It’s a double review this week and in a somewhat condensed format. I’ve been going through an exam period so fell a week behind on viewing the show, but I wanted to get both of these episodes out there ahead of reviewing RPW’s Summer Sizzler 2015 which I hope to have a full review up on the site very soon.
As a quick note, after reading Ru Gunn’s wonderful SmackDown reviews on this very website, I’ve come to the conclusion that giving out star ratings to matches below the *** mark is fairly pointless. If it’s below that level it’s generally not holding my attention too well and I’ll have no idea whether it’s *3/4 or **1/2, and nobody really cares about the difference there anyway. So I’m just putting this here to let you know that if you see a match without a rating that’s the reason, and not because I’ve forgotten to put one.
RevPro TV #12
June 8 2015
UK Paper Leisure Club
This week’s episode is from the Best of British show that took place back in April. It’s actually the second episode airing from that show, with episodes straddled either side of their Cockpit taping which has been airing over the last month or so. With the pre-show from Summer Sizzler being the next episode, the three episodes from that airing will be airing over eight weeks. The final episode could be somewhat of a continuity disaster, but we’ll get to that in more detail next week.
The Lionhearts vs. Tiger Ali & Wild Boar
This is the debut for the team of the Lionhearts in RPW, and they’re taking on a team which have become a regular part of the undercards of the non-London shows in Ali & Boar. While this match was solid enough, it was extremely basic up until the hot tag. There was a ten minute heat segment where very little happened other than punches, kicks, clotheslines and the occasional vertical suplex or body slam. That’s a complaint that can be made about many of the younger guys RPW have been using, even including the more featured guys like Castle and Bodom. They’re very sound and have a good base but lack any real dynamism. It’s a very similar feel to many of the guys who come out of OVW these days. When they did get to the hot tag it was solid enough, but barely lasted a minute before Boar grabbed the win with a roll-up after one of the Lionhearts got spiked by Ali with his Iranian flag. To say this match dragged at nearly fourteen minutes would be an understatement.
Between the two matches we got a solid Sydal promo hyping up the two out of three falls match with Ospreay, and a bunch of announcements for the shows following Summer Sizzler. Firstly they announced that ACH will be at the October York Hall show Uprising, then followed it up by announcing that Bret Hart and Rich Swann would be at their September double shot in Southampton and Broxbourne. Finally, we got the announcement that Alberto El Patron will be at their July show in Portsmouth and will be facing off with “the Villain” Marty Scurll. Quite the set of announcements.
James Castle vs. Jake McCluskey
This is a rematch from the third episode of the show which ended with a DQ after outside interference from Castle’s Revolutionists running buddies. This was a fine match, with both guys showing off some nice stuff and them building well around the repeated tease of Mr Moonsault’s signature move. Then we got yet another bullshit finish when Bodom ran out and attacked McCluskey behind the refs back. Miscommunication then ensued, and Bodom caught his partner Castle with a superkick. McCluskey throws Bodom out of the ring, hits a moonsault on Castle an that’s all she wrote. Sigh.
RPW is a promotion I really love, and I try to be positive about it as much as possible because in general it’s severely underexposed proportionally to its quality. However, the booking of the Revolutionists has been nothing short of atrocious. Every match ends in some sort of outside interference and in a similar way to what we see in the WWE with Seth Rollins, I now don’t care about the meat of the matches because I know nothing matters until somebody runs out from the back and interferes. It’s a real shame because Bodom and Castle really are showing some potential, but time and time again their matches are being totally ruined. It’s not building heel heat, it’s building general apathy towards two young wrestlers’ matches who are otherwise showing a lot of potential. I want to care one way or the other about these guys, but the booking is so lazy t won’t let me. Don’t rely on the same crutch of outside interference so often, have the angles after the match, let these guys have some clean finishes. I’m not saying that outside interference should never happen, but it’s being so severely overused with this faction that it has lost all its power.
Final Thoughts: This wasn’t a good show this week. I wouldn’t categorise either match as good, and while Sydal’s promo was fine it wasn’t anything worth going out of your way to see. If you skip this episode you won’t really miss anything.
RevPro TV #13
June 16 2015
This week’s episode is an abbreviated episode lasting only fifteen minutes and released this Tuesday rather than the usual Monday. That’s because this is the airing of the pre-show match from this past Sunday’s Summer Sizzler, of which they’ve just released on VOD.
Tommy End vs. Josh Bodom
Dutch wrestler Tommy End is just off a tour of the US where he unfortunately got categorised as a grappler and thrown in with Thatcher and the like. For me he’s far better suited in a more traditional indy match, as he’s one of the most dynamic strikers in the world right now and didn’t really get too much of a chance to show that while rolling around simulating grappling. He’ll have a chance to show what he can really do here against Revolutionist member Josh Bodom, although personally I’ve always enjoyed him the most when he’s in a tag scenario, usually with Michael Dante as part of the Sumerian Death Squad.
This was a seven minute sprint that turned out to be a hell of a lot of fun. High energy and high pace, this really was the perfect opener to get the capacity crowd hyped up for the evening of action. End’s offense here was, simply put, tremendous. For those of you who have seen End’s US tour and been somewhat disappointed I implore you to check this match out and see what all the hype is about. Bodom held his own here too, and it has become clear after both this and his match against Havoc from recently on TV that he’s at his best in these short frenetic sprints at this point in his career. That’s not a knock on him whatsoever, for a while he spent time working a slower more methodical pace and came across as a solid but somewhat bland worker. Since finding this niche he’s come across far more dynamic and exciting. ***1/4
It was also enormously pleasing to see Bodom have a match which didn’t involve outside interference. He didn’t even win 100% clean, for the finish Bodom shoved the ref to give him a slight advantage, but that’s totally fine. Soft heel things like that add far more to both a match and a character than having the last minute of a match being a played out interference routine. Instead of leaving with a feeling of apathy you leave wanting to see a rematch because while End comes off looking slightly hard done by but Bodom still gains a lot from the victory.
I highly recommend everybody to check it out especially those who were disappointed to see End roll around and simulate grappling while over in the US, as this was him at his best. You’re not going to see many better sub eight minute matches than this.
And as a little bonus ahead of Summer Sizzler, here are part two and three of The Verses of a Villain: