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Hamilton’s Rev Pro Live in Cardiff 02.24.2023 Review

February 25, 2023 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
Rev Pro - Live in Cardiff - Will Ospreay vs. Big Damo Image Source: Revolution Pro Wrestling
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Hamilton’s Rev Pro Live in Cardiff 02.24.2023 Review  

Quick Results
Connor Mills pinned David Francisco in 11:00 (***½)
Dan Moloney pinned Yota Tsuji in 11:27 (***¼)
Brendan White & Danny Jones pinned Nico Inverardi & Mirko Mori in 12:24 (***¼)
Francesco Akira pinned Leon Slater in 14:20 (***½)
Dani Luna pinned Skye Smitson in 11:08 to retain the Southside Women’s Championship (***)
Robbie X defeated Harrison Bennett via referee stoppage in 14:26 to retain the Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship (***¼)
Will Ospreay pinned Big Damo in 16:15 (***¾)

— 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 two-week free trial…

It’s been over five years, but Rev Pro are back in Cardiff at the Tramshed… Andy Quildan’s running solo on commentary for the first half of the show.

David Francisco vs. Connor Mills
Francisco was filling in for Ricky Knight Jr., who dropped out due to travel issues…

Francisco was smart to Mills’ early attack, sidestepping a charge as he took Mills into the opposite corner with a shoulder charge. A stalling suplex gets the Contender barely a one count, before Mills kicked Francisco as he went in the ropes. More kicks knock Francisco to the outside for a drink-spilling tope, while a snapmare and a kick to the back rocked Francisco on the floor.

Back inside, Mills absorbs strikes and fired back with another kick to the back, while a chop rang around the Tramshed. A grounded abdominal stretch is fought out of by Francisco by way of a jaw breaker, leading to a sunset flip out of the corner as a fightback continued.

Mills gets chopped on the back, but kicks Francisco as he came out of the corner. It nearly won the match for Mills, as Francisco tried to force an opening with elbows. He’s taken into the corner with a short shotgun dropkick, before a superplex from Francisco was bitten out of. Francisco’s headbutted to the mat, but manages to spin Mills with a clothesline a la Rikishi seconds later.

We’ve a nice back body drop from Francisco for a near-fall, but Mills is able to kick his way back in… eventually landing the rebound lariat for a near-fall. My feed drops, but recovers in times to see Mills escape a suplex, only to run into a death valley driver… he rolls outside, but can’t avoid a thru-the-ropes dropkick from Francisco, before an elbow drop back inside almost got the upset win.

Francisco goes for roll-ups, then went for a stalling uranage… Mills wrestles free before a sit-out X-Plex almost scored the win. Mills pulls up his kickpad for one final blow, landing a head kick to Francisco for the definitive win. This was freaking great – Francisco is getting closer to that statement win, but tonight wasn’t to be. ***½

Mills took the mic afterwards and promised to keep knocking folks down… and “sooner or later, everybody dies.” Say hi to Lance for me, Connor…

Yota Tsuji vs. Dan Moloney
It’s the first of Gideon Grey’s challenges for Dan – who needs to run the proverbial gauntlet to get a match with Will Ospreay at York Hall next month…

Tsuji and Moloney trade wristlocks to start, but Moloney slips out to throw some chops… only to get bulldozed down. Dan kips up as we’re right back to strikes, before Tsuji hit the ropes… and ran into a dropkick. It’s good for a two-count for Moloney, who took Tsuji to the corner for some chops, before Tsuji’s push-down stomp out of the corner bought him some breathing room.

A snapmare from Tsuji led to a kick to the back of a defiant Moloney, before Tsuji lifted Moloney onto the apron… then tripped him up as a baseball slide knocked Dan to the floor. We’re back to chops as the pair went around ringside, before Tsuji returned with a standing Blue Thunder driver after they returned to the ring.

Moloney invites some kicks from Tsuji, and got booted into the ropes for his troubles… right as the feed buffered away. We’re back with the pair trading elbows and chops, leading to a snap Dragon suplex from Moloney to end that particular exchange. The pair trade superkicks ahead of a tiltawhirl headscissors from Tsuji, then a tiltawhirl backbreaker as we buffer…

A Fireman’s carry gutbuster gets Tsuji a near-fall, before Moloney stomped away a sunset flip attempt. A spear followed, but it’s not enough for Moloney to get the win, before he went for a Drilla… but Tsuji armdrags his way free, then charged back with a clothesline. Tsuji teases a Vertebreaker, but Moloney sits up… only to get powerbombed for a near-fall, before a German suplex landed. Dan’s right back with a spear… then a Drilla… and that’s enough for Moloney to knock through his first challenge. A good big lad’s match – as we wait to see who’s next… ***¼

Moloney gets the mic and poked fun at how he’s being made to “earn the right” to face Will Ospreay. He calls out Ospreay to have their match now, but of course it’s not happening as officials and trainees tried to coax Moloney to the back. Yep, they all got killed.

Before the bell went for the next match, security’s seen muscling Dan Moloney from the back, bringing him through the crowd to throw him out… still in his boots and trunks.

Greedy Souls (Brendan White & Danny Jones) vs. BBB (Mirko Mori & Nico Inverardi)
More Rev Pro debuts here, with BBB – the Brixia Bone Breakers – getting a non-title match here. Those of you with long memories might remember Mori from PROGRESS’ old Freedoms Road show, while we last saw Nico – under another name – on the wXw NOW showcase back in 2020, defending the Rising Sun title against Luca de Pazzi. BBB just won the Milan Wrestling Federation tag titles last Saturday too… beating AB Knight and Max Peach, whom you’ll know elsewhere as Massimo Pesca. European wrestling’s all interwoven these days, eh?

The Greedy Souls were getting cheered in their home country, even for attacking BBB from behind to start the match as we started with Jones and Inverardi. Nico hits the ropes and manages to take down Jones with a dropkick, before he added a leaping ‘rana off the middle rope. A Northern Lights suplex gets Inverardi a two-count, before Mirko Mori tagged in and ended a double-teaming exchange with a slingshot splash.

Mori goes for a sunset flip, but Jones avoids it and tagged in Brendan White… Inverardi tags back in too and began to stomp on White’s elbow. Another quick tag brings Jones back in as a slam from White took Inverardi down, as did a neckbreaker, this time for a two-count on the Italian.

White charges to knock Mori off the apron… and cued up the distraction from Mori as he protested. That left Inverardi in the wrong corner, taking a kicking from the tag champions, and some back sentons too as the Greedy Souls pushed on. Chops follow as Inverardi’s chucked into the turnbuckles, before White hauled him up onto his shoulders… and threw him down into an uppercut from Jones for a two-count.

A finger-snapper from Jones keeps Inverardi grounded, ahead of a backbreaker from White that picked up a solid two-count. More double-teaming from the Greedy Souls drew protests from Mori, but Inverardi finally began to fight out of the Souls’ corner, eventually leaping over Jones before throwing Danny with an Exploder. Tags bring in White and Mori, with Mirko’s leaping back senton putting him ahead as a gamengiri met White in the corner ahead of a running punt kick.

A tornado DDT out of the corner gets Mori a near-fall, as did a knee strike, before Inverardi came in… but Mori’s tripped and taken outside by Jones. That allowed the Greedy Souls back in to double-team Inverardi for a near-fall, before a pop-up powerslam added another two-count.

Jones is back in now as the pair charge Inverardi in the corner… but Mori adds a double stomp after Inverardi surprised the Souls with a Destroyer. Danny’s sandwiched between sliding forearms before a Chasing the Dragon almost got BBB the big upset. White breaks up the cover, then got thrown outside by Inverardi…

BBB can’t quite follow-up though, as Jones is able to tag Brendan White in to go wild with clotheslines and slams, before a backbreaker almost put Inverardi away. Double-teaming followed to Inverardi as a slingshot Black Hole Slam almost wins it, before Mori’s popped up into a boot… leaving Inverardi alone for the Soul Destroyer as the champions win. What I saw of this was pretty damn good, with the newcomers holding their own before getting blitzed away by the fan-favourites here. ***¼

Francesco Akira vs. Leon Slater
It’s another big test for Leon Slater, who’s starting to build up a string of L’s in Rev Pro…

Slater surprises Akira with a dropkick in the corner at the bell, then with a running front kick that took the Italian outside. A through-the-ropes dropkick keeps Akira on the back foot ahead of a 450 splash back inside that almost won it for Slater inside 35 seconds!

Recovering, Akira takes Slater into the corner… but again got sent outside as Slater prepared for the over-the-turnbuckles dive, only to get caught with a missile dropkick. We’re back outside with Akira and Slater trading chops, with Slater getting posted ahead of more chops back inside.

Akira whips Slater across the ring… then cut off a springboard with a dropkick and a back cracker out of the corner for a near-fall. Targeting the back, Akira keeps Slater in the corner, then grounded Leon with a chinlock… before a clothesline took a fighting Slater back down. A neckbreaker gets Akira a two-count, as we’re back to the chinlock, before more kicks continued to wear down Slater as he tried to get back to his feet.

Slater blisters Akira with a chop, before a long spot of rope-running led to a lofty crossbody from Slater. A floatover from Akira sets up for a handspring back elbow off the ropes for a near-fall, as my feed stuttered once more. We’re back with the pair trading elbows, until Akira’s superkick earned him a standing Blue Thunder Bomb and a Twister suplex from Slater for a pair of two-counts.

Akira cuts off Slater as he went up top, but gets shoved down… he tries again, this time having more luck with a top rope ‘rana, before an elevated German suplex bridged for a near-fall. A buzzsaw kick from Akira sinks Slater, but Leon ducks a running Meteora, before almost losing to a roll-up.

A leg lariat and a standing moonsault from Slater turns up the tempo as he inched closer to the win. They trade blows, but it’s a Slater superkick that takes things back outside as Leon hit the ropes for the over-the-turnbuckle dive. Back inside, Slater’s quickly on the back foot, just about kicking out from the Speedfire, before he took the Meteora to the back of the head as the junior tag champion took home the win. Slater’s moments will come, but he’s more than holding his own against bigger name foes in big spots. ***½

Southside Women’s Championship: Skye Smitson vs. Dani Luna (c)
Smitson returned to Rev Pro earlier this month, attacking Luna at the 229 show… and that’s led to this title match.

Dani got a similar reaction to the Greedy Souls, with the home field advantage as she started out brightly, taking Smitson into the corners ahead of a sliding lariat for an early one-count. Smitson returns with an elbow, but gets charged down with a forearm for a two-count, while rolling suplexes from Luna helped her pick up a couple more pin attempts… until Smitson’s inside cradle and a dropkick turned the tides.

Smitson chokes away on Luna in the ropes, before a fallway slam from Luna… led to her charging shoulder-first into the ring post. From that unforced error, Smitson took over again, keeping Luna down in almost a Cobra clutch, with Dani throwing her free… only to get kicked right back down. Going back to the clutch, Smitson keeps control, with Luna again throwing her way free before edging ahead as the pair traded blows.

A back elbow and a bodyslam drops Smitson, who then got flung across the ring with an Exploder… while a sliding Flatliner earned the champion a two-count. A rebound Blue Thunder bomb off the ropes keeps Luna ahead, as she was getting cheers from the Welsh crowd.

See-saw pins see the pair trade two-counts, but it’s a front kick from Luna that knocks Skye down. Both women kip up back to their feet, trading blows again ahead of a Smitson spinebuster for a near-fall. A rising clothesline from Luna turns it around, as a powerbomb ragdolled Smitson for a near-fall… leading to another clothesline as Luna almost retained her title.

Smitson escapes the Darkness Falls, and lands a powerbomb of her own for a two-count. Ground and pound follows, before Luna powdered outside… and dragged Skye with her, There’s a kick to Smitson on the apron, before Skye swept the leg… then pulled up Dani for an Air Raid Crash onto the side of the ring. Back inside… Smitson tried to keep control, but got rolled up for the flash pin as Luna retained! ***

Smitson’s right on Luna as the pair brawled to the back… and this feud must continue… albeit in a place where both women are likely to get booed…

Rev Pro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: Harrison Bennett vs. Robbie X (c)
Bennett attacked Robbie X in Southampton last weekend – so the former Man Like Beano’s getting a title shot on his debut. Calculated.

Bennett played up the good reaction from the Cardiff crowd, keeping up the sorta-bizarro world theme that’s been running. When we get going, the pair exchange right hands as Robbie X hit the ropes and caught Bennett’s leapfrog with a dropkick… staying on him with chops and a senton atomico from the apron in.

Robbie X keeps control with a suplex, floating over for a one-count on the landing, while a grounded abdominal stretch looked to slow down the pace a little. Bennett’s hung up in the ropes for a springboard senton to the back, before chops from Robbie X changed things up as Bennett thought he was going for the cartwheel dropkick.

Some misdirection allowed Bennett in with a tooth-rattling clothesline, then a butterfly suplex as the challenger began to take over. A diving uppercut to the back’s good for a one-count, before a back elbow dumped Robbie X ahead of another suplex for a two-count.

A running uppercut, then a forearm into the corner traps Robbie X, but he avoids a low dropkick from Bennett… only to get flipped inside out with a dropkick seconds later. Robbie spills outside from that, but makes it back inside as Bennett retained control, grounding the champion with a chinlock before Robbie X blocked another suplex.

After jockeying over a suplex, a clothesline and a back elbow from Robbie X led to the hiptoss/cartwheel dropkick, before the Molly Go Round caught Bennett unawares. The corkscrew kick keeps Bennett in the corner ahead of a shooting star press out of it for a near-fall… Bennett’s able to trip Robbie X into the corner ahead of an apron superkick, while a stomp back into the ring drew a two-count. Robbie X manages to return with a superkick of his own, then an overhead kick before Bennett swatted away a handspring with a rolling elbow.

An exchange of strikes led to a chop from Bennett, who then ended up on the apron, and met with a handspring kick to knock him off. Robbie throws him back in for a Finlay roll, then a moonsault amid some buffering, returning with a full nelson slam from Bennett for a near-fall. Bennett looks for the elevated uranage, but Robbie X escapes… then hit the ropes for an X-Clamation for a near-fall.

Robbie keeps going, dumping Bennett into the corner ahead of an attempted spiral tap… but Bennett rolls away and charged into Robbie X in the corner with a running kick. A diving gamengiri followed from Bennett, before a switcheroo led to Robbie X going for a springboard, only to get caught with a spinebuster. Bennett’s unable to get up from that, and the match gets waved off as Bennett looked to have injured his shoulder. We wish the best for Harrison in his recovery – and hopefully these two get to run it back with a bit more build! ***¼

Big Damo vs. Will Ospreay
This weekend’s pair of shows for Rev Pro have been built around Will Ospreay challenging names from the UK scene… and it’s a return to Rev Pro after over a year for Big Damo.

Ospreay got a LOUD reaction in Cardiff, aaand this is where I had to ditch the live stream because of buffering issues. Luckily, Rev Pro got it online the next morning, so let’s go! It’s Ospreay who charges out of the gates early, going after Damo with big kicks, taking the big man outside for a slingshot forearm… before he countered an attempt at a posting, with Damo getting the steel instead.

Back inside, Damo’s able to squish Ospreay with a running crossbody out of the corner, then with a back senton as he began to pick his spots. Body blows trap Ospreay in the corner ahead of a whip chest-first into the opposite buckles, while a slam and a sit-out splash continued to keep Ospreay at bay.

With Gio on commentary alluding to Ospreay’s illness – and perhaps him being made into a human Play-Doh machine with some of the impacts here – Ospreay’s taken down with an apron uranage ahead of a senton atomico from Damo… but Ospreay tries to fire back amid a series of uppercuts, eventually finding a way in with a handspring enziguiri.

Ospreay’s back to his feet for a running kick into the corner, then the springboard forearm, before it’s time for chops and kicks as Damo then blocked an OsCutter… pulling Ospreay into a Blue Thunder Bomb for a near-fall. A wall-flip enziguiri stops Damo’s comeback, while another flying forearm off the top knocked Damo down.

Ospreay calls for a Hidden Blade… but Damo ducks it and popped up with a death valley driver instead for a near-fall. An exchange of yay/boo strikes favoured Ospreay, but a hook kick’s caught as Damo then ran into a standing Spanish Fly?! It’s good for a two-count before another Hidden Blade’s caught and turned into a powerbomb, with a leaping elbow drop almost snatching the win for Damo.

Damo pulls Ospreay to the corner for a Vader Bomb, but Ospreay slips up and turns it into a Cheeky Nando’s kick… a powerbomb out of the corner’s next as Ospreay stacked up the big man for a near-fall, before a teased Storm Breaker was countered out of, with Damo sitting down as Ospreay tried to go for a sunset flip.

Damo followed up with a splash and a cannonball into the corner for a near-fall, following up with a Wasteland and a back senton as he continued to try and flatten Ospreay. Another strike exchange this time favours Damo as he pawed at Ospreay with swinging lariats, eventually dumping the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion with one for a near-fall… ahead of an attempted Ulster Plantation.

Ospreay counters it into a Victory Roll though for a near-fall, before hitting an OsCutter off the middle rope… but Damo’s up at one?! A leaping Hidden Blade to the face gets a near-fall, before another Hidden Blade was stopped with a shotgun dropkick. Ospreay barely kicks out in time from that, but was able to return with some hook kicks… only to get wiped out with a lariat.

It’s still not enough to put Ospreay away though, as he then escaped another Vader Bomb attempt, returning with a swift Hidden Blade. A super OsCutter off the top rope fonts its mark, before Ospreay rolled through and managed to haul up the big man for a huge Storm Breaker for the win. This was different from a lot of your usual Ospreay matches, thanks to the size difference, but Damo more than brought it here – with Ospreay having to dig super deep to get that win. ***¾

The final score: review Good
The 411
A hot crowd boosts any wrestling show, and - watching what I could live - Cardiff was rocking for this one. This didn’t feel like a throwaway show either - with stuff building up for bigger shows - and coming in under the two and a half hour mark (after the interval)... a nice, tidy card!

article topics :

Rev Pro, Ian Hamilton