Rev Pro crowned new tag team champions as a much delayed Live in Southampton finally hit VOD.
I’m not going to beat about the bush here – this show took over six weeks to hit the on-demand, during which time Rev Pro unified these tag titles with the Southside belts (which also changed hands since this taping). We’ll keep things brief since only one match on here jumps out in terms of storyline progression…
Commentary’s from Andy Boy Simmonz, who’s joined initially by Andy Quildan then Veda Scott (fresh from wrestling in a cave, as was a lot of this card…), as we’re still way too quiet. I’ll take 5-7 days over six weeks.
Brendan White vs. Kenneth Halfpenny vs. Shaun Jackson vs. JJ Gale
The winner faces Ren Narita at York Hall on the British J Cup show. Do you see the issue with such a delayed release?
This threatened to be a sprint as White and Jackson looked to dominate, but the four-way format led to a lot of “hit a spot, clear the ring” stuff early on as we had the proverbial revolving door match here. White hits almost a Mountain Bomb on Halfpenny, while Jackson hit a twisting suplex on White for a near-fall.
Things broke down as Halfpenny and Jackson double-teamed White, working as a tag team, but their partnership collapses quickly as the crowd hummed the Contenders’ theme. Jackson tries to push ahead with a pumphandle side slam on Gale, which just starts a big Parade of Moves, including an Anaconda Vise from Halfpenny on White, which rolled into some Danielson elbows before a JJ Gale springboard cutter stopped everything. Halfpenny rolls outside, as Gale looked to focus on White, but he springboards into a Black Hole Slam as another Mountain Bomb got Brendan the win. A decent opener, but they toed the line between a sprint and packing way too much in without a lot of it registering. **½
Post-match, JJ Gale hung back in the ring and got laid out by Rob Lias and his wacky shirt. A Fisherman buster left Gale laying as the rest of the contenders took their sweet time in making the save.
Sha Samuels vs. Dan Moloney
Another battle of “guys who’ve lost their tag partners lately”, although Sha’s in with the Legion… even if he’s being kept out of tag teams for the time being.
The pair go at it from the off, with Moloney replying to Sha’s early salvos with a snapmare and a kick to the back… then another kick as Sha telegraphed a back body drop. Dan makes a funny, throwing Sha into his own merch as they brawl outside, only for Sha to use the cameraman as a human weapon.
For once, the cameraman leaving the camera on the mat was a decent choice. Moloney beats the count, but gets thrown right back outside, before Sha just hurled him hard into the buckles for a near-fall. Sha tries to do a live Mug of the Week, but Dan just rises up to flip off Sha, only to get caught with a Michinoku driver. A Butcher’s Hook is shook off as Moloney hit his own Bossman Slam, then a powerbomb as Dan picked up the relative upset. So much for Sha’s world title aspirations, you’d think. A lovely sprint of a match. ***¼
Chris Brookes vs. Carlos Romo
We continue the theme of “guys lost without their tag partners”, as Chris Brookes has a new remix of his theme that’s literally him vaping, the old CCK sting, and Babymetal. Small victories…
Romo tries to upset Brookes with a roll-up early, but Brookes composed himself as he began to work over the Spaniard on the mat. A Dragon screw looked to focus on Romo’s left leg, but Carlos was able to sneak in with a leg lariat to get a near-fall. Brookes hit back with a back senton off the top rope for a two-count, as he proceeded to trap Romo on the mat. Romo fought back with uppercuts and forearms, before a bicycle knee took Brookes outside… and into the path of a tope. A Blockbuster looked to set up Romo for Cutter without the E, but it’s caught and turned into a hanging neckbreaker as Brookes struck back, before Romo’s divng knee almost got the win.
Brookes cuts off Romo on the top rope, heading up for a butterfly superplex that comes off. The slingshot cutter’s next, as was an Octopus stretch, which ends in the ropes as the pair proceeded to exchange chops, before some see-saw shots led to a Code Red that almost got Carlos the win. A Spiral Tap’s next from Romo for a near-fall, as was Cutter Without the E, but he doesn’t go for the pin… instead choosing to head up top as he missed a moonsault, allowing Brookes to flow in with an Octopus stretch for the submission. A grand finish to a match that got Brookes another win… which’d seem to be his final one before leaving for Japan for the remainder of the year. ***
Gisele Shaw vs. Mercedes Martinez
After no women’s matches for three months, Rev Pro’s starting to get back on track…
It’s a first-time match here, as Shaw’s looking to rebuild momentum before she gets the title shot she earned earlier in the summer. They start by trading side headlocks and escapes, with Martinez ultimately getting thrown across the ring as Shaw looked to build momentum. A wheelbarrow armdrag took Martinez into the corner for a near-fall, only for Mercedes to fight back with a tree slam .
A Dragon sleeper’s next as Martinez keeps Shaw on the mat, before a knee to the side of the head kept the veteran ahead. Shaw tries to fight back, but she’s just taken into the ropes and stretched, before returning with a knee and a DDT for a near-fall of her own. Mercedes replies with a suplex for a two-count, before she busted out the Three Amigas… but Shaw stops the third one and countered with a German suplex. An Octopus hold followed from Shaw, taking Martinez to the mat, only for Mercedes to get free and retaliate with a spinebuster. Back-and-forth strikes follow, before Shaw tripped Martinez for a Curt Hennig-esque neck flip… but her attempt at some rope-walking is stopped by Mercedes, who pulls down the Canadian and walloped her with a knee for a two-count.
Shaw tried to catch Martinez up top, but she’s rudely dumped with an avalanche death valley driver for a near-fall. Another boot drops Shaw, before she made one final comeback, shoving away a superplex and flying into Martinez with a tornillo kneedrop for the win. Unlike a lot of Rev Pro’s women’s matches, this got the crowd invested – and while it was a come from behind win, it got Shaw and her finish over. ***
Hikuleo vs. Darius Lockhart
This was Lockhart’s return to Rev Pro after seven months away… and it’s a big ask for the American.
Early lock-ups led Lockhart into a roll-up as he tried to surprise the Tongan, who swatted away an armbar attempt before more roll-ups seemed to anger Hikuleo. Lockhart rolls down to pick away Hikuleo’s leg, as he rolled the Tongan into a Paradise Lock, then dropkicked him free.
After getting freed, Hikuleo began to rough up Lockhart, taking him outside for some chops that started a count-out tease. Lockhart easily beats it, but gets slammed and legdropped as Hikuleo pushed on, before Lockhart tried to elbow his way back in. An enziguiri stuns Hikuleo, as does a running knee in the corner, but it’s not enough to put away the big lad. Lockhart follows up with a crossbody for a near-fall, before an armbar looked to force a submission… but instead Lockhart let go and ran into a powerslam, before a sit-out death valley driver almost put him away.
Hikuleo goes for the Gun Slinger – the uranage facebuster – but Lockhart got free and looked for the Rings of Saturn, letting go to avoid being pinned, before the picture went horribly dark, returning to see Hikuleo kick the ropes into Lockhart, following up with the Gun Slinger for the win. A little slow for my tastes, but a decent outing for Hikuleo here. **¾
Hikuleo shook Lockhart’s hand after the match, then came back to attack him before Michael Oku made the save.
I was going to praise the camera work, but for some reason the white balance in that last match was horribly off for one of the mobile cameras, which made whatever it was picking up unwatchable. It looked like a lighting issue, but the other cameras didn’t have that issue…
Senza Volto vs. Mike Bailey
So, the dark camera was back here, as we started with Bailey and Volto launching into each other ahead of the obligatory double dropkick stand-off.
Things turned into a war of attrition as back-and-forth shoulder tackles ended with a mid kick from Bailey, before Senza returned with a springboard ‘rana, taking Bailey outside as he faked out a tope in the end. Back inside, Bailey slams Senza ahead of Vader Bomb knees for a two-count, before another slam led to a frog splash as Bailey had to adjust on the fly.
Bailey swaps flying for striking as the pair traded forearms, before Senza’s springboard back elbow took down the Canadian. Senza ups the pace with a 619 on the apron and a springboard senton for a two-count, before another handspring got kicked away by Bailey… who started to unload with kicks. Volto blocks the buzzsaw kick, but can’t avoid the followups, eventually landing a hopeful knee and an enziguiri to take Bailey outside.
Senza’s dive is cut off as Bailey hits his tope instead, before the Frenchman landed an instant reply, which just led to them escalating it with triangle moonsaults. Jesus wept. Back inside the pace stays high, with Bailey crashing into Senza with a moonsault slam, only to get caught with a Spanish fly. The keenly-fought nature continued as Bailey went for a Flamingo Driver, but Senza escapes on the way to going for a Code Red… but moonsault knees from Bailey come instead as Bailey buzzsawed his way to another two-count. Another 619 takes Bailey out of the corner ahead of the Code Red from Senza, but Bailey’s back with a Flamingo Driver, before he got caught in the corner with a Spanish Fly and a spinning pumphandle driver as Senza snatched the win. A breathless exchange, and one that the Southampton fans lapped up – one to go out of your way to see as they packed a LOT into 15 minutes. ***½
RevPro Undisputed British Tag Team Championship: Rampage Brown & Great O-Kharn vs. Dan Magee & Kurtis Chapman
After the Rev Pro tag titles were vacated in September October’s Cockpit show had a pair of eliminator matches – with these two teams meeting to crown new champions. There’s no Gideon Grey on hand, so Sha’s on hand to have a coronary during O-Kharn’s entrance instead.
Chapman’s clearly got his fan club on hand, as we started with the referee ejecting Sha Samuels before the bell. We start with Mad Kurt and Rampage Brown, as Chapman quickly found out the size differential was real, with Rampage shoving him down easily. A quick wristlock got Chapman and Magee ahead, but the Legion were right back in it, as things settled down to Magee and O-Kharn trading forearms.
O-Kharn stops it with a rake to the eyes, but a dropkick had Magee briefly back in… until he was stopped with a clothesline. From there, Rampage returned to wear down Magee with chops. Eventually Dan got free, getting past O-Kharn to tag in Chapman, who showed no fear… until he got splatted with a Samoan drop from Rampage for a near-fall. Mongolian chops from O-Kharn keep Kurtis down for a two-count, as the Legion began to pile on the pressure. A nonchalant slap from Rampage has Kurtis on the ropes, before he pulled him out of the corner… stepping back to avoid Chapman’s lungblower thing as Mad Kurt just turned into a ragdoll. It only continues for Chapman, but at least he hit the lungblower when Rampage tried to ragdoll him out of the corner for a second time, giving him enough time to tag in Magee.
Dan was a house afire here, sending O-Kharn and Rampage outside for a cannonball off the apron… but one that saw Chapman tag himself in as the badly-lit scene saw him hit a cannonball of his own off the top. He’s used again as Magee powerbombed him onto O-Kharn for a near-fall… but after weathering the storm, O-Kharn and Rampage were right back in it, hitting a double-team suplex on Magee as Chapman flew in with a stomp to break up the cover.
The Legion goes for the suplex again, but another Chapman save almost led to Magee stealing the win with a roll-up. Chapman tags in and hits a stomp to assist a rope-hanging DDT on Rampage, who then shoved away a Sega Magee Driver, forcing Chapman to “accidentally DDT” his own man.
From there, Rampage grounds Chapman with a rear naked choke that Chapman countered with a Bret Hart roll-back out of the corner… but Rampage clings on, and after spiking Chapman with a piledriver, the Legion left with the gold. A nice little outing as the rough-housing Legion got past the graduated Contenders… who found that their lack of experience right now cost them in the end. ***½
It’s a shame that this show took so damned long to turn around for the VOD – Rev Pro’s tenth visit to Southampton was a solid card, albeit one that was mostly “just a bunch of matches” that vaguely built up to the British J Cup. This seemed to be the first of the “new era” of Rev Pro’s VOD, and I can say that this show was a lot more watchable than usual on the VOD… but it’s perhaps typical that in the second half the cameras went to hell, with the white balance somehow deteriorating to the point that by the end of the show, one of the ringside cameras was damn near unusable.
This perhaps isn’t the show to dive back into Rev Pro on if you’ve been giving them a miss, but the early signs of their renewed VOD focus are positive. Even if the turnaround is not…