Revolution Pro Wrestling: Angle vs. Sabre Jr.
June 12, 2016
York Hall – London, England
I jumped at the chance to review this show rather quickly when we were talking about
who was going to handle it within the WWW staff. With a card that has Ospreay, Scurll, Speedball,
Chris Hero, Big Damo, etc. I couldn’t pass it up. Oh, and let’s not forget the main event is KURT FREAKIN’ ANGLE VS. ZACK SABRE JR. It’s true, it’s true. It’s DAMN true! Let’s get into it.
My god. This crowd.
Marty Scurll vs. Noam Dar
Marty Scurll entered to an insane pop wearing a glorious white coat. It was a beautiful scene. Noam Dar got a great reaction too and already the crowd had me fired up to watch some god damn professional wrestling. Scurll and Dar worked hard here and gave us a little taste of everything. Some fine chain wrestling with some fun escapes, a little brawling on the outside, stiff striking, dives, etc. Scurll worked over Dar’s arm and Dar worked over Scurll’s knee to soften each other for their respected finisher. Commentary did a great job of telling the story of Scurll’s Chicken Wing vs. Dar’s Kneebar. Lots of things happened that just made me smile in this match, like Scurll fooling a fan on a high-five and flipping him off, and Scurll using a Deadman pin after a shoulderbreaker. This match developed into these two going blow for blow with each other, desperately trying to keep the other man down. Dar had escaped the chicken wing three times in similar fashion but when Scurll went for the fourth attempt, it looked as if Dar was going to escape until the damage done by Scurll took toll and he was forced to submit. A solid way to start the show, no complaints.
Martin Stone vs. Pete Dunne
The British Cruiserweight Champion Pete Dunne came out to a chorus of boos. I had never seen either of these guys wrestle before but I’ve heard that Dunne is one of the solid underrated guys in the British scene and Stone has been making waves most recently down in the southern independents at places like AWE. (Someday, I’ll get to you, sweet Atlanta.) Stone, a former 2x British Heavyweight Champion, was welcomed with a much warmer reception than Dunne. Much like the opener, this started off with some great chain wrestling. Both men tried to destroy each other’s hands with stomping, snapping, and even biting, which led to a “You sick fuck!” chant from York Hall. The crowd was clearly behind Stone and he fed off of them the whole match while Dunne got called a wanker. This ends up being a good back-and-forth match that Dunne stole a win from after a low-blow to Stone and an awesome pumphandle facebuster.
Big Daddy Walter vs. Big Damo
This was billed as a “Heavyweight Challenge Match”. Hell. Yeah. Big. Lads. Sign me up. This was what you would expect from these two. Just hosses slugging at each other repeatedly, running into each other repeatedly, jumping on each other repeatedly and doing a few impressive things for their size all in the meanwhile. Seriously, Big Daddy Walter hit a beautiful missile dropkick and he’s huge. In a very anticlimatic finish, Damo won by submission. This was an enjoyable match that was hurt a little bit by the finish, but not enough to make it a bad match by any means. If you’re just skimming through this show you could probably skip this, but if you watch the whole show you’ll still enjoy it.
Mike Bailey vs. Will Ospreay
It really is terrible what happened with Mike Bailey and the U.S. He’s such a great talent. So it was great to see him on this card and wow, what an opponent. This is an amazing match on paper. Speaking of amazing, the homecoming response for Will was — AMAZING. I couldn’t help but smile the whole time. It was so fitting for him and I wanted to watch it over again.
This match was wild from the get go. Right off the bat you had Ospreay doing Ospreay things and Speedball doing Speedball things. Oh, and I love RevPro commentary. “How can these people boo Speedball? What’s their problem?” Watching Ospreay work in front of this crowd is incredibly fun. This match had numerous insane spots and everything was executed flawlessly. Including one of the nastiest headbutts I’ve seen in a long time . Both wrestlers proved that they had done their scouting and had learned from earlier mistakes in the match with some fantastic counters to their opponents signature moves down the stretch. Ospreay ended up winning with a springboard cutter in a very fast-paced and breathtaking match. This match rules. Every one should go out of their way to see this. This was one of my favorite matches this year and a perfect homecoming for the Best of the Super Juniors, Will Ospreay.
After the match Ospreay cut a promo on his loyalty to the U.K. Towards the beginning he addressed those on the internet who claim he doesn’t tell any stories and the crowd erupted with a “Fuck you Vader!” chant. I was howling. A great promo from Ospreay in the end though.
Chris Hero vs. Josh Bodom
Finally, it’s the greatest wrestler on the planet. I wholeheartedly believe Chris Hero is the best in the world at what he does. Every Hero match this year has been at the least very good and this was no exception. Bodom kept control of the match for a good portion and every time Hero came back he decimated him elbows and kicks as you would expect. Bodom ate some really nasty ones. The story of the match was that the veteran Hero made Bodom pay for his stupid cocky mistakes. A great display of this is was when Bodom had Hero set up for an easy dive and he crotch chopped him along the way (Admittedly, popping me.) giving hero enough time to nail him with an elbow. In a very similar manner to the Dunne/Stone finish from earlier in the night, Bodom won after a low blow while the ref wasn’t looking but then he hit Hero with a discus elbow, a powerful and symbolic way to pin Chris Hero. This match just adds to Chris Hero’s growing resume of great performances in 2016.
After the match Bodom got on the mic and yelled “TOMORHIRO ISHII, COME AT ME BRO!” That’s gonna be nuts. I hadn’t seen Bodom before but he was really good here.
British Tag Team Championship: The Revolutionists (c) vs. Redman & Garrett
This was my first time seeing both of these teams work and I was taking a liking to Redman & Garrett. They jumped on the champs early and stayed on them, getting in lots of exciting offense while they were in control. The only way those dastardly Revolutionists were able to get any momentum was by playing dirty with eye-rakes, illegal interference, using the titles, you name it. This was a fine tag match that didn’t drag on for too long, and gave us new British Tag Team Champs. Redman & Garrett won the gold with a tombstone piledriver followed up by a corkscrew splash.
Kurt Angle vs. Zack Sabre Jr
As expected the York Hall crowd ate up Zack Sabre Jr. But it was nothing compared to the reaction for Kurt freakin’ Angle. Seriously. He got an INSANE pop the minute his WWE music hit and the RevPro faithful started chanting “You suck!” at him. It was perfect. You could see Kurt holding back tears and smiling from ear to ear in the ring when they were introducing him. I had chills running up and down my body, I felt so happy for him. This is such a cool dream match turned to reality. Wrestling in 2016 is unbelievable.
The match itself felt like a really good TV main event. ZSJs offense made me go “ooooh” and “ahhh” as expected. All Angle really used were strikes and a headlock and then they sort of just skipped forward to trading finishers and signature moves. Seeing Zack Sabre Jr. get Angle Slammed is something I didn’t think I’d ever get to see. There was good action here at the end with reversals and near falls that sucked me in. I was surprised when ZSJ tapped to the Ankle Lock, I thought Angle was gonna put him over and give him a big win over a legend. After the match Angle got on the mic and put over RevPro and ZSJ especially. Angle said he couldn’t go 100% because of his knee which explains why he was so limited in the match.
This is a consistently good show, match to match. The highlights of the show are Speedball/Ospreay, Hero/Bodom and Angle/ZSJ. Even though the main event is more limited than we may have wanted it to be, it was still a special match and a very enjoyable one at that. But the whole show is good. At 2 and a half hours this show is a breeze to watch, with no real rotten apples anywhere. The only thing I didn’t really like on this show was the use of two low-blow finishes. I’m excited to cover more RevPro here on WWW in the future, especially with those bomb Summer Sizzler matches that were announced: Shibata/ZSJ, Ishii/Bodom, Speedball/Scurll, Ospreay/Dunne and MOOSE. What a hoot.
Until next time, folks.