Rev Pro made their Wales debut with a good show that looked to put some Best Boys on the wrong track…
We’re in the Tramshed – a refurbished arts venue with a capacity of up to 1,000, although that’d be significantly cut for wrestling. Aidan Walsh is on commentary with Andy Quildan (eventually), after he gave himself a premature introduction. Whoops!
Legion of Lords (No Fun Dunne & Lord Gideon Grey) vs. Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)
So much reverb… dear GOD. Is the main microphone next to the speakers?!
Dunne’s just “No Fun Dunne” here, and he’s part of the Legion of Lords based on his debut at the Cockpit a few weeks earlier. There’s so much with that I want to pick apart… Dunne and Grey brand themselves the new face of tag wrestling in Rev Pro, whilst an over-eager Grey called Dunne his “new best friend”. There’s a sad man with a hard man haircut shedding a tear, I feel.
Fletcher enjoyed some early dominance on Grey, who struggled to get going, before Dunne ran into a fun kick. Kyle fell for the false alarm enziguiri, before Mark Davis came in and hit a one-handed spin-out back suplex. That’s power, right there. The Lords managed to get back into it, as they isolate Fletcher, at least until he fought free, stomping on Grey’s back before getting the tag into Dunkzilla.
Davis cleans house on the Lords, who helped out inadvertently themselves. A one-armed powerbomb nearly does it, as does a double team cutter, but Grey looks to make a comeback… and quickly eats a double superkick. Another double team cutter’s stopped as we enter the realm of broken up pins, before Fletcher takes the 50 Shades of Grey.
There’s no cover though as Grey looked for Cattle Mutilation, only for Davis to come in and pull him up into a piledriver… but Dunne pulls out the ref! Instead of a DQ, we just get a distraction as Grey uses his cane on Davis, who then takes a springboard lungblower from Dunne for the win. As an opener this was fine, but I have issues with the clunky way that they’ve shoehorned Dunne into this set-up. ***
There’s been some noticeable production issues on this show so far – aside from the deafening reverb, the lighting in the Tramshed has been spotty at best. Not Rev Pro’s usual standards, but it’s also their first time on tour, so we can expect teething issues.
Jinny vs. Veda Scott vs. Charli Evans
“The first of two triple threat matches for you today… this one is the women’s contest”. I’m sure some will be frothing at the mouth at the phrasing there. Jinny’s facing Veda Scott and Charli Evans here, two opponents she’s had recent encounters with… and since this isn’t the Cockpit, we’re not breaking the “one and done” rule here.
Oh my, they’ve given Charli the Blur rip-off that Sterling and Redman used to have. That might be a sign that we shouldn’t expect either of them back soon… as if them not being around since losing to CCK wasn’t already a sign.
We’re straight into “two in, one out” territory as Evans peppers Jinny with right hands in the corner, until she ran into a Japanese armdrag. Out goes Charli, in comes Veda to hit a running cutter that flipped Jinny out of the ring… just so Charli could return with a roll-up. The pair trade moves until they catch each other’s kicks, allowing Jinny to pick her spot and hit the neckbreaker/accidental DDT combo for a near-fall.
There’ll be some who will be loathing this particular patterning.
The iffy lighting means that Jinny’s stomping and choking on Charli in the darkest part of the ring (at least from one of the cameras), at least until Veda breaks it up. Three-way strikes led to everyone collapsing at the same time, before we enter the Parade of Moves! Rainmaker! Diving kick! Spear! Stroke! Jinny throws out Charli after that Stroke, and steals the pin… she remains undefeated, and I wonder if we’re now getting her vs. Charli at some point soon? As a match, this was fine, but I struggled to engage with the patterning on show here. **½
Chris Brookes vs. Eddie Dennis
A slightly-edited theme for the Best Boy, who came out with the rest of CCK – even the injured wolf. We were meant to get this at the Cockpit back in August, but another injury to Lykos led to a shuffled card that gave us TK Cooper instead.
Eddie’s still using Party Hard, and commentary is still being drowned out by the ring music. Teething problems!
Commentary’s trying to put over Eddie as someone whose losing streak is down to the calibre of opposition he’s been regularly facing. If that’s the case, then part of me wants to see Eddie get the proverbial tomato can… and flip out at the “charity match”. If the turn’s coming, that would be a good a way as any to trigger it.
After an early spell, Eddie’s forced to reach for the ropes to escape armbars, before he burst into life with armdrags and headscissors, bringing back memories of “Eddie Mysterio”. Brookes has a breather and returns to work on the arm, before getting sent outside as Eddie indulges in a few forearms. Lykos tries to make a save with his good arm, but it doesn’t work… and Eddie just whacks him with a forearm.
The darkness outside the ring makes this hard to follow. Apparently Brookes did a Trent with the ring post, before Lykos gets involved again, grabbing hold of Eddie’s leg to allow Brookes to take over, manipulating an armbar by having Eddie flip off the crowd. Are the Best Boys becoming bad boys?
A disgustingly drippy wet willie follows for Eddie, who fought back with a superplex as the comeback continued… ending with Eddie dropping Chris right on his… you know what! Brookes avoids a swinging side slam and hits a German instead, only for his dive to the outside to get caught and turned into a swinging side slam on the apron. It’s the hardest part of the ring (to get onto)… back inside the pair continue to go back-and-forth, with Brookes hitting a trapped-arm knee strike, before a uranage out of the corner from Eddie led to a crucifix bomb… but it’s still not enough!
More distractions from Lykos tie up the ref, who misses Travis Banks playing the wolf for the elevated codebreaker/back senton pairing. Chris Roberts refuses to count the pin as he’s too busy ejecting Banks from the ringside area. More Lykos interference via a baking tray shot led to a Jay Driller from Brookes, but it’s still not enough, before the wolf flies into a superkick from Eddie.
The interference gets more overt as Travis Banks runs in and takes the Samoan drop/fallaway slam pairing. How is any of this not a DQ?! Brookes eats a clothesline from Eddie, who sets up for a Next Stop Driver, but Brookes wheelbarrows him into a pin, and that one moment is enough to keep the losing streak alive. Well, this was interesting – CCK overtly playing the bad guys with all the interference… will that play out at the Cockpit? As a match this was pretty solid, but the interference was on the verge of becoming overplayed. ***½
With Chris Ridgeway off the show due to travel issues, Rev Pro smashed two matches together…
El Phantasmo vs. Kurtis Chapman vs. Ryan Smile
Chapman surprises Smile early with a running uppercut as commentary pushes the undersized joke a little too much… we’re quickly into the usual pattern, with two-in and one-out for phases.
A big dropkick propels Chapman away from an attempted leapfrog, as Smile looked to get a little retribution, scoring a near-fall with a diving dropkick before Chapman’s enziguiri took Ryan outside. Hey, Phantasmo’s back! He catches Chapman in a trapped-arm helicopter neckbreaker for a two-count as his own dizziness caught him out.
Phantasmo hurt his own hand chopping Chapman. Because “he’s got no meat on his bones”. Ha. We may be in the opposite ballpark to fat shaming by this point, and now we get some three-way spots as everyone piles into Phantasmo in the corner. Next comes a Tower of Doom, but Chapman can’t powerbomb Phantasmo… because size. So he springboards up into a sunset flip to do it instead.
Smile and Chapman trade forearms for a spell, before a German suplex folded Ryan in half. ELP hits a neat roll through into a tombstone, but Chapman countered that into what they’re trying to call the Sega Mega Driver – a headscissor’d tombstone. I sense lawyers. Smile’s back to try again, but he’s shoved away and Chapman calls for the “Kenny Omega”.
Yeah, the avalanche One Winged Angel doesn’t come close, and Phantasmo instead hits a top rope ‘rana on Smile. Chapman tries to break up the cover with a senton bomb, but ELP moves away and lets Smile take the blow before grabbing an ankle lock. Chapman tries to break that up, and ends up in a double ankle lock before the eventual rope break. Kurtis ends up taking out Smile with a flip tope, but a suicide dive returns the favour as everyone goes airborne, then into the crowd, culminating with a flip dive from ELP into the crowd!
They quickly head back to the ring as ELP hits a springboard splash on Smile, before switching into an ankle lock… but Kurtis Chapman again makes the save as he pulled Smile to the outside. A kick to the gut from Chapman sees him try to capitalise, but a pop-up cutter, a senton bomb and a top rope moonsault from ELP proved to be enough. This was good in parts, but having two triple-threats with similar patterning on the same show felt a little much. Still, a good showing from El Phantasmo, who joins the list of guys who looks odd clean shaven. ***
Revolution Pro Wrestling British Cruiserweight Championship: Flash Morgan Webster vs. Josh Bodom (c)
Webster got the shot by beating Bodom at the Cockpit two weeks earlier, and Bodom nearly gets the flash win out of the gate with a small package.
Commentary mentions how Webster’s comeback from injury has seen him stronger than ever – conveniently skipping over the “nearly man” story another promotion’s doing. Hey, if he’s clocking champions with bicycle knees like this, he’ll not be the “nearly man” for much longer!
Webster takes the upper hand, before he hesitated for way too long on the middle rope and gets brutally pulled down by Bodom, who relished the kicks and shots he dished out to his challenger. A running corkscrew press gets Bodom another near-fall, but Webster sneaks back in wheelbarrowing Bodom into the middle turnbuckle ahead of another cracking knee!
Bodom escapes a Brit Pop Drop and hits an enziguiri, only to fall into a Hands Up Headbutt as that Brit Pop Drop finally connected for a near-fall. A standing moonsault from Bodom sees him fall into a guillotine choke, before Bodom’s escape almost cost him with a small package, as the champ finally got free, and propelled Webster HIGH into the air with a Bodom Breaker.
It’s almost like Flash became one of those bouncy balls.
An attempted Bliss Buster gets reversed as Webster backdrops Bodom onto the short entrance ramp. Flash keeps pushing, headbutting away some offence before a senton bomb crushed Bodom for another near-fall, as did a reverse ‘rana. The Strangler catches Bodom, who pulls Chris Roberts down to break it up… and yes, that’s not a DQ. Bodom using the belt on Webster is, and the intentional DQ means Bodom loses, but retains the title.
A cheap finish, which makes me think we’re getting this again down the line, especially since a Bliss Buster was the final message from the champion. Decent enough, but I loathe cheap finishes like this, even if it’s against the backdrop of the “Bodom can’t beat Flash” story. ***¼
Travis Banks vs. Mike Bailey
This was originally scheduled to be Bailey vs. Bubblegum, but a serious injury has left the Mancunian on the shelf for a few months. Heal up soon Bubblegum! Unlike earlier, Banks is on his own for this main event, and we start with feinted kicks from both men, leading to an early stand-off.
Those feinted kicks give way to kicks that connect, and yes, this plays into Speedball’s wheelhouse. A dropkick from Bailey left Banks down, but the Kiwi Buzzsaw returns with chops as they give and take on that front too. Bailey’s cavalcade of kicks left Banks reeling, but he at least pulled Bailey down onto the apron ahead of a tope to the outside as Travis tried to take over with some kicks.
Yeah, Bailey dished them out too. At least there’s aggression from both sides, rather than Bailey’s sometimes Pinocchio-esque “hey, I can kick” level of astonishment when it comes to throwing his feet. Heck, Bailey even threw fists as well as feet, only to get sent into the corner for a springboard stomp from Banks. We’re getting all the kicks here, and the odd move, with Bailey’s bridging German getting him a near-fall, before Bailey’s O’Connor roll led to a near-fall… and had him caught in a rear naked choke from the kick-out.
Despite getting to the ropes, Bailey can’t escape as Banks rolled him back into the middle of the ring, before Bailey went slightly kamikaze, diving to the outside to break the hold. Or his neck. Luckily, just the hold was broken. On the outside, duelling forearms and pump kicks left everyone laying.
Back inside again, Bailey’s moonsault slam gets a near-fall, before he’s wiped out with a big lariat from Banks, We’re back to the chops, then forearms as Banks looked to edge ahead, only to take a running dropkick and some shooting star knees as Bailey damn near crushed the Kiwi. A swing and a miss from Bailey nearly costs him as Banks instantly fires back with a cobra clutch backbreaker and a Slice of Heaven for a near-fall… but it’s the Kiwi Crusher that does the job as Banks eked out a hard-fought win! I’m not usually a fan of Speedball’s kick-fests, but the added aggression from both sides made this a worthy main event. ***¾
Rev Pro’s Cardiff debut was solid, yet lacking something to put it over the edge, it has to be said. From the camera shots, the attendance didn’t seem too great, but at least this wasn’t a silent crowd, which is a good thing. The main issue is that Rev Pro is one of those promotions that doesn’t usually engage in storylines… so if their touring show is to become a thing, then they need to start bringing together more storylines, even if it’s just for the Cockpit-level series of shows. Without that, these shows are effectively “live wrestling in your town”, at least until Rev Pro has built up a cache outside of their London home.