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Hamilton’s Rev Pro High Stakes 2024 02.18.2024 Review

February 18, 2024 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
WIll Ospreay Michael Oku RevPro High Stakes 2024 Image Credit: RevPro
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Hamilton’s Rev Pro High Stakes 2024 02.18.2024 Review  

Quick Results
Orange Cassidy pinned Richard Holliday, Shigehiro Irie, Flash Morgan Webster, Sha Samuels, Spike Trivet & Cameron Khai to retain the AEW International Championship in 8:03 (***¼)
Dani Luna pinned Safire Reed to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship in 9:43 (***¼)
Oskar Leube & Yuto Nakashima pinned Mark Trew & Kieran Lacey in 9:24 (***½)
Luke Jacobs pinned JJ Gale in 17:02 (****½)
Mustafa Ali pinned Robbie X in 13:06 (***½)
Shingo Takagi pinned Trent Seven in 21:58 (***¼)
Anthony Ogogo pinned Ricky Knight Jr. in 13:27 (**¾)
Zack Sabre Jr. pinned Connor Mills in 21:25 (****¼)
Michael Oku submitted Will Ospreay to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship in 47:12 (*****)

— If you’re on Twitter/X/the bird app, give me a follow over on @IanWrestling. I’m also over on BlueSky, Instagram and Threads by that same name, and if you’ve put your chips in on Mastodon, catch me here. One of those has to be the winner, right? And I’ll be hopping around those until they fall off… In the meantime, check out the GoFundMe that’s still open for Larry’s family

— To watch this show, head over to RevProOnDemand.com

We’re live via stream from the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre in south London for Rev Pro’s first big show of 2024 – and the last independent booking for Will Ospreay. Commentary comes from Andy Quildan and Gideon Grey…

AEW International Championship: Sha Samuels vs. Cameron Khai vs. Richard Holliday vs. Flash Morgan Webster vs. Spike Trivet vs. Shigehiro Irie vs. Orange Cassidy (c)
Irie was the unannounced sixth man – he’s making a habit of being mystery entrants in six-man matches… but there’s another entrant?! ORANGE CASSIDY! The AEW International Championship’s on the line here as well…

The bell goes for the second time as the crowd eats up Cassidy’s shin kicks, until Richard Holliday’s low blow stopped the party. Hey, Orange looked like he was having more fun here than he was at Craven Cottage…

The ring clears as we have Khai and Irie trading forearms, leading to Khai getting taken into the ropes for a cannonball to the back. Returning, Khai trips up Irie and hits a low superkick, before a deadlift suplex took Irie from his knees! Irie out, Webster in as an armdrag and Special Brew Flip continued the revolving door effect… Trivet’s in to crack Webster with a headbutt, following with a flying Codebreaker off the middle rope.

Webster out, Sha in… those two wheel away with punches before a splash and a clothesline led to Sha adding a spinebuster. Out goes Spike, in comes Holliday for a Manhattan drop (aha) as the crowd brought some of the Southampton chants with them. Sha’s taken up top for a torture rack neckbreaker before Orange Cassidy came in to be befuddled by Orange Cassidy’s pockets. A pockets dropkick and kip up comes at the cost of Orange’s sunglasses, before a pockets leapfrog over Spike Trivet led to Sha coming in for a Cactus clothesline.

Webster’s back for a small package on Orange for a two-count, ahead of a hand’s up headbutt. That keeps the movez flowing as an over-the-knee brainbuster dumps Webster, before Khai ate a butterfly backbreaker from Holliday… whose teased dive ended up seeing him knocked outside by Irie, who added a diving crossbody tot he back.

Khai’s back for a Pingshot cutter onto Irie on the apron, while Webster added a Shadows Over Malice senton into the pile. Back inside, Orange Punches clear the way… but Irie shakes it off before a second one wiped him out. Holliday tries to steal the title with a roll-up in the ropes, before an Orange Punch got the win. An enjoyable opener with two surprises getting the crowd nice and hot to start. ***¼

Post-match, Orange plugged All In at Wembley… while Sha Samuels sprinted to the back to go after Spike Trivet.

Rev Pro Undisputed British Women’s Championship: Safire Reed vs. Dani Luna (c)
Safire Reed beat Kanji last month to get this shot, and there be some Big Show Gear on hand from Reed…

After some shoves, we get going with a lock-up as Luna was eventually taken into the corner, before she caught a crossbody and flung Reed with a fallaway slam. Luna keeps the pace high with a sliding clothesline for a two-count, before Reed took Luna through the ropes for a kick… only for Luna to tease an avalanche German suplex to the outside.

Reed punches it away before joining Dani on the floor with a dropkick through the ropes, before she took Luna into the guard rails. A missile dropkick greets Luna back inside, as Reed then began to kick away at Luna’s previously-injured knee. A Dragon screw takes Luna down, but the champion retaliates with rolling suplexes, only for the Three Amigos to be stopped with a knee strike.

Luna snaps back with that third suplex eventually for a two-count, but a faked-out superkick tricks Luna as Reed again got back into contention, taking the champion to the ropes for some choking. Heading up top, Reed’s stomp almost goes awry as she hit Luna… then the top rope, but again Luna tries to fight back as a rebound Blue Thunder Bomb planted Reed for a near-fall.

Reed tries to snatch a win with a roll-up, before a short piledriver from Luna stuffed Safire for a near-fall. A deadlift German suplex into the ring’s fought out of by Reed, who instead hit one out of the corner on Luna, before a Torpedo headbutt and a ripcord lariat had Luna rocked… a Shining Wizard nearly does it, as Reed then headed outside to grab Luna’s title belt.

The self-imposed distraction led to Luna’s elevated German suplex back into the ring, before a Luna Landing got the win. Not a fan of the way the finish played out, but this was a hell of a showing from Reed, who’s got a heck of a future around these parts. ***¼

There’s noises backstage as… Alex Windsor’s apparently whipped Dani Luna with a chain, and is dragging her back out to ringside. Windsor curb stomps Luna with the chain, and I think we’re more likely to get something like a dog collar match than a steel chain ropes match…

Kieron Lacey & Mark Trew vs. Young Blood (Oskar Leube & Yuto Nakashima)
A rematch from two weeks ago at the 229 – with Trew and Lacey having attacked Young Blood both after that match, and later at Southampton last week…

We’ve a jump start that Oskar and Yuto neutralise, clotheslining Trew and Lacey to the outside… before Trew and Lacey swarmed Oskar, combining on him ahead of a guardrail-wrecking dive on the German. Oskar’s leg’s wrapped around the guard rail as a dropkick to the knee put him on the shelf… leaving Nakashima on his own.

Lacey’s side headlock held Nakashima for an enziguiri from Trew, while a double suplex drew a two-count. Double-teaming continues on Yuto with a back rake as frequent tags looked to lead to a spike piledriver… only for Nakashima to back body drop free. Oskar’s back, but taken care of again as a neckbreaker/Dominator combo got a delayed two-count after Trew and Lacey messed up who was legal.

Yuto’s charged into the corner as Trew tagged in to hit a gamengiri… Oskar’s back, but causes a brief distraction as he tried to charge the ring. Another double-team’s stopped as Yuto hit a shoulder tackle off the middle rope, but Trew’s back to bite Yuto to prevent a tag out… only to get caught with a spinning back suplex!

Oskar finally gets the tag in, as did Lacey, and we’ve got a big German running wild here, wiping out Trew and Lacey with a double clothesline. Clotheslines continue in the corners before Oskar nailed Trew with a massive back body drop. A side suplex gets a two-count on Lacey, before another turnaround saw Trew and Lacey corner Oskar…

Oskar shoves free, but he’s caught with a wheelbarrow Codebreaker and a Black Flag and a stacked-up pin almost put Oskar away. Trew and Lacey lift Oskar up top, but Trew overcelebrates and ate a cobra clutch slam from Nakashima, before a high/low took care of Lacey. Trew’s springboard’s caught… and a flying knee from Nakashima triggers a F5 from Oskar proved to be enough for a violent end. ***½

Commentary teased Greedy Souls vs. Young Blood down the road… and sign me the hell up for that!

FantasticaMania UK was announced for May 19 at York Hall…

JJ Gale vs. Luke Jacobs
A match with bad blood… and we get going with elbows and forearms as Gideon Grey was trying to put his voice out on commentary.

Jacobs rocks Gale first, then avoided an uppercut before Gale found one at the second attempt… only to get charged down. Gale’s worn out in the corner with chops and forearms, before a headbutt sent Gale back into that corner. Gale escapes and looks to vault back in, eventually scoring with a springboard ‘rana before a dropkick finally took Jacobs off his feet.

Gale’s shoved to the outside, before a springboard back in was stopped with a headbutt as Jacobs… teased a dive? We’ve a switcheroo as Gale lands a flip senton instead, before Jacobs tried to wreck the second guardrail of the day. An eye rake from Jacobs gives him space as he proceeded to chop Gale some more, before he grabbed a chair and put Gale into it… only to run into a superkick out of it.

Gale hits the guard rail and goes for a cutter off it, but comes up short. There’s no damage done to Gale, but seconds later he damn near puts Jacobs through the guard rails, before a senton atomico back inside drew a two-count. Heading up top, Gale rolls through a moonsault, before he charged into a Samoa Joe-ish uranage by Jacobs.

Jacobs’ waistlock led to a Saito suplex for a two-count, before he continued to pepper Gale with headshots in the corner. Responding, Gale’s shots earn him a single strike as Jacobs again gets a two-count out of a lateral press, as that perceived arrogance just wound up Gale. More elbows knock the stuffing out of Gale, as did another Violence Party in the corner which led to a face-washing boot.

A rolling elbow from Gale sinks Jacobs, as JJ’s uppercuts and spinning heel kick led to a release German suplex. Jacobs shakes it off, but can’t avoid a springboard twisting uppercut out of the corner that picked up a near-fall. Jacobs caught a springboard twisting cutter but Gale’s able to find a way in with a superkick before he’s almost powerbombed out of his shoes.

Jacobs almost put Gale away with a second powerbomb, before a telegraphed lariat was caught by Gale, countering back with a Side Effect before he rolled Jacobs into a Falcon Arrow for a near-fall. A backpack knee from Gale’s blocked as the pair begin to use their heads… a springboard uppercut’s lariat’d away as Jacobs pushed… into the path of a knee strike. CHRIST.

A pop-up powerbomb’s rolled though, but Jacobs rolls through into a Boston crab… with Gale making the ropes in the nick of time. The crowd’s LOUD as Gale and Jacobs met in the middle of the ring again, only to descend into strikes once more, only for Gale to go all Irie on us, catching Gale’s limbs and tying him up for the monstrous capture headbutt. Gale’s somehow able to land a small package for a two-count, before a Gale Force nearly got the win…

A missed 450 splash from Gale earns him a pair of wicked lariats from Jacobs, but it’s still not enough, nor was a roll-up out of a screwdriver attempt, as Gale ends up succumbing to a lariat and a screwdriver. This was a match that had me, ahem, standing and pacing… and while the finish was clean and decisive, this feels like a match-up that’ll recur over the years. ****½

Post-match, Luke’s got a dodgy mic… he puts over Gale, before noting the last man to beat him in Rev Pro was Tomohiro Ishii. Jacobs again says he wants to go for the Undisputed British Heavyweight championship, and called his shot for the Revolution Rumble, especially if it’s for the title.

Robbie X vs. Mustafa Ali
Mustafa Ali’s World Tour continued through Rev Pro…

Opening with a handshake and a lock-up, Ali’s quickly turning up the pace as he and Robbie X worked around wristlocks, before Ali mocked Robbie X’s lack of hair. A trip-up from Ali sparks another exchange, with Ali getting a little too cocksure before he was caught with a hiptoss and a faked-out low dropkick.

A side headlock from Ali’s pushed away, but Ali’s shoulder tackle is for nought as Robbie X kipped up… before things headed to the corners as Ali’s running dropkick wiped out Robbie. A second one keeps up the tone, before a handspring kick wiped out Ali mid-handspring. JESUS.

Robbie pushes on with a triangle moonsault to Ali on the floor, before a Molly Go Round back inside added a two-count. A senton atomico kept Robbie ahead, at least until Ali caught him unawares with a wild gutwrench piledriver. Shaking it off, Robbie X took Ali into the corner, but couldn’t avoid a rolling thunder neckbreaker as Ali almost took home the win.

Out of nowhere, Ali pulls Robbie X into a crossface… Robbie X cradles out for a two-count, before he sidestepped Ali, who crashed at speed into the bottom turnbuckle. Shaking it off, Ali’s beaten to the punch by Robbie, who adds a hiptoss and cartwheel dropkick, adding a Beyblade kick in the corner and a standing shooting star out of it for a two-count.

Heading up top, Ali’s caught with a bell clapper from Robbie X, before he was shoved down to the floor… where he dropkicked away Robbie X in mid air. Back inside, Robbie X evades Ali ahead of a Pele kick, before a springboard/moonsault DDT almost got the win. A tornado DDT from Ali turns it back around, spiking Robbie X for another near-fall.

Another Pele kick catches Ali, this time on the top rope, but a follow-up superplex turns into a battle of headbutts as Ali instead flattened Robbie with a sunset bomb. Returning up top, Ali adds a 450 splash, and that’s enough for the win. ***½

Post-match, Ali put over Robbie X on the mic…

Trent Seven vs. Shingo Takagi
Gabe Kidd was pulled from this show 24 hours before bell time – having not been cleared from the side effects of last week’s cage match in Osaka for New Japan. Having been forcibly made to wear a chair over your head will do that…

Starting with a handshake, we’ve got standing waistlocks and switches as things headed to the mat. Trent grabs the arm and wrings it, taking Shingo back to the mat, before a Test of Strength had Trent down to a knee. It’s switched up into a side headlock, pushed away as we get the clattering shoulder tackles before a battle of chops put Shingo ahead.

A missed knee drop opens the door for Trent, who pounced on that body part, taking Shingo into the ropes before a shinbreaker was fought out of. Shingo’s elbow, jab and lariat took Trent to the outside, where he’s posted repeatedly. Back inside, Shingo follows up with elbow drops and a crushing back senton, before Trent’s punched for blocking a suplex attempt.

Shingo gets that suplex off anyway, before an exchange of chops began to wake up the crowd. A chop to the hamstring led to a DDT from Trent, who then slammed Shingo into the ropes as he went back to targeting the knee and ankle of the former IWGP champion. Shingo catches a charging back elbow into the corner and suplexes Trent away, only to get caught with a snap Dragon suplex and an Emerald Flowsion in return for a near-fall.

Trent’s modified Figure Four forces Shingo into the ropes, before he shoves Shingo off the apron… only for a charge to the outside to get met with a forearm in the ropes by Shingo. Going back to the apron, Shingo hauls up Trent for a death valley driver onto the side of the ring, before clotheslines back inside led to a feint and a DDT from Shingo.

A sliding lariat from Shingo followed, before he looked for a Made in Japan… Trent slips out and goes for a Seven Star lariat, eventually landing it. A Bitter End from Trent’s countered into a Made in Japan for a near-fall, before the pair lariat’d each other repeatedly from close quarters.

A finger snap and a Bitter End’s good for a near-fall for Trent, who then pulled up Shingo in a bid to land a Tyler Driver… instead Shingo ‘rana’s free, before a ripcord lariat and a Last of the Dragon planted Trent for a near-fall. Heading to the corner, Trent’s taken up top as Shingo fought for a superplex, only for Trent to counter with an avalanche Emerald Flowsion for a near-fall… then a short piledriver for another near-fall…

Another lariat from Trent drops Shingo, who blocked a Seven Star and added a Last of the Dragon… for a delayed near-fall. Okay lads. We’re on the way home from there as Shingo pulled up Trent, leading to more strikes, ending with a headbutt and a sliding lariat for a one-count, before a Pumping Bomber got a near-fall for Shingo. Another Pumping Bomber followed after Trent had escaped Last of the Dragon… and that’s your lot. This really could have done with being a bit more compact timewise. Trent being the replacement wasn’t a bad call, and the match itself wasn’t a stinker, but this didn’t need to be north of 20 minutes, nowhere close. ***¼

Anthony Ogogo vs. Ricky Knight Jr.
Ogogo turned on RKJ during the Great British Tag League finals last time they were at Crystal Palace – which led to this obvious grudge match…

After RKJ had done a lap of the crowd, this one got off hot with RKJ jumping Ogogo, only to get taken into the ropes… a dropkick takes Ogogo to the outside as Knight followed with a flip senton into the aisle. Back inside, a 450 splash nearly puts Ogogo away in under a minute, before he took Ogogo back into the ropes for some chops.

Ogogo bails on those chops, then baited RKJ into a baseball slide, catching and spinning him into a Tower of London off the edge of the ring. Back inside, RKJ spins to the mat from a lariat, but Ogogo only gets a two-count, before he began to stomp away on RKJ, following up with forearms and elbows to the eye of RKJ.

A boot and a shoulder tackle from Ogogo gets a two-count, who was then baited into stomping RKJ in the corner, before an Irish whip took RKJ hard into the buckles. An overhead belly-to-belly’s next out of Ogogo, only for RKJ to catch him out of nowhere with a Randy Orton-esque scoop slam.

RKJ’s dropkicks in the corner go through Ogogo’s face, while a draping DDT back inside led to a two-count. Going back after the eye allows RKJ time to go back up top, but a stomp missues as a capture headbutt from Ogogo lands… before a moonsault press from RKJ was punched away.

From their knees, the pair trade shots… but a stomp to the foot and a small package gets RKJ a near-fall before a Razor’s Edge drew another two-count. Another springboard attempt from RKJ is caught as Ogogo hits a standing F5 for a near-fall, then an Olympic Slam, before a Fire Thunder Driver almost won it for RKJ.

Ogogo manages to escape a Muscle Buster, before he surprises RKJ with a Destroyer… RKJ slugs away on Ogogo, but gets caught with a single shot. Rather than an instant call-off, we’re getting a standing ten-count, but RKJ sits up at eight, only to get punched out again as Ogogo opted to go for the cover, and get the upset win. This was fine, but really didn’t connect with a lot of the crowd… **¾

Connor Mills vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
Mills has added a fur coat to his entrance gear, which I’m sure will go by the wayside in the summer…

The opening exchanges led us to Sabre taking down Mills, before Mills looked to evade Sabre’s takedowns. Sabre ties up Mills on one of his takedown attempts, but Mills got out of the hold as he forced Sabre into the ropes as they went hold-for-hold. A cravat from Mills was slid out by Sabre as they went to the mat, before Mills caught Sabre in a Young Boy Killer… but it’s escaped as Sabre pulled Mills to the mat and into a grounded Octopus.

A double wristlock from Mills ends in the ropes as Sabre slapped him on the break, before Mills lifted Sabre up top for a swift – and ugly – Dragon screw. Mills slaps away at the knee after that, before he peppered Sabre with kicks to the leg, taking him down to the mat as he wore down the former champion.

Sabre rolls to the ropes to force a break by Mills, but Mills stays on him, putting Sabre into a Tree of Woe for some more kicks to the leg… followed up by a low dropkick, which Sabre caught and turned into an ankle lock, freeing himself in the process. Mills rolls through as they counter each other’s ankle locks, until Sabre just punted Mills in the midsection.

Mills remained in trouble as Sabre set up for a Romero special, but instead just stomped Mills’ knees into the mat. A neck twist follows, as Sabre then worked over Mills’ wrist, ending in the ropes… albeit with a stomp to the elbow. Fighting dirty, Mills rakes Sabre’s nose before he trapped Zack in an Indian deathlock, holding on as Zack tries to slap his way free. Mills bridges back, but Sabre rolls forward and chases Mills to the outside, following up with a kick before taking things back inside.

Mills leaps over Sabre in the corner, and returned quickly with a dropkick… only for a follow-up suplex to be countered with a rear naked choke. Sabre traverses around Mills but it’s countered into a Ki Krusher for a near-fall for Mills. A PK from Mills is caught, but slaps to break it up ends up with Mills getting sent into the ropes for a rebound lariat, which almost put Sabre away.

A Cobra Twist from Sabre’s hiptossed away as Mills went back for a heel hook… Sabre’s quickly in the ropes, but has to stuff a Dragon screw as Mills ended up getting popped up into a cross armbreaker. Mills still finds a hold, going back to the heel hook, but ends up rolling free as Sabre transitioned between holds once more.

Things get more straightforward with kicks to the leg from Mills, before Sabre’s blistering palm strikes led to Mills going back to the leg, A Burning Cutter from Mills is countered, but he counters the counter into a Lebell lock… Sabre frees himself with headscissors, but Mills goes back with kicks to the head of Sabre before Zack got to the ropes to force the separation.

Restraining Sabre, Mills stomps away on Zack’s head, only for Sabre to hit right back with a Zack Driver for a near-fall. It’s quickly followed with a triangle choke as Sabre increases the pace, returning the favour with kicks to the head as Mills broke a hold and snapped Sabre’s foot over his head.

Sabre bulldog chokes Mills to avoid a Burning Cutter… but his leg gives out after he was dropped out of the hold. That allows Mills to blast through him with a pair of PKs for a near-fall, before the pair look to burst eardrums with strikes… and now Crystal Palace is awake! Sabre looked to give out first, but he hits a low dropkick after Mills missed one, following up with a tornado DDT. Another Zack Driver’s escaped, but Mills eats a second PK as both men were left on their haunches.

Mills flips off Sabre and gets himself another PK, before a fourth finally put Mills away. Not the result he wanted, but this was something of a coming out party as Connor Mills looks to be on a path to the top in 2024. ****¼

Rev Pro Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Michael Oku (c) vs. Will Ospreay
This was Ospreay’s last night in – but he’d promised to vacate the title if he beat Oku, with the story having been Ospreay’s perceived lack of respect for Oku throughout his career to date.

Big match entrances were on hand for both men, with Ospreay having dug into Ubisoft again for another Assassin’s Creed intro, complete with a guard of honour of minions wearing his old entrance gear. One of them also handed Ospreay a sword, which Oku walked towards as it was thrust his way… We’ve got rules, which got booed… per Oku’s request, there’s no referee stoppage unless Amira throws in the towel. Ospreay’d brought the bloodied towel from their last meeting, which he flung at Amira.

The crowd’s molten at the bell, as we get going with Ospreay going for Oku’s arm… but Oku counters as the pair headed into the ropes for a break. Ospreay chopped Oku on the break, but Oku walks away and refused to register it, instead returning with a pop-up ‘rana as Ospreay tried to get an early advantage.

Oku measures Ospreay for an uppercut, but Ospreay makes a way back in as he hung up Oku in the ropes, before a back suplex drew a one-count. Oku’s firmly on the defensive already as a chop took him to his knees, then into the corner, before a back cracker out of nowhere surprised Ospreay for a one-count.

Oku cuts off Ospreay with a knee to the midsection, only to get caught with a spinning backbreaker seconds later. A slam and a short kneedrop gets a two-count as Ospreay resumed wearing down the champion, keeping Oku at arm’s length for chops, before he absorbed a fightback… and leapt into a Cobra twist on Oku.

Ospreay digs his fist into Oku’s ribs during the hold… but Oku hiptosses free before he got chopped into the corner. Oku’s able to hit Ospreay with a missile dropkick right to the face, following up with a leaping clothesline and a satellite DDT as Ospreay was seemingly teeing up for another backbreaker.

A half crab’s pushed away, but Ospreay’s able to go one better with a handspring enziguiri to take Oku outside… with a plancha following seconds later. Back inside, a springboard forearm gets Ospreay a two-count… before a misdirection knee from Oku out of nowhere took Ospreay back outside, as Oku looked to add a Fosbury flop to the mix.

Ospreay avoids it though, meeting Oku on the apron… only to get hoisted up as Oku drove both knees onto the side of the ring. A springboard moonsault follows into the aisle rom there, before a froggy crossbody back inside added another two-count to Oku’s mental tally. Oku goes for a superplex, but he’s almost caught for a Cheeky Nando’s, escaping Ospreay at the last minute and coming back in with a dropkick before a top rope ‘rana was caught and turned into an Alley Oop.

Following up on the outside, Ospreay slingshots Oku into the ringpost, before he ripped at a cut as Oku had come up red. Kawada kicks back inside give Ospreay a chance to show off Oku’s blood on his kickpads, which he licked up, before Ospreay mockingly offered Oku a free shot. That just baited Oku into a snap half-and-half suplex, before a leaping piledriver made Oku an inch shorter… but didn’t end the match.

Oku’s up, but on jelly legs as Ospreay teed off on him, leading to a GODDAMN rolling blade to the back of the head. Oku crawls to the rope… and gets kicked through them onto the apron as Ospreay continued to taunt Amira to throw in the towel. Amira instead spits in Ospreay’s face, and ended up getting kicked into the guard rails for it… and the crowd’s now baying for blood.

Ospreay looks for an apron OsCutter, but gets shoved over the top to the floor as Oku went all El Generico on us with a tope across the corner into a DDT. Bloody hell Michael…

Ospreay’s bleeding now, not helped by Oku slingshotting him into the ring post… another running dropkick in the corner from Oku takes the crowd’s attention away from Tony Khan, who was watching this in one of the boxes. A second dropkick has Ospreay on all fours as Oku began to rain down forearms to the back of the head. A wild punch from Ospreay’s ducked and turned into a Dragon screw as Oku then began to go for the leg – yep, kicking Ospreay’s leg out of his leg – following up with shinbreakers before he backflipped Ospreay, forcing him to land on his knees. Work smarter, not harder.

Another half crab’s blocked, so Oku switches up for a Figure Four instead… Ospreay rolls the hold over, but Oku just switches it into the half crab as Ospreay dove into the ropes for the break. Oku was looking too comfortable and ends up eating a hook kick… only to return with an overhead kick before Ospreay found a way back with a double stomp.

A second misdirection knee’s avoided as a standing Spanish Fly nearly won it for Ospreay, who looked to add an OsCutter, eventually planting Oku on the second attempt for the nearest of near-falls. Oku flops to avoid a Hidden Blade, returning with a reverse ‘rana… only for Ospreay to waffle him with the Hidden Blade as he celebrated.

Ospreay gets a standing ten-count stopped as he got to his knees… he’s back in control, but Oku goes back to the leg of Ospreay, looking to chop him down before Ospreay’s strikes could land. That tactic works as Ospreay’s taken to his knees, only to return with a superkick and an enziguiri before Oku countered a Storm Breaker into a package tombstone. CHRIST.

Oku misses a frog splash, but landed on his feet as he instead slid in with a Blade to Ospreay for a near-fall… a second not-so-Hidden Blade sees Oku pull up Ospreay at two, just so he could land a third one and do it again. The crowd’s chanting for one more, prompting Oku to pull off his elbow pad, only to be beaten to the Blade. We resume with the pair trading shots, leading to a superkick from Oku… before Ospreay flipped in for a folding powerbomb. A Styles Clash quickly follows from the kick-out, but Oku keeps kicking out as we sail towards the 45-minute marker.

Amira’s dragged into the ring by Ospreay – who was dragging Oku – and a Hidden Blade seconds later ends up wiping her out as Oku ducked. Oops. Amira’s rolled away as Ospreay kept his eyes on the match, but Oku rolls Ospreay into a half crab… pulling him away from the ropes before Ospreay pulled Oku by the hair and pulled him into a NASTY STORM DRIVER.

A Hidden Blade follows, then a Storm Breaker… and with the crowd raining down boos Oku… just about kicks out! Holy hell, this crowd is boiling! Another Hidden Blade’s teased by Ospreay, but it’s turned into a snap ‘rana for a near-fall by Oku… then a Sega Mega Driver! For Mad Kurt… That’s followed up with a frog splash to the back… then to the front… but he pulls up Ospreay at two so he could roll in for a half crab, and after wrenching all the way back, Will Ospreay finally taps out as Michael Oku finally gets the biggest scalp of his career. Story. Finished. *****

After the match, Oku offered Ospreay his hand… and got the handshake. Ospreay hands the belt over to Oku, who then exited stage left so Will Ospreay could get his farewell… where he thanked New Japan and Rev Pro before telling the crowd “see you at Wembley.” Tony Khan even popped up to get Ospreay to plug All In, as the night ended with Ospreay showering thanks, and the crowd getting Elevated for one last time as Ospreay donned an AEW hoodie… said farewell to those in the front row, and was hugged by Zack Sabre Jr. at the curtain.

The final score: review Amazing
The 411
High Stakes was a show marked with high tension at the end, and a show that’ll be remembered in the summaries for it being Will Ospreay’s final independent date. Sure, it finished out with the slam dunk five-stars for Oku/Ospreay, but 2024’s High Stakes was a show that started out strong - and for the most part - held up. If you’re dropping by for the main event, make damn sure you’re checking out Luke Jacobs vs. JJ Gale, Connor Mills vs. Trent Seven and the Young Bloods vs. Trew & Lacey…