The finalists of the Road to Royal Quest tournament were decided as Rev Pro’s busy August rumbled on…

We’re still missing June’s Southampton show (at time of writing), so instead we’re skipping from 7 to 9. It’s back to a slightly reconfigured 1865 in Southampton, as we open with Michael Oku making an announcement while Andy Quildan’s mic was left on on commentary.

Oku tells us he’s off the show with an injury, and that he wants to heal up so he can cash in his title shot on Phantasmo. That’s the cue for Hikuleo to come out, the man Oku was meant to have wrestled tonight. Hikuleo’s mad that his opponent’s dropped out again, so he decides to have “his match” right now, only for JJ Gale to run in and dropkick Hikuleo to the floor. Looks like that’ll be our rematch tonight. Andy Quildan’s on commentary alongside the returning Lord Gideon Grey, who’s looking for a new client after the Great Okharn disappeared into thin air.

Kenneth Halfpenny vs. Brendan White
They were partners a week ago, but tonight they’re at each other’s throats since they were eliminated from the Road to Royal Quest tournament.

Andy has to fill in Gideon on Halfpenny and White, as they went move-for-move before a shoulder tackle from White sent Halfpenny flying. A splash traps Halfpenny into the corner, but he’s able to reply with a Dragon screw before he began to kick away on the leg of White, using a toe hold on the mat. Halfpenny ties up White in the ropes as a dropkick to the knee got him a near-fall. White tries to hit back, but has to use a backbreaker as he had trouble running the ropes. A trip sends White into the ropes as Halfpenny followed in with a Head Hunter running Blockbuster for a near-fall, before going back to the legs with an attempted Cloverleaf that’s broken in the ropes.

White’s back with an ushigoroshi and a springboard moonsault for a near-fall as he took more self-inflicted punishment to the knee… following up with a crossface until Halfpenny got to the ropes to make a save. An atomic drop helps Halfpenny back in as he trips and connected with a sliding lariat, before going back in with an inverted Cloverleaf that forced White into the ropes. From there, Halfpenny went to the well again, but another Head Hunter attempt gets countered into an Exploder suplex as White snatched the win with a Black Hole Slam. It’s the first win in Rev Pro for “that lump”, in spite of his knee injury. **¾

Road To Royal Quest Tag Team Tournament Semi-Final: Josh Bodom & Sha Samuels vs. Gabriel Kidd & Shaun Jackson
Kidd led the charge from the bell, but the tag team champions were smart to it as they quickly isolated and began to double-team Jackson.

Shaun’s not been able to take off his short… so Josh helps him out as he got chopped to bits in the corner while Gideon Grey cackled on commentary. Bodom looks for a clothesline, but ends up running into Jackson’s double leapfrog/dropkick combo before Kidd came in to try and match Bodom with his own game. Kidd’s not in for long as Jackson tags back in, as the contenders pair exchanged frequent tags to try and stay fresh. Jackson cracks Bodom with a forearm on the apron, but he’s quickly caught with a Bliss Buster before Sha Samuels bling-tagged himself in to lay into Shaun with a kick to the back.

Elbows from Sha keep Jackson in the corner, before a scoop slam continues the trent as the champions began to find their groove. A running shooting star press from Bodom’s good for a near-fall, before Bodom spat at Kidd – prompting him into the ring as the pair broke into scuffles. Standard. When things settle down, Bodom heads up top, but misses a senton before he cracked Jackson with a superkick anyway. Jackson rebounds with a clothesline as Kidd begged to be tagged back in, as did Sha. Kidd kicks away a back body drop before landing a dropkick… a missile dropkick follows, before a lariat should have won the match, but Jackson again blind tags in. Kidd’s pin doesn’t count as Jackson looked for the rolling thunder Fisherman’s suplex, but Sha rolls out, tags in Bodom… who hits a rolling Destroyer and a crushing senton bomb for the win. Well, this was a bit of a sprint as the champions eased past the contenders. If you’ve not already tabbed Kidd as a breakout star by now, then I don’t know what to say…. **¾

After the match, Bodom and Samuels took more shots at the Contenders, calling Jackson in particular an embarrassment. Gabe was nowhere to be seen, as he waited for Jackson to be rolled outside before dumping Sha high with a German suplex. He then gets a wacky light show, which reminds me of recent OVW and their perma-disco lighting…

Chris Brookes vs. Dan Magee
Brookes keeps us waiting as Kid Lykos seems to have swapped his baking tray for another Schadenfreude flag. Oh, and a mic stand. God, Brookes has already wrestled Taichi. “I’m only here to look at who’s good and who’s Chris Brookes” – my God, the shade coming out of commentary…

Magee sent Brookes outside early with a clothesline, following him out with some chops in the front row. Brookes turns it around with some of his own as Magee played to the crowd, before he bounced Magee into a table at ringside. Magee’s back with a side suplex onto the edge of the ring, only for Brookes to respond by tying him in the ropes and covering his head with the ring apron ahead of a stomp. Lykos gets involved too, as Brookes maintained the advantage, working over Magee’s left arm and wrist for good measure. The wet willie’s next from Brookes, as was some raking to the nose, before Magee began to fight back. Reversals take Magee into the corner, but he’s able to float over and land a springboard crossbody for a near-fall.

An enziguiri from Magee stops Brookes’ slingshot cutter, sending him outside for a cannonball as Magee looked to build momentum, following in with another crossbody back inside for a near-fall. Again though, Brookes goes to the face to find his way back in, as a back senton to a doubled-over Magee led to a two-count before the pair began lighting each other up with chops. Magee’s enziguiri takes Brooks into the corner, but another switcharound ends in a slingshot cutter before Magee’s pumphandle knee strike went awry, with Brookes slipping free to roll him up for a near-fall. Headbutts get the crowd back into it, as do some palm strikes that had Gideon cackling again, before Brookes ran into the Morning Glory inverted Pedigree… as Lykos had the referee distracted to prevent a cover from being made.

After that, Brookes nearly wins with a handful of tights as I try to figure out whether “backdoor” or “backyard managers” was the stronger insult, before a Praying Mantis Bomb drilled Magee for the win. This was fine, but threatened to fall apart towards the end as I still wait to see what Brookes is being warmed up for here. ***

Lykos gets the mic afterwards to “oi” us into submission, telling us that Brookes again beat one of “Quindall’s young boys” while Brookes threatened to murder someone’s family. Twitter can’t ban him if he doesn’t say it there… Brookes told the crowd he was fed up that his reward for pledging allegiance to the indies – and other decisions – was to be kept away from the Copperbox and New Japan imports… but he’s going to stay around and make Rev Pro CCK Pro. Well, that’s two wrestlers wanting to take over the promotion…

David Starr vs. Carlos Romo
On what’s potentially his last Southampton appearance for Rev Pro, Starr tells the crowd that when he gets control of the company, he’ll make sure that the promotion will start running in much better places. Like Portsmouth. Even the lights hated that.

Starr is wrestling “the other Spanish guy” today… and Romo rushes out before his music really hits. Yep, he’s a little fraught today. There’s a Benny Hill chase before the match starts, and we start with Starr rolling outside at the bell. Hey, inspired by Jay White! When he gets inside, Romo nearly got the win with a roll-up, before a dropkick took Starr down as the Spaniard pushed on. Starr tried to hit back with chops, only to get taken outside and chopped by Romo, whose back was littered with cupping marks… which meant that getting slammed onto the edge of the ring probably sucked just that little bit more.

That table at ringside’s used again by Starr, as Gideon Grey does the Lord’s work, correcting Andy Q on names. Meanwhile, Starr tries to stretch Romo by the ropes, before a back elbow dumped Romo for a near-fall. A chinlock keeps Romo down, as does a double armbar stretch, before a simple big boot dropped Romo for a near-fall. Things broke down into a brief exchange of strikes as Romo landed almost a desperation jawbreaker, following in with a leg lariat before eventually dropping Starr with a flip back suplex, dropping him on his head as a diving knee almost got him the win.

Kicks from Romo led to him going for a cutter… but Starr avoids it, only to head outside where he was met with a tope. A Blockbuster’s next for a near-fall, before Romo went for a slingshot cutter… and had it turned into a German suplex. The cartwheel kick cracks into Romo as he’s taken outside for a tope from Starr, as the pair begin to chop each other on the outside, leading to a count-out tease as Romo dove back in… and into a superkick and a Blackheart Buster. That gets a near-fall as Starr misses a lariat… the Cherry Mint DDT finds its mark before a second Han Stansen’s caught and turned into a cutter. Both men get back to their feet to exchange forearm strikes, with Starr cowering a little as Romo struck ahead… only for a superkick and a Pretty Pumped to leave Romo down as a punch nearly ends it. Good to see someone’s actually making note of these custom names!

Starr gives Chris Roberts a chance to wave off the match… when that doesn’t happen, he pounds away on Romo some more. Yet another Han Stansen’s kicked away by Romo, who peppers Starr with knees until a flash Han Stansen flips Romo to the mat… before a second lariat… got caught and turned into a backslide for a two-count. A Code Red keeps it close for Romo, as does a Spiral Tap, before a triangle armbar had Starr on the verge of losing… only for him to fold Romo forward, putting his feet on the ropes, as Starr stole the win. A hell of a finishing stretch here as Starr ended up having to cheat to win as Carlos Romo more than held his own here. ***¾

Hikuleo vs. JJ Gale
It’s a rematch from the Cockpit as we’re now told who JJ Gale is – he’s more than just “white shoes”, especially as he’s wearing proper wrestling boots here.

Hikuleo tries to swarm Gale at the bell, and quickly takes him down with a back body drop as one of the mobile cameras had a blood-red tinge to it. A hiptoss keeps it simple as Gale’s in the ropes… but he’s quickly back to send Hikuleo outside for cover. The Bullet Club’s Young Boy takes his time, rolling in and out of the ring to wind up Gale… and the crowd too. When he made it back in, Hikuleo throws Gale into the ropes, then to the outside where the Contender takes a beating. I swear Brendan White was grinning as JJ got chopped to bits…

Back inside, Hikuleo dumps Gale with a slam, before a leaping legdrop drew a near-fall, as Gale wasn’t quite getting the same shots as he was a week earlier. Again, Hikuleo takes him into the turnbuckle, which this time held up as Gale found himself getting choked in the ropes. More chops keep JJ in the corner, but he sidesteps Hikuleo and found enough in him to launch another flurry… including a dropkick in the corner. An attempted uranage from Hikuleo’s countered with a roll-up as Gale continued his momentum, crashing into Hikuleo with a moonsault off the top for a near-fall. From there though, Gale runs into a pop-up facebuster as Hikuleo looked to end things, eventually scoring with a powerslam before a uranage facebuster for the win. A brave fight, but Hikuleo dominated this one throughout and took the expected victory. **½

Post-match, Hikuleo offered a handshake but instead beat down Gale until Michael Oku made the save with a chair… then told the crowd he was cashing in his shot at El Phantasmo at Summer Sizzler… before asking for a favour for Cheltenham next weekend, as he wanted ELP and Hikuleo, along with a tag partner: Jushin Thunder Liger!

Kurtis Chapman vs. A-Kid
A-Kid gets new music as he began life on his own…

A-Kid starts on offence, working over Chapman as he looked to keep the match on the mat… but Chapman was more than happy to show a little aggression as well. Rolling Chapman on the mat ended with a rope break as the local lad Chapman finally looked to make some headway. The crowd chants for Romo as A-Kid locked in a side headlock, before he locked in an armbar and clung on tight as Chapman tried to get free. Headscissors ended with A-Kid throwing Chapman down in almost an Attitude Adjustment after a rope break, but Chapman’s right back with an atomic drop before he rolled A-Kid to the mat in a pinning predicament.

Baiting A-Kid into the corner leads to another sunset flip for a near-fall, before more rope running led to Chapman using a crucifix pin for a near-fall. An enziguri takes A-Kid into the ropes, then to the outside as he collected his thoughts… but not for long as he came back inside and took a ‘rana as Chapman looked to force the issue… and force A-Kid to wear his own gumshield too. A-Kid responds to that with a dropkick, before a floatover suplex dumps Chapman for a near-fall. A forearm from A-Kid sends Chapman sailing through the ropes for a nasty landing on the outside, followed up by another bad landing back inside as A-Kid looked to prove a point. Chapman’s caught in a modified stranglehold, before he’s spun out into a kick to the chest as A-Kid punted Chapman to the mat.

Using a lariat to the back of the head, A-Kid picks up another near-fall, then threw Chapman outside so he could crack into him with a running PK off the apron. Chops follow again, but A-Kid hits the post as Chapman looked to fight back in the crowd, following in with a dive down some stairs… only to leap into a superkick instead. From there, A-Kid runs back to the ring to try and claim a count-out… but Chapman manages to get back in the nick of time. Only for A-Kid to run in with a PK straight away for a two-count. Forearms from A-Kid continue to rock Kurtis, who finally boxes back as the Spaniard was forced to cover up. A running gamengiri into the corner nearly put A-Kid away, as did a lungblower out of the corner, before a slingshot cutter finds its mark for a near-fall. “Shades of an idiot”, as Gideon put it…

A-Kid goes for an O’Connor roll, but had more luck with a roll-through into a Northern Lights suplex, before another flurry of strikes saw Chapman nail a rebound lariat after he’d been taken into the ropes with a superkick. Commentary blows out my eardrums as Chapman nails a right hand, only for a retaliatory superkick to land for a near-fall… From there, Chapman’s lifted up top as A-Kid went for a Spanish Fly… but he’s slapped down as a cannonball was used to take the Spaniard down for a two-count. The Spanish Fly lands moments later, with Chapman kicking out as he took A-Kid outside for a tope… before a top rope moonsault almost got him the win. Ditto a running Destroyer, before he looked to go for a Destino of all things, only for A-Kid to roll him down into an omoplata for the submission. Chapman brought a lot to this one, as he showed his worth in singles action. It took some time for the vicious side of A-Kid to come out, but that, coupled with a pro-Chapman crowd, made this work. ***¾

Road To Royal Quest Tag Team Tournament Semi-Final: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. Dan Moloney & MK McKinnan
The winners join Sha Samuels and Josh Bodom in the finals at Summer Sizzler on August 30…

Kyle and MK start us off, as we have a juddering frame rate as Kyle clings onto a side headlock before he was shot into the ropes as MK looked to switch it around. Headlock takedowns are escaped before they swing and miss into… Kyle making contact en route to a stand-off. Tags bring in the big lads, who lock-up but couldn’t eke out an advantage as they instead go in for shoulder tackles, with Dunkzilla edging ahead despite taking a Moloney dropkick. Davis gets caught in the corner as MK returns… but his chops were unwise as Davis just struck back, taking McKinnan into the Aussie Open corner ahead of a double-team flapjack.

Fletcher’s in to chop through MK, following up with some clubbering overhead forearms before MK fired back… and caught Kyle with a thrust kick. Kyle staggers into the wrong corner, as he’s caught with a clothesline from Moloney and a step-up back senton from MK for a near-fall. Machine-gun chops trapped Kyle as the pair begin to go back-and-forth on strikes, with Moloney tagging in to up the ante, whipping Fletcher hard into the corner for a near-fall. A snapmare and a kick to the back helps MK edge further ahead, before Kyle finally caught some kicks and backslide MK around into a Michinoku driver. Moloney tries to interfere, but just ended up taking a suplex as Davis tagged in to hit his usual chop/clothesline comeback. Davis cartwheels and returns with a double clothesline, before landing a discus boot to almost put MK away.

Chops just seem to anger MK, who slaps away on Davis before a discus forearm connected… only for Fletcher to come in with a uranage backbreaker and an assisted Go To Sleep. The Assisted Aussie Arrow’s good for a near-fall as Moloney breaks it up, then clubbers Davis in the back of the head as all four men stayed in the ring for a Parade of Stuff. Things calm down as Fletcher and Moloney tagged in to trade elbows, but a superkick from Kyle leaves Moloney groggy ahead of an attempted lawn dart… which ends up getting rolled out of as Dan responds with an ankle lock. Davis resisted a choke from MK, before he cannonballed himself into Moloney as Fletcher’d pushed Dan into the corner… chops from Davis just sparked defiance from Moloney, as Dan struck back ahead of a Black Hole Slam for a two-count. MK steps up off of Moloney for a cannonball into Davis, as Dan’s TKO nearly led to the upset. Kyle gets caught in the ropes for a flip senton from MK as Aussie Open looked to be in trouble, with Davis eating a Dominator/neckbreaker combo, before a powerbomb on the big man led to another near-fall.

Another double-team attempt gets thwarted as Kyle makes a save, taking Moloney outside for a tope before the pull-up piledriver led to the win. This was a perfectly fine main event – but any sense of drama was lost the second it was clear that the winners were going to face Samuels and Bodom in the final, as only one match ever made sense from there. ***½

So that’s the expected tournament finals of Aussie Open vs. Sha Samuels & Josh Bodom… with the winners getting an IWGP tag title shot the very next night at New Japan’s Royal Quest. On the whole, Rev Pro’s latest trip to Southampton was a show that will likely fly under the radar – but really shouldn’t, especially since the former Team Whitewolf’s singles matches were low-key bangers. That’s two of three shows down as we’ll next take a look at Rev Pro’s 7th anniversary – weirdly, their go-home show before the Summer Sizzler at the end of the month.