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Hamilton’s Rev Pro Epic Encounters Nine 03.14.2021 Review

March 14, 2021 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
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Hamilton’s Rev Pro Epic Encounters Nine 03.14.2021 Review  

Quick Results
Chris Ridgeway pinned JJ Gale in 11:56 (***)
Kanji & Aleah James pinned Bobbi Tyler & Zoe Lucas in 6:32 (**)
Southside Championship Tournament – Bracket B Semi-Final: Ricky Knight Jr. pinned Screwface Ahmed in 9:01 (***¼)
Southside Championship Tournament – Bracket A Final: Dan Moloney pinned Charlie Sterling in 8:49 (***)
Jamie Hayter vs. Skye Smitson ended in a double count-out in 5:27 – Hayter retains the Rev Pro British Women’s Championship (**)
Michael Oku submitted Kid Lykos II in 10:00 to retain the Rev Pro British Cruiserweight Championship (***)

— If you’re on Twitter, give me a follow over on @IanWrestling – and check out the GoFundMe that’s still around for Larry’s family. https://www.gofundme.com/f/larrymania-living-on-in-his-girls

We’ve got Andy Quildan back at ringside as he hypes up the Back to Business tour… James Castle is back as well, which is fantastic news. They run down the card for tonight, and then it’s off to the ring. I’m hyped up because my football team won at Wembley for the first time in my lifetime, so let’s get this!

JJ Gale vs. Chris Ridgeway
Gideon Grey does the introduction for Chris Ridgeway. It’s no UNDEFEATED, UNDEFEATED, UNDEFEATED, but who is these days?

Ridgeway seems to be taking Gale lightly, backing off before he took Gale to the mat with a hammerlock. He clings on as he circles Gale, but JJ slips out and trips Ridgeway ahead of a front facelock… but that’s quickly escaped as Ridgeway throws in a cheeky elbow from above.

A knucklelock from Gale leads to him going for a crucifix for some back-and-forth two-counts as Ridgeway tries to avoid taking the loss. Ridgeway stomps Gale into the corner, but JJ escapes and nails a rewind leapfrog into a dropkick for a two-count. He tries to follow up with a Boston crab, but Ridgeway blocks it and came back with a kick to the back for a one-count. Gale’s tied up in a bow-and-arrow hold, then a STF as Ridgeway cycled through submission attempts, but the STF ends in the ropes as Gale fought on. A snapmare and a kick to the back keeps Gale on the back foot as Ridgeway continued the momentum, following up with a forearm and a half-Lion Tamer that turned into a STF.

Again the ropes save Gale, before some strikes from Gale led to him getting taken back to the corner for kicks. Ridgeway slaps down Gale as he continued the barrage of PKs to the back, before Gale finally evaded one and came back with some uppercuts. Ridgeway cuts him off with a shot to the gut though, before a Falcon arrow out of nowhere almost got Gale the upset.

A superkick from Gale gets another near-fall, before he finally applied the Boston crab, dragging Ridgeway away from the ropes… but Ridgeway makes it there anyway to force a break. Gale goes for a springboard uppercut, but he’s knocked into the ropes for some kicks and a rebound German suplex for a near-fall, before another strike exchange ended badly for Gale. One more PK lays out Gale… and that’s his lot. Pretty one-sided, but Gale gave a decent effort, only to be out-struck by Ridgeway. ***

Post-match, Callum Newman came to Gale’s aid, then stared down Ridgeway. They meet next time out.

Bobbi Tyler & Zoe Lucas vs. Kanji & Aleah James
Wait, isn’t this what “the other lot” do? There’s a stipulation here that whoever wins the fall gets a shot at Kanji’s Southside Women’s title… a title that Zoe Lucas stole last time out.

There’s a jump start from the former Tokyo Cyber Squad pair, but James and Kanji hit back with dropkicks before Kanji battered Tyler with kicks. A Flatliner takes Bobbi down for a two-count, before Zoe Lucas came in to shatter everyone’s eardrums. Aleah James comes in to try and calm her down, ducking clotheslines and kicks until Zoe threw another tantrum.

The distraction works as Tyler clocks Kanji with a golf club behind the ref’s back, before Lucas took Kanji into the corner for some double-teaming. Tyler’s in to go for a pin, before an armbar looked to get a submission… Lucas is back with a boot choke to Kanji, then a leg lariat in the corner for a near-fall as Kanji was struggling to come out of the blocks.

Kanji’s thrown across the ring, but Lucas’ momentum ends when Kanji leapt over her to clothesline Tyler. Zoe knocks James off the apron to present a tag, but Kanji stays ahead, taking Zoe to the corner for a 619, following up with a slingshot spear, before tagging in Aleah James.

Zoe Lucas hurriedly tags out as Tyler tries to run in with a clothesline… it’s Matrix’d out of as we have a weird zoom in as James’ missile dropkick took down Tyler, before a Euro clutch got Aleah the win. So… she challenges Kanji at the next show? A little short, and given Aleah’s signing with NXT, it’s a bit of a lame duck title match, all considered. **

Southside Championship Tournament – Bracket B Semi-Final: Screwface Ahmed vs. Ricky Knight Jr.
Both men lost in the “A” bracket and need to make the most of their second chance to get to the eventual final – Ahmed’s joined the Legion since he appeared in Rev Pro, so there’s the additional threat there for RKJ.

We open with a lock-up as both men took each other into the ropes. Ahmed’s side headlock is escaped as RKJ gets one of his own, only to be shot into the ropes for an eventual forearm, kick and knee strike. Ahmed sweeps out RKJ’s leg, then took him to the ropes for some choking – both from himself, and from Gideon Grey on the floor.

Knight goes outside to chase away Grey, but Ahmed follows him out and regained the upper hand, landing a clothesline for a two-count. RKJ fires back with dropkicks to corner Ahmed, before a leg sweep led to a face-washing dropkick in the corner, then a diving uppercut off the middle rope for a near-fall.

Ahmed blocks a swinging side slam and returns with a sitout powerbomb that almost wins the match. A rebound lariat gets Ahmed another two-count, but a swivelling clothesline cuts off that momentum as both men were left laying. They return for another strike exchange, but Gideon Grey trips RKJ… Knight shakes it off and hits a swinging side slam for a near-fall, only for Ahmed to hit some boots and a Go 2 Sleep for another near-fall.

Aggrieved, Ahmed throws some punches from above, before an attempt at Darkness Falls was countered, with RKJ planting a Fire Thunder Driver for the win. He’ll take on the loser of the block A final in the block B final on the next show. A decent match, with RKJ being the “babyface in peril” as he looks locked for the overall title match. ***¼

Southside Championship Tournament – Bracket A Final: Charlie Sterling vs. Dan Moloney
Charlie Sterling’s got Mad Kurt out with him… because Kurt still wants to die at the hands of Dan Moloney.

Sterling trips Moloney early on as he looked for a cloverleaf, but Moloney escapes, and after a brief retaliation, ends up on his knees as Sterling looked to control the pace. A backbreaker dumps Moloney in the middle of the ring, before a whip into the corner and some knees saw Sterling continue the focus on the back.

Another backbreaker is next, then a bow-and-arrow hold that turned into a pinning attempt before Sterling tripped Moloney for another cloverleaf attempt. That’s escaped, so it’s back to the backbreakers as Sterling adds another two-count, before Moloney’s taken into the corner as Sterling torqued him around the ring post. Sterling stays on the back with forearms, but yet another backbreaker’s escaped as Moloney hits back with a tiltawhirl slam for a two-count. A Yakuza kick traps Sterling in the corner, but Charlie hits back before he ran into a spinebuster that gets a near-fall.

Moloney looks for a ripcord, but Sterling hits a superkick, a cutter and a gutwrench Canadian backbreaker for a near-fall – with that focus almost paying off. Another Cloverleaf attempt followed, but Moloney spins out, before a Driller was countered into a roll-up…but Moloney had his shoulders up as Sterling drops into the B block final. This was a little scrappy at the end, but Sterling had a solid game plan… and will be even more pissed off to have needed his second chance at the final. ***

There’s some afters as Sterling thought he’d won – some rare fire in defeat that I really enjoy seeing. It’s a fine line between “sore loser” and “competitive fire.”

Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship: Skye Smitson vs. Jamie Hayter (c)
This was Hayter’s first defence of the title she won from Gisele Shaw last time out… and it’s Skye Smitson’s singles debut in Rev Pro, having joined as part of the Legion.

Smitson draws Hayter into an exchange of elbows to start us off, before a toe-up saw Hayter eventually take Smitson into the ropes. She follows with elbows, but Smitson throws in one of her own before a shoulder block took down the challenger. Skye’s taken into the corner, but she escapes and comes back with clotheslines, uppercuts and knees of her own… only to get carried away as Hayter comes right back.

The pair try for German suplexes, but a pump kick from Smitson takes down Hayter ahead of an Air Raid Crash for a near-fall. Clotheslines from Hayter knock down Smitson, with a hattrick only getting a near-fall, before a rear naked choke takes Smitson down to the mat. Smitson powers out and backs into the corner, but Hayter throws her into there with an Exploder before she was separated.

Hayter’s caught with a double-leg as the fight spills to the outside, with the pair throwing each other into the side of the ring. Skye’s posted, but she gets back up as both women lose track of the ref’s count… and this ends as a double count-out. A short outing, but an effective one in terms of building up to a bigger match, as Smitson threw her best shots – but this quickly lost control as it looks like we’re going to be getting another go around, with less restrictions, perhaps? **

Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: Kid Lykos II vs. Michael Oku (c)
It says a lot about when these were taped – in Rev Pro, Kid Lykos is “just a manager,” while he’s tagging in PROGRESS. Perhaps on the next shows? Connor Mills was out with Oku, which’ll give Lykos some material given Mills’ past with Oku.

Oku charges at Lykos II at the bell, double-legging him as the challenger’s battered into the ropes. Lykos II takes a swing at Connor Mills, who drags him out of the ring… and Mills gets ejected for his troubles. Back inside, Lykos II eats a superkick, but the Oku frog splash lands on Lykos II’s knees before a knee strike almost led to the win.

The pair begin to trade chops, but Oku comes back with a running knee and some dropkicks to take Lykos II into the corner, before a third dropkick in the corner misses. Oku regains composure and heads up top for a moonsault, getting a near-fall… then again with a springboard moonsault as Lykos II was beginning to struggle.

Lykos II finds a way back in with a roundhouse… but Oku rebounds with a superkick to send him onto the apron. Another dropkick misses as Lykos II sidesteps, allowing Oku to crash and burn as a slingshot Code Red drops Oku for a near-fall. Lykos II calls for a brainbuster, but you know the trope… it’s avoided as Oku shoves him off for some superkicks, before a gamengiri caught Oku in the corner.

Oku’s caught up top with a Lo Mein Pain for a near-fall, before a dropkick spins Oku inside out for another two-count. Lykos II heads up top, but took too long as Oku knocks him onto the apron, before a distraction from Lykos allowed the new one to take control. Superkicks on the apron from Lykos II set up for a brainbuster attempt… but Oku lifts him inside for a gamengiri, but gets caught up top as Lykos II keeps going for the brainbuster.

Oku knocks Lykos II onto the top rope, crotching him in the process before a swinging neckbreaker off the top drops the wolf. From there, Oku heads back up for a frog splash, but Lykos II kicks out… only to get caught with a half crab. Kid Lykos looks to throw in a baking tray, but Connor Mills comes out and chokes him out as Oku manages to force the stoppage. Decent, but it didn’t feel like Lykos II had much of a chance since he’d not been established as much of a threat (aside from the interference) on these shows thus far. ***

Post-match, Oku glows over his “guardian angel” Connor Mills, thanking him for the save… you’re shown the path of another Mills turn, but he resists as Oku plugs his Twitch, before parading Oku on his shoulders. We don’t get the “Batista drops Orton on his back” turn, as we instead get replays before Quildan and Castle close the show out with a review of the night’s proceedings.

We’re told that Dan Moloney – winner of bracket A – gets a 1-0 advantage going into the Iron Fist match for the Southside title… he’ll face either RKJ or Charlie Sterling, as we also get Callum Newman vs. Chris Ridgeway and Aleah James vs. Kanji at Epic Encounters 10 at a date to be announced.

The final score: review Good
The 411
These shows may not be knocking your socks off in terms of matches, but Rev Pro have done a bang-up job of presenting a logical, well-booked series of shows across this Epic Encounters series. Sure, how we got these may not have been what was planned, with Andy Quildan recently admitting that these shows are more drawn out than intended, but we’re getting there in the end.