The Great British Tag League rumbled on in Portsmouth, with a pair of block A matches – and our first elimination in the tournament.
Shota Umino pinned Mad Kurt in 14:44 (**¾)
Maya Matthews pinned Kira Chimera in 9:34 (**¾)
Paris de Silva pinned Ninja Mack in 10:21 (***)
Great British Tag League Block A: Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis pinned Icarus & Dover in 10:02 (***½)
Yota Tsuji pinned Jude London in 22:54 (***)
Great British Tag League Block A: Connor Mills & Michael Oku pinned Nick Riley & Charlie Sterling in 16:53 (***½)
Gabriel Kidd pinned Tony Deppen in 19:18 (***½)
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A few weeks late, but we’re live-on-tape as Rev Pro returned to Portsmouth’s Guildhall. We’re still waiting for January’s trip to make tape… Andy Quildan is on commentary alongside Gideon Grey as ever.
Shota Umino vs. Mad Kurt
Gideon Grey takes over the ring announcing for the start of this one as he paid lip service to Shota Umino… who was allowed his own ring music here.
Kurt wriggles out of Umino’s attempt to go for the leg early on, before he rolled out of a wristlock attempt. A Test of Strength ensues, with Kurt being forced to bridge back… but Shota breaks it and gets a two-count, only to get taken down by Mad Kurt’s wristlock. Going for the leg, Umino forces Kurt to the rope, before a headlock takedown and escape led to a stand-off.
Shota offers a handshake. Mad Kurt dabs. So Shota grabs a side headlock and tries to squeeze the head off. A missed elbow drop from Shota earned some derision from Mad Kurt, as I can only imagine “hello darkness my only friend” would have been a meme of choice for Shota, who powdered to the outside.
Back in the ring, Shota offers himself up for forearms… Mad Kurt takes aim, then offered the return a la Minoru Suzuki, only to get booted in the gut. A follow-up leapfrog from Mad Kurt sees him jar his knee, as commentary mentioned his this happened to him in the same venue years ago against KUSHIDA. The match doesn’t get waved off, as Shota targeted the knee with a low dropkick and some elbows, then with a toe hold.
Shota rolled in for a Deathlock on Mad Kurt, before Kurt’s attempt to escape saw him get caught between the ropes. Shota stays on him as we venture into the abyss that was the darkened ringside area. Back in the ring, a knee breaker and a half crab keeps Mad Kurt in bother, but he gets free and nearly won it with a sunset flip.
Mad Kurt trips Shota, but the follow-up stomp just jarred the knee… it’s shaken off as a running gamengiri caught Shota in the corner ahead of an Octopus stretch. It’s turned into a roll-up for a two-count, as Shota then returned with a forearm, only to have a clothesline booted away as Kurt went all ZSJ on us with a Banana Split… no, I’m not typing out the full name Zack calls it.
Shota wriggles to the ropes to force the break, before he pushed away a Codebreaker and dropped Kurt with a dropkick. A running uppercut in the corner, and a Fisherman’s suplex out of it gets a near-fall, before see-saw pins trolled Chris Hatch en-route to almost-the-upset from Mad Kurt.
Shota goes back with a low dropkick, before a Bloody Sunday drew a near-fall… Mad Kurt hits a single Codebreaker as he’d blocked a Death Rider, before another Codebreaker’s blocked, leading to a roll-up… but Shota sits down on it and snatches the win in what was threatening to be a more even match than it ought to have been. **¾
After the match, Mad Kurt got in Shota’s face, slapping him… and got dropped with a Death Rider. Serves him right.
Kira Chimera vs. Maya Matthews
They flashed up the original graphic for this, but Chimera was subbing for an unwell Nightshade here.
Maya got a heck of a reaction in Portsmouth, but had her handshake kicked away as Chimera took things to the corner and put the boots to the rookie. Right hands from Maya got her in it, before she took Chimera down with a clothesline… then with a charge into the corner and a suplex out of it.
Chimera counters a crossbody into a backbreaker as she proceeded to lay into Maya… throwing kicks to the leg before a shoulder charge trapped Maya in the corner. Chops follow, as did a Dragon sleeper, before more shoulder charges took Maya back to the corner. She fights out, but got whipped back in as a kick to the back led to Maya just getting thrown to the floor.
They scrap on the outside, with Maya getting posted, before she countered an apron PK into a leg sweep, dropping Kira onto the edge of the ring. Maya’s still down on the outside though, but snuck in with a sleeperhold to Chimera… Kira escapes and clubbed Maya down for a two-count, following with some ground and pound for good measure.
Knee strikes from Kira take Maya back to the corner, but Maya’s able to avoid another shoulder charge as she made a comeback, landing a forearm before finally landing a gamengiri. A cutter followed, then a Slingblade as the comeback continued, only for a tornado suplex out of the corner from Chimera to stop her in her tracks. Maya returns fire with a rolling clothesline for a near-fall, only to get caught with a stunner… before she countered a spinebuster with an inside cradle for the win. A good outing from both Maya and Kira here, but it’s Matthews who leaves with the win as her rookie year continued in fine form. **¾
Paris de Silva vs. Ninja Mack
A night off from Great British Tag League duty here for de Silva, and we start with some lock-ups and roll throughs, before Ninja Mack went for a roll-up early on.
Mack claimed he’d gotten a three-count, but of course he’d not, so we keep going with more roll-ups and cradles, as de Silva claimed a real near-fall next. A battle of superkicks saw de Silva check Mack, before they hooked each other in clotheslines, leading to some hand-walking from Mack en route to some avoided headscissors.
De Silva’s springboard ‘rana is similarly countered out of, so he charges in with a shoulder block, then grabbed a side headlock. It’s pushed out of as we get leapfrogs, roll throughs and a waistlock takedown from Mack out of a wheelbarrow. Things calm down with an armbar from Mack, rolling through as de Silva tried to escape. De Silva eventually does, taking Mack outside… but an attempted dive is stopped, as Mack ends up chasing him outside, getting flipped to the floor before he scored a superkick.
Mack throws de Silva back into the ring, but Paris rolls all the way across and caught Mack with a gamengiri from the floor as he went for a dive. Paris hits his tope seconds later, collapsing the guard rails. Back inside, the pair go from corner to corner, with de Silva scoring a spinning heel kick off the ropes for a near-fall, before Mack took de Silva into the corner for some mounted punches.
A running uppercut out of the corner keeps Mack ahead for a two-count, as did a corkscrew splash. Mack’s springboard Phoenix splash misses, unlike a DDT from de Silva to nearly win it. De Silva crashes ands burns in Mack’s knees from a shooting star press, before that Phoenix splash off the middle rope nearly won it for Mack. Paris tries an instant cradle for a near-fall, then a revolution kick, before taking flight for a shooting star DDT for the win. This felt a little spotty towards the end, but my word, Ninja Mack would make a killing on the holiday camp circuit of old. ***
Great British Tag League Block A: Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) vs. Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover)
Aussie Open went into this top of block A, having won the only match in the block so far… meanwhile, this was the Arrows’ first match for Rev Pro since September 2018, when they were involved in the fabled World of Pro Wrestling TV tapings. As an aside, I recently got hold of the “missing episodes,” and need to get around to reviewing those buggers…
The Aussies attack the Arrows before the bell, leading to Dover getting chucked outside as Icarus ate a double clothesline, a PK and a back senton to start. Fletcher tags in as the Aussies teased a Coriolis, but Icarus fought out and hit a springboard enziguiri out of the corner then tagged in Dover as we had a hoss fight with Davis.
Icarus gets launched into Davis with a cannonball in the corner, before Fletcher took a suplex/neckbreaker double-team for an early near-fall. Aussie Open take a powder, but the Arrows give chase as they scrap in the night-vision that was needed at ringside, leading to the Arrows simultaneously being planted onto the apron with side suplexes.
Back inside, Fletcher stomps a mudhole through Icarus, before Davis tagged in. He baits Dover as Fletcher mugged Icarus in the corner, before an attempted fightback saw Davis just dump Icarus with a slam. Fletcher’s in to go after Dover, only to get rolled up for a near-fall… then blitz Icarus with an elbow for a two-count.
Fletcher goes for another slam on Icarus, keeping wrist control in the process… another slam’s countered into a cradle, before Kyle’s superkick kept the Aussies on top. Davis comes in, but misses a back senton as Icarus eventually evades Dunkzilla and tagged in to a fiery-hot Dover. There’s a sweet back body drop to Fletcher, a deadlift Saito suplex to Davis, then a standing fallaway slam to Fletcher as Dover was the one-man wrecking ball here.
Davis blocks a Fireman’s carry from Dover as the pair trade forearms… Dover slips out of an Alphamare Waterslide as the pair trade clotheslines, leading to boots and a German suplex from Davis… only for Dover to dump the Aussie with a clothesline. Someone needs to book Dover vs. Davis, stat!
Icarus heads up top to hit a senton bomb after Dover’s Air Raid Crash, but Davis kicks out at two before Fletcher ran in and got pancaked. He’s able to duck the Crossfire knees, and with the Arrows incapacitated, a double-team Go To Sleep took care of Dover, as Icarus then got bounced into the corner for a sliding punch, with Coriolis putting him away. This was a lovely sprint of a match, with the win putting Aussie Open in pole position in block A – but they had to work for that win though. ***½
Yota Tsuji vs. Jude London
Jude’s in singles action, as we’ve a tease for the Great British Tag League here…
The opening lock-up sees Tsuji back London into the ropes, breaking cleanly, before London bridged back on a knuckle lock, countering out… only to get caught in a waistlock as standing switches led to a takedown from Tsuji. Headlock and headscissors see the pair go back-and-forth, ending in the ropes again as Tsuji again broke cleanly.
Restarting, Tsuji baits London into throwing some forearms before he charged him down. They hit the ropes, with a leapfrog from Tsuji almost seeing him sit-out on London, but it’s countered into a cradle for a near-fall, before a lucha armdrag and a springboard ‘rana took Tsuji down. A dropkick takes Yota outside, but he returns and tackles London to the mat ahead of some chops, then a back elbow as London was on the defensive. Forearms from London look to make a mark, but a single one decks him in return before Tsuji rolled and kicked London in the back. After getting a two-count, Tsuji rolled London for a camel clutch, stopping to fan himself on the way, ahead of the Mount Tsuji splash for a near-fall. Credit Kevin Kelly for that name, by the way…
Tsuji tries to add a wheelbarrow slam, but London rolls him up for some near-falls, before Tsuji scored with a facebuster of sorts in the corner. Its good for a two-count, as London fought back with a series of kicks… only for one to take him into the ropes. A 619 catches Tsuji as London went up for a crossbody… Tsuji caught him, but London’s able to take him down for a near-fall anyway. Shoulder tackles from London lead to a low dropkick, then a shoulder tackle that knocked Tsuji down. London keeps going with running forearms, again taking Tsuji down, ahead of a Slingblade out of the corner. A standing moonsault adds a near-fall, before Tsuji blocked a springboard cutter… a second one lands, then a springboard inverted Slingblade that nearly won it.
London tees up again, running in for an Octopus hold on Tsuji, but Tsuji powered out and hoisted London into a backbreaker to get free. A Codebreaker from London’s caught as he was lifted up top… he boots Tsuji down though, following up with a flying stomp for a near-fall. Tsuji avoids a flying Blockbuster as he countered back with a discus lariat, then some kicks and forearms… but London fights back in kind, only to get chopped. Jude returned the favour, but gets decked again, before a knee strike and a wacky spinebuster led to another knee strike, leaving Jude in the ropes. Tsuji pulls him up for a Vertebreaker, but Jude slumps out, only to get stomped on.
Another fightback from London leads to him getting caught in a Gory special, but London sits up and countered into a reverse ‘rana. Superkicks and a running Blockbuster follow, before a moonsault press almost won it… London peppers Tsuji with strikes, leading to a leaping rear kick, before a Spanish Fly prompted Gideon Grey to abandon commentary to go to ringside.
London goes for a handspring, but Gideon pulls it away as the referee wasn’t looking… it allowed Tsuji to capitalise with a spear, and that’s it for the win. For my money, this went way too long, particularly for this crowd, but it hit the right beats in terms of the Tsuji/Gideon storyline at the end. ***
Great British Tag League Block A: Smokin’ Aces (Charlie Sterling & Nick Riley) vs. Destination Everywhere (Michael Oku & Connor Mills)
It’s a must-win match for Sterling and Riley, who lost their opener to Aussie Open in Stevenage a few days earlier.
Mills and Sterling start us off, but it’s Mills who’s backed into the corner first, but he comes back out with a wristlock as the pair switch from wristlock to hammerlock and back again. Nick Riley tags in and trades armdrags with Mills, who edged ahead there, before Sterlign tagged back in.
Sterling finally gets a shot in, landing a forearm after Mills had gone back to the wristlocks, following through with a shoulder tackle before he blocked a Mills armdrag. The second one lands though, as Mills gave a receipt for that forearm, before Michael Oku tagged in to land a double sledge off the top. A floatover and an armdrag from Oku keeps it going, as Sterling’s blind tag came to nought, with Nick Riley getting caught with an armdrag also. Riley’s headscissors are escaped, with Oku grabbing a side headlock on Riley… Sterling’s baited in, but runs into a back body drop as Oku kept the side headlock on, before a headlock/headscissors dual takedown had the Aces on the back foot.
Oku’s ‘rana and dropkick keeps Sterling rocked… Nick Riley’s in, but so is Mills for a wheelbarrow bulldog. The Aces manage to create an opening as Charlie Sterling slid into the ring to chop block Oku’s knee, following with a backbreaker as Riley’s back suplex drew a two-count. More double-teaming ends with Sterling getting thrown into Oku for a revolution kick, which gets a near-fall, as Oku remained on the defensive. A superplex is fought out of by Oku, but Sterling tagged in and raced up top… he’s pushed down, as Oku came down with a crossbody into the Aces. Oku crawled to the wrong corner, but manages to charge past the Aces to make the hot tag out to Mills, who kicked and chopped his way into things.
The numerical disadvantage caught Mills out though, before he lifted Riley to the outside. Sterling stays on him, but Mills’ tope takes out Riley ahead of a springboard uppercut to Sterling back inside. Mills cracks Riley with an up-kick and a Millshot for a near-fall, before Sterling tagged in… and stopped Mills’ floatover by just shoving him down to the mat. Oof. Riley’s brought back in as he has Mills dropped over his knees, before the Aces went up top for the double-team legdrop/splash that almost won it. Mills manages to leap past Sterling and make the tag out to Oku, whose right hands saw him hit a DDT/enziguiri combo on the Aces. A half crab from Oku’s rolled out of as we built up to duelling moonsaults off the apron from Mills and Sterling.
Sterling and Mills trade chops back inside, leading to a rebound lariat from Mills, before a stuttering cutter from Sterling, a powerbomb from Riley, and a big splash from Sterling nearly won it… with Oku’s frog splash breaking it up in the nick of time. We’ve a Fosbury flop into the darkness from Oku as Riley’s left isolated in the ring, taking a Quebrada from Mills… a springboard moonsault from Oku, then a 450 splash from Mills gets the win. There was some lovely aggression from the Aces here, but in the end the former champions managed to get it over the line – and ensure the Aces were eliminated from contention. ***½
Tony Deppen vs. Gabriel Kidd
Deppen’s 1-1 from his two matches in Rev Pro – and looked to wrap up his long weekend in England with a win here.
Deppen stayed in his corner at the bell, opting to mouth off someone in the crowd. Which would have been nice to see, but you know what the score is with those ringside cameras. When we got going, Kidd shot in for a cross armbreaker, but Deppen rolls out, but not too far from Kidd’s clutches as a side chinlock had the former ROH TV champion at bay. A wristlock from Kidd’s countered out of as Deppen rolled Kidd down into a deathlock, only for Kidd to get out into a wristlock again, wringing the arms for extra torque. Deppen gets up, but a chinbar muscles him down to the mat again as Kidd continues to frustrate him. Deppen bails outside again as he then threatened to knock some kids out.
We resume with Kidd tripping Deppen, leading to some see-saw pins as it’s time to troll Chris Hatch again. Deppen breaks the chain, but his bow-and-arrow hold’s quickly rolled out of ahead of a stand-off. A Test of Strength has Deppen bridging down, as Kidd pushed down for some two-counts… neck bridges keep Deppen in it as he powered out, snapmaring Kidd to the mat before calming things down with a chinlock.
Kidd escapes with another wristlock, switching it to a knuckle lock and an arm lift. There’s more playing to the crowd as Kidd managed to get “Tony Who?” chants going, before Deppen managed to get back into it with an armdrag and an armbar on Kidd. Deppen stomps on Kidd’s shoulder as Kidd’s arm was homed in on, getting wrapped around the ropes head of chops in the corner.
Kidd returns the favour, but Deppen countered the chop by going back to the arm, before he booted Kidd to the outside. Deppen follows as he then swung and missed with a chop, before Kidd offered Deppen up for a chop. I assume that’s what happened, because of the lighting, you know…
More chops take the match around ringside, as Kidd took a kid from the crowd and used them as a battering ram on Deppen. Back inside, Deppen knocked Kidd into the corner for a running Meteora, leading to a two-count and some more forearms. Kidd tries to chop back in, but has much more luck with an Exploder suplex, then with a Boston crab that morphed into a half crab, with Deppen crawling to the ropes for the break.
An arm whip from Deppen helps him avoid a butterfly suplex, but Kidd chopped back. It invited a response from Deppen, but Kidd shrugs it off as the pair then trade clotheslines… leading to the pair connecting at the same time. Pulling themselves back up, Deppen’s running kick gets countered into a roll-up, before Kidd was surprised with a Skayde special for a near-fall. From the kickout, Kidd goes straight to the spinning tombstone, and that’s enough to get the win over a more-than-game Deppen, whom I hope is brought back for an extended run in the near future! ***½
An enjoyable show from Rev Pro, highlighted by the tag league matches and the main event – but not quite essential viewing unless you’re looking to keep up with the tag league.