We’re heading down south as Rev Pro hit the Portsmouth Guildhall, as Minoru Suzuki faced the Legion once more.
Will Kaven pinned Samuel Hawkes in 9:43 (**¾)
Maya Matthews pinned Aluna Blue in 9:59 (**¾)
Michael Oku submitted JJ Gale in 16:05 (***½)
Brendan White & Danny Jones pinned Joshua James & David Francisco in 8:35 (***¼)
Lio Rush pinned Connor Mills in 16:18 (***½)
Minoru Suzuki & Mad Kurt pinned Yota Tsuji & Lucian Phillips in 18:13 (***½)
— To watch this show, head over to RevProOnDemand.com – they’re currently running a two-week free trial…
Yep, I’m reviewing things out of order… Portsmouth’s Guildhall is a venue that Rev Pro typically runs during the school holidays, and typically with some marquee names. Minoru Suzuki and Lio Rush are in those roles this time around. Commentary comes from Andy Quildan and Gio (nolastname).
Will Kaven vs. Samuel Hawkes
It’s a singles debut for Hawkes, who’d previously made tape in tag matches…
Kaven looked for a quick stoppage with a head kick as he took down Hawkes in the opening seconds… Hawkes got back up though and returned with a clothesline, while a standing shooting star press earned him the first pinning attempt of the match.
A corner gamengiri from Hawkes looked to lead to a second one, but Kaven lifts him onto the apron ahead of the over-the-turnbuckles with a neckbreaker. Hawkes gets thrown through the guard rails, while a running kick left Hawkes down and out on the floor as Kaven got into it with someone in the crowd.
Returning to the ring, Kaven gets a two-count from a knee drop, then again from a snap suplex before chops by the ropes had Hawkes rocked. A back body drop sends Hawkes flying, but Hawkes returned moments later with a tijeras a style tide turned. Again, Hawkes is lifted onto the apron, but this time he comes back inside with a slingshot Code Red for a near-fall, before a handspring enziguiri and a standing Diamond Dust almost got the win for Hawkes.
Hawkes goes up top, but lands on his feet from a moonsault… he evades a Dragon suplex from Kaven as things spilled back outside, with a Space Flying Tiger Drop cracking into Kaven. Back inside, a 450 splash nearly won it for Hawkes, who was hoping that wouldn’t be his one and only near-fall (sorry)…
Kaven fought back in as the pair traded forearms, but a superkick from Hawkes stopped the British J Cup finalist, who snapped back with a Dragon suplex. A clothesline to the back of Hawkes is next, but it’s not enough as Hawkes nicked more near-falls with a roll-up, then with a cutter, before Hawkes’ trip up top ended with Kaven crotching him, leading to the Devil Driver (Jay Driller) from Kaven for the win. **¾
Aluna Blue vs. Maya Matthews
It’s a Rev Pro debut for Aluna, who’s been working away in promotions in Wales and south-west England…
We’ve a tentative start as Matthews took Blue to the ropes from the opening lock-up, before a roll-up from Matthews garnered a quick one-count. She follows that up with a suplex for a two-count, but Blue comes back with a drop toe hold and a low dropkick for a one-count of her own.
A chinlock’s fought out of by Matthews, who ran into a roll-up as Blue then added a release Fisherman suplex. Elbows take Matthews to the corner ahead of a crossbody from Blue for a two-count as Aluna remained on the offensive. Matthews fights out of another chinlock, as she returned fire with a dropkick, following up in the corners with running forearms.
Matthews’ snapmare out of the corner looked to lead to a cutter, but Blue blocked it… and earned herself a Slingblade for a near-fall. A bull lariat from Matthews keeps her ahead, as the pair began to trade strikes, leading to Blue taking things back to the corner. Out of nowhere, Matthews nails that cutter for a near-fall, before Blue’s DDT set up for a double-jump moonsault that nearly won it.
Blue tries for a tornado DDT, eventually turning it into a DDT out of the corner after Matthews’ attempted block. Maya fires back with a roll-up and a twisting brainbuster for the win in a good showing – but I’d like to see Rev Pro expanding their women’s roster more, as far as bringing back some of the names they’ve had for one-offs this year. **¾
JJ Gale vs. Michael Oku
Oku’s been in a bit of a slump since the Connor Mills split…
Gale takes Oku to the ropes as the pair trade pinning attempts in the opening stages, leading to another lock-up that was thrown aside. Both men look for a sucker punch out of a handshake, but cooler heads prevailed… only for Oku to go for a half crab that was kicked away. Gale’s lifted onto the apron, but slingshots back in for a rewind leapfrog and a triple-jump ‘rana instead.
A wheelbarrow armdrag’s next out of Gale, as was a dropkick, before a senton atomico back into the ring earned Gale a two-count. Oku kicks Gale away in the ropes, then hit a tijeras and a clothesline as he began to build up a head of steam. At least until Gale began to target Oku with chops, but some mocking just earned Gale a response, with the pair trading chops from there.
Oku’s caught with a wheelbarrow roll-up and a stomp as Gale pushed on, cracking Oku in the corner with an uppercut before a springboard uppercut out of the corner caught Oku unawares. A superkick’s next, but Oku kicks out at two, before he capitalised on Gale’s missed moonsault by landing a dropkick in the corner.
A DDT from Oku keeps him ahead as he added a springboard moonsault to the mix for a two-count, before a half crab was kicked away again. Oku rebounded off the ropes for a low dropkick though, then went back up top for a frog splash… but he lands on his feet, then lifted Gale onto the apron. A gamengiri knocks Gale to the floor ahead of a Fosbury flop from Oku… who rolled Gale back in, but took his eye off of JJ and earned himself a flip senton on the outside.
Gale takes over as he looked to leap off the top with a moonsault press, taking down Oku for a near-fall. The pair trade strikes as Oku threatened to get back in it, only to get rocked with a rolling elbow, before Gale countered a misdirection knee. Problem was, Oku countered the counter, only to get pulled into a seated surfboard stretch.
Oku manages to get an arm free, but Gale pulls him back into the hold, then switched it into a pendulum, and a double stomp for good measure. Gale’s back up top for a senton bomb, but Oku’s up at two… as Gale then came even closer with a Gory bomb knee. Oku dropkicks away a springboard cutter attempt from Gale, which bought him enough time to head up for a frog splash… but Gale got the knees up and almost wins with a cradle!
Oku ducks a discus clothesline, then hit the misdirection knee for a near-fall… before Gale got rolled into the half crab, with Oku sitting down sharply on the hold for the eventual submission. A damn good showing in defeat from Gale, who’s coming on in leaps and bounds in the ring – even if the results aren’t quite matching up. ***½
David Francisco & Joshua James vs. Greedy Souls (Brendan White & Danny Jones)
The new undisputed British tag team champions have the contenders in their first match since winning the gold – and it’s a non-title affair for obvious reasons.
The new champions mocked their opponents, insisting the “young boys” take away their jackets and titles. They did not, and instead posed with the title belts, and got jumped for it as David Francisco eventually ran into a powerslam from White.
We officially get going with White continuing to put the boots to Francisco, before a back suplex and a pair of back sentons squished Francisco for a two-count. White takes Francisco into the corner, before he avoided a floatover and tagged in Jones as the champions hit a pair of neckbreakers.
A neck twist from Jones has Francisco rolling on the mat, as did a German suplex from White as the champions were doing a damn good job of isolating Francisco from Joshua James. Eventually, James blocked Brendan White’s attempt to knock him off the apron, then got the tag in as he charged through White and Jones with a double clothesline.
Corner-to-corner clotheslines eventually led to a shotgun dropkick on Jones, then a spinebuster on White for a near-fall. A lariat’s next from James, but Jones makes the save, ahead of a shoulder tackle from James and a dropkick through-the-ropes from Francisco. A tag brings Francisco back in as White’s double-teamed, leading to a big boot from Francisco and a splash from James for a near-fall.
Francisco’s thrown into the ring post after James tagged back in, then got slingshotted into a Black Hole Slam. James is swarmed as a double-team slam almost wins it, before the Soul Breaker – the Magic Killer backbreaker – gets the win. ***¼
Post-match, Shaun Jackson hit the ring and hit a springboard clothesline to the contenders as he cleared house by himself.
Connor Mills vs. Lio Rush
Rush is looking to end his brief stay in Rev Pro with a win, having beaten Robbie X two nights earlier in London…
Mills took the first shot, knocking Rush into the corner before he charged down Lio with a shoulder tackle. Rush grabs Mills’ by the leg as he managed to pick up the pace with some misdirection and a springboard ‘rana. Heading outside, Mills looks to milk that ten-count as he tried to take the sting out of Rush’s offence.
Mills got into it with a kid, which led to a Benny Hill chase from Rush… who avoids an elbow drop from Mills back in the ring. Lio leaps back in for a sunset flip… while an up kick rocks Mills, to the point where he eventually Flair flopped. Kicks from Rush keep Mills down, before Mills caught a crossbody and dumped Rush into the ropes, kicking him from there to the floor for good measure.
Rush makes it back inside, but gets taken down with a Kitchen sink knee, as a follow-up kick got Mills a two-count. A back rake keeps Rush in the corner, while a tiltawhirl slam added another near-fall as Mills was forcing Rush to work at his pace. Lio’s thrown into the corners repeatedly as Mills picked his shots, leading to another Irish whip that threw Rush through the buckles to the outside.
Rush barely beats the count-out, but was able to stop Mills as he countered a tiltawhirl into a crossbody. Building on that, Lio lands some clotheslines, then a series of strikes ahead of a handspring back elbow. Mills powders to the outside after Rush went up top… but Lio changes plans to hit a low-pe to the outside, before throwing Mills back in for a frog splash crossbody for a near-fall.
Another handspring from Rush is caught, but Mills couldn’t hit a burning cutter as he’s slapped away… only to return off the ropes with a rebound lariat for a near-fall. A suplex from Mills is countered into an inside cradle for a near-fall, before Mill swept the leg and snapped back in with a Millshot for a two-count. Heading back up top, Mills went for a 450 splash, but rolled through as Rush capitalised with a head kick, then a frog splash off the top for the win. ***½
The Legion (Lucian Phillips & Yota Tsuji) vs. Mad Kurt & Minoru Suzuki
Exactly the match we all expected to see – Mad Kurt and Minoru Suzuki tagging together, right?
This turned out to be Tsuji’s penultimate match in Rev Pro for now (with his match in London against Ricky Knight Jr. being his last before seemingly heading to Mexico’s CMLL)…
Suzuki chases Tsuji around the ring to start, prompting Tsuji to tag out to a bemused Lucian Phillips rather than engage. Phillips then, unwisely, told Suzuki that he had to take him back to the old folks’ home, because it shut soon… and yeah, it broke down into strikes, as Phillips’ chops and some pantomime fun led to Suzuki flooring Phillips with his response.
Mad Kurt wants in now Phillips is down, but Kurt’s quickly cut-off and taken to the corners… where Kurt went all World of Sport on us with some trickery that led to a roll-up for a two-count. Kurt switches it up for some strikes as I get a little sea-sick… which was more than Phillips felt from Kurt’s shots.
So Phillips shuts his eyes to let Kurt take a shot… Kurt blind-tags in Suzuki, who blisters Lucian with a chop… then tagged right back out. Kurt celebrates like it was his chop that did it, before he indulged in some palm strikes… then got tripped up by Tsuji. Phillips knocks Suzuki off the apron as Tsuji proceeded to go after him as well… while an uppercut from Phillips knocked Kurt through the ropes.
Meanwhile, Minoru Suzuki’s dismantling some of the crowd barriers as he was going after Tsuji…
Back in ring, Phillips went after Mad Kurt’s fingers as the Legion’s game plan of keeping Suzuki at bay was looking to pay dividends. Tsuji chops Mad Kurt in the ropes, but Mad Kurt just laughs a la Suzuki at it all, before Suzuki came in… and got thrown outside by Phillips. Tsuji continues to wear down Mad Kurt with a Kitchen Sink knee, which prompted Suzuki ti come in and choke out the Legion with a towel… but Tsuji gets control of it first.
Mad Kurt’s pulled out of the corner for a two-count, before a second one was countered into a Codebreaker. Tsuji tries to stop Mad Kurt, but couldn’t prevent a hot tag to Suzuki, who launches Phillips into the corner for a big boot and PK. It’s good for a two-count, before a Fujiwara armbar forced Phillips into the ropes for a break as Suzuki demanded the “young boy” fire back. That insulted Phillips, who did as he was asked, only to get battered in return as Suzuki prepped him for that CLONKING elbow.
Phillips managed to get back in with a clothesline and a leg sweep as Tsuji tagged in… and decided to mock Suzuki by fanning him. That murderous look flashed upon Suzuki’s face, so Tsuji rakes the eyes, then took off his shirt as he unwisely indulged in more strikes. Elbows going back-and-forth lead to another CLONKER, as Phillips attacks from behind as the Legion double-teamed Suzuki.
Fighting back, Suzuki’s body blows earned him another beating, as a left hand from Phillips and a Tsuji facebuster ended up drawing in Mad Kurt to make the save. He’s ragdolled back to the outside… where he tripped Tsuji before a crossbody took out Phillips. Suzuki slips back in with a rear naked choke to Tsuji, and with Mad Kurt taking Phillips out on the outside, we’re just a Gotch-style piledriver away from Suzuki taking home the win. A fun main event worked under a rather different pace than the “greatest hits” matches in London and Stevenage… and we get the “what the hell” moment of Minoru Suzuki hugging Mad Kurt afterwards. Only to nearly piledrive him as Kurt dabbed. It’d have been justified, you think… ***½
This was the third Rev Pro show in four days, and unfortunately it’d likely have been the one that a lot of people skipped out on. Those who stopped by will have seen a solid show in front of a somewhat lively crowd, with a lot of the roster having to adapt for the different, younger crowd.