Rev Pro returned to Southampton as the Cruiserweight champion Michael Oku took on Will Ospreay in a non-title main event.
Mark Davis pinned Luke Jacobs in 15:17 (***½)
Brendan White & Doug Williams pinned TK Cooper & Chuck Mambo in 16:35 (**¾)
Robbie X pinned Nico Angelo in 10:53 (**¾)
Kyle Fletcher pinned Ethan Allen in 17:53 (***½)
Alex Windsor pinned Gisele Shaw in 16:35 (***¾)
Yota Tsuji & Ricky Knight Jr. pinned Chris Ridgeway & Gideon Grey in 12:27 (***)
Will Ospreay defeated Michael Oku via referee stoppage in 28:25 (****¼)
We’re coming from the 1865 in Southampton, England, with Andy Quildan being joined on commentary by Stephanie Chase.
Mark Davis vs. Luke Jacobs
One week on from Aussie Open intentionally losing via DQ to the Young Guns, we’re getting singles matches ahead of the scheduled clashes in November…
Jacobs charges at Davis to start, swinging for the fences before a side headlock dragged Davis to the mat. After the shoulder tackles, Jacobs slams Davis as Southampton seemed to be blissfully unaware of the Aussie now being a baddy. Davis gets dropkicked to the outside, where strikes from Jacobs led to a running kick into the front row.
Returning with a slam on the outside, Davis rolls back inside looking to get a count-out, but then dragged Jacobs into the ropes for a draping, rolling neckbreaker and a back senton for a two-count. Jacobs tries to fight back from his knees, but Davis kept him down with a forearm and another neckbreaker for a two-count.
Jacobs returns with a roll-up and some boots… but ran into a Kitchen sink knee as Davis shut the door on him again for a near-fall. Stomps wear down Jacobs some more, as did chops, before Jacobs shrugged off a German suplex as he popped up to hit Davis with a spinebuster.
Davis tries a sit-down splash out of the corner, but gets knocked back down for a diving dropkick. Jacobs heads up top, but took too long as he’s Ric Flair’d down with a press slam, before a neckbreaker and a cravate suplex led to a near-fall, with Davis clearly having inspiration from those Chris Hero tapes. Are they even tapes in this day and age? Jacobs gets to the ropes as Davis stayed on him with a STF, then with chops as a search for a piledriver ends up being countered with a back body drop.
Clotheslines from Jacobs stun Davis briefly, but an enziguiri is enough to wear down Jacobs for a folding powerbomb, getting another near-fall in the process. More chops sting Jacobs, who somehow replies in kind to take Davis to his knees, before more swinging lariats led to a brainbuster on Davis for a near-fall. Jacobs tries for, and lands a Gotch piledriver for another two-count, but Davis goes back to Jacobs’ neck with an Alphamare Waterslide, before he punched out Jacobs, then delivered a snap piledriver for the win. A lovely hoss fight to get us going, although Southampton not quite being with it made for some odd atmosphere. ***½
Brendan White & Doug Williams vs. Sunshine Machine (Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper)
No Gideon Grey on commentary means no sarcasm directed towards Doug and Brendan. Nor does it mean we get mentions of WRKHRSE. This was a rematch from their match at the not-Cockpit show a week earlier, which went a bit weird at the end…
Mambo and White start us off on the mat, with Brendan’s pinning attempts nearly ending this one early. An Octopus stretch is broken as Mambo then tripped down White, but whatever follow up ends in the ropes as White then looked to tie up Mambo with hammerlocks. White nearly gets caught out with a small package, but popped back up with a shoulder tackle to knock Chuck down… with tags then bringing in Williams and Cooper.
Doug traps TK with headscissors as he drove the Kiwi’s head into the mat, which had more effect than you’d expect for a Samoan. A side headlock’s more conventional, before Williams rolled TK into a seated surfboard. It doesn’t end in a submission though, and we’re quickly back with TK and Mambo working over Williams, exchanging frequent tags in the process.
Double back elbows drop Doug for a two-count, before Mambo’s rope-walking armdrag avoided White’s attempt to break it up. Williams gets up to knock TK down, then hits an Exploder as White got the tag in to clear the place, splatting Mambo with a back senton before Mambo went all Macho Man with a running hot shot.
Williams pulls White out of harm’s way on the floor as the Sunshine Machine couldn’t capitalise, while Doug and Brendan exchange tags and work over TK’s limbs. Eventually TK manages to sidestep the double-teaming, as he dumped White with an Exploder, then dropkicked away Doug as Mambo got the hot tag back in.
Mambo runs wild with superkicks before he suplexed White… a double-team flying elbow/reverse DDT needs Williams’ help to break up a cover on, before White ate a propelled wheelbarrow German for a near-fall. An errant strike from Mambo took out TK, but a Reefbreak from Mambo takes White down… only for a follow up springboard splash to miss.
TK tries to intervene, but he sentons into White’s knees as Brendan then hit a stacked-up German suplex to the pair of them. Mambo wasn’t legal apparently, so White carries on with a flying shoulder tackle to TK, then a backbreaker, before White got caught on the top rope with a Spanish Fly. Mambo tagged in to hit a frog splash for a near-fall, then tagged TK back in, only for a Bossman slam from White, then a moonsault to get the win. **¾
Nico Angelo vs. Robbie X
It was a return to Rev Pro for Angelo, who lost to Brendan White in his debut at one of the pop-up shows earlier in the year.
Robbie X started with the upper hand, working over Angelo’s arm to begin with. A kick to the gut rocks Angelo, who tried to up the pace, but his ‘rana’s cartwheeled out of… only for Robbie X to take a standing moonsault for a two-count. Robbie returns with a cartwheel and a dropkick after taking some strikes, as he proceeded to wear down Angelo, looking for an armbar on the mat.
Angelo tries to block, but Robbie snapped back for a two-count, then vaulted in from the apron with a senton atomico for another near-fall. Nico manages to sneak in with hanging headscissors in the ropes, as he then caught a leapfrog and turned it into a death valley driver for a two-count.
Recovering, Robbie X traps Angelo in the corner with kicks ahead of a running shooting star press. The pair exchange strikes as Nico nearly wins it with a Code Red, before Angelo got caught on the top rope with a handspring backflip kick. Another handspring kick knocks Nico off the apron, while a missile dropkick nearly gets Robbie the win back inside.
Angelo’s running knee flipped both men over the top rope to the apron, as more followed in the unlit ringside… back into the ring we go, with Angelo back up top for a shooting star press… Robbie X rolls away and returns with an X-Clamation for the win. A decent enough match for what it was, but I didn’t get the sense the crowd bought into Angelo much until the end. Bring him back and give him a purpose, and this one would likely connect better. **¾
Kyle Fletcher vs. Ethan Allen
The second part of Young Guns vs. Aussie Open’s singles matches…
Fletcher’s the early aggressor, as he looked to work a deliberate pace, grounding Allen with a wristlock to start, then with a shoulder tackle as Southampton were getting behind Kyle. Allen’s able to grab a side headlock, but Fletcher pulls the hair to get free, only for Allen’s leaping kick to take Kyle outside for a tope.
Fletcher recovers with a flapjack and a back elbow for a two-count, before a slam dropped Allen onto his side. Kyle wears down Allen in the corner with elbows, as Ethan was already having to resort to somewhat hopeful up-kicks. They worked though, as Allen’s able to haul up Kyle for an Allen Slam, only for Kyle to boot him off the apron moments later.
Back in the ring, Allen’s able to land a brainbuster as he looked to chain together offence, booting Fletcher in the corners before he rolled Fletcher up out of a Michinoku driver for a two-count. Kicks follow as Fletcher manages to get back in with a brainbuster, keeping things even before Fletcher tried for a Grimstone… but Allen rolled out for a near-fall.
Strikes follow, as Allen’s caught with a Saito suplex, then a diving kick into the corner, then a brainbuster as Fletcher nearly put him away. Allen manages to use palm strikes to set himself up for a crossface as the tempo’s upped, leading to Fletcher going for the Grimstone again, only for Allen to counter out into a rear naked choke. Fletcher tries to power out, but Allen pulls back both arms a la Zack Sabre Jr.’s Young Boy Killer, before it’s down to the mat for a Rings of Saturn that ended in the ropes.
Kyle’s quickly back with a sitout powerbomb for a near-fall, as Allen looked to throw back again, trading elbows before a Michinoku driver caught allen… then a running dropkick before Fletcher finally landed a spinning Grimstone for the win. Much like the opener, the crowd didn’t cotton onto Fletcher’s turn, but that didn’t seem to play into the story too much as Allen stayed close to Kyle, only to lose to that tombstone in the end. ***½
Alex Windsor vs. Gisele Shaw
This one wasn’t for Shaw’s title, as Windsor returned to Rev Pro for the first time in over four years after injury.
The early going sees Windsor taking Shaw down with a side headlock, before the pair traded flash pins ahead of a stand-off. Windsor retains the upper hand, staying on Shaw with a floatover and an armdrag, leading to a low dropkick as Windsor controlled proceedings. Irish whips bounce Shaw into the corner, getting her down for a two-count, before Shaw forced her way in with a series of chops to take things back to the corner.
Shaw returns the favour from earlier, bouncing Windsor back into the buckles for a two-count, before she booted Windsor in the ribs for another two-count as she built up to a draping DDT as Shaw began to dictate the pace. A Dragon suplex lands for another two-count, as Windsor then managed to get herself back into the game, matching Shaw strike-for-strike until a roundhouse enziguiri from Shaw left both women down.
Windsor pulls ahead again with a clothesline, then a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near-fall, as Shaw then came in with a roll-up before an Electric Chair was escaped… Shaw lands a Twisting suplex for a near-fall, then a spear, which still isn’t enough, so Shaw moves to the levering armbar… but Windsor manages to roll out and drop Shaw down.
A second crack at a powerbomb drops Shaw into the corner, but Shaw boots her way out before a leaping headbutt and an avalanche Blue Thunder bomb almost led to the upset. Windsor keeps going, eventually rolling Shaw into a Sharpshooter, but Shaw gets free… and is quickly in with the levering armbar, only for Shaw to have issues pulling all the way back.
Letting go of the arm, Shaw clubs away on Windsor as she tries for a deadlift German suplex instead, but Windsor slips out and after an endless series of standing switches, she manages to roll-up Shaw for the flash win! This was a very pleasant surprise, with Windsor looking like she’d lost that proverbial ring rust – and the win over Shaw opens the door for a title match that’d have a lot more juice than if they’d just gone to it. ***¾
Post-match, Shaw demanded Windsor return to the ring – if only so she could put over Windsor for actually providing a challenge.
The Legion (Chris Ridgeway & Gideon Grey) vs. Ricky Knight Jr. & Yota Tsuji
Tsuji had managed to overcome the injury scare he suffered a week earlier to make it to Southampton (along with some new ring music), while Ricky Knight Jr. finally got his hands on someone who’d been taking digs at him on commentary.
Tsuji and Ridgeway start us off, before RKJ tagged in and used the ref to help flip free of an armdrag. Tags bring us to Gideon and Tsuji, but Gideon doesn’t want to hurt Yota… so they grapple, trading wristlocks and snapmares as Tsuji manages to stay ahead. Grey busts out a Cobra twist, which Tsuji tries to throw his way free of… so Grey goes to the hair.
An armdrag keeps Tsuji ahead, with Grey screaming for a rope break… as Tsuji pulled out a fan to cool himself down. With everyone watching the fan, RKJ kicks the ropes into Gideon’s greys, so Tsuji fans him down to try and help. Yota gets his fan back, as tags then got us back to Knight and Ridgeway, with the former upping the tempo with leapfrogs, dropdowns and a big ol’ dropkick.
A stalling suplex drops Ridgeway for a two-count, while Gideon distracts RKJ before running away… and it worked, as Ridgeway snuck in and tied up RKJ’s limbs. Ridgeway’s arm whip drops Knight again as he goes back to the arm, before Knight stung Ridgeway with a chop. We’re back to Tsuji and Grey, with Tsuji going straight for Gideon’s legs as he maneuvered into a Deathlock.
An eye rake from Gideon just makes Tsuji lean backwards, emphasising the hold as Grey ended up needing the ropes to save his knees. Tsuji stomps after the break, before an attempted double-team with RKJ ends with Ridgeway pulling him outside and into the post. That leaves Tsuji on his own, as Grey fought his way free off of the top rope… leaping over Tsuji before he got booted.
A superkick delays Tsuji as Ridgeway tagged in… and accidentally booted Grey as a roll-up from Tsuji gets the upset win. That’ll not go down well among the Legion, who struggled to get going here. ***
Post-match, Gideon got the mic and labelled Tsuji a “distraction” as he offered a spot in the Legion to Tsuji “for the last time.” “Or else, there’ll be a big problem.” Tsuji says no, so he’s told what his big problem is… he’ll be facing Big Damo in Stevenage in November.
Michael Oku vs. Will Ospreay
Billed as champion vs. champion, neither title was on the line here…
The crowd in Southampton was slightly more pro-Oku here, as he started out being taken to the ropes with an Okada-like mocking clean break. Ospreay mocked Oku with shoulder tackles, before he looked for an early OsCutter – which Oku blocked before he forced Ospreay out with a kick attempt.
Oku looks to throw in a ‘rana, but Ospreay easily blocked it before a pop-up ‘rana caught him out. Leg drops and knee drops keep Ospreay down, before kicks to the leg of Oku took things outside where we hear that Ospreay propelled Oku into the wall. Back in the ring, Ospreay decks Oku before a Cobra twist looked to wear down the Cruiserweight champion.
A forearm to the back of Oku leaves him laying, as did a spinning backbreaker, before Oku looked to fire back with forearms… only to get chopped down. Ospreay followed up with a Cheeky Nando’s, but Oku kicks him away then flew back in off the top with a missile dropkick. Oku’s second and third dropkicks take Ospreay onto the apron, where a fourth one knocked him to the floor ahead of a Fosbury flop.
Back inside, a frog splash crossbody crashes into Ospreay for a two-count, but Oku’s forced to stop a springboard moonsault as he instead nails a back cracker before the moonsault landed for a near-fall. A half crab attempt’s pushed away as Oku’s met with a handspring enziguiri, with Ospreay then going back to a backbreaker as he then hit the turnbckles for a pair of moonsaults that led to the standing shooting star press (then another moonsault).
Oku snaps back in with a Code Red for a near-fall, but he couldn’t follow up as both men fought back to their feet. Elbows from Ospreay looked to have more effect, but some Kawada-ish kicks just fired up Oku as we got our first time call in forever, announcing we were 20-minutes deep.
Ospreay looks for a running shooting star press, only to land in Oku’s knees, before he recovered to counter a dropkick into a sit-out powerbomb as the tempo raised. A Chelsea Grin from Ospreay knocks Oku back down, but Oku avoids a Hidden Blade before he snapped in with a ‘rana for a near-fall. Oku keeps going with a superkick, only for a Spanish Fly to keep it even.
Ospreay pushes on with a hook kick, but an OsCutter’s blocked and turned into a Rainmaker by Oku as the Cruiserweight champion was digging into Kazuchika Okada’s playbook. Keeping hold of the wrist usually leads to another thing, but instead of another Rainmaker, Oku hauls up Ospreay for a Made in Japan as he trolled Ospreay with some of his rival’s moves.
Oku only gets a two-count from Made in Japan, but a frog splash sees Oku bounce off the knees as Ospreay mounted one last assault… only to get dropkicked into the ropes as he tried for another OsCutter. Ospreay’s hung in the ropes and gets leapt on with a springboard moonsault, before a half crab was attempted as we hit the final five minutes of the time limit. Out on the apron, Oku’s met with an OsCutter on the edge of the ring, which led to a count-out tease.
Oku gets back in and lands a superkick, then a frog splash, but Ospreay’s able to kick out at two, before he finally hit the OsCutter for a near-fall of his own. From there, Ospreay scissors Oku and nails him with a repeated series of elbows to the back of the neck, forcing the quick stoppage as Ospreay escaped with the W. Rev Pro had abandoned the constant time limit calls since the restart, so bringing them back here and announcing them may have tipped people off to a draw – so the swerve was nice, as their two top champions put on a heck of a showing. Champion vs. Champion matches can be a little unedifying and feel like you’re “slotting” folks into places, but in the right spot, they can be a great showcase. This felt like one of those times. ****¼
Post-match, Ospreay picked up Oku and looked to give him a Hidden Blade… but Shota Umino’s music stopped Ospreay in his tracks as the pair went nose-to-nose… only for Aussie Open to attack Umino from behind, then shove Oku out of the ring. The Coriolis lays out Umino, as the United Empire trio put a beating to Umino, with the Young Guns apparently being out from their earlier beating.
Ospreay grabs a turnbuckle hook from under the ring… and swings it for Umino’s knee with a sickening crack. A leg lock from Fletcher, then Davis, exacerbates things as Ospreay took the mic and claimed the United Empire “run British wrestling.” The Young Guns finally come out, just a wee bit too late lads, then Ricky Knight Jr. to complete the tardiness, and chase away the Empire lads to close the show.
Taking over a fortnight to go from event to VOD kinda took the buzz away from the main event, but that doesn’t mean you ought to be sleeping on this card. That Ospreay vs. Oku main event may not be for everyone’s taste, buf it’s well worth a watch as Rev Pro gear up for a noteworthy November of events.