A changed card was the order of the day as Rev Pro made their Bristol debut.
We’ve a slightly odd aesthetic in Motion, which looks a lot like a cut-down version of the Turbinenhalle, with an industrial look and a packed balcony. There’s also a massive spotlight and a LOT of smoke machine smoke here, which apparently makes for issues later in the show. Sadly, I can’t get the episode of Wrestling With Wregret out of my head, where kids chanting “motion” sounded like “bullshit”.
The show opened with Will Ospreay coming out in street clothes to address one of the changes to the card, which was caused by him breaking a toe during a WOS house show the prior night. Chris Brookes comes out and attacks Ospreay with a chair playing off of the accident at York Hall last year, and threatens to break Ospreay’s leg to ruin his York Hall main event. El Phantasmo makes the save, as I notice everyone’s out in hoodies and thick jackets. Such as MK McKinnan, who came out wearing a hoodie over his singlet, before offering a new main event: a three-way between ELP, Chris Brookes and MK McKinnan.
Once we’re done with the opening segment, it’s time for the wrestling. Andy Quildan and Dan Barnsdall (“Generic Number Three”) is on commentary in lieu of Andy Boy Simmonz, who was over in Japan commentating for the New Beginning tour there.
Josh Bodom vs. Dan Magee
Bodom looks to rough up Magee early on, but Magee’s even to it as he’s pretty used to Bodom’s intimidation these days.
Bodom manages to pick a leg and trip Magee into an ankle lock, but it’s quickly escaped as Bodom instead headed up top for a superplex, sending Magee down to the mat hard. Another snap suplex from Bodom keeps him ahead, getting a near-fall, as the big spotlight was washing everything out here. It’s like those EVOLVE shows from two years ago that were in the afternoon, and had masses of daylight bleaching everything out.
Bodom’s clothesline keeps Magee down, but he just kneels on him for a two-count, before Magee hit back with a sliding Flatliner and a Slingblade to get back into it. We’re still doing the time calls, as Magee slipped in the middle of a superplex, before recovering to land a top rope ‘rana as he followed up with a Whisper in the Wind for a near-fall. Bodom slips out of a Flatliner and ends up coming right back in with another clothesline and a Bodom Breaker that dumped Magee awkwardly for another two-count. From there, Bodom argued with Chris Roberts, thinking it should have been a three, before he slapped Magee and got caught with a roll-up for the win. A real banana peel finish, with Bodom paying for perhaps taking Magee too lightly. **¾
Ever the sore loser, Bodom beat down Magee after the match, before Sha Samuels came out to… join in. Are the Revolutionists back together? Well, nobody sure was coming to help Magee from being whipped by Sha’s braces, with Michael Oku eventually shouting from the floor before he was bum rushed. He’s met with a Bliss Buster from Bodom, as Sha promised that this was “only the beginning”. I don’t think he meant it was the beginning of technical problem…
Ash Draven vs. Kurtis Chapman
Erm, Andy, are you sure this was Ash Draven’s debut? Or did you forget to say “singles”, after he appeared in a trios match nearly two years ago at the Cockpit.
Draven’s being all elusive early on as he tried to get into Chapman’s head, and it kinda worked too as Draven came in and took Chapman into the corner, only for the former Cruiserweight champion to come out with a takedown into a crucifix pin for an early two-count, as Chapman was looking for these quick pins. A roll-up didn’t do the job, so he just slapped Draven from the apron before he telegraphs himself and gets caught in the ropes for a draping DDT. Draven just leaves him upside down in the ropes before he pulled him free, instead resorting to choking him on the mat, then some stretching as Ash was showing off a rather demonic side in his search for his “happy place”.
Draven pulls Chapman onto the apron for a running knee, then took him back inside for a snapmare and a low dropkick as the crowd were… warming to Chapman? Kurtis is taken into the corner for more booting, only to counter a pull out into a Codebreaker as Chapman began to find his way back into it, flipping over a clothesline into a short powerbomb as a modified toe hold from Chapman turned into an ankle lock, with Chapman bending Draven in half.
Chapman can’t keep the butcher’s grip, so he instead goes back to the toe hold, then looks for a Dragon sleeper as Draven eventually got into the ropes. Kicks to the legs of Draven and a slap send him into the ropes, before a flapjack from Draven turned it right back around. Another draping DDT, this time off the top rope, lands as Draven gets a near-fall, before Chapman fired back through a series of shots, throwing some uppercuts into the corner.
Chapman looked for a version of Destino en route to a Sega Mega Driver, but it’s blocked both times as Draven hits a short clothesline instead to put him down, before another DDT saw Draven pick up the relative upset. This was pretty solid, even if the crowd didn’t really latch onto the Draven character – but I saw enough of him to think that he’d be a solid part of the Rev Pro roster if he’s used regularly. **¾
David Starr & Rob Lias vs. Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis)
Well, with Starr picking Rob Lias for his team on the Cockpit show a fortnight earlier, it seems that these two now have an alliance of sorts. Starr’s got as many nicknames as Lias has colours on his ring gear, but at least Dan’s not having to read those out too!
Fletcher and Starr begin the match, with Fletcher taking the Cruiserweight champion down, only for Starr to come back with a side headlock takedown as the pair neutralised each other. A blind tag brings in Mark Davis, who slammed Starr ahead of a pair of back sentons before Rob Lias tagged in and took Dunkzilla down with a DDT. Commentary digs up how Rob Lias beat Travis Banks in double quick time… then omits how Lias disappeared from the roster for a few months! Kyle Fletcher’s back in with backbreakers to Lias and Starr, but Lias is quickly back with a suplex throwing Fletcher into the corner as Starr and Lias looked to isolate someone.
You know what this leads up to… but David Starr distracts the referee to mask Fletcher’s tag out, as the bad guys continued to frustrate. Starr does it again, dropkicking Davis off the apron as he and Lias proceeded to stomp on Fletcher in the ropes. Eventually Kyle Fletcher rolls through and tags in Mark Davis, who lit-up Lias and Starr with clotheslines and chops for fun. Starr’s punched out, before Davis opted to slam both opponents at the same time! The Gold Coast Waterslide’s teased next, but instead Starr eats a sit-down splash out of the corner for a near-fall. Lias has to save Starr as he tags in and… gets chopped before a crucifix roll through led to Davis taking a knee to the face. Fletcher tags back in and instantly throws Lias in for a double-team Go To Sleep for a near-fall, before Lias avoids an assisted cutter.
A tope from Starr takes out Davis on the outside as Fletcher took a Cherry Mint DDT and a Pretty Pumped from Starr, ahead of a dropkick-assisted Product Placement for a near-fall as Davis had to break up the pin. Davis tries to fight against the numbers game, but ends up punching away a double-team sunset flip as the whole concept of tags became a distant memory. Starr’s taken out with an assisted cutter from Fletcher, while Lias ate a sliding punch into the corner before a Fidget Spinner got the win. This was solid stuff, with the result going as you’d expect, but not before Starr and Lias showed some promise as a tag team. Whether that’s the long-term plan remains to be seen… ***
For the start of the second half, there’s a lot more empty seats facing the hard cam – apparently the spotlight lighting the ring meant that watching the show there was a bit of a challenge. Lessons learned for next time, eh?
Great O-Kharn vs. Shigehiro Irie
These two had a hell of an exchange during the multi-man tag at the Cockpit two weeks earlier, while I echo Gideon Grey’s sentiments for the one-falls.
O-Kharn’s in no rush to go after Irie, as we eventually start with forearms to the face… only for O-Kharn to fake out and go after Irie’s nose. Chops follow as O-Kharn rolled to the outside to avoid Irie’s backlash, before he low bridged the former KO-D champion, after flipping him off. Good to see O-Kharn’s learning English the same way school children learn foreign languages – by starting with the swears!
On the outside, O-Kharn puts Irie in a chair for some chops, before he threw Irie into a crowd barrier, then into the ring apron. Yeah, it’s the slow-paced brawling that draws boos, at least until Irie fought back with some clubbing forearms to the back, prompting O-Kharn into some Mongolian chops. Irie’s rolled back into the ring, but he instantly dives outside with a tope to O-Kharn, then returned to the ring for a slingshot splash by the ropes for a near-fall. O-Kharn’s right back in it though, following in with some more chops to the head as he went back to his usual playbook, going for Irie’s nose and ears.
Some rapid-fire chops had Irie on the back foot once more, with O-Kharn sitting on him in the corner before a claw-assisted chinlock led to Irie fighting back. At least until O-Kharn hit a Mongolian chop for a two-count… O-Kharn drops Irie into the ropes with some Snake Eyes for a two-count, only for Irie to hit back with a suplex reversal as he built up to an Earthquake-like sit-down splash for a near-fall. Irie can’t quite get a fireman’s carry, as O-Kharn slipped out and hit a Skull Crushing Finale to Irie, before an atomic drop/facebuster drew a near-fall.
Irie uses a mandible claw to counter a head claw, as the match descended into some tit-for-tat, with forearms finding their mark on both men. A Beast Bomber out of nowhere drops O-Kharn, before a death valley driver took the former Young Lion into the corner for a big cannonball. After O-Kharn kicked out at two, Irie went up top, only to get clocked with a cane shot from Gideon Grey, before a low blow and an Iron Claw Slam got the win. Eh, this was a bit of a let down – I wasn’t expecting them to go all out, but we saw annoyingly little of the intensity we got at the Cockpit, instead getting a template O-Kharn match. He’s improving in the gimmick, but it’s painfully slow. ***
Chardonnay & Zoe Lucas vs. Charli Evans & Sammii Jayne
Originally this was meant to have featured Yuu teaming with Sammii Jayne, but an injury suffered the prior night for WrestleGate Pro meant that we had a change, with Charli Evans making a welcome return.
Chardonnay and Sammii Jayne open the match, with the Queen of the Ring tournament winner taking down Chardonnay early on as they swapped wristlocks. A cravat from Chardonnay forced Sammii into the ropes, only for the Scotswoman to hit back with a tornado DDT. Some standing switches led to Jayne heading onto the ropes, where she’s caught with a guillotine scissor kick by Zoe Lucas, who rushed the tag in to score a two-count.
Charli Evans runs in to help as Lucas had Sammii cornered, but it only got a momentary respite as Lucas was right back in with a Northern Lights suplex for a two-count. Chardonnay’s back to keep the isolation going, throwing Sammii down to the mat with a hair pull for a two-count, before Sammii found a way through with a neckbreaker, having lasted five minutes on her own as she finally got the tag through to Charli Evans.
Evans is right in with Saito suplexes for all, then some face-washing boots ahead of a crossbody into both Chardonnay and Lucas for a near-fall. Lucas is right back with a Northern Lights suplex for another two-count, but Evans is back with a roll-through into a knee strike for a two-count as the momentum kept swinging all over the place. A death valley driver from Lucas is good for a two-count, before Sammii Jayne returned and avoided a Pele kick, ahead of landing a wheelbarrow DDT with some help from Charli. Again, tags seem to be a novelty as all four women hit the ring for a Parade of Moves, leading to Chardonnay’s Finlay roll on Jayne.
Sammii Jayne hits a baseball slide German into the corner, before she set up Lucas for the Shadowfax baseball slide German through to the outside, following up with a Samoan driver… and that’s enough for Sammii Jayne to get the W over Zoe Lucas! This was pretty good stuff as the build to the eventual York Hall match between Lucas and Jayne, but I can’t help but feel the roles are the wrong way around here. ***
Falls Count Anywhere: Chris Brookes vs. MK McKinnan vs. El Phantasmo
Being from Canada, El Phantasmo’s used to the cold as he comes out in his ring gear. Not even a t-shirt, eh?
So our rescheduled, falls count anywhere main event opened with ELP and MK superkicking Brookes out of the match before they swung and missed at each other with kicks in the early exchanges. Brookes comes back as the match spills outside, with ELP slapping him ahead of an attempted powerbomb… but Brookes just unsights Phantasmo and stomps on him before MK heads out with a tope into the pair of them.
Brookes gets thrown out through the fire exit as El Phantasmo just takes a breather in the front row… ah, and then he directs the crowd to follow them. They’re quickly back before the camera crew curse themselves, but we’re massively limited by the camera work as the brawling took place barely within range of the tethered cameras. They then brawl back into the room, and up onto the balcony… which Brookes then tries to throw Phantasmo off of as we’re now hindered by the overly-used smoke machines.
We just about catch ELP leaping from above onto Brookes and MK as, yes, the smoke meant we saw next to nothing, before they brawled back down towards ringside, with the camera crew perhaps hoping they could shoot through the balcony? Finally we got another camera there as we see the three of them brawling by the stairs, as we clearly found out that none of their mothers told them not to play on the stairs… Back by ringside, they fight up onto the stage that the hard camera was on, but ELP’s mugging for the camera led to a DDT from McKinnan for a near-fall. Chris Brookes reappears to run through MK and tie him up with a Figure Four on the stage – which hurts more, because, wrestling logic, as ELP tried in vain to pin MK while he was in the hold. ELP turns it up a notch by walking on the crowd barriers, only for MK to pull him down, as Brookes then hit a Snake Eyes on the barriers.
The crowd brawling continued as Brookes eventually got back into the ring, stomping MK’s arm on the apron. Eventually we’re back in the ring as Brookes gets a one-count that commentary announced in a dejected tone. Brookes keeps up the work on MK’s arm, pulling him down into an armbar, before he got free and ended up rolling Brookes into a hook kick to the back of the head. ELP’s back too, going after MK with a springboard and a Quebrada, before a springboard splash flattened MK for a near-fall. Brookes broke that up, despite having taken a tope seconds earlier, as the match broke down into a triangle of strikes. A slingshot cutter from Brookes to ELP lands, but MK avoids a rope hung neckbreaker and hits a German suplex for a near-fall, with ELP breaking that up with a frog splash.
More strikes follow, with everyone ganging up on Brookes, but a Praying Mantis Bomb helped Brookes free and into a two-count on ELP. MK’s back with dropkicks to ELP and Brookes in opposite corners as the pace quickened, before Brookes’ German suplex just landed ELP in a rear naked choke from MK. A triangle choke from MK’s next as we’re just stacking up the moves, en route to a sit-out powerbomb from MK for a near-fall on Phantasmo.
A pair of OsCutters from ELP gets him back in the mix, but he can’t quite get the three-count, as he ends up hitting a double jump springboard into the path of a low blow from Brookes. There’s another low blow for MK, as the no-DQ nature of things quickly dawned on Brookes… only for Will Ospreay to intervene as Brookes went for a chair shot. Ospreay grabs the chair, but doesn’t use it as he punches Brookes and brawled with him to the back.
MK and Phantasmo fight over the chair from there, only for MK to end up accidentally punching the chair ahead of a step-up Destroyer off of the chair as MK looked to get the win… but Gideon Grey appears and pulls out the referee. That’s the cue for Great O-Kharn to appear… but he has a chair thrown into him, as ELP instead capitalised with a whirlibird neckbreaker on McKinnan for a near-fall, as a superkick, a senton bomb and a double-jump moonsault got the win. This was all over the place, in quite a few senses – a lot of the brawling was out of the sight of the camera sadly, but at least they tied together quite a few storylines to wrap up the Bristol debut. ***¼
For a debut in a new town, this was very “Rev Pro” – in trying times with injuries forcing card changes, Rev Pro put on a show that played well into ongoing storylines, with every match at the very least being solid. Any of the downsides to this show were largely outside of the promotion’s control, with the lighting set-up pretty much emptying out the hard camera side of the crowd, and of course, the cold. When Chris Brookes keeps his ring jacket on for as long as humanly possible (and the crowd are still in their winter coats), you know it’s a chilly day, which affected reactions too.