This coming Saturday at the sold-out Walthamstow Assembly Hall in London Revolution Pro Wrestling presents a one night, single elimination tournament to crown the first ever British J Cup champion. The bracket contains former and current champions in RevPro and beyond, including some of the most decorated competitors in tournament action worldwide. As if that wasn’t enticing enough, there’s also two huge non-tournament matches to sweeten the deal and with a full house on the night it’s safe to say that this should prove to be an event to remember.
British J Cup First Round Match: Tiger Mask vs Marty Scurll
Competing in opposing blocks in this year’s Best of the Super Jr. both veteran Tiger Mask and newcomer Scurll acquitted themselves well, but didn’t have the opportunity to face off. Indeed, this is a first time ever match-up and the first time Scurll will step into the ring with the fourth man to bear the legendary Tiger Mask name. A two time winner of the Michinoku Pro Fukumen World League, and a back-to-back Best of the Super Jr. winner in 2004 & 2005, Tiger Mask has proven himself to be one of the best Jr. heavyweight wrestlers in the world, but Scurll’s no slouch himself with a number of Jr. tournament wins to his name as well as the 2016 edition of PWG’s Battle of Los Angeles. Tiger Mask has slowed down in recent years, but the 46 year old is still a dangerous competitor and has exhibited a mean streak as of late when young upstarts annoy him. Meanwhile, Scurll has been involved in some high profile matches for RPW over the past year or so, but it’s been over two years since he held any gold in the promotion and the British J Cup presents the perfect opportunity to reassert himself.
British J Cup First Round Match: Kyle O’Reilly vs KUSHIDA
This will mark the fifth match (and likely final, if rumour has it true and O’Reilly’s WWE bound) in a rivalry that’s spanned three continents, as the finalists of the 2015 Best of the Super Jr. face off once again. While KUSHIDA came out on top two years ago, in all three meetings since O’Reilly has defeated KUSHIDA, including a memorable match from RevPro’s Uprising 2015. In the years since the two have taken divergent career paths, but it’s been KUSHIDA who’s won the lion’s share of the plaudits in that time, this year adding a second Best of the Super Jr. trophy to his collection. He also won the ROH World TV Title for the first time, and recaptured the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight title for the fifth time in his career. Suffice to say, it’s been a good year for KUSHIDA and what better way to cap that off than by beating his old rival on the way to winning the inaugural British J Cup? But O’Reilly is no pushover and has changed a lot himself since the two last faced over a year ago, making this one an intriguing and highly anticipated match-up.
British J Cup First Round Match: Ryusuke Taguchi vs Will Ospreay
Another Best of the Super Jr. finals rematch here, this time from the 2016 edition of the tournament when Ospreay defeated Taguchi to become the youngest ever winner of the Super Jr’s. Since then the two have met very infrequently in the ring, and this will be only their second ever singles match as ‘The Funky Weapon’ Ryusuke Taguchi will be looking to reverse that loss and deny Ospreay his chance at winning the inaugural British J Cup on his home soil. Not that there’s any particular bad blood between the two, but Ospreay’s win in the Super Jr’s final denied Taguchi a second tournament crown to his name and his best chance at reclaiming the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight title in years. From Ospreay’s perspective, he’ll be looking to win this tournament and claim a shot at the RPW British Cruiserweight Title, currently held by Josh Bodom who has proven to be a thorn in Ospreay’s side, first taking the cruiserweight belt from him in 2015 and then a second time this past April.
British J Cup First Round Match: Josh Bodom vs Jushin Liger
Of all the competitors in the British J Cup there are none more decorated than the legendary Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, with three Best of the Super Jr’s and two Super J Cup crowns to his name the eleven-time IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion will be out to win his first tournament on British soil. The man he faces (the current RPW British Cruiserweight Champion Josh Bodom) hasn’t won a single tournament to date, but a lack of experience doesn’t make Bodom any less of a dangerous competitor, one that has a number of high profile scalps to his name. It would be a very big feather in Bodom’s cap if he could win the inaugural British J Cup as champion, defeating a legend like Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger along the way. But after a disappointing run that saw Liger pick up only one win throughout what was announced to be his final Best of the Super Jr, Liger will be looking to make an impact here and win what could very well be his final Jr’s tournament anywhere in the world.
#CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI)
Without a doubt the hottest groups in wrestling right now is Los Ingobernables de Japon. Since Tetsuya Naito formed the group in late 2015 they’ve been on a meteoric rise to popularity, and one of the most popular members is the most recent addition: Hiromu Takahashi, hopefully accompanied by Daryl (an emotional support cat that keeps at bay the existential dread now Hiromu is bereft of Mr. Belt). After a huge victory over Marty Scurll at Epic Encounter, Takahashi has a chance to earn BUSHI and himself a tag title shot against one of the hottest groups in the UK wrestling scene right now, #CCK of Chris Brookes and Travis Banks. Relative newcomers to RPW, Brookes & Banks have made a big impact, winning the RPW British Heavyweight Tag Titles in their in-ring debut and defeating a number of impressive teams since, and this match will be the most high-profile of their run so far. It’s a hugely exciting bout on paper, pitting two very well versed tag pairings against one another, and it’ll be interesting to see who emerges victorious.
Matt Riddle vs Tomohiro Ishii
The term ‘dream match’ is bandied about a lot these days, but this is undoubtedly such a match. A first-time ever meeting between two vastly different competitors, Ishii the 20 year veteran, while Riddle is just in the third year of his career! But Riddle’s talents are evident, one of the greatest pure athletes in wrestling, a former UFC fighter and one of the most in-demand acts in the professional wrestling world today. But he faces a hell of a test here against ‘The Stone Pitbull’ Tomohiro Ishii, who may give up a lot in height to Riddle but more than makes up for it in sheer physicality. While there are few in wrestling like Matt Riddle, there’s also very few that could be considered in Ishii’s league when it comes to the sort of single-minded ferocity he employs when dismantling his opponents. But Ishii’s coming to RevPro off the back of NJPW’s US title tournament, which saw him compete in three very physical matches that could certainly have taken a toll. Ishii doesn’t back down from a fight though and rarely lets injury concern him (he hasn’t had a month off since December 2005!), so it’s safe to say this one’s going to be a hard hitting, no-nonsense sort of affair that’s sure to delight the RevPro faithful in attendance.
With two huge non-tournament matches, four first-round British J Cup matches and a 4-way Elimination match to determine the first ever British J Cup champion this is shaping up to be a hugely memorable event. And while tickets have long been sold out, the whole thing will be available to view over at RPW On Demand a few days after the show.