Rev Pro returned to Sheffield with a changed card – but one that saw Leon Slater take on another big challenge in the form of Rich Swann.
Connor Mills pinned Yota Tsuji in 10:12 (***½)
Robbie X pinned Cameron Khai in 12:44 (***½)
Jack Morris pinned Will Kaven in 6:54 (***)
Gabriel Kidd submitted Callum Newman in 8:56 (***½)
Ricky Knight Jr. pinned Zak Knight in 14:13 (***½)
Dan Moloney pinned Michael Oku in 15:58 (****)
Rich Swann pinned Leon Slater in 20:38 (***¾)
— To watch this show, head over to RevProOnDemand.com – they’re currently running a free trial…
We’re live on tape from the Network in Sheffield – Andy Quildan’s lifting Gio Nolastname as a gimmick again as they’re on commentary… and we’ve got a rejig to the announced card as travel issues wreaked havoc.
Connor Mills vs. Yota Tsuji
The two men meant to face Lance Archer this weekend face each other here.
Mills jumps Tsuji at the bell with a shotgun dropkick, before kicks took Tsuji outside for a swift tope. Fix down those guard rails, fellas! Back inside, a Millshot almost ended this one in under a minute, prompting Tsuji to roll outside for respite. Which Mills ensured didn’t happen, as more kicks kept Tsuji on the back foot. Yota’s thrown into a traffic cone as Mills then cleared the crowd and threatened to throw him into the bar… only for Tsuji to hit back with a backbreaker. Tsuji cheapshots Joshua James, knocking down the referee in the process as Mills was made to wear a chair as Tsuji did an EVIL.
Tsuji gets his old song sung, which puts him in a happier mood, only to get snapmared to the mat for a kick to the back. Mills offers his back in return as we go tit-for-tat, before Tsuji avoided a rebound lariat and returned with a Bubba bomb. A roll-up from Mills gets him a two-count, as he then scored the rebound lariat for another near-fall, with more kicks chopping away at Tsuji’s leg. A running dropkick into the corner from Mills led to him leaping into a spear from Tsuji as the Legion man refused to stay down. The pair trade strikes from there, leading to Mills getting wrecked with a leaping knee… but he’s right back with the suplex/powerbomb as Mills is digging into Kenta Kobashi’s moves… before a head kick puts Tsuji away. There’s been a LOT of L’s for Yota lately, with this brisk opener continuing Connor Mills’ recent momentum. ***½
Post-match, Tsuji slapped Joshua James again… those two have a match in St. Neots this weekend as part of a mini-tournament for a spot in the Rumble.
Cameron Khai vs. Robbie X
It’s a non-title outing, but a big chance for the 17-year old Khai.
The early going sees Khai and Robbie trade wristlocks and escapes, before we upgraded to shoulder tackles, which Khai kipped up from. The pair vault over each other as Khai lands a neckbreaker, then a standing moonsault before Robbie X began to fight back with some chops. Khai’s response floors him though, only for Robbie X to catch Khai with a Pele kick on the apron, ahead of a senton atomico as the champion began to settle into a groove. A hiptoss and cartwheel dropkick sends Khai onto the apron, as a handspring kick took the rookie outside for a plancha, getting an eventual two-count as Robbie proceeds to ground Khai with a rear chinlock. Breaking free, Khai’s able to get back on top, evading a Molly Go Round before trapping Robbie with rolling Northern Lights suplexes… ending with a Falcon arrow for a near-fall.
Robbie finds a way in with a gamengiri from the apron, then the Molly Go Round that crashes into Khai… who recovered with an elevated German suplex as Khai seemingly had Robbie’s number. On the apron, Khai trades blows with Robbie, before a suplex attempt is escaped… Robbie recovers with a Finlay roll and the eventual moonsault for a near-fall, before a Spiral Tap got another near-fall. Kawada-ish kicks from Robbie X lead to a handspring… Khai avoids the X-Clamation and hits a slingshot cutter instead, before a Storm Breaker/Go 2 Sleep hybrid almost got the upset. A rebound German suplex has Khai rocked though, and with Robbie X adding a powerbomb and kicks, the X-Clamation followed for the win. A cracking outing with Khai giving Robbie more than a scare – keep that lad’s name in your head, because based on this run, he’ll be going places. ***½
Post-match, Connor Mills appears on the stage and points at Robbie X – yep, they’ve got a title match in St. Neots…
Will Kaven vs. Jack Morris
Kaven was meant to be facing Zak Knight – but travel issues delayed Zak’s arrival, so Will Kaven will have to pay for those chair shots another day…
Kaven jumps Morris before the bell, putting the boots to the Scotsman on the outside before he ran him into the guard rails. A front kick knocks Morris over the railings and into the crowd, before we finally got going in the ring… with Morris booting and dropkicking Kaven back outside. Morris sandwiches Kaven against the guard rails with a tope, before a crossbody back inside drew a two-count. Kaven blocks a Tiger Bomb, but couldn’t avoid an enziguiri before Kaven found a way to hit a back suplex onto the side of the ring. Back inside, Kaven keeps control as he roughs up Morris in the ropes, ahead of a back elbow that drew a solid two-count for Kaven.
A back body drop and a low dropkick from Morris blocks a Devildriver attempt, as the pair then exchange chops… a moonsault press from Morris, then a leaping Flatliner almost gets him the win, before a Tiger Driver was blocked by Kaven. Kaven’s Dragon suplex has Morris down ahead of a running boot into the corner, but Morris kicks out at two… then again from a short-range clothesline, before Morris hit back with a spinebuster. That’s rolled quickly into a Tiger Driver… and that’s a pretty efficient win for Morris to close out his first run with Rev Pro. ***
Callum Newman vs. Gabriel Kidd
A clash of styles on show here ahead of the rumble later in the month…
Kidd got in Newman’s face at the bell… and expected a charge as he met Newman with a Bull lariat as we got going. It’s good for a very early two-count, before Newman cradled his way out of a tombstone, returning with a Tiger suplex for a near-fall of his own. Kidd shoves down Newman to the floor amid a springboard attempt. Back inside, Kidd continues to wreck Newman with slams, but Callum fought back with forearms… only to get knocked back with one in return before Gabe went back to the slams. Newman’s left by the ropes, and gets chopped into the corner for good measure… so loud that even the dodgy crowd mics picked them up nice and clear. That’s how you know they’re good!
Newman fought back in kind, but he’s grounded with a chinlock as Kidd tried to strangle him out. A springboard dropkick helps Newman get some breathing room after he broke free, before he caught Kidd with forearms… then a leaping knee strike for a two-count. Chops from Kidd looked to give him a way back in, but Newman’s springboard cutter stopped Gabe for a near-fall.
Newman takes too long to follow up as Kidd dumps him with a snap suplex, before more slaps earned Kidd a rear spin kick. A standing Spanish Fly surprises Kidd, but Newman misses a shooting star press and gets waffled with a lariat for his troubles. The tombstone piledriver followed, before Kidd’s rear naked choke dragged Newman around the ring until he submitted. Not quite a squash, but Kidd absolutely blitzed through Newman here – and staked his claim as one of the favourites for the rumble in a week or so’s time… ***½
Zak Knight vs. Ricky Knight Jr.
Originally scheduled for Rev Pro’s last trip to Sheffield… the Yorkshire city gets it eventually after travel issues forced a card change.
Zak looked to take the upper hand early on, as the pair locked up into the corners, before things broke down into a bar fight. A shoulder tackle off the ropes knocks down RKJ, who returned with leapfrogs and roll throughs before he caught his uncle with a dropkick. Some biting from RKJ keeps Zak down, but a follow-up crossbody’s caught and turned effortlessly into a suplex for good measure. Another exchange sees RKJ throw Zak onto the apron… but Zak slides back in to dropkick him outside for a plancha. Zak rakes Ricky’s fingers against the ropes as he looked for an advantage, before an uppercut to the back left RKJ in the corner. Zak looms over his nephew, but RKJ avoids some boxing in the corner, returning with a back elbow before Zak charged at him in the opposite corner.
Another charge sees RKJ land a pair of dropkicks in the corner, ahead of a draping DDT off the middle rope for a near-fall. Heading up top, RKJ leaps over Zak… who tried to come back with a bucklebomb, only for RKJ to slip free and run into a diving kick instead. The pair trade elbows ahead of a German suplex and F5 from RKJ, which gets a near-fall. Stomps from RKJ give him time to head up top for a 450 splash, but Zak rolls away and charged back in with a spear instead. A second one follows for a near-fall, before a right hand knocked RKJ into the ropes for what looked like a TKO. We don’t get the stoppage though, as Zak instead tees himself up for perhaps a third spear… landing it as Ricky still kicked out.
A shotgun dropkick is next from Zak, as a bucklebomb bounced RKJ into the corner… before a rear naked choke was eventually broken up in the corner. Zak mounts RKJ again, so Ricky falls back to break the hold, before a moonsault press was caught. RKJ counters out of a tombstone, switching it into a Fire Thunder Driver… and that’s your lot! ***½
Dan Moloney vs. Michael Oku
Oku was the last opponent offered by Gideon Grey for Dan Moloney – with a win leading to a match against Will Ospreay at York Hall later in the month.
We’ve a stand-off to start, complete with dualling chants before Oku offered to lay down and give Moloney an easy tap-in on his way to the Ospreay match. Except Oku pulled a fast one, rolling up Moloney for a two-count, as this one exploded with a series of chops. Oku goes for a half crab, but gets kicked off… and returns with a PK for a one-count as Oku looked to maintain the upper hand on Moloney. Legdrops get Oku a two-count, but Moloney’s able to blast his way back into it, landing a backbreaker, back senton and a double stomp to the back for a near-fall. Even though there was nothing on the line for Oku, this was being treated like a big title match by both men, with Moloney amping up the aggression here.
Strikes had Oku staggering into the ropes before Oku slipped out of an attempt at the Drilla… returning with a missile dropkick off the middle rope. Oku slips out of a German suplex and hits a sliding knee to Moloney… then a springboard moonsault for a two-count, before the pair resumed with overhand chops. A big forearm from Oku leads to a backslide attempt as Moloney went for a pop-up forearm… but Moloney slips out and hits a swift DDT. Oku’s Pele kick stops a spear, but a dropkick sends the former Cruiserweight champion back down to earth with a THUD. A satellite DDT from Oku takes Moloney outside for a Fosbury flop… but Moloney caught him, only for Oku to slip out once more. Back inside, Oku tries a second Fosbury flop, but stops himself on the apron as he headed up for a flying DDT onto the side of the ring.
Both men beat the 10-count to get back inside, but it’s Oku who looked to push on… only to get speared out of his boots. It’s not enough for the win though, as Oku armdrags his way out of a Drilla, then pulled Moloney into a half crab. Moloney instantly pulls himself outside, so Oku adds another Fosbury flop into the mix, then a frog splash off the top for a delayed two-count, with Moloney barely peeling his shoulder off the mat in time. Oku’s looking hurt from that frog splash, holding his left arm after it came down hard on the landing… Dan Moloney doesn’t care, and a snap Drilla ends up putting Oku away for the three-count. Injury aside, this was an absolute blast, with both men showing intensity and urgency throughout the match. Sure, there were stakes, but this was a refreshing change of pace. ****
Leon Slater vs. Rich Swann
It’s a main event for the local lad, and yet another big test for Leon.
Opening with a handshake, we have a bit of a sing-song from the Ogdens before Slater locked up with Swann into the corner. There’s some in the crowd asking for a dance-off, and we get bits of that before a DDT from Slater on the floor after he’d lulled Swann into a false sense of security. Back inside, a dropkick rocks Swann for a two-count, before Swann kicked away a flying Slater, sending Leon outside and into a chair for a lap-of-honour kick. A step-up heel kick from Swann keeps Slater down for a two-count back inside, as a waistlock looked to wear down the youngster some more.
Duelling crossbodies wiped out both men at the same time, but it’s Swann who gets back into it first, catching Slater on the top rope, then bringing him down with a ‘rana… before a rolling thunder splash drew a near-fall. Slater’s able to return fire though, picking up a couple of two-counts on the way, before he ate a spin kick from Swann. Swann hits the ropes, but he just handsprings into a Blue Thunder bomb for a near-fall. Slater aborts a 450 splash, but couldn’t avoid Swann’s backfist… before eventually taking a neckbreaker from Swann. Slater takes a 450 splash seconds later as a bloodied Swann almost took the win… following up with kicks to the midsection as Slater’s attempts to get back into the game were getting shut down.
Slater rolls away from a Phoenix splash, but couldn’t capitalise as he charges into the corner… Swann lifts Slater up top, but a leaping ‘rana’s blocked, allowing Slater to jump down and hit what I can only describe as a pouncing standing 450 splash. HOW?! Heading up top, Slater seemingly prepped for a swanton 450, but switches it to a stomp as Swann headed to the apron. Swann avoids it, but gets hung up in the ropes seconds later before returning with a handspring cutter to Slater for a near-fall. The pair trade blows in the search for a fresh advantage, before Swann handstands out of a cutter… then stomped through Slater ahead of a Phoenix Splash off the middle rope for the win. Save for that British J-Cup win over Lio Rush, Slater’s still looking for the big statement win in Rev Pro – but he put in a hell of an effort in defeat here. ***¾
A cracker of a show with a “high floor” as some say, Rev Pro’s outing in Sheffield could well fly under a lot of radars right now. Don’t let it. The top two matches in particular here wouldn’t have been out of place on a York Hall line-up, as Rev Pro continue to build up a head of steam in 2023.