It’s another new town for Rev Pro, as they made their debut in Northampton with a rather tantalising main event.
Sadly, the main event of PAC vs. Chris Brookes was meant to have been a stepping stone for the CCK vs. PAC/Ospreay match on Rev Pro’s card in New York… only for visa issues to mean that PAC was off the show. Ah well! The match here went ahead at a packed Roadmender in Northampton, with the two Andys on commentary. Weirdly, they open with the TK Cooper promo from a few weeks back… one that some felt was for nought as he was part of a reformed South Pacific Power Trip in PROGRESS.
Maxwell Jacob Friedman vs. TK Cooper
It’s a return to Rev Pro for MJF, who lost to El Phantasmo on his debut at York Hall a few weeks back.
MJF gets promo time, which was used to bury that earlier promo… and the crowd as well. So of course TK goes after his scarf right away… which prompts MJF to regain his scarf and take it up for commentary to babysit.
When we get going, MJF took TK into the corner with a handful of hair… then feigned sportsmanship by offering a handshake. Of course, a cheapshot’s avoided as TK ducks a clothesline, then began to fire back with chops. A poke to the eye gets MJF back in it as he proceeded to work over TK’s arm for a while, only for TK to use the other one to punch out MJF, then catch him in the corner with a running boot.
A Kotaro Krusher followed for a near-fall, but MJF went back to the arm, scoring with a double stomp off the middle rope before a pumphandle driver almost put TK away. MJF just spits at Cooper after he took a slap… which just fired up TK into throwing a forearm and a headbutt before he dropped MJF with a standing Spanish fly. MJF kicks out at two and instantly traps TK in a Fujiwara armbar, forcing TK to drag himself to the ropes. From there, MJF wanders up to the commentary table and grabs the ring bell, but TK kicks him and grabs hold of the bell himself… but he takes forever to decide whether to use it, and when TK throws it away, he’s caught in a roll-up by MJF. Well, this had some good moments, but the finish will perhaps play into a longer story that could give TK an edge down the line. **½
Post-match, MJF took the mic and told TK since he was “jerking the curtain” he could go and do something not too dissimilar. There’s leaning into rumours, and there’s straight up blurting them out… Cue a pull-apart, which featured an unidentified Spike Trivet…
Dan Magee & Kurtis Chapman vs. VeloCities (Jude London & Paris De Silva)
This was a Rev Pro debut for the VeloCities, who are over from Australia on tour. Needless to say, these guys weren’t exactly familiar with this crowd…
Commentary puts over the VeloCities as “human highlight reels” (twice, in fact, in the space of a minute) as Chapman and de Silva started out on the mat. Chapman traps de Silva between his legs, just like he learned from James Mason earlier in the month at the Cockpit, but he too broke on a handshake rather than, say, force a submission. That spot’s going to get weird, I think… De Silva tries to replicate the spot instantly… and Chapman just walks out of it.
Chapman tries for a pin as he grapevined the legs and rolled de Silva into a bow and arrow pin for a near-fall, before tags brought in Magee and London. Dan followed a similar path, trying to pin London with a knuckle hold, but “The Dude” was able to bridge up and counter back with a monkey flip as he came close. Armdrags from Magee have him back in front as Chapman played to the crowd ahead of a tag in… where he hits a double-team armdrags before Magee powerbombed him onto London for a near-fall. There’s some digs on commentary before a rear naked choke in the ropes sees Chapman try and emulate another wrestler, this time in the form of Zack Sabre Jr. Magee’s back in with a sleeperhold on London, before Chapman came close with a nice looking roll-up.
Bad positioning from the ref saw him come late as Chapman was rolled up for a delayed two-count. London eventually got free after a miscue between Magee and Chapman, finally landing a satellite DDT out of the corner as de Silva tagged in to clock Chapman with a variety of kicks before another satellite DDT found its mark for a near-fall. London fights back, flipping back in with a facebuster before de Silva is brought back in as a double leapfrog almost goes awry. They manage to recover with some more flashy offence, before turfing Magee outside as a Blockbuster/legsweep combo almost put Chapman away. Chapman manages to retaliate with the Codebreaker-like move out of the corner to both Aussies at the same time, before eventually stumbling into the right corner as Magee made a comeback.
A back suplex dumps de Silva, before the “Dan Bag” – that scooping reverse DDT-like move – led to another near-fall. There’s more double-teaming as Chapman delivered an assisted Sega Mega Driver for a near-fall, with London breaking up the cover with a double stomp, before he took down Chapman with a flying lungbreaker as de Silva’s shooting star press off the top led to the win. A nice debut here for the VeloCities, who I think will be cult favourites in their time over here. ***¼
Brendan White vs. El Phantasmo vs. Kid Lykos vs. MK McKinnan
This was originally meant to be ELP vs. MK McKinnan in a rematch of the ring-breaker from the Cockpit earlier this month… but card subject to change and all that!
White’s making his Rev Pro debut here, billed as a Contender… and if he’s going to become a part of the Contender’s division, then I’m all for it. There was a massive cheer for the returning Kid Lykos, who’s sporting the Schadenfreude flag… which El Phantasmo took the time to inspect. Brendan’s all about the shoulder tackles before a Lykos dropkick put him down as we had a long Parade of Moves, fitting the Revolving Door mechanic that four-ways can tend to break down into. El Phantasmo and MK have a go, with ELP landing a springboard crossbody for a near-fall. White comes back in, but gets chopped ahead of some rope walking, before White recovered and went after MK with a suplex… but MK slips out and goes for a rear naked choke.
A thrust kick lands instead as MK took White outside for a tope con giro… ELP goes for a dive, but Lykos tripped him so he could go airborne instead. ELP heads out too, throwing some plastic glasses around before he went up for a stage dive into the pile! Back inside, a springboard moonsault nearly puts White away, as Lykos broke it up and came in with a tornado DDT to Phantasmo for a near-fall. The rolling parade of moves ended with a rolling death valley driver to Lykos, before White dumped MK with a German suplex… Lykos plasters him with palm strikes, only for the former Bronco to land a Bossman slam for a near-fall. White misses a double clothesline as MK and ELP went back at it, with Phantasmo eating a step-up head kick… only for Lykos to intervene once more… and get dropped with a lariat from White.
White tries to finish Phantasmo with a powerbomb, only for a poke to the eye to stop him as a cross-armed package piledriver got the win. Beating Brendan White with David Starr’s Trapped Arm Bob Fossil is it? Hmm… This was a really fun four-way, with White impressing in his debut… hopefully he’ll be sticking around. ***¼
Post-match, ELP sat in the ring and cut a promo on Starr, taking aim on the “face of Rev Pro” for being in Ireland instead, and after addressing those Bullet Club videos, he promised to “do more for that belt in one weekend than in the year you had it”. He’s winning it and taking it to Best of the Super Juniors, is my guess?
Kip Sabian vs. Shigehiro Irie
A match between two folks who Rev Pro don’t exactly use regularly these days… and that’s a shame in both cases.
The opening spell’s rather tentative as Irie looked to work over Sabian’s arm in the opening stages, before Kip got free and manages to catch Shigehiro with a leg lariat. That took him into the corner, but Irie elbows back before he scored with a bulldog and the rebound splash off the ropes. That move was one of my favourite things about Solomon Crowe… Irie keeps the upper hand as he trapped Sabian in the corner with his rear end as he played the old Okharn trick of not knowing the language. A suplex followed as he damn near brainbuster’d Kip for a near-fall, before he went for a katahajime on Sabian, forcing him to wriggle into the ropes before the hold was fully applied.
A slam keeps Sabian on the mat, but Irie misses the sit-down splash as Sabian fought back with a series of PKs for a near-fall of his own. Irie resists an Irish whip but ends up taking some right hands as he was taken into the corner, before Sabian continued to take shots as he tried to work into a surfboard stretch on Irie’s arms. After trying again with an Irish whip, Sabian had more look with a headscissor takedown that turned into a grounded Octopus, only for Irie to get to the ropes. A headbutt from Irie looked to set up for a Fire Thunder driver, but Sabian gets free and responds with a knee strike, taking Irie outside for a tope con giro.
Irie replied with a tope of his own after he was rolled back into the ring, but Sabian edged ahead back inside, only to run into a big clothesline as the pair trade forearms from their knees. The pace quickens as Irie looked to win out, only to get caught with an enziguiri before he just POUNCE’d Sabian into the ropes!
Another charge into the corner misses as Sabian came close with a tornado DDT, but a missed stomp off the top opened Kip up for a cannonball into the corner as a running Fire Thunder Driver spiked Sabian for yet another near-fall. Good Lord, that move looked brutal! A second cannonball misses in the corner as Kip runs in with a knee to the back of the head, as he then finished off with a Meteora to a sat-up Irie for the win. Perhaps a little spammy with the knees, but this was a hell of a match as Sabian had to absorb a lot of punishment before taking the win. Now, is he going to be a regular?? ***½
Josh Bodom vs. Brad Slayer
It’s a Rev Pro debut for Slayer, who’s a bit of a mainstay in Norwich’s WAW… and also had a cup of coffee on WOS Wrestling last year, as a last minute partner in the promotion’s tag tournament.
Slayer doesn’t back down as Bodom tried to get under his skin at the bell, as the match started with Bodom taking it to the mat. The crowd chanted for DFS, in homage to Bodom’s velvet pants, as Slayer fought back, coming close with a body scissor roll-up before a Japanese strangle-hold was countered as Bodom backed him into the corner. Slayer cartwheels away from Bodom’s Irish whips, but he can’t avoid some chops, nor an enziguiri into the corner as Josh showed off said velvet pants while snuffing out Slayer’s attempts to fight back. Bodom takes his time heading up top, but he finds his mark with a shotgun-style missile dropkick to Slayer, who began to find a way through with some forearms, taking Bodom into the corner with some venom.
A scoop slam dropped Bodom for a near-fall, but Bodom hit back as Slayer went onto the apron, knocking him down to the floor with a knee strike… then followed after him with an Orihara moonsault for good measure. Again, Bodom takes his time heading up top, but he manages to crush Slayer with a senton bomb for a near-fall as Bodom again was perhaps taking Slayer a little too lightly. A cracking headbutt from Slayer had Bodom wobbly, but Josh is back with a forearm before he’s pulled into a Blue Thunder bomb… only for Slayer to have trouble making the cover as he finally pulled himself over for a near-fall. Slayer looks to finish off Bodom with a bicycle knee, but Bodom hits his first before Slayer leapt over a dive… some back-and-forth led to Bodom cracking Slayer with a knee as he went back into the ring, before a Bliss Buster proved to be enough.
This was a fantastic exercise in taking an unknown and having the crowd entirely on his side… Josh Bodom’s quite good at that, it seems, and on this performance I’d not be against Slayer being a regular part of these touring shows. ***½
Jamie Hayter vs. Yuu
By this point, Dan Barnsdall was getting beyond fed up of the crowd calling out his time limits. We hear you…
So, I guess being in Japan makes you a babyface in Rev Pro, as Jamie Hayter’s finally had her role defined since losing the belt. We start with a respectful handshake as the opening lock-up saw both women head into the ropes, where Hayter broke cleanly. A headlock takedown’s next as Andy Simmons aired some of his research, before Yuu managed to slip free as the pair looked for an advantage on the mat.
Hayter switches up her game plan, catching Yuu with a series of kicks, only for her to fight back with forearms and a spinning sidewalk slam for a near-fall. Some chops follow as Yuu kept hold of Hayter’s wrist, but Hayter counters back with chops of her own, only for Yuu to rebound as she looked to deadlift Hayter off the mat. Hayter just about blocks it, but Yuu manages to land that sidewalk slam for another two-count as she tried to go for a rear naked choke… but Hayter backs up into the corner for a break. More switcharounds led to Yuu sending Hayter into the ropes for the snap Judo takedown for a near-fall, before another attempt at a rear naked choke was blocked as Hayter… ran into another takedown for a near-fall.
A buckle bomb’s next as Yuu kept surprising the former women’s champion, following in with a shotgun dropkick before Hayter pulled herself out of a powerbomb and replied with a snap German suplex. Another German suplex followed for a near-fall as Hayter built up momentum, looking to force a submission with a rear naked choke of her own, only for Yuu to power up to her feet and get caught with a uranage backbreaker.
From there, Hayter hits a diving knee for a near-fall, as Yuu’s resistance was finally ended with an axe kick and a curb stomp as Hayter picked up another win. This was a pretty good outing for both women, as Hayter’s finally gotten herself a storyline here in Rev Pro – dealing with Bobbi Tyler and Zoe Lucas as her path to the title continued. ***
Chris Brookes vs. PAC
This was non-title… because of course it is! This match came from Brookes interference at Epic Encounters back in February, which was going to lead to a tag team match on Rev Pro’s New York show… except, visa issues put the mockers on all of that.
We’ve got duelling chants from the off as PAC began by working on Brookes’ arm… something that Brookes easily rolled out of before he snapmare’d PAC and patted him on the head. That may not have been smart… Shoulder tackles followed, which affected neither man, so Brookes just stomped on PAC’s foot and took him down… only for the Geordie to kip up as the pace increased. A back senton out of the corner has PAC down for a one-count, as Brookes looked for a wet willie… but PAC grabs his wrist and kicked him in the gut.
PAC heads up top, prompting Brookes to roll outside… so PAC opts for a baseball slide dropkick instead as the match spilled outside, with Brookes getting thrown into a wall before they left the room. Which is where those tethered cameras always come up short! We eventually rejoin the action as PAC dragged Brookes back into the ringside area, throwing him into the apron, as PAC seemed to have the upper hand. Brookes again rolled to the outside as PAC headed up top, before he managed to counter a powerbomb on the outside by trapping PAC in the ring apron ahead of a stomp. With Brookes having the ref distracted on the outside, Kid Lykos interfered with a dropkick and a ‘rana to PAC, allowing Brookes to take advantage with a tope on the outside as somehow the former tag team champ managed to get back into it.
From there, Brookes looked to work over the arm and fingers of PAC, but the Geordie fought back… only to get caught in the ropes with an assisted neckbreaker for a delayed two-count. A side headlock keeps PAC down, but there’s more interference from Lykos as he tripped PAC in the ropes after another escape.
Brookes calls for a brainbuster… and you can guess what happened next. PAC reverses it, dropping Brookes on his head, before a back body drop lifted Brookes from the ring to the floor in one motion. Lykos tries again, but gets dispatched by a clothesline from PAC, who followed outside with an Orihara moonsault into the CCK pair on the outside. Back in the ring, a standing shooting star press gets PAC a near-fall, before PAC went up top… and got caught by Brookes, who was doing all he could to avoid a Black Arrow.
PAC leaps over him in the corner, but can’t avoid a dropkick before catching Brookes with a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall. A big boot from Brookes delays PAC again, as Brookes then lifted him up and pulled him out of the corner before he too went up top… and got caught by PAC, who still had a speed advantage at this late stage of the match. PAC joins Brookes up top and hauls him down with a superplex for another two-count, as Brookes seemed to be working on fumes… but PAC took his time before leathering him with a forearm. Brookes fights back with chops, then with a left hand before a slingshot cutter whiffed as PAC just stepped back before nailing one of his own!
A deadlift German suplex is next as Brookes is folded in half for a near-fall, before a 450 splash misses… allowing Brookes to capitalise with an Octopus stretch. PAC nearly got to the ropes, so Brookes rolls him to the mat before the rope break was finally called for. Brookes tries to manipulate the turnbuckle padding, but Chris Roberts pulls him away as PAC got back to his feet and took Brookes down before he tried the same thing. Again, Roberts stops him, and then gets knocked down as Brookes charged into the corner. Yep… same ol’ Roberts… With no referee, PAC punts Brookes low, only to get an instant receipt as the game of Roshambo looked rather ridiculous.
Heading outside, Brookes grabs PAC’s Open the Dream Gate title… but gets stopped when he tried to use it as then teased a belt shot… only for the referee to disarm him. Brookes nearly stole the win after a baking tray shot from Lykos, before a Praying Mantis Bomb was countered with a back body drop as again the pace quickened, leading to PAC finally going up for a Black Arrow to the back of Brookes, before following in with a Rings of Saturn for the submission. Even though it was a set-up for a now-cancelled match, this was a hell of a contest as PAC and Brookes delivered big time – especially if you didn’t overthink the contest! ***¾
Rev Pro’s debut in Northampton ended up being a fun show to watch on-demand, with impressive debuts up and down the card… but again fell into the promotion’s usual track of being “wrestling in a vacuum”, with the action not really playing into any storylines, nor setting up for any future dates in the venue. Compared to some venues Rev Pro’s been to, the Roadmender in Northampton were up for the action, so hopefully this isn’t one-and-done in terms of shows here.