit of a warm-up match for Sammii Jayne, who was meant to have teamed with Yuu in Bristol a week earlier. Sammii’s facing Zoe Lucas for the Rev Pro women’s title at High Stakes, and yes, Generic Number 3 did get her name right this time.

Yuu looked to take the upper hand early, but she’s quickly tripped as Sammii grabbed a toe-hold, only for Yuu to respond with a headlock takedown. After getting up, Sammii avoids some forearms and comes back with a clothesline before a crossbody catches Yuu in the corner ahead of another one off the top rope for a near-fall. Yuu’s right back with a spinning backbreaker for a near-fall, before some chops kept the Scotswoman on the mat, ahead of a cross armbreaker attempt. Jayne got to the rope to break it up, but Yuu stays on top of her with a deadlift off the mat… but Sammii slips out and took her down. From there, Sammii charges at Yuu with forearms in the corner before a kick to the head and a German suplex into the turnbuckles left Yuu down and out.

Running knees into the corner are good for a near-fall, but Yuu’s right back as she trades forearms back-and-forth with Sammii, with the pair of them putting plenty behind those strikes. A charge from Yuu ends with her getting sent onto the apron before Sammii came back with a neckbreaker and the Shadowfax baseball slide German for a delayed near-fall. More forearms follow as Yuu snapped Sammii to the mat with a Judo throw, before our third katahajime of the evening was broken up. Jayne tries to charge into Yuu in the corner, but it’s caught and turned into a sidewalk slam(ish!), before Yuu misses a dropkick, allowing Sammii to come back with a diving knee strike for the win. Another decent match, with Sammii Jayne building up that momentum going into York Hall… although I’d have preferred there to be a more traditional good guy/bad guy divide here. ***

Post-match, Zoe Lucas came out not exactly dressed to compete, with her “Bae” over her shoulder. Cue the “hold the belt up” pose from Lucas, who then looked for a belt shot before she connected with the Scorpion kick… the belt shot’s next, as Zoe Lucas is left standing tall over Sammii Jayne. Hey, there’s finally boos, so the turn’s taken!

David Starr vs. Jaxon Stone
This is non-title because Jaxon Stone isn’t a cruiserweight – although it he were, he’d have had a great chance here, since David Starr was clearly spooked by what El Phantasmo did earlier. He’s got a new nickname to add to his t-shirts – the face of Revolution Pro Wrestling – and we’ve also got a promo as Starr had his usual whinge at Rev Pro management, who’d put him in against an “American heavyweight” as punishment… perhaps for the Cockney accent he’d put on here?

Cue Jaxon Stone, who came in with something to prove. It’d be fair to say that, aside from probably wXw fans, he was a virtual unknown to the Cockpit. So this was a no-lose situation for Jaxon, right? After telling Starr he had “little man syndrome”, Stone poked the proverbial bear by reminding Starr how he “choked” against Tomohiro Ishii, oh and how he’s never gotten the job done against WALTER. That’s a line that’s come up in a few promotions now, which is making me ponder if that’s setting up for something… especially since it’s a match that can’t exactly pay-off in Rev Pro.

Cue an angry Starr, and we start with Stone taking him into the corner for some chops, as Stone used his size different to easily boot Starr out of the rid. Hey, the crowd liked all that, as a big boot sent Starr packing, and teasing a walk-out. Stone gave chase, and brings Starr back to the ring before he chopped away an attempted springboard lariat. Back in the ring, Stone hits the Rolling Stone (a fireman’s carry into a fallaway slam) for a delayed one-count, as Starr looked to fight back with a Cherry Mint DDT. Not to worry, Stone fights free, only to have the rope twanged into his stones as he tried to follow Starr outside. That opened it up for Starr to capitalise, as he used his boot to choke away on Stone in the corner as Andy Quildan bemoaned how David Starr had “brainwashed” the fans with his marketing.

Stone misses with a big boot, then gets caught in the face with a cartwheel from Starr, as he headed outside to recuperate. A punch from Starr keeps him ahead, but more chops from Stone are returned in kind before the Pretty Pumped turned him inside out for another one-count. Some Goldust-like uppercuts gets Stone back in it, as his strikes forced Starr to trip him… only for Stone to come back by pulling Starr’s own wrist into the groin as a snap pumphandle crotched the Product. I’ve not seen THAT before! A flapjack’s next, as is a big knee and a running clothesline as Stone eased ahead, catching Starr on the top rope with the Trish Stratus headscissors.

A powerbomb’s next as Starr’s dumped awkwardly, ahead of an Alley Oop before he teased a Clashing Stones… but Starr kicked out of the Styles Clash powerbomb. A trip sent Stone into the ropes, but he ends up avoiding a Cherry Mint DDT by kicking Starr on the apron before he then avoided another attempt at Starr kicking the rope into his groin. We’re back inside next as Stone lands a TKO into a stunner… that one I’ve not got the name of, but for the sake of a guess, let’s call it a Stone Cutter. Seconds later though, Starr’s right back with a Han Stansen lariat, before his cartwheel/back elbow found its mark… only for Stone to trip Starr into the corner. Starr’s right back with a superkick before he’s met with his own Blackheart Buster for a near-fall, as the Clashing Stones almost got the debutant the win.

Stone then goes to the well once too often, going for a superplex that’s shoved off before the Trish Stratus headscissors backfired. Starr counters by twisting his ankle to stop the move, before a crossbody’s caught as another Rolling Stone’s countered into a crucifix bomb for a near-fall. Another superkick gives Starr a near-fall before he moved into a crossface then an Edgucator for the quick submission. A hell of a performance for Stone, as both men told a cracking story of learning each other’s moves as they went along. Hey Andy… bring back Jaxon soon, eh? ***½

Team WhiteWolf (A-Kid & Carlos Romo) vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis)
Wearing the cynic hat, there’s only one result possible here considering that Aussie Open have a title shot in the bag…

We’ve got about twenty minutes left as the bell rings, with A-Kid starting out against Mark Davis here… and yeah, his initial attempts to wrestle Davis to the mat didn’t exactly go well as he had to instead evade Davis in the early exchanges. A leg trip puts Davis ahead, as did a series of blistering chops, before Carlos Romo tagged in and got a near-fall from a dropkick-assisted sunset flip.

Kyle Fletcher’s in next to take Romo into the corner with some chops, but Davis is quickly back with more of the same as Romo was having trouble getting out of the way. Davis continued to rough up Romo, taking him down with a slam for a near-fall before he leapt right in with a chinlock to keep him down… only for Romo to squirm into the ropes for a break. Romo rolls into his corner to bring in A-Kid, who has more luck against Fletcher, scoring with a 619 before a chop led to a springboard lucha armdrag/headscissors combo. A series of topes catch Aussie Open outside as the Spaniards alternated, then went back to the ring as a crossbody from A-Kid garnered a near-fall. Another diving knee’s good for a near-fall as Romo seemingly drew blood from Kyle, who was then grounded with a strait-jacket choke that took him into the ropes.

A running knee from a backbreaker keeps Fletcher down, but Kyle started to find a way in as he rolls past Romo and brings Mark Davis back in. You know what’s next. Clothesline! Chop! Clothesline! Chop! Poor A-Kid couldn’t avoid those chops as Dunkzilla roared up, before he cartwheeled away and slammed both of the Spaniards at the same time.

Davis’ chop/clothesline combo traps Romo in the corner, ahead of the sit-down splash for a near-fall as Whitewolf were really struggling to get going again. A-Kid has a bit of luck with a superkick, before he’s caught as Aussie Open played pass the parcel en route to the double-team Go To Sleep for a near-fall. Some forearms from Fletcher ended with him getting caught in a cross armbreaker by A-Kid, who then followed in with a guillotine choke as he was showing off his technical chops, before cracking Kyle with a superkick and a Northern Lights after Fletcher’d gotten free.

A double-team wheelbarrow lungblower/German suplex nearly snuck the win for Whitewolf, before Mark Davis tried to interfere. Kyle’s got to make the save himself as he stopped some double-teaming by lawn-darting Romo into A-Kid to knock him off the top rope. Davis gets the tag in next as he focused on the downed Romo with something new – a double-team move that looked like an Iconoclasm from a Razor’s Edge position. Yeah, I know…

That’s only enough for a near-fall, so Davis rears back on Romo with a chinlock until he got to the ropes. Romo tries to chop Davis, but instead he’s slapped back as a Gold Coast Waterslide’s countered into a crucifix as you perhaps sensed some desperation. Carlos gets punched out as the double-team Aussie Open powerbomb’s stopped, with Romo going for another roll-through for a near-fall.

Another roll-up from Romo saw him avoid a sliding punch from Davis, before as springboard armdrag’s countered into the Gold Coast Waterslide for a near-fall as A-Kid dove in for the save. Romo and A-Kid try to kick away Davis, catching him with mid kicks and superkicks, only for Dunkzilla to clothesline the pair of them away. Fletcher’s back in against A-Kid, who walks into a punch as the pair strike away on each other some more, before A-Kid scored with a La Mistica…

Fletcher tries to retaliate with a lawn dart, but instead has to make do with a superkick as A-Kid nearly wins with a standing Spanish Fly and a moonsault. From there, all four men end up in the ring as Whitewolf looked to find the killshot, charging into the corners with double forearms, but Dunkzilla quickly overwhelms them as he set up A-Kid onto Kyle’s shoulders on the top rope… before lifting Romo into an Electric Chair position… and it’s a DOOMSDAY LAWN DART?! What the hell did I just see live and on tape?! That two-for-one was more than enough to put away Team Whitewolf as Aussie Open racked up yet another W – and another instant classic for their own CVs. WOW. ****¼

Live at the Cockpit 38 may have lacked much direct build for High Stakes’ big match – after all, we had no PAC, and Will Ospreay was on the other side of London for the WOS Wrestling house show – but as a standalone show, this was pretty decent. The build we did have, with Gideon Grey putting up a fight only to get overwhelmed by MK McKinnan, perhaps leads to some shenanigans at York Hall if we’re going to roll back to the days of Gideon having banished Colt Cabana…

Main event aside, the cherry pickers may not touch this show, but this is yet another fun outing at the Cockpit that deserves your time.