Week three of World of Pro Wrestling gave us our first title match, as David Starr put the belt up against a familiar challenger.
Kevin Kelly and Andy Simmonz are on commentary, running down the show, which features the in-ring return of Sha Samuels, before the UFC-like rundown of the rules.
Tag Team Contenders Tournament – First Round: Team Whitewolf (Carlos Romo & A-Kid) vs. Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)
They didn’t edit out #3’s fluff, but the Team of White Wolves could face Roppongi 3K if they get past Aussie Open here. Maybe Andy Simmonz will get past “El Niño Anonimo” beforehand…
Romo starts with a headlock on Fletcher, as we open with some lucha-style sequences, but Fletcher edges ahead, only for him to get taken down by a dropkick. A-Kid comes into help double-team Fletcher, with a dropkick into the corner getting a near-fall before Mark Davis came in to take some kicks… along with an attempt to dish out chops.
He finally connects with one, as the Aussies double-team A-Kid, with Davis booting him square in the face as Fletcher gets a two-count from that. Davis comes back to keep clubbering on A-Kid, who tries to mount a comeback, only to get slammed and squashed with a back senton as Dunkzilla picks up a two-count. Commentary ruminates over “what if” Aussie Open take on Suzuki-gun for the tag titles. Yes. They are. Next week! Something tells me plans may have changed since the live commentary was done…
A-Kid gets a tag out as Carlos Romo comes in with headscissors and a Shining Wizard to Fletcher for a near-fall. There’s a Blockbuster from Romo to Fletcher that nearly gives us an upset, before Davis came in… and was taken out as he takes a series of nearly-endless topes from the Spaniards, ending with an Orihara moonsault from Romo on the floor.
Back in the ring, Romo holds up Fletcher as we have a missile dropkick/leg sweep high/low for a near-fall on Kyle. Davis returns for LOUD chops and clotheslines on the Spaniards as his customary comeback saw him singlehandedly regain control of the match. He lifts up A-Kid for the Alphamare Waterslide for a near-fall, but Whitewolf double-team Dunkzilla… who then fights back with a one-handed powerbomb and a punch.
Except Romo flips over the punch as a Parade of Moves broke out, leading to a flying X-Factor on Romo before A-Kid’s springboard was superkicked away. He’s taken outside for a double-team Go To Sleep, before the Aussies polished off Romo with an assisted cutter for the win. Enjoyable fare, with Aussie Open being largely dominant as they head into whatever this tournament becomes! ***¼
Aussie Open face Roppongi 3K in the semis down the line.
Chris Ridgeway vs. Rocky Romero
Romero starts by circling Ridgeway as they looked pretty tentative from the off. Ridgeway and Romero scramble on the mat, but they reach a stand-off.
Romero tried to wring the arm of Ridgeway, but forearms stop it as he instead looked for an Octopus stretch, before rolling through it in a bid to pin his foe. Rocky keeps up with chops in the corner, along with some shucking and jiving, before catching a comeback from Ridgeway and turning it into a springboard stomp to the elbow.
Rocky keeps throwing kicks, but eventually one’s caught and turned into a Dragon screw as Ridgeway fought fire with fire, unleashing a barrage of kicks in the ropes to Rocky, before a kick took down a running Rocky for a near-fall. Zack Sabre Jr. comes out in his Suzuki-gun tracksuit, while commentary plugs matches for next week: Arrows of Hungary vs. Hunter Brothers and MK McKinnan vs. Josh Bodom. Those were from the “death hour” that’ll be interesting to see how they dress up on TV…
Back to live action, and Ridgeway keeps up on Rocky, but Romero slips out of a suplex and lands a leaping knee, then a flying DDT for a near-fall. Rocky puts the boots to Ridgeway from there, as Sabre mirrored Ridgeway on the ramp from two weeks ago… watching an even contest as a right hand from Romero put Ridgeway down to a knee. Ridgeway tries to fight back with German suplexes before he swapped plans and took Rocky down into a leglock, which ends in the ropes.
Rocky looks to fight back with palm strikes, before rolling Ridgeway into a cross armbreaker… but it’s right by the ropes for an instant break. Both men throw palmstrikes a-plenty, before a kick from Rocky’s forced to turn into a rewind enziguiri, only for RIdgeway to kick back. A missed kick hangs Ridgeway in the ropes, allowing Rocky to come back with a springboard ‘rana, taking Ridgeway into the corner for some Forever lariats. That prompts Sabre to get up from the stage, as he slides into the ring and clotheslines Rocky – and there’s your no-contest since Sabre attacked both men. This didn’t really feel like a match that was just there for a run-in, but being in the second half of the tapings the crowd seemed to be getting tired. ***
They replay the segment from a few weeks ago with Sha Samuels’ return… and his subsequent brawl with Dan Magee. That’s leading to a match which is next!
Sha Samuels vs. Dan Magee
Folks aren’t wrong when they say that Rev Pro TV’s done more with Sha Samuels’ character than an entire season of WOS.
Magee gets in Sha’s face before the bell, as the crowd chanted his name… but Sha charges over Magee at the bell, throwing him into the corner before pelting him with elbows. The rough-housing continues, as the crowd serenade “Fat Cantona”, who has his way with Magee.
Magee comes out of the corner with some clotheslines, then a low dropkick and a sliding Flatliner for a near-fall. Sha spits in Magee’s face as he was in the ropes, and it leads to a fist-fight as the pair trade blows like in a hockey fight. Chris Roberts gets involved… but both men shove him down, and we’ve our second no contest of the night. The crowd weren’t impressed with two of these in a row… and given Magee’s a relative newcomer, I’d not have gone this way.
Security come out to separate the pair as we go to a break… and return with a recap of last week where David Starr is kissing his cruiserweight title belt. They show a tale of the tape, with shout-outs to CZW and wXw for the Product.
Rev Pro British Cruiserweight Championship: Kurtis Chapman vs. David Starr (c)
It’s another shot at the title for Chapman, but the lower-third calls this the “crusierweight” title. There’s a bit of a conspiracy about that word…
We get going with Starr shoving away Chapman, who returns the favour as they lock up, with Chapman getting taken into the corner for a clean break. And a lot of patronising behaviour. They move to some grappling, with Chapman grabbing a wristlock as he takes Starr down to the mat, eventually forcing the defending champion to break free and throw a chop.
Starr offers himself up for an uppercut, which Chapman delivers as he took him into the ropes again, only to rebound with a running European uppercut as Starr tries to bail. It’s a ruse as he twangs the ropes into Chapman’s face, which helps him get back into it, as does a chop battle that sent Chapman upside down into the ropes en route to a bad landing on the floor.
Starr waits for Chapman to come back in, but the challenger hits a chinbreaker then a crucifix to snatch a near-fall, before another uppercut puts Starr in the corner. A flying double stomp catches Starr in the ropes before a cannonball senton knocks Starr down for a near-fall. Chapman tries to finish off with the Caps Lock armbar, but Starr escapes, and eventually catches another uppercut attempt, turning it into a German suplex.
The offence continues with an elbow from Starr, who rebounds off the ropes for a Han Stansen lariat as we were going very tit-for-tat, but Starr’s now slowing things down as he calls Chapman back to his feet… for another Han Stansen. Starr whips Chapman with more lariats before a thrust kick finds it mark, but Chapman counters a Blackheart Buster into a roll-up for a near-fall. The counters continue as a Pretty Pumped is turned into the Sega Mega Driver for another two-count, before Starr’s caught in the Caps Lock, but Starr’s quickly in the ropes for a break. Starr rolls outside for respite, and he’s back to dump Chapman on the apron with a Cherry Mint DDT, before running back in with a Han Stansen to the back of the head for the win. A decisive win, but Chapman got closer than he did in the past if you’re looking for that redemption story continuing. ***½
The show ends with Starr celebrating with his belt as we crash to the end… Our review of next week’s episode will be heavily delayed – since it clashes with Rev Pro’s own Uprising show, and this’ll be a very interesting one to observe. With five matches still left from the first night of tapings, but I’d have expected one of those matches to have been trailed this week (Jonathan Gresham vs. El Phantasmo). Then again, with the crowd really trailing off by the end of those tapings, it may have proved to have been a challenge too far for the editors.
As for this week’s episode – the good run continues. A quartet of matches, and while the middle was a bit iffy in terms of finishes, the action was generally good all round. I just wish that there weren’t the loose threads that are beginning to show in terms of the TV universe vs. the “real life” universe, as seen with the “imagine Aussie Open versus Suzuki-gun” question when that match is happening soon!