RevPro Live At The Cockpit 24 Review

Not a bad main event to kick the year off with. Credit: RevPro

RevPro’s first show of 2018 took them back to The Cockpit for the start of their women’s title tournament. A card full of exciting women’s matches was further proof (as if it was needed) that it’s ridiculous for most companies to continue to treat them like a box to tick rather than an essential part of the show (something that RevPro themselves are guilty of). We can only hope they learn from this. Let’s dish out some stars.

Martin Stone defeated Dan Magee

Martin Stone looks like the kind of bloke who would headbutt you and then buy you a pint to make up for it. However, the key to his success is that he’s not just a brawler. He can grapple too and works that throwback British style to perfection.

It’s a style that I always quite enjoy as an opener. It’s counter-intuitive to the classic ‘throw the cruiserweights out first’ mentality, but I think it has a similar effect. Mcgee and Stone were in front of a crowd that still had the patience for a match that was going to take its time. It allowed both men to show off what they could do and when Stone started throwing his stiff strikes and the action picked up, it felt earned. Something which showed in the crowd’s reaction.

With Martin Stone booked against Zack Sabre Jr on the next night, there was only going to be one winner here. The challenge then is to make both men look better coming out than they did going in. It was a challenge they were up to. Magee went head to head with a veteran and held his own. Stone, meanwhile, got a nice warm-up against a spirited young competitor.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Zoe Lucas defeated Zan Phoenix

I’ve never really mentioned how bad RevPro’s commentary can be. There were some cringe-worthy moments during this one. Maybe avoid the ‘all women hate each other’ crap, guys?

Let’s ignore that and focus on the action because this was a fun, if short, sprint. I wasn’t aware of either of these women coming in and they both impressed. Zan Phoenix played her obviously pissed off character well and showed a lot of the aggression.  On the other side of the ring, Zoe Lucas was all dancing glee and had some lovely looking kicks. The pairing of the two worked well, and it’s a shame we didn’t get to see a longer match.

This would have needed a bit more time if it was to become anything special, but with the minutes they had, this was an excellent performance.

Verdict: Three Stars

Deonna Purrazzo defeated Sammi Jayne

Sammi Jayne is at a stage in her career where she gets better every time I see her. It’s a joy to watch her come into her own.

This was the opposite of the last match as Purrazzo and Jayne took their time in the opening minutes. They had some lovely chain wrestling and it was only when Jayne took the opportunity for a cheap shot that things stepped up a gear.

From there, this became a hard-hitting contest which had a lot in common with the opening bout. These two were evenly matched as they went up through the gears and it felt like a question of who was going to make the first mistake. It would turn out to be Jayne as she left her feet and flew straight into a Purrazzo armbar.

This was great. I’ve spoken highly of Jayne already but this was my first time checking out the much-praised Purrazzo, and she lived up to the billing. I can’t imagine this will be the last time I see her.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Zack Gibson and Josh Bodom defeated Kurtis Chapman and Ryan Smile

RevPro’s subpar sound mixing makes it hard to hear Gibson’s pre-match promos. It’s annoying because I always enjoy a Gibson tirade. In fact, I quite like his pairing with Bodom. They are easy to hate.

On the other side of the ring, Kurtis Chapman is pure white meat babyface. You want to love him, mainly because he somehow manages to look even younger than he is. There’s also the fact that he’s a cracking wrestler, of course.

They were using all that babyface sympathy to their advantage here. Bodom and Gibson spent most of this match bullying wee Kurtis and cutting off every chance he got to escape. They were playing into the idea that Kurtis could outwrestle these guys, but when it came to pure power, he didn’t stand a chance. One kick from them was worth five blows from Chapman.

That power would be the deciding factor in the finish. Gibson and Bodom essentially murdered Smile with a sequence of moves which allowed them to pick off Chapman soon after. Presumably, this is setting up Bodom’s shot at Chapman’s belt somewhere down the line, and that promises to be damn good.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Pete Dunne defeated El Phantasmo

This was a test on several different levels for El Phantasmo. In a kayfabe sense, he’s in there with one of the best the UK has to offer. In a real-world sense, well, he’s in there with one of the best the UK has to offer.

And I think in both worlds, he earned himself a little golden star. This was a cracking match. In the past, El Phantasmo has been in the ring with a lot of wrestlers who work a similar style to him, but he had no issue getting down and dirty with Dunne. He played the Bruiserweight’s games and managed to retain his own personality. That’s one hell of an achievement.

As for Dunne, the man doesn’t have bad matches. He’s up there with the very best in the world right now. I’d even go as far as saying he’s at the top of the mountain if you’re talking about wrestlers who combine their character with their wrestling style. The sneer as Phantasmo superkicked him repeatedly in the face is comparable to Okada’s post-dropkick snarl at Wrestle Kingdom.

The final touch was the show of respect at the end from Dunne to Phantasmo. This made both men look like stars.

Verdict: Four Stars

Jinny defeated Nina Samuels

This was a tough spot for Nina Samuels. No-one believed that Jinny was going to fall at the first hurdle after this much build-up. To get people to suspend their disbelief for even a second was never going to be easy.

She attempted to do that by going all out here. Bursting straight out of the gate with a headbutt, Samuels was showing off her best. This was all big move offence, and it looked damn impressive. She was even seconds away from hitting a Styles Clash before Jinny’s smarts give her the chance to sneak out and stretch Samuels into submission.

I’m not sure if Samuels ever did get people to suspend their disbelief. I think it was too big a mountain to climb. However, she still looked good and gave Jinny a beating that would plant the seeds of doubts in fans’ minds for her condition in the next round.

Verdict: Three Stars

Millie McKenzie defeated Charli Evans

Millie McKenzie has a little bit of that Pete Dunne magic. She’s not the biggest wrestler on the roster, but she wrestles like she is. She will go out there, sneer at you, slap you in the face and then suplex you.

This was a slower match than the last couple as these two slugged it out. There was a lot of big blows and – eventually – a fair number of suplexes too. They might not have been racing around the ring, but it still felt like a draining experience as every strike was worth two of a normal one. They made their moves count and there’s a lot to be said for that.

In the end, it would take a mistake for the victory to be grabbed. Evans left behind the slugger style that had been getting results and went up top only to be caught on her way down. This tournament has done a good job of getting over the winners while at the same time protecting the losers. It’s simple and effective booking.

Verdict: Three Stars

Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) and CCK (Chris Brookes and Travis Banks) fought to a No Contest and Moustache Mountain retained the Undisputed British Tag Team Titles

There was a bit of messing around at the start of this one. Then Seven and Banks started beating the crap out of each other.

You probably don’t need me to tell you this was a good tag match. It was always going to be the case. They even managed to make the crowd brawling fun with a series of stiff strikes and Brookes putting Bate in a Figure Four in the most awkward place he could find. They were literally sprawled across some steps, half in the crowd and half out.

When it got back into the ring, it calmed down a bit, but not too much. Banks single-handedly taking out Seven and Bate with a barrel-load of kicks was a particular highlight. On the whole, though, this was an even contest. The advantage swinging from side to side as each team took it in turns to hit big moves.

Towards the end, it looked like CCK had it. With an Octopus Stretch and a Crossface locked in, it seemed like only a matter of time before Moustache Mountain tapped. Which was the exact moment that Bodom and Gibson decided to hit the ring. The immediate reaction was bummer. A damp end to a great match. However, from a long-term booking point of view, it was a smart move. It means we can go back to CCK and Moustache Mountain at a later date and it piles more heat on Bodom and Gibson. Sometimes playing the long game is the right call.

Verdict: Four Stars

Overall Show

These RevPro shows make me look like a soft touch when it comes to throwing out stars. There are three star-and above matches all over the shop. It’s because I find them a joy to watch (if you can zone out the commentary). It’s always good wrestling from top to bottom, and this show was no different. The women’s tournament was excellent, as was Dunne vs Fantasmo and the main event lived up to the lofty expectations. A fantastic start to the year from RevPro.

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One thought on “RevPro Live At The Cockpit 24 Review

  1. Pingback: RevPro Live At The Cockpit 25 Review | Ramblings About Wrestling

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