The build-up for this weekend’s Uprising continued as Rev Pro returned to Southampton, with plenty of tag team action!
Christ, they’re turning these around quickly again. This show from the 1865 in Southampton hit VOD about 24 hours after the show – back to the glory days! Andy Quildan’s on commentary alongside Rob Lias for a change… although I think Rob meant something different when he called himself “the best number two”.
Shaun Jackson & Kenneth Halfpenny vs. Kings of the North (Bonesaw & Corvin)
The Kings have a tag title match next week, so they’re looking to get a bit of momentum here. Hopefully both of these Contenders are still standing by the end of it…
Halfpenny and Bonesaw start, and it’s the Big Strong Da’ who chops Halfpenny into the corner before a lucha armdrag off the middle rope and a spinning heel kick put the Kings ahead. Corvin’s in, capitalising on Bonesaw’s neckbreaker for a near-fall, before a leapfrog dropkick caught Shaun Jackson out. A running back elbow has Jackson back down as Bonesaw’s back for an atomic drop and a back senton for a near-fall, before Jackson charged Bonesaw into the corner as the Contenders had a spell of momentum. Double-team shoulder charges saw the pair go all rugby-like on the Northern Irishman, while a cheapshot from Halfpenny helped them get a little further ahead.
Bonesaw turns it back around with a flying ‘rana before bringing Corvin in with elbows and boots, following up with a missile dropkick to the pair of them. A Sky High powerbomb from Corvin has Jackson in trouble, before Halfpenny tried to fight back and ate a uranage/slingshot senton to Jackson… as Halfpenny then tried to land another cheapshot, only to take a sit-out front suplex for a near-fall.
The referee struggles to keep it one-on-one… so Corvin just lamps the two contenders with forearms, before a side Russian legsweep/clothesline combo almost got the upset. In the end though, the Kings got the win with their It’s a Kind of Magic Killer, and that was a pretty fun competitive squash. I think a straight-up squash may have gotten more steam in them, but Rev Pro doesn’t work like that… **¾
Hikuleo vs. Danny Jones
Danny Jones was a late replacement for Dan Moloney – he’s here just before he headed off for another All Japan tour, and this is a trial by fire for the Rev Pro debutant.
Jones wasn’t backing down before the bell, locking up and taking Hikuleo into the corner from the off, before he took down he Togan into a STF, then a modified backslide. A low bridge takes Hikuleo outside, as a slingshot corkscrew plancha took out Hikuleo. Back in the ring, Hikuleo hits the ropes and crotches Jones, before he used a neck crank to try and subdue the Welshman.
The pair trade clotheslines before Hikuleo came in with a neckbreaker for a near-fall, before Jones made a comeback, hitting a knee strike and a discus forearm. Hikuleo walks away from a back cracker though, before he was caught with an enziguiri as Jones hit a diving knee to the back for another near-fall. A missile dropkick connects for another near-fall, as Jones was looking to be on course for the win… but Hikuleo charges into the corner to break up a rear naked choke before a Samoan driver turned it back around.
From there, Hikuleo looked for a Stun Gun, and lands it at the second attempt as the Bullet Club’s young lion got the win. A cracking showing from Danny Jones, but in the end Hikuleo had too much for him. Hopefully Danny’s back in 2020! ***
Brendan White & JJ Gale vs. The Legion (Great O-Kharn & Rampage Brown)
Of course this is non-title, and Lord Gideon Grey’s here. Wait, did he lose the title, or is the lower-third just disrespectful? Gideon’s here to do the intros and address the “Clowns in the North” before teasing another coronary…
Rampage and Brendan start us off, charging into each other like bulls before Rampage switched it up with a knee. Brendan shrugged it off and hit a shoulder tackle to take down Brown, before tags bring in O-Kharn and Gale, but JJ’s just charged down before a leapfrog was caught. He’s able to roll through for a near-fall, as O-Kharn nearly was pinned, before Gale hit a nice slingshot roll-up as the contender continued to rack up near-falls.
O-Kharn fought back with a slam and some Mongolian chops, before an atomic facebuster just angered White, who snapped in with a Saito suplex. Gale’s back in, but his chops barely faze Rampage, who tried to behead him as the Contender struck in with a springboard uppercut for a two-count. Rampage is right back in with a pop-up slam as Gale was suddenly on the defensive, not helped by a cheap boot from O-Kharn from the apron. A wishbone leg splitter heeps Gale down, as O-Kharn used a face claw to work his way towards a near-fall. Eventually Gale got free as White was able to fight back, clearing house with dropkicks and suplexes, before a Hart Attack cutter nearly got the Contenders the win. White keeps up with a springboard moonsault before a senton bomb from Gale led to a near-fall… as Rampage broke up the cover and hit a Fireman’s Carry/cutter combo. O-Kharn adds the Iron Finger slam to the mix, and that’s a decisive, if not dominant win as the Contenders gave the champions a scare. ***
After the match, Shaun Jackson and Kenneth Halfpenny came out to make a save… and got laid out as the Deep Wounds (the fireman’s carry/cutter) eventually drew out the Kings of the North for a pullapart. They sent the Legion packing, as Corvin did his best Gideon Grey impression, just without the worryingly-pulsing veins in his head…
Michael Oku vs. Shota Umino
On paper, this is a weird spot to put Michael Oku given he’s facing PAC in a week…
Oku starts by taking Shota into the ropes for an Okada-like break, but Umino responds by working a hammerlock, snapping back to the mat as Oku was forced to kick out early. A ‘rana and a dropkick got Oku back in though, but it’s way too soon to go for a half crab as Shota took over with some strikes as he used his boot to choke Oku by the ropes. Umino keeps the pressure up as he grabbed a chinlock, before a snapmare and a low dropkick earned Umino a near-fall.
Oku began a fight-back with some Stinger splashes, turning one into a swinging DDT for a near-fall. Umino heads outside, where he avoided a Fosbury flop and started a big back-and-forth, stopping to break the count so they could pick up again in the ring only for Oku to roll through and trip Umino into a half crab. A dropkick with pinpoint accuracy cracks into Umino after the rope break, but Shota stops Oku on the top rope, throwing some chops ahead of a superplex for a near-fall. Oku’s back with a back body drop, taking Umino outside ahead of the Fosbury flop, following up with a frog splash as you sensed one big blow would win it. Superkicks and enziguiri did the trick, as did a German suplex from Umino as Shota almost nicked it with a Dragon suplex.
Umino tries to get the win with a Death Rider, but Oku trips him and rolled in with another half crab, leaning all the way back a la Mark Haskins for the submission. This had a lot more oomph to it than Shota’s Cockpit match, but given the rocket’s being put on Oku again, this was the right result. ***¼
Post-match, Oku vowed to end the decade with a huge win by beating PAC next week.
Carlos Romo vs. Mike Bailey
Commentary’s playing up how Romo’s getting frustrated at his losing streak, while Mike Bailey fought a losing battle with the Rev Pro Curtain.
After an opening handshake, Bailey jumped Romo as the match quickly descended into a battle of forearms. Romo tries to edge ahead with armdrags, then took Bailey outside with a dropkick before Carlos took too long on a dive and was cut-off with a kick to the chest. A double knee drop follows, as did some Vader Bomb knees, before Romo tried to fight back with chops. Bailey shrugged them off, along with some forearms as Romo responded with a Shining Wizard and a springboard moonsault for a quick two-count. Kicks from Bailey turn the tables though, along with a standing corkscrew press, as Romo was again met with a barrage of kicks.
Romo responds by rolling Speedball down in a modified grounded Octopus stretch. Or, as Speedball called it, the I’m-stupid-and-ugly-Carlos-and-my-submissions-don’t-even-hurt-that-bad-your-neck-will-only-hurt-for-two-days-but-it’s-a-dumb-move-anyways-Speedball-didn’t-even-think-about-tapping-and-certainly-did-not-cry Lock. Bailey’s toe got to the ropes to force the break. Carlos stays on him with a butterfly hold, then with a rear naked choke, but Bailey dives through the ropes to force the break. Dives from Romo took him back outside as he reapplied the Butterfly hold… but the search of a count-out backfires as the ref stopped counting, then followed them up towards the bar as some moonsault knees stopped Romo.
Bailey heads back to the ring to try and win the count-out, but Romo dives back in in time… and got sent back outside as Bailey went for another dive. The Flamingo Driver followed, but Romo tweaks the fingers to get free ahead of a Blockbuster off the top… before he ran into a moonsault slam for a near-fall. From the kick-out, Romo grabs a hammerlock, rolling into it, but Bailey got free again for more moonsault knees that led to a near-fall.
The Ultima Weapon followed, but Carlos stepped back and came right back in with a crossface that didn’t get the submission… nor did a Fujiwara armbar. A cutter’s good for a near-fall, but Bailey shoves away Cutter Without The E… only for Romo to land it at the second time, dumping Speedball on the apron. Back inside, Romo looked to go up top, but Bailey caught him with a gamengiri. A shooting star press from Bailey’s met with a cutter as the momentum kept swinging, but Romo then misses a Spiral Tap and had his block knocked off with a thrust kick, allowing Bailey to hit the Flamingo driver then the Ultima Weapon for the win. A decent effort from Romo, but it’s yet another loss as 2020 is bound to be a brighter year for the Spaniard. ***¼
Dani Luna vs. Shanna
This was Shanna’s first outing for Rev Pro in one of their regular venues… commentary mentions Shanna being powerbombed through a table on AEW Dynamite days earlier, but there’s little outward sign of it here.
The pair trade arm wringers early on, as neither woman was able to find an early advantage, although Dani came close after she rolled Shanna into a pinning attempt from a side headlock. Shanna’s back with a ‘rana, then with a flip neckbreaker, before Dani tripped her into the ropes. Luna keeps up with a whip to the corner, before she looked to pull Shanna’s arm out of its socket. Shanna tries to fight back as someone’s laughter in the crowd came off strong on commentary… quickly replaced by boos as Dani choked her in the ropes. A leap over from Shanna led to a sunset flip for a near-fall before more strikes left Dani in the ropes as a low dropkick through the ropes crashed into the Londoner.
From the apron, Shanna slingshots back in for a stunner, getting a near-fall before she headbutted away a superplex effort and leapt into Dani with a Del Rio stomp. Luna fought back to avoid a Dragon suplex, following up with almost an Air Raid Crash before her stomp missed… allowing Shanna to nearly win with a roll-up, before a La Magistral cradle got the three-count. Shanna’s facing Gisele shaw next week, so this win was needed, but you got the sense sections of the Southampton crowd weren’t latching onto this match. **¾
Kurtis Chapman & Dan Magee vs. Pretty Deadly (Sam Stoker & Lewis Howley)
“Mad Kurt” has added a towel to his ring gear, trying to poke his way into a match with Minoru Suzuki. He’s going to die, isn’t he?
Dan Magee’s doing the old Pete Dunne wanker signs at his own tag team partner. That bodes well! Chapman tries to dance to Pretty Deadly’s music, and I think we’ve found Britwres’ answer to Thomas Santell… while Andy Q talks about a text he got from Kurtis Chapman about getting a York Hall match, which simply said “am I better than MK McKinnan?”. Ow. Stoker stands on Magee’s hands early as Pretty Deadly poked fun early on. There’s a nice up-kick from Stoker as he evaded a leapfrog, before tags brought in Chapman and Howley. Chapman charges in but can’t avoid a crossbody before he came back in with a roll-up and a dab, as Rob Lias on commentary remained exasperated.
Chapman’s isolated as he tries to go for a Gotch piledriver, only to get taken around in a GODDAMN GIANT SWING as Pretty Deadly made Chapman look like a ragdoll. A slam and a legdrop gets Howley a two-count, before forearms kept Chapman in the corner while Magee looked on wistfully from the corner. “Mad Kurt” tries to fight back, eventually landing a single-leg lungblower before a fired-up Dan Magee came in to clear house.
A crossbody from Magee’s good for a near-fall, but Sam Stoker cuts off a Slingblade with a forearm. He eventually gets a Slingblade for a near-fall, before Chapman tossed Howley outside. Of course he dabbed afterwards, and gets powerbombed onto Stoker for a near-fall. One of these days, that’s gonna go horribly wrong… Stoker rolls out of a Morning Glory for a near-fall, before Howley came in to DDT Magee out of an O’Connor roll… a lawn dart into a superkick’s next for a near-fall. Chapman helps take Pretty Deadly outside as cannonballs from Magee and Chapman find their marks, before a Tuck Tuck Magee back inside from Chapman, then a big splash from Magee nearly earned the win.
A blind tag gets Stoker back in as Pretty Deadly pushed on, but quadruple big boots left everyone down… only for Pretty Deadly to get up first and finish off Magee with a Doomsday Springboard Uppercut. Again, Pretty Deadly have a match at York Hall… Chapman and Magee don’t, so this was a good warm-up as Rev Pro establish newer faces. ***½
Pretty Deadly hung around afterwards to watch the main event…
MAO vs. Kyle Fletcher
“Oi, just do it!” screamed one fan as MAO and Fletcher stalled for a handshake, and that was kind of the pace we had to begin with as both men opted for a more deliberate offence.
MAO works over Kyle’s wrist early on, before dropkicks took Kyle to the outside… but MAO runs into a boot through the ropes before the pair went outside for some brawling. It’s all very shadowy as they brawled towards the merch table, with MAO leaping off of a balcony onto Kyle below.
Back in the ring, Kyle fought back, getting a near-fall out of a forearm strike, then again off a kick to the back, before they went back towards the merch tables, where MAO got kicked into the front row ahead of a step-up cannonball. MAO tries to respond with forearms back inside, but he’s dropped with a tiltawhirl backbreaker for a two-count, before MAO replied with a springboard moonsault after the match had spilled outside.
Kyle gets caught with a hotshot back inside as MAO added a split-legged moonsault for a near-fall. From the kick-out, Kyle’s back in with chops, but MAO’s got some of his own as they keep things deliberately-paced, with MAO trying to shrug off a superkick before he chopped Kyle back down. A deadlift suplex from Fletcher helps him back, but MAO’s keaping knee and superkick tried to stem the tide ahead of a crucifix bomb that drew a near-fall. MAO heads up top but gets stopped by a forearm as Kyle brought him down with a superplex… but MAO bounces right back up and tried to fight through it all, as Fletcher looked on in disbelief. MAO’s ‘rana nearly does the trick, as did a spin kick and a superkick, as a Michinoku driver spikes Kyle for a near-fall.
MAO has to abort a 450 splash, but runs into a diving boot from Fletcher who tried to get the win with a hammerlock tombstone… but MAO rolls through and hits a stomp before a simple lariat dropped him. The Aussie Arrow lawn dart’s next, before the hammerlock tombstone got the win in the end. A hard-fought main event – one that was deliberately kept slow paced, but everything in this meant something. A low-key cracker of a match ***¾
Post-match, Pretty Deadly sarcastically applauded from the stage as Mike Bailey hit the ring to check on his partner. Kyle offered another handshake afterwards, and got it along with a peck for those who were keeping up their love story…
Hang on, why’s Andy wrapping up with four minutes left in the VOD? Pretty Deadly enter the ring for a staredown, only for Kurtis Chapman to interrupt. For some reason he’s still in his cape, while Dan Magee thought to join in by wearing his ring gear again. Chapman’s got a message for Andy Quildan, and no, it’s not that he’s got knickers on. Man, that crowd mic’s way too hot. Chapman’s still sour over Pretty Deadly having been given a York Hall match – he’s still angling for the Suzuki match too, and he again tries to lay out Pretty Deadly. Mike Bailey’s had enough, as he chokes out Chapman, before MAO did a Gotch piledriver as Pretty Deadly and Moonlight Express shook hands for their mutual love of killing Mad Kurt.
After eleven shows, Live in Southampton look to finally be on the same level as Rev Pro’s Cockpit shows – at least in terms of consistency. This card saw plenty of new faces, as the promotion used this as a go-home show of sorts for Uprising, with most of the names involved in the top matches getting wins – while the amount of unrelated “fluff” was kept to a minimum. Hey, now the quality of Rev Pro’s VOD has picked up, if you’ve been handwaving the shows, you perhaps should start dipping in again towards the end of the year – and this wouldn’t be a bad place to start.