Rev Pro made their debut in the town of Chelmsford to close out July – and they brought out some of their big guns!
We’re in the Hamptons Sports & Leisure Centre, with Andy Quildan being joined on commentary by Dan Magee since Andy Simmonz was in Portsmouth running the other show the promotion had going earlier in the day.
Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover) vs. CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos)
We’ve got the Cockpit ring, I think, with the Japanese style corner pads which is a new look…
Dan Magee’s being all mournful over “old CCK” , and it looks like our hard camera is zoomed in just a little too much for the opener. Brookes started out taking Icarus down to the mat, using a wristlock to keep him there, before he busted out an inverted figure four… which put Icarus right in the ropes for a break. From there, Brookes takes Icarus into the corner so Lykos can come in and… use Icarus’ head as a bongo?
It gets the result you’d expect as Icarus fought back, kicking Lykos in the shin, then the head, for a two-count, but CCK turn it around as the Icarus ends up in the ropes for a Lykos cannonball as some double teaming put Brookes back in control. They keep Icarus cornered for a spell, as Dover was only able to watch from the apron… then the floor, when he got knocked off it as CCK started to show a rather rudo side of themselves.
Lykos goes and spoils it all by trying for a brainbuster, but Icarus reverses it and gets the tag out! Here’s a charged up Dover with some clotheslines, then a standing fallaway slam as Lykos went flying… as does Brookes, who tried to even the odds. Dover shows his strength by slamming both halves of CCK at the same time, before Brookes got the tag in and tried to chop Dover. It didn’t work…
A bicycle knee and a Fisherman’s suplex catch Dover for a near-fall, but the Arrows quickly recover as they double-team Brookes for an Alabama Slam with a cheeky kick on the way down. Lykos makes a save by low bridging Dover to the outside, allowing Brookes to dump Icarus with a rope hanging neckbreaker, while Lykos returns with a springboard Code Red as CCK looked to be set for victory… The elevated CCK lungblower doesn’t quite go to plan as Lykos is caught, and taken down ahead of the Crossfire knees… and that’s enough for the Arrows to get the win. A rather surprising loss for CCK, their first in Rev Pro under this format. ***
Great O-Kharn vs. Lee Hunter
We get it Andy, O-Kharn’s nickname is Dominator… but three matches deep, you can’t seriously call him the “most dominating man ever in Rev Pro”.
O-Kharn started by cheapshotting Hunter before the bell, clotheslining him as the referee was doing the pre-match checks, and it was fairly one-way traffic from there as O-Kharn took Hunter into the corner for some Mongolian chops. They head outside, where Hunter again remained on the defensive, until he ducked a chop as O-Kharn hit nothing but the ring post. Lee offers the hand to the crowd to slap… but there’s painfully few takers as O-Kharn eventually hit back when he threw Hunter into the ring post, before he Snake Eyes him onto the apron.
The corner-cutting continues back inside as O-Kharn chokes Hunter in the corner, before scoring with a snapmare and a chinlock. It’s basic, but effective stuff from the touring young lion, who turns it around into a crossface before Hunter got to the ropes. Lee mounts another comeback, catching O-Kharn with a clothesline to the back of the head, sending him into the ropes for a snap German suplex that draws a near-fall, before an elbow off the top crashes and burns.
From there, O-Kharn lifts up Hunter for the head-claw torture rack, before he almost fell to a crossbody… then a DDT as Lee had another flurry of offence in. Just like that though, O-Kharn’s right back in with a chinlock, before a chokeslam dumped Lee. They go back to the head claw bow and arrow hold, being tagged here as the “Torture Device”, and that’s enough to eke out the submission. This was fine, but the O-Kharn gimmick struggled in front of a brand new crowd at first – eventually getting some kind of response by the end. **½
Adam Brooks vs. TK Cooper
These two wrestled in Southampton two months ago, when Brooks lost his 100% run with a cheap disqualification. So in this rematch… can Brooks make up for that blemish on his singles record?
We start with the Benny Hill spot as Brooks forced TK to chase after him, and second time around it ends with Brooks taking some shots around the crowd. They return to the ring as TK hits a nice leg lariat as the wandering cameraman seemed to be on form… picking up the shot as TK sweeps the leg, sending Brooks onto the apron.
Brooks removes the turnbuckle padding a la Yano, and while the referee replaces it, we get a blatant low blow… with Chris Roberts taking so long to re-attach the padding that he could only make a one count. The offence continues as Brooks lands a gamengiri off the apron, but his slingshot DDT’s blocked and turned into a sit-out front suplex as TK stemmed the tide. There’s another blatant low blow from Brooks as the referee was distracted again, but it doesn’t get the pin as Brooks grounds TK with a chinlock – while commentary seemed to be begging for forgiveness… TK fights back with some right hands, then a big back body drop, before an axe kick misses. Cooper’s able to score with a sit-out spinebuster, but that’s still not enough, so he goes for Rihanna… but Brooks slips out.
We’ve a flying tornado DDT from Brooks as he regained the advantage. An attempted Spanish Fly from TK’s blocked as Brooks shoves down and goes for another dropkick, ahead of a… leap off the top? It misses as TK throws in a headbutt and an axe kick, before he catches a third low blow, opting to return the favour and kick Brooks low. In front of the referee. Dumb good guy is dumb. So that’s TK’s unbeaten run gone, as Adam Brooks reaches in his trunks for a good feel… this was fine as far as the story went, but there wasn’t much to write home about as we head into another rematch. ***
El Phantasmo vs. Jeff Cobb
This is a weird match – the next Cruiserweight championship contender against ROH’s latest signee, and general throwing machine, Jeff Cobb?
The bell rings repeatedly to keep everyone happy, but the crowd bell is much better than “real ring bell”… and we’re all lovey with handshakes and hugs before we got underway. With rolls! You got the sense Phantasmo was more than happy to dick about, at least until Cobb caught him in a test of strength… right by the ropes. If Andy Simmonz were on commentary, he’d be blowing his stack about “hotdogging”… especially as Phantasmo just bounces off of Cobb with shoulder blocks.
Some push ups on the outside will do the trick, right, as will doing curls with a kid. We’re massively into popcorn match territory here, but things tick up when Cobb’s taken into the corner for some mounted punches… with Phantasmo stopping to moan about the crowd not counting. Somehow he gets a backbreaker on Cobb before a slingshot had to be aborted as Cobb… rolled away. Not to worry, Phantasmo just hand-walks in for a delayed senton for a near-fall.
ELP keeps up with the rope walking, then a ‘rana, but he misses a standing moonsault. To SILENCE. The crowd did react as Cobb clattered Phantasmo with a chop, before he threw some more as Phantasmo tried to seek shelter in the crowd, before he snuck away for a dive… which gets caught and turned into a Snake Eyes on the apron. An attempt to fire back with a crossbody was quickly stokked as Cobb caught him and hits a nice, delayed one-handed suplex for a near-fall.
More suplexes follow as Phantasmo’s thrown across the ring, but ELP’s able to get in his usual game, with a springboard crossbody connecting… only to whiff on a standing moonsault as Cobb found more luck with his. A dropkick from Cobb traps Phantasmo on the top rope, but he can’t follow up as ELP comes back with a gamengiri and a top rope ‘rana, before throwing himself back up top for a big splash for a near-fall. Cobb goes back to his gameplan, suplexing Phantasmo for a two-count, before he countered a ‘rana into a Tour of the Islands… but that too is countered into a roll-up as Phantasmo gets the win. I’d like to think that in front of a more familiar crowd, this would have worked, but a lot of this was played to relative silence. **¾
James Castle & Dan Head vs. Team White Wolf (A-Kid & Adam Chase)
The last time Dan Head made tape for Rev Pro, it was almost three years ago against… James Castle! Head’s been going since 2003 (give or take), having been a product of the original FWA Academy… while Castle was returning to Rev Pro’s cameras for the first time since Epic Encounters in April 2017, where he beat Sha Samuels before losing his mohawk.
We won’t talk about the masked hoodlum who had a penchant for spray painting folks in the Cockpit…
Head works over Kid’s arm in the early going, which led to some two-on-one as Castle came in for a spell, before Adam Chase came in to restore order. The Spaniards issue some swift responses as they double-teamed Head, who then leapt out to James Castle… who didn’t exactly have the most auspicious of starts here. Kid misses a charge into the corner as he gets hung up in a Tree of Woe, ahead of a diving dropkick as Castle and his new mentor Head began to take the advantage. A-Kid eats some more double teams as Head and Castle worked well as a team, keeping the smaller half of Team White Wolf away from a tag. Head’s backbreaker nearly gets a win, but Head loses his man as Adam Chase finally gets the hot tag in.
Chase blasts between Head and Castle with uppercuts, before a double DDT nearly gets the win… but one more double team nearly does it, with an assisted brainbuster from Castle almost picking up the W. From there, Castle single-handedly overcomes the Spaniards with stomps to the pair of them, before Head scores with a swandive headbutt for a two-count.
Chase manages to wriggle out of a powerbomb, bringing Kid in to nail Castle with a standing Spanish fly as Head barely makes the save. Castle’s able to shrug it off though, crotching Kid up top before Head hits an assisted Roll the Dice for a near-fall, with Kid this time breaking it up off the top. Things go a little eggy as all four men stay in the ring, but White Wolf’s resurgence ends up being for nought as Chase gets caught in a Widow’s Peak, before a running knee from Castle gets the win. This was fine, with Head and Castle getting a smattering of boos at the end… but this pairing doesn’t exactly scream “York Hall, challenging Suzuki-gun” to me. Not in any universe. ***
Rev Pro British Women’s Championship: Zoe Lucas vs. Jamie Hayter (c)
Fresh from a second tour of Japan, Lucas actually has a Rev Pro match making tape, after her last outing ended up on the cutting room floor.
This was a rematch from a little over three years ago, in Lucas’ Rev Pro debut, so it’s a mark of how far both women have come here. They quickly roll into the ropes from the opening tie-up, but it’s Hayter who’s the early aggressor as commentary notes Hayter’s own upcoming tour to Japan. Lucas tries to work the arm, but Hayter reverses it before she’s tripped to the mat for a leg spreader.
Hayter eventually punches her way free, before she scored with a spinebuster… which Lucas caught and turned into a guillotine as Hayter again had to escape. A forearm and a leg sweep knocks Lucas onto the apron, before she’s met with a knee on the outside as Hayter seemed to be going for a knock-out… Back inside, Hayter misses a charge in the corner but manages to avoid a spinning heel kick as Lucas pulls her back by the hair ahead of the slingshot splits legdrop. The spinning heel kick in the corner’s good at the second time of asking as Zoe nearly takes the win, following up with a scorpion kick and a Northern lights suplex for another near-fall. The pair exchange chops for a spell, but another legs sweep and a knee from Hayter leaves Lucas laying, before she’s forced to block a Falcon arrow. A diving clothesline traps Lucas in the ropes, but she’s able to rebound with a head kick and a missile dropkick, before a legdrop/reverse DDT almost ended up crowning a new champion.
Just like that though, Hayter kicks out and nails Lucas with a headbutt before hitting the Falcon arrow for the win. I do like how they’re getting the Falcon arrow over as an unbeatable finish, but with Hayter’s tour of Japan on the horizon I do wonder: is the division going on ice again, or will she have a short-lived reign? ***
Josh Bodom vs. Jonah Rock
Ah, so this is why Dan Magee’s on commentary. This was Rock’s debut, but first Bodom stares down Magee at the commentary table, while wearing his All Japan sleeveless hoody. As if that was a stellar run…
Rock got a pretty good reaction (from the previously silent crowd), and he started by taking Bodom into the ropes… but Bodom doesn’t flinch as he returns the favour while trying to rough up the Australian. Some kicks to the legs see Bodom going back to his WALTER tactics, but instead he just grabs a headlock as he rather unwisely ended up trying to take down Rock with shoulder tackles.
Eventually Bodom tries to switch it up with a leapfrog, but he just gets pulled into a sit-out powerbomb as Jonah, erm, rocked him, then followed him to the outside as those empty seats in the front row were used. As was the rest of the room, as Bodom got thrown into some merch tables as the camera crew tried to follow it as best they could. Not to worry, as Rock replied with a chop that sent Josh onto the table, before a backdrop suplex bounced bodom off of the apron.
Back inside, Bodom’s trapped in a chinlock, then brought down with a chop to the head as the former cruiserweight champion was struggling here… at least until he sent Jonah flying with a low dropkick as he goes back to those leg kicks. They work well enough to bring Rock down to the mat, as a rear chinlock is next… then a dropkick as Bodom was deliberately wearing down the Australian, rather than rushing.
Rock gets back into it with a big way as he crushes Bodom with a crossbody, then again with a DDT as he rudely ended a series of waistlock switches. A Dragon suplex bounces Bodom for a near-fall, before a flying DDT almost ended the match…
Bodom quickly turns the tables, taking Rock outside for a tope con giro, before returning quickly for the Lo-Bodom-Knee and a Revolution kick as he started to turn up the tempo, coming close from a standing shooting star press. That’s not enough for the win, as Rock returns fire with a monster superplex, before the pair fought their way back to their feet, throwing kicks and elbows on their way.
A superman forearm from Rock looked to win it out, as did a clothesline before a brainbuster gets Rock another near-fall. Rock heads up top… but his bullfrog splash comes up short as Bodom rolled away… and the comeback’s on as Bodom pulls Chris Roberts into the path of an onrushing Aussie.
With no referee, Bodom gladly hits a low blow before he grabs the turnbuckle iron that Andy Quildan damn near offered him. Dan Magee leaves commentary to make a save, but Bodom just beats him up, dragging him into the ring for a Bliss Buster… in the meantime, Rock’s back to his feet and looks to take down Bodom, who rakes the eyes. “Blinded”, Rock grabs Dan Magee for a brainbuster… with Magee having just hit Bodom with a Slingblade, before Bodom returns with a PK to Rock for the win. A little hectic for the finish, but it got Bodom a little bit of momentum – proving that he can beat bigger guys after coming up short to WALTER earlier in the month. ***½
Rev Pro’s debut in Chelmsford was a decent show, but far from a show that would have captivated any new fans. In a wise move, they kept storyline-related stuff to a minimum, looking instead to try and draw fans in the matches instead. While a decent first step, you never got the impression that this was an untapped hotbed of wrestling fandom that could be built on – but you never know. On the whole, this was a card that did kept things ticking along nicely for Rev Pro’s bigger shows – but unless you’re a completionist, there’s nothing that you need to go out of your way to see.