Revolution Pro Global Wars UK Night 1
Watch: RevPro on Demand
York Hall – Bethnal Green, Greater London, UK
Marty Scurll def. Jushin Thunder Ligervery good
Marty Scurll was out in his ‘Villain’ Liger mask, black and white. Liger is no stranger to a black and white alter-ego. This was a sound opener to the card pitting two dangerous yet oh so goofy personalities against each other. They both have ties to the British Heavyweight Championship as Liger lost to Styles last year in a championship match (on this very tour) and Scurll is “technically” the #1 contender having honed the accolade only to lose to Chris Hero at Uprising. The whole match revolved around Scurll working over Liger only for Liger to comeback with big spots. Liger hit a huge senton on the outside, a big hurricanrana, and even his own “just kidding” superkick! This, of course, was all to get in the head of The Villain, who in his own right dominated Liger the entire time. The way they built the match was quite good in the sense that Scurll would have the edge only for Liger to do junior style offense to make York Hall go nuts. It was near fall mania down the stretch culminating with Scurll kicking out of the Liger Bomb. Scurll caught Liger in a chicken wing for the submission victory. Scurll gets a huge win over one of the greatest of all time while having a opener barn burner in the process. He also shook Liger’s hand, showing more respect before walking out the curtain. Times-a-changing.
Tomoaki Honma def. Sha Samuelsok
On tons of crossover shows, we always get weird matches. This though, was something I didn’t expect to roll off the tongue as a match that was actually happening, ever. Especially in the UK. This was a Honma showcase match, which I had no problem with. It’s the type of match in which you know who the victor is going to be coming into it, it over-delivers, and you’re happy with the outcome. Kokeshi was happy, running rapid all over York Hall. From the outset Honma got in his kokeshi offense to no avail, as Samuels mixed well in that he could take all the offense but be a legitimate big man threat towards New Japan’s own. The match picked up into “better than expected” territory when we got a ref bump, James Castle ran out, hit his knee, only for Honma to kickout to a big reaction. Honma then had to work his way through The Revolutionists’ maze to victory, finally hitting a rocket kokeshi and a top rope kokeshi for the pinfall victory. Nothing to go nuts over on either side of the scale. Solid wrestling and a good showcase for Mr. Kokeshi.
Yuji Nagata def. Pete Dunnegood
Unforeseen circumstances saw Pete Dunne receive a match against Yuji Nagata, who is making his RevPro debut. Yet another oddball exciting matchup. Something I’ve noticed is that both Nagata and Dunne tend to turn some of the most basic wrestling things into greatness, such as the Nagata-lock, the taunts between the two, limbwork, and BITING/intensity. This is how this match took off, based on basic fundamentals yet turning into a two sided tug of war with their blended styles. York Hall ate this up, making it even more fun–with reaction to nearly everything going on. On a card with junior wrestling, out of this world matchups, and some of the best in the world saying their prayers before killing each other, this served as a nice sandwich topping. It was one of the hottest young stars in wrestling vs. an icon like-minded, especially technically speaking. The work wasn’t perfect, it had flaws. Pete did a world class job in covering such up; like covering up a missed kick only to sell the area that it hit. None the less, the match didn’t get the most time, but the finishing stretch was a hoot. Nagata locked in the Nagata-lock, only for Pete to get his feet on the ropes. Nagata hit the backdrop suplex on Dunne for the win. Sudden but effective. It sucks Dunne couldn’t get the big win, but it was more than fine to take in.
Chris Hero def. Tomohiro Ishiiexcellent
To quote Michael Scott, “OH MY GOD, OKAY, IT’S HAPPENING. STAY FUCKING CALM. STAY FUCKING CALM!” You just can’t though, knowing that one of the craziest “what if’s” in the history of modern wrestling is happening right before your eyes. This wasn’t quite MOTY or a MOTYC. What it was though was a tremendous match between two of the best in the world. This was worked so eloquently, just in the way you’d expect the two monsters to collide. From the outset it was all about bully Hero, but not in the “you’re younger” or even “you’re smaller” way. It was a combination of Ishii being shorter, and the fact that Hero was best in the world–better than Ishii in this dream match. The way the match traversed through near falls and moments was simply top class. Hero would smash Ishii with the rolling elbows, with the leg kicks, only for Ishii to power out. Hero would take Ishii on a stroll outside the ring, leaving him hanging on the outside as he struggled to get back in for the subtracted 10 from his norm count. I’ve already seen this compared to Kobashi vs. Joe, and I see it in the sense that these are two personalities that light up a room on their own, and when combining them, with all the strong offense in the world–you get magic. Ishii would continue to fight from bottom, selling like the lord he is, popping up multiple times from offense. Piledrivers? Cravate? It doesn’t matter, because his neck is too damn big to care. This would take us to the yelling chest out battles that showed both draining each other of their energy. Ishii kicked out of a leg kick yet again to a huge reaction. Ishii got in offense though, don’t make me make you think he didn’t. He hit a deadly modified brainbuster to even keep Hero down. He hit the Sliding D. Just not enough. He found himself working with under, the position he’s all too familiar with. It was spelling the end for him. Death blow elbows; the piledriver. Ishii didn’t want to admit he was nearly dead, only to be Gotch-style piledrove as Hero picked up the pinfall victory. This was everything it should have been, as it left me wanting even more. Perfectly worked as Hero commands the crowd at all times and Ishii does what he does best; working from under. Hero got a big win to boot, post-match tracking the past of Ishii, explaining how he was once a young boy in Michinoku Pro alongside Dick f’n Togo. Such a good chunk of pro wrestling. I max’d out my rating!
Will Ospreay def. BUSHIgood
CHAOS vs. Los Ingoberables de Japon, in Ospreay’s homeland. A match that could easily happen multiple times on NJPW cards, but York Hall sees their hero facing LIJ’s own. Although this was blatantly rushed, not getting enough time, it delivered on a high level. From the jump it was all high octane with Ospreay getting spots in, a la Sasuke Special, as well as taunting BUSHI with the tranquilo pose. This all passed by so quick, it felt even faster than the match went. Will managed to steer his way through everything BUSHI threw at him, including a ref bump turned into mist turned into a roll-up. The odds kept mounting as Ospreay brilliantly sold the fact his face was misted to the point where he could hardly see. Ospreay got caught in mid-air for a codebreaker near fall. The escalation for this, although as aforementioned short as hell, was tremendous. Ospreay managed to hit the cheeky Nando’s kick, a revolution kick, and eventually mustered up the strength to hit the Os-cutter for the pinfall victory. I self-admittedly call this a poor match review because I have no idea why I forgot some things in the match. Although the point being in very fast action, BUSHI threw everything at Ospreay only to be put away. That’s becoming a running theme in BUSHI matches. Without the mist it’d be considered okay. With the mist it added to the storytelling and escalated the match to a super fun level in which you really wanted to see Ospreay overcome.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) def. Mustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) & David Starrgood
In another weird as heck happenstance, David Starr is making his RPW debut, out in Mustache Mountain gear and a drawn-on mustache; getting the chance to enter the squared circle with the all stars of Los Ingobernables de Japon. I love everyone in this match too! A good fun co-main event this was, with Tetusya Naito being protected 110%. I don’t even know if he spent a minute in ring. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing though, as EVIL and SANADA put in the work like they usually do in multi-man tags. Aside from such, Mustache Mountain managed to show exemplary tag team work on whoever they got their hands on, which was yet another “god damn, 2016” moment–like seeing Trent Seven turn Naito’s eye taunt into a mustache grip. Along with that came ‘The Product’ David Starr, who has had a breakout year, even more than that turning into one of the best wrestlers on the planet. He was the obvious fall man in this scenario, yet seeing him have a hoot and a half as the third Mountain member, getting in offense on EVIL and SANADA was a spectacle. This was a whole lot of fun yet built itself on certain guys being in peril kicking out. EVIL had to fend for himself against all three, somehow overcoming everyone. He hit a fisherman’s buster for a near fall. Starr was then fed to the wolves as Naito took care of Tyler Bate, SANADA of Seven, Starr was hit with the EVIL STO for the win. This was good time graps with no consequences. Yet another variety-addition to the card.
RPW British Heavyweight Championship: Katsuyori Shibata def. Zack Sabre Jr. (c)great
Fun fact: I still haven’t seen their first match. I’m on such a roll this recap. Wrestling becomes too much and you can’t fit certain things in. Blame the biz, not me! You can ignore the fact I’m a dumb-skull and take this as a bizarre review perspective. This is one of those matches where you can just describe everything with “great”. Even though I didn’t see the first match, I knew that their match ended with a controversial finish in which the pin-trap got ZSJ the victory. Here they played off that and Shibata’s taped up shoulder. ZSJ went to work, doing everything he could to expose it. This played in to one of my favorite moments of the match, where Shibata, hardly alive, grouchy as all hell, got repeatedly rammed in the shoulder by Sabre’s leg–pissing him off to the point of no return that lead us into the finishing stretch. Through the first half was all work over, but it was intense, and to the point with these two. Every single movement was to gain an advantage or hurt/expose the other. Then it picked up into “OH SHIT, THIS IS WHY I LOVE THESE TWO!” territory. We got ridiculous continuous back and forth, both warriors pushing each other to the absolute brink. We got tons of the World of Sport submissions and Shibata moveset pull-outs possible! I ate it up, but then it took itself to the next level, with Shibata locking in the sleeper only to be placed in the same pin-trap that pinned him the first time. He kicked out. He knew that it was going to have to end differently this time. A BUTTERFLY SUPLEX INTO A PK! A KICKOUT! A HUGGGGGEEEE slap from Shibata. Sleeper. Sabre tried to go for the arm but to no avail. He got suplexed on his damn head. Lastly the PK was hit as Shibata earns the pinfall victory to become the new British Heavyweight Champion!
We didn’t get a lot of time to digest this moment, with Sabre Jr. losing the title, in Scurll’s arm clanging to the back. The stare down happened. KATSUYORI SHIBATA VS. CHRIS HERO. NIGHT TWO. I AM FIRED UP. I LOVE THE PRO GRAPS! Hero waved goodbye as if this would be the final 24 hours with the belt for Shibata, even though the reign just kick-started. That’s all for night one.
REVPRO GLOBAL WARS UK 2016 NIGHT 1
Great - 8/10
Yet another great show from Revolution Pro. Night 1 of the Global Wars UK series of shows gave us an immense amount of variety, tacked on to two dream matches, one happening for the first time--with the other resulting in a definitive outcome in what's been noted as the better match overall. Between this we got Marty Scurll and Jushin Liger locking horns in a fun cruiserweight-like match, Tomoaki Honma bringing Kokeshi to York Hall, Pete Dunne getting a shot at a legend in Yuji Nagata, and lastly Los Ingobernables de Japon making their mark (in a losing effort to Will Ospreay via BUSHI's shortfalls) plus a fun-time multi-man co-main event that saw Mustache Mountain and David Starr wrestle with the all stars of the unit. Talk about a show that exemplifies 2016. A bunch of great wrestling on a night where the new ace of RevPro was crowned: The Wrestler.