The second “Britwres” product to debut on TV this week saw Rev Pro take to the airwaves!
Effectively replacing the doomed 5* Wrestling, Rev Pro’s taped a bunch of one-hour shows from York Hall, which’ll be airing every Friday night on FreeSports in the UK. We’ll try and keep these reviews brief… and there’ll be no stills since we don’t have the technology to do that from broadcast TV.
Kevin Kelly and Andy Simmonz (two Ms) are your commentators, opening the show from ringside. All matches have a 30 minute time limit here, bar title matches… Kevin Kelly voices over the rules of wrestling in a nice touch for totally new fans.
Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Chris Brookes
Well, let’s get this underway with a Japanese legend!
They do a good job of masking the crowd, but it’ll be the fourth week or so when we see the real exodus thanks to the over-run. The crane camera gives me a little bit of motion sickness before the bell, which sees Liger instantly trip Brookes and pull him up into a seated surfboard, then into a Romero special and a Dragon sleeper as Liger flitted between his submission holds.
Brookes gets to the ropes, but he’s quickly tripped as Liger looks for a bow-and-arrow hold, only to flip out as the pair stood off. They head outside, with Brookes chopping Liger into some unsecured guard rails… but Liger returns the favour, only to get unsighted by the ring apron as Brookes stomps him in the head. Back in the ring, a knee drop puts Liger down for a two-count, before a grounded headlock forces Liger to fight back… which he does so as he gets some boots up in the corner ahead of a Shotei. Liger goes up top, and lands a frog splash for a near-fall, before Brookes nearly stole it with Death By Roll-Up.
A rope-hanging neckbreaker catches Liger for a near-fall. Liger throws Brookes to the outside for a senton off the apron. Back inside there’s a frog splash, but Liger lands on Brookes’ knees and almost loses for it, before he goes back to the Shotei. A spinning heel kick into the corner catches Brookes, as does a Ligerbomb for a near-fall… but the sheer-drop brainbuster drops Brookes and gets the win. A decent opener, but no great shakes unfortunately. ***¼
Post-match, Liger helps up Brookes… and gets kicked down for it as Andy Simmonz loses his mind on commentary. Brookes is now in the land of the bad guys, as he tried to unmask Liger before El Phantasmo came down for the save.
Lord Gideon Grey’s introduced to the ring after commercial, and there’s a nameless jobber outside the ring. I sense a Domination. Gideon introduces himself… and proceeds to bust a vein as he brought out Great O-Kharn.
Great O-Kharn vs. Harrison Thompson
O-Kharn shoves away the referee as he puts the boots to Thompson, following in with Mongolian chops Harrison, who eventually gets named as he’s dropped throat-first across the ropes.
Another scoop slam’s shoved out of as Thompson fights back with forearms in the corner, scoring with a low dropkick or two before O-Kharn caught him with the claw-assisted back stretcher, then the claw chokeslam as O-Kharn’s undefeated run continued. Splat.
I think there was meant to be a commercial break here, as we see Kevin Kelly at ringside with Dan Magee. The crowd didn’t hear any of this interview, which didn’t last long as Sha Samuels heads out and takes the mic, saying it’s been a year since he was in Rev Pro… Sha calls Magee a nobody, then says that he’s the highest paid performer in Rev Pro, and shoves his contract to Kevin Kelly. There’s a beatdown of Magee, who offers some resistance as trainees leap the barricade to separate them…
…and we jump to a pre-tape of Colt Cabana being interviewed by Andy Simmonz. They show some old clips of Colt Cabana in Rev Pro from what felt like aeons ago against a younger Sha Samuels. Colt tells us that he wants to be the British champion again, especially now Rev Pro’s on TV. This was pretty close to an in-ring promo that they cut live, but with some technical issues, so we’ll see if this replaced it.
A tale of the tape’s shown ahead of our main event. Complete with a typo on Sheppey. Oops.
Zack Sabre Jr. vs. KUSHIDA
There’s a cheeky plug for the Rev Pro on-demand service during KUSHIDA’s intro, as we begin the main event with a little under 25 minutes left in the card.
There’s scrambling early as KUSHIDA tries to take Sabre to the mat, but they’re quickly in the ropes as we start slowly. KUSHIDA goes for a STF, but Sabre rolls free, only to get caught in a wristlock as his attempts to escape are quickly snuffed out, which only served to aggravate Sabre, who had to roll away from a buzzsaw-like kick.
Second time around, Sabre grounds KUSHIDA in a chinlock, but he’s caught as KUSHIDA spins on his back as the pace quickens. Hiptoss, cartwheel dropkick… and KUSHIDA’s back on top, at least until Sabre catches his leg with a single-leg crab in the ropes. Chris Ridgeway appears at ringside with a cup of water, watching on from the stage as Sabre again goes after KUSHIDA, cinching in a single-leg crab that looked to turn into a STF. KUSHIDA gets the ropes and tries to kick away Sabre’s leg, but he’s got to roll out of an ankle lock before scoring some headscissors to get himself free. A missile dropkick puts Sabre back down, before KUSHIDA rolled him into a Hoverboard Lock… right by the ropes!
Sabre challenges KUSHIDA to come at him… and he gets an instant response with a spiking DDT, before a top rope moonsault sees KUSHIDA land into a triangle armbar that prompted Kevin Kelly on commentary to yell “drat!” – very British! KUSHIDA escapes, but Sabre’s back with kicks before he leapt into a guillotine choke… which KUSHIDA slips out of and nearly nicks the win with a German suplex. KUSHIDA finally comes good with a top rope moonsault for a near-fall.
We see Chris Ridgeway and his brown sweater watching again as KUSHIDA goes for Sabre’s arms, but Zack counters into a rear naked choke before he caught a handspring back elbow with a cross armbreaker. They counter, counter and counter, with KUSHIDA getting his own cross armbreaker, before a small package nearly brought the contest to an end.
Sabre trips KUSHIDA into a heel hook next, but KUSHIDA’s holding on as he gets to the ropes. They trade forearms and uppercuts as the match entered its final stages, but KUSHIDA starts to throw some more kicks before Sabre swept the leg out from under him. KUSHIDA catches a PK before punching out Sabre with a straight right hand, which gets a justified replay, returning as Sabre’s lifted to the top rope… where he’s brought down with a Spanish Fly x Hoverboard Lock, which led to the next submission attempt.
Sabre tries to escape the Hoverboard Lock, and eventually rolls up KUSHIDA for a near-fall as the pair trade pinning attempts… only for Sabre to kick out and tie-up KUSHIDA in Orienteering With Napalm Death… and KUSHIDA’s forced to tap. A lovely main event. Very ground-based and a solid end to a solid show. ***¾
Ridgeway walks away after the match as we don’t get a confrontation, as instead Kevin Kelly signs off without mentioning anything for next week. That’s my one negative – much like NXT UK, they left us without a hook.
World Of Pro Wrestling was a very solid and understated show to get Rev Pro’s TV run underway. Sure, it’s hidden away on a relatively low-profile channel, but this would have been a delight for any lapsed wrestling fans to stumble across.
Presented in a straight-laced and to the point style, they explained pretty much everything for fans, whether they were long-time fans or they were watching wrestling for the first time. Sure, there’s no abundance of glitz and glamour, but this was what World of Sport could (and some say) should have been, with matches, character development… and they used the old World of Sport-style design to good effect.
This is going on our weekly rotation!