Rev Pro’s busy start to 2019 continued as they debuted in Guildford – and crowned new contenders for their tag team championships.
The show’s coming from the G-Live in Guildford, with the two Andys on commentary. The venue is sort of like a theatre, with some floor seating, as you see a huge bank of tiered seats during some of the entrances. I wonder if Generic Number Three’s resolution is to avoid… you know.
Josh Bodom & Sha Samuels vs. Dan Magee & Kurtis Chapman
Commentary mentions how Bodom and Samuels used to be part of the Revolutionists back in the day, while Andy Quildan had to do live director work as the director lingered on Josh Bodom for a little too long…
Bodom starts the match with an ankle lock on Dan Magee, who managed to get free and respond with a dropkick as the former contenders looked to build up some steam early. Magee effectively powerbombs Kurtis Chapman onto a kneeling-over Bodom, allowing Chapman to remain on offence, where he scores a crossbody off the top for a near-fall.
The tables turn when Sha kicks Chapman in the ropes, with Bodom following in with a big clothesline as Sha comes in to pick apart the pieces, kicking Chapman in the back ahead of a two-count. A suplex from Samuels is quickly chained together with a running shooting star press from Bodom as Chapman quickly became a punching bag… but at least he offers some resistance, even if Sha takes him into the corner. Chapman fought back with a missile dropkick, but he’s easily caught and rolled into a Boston crab right by the ropes before Josh Bodom came back in and wrestled Chapman into a rather uneasy suplex for a near-fall.
Bodom tries to pull Chapman out of the corner, but ends up taking a Codebreaker instead, as both men tag out, with Magee putting the boots to Sha – figuratively speaking – as he threw Samuels into the corners. A low dropkick took Sha to his knees for a sliding Flatliner, only for Bodom to come in and interfere… but Magee quickly drops him with a pumphandle flippy-do into a knee. Sha’s back to his feet after that, but not for long as Chapman returns the favour with a crossbody off the top, only for a charge from Dan Magee to backfire as the relative rookies were back on the defensive. Magee eats a Bodom Breaker out of nowhere, and that’s enough for the win. Heck, Bodom and Sha won with their “B finish”, which kinda tells you how far above their opponents these guys were. ***
Commentary was teasing Sha and Bodom as a regular team going forward. Let’s see – I’d be disappointed if they’re back to having Bodom in tags, as his push in Rev Pro has been rather erratic.
Great O-Kharn vs. MK McKinnan
Yeah, Gideon did the crazy eyes and bulging veins deal as he introduced O-Kharn. He’ll do himself a damage one of these days… Hey, at least he remembered the time limits. Can Gideon do this permanently?
The first time these two met, MK busted O-Kharn open – and so there’s the obvious quest for revenge… even if O-Kharn took the win that day. With O-Kharn trying to mess around with a cane before the match, MK took the initiative and jumped into O-Kharn before the bell with dropkicks, sending him outside for the cannonball tope that almost went badly awry for MK. Back in the ring, a missile dropkick gets MK a near-fall as he had O-Kharn in peril early on, to the point where Gideon Grey had to provide a distraction as MK was edging ahead with forearms.
The distraction lets O-Kharn into the match as he hotshotted MK in the ropes before unleashing some strikes from above. In the ropes again, O-Kharn chokes away on McKinnan before he followed up with some chops as he then sat on MK in the corner to further his dominance. A bodyslam’s good for a two-count, as was a Mongolian chop, but O-Kharn’s attempt at a front suplex backfires as MK slipped out into a rear naked choke.
O-Kharn backs up into the corner to quickly break it up, but he’s caught in a wheelbarrow roll-up that eventually lead to another rear naked choke as MK ended up having O-Kharn way too close to the ropes again. Kicks by the rope follow as MK keeps the momentum going, following up with a clothesline to cut-off Gideon Grey’s distraction, and a senton off the middle rope as O-Kharn was caught in the ropes again. MK goes for some kicks, but O-Kharn ducks them and hits a Mongolian chop instead, before MK hit back with a leg trip, and a roll through… but the follow-up kick’s ducked as MK has to counter an Iron Finger Slam with more kicks. A Shining Wizard finds its mark for a two-count, which prompts Gideon to throw in his cane to try and help O-Kharn.
It backfires though as MK intercepts the cane and clocks O-Kharn with it behind the referee’s back… so Gideon comes in to try and attack MK himself, but he gets himself a rear naked choke for his troubles, allowing O-Kharn to low blow and finish off McKinnan with an Iron Finger Slam for the win. Full props to Gideon for doing the winner’s announcement moments after he was strangled! That was quite a good outing, given how maligned O-Kharn is… but while he came the closest he’s been to losing, he remains (ahem) undefeated. ***¼
Rev Pro Undisputed Women’s Championship: Yuu vs. Zoe Lucas (c)
Yuu earned this match by beating Zoe Lucas in the first round of the Queen of the Ring tournament the prior weekend.
We start out hot with Yuu taking down Lucas with a Judo throw, before some back sentons kept the champion down… forcing Zoe to roll to the outside to compose herself. Coming back into the ring, Zoe lands a Scorpion kick, but Yuu catches her charge and turns it into a spinning side slam for a near-fall, before following up with a series of chops, keeping hold of Lucas’ wrist for good measure.
Lucas grabs a handful of hair to turn it around, pulling Yuu down ahead of a leg lariat in the corner and a shotgun dropkick for another two-count. Zoe keeps Yuu in the corner, rushing back in with an elbow before a snapmare and a PK drew a two-count, before a second elbow into the corner’s caught and turned into a side slam. Yuu returns fire with a shotgun dropkick, but a spinning heel kick from Lucas saw her snuff out her challenger’s fire… well, at least briefly as the pair traded forearms to the head.
Yuu switches things up as she chops Lucas, but another head kick ends that offence before Zoe misses another leg lariat in the corner, allowing Yuu to monkey flip her out into an armbar attempt. Lucas rolls her up for a near-fall to avoid that armbar, then comes back in with a death valley driver and another PK for a near-fall as it seemed like Zoe was starting to run out of ideas. Lucas climbs the ropes, but leaps into another Judo takedown as Yuu counters a crossbody, before Zoe slipped out of a Last Ride and rolled up Yuu with her feet on the ropes for the win. I’ve only seen Yuu a handful of times, but her style’s meshed really well over here, making her stand out while not really causing any clashes either. The questionable finish her makes you think this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Yuu in Rev Pro… ***
Chris Brookes vs. Will Ospreay
This came off the back of Will Ospreay’s attempt to help Chris Brookes back at Uprising – in a match where Brookes eventually lost to Taichi. A lot’s happened since then, such as Will Ospreay winning the NEVER Openweight championship at the Tokyo Dome…
At the bell, Brookes heads outside, but back inside he’s quickly taken to the ropes as he seemingly begged for Ospreay to make a clean break. Which came. Brookes followed up by taking Will to the ropes, but of course he doesn’t return the favour, cheapshotting Ospreay with a forearm to the chest which prompted Will to slip into a higher gear, sending Brookes outside with a monkey flip before he faked out a dive.
Chops follow for Brookes, who lifts Ospreay to the outside, only for Kid Lykos to get involved, tripping Ospreay on the top, allowing Brookes to kick the NEVER champion to the floor. Brookes goes after Ospreay rather than sit and wait for a count-out, as we got to see more of the venue as Brookes dropped Ospreay onto the apron, before he threw him into the wall. Lord knows what the security guys at G-Live were making of this…
Ospreay just about beats the count-out as he dove back into the ring, but Brookes keeps up the offence, dropping a knee on Ospreay for a two-count, prompting the champion to fight back with chops from the mat. A stomp to the ankle stopped all that, as did some more chops as Ospreay was struggling to get into gear… at least until he countered a whip into the ropes with a handspring enziguiri, that is! An over-the-top 619 deals with Brookes as Ospreay then neutered Lykos with a moonsault off the apron… back inside, the springboard forearm’s good for a near-fall on Brookes, who then got taken to the outside after a barrage of strikes and a step-up enziguiri. You know what’s next… dive! Except a handspring back elbow’s caught on the apron, with Brookes threatening a brainbuster to the floor, as Ospreay countered out with a head kick before busting out the Hiromu Takahashi sunset bomb… which Brookes countered with a stomp instead.
Back in the ring, Ospreay misses a leg lariat, but finds his mark as he flipped over a Brookes clothesline and into a sit-out powerbomb. Lykos gets involved again, grabbing into Ospreay as he went for a springboard, and that distraction was enough for Will to leap into a knee strike ahead of a rope-hung neckbreaker that almost wins Brookes the match. Ospreay takes another knee strike as Brookes goes for a Praying Mantis Bomb, but Will flips out and lands a Dragon suplex, then a hook kick before hoisting Brookes up for a Storm Breaker. Lykos helps Brookes free, but only into the corner as he takes a trip to Nandos for a near-fall.
More Lykos interference sees him bat Ospreay with the old CCK baking tray to break up an OsCutter, but Brookes can only get a two-count from the follow-up Praying Mantis Bomb. Brookes shoves down Chris Roberts, which should have been a DQ after what happened at the Cockpit a week earlier, but instead he stays down as Lykos accidentally waffles Brookes with a baking tray, which led to a shooting star press from Ospreay for a near-fall, before the Storm Breaker got the win. This was every bit as good as you’d think, with Brookes more than matching Ospreay as it ended up being his buddy Lykos who played a role in his defeat. ***½
RevPro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: Kip Sabian vs. David Starr (c)
There was an extra wrinkle added to this match, where Starr could lose his title if he gets disqualified – cue extra talk of conspiracies from the champion, who all of a sudden is bothered that his belt isn’t all new and shiny.
Starr quickly gets annoyed that fans are booing his intro, which just has Kip Sabian head into the crowd to join in. He makes Starr even more irate by parading around the ring with his title before the bell, as the match finally gets going with the pair heading to the mat, wrestling each other down from the opening tie-up before Starr managed to trap Sabian in some headscissors. Kip escapes those by flipping free, as he grabbed on with a front facelock that he keeps hold of despite Starr’s Firemans carry takeover. A wristlock is next, with Starr similarly unable to break it before he had to reach for the ropes to force the break, as his attempts to grab any part of Sabian were consistently frustrated.
Eventually Starr manages to charge Sabian into the corner, where he cheapshots him with punches and kicks, only for Kib to fire back in kind as Starr tried to send him into the ropes, only for the champion to get caught with a springboard ‘rana and a dropkick. Those shook up the champion, who rolled to the outside and tried to take a count-out – but he rushed back in when he remembered he’d be stripped of the title. Sabian keeps up the pressure on Starr, but has the ropes snapped into him as Starr then tossed him into the corner, almost in a cannonball-like throw, as the tables looked to turn.
With Sabian down, Starr picks his shots, throwing him into the apron before following in with some forearms in the corner as Starr worked his way into a sliding splash. A tight roll-up from that’s only good for a near-fall though, so Starr sinks in a neck crank on Sabian… who gets free and returns some favours, taking Starr into the corner, only for him to miss a stomp off the top. A big boot does find its mark though, as does a brainbuster as Sabian gets a near-fall at the ten-minute mark. Sabian goes for a springboard, but he’s caught as he goes for a springboard, landing hard in the ropes. Somehow, Kip’s able to counter a powerbomb from Starr into a ‘rana that sends both men to the outside as a brawl started on the floor, perhaps with Starr looking for a count-out win.
Sabian again beats the count, so Starr takes him outside for another beating, with chops being the order of the day… of course, Starr misses one and hits the ring post, as Sabin ends up throwing Starr into the stage as yet again the referee restarts the count. They both end up onto the stage, where Sabian looks for a brainbuster, but instead he makes do with a running knee before a back body drop dumped Starr onto the stage. Somehow, both men beat the count-out, but Starr manages to get his second wind in spite of taking some kicks from Sabian, eventually powerbombing him and following through with a superkick. A Blackheart Buster rudely dumps Kip for a near-fall, before a Han Stansen was ducked and turned into a Dragon suplex.
Kip fought back with a Falcon arrow, but Starr kicked out at two from that, before Rob Lias appeared on the stage in his jacket made out of the remnants of Muppets. The distraction almost allowed Starr to land a belt shot, but the referee stops him – and with the referee distracted, Lias comes in and lands a Fisherman buster… he exits as Starr stomps on the mat for… reasons, and gathers the pin. Well, I’m guessing the Lias interference is leading to a feud or a partnership, but since Kip wasn’t exactly a regular at Rev Pro, I had big trouble in believing he would win the title here. Still, this was a really good match until the storyline finish, as David Starr continues to run roughshod over the division. ***½
Chris Ridgeway vs. Jay White
One week on from slaying Kazuchika Okada at the Tokyo Dome, Jay White returned to Rev Pro for a rather different challenge.
At the bell, White instantly powders to the outside as he looked to dictate the pace before we even had one set. When he returned to the ring, Ridgeway instantly took him down, and White again headed outside, and then again as he dared Ridgeway to take him on. The game of cat and mouse backfired as Ridgeway managed to land some kicks, before White used the referee as a human shield, allowing him to swing the momentum around.
A kick to the chest from Ridgeway took White down though, as he quickly segued into a STF before White again got to the ropes, then to the outside as Ridgeway again followed him out with kicks. White managed to get free though, then take the upper hand with some chops, even if you sensed that going into a striking battle with Ridgeway wasn’t the best idea… so he proceeded to ram Ridgeway’s back into the apron, before grabbing a chinlock back in the ring. White intersperses that with some forearms before throwing Ridgeway to the outside, but he doesn’t do a dive, as he instead just slid to the floor and followed in with a chop.
Back in the ring again, White’s kicks get caught and turned into a Dragon screw, as Ridgeway finally managed to uncork a series of kicks to trap White against the ropes. An up-kick, then a roundhouse head kick followed for a near-fall, only for White to strike back with a snapping Saito suplex out of nowhere. Chops are next as White and Ridgeway remained evenly balanced, going tit-for-tat as a head kick from Ridgeway was met with a Flatliner and a German suplex as White’s stuff seemed to be landing with a bit more impact. A Twister’s next for a near-fall from White, who then let Ridgeway head onto the apron, before catching him inbetween the ropes for some chops.
Ridgeway fires up, absorbing those chops and uppercuts that eventually dragged him back into the ring. A guillotine from Ridgeway saw him catch White, whose attempts to get free just saw Ridgeway turn the hold into a rear naked choke, before White slipped free and tries for a Blade Runner… only for Ridgeway to block it and catch him in an ankle lock instead! That neat series was followed up with a German suplex and a rear spin kick to the head for a near-fall, before a follow-up Fujiwara armbar looked to have White in serious trouble. Somehow White got back to his feet, and reversed a rear naked choke to turn it into a sleeper suplex, leaving Ridgeway down as the inevitable happened – with a Blade Runner getting the win. This was fine, but I doubt many would have pegged White to lose this one, which hurt with the crowd reactions. ***¼
Post-match, White took the mic and told the crowd he proved them all wrong, before bemoaning how the crowd booed him despite the fact he’d beaten Okada a week earlier. Something something, breathe with the Switchblade in his new era. What the hell does that even mean?
Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. Hunter Brothers (Jim Hunter & Lee Hunter)
This was the finals of the World of Pro Wrestling tag team tournament, which I’d completely forgotten was a thing. I’m guessing this was planned to lead off the second series, but since that’s not materialising anytime soon, Guildford gets the finals.
Mark Davis and Jim Hunter start us off, taking the match to the mat early before Davis pulled Jim into the corner as a tag’s made to Kyle Fletcher. Jim manages to trip Kyle, but he’s quickly back up and tags in Lee as commentary was completely blowing off what was happening in the ring. An armbar from Lee sees him wrench away on Kyle’s arm, only for him to get tripped to the mat as a quick tag’s made out to Mark Davis, who quickly hurled Lee into the corner.
Davis has some stinging high fives as Lee begged for mercy, and the Aussies were quickly on top form, with Fletcher and Davis scoring with back sentons for another near-fall. Jim tags in and tries to fight back with an uppercut, taking Kyle down for a near-fall as it was the Hunters who were swapping quick tags, and even double-teaming Fletcher with a drop toe hold and an elbow drop getting the relative veterans a near-fall.
Fletcher hit back with a Falcon arrow, but he doesn’t go for a cover as instead both men tagged out – Mark Davis hits his clothesline/chop comeback combos to the Hunters, before he slammed them both at the same time. Egads. A tag’s quickly made out to Fletcher so he could go for an assisted cutter, but the Hunters cut that off and drill Fletcher with a superkick. More of the same went Davis’ way as the Hunters hit an assisted moonsault/knee drop to Davis’ head, before Mark thought he’d avoided a dive… and instead turned around into a cannonball off the apron. Fletcher remained the legal man as the Hunters double-team him with a superkick and a tornado DDT, before a neckbreaker/senton bomb combo had Kyle down for a two-count.
A top rope ‘rana and a big splash from the Hunters get a similar result, with Mark Davis diving in to break it up. Kyle uses his newly-minted status as heavyweight to reverse a double-team suplex, before Mark Davis came in and almost fell to a sunset flip… then a La Magistral as Jim was trying every pinning attempt he knew.
Davis blocks some headscissors and instead counters into a double-team Go To Sleep, as Fletcher then flew in with an assisted cutter for a near-fall. Fletcher keeps up with a corner clothesline ahead of a sliding punch from Davis, only for Jim Hunter to block a Fidget Spinner. He’s quickly dealt with, as Lee then makes a save from a pull-up piledriver, catching Davis with Code Red as the Hunters turned the match on a sixpence.
The Hunters take Davis up top for another top rope ‘rana, but Kyle cuts off the big splash with another cutter as Jim quickly leaps into a superkick as a Fidget Spinner booked the Aussies another title shot. This was a hell of a tag match, maybe not quite at the same heights as their 2018 outings (thanks in part to the crowd), and now Aussie Open have another shot at Suzuki-gun at some point down the road. ***¾
RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Shigehiro Irie vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (c)
Originally just a singles match, Sabre made this a title match as his quest to be a fighting champion rumbled on to this first-time match-up.
Commentary tells us that on January 27 in Bristol, Irie’ll be facing Great O-Kharn – and mooted that possibly being for the Rev Pro title. With all due respect… get real! Sabre’s a little tentative against Irie early on, going for a wristlock, only for Irie to fight free and grab a side headlock, which Zack countered out of with headscissors that he used to turn into a version of a Boston crab… but a bow and arrow hold quickly backfires as Irie flipped over into a pinning attempt.
Irie tries to follow in with a back senton, which misses, unlike a shoulder tackle as the former DDT star sent Sabre sailing into the corner. Back on the mat, Sabre and Irie go for submissions, but they’re both equally adept at escaping, so we end up with a stare-off that quickly degenerated into a striking exchange.
A slam from Irie dumps Sabre to the mat, but he’s right back with a Cobra twist that Irie slid out of, reversing the hold with relative ease before catching Sabre with a death valley driver. Another submission attempt from Zack keeps Irie in the ropes, but he’s right back with a forearm as both men looked to be formulating a plan B… with Irie’s forearms working well until Zack decided to stop those by stomping on both forearms.
Some PK-like kicks from Sabre keep Irie on his knees… at least until Irie took a page from one of Sabre’s stablemates by biting away on his foot. A nice ode to the retiring Takashi Iizuka there! Sabre keeps up on the arm of Irie, then blocked a pounce by turning it into a guillotine that Irie quickly countered into a suplex ahead of a sit-out splash that drew a near-fall. A piledriver’s countered with an up-kick to the arm and a leg sweep from Sabre, leaving Irie down again… until a headbutt and a slingshot splash off the ropes almost caused a relative upset.
Just like that though, Sabre goes back to the arm of Irie, clinging on despite attempts to escape before he scored a Northern Lights suplex, then floated into a cross armbar attempt that finally comes off, except Irie’d rolled into the ropes just in the nick of time. Another headbutt from Irie stuffs some kicks from Sabre, who then ran into a Bossman slam for a near-fall, only for Sabre to come right back with a double armbar that again forced Irie to squirm his way towards the ropes for the break, surviving as Sabre switched between holds, grabbing any spare limb he could before Irie got a foot to the rope.
Out of nowhere, Irie responded with a Pounce, sending Sabre down to the mat, following up with a death valley driver and a big cannonball into the corner… but Sabre’s able to kick-out at two! Irie looked to finish Sabre off with a Beast Bomber, which produced an audible crack as it made contact… but Sabre’s able to kick out at two, before Irie missed with a leap off the top rope. That left him open for a PK that nearly ends things for the champion, before Zack ducked a second Beast Bomber and wrapped Irie into a submission, stretching the arms and the legs as Hurrah! Another Year, Surely This One Will Be Better Than the Last; The Inexorable March of Progress Will Lead Us All to Happiness forces Irie to verbally submit. A very good main event, but one that suffered as a result of the crowd perhaps not knowing Irie, nor buying him as a viable challenger. ***¾
Rev Pro’s debut in Guildford was an outing that you’d be able to tag as “low-key good” – with no matches really being so must-see; but it was another in a long line of solid shows that keep things ticking along ahead of the next big York Hall show in February – one that, as of yet at least, doesn’t seem to have too many obvious matches. With Rev Pro expanding into more new towns and cities in 2019, it makes sense to not instantly show favouritism to a (say) Guildford over Northampton, but these new stops will need to become more than just “sub Cockpit shows” in the long run if they’re to keep drawing fans back.