Rev-Pro ‘Live At The Cockpit’ (7/2/16) Review

Added by Stewart Brookes

Having attended a number of Revolution Pro Wrestling’s York Hall shows and never being disappointed, it felt about time to check out one of their other events. For some time the group have been holding television tapings for their YouTube show at ‘The Cockpit’, with all reports being that it is a pretty unique venue.

The reports were not wrong. Holding at most 150 people, the room has a very intimate feel and claims that there isn’t a bad seat in the house may very well be correct. Tiered seating around 4/5 rows deep adorn all 4 walls, with the squared circle the centrepiece and focus from every angle. As is the norm from my experiences of the York Hall shows, Revolution Pro Wrestling delivered another evening of quality action featuring a mix of top UK talent and high-calibre US imports in front of a sell-out crowd.

Contenders Division: Rob Lias vs. Matthew Nathan

Feeling like something you might see at the very beginning of a New Japan show, Matthew Nathan and Rob Lias  are both students at the Revolution Pro school in Portsmouth. Both clad in plain black trunks, the two contested a perfectly competent basic match, taking turns to show some offense and some selling. Lias picked up the win with a Last Chancery submission. Both could be seen watching the rest of the show from various vantage points the rest of the evening, surely an invaluable experience given the merit of the rest of the show.

Cruiserweight Title: Pete Dunne vs. Sonjay Dutt

After making his York Hall debut the previous month defending his Cruiserweight Championship against Flash Morgan Webster, ‘The Bruiserweight’ Pete Dunne faced a stiff challenge from the well-travelled Sonjay Dutt. Dunne lives up to the aforementioned nickname relying a lot less on high-flying than those who would usually hold the Cruiserweight Title. Dunne provided a stable base for some flashy offense from Dutt, who I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by. Dunne would pick up the win blocking a Dutt sunset flip from the apron whilst holding on to the ropes.

At this point in the show, ring announcer and promoter Andy Quildan invited the new British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr. to the ring. After a short interview, his Number One contender, Marty Scurll was invited to the ring also. After some chants of ‘Match Of The Year’ in reference to Scurll’s bout with Will Ospreay at York Hall in January, Scurll revealed that he intended to never challenge for the strap whilst his ‘best friend’ Sabre Jr held it. Scurll instead suggested that he and Zack should reform their ‘Leaders Of The New School’ tag team. After Scurll’s impassioned request, Sabre responded with an endearing ‘alright then, knobhead’ and the two embraced and Scurll raised Sabre’s arm. Quildan suggested that fans could tweet in which tag team they would like the reunited LDRS to face. The segment here did not establish where Scurll’s affiliations with The Revolutionists might lay going forward.

Josh Bodom vs. Donovan Dijak

After being embroiled for some time in a heated feud with Jimmy Havoc, Josh Bodom seems poised to make strides up the card in 2016. Bodom has certainly upped his game in the last year or so, and must be in contention to join the likes of Sabre, Scurll and Ospreay as ‘must see’ names in British wrestling. Not following Ring Of Honor that closely, I am not familiar with Donovan Dijak at all but he’s certainly an impressive sight. Given my expectations going in, this match completely over-delivered. Both men did their best to create room in a venue with very little, brawling up the steps and into the crowd with Bodom hitting a diving Senton. Dijak followed this with Twisting Clothesline and a Moonsault of his own. Bodom would pick up win with his pulling Piledriver through the ropes, though Dijak received ‘Please Come Back’ chants after the match from a crowd that didn’t pop especially when he first entered.

Marty Scurll vs. Timothy Thatcher

Since developing the Villain character, Marty Scurll has just been on another level. Timothy Thatcher, meanwhile, has built himself a name in both Evolve and PWG over the last year. For any who haven’t seen Thatcher, he wrestles an extremely intense mat-based, limb-work heavy style, which I could fully understand might not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, it’s impossible not to respect how legitimate the man looks when he sells. He winces and grimaces so convincingly with every hold applied, that especially up close, perhaps more than anyone else today, you feel like you are watching someone in legitimate pain. Scurll and Thatcher assembled a cracking mat based contest built around holds, counter holds and submissions. Very different to Marty’s match with Ospreay the previous month, this further proves Scurll’s versatility. ‘The Villain’ would get the win via submission with his trademark chicken wing.

Flash Morgan Webster vs. James Castle

Following a short intermission, two more of Revolution Pro Wrestling’s young stars would collide. Castle’s Revolutionists stable-mate Josh Bodom would accompany the tag team Champion to the ring, but would quickly be ejected by referee Chris Roberts after interference. Webster is another young British talent that should be on the highway to success in 2016 as a likeable high-flying babyface. Cleverly working in a ‘Mods vs Punks’ angle into the match, Webster would land some suitably – ahem – flash offense before Josh Bodom remerged to pull Castle away from a 450 Splash attempt. Webster, however, would pick up the win via a small package with The Revolutionists duo continuing their beatdown post-match.

Big Damo vs. Mark Haskins

Damo is another name who has impressed greatly over the last year’s worth of York Hall cards, wrestling a hard-hitting yet agile style for a performer his size. Here, he and Mark Haskins assembled a solid bout worked in a cat-and-mouse style with Haskins relying on speed and opportunity to try and keep away from ‘The Beast From Belfast’. The finish would come when Psycho Phillips, a man almost as hairy as Damo himself, would come to ringside with Damo insisting he could get the win on his own. With the referee trying to eject Phillips, Damo would hit a low blow and pick up the win. Post-match, Damo and Phillips would have a stare down, with Phillips insisting that the two were supposed to have been a tag team and wondering why he had been left behind, with Damo leaving without offering an answer as to why.

Colt Cabana vs. Lord Gideon Grey

The Cabana/Gideon feud has been going on for some time in Revolution Pro Wrestling and has seen some excellent comedy matches, with this being no exception. Cabana has his style down to a tee and if you appreciate what he does, then you will enjoy this. Gideon Grey plays arrogant yet insecure heel very well and has worked well as a foil for the popular podcaster. Cabana would look to get the win with the Billy Goat’s Curse, but would turn it into a roll up to get the pin, taking the time to spank the Lord’s bottom to add insult to injury.

Rev-Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Will Ospreay (Non-Title Match)

As Ospreay had lost the Number One contender’s Match to Marty Scurll last month, it seemed perfectly logical that the title would not be on the line here. Zack Sabre Jr. has become my absolute favourite wrestler to watch, pulling off silky smooth limb work, submissions and transitions like nobody else in the world. Conversely, Ospreay has quickly become one of the premier high flyers in the world. Whilst not scaling the lofty heights of Sabre/Styles or Scurll/Ospreay from the previous month, this was still an extremely good match, pititing Sabre’s skill and submission against Ospreay’s aerial assault. Sabre would take time to play the subtle heel at points, allowing Ospreay to gain sympathy as he contorted ‘The Aerial Assassin’ into various holds that I have no idea how to name. Ospreay would sustain a busted lip fairly early into this one and would work from underneath trying to evade the Champion. Sabre would pick up the clean win following a crisp Dragon Suplex followed by another unnameable submission that saw Sabre sit on Ospreay’s doubled over torso whilst yanking back on his arms. Post-match, Sabre would address a disappointed looking Ospreay, offering a title shot at any point he wishes. Sabre would close telling the crowd that 2016 would be the year that he, RPW and British Wrestling took over the World.

All-in-all, another great effort from Revolution Pro Wrestling, in front of an appreciative crowd. You won’t find any 3 talents greater on UK shores than Marty Scurll, Will Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr. and to get to watch them in front of such a small crowd in such an intimate venue was definitely a privilege.

Tickets go on sale for the return on Sunday March 6th later this week and if you are able to, I would highly recommend picking one up. Even better, the matches taped here should appear on RPW’s free YouTube television show, so make sure you take a look once they are released. Scurll/Thatcher, Dijak/Bodom and Sabre/Ospreay are all well worth making sure you see.

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