Rev Pro hit Stevenage for the first time this year, with Robbie X defending the cruiserweight title against former Impact champion Rich Swann.
JJ Gale defeats Yota Tsuji via referee stoppage in 15:29 (***)
Connor Mills pinned TK Cooper in 16:57 (***¼)
Chantal Jordan pinned Mercedez Blaze in 12:26 (***)
Leon Slater & Gabriel Kidd pinned Cameron Khai & Michael Oku in 15:41 (***½)
Ricky Knight Jr. pinned Callum Newman in 12:13 (***½)
Dan Moloney pinned Jack Morris in 9:14 (***½)
Robbie X pinned Rich Swann in 21:43 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship (***½)
— To watch this show, head over to RevProOnDemand.com – they’re currently running a free trial…
We’re live on tape from the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage – the first of three visits there this year for Rev Pro… and we’ve got a late card change after Lance Archer’s travel issues meant he was forced off of the Rev Pro shows this weekend. Andy Quildan and Gio Nolastname are on commentary, as those two seem to be the new defacto pairing…
Yota Tsuji vs. JJ Gale
Tsuji put his spot in the Revolution Rumble on the line as he looked to get revenge for his loss a week earlier…
We’ve a jump start as Tsuji took Gale to the corner, only to get taken outside with a dropkick and a tope into the front row. Tsuji keeps things outside, but an Irish whip’s reversed as one guy in the crowd steadfastly refused to leave his seat. Back inside, a triangle choke on Tsuji ends in the ropes, before Gale added a springboard ‘rana, a dropkick and a standing moonsault for a two-count. A low dropkick from Tsuji led to a sit-out splash on Gale’s neck… following up with grounded bodyscissors, wearing down Gale in the middle of the ring to boot. Tsuji gets a two-count from a bodyslam, prompting Gale into a fightback… that’s stopped with an eye rake. The pair exchange forearms, but it’s Gale who pulls ahead with a rolling elbow, then with some forearms and uppercuts, ahead of a backpack knee that Tsuji blocks.
A springboard uppercut takes Tsuji down for a two-count, but a kick from Tsuji and a wheelbarrow slam led to a Mount Tsuji splash off the ropes for a two-count. Gale scarpers into the ropes to break a Boston crab, before Gale ‘rana’s out of a powerbomb… only to take some headscissors seconds later. Gale lands a swinging DDT at the second attempt, taking Tsuji outside for a flip senton into the crowd, before a senton off the top rope back inside almost put Tsuji away. The backpack knee’s next from Gale, who misses a moonsault as Tsuji charges in with a knee strike seconds later.
Tsuji tees up for his take on a Vertebreaker, but Gale sits up and countered it into a reverse ‘rana… before the Gale Force springboard cutter added a near-fall. Another moonsault off the top follows, but still Tsuji kicks out, only to get caught into a triangle armbar, with Tsuji’s attempt to powerbomb free failing, leading to the referee waving off the match. Gale’s in the Rumble at Tsuji’s expense, as Rev Pro continue to put more into their home-grown stock… ***
Connor Mills vs. TK Cooper
A late replacement for Lance Archer, Cooper was looking to get back on track after losing to Jack Morris a week earlier.
The early going sees TK take Mills to the mat with a headlock takedown… but Mills escapes and began to work over TK’s wrist. Breaking free, TK hit back with an armdrag and an armbar on Mills, washing, rinsing and repeating as Mills ended up taking things to the ropes for a break. TK backs off from an armdrag attempt, instead scooping up Mills for some Snake Eyes before a dropkick took down Mills. Mounted punches follow in the corner from Cooper, only for Mills to hang him up in the ropes from a front suplex, taking him outside for a tope to boot.
Mills’ snapmare and kick to the back followed as we head back inside as TK is thrown chest-first into the turnbuckles for a two-count. Cooper tries to mount a comeback, but is instantly shot down with a clothesline as Mills regained the upper hand, only to waste time as he threw some verbals at the crowd. It allowed TK back into it, as a gamengiri sandwiches Mills into the corner before Mills’ uppercut and chest kick put him back in control. Another struggle for a suplex ends with TK landing it, before a diving kick from TK sent both himself and Mills over the top a la a Cactus Clothesline.
Dusty punches from TK take Mills to the corner ahead of a running kick, then a Vader-esque body attack, before TK ran into an uppercut. The Omelette du Fromage legdrop’s next, then a tope, before Mills was caught with a Samoan drop as TK looked relentless here. Mills manages to get back with an Orange Crush Bomb of all things – a suplex into a sitout powerbomb – for a near-fall, before a head kick missed. A wheelbarrow roll-up from Mills followed, before Mills’ rebound lariat earned him a headbutt, but TK’s still no closer to the win.
The pair head up top, with Mills teasing a superplex to the floor, before TK repositioned and hit a one-man Spanish Fly off the top for a two-count. A senton bomb off the top lands on Mills’ knees as Mills looked to capitalise… but he’s caught in the corner with a front kick, then hit one of his own before a TK brainbuster found its mark. TK adds the double chicken-wing Go 2 Sleep – which I hope to God gets a name because I’ll just be flubbing a description of it every time – and almost wins the match, until Mills grabbed the bottom rope to break the count. Mills is sent into the ropes with a superkick, but he returns with a rebound lariat and a head kick for the win. For my money this was a little on the long side, but a good win for Mills – even if it wasn’t the win he was hoping to get going into the weekend… ***¼
Mercedez Blaze vs. Chantal Jordan
Blaze is making her return for the first time since December – when she came up short against then-Southside Women’s champion Kanji.
When we eventually got going, Blaze is taken into the corner by Jordan… then whipped across the ring, where Blaze snuck back in with some headscissors into the buckles. Running double knees miss as Jordan ran in with some face-washing kicks and a low dropkick to the seated Blaze, who dragged herself outside for respite. Jordan ensures that doesn’t happen as Blaze got hung up on the top rope ahead of a baseball slide… which is caught as Blaze trapped Jordan in the ring apron… then dropped her face-first onto the side of the ring. The baseball slide works the second time for Jordan as Blaze got distracted by the crowd, before the pair returned to the ring… with Blaze finding a way back in with a shotgun dropkick.
Blaze’s butterfly suplex throws Jordan into the corner for a two-count, before a Dragon sleeper looked to force a stoppage… Jordan’s able to get free though, but couldn’t avoid running knees into the corner, nor a snap neckbreaker that was good for a two-count. A disrespectful slap from Blaze just riles up Jordan, who returns the favour, then threw some kicks ahead of a Meteora off the middle rope for a two-count. Jordan shrugs off a clothesline from Blaze, but eats another one seconds later as both women were left laying. The pair got back to their feet, trading blows until Jordan got caught with a hammerlock’d DDT. Blaze tries for something else, but Jordan slips out and hits a Ki Krusher for a near-fall…
Blaze manages to hit a spear off the middle rope as she nearly snatched the win, following up with a curb stomp… but Jordan kicks out at two, then returned with some hammer elbows before almost succumbing to a roll-up. A powerbomb from Jordan sees her regain the upper hand, before a Buzzsaw kick pushed it over the line as Jordan made sure Mercedez Blaze paid for her lack of focus throughout. ***
Gabriel Kidd & Leon Slater vs. Michael Oku & Cameron Khai
This one played off of recent matches – with Khai and Slater having some jealousy over who the best young ‘un is… while Oku and Kidd have unresolved issues after their no-contest in Birmingham.
We get going with Slater and Khai in a lock-up… going to the ropes, with Slater not breaking cleanly. Khai comes in with a headlock takedown, before he shoved Slater into the corner… where Gabe Kidd was more than happy to tag in. A side headlock from Kidd’s shoved off… so Gabe charges to knock Michael Oku off the apron… but Oku’s right back up quickly to tag in as he tried to charge down Kidd. A tijeras from Oku, then a dropkick rocked Kidd, before Slater got knocked off the apron. Oku adds a springboard moonsault before a half crab was pushed away. Slater clings onto Oku by the ropes, allowing Kidd in with a boot as Oku got double-teamed as a Slater cutter spiked him in the middle of the ring.
Kidd obliterates Oku with a chop, allowing Slater back in as a standing splash continued onto wear down Oku. Quick tags keep Oku isolated, leading to a snapping armbar from Kidd that drew a two-count, before Kidd rolled Oku into a half crab. Oku gets to his feet, eventually breaking free of Kidd with an enziguiri as a tag’s made to Cameron Khai. A shotgun dropkick from Khai took Kidd to the corner, while Slater runs into a flying forearm… Kidd’s legal though, and ends up taking a thrust kick and some rolling Northern Lights from Khai, culminating in a double Northern Lights that nearly pinned both Kidd and Slater.
Kidd pulls down a springboard attempt from Khai as the match turned around, with a running front kick from Slater almost ending it… Kidd tags back in so he could go for a brainbuster, but Khai slips out, knocks Slater off the apron, then took too long to follow up as he walked into a head kick from Slater, then a lariat from Kidd. Oku breaks up the pin, but gets dispatched right back outside as Khai had to fend for himself. He’s eventually met with a Chasing the Dragon for a near-fall, before he began to trade shots with Slater… culminating in a death valley driver from Khai. Oku finally makes the tag in, dropkicking Kidd off the apron in the first instance before scoring a tornado DDT to Slater.
A tope wipes out Kidd into the crowd moments later, while a Jericho-esque springboard dropkick took Slater outside for a Fosbury flop. Back inside, a froggy crossbody lands for Oku, then a frog splash, which forced Kidd in to break up the pin at the last possible moment. Kidd’s back with some wild strikes as all four men teed off on each other, leading to a knee strike from Khai to Kidd, before Khai tagged himself in. Slater ducks a lariat as the pair end up see-sawing on inside cradles… leading to a ‘rana from Slater that had just enough on it for Slater to follow through with the pin. Leon wins the battle here, but there’ll be plenty more with him and Cameron Khai after this thrilling tag. ***½
Post-match, Gabriel Kidd commandeered Andy Quildan’s headset and vowed to win the Revolution Rumble – so he could get a shot at the undisputed British heavyweight title from it.
Callum Newman vs. Ricky Knight Jr.
This was Newman’s first outing for Rev Pro since his team with JJ Gale split, and it’s a pretty big test for him here against the former champion RKJ.
Newman’s backed up into the corner from the opening lock-up, before he tried his luck with shoulder tackles… RKJ laughed them off, then bulldozed Newman with one of his own. A dropkick from Newman cuts off RKJ’s leapfrog, taking him outside… but RKJ slips back in to clothesline Newman as he was teeing up for a dive. Knight puts the boots to Newman from there, then crotched him in the ropes ahead of another trip outside as Newman got thrown onto the side of the ring. Chops around ringside end with RKJ chopping the ring post, allowing Newman back in… only for RKJ to hit a superkick and a death valley driver into the corner.
A running dropkick sinks Newman by the buckles, before a draping DDT picked up a near-fall for RKJ. Newman remains grounded with an abdominal stretch, before a standing moonsault earned Knight a two-count as he continued to stifle Newman. When Newman was able to get something going, he manages to catch RKJ with a tope on the outside for an eventual two-count, before RKJ caught a cutter and countered with a roll-up. Newman counters a RKJ clothesline into a standing Spanish Fly, but couldn’t make a cover from it, as we ended up with the pair trading blows instead. A front kick from Newman offered some resistance, but RKJ knocks him down with a bicycle kick before Newman headbutted away a superplex.
A flying Destroyer takes RKJ down, but they landed too close to the ropes as RKJ broke the pin… before a springboard cutter added another near-fall for Newman. RKJ manages to rebound with a slingshot sit-out powerbomb, before a Fire Thunder Driver moments later shut the door on Newman’s match. This took a while to get going for Newman, but in the end it was a pretty straightforward win for the title contender. ***½
Jack Morris vs. Dan Moloney
Morris was the hired gun for Will Ospreay here, having made a successful debut a week earlier for Rev Pro…
Morris tries to jump Moloney, but this one spills outside early on… with Moloney dragging Dan to the outside. After some strikes, we’re back inside with Moloney scoring with a leapfrog and a dropkick for a two-count, before Morris found a way through with a forearm to the back of Moloney. Kicks to the back of Moloney saw Morris try to silence the Stevenage crowd, while a knee drop picked up a two-count for the Scotsman. A back elbow dumps Moloney off the ropes for another two-count, before an Irish whip hurled Moloney from corner to corner. Morris’ knee strike sends Moloney to the ropes, where Dan returned with a snap Dragon suplex, before the pair teed off on each other with chops.
Moloney’s caught with a poke to the eye, but his enziguiri takes Morris outside… Dan rolls him back inside, only for a leaping Flatliner from Morris to turn the tide once more. A ripcord chop from Moloney staggers Morris, only for a second ripcord to get turned into a death valley driver into the corner. Moloney back body drops out of a Tiger Driver, then followed in with a stomp to Morris, before a spear out of the corner almost got the win. Moloney tees up for a second one, but it’s countered into a spinebuster as Morris came close, before his follow-up ended with a superkick and a Drilla as Moloney took one more step towards that Ospreay match at York Hall. ***½
Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: Rich Swann vs. Robbie X (c)
They rolled back the years, digging up “All Night Long” for Swann’s ring music…
The opening stages see both men take the other to the corners with lockups, before side headlocks and shoulder tackles became the order of the day. An early X-Clamation attempt’s blocked, as both men counter headscissors to reach the early stalemate. Swann tries to get under Robbie’s skin from a test of strength, as a teased dance-off’s broken as Robbie knocked Swann into the corner, only for Swann to return with headscissors and a single-leg dropkick. Chops from Swann lead to a snapmare with the prerequisite kick to the back, before a second go around led to a step-up back kick as Swann faked him out. A rear spin kick keeps Robbie X in the corner, but Robbie returns with his hiptoss and cartwheel dropkick, sending Swann outside for a plancha to boot.
After getting snubbed by a kid, Robbie X returned to hit a brainbuster on Swann for a two-count, followed by a dropkick off the ropes for a similar score. A springboard senton from Robbie X catches Swann as he was hung up in the ropes, before a chinlock kept things grounded as the champion looked to plan ahead. Unfortunately for Robbie, he crashes and burns on a springboard moonsault attempt as Swann flashed back with a flurry of strikes, culminating in a buzzsaw kick for a two-count. The pair trade strikes off the ropes, leading to a Pele kick from Robbie X before the pair cracked each other with roundhouses.
A Molly Go Round from Robbie X puts him ahead, as did a corkscrew kick into the corner and a running shooting star press out of it. Swann’s able to fight back though, culminating in a rolling thunder splash for a two-count, before the pair traded blows on the apron… leading to Robbie X getting enziguri’d back into the ring… where he knocked Swann off with a handspring kick ahead of an Orihara moonsault to the floor. Back inside, Swann tries to elbow his way out of a Finlay roll… but to no avail, as he also ended up eating a moonsault out of the corner as the champion pushed on. Swann holds on to avoid an XClamation, then hit his own take on it before Robbie X caught him with a handspring backflip kick on the top rope.
The pair exchange strikes as they fight back to their feet, but it’s Swann who hit the big blow with a discus forearm, before Robbie X tried to hit back with an X-Clamation. Swann handstands out of it, then took Robbie outside for a senton off the apron… before Swann busted out another cutter off the apron. Back inside, Swann heads up top… but misses a 450 splash and got caught with some misdirection as an X-Clamation finally got Robbie X the win. ***½
As is usually the case with Rev Pro events, this was another good outing – both in the sense of the show standing on its own two legs, and as a part of the wider build for the Revolution Rumble. The loss of a big import on show day wasn’t really an obvious miss here, but that perhaps shows how the promotion was able to cover for it.