Rev Pro returned to Southampton for the second month in a row, as Adam Brooks faced off against Jody Fleisch in the main event.
This show took a while hitting on-demand, thanks to a commentary snafu which forced portions of the show to be re-recorded. That seems to be a bit of a curse with the British scene at the moment, after PROGRESS’ two shows in New Orleans also required new audio tracks to be laid down. We’re back at the 1865 in Southampton, and we’ve a different camera set-up after last month’s unwatchable mess.
Rob Lias vs. Psycho Phillips
It’s a Rev Pro return for Psycho – at least for their VOD shows – who was last seen in a losing effort against the man now known as Killian Dain, back in August 2016. Time flies, eh?
Phillips has changed his gear a little, dropping the Nailz-like orange boiler suit for a Hannibal Lecter-like mask. Southampton barely knew what to make of him… he’s still got a hairy chest, something Rob Lias pointed out at the bell as we got going with shoulder charges hat Phillips won out with. Lias is egged on into lashing out at Phillips, which he does… but Psycho hits back, taking him into the corners as “the Gob” seemed to be struggling to get into any kind of gear. Psycho pulled him out of the corner and into a nice powerbomb for a near-fall, before a second one is blocked and met with an enziguiri, then a rolling elbow as Lias decides to join Phillips outside with a tope… only for it to be blocked and turned into a chokeslam on the apron.
Back inside, a charge from Phillips saw him sent into the corner as Lias chop blocked the knee and mounted a comeback… but the crowd’s again fallen silent. I guess that’s what happens when you open up with a guy who’s not been on any of your major shows for nearly two years! The crowd did slowly get behind Psycho as Lias tried to wear him down with neckbreakers and kicks, but he was still barely getting two-counts.
An X-plex from Psycho gets him back in it as Lias was living up to his name, before a wild clothesline send Lias down to the mat. Phillips keeps up with a charge into the corner and an overhead belly-to-belly, before taking him up top… catching a crossbody attempt and nailing a sit-out swinging side slam for a near-fall.
Lias rakes the eyes to escape a chokeslam, before some diving kicks left Phillips loopy, but he couldn’t follow up with a back cracker at first, originally being shoved off before landing it at the second attempt. A top rope elbow drop follows, but Lias still can’t get the win, as Phillips back body dropped out of a piledriver and punches out Lias… before charging back at him with a spear for the win. That has to be considered an upset given the pair’s respective placement, but it remains to be seen whether this is one-and-done or if Phillips is back as part of Rev Pro’s “minor show “rosters. Decent enough as a match, but the lack of crowd reactions hurt this throughout **¼
Sean Kustom vs. TK Cooper
Wow… this Southampton crowd were not biting for anything here. TK barely gets a reaction, as he and Kustom started out by exchanging headlocks.
Cooper gets rocked with some uppercuts, but mounts a comeback with a ‘rana to send Kustom into the corner, ahead of a springboard moonsault that misses as TK instead nails a cobra clutch slam. Better than Jinder, eh? From there, Cooper joins Kustom on the outside with a PK attempt, before a baseball slide on the apron sent Sean down again.
Kustom mounted a comeback though, taking TK out with a tope, before keeping up the offence in the ring with a snapmare and a low dropkick. TK tries to cut him off, but he misses a charge into the corner and eats a dropkick for good measure, as Kustom’s back suplex earns him a near-fall. Andy Simmonz on commentary goes all UKIP on us, exclaiming his disgust at how TK’s latest visa allows him to apply for residency, prompting Andy Quildan to make a reference that got quite dated by the time this hit on-demand!
Kustom keeps up on TK with some kicks to the back as he wore down the Kiwi, but TK fought back, exchanging forearms before a back body drop took Sean into the corner for a big boot and a big right hand. Never play the circle game with TK! Kustom’s right back with a forearm… but he forgot. TK’s Samoan! A headbutt knocks Kustom loopy, but he’s back with a discus forearm and a lifting over-the-knee backbreaker for a near-fall, before TK comes in with an axe kick for a two-count of his own. It remains a little even as Kustom launches out of the corner with a tornado DDT, but it’s still not enough as he’s forced to go up for a moonsault… it misses as TK charged in with a big boot, before we tease a ref bump.
TK blocks a low blow and hits one of his own as Chris Roberts cowered, before the Snow Plow – or Rihanna – gets Cooper the win. A fun back-and-forth outing, not helped by a crowd that must have been gagged. Given the act on commentary, I wish that extended to one of the headsets as Simmons was back to his insufferable best here. ***
Sierra Loxton vs. Bobbi Tyler
Tyler’s back after beating Killer Kelly at the Cockpit earlier in the month… but she was left looking like the third wheel after that particular outing.
Sierra attacked Tyler before the bell as Bobbi played to the crowd, as Sierra played up – and misses – a hip attack as Bobbi fired back. Elbows and knees in the corner keep Loxton back, before a back suplex out of the corner looked to put Tyler ahead… but she misses an enziguiri as Sierra just crushes her with a diving hip attack. Tyler’s kept in the ropes with some choking, as Sierra ruthlessly fired in with forearms, keeping Bobbi pinned back before snapmaring her out and charging her down with a low dropkick for a near-fall. It was looking incredibly one-sided, before Tyler escapes another hip attack, lifting herself up to the top rope for a ‘rana instead.
Problem was, Tyler followed up with a crossbody that was caught and turned into a fallaway slam, as Loxton kept up with those violent hip attacks, this time with Bobbi in the ropes… but it’s still not enough as Tyler’s able to get up and mount a comeback with some forearms… only for Loxton to spit in her face. Well, she did kind of ask for it. Loxton’s hip attacks were starting to get predictable too, as Bobbi ducks one and makes another comeback, this time with clotheslines, before a Miz-like clothesline into the corner and a Downward Spiral out of it ended with a near-fall as Sierra was in the ropes. More strikes turn things around as Loxton rushes in with some more hip attacks in the corner, scoring with a hattrick of those as Andy Simmonz on commentary started to boo.
I know they re-recorded the second half of this show’s commentary. Could they not have just done the whole thing over again?
We’re keeping up with hip attacks, before Tyler faceplants herself on an Exploder attempt, but still manages to kick out at two. Loxton went for a Muta Lock, but somehow Tyler counters out into a Trailer Hitch, which looked weird as Loxton made it to the ropes before countering a wheelbarrow attempt into a facebuster.
One final diving hip attack puts Tyler down, as the Muta Lock followed in the middle of the ring, leading to the eventual tap. This was a match that I could best call “patchy” – having only seen her twice, it’s harsh to write off Tyler, especially given her relative inexperience… but right now I’m unconvinced. The win for Loxton gives her a little bump, but whether this translates into anything beyond Southampton remains to be seen. **¼
Legion of Lords (Lord Gideon Grey & Rishi Ghosh) vs. Arrows of Hungary (Icarus & Dover)
The Lords got separate entrances, as Gideon felt like he wanted to tag with someone who can win these days. I guess trade-off for winning matches is not having a full entrance video!
The Arrows were making their Rev Pro debut here, having come up short in a title match in Frankfurt for wXw one day earlier. Grey starts us off with a handshake for the debutants, but Icarus scares him off by flexing his pecs, only to get cheapshotted as Grey took him down with a side headlock. I’m ignoring Andy S’s commentary here…
Icarus is quickly back with a low dropkick that sent Grey scurrying into the corner for cover, as he begged Ghosh to tag in… Rishi just gets shoved into the ropes as he replies with an eye rake and some clubbing blows before a spinning backfist took him down. In comes Dover, who flattens Ghosh with a double stomp. The crowd tried to get behind Rishi, as Gideon tries to sneak-attack Dover… and it kind of works as Rishi makes a comeback… tagging in Gideon to keep up the onslaught. Dover’s right hand promptly ends that fight as Grey’s charged into the corner – and the path of a gamengiri from Icarus – as the Hungarians took over briefly.
The Lords cut them off though, with Gideon building up to something “evil”, which seemed to involve yelling at the crowd before Rishi’s running legdrop got him a near-fall on Icarus, as Grey then removes a turnbuckle pad… and whips Icarus into another exposed corner as Rishi removed another pad. Those things are dead easy to remove and replace these days…
A T-bone suplex from Rishi follows, as the Lord again take over – with Gideon again removing that annoyingly-loose padding. Wash, rinse, repeat, but on the third try it backfires as Icarus reverses the Irish whip, then almost slips off the ropes for a springboard enziguiri before tagging out to Dover. The comeback sees Dover send Ghosh flying with a capture suplex, before Grey is folded in half with a back suplex, as he proceeds to hit a double slam onto the Lords. That is insane strength right there!
Rishi slips out of a Samoan drop an sent Dover into his own man before the Lord hit a nice Gory bomb/flatliner combo for a near-fall. An eye rake keeps them ahead, as a double team torture rack/elbow drop puts Dover down, only for a senton bomb from Icarus to break up the cover. Dover shoves Ghosh into Grey again, before a blind tag puts Gideon back in as the pair have an argument, leading to Gideon saying they’re no longer best friends.
Injury is added to insult as a takedown with a kick on the way down greets Ghosh, before the legal man Grey comes in and is met with a slingshot facebuster and the Cross-Fire – a pair of knees to the head – for the win. An impressive outing from the Arrows, as Rev Pro continues to build up their tag division ahead of what many assume will be life after Suzuki-gun (whom many expect to drop the tag titles tonight, at time of publish). ***¼
Kip Sabian vs. Josh Bodom vs. Dan Magee
This match marked the return of Josh Bodom to Rev Pro after his tour of All Japan was cut short for… reasons. Still, it doesn’t stop him from wearing his cut-off AJPW hoodie. I’m guessing this is where the re-recorded commentary was laid in, as we’ve got a lot of shade thrown at ring announcer Steve Lynskey here.
Sabian and Bodom was an interesting pairing on its own, with one fan in the crowd yelling at Josh to “go back to Japan”. Is he even welcome?
Those two go at each other, leapfropgs, dropkicks and aversions as Dan Magee just watched on… but when he tried to egg them on, he’s met with elbows to put him back in his place. Instead, Dan flies in with a high crossbody off the top, before going into both of them as he tried to make a bit of a handicap match comeback, landing a flatliner/DDT combo for a near-fall over Bodom.
Bodom’s back with a German suplex, but Sabian returns to urge him to “think logically” and instead gang-up on Dan, peppering him with kicks to the back and front as the match turned into a bit of a mugging. At least until they went for a pinning attempt, as Bodom quickly breaks it up… and then renews focus on Magee as the Contender’s quickly taken to the outside via a back body drop onto the apron and a springboard kick to the floor. Again, Sabian tries to steal victories, which went down like a fart in church, but again, he and Bodom kept up their offence on Magee. Sabian nearly forces a submission with a grounded Octopus hold, but Bodom breaks it up as those two explode again, with Bodom taking Sabian to the outside… just as Magee got back to his feet, as he succeeds with a dropkick on Bodom.
A low dropkick keeps Bodom down for a sliding Downward Spiral, getting Magee a two-count. Magee follows up with what I can only describe as a pumphandle Go To Sleep, then a single-leg crab as Sabian wasn’t there to make a save. We quickly move into dives as Sabian was used by Magee as a human shield for a Bodom tope con giro, before Dan’s cannonball senton off the top wiped out his two foes.
Back inside again, Sabian nearly ekes out a win with a top rope ‘rana and a powerbomb to Bodom, before Magee runs in with a reverse DDT-like move to Sabian. Bodom broke up the cover on that and clocks him with a corkscrew roundhouse before a German suplex into the corner and a coast to coast cannonball left Dan down for a near-fall.
Sabian renews his offence on Magee, levelling him with kicks before heading up top… but an uppercut from Magee trapped him there as Dan brings him down with a spider superplex… before breaking up a pin from Bodom’s shooting star press with another Whisper in the Wind-like senton. The match descended into a three-way slugfest, with Magee edging ahead, only to run into a pair of hiptoss knee strikes, as Sabian tries to sucker in Bodom… but his springboard flip senton’s sort of caught and turned into a Bodom Breaker… only for Bodom to not be able to make the pin as Magee steals it! The finish perhaps could have been a little cleaner, but this was a hell of a war – as 2018 seems to be the year that Dan Magee breaks out of the Contender’s black trunks. ***¾
Chris Ridgeway vs. Kurtis Chapman
This wasn’t for Chapman’s Cruiserweight title, which perhaps was a good idea as Ridgeway was all over Chapman early on.
Kurtis did manage to take down Ridgeway with some leg grapevine attempts, but they’re quickly escaped as Ridgeway went for an armbar as the match looked to get rather scrappy. Ridgeway looked to keep Chapman close as he used a Test of Strength to put him down for a nasty kick, while still not being able to get any clear advantage.
Chapman tried to impose himself as he went for Ridgeway’s legs again, and the tit for tat leads us to a rolling leg grapevine as the pair tried to exchange knee bars. Things break down a little as they exchange slaps, but Ridgeway escapes with Chapman’s leg, forcing another rope break before some more kicks took the champion into the corner. A flip senton off the top sees Chapman get ahead, landing a superkick for a near-fall, before Ridgeway rebounds with a Dragon suplex and an axe kick before trapping Chapman into an armbar. The screams of Chapman echoed around the venue as Ridgeway cradled him for a near-fall, before a suplex attempt ended up being turned into a brainbuster from Ridgeway.
Chapman tries to return the earlier axe kick, but just gets glared at by Ridgeway, who helplessly watches on as he takes a lungblower and a double stomp as Chapman tried to edge ahead… but another German suplex and a punt kick put Ridgeway right back in it. More kicks from eventually fire up Chapman, as a superkick sent Ridgeway to his knees, only for a Kirifuda driver to take down Chapman for the eventual ref stoppage. This was a little off at the start, but once Chapman settled into a rhythm things eventually got going… and that win now puts Chapman in the hunt for a title match – but first Chapman has to get past David Starr one last time. ***¼
Adam Brooks vs. Jody Fleisch
This was a vague continuation of the Brooks/Ospreay feud, with Jody Fleisch being the latest proxy… having been wound up by the Australian before, Fleisch went straight for Brooks, taking him into the corner and then down by the arm as the “Loose Ledge” looked rattled.
A teased Test of Strength led to a headlock takedown as Fleisch was forced to slip free, pushing into a headstand before countering into a headlock of his own, as the pair went at it, leading to Fleisch going for a springboard moonsault, which misses, and a dropkick… which doesn’t. Brooks powders to the outside, but he avoids a plancha and drills Fleisch with a forearm as they brawled beyond the range of the tethered cameras.
Bloody hell, Fleisch moonsaults off of a balcony onto Brooks, bringing back memories of the FWA over fifteen years earlier. From there, he chops Brooks back to the ring, but Brooks’ desperation leads to him shoving Jody into the ropes mid-springboard as they go back outside. The crowd begins to catcall Brooks, who’s at least smart enough to threaten to send the fans to nearby Portsmouth as he continues to wear down the Phoenix.
Referee Chris Roberts takes his sweet time in getting into position to count a near-fall from a lateral press by Brooks, before being forced to kick out of a sunset flip after he thought he’d raked Fleisch’s eyes. A forearm in the corner from Jody earns him a knee to the gut as Brooks eases ahead, grounding Fleisch with a waistlock as he continued to target the lower back. Somehow, Jody gets free and scores with a leaping ‘rana as Brooks was on the top rope, but a handspring back elbow into the corner comes up short as Brooks tried to make a comeback… but gets sent onto the apron before scoring with a Sasuke special, sticking his head into Fleisch on the landing too.
The slingshot DDT back into the ring gets a near-fall for Brooks, before he escapes a powerbomb… only to get dumped with a reverse ‘rana into the corner for another awkward landing. Brooks ends up blindsiding the referee – so he could unsight him and nail a low blow to Fleisch – for a near-fall, before Jody lifts him onto the apron… only for Brooks to fly back in… and misses as Jody Matrix’s out of a clothesline. More back-and-forth leads us to a Sliced Bread attempt, which Brooks shoves out of, before a Destroyer off the middle ropes left both men laying.
Back-and-forth strikes ensue as the match entered its final furlongs, with Fleisch’s pop-up powerbomb and a ‘rana getting some near-falls… only for Jody to get caught in the corner with a dropkick before a senton bomb off the top gets the Aussie the win. A fun back-and-forth main event, but in the end Brooks won out after by some slightly dubious methods… continuing his collision course with Will Ospreay for some point in the future. ***½
Rev Pro’s second outing in Southampton was business as usual – no-nonsense, solid wrestling, but hampered by a first half that was perhaps a little too reliant on faces that were unfamiliar to the Rev Pro fanbase. There’s nothing bad on this show, but the card picks up for the final two matches, with the three-way match at the start of the second half being more than worth your while. The technical issues from last month’s show were long gone, so you’re not going to get any headaches watching this either – result!