April 5 2019
Hosts here are Kevin Kelly & Andy Boy Simmonz.
Andy Quildan introduces the show. He’s the Rev Pro President!
Karl Fredericks & Clark Connors vs. CCK
This is Brookes and Gresham looking to put two LA Dojo noobs in their place. I’ve only seen them on the Shibata California Dreamin’ docs that NJPW put on YouTube. Gresham is obviously a great technician but people tend to forget Brookes is capable on the mat. Both the LA Dojo guys are very good technically so we get a lot of mat work and it’s clean and crisp. I’m sure Shibata will be pleased with his charges. Both of them look well drilled, conditioned and disciplined. Connors impresses me with his logic and selling too. The way he starts selling the knee and then continues to do so, falling at one key point, is wisdom beyond his years. Gresham eventually takes the injured man apart with strikes and doesn’t bother going up top to finish. Good match. The Shibata dojo guys both looked really solid here.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Carlos Romo vs. A-Kid vs. Kid Lykos vs. Flamita
Lykos has a Schadenfreude flag here, suggesting he’s a little conflicted about what unit he’s in.
There’s some real top notch talent on show here. They’re all relatively small and agile and the match is fast paced and exciting. Lykos looks a little tentative. He doesn’t want to get injured again and whenever he goes after something potentially dangerous he’s very careful to make sure he hits it clean. Which normally wouldn’t look that bad but he’s in with guys who are going full bore. Especially Flamita. I appreciate Lykos having a big shoulder support on here. It’s fine to protect a weakness. A-Kid crushes Flamita with a Canadian Destroyer and Romo steals the pin! Fantastic. I hope Rev Pro do a Romo/A-Kid angle because they have great chemistry.
This was really good but I’ve seen faster paced, more exciting matches of a similar ilk already this weekend.
Final Rating: ***1/4
OJMO vs. Brian Cage
Yes! OJMO is amazing. He’s so good. Obviously there’s a huge size difference here.
Cage is twice the width. OJMO does a good job of attempting to hit and move but just getting thrown around and blocked. The biels! The biels!
— Arn (@ArnoldFurious) April 6, 2019
The monkey flip! Oh my word. OJMO struggles a little bit with the ropes and the DDT through the ropes is rough but he also hits a nice Fosbury Flop. A Canadian Destroyer counter goes wrong so they have to re-do that spot. The size difference is causing more issues than expected. Obviously OJMO is very inexperienced and this is a steep learning curve. They do a great job of making me think OJMO might just pull an upset win out but the Drill Claw finishes.
Final Rating: **1/2
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Will Ospreay vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr)
Suzuki and Ospreay are the only ones who don’t have a lot of history.
The crowd has been quite quiet up to this point but they respond to Suzuki in a big way. There’s some very cheeky antics here. Sabre wants to slap Tanahashi around in New York.
Billy upsets Suzuki, by being in the same building presumably, and the crowd goes wild for Suzuki jumping him from behind. Will has been aiming to move up to heavyweight but Suzuki decides to make him understand exactly what that is going to involve. Ospreay takes one forearm and is bleeding from the nose.
Suzuki is on rare form here. Cheerleading the crowd, break Ospreay’s nose, slapping Tanahashi about, threatening to break Chris Roberts’ leg. Sabre seems to take all this as a personal challenge to act like more of a dick and he literally works over Ospreay’s nose. It’s sickening. I’m almost upset when Ospreay tags out. That’s how into the sadistic Suzuki-gun work I am. That I’m disappointed Hiroshi Tanahashi is wrestling. Suzuki has somehow made himself so watchable that he’s above Tanahashi, literally my favourite wrestler.
Ospreay, stewing on the apron, blood pouring from his nose, gets the hot tag and smashes Suzuki in the corner but he then rises up. Like Christ. Ah, this match is grand.
Ospreay has more joy against Sabre, which is progress for him because he can’t beat Sabre in Rev Pro. That’s what happens again here with Zack just outwrestling Ospreay and pinning him clean in the middle. The match was great and I love that Suzuki-gun switched gears to go after Ospreay’s bad nose. The match faded a tiny bit towards the finish but most of it was great.
Final Rating: ****1/4
Rocky Romero vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
This is a New Japan produce match to pad out the Rev Pro card. Certainly better than using local guys to pad it out. Personally I could just live without it because it’s not going to set the world on fire. They do some shtick and it’s all clean and fun but the match is filler. Taguchi barely connects on half his offence. It’s undercard New Japan to a tee. They get into a decent sequence down the stretch before Dodon puts Romero away.
Final Rating: **1/4
David Starr vs. Tomohiro Ishii
This is a rematch from Uprising where Starr came up short for the Rev Pro British title. That was a good match but not on a par with what Ishii had been doing with other opponents.
Starr decides to play mind games with Ishii.
That does not go well for him. I’m glad the crowd are more eager to support Ishii. Part of what went wrong in London was the crowd were too sympathetic to a heel Starr’s desires. I love when Starr is wailing on Ishii in the corner and Ishii looks mildly irritated. It’s so great. Like one would be ticked off by a fly or perhaps a breeze disrupting your newspaper. Starr has to get properly fired up and throw himself into lariats to get anywhere. Then he’s unloading with everything he has to try and get the pin and Ishii won’t stay down. Ishii flattens him with the brainbuster and that’s it! This felt really brisk unlike the longer less exciting match at Uprising, where they tried for epic. Not being in the main event slot benefitted them.
Final Rating: ****
Aussie Open vs. Roppongi 3K
This was one of the more interesting matches on paper and it’s also interesting they decided to slip it into the main event slot. Scheduling stuff around other shows must be a bitch on these weekends. I’ve seen some very strange cards. They go through the motions for ten minutes and I start to feel sleepy again. There’s no real need for the match to run long and the crowd seem disinterested. It’s almost like they put this on last so if people felt like leaving early they could. That’s not a dig at either team, it just feels like the reasoning. The match drifts in and out, much like the crowd do, which makes it hard to watch. Sometimes it’s really good and sometimes it’s just ‘there’. It’s a shame, in particular for SHO who I love, as they don’t have the kind of natural chemistry you’d hope for. Fidget Spinner puts YOH away and I was glad this ended. It dragged to twenty minutes and was, quite frankly, dull.
Final Rating: **3/4
There were high highs here and a lot of middling stuff that I struggled to stay awake for. The main event is a snooze. The Suzuki-gun tag was tremendous. I don’t have this ranked highly overall and I think it’s a far less important feeling show than the one Rev Pro ran here last year. Two matches aside you could quite happily skip everything. That said I did enjoy seeing a few of my favourites getting a run out in New York. Romo, A-Kid, OJMO and CCK included.