Rev Pro went back to the Cockpit Theatre in early July, for a show that featured a real mix of British talent, and an appearance from veterans Jody Fleisch and Jonny Storm!
#TLDR: Another solid Cockpit show from Rev Pro, with the show peaking in the midcard thanks to two fantastic bouts involving Noam Dar, Pete Dunne, Trent Seven and Mark Haskins.
The Full Review: Thanks to the delayed way in which Rev Pro handle these shows, we’re looking at a set of Cockpit tapings from the week before July’s Summer Sizzler show – which will explain some of tonight’s matches as they led into events at York Hall.
Josh Wall vs. Kurtis Chapman
Chapman’s billed as the UK’s youngest pro wrestler… and he’s that kid who’s done a couple of these Contender’s Division matches who looks like he could do with a sandwich or two. Chapman starts by going for a wristlock, but Wall’s reversal ends up with Chapman briefly blocking it with some headscissors, and then succeeds by flipping over into a headlock.
Wall grabs an armbar, but Chapman fights up into a backslide for a near-fall, before Wall hits a sunset flip as we get a series of near-falls back and forth from both men. A headlock is pushed out of by Wall, who then scores a bridging suplex for a near-fall.
Chapman gets caught in a seated strait-jacket, with Wall wrenching back on him, only for the youngster to work free and kick Wall in the chest several times. A Code Red gets Chapman a near-fall, before he sends Wall into the corner with another uppercut. After going to the top, a cannonball senton into Wall gets another two-count, before Wall counters a wheelbarrow roll-up into a facebuster, and then picks him up for a swinging full nelson slam for the win. That was nice and even, with a few advanced moves thrown in for good measure. Nothing flashy, but perfectly acceptable for this level. **½
Revolution Pro Wrestling British Tag Team Championship: Legion of Lords (Lord Gideon Grey & Rishi Ghosh) vs. Charlie Garrett & Joel Redman (c)
During their entrances, someone from the crowd screams “Gideon, what’s the safe word?” Fair enough… The challengers attack Garrett and Redman as they enter the ring, with the leopard leotard’d Ghosh whipping Garrett hard into the corner, before Grey lands a leaping forearm.
Grey low bridges Garrett to the outside as the champions went for a double team, before Redman reverses a suplex to drop Ghosh for a near-fall. Garrett tags in and lands a middle rope elbow drop on Ghosh for a near-fall, before Redman gets the same with a knee-drop.
Redman and Garrett score a couple of near-falls as they exchange frequent tags back and forth. A fireman’s carry into a gutbuster from Redman drops Grey, who then interjects himself again for a hotshot on Redman, as Ghosh finally flies off the top rope with a brain chop for a near-fall.
Grey comes back in to double-team Redman, who gets head down as he tries to tag out to Garrett. More double-teaming as Grey flies off the top with a double axehandle to Redman, but that doesn’t even get a one-count. Ghosh traps Redman in a camel clutch, but Redman stands up out of it, only for Grey to come in and trip up Redman and drag him back into the wrong corner. Redman takes another double axehandle, this time from Ghosh, before Redman surprises the heels with a double suplex on the challengers, and he finally makes the hot tag to Garrett.
Garrett clears the ring with bodyslams, then a standing moonsault gets a near-fall as Grey makes the save, only to get a superkick and a death valley driver. Ghosh makes the save that time, and he gets a German suplex from Redman, who then catches Grey as the champions get a near-fall from an assisted powerslam.
Garrett sets up Grey on Redman for a top rope tombstone, but after Ghosh’s interference, Grey dives into a spinebuster from Garrett. A slingshot sends Grey into Redman for a bodyslam, and again Ghosh makes the save. We get a ref bump as Ghosh shoves Redman into the referee, which gives Gideon Grey the opportunity to strike Garrett with the cane… and of course, the ref wakes up in time to count the three. New champions?
Not quite, as referee Chris Roberts spots the cane in the ring, and orders the match be restarted. As soon as the bell rang, Garrett clotheslined Ghosh out of the ring, which left Gideon Grey remonstrating with the referee… who shoves him into Redman for a schoolboy roll-up to retain the titles. Both teams moved at such a clip that hardly any of this sunk in, not helped by the minimal selling throughout the match, and the finish of the referee restarting the match after suspecting that a foreign object was used… what the hell was that? Live, this would have been a lot more enjoyable, no doubt. **½
Jinny vs. Zoe Lucas
This was set-up at the end of June’s Cockpit show, where Zoe Lucas got into it with Jinny after the latter’s win over Addy Starr. Lucas’ cheerleader gimmick is easy ammo for Jinny, and they get going with Lucas kicking Jinny in the chest, before Lucas pulls off a pumphandle fallaway slam.
Jinny eats a back suplex after missing a punch, then a Fisherman’s suplex for a near-fall as Lucas shot out of the blocks. A kick is caught as Lucas’ leg is swept forward, and that gives Jinny the chance to kick away at the youngster, before they go to the corner for some more stomping.
Lucas briefly fights back, but is quickly cut-off as Jinny chokes her in the corner, before a vertical suplex gets Jinny a near-fall. Lucas gets set up in the corner, but she kicks herself free, and rushes into a Japanese armdrag that sees Lucas crash into the turnbuckles. After a couple of near falls, Jinny keeps the pressure up on Lucas with some chops, before Lucas gets choked against the bottom turnbuckle.
Jinny lands a leaping knee strike in the corner, before Jinny literally walks up the back of Lucas and follows with a running kick to the head. Somehow, Lucas kicked out at two, and finally makes a comeback with forearms, then a clothesline, and a leg lariat to the midsection.
Lucas drops Jinny with a legdrop assisted reverse DDT, a la Matt Sydal, before they go for duelling clotheslines, forearms, and yes – the double big boot! The pair trade forearms as they get back to their feet, but Jinny overwhelms her with forearms, before setting her into the corner for the Facelift (middle rope X-Factor). Lucas tried to fight out, but Jinny rushed in with a dropkick, before finishing off Zoe with the Facelift for the win. Plenty of aggression from both women, albeit a little sloppy at times (that leg lariat to the midsection looked rough, as did some of the strikes), but this was perfectly fine for a group that doesn’t have any established women’s division of their own. **¾
Trent Seven vs. Mark Haskins
As Jim Ross used to say: business is about to pick up! Marty Scurll on commentary can’t help himself but get caught up in “Seven Nation Army”, which is understandable.
We have a technical start here as Haskins and Seven trade holds back and forth, before a shoulder tackle from Seven leads to Haskins just kipping up. A back elbow and a snapmare leads to a dropkick to the head for Seven, who then rolls to the outside, and then back in as he tries for a tope, only to meet Haskins’ knee.
Haskins sits Seven on the stage steps, and lays into him with some kicks, before Seven accidentally clotheslines the ring post after Haskins pushed free as Seven tried to lawn dart him into the post. Regardless, Haskins takes a back suplex onto the apron, before Seven drops him on the mat with a scoop bodyslam for just a one-count.
Seven wallops Haskins with an overhand chop in the corner, before a second one is blocked by the feet of Haskins. A clothesline gets Seven a near-fall, and Seven keeps laying into Haskins with forearms, but the referee teases stopping the match as Seven sells his right arm extensively.
Marty Scurll on commentary rips at the fans who chant “we want strong style”, as Seven grabs a chinlock, before the one-armed Seven gets into a forearm battle with Haskins, who wins out before dropping Trent with a dropkick. Haskins continues with a dropkick into the corner on Seven, then an outside-in dropkick, a la Messrs Shibata and Naito respectively.
A Falcon Arrow gets Haskins a near-fall, before he lands some tiltawhirl headscissors. Seven pops up to clothesline Haskins to the outside, where he’s met with a tope through the bottom ropes, before Seven sets him up for a lariat, only for Haskins to dropkick the arm and then catch him in an armbar.
Haskins transitions the armbar to a crossface, before he switches it to a double armbar, which Seven just about breaks by getting his feet on the rope. Seven takes some more kicks to the chest from Haskins, but he ducks one and drills Haskins with a back suplex, who replies immediately with a back suplex of his own.
Seven comes back with another back suplex, before Haskins blocks one clothesline and drops Seven with one of his own. The two men start fighting back from their knees, trading slaps and forearms, before a superkick from Haskins has barely any effect on Seven, who responds with a half-and-half suplex. Haskins wriggles out of a piledriver attempt, then takes down Seven and rolls through into a death valley driver for a near-fall.
Seven shoves Haskins into the corner, but he takes a back elbow, before catching a crossbody from Haskins and turns it into a brainbuster for another near-fall. With one arm, Seven lifts up Haskins for a Rainmaker, but Haskins kicks free and lands a suplex, before going up top for a double knee-strike to the chest… for another near-fall.
After the kick-out, Seven meekly shoves away Haskins, who kicks away at both arms, then the chin of Seven, who replies with a lariat that turns Haskins inside out, before a one-armed piledriver scores the win for Trent. That was incredible – a match that deserved to be seen by a bigger live audience, and I’d only hope that this finds its way to more eyeballs than a normal Cockpit show. ****
Pete Dunne vs. Noam Dar
Dunne’s Cruiserweight title isn’t on the line here, and for this half of the show we’ve got Gideon Grey and Rishi Ghosh doing commentary. Unfortunately, their opening lines are said in such a hammy and over-the-top way, I’m already reaching for the mute button.
We start out with a lot of back and forth here, mostly based around wristlocks and headlocks, but Dunne gets an early advantage after using an Indian Deathlock to the arm to take down Noam. Dar loses a game of cat and mouse with Dunne, but finally gets a shot after he kicks Dunne’s leg out from underneath him, and then lands a dropkick for a near-fall.
Dar’s attempt to charge at Dunne misses, with the champion instantly snapping back with a release German suplex, only to be dropped by a suplex from Dar for a near-fall. A Dragon screw from Dar takes Dunne back to the mat, and another comeback from the champion ends as he gets caught in the ropes from a bicycle kick.
After Dar misses a double stomp to the knee, he’s forced to put on the brakes as Dunne tried to pull the referee in front of him. That gives Dunne the opening to go for a tombstone piledriver, but it’s countered as Dar goes for the Champagne Super-Knee-Bar, which gets broken up as Dunne was too close to the ropes. Dunne fights back by biting at Dar, but he takes a series of strikes in retaliation from the Scotsman.
Dar shoves Chris Roberts aside so he can chase after Dunne, but that just leaves the ref unsighted for a belt shot, and that seals the win for the champion. A fun back-and-forth match, with a finish that would have been ripe for a rematch… except one of these guys ended up signing with WWE! ****
Before we go onto the next match, one of my biggest criticisms of these Cockpit shows is the camera work. For some reason, as the show goes on, the hard camera starts to get blurry, and the mobile cameras seem to be hit and miss. The entrances for our next match highlight that, as we cut from blurry mobile camera to sharper mobile camera.
I’m not a technician, but if you’ve got equipment that is consistently inconsistent, wouldn’t you change something?
Josh Bodom vs. Jody Fleisch
Bodom attacks Fleisch at the bell, and lays into him in the corner with chops and knees. Fleisch comes back with an Japanese armdrag, then some headscissors, before the pair fly to the outside courtesy of a Cactus Jack-like clothesline. We also end up flying as we follow the mobile camera to them on the floor, just in time to see Fleisch pull off a plancha after he’d skinned the cat back into the ring.
Bodom replies with some chops on the outside, before he crawls up the short stairs into the seating. They continue around the ring for a spell, before Jody gets thrown into the turnbuckles as he tried for some headscissors on Bodom. Fleisch gets dropped with a hiptoss/knee strike combo, before a clothesline decks him.
A dropkick keeps Fleisch down, but he eventually fires back with some forearms, only to run into a roundhouse kick as he came off the ropes. Bodom gets a near-fall from that, and he keeps Fleisch grounded with a headlock on the mat. Fleisch fights up, but ends up grounded again with a back elbow from Bodom, who follows up with forearms, chops and boots in the corner as the veteran is kept on the back foot.
Fleisch finally makes a comeback by avoiding strikes from Bodom, before back flipping over an attempted chop block, and then lands a reverse bodyslam on Bodom for a near-fall. A back elbow rocks Bodom, as Fleisch leaps to the top rope… and jumps into the path of a superkick. Bodom sends Fleisch into the steps with a tope, before he rolls Fleisch back into the ring, but opts to go airborne himself… and misses with a springboard moonsault off the second rope.
Bodom catches Fleisch on the top rope as he went for a moonsault, and turned it into a German suplex that saw Fleisch land on his front for a near-fall. Again, Bodom climbs the turnbuckles and sets up for something, but he takes way too long and Fleisch counters with a hurricanrana off the middle rope.
Fleisch went for the 720 DDT, but we missed almost all of it thanks to the camera work, as they were focussing more on James Castle appearing on the apron to cause a distraction. That worked as Jody Fleisch ended up getting rolled up by Bodom, who grabbed a handful of tights as he won with a schoolboy pin. Shame about the camera work at the end, but that was a pretty decent match, even if Fleisch kept his aerial game minimal. ***½
James Castle beat down on Fleisch after the match, as Bodom joined in… but Jonny Storm ran out to make the save. Storm cuts a promo on Bodom, and after challenging Bodom and Castle to a tag team match down the line, we’ve got an impromptu match?
James Castle vs. Jonny Storm
Castle misses a charge in the corner to start us off, as Storm lays in with punches, before Bodom trips him in the ropes. Jody Fleisch makes the save in front of the extra-blurry camera.
Castle cowers from a strike and gets dropped by a crossbody off the middle rope, before Bodom again tries to trip Storm. That ends badly as the veteran low bridges an on-rushing Castle, who crashes into Bodom on the outside. Chris Roberts finally ejects Bodom for a lack of subtlety whilst cheating, but in the midst of that, Castle catches a plancha from Storm and ends up being shoved into the ringpost as he tried to lawn-dart Storm into it.
Storm baseball slides to the outside as Castle ducked another dive, before the blurry camera picks up Storm being dumped onto the apron by way of a Fireman’s carry into a flapjack of sorts. A gutwrench suplex drops Storm for a two-count, and Castle keeps up the pressure on Storm by way of some stomps in the corner.
Castle takes a kip-up enziguiri and a bulldog from Storm whilst he was complaining to the referee over a series of two-counts, before a springboard ‘rana takes Castle to the outside. Another baseball slide sends Castle down, and moments later, catches Castle with a Japanese armdrag off the middle rope after the pair’d made it back inside.
Storm calls for his Wonderwhirl (half nelson driver), but Castle fights free and ends up drilling Storm with a Roll the Dice as Storm was suspended on the middle rope. That gets a chant of “that was sloppy” from the crowd, and Castle takes a hurricanrana after sending Storm into the ropes. A pop-up knee strike and a diving knee gets Castle back on top, as Jody Fleisch returns from the back to distract the referee.
Josh Bodom returns, and takes a moonsault off the apron from Fleisch. That distracts Castle, who turns around into Jonny Storm’s Wonderwhirl for the win. Decent enough, but some of the camera work really affected the match for me. ***
We’ve got over half an hour left for our main event and entrances…
British Young Bloods (Jake McCluskey & Kieran Bruce) vs. Leaders of the New School (Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr.)
Just a thought, can you still be called the “new school” nine years after your team debuts?
Sabre takes Bruce into the ropes from the start, before he works into a cravat, which Bruce eventually switches into a hammerlock. Bruce gets caught in some elevated legscissors, as Sabre tweaks the ankle as well to end a grapple-heavy start. Marty Scurll tags in and rolls up Bruce for a near-fall, which leads to the tagging in of Jake McCluskey. Which pleases his fan.
Scurll takes McCluskey down with a rear chinlock, before Jake fights up to a wristlock, which he quickly loses as the Villain looks to take a page out of his partner’s playbook with the wrestling. At least until he poked Jake’s eye…
Jake leaps over Scurll in the corner and succeeds with an armbar from an armdrag, but Scurll works free and the Leaders swap tags back and forth, whilst the crowd exchange chants back and forth at Sabre and Scurll. But not at Chris Roberts. Never at Chris Roberts.
McCluskey hits a cartwheel into a dropkick, then a headscissor takedown on Scurll, who cuts him off with another poke to the eye. Jake rolls out of a chicken wing, but falls to the “Just Kidding” superkick. Scurll chops Jake down, then knocks Bruce off the apron as the Leaders split the legs of McCluskey.
The Leaders exchange frequent tags in and out, as Scurll manipulates Jake’s fingers to flip off his own partner, before McCluskey dives for the ropes to free himself from an armbar. Sabre ties in the double armbar on McCluskey, until Bruce dives in to make the save, but the heat continues on the heels as Sabre dragged McCluskey back into the Leaders’ corner.
Jake flips over Scurll, and finally makes the tag out to Bruce, who flips away from the Villain and lands a crossbody off the middle rope for a near-fall. On the outside, Scurll gets thrown into the apron by Jake as the referee’s distracted. In the ring, Jake monkey flips Bruce onto Scurll for a near-fall, before Jake’s chinlock leads to a clothesline from the heels and a near-fall.
Bruce spits at Sabre, and in doing so successfully provokes the Rev Pro champion to entering the ring, and therefore causes a referee distraction. A double team suplex keeps Scurll down for just a one-count, before Bruce lands a moonsault… Jake’s moonsault goes awry, and Scurll cracks his fingers en route to making the hot tag to Sabre.
A series of boots and uppercuts keep the Young Bloods down, before Sabre lands a tornado DDT on Jake, and rolls it through into an armbar. Bruce quickly breaks it up, but McCluskey’s attempt at a comeback comes to a screeching halt when Scurll kicks away a moonsault attempt. Jake takes a knee to the head, then a Dragon suplex from Sabre for a near-fall.
McCluskey fires back with a rolling elbow, before a double-team superkick to Scurll angers the Villain… but two more put him down as Sabre’s forced to make the save. The British Young Bloods go for their clothesline-assisted German suplex, but Scurll slaps away Jake, before tagging in Sabre, who kicks away Bruce’s hand. European Uppercuts for all, but Sabre falls to the 3D out of nowhere for a near-fall.
McCluskey misses a moonsault and goes straight into a superkick from Scurll, who gets one in reply from Bruce, as Sabre rushes in with a European uppercut to Bruce. Jake replies with lariats to Scurll and Sabre, before a brainbuster gets reversed by the Villain. Sabre rushes in with a PK, and somehow he crashes to the mat and sells as all four men lay prone on the mat.
The Leaders go for two “Just Kidding”s, but they get suckered by the Young Bloods, before a pair of European uppercuts leads us to a sequence that ends with a tombstone from Scurll and a sit-out powerbomb from Sabre for a pair of near-falls. Scurll grabs an umbrella as the Leaders argue over how to finish the job, and Sabre accidentally kicks Scurll as he aimed for Jake.
Sabre takes the clothesline-assisted German suplex for a near-fall as Scurll laid motionless on the apron. In the meantime, Bruce lands a frog splash, before McCluskey’s moonsault lands him directly into an armbar, but Jake rolls him back for a near-fall. Scurll drags himself to his feet, and assists Sabre with the “See Ya Later” (dropkick assisted Michinoku driver), before Sabre grabs another armbar. Bruce leaps into a chicken wing, and that eventually forces both of the Young Bloods to tap. A fine main event, if not a little long given the relative statuses of both teams, but a fantastic outing for all four guys. ***¾
As a show, this was pretty good – the Cockpit is a nice, intimate venue, which doesn’t offer itself up to rowdy chanting and catcalls that you’d get from other venues. Sadly, if there is one negative here, it’s in the form of the commentary – as good as Marty Scurll was in the first half, the Legion of Lords were bad in the second. It’s one thing being a heel on commentary, but a character heel in 2016 just doesn’t work… and two of them, even less so!