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Hamilton’s Euro Update September 2021: Rev Pro, PROGRESS, wXw, More

September 11, 2021 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
Will Ospreay NJPW

So, since I last did this at the start of August, here’s what’s happened in some of the promotions I usually touch on:

Rev Pro

The big event from August was Rev Pro’s Nine Year Anniversary show in Manchester, which saw the promotion crown new tag team champions in the form of Michael Oku and Connor Mills – and quickly get thrust into another big-time match against Aussie Open. Remember them? Aussie Open also returned to the UK, beating the Young Guns in Manchester before issuing a challenge for the Rev Pro tag titles, outright saying that they want to hold titles in both of their “homes” (Aussie Open also currently hold the PWA tag titles in Australia), and want to defend them “wherever we go.” Hmm.

Mills and Oku have already had their first defence of the titles – a hastily-arranged defence against the Young Guns in a match that came pretty close to matching their first outing last month… that’ll drop on the Live at (not) the Cockpit 53 show in the coming days.

As for Rev Pro’s singles titles, Chris Ridgeway’s yet to claim his shot at Oku’s Cruiserweight title, while the collision course between Ricky Knight Jr. and Will Ospreay was confirmed as September 19’s High Stakes show at York Hall will also see those two meet up to unify the promotion’s two top titles.

Elsewhere on High Stakes, Gisele Shaw will be defending her Rev Pro British Women’s championship against Hyan in a best two-out-of-three falls match – to decide the series since both women have won a match apiece. Zoe Lucas is still waiting for her shot at the title, after she was taken off the Manchester card – not having yet wrestled for Rev Pro since winning July’s Queen of the Ring tournament.

Away from matches announced for High Stakes, this past weekend marked the Rev Pro debut of Yota Tsuji, who’s already found a place in the fans’ hearts, courtesy of a chant to a Baccara song: “Yes sir, Yota Tsuji, but I need a certain song, Yota Tsuji, Yota Tsuji, all night long…”

Tsuji’s first weekend in Rev Pro saw him turn down three offers to join Gideon Grey’s Legion (by saying “f*** off” three times), before he got attacked by Mark Haskins – who looks to be Tsuji’s first feud in England. On a similar path, Shota Umino was set to have a match with Lucian Phillips after Phillips’ interference in Shota’s match in Portsmouth against Gideon Grey… but covid took that off of the 9/5 show.

One of the more unfortunate signs of the times for Rev Pro has been the litany of card changes they’ve endured – with the most recent run of shows (at time of writing) seeing the promotion lose Will Ospreay, Shota Umino and Mark Davis as a result of Covid testing, forcing them to put together a second “pop-up show” – Road to High Stakes – which will again be at the 229 in London on 9/12. Announced at time of writing for that was Will Ospreay and the Young Guns vs. Ricky Knight Jr, TK Cooper & Chuck Mambo, plus the matches they couldn’t do last week in Mark Davis vs. Michael Oku and Connor Mills vs. Kyle Fletcher.

PROGRESS

Since we last dropped by, PROGRESS have started to drop shows on a weekly basis, with four shows having appeared on the WWE Network since the end of July.

We’re still waiting for news on a return to crowds, but for the meantime PROGRESS had to crown a new women’s champion after Kanji had to vacate the title due to injury. Chapter 117 saw Gisele Shaw win a three-way elimination match over Mercedez Blaze and Alexxis Falcon to finally claim the title. Falcon was Shaw’s first challenger for the title, but that match was a farce, ending with a DQ inside 30 seconds thanks to interference from Blaze and Taonga… but Falcon’s gotten a rematch on this weekend’s show.

Elsewhere, Danny Black’s wish to challenge Cara Noir to a match ended up with Danny (who had a 1-10 record at the time) getting a title shot, which of course he came up short in. Dean Allmark was the other man to get a shot at the title – again, coming up on the losing end following a woefully under-the-radar match. Seriously, if you have the WWE Network, Peacock of PROGRESS’ VOD, you need to watch that match from Chapter 119.

Meanwhile, PROGRESS wheeled out the Thunderbastard staggered entry gauntlet match to determine a new number one contender, with Chris Ridgeway outlasting the field of others who’d lost to Cara Noir previously. Having successfully defended his “right to challenge” against Doug Williams, Ridgeway will get his shot on this weekend’s PROGRESS show in a 30-minute Iron Man match for… reasons?

As for the tag titles, Lykos Gym had to dig deep in their back of dirty tricks to get past the Greedy Souls at chapter 120 – and now face Nick Riley & Charlie Sterling on chapter 121, and with both of the Smoking Aces holding singles wins over one of the Lykii, there may well be a title change in the future. Or white powder. Perhaps both.

Outside of the title pictures, Spike Trivet’s been picking fights with North West Strong – beating Ethan Allen in a wonderfully-impromptu match at Chapter 119, and will face Luke Jacobs this weekend.

Also on this weekend’s Chapter 121: In 20 Years This Will All be Orange, Doug Williams vs. Danny Black, and TK Cooper & Chuck Mambo vs. Charles Crowley & Elijah.

wXw

Since we last recapped, wXw’s held their 20th Anniversary show… a follow-up card in Bielefeld, and has had to completely change their plans for the Catch Grand Prix. More about that in a moment.

Marius al-Ani defended his wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship against Shortcut to the Top winner Jurn Simmons – and instantly called out Cara Noir. Last year’s 16 Carat Gold winner hasn’t been around since last year’s Catch Grand Prix – where he finished as a runner up to al-Ani after 31 minutes across 11 rounds – but will be returning later this month to cash in his title shot.

The Catch Grand Prix tournament scheduled for later this month was cancelled due to overrunning renovation works at the Turbinenhalle – and without any suitable venues available for a four-day event – wXw opted to cancel the events and replace it with a one-night tournament featuring the original Catch Grand Prix field, called the Blitzturnier.

That event will feature seven different types of matches:

First Round: Axel Tischer vs. Dennis Dullnig vs. Tristan Archer vs. Francesco Akira
First Round: First Blood: Maggot vs. Robert Dreissker
First Round: Bobby Gunns & Levaniel vs. Michael Knight & Leon van Gasteren – only the person who wins the fall will go through
First Round: Best 2 out of 3 Falls: Fast Time Moodo vs. Stephanie Maze

Semi-Finals: One will be under Ambition rules, the other under Relaxed Rules (no-DQs)
Finals: Will be under Catch Grand Prix rules

As part of the Blitzturnier, we’ll also be getting a new Shotgun champion, after Maggot was suspended by wXw for an incident with a fan at the 20th Anniversary show. Both challengers will be determined via a random lottery – and Norman Harras’ omission from the Blitzturnier could tip off that he’ll finally get the shot he wants.

Following the Blitzturnier this month, wXw’s next shows will be a four-day tour taking in Limbach-Oberfrohna, Gotha, Dresden and Leipzig. The Dresden show is being taped as a feature event – True Colors 2021 – while I’d suspect at least one of the rest would also make tape for wXwNOW content.

Elsewhere…

ICW held their first show with fans on August 29 for some Fight Club tapings. It’d been their first show with a crowd since March 2020, with these tapings featuring the early stages of a tournament to crown a new ICW Women’s champion. The promotion will also need to crown a new World champion, after Noam Dar was stripped of the title due to what we can only presume is his ongoing unavailability as WWE doesn’t look to be letting contracted guys out to play like they were pre-covid…

Hungary’s Passion Pro have released their second show on a pay-per-view basis. For around $6 at https://tixa.hu/passion2eng you can see their latest show featuring Axel Tischer vs. Tristan Archer – it’ll be on my pile to watch and review at some point!

I’m still waiting for Futureshock to drop their two-part 17th anniversary show on-demand from last month – I’d heard a LOT of good things about the events, with the Young Guns vs. Danny Hope & Joey Hayes in particular getting rave reviews live…

article topics :

PROGRESS, Rev Pro, wXw, Ian Hamilton