It happened. Vader vs. Will Ospreay. Here’s our thoughts from tonight’s live Revolution Pro Wrestling show, “Uprising 2016”.
Our full review of the show will follow next week after it’s appeared on RPW On Demand, but here’s our live thoughts of a card that was build around, essentially, a Twitter feud. Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ll know that Vader took exception to the Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet match from earlier this year in New Japan’s Best of Super Juniors tournament, and Rev Pro were the promotion to book that match. The 61-year-old Vader, against the 23-year-old, banged-up Will Ospreay.
There were increased security checks following a stabbing at a boxing event at York Hall a few weeks ago. This meant that that the show had to be delayed by around twenty minutes. It would have have been nice to know about the extra checks, but you know…
Jay White surprised Josh Bodom with a Boston crab in a pretty entertaining opening match. Bodom was the local favourite, but White won the crowd over by the end.
Sha Samuels used a scarf to choke out Big Damo for a submission in a match that started so hot, they genuinely moved the lighting rig. By the end, the match slowed down in time for the submission.
An unadvertised tag match saw Ryan Smile and PJ Black team up to take on the British Young Bloods (Jake McCluskey and Kieran Bruce). This one just didn’t click. I don’t know if the crowd were waiting for something bigger, but these guys struggled to keep any reaction. Smile didn’t try any funny dives, and it was the former Justin Gabriel who went flying. In the end, the Young Bloods won with a lariat into a German suplex.
Chris Hero vs Marty Scurll. Just, wow. This started slow and had some down points, but my word they had the crowd eating out of their hands. Hero landed a Styles Clash style piledriver for a near fall, whilst Scurll came close numerous times. However, Hero dropping Scurll with a Gotch piledriver off of the middle rope won it. This’ll be one worth watching on demand!
Ricochet beat Pete Dunne in a fun match with a 630 splash. This was more even than you’d expect, with Dunne getting plenty of offence. After the match they shook hands, only for Dunne to attach Ricochet and lay him out with a pumphandle facebuster.
Zack Sabre Jr beat Jeff Cobb in a slow, ground based match. Cobb flew a bit and lost the Wrath of the God’s slam as Sabre turned it into an ankle lock. Sabre actually got booed as he spammed a load of penalty kicks for the win. After the match, Marty Scurll (the number one contender, remember) came out and celebrated with the champion. Cobb was announced for the Rev Pro WrestleMania weekend show too.
Then the main event. What we all came for. Will Ospreay vs Vader. The Mastodon got roundly booed and plenty of “fuck you Vader” chants as he made the stage. The contrast for Ospreay – as loud as Vader’s boos were, his Cheers were loud. Vader had trouble moving down the stairs and into the ring. Ospreay stormed the ring, and Vader took off his mask – and that was before the announcements! Vader grabbed the microphone, and you could barely hear him, as he cut a short catchphrase laden promo (“it’s Vader time!”).
Vader took Ospreay into the ropes, then shoved down referee Chris Roberts for a monster pop. Ospreay went next, as he hit a cannonball dive off the aisle into the ropes. Vader took Ospreay up the ramp, then chokeslams him through the announce table. This is carnage!
More “fuck you Vader” chants as Ospreay got back up, and crawled back up the aisle. Vader looked worn out throughout, and once Ospreay made it back in, then the bell rang! Avalanche splash takes down Ospreay, before he’s whipped into the corner. Ospreay sold some shots, including a shoulder block but man Vader looked embarrassing in this.
Will flipped out of a chokeslam and dropped Vader with the spinning roundhouse kick for a two count. A blocked OsCutter lead to a lariat by Vader for a two count. After arguing with the ref, Ospreay dropkicked Vader for a ref bump, and was interrupted by Pete Dunne! A pumphandle face buster took down Ospreay, but Ricochet made the save. Double dropkick to Vader, then two shooting star presses led to a near fall!
A Sasuke special took out Dunne, before a pair of chokeslams got Vader the unpopular win. Cue this is bullshit chants, and much, much anger from the crowd.
Saturday “morning after” updates: Apparently there was at least one person broadcasting parts of the show on Periscope last night. I’ll have more on this in general next week, but when you’ve got this company putting the show on-demand 48 hours later, what was the point? Piracy isn’t cool guys…
The reaction towards Zack Sabre Jr. last night may not have been a heel turn, but rather a response to his repeatedly punting Jeff Cobb with penalty kicks towards the end of their match. Given that the current “number one” contender Marty Scurll walked off with Sabre after their match, you’d probably guess that they’re not going to touch that match anytime soon.
The reaction at the end of the night didn’t feel like a “oh, the heels cheated to win” reaction, but more of a “wow, we got short changed”. Look, you’ve got a 61 year old retired wrestler who was built up as a heel given his comments. Did anybody really think that in this, or any other universe, Vader was going to lay down for Ospreay? In a real fight, this is probably what would have happened, especially when Vader got back-up…
Speaking of, after Kurt Angle went over Zack Sabre Jr in June, and now Vader over Ospreay in August, that’s two out three York Hall shows where Rev Pro have booked the imported talent to go over the local guys in the main event. I doubt it’ll have any major impact in the short term, but that sort of super-card booking may well start to put off fans if they’re repeatedly shown that “their guys” keep losing to the imports.
Overall, this was an enjoying but thoroughly weird show – with the Friday night start undoubtedly having some effect on the crowd throughout the show.
Our full review will follow next week once this is up on the Revolution Pro on demand service.