Saturday, March 31, 2018

RevPro: Orlando Review

Revolution Pro Wrestling comes to the United States for the very first time!!

RevPro: Orlando
Orlando, Florida 3/31/17

The show kicks off with Andy Quildan (the promotion’s owner as well the ring announcer and commentator) in the ring as he hypes up the show. He brings up Kris Travis, mentioning that it’s the one-year anniversary of his passing, and dedicates the show in his memory.

1.) Sami Callihan vs. Jay White: ***1/2

This was a pretty entertaining opening contest. We got some brawling on the outside at the start, but once they got back in the ring, there was really good back and forth action inside of the ring. The match went about twelve minutes, which is perfect for an opener. In particular, that time frame really played into Callihan’s strengths, as he usually excels in sub-fifteen minute matches that are fast-paced. In the end, Jay White would get the submission victory over Callihan. Once again, this was a very solid opener.

2.) Jeff Cobb vs. Martin Stone: ***1/2

I thought this was just as good as the opener, though it wasn’t exactly the same, in terms of the style. This bout featured very solid action throughout, but there were more power spots involved. Of course, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, since the match featured Jeff Cobb. He tossed Martin Stone around a couple of times with suplexes and such, but Stone wasn’t going to go down that easily. He fought back hard, and used his speed advantage to fight back. They went back and forth, but eventually, Stone was able to hit his finisher, London Bridge, to secure the win. Once again, this was a very good match.

Afterwards, Stone raised Cobb’s hand.

Up next, Lord Gideon Grey makes his way out to the ring. For those who don’t know, he has an aristocratic gimmick, but here, he’s seemingly in a catatonic state. He took the mic and said that since Swoggle (aka Hornswoggle from WWE) brought Colt Cabana back into his life (Cabana had a feud with Grey a few years ago), everything had gone wrong. People were starting to take him more seriously, but then everything went off the rails, and they turned him back into a joke. Grey then claims that he’s “midget hunting” tonight, and calls out Swoggle for a match.

3.) Lord Gideon Grey vs. Swogge: N/R

At one point, I believe commentary said that Grey was “mentally degenerating” due to all of this Swoggle stuff. This only lasted two minutes or so. Swoggle bit Grey’s ass, and then got the referee to bite Grey’s ass. Swoggle hit a number of German Suplexes, which garnered a “Suplex Village” chant. Then, Grey finally turned the tide, as he hit his finisher, Fifty Shades of Grey, for the win. Again, there wasn’t much too this. It was basically a comedy segment.

4.) "The Villain" Marty Scurll vs. Ricochet: ****1/4

Scurll got a massive reaction from the crowd when he made his entrance. This was definitely the best match on the card. There was some comedy early, but it got more serious as the match progressed. These two had some great exchanges, and there were plenty of exciting moments. Even though there really weren’t any issues or stakes behind this one (it was basically an exhibition match), it was still an awesome match. In particular, the closing stages were very strong. Ultimately, Scurll caught Ricochet in the crossface chickenwing to score the submission victory. It wasn’t the best match during this big weekend in Orlando, but it was a ton of fun to watch. When you have two guys like Ricochet and Marty Scurll, who are both awesome in-ring wrestlers along with being charisma machines, you know it’s going to be great.

After the match, Scurll took the mic. Regarding Ricochet, Scurll said that they’ve wrestled each other all over the world, and every time they’ve met, it’s been magic. He said that matches and crowds like this are why he loves pro-wrestling. Scurll said he’s seen companies like RPW grow immensely, and it makes him love wrestling even more. He said he’d be in for a rematch with Ricochet any time. Scurll then mentions Kris Travis, saying that he missed him, and that he thinks about him all the time, before nothing that this was all for him. Ricochet took the mic, and mentioned the hospitality RevPro have given him ever since he started wrestling for them. He loves wrestling guys like Scurll, and thanked the fans for coming out to the show. Ricochet doesn’t know where their different paths will lead them, but then tells the crowd to make sure that they come to their merch tables during intermission.

5.) Josh Bodom vs. David Starr: ***1/2

Before the match began, Bodom took the mic and does his own introduction. At this time, Bodom was the interim RevPro British Cruiserweight Champion, since Will Ospreay (the actual champion at the time) wasn’t able to be on every RevPro event due to his commitments with New Japan. Bodom said that Ospreay isn’t the true champion, and added that if Ospreay isn’t putting his title on the line, he isn’t putting his interim title on the line either. As a whole, this was another really good match. I’d say it was on par with the first two bouts on this card. Bodom is someone I’ve heard a lot of good things about, and he’s certainly got a ton of talent. On the other side, David Starr is a guy that has really improved over the last few years, especially since he started working regularly in Europe (mainly wXw). There was some very good action throughout this one, but we did get some shenanigans. At one point the referee got knocked down, which gave Bodom the opportunity to hit Starr with a low blow. He then got some metal object from underneath the ring, and went to use it, but the referee (who had recovered at this point) took it away. Fortunately, those shenanigans didn’t impact the finish, as they went at it for a few more minutes. Eventually, Bodom hits the Bliss Buster to pick up the win.

6.) Fenix vs. RevPro British Cruiserweight Champion Will Ospreay: ****

If this isn’t a dream match, then I don’t know what is. Now this wasn’t quite as awesome as Ricochet/Scurll from earlier, and the crowd didn’t seem to be that into it at points, but it was still a great bout as a whole. There was a botched spot involving an reverse rana from Fenix, and that did hurt the match a little bit. Fortunately, the rest of action (in my view) made up for it. This had a ton of “movez and flipz” for roughly twelve minutes, which is exactly what you would’ve expected from this one. I’m sure if they did the match again, it would be even better, but for what I was, I really enjoyed it. Ospreay would get victory after hitting Fenix with the OsCutter.

7.) Ryan Smile & Shane Strickland vs. The Unbreakable F’N Machines (Brian Cage & “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin): ***1/2

In this tag team encounter, Brian Cage & Michael Elgin reformed their PWG team to take on the high-flying duo of Ryan Smile & Shane Strickland. As a whole, I enjoyed this match, but it wasn’t without its issues. Of course, there was some really fun action throughout, as one would expect in a tag team bout involving these four. We even got some funny moments, including Elgin doing the worm. The main issues with this match, however, involved some of what we saw in the final few minutes. There were points where Cage & Elgin were DESTROYING Smile with a number of devastating tag team maneuvers, but Smile kept kicking out. I’m ok with someone getting one big kick out spot, but Smile kicked out so many times from so many big moves. It got to the point where it was just unbelievable. To make matters worse, Smile then won the match for his team seemingly out of nowhere. Some in the crowd booed that result. I get wanting to put over the guy who’s a regular with the promotion, but the way they went about it just didn’t work. Aside from that, and a number of noticeable botches (mainly between Cage and Smile), I still thought this was a relatively entertaining match. It could’ve been a lot better, given who was involved, if it didn’t have those issues.

8.) RevPro Undisputed British Heavyweight Title - Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Pentagon Jr.: ****

I believe the only time these two had met in the past was during the 2015 Battle Of Los Angeles tournament in PWG (a match which Zack Sabre Jr. won). Also, I know that he’s called a variety of different names, due to his dispute with AAA when he left, but I’m still going to call him Pentagon Jr., for the purposes of my reviews. Similar to Fenix vs. Will Ospreay, this wasn’t quite as good as it could’ve been, but it was still a great main event. Just seeing these two interact was just so much fun, and they plenty of entertaining exchanges. The wrestling was really strong from start to finish, and seeing their characters go back and forth verbally was so cool to watch. We even got some crazy sequences. At one point, Zack Sabre Jr. stole Pentagon Jr.’s package piledriver, and Pentagon Jr. responded by giving him one on the apron. In the end, Zack Sabre Jr. managed to score the victory over Pentagon Jr. via submission. Again, this was so much fun to watch. It wasn’t the greatest match of the weekend, but I had a blast watching it.

Overall: 8.25/10

Much like PROGRESS earlier that day, this was the United States debut for RevPro, and while their show wasn’t quite as good as the PROGRESS show, it was still and extremely entertaining card from beginning to end. Ricochet vs. Marty Scurll had an incredible encounter that was easily the best match on the show. Fenix vs. Will Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Pentagon Jr. were both pretty great as well. Then, aside from the nonsense with Lord Gideon Grey, the rest of the undercard featured some really solid matches. A couple of the matches had some issues, but as a whole, this was a strong showing from RevPro. It wasn’t the best show on ‘Mania Weekend in Orlando, but there’s no doubt that it was one of the most consistent for sure.

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