SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Rev Pro Summer Sizzler Report
July 10, 2016
London, England at York Hall
Report by David Green, PWTorch U.K. correspondent
The big news was New Japan stars Shibata and Tomohiro Ishii traveling to the U.K. for big singles matches. Plus, Matt Sydal and Moose traveled across the pond following Moose’s ROH farewell. The international flavor culminated with a mega-main event of Shibata vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. …
(1) Joel Redman & Charlie Garrett beat Storm & Jody Fleisch, The British Youngbloods (The Bruce & Jake McCluskey), and the Legion of Lords (Lord Gideon Grey & Rishi Ghosh) in a four-team match to retain the British Tag Team Championships.
Redman and Garrett recently defeated the long reigning team of Sha Samuels and James Castle to win the titles. Last weekend, Grey and Ghosh were temporarily the champions before an overturned decision meant the titles remained where they were, something the Lords were not happy about, claiming themselves to be the defending champions in this bout. The Lords did as little as possible, allowing the other teams to fight it out. McCluskey and Redman had some stiff exchanges, continuing their on and off feud. Fleisch and Storm were on top form, as good as they were when performing at York Hall 12 years ago.
The match broke down during a dive sequence, ending with a shooting star from Fleisch. The Youngbloods and J&J fought to the backstage area, leaving the other teams to it. Grey nailed Garrett with his cane for a knockout. Passing the weapon to Ghosh and telling him to hide it, Ghosh took things a little too far by running all the way to the back to hide it. Grey failed to get the pin and was left alone with the champs. Redman hit a Tombstone from the second rope and Garrett followed swiftly with a Spiral Tap for the pin.
(2) Tomohiro Ishii beat Josh Bodom by pinfall. Initially it seemed these two weren’t going to quite match up stylistically, but eventually Ishii started destroying Bodom with forearm shots and the match kicked into a higher gear. After a suicide dive, Bodom hit the Bliss Buster, but couldn’t get the three count. Then he hit a rolling elbow, one with which he got a win over Chris Hero, but still Ishii wouldn’t go down. Ishii came back with a massive lariat, a series of suplexes, a Sliding D, and finally the Ishii Driver for a well received win.
(3) Sha Samuels beat Moose by pinfall. This was an entertaining match, with Moose impressing early with his magnificent standing dropkick. Samuels hit a lovely top-rope superplex, but Moose got right up from it. Then, Samuels hit a Pedigree, which Moose kicked out of at a one-count. Just when it seemed nothing could stop Moose, Samuels found an opening to get a roll-up and use the ropes for leverage to win the match.
It must be noted right now that Moose was very over for the rest of the show. At a lot of shows in Britain, fans like to shout out the next number in the referee’s ten count sequence before they get to it (ref: “1”, crowd: “2”, ref: “2”, crowd “3,” etc). For the rest of the afternoon, the sequence went: ref: “1”, crowd “2” – “Moose!” ref “2”, crowd “3” – “Moose!”. This was both funny and annoying at the same time.
(4) Will Ospreay beat Peter Dunne to win the British Cruiserweight Championship. As Ospreay was being introduced, Dunne interrupted to mock the Best of Super Juniors for not winning where it mattered and not bringing the belt home. Ospreay responded by pump kicking Dunne and getting the match off to a fast start. Both these guys work very well together and had arguably the match of the night. A big turning point came when Dunne caught Ospreay on a diving backflip and Tombstoned him on the floor. Ospreay beat the count and kicked out of a follow up Tombstone. Ospreay caught Dunne with the Cheeky Nando’s followed by a Reverse Rana for a nearfall. A top rope Reverse Rana followed by the OsCutter sealed the deal for Ospreay to become a two-time Cruiserweight Champion.
Post match, Ospreay (who had entered wearing a Vader mask) cut an emotional promo building up his forthcoming match with Vader in August and defending his style of wrestling.
(5) Marty Scurll beat “Speedball” Mike Bailey via submission. A great match to get the crowd back into the show after the interval. Some very stiff exchanges, with Scurll mocking Bailey’s martial arts mannerisms. Scurll grabbed Bailey’s foot and did his signature finger break spot, but with Bailey’s toes! Towards the end, the finger break happened with the actual fingers, as well as Scurll bending Bailey’s fingers back further than I thought fingers could go! Scurll suplexed Bailey into a Chicken Wing for the submission win. Another York Hall victory for the official number one contender, while Bailey is still looking for is first Rev Pro win.
(6) Matt Sydal beat Big Damo by pinfall. This was an interesting match due to the size difference, although Sydal did manage to ground Damo more than you’d expect. The performance from both was fine, but with both men being very popular there wasn’t a huge amount to invest in. Damo hit the Ulster Plantation, but failed to get the pin. Damo got caught going up top by a Sydal jumping hurracurana followed by the Shooting Sydal Press for the slight upset win.
After both men showed good sportsmanship, Damo stayed in the ring to address the crowd. He thanked Rev Pro for the matches he has been put in in the last year. He seemed to be saying good-bye, since he is Orlando bound later this year, but before he could he was attacked by Sha Samuels. Sha claimed he should be the one being thanked, as he carried Rev Pro on his back for years. After a spinebuster, he left Damo lying. This presumably is to set up another match for the show in August.
(7) Zack Sabre, Jr. beat Katsuyori Shibata by pinfall to retain the British Heavyweight Championship. As you can imagine, this was a very stiff and technical match. Early on, the exchanges were clean and sportsmanlike until Shibata struck with a huge forearm. The pair exchanged forearms and uppercuts to the crowd’s delight. The match settled into a very strategic match, with both men gaining near submissions and pinfalls. Zack hit his penalty kick, but Shibata kicked out at one. Zack managed to avoid Shibata’s PK, trying to roll him up with a bridge, but Shibata countered with a rear naked choke attempt, which Sabre countered into a European Clutch for the out of nowhere title retaining pinfall.
While the win came at a surprising moment, the match was stellar and a worthy main event. A post match discussion, including some hard slaps, seemed to indicate that both men want to have another round, with Sabre gesturing that Shibata put the NEVER Openweight Championship on the line next time.
Another good show from Rev Pro, who always deliver a consistently good card at York Hall, even if in my opinion it was a slight step down from previous shows. If you want to watch the show, it will be up on Rev Pro’s On-Demand services from Tuesday. If you want to follow me for questions about the shows I report on, then my Twitter is @dagreeno.