Rev Pro Live in Southampton 3 review (6.4.18)

Rev Pro Live in Southampton 3 review (6.4.18)

Rev Pro Live in Southampton 3

 

June 4 2018

 

This might seem like a strange show to select to write about, given that Rev Pro run loads of these small shows I’ve routinely ignored them all year. However the show was billed as a ‘goodbye’ show for anyone who’d signed the recent WWE UK contracts. Basically Andy Q has turned down an agreement with WWE, to stick with New Japan, and this means WWE contracted talent are now done in Rev Pro. So if you see anyone losing here and waving goodbye to the crowd…they’re WWE bound (or at least WWE mark contract bound). The main one was Chris Brookes. Coming into the show there was speculation this was Brookes final match in a Rev Pro ring. As a result he found himself opposite WALTER!

 

We’re in Southampton at the 1865 Club. Hosts are Andy Quildan and Andy Boy Simmonz.

 

Kurtis Chapman, Chuck Mambo, Psycho Phillips & Dan Magee vs. Legion of Lords

S3Gideon

Rev Pro has an angle going on where Gideon’s new best friend is Damian Dunne and he and Rishi Ghosh have been having issues. Chuck Mambo is missing because his car broke down.

To make matters worse for the faces, already at a 4 on 3 disadvantage, when Magee is jumped by Josh Bodom.

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The crowd show their support for Magee by chanting “thank you Bodom”. This is my issue with the Rev Pro fans. They don’t seem to care for any babyfaces. The Besties turn up unannounced (Davey Vega, Matt Fitchett) to even the odds. Right so;

 

Kurtis Chapman, Psycho Phillips & The Besties in the World vs. Legion of Lords

Again the crowd only bite on the heel stuff. I feel for the likes of Kurtis Chapman who are getting a rough deal as plucky babyfaces in front of Rev Pro crowds. The guys don’t help as Santos gets the biggest pops for his invisible gun technique. Although Psycho Phillips has an answer for this…

Santos is the most over face in the match but then, this is their long term storyline. Psycho Philips gets to boss a tonne of the action and eventually this swings the crowd back in the face teams favour. All the heels do look really good here though. Especially Gideon, who sells his relationships with the others throughout. His run in to save Dunne (“leave my friend alone”) is awesome. The match, despite a mixture of ability levels, ends up being a fun hot opener. The fact that its character driven and comes to a conclusion that advances the story (Santos slamming Ghosh on their opponent for the pin) makes it all the better.

Final Rating: ***1/2

 

TK Cooper vs. Adam Brooks

Both these guys have an undefeated streak in Rev Pro.

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Brooks is heel here, despite his charming Aussie smirk. He’s been over in the UK for about 6 months and I’ve never got a solid handle on his act. He’s definitely playing a heel but the move set alone puts him tweener at least. Plus he comes across as a nice lad, apart from when he’s deliberately playing a jerk. I think he’d be better positioned as a babyface until people had a reason to hate him. Like David Starr. Rev Pro have done a great job with Starr. The match is fine but there are too many moments where Brooks reels around to do something and TK isn’t where he expects him to be. It’s hard to say who’s to blame for that but it happens more often than it should.

When they do get it right the match clicks nicely. Brooks landing some tidy strikes but the finish is Brooks kicking TK square in the balls for a DQ. With both men undefeated coming in it made sense to have a screwy finish.

Final Rating: ***

 

Josh Bodom vs. Kip Sabian

Sabian comes out here with all the cutesy “Soooooooooperbad” heel shtick so Bodom batters him and good lord, Bodom is over as a face on the south coast. All his bros in the house! Sabian is surely next in line to be a breakout star in the UK after good showings while visiting Progress and Rev Pro. Babyface Bro Bodom is something else. He even wrestles like a face here.

S3Brodom

When Kip steps to him he batters him back down. Blissbuster. Revolution Kick. Tombstone and Kip is done. Bodom showed a great deal of class here. Sabian brought a solid challenge and, like I said earlier, is sure to be a breakout star sooner rather than later. After the match Dan Magee lays Bodom out with his reverse Pedigree. That move looks sick, although I can’t help but think whoever is taking it must eat taint.

Final Rating: ***1/4

 

Aussie Open vs. The Arrows of Hungary

Icarus & Dover are starting to get bookings all over the place. wXw opening those doors. They’re a decent team but neither of them seem to be ready for Dunkzilla. Icarus is the clear star of the Arrows. He’s so fast. Kyle, as per usual, takes heat as they hit formula early. Aussie Open are learning to mix that formula up after a few months of running it to the letter. It always depends on the crowd. If you’re at a show with a lot of kids you can probably build sympathy on Kyle over a longer period of time. You’re at a show with a smarter crowd and they’ll probably see formula for formula. Davis is slowly building a great reputation for badassery. You know its only a matter of time before he turns on Kyle right? He needs that big singles run at some point. He’s ready for it. Aussie Open have been a very entertaining and capable tag team during their UK run though. Arrows of Hungary also have some tidy tag team work in this. They’ve clearly been working on it for a while. They’ve been a team for 6 years. I’m particularly impressed with the suplex/powerbomb combo. This turns into an absolute barnburner. They have great near finishes and everyone gets involved in the multi-man stuff but also deliver with the big strikes. Kyle is particularly good. Fidget Spinner finishes and this was excellent. Another in the file for Aussie Open are tag team of the year!

Final Rating: ****

 

Undisputed British Women’s Championship

Jinny (c) vs. Jamie Hayter

Jinny’s title victory was built up over many months of her being the entire focus of the Rev Pro women’s division. Unfortunately she’s now signed for WWE (in some capacity) so Rev Pro’s entire women’s division is fucked. Which is what happens when you have no depth in a division.

S3Jinny

Jinny was unbeaten in Rev Pro before winning a tournament for the title in January. Hayter is better positioned as a heel but due to Jinny’s own heel persona she has to play defacto babyface. That doesn’t give us the best of crowd reactions, although at least she dislike Jinny. Interesting fact; Jinny has only one successful title defence as Rev Pro women’s champion and that was at High Stakes in January! I know she’s been injured but it’s ended up being a disappointing reign. Her wrist is still heavily strapped. The match is ok but you can tell Hayter isn’t accustomed to wrestling face. An example of how awkward this match is at times is the Jinny submission rowboat. Jamie has to be reminded to throw her arms back, or rather Jinny does nothing to make her bring her arms back, and then the counter out of it is not good. They can’t seem to get on the same page. The super rana is absolutely terrifying.

 

Don’t get me wrong here, I love both these women’s work normally but they don’t click with each other and the end result is a match that is at best rough and at its worst downright dangerous looking. To make matters worse they try some big spots and every time I’m genuinely worried someone is going to get hurt. The Rainmaker looks pretty great though. Jinny ends up getting caught in a choke and gives up. New champion! Mainly because Jinny isn’t able to wrestle here anymore, rather than a build that saw Hayter rise into this spot.

S3Hayter

It’s a shame really because the story was there for a long Jinny reign being dramatically ended on a big show. Instead it’s a single defence and out. Something Rev Pro built for two whole years for no real pay off. Andy Q must be mad as hell.

Final Rating: **1/2

 

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Post Match: The crowd abuse Jinny quite a bit until she plants a kiss on the logo and bails out. At least there’s a “thank you Jinny” chant. Everyone knows she’s done in Rev Pro and even if she’s a heel you show her a little respect when its all said and done.

 

Chris Brookes vs. WALTER

S3Brookes

Travis Banks has already wrestled his last match for Rev Pro, due to WWE contracts, and now the rumour is that this is Chris Brookes last match for Rev Pro too. This is WALTER’s first Rev Pro match in two years (he faced Damo at York Hall almost exactly 2 years ago in a match I’d totally forgotten about). WALTER’s reputation has massively improved since that appearance. Thanks to his 2017 he’s considered a world beater and he’s been cementing that reputation in 2018.

S3Walter

WALTER plays the monster here until Brookes goes after his hand to eliminate the chops. This allows WALTER to break out his alternative move set; the one he used in the 3rd Dragunov match. This doesn’t last and they go back to chopping each other. The aim here to show that Brookes is fighting to prove how good he is, against WALTER’s strengths. WALTER being established as a world beater. Brookes fighting and showing emotion and determination is so great. One of my biggest gripes about Brookes is he doesn’t show enough emotion and I feel he would get more crowd support if we were more invested in him.

After those little flares of hope WALTER chops the hell out of the poor guy and there’s where the sympathy comes from. WALTER just dismantles people but Brookes does a great job of picking his spots and this is one of his best singles matches because of that. He puts together a combination of moves that makes me legitimately think he can beat WALTER. Then WALTER decapitates him with a lariat and that’s it. WALTER is obviously one of the best in the world but Brookes was fantastic here. His role in wrestling should be going after the biggest of the big lads and bringing the fight because he’s so good in that role (see vs. Ohno at SSS16 as well).

Final Rating: ****

 

Post Match: Chris Brookes is left alone in the ring and he asks for the microphone. Brookes says he’s been “offered full time employment elsewhere” but he got into wrestling because he loved independent wrestling. “Yeah, I got an email and I replied to that email and I’m not leaving”. I actually got chills listening to that. Independent spirit, battler of the big boys Chris Brookes might actually be my hero!

 

Don’t tell him I said that.

 

(West Midlands represent)

 

David Starr vs. El Phantasmo

S3Starr

Heel David Starr is super over in the UK. Especially in Southampton “which is far better than Portsmouth”. Starr absolutely rails on how bad Southampton is and the crowd chants “we’re a shithole”. It’s a lot harder to get cheap heat in the UK. ELP does a lot of flips to mess with Starr’s head, although oddly enough Starr is still getting crowd support.

S3ELP

Starr gets quite irate with ELP’s range of flippydo’s. It proves a theory though. Starr is way more over because he can talk even though he can’t do half of Phantasmo’s move set. They don’t quite click, and need to recover a couple of moves where they’re about to go to shit in mid-move. Starr stays away from the showy stuff to amplify Phantasmo’s offence and most of his work involves bailing out of the ring or grinding at ELP’s neck. Starr attempts to win on count out. My favourite attempt being him hitting Phantasmo in the back of the neck with a tope, throwing him up the steps to the bar and then sitting in the ring holding his belt up! A fan has to throw Phantasmo back into the ring! They have some tidy near finishes too with ELP fighting out of holds and somehow kicking out of that sick brainbuster over the knee.

Given the storyline of the match surely that’s the finish! Surely! Starr cuts another promo calling himself “the best cruiserweight in Britain”. I’m put off by Phantasmo launching a comeback after this barrage of abuse. Anyway, Phantasmo pulls out the win but because Starr refused to defend the title in Southampton (I mean, I get that) he retains the title.

Final Rating: ***3/4

 

S3shitty

“Shitty Portsmouth”. Starr tells Phantasmo if he wants a title match he’ll have to take it now and we’re off again!

 

Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship

David Starr (c) vs. El Phantasmo

Starr kicks ELP in the balls after a few seconds and loses on DQ. Which is astonishing considering Adam Brooks did exactly the same thing earlier in the night. Did they not see that? Oh well.

 

Summary:

Very strong show from Rev Pro. They took a major issue from the real world and turned it into an angle. Specifically with Jinny leaving but the Brookes promo as a counterpoint to that was tremendous. Plus the standard of wrestling was very high all night. If the main had a better finish you’d be looking at three matches at four stars. On a B show in Southampton mind you! This is how you fight the evil empire of WWE. Quality and heart.

 

 

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