Rev Pro hit Southampton for the first time this year – and kept the ball rolling with a cracker of a card, headlined by two bruising encounters.
Alex Coughlin pinned Mark Davis in 14:53 (***¼)
Dan Moloney pinned David Francisco in 9:18 (***)
Alex Windsor pinned Rhia O’Reilly & Hyan in 6:29 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship (***)
Will Ospreay pinned Lee Hunter in 16:53 (***½)
Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II defeat Shota Umino & Yota Tsuji by disqualification in 13:00 (***¼)
Gabriel Kidd pinned Kyle Fletcher in 16:43 (****)
Michael Oku pinned Luke Jacobs in 24:44 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship (****½)
We’re coming from the 1865 in Southampton, England, with Andy Quildan and Gideon Grey on commentary.
Mark Davis vs. Alex Coughlin
A lovely hoss fight to get us going here…
Coughlin tries for a takedown early on, but gets taken down by Davis as the pair spent the early going on the mat before things broke up, with Davis seemingly having had an eye issue. We resume with a tie-up, as things go back to the mat with a short armscissors from Coughlin before an attempted heel hook quickly ended in the ropes. Shoulder blocks from Davis looked to earn him an advantage, but Coughlin bumps him to the outside before he took a seat on the top rope. Davis returns and just kicks Coughlin in the mush as he proceeded to fling the LA Dojo graduate across the ring, before Coughlin tried for a fallaway slam.
Davis wriggles out and hits a backbreaker in return, before the pair traded chops as things were looking to get meaty. A bodyslam from Coughlin lands for a near-fall, as he proceeded to elbow away on Davis, before the Australian tried to wear down Coughlin for a piledriver. Instead, he ragdolled Coughlin for a powerbomb, getting a two-count as he followed up with a Boston Crab and a STF, before a crossface from Davis ended in the ropes. An Alphamare Waterslide’s escaped by Coughlin, who just gets dumped and squashed with a back senton… but Coughlin grips Davis after the impact and rolled up for a deadlift gutwrench suplex. Good Lord. Short-range clotheslines follow from Coughlin, leading to a lariat for a near-fall on Davis, who returned with a Saito suplex to create some distance.
Coughlin rolls outside, but was joined by Davis who happily traded chops before they rolled in to beat the count… and resumed their chop war. A mounted sleeperhold from Coughlin looks to put out Davis ahead of a deadlift German suplex… and that’s enough for the upset! A sudden end to this hoss fight which left plenty in the tank for rematches down the line. ***¼
Post-match, Davis tried to get him some more, but was sent packing…
Dan Moloney vs. David Francisco
Moloney looked unimpressed with the opponent in front of him tonight, as “working your way up the card” didn’t seem to be in his plans.
A big dropkick takes Francisco down early on as Moloney took aim at the Contender, hitting a series of chops before a headlock takedown from Francisco put him ahead. Francisco followed up with shoulder tackles off the ropes, but a low dropkick and a PK to the back gets Dan right back on top, only for him to get low bridged to the outside ahead of a missed dropkick through the ropes. Francisco’s met with a clothesline on the outside as he’s taken up to the bar as Moloney looked to claim a count-out… but Francisco makes it back to the ring and got kicked straightaway. Chops have Francisco down again for a two-count, before a brief comeback ended… with a chop.
Francisco keeps firing up, but those chops keep dropping him, so he tries them himself as Machine Gun chops take Moloney into the corner. A drop toe hold takes Francisco into the corner as Moloney tries a Drilla… it’s escaped as a clothesline has Dan down, as did a single-leg kick before an enziguiri and a TKO cutter nearly got the win. A missed enziguiri from Francisco opens him up for an ankle lock… but he rolls free and returned with a superkick before a missed senton bomb saw him crash and burn, allowing Dan to hit a spear for the elementary win. Moloney instantly headed to the back, favouring his shoulder, seemingly upset at what he’d had to deal with here. ***
Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship: Hyan vs. Rhia O’Reilly vs. Alex Windsor (c)
Alex Windsor came out to make this a three-way match after her scheduled match with Laura di Matteo was called off.
We open with a lot of roll-ups as everyone looked for the flash pin before things settled down with Hyan and Windsor – as the champion initially went to target the arm. O’Reilly comes in and catches Windsor with a rolling elbow before a crossbody from Hyan took down Rhea for a two-count. A low bridge took O’Reilly outside as Hyan dove onto both opponents on the outside, before she build up for a DDT/neckbreaker combo for a near-fall on O’Reilly. Back inside, a Blue Thunder Driver from Windsor dumps Hyan, who recovered to spear O’Reilly as she had Windsor up for a Samoan drop.
All three women continue to throw strikes as a double clothesline from Hyan left everyone down. They pick up with a Tower of Doom superplex/powerbomb as Windsor looked to pick up the pieces with a wrist-clutch Emerald Flowsion for a near-fall on Hyan, before O’Reilly escaped the same move and hit a Finlay roll instead. O’Reilly nearly wins with a back senton, but Windsor gets back in and snuck the win with a roll-up. This was good for the time they had – and for it being an unannounced addition… ***
Post-match, O’Reilly continued to put the boots to Windsor ahead of a curb stomp…
Lee Hunter vs. Will Ospreay
This wasn’t for the big gold belt…
Ospreay headed outside at the bell as he tested out the ref’s ability to count to ten. Having taken any stung out of Hunter, Ospreay’s the early aggressor, before he got to the ropes from a Hunter wristlock. A Dragon screw takes Ospreay down as Hunter tried to forge an opening, before he stomped on Ospreay’s, erm, “pleasuring” hand… Ospreay picks up in the ropes, cracking Hunter with a forearm on the break before Hunter returned the favour, sending Ospreay into the buckles, ending with a backflip bump out of the corner. A monkey flip’s blocked as Hunter’s taken up top and chopped down to the floor.
On the outside, Hunter grabs a most unusual weapon as he threw a bin bag over Ospreay before using the bin itself… but Ospreay fought back, shoving Hunter into the ring post. Back in the ring, Hunter’s taken into the buckles and chopped, before some figure four headscissors ended with Hunter leaning back as he tried to pin Ospreay while on defence. Kicking out, Ospreay stayed ahead, hurling Hunter into the buckles with an Irish whip, before a side headlock on the mat kept wearing down Hunter. Lee recovers but runs into a back elbow and chopped, before a Buckshot Lariat caught Ospreay off-guard. Hunter continues with an atomic drop and some elbows, leading to a back body drop and a Figure Four leglock.
Hunter held on, but Ospreay makes it to the ropes to force a break, before a top rope elbow drop landed for a near-fall. Hitting back, Ospreay’s able to reply with a spinning backbreaker, then a handspring enziguiri, before some elbows led to a Hidden Blade attempt. That’s missed as Hunter’s able to come back with a springboard moonsault into Ospreay for a near-fall, before a tombstone from Hunter’s countered in kind. Hunter counters the counter, then hit the ropes as a missile dropkick’s turned into a powerbomb for a near-fall. From there, Ospreay pulls up Hunter, only to get superkicked… but a Hidden Blade slams the door shut before the Storm Breaker made sure of it. Take out the swearing, and this match would have gone down a storm in front of the “camp” crowds – especially if you were coming in blind or without the prejudice of “Ospreay’s the champion, of course he should win this easily.” Hunter put up a heck of a showing against Ospreay, but never seemed close to the win unfortunately. ***½
After the match, Ospreay sits down cross legged, a la Shibata, as he was looking to poke Gabriel Kidd…
Lykos Gym (Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II) vs. Shota Umino & Yota Tsuji
Shota and Yota are looking to become a regular tandem around here, as Gideon Grey continues to embarrass Tsuji…
After they threw their gear at Gideon Grey, Shota and Yota were jumped before the bell… we eventually got going with Lykos II and Umino, with the latter shrugging off the young wolf’s elbows before he hit one of his own. More elbows from Lykos II barely register, unlike Shota’s response, before a tag brought in Tsuji. Lykos II doesn’t have a change in luck against Tsuji, who just chopped him down with ease, before a hiptoss took Lykos to the outside. Tsuji followed, but gets the ropes kicked into him as he returned before a brainbuster from Lykos was blocked… with Kid Lykos II finally succeeding with a Dragon screw through the ropes.
The Lykii combine to wear down Tsuji’s leg, leading to Lykos I tying up Tsuji in a deathlock, before Lykos II took advantage with grounded Dragon screws. Kicks target the thigh of Tsuji as Lykos I returned to start throwing strikes… which seemed like a misstep, so Lykos goes to the eyes. Tsuji stops him with a head kick as he finally tagged out to Umino, who cleared house with armdrags and a diving uppercut. Corner-to-corner uppercuts keep Lykos on the back foot as a back suplex nearly put away Lykos II. A submission attempt in the middle of the ring’s next, but Lykos II escapes as we get back to the double-teams, with a combination of strikes leading to a running corkscrew senton from Lykos I for a near-fall.
Lykos II’s back to help with a double brainbuster, but Tsuji’s in to break it up and smash the wolves into each other. Backbreakers await the wolves from there, before Gideon Grey slid in his cane as Umino went for the Death Rider. Shota picks it up, but Tsuji takes it off him and chases Gideon Grey away. All four men hit the ring for a Parade of Moves, before an errant superkick from Tsuji caught Umino, which allowed the wolves an opening as Tsuji needed to break up a pin from a Casanova knee on Shota. Lykos II dives on Tsuji on the outside as Umino took a pair of Lykos brainbusters for a near-fall, right as Gideon Grey came back with his cane.
Gideon’s presence distracts the referee, but Grey comes in to stop the baking tray stuff as Shota’d regained the cane. Of course, Shota looks to swing for Gideon, who ducked… Kid Lykos I takes the wood, and there’s the DQ. An interesting turn of events as Shota’s clearly fed up with the Legion links, and this time it’s his “killer instinct” that costs his team the win as Tsuji went to throttle Gideon afterwards. ***¼
Post-match, the Lykii use Gideon’s cane and their own baking trays to leave Shota and Yota laying.
Kyle Fletcher vs. Gabriel Kidd
This one was set up a week earlier at the 229 as they set up an eventual Kidd/Ospreay match at some point. Ospreay was ringside with Fletcher for this one…
Kidd comes out swinging at Fletcher, shrugging off a bodyslam as we’re right in with the palm strikes and elbows. A famous Oklahoman in a cowboy hat would call this a slobberknocker as they laid it into each other, swapping elbows for chops, as Southampton heard plenty of those gunshot-like shots. A boot from Fletcher breaks the series as Kidd’s taken to the corner, only to come back with shoulder tackle as Fletcher was building up a head of steam. Kidd stares down Ospreay at ringside before Kidd returned to the ring, throwing forearms to Kyle… who snapped back with a slam before another chop battle broke out.
Fletcher’s sunk with a palm strike, but he keeps trying his luck with bodyslams, hoping they’d keep Gabe down as he eventually send Kidd back outside for respite. Following outside, a back suplex from Fletcher dropped Kidd onto the apron, before more chops back in the ring had Kidd on the ropes. Kidd fires up again, but gets snapmare’d and kicked in the back, before he sat himself up and got double-handed chopped down again. He returns the favour, winding Kyle with more chops before he paintbrushed Fletcher across the face. Kyle’s back with elbows, which were enough to put down Kidd, as was a closed fist… which drew complaints from Ospreay at ringside.
Fletcher ducks a lariat and hits a superkick, then backslid Kidd for another, before a pop-up was leapt over ahead of the Bull lariat from Kidd. A slap to Fletcher’s back wakes up the Aussie as another exchange of strikes breaks out, but a diving kick stops as second Bull lariat ahead of a pair of powerbombs that nearly won it. Another bodyslam from Fletcher leads to him trash-talking Kidd, but that just earns him more chops before he spiked Kidd with a Michinoku driver. Somehow, Gabe kicks out, but gets kicked in the head again as Fletcher goes for a Grimstone… but Kidd counters out, only to miss another Bull lariat as he eventually cracked Fletcher with a headbutt. More palm strikes from Kidd lead to a spinning tombstone, and that’s your lot – a bruising performance from Kidd as he and Fletcher gave as good as they got, but it’s Kidd who left Southampton with the W. ****
After the match, Ospreay attended to Kyle Fletcher before Kidd called him back into the ring as he proceeded to pour his heart out, promising that he’d take the title from Ospreay when it was all said and done. Where that’ll be wasn’t known then, and isn’t known now – particularly since Kidd’s since announced that he’ll be taking time away from wrestling to deal with some issues.
Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: Luke Jacobs vs. Michael Oku (c)
Ethan Allen’s out with Luke Jacobs for this one, as commentary noted that Luke was looking to dominate the cruiserweight division for the time being.
Jacobs goes for Oku’s arm from the bell, wrenching it and Oku to the mat as we got headlock takedowns, headscissors and escapes with Oku just getting ragdolled. An ankle lock ends in the ropes, as Oku then clung on with a headlock of his own, before headscissors and a dropkick took Jacobs to the outside. Back inside, a leapfrog and a dropdown ends with Oku eating a big boot as he was then clotheslined outside – keeping the motif going that Oku was having luck hitting and running, but Jacobs was outstriking him. At ringside, knees to the gut wore Oku down, as did a chop, and it didn’t change for Oku back in the ring either, at least until he was able to pull Jacobs down for a half crab.
Oku’s quickly pushed to the outside, where he met an oncoming Jacobs with a superkick, before a ‘rana off the apron was caught as Oku was popped onto the apron. Then slammed on the floor. Oof. More chops blister Oku as he’s taken into the front row and booted out of the seat. It doesn’t get easier for Oku as he’s hurled into the buckles as they returned to the ring, before a back elbow continued the battering Oku got, with Jacobs picking up another near-fall. Oku tries to return fire with elbows, but a gut shot stopped him in his tracks before he pushed Jacobs away from a Figure Four. After some strikes, Jacobs lifts Oku up top for an eventual chop, only for Oku to fly back in with a missile dropkick to clear the way. A snap DDT has Jacobs down for a near-fall, before a half crab was pushed away.
Jacobs tries to charge back in, but he’s taken to the corner for some chops… shrugging off the Machine Gunning as Oku ended up taking him into the ropes with a dropkick. A quebrada’s next, then a springboard moonsault off the top… but Jacobs got the legs up, leading to an ugly landing. Another ugly landing followed from a powerbomb, before Oku’s leaping knee was countered into a German suplex. Jacobs pushes on with a big boot and a sit-out powerbomb as Oku bounced in the middle of the ring for a near-fall. Another gut shot delays Oku’s comeback as Jacobs went for a suplex, then opted to lariat the hell out of Oku instead. With both men on their knees, elbows are swapped, then chops, before Jacobs went back to the midsection. A superkick offered some hope, but Jacobs hauls Oku back down with a release German suplex before Oku rolled through a powerbomb for a near-fall.
Oku’s thrown outside, but he returns with a froggy crossbody… which Jacobs rolled through. Jacobs couldn’t capitalise though, instead dropping Oku before the pair ended up on the apron, with Oku getting bounced with a tombstone onto the edge of the ring. Back inside, an inside cradle nearly nicks it for Oku, who gets chopped into the ropes before he rolled Jacobs into the half crab, sinking the hold in deeper as Jacobs eventually reached for the ropes. Jacobs rolled outside, and was crashed into with a Fosbury flop from the champion, before Oku got caught on the top rope with an avalanche Angle slam. A snap Jay Driller’s next from Jacobs for a near-fall, before it was back to the ankle lock from earlier, scissoring the leg for extra effect… before swapping for a crossface as Oku nearly got to the ropes. Eventually Oku got the rope, but couldn’t defend himself from shots from above as another chop downed the champion.
The rough-housing from Jacobs continues as he looked for a death valley driver, but Oku countered into a reverse ‘rana before going back up top… frog splash! Jacobs kicks out at two, then waffled Oku with a lariat for a near-fall, then a powerbomb, then another, before Oku ducked a clothesline and returned with a Fisherman buster. One more trip up top leads to a frog splash to Jacobs’ back, then one to the front, which proved to be the killer blows as Oku escaped by the skin of his teeth. This was a hell of a main event, with Oku having to escape deeper and deeper from the jaws of defeat – but this is the kind of match he’s excelling at. Tonight wasn’t Luke Jacobs’ night, but on another night, he’d have breezed to the title. Still got that Rev Pro trial? Or maybe it converted… either way, get your eyeballs onto this match! ****½
Rev Pro’s making a point of amplifying these regular shows – and the first Southampton show of the year certainly had plenty of big-time matches on the bill, not least the top two on the card. It’s become a bit of a meme that “Rev Pro is well booked,” (that’s because it is), but there’s a reason they’re getting the hype they are – and that ***** outing is just the visible part of the iceberg.