Rev Pro hit the road as their Back to Business tour hit Bristol for some matches in the Great British Tag League, as well as the in-ring return of Shota Umino.
Great British Tag League Block B: Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper pinned Charlie Sterling & Joel Redman in 13:44 (***)
Chris Ridgeway pinned Connor Mills in 16:33 (***¼)
Michael Oku defeats Lee Hunter via referee stoppage to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship in 14:26 (***½)
Great British Tag League Block A: Dean Allmark & Robbie X pinned Luke Jacobs & Ethan Allen in 18:00 (***¾)
Great British Tag League Block B: Screwface Ahmed & Lucian Phillips pinned Callum Newman & JJ Gale in 15:32 (***)
Gisele Shaw submitted Mariah May to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship in 12:39 (**¾)
Shota Umino pinned Dan Moloney in 18:56 (***¾)
Ricky Knight Jr. pinned Doug Williams in 13:47 (***¼)
We’re at the Marble Factory in Bristol for this one, for the promotion’s first show there since April 2019… because pandemic. Commentary comes from Andy Quildan and Gideon Grey. Is Hull particularly known for it’s warm climes?
But first, our new ring announcer introduces Ricky Knight Jr., who comes out with his newly-won Southside heavyweight title. A title RKJ said he was retiring (rather than unify it, which was the original plan), because he wanted to be the only Grand Slam champion in Southside’s history. Instead, he brings back the old design of the Rev Pro British Heavyweight Championship title, because “it’s a belt that Will Ospreay could never win.”
Knight’s interrupted by Doug Williams – they were scheduled to have a match later tonight… Doug puts over RKJ’s family lineage, before asking RKJ for a title match if he wins tonight. Of course, it’s accepted.
Great British Tag League Block B: Sunshine Machine (Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper) vs. Charlie Sterling & Joel Redman
Thanks to Gideon, I now can’t get the name “Chuck Mango” out of my head…
Meanwhile, Sterling and Redman seemed unusually distant from each other, considering they were former tag team champions who were unhappy about never having a rematch. Sterling eventually starts with Mambo, but we’ve an early stand-off as Mambo ended up getting taken into the corner before Redman came in and got caught in a reverse DDT for an early two-count. Sterling catches Mambo in the ropes, only to get knocked off as Mambo tried to go in with some springboard action… but Sterling’s back to crotch him in the ropes. Redman capitalises with a snap suplex for a two-count, but Mambo’s back with the Randy Savage hotshot before Sterling tried to attack TK on the floor. Back inside, Redman eats a leg lariat from TK for a two-count, but a distraction from Sterling opens the door for a spinebuster from Redman for a two-count.
Sterling tags in to hit a backbreaker on TK, then another, before TK came right back with a clothesline. Redman’s back to stop TK tagging out, landing a series of elbow drops as the Sunshine Machine were finding it pretty dark. Stomps from Redman keep TK in the ropes, while Sterling keeps it going as the pair exchanged frequent tags. Redman caught TK’s crossbody and hit “mini Cooper” with a backbreaker, before Sterling offered his help on an abdominal stretch.Redman refuses, and gets hiptossed away by TK. Sterling tags in, but has to keep TK in the corner… before a superplex was stopped with headbutts as TK leapt down with a crossbody into Sterling.
Finally the tag brings in Mambo, whose springboard dropkick took out the former tag champions. A superkick drops Sterling, but Mambo gets pushed out of a slam before he recovered with leaping back elbows off the top rope. A swinging side slam drops Redman for a two-count, while the Bad Burrito gutbuster followed on Sterling to almost win the match. A double-team slam/neckbreaker combo on Mambo turns things around for a near-fall as commentary bemoaned how this may as well be a tornado match. Redman skins the cat as he’s chucked outside, before TK stood tall following a series of headbutts. Until Sterling hit a dastardly low blow… which the referee started counting on until he realised that Mambo was legal, with Mambo then snatching a roll-up for the win. A fun opening tag, with the vibe between Sterling and Redman making for some interesting moments. ***
Chris Ridgeway vs. Connor Mills
Ridgeway’s apparently planning to beat the you-know-what out of Connor Mills to send a message to Michael Oku (and thus earn a title shot). Gideon Grey stayed on commentary and missed giving himself a coronary in the heat… but left the desk to do the ring introduction for Ridgeway anyway.
Ridgeway looked to pick Mills’ leg early on, but it’s avoided as Mills grabbed a front facelock before the pair rolled into the ropes. Ridgeway returns the favour, but more work over Mills’ leg ended in the ropes before Mills went for a backslide… pulling down Ridgeway before a diving uppercut took the Legion’s hardman down. A chop stings Ridgeway into the corner, ahead of a diving uppercut to the back that barely drew a one-count. Ridgeway returns with a kitchen sink knee before he hung up Mills in the ropes, following up with some more kicks as Mills ended up getting knocked to the outside. Stomps keep Mills on the outside, before a headlock takedown kept Mills in bother back inside.
Elbow to the neck follow for a two-count, before he pulled Mills into a crossface. That’s stopped in the ropes, with Ridgeway holding on before he stung Mills with some kicks. Mills tries to fight back, eventually countering a roll-up before a Quebrada crashed into Ridgeway. A waistlock from Ridgeway leads to a two-count, but Mills rebounds off the ropes with a lariat for a near-fall. Mills throws some chops before a Burning Cutter’s countered out of, with Ridgeway strangling Mills before he dragged him down in a heel hook. With that not yielding a submission, Ridgeway goes back to the German suplex, then a PK for a near-fall, before rolling back in for a crossface and another submission that Mills pushed out of.
The crossface is reapplied as Mills eventually got to the ropes. A gut punch winds Mills, but he’s able to sneak back in with a Mill Shot, then a head kick for a near-fall, before he rattled Ridgeway with some machine gun-like kicks. A torqued wristlock from Mills leads to a submission attempt, but Ridgeway outmuscles him and stomped the elbow before a deadlift, bridging German suplex led to the win. A good showing from Mills in defeat, making sure Ridgeway didn’t have it all his own way. ***¼
Post-match, Gideon declared Ridgeway would be the next Cruiserweight champion as Mills was put in a half crab. There’s no save from Michael Oku, which is weird because his match is next…
Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: Lee Hunter vs. Michael Oku (c)
This was meant to have been held on the cancelled Epic Encounters show.
Oku takes Hunter into the corner early on, before a headlock takedown had Oku in the middle of the ring. Wash, rinse, repeat, as Hunter keeps Oku grounded, but after Oku got up he managed to take Hunter right back down with an armdrag before a dropkick had Hunter on the back foot. A side Russian legsweep gets Oku a two-count, as Oku looked to push ahead, catching Hunter’s floatover as the veteran looked to fight back. An Irish whip bounces Hunter into the corner, but he’s right back with a superkick and a Shadows Over Malice-like crossbody to the back of the champion.
Hunter tries for a slam, but has more luck with a swinging DDT, getting a two-count out of that as he stayed on Oku, rolling a suplex into a nasty looking brainbuster, then a Bunker Buster for a near-fall. An inverted cravat keeps Oku in trouble as Hunter retained the focus on the neck, but Oku rolls free and bought himself time with a roundhouse enziguiri. Oku followed up with a dropkick as Hunter was in the ropes, but a bad landing meant Oku couldn’t capitalise initially, as he ended up taking Hunter outside for a Fosbury flop. Back inside, a missile dropkick drills through Hunter for a near-fall, but Hunter struck back… only to run into a pop-up powerbomb as Oku’s diving knee left the challenger laying. From there, Oku heads up top, but can only get a near-fall from a frog splash, before a half crab was blocked, with Hunter instead rolling for a backslide… then switching through into a Neutraliser for a near-fall.
Hunter nails a superkick, but Oku threw back in kind before Oku tripped Hunter with a roll-through. Things get increasingly frantic as Oku searched for a half crab, but after he spikes Hunter on a swinging DDT, a jackhammer followed before Oku-berg rolled Hunter into the half crab as the referee waves off the match. Hunter really brought his A-game here, going for Oku’s self-induced weakness (the neck), only to get caught out with an unlikely jackhammer. ***½
Great British Tag League Block A: Young Guns (Ethan Allen & Luke Jacobs) vs. Dream Team (Dean Allmark & Robbie X)
It’s a Rev Pro debut for the Young Guns, whose stock is only expected to rise as promotions get back to running shows.
Allen and Allmark start us off, with Allmark getting taken into the corner, only to walk away from Allen as he looked to mount the ropes. On the mat, Allmark scissors Allen’s leg, but backed away as they got back to their feet. A cartwheel shows Allmark’s flashiness as Allen looked to work on Allmark’s left arm. Allmark reverses a wristlock, then a hammerlock as the pair went hold-for-hold. A headstand in the corner from Allmark confounds Allen, who’s charged down before Luke Jacobs tagged in and was played around with by Allmark. Jacobs’ double-leg takedown sees him grab Allmark’s left leg, but Dean rolls free quickly and grabbed the foot… only for Jacobs to counter back as we waited for our first big breakthrough.
A shoulder charge from Jacobs takes down Allmark, before Robbie X tagged in and bounced back from a shoulder tackle. Headscissors and armdrags have Jacobs down, as Allen returned… and was similarly frustrated. Robbie’s floatover and cartwheels wows the crowd as a cartwheel dropkick gets a two-count, before Allen got chopped into the wrong corner. Allmark’s back in, hitting a stomp to Allen in the corner before a springboard moonsault saw the Dream Team come close. Allen escapes a suplex and clobbered down Allmark as Jacobs returned, clearing Robbie off the apron ahead of some double-teaming from the Young Guns turned the match on its head. A double sledge off the apron from Jacobs keeps Allmark down, before a slingshot into the bottom rope kept Deano down.
Allen’s short-arm clothesline gets a two-count on Allmark, who’s trapped in the corner with chops before a chinlock was fought out of, with Allmark then having to back body drop out of a front facelock. Jacobs runs in, but gets suplexed as Dean finally made the crawl over to Robbie X… who’s pulled off the apron. A kick-assisted brainbuster saw the Young Guns chase the dragon for a near-fall on Allmark as they continued to push on. This time, Allmark fought free and made that tag out to Robbie X, who ran wild over the Young Guns, nailing a dropkick on Jacobs, before a springboard dropkick knocked Allen off the apron. Robbie’s handspring kick took Jacobs outside for a PK, before a missile dropkick back inside drew a near-fall.
We lose the picture as Allmark and Robbie double-team Jacobs, with a Judo throw into a cutter (the Ruby Cutter) almost getting the win. Allen made the save, but gets thrown outside as Robbie X went for an X-Clamation on Jacobs. The pace quickens again, with Robbie X getting thwarted by more Young Guns double-teams, leading to a Yakuza kick and a lariat from Jacobs for a near-fall. The Young Guns trap their more experienced opponents in submissions, with Allen’s crossface ending in the ropes while Jacobs’ triangle choke was for nought. Body blows from Allen wear down Robbie X, before tags got us back to Jacobs stomping away on the Lincoln lad. A backflip kick from Robbie drops the Guns, as the X-Clamation on Jacobs cleared the way for Allmark to hit a Tennessee Jam legdrop off the top for the win. This was some fantastic stuff, with the crowd warming to all four men – and with the Young Guns working slightly more villainous to the veterans, this meshed together superbly. ***¾
Great British Tag League Block B: The Legion (Lucian Phillips & Screwface Ahmed) vs. Callum Newman & JJ Gale
This was a debut-as-a-team for Screwface Ahmed and Lucian “formerly Psycho” Phillips as the latest iteration of the Legion looked to regain the tag team titles.
Newman and Gale were of course the crowd favourites before the bell went, but were on the defensive early on as Phillips shoves Gale into the corner, before a shoulder charge knocked down the recent contender. Gale gets the boots up in the corner as Phillips charged in, then slid through as misdirection caught out Phillips ahead of a dropkick off the ropes. A double-jump ‘rana takes Phillips down, but a suplex is stuffed as Gale ends up springboarding into Phillips for a one-count. Tags bring in Screwface and Newman, who are a little more tentative as Newman’s bridged back in a knuckle lock, before a wristlock kept Newman at bay.
Ahmed keeps Newman grounded, before Newman tried to turn up the pace… only to get slapped by Screwface. Newman does it again, this time cracking Ahmed with an enziguiri and a dropkick before Ahmed boxed his way back in. Newman avoids most of the shots as Gale tagged in and got popped up into an elbow drop for a one-count. Gale’s leg’s kicked out by Ahmed, who then sidestepped a charge as Phillips popped Gale onto the edge of the ring. Back inside, an uppercut keeps JJ down, as did some double sledges to the back, before a sit-down splash from Ahmed and a snap suplex adds to Gale’s woes. Phillips pulls Gale into the corner by the hair, then tagged in as the match threatened to break down with Newman’s protestations distracting the ref from some double-teaming.
A big splash gets Phillips a two-count, while a chinlock keeps Gale down… as did a back suplex from Ahmed, getting a two-count as well. Gale escapes a charge from Phillips in the corner, but got pulled into a short-arm lariat for a near-fall. Ahmed heads up top for a big splash… but misses as Gale managed to make the tag to Newman, who cleared house with dropkicks and armdrags. Running knees from Newman keep Phillips in the corner, but Ahmed’s right with a lariat… a Robinson special kick from Newman misses, as Ahmed then hit a spinebuster for a near-fall. Gale’s back with a discus forearm, then a stomp-assisted Gory bomb knee as the Legion were taking a pounding. A dropkick from Gale takes Phillips to the outside, while a scissor kick from Gale left Ahmed down as Gale tried to direct traffic…
Newman heads up top, but Phillips shoved him down, before a left hand KO’s Gale. Newman leaps into a fireman’s carry as the Deep Wounds (Fireman’s Carry/cutter double-team) ended up shutting the door on the high-flying duo. ***
Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship: Mariah May vs. Gisele Shaw (c)
This was May’s in-ring debut for Rev Pro, having attacked Shaw moments after the end of the women’s title match at the Cockpit two weeks’ earlier.
Shaw and May charge at each other at the bell, but it’s Shaw who’s the early aggressor, chopping May into the corner. A reversed Irish whip gave May a chance to charge in, but she misses a clothesline as Shaw came in with a lariat of her own for an early two-count. May tries her luck with another whip, but that’s also reversed as May rolled free and began to wind up Shaw. A handful of hair from May pulls down Shaw, but Gisele’s right back with a paintbrush-like swipe as the match descended into strikes for a little while. Shaw went for a backbreaker, but instead dumped May in the turnbuckles and charged at her ribs before a push-down stomp off the top rope brought the challenger down with a bump.
May fought back, landing a low kick for just a one-count, before she choked away on Shaw in the ropes. Shaw looked to return with some right hands, but May just throws the champion into the buckles, before she blocked a tornado DDT attempt. Some Trish Stratus-ish headscissors are blocked, before Shaw leapt into May’s knee as a bridging German suplex nearly got the win. A straitjacket hold kept Shaw down, but she’s right back with a superkick as the match began to get finely poised. An exchange of forearms sees Shaw pull ahead, before she slid under May ahead of a flip neckbreaker. Shaw throws in a spinebuster for a near-fall next, before she took May into the ropes for a draping DDT for another two-count. From there, Shaw looks to grab the arm, but May gets to the ropes instantly and returned with a double-jump dropkick out of the corner for a two-count.
May heads back up top, but she’s caught with a gamengiri as the pair trade right hands on the buckles… but it’s May who flipped over, looking for a sunset bomb. Shaw avoids it, but got pulled back out of the corner ahead of a springboard bulldog from May that again got her a near-fall. Looking for the win, May tries to lift up Shaw for a powerbomb, but instead it’s blocked as Shaw nails an axe kick and a knee strike, before rolling May into a levering armbar from the kick-out… Shaw rolls the pair into the middle of the ring as May looked to get to the ropes, before Shaw leaned back and forced the stoppage. A solid debut for May, who came real close – but you never sensed a title change would happen here as the Lucas/May story with Shaw is in its infancy. **¾
Post-match, our new (unnamed) ring announcer interviewed Shaw, who was buoyant after her win… and again claimed that nobody would take the title from her. Shaw promised to win the Queen of the Ring tournament at the end of the month to go with her title.
Dan Moloney vs. Shota Umino
Shota Umino returned at the end of the Cockpit show earlier in the month, and had two messages… but first, he’s up against the defeated finalist in the Southside Championship tournament. This was Shooter’s first match since the pandemic started, which led to some questions over ring rust…
Moloney takes Umino to the corner early, but misses a chop as Umino… tried to do the Moose motions? He offered a handshake to Moloney, who slaps it away as Umino grabbed a wristlock… which was broken in the end, so he rolls Moloney down into a chinlock. Umino clings on with the side headlock as Moloney tries to shove him off, and held firm as a back suplex tried to break the hold. Umino resets with another headlock takedown, before Moloney tried his luck with a dropkick. It misses, with Shota hitting a slam and a shoulder tackle as he seemed to have Dan’s number in the early going. Elbows keep Moloney in the corner, but Dan takes things outside as he proceeded to chuck Umino into the ring post. A back suplex drops Umino on the edge of the ring, which reset the count, before both men made it back inside.
Moloney throws some rights at Umino, then a back elbow as Shooter was sent off the ropes. More elbows wear down Umino, as did some stomps and boot chokes, before a slam drew just a one-count over the stubborn Umino. Eventually, Umino fought back with a back elbow of his own, before more elbow strikes left Moloney down for a low dropkick to the back. A neckbreaker’s elbowed away, but Umino hits it at the second attempt for a near-fall, as the match descended into back-and-forth chops. Umino grabs the ropes to block an O’Connor roll, but couldn’t avoid a dropkick from Moloney, nor an overhead belly-to-belly that led to another near-fall.
From there, Moloney seemed to look for a Drilla, but Umino counters with a back body drop, then a side suplex for a two-count, before he rolled into an Anaconda Vise. Moloney tries to roll it into a pin, before Umino rolled through anyway into a Fisherman suplex for a near-fall. Umino called for a Death Rider, but Moloney counters with a TKO… he then looked for a spear before he took Umino up top for an eventual superplex. Moloney followed that up with a lariat as the near-falls started to stack up, but Umino escapes a Drilla and returned with a dropkick to turn the tables, before a brainbuster BOUNCES Moloney for a near-fall. All that’s left is the Death Rider… but Moloney escapes and slaps Umino down to a knee, before elbows and a pumphandle slam from Shota got him closer. Now we get the Death Rider, and that’s more than enough for Umino to get the win! Ring rust? What ring rust. Umino picked up exactly where he left off here, looking every bit the star many have touted him to become. An intensely competitive outing. ***¾
Post-match, Shota offered a handshake… it’s accepted, but Moloney pulled him into a Bossman slam before he went outside for a chair, only for Dan Magee (of all people) to make the save.
Doug Williams vs. Ricky Knight Jr.
This wasn’t for RKJ’s title… and before the match we had a scrap between Brendan White and Kenneth Halfpenny, arguing over who should take Doug Williams’ ring jacket. In the end, neither did. Interestingly, RKJ was introduced as the “current British Heavyweight Champion”, not the Southside champion.
We start with RKJ locking up into the ropes, but Williams takes him down for a toe hold… which Knight rolled out of. Williams ties up the legs, but Knight breaks the hold in the ropes before he slapped Williams, sparking a brief skirmish that ended via a shoulder tackle. Williams slows the pace down with a headlock takedown as Knight tried to pull at the ear for an escape, before a dropkick finally took down Doug. Knight works the wrist of the veteran, headbutting the arm before he countered a roll through to go back to the wrist. A flying uppercut from Williams catches Knight, as did an overhead belly-to-belly, while Williams followed through with an armdrag and armbar, before Knight pulled him by the trunks into the corner.
There’s a kick to the back of the head too as Williams was left laying, allowing Knight to stay on him with kicks and knees to the back. A side headlock has Doug flat on the mat, but he fought free and took Knight into the corner, kicking the rope into the leg ahead of a clothesline that got nary a one-count. Knight’s quickly back as in control, taking Williams outside as some stomps kept the veteran on the defensive. Crossface punches keep Williams down, as RKJ mouthed off to the crowd and gave Doug an opening. A back elbow stops the champion, with Doug then going up for a diving uppercut, before he slingshotted Knight into the corner. An Exploder dumps Knight out of the corner too, with clotheslines leading to a scoop slam from Doug for a near-fall.
From there, Doug looks for the Chaos Theory, but Knight clings to the ropes and hit back with a death valley driver into the corner. Running dropkicks in the corner follow, then a draping DDT for another near-fall. Knight takes things up top, but Williams slips out of a superplex to powerbomb RKJ… then followed up with a piledriver that almost won him the match. Doug calls for the Chaos Theory again, but Knight rolls him up for a two-count. A Tiger Driver from Williams swings the momentum back his way, before Knight found a way through with an OsCutter for a near-fall. Knight throws some more elbows, before a rear spin kick dazed Williams ahead of a Hidden Blade for the win. I’m not crazy about RKJ continuing to use Ospreay’s moves – but it tells the story of him following in those footsteps ahead of the unification match down the line. ***¼
An excellent show as Rev Pro slowly get back to business – with some cracking matches from the tag league, and of course, Umino’s return to the ring. Commentary for Rev Pro has been a bit of a hot-desk lately, but I particularly enjoyed the interplay between Andy Quildan and Gideon Grey on this show – not to put any pressure on, but they reminded me of the classic Bobby Heenan/Gorilla Monsoon duo from back in the day.