The road to High Stakes went through Huntingdon – here’s a quick look at the show…
We touched on this before, but with Rev Pro increasing the number of shows they’re running, a lot of people simply won’t be watching them. We’ll be cutting down on the details, but these shows are typical Rev Pro for the most part – good background watching. Commentary is from Andy Quildan and JK Roberts…
Sean Kustom opened the show to sum up the whole story with the Legionnaire. Problem was, it just exposed how few of this crowd followed the storylines, as the crowd chanted “show your face” when Kustom talked about losing to the masked man. This brings out the Legion, which now seems to be just Gideon Grey, Rampage Brown and Great O-Kharn, per their entrance video. Kustom’s having to fight off the Legion 3-on-1, only for Dan Magee (in trunks) and Cody Hall (with music) to make the save… which led to a trios match for later.
Kenneth Halfpenny & Shaun Jackson vs. Brendan White & JJ Gale
Halfpenny’s been hard at work in the gym, and the results sure are showing.
Rev Pro continue to model their Contenders like the New Japan Young Lions, but with a few more moves… Shaun Jackson’s still doing the SANADA double leapfrog/dropkick, while we’ve got our own little feud between the Contenders as Halfpenny’s been rubbed up the wrong way by Brendan White. Jackson and Halfpenny, a regular team on Rev Pro’s Portsmouth shows (which don’t make tape) worked really well together. A back body drop from White gets himself free as Gale cleared the ring ahead of a big superkick for a near-fall on Jackson… but it’s Jackson and Halfpenny who bounce back with double-team shoulder tackles, before White got the hot tag in, throwing everyone around, including with that nice stacked-up German suplex to Jackson and Halfpenny.
In the end, Halfpenny and Jackson kill Brendan White with a Doomsday Destroyer… and that’s enough to end any match! A solid opener, with a jaw-dropping finish! **¾
Carlos Romo vs. Shota Umino
Romo’s still looking for his first win since he exiled A-Kid last summer… he was meant to have faced Sha Samuels here, but instead he’s gone from Sha to Shooter.
This started off as ground-based graps, but Umino getting the upper hand was clearly frustrating Romo early. Changing the game helped Romo, as he took Romo outside for a dropkick through the ropes, only for Umino to race back with a neckbreaker and a back suplex for a two-count before rolling away from a moonsault as Romo tried to cut him off. Romo has better luck with a tope through the corners before landing that moonsault flush for a near-fall. Carlos goes for Cutter without the E, only to get pushed away as Umino picked up the win with a Death Rider… a solid outing, with Romo hanging with Shota, but in the end that losing streak grows. ***
Shanna vs. Debbie Keitel vs. Kasey Owens vs. Gisele Shaw
Winner of this gets a shot at the Rev Pro women’s title down the line – and after getting knocked outside early on, Keitel returned in good time to try and pick up a pin… albeit in the form of three one-counts.
The early going saw no woman able to land no more than a move or two in anger before getting cut-off, while Keitel kept getting tossed outside. It means she couldn’t break-up some rolling pins as the gag began to get a little thin. Eventually things settled down as Shanna dove into Keitel on the outside as she was looking to pull ahead, but Keitel’s back to toss Shanna into the wall as those two brawled to the back. Kasey and Shaw stay in the ring, but not for long as a thunderous knee strike and a DDT led Shaw to the levering armbar for the submission. This felt way too scattered for my liking – but I guess it set up Shaw as the new-old number one contender and put steam into Keitel and Shanna for down the line. Way too rushed though, sadly. **
TK Cooper vs. Ricky Knight Jr.
This wasn’t for RKJ’s Speed King title, sadly, but that didn’t seem to matter as Knight was the early aggressor, at least until TK cut him off with a leg lariat.
Knight turned up the speed to evade Cooper, eventually coming in off the top rope with a diving back elbow for a near-fall. Cooper’s back with a corkscrew springboard legdrop in the ropes for a two-count, before Knight responded with a takedown and a big stomp. That’s followed up with a crucifix buckle bomb, only for TK to headbutt his way back in as both men were left laying. We resume with back-and-forth strikes until Knight pulled a page out of EVIL’s playbook with a superkick with some referee assistance. A Dragon suplex keeps TK down for a two-count, but TK’s able to hit back quickly with Rihanna for a near-fall. Knight responds with a spinning back suplex and a running knee only for TK to catch Knight on the top rope with a Spanish fly as both men were swinging for the fences.
In the end though, Knight backslides TK into a knee strike, before he polished him off with a sit-out tombstone. Hard hits all along, as Knight may as well have made this a title match afterall! ***½
The Legion (Gideon Grey, Rampage Brown & Great O-Kharn) vs. Cody Hall, Dan Magee & Sean Kustom
Kustom scraps from the off as he went after Rampage… but a single punch gets him free as O-Kharn tagged in.
So did Dan Magee, as they had a scrap, but it’s O-Kharn who looked to be a step ahead, stomping Magee as he dropped down, before a Slingblade caught him unawares. Mongolian chops from O-Kharn to Magee seem to anger Hall, who’s geeing himself up for the eventual hot tag, but instead it’s Magee who gets isolated in the Legion’s corner. A snapmare and a dropkick to the back of the head nearly puts Magee away, before it was time for Gideon to pick apart the bones. Except Gideon plays to the crowd too much and gets caught with a chinbreaker as Magee found his way to Hall on the apron, who began to clear house.
The hell?! Cody Hall does the Tyler Bate slingshot senton, before he went for Grey… O-Kharn attacks from behind… and gets met with a spin-out suplex. Hall adds a choke bomb off the top to Rampage for a near-fall, but Grey breaks up the pin as Hall keeps pushing on, with a double clothesline and a springboard splash… but he couldn’t get a pin from that. Shenanigans from Grey mean that Hall’s held in the ropes as Rampage knocked him to the outside… which sparks a Parade of Moves, ending with a uranage from Kustom to O-Kharn. A Quebrada to O-Kharn lands, but Gideon attacks Kustom from behind… and gets laid out with a forearm. Rampage distracts as Grey returns with a low blow and a small package… which I assume is the move Gideon’s given this glorious name to: “The point is, I understand the desire to generate more income by seeking out a stable living from something you love doing, especially since you only have a limited shelf-life with such a physical career, but is it truly worth it when you’re sacrificing your creative autonomy in order to become just another homogenised performer that is lost amongst a sea of your peers, each trying to show their worth and cling to their spot, knowing that any moment you could be asked to say what you bring to the company you work for despite them having seen potential in you in the first place, eventually becoming a shell of your former self, slowly resenting the very thing you once loved doing? Driver”. Phew.
Oh, and that’s the win for the Legion. A fun trios match, with Gideon Grey working well as the “weasel” here while Dan Magee took a heck of a beating. I have a feeling big things are in his near future… ***
RevPro Undisputed British Women’s Championship: Millie McKenzie vs. Zoe Lucas (c)
It’s a little tricky taking a challenger seriously when they’ve not been in the promotion for over 18 months – but a win on the afternoon show’s main event gave Millie something at least.
We got going with Zoe and Millie reversing wristlocks, as the challenger drew first blood, taking down Lucas into an armbar before she rolled her over for a two-count. Millie stays on her with a side headlock, but Lucas frees herself with some headscissors, but those too don’t last as Millie gets back in with a headlock and a pin for a two-count. McKenzie keeps up with armdrags and a neckbreaker for a near-fall, but Zoe’s quickly back after she pulled the hair en route to a Final Cut for a near-fall. A boot choke in the corner followed, before Lucas caught a spear and turned it into a front suplex. Zoe keeps Millie grounded with a full nelson, before she just sat on her in the ropes.
Lucas keeps control, but misses a leg lariat in the corner as McKenzie finds her second wind, rushing in with a diving uppercut before an Octopus stretch added some fresh pressure, especially when Lucas got pulled to the mat. Luckily for Zoe, she’s able to get to the ropes before she replied with a Scorpion kick… only for Millie to hit a cutter out of nowhere. It’s not enough though, as the pair end up exchanging forearms before Zoe gets ragdolled again with a German suplex. A missed spear from Millie’s turned into a bulldog, as Zoe took advantage once more, but yet again Millie’s back in with a wild German suplex for another two-count. Another spear from Millie ends up wiping out the ref as Lucas used him as a human shield… but Zoe’s bid to use her title belt is stopped by Gisele Shaw, who accidentally lays out Millie with it as the easy win quickly followed. Millie got a lot more than I expected here, but in the end with Gisele Shaw having won the number one contendership earlier, this was probably the only result… and with Millie McKenzie reacting badly to Gisele, she may have made an unwanted enemy as well. ***
Dan Moloney vs. Hikuleo
We finally get going as Moloney caught Hikuleo with a dropkick… but it just sent him into the ropes as a shoulder tackle came back the other way.
Moloney isn’t deterred, but he’s caught with a roll through before he got thrown shoulder-first into the ring post, as chops followed in the ropes. Dan rolls to the outside for cover, but he’s taken into the crowd by Hikuleo, where a Bullet Club shirt-wearing mannequin was used on Dan. A slam follows on the floor, which looked to have sucked, as Moloney had to fight to get back to the ring, with the help of some fans. Back inside, Moloney’s thrown from pillar to post, before he just shrugged off a chop, and began to fire back with many of his own. Well, until the eyes were raked, anyway.
The pair trade blows back-and-forth, before they trade suplexes… but it’s Moloney who edges ahead with a clothesline for a near-fall. Moloney goes for the Drilla, but his shoulder gave out… and while he’d unsighted the ref, Hikuleo lands a mule kick low blow. A Samoan Driver looks to be enough, but Dan kicks out at two and returns with a Bossman slam for a near-fall. Another attempt at the Drilla sees Hikuleo rush to the ropes, before the pair started scrapping again, but after both men push away the ref, there’s your cheap finish. This feud must continue – and while you may not like the no contest, it at least keeps things going. **¾
Robbie X vs. Michael Oku
This could be a potential cruiserweight title unification match – assuming they both win at York Hall…
Robbie looked to work over Oku’s wrist to begin with, but the reversal’s broken when Robbie cartwheels free. Oku tries to push ahead with shoulder tackles, but Robbie’s right back up, cartwheeling out of a ‘rana as Oku seemed to be caught unawares by everything… especially as Robbie X landed a cartwheel dropkick to get a quick cover in. Chops follow as Robbie seemed to sting his own hand, so he switches up again with a seated surfboard that’s quickly pulled into a Dragon sleeper that had Oku bent back on himself. Oku’s able to retaliate with a ‘rana and a dropkick of his own, but Robbie rolls outside before he came back to nearly chop Oku out of the ring.
Oku edges ahead with chops of his own, before he sunk in with a chinlock to stop Robbie from throwing more. A neat neck bridge is thrown up to turn up the pressure on a side headlock, but Robbie gets to the ropes, then came back with a handspring kick that knocked Oku into the crowd. Chops from Oku sting some more, but an attempt to throw Robbie back in ends in nought as Robbie hits a moonsault off the apron before returning for a missile dropkick that landed flush for a near-fall. Oku’s got a dropkick of his own, along with a springboard moonsault as he thought he’d turned things around… but Robbie X finds a second wind, blasting through Oku on the way to a Ligerbomb for a near-fall. Robbie X looked to go off the top rope, but reconsidered and instead used the other corner… but Oku pushes him down and hits the frog splash for a near-fall.
An attempt at the half crab’s pushed away by Robbie, who backslid Oku for a knee strike, only to get caught out with a misdirection knee for a near-fall, before the half crab followed. Robbie rolls free and in for a small package as the tempo rose… and it perhaps got too rapid as a handspring from Robbie misses, leading to a half crab and a quick tap, even though they were damn near in the ropes. The crowd seemed a little caught out by that, but I guess you could say the flash submission proved that Oku edged it on this day. ***½
As a debut show, this was definitely way more of a Rev Pro show than a Southside event, going by the roster and the action presented. A solid start that built stories going into the bigger shows, but it must be noted that the venue in Huntingdon was small and almost packed out… so is there any room for growth there? Mind you, Southside only ran it annually, so it could well end up being used for the first halves of weekenders going forth.