Rev Pro returned home to Portsmouth for another loaded show – but one that saw the last stand of CCK.
Not Steve Lynskey is your ring announcer, and he’s already dropped a clanger as he called our opening match for the British Cruiserweight championship.
David Starr vs. Kyle Fletcher
Despite Chris Roberts not being on duty here (hi there, Chris Hatch!), Starr had his own referee again as Shay Purser was pressed into action. Once he corrected the mistake and promised to give Kyle a title shot… if he can beat the champion, he’ll get a shot.
Fletcher started out well, taking Starr down and going for his knee, but Starr was able to get to the ropes and use them in his favour, pinging the strand into Kyle’s face. Andy Quildan gets in a rather controversial line on commentary here, as he “thanks” WWE UK for leaving him with a “limited pool of talent” – using that to try and stop Andy Simmonz from burying Kyle Fletcher… but instead opening himself up to a lot of criticism for his own choice of verbiage! Starr keeps up on Fletcher with the Pretty Pumped for a near-fall, but Kyle hits back with a diving clothesline into the corner, then a crossbody off the top! A quebrada gets a near-fall for the Aussie, but he’s quickly sent onto the apron for a springboard clothesline… only to rebound with a step-up senton after sidestepping a dive from Starr.
Fletcher can’t keep up though, and walked into a Product Recall as Starr regained the upper hand for a brief moment, before some superkicks led to the Aussie Arrow’s lawndart and a diving boot. Starr kicked out at two though, then dragged himself onto the apron so he could try and catch Kyle with the Cherry Mint DDT. Instead, a forearm knocked Fletcher down, but he’s back up to press slam Starr off the top rope ahead of a springboard X-Factor.
Starr rolled to the floor as Fletcher looked to be sure of victory… but when he made it back to the ring, Starr nicks in with a thumb to the eye before spiking Fletcher with the Trapped Arm Bob Fossil (the strait-jacket piledriver), rolling Kyle to the outside so he could take the easy count-out win. I like how Starr’s getting his wins via the cheapest of ways possible without cheating – like the Berzerker, but with better matches. However, this can only go on for a while before “Rev Pro management” put their foot down, you’d think. ***
Josh Bodom vs. Dan Magee
With a pair of wins in his last two outings against Bodom, Dan Magee was looking to make it an unlikely hattrick here…
Magee shot into the match, taking down Bodon with a Slingblade, but he’s quickly taken outside for a dive… which he then repaid as Magee retained the upper hand. A missile dropkick nearly puts away Bodom early on, but Josh rebounded by lifting Magee from the apron and into the ring post for an alternative version of the Lo-Bodom-Knee.
Bodom joins him outside again as the bully boy tactics resurface, with Bodom raining down forearms on Magee before chopping him back into the ring. A standing moonsault gets a near-fall as Bodom edged ahead, until a running shoulder charge misses, with Bodom sending himself into the ring post. Magee tries to capitalise with a sliding Flatliner, getting a near-fall, but he can’t maintain the upper hand as Bodom scored with a few forearms, before getting caught with a pumphandle Go To Sleep.
Magee can’t quite get the win with that though, but it’s Bodom who’s back in the driving seat with a German suplex into the turnbuckles, before the Bodom Breaker rocked Magee for another near-fall. A spider superplex from Magee saved himself as Bodom had blocked a superplex… before Dan’s shoved down to the floor as he looked for what looked to be a moonsault.
To save a second count out, Bodom flings himself to the outside with a tope con giro into Magee, before he’s dragged back in for a Bliss Buster… but Magee back body drops him onto the floor! Magee followed up with a corkscrew senton to the floor, before a crossbody back into the ring drew another near-fall for the Contender. Another uranage from Magee’s blocked as Bodom burst back into life with the Lo-Bodom-Knee, some kicks and a German suplex, before a bare knee’d Bodom Breaker was sat down on… and Magee makes it three! Yet another defeat for Bodom, but this time he bumps fists with Magee rather than beat him down. That’s sold as a “massive step” for Magee… so perhaps he’ll now be able to escape the Contenders division hoodie and trunks? ***¼
Josh Bodom’s “show of respect” was of course a sham as he dove into Magee off the apron before taking him back to the ring for a Bliss Buster. King of post-match beatings, but the Loose Cannon can’t keep eating losses… even if he is finally chased away by Kurtis Chapman and the returning Josh Wall.
Millie McKenzie vs. Jamie Hayter
So… Andy Q’s been to YouTube to download Millie’s entrance music from Defiant. Whatever happened to the Commonjets, or at the very least, Bruno Mars? This was meant to have been Jamie Hayter vs. Brandi Rhodes, but a collarbone injury put paid to that as Jamie had a different opponent as a warm-up for her women’s title match.
We started with some ground work between Millie and Jamie, but it’s Millie who becomes the early aggressor as she takes down Hayter with an armbar, which gets scrambled out of as an attempt to escape in the ropes just led Millie to chop her foe. An offered handshake is taken as they go again, this time with Millie going for a bunch of roll-ups for near-falls.
Suplex Millie makes an appearance, dumping Hayter with a German suplex before following up with a snapmare and a punt kick to the back as Millie was racking up those near-falls. A clothesline keeps Hayter down as she was looking far from the title contender she was being touted as, but just as I say that she fired up with a series of kicks to the legs of Millie, turning the tables in the process.
Millie’s lifted onto the apron by Hayter, who follows up with a knee to take her to the floor ahead of a cannonball off the apron, before returning to the ring with a DDT for a near-fall. A moonsault off the top sees Jamie crash and burn, with a spear from Millie solidifying that U-turn, as the pair resumed trading elbows until a cutter out of nowhere gets Millie a near-fall. Hayter swings it back around with a Falcon arrow, before she looked again for the moonsault… but she’s again caught up top and brought down with an avalanche German suplex! Millie can’t quite get another German suplex off, and she’s instantly pulled down into a Rings of Saturn for the submission. Huh. I get it was designed to show that Hayter can take a beating but still win, but this match did nothing to make me think she’d be a threat to Jinny’s championship reign. This was fine, but nothing special. **¾
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Jordan Devlin
Given how much Andy was moaning about “WWE restricting his roster”, he sure as hell wasn’t complaining about being able to keep this match, eh?
Although, me being the nit-picker here… that nameplate font is surely a bit… off? Jordan Deulin? When we got going, they weren’t holding back as their opening exchanges led to many a rope break as they tried to chip away at each other. A dropkick from Devlin takes Sabre to the outside, but Zack slides back in and avoids a dive, before getting dumped with a uranage and a standing moonsault.
The Golden Triangle moonsault followed from Devlin as they headed back outside, before a slingshot cutter back inside earned a near-fall… with Sabre again dragging himself outside for respite, although the Irishman quickly followed him out with some European uppercuts. Sabre turned it back around with an ankle lock in the ropes, tweaking one of Minoru Suzuki’s specials, before bringing it back inside as he methodically wore Devlin down to the mat.
An attempted enziguiri’s caught as Devlin found himself caught in a STF, barely being able to grab the rope, before firing right back in with a Tiger suplex, bridging it for a near-fall. Another kick from Sabre’s caught and turned into a Dragon screw, but that doesn’t stop Zack from firing out more kicks, which take Devlin back down for a PK and another near-fall. Zack goes back to that, but gets knocked loopy with a bicycle knee, before Jordan headed up top… a moonsault misses and the knee buckled on landing, allowing Sabre to nail another PK for a near-fall.
The worn-down knee was becoming a bullseye for Sabre now, as he targeted the Irishman with a single leg crab. Devlin tries a desperation package piledriver, but Sabre switched out into a Euro clutch for another near-fall… he tries it again, and it nearly backfires as Devlin reversed it for a two-count of his own, before a Pele kick and a brainbuster edged Devlin nearer to victory. Devlin looked to go for a superplex, but Sabre caught him on the top with a guillotine choke, before Jordan managed to hit his Spanish fly anyway. The package piledriver’s attempted again, but Sabre again escaped and trapped him with a pinning predicament for the win. I do like how they protected Devlin’s finisher again, but this was a match that (at least in terms of crowd reactions) felt a little flat. Perhaps in another venue this’d have hit it off, but this was a really good watch. ***¾
There’s issues with commentary as we’ve just got Andy Quildan flying solo for the rest of the show – although as you can see both Andys on the commentary desk, I’m just guessing someone forgot to press record again.
Legion of Lords (Rishi Ghosh & Los Federales Santos Jr.) vs. CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks)
We’ve separate entrances for the Legion of Lords, as Gideon Grey’s decided to come out with Rishi… but weirdly he’s wearing his wrestling gear with a sports jacket over it. Gideon throws some shade on his former best friend, saying what he’s done with Santos is “very good” – something the crowd took a little bit of offence to.
This was billed as CCK’s last stand in Rev Pro, with Travis Banks being one of those guys about to become unavailable due to those WWE UK deals. Andy Q sounded almost distraught when he said that “this was it” for Banks…
Gideon tried to orchestrate a jumpstart, but it fails as CCK turned their sights onto him. Yep, it seems anything connected directly to Gideon here turns to goof. He takes off his jacket and tries to do it himself, but that too backfires as CCK were making real light work of all of the Legion. The No Fun Gun comes into effect early, but Santos accidentally “shoots” his own man… prompting Gideon to lose his mind as he told Santos “it’s not a real gun”. More goofiness from Rishi led to him getting isolated by CCK, with Brookes taking his shot with some chops into the corner. Gideon tries to help by tripping Chris Brookes, and instantly gets ejected by referee Chris Hatch… who also threatened to dock the Legion all of their pay. Well, it got the kids going, and Gideon too, as he ran to the back.
That distraction gave Santos a chance to capitalise, as the Lords already looked to be better without Grey at ringside. Rishi’s surfboard stretch forces Brookes into the ropes as we get a touch more snark at WWE. Santos grounds Brookes with a chinlock, but again, the lanky Octopus boy’s able to get to the ropes with ease before getting free and making the tag to Banks.
The Kiwi Buzzsaw chops away at Rishi and Santos, before avoiding a double-team to dump Rishi with a German suplex. Cannonballs in the corner follow as Banks is going through his greatest hits, tripping Ghosh so he had an awkward landing in Santos’ nether regions. Brookes returns to lift up Banks for the elevated lungblower/back senton combo, getting CCK a near-fall, before Banks avoids another double-team and corners the Lords once more.
Ghosh sidesteps Banks as things turn around again, with a reverse DDT variation almost putting away the Kiwi, as Brookes chopped away at Santos, then shoved away the No Fun Gun for a superkick. CCK’s in the ascendency again… but the “Hard Man Headbutt” knocks them down as all four men were left laying in the ring. A spinning heel kick from Santos keeps the Lords ahead, before a fireman’s carry DDT left Brookes flat on his back.
They don’t go for the cover though, as Santos wants to fly… but Banks stopped him and powerbombed him out of the corner instead. A sleeperhold from Banks looked to put Santos away, but in the end Santos was knocked out and fell back onto Banks… who couldn’t avoid being pinned as the Legion of Lords pick up the flukiest of wins! Well, that’s certainly a finish, but there’s something about the Guildhall that comes across as really muted on VOD. Mostly a comedy match, and probably not the ideal way to say farewell to CCK… but at least they had Banks go out on his back. ***
After the match, Banks and Brookes hugged it out as CCK bid an emotional farewell.
Adam Brooks vs. Mark Davis
Brooks was looking to maintain his undefeated run in Rev Pro – and with him having a match against TK Cooper billed as “someone’s 0 has to go”, you’d be putting your money on him getting the win here.
Brooks started by jumping Davis before the bell, but a quick high five puts paid to that, as does a flapjack as Dunkzilla managed to get out of the blocks. They head outside as Davis lands a chop as he tried to chase after Brooks, whose attempt at a kick to the gut was blocked… along with an eye poke, only for him to finally get that dirty move in to escape a powerbomb. Davis was taken outside by that eye poke, where he was unable to stop a pair of apron PKs before he was drawn into a chop that connected with nothing but the ringpost. That’s sort-of shrugged off, but Brooks kicks the rope into Davis as they returned to the ring, but it’s Brooks who still has a spot of bother trying to stay on top of things as the much larger Dunkzilla was proving to be a tough nut to crack.
Davis counters a suplex and followed in with some forearms to the “Loose Ledge”, before a powerbomb drew a near-fall. Brooks’ kick to the legs started to cause a visible bruise to appear, as he finally took Davis down to a knee… only for Dunkzilla to respond with a solid punch. A flying lungblower staggered Davis before a tornado DDT put him down for a near-fall… but Davis is right back with the Alphamare Waterslide after he’d dragged Brooks off the top rope.
A sliding forearm caught Brooks unawares for a near-fall, before Sean Kustom wandered down to ringside. He’s punched out by Davis, but Adam Brooks capitalises with a roll-up for the win. Huh, they booked Kustom for a run-in? Easy money if you can get it! Post-match Kustom and Brooks double-teamed Davis until the eventual save by Kyle Fletcher – as Rev Pro seemingly build up to Aussie Civil War! This was decent, but again the acoustics of the venue really hurt the atmosphere on the VOD. ***¼
Cody vs. El Phantasmo
Despite picking up some losses as of late, El Phantasmo’s “the guy” in Rev Pro these days, being given some really high profile matches. Zack Sabre Jr. Will Ospreay. Cody (not Rhodes here). It’s a nice way to mark his first year in the company, that’s for sure.
We had a split crowd, with more than your fair share of Bullet Club chants and the like. Cody bought some time before the match so his other half, Brandi, could give him another introduction, but not before the crowd could sing her name. Given how quiet Portsmouth had been all night, it’s really odd to see them making noise – but that’s testament to how well Cody’s built himself up since leaving WWE.
Cody heels on the crowd by telling them that they’re not “All In”, because that’s in Chicago and sold out. Well, it’s one way to get the cheers and throw them back in everyone’s face! We finally get going with Phantasmo and Cody taking each other into the corners, embarking on what Andy Simmonz would call “hot dogging” to the crowd, before we broke into the back-and-forth shoulder tackles. Cody’s had enough of that early as he does the basement uppercut, only to run into a dropkick from Phantasmo as Cody’s sent packing onto the apron to regroup.
Phantasmo returns with some rope-walking, bouncing off the middle rope before landing the ‘rana as Cody powders to the outside ahead of a faked out dive. Cody heads into the crowd and tries to throw a chair into the ring… only for it to hit the ropes and almost rebound awkwardly back into the crowd! ELP returns the chair safely to its original spot… and takes a seat too as the initial pace is slow but very much crowd-pleasing. Back in the ring, Cody cuts off Phantasmo with an elbow before Brandi throws something into the ring… it’s intercepted by the referee, giving Cody a chance to low-blow ELP as he took control of the match. A stalling front suplex keeps Phantasmo on the mat, with Cody using a Butterfly hold to try and force a submission – someone watched YOSHI-HASHI then! Phantasmo fights out though, only to get dropped with a clothesline and thrown outside as Cody mocked the Kenny Omega Terminator pose… for no dive!
Cody heads outside anyway, picking his shots, and taking the few chops that Phantasmo threw in before dumping him with a Goldust-ish scoop slam for a near-fall. A drink’s grabbed from the crowd and thrown into the head of Phantasmo as we’re all about the heat… which continued as Cody offered a hug to a fan before running away to give it to his wife. Fair enough. That riled up the crowd a little, as they started to chant for Brandi… which prompted Cody to send her “to the naughty step” so he could get all the attention.
Phantasmo manages to rebound from there, with a bulldog and a Quebrada for a near-fall as a distracted Cody was almost made to pay. The whirlibird neckbreaker looked to follow, but Cody escaped and almost caused a ref bump… only to get caught with a low blow as Phantasmo issued a receipt for earlier. Now we get the neckbreaker, but Cody’s quickly back in with a Figure Four as Phantasmo’s leap off the top missed – and looked to tweak his own knee in the process.
A rope break gets Phantasmo free, as he managed to turn things back around with an enziguiri. The top rope senton bomb hits, only for Cody to avoid the moonsault as the Disaster Kick spiked Phantasmo, ahead of the Cross Rhodes for a near-fall. Cody tries to follow up with the Din’s Fire (vertebreaker), but Phantasmo flips out of that and nails a superkick as he picked up a two-count, only to get caught up top with a superplex as they were really dishing out their big guns.
In the end, the pair started to trade off with forearms and elbows to the head, before Cody caught Phantasmo out of nowhere with the Cross Rhodes, and that’s enough for the win. This was fine, but perhaps a match that perhaps backed up some’s views on him. Phantasmo wrestled a “Cody match”, and save for the rope walking, this felt at times like it could have been Cody against anybody. As much as Cody’s built himself up to be a star away from the WWE umbrella, his in-ring work perhaps fits the “casual” Rev Pro crowd more than the “hardcore” crowd, shall we say – this wasn’t a bad main event, but it just felt like it was lacking. ***¼
Rev Pro’s return to Portsmouth marked the start of a new era for the company – one that will see several changes to their roster, and hopefully some new faces getting a push. That being said, this wasn’t a bad show – but with what sounded like a muted crowd, it sure did feel like there was little consequence to anything on the card, save for the last hurrah for CCK, as far more spotlight seemed to be placed on their trip down the road to Southampton a few days later – a card that was more newsworthy, especially once it was all said and done.