I wasn’t expecting to be doing this review so soon after the event. I usually review the London RevPro shows from seeing them live, but I wasn’t able to attend this particular show due to prior engagements. My plan was to pick up the DVD when it came out, but that’s usually a few months wait at the very least.
However, last week RPW made the big announcement that they were stepping into the VOD market, and from this point forward are going to be using Vimeo on Demand as a method of distributing their shows alongside DVDs. This is a big step forward, as not only does it allow people like me to pick up the shows much closer to when they happened and watch them in chronological order, it also makes RPW far more accessible to foreign markets. I know of at least three people who would like to watch some RevPro but don’t want to pay for shipping of the DVDs to the US, and that’s very understandable, so this will allow them to get in on the British wrestling action, and hopefully add a fair amount to the revenue stream of the company.
Revolution Pro Wrestling
Saturday, October 18th 2014
2 Unlimited vs. Swann & Aries: This match was originally scheduled to be 2 Unlimited against the Inner City Machine Guns, but due to Lucha Underground changing their plans Ricochet had to be pulled from the show, and like the following night Aries filled in to partner with Swann. The match started out pretty slow, with the Sammons able to out-chain-wrestle Swann but both get schooled by Aries. 2 Unlimited were playing heel here, a contrast to their natural roles, as Swann and Aries were getting a lot of support, and did a good job at it. The match inevitably broke down, with the Sammons managing to gain the advantage for the most part due to their superior teamwork, nearly achieving victory multiple times with moves like a spinebuster-blockbuster combination and a wheelbarrow springboard facebuster, but the other member of the team was always there to break it up. They finally looked to seal the deal with Swann on the outside and Aries lying prone on the mat, so they went up for their patented shoulder 450 splash. Aries got out the way at the last second though, and Swann came back in to hit a gamengiri followed by a frankensteiner on the seated Patrick. Aries then hit his corner dropkick on Jay, and followed it up with a Brainbuster while Swann dived over the both of them onto Patrick on the outside, allowing Austin to get the pinfall victory.
This match told a nice little story of 2 Unlimited being able to dominate the bulk of the match against two guys who weren’t used to teaming together, but with only three years of wrestling experience were a little overawed with facing two big stars in Aries and Swann, and weren’t able to capitalise fully. Then when the tides switched, the two bigger stars showed why they were so by being clinical. A fun fast paced opener and a good showing for all four men. ***1/4
After the match Aries got on the mic and put over the crowd, saying RevPro had something really special going.
Dave Mastiff vs. Karl Anderson: These two were scheduled to face off at Summer Sizzler, but Anderson had to pull out of the show and was replaced by Fale. These two big bulls went at it right from the bell. After being outmuscled in the opening exchanges, Anderson started targeting the leg of Big Bad Dave, which allowed him to take a commanding position in the early going until Mastiff managed to counter out of the swivel gun-stun and got the better of a striking exchange. The highlight of the match for me was Mastiff catching Anderson coming off the top rope with a big clothesline, and then following up with a deadlift bridging German, followed by another German suplex into the turnbuckles. That allowed Mastiff to go for his corner cannonball finisher, but Anderson got out the way and then followed up with the swivel gun-stun for a near fall. The finish came later on when Mastiff again was going for his Cannonball, but Anderson caught him running in with a Gun Stun for the three count.
This was fine, but I never really got totally into it apart from the sequence I described above and the finish. For a big man, Mastiff’s strikes always look really weak to me. I’m not generally a big Mastiff fan though, and I know a lot of people are, so some will probably enjoy this a lot. **3/4
Kazuchika Okada vs. Joel Redman: The last match before intermission saw Okada make his UK debut (unless he went on a UK tour with TNA which I don’t think he did) against one half of the British Tag Team Champions Joel Redman. Joel got an early advantage by leading with some British style technical wrestling which Okada wasn’t familiar with. The match then spilled to the outside, and again Joel remained dominant by hitting a running European Uppercut which sent Okada into the barricade in what looked like a nasty spill. Okada eventually managed to turn things around by hitting his signature over the shoulder neckbreaker, and following it up with his DID submission, but Joel was able to reach the ropes. Joel ducked an early rainmaker, and hit a picture perfect release German suplex, and followed up with a Brain Cage style rope suplex, and a top rope knee drop for a nearfall. The finish came when Redman went for a rainmaker of his own, which Okada ducked under, only to be superkicked by the Brit. Redman then ran the ropes straight into a beautiful dropkick followed up with a tombstone, which he himself had been hit with a spinning variation earlier in the match, and then finished him off with the Rainmaker lariat.
This was a good showcase of Okada ahead of his match against Aries the following night, and Redman didn’t look out of place at all. If there’s one thing about Okada I don’t like, it’s the way he uses the tombstone, and it had a lot of focus in this one sadly. Not a classic Okada match by any means, but fun stuff. ***1/4
Too Cool & Rikishi vs. The Revolutionists: Well of course you follow up Okada with Too Cool and Rikishi. Of course you do. This match was all nostalgia, as you expect, with the three Attitude Era stars hitting all their signature shtick, including the Stinkface and the Worm. Rikishi pulled his calf mid match, and just hobbled around throughout the rest of it. As a match it was pretty bad as you’d expect, but they weren’t trying to put on a classic. As somebody who wasn’t a wrestling fan during the time these three were active, I don’t really have the nostalgia, but it was still fun, and the crowd loved it. *3/4
After the match we got treated to the signature dance, and then Scotty brought his son (who loked somewhere between 8 and 12) into the ring who then did the worm to one of the biggest pops of the night.
Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Marty Scurll (c) vs. Martin Stone: Onto our semi main event and first and only championship bout of the night. The challenger Martin Stone (formerly Danny Burch in NXT) is looking to become a dual champion, as he currently is in possession of the tag straps with another NXT alumnus Joel Redman. We got taped promos from both men before the match, with Scurll focusing on how Stone wasn’t the man he was two years ago, and Stone stating that Marty would never have made it to the top of the British scene had Stone not have left for two years.
Scurll brought an umbrella to the ring with him because the rainmaker was on the show, and used it to his advantage by attacking Stone with it before the bell during the ring introductions. He then followed it up with a tornado DDT and came oh so close to winning the match then and there. They them brawled to the outside, through the crowd and up onto the stage. It was purposeful brawling though, and looked really good, with things actually happening rather them two guys wandering around ringside and throwing half-hearted punches you see so often. It was punctuated by Marty hitting a rolling fireman’s carry on the stage. Stone struggled to get out of the blocks, with Marty cutting him off every time it looked like he was going to get a flurry in. Scurll really nailed his heel game in this match, he showcased a masterclass on getting the crowd riled up and behind Stone.
The Guv’nor eventually did get a hold on the match though, when he kicked out of a mocking pedigree after a “you’re fired” taunt from the champion. After a few minutes of back and forth action, the Revolutionists came down when it looked like Stone might be closing in on the victory, and slipped Marty the belt who nailed Stone with it while the ref was distracted. Stone managed to kick out though, to Scurll’s dismay. By this point, the crowd had really bought into Stone winning the belt here, and the atmosphere was electric. The best nearfall of the entire night came when Marty went to lie down while Stone was locked in the crossface chickenwing, but Stone floated over in a backwards roll onto his feet, ran the ropes and caught Scurll with a great lariat, then followed it straight up with his finished, the London Bridge top-rope hung DDT, but Marty kicked out at the very last milli-second. Later in the match, Stone had Marty caught in the crossface, and it looked as if he was going to tap away his title when Terry Frasier climbed up on the apron and distracted the ref. Stone then released the hold to knock Terry down with a big punch, but then got caught with an enziguri, which caused him to fall into the ref, which knocked him out of the ring. That allowed Samuels to come in with a steel chair, and catch Stone right in the head. Marty then got the cover, and the ref crawled over and slowly counted, but again Stone kicked out right at the death. Scurll then got Stone in the crossface chickenwing, but Martin wouldn’t go down, so Marty released the crossface part of the move and rained in some brutal looking elbows to the side of the Guv’nor’s head while it was trapped between then and his knee. He then pulled Stone back up, and relocked in the crossface, then wrapped in a leg scissors and sat back, pulling Stone back onto the mat. Stone then fought, but eventually faded and passed out to bring an end to a great match.
This was a great match that really surpassed my expectations. Stone really hadn’t shown me too much since coming back, and Marty hasn’t put on too many tremendous matches since turning heel. This one really worked though, they meshed tremendously, and the crowd loved it. It had a bit too much interference in for my taste, and had they been allowed to have a cleaner match they would have likely breached the four star barrier. Still, a really good showing for both guys. ***3/4
After the match, Stone got on the mic to thank the RevPro crowd for giving him his passion back for wrestling after being stuck in wrestling purgatory (jobbing in NXT) for the last two years. Rickie Knight (Paige from WWE’s Dad) then hit the ring and grabbed the mic. He talked about how it was ridiculous how somebody could go away for two years, fail at making it as a big time star, unlike his daughter, and immediately come back and be handed opportunity after opportunity yet still fail like tonight. He complained that Stone and Redman were stealing the spots of his two boys. The Knight Brothers (Paige’s brothers) then hit the ring together, and the three of them attacked Stone. Redman ran out to help his partner, but it was still three on two and the numbers game took its toll. The two Knight boys then hit a top rope elbow drop and legdrop on the tag champions, then walked out of the arena with their titles. It was a really good segment, and I expect we’ll see London’s Calling vs. The Knight Brothers for the titles at the February set of shows.
Will Ospreay vs. Matt Sydal: Now onto the main event, and they’ll have to deliver to top that last match. The crowd was split about 60:40 in favour of Ospreay here. Sydal looked to ground Ospreay early, working over the legs of the young high flyer with kicks and submission holds. There were some awesome sequences in this one, as you’d expect in a match from these two, including Sydal countering out of a fireman’s carry and chop blocking Ospreay’s knee, running the ropes, ducking a kick and going for a leg draped reverse DDT, only for Ospreay to counter out and hit a jumping knee followed by a standing corkscrew moonsault senton. Another highlight was Ospreay flipping through a top rope reverse huricanrana and landing on his feet, then following it up with a reverse huricanrana of his own. The finish came shortly after the when Ospreay missed his Jump, Tuck, Pray double rotation moonsault, and Sydal hit a jumping spin kick to set up a majestic shooting star press to get the win.
They did a good job making this not just a spot fest, which it very easily could have been, with the leg work which Sydal kept going back to and some beautiful chain wrestling to start, coupled with lots of counters and fighting over moves, which really made every move that did get hit feel really important. Sydal’s early leg work was really good, and Ospreay sold the leg well early on and didn’t forget about it as the match progressed but I’d have wanted him to sell it a little more while he was on offense later in the match for me to bump this up to four stars. He’s only in his early twenties though, so I’m sure that’ll be something he develops with age. Didn’t at any point feel at all like overkill, which can often happen when two high flyers face off in a main event spot. Match of the night for me. ***3/4
That’s the second consecutive York Hall show Ospreay has had the best match on. He’s now tied in my estimations for the best wrestler on the UK scene with Zack Sabre Jr, and at his age that’s amazing. If he stays on his current trajectory he’s going to be a world beater. Keep an eye on this guy folks. There’s already somewhat of a petition for him to be the guy to face AJ Styles in February, and that’s a match I’d be all over.
After the match, the Revolutionists stormed the ring attacking both Sydal and Ospreay, but the two main eventers turned the tables and hit dives onto Frazier and Samuels, and the four of them brawled to the back leaving only Scurll out in the ring on his own. He got on the mic and complained about those two “spot monkey indy jerkoffs” main eventing ahead of the Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion.
He was then interrupted by a video on the tron of Rockstar Spud calling out Marty, saying all he ever does is complain, when in reality he’s handed way too many opportunities already. Then while Marty was still looking at the tron, Spud jumped into the ring behind him and cleared him out of the ring. He then got on the mic and said that next February show he would take from Marty the only thing he had left, the British Heavyweight Championship.
As an aside, in my review of Okada vs. Aries I said this match would probably be on one of their smaller Sittingbourne shows, but I was wrong, they said it’s on the York Hall show in February. Not something I’m looking forward to, but hey-ho.
First of all, I need to give props to the crowd. They were red hot all night, considerably better than the crowd for Okada vs. Aries, and really added to the show. Better than the crowds for BOLA, but a tad worse than the usual PWG crowd if you want a point of reference. The commentators mentioned a turnout of over a thousand a few times, and it didn’t look to be an exaggeration. The wrestling was very good, although there was nothing that broke the four star barrier both of the last two matches were damn close. The whole card was consistent up and down, and everything served a purpose. The tag match was a good opener, Mastiff-Anderson was solid and I know some will enjoy more than me, Okada’s match was a good showcase of him, the Two Cool and Rikishi stuff was a well done bit of nostalgia, and the final two matches were just really good, and the angles which followed each of them were well done and set up matches for the next show well. Okada vs. Aries from the show of the same name the following night was better than any match here, but Sydal-Ospreay came damn close and overall this was a far better show.
I should point out there were issues with the commentary, for the first couple of matches it was almost inaudible, and then later in the show when you could hear it, it was very peaky. They were asked on twitter about that, and apparently they’re aware of the problem and they’re in the process of re-mastering the sound track which should sort out all those issues, and they’ll then reupload. By the time you read this, or maybe even when I’m writing this, it’ll probably be all corrected, but I’m on holiday with no internet connection as I write this so have no means of checking. As for the commentary I could hear, I wasn’t really a fan. It wasn’t awful, but the two commentators didn’t seem to have particularly good chemistry and the colour guy, Andy Boy Simmons, didn’t seem very eloquent.
So all in all, I’d give this show a recommendation, if not a huge one. It lacked that one great match to make it must see, but it’s enjoyable throughout and well worth your time and money to pick up and enjoy some of what the British scene has to offer, and it’s now really easy for everybody to do so.
You can do so by going to the following page: https://vimeo.com/revprouk
It’s $13 to buy the show, which allows you to download it, or a dollar cheaper if you don’t want the download option. Very reasonable in my mind, I felt I easily got my money’s worth at a tad over $2 a match. I’ll probably be picking up High Stakes 2014 at some point so I can have the full year on review for the site.