Rev Pro hit the 229 in London for the first time this year, as Sunshine Machine got a shot at the Knights’ tag team titles.
Dan Moloney pinned Lee Hunter in 15:10 (***)
Callum Newman & JJ Gale pinned Joshua James & David Francisco in 5:34 (**¼)
Mariah May pinned Laura Di Matteo in 11:53 (**¾)
Francesco Akira pinned Connor Mills in 17:13 (***½)
Michael Oku pinned Lucian Phillips in 14:03 (***¼)
Luke Jacobs pinned Kid Lykos in 18:20 (***¼)
TK Cooper & Chuck Mambo pinned Zak Knight & Ricky Knight Jr. in 18:14 to win the Rev Pro Undisputed Tag Team Championships (***¾)
We’re back at the 229 for the first time this year as Rev Pro’s now badging these cards as “Live in London,” while keeping up the count from the old Cockpit series. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have seen all 56 of the prequels! And yes, I am reviewing this after High Stakes, since Rev Pro’s VOD has been a little laggy.
Speaking of which, Andy Quildan’s joined by Gideon Grey on commentary, who wishes us a happy February!
Dan Moloney vs. Lee Hunter
Gideon Grey had issue with Moloney for walking out on him at St. Neots a few weeks earlier, while Dan was unhappy with being pulled from the York Hall show because of injury to his opponent.
Moloney powders outside to start, but his stalling doesn’t pay off as Hunter took him into the ropes to start. A side headlock from Hunter ends in the ropes, before Hunter escaped a back body drop and nearly pinned Moloney with the SummerSlam 92 finish. A Mouse Trap gets him close too, but Moloney kicks him in the gut to shut things down.
Another trip outside ends with Moloney sidestepping a plancha as he chopped Hunter instead, before returning to the ring to land a dropkick for a two-count. A bodyslam is next, then more chops, before an eye rake had Hunter in the corner. An Irish whip bounced Hunter into the buckles for a two-count, while a snap suplex continued to build Moloney’s momentum.
Hunter’s kept cornered with chops, as his attempted fight back earned him a DDT, before he blocked a suplex, eventually hitting one of his own. A dropkick in the corner from Moloney misses as Hunter somersaults back in for a clothesline, before an Unprettier landed for a near-fall. I sense a trend developing here…
An O’Connor roll follows from Hunter, then an inside cradle as he looks for flash pins, before Moloney pulled up Hunter for a Vertebreaker! It nearly wins it, before Hunter countered a Drilla attempt into a jumping tombstone, following with a moonsault for another near-fall. Moloney rolled up out of a reverse DDT, then avoided a crossbody… allowing him to hit a spear and a Drilla for the win. A solid opener as Moloney looked to make a statement here… ***
Speaking of, Dan gets a mic afterwards and said that he’d be at York Hall – while Andy had better figure out an opponent for him. Meanwhile, Dan wanted to hang around for the next match…
David Francisco & Joshua James vs. Callum Newman & JJ Gale
Lambs to the slaughter, perhaps? Moloney took a fan’s front row seat for Newman and Gale’s entrance, then left…
Francisco and Gale start us off, as we open with a tie-up into the ropes then a hammerlock from Francisco. The counter sees Gale roll Francisco into a Magistral, but the Portuguese contender kicks out before an armbar took him to the mat for a Skayde special pinning attempt for a near-fall.
Another side headlock from Francisco’s held onto this time, but in rolling back up from Gale’s roll-up, Francisco tweaked his ankle and rolled towards his corner, tagging in James as medics came over to assist. Newman tags in too, and instantly took James into the ropes, only to get charged down.
Kicks and forearms from Newman take James down, before a clothesline spun Newman for a two-count. An enziguiri from Newman allowed Gale to come back in with a springboard neckbreaker, before Newman went up for a shooting star press for the win. Understandably shortened because of the injury, Newman left this one with the win in a match that initially looked out of place… **¼
…and there we go. Dan Moloney comes out afterwards to attack James, planting him with a Drilla. JJ Gale runs out to try and get him some, hitting a springboard uppercut out of the corner, only to get speared in return ahead of a Drilla, while Callum Newman had more luck, turning a Drilla into a Code Red as Dan was sent packing. And there’s your York Hall match!
Mariah May vs. Laura di Matteo
With Kenneth Halfpenny on the shelf, Shaun Jackson was seconding May by himself – and handling ring announcing duties too…
We start with a slap from May as she wound up di Matteo early on… a suplex from di Matteo lands for an early two-count, but she’s cornered by May for a hanging armbar in the ropes. Kicks from di Matteo lead to her dropkicking May in the ropes, ahead of uppercuts in the corner and a sliding lariat.
Mariah’s trip leads to a low dropkick for a two-count, following with some boot choking in the corner. It’s all Mariah for a while, but a slap wakes up di Matteo, who fights back with forearms into the ropes before Mariah cut her off once more. A headbutt to di Matteo’s replied to with a thrust kick, as Laura then built up with clotheslines and a short DDT for a near-fall.
Shaun Jackson intervenes to help May, who returned with a triple-jump dropkick for a near-fall, but a di Matteo suplex keeps her in it, only for Laura to get kicked in the ropes ahead. A trip up top’s stopped by di Matteo, but a superplex is countered into a sunset flip powerbomb by May… who adds a kick for a two-count.
May takes it back up top for some headscissors, but di Matteo blocks it as Jackson again gets involved. He’s knocked off the apron as di Matteo lands a missile dropkick… but Jackson intervenes again, throwing a can of hairspray in, distracting the ref as Jackson’s big boot allowed May to hit a Pedigree for the win. A little too interference heavy, but back to back wins for May looks to put her back in the wider picture for a title shot. **¾
Connor Mills vs. Francesco Akira
A return to the 229 for Akira ahead of his match with Gabriel Kidd at York Hall. I heard that one was pretty good…
We start with the pair trading wristlocks, but it’s Akira who manages to grab on to an armbar, then a hammerlock as things headed to the mat. Blocked hiptosses lead to an armdrag and a dropkick from Akira, which sent Mills outside for a plancha. Back inside, Akira stays close to Mills, only to get caught with a Kitchen sink knee to the gut, and a leaping European uppercut to the back.
A blisting chop took Akira into the corner ahead of a slam for a couple of two counts, before Akira misses a missile dropkick out of the corner as Mills just sidestepped. Mills keeps going with a springboard European uppercut and a Bulldog choke, which ended in the ropes. Akira boots Mills away as the missile dropkick spun Mills to the mat, before some clotheslines and uppercuts in the corner led to a Slingblade.
Akira stays ahead from there, but Mills gets back in as they trade strikes, leading to a head kick from Mills and a reverse ‘rana from Akira… which in turn had Mills see-sawing in the ropes for a rebound lariat. The pair trade corner-to-corner clotheslines from there, with Mills then getting taken onto the apron, only for Mills to hit a Tower of London off of the buckles.
Back inside, Mills picks up with a Millshot, then went for a Burning Cutter… it’s blocked by Akira, who then caught a springboard European uppercut and countered it into an elevated German suplex. Running double knees follow for a near-fall, as Mills then had to block a Tiger Driver, lifting Akira onto the apron before he kicked him off.
An Orihara moonsault followed on the floor, then a 450 splash back inside for a near-fall. Mills takes Akira up top for more chops, as things built up to another rebound lariat… but Akira ducks and nearly wins with an O’Connor roll. A superkick from Akira sets up for more double knees in the corner, then a Meteora to the back of the head… and that’s enough to put Mills away. A strong match with Akira setting himself up for his big York Hall test – something that was as tough as trying to hear commentary underneath his music! ***½
Lucian Phillips vs. Michael Oku
This continued Oku’s run against heavyweights as he sharpened himself up for the match with Will Ospreay at York Hall…
Phillips charges at Oku at the bell, throttling him into the ropes before a missed clothesline earned him an enziguiri. An early Fosbury flop turns me into a crashpad, as Phillips then cleared the decks and threw Oku into the wall… except Oku leaps onto the stage and jumps off with a forearm.
Phillips recovers with a F5 onto the apron, then rolled Oku back in and POUNCE’D him into the corner ahead of a powerslam for a near-fall. A backbreaker’s next, but Oku manages to back body drop out of a powerbomb, then head up top for a missile dropkick as Oku looked to push ahead… but a telegraphed DDT’s thrown aside.
Oku avoids a clothesline to hit a snap DDT, but his attempt at a half crab was kicked away… he comes back with a low dropkick as someone’s leaned on the audio mixer, just in time for a killer lariat from Phillips for a near-fall. Phillips takes too long to follow through and gets rolled up for a series of superkicks, before Phillips caught Oku on the top rope with a belly-to-belly superplex.
Chops serve to fire up Oku, who has to roll through a powerbomb attempt as he rolled up Phillips for a near-fall… a dropkick has Phillips on the ropes, but he’s back with a big boot, then a chokebreaker, before a powerbomb almost won the match. Another trip up top ends with Phillips getting knocked down for an Oku frog splash… leading to a running knee… then a half crab as Phillips eventually tapped. A good outing this for Oku, with Phillips looking good in the bully role as he ended up providing a big test for Oku on the night. ***¼
After the match, Oku called out referee Oscar Harding. Sadly he didn’t have any music, but Oscar’s been called out as the referee for the York Hall main event – which led to Oku asking Harding to not call off the match at York Hall, like he did back when the pair met in Portsmouth. We get some Eastenders references for Oku as he imagined what life would be like for Ospreay after he loses at York Hall… and there’s our build for the main event!
Alex Windsor came out next to address the crowd, having been out of action since Uprising last year with injury. Talking about the injury, Windsor teased vacating the title, but remembering how hard she’d worked to come back, Windsor refused to vacate… and instead issued an open challenge for High Stakes. A challenge quickly answered by a returning Charli Evans… a Charli Evans who refused to be a “last minute replacement” this time around, and vowed to take the title at York Hall.
Kid Lykos vs. Luke Jacobs
Originally slated as Robbie X vs. Luke Jacobs, Lykos filled in due to injury…
Jacobs easily picks up and throws Lykos down in the opening minutes, then lifted him onto the apron as the wolf got a little wound up with the type of opponents he was being given. Back inside, a shoulder tackle has Lykos down, but Lykos returns with a headlock takedown…
Leapfrogs and drop downs lead to a big boot for Lykos, then a Northern Lights suplex that gets Jacobs a two-count. Kicks keep Lykos in the corner as things spill outside briefly, with Lykos’ attempt to go for the legs leading to him getting punched. Lykos wanted a time-out, but ended up getting chopped back into the ring, where he manages to catch a boot and jack Jacobs’ leg out of the corner.
Back on the outside, Lykos has Jacobs on the run as he stayed on the leg, with Lykos tying up Jacobs in the middle of the ring with a Deathlock. The ropes save Jacobs, but he’s kept in the corner before he exploded out with a spinebuster. A running boot keeps Lykos cornered, ahead of a snap German suplex that was rolled together, before a Saito suplex ragdolled Lykos to the mat.
Lykos charges Jacobs to the outside as he looked to get back in, following with a springboard body press to the floor. Trolling the crowd, Lykos puts some chairs together and teases a brainbuster through them before a back body drop bounced Jacobs off of them. Returning to the ring, Lykos is quickly met with a superkick, but returned with a step-up kick to Jacobs in the corner, following through with a ‘rana attempt that Jacobs tries to counter.
Lykos escapes the powerbomb and instead heads up for some rolling headscissors off the top, before he rolled in with an armbar that forces Jacobs into the ropes again. Jacobs starts trading forearms with the wolf, but eats a head kick before a body blow eventually put Lykos down.
Jacobs swings with a lariat, but Lykos collapses to his knees again, then rolled Jacobs up for a two-count… another roll-up gets a similar result, before Jacobs superkicked the tray into him. The referee stops Jacobs from using it again, but that allows Lykos to punt Jacobs low and roll him up for another near-fall… before a clothesline nearly obliterated him. A powerbomb keeps the pressure up for Jacobs, as does a Figure Four, but the ropes save Lykos, who came back with a couple of lariats of his own.
A leaping knee followed, with another lariat nearly winning it, but Jacobs is up at two, coming back with a goddamned Screwdriver that finally put the wolf away. This perhaps ran a little long for a match with no obvious consequences, but Jacobs adding a Screwdriver to his arsenal continues to mark him out for the future – regardless of where he lands in Rev Pro. ***¼
RevPro Undisputed British Tag Team Championship: Sunshine Machine (Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper) vs. Ricky Knight Jr. & Zak Knight (c)
Zak Knight filled in for Roy Knight due to injury – as the match remained for the tag titles…
Zak and TK start us off with a big lock-up that’s snapped part, before the pair traded shoulder blocks. A leaping shoulder tackle has TK down, before their arms hooked amid a punch attempt… things cooled down as tags bring in Mambo and RKJ, as we go back to shoulder tackles ahead of a dropkick from Ricky.
A springboard back elbow from Mambo lands in return, before Zak returned and got lifted onto the apron. TK and Mambo boot the Knights to the floor ahead of a pair of dives as things broke down in a hurry, but Zak quickly regains the upper hand with a back body drop to TK back in the ring.
Kicks to TK seemed to wind him, as RKJ came back with slams, throwing TK into the ropes in the process as the Knights had singled out their man. A hip attack and a dropkick from the Knights gets Zak a two-count, before a double team hiptoss into a powerbomb/neckbreaker pushed TK closer to defeat.
Chops follow as TK’s held in the ropes, but throwing Cooper into the buckles just fired him up as he headbutted RKJ… then got punched out by Zak. A senton atomico from RKJ leads to him dropping TK across the top rope as the champions persisted, leading to a teased Doomsday… but TK slips out and made the tag to mambo.
Mambo runs in and leaps into the corner for a superplex on RKJ, before a springboard armdrag on Zak led to some running knees and a through-the-ropes dropkick. A crossbody from Mambo lands for a near-fall, before they combined for the Macho Moonsault – the flying stun gun and moonsault double-team.
Zak hits back with a folding German suplex to Mambo as RKJ tagged in with chops, following up with a corner death valley driver and a dropkick. A second dropkick crashes into Mambo in the corner, while a second one to TK Cooper stacked up the challengers. Zak stacks up both TK and Mambo in a Fireman’s carry as RKJ leapt off with a stomp to the back of them.
Things head into the corner as Zak looks for a superplex, landing it… while RKJ pulled TK through the ropes for a DDT onto the edge of the ring. Chasing the Dragon on Mambo gets a near-fall next, but Mambo recovers, taking the Knights to the outside as they combined with the circus act dive off of TK’s shoulders.
Back inside, a scissors kick nearly puts RKJ away, as all four men stayed in the ring to trade shots. Things get a little synchronised for rope-walking from Mambo and RKJ, culminating in a pair of Destroyers as we reset with Mambo and RKJ. It’s RKJ who looked to edge ahead as we keep the synchronicity going, leading to a Doomsday Device to TK.
The challengers flourish with a Reef Break, a dive, and a 450 from TK for a near-fall, as Zak’s left on his own against both challengers… Zak’s hoisted up for Captain Midnight’s Revenge… and that’s enough for TK and Mambo to win their first tag team gold! I was really impressed with Zak here, having not seen him before, as he offered something different to a lot of the roster, but it was the form team of TK and Mambo that completed their ascent here, leaving London with the belts. ***¾
Post-match, TK and Mambo celebrated… but TK Cooper demanded that they were allowed to defend the titles against Aussie Open at York Hall – no matter what the cost was.
As a warm-up for High Stakes, Rev Pro’s first show of the year in London saw them deliver their usual solid show – while putting some major storyline pieces in place for the York Hall show later in the month.