wrestling / TV Reports

Hamilton’s Rev Pro Live at the Portsmouth Guildhall 04.16.2023 Review

April 18, 2023 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
Rev Pro - Live at the Portsmouth Guildhall - Michael Oku vs. Dan Moloney Image Credit: Rev Pro
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Hamilton’s Rev Pro Live at the Portsmouth Guildhall 04.16.2023 Review  

Quick Results
Jordon Breaks pinned Will Kaven in 10:50 (**¾)
Blake pinned Joshua James in 11:52 (**¾)
Skye Smitson pinned Maya Matthews in 11:43 to retain the Southside Women’s Championship (***)
Robbie X pinned Callum Newman & JJ Gale in 15:23 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship (***¼)
Connor Mills pinned Cameron Khai in 14:46 (***¼)
Michael Oku pinned Dan Moloney in 13:27 (***½)
Ricky Knight Jr. & Sha Samuels pinned Gideon Grey & Lucian Phillips in 12:59 (***¼)

— If you’re on Twitter, give me a follow over on @IanWrestling. I’m also over on Mastodon, for those of you preparing for a post-Twitter world… catch me here… and check out the GoFundMe that’s still open for Larry’s family.

— To watch this show, head over to RevProOnDemand.com – they’re currently running a free trial…

It’s Rev Pro’s first visit to the Portsmouth Guildhall since October 2022 – a show which saw Mad Kurt team up with Minoru Suzuki in the main event. Neither of those two are here today, as we’ve got commentary from Andy Quildan and Gio… Nolastname, once we get going anyways.

Will Kaven vs. Jordon Breaks
We’ve got a clash of styles in the opener, with Breaks taking Kaven to the mat almost immediately.

A roll-up from Breaks gets a two-count as Kaven backed into the ropes. Kaven’s attempt to play Breaks’ game early backfired as Breaks flips and kicks away a wristlock, then kicked away Kaven after some biting. Breaks looked to be a step ahead in the early going, slingshotting Kaven into the corner before flipping him into a wacky upside down submission attempt.

Kaven manages to escape, but his attempt at a slingshot’s countered with a springboard out of the corner for a two-count from Breaks, whose Breaks Special submission ends up getting countered as Kaven lifted him onto the top rope, then shoved him to the floor. Back inside, Kaven put the boots to Breaks, who was able to get back in with a Breaks Special, rolling Kaven down to the mat as a roll-up drew a near-fall.

Breaks gets booted down after the kick-out, as Kaven measured things up for an attempted half-and-half suplex. A reverse DDT from Breaks stopped that though, as a headbutt to the midsection picks up a two-count. That allowed Breaks to pull ahead with an inverted knuckle lock, heading towards a Fujiwara-ish armbar in the ropes as Kaven tried to use the ring to his advantage.

A neckbreaker over the top rope got Kaven back in it, with a diving knee almost winning it. Breaks’ arm whip dumps Kaven though, as a twister suplex and the Breaks Special looked to lead to a win… but Kaven powered out and countered with a Michinoku Driver for a near-fall. A missed headbutt to the gut allowed Kaven a chance with a roll-up, but Breaks broke free and quickly took home the win with a Euro clutch – keeping the needling alive ahead of a likely match with Zack Sabre Jr. **¾

Joshua James vs. Blake
This was set up last week in Southampton, when Blake and James got into a shoving match…

We open with forearms and chops as the pair just to clatter each other early on, but it’s James who’s thrown outside for a tope from Blake in the opening minutes. James is right back with forearms though as Blake looked to wear down the hometown hero. Back inside, a suplex has Blake in the corner, with a clothesline and a splash off the ropes almost putting Blake away.

The pair try for a German suplex, but Blake just clotheslines James down, while a slam and a splash barely picked up a one-count for Blake. Strikes from Blake keep James on the defensive, as a deadlift suplex nearly got the win before Blake kept it grounded with a chinlock.

James fought free, but gets thrown down with a side suplex for a two-count, while some choking in the ropes set up Blake for a powerbomb… but James is able to escape it and return with a POUNCE. Pushing on, a pop-up spinebuster allowed James to head up for a splash off the middle rope, but it’s not enough to put Blake away.

Blake escapes a chokeslam as a sit-out splash in the corner caught out James… then a delayed back throw and a back senton squashes James for a near-fall. James manages to hit that chokeslam a few moments later, getting a near-fall before another trip up the turnbuckles ended with Blake cutting off James for an eventual top rope ‘rana?! Blake follows up with a Border Toss from there, and that’s enough for the win. **¾

Southside Women’s Championship: Maya Matthews vs. Skye Smitson (c)
Maya’s win over Dani Luna last week in Southampton earned her this shot…

Smitson takes Matthews to the corner from the off as she looked to intimidate her challenger, only for Matthews to return the favour… and fight back when she was patronised. A series of forearms keeps Skye by the ropes, before some misdirection allowed Matthews in with a crossbody for a two-count.

A dropkick from Smitson manages to stem the tide, with Matthews then getting taken to the corner with some body blows as Smitson began to look in control. Matthews floats over Smitson in the corner, then leapt onto the back for a sleeperhold… getting spun out as Lucian Phillips at ringside tripped up Matthews, allowing Skye to reclaim a foothold in things. Some headscissors from Matthews looked to offer hope, but a follow-up crossbody is caught and suplexed away for a near-fall.

Matthews’ clotheslines are shrugged off by Smitson, who returned with one of her own for a two-count. A Bull lariat from Matthews moments later turn it around, only for Phillips to again distract Matthews… then get booted off the apron as Maya almost nicked it with a roll-up. Pushing on, Matthews looks for a cutter, but had more luck with a shotgun dropkick out of the corner for a near-fall.

Smitson almost wins with a roll-up and a handful of tights as the pair were in the home stretch… while a Slingblade and a spear almost led to the title change. Matthews tees up for some more spears, before a cutter left Smitson laying in the middle of the ring. She takes her time following up, opting to head up top instead… another distraction allows Phillips to shove Matthews off the top, as Smitson came in with an Air Raid Crash, a leaping knee, then the Smitson Effect to get the win. I wasn’t too crazy with Smitson needing a tonne of help to get the win, but Matthews coming so close to the win ought to land her in good stead for the future. ***

Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: Callum Newman vs. JJ Gale vs. Robbie X (c)
A rematch from earlier this month at the 229 in London… for those who were there live, at least, since an injury to JJ Gale led to the match being chopped from the VOD.

A tentative start quickly gives way as Gale tries for a roll-up on Robbie X – and it’s fast-paced stuff as we reached a triple-dropkick stand-off in around a minute. Robbie X’s chops looked to have Newman on the back foot, but Callum turns up the pace and clattered into the champion with a dropkick, before his former tag partner JJ Gale found a way in with a springboard ‘rana out of the corner.

Gale’s bulldog/dropkick combo has him ahead, but a delayed cover means he doesn’t even get a one-count. Cartwheel dropkicks see Robbie X step ahead of Newman for another delayed cover, before a standing moonsault earned a two-count as Robbie X instantly headed to the apron to dropkick Gale back down to the floor.

Shoulder charges from Robbie X keep Newman cornered… Robbie misses a moonsault off the top, right as JJ Gale came in to score with an uppercut for a two-count. Newman suggests a partnership against Robbie X here, with the pair sending Robbie into the turnbuckles a la Bret Hart ahead of a double-team suplex.

Robbie X fights back, but is cut off quickly as a double-team back body drop brought down Robbie with snow. Neither man capitalises as Newman rolled up Gale for a two-count… Gale’s O’Connor roll gets him a two-count as well, before he got sent onto the apron and knocked off by a handspring kick from Robbie X.

Newman’s chopped into the ropes by Robbie X, as a pacey exchange off the rope sends with the pair hitting head kicks and kip-ups before JJ Gale moonsaulted into the pair of them. Gale lands on his feet as Robbie X went for a monkey flip… then leapt off of the champion into Newman in the corner. Gale busts out a Destroyer for a near-fall as we keep going, with a rewind double stomp off the top from Newman to Gale almost winning it.

A hook kick from Newman and a Tiger suplex almost puts Robbie X away, before a corkscrew kick from Robbie X in the corner left him open for Gale to attack… only for Gale to get tripped into a cannonball into Newman in the corner. Robbie’s Spiral Tap off the top nearly puts Gale away from there, as all three men trade strikes.

Robbie X’s springboard moonsault lands in a pair of superkicks, but it’s Gale who struck first afterwards, landing a springboard cutter for a near-fall on Newman. The pin’s broken up as Robbie X heads up top with Gale, only to get crotched on the ropes as Newman looked to capitalise with a superplex… with Robbie X eventually triggering the Tower of Doom with a sunset flip powerbomb.

The champion adds some dives, clipping the ropes on the way through to a tope on Gale… a cleaner one takes out Newman, who manages to land a roll-up and a standing moonsault for a pair of near-falls. Newman aborts a Phoenix splash, only to get caught with the X-Claimation seconds later as Robbie X escaped with the win. This was action-packed stuff – perhaps a little too much at times for my tastes – as Robbie X stretched his title run some more here. ***¼

Connor Mills vs. Cameron Khai
Mills looks to be pushing for a Cruiserweight title shot – having come super close to winning it on two separate occasions.

The Portsmouth crowd were obviously on Khai’s side, but Mills looked to take an early advantage, working over Khai with a chinbar before a roll-up drew a two-count for Khai. Mills goes back to the arm, only for Khai to return with some armdrags as Mills ended up taking him to the ropes.

A shoulder tackle of the ropes gets Mills a one-count, before Mills got knocked into the ropes with a leaping forearm. Khai stays on him, landing a neckbreaker for a two-count before he proceeded to chop Mills around the ring. Mills ducks a ripcord clothesline, then dumped Khai into the ropes ahead of a clothesline to knock him to the floor, as more chops followed around ringside.

Back inside, Mills throws Khai into the corner as he began to take control of the match, measuring up Khai for some right hands… but Khai’s able to find a way back, landing an elbow drop after he’d been thrown into the corner. Leaping forearms from Khai keep him ahead, but a superkick’s not enough to get the win… a ripcord forearm and a deadlift Falcon arrow gets him a little closer, but Mills kicks out in the nick of time.

Mills tries to block another suplex, eventually suplexing Khai into the ropes… this time Khai strikes back with a clothesline to knock Mills down ahead of a slingshot cutter. It’s caught, with Mills instead running back with a leg lariat in the corner… following with an Orange Crush Bomb for a near-fall. That’s the kind of move that ought to be winning matches like these…

Khai stares daggers at Mills after a series of strikes, retaliating in kind before he got taken up top as Mills hit a superplex, only to get rolled through on impact into an over-the-knee brainbuster. That nearly wins it for Khai, as did a follow-up knee strike, before Mills blocked another slingshot cutter… before cutting off Khai with a rebound lariat for the win. You could argue that Mills perhaps could have won this one a little quicker given his standing, but that’s not how Rev Pro do things. ***¼

Post-match, Mills offers a hand up to Khai, only to dish out a low blow for some afters as Robbie X made the save… title belt in hand.

Dan Moloney vs. Michael Oku
A rematch from Sheffield a month earlier, Moloney’s sporting that United Empire armband as he looked to keep his unbeaten 2023 in Rev Pro going. Yeah, that stat surprised me too…

Moloney powders outside at the bell, only to get caught with a series of right hands from Oku after making it back in. A shoulder tackle manages to take down Oku, who replies with a series of armdrag takedowns to keep Moloney on the back foot. Stomps from Oku take Moloney into the corner, but Dan fires back with some blistering chops… only to get rana’d and dropkicked out of the ring.

Oku tries to pull Moloney back into the ring, but Dan slammed him from the apron… then dropped Oku across the guard rails as a chop sent the Revolution Rumble winner into the crowd. Beating the count-out, Oku just gets met with a slam as Moloney stayed on top of him, before he took Oku into the corners with Irish whips.

Stomps from Moloney target Oku’s legs, before another Irish whip almost saw Oku clip through the turnbuckles. Glitched. Moloney aims for Oku’s wrist with more stomps, before Oku finally charged back into it with an uppercut out of the corner. A splash into Moloney in the corner keeps Oku on top, as he proceeds to trip Moloney in search of a half crab… but it’s countered into a cradle for a near-fall.

A snap DDT from Oku gets another near-fall, before Moloney eventually hit back with a spear, having baited Oku into another half crab. Oku kicks out, then found a way to block a Drilla as the pair end up charging into the corner. Cue a teased ref bump, which gave Moloney cover to mule kick Oku low, as a second spear almost won it for the Empire’s newest addition. A shoving match with Moloney and referee Chris Hatch allowed Oku in with a misdirection knee for a two-count, while a springboard moonsault keeps Oku ahead.

Moloney heads outside as I have to shout Scotty Anton’s old ECW theme out of my head… just in time for a Fosbury flop from Oku. Rolling Moloney back inside, Oku heads up for a frog splash, but Moloney rolled away, only to get tripped into a half crab. Oku pulls him away from the ropes, but gets pushed away as Oku then switched up for a frog splash off the top that almost got the W.

The crowd falls silent as commentary surmises Oku had done his shoulder again… Moloney kips up and tries to capitalise with a Drilla, only for Oku to slip out and snatch the win with a roll-up. I’m surprised that they went this route – given Moloney’s quietly-build unbeaten run… but given Oku’s got a title shot in just under three months, we’re going to get a fair amount of Oku against the Legion. Especially if the United Empire’s presence is going to be focused in Japan… ***½

The Legion (Gideon Grey & Lucian Phillips) vs. Sha Samuels & Ricky Knight Jr.
This was set up in Southampton, after it looked like Sha Samuels and RKJ were making a beeline for a tag title shot.

The Legion jump their opponents before the bell, with Gideon and Phillips getting their shots in before a doe-see-doe and clotheslines had the Legion pair on the back foot. Phillips eventually pratfalls into a headbutt on Gideon’s Greys as we finally get going with Sha snapmaring Phillips down for a volley to the spine.

RKJ’s in for his half of a double clothesline, then brought Sha back in as a back elbow dumped Phillips to the mat. Grey’s back as he tripped up RKJ in the ropes, allowing Phillips to capitalise as he knocked Knight into the corner… before Grey began to yank RKJ’s arm over his shoulder. If you’ve seen wrestling for any period of time, you’ll know what this is building to, and as always, the pay-off was GLORIOUS. Especially because Gideon had spent his time antagonising the crowd in between those shots…

Sha tags back in to clear house on Phillips… there’s a shot for Gideon too as a clothesline dumped Lucian. Another attempt at a distraction from Gideon pays off as Phillips press slammed Sha off the top for a two-count. Gideon gets the tag back in as he hooked away on Sha, while a reverse STO from Phillips almost put away the former champion.

The Legion tandem continued their – mostly inspired by Phillips – effectiveness here, with Sha almost knocking Gideon off the apron as he got ran into the leader’s boot. Sha’s taken into the corner with Irish whips from Phillips, before Gideon eventually got the comeuppance, with Sha blocking a whip as he instead took Grey into the corner… before Grey leapt into a spinebuster.

Sha finally makes the hot tag out to RKJ, who lands a Pedigree on Phillips for a near-fall, before Gideon charged into Phillips in the opposite corner. RKJ shows off with a stacked up Samoan drop on the Legion, prompting Skye Smitson to run down to ringside… distracting the ref as Phillips was able to hit a low blow to RKJ.

A sandwich of clotheslines from the Legion looked to set up RKJ for the Deep Wounds, but Sha breaks it up… only to take the Deep Wounds himself. RKJ’s legal though, and eats a double chokeslam for a near-fall as the Legion almost took the W. Phillips goes for Gideon Grey’s cane as Maya Matthews ran out to neutralise Skye Smitson… the layered distraction allowed Gideon to crack RKJ with Skye’s title belt, but Phillips still can’t get the win as Smitson and Matthews fought to the back.

Another attempt at Deep Wounds on RKJ is thwarted as Sha Samuels leapt into the Legion off the top rope… an East End Destroyer on Gideon’s next, before RKJ returned for stuff Fire Thunder Driver – almost like the old Midnight Hour – to get the win. I guess that sets up Sha and RKJ for a crack at the Greedy Souls – although commentary did bring up the Great British Tag League, so there’s always that later in the year… ***¼

The final score: review Good
The 411
Things looks to be quietening down a little for Rev Pro - judging by their slate of upcoming dates - although with a new York Hall date announced for July, things will be ramping up pretty soonish. As for this show, the delayed Cruiserweight 3-way’s worth a shout if you’re into that style, while Oku/Moloney perhaps was the match of the night.

article topics :

Rev Pro, Ian Hamilton