It’s been so long we almost forgot it happened… Rev Pro hit the Cockpit the day after Royal Quest, with a special guest in tow!
Yeah, we’ve poked fun at “5 to 7 days”, but this dropped almost SIX WEEKS later. So yeah, this show got lost in the shuffle, although this wasn’t live-mixed… so was the picture quality better? In a word… no. We’ve still got the wacky interlacing lines, but at least the hard camera starts out in focus. We’ve with the two Andys live on tape for commentary. I guess Kevin Kelly couldn’t make it for this one…
Brendan White, Kenneth Halfpenny & Shaun Jackson vs. Carlos Romo, Dan Magee & Kurtis Chapman
Also MIA for this were lower thirds at first… Commentary is absolutely trampling over what’s being said in the ring. If I bury Glen Joseph for his Exposition Minute, I have to do the same here. Chapman and Halfpenny work well exchanging holds before we cycled through tags. I swear Dan Magee’s picked off the path that had a logo he used to have stitched onto his tights, which just looks odd on the close-up shots.
Brendan White neutralises Magee early, before Romo and Jackson came in. Andy Q acknowledges that A-Kid has “left the territory”. Jackson’s SANADA-ish double leapfrog dropkick takes Romo down, prompting Carlos to just kick seven shades of you-know-what out of Jackson’s back. Chapman keeps the momentum going, working into a double-team powerbomb onto Jackson for a near-fall, before Romo chopped more of you-know-what out of Jackson.
Eventually Jackson’s back suplex gets him free as the Contenders Team mounts a comeback. Romo looks for Cutter Without The E, but has to make do with a bicycle knee on Jackson before he lands the Cutter… and that’s it! You’ve gotta go some to have a bad trios match, and this was pretty good stuff as the winning trio look to be meandering right now. ***
Sha Samuels wanders out afterwards and aired his dirty laundry over the screwy finish at York Hall two days earlier. That whole controversy feels like a lifetime ago. Sha turned his attention to Carlos Romo, mad at how he’d not accepted his offer months ago… and we have a match.
Carlos Romo vs. Sha Samuels
Double duty Romo!
Carlos catches Sha with a leaping leg lariat from the off, but Samuels is right back in with a spinebuster and some ground and pound. They spill outside, where Sha boots Carlos right nearby… Danny Duggan?! He blended into the background here, eh?
Sha continues to dominate Romo back inside, but Carlos had a second (third?) wind, taking Samuels outside for a dive, before a diving knee connected… but Sha’s quickly in with the Butcher’s hook as Romo was forced to tap. A dominating performance from Sha, but you do wonder if it’d have been more even if Romo hadn’t just wrestled. **½
Post-match, Sha again complained of being “disrespected”, before saying that “everything was about to change”. Well, he was right, but I guess not in the way they expected.
Michael Oku’s introduced to the ring next. He’s in street clothes as Andy Q talked over the start of his promo – Oku talked about his path to Rev Pro and his path in wrestling. Earlier in the weekend there was a deleted Tweet that mentioned injuries, which had a few people nervous about his future, but Oku said he was just going back to the drawing board, which relieved us all. Until Oku got interrupted by El Phantasmo on his way out, as ELP took the piss by having Oku wear the Cruiserweight title for a photo op.
Once Oku left, Phantasmo bragged about how this was his final day in the UK… because he was moving to Tokyo. He’s got one last challenge though – and it was answered by Senza Volto, whom Andy Simmonz was really pushing the “Frencha-dor” tag on.
RevPro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: El Phantasmo (c) vs. Senza Volto
ELP’s inserted some new nicknames here, and he started with a little playing to the crowd as he surveyed the Cockpit for perhaps the final time.
Senza Volto knocked him down early and went for a shooting star press… but it’s only good for a near-fall. Undeterred, Senza kept up, but got caught with a superkick before landing a stundog millionaire on Phantasmo, following up with a running Code Red for another near-fall. ELP countered back off the top rope with an attempted avalanche whirlibird neckbreaker, but a Spanish Fly from Volto got him another near-fall. Another shooting star press drew similar results, only for Phantasmo to push Senza into the referee, before a dick punch and a small package drew the win. Insanely short, but this one showed ELP would do anything to keep his title so he could bugger off to Japan with it. **
CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis)
Andy Simmonz is still pining for Travis Banks… while a section of the crowd were revelling in how “awkward” this was as this was an all-Schadenfreude match. Oh, and apparently Andy Q now weighs 400kg… which is Yokozuna-at-his-worst levels.
The early exchanges led to Gresham apparently jarring his knee – referring to an injury that was edited off the VOD from Summer Sizzler two days earlier. Of course, it’s a con as he ended up kicking the ropes into Davis and Fletcher, who’d held them open for him. Aha! Brookes takes Davis backstage as CCK looked to isolate Fletcher, working over the leg, before some back rakes wound up Davis, who’d found his way back out. Flipping off Davis just winds him up some more, as CCK raked EVERY. BODY. PART. Kyle lands a back body drop to give him some freedom, but Brookes comes in to delay things, before a brainbuster finally got Kyle enough time to tag out.
Cue the Dunkzilla comeback, with chops and clotheslines, before a pancake and a cyclone boot wiped out Gresham. A cartwheel crossbody wows everyone, but Davis went straight to a pop-up powerbomb and almost lost via roll-up. An exchange of boots and knees leaves Brookes down again, but he pops up to land a superplex as he almost slips. Fletcher and Gresham are back, but Grehsam just runs into a double-team GTS for a near-fall, as Andy Q tries to justify the truck references in the CCK theme by referring to them as a Destruction Derby. Gresham rolls through Brookes into a cutter on Kyle for a near-all as this was very much the antithesis of that drawn-out York Hall match that split critics.
Kid Lykos pulls out the referee as CCK almost lost… he’s ejected as the referee proceeded to miss a baking tray shot to Davis… then an errant shot from Gresham to Brookes. The ref returns to stop Kyle from using the tray, but misses a staple gun shot to the head and a kick-assisted Praying Mantis Bomb that almost got CCK the win.
A second roll-through cutter’s blocked as the tables turned again with Aussie Open pushing on, with Fletcher almost winning with a tombstone. In the end, Brookes takes a pull-up piledriver to rule him out, before Gresham ate a Fidget Spinner for the win. A really good tag match, but one that kinda established who would have been in Rev Pro’s going forward… at least until injuries and suchlike hit. ***½
Gabriel Kidd vs. Hikuleo
This was Kidd’s farewell to Rev Pro, as he was heading off to the LA Dojo…
Kidd’s forced to avoid a chop early on, before he got little luck out of shoulder tackles with Hikuleo. Nor indeed, when he was forced on the defensive as Hikuleo choked him in the ropes, then decked him with a forearm as the Tongan made the most of his size advantage. Kidd tries to fire back with chops, but Hikuleo’s were more effective… much like Kidd’s dropkicks that took the big man down. Hikuleo pushes away from a Boston crab, but can’t block it the second time as he was forced to drag his way towards the ropes. A roll-up almost got Kidd the upset win, but Hikuleo’s right back up with a short clothesline before a uranage/facebuster got the win. This had the feel of a Young Lion’s match, with Kidd getting some offence in only to come up short. He’ll be back a new man from LA… **¾
After the match, Hikuleo cheapshots Kidd, before El Phantasmo ran out to land a CR2. Michael Oku makes the save with Phantasmo’s gold jacket, but he’s wrecked with a Hikuleo clothesline as he went for a single leg crab.
Rob Lias interrupts proceedings next, sounding like an MC at a comedy club between sets. Lias makes an exit, but boots JJ Gale… which led us to an impromptu match for ol’ White Shoes.
Rob Lias vs. JJ Gale
Once again, Gale’s in gym clothes rather than ring gear… and he shoots out of the blocks, going after Lias at the bell.
Forearms from Gale have Lias on the deck, but there’s a quick turnaround as Gale’s sent outside, charged into the ring apron, then the ring post, before he choked JJ back into the ring. A palm strike rocks Gale, as does a thrust kick, but JJ’s back with a diving uppercut and a neckbreaker, before a springboard uppercut almost upset Lias. From there, Lias hits back quickly with a Fisherman buster… planting Gale, and that’s all folks. Very TV squashy. This is the sort of thing that World of Pro Wrestling show should have had! **¼
Josh Bodom vs. Dan Moloney
They left this one in, so I guess we all get to share Josh Bodom’s swansong. It was a fairly foul-mouthed one at that.
Moloney started by faking out a chop as Bodom was forced to cover up. Bodom heads into the ropes for shoulder tackles, which don’t budge Dan, unlike a forearm, which prompted Moloney to retaliate with a leapfrog and a dropkick for a two-count. Moloney’s thrown through the turnbuckle, snapping the pad again, as Bodom proceeded to kick away at Dan’s leg. The pair then exchange forearms, leading to Bodom hitting a standing shooting star press for a near-fall, before he swept away the turnbuckle pad that they were trying to repair.
Back-and-forth shots led to Moloney whaling away on Bodom in the corner, following up with a ripcord Bossman slam for a near-fall. Another Bossman Slam’s countered as Bodom ducks and flips in with a Destroyer for a near-fall, before a Bliss Buster drew a near-fall. Bodom keeps up the pressure with a slingshot cutter onto the apron, before an Orihara moonsault landed Bodom in the front row… rushing Moloney back inside for a senton bomb that almost got the win. An Alabama slam from Moloney turns things around ahead of a TKO, but Bodom kicks out at two, before Sha Samuels came in to save Bodom from a Drilla… and there’s your DQ. You’d perhaps think this was going to set up Bodom and Sha vs. Moloney and either Romo or MK, but given that Rev Pro cut ties with Bodom weeks after, all plans went out of the window. ***
On commentary, Andy Simmonz “manhandles” Andy Q away from the headset as Kevin Kelly stepped in for the main event as the Contenders were changing the turnbuckle pads.
Mike Bailey vs. SANADA
Now, this is peak “first world, spoiled fan” problems. There’d been rumours of a big name on this show, with some perhaps expecting that the new Rev Pro champion Hiroshi Tanahashi would be stopping by. Instead, we got SANADA, which was nice… except he was one of the surprises at York Hall so… yeah, there were some grumbles live.
Still, we got duelling chants at the bell, as both men played to the crowd, before the opening exchanges saw the pair swap hammerlocks, takedowns and escapes before the pair had to negotiate a settlement after they went to kick each other at the same time. Of course, SANADA tricked Speedball, but a Paradise Lock was quickly escaped, before Bailey failed to lock it in himself. The crowd singing the hokey cokey didn’t help.
Instead, SANADA offered to show Bailey the move on the ref. Get the PayPal ready.
SANADA edges ahead next with a trip, before he tied up Bailey in the ropes with a Paradise Lock. SANADA keeps up by whipping Bailey into the turnbuckles, then suplexing him out of them, only for Bailey to strike back with a dropkick off the ropes. A kick from Bailey’s caught as a low dropkick took out the knee instead, as SANADA focused on the left leg some more to neutralise the kicks.
Bailey looked for a shooting star knee drop, but SANADA rolls away before he ran into a corkscrew head kick, getting Speedball a near-fall. Another head kick eventually connects, with Bailey missing a standing moonsault, instead following up with a boot to take SANADA off the apron ahead of a Golden Triangle moonsault to the outside. Bailey again tries to tie-up SANADA on the ropes, but instead changed tack… and missed a moonsault double knees onto the apron. That SUCKED. Back in the ring, SANADA Dragon screws his way into a Figure Four leg lock on Bailey, but the smaller ring saved Bailey as he got to the ropes.
The pair begin to exchange forearms, before Bailey’s crane kick connects… just like the SANADA dropkick. A TKO’s teased, but Bailey comes back with a PK and a moonsault kneedrop to crush SANADA’s ribs. SANADA tries to come back with a Skull End, but Bailey escapes and hits a PK for a near-fall, before a crucifix and a moonsault/fallaway slam combo nearly scored the upset.
In the end though, SANADA flips into a Skull End, spinning Speedball to the mat for what felt like a very abrupt submission. ***¼
Live at the Cockpit 45 was always going to feel like “after the Lord Mayor’s show”, following Summer Sizzler and Royal Quest. The fact it took over a month to appear on VOD didn’t help things, particularly in the fall-out from the Josh Bodom situation, and unless you’re a collector of SANADA matches in Europe, this’ll probably be a show a LOT of people will skip over.