Debuts and changes were the order of the day as Rev Pro’s August Cockpit show set the table nicely for the upcoming Summer Sizzler.
Before we can get going, CCK’s theme hit… and I didn’t realise it until Chris Brookes brought it up on Twitter, but it really does sound like a monster truck theme with “CCK” overlaid on it. The entrance graphic IDs the trio as tag team champions (interesting…), but apparently it’s Kid Lycos with them. Like the old search engine. However you spell his name, the wolf’s got his arm in a sling, after suffering an injury that Andy Simmonz on commentary somehow isn’t too surprised at.
Anyway, we start with promo time, although the crowd finishes Travis’ opening line… so he figures that Lykos has something to say, and gives the wolf the mic. Yeah, Brookes cuts him off. I don’t know why, but I can’t help but think of Lassie when they do this… “What’s that Lykos? There’s a tag title we haven’t won yet, but it’s down a well?”
Brookes acknowledges that Lykos dislocated his shoulder the previous night for OTT… so that’s forced some changes to the card. Which we got to once someone’s phone stopped ringing…
Instead of Lykos and Banks vs. War Machine, we’re going to get a Rev Pro tag title match instead! Problem is, Eddie Dennis was already set to wrestle Brookes in a “win and you’re in” match to be part of the main event at (tomorrow’s – at time of posting) Summer Sizzler. Cue Angry Eddie, who also has to deal with a non-silenced phone, before being told that the match is still going ahead. Except he’s got to do a bit of maths…
What’s 50 + 50?
Eddie Dennis vs. TK Cooper
Yup, it’s the Rev Pro debut of TK Cooper!
Eddie shoves him into the corner at the bell as the Welshman was looking for his first ever win in Rev Pro… but he’s quickly taken down by a ‘rana from Cooper, before levelling the Kiwi on the outside. There’s a LOT of forearms here, and chops too as TK’s forced to pick his spots, including landing a leaping neckbreaker for an early two-count.
More chops in the corner follow, but Cooper tries a comeback with kicks to the chest… and ends up getting dropped with more forearms. Eddie pulls TK off the top rope into an Exploder, then follows in with a diving clothesline… but TK blocks a swinging side slam and throws Eddie outside.
You know what’s next… dive! But Eddie catches him, and we finally get that swinging side slam onto the apron! Cooper looks to go airborne again, and connects with a corkscrew moonsault to the floor! Back inside an axe kick gets a near-fall as the pair go back and forth with kicks, with a leg lariat from TK leaving everyone down.
Cooper heads outside and slingshots into the ring with a senton for a near-fall, and that seems to be enough to spark a comeback from Eddie, who plants TK with a uranage. A forearm doesn’t work though as TK suddenly remembers he’s Samoan, then lands a headbutt as he ends up getting low bridges to the outside for a tope con hilo! Back inside, a buckle bomb looks to set up for a Next Stop Driver, but TK wheelbarrows him… and that’s the shock pin! That was really out of nowhere, but a fun opener as the Eddie Dennis losing streak sadly continues. ***¼
Oh balls, TK owes us all a punch now.
Cara Noir vs. RJ Singh
RJ was out with Dan Magee as those two now have a teacher/student partnership going – on commentary there’s some serious shade.
We open with Cara Noir shying away from RJ early, but Noir keeps things on the mat when he does get going, before pulling out some lipstick. I guess he missed a spot on his facepaint? Cara tries to assault RJ with the lipstick, but gets sent to the outside (where the lipstick broke off and got mushed onto the floor) as RJ took a back suplex on the apron.
Noir keeps up the assault to RJ’s back with a big kick, before he shoves his fingers in his mouth… RJ’s fed up of the attempts to paint him, so he takes Noir to the outside for a cannonball off the top rope. Back inside, a backcracker out of the corner leaves Noir down, only for the painted one to come back with a German suplex and a superkick as the tide continues to shift.
RJ manages to block Noir’s licking offence… by grabbing his tongue! Hey, that works! An uppercut forces some separation, as do some kicks, before counter upon counter ends up with Noir scoring a neckbreaker for a near-fall. Cara takes RJ onto the top rope next, but an attempt at a top rope piledriver’s blocked as RJ shocks everyone with a double jump RJO!
A knee lift comes as RJ eventually hits the BHF palm strike, then a Singh to Sleep… but Noir rolls to the floor after the impact. Once he returns to the ring, Noir kisses Chris Roberts, which leads to the distracted ref missing a low blow as the package piledriver gets Cara the win. Perfectly acceptable wrestling, and although it’s a weird act, I’m all for having more Cara Noir in my wrestling life. As to why Dan Magee was out there when he did nothing… *shrugs* ***
After the match, Magee stood over RJ Singh, before the masked man comes out and levels him with a knee. A Michinoku Driver drops Magee, who then has a yellow streak sprayed in his hair. RJ chases away the mystery man, who may or may not be James Castle… but it is someone who needs to figure out that spraying someone with the same colour as their hair doesn’t exactly stand out!
Next out… we have Rishi Ghosh? The scheduled match was Gideon Grey vs. Kurtis Chapman, but Ghosh has to fight the out-of-focus camera as he heads to the ring and make a plea for his friend to return. Ever since he Rishi and Gideon were beaten badly by Ryback last year, Gideon’s been a little… off, shall we say? But it was a trap! Gideon heads out and admits that it was all an act. An act to string us all along, and we fell for it.
Lord Gideon Grey vs. Kurtis Chapman
On paper, this should have been a bit of a squash, all things considered, but Kurtis Chapman’s a plucky (if not scrawny) little thing, and he put up quite the fight. To be fair, Chapman was part of the team that pushed CCK close at the Cockpit last time out, before going down to the Tempura Boyz a week later… so I don’t quite know where these Contenders stand.
Chapman launches into Grey with a cannonball early on, before flattening Gideon with a back senton for a near-fall. Another cannonball off the apron follows, but Grey responds with something that’ll really hurt… a double handed slap to the back! A huge backbreaker follows, as does a Falcon arrow, but it doesn’t do the deal as Kurtis kicks out!
A tornado DDT sees Chapman get something back as Grey took too long to follow up, before the youngster traps Gideon in the ropes for a double stomp off the top. Grey’s able to kick out at two though, and he promptly comes back with a superkick and a gutwrench’d powerbomb as the rookie clung on. Grey plants Chapman with a Dominator, again for a near-fall, and we nearly have a cheap win as Ghosh slides in his cane for Grey to use. Josh Wall stops him as Grey ends up using a reverse DDT for a near-fall before going back to the cane… but this time Josh Wall’s more focused with stopping Ghosh, and that cane shot connects for another two-count.
Chapman manages another comeback, turning a tornado DDT into a guillotine as Wall and Ghosh get involved again… in the meantime Grey’s escaped and uses Ghosh’s cane once more before teasing the crowd with a One Winged Angel, only to flip off everyone and deliver a package Stunner for the win. A thoroughly enjoyable competitive squash as Gideon Grey gets back on track after shedding that character that was initially marmite. ***
Mark Davis vs. Kyle Fletcher
Well, if you’re going to debut two guys who are forging a tag team for themselves… you may as well have them against each other. This is the fifth time they’ve faced each other in some form of singles match, and on paper, it’s really one sided too. Especially when you figure in Mark had gone on Twitter offering piledrivers for retweets earlier in the day.
Fletcher tries to restrain Davis early, but after letting go of the armbar he opts to land a crossbody before going airborne for some lucha armdrags. It’s not quite as crisp as usual, but Fletcher resumes usual service with a lucha armdrag for a near-fall. A cheapshot from Fletcher sees him take the bigger Dunkzilla into the corner, but Mark just kicks him to the outside before a tope knocked Fletcher hard into the edge of the steps.
Back inside, Fletcher kicks away Davis’ leg ahead of an attempted double stomp… but Davis hits a forearm before lawndarting him into the mat for a near-fall. That leads to a series of chops and forearms between the two as Fletcher windmills away on Davis’ back… but the bigger guy easily resists an Irish whip, only to fall to a missile dropkick. A Michinoku driver gets Fletcher another near-fall, but it’s back to the hard chops and forearms before Fletcher avoids a piledriver and gets off a Saito suplex instead.
Davis somehow kicks out of that, before blocking a Panama Sunrise (leaping Destroyer out of the corner) as he then left Kyle down with a powerbomb and a clothesline. Still, that’s only enough to get a two-count out of the Aussie Arrow, who rebounds with a tornado DDT that led to him hanging Davis across the top strand.
A springboard into a double stomp sends Davis to the outside though, where he’s met with a flip dive, before getting off the leaping Destroyer and a diving boot for another two-count! Similar results follow from a Brainbuster, but Davis turns the tables around with more of those forearms before pulling Fletcher out of the corner and into a piledriver! One Awful Waffle later, and Davis gets the hard-fought win.
These two always work well against each other, and much like Cara Noir, I want more of these guys in my wrestling life! ***¾
Rob Lias, Josh Bodom & Zack Gibson vs. Luke Phoenix, Ryan Smile & Sha Samuels
Everyone got their own entrances, albeit in heavily edited-down form… what was also cut down was Gibson’s promo as Sha interrupted him and we then burst into some all-out brawling across the rather intimate Cockpit.
Phoenix had Lias beat early, but Chris Roberts was outside for some reason and so the visual pin was for nought. Ah Roberts, never ever get better. That leads to Phoenix getting worked over for a long spell as Bodom, Lias and Gibson were more than comfortable taking shots whilst Roberts remained useless. Heck, there was a long period of silence on commentary that didn’t add to this too…
It was almost at squash match levels as Phoenix took, took and took, but offered precious little in terms of fightback. Smile and Samuels tried to make saves, but this may as well have been a handicap contest! Eventually Phoenix manages to avoid a charge and finally manages to tag in Sha Samuels, who goes to town on Bodom.
However the numbers game catches up to him too, before Ryan Smile’s missile dropkick takes out everyone. Ryan sets up Gibson for an accidental DDT from Bodom, before taking Lias outside for the traditional over-the-turnbuckles dive! Back in the ring, Ryan misses a double stomp and runs into a hiptoss knee as things degenerated for a while, ending with Bodom’s flip dive to the outside.
Sha teases a dive, but Lias shoves him into the ring instead, only to get an apron powerbomb as Samuels tried a comeback. Bodom catches him with a Bliss Buster as we get a mini Parade of Moves, finishing when Smile rang his own bell after drilling Gibson with a double stomp. An OsCutter from Smile just gets him a backcracker from Lias, who then gets shocked by an East Destroyer from Sha. Okay, I’m done!
Everyone tries to end Bodom with Liger Bombs, before Phoenix lays out Bodom with a Shotei. Smile returns with a frog splash, then a Tiger Driver as he gets the pin over Josh Bodom. Hmm, that could be a set-up for something later, but that was a good finish to a match that took a long time to get going. I know the likes of Phoenix are only semi-regulars, but that opening segment did little for this match. **¾
Jinny vs. Dahlia Black
Another debut, and this one was advertised as Dahlia Black took on Jinny’s New Music. Of course, the story here is that Jinny’s yet to lose in Rev Pro, coming in 6-0 and starting off with an indyriffic series of pinning attempts.
Dahlia bridges out of an early pin, only to get slapped down… but she comes back with a shotgun dropkick before missing a cannonball into the corner. That gave Jinny the chance to hit a curb stomp for just a one count as Jinny then started to stomp all over the Kiwi. A modified figure four forces Dahlia to drag herself to the ropes, before rebounding with a spinning heel kick that bought her some more time.
Some back and forth forearms follow, but Jinny gets the upper hand with a headlock and a uranage backbreaker, only for Dahlia to throw some more kicks to keep the match delightfully back and forth. Of course, commentary by Andy Simmonz is as patronising as ever as the two went at it, with Dahlia succeeding with that cannonball at the second time. A suplex gets Dahlia a two-count, but Jinny returns the favour with a high release German before a series of kicks left Black down once more. She does rebound to land a clothesline, then some more kicks, but Jinny catches it again and lays in a Dragon screw for a near-fall before the Fashionista started to go low and taunt Dahlia over her recently-broken ankle.
Black replies again though with more kicks, then a standing moonsault for a near-fall, before Jinny rolled a sunset flip up into a Style Clash for the win. A pretty decent match, but you had the usual flaws on commentary… this match would have been better received elsewhere, I feel, but it was a sound outing which keeps the Jinny streak ongoing. I wonder if that’ll lead to anything anytime? ***¼
El Phantasmo vs. Jay White
This match made it onto Botchamania unfortunately, but that’s the risks you get when you’re using the ropes a lot. Phantasmo has new music after Andy Q got all offended by the Canadian’s sweary song on his last appearance.
His opponent here was Jay White – a man about two weeks away from facing Travis Banks at the Summer Sizzler, so this was very much a showcase for the Kiwi. White opens with a wristlock as the pair kept things largely on the ground, with a bow and arrow hold from White nearly costing him as Phantasmo flipped into a pinning attempt.
Phantasmo bridges up from a knuckle lock, before White counters a monkey flip into a wheelbarrow as the solid ground game continued unabated. A rope walk ‘rana from Phantasmo follows as he switched things up, but White changes up too with a hanging neckbreaker out of the middle rope for a one-count right by the ropes. An Anaconda Vice variation follows as White tried to force a submission, trying moments after with a modified abdominal stretch as commentary mused over a Sabre/White match.
White keeps up with submissions, throwing in a Muta lock which Phantasmo bit his way out of as White’d just about prevented a rope break… and this is incredibly one-sided. After a breather, Phantasmo made a comeback, moonsaulting over White before… twisting his nipples. Of course the favours are returned as all nipples on show were twisted until Chris Roberts broke it up.
We see Phantasmo go all crazy, flipping off the ropes with a seated senton in the front row, before slipping back into the ring and saving himself as he lands a crossbody for a near-fall. A head kick knocks the Kiwi down, but Phantasmo doesn’t go for a cover, rather crushing White with his knees from a standing moonsault, before a standing shooting star press takes the Canadian straight into a crossface!
White rolls Phantasmo into the middle of the ring again, but Phantasmo rolls out and grabs an ankle lock. He pulls White off the ropes, but Chris Roberts doesn’t force the break as White’s eventually able to turn it into a Lion Tamer for an instant rope break. The pressure’s kept on with some rolling butterfly suplexes, then a Saito suplex for a near-fall, before he ends a strike battle with a German suplex… and we’re back to the strikes!
Phantasmo lifts up White into a whirlibird neckbreaker, sending the Kiwi to the outside for a leaping tope into the front row! Back inside, a Yakuza kick blasts White, as does a top rope ‘rana and a big splash… but it’s only enough for two! The Canadian looks for a senton bomb, but White catches him and lays in some Danielson elbows before a double underhook Dominator collects a near-fall. All that’s left is for White to get in a Lion Tamer and Phantasmo has no choice but to tap. A really fun match, but this felt a little long considering how little Phantasmo had been established here. ***¾
Rev Pro British Tag Team Championship: CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks) (c) vs. War Machine (Hanson & Rowe)
If you guessed this was going to be an all-out car-crash of a match… in a good way, you’d be right. Lykos was out with the champs, which perhaps put him in a little more danger when the challengers asked for this to be under War Machine rules. Uh-oh.
Rowe asks for the Code of Honor, but they get some pump kicks instead of handshakes as War Machine respond by lawn darting the champs into each other. Brookes gets slammed, before Hanson gets thrown on top of him… and we look to repeat the same with Banks, but there’s a save made by Brookes as the champs wear down Rowe two-on-one.
Hanson impressively cartwheels away from Brookes before laying him down, as Banks then gets smashed into by War Machine… only to turn things back around when he kicked Hanson into his partner – turning it into an inadvertent Bronco Buster. Banks throws in a cannonball, as a rather non-plussed Simmonz on commentary called it ahead of time, but Rowe hits back instantly with a deadlift German.
Banks replies with a PK off the apron to Rowe, and we get our spot of brawling around the crowd as Banks gets slammed into the goddamned crowd! Thankfully those seats are padded, but not much! Brookes gets a similar treatment, before a gunshot-like chop takes Brookes down on the floor.
Lykos then tries to get involved – bad wing and all – but his flip dive is caught as War Machine put him down gently and tell him to, for all intents and purposes, heel. Not like that. That doesn’t please Lykos, who’s put time and time in the corner, before Rowe drops him with a simple forearm. Brookes and Banks respond as angrily as you’d expect to seeing their friend beaten, but Hanson’s more than able to make ground, dropping the champs with the endless “forever” lariats.
A Tower of Doom follows as Rowe stops a superplex attempt, before Hanson squashes Brookes with a big splash, with only Banks’ double stomp saving the titles. Just like that though, a savage knee lift from Rowe took the lanky one down again, before Hanson’s handspring back elbow left the champs down again.
A double superkick gets Hanson down as the back-and-forth continues, leading to a Million Dollar Knee to Rowe, who then took a Fisherman’s Driver for a near-fall – despite CCK stacked up the cover! Rowe replies with a big slam/powerbomb combo, before Brookes took a clothesline-assisted German… Banks gets a pop-up slam, but he too is able to kick out of a stacked-up cover!
A Slice of Heaven from Banks eventually dazes Rowe, allowing Brookes to get in a slingshot cutter as the elevated Codebreaker/back senton almost got them another win – as Banks played Hanson with a tope to the big lad to prevent any saves.
Travis Banks tries to use the belt on Rowe… but instead Rowe gets the strap, uses it on a flying Lykos, before Brookes takes the loose belt and finally blasts him for the cover. A bit of an odd ending, but a heck of a car crash match… easily the best thing on the show, as CCK win the impromptu tag title defence. ****¼
As a show, Rev Pro’s 19th Cockpit appearance was a solid night’s wrestling from start to finish. However, as is the case with these shows before a York Hall event, there was the distinct flavour of this being a warm-up than anything else. I’m still intrigued by where things are going, particularly with Eddie Dennis given he lost an all-or-nothing match to someone who wasn’t even booked until hours before the show. (Since this review was written, Eddie was added to tomorrow’s York Hall card, substituting for an injured Sami Callihan against Martin Stone – but the storyline should still rumble on!).
Like with all shows, there’s things to nitpick, but overall this was an enjoyable two-and-a-half hours of entertainment – for those watching on-demand or in the Cockpit!