Jay Lethal made his return to Rev Pro as he headed up to Sheffield to take on Shota Umino in the main event.
Under current circumstances, this is likely to be one of the last Rev Pro shows for a while – as they swung through Sheffield and St. Neots at the start of March as the road to High Stakes continued. Of course, at time of writing, that York Hall show in May is looking more and more questionable… For some reason they’re uploading these out of order – this was the Saturday evening show, with a matinee women’s show in Sheffield and a Sunday show in St Neot’s on either side of it. Andy Quildan and Sha Samuels are on commentary from the Trafalgar Warehouse in Sheffield, and I’m worrying about this VOD because we’re in Southampton territory with the ring having dark spots.
Kenneth Halfpenny & Shaun Jackson vs. The Legion (Gideon Grey & Great O-Kharn)
Gideon Grey’s not doing ring announcing, because he’s actually doing a wrestle! Curiously, the Legion’s entrance video still doesn’t have Sha’s name on, but he leaves commentary to give his buddies a hug.
Grey tries to bully Halfpenny around from the off, taking him down with a headlock takedown before slapping him around the head. Well, I mean trying to ruffle up the slicked back hair isn’t a choice I’d make. A tag brings in Jackson, but he too gets slapped about as Gideon opted to turn this into almost a tornado match – so as to give the Contenders a chance.
Of course it backfires, as Grey got knocked down before O-Kharn tagged in and overcame the numbers game. A reverse STO drops Jackson, while Halfpenny traded forearms before Jackson’s dropkick took the undefeated one down. The Contenders come close with an elbow drop-assisted backbreaker for a near-fall, before O-Kharn countered a running Blockbuster with a flapjack. The Legion pick up from there as the Contenders gave up on the tornado tag stuff, which was a bad idea as O-Kharn began to, erm, dominate. While the Contenders had a glimmer of hope, Jackson found himself out-struck by O-Kharn before a springboard something or other was turned into a belly-to-belly for a near-fall.
From there, O-Kharn looked for a claw-assisted abdominal stretch as the referee tried to keep Halfpenny out of the ring. Erm, tornado-ish rules? Gideon decides to show off with some rope-walking on the way to a lucha armdrag and a crossface, which Jackson just powered out of into a swinging suplex. Halfpenny’s back with a running Blockbuster as he tagged in with a head of steam, dropping O-Kharn with an Angle Slam for a near-fall, before Jackson snuffed out Gideon’s interference. A Goddamn Border Toss/uppercut combo nearly puts away Gideon, while the tornado rules returned… but they end up backfiring as a Doomsday Destroyer was countered as O-Kharn hit an Iron Finger slam on Halfpenny for the win while Gideon used a crossface to restrain Jackson. A fun opener, but the wonky “tornado” rules irked me a little. ***
Kyle Fletcher vs. Clark Connors
Interesting that Kyle came out first here…
Fletcher looked to dominate from the off, taking down the LA Dojo lad to slap him on the back of the head, before they swapped shoulder tackles. Connors took over with chops as he suddenly had Kyle down on the mat, following up with a hiptoss and more chops to blister up the Aussie’s chest. A Michinoku driver out of nowhere gets Kyle back in it, but a slam from Connors resets things as the American looked for a Boston crab as things ended with a rope break. A big leapfrog from Kyle helps him evade Connors as he quickly replied with a brainbuster for a near-fall, before Connors countered an Aussie Arrow with a roll-up.
Another Boston crab is pushed away as Kyle struck back with a superkick and an Aussie Arrow, before a Grimstone wrapped up a hell of a sprint. Brief, but really enjoyable. ***¼
Hikuleo vs. JJ Gale
Ah, a throwback to the early days of “white shoes”…
Hikuleo overpowers Gale early on, which prompted Gale into starting a striking battle. It went poorly for him. After ducking a chop, Gale fought back with a gamengiri in the corner before a shoulder tackle knocked him down. Gale pops right back up and finds luck with dropkicks to the big lad, only for Hikuleo to take them outside. Gale’s charged into the ring post, before he’s taken back inside for a running powerslam that gets a near-fall. A chinlock from Hikuleo keeps the Contender down, as a springboard cutter from Gale came to nought. Gale flips out of a Samoan drop as he proceeds to trip Hikuleo into the corner for a 619… following up with a springboard crossbody that took Hikuleo off his feet.
A springboard uppercut follows for a near-fall, before Gale superkicks Hikuleo away as roll-ups looked to shock the Tongan. Gale comes closer with a double-jump sunset flip, before a rolling elbow was countered out of as Gale instead has to hit another uppercut to stun Hikuleo. In the end, Gale leaps into the clutches of Hikuleo, who counters the crossbody into a sit-out death valley driver for a two-count, before one last fightback from Gale ended with Hikuleo catching him with the Stun Gun for the win. A brave fight, but in the end Hikuleo’s big move was the difference. **¾
Carlos Romo, Dan Magee & Mad Kurt vs. Michael Oku, Ricky Knight Jr. & Robbie X
Well, the legend of Mad Kurt’s made it to Sheffield then as it’s another outing for RKJ, Robbie X and Michael Oku after their loss at the Cockpit the prior weekend.
Of course, Mad Kurt gets the mic before the bell and shows off his sound box. Eddie Kingston clearly didn’t beat him enough a week earlier… Oku and Romo start us off on the mat, with Romo’s bow and arrow quickly being escaped as Oku looked for a half crab… only for Romo to push away as a ‘rana and a dropkick eventually took him down. Romo scurries to the corner as Dan Magee tags in, as did RKJ, as the pair teed off with forearms before a dropkick from Knight found the legs of Magee.
A stinging chop from RKJ has Magee down as tags bring in Robbie X and Mad Kurt… cue a staredown, then some forward rolls as Robbie X proceeded to show off as well. Mad Kurt can’t quite kip up, and ends up annoying Robbie some more as the young veteran proceeded to take down Mad Kurt with a dropsault. A standing moonsault gets Robbie a near-fall as commentary teases us of a match between Robbie X and PAC that’ll be delayed… Romo’s back to try and wear down Oku, cracking into him with a PK to the back for a near-fall, before a legdrop from Magee almost ended things. Mad Kurt puts the cape back on as he looks to go airborne, which everyone leaves him to do as he proceeds to miss a big splash off the top.
Mad Kurt recovers as he tries to restrain Oku, but he gets caught with a superkick as Magee and Robbie X return. A nice dropkick from Robbie catches Magee off guard, as he began to out-pace Magee on the route to a missile dropkick for a near-fall. Stomps to the fingers led to a handspring attempt, but it’s blocked as RKJ returned to kick away on Magee. Kurt tries to make the save with a whip punch, but you know the score. He gets full of himself as RKJ barely registers a thing, before he clocked Mad Kurt with a right hand. Evidently, a slow learner, is our Mad Kurt. His troubles only increase when RKJ propelled him to the outside as we started our mad dive moments, leading to a Fosbury flop from Oku.
Back inside, RKJ almost puts away Mad Kurt with an early-days Brock Lesnar spinning powerbomb, before Mad Kurt hit a Codebreaker out of the corner… then followed up with a dropkick to help Magee hit a near-fall. From there though, Romo whiffs on a moonsault and ends up getting triple-teamed as the “Dream Team” hit a breathless series of moves for a near-fall. Romo recovers to counter an X-Clamation with a rear naked choke, but Robbie rolls back as he tried to snatch the pin. A satellite DDT spikes Robbie as Magee returned for a stomp-assisted Morning Glory, only for a RKJ senton to break it all up. Mad Kurt hits a Sega Mega Driver to stop RKJ… but Kurt dabs rather than pins, and that ends up sparking a Parade of Moves that ended in Romo getting caught in a swinging side slam from RKJ as an X-Clamation and a frog splash from Oku get the win. Add another one to “trios match are always good” pile, even if we’re still adding to Carlos Romo’s Ls in Rev Pro… ***½
Mark Haskins vs. Sean Kustom
Well, that’s a fine mess Sean Kustom – in slingshotting over the top rope to get into the ring, he catches a trailing cable and kills the lights!
So, we start with the house lights on and a darker-than-usual ring. Yeah. They start on the mat as a tour of camera angles shows us the hard cam was the most useable. Leapfrogs and dropkicks from Kustom have Haskins powdering to the outside, but he returns with Gideon Grey in tow, and it provides a distraction as Kustom’s caught from behind. A knee to the gut seems to wake up Kuston, who takes Haskins outside… but a pescado’s aborted as Haskins slides back in and ends up hitting the target with an apron PK instead. Back inside, Haskins stays on Kustom with a springboard crossbody out of the corner for a near-fall, before a rear naked choke grounds the Aussie. Mid kicks to the chest eventually get caught, as Kustom took Haskins outside for a through-the-ropes dropkick, then a pecado as the former Southside champion looked to have turned things around.
A springboard neckbreaker back through the ropes, then a Quebrada get a near-fall, but Haskins shoots back with a roll-up and a roll-through death valley driver for a two-count of his own. Kustom’s right back in with a headlock suplex, before Vicki Haskins jabbed Kustom with Gideon Grey’s cane – as Gideon had distracted the ref – as a stomp off the top gets Haskins the win. This was okay, but on VOD it’s a bit of a slog because of the lighting. At least Andy Q made light of it. Pun intended. ***
Little Miss Roxxy & Zan Phoenix vs. Gisele Shaw & Shanna
They fixed the lights, thankfully, just in time for Roxxy’s Rev Pro “evening show” debut. Roxxy and Phoenix have similar backgrounds, so it’d be interesting to see if/how they gel…
Shaw charges into Phoenix with a Thesz press at the bell, and kept up with some chops before a clothesline nearly ended the match in the opening minute. Zan dives out to tag in Roxxy as Shanna also came in, and the Geordie Roxxy gets in Shanna’s face, before she telegraphed an Irish whip. Shanna gets the upper hand with armdrags and dropkicks, before a flying forearm has Roxxy down for a near-fall. Phoenix distracts Shanna, allowing Roxxy to attack from behind as the pace slowed down… Phoenix comes in with a slingshot dropkick to a cornered Shanna for a delayed two-count, but eventually Shanna frees herself with an enziguiri and makes a tag out. Gisele Shaw rushes in hit Roxxy with uppercuts and some Sole Food, before a spinebuster gets a near-fall.
A delayed head kick a la Mike Bailey drops Roxxy, as does a suplex and a superkick. Phoenix tags back in to double-team Shaw in the ropes, leading to a flapjack on Shaw for a near-fall, but Gisele’s quickly back in with a DDT and a levering armbar as Shanna had Roxxy tied up with a cloverleaf as Phoenix was forced to tap. This was okay, but Sheffield were ice cold on Phoenix and Roxxy as a team of baddies. **½
Shota Umino vs. Jay Lethal
This was Lethal’s first match in Rev Pro since December 2017 and that match with Cody at York Hall… Umino’s still carrying around Jon Moxley’s jacket, which is never not going to be weird to me.
Shota’s got a fanbase in Sheffield, it seems, but he doesn’t want to shake Lethal’s hand, as we start on the mat, with Umino going for pinning attempts as he clung on with a side headlock. He sidesteps a charging Lethal, then dropkicks him off the apron as Shooter’s dive ends up being aborted, as he instead gets taken onto the apron… then slingshots in with a sunset flip for a near-fall. Some more rapid near-falls lead to a stand-off, before Lethal restarted out of the blocks a little hotter, taking shots at Umino. A pendulum backbreaker’s good for a two-count, before Lethal stretches Umino with a chinlock. An escape sees both men struggle over a suplex, but it’s Lethal who lands it… only for Umino to rebound instantly with some strikes and a slam as the Young Lion began to force his way back in.
Stomps keep Lethal in the corner, while forearms to the back wore down the former ROH champion. A chop from Lethal helps him as he proceeded to stomp on Umino’s knee, prepping for a Figure Four leglock, but Shota pushes it away and hits a neckbreaker to stop Lethal. A back elbow keeps it going, as did a release Fisherman buster, but Lethal keeps going back to the Figure Four, and after a Dragon screw, was able to trap Umino in it. On commentary, Sha goes nuts because the referee doesn’t count Umino’s shoulders down… Shota’s able to make it to the ropes eventually as he’s forced to fight free of another Figure Four attempt, only to have his leg kicked out of his leg. A Lethal Injection looks to follow, but Umino counters into a German suplex, before working his way back with a lifting reverse DDT for another near-fall.
From there, Umino shakes off his bad leg and takes Lethal up for a superplex… it comes to nought as Lethal came down and tried to chop away the leg, but despite missing he catches Umino with a cutter before the Lethal Injection drew another two-count. A Figure Four follows, and that’s enough for Shota to tap! A perfectly fine main event, with Lethal’s game plan working a treat – although him coming in for a weekend and winning here kinda tells you Shota wasn’t exactly in line for anything big. ***½
All in all, a decent enough show from Rev Pro – much like their template in the majority of former Southside towns, you had matches that landed, characters that didn’t, and stuff that just about played into whatever was going to happen at York Hall. Of course, with that all up in the air, this is probably “just” going to be a two hour slice of wrestling that’ll fill a hole in everyone’s quickly-drying-up backlog…