Two days removed from the Summer Sizzler, Rev Pro returned to Southampton for a show that’s really worth going out of your way to watch!
We’re back at the 1865 in Southampton, as Andy Quildan and Andy Simmonz’s commentary struggles to poke its head over the ring music.
Lord Gideon Grey vs. Sugar Dunkerton
Grey was here after having been hospitalised with a chest infection the prior day, while it seemed that Sugar Dunkerton was perhaps entirely new to Southampton. Although his vow to do “serious wrestling” and his bid to turn Gideon into a proxy for Los Federales Santos Jr. didn’t quite lead to Stupid Sexy Gideon.
So, annoyed at having been tricked, Gideon goes for a headlock as “serious wrestling” gets going… and quickly ends as Sugar scoots out of it. Sugar continues to confound Gideon, before chopping him in the chest en route to an armdrag. Ow. At least Gideon does manage to knock away a dive as he tore into Dunkerton with back rakes. Gideon does a Toru Yano, removing a turnbuckle pad and replacing it with a chair that he wedged between the ropes, but Dunkerton just boots it away as Gideon ends up charging into the ring post. Good job the chair went! Dunkerton keeps up with Dusty punches, then a drop toe hold into the ropes as he looked to put Gideon away… but in the end a reverse brainbuster attempt’s stopped as Gideon shoved Dunkerton into the ref, allowing him to jab him in the back with a chair for the win. An entertaining opener, with the evil genius taking home the win by… foul means! **¾
Great O-Kharn vs. Psycho Phillips
So, the Dominator’s taking on the Psycho in a match that could only be described as a “Rev Pro Holiday Camp Special”. Lord Gideon Grey’s still hanging around from the prior match, using the broken chair to (try and) take a seat on as he looked to cheerlead O-Kharn.
We start with back-and-forth forearms as one particular Cockpit regular would have loved to exclaim about Psycho’s “big bushy beard”… Phillips asks for, and receives chops, but this chop battle paled in comparison to what York Hall had just days earlier. They swap chops for lariats, until Phillips hits a cross-chop to the throat to briefly stun O-Kharn ahead of a release German suplex that folded the Japanese star. Phillips takes O-Kharn into the corner for some mounted punches, but instead he drops down and throws some clotheslines as he nearly earned the relative upset. O-Kharn rolls onto the apron, which served to sucker in Phillips, as he gets dropped throat-first on the ropes, then dragged outside as O-Kharn threw him into the apron.
There’s an Irish whip into the post for Phillips too, as O-Kharn gave us a tour of ringside while looking to get the count-out win over Psycho… and when that didn’t work, we’re back to the stomps before he went to work on Phillips’ ears. O-Kharn just sits on Phillips’ head in the corner, then feigned ignorance of the English language as he looked for the finish, heading back up top for a flying Mongolian chop… but it’s blocked!
Phillips returns with a headbutt, sending both men to the mat as they had to fight back to their feet, prompting another chop battle, with Phillips this time winning before he looked for a TKO, instead landing a spear for a near-fall. From the kick-out, O-Kharn shoves Psycho into the referee, before scoring with a straight punch… but he can’t get Phillips up for the head-claw chokeslam, and instead runs into a death valley driver.
That’s enough for Phillips to get a two-count, prompting him to shout at O-Kharn that “this is my home”, before blasting the Dominator with some forearms and cross chops. Out of nowhere though, O-Kharn hits him with a Flatliner before the Torture Device back-stretcher led to the claw chokeslam for another near-fall. I guess O-Kharn’s still looking for his killer finisher, but first he has to kick out from a choke bomb as the crowd really got behind O-Kharn.
Phillips looked for a rope-hung DDT, but O-Kharn grabs onto the referee to get himself free… that angered Psycho, and as he was distracted he lost sight of O-Kharn, who hits the flying Mongolian chop for a near-fall, before a front suplex gets the win. He’s still looking for the magic formula, but O-Kharn looked really comfortable in this competitive match… only thing is, should someone as low-level in Rev Pro as Psycho Phillips really have pushed him further than a Shane Strickland?? ***
Chris Ridgeway vs. Kurtis Chapman
After breezing past Chapman in his last two outings, can Smashmouth make it 3-0 against the former Cruiserweight champion?
They started with a shoving match as Ridgeway quickly looked to take it to the mat, going for a guillotine choke as Andy Quildan painted this as a story of Kurtis Chapman trying to prove he’s learning. After getting to the ropes, Chapman was able to tie up Ridgeway, but a bid to complete the STF allowed Ridgeway to get free and grab a hold of his own as the match started to develop an edge.
Chapman combined headscissors with a wristlock, but Ridgeway manages to roll free and torque away on Chapman as the pair jockeyed for position. Some kicks from Ridgeway seemed to knock Chapman out of his game briefly, and when it descended into a striking exchange, Smashmouth looked to live up to his name, buzzsawing his way through Chapman with a kick to the gut. More strikes from Ridgeway kept Chapman pinned against the ropes as one more kick knocked him through the ropes to the outside. Chapman dragged himself back inside… into the path of more kicks, but he finds a way out as he rolled Ridgeway into a Banana Split… except Ridgeway rakes the eyes then twists the ankle in a bid to get free. A PK waffles Chapman for a near-fall, as Ridgeway again looked to twist his head off… before resorting to a head kick as Chapman looked down and out.
Just as I say that, he kicks away Ridgeway’s legs as he pulled him into an arm triangle, but Ridgeway floats over and nearly wins with a roll-up while still in the hold! Regardless, Chapman keeps up on Ridgeway, briefly going back to the arm before letting go to start a battle of elbow strikes… which just led to him eating a ripcord head kick, then an axe kick to the back of the neck for a near-fall, before Ridgeway jumps onto a Fujiwara armbar.
Chapman manages to make it to the ropes pretty quickly, but there’s another series of headkicks to knock Chapman out for another near-fall. Kurtis fires back with more strikes, then with a Code Red out of nowhere, but it’s not enough before he looked for a cross armbreaker… only for Ridgeway to roll him up for the win! This was glorious stuff – a match that’s bound to be under-seen because of where it was… but this was a fantastic back-and-forth outing that likely did more for Chapman’s career than that Cruiserweight title run. ****
HxC (Dan Head & James Castle) vs. Arrows of Hungary (Dover & Icarus)
Head and Castle returned to Rev Pro on their recent debut in Chelmsford… and this is either going to be a big upset or a “thrown to the wolves” moment as they take on the Arrows of Hungary, who have had designs on title contentions lately.
HxC looked to cheapshot the Arrows early, but Dover gets a quick bit of retribution as he pulls Dan Head out of the ring and throws him into the post as the Hungarians combined to take down their opponents two-on-one. Dover’s in there to chop through Head, leaving the relative veteran Head to plead for help from his tag partner… before he broke free as Dover gets low bridged, allowing James Castle to catch Icarus in the ropes.
Icarus fought back, taking down Head with a discus elbow, but Castle’s in to stop him from tagging out as HxC throw in some neat double-teams. Eventually Icarus hits back, forcing HxC into an accidental DDT before James Castle recovered to pull Dover off the apron just in time to thwart the tag out. A low dropkick and a roll-through pin nearly got HxC the win as the crowd got behind Dover, and they were rewarded as Icarus moonsaults off the top ropes, past his foes, before bringing in the big guy, who dumps Head with a standing fallaway slam. Castle just gets a big boot and a German suplex for his troubles, before Dover picked up both halves of HxC for a double slam!
Castle’s back in with a knee to the back of Dover, then a NICE pair of double stomps to the back of Icarus and the chest of Dover before a double-team version of the Tongan Twist earned Head a near-fall. They look for a Magic Killer next, but instead Dover escapes and began a one-man comeback, catching Castle and charging him into the corner before a T-bone suplex from Dover and an Icarus cannonball got the ball rolling.
A double-leg takedown to Head with a cheeky kick on the way down gets rid of the Hammer, as the Crossfire knees to Castle earned the Hungarians the win. Well, I came into this one with low expectations and was blown away. An excellent tag team contest as Rev Pro seem to be churning out blowaway tag team matches for fun lately! ***¾
Adam Brooks vs. Titan
Fresh off of a decisive loss to KUSHIDA, Adam Brooks had another obstacle in front of him in terms of CMLL star Titan as he tried to bounce back.
Brooks tried to jump the luchador early on as we had a sprightly start to proceedings, before Brooks looked to score with some roll-ups ahead of the obligatory stand-off. Some knees and chops get Brooks in it though, before Titan hits the through-the-corner clothesline as he turned things around with some stomps to Brooks in the corner. From the apron, Titan scores with a missile dropkick to take Brooks back outside, where he’s met with a tope, as the trip to the crowd prompts everyone to lose their train of thought. Classy ICW shirts, eh? Back inside, Titan heads up top for a moonsault, but he lands into the boots of Brooks for a near-fall as the Aussie looked to restore an advantage.
Brooks gives us his version of a 619 – a baseball slide and a punch – before a back senton earned him a near-fall as he started to look comfortable against Titan. A series of near-falls seemed to anger the Loose Ledge more than anything else, and when his clothesline was Matrix’d away, Titan was slowly able to get back into it… only to get caught with a backpack stunner out of the corner as Brooks nearly took home the win.
Brooks ends up taking too long though, as he’s caught on the top rope with an overhead kick… before he launches into a running Titan with a lungblower off the top for a near-fall. A senton bomb sees Brooks crash and burn though, before Titan rolled him into a cross-legged version of the Octopus, then down to the mat for the pin as lightning struck twice for Titan. Another enjoyable outing as these two kept it short – while hitting all the right notes. This Southampton show’s building up into something of a low-key banger… ***½
Post-match, Brooks hung back in the ring looking annoyed at how he’d now lost two in a row. The echoey voice of Generic Ring Announcer #4 tried to interview him, but it just seemed to rub salt in the wounds. They then announce that Brooks has gotten his match with Will Ospreay that he’d been hunting for… and while the crowd booed that it’d be in Leamington Spa, it’d turn out that Brooks suddenly wasn’t ready to accept the offer… because he was going home. Cue the goodbye song as Brooks stormed off.
Instead, Ospreay’s got Chris Ridgeway on that Leamington Spa show…
Jurn Simmons vs. Lance Archer vs. Dan Magee
Commentary teased that Dan Magee may be in trouble here after Simmons and Archer formed a bond in the wake of their Summer Sizzler match.
Despite his record in triple-threats in Southampton, this is easily Magee’s sternest test so far… especially when Archer and Simmons bumped fists as the two-on-one beatdown started from the off. Wisely, Jurn and Lance took their turns… but there was the uneasy feeling that things would break down eventually, especially when it came to looking for the win. Magee manages to sidestep some charges as he was having to scrappily fight off the two bigger guys… but his crossbody out of the corner’s turned into a fallaway slam by Archer as the bully boy tactics were put in place once again, complete with Archer intimidating the referee.
Avalanche clotheslines left Magee down on his knees, but he’s able to throw Archer to the outside before launching in with forearms to Jurn… who just wipes him out with a clothesline instead. Keeping hold of the wrist, Simmons chains together more clotheslines, and while Magee was able to break free, it was back from the frying pan and into the fire as Archer returned to the ring. The two-on-one stuff resumed, leading to what looked to be a 3D that ended up being a pop-up powerslam as Jurn gets the near-fall… and strangely no bickering between Jurn and Lance over who’d take the pin. Again, Archer chases away the referee before taking Magee into the crowd as some kids laughed rather than acted scared of him.
Eventually the expected happened as Archer charged into Simmons when Magee ducked… and the comeback is on! Low dropkicks take Jurn and Lance to their knees for a sliding double Flatliner, then a back senton to the pair of them for a pair of near-falls, before he caught a firing-up Archer with a Slingblade! Jurn gets a Downward Spiral into a Koji Clutch, but Archer breaks it up only to get rana’d.
Jurn tried to powerbomb Magee, but he too takes a ‘rana as Magee hits a pescado into Archer on the outside, before he’s wiped out with a clothesline from Simmons back inside. There’s a gutwrench powerbomb from Jurn, but it’s only enough for a near-fall, so it’s time for the Massive Piledriver… except Magee takes down Jurn and jack-knifes him for the pin, stealing the win! This was a heck of a showing for Magee, and after their lacklustre showing on Friday, a solid outing for Simmons and Archer as their bullying tactics ended up failing in the end. It was also massively refreshing to not have the wrestling trope of Partners What Can’t Get Along too… ***½
Post-match, Magee still has to fight as Archer tried to chokeslam him, only for Lance to leave him laying with a Pounce and a full nelson slam… before shaking his hand for going through that all? Nah, it’s another chokeslam.
David Starr vs. Soberano Jr
The crowd still take The Product as a good guy, even when he takes Generic Ring Announcer #3 (he’s been promoted) to task for messing up the list of nicknames. Starr again pulls the “I’m not defending the title” card today, claiming that “Random Luchadore#5” Soberano has done nothing apart from wearing a shiny mask and do “cool flippy dos” to earn a shot. Eh, he’s got a point.
After throwing a fit at how Chris Roberts is the referee (with the “injured” Shay Purser instead elsewhere wrestling in what some would unfairly call a “Poundland Mike Bailey” act for ATTACK!), we get going with Starr tripping Soberano as he looked to keep the flyer on the mat. After a quick trip outside, Starr returned to get a taste of his own medicine as Soberano caught him in a camel clutch, only for Starr to power out and stretch Soberano’s arms into a pinning attempt as we saw a rather different side out of the champion.
A knuckle lock from Starr gives him the edge as he started to work over Soberano’s left arm, only for that to be reversed as Starr’s forced to use a Fireman’s carry to get a pinning attempt. We stay on the mat as Starr milks the crowd’s displeasure, while grinding his forearm against Soberano’s neck… but it came to nought as he had to escape a lucha armdrag attempt, sending Soberano to the outside instead. Back inside, Soberano ran into a Thesz press before a lucha armdrag was cartwheeled out of by the champion, who then dropkicked away a springboard as Soberano crashed and burned to the outside. The next time was the charm though as Soberano eased into his usual game, taking Starr outside… but it’s a faked-out dive as Starr backs off, almost in awe as Soberano found his stride.
The luchador leaps to the outside just as Starr returned to the ring, just in time to exchange some Spanish… and he’s suckered outside again as Soberano hits a 619 from the floor to knock Starr down once again. There’s more flying as Soberano hits a body press off the top to the floor, where they remained as Starr found himself firmly on the defensive end of things. Returning to the ring, Soberano goes to a cross armbar, but they’re right in the ropes, and that allowed Starr to hit back straight away with the Pretty Pumped inverted gutwrench slam. Starr derided Soberano as “the best CMLL had to offer”, but the luchador’s right back up after he’s met with chops, but yet again his offence is snuffed out by Starr briefly, before he dropkicked the champion into the corner.
More dropkicks have Starr on the back foot, as does a crossbody off the top, but Starr manages to catch Soberano up top… only to get knocked down and sent back outside as we have more lucha things… in the form of a moonsault off the top as Starr was hung in the ropes. That’s enough for a near-fall, but from the kick-out Starr goes back to Soberano’s legs and tries for a submission… only to get kicked away. Soberano tries a handspring off the ropes, but ends up getting it turned into a German suplex for a near-fall. Soberano again tries to fight back as “Luchador #5” lit up Starr with chops, prompting Starr to reply with a chop before he ran into a superkick. Out of nowhere, Soberano lands a Destroyer before fire’s returned with a lariat… but it’s still the luchador who remained on top, catching Starr with a corkscrew crossbody for a near-fall, then a frog splash as the Product clung on. We’ve another dive as a tope from Soberano knocks Starr into the crowd, as the crowd knew enough Spanish to ask for one more…
Problem was, “uno mas” just earned Soberano a Cherry Mint DDT, but he was able to catch Starr with another dropkick as the match seemed to enter it’s final flurries, with Starr hitting the Blackheart Buster for a near-fall, followed by a superkick before he leapt off the top rope into the boots of the luchador. A headbutt ended with Soberano draping himself onto Starr for a near-fall, before we’re back to chops that sprayed the sweat off of Starr, before he’s met with a Fire Thunder Driver as Soberano countered some headscissors.
Luckily for Starr, he was able to get a foot to the bottom rope, before he quickly fought back in with the Trapped Arm Bob Fossil… and that strait-jacket piledriver’s enough to get the win! For a “random match” with no title on the line, this felt a little long, with the crowd drifting in and out of the match, but it’s another big scalp for David Starr as he leaves Summer Sizzler weekend with a pair of wins – and still awaiting the next big challenger for his title. ***¾
While some promotions may have tagged this as a “hangover show”, Rev Pro’s rescheduled trip to Southampton ended up being a low-key “can’t miss” show in hindsight. A card offering something for everyone on paper ended up delivering in spades, with one match that genuinely shocked me, and another that should end up being something of a turning point in the Rev Pro careers of Chris Ridgeway and Kurtis Chapman.
Don’t hand-wave this as “just a show” – while it may be lacking the marquee value of the Summer Sizzler, it’s definitely worth your time.