Uprising marked RPW’s sixth and final visit of the year to the famous York Hall for their last action of 2017, laying on a stacked card that included Zack Sabre Jr defending the British Heavyweight Title against Matt Riddle, Cody defending the Ring of Honor title against Jay Lethal and a Bullet Club main event.
Revolution Pro Wrestling
December 8, 2017
Watch: RPW on Demand
Your commentators are Andy Quildan and Sid Scala, who actually made for quite the duo.
British Cruiserweight Championship
Kurtis Chapman def. Flash Morgan Webster, David Starr, El Phantasmo & Ryan Smile
What a year it’s been from Chapman. In Webster’s first defence of the title after winning it from Smile a mere five days prior at Live at the Cockpit 23, the RPW young boy went and won his first big title in the UK. I maintain that Chapman will need to bulk up a bit in the next couple of years but that should come with time and this was his moment. As for the match itself, it had the usual problem of a multi-man match with guys clearly waiting to take their spots but the action was fast-paced and told a compelling story. Chapman managed to land the Sega MegaDriver (seriously, that move looks great) and after fending off the best of what everyone had to offer, he reversed a David Starr brainbuster attempt into a roll-up for a win. If you’d said at the start of the year RPW would be giving more spotlight to their youngsters than Progress I would have laughed, but that’s where we find ourselves. ***1/4
Jinny def. Martina
Next year RPW will crown their first-ever women’s champion and this match was the first ever women’s match to take place in York Hall. To be quite honest I don’t enjoy Martina’s gimmick. When she moves past the comedy and gets down to wrestling she can be quite entertaining but that often takes far too long. There were a couple of rough spots here and there, and they never really built enough suspense to make you think Jinny’s streak was over, but by and large this was good. Eventually Jinny got the victory with a surfboard stretch. **1/2
British Tag Team Championships
Moustache Mountain def. Josh Bodom & Zack Gibson
Ever since I noticed Josh Bodom looked like a young Michael Bisping, I’ve not been able to get the image out of my head. Anyway, this match was really good fun. Moustache Mountain are always entertaining and for a makeshift tandem, Bodom and Gibson gelled well and pulled off some nifty tag moves. Before the match I thought this seemed much like a placeholder defence for Moustache Mountain ahead of something bigger at High Stakes and that turned out correct later in the evening. Seven secured the win here after hitting Bodom with a burning hammer. There’s definitely a space for Bodom & Gibson to be a regular tag fixture for RPW, but I think Bodom is destined for a big push, despite eating the pin. ***3/4
ROH World Championship
Cody def. Jay Lethal
Andy Quildan did his darnedest to sell the possibility of Jay winning this, thereby making the Final Battle main event a fatal-four-way, but Cody retaining never felt in doubt. After beginning with some grappling exchanges, they kicked it up a bit but this was far too long in the tooth to be enjoyable. A ref bump near the end and interference from Marty Scurll gave this some juice but like most of Cody’s matches this year, it wasn’t my cup of tea. Cody eventually retained with a Cross Rhodes after Scurll hit the challenger with the umbrella as he attempted to hit the Lethal Injection. ***
Pete Dunne def. Eddie Dennis
This was Dunne’s first match in RPW since March, and he entered this match with Dennis, who has been superb since committing to wrestling full-time, on the back of eight consecutive singles defeats with the promotion. Dennis’ failure to win a match for the company since debuting in 2014 has been a recurring story all year and it was his streak that continued here after Dunne finally put him away with a roll-up.
These two worked at a great click throughout, trading hard strikes and big moves, such as when Dennis landed a Tombstone on the stage. That move could have seen Dennis get the win via countout but his desire to win clean saw him bring Pete back into the ring which was eventually his downfall. A really fun 14 minutes of action that demonstrated why Dunne is one of the best things in the UK right now and that Dennis could be set for a big 2018. Rob Lias laid Dennis out after the match, presumably setting up another match between the two for the new year. ***1/2
Martin Stone def. Dave Mastiff
He divides opinion amongst a lot of the BritWres community, but I’ve personally always enjoyed the work of Dave Mastiff and Martin Stone is never in a boring match, so this was one of the matches I was most excited for when this card was announced. I wasn’t disappointed but the York Hall crowd seemed to be, which is a shame. These two went hell for leather from the get-go, landing heavy blows throughout. Mastiff got a couple of near falls before eventually tapping to a crossface, transitioned into after a London Bridge DDT. After shaking hands post-match, Stone called for a Heavyweight title match, a match he will receive at the start of next year. **3/4
Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Matt Riddle
I may very well be in the minority here, but I’ve grown quite bored of Matt Riddle. His work is always crisp and very entertaining, but his novelty has worn off, and his matches feel very samey. As such, I have found watching some of his recent matches a chore, and given ZSJ’s style, this could have been very hit or miss.
In the opening exchanges Riddle’s UFC experience came to the fore, with him proving every bit as good as ZSJ on the mat, before taking control with a couple of big suplexes. The match soon settled into the routine of both men having periods of control but never really being able to assert any real dominance but the highlight were the ground transitions. They really were a thing of beauty, with Riddle transitioning out of a calf slicer into an armbar, before ZSJ was able to lock in an armbar of his own. A series of one counts a few minutes before the end annoyed me, but the finishing stretch was superb. Riddle looked on the verge of securing the belt with a rear-naked-choke, before ZSJ managed to reverse into a roll-up and eke out another defence.
A fascinating encounter between two very talented men, with a finish that sets up a potential rematch further down the line. And after watching this, they’ve definitely got more in them. ****
Post-match, ZSJ cut a promo to a chorus of boos, explaining that he’s beaten all the competition in RPW. Trent Seven came out and asked for a shot, a request Sabre denied, before saying that he wanted to challenge for the tag belts at High Stakes, alongside Minoru Suzuki! Seven accepted the challenge before laying out the champ with a piledriver, keeping his eyes focused on the British Heavyweight Title.
Bullet Club (Scurll & Bucks) def. CCK (Brookes & Banks) & Flip Gordon
Gordon was in this match as a replacement for the injured Kid Lykos, and in my opinion that was an upgrade. Don’t get me wrong, Lykos is great, but Gordon is someone I think is going to break out next year, having impressed me with his athleticism and skill every time I’ve seen him. This began with a brief pinning sequence between Scurll and Banks, before this descended into usual Bullet Club shtick. We rolled through the one boots, two boots sequence. Normally I wouldn’t be a grouch, but this kind of stuff only comes off well at the start of a show, not two-and-a-half hours in. We then got the Bullet Club narrating the match. Fabulous.
Sometimes as a wrestling fan you have to recognise something isn’t for you. This was one of those things. I’m full of respect for what the Bullet Club, in particular “The Elite” series have done and are doing for wrestling, but stuff like this grates on me. It attracts a crowd who tend to zone out for a lot of the show, purely waiting for the Bullet Club match, and is unfair on the rest of the wrestlers, who actually produced some good stuff. The match itself bored me to tears and was a really disappointing to end proceedings. Brookes eventually ate the pin after being hit with a Meltzer Driver. *
Uprising was a thumbs in the middle show from RPW. They’re by far my favourite UK promotion right now and there was some good stuff on this show, like Moustache Mountain against Bodom & Gibson, ZSJ’s title defence against Matt Riddle and a real feel good moment involving Kurtis Chapman at the start of the show. Sadly the final match Bullet Club shenanigans left me with a sour taste in my mouth and detracted from what could have been a great way to end the year. Hopefully it’ll be onwards and upwards for RPW in 2018 – if you’re short on time check out ZSJ/Riddle.