Last stop before Manchester! Rev Pro returned to 229 The Venue in London for their final card ahead of the Anniversary show…
Shota Umino pinned Callum Newman in 14:57 (***)
Shaun Jackson & Mariah May pinned Gisele Shaw & Hyan in 14:04 (**¾)
Doug Williams defeated Gideon Grey 2-0 in a British Rules match at 0:52 of Round 4 (***)
Great British Tag League Block A: Luke Jacobs & Ethan Allen pinned Kid Lykos II & Kid Lykos in 18:00 (***¾)
Brendan White pinned Rob Lias, Chris Ridgeway, JJ Gale & Joe Lando in 9:10 (***¼)
Great British Tag League Block A: Connor Mills & Michael Oku pinned Lee Hunter & Dean Allmark (***½)
Ricky Knight Jr. pinned TK Cooper in 12:18 (***½)
We’re back at 229 The Venue in London for the final show ahead of Rev Pro’s trip to Manchester… and we’ve gotten some card changes – Kenneth Halfpenny and Robbie X had to drop out, so in their place we had Mariah May replacing ol’ Ken, and Lee Hunter moved from the scramble match to partner Dean Allmark.
Commentary comes from Andy Quildan, running solo again.
Callum Newman vs. Shota Umino
This was dubbed a proving-ground match for Newman, who’s escaped the whole Contender’s division malarkey since he became a part of Rev Pro again over the empty arena show era.
We’ve a tentative start as Newman was taken into the ropes, before he kipped up from a shoulder block. Evasive action leads to armdrags and dropkicks from Newman, taking Umino outside for a tope con giro. Uppercuts back inside keep Newman ahead, but an elbow and a forearm out of the corner puts Umino back in it, as a cravat restrained Newman in the middle of the ring.
Knees to the back keep Newman down, but after he broke in the ropes he found himself met with more uppercuts… but Newman demanded Umino brought some more fire, and ended up getting taken down with a dropkick. Shota telegraphs a brainbuster, with Newman eventually countering with one of his own.
A 619 catches Umino in the corner, with a springboard uppercut and a running shooting star press next… the standing moonsault gets Newman a two-count, before Newman misses off the top rope and found himself taking a dropkick. Umino pushed on with a neckbreaker, but the pair resume with back-and-forth elbows and boots ahead of a pop-up knee from Shota, then a spinning kick from Newman as both men were put down.
Umino demanded more from Newman (“come on boy”) as they trade elbows, before Newman flipped out of a German suplex, then hung onto the ropes to avoid a dropkick. Newman’s standing shooting star press lands in Shota’s knees as dropkicks eventually followed, taking Newman back into the ropes.
Newman heads up top and misses another shooting star press, then got flung into the corner with a shotgun dropkick, as Umino almost finishes the deal with a tornado DDT and a brainbuster. That only gets a two-count, as Newman then rolled Umino up out of a Death Rider attempt, before head kicks kept Shota wobbly…
From there, a rolling elbow and a pumphandle slam gets Umino another two-count as he shrugged it off, before the Death Rider got the win in a hair under 15-minutes. Perhaps a lot longer than you’d have expected Umino to have taken given he has a big match on Saturday, but Newman more than held his own here. ***
Mariah May & Shaun Jackson vs. Gisele Shaw & Hyan
On Rev Pro’s Contenders shows, Jackson and Kenneth Halfpenny have been rocking the “TEAM” gimmick for a while. Perhaps a little too long, as the print on Jackson’s trunks was falling off… as already mentioned, Halfpenny was off the show, so in his stead was Mariah May.
Hyan and May start, with Hyan getting roughed up in the corner early on before some cravat knees led to a neckbreaker on the “Princess” May… who then demanded to face Shaw. Chops make May tag out to Jackson, who was instantly met with “simp” chants. I’m too old to know what that means.
Jackson throws Shaw into the ropes from the lock-up, before Hyan tagged in to trip Jackson up… only to get charged down. Headscissors from Hyan have Shaun down, as Shaw tagged in to help double-team Jackson for a near-fall. Shaun’s taken into the corner for chops, before Hyan tripped Jackson to the outside for a low-pe. Back inside, Jackson’s knocked into the ropes with another Hyan dropkick as Shaw returned with chops, only to get ragdolled with a pop-up backbreaker. That looked NASTY. May’s back with boot chokes in the corner, before a hair-assisted Edgucator and a low dropkick gets her a two-count.
Jackson’s back to slam Shaw for a two-count, before another crossbody was caught and turned into a twister suplex for a two-count. Shaw remains cornered, but she fights free, only to get pushed out of the corner by Jackson as a knee strike and German suplex nearly got the win. A diving roundhouse kick from Shaw has May down, before Jackson distracted the ref to mask a tag from Hyan. Shaw fights back again, sliding under May for a Curt Hennig neck flip and a spinebuster, but it’s only good for a two-count as Jackson gets the tag in… and gets speared.
Mariah May distracts the referee as Skye Smitson ran out to knock Hyan off the apron, hitting a Roll the Dice on the floor… and that leaves Shaw on her own as May comes in to pop Shaw up into a Jackson slam for the win. This was fine, and did what it needed to do – beat Shaw to put a seed of doubt in your mind for her title match, and set up another match for Manchester in Hyan/Smitson. **¾
Hey, Rev Pro replay the Smitson attack!
British Rules Match: Gideon Grey vs. Doug Williams
On his appearances on commentary, Gideon had been making playful digs at Doug being “the oldest contender.” By the way, those chants of “public warnings” on the VOD were because the crowd were told those would be in full effect. Lets see if Gideon’s promise to not break one rule holds up…
Grey has an entrance robe, which looked like a sewn up blue duvet. Apparently it was a heirloom, and who am I to argue?
Round 1: Williams takes Gideon into the corner as Andy on commentary reminisces over Premier Promotions’ premium rate results line back in the day… Doug teases a cheap shot, but of course doesn’t follow through as headscissors from a smug Gideon were headstand’d out of, as Williams then set up for a leg spreader, pulling every trick out of the book to cause Gideon some, erm, discomfort. Doug keeps control with a hammerlock’d armbar, tickling Gideon before rolling him up for a two-count. Another hammerlock on Grey’s rolled out of, but Gideon has trouble maintaining a wristlock, eventually running to the corner for a break before an armbar on the mat takes us to the end of the round.
Round 2: Gideon delays the round starting so he can have a drink from his Thermos flask. We start with Gideon getting thrown into the corners, leading to a standing ten-count that Gideon milked. Roll-ups troll the ref with back-and-forth two-counts, but one of them actually gets the fall as Doug scores a three-count at 1:29 of the round.
Round 3: Between rounds, Doug wants some of Gideon’s drink… so he can throw it in his face. At least Gideon’s robe looks extra absorbent and can soak that up… along with another shower of water out of Doug’s water bottle. Doug takes Grey into the corners again, before Gideon… took a dive? There wasn’t that much water! Then we get an eye-rake as the ref dishes out a public warning to Grey. A trip leads to a cartwheel eye-rake as Gideon gets warning number two (see, he didn’t break ONE rule…), as Grey then went for a roll-up, only to get a two-count. They trade uppercuts, but another eye-rake looked to lead to the DQ, only for Doug to plead to let the match continue as Gideon nearly nicks the win with a roll-up. Stomps from Grey keep Doug down, as did a front facelock – with some assistance in the ropes. Smitson distracts the ref so Gideon can rake the eyes again, as inside cradles while away the round.
Round 4: Between the rounds, Gideon punts Williams low, but Doug’s able to boot Grey out of the corner at the start of the round, before a Superman pin gets the winning second fall at 52 seconds of the round. A fun change of pace, with Gideon and Doug working an entertaining match that’d have not been out of place on the camp shows – and I mean that in a good way. ***
Post-match, Stephanie Chase interviews Doug about Will Ospreay’s comments at the New Japan show overnight. The obvious sentiment was there from the crowd as Doug called out Ospreay’s “special kind of insecurity,” then told him off for his “despicable behaviour.” This was blurring the lines a little as Doug said that Rev Pro and New Japan “distanced their titles from” him, before Williams accepted the challenge “whenever you are available.” Which translated to Manchester this weekend…
“We’ll find out if you’re the very best fighter, not just the very best gymnast.” – Doug Williams
Great British Tag League Block A: Lykos Gym (Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II) vs. Young Guns (Ethan Allen & Luke Jacobs)
The Lykii needed to win to have any chance of making the finals, as we could end up with a three-way tie by the end of the night.
There were extended, but split chants from the London crowd – which had been amped up all night – as we get going without the bell… with a lock-up from Allen and Lykos II that was quickly neutralised. Truth be told, this had a lot of echoes of the Young Guns’ match here two weeks ago – with an engaged crowd and some extra aggression throughout.
We don’t have to wait for too long for Luke Jacobs to turn Lykos II into a percussion instrument, swinging for the fences before Lykos II threw some chops in return as he tried to save his chest from being tenderised. Kid Lykos comes in with a resistance band and whips Jacobs with it, drawing in Ethan Allen who got it right in the head before Lykos begged off and handed it to the ref.
Yeah, you know that whole “getting whipped in the head with a big elastic band” thing? Allen went right for Lykos I on the floor later on, stomping him off the apron after having been in an understandable mood. Double back elbows drop Lykos II for a two-count, before some double-team stomps kept the young(er) wolf down. Lykos II manages to fight free, eventually landing a satellite DDT to Jacobs as Lykos I came in… and found a way to mule kick the legal Allen.
Allen nicks out with an Orton-ish backbreaker, before Lykos II’s wheelbarrow/tope combo keeps the wolves ahead, as a Mistica and a kick leads to a standing moonsault for a two-count. A pair of Octopuses are broken up as Allen ran into Jacobs and Lykos. Ethan keeps going with a clothesline out of the corner, before a Hart Attack Codebreaker off the ropes drew a near-fall, before the Lykii found a way back in.
A Code Red/facebuster series, then a Total Elimination nearly has Jacobs down for the count. All four men end up in the ring, trading strikes, but it’s a Lykos II DDT that earns him a lariat from Jacobs, before a kick-assisted piledriver gets the win – eliminating the Lykii from the tag league. Another wild match to wrap up the first half, as the Young Guns look to be fitting into Rev Pro like a goddamn glove. ***¾
Post-match, the Young Guns and the Lykii shake hands and flip off the crowd…
Rob Lias vs. Chris Ridgeway vs. JJ Gale vs. Brendan White vs. Joe Lando
It’s a Rev Pro debut for Lando, while Brendan White had graduated from the Contenders’ trunks here, donning his red WRKHRSE gear.
As you’d expect, the match spills outside as White and Ridgeway decided to have a scrap around ringside, while Lias and Gale went at it in the ring, with Gale’s springboard ‘rana taking Lias down early. A springboard cutter from Gale’s countered into a Dragon suplex by Lias, as Lando came in to hit a shotgun dropkick on Lias.
A roll through and a standing moonsault on Gale gets Lando a two-count, before Chris Ridgeway came in and decided to test the debutant with kicks. Lando recovers and leaps onto a crowd outside with a shooting star press off the top, before a shooting star elbow to Ridgeway back inside nearly got Joe the win.
Ridgeway counters Lando with a Dragon screw off the top, then a PK for a near-fall, as White came in to take over, trading shoulder tackles as the Welshman pulled ahead. A slam drops Ridgeway next, as did a Black Hole slam, before Lias and Gale came in… a top rope elbow from Lias lands perfectly for a two-count as a Parade of Moves breaks out, including a reverse ‘rana from Lando out of a Gorilla press slam.
Ridgeway BOUNCES Lando with a brainbuster, while Lias took the springboard uppercut from Gale out of the corner… but a White clothesline completes the picture as bodies were strewn everywhere. White tries another clothesline, but Ridgeway pulls him into a crossface as Ridgeway was just going from wrestler to wrestler with submissions, only for a Falcon arrow from Gale to stop it all for a near-fall.
A pop-up powerbomb from White dumps Gale, but we still keep going as Lando kicks Lias, only to get dumped with a lariat and the Overdose double-underhook hanging piledriver… but White’s back in with a backbreaker, then another Black Hole Slam as White started his career away from the Contenders division with a win. ***¼
Great British Tag League Block A: Dean Allmark & Lee Hunter vs. Destination Everywhere (Connor Mills & Michael Oku)
Allmark and Hunter weren’t exactly on the same page from the off, as Hunter didn’t want to be “just Robbie X’s replacement,” especially when it came to doing Robbie’s mannerisms. Winner wins the block, and a spot in the tag title match at the 9 Year Anniversary show on Saturday against the Legion.
We finally get going with Allmark and Mills working wristlocks, before Allmark blocked some headscissors and took down Mills for a toe hold. Mills escapes for a side headlock, but Allmark cartwheels free and came back with a knuckle lock that forces Mills to the mat for some ref-trolling pinning attempts.
A Mouse Trap pin from Allmark nearly puts Mills away, before tags brought in “Hunter X” and Michael Oku. Hunter’s headlock takedown has Oku down, before Hunter tried to explain to Allmark to put his foot up to throw Oku into, but gets rolled up before it could happen. Oku’s dropkick has Hunter in the ropes, while Mills keeps the offence going as he grounded Hunter with a chinlock.
Mills’ dropkick downs Hunter, but a Burning Cutter’s flipped out of as Hunter slingshots Mills into the corner, before tags get us back to Oku and Allmark. Oku’s caught with an uppercut as he was floating over Allmark… before a legdrop/sidewalk slam combo took out Mills. The makeshift Dream Team continue on Oku, who’s getting increasingly worn-down… but he manages to clock Allmark with his feet as he countered a satellite DDT before dumping Hunter with a Jackhammer.
Mills gets the tag back in, running wild as he wiped out Allmark and Hunter with topes, before Oku came back in… and got thrown into Mills. Another swift double-team sees Oku put in a Giant Swing for a low dropkick from Hunter, before Oku was tied up in a twisting abdominal stretch by Allmark as Hunter played guard on Mills.
Hunter loses sight of Mills, who comes in and eventually breaks up the hold as Oku almost tapped. A rebound lariat from Mills drops Hunter, before Allmark countered one, only to get met with an Oku frog splash for a near-fall. Dragging Oku to the corner, Mills tags back in as all four men traded strikes… with Oku taking a nasty spill to the outside. That leaves Mills on his own… only to springboard moonsault into a pair of superkicks.
Mills is picked up, but Hunter’s pushed into Allmark in the corner, before a Burning Cutter gets the win as Mills and Oku book their spot in Saturday’s final. The story of Michael Oku being worn down continued here, and you do have to wonder if his dream of leaving Manchester with two titles could end up costing Destination Everywhere everything? ***½
TK Cooper vs. Ricky Knight Jr.
Cooper pinned RKJ in the main event of the last show in London – so Knight’s looking to get his win back, along with some steam going into his match with Shota Umino in Manchester.
We open with a lock-up as both men headed into the ropes, before RKJ hit the ropes, leaping over and sliding under TK Cooper before finally landing a dropkick. A dropkick through the ropes meets TK on the outside, who’s then put in the front row as Knight’s tope took him further back.
Back inside, TK’s lit up with a chop, then caught with a jab as Knight looked to pull ahead. TK’s back with some roll-up clotheslines and an overhead suplex, before a body attack caught out Knight in the middle of the ring. Cooper misses a scissor kick and gets dumped with a death valley driver into the corner, with a running dropkick and a face-washing dropkick keeping the Kiwi rocked.
A draping DDT off the top rope gets Knight a two-count, before he went up top for a 450 splash that he had to abort in mid-air. TK shrugs off a superkick, then hit a headbutt and an Air Raid Crash ahead of a frog splash as TK looked close to a second win over Knight in as many weeks.
Another scissor kick’s countered into a sit-out powerbomb by RKJ, before the pair traded blows again, with forearm and elbow strikes wearing the other down. Knight goes for an OsCutter, but TK blocks it and hits a Samoan drop, before Knight hit Chuck Mambo’s Bad Burrito gutbuster. An Angle Slam from Knight’s good for a near-fall, who then boots TK before going up top, only to get caught in the buckles by TK.
TK joins him in the buckles for a Spanish Fly, bringing the champion down hard, before a scissors kick almost got TK another win. One last flurry sees RKJ hit an OsCutter, a rear spin kick and the Fire Thunder Driver… and that’s the main event win for RKJ in a good back-and-forth outing that had TK come so close to a second win. ***½
Post-match, Shota Umino – wearing the Death Rider jacket – came out to applaud RKJ, then hit the ring looking for a handshake ahead of Saturday… except things quickly explode as Umino shook off some forearms and looked for a Death Rider, before the hockey fight resumed. The locker room empties again to separate them, as Knight then took the mic to air some grievances; firstly at Umino for going back home during the pandemic (and then promising to send him back there)… before seemingly threatening to join him back in Japan. Knight then turned his sights on Will Ospreay, leaving us in no doubt how he felt about him to close the show.
This was another well-booked show from Rev Pro as they tied up the final strings going into this weekend’s anniversary event in Manchester, putting things in place for the final matches that would go on to be announced.