wrestling / Video Reviews

Views from the Hawke’s Nest: Revolution Pro Summer Sizzler 2015

June 17, 2015 | Posted by TJ Hawke

June 14, 2015
Bethnal Green, Greater London

 

The dark match was Tommy End vs. Josh Bodom. You can watch it here. This felt like a Tommy End showcase match to set him up for a title match or something…then Bodom kicked the ropes into End’s balls before doing a rope-assisted piledriver to win the match. Odd layout for a match. It seems like one of those matches where neither person gets over: End being the failure and Bodom being the untalented one. (*)

 

The show kicked off with Jake McCluskey & Joel Redman defending the RPW British Tag Team Championship against The Revolutionists (James Castle & Sha Samuels). McCluskey was a replacement for Mark Haskins (think I saw something about his kid being sick?). This match was a bit awkward but greatly benefited from the very lively environment it took place in. The action had little flow and just never got into a proper rhythm. Samuels and Castle were especially unimpressive, and that made their win (after a low blow on McCluskey) all the more unsatisfying. I do actually like the idea of the undeserving team winning the belts because the champs had a replacement competitor though. It makes for a nice change of pace. (**)

 

The next match was Tomohiro Ishii vs. Big Damo. I believe this is Ishii’s first match in Europe. Correct me if I am wrong. Anyone familiar with my NJPW reviews knows that I really prefer to watch Ishii when he is working on top. He is so great at bullying smaller opponents. His work against bigger opponents or guys his size just cannot compare. It’s not bad at all; I just don’t get into those matches nearly as much. So, you can imagine my disappointment when I saw that he was booked against such a larga fella. Luckily, this Big Damo lad is quite the wrestler, and the work these two did together actually made me care about Ishii getting beat up. Amusingly enough, I think it would have been even better if Damo was more in ass-kicking mode for the majority of the match instead of the 50/50 nature down the stretch. I recognize that is somewhat a matter of taste though, and they executed what they did quite well. The result was also surprising as Damo won clean after a coast-to-coast dropkick and a back senton. This Big Damo needs to be in NJPW immediately. He’s more interesting than the majority of their heavyweights. (***3/4)

 

The next match was Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Roderick Strong. One is the best wrestler in the world right now, and one is Shinsuke Nakamura. Roddy was busting his ass here, as usual. He was running around like a mad man, which is a style he has basically mastered in the past six months. (Seriously, Roddy very quietly became one of the most entertaining wrestlers out there. In 2015. What a time to be alive.) Nakamura worked hard here for sure, but he was not bringing the emotion. When Nakamura is in a dome, he’s becomes the best in the world. The rest of the year is filled with good matches that you cannot help but wonder why they are not great. Roddy kicked out after two Boma Ye, but Nakamura then put him away after a punch to the face and a big boot. (***1/2)

Big Damo came out after the match to do an angle with Nakamura. Naka agreed to a match. It’s set for October. That *could* be great if Nakamura is in the mood.

 

Matt Sydal then challenged Will Ospreay for the RPW British Cruiserweight Championship in a two out of three falls match. I liked this match quite a bit, and I only wish that I had a chance to watch the two matches in their series that came before this one. It was clear they were playing off sequences and dynamics established in their earlier matches that I would have appreciated. Even without the benefit of properly understanding everything they did, I enjoyed this immensely as they told a good story. Sydal got the initial advantage and won the first fall after encountering little resistance from Ospreay. Ospreay then turned it up and survived long enough to not get blown out. He managed to steal the second fall and then fought back enough to hit his finisher to win the match. That is a  great story, and they managed to tell it with exciting action. It is easily the MOTN so far. (****1/4)

 

The semi-main event of this international showcase show was Colt Cabana & Matt Classic (played by Grado) vs. Gideon Grey & Rishi Ghosh. The joke of this match of course is that Matt Classic is a Colt Cabana gimmick. It seems like Ghosh and Grey wanted to prove Colt was Classic. So, Colt enlisted Grado to play Classic. That in it of itself is a solid gag. However, they just went on and had very uninspired comedy match afterwards. Colt eventually made Grey tap out to the Billy Goat’s Curse and got reinstated to Revolution Pro as a result. The crowd appreciated this match more than I did. The gag was at least quite solid.  (*1/2)

 

The main event was Marty Scurll defending the RPW British Heavyweight Championship against AJ Styles. The Revolutionists (Scurll’s stable) were banned from ringside. AJ Styles ended up winning the match and the title clean after connecting on the Styles Clash. The matchup was unique enough to carry this one, but I was hoping for something a bit more exciting from a babyface AJ Stles main event. His more methodical style is just not something I find compelling or think is particularly well done. Scurll was equally uninspired while working on top. These two can do better. (**3/4)

Scurll tried to run away with the belt, but Will Ospreay made the save. A triple threat match was clearly teased. The company promptly announced it before AJ and Ospreay left the ring. Scurll was displeased. That is set to be the title match in October.

 

Watch RevPro for free!

Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Matt Sydal vs. Will Ospreay

El Generico vs. Big Van Walter

Tommy End vs. Josh Bodom

8
The final score: review Very Good
The 411
This was my first full RPW show, and it made me want to watch them again. I love that they are developing a small-scale relationship with NJPW, as it allows them to put on some very fresh matchups with talent that NJPW does not book. Despite the underwhelming main event (a match that most will like more than I did), this is a very easy show to recommend. It flowed very well, and it did not feel like it was dragging at any point. You can watch this show here.
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