This February is a big month for RPW. For a start off they’re running three shows, which is a lot for a company to run in one month that only ran eight proper shows in the entirety of last year. They’re also trying out a new venue for their London shows alongside their big York Hall supercards, the London Cockpit. I’ll be attending the middle show of the trio at York Hall, and another new addition is that this is the first set of shows where the on demand service for RPW is in place. Therefore I’m able to watch in continuity, which is always a bonus storyline wise. That’s how I’m reviewing this very show right now, and you can watch too for just $7.99 at RPWondemand.com.
They’re bringing in a swathe of big name international talent to make up large chunks of the cards including: Ricochet, AJ Styles, The Addiction, Rocky Romero, Colt Cabana, The Wolves and the Sumerian Death Squad. These guys mixed in with a very talented native roster mean these shows promise to be excellent. This is the smallest of the three shows, and the one with the least hype for me going in, but there’s a few matches here I definitely expect to deliver.
Revolution Pro Wrestling “No Escape”
Sunday, February 8, 2015
UK Paper Leisure Club
Oliver Bennett and Andy Boy Simmonz on commentary.
Lion Kid & Jake McCluskey vs. The Revolutionists (Sha Samuels & James Castle): James Castle is the latest to join the heel group of the Revolutionists, and joins in alongside veteran and former heavyweight champion Sha Samuels to take on two hot, up and coming highflyers. Well, I say up and coming for Lion, but he’s been at this for quite a while now, but he really seems to be breaking through recently with some appearances on RPW and DGUK shows.
This match was going along very nicely, with McCluskey showing great fire on the hot tag, but ended rather abruptly when Castle shoved Jake off the top rope to the floor, which distracted Lion Kid enough to allow Samuels to hit a casual looking piledriver for the victory. A fairly solid match, but didn’t really have the finishing stretch it needed to be good. **3/4
After the match Samuels attacked McCluskey with a chair while he was checking on his partner, ahead of the two of them facing off in the York Hall the following week in a one-on-one encounter.
Josh Bodom vs. Noam Dar: This match between two more young prodigies with a combined age of under forty is for the right to face Rocky Romero at High Stakes. Noam is a very unconventional wrestler, who manages to find angles and transitions between his moves that you won’t see anywhere else. Bodom’s a guy who has really got his fundamentals down perfectly, the teen seems every bit the consummate professional in the ring, but is still lacking that little bit of flair to his matches to make them stand out.
This match was a good back and forth contest, with Dar managing to stay one step ahead of Josh the whole match, but couldn’t quite put Bodom away. The match ended in shenanigans, with a weird variation on the Eddie Guerrero spot where the ref ended up with the chair, and then a kick downstairs from Bodom lead to Bodom earning the chance to face NJPW star Rocky Romero at High Stakes. ***
2 Unlimited vs. The American Wolves: USA vs. Ireland in a match I’m really looking forward to. The Wolves took an early advantage in this one, utilizing their superior striking and double teaming, but the Irish brothers kept themselves in it with their youthful energy and tenacity. The Wolves played very good subtle heels here, and the commentary did a good job of bringing attention to it, with a bending tag legalities here and a pull of the tights there in order to cut off the Sammons when they were building momentum. One of these times was when Jay was looking to hit his iconic 450 onto Davey off of his brother’s shoulders while he was sat on the top rope, but Eddie came rushing down the apron and took them out with a big enzuigiri.
The finish came later in the match after a great nearfall of Jay kicking out of a falcon arrow roundhouse combo similar to the Chasing the Dragon mere milliseconds before the ref’s hand came down for the third time. 2 Unlimited managed to turn things around and set up for their skyhigh 450 finish, this time with Eddie prone and Davey weakened so he couldn’t prevent it, but this time Eddie got his knees up and this on top of all the cumulative damaged Jay had sustained proved to be enough to put him away while Davey recovered enough to block Patrick from making the save.
This was a great tag match, a grade above the impressive outing 2 Unlimited had previously had with ICMG. The action was terrific and competitive, and you saw a natural soft heel-face dynamic emerge during the match without the need for over the top cheating and a cheap finish. That’s by far my most enjoyed type of wrestling, where a crowd can naturally support one side due to their style and enjoyment of them rather than it being pushed in your face that on side is “bad guys” and worsening the match in doing so.
They managed to avoid the indy tag team tropes of having over the top kickouts, poorly done/placed no selling and losing track of who is legal too, which is definitely a big plus. You can say a lot of bad things about TNA, and most of them are warranted, but they’ve done wonders for the Wolves in that regard as the two them as a team used to be some of the worst for said tropes, and now they’re putting together a match with another team who tends to veer in that direction and avoiding them perfectly. Just a great fast paced back and forth match. Put this in front of a hot crowd and it’s easily four stars, but as it is this comes in just the smallest of shades below that. ***3/4
RPW owner Andy Quildan comes out to announce that Martin Stone couldn’t make the show due to VISA issues (he’s a Brit, so I’m not entirely sure what’s going on there), which brings out the UK Hooligans. The Hooligans are made up of Zak and Roy Knight, brothers of WWE’s Paige, and are embroiled in a feud over the tag team titles with England’s Calling (Redman and Stone), and while they’re not yet official champions they currently hold the physical possession of the belts. They were scheduled to be in two singles matches here tonight, but with Stone out Redman will be running the gauntlet of the Knight brothers.
Joel Redman vs. Zak Knight: You wouldn’t think it from looking at him, but Zak really is a tremendous technical wrestler. Redman can really hang in that respect too, and isn’t just the power wrestler his physique would suggest. This was a very nice technical display until Redman got a fluky win abruptly with a quick sunset flip. I have no problem with that as a finish, as it makes Redman taking on Roy competitively believable without making your heels look weak. **1/2
Joel Redman vs. Roy Knight: Instead of seeing a second match though we just saw a two and one assault with chairs by the Knight Brothers. He came back with a big double clothesline though, and the Hooligans scarpered. N/A
Lord Gideon Grey vs. Fearless Flatliner: Ah, the traditional Sittingbourne gimmick match. And by that I don’t mean a hardcore match, I mean a match between two guys who are all about their gimmicks and not at all about their wrestling. There’s always a decent child presence at these Sittingbourne shows, so this match is the one for them, not me. Gideon won to extend his streak to 12-0 with his feet on the ropes. I didn’t really pay much attention. *1/2
Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship – Rocky Romero vs. Marty Scurll (c): Battle of the fur coats for the big prize of RPW. I love Rocky as a tag wrestler, but haven’t always enjoyed his singles bouts to the same level. That being said, I think he’ll really match up well against Marty, so am looking forward to this main event. Marty worked over Rocky’s arm and hand early, and it played nicely into the story of the match with Marty repeatedly going back to it in order to cut Rocky off later on, as well as not allowing Romero to fully lock on the cross-armbreaker at any of his many attempts. Marty eventually locked on the crossface chickenwing to retain his belt.
This was a very well put together match worked at a very deliberate and methodical pace to start, building well to the finish. The early limbwork paying off down the stretch is always great to see, and Marty showed off show very nice heel work including stealing Rocky’s Forever Clotheslines and punctuating the series with a slap. Rocky works well as a cocky face too, and all in all it was a worthy main event, even though I’d put it a tad below the earlier tag match as it was worked at a style that fitted better as the last match on the card. ***3/4
Overall this was basically a two match show. That considered, the booking of the gauntlet match seems pretty puzzling. The first match being cut short makes sense if you’re then going to then have another one, but they didn’t. That was a shame, because this show could really have done with another good match and that was well on its way to being one.
The commentary here was actually pretty good; I think Simmonz and Bennett are growing on me. They used to detract from the product for me and I thought they really added to the Wolves-Unlimited match. The crowd was solid enough, but never really got super-hot at any point, and a better crowd would have really benefitted the tag match.
So is this show worth it? Probably not. The two matches which did deliver are very good, but nothing must see, and after that there’s a significant drop off. If money isn’t really any issue for you, then this show might be worth picking up to just watch the two aforementioned matches and then skip the rest. If nothing else it’s a nice little taster of what’ll likely be two better shows later in the month.
It should be noted that the hard cam had a problem on this show, and as a result the footage is pretty grainy from that angle. It’s not too bad, and they do a good job of utilising other angles for most of the show, but I just thought I’d let you know. As a result this show is discounted down to $7.99 to make up for it.
You can find it on RPWondemand.com