RevPro TV returns for their third episode of this season after a brief break for the release of the Epic Encounter and Sittingbourne Spectacular shows. This week’s show is free to all until Saturday the 14th, and after that point will enter into the paid archives of RPWonDemand. This episode is main evented by Ospreay vs Sabre Jr., a match that many saw as a highlight of WrestleMania weekend from EVOLVE 58.

Revolution Pro Wrestling
RevPro TV Season 2 Episode 3
May 11, 2016
London Cockpit
London, England

Watch: rpwondemand.com

British Cruiserweight Championship Match
Pete Dunne def. Sonjay Dutt

This was a good TV feeling defense for Dunne. Cruiserweight matches in general often tend towards the excessive direction, but Dunne has really brought some grit to the division. His matches feel very economical, with everything that both he and his opponent land with feeling important.

In this match he went after Dutt’s left arm, and used it as a target for him to cut Dutt off every time he began to gain momentum. One thing that I enjoyed especially about this match was that Dutt made it feel like Dunne was really having to work hard just to be able to apply the early match limbwork, showing off some very impressive escapology in order to escape from a number of holds. Dunne picked up the win with a rana pin while grasping the bottom rope for leverage. ***1/4

The middle portion of the show features extended highlights from Jushin Liger vs, Prince Devitt (NXT’s Finn Balor), a match from several years ago. It’s a really smart idea of RPW to feature these clips in the middle of their free show to show off the depth and quality of their archive with the aim of getting people to subscribe. It’s something many have been saying WWE should be doing since the WWE Network’s inception, so it’s nice to see at least one promotion in the streaming world taking heed of the advice.

Zack Sabre Jr. def. Will Ospreay

Well this was utterly sublime. Going into this match expectations were obviously high just based off of the two guys involved, but they were tempered somewhat by this being a TV taping. Well, they completely blew my expectations out of the water and had one of my favourite matches all year. There’s a lot to unpack here, but I want to mention what a terrific job the commentary team did of accentuating the story that was playing out in the ring.

Straight from the off Sabre Jr. exerted his dominance on the mat, getting the upper hand on Ospreay at every exchange. That’s not something we see enough in wrestling, far too often technical exchanges go 50/50 and you never get a feeling of any advantage being gained. This was the exact opposite, try as he might Ospreay was just obliterated on the mat exactly as he should be. Sabre Jr. is presented in the RPW cannon as the best technical wrestler in the world, while Ospreay is presented as somebody who is solid on the mat but nothing more, so it makes total sense for Sabre to be in complete control in this period. The commentary really pushed the twin ideas of Ospreay having to use up a tremendous amount of energy to stay alive in the match early on, and that Ospreay’s only chance at achieving a sustained advantage was to maintain a relentless pace.  This played out in the match perfectly, with it being clear Ospreay had to work super hard to maintain an advantage and down the stretch Ospreay was just too exhausted to be able to counter out of Sabre’s moves like he was early in the match and it led to him almost inevitably being trapped in the Young Boy Killer.

Ospreay’s selling of exhaustion and cumulative damage here was magnificent, although at the intensity he was wrestling the exhaustion may well have been genuine. He also went out of his way here to vary up the way he transitioned into his signature moves, which always elevates a match by making it feel far more fresh and dynamic.

One of the things I found so fascinating about this match was that Ospreay really was presented as somebody who was just on a level below Sabre Jr. While you may expect these two to have a 50/50 back and forth match, and that’s something they’ve done to great effect in the past, that’s really not what this is. Ospreay was fighting not only from underneath for the entire match, he was also fighting from behind.

The biggest criticism I have for this match is the crowd. The Cockpit is a small venue and at this taping the audience were on the quiet side. While they livened up during the second half of the match, they were fairly quiet during the earlier portions and that’s a clear negative. In front of a better crowd I’d likely have seen this as a genuine Match of the Year contender. The other clear issue was a very noticeable semi-botch towards the end of the match, where Ospreay appeared to overshoot a handspring leading to Zack not being able to counter how he intended. It was something that would have been far less egregious had the commentators chosen to not call it as if the counter had been executed successfully, which was the only slight that can be directed their way throughout the match.

If you enjoy Ospreay to any degree, and I know most people do, then I implore you to watch this match. It’s the best match that RevPro TV has ever hosted, and one of the greatest matches that has come of of the United Kingdom this decade. I prefered this to all the highly praised Scurll matches from this year, as well as the previous match between these two in the finals of the 2015 Super Strong Style 16 tournament. You owe it to yourself to watch this match. ****1/4

Final Thoughts:

This was a magnificent forty minutes of wrestling which you really need to go out of your way to see. ZSJ and Ospreay have had higher profile matches together this year, but this really isn’t something that should be overlooked by anybody who even half-enjoys their styles. Add in a good little Pete Dunne title defense to start off the show and this episode gets a wholehearted thumbs up.