I don’t have a huge amount to say here. At Our Best’s card was pretty damn sexy on paper with all of British Strong Style appearing alongside the likes of Mike Bailey and David Starr. The chances of this being a bad show were slim. Let’s dish out some stars.
Tyler Bate defeated El Phantasmo
Lord Gideon Grey is on commentary which might make it bearable.
We kicked off with some light comedy as Bate and Phantasmo competed to see who could do the best handstand. It ended with the two of them helping referee Chris Roberts to do one of his own.
Those shenanigans segued into some lovely chain wrestling. It was almost too perfect in places as these two proved to have natural chemistry. Bate makes everything look easy, and in there with another excellent worker, the sequences were as smooth as ice.
Phantasmo continues to impress, and while RevPro isn’t openly telling a story with him, he’s coming up short against a lot of big names. It might be slightly too close to what they’re doing with Eddie Dennis, but I’d like to see him eventually snap. His showboating often comes back to bite him and it would be a natural stepping off point for a heel turn.
You got the impression these two could have gone up another couple of gears. They wrestled like it was an exhibition, two friends seeing who is better on the night. If RevPro ever needs them to get serious, it could be extraordinary.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Speedball Mike Bailey defeated Kyle Fletcher
Kyle Fletcher is only 18. He makes me sick. I’m delighted that wrestling is doing well, but if they could all stop being sickeningly young, that would be nice. I’m not even that old! Although compared to these fuckers I am.
Sorry, minor breakdown.
Despite his age, Fletcher is a talented chap, and it was fun to see him in singles action. In Aussie Open his job is often to take a beating whereas we got to see him push forward and go on the offensive against Bailey. Although around the moment Bailey started kicking him he might have wished Davis was around. He could have used him as a human shield.
He probably wouldn’t have done that, though, because he showed a lot of courage here. Or perhaps stupidity. Fletcher stood and traded kicks with Speedball, and he was holding his own. Both of these guys can throw feet and the snap as they connected made you flinch. It added a bit of spice to proceedings and made sure this wasn’t going to descend into exhibitionism.
In other words, Fletcher and Bailey were looking to impress, which they did. Bailey doesn’t do bad matches, and he gave Fletcher a lot here. There is a lot of life left in Aussie Open, but this was proof that if they do come to an end, Fletcher will be just fine.
Verdict: Four Stars
Kurtis Chapman defeated David Starr to retain the Undisputed British Cruiserweight Title
Starr got some good heat pre-match with the combination of a decent promo and a Southampton top to rile up the Portsmouth locals. Chapman didn’t bother with any antics. He hit the ring and went right after Starr.
Sadly, he didn’t keep the upper hand for too long. Starr eventually got into the groove and proceeded to bully the smaller man. Starr’s extra bulk allowed these men to play to their strengths. Chapman is made for working from underneath. He takes a beating, fires up and gives everything to get the win. Being slapped around and taunted by Starr made it all the more satisfying when he did.
And Starr is damn good at slapping people around. I like him as a babyface, but he might be an even better heel. He’s a total prick. Brash, arrogant and able to back it up in the ring. He thinks he’s better than everyone and the thing that makes you hate him is that he might just be right.
Chapman, on the other hand, is pure. Too pure for this world in fact. He almost lost because of said purity. When given a chance to win by count out he didn’t take it, instead, he dragged Starr back into the ring. For a second, it looked like the Cream In Your Coffee would make him pay, but a quick roll-up saw Chapman survive to fight another day.
I liked this a lot. Chapman’s booking on the last couple of shows has bothered me as he’s relied on others to help him get the win. This is the kind of match he should be having. He can take a beating and sneak a victory because he is an underdog; as long as he does it by himself that purity which makes him so lovable is intact.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
Pete Dunne defeated Mark Davis
Mark Davis is quite a bit bigger than Pete Dunne. That didn’t stop Dunne bullying him. It also didn’t prevent that feeling like a regular thing. The Bruiserweight has a presence that means he could have been slapping about Andre the Giant and I’d have bought it.
It did allow us to see a different side of Davis. He was working from underneath, desperately trying to fight back against the maniacal UK champ. That awesome strength was being used to help him survive rather than for him to chuck people around. He spent most of this selling, and he did an impressive job.
Unfortunately, I think it was just a bit too one-sided for it to be a great match. It was still good, Dunne doesn’t do bad performances, so he wasn’t going to have one against a wrestler as accomplished as Davis. At the moment, they were telling the story of Dunne being better. Hopefully, one day, we’ll get to see what they can do in a more even contest.
Verdict: Three Stars
Charli Evans defeated Veda Scott
Hm, this wasn’t good. I don’t know if it was a lack of chemistry or what, but it never came together. Veda Scott was heeling it up and doing a lot to try to get under the crowd’s skin and they weren’t giving her anything. Then her actual performance in the ring was sloppy at best. She barely got Evans up at one point for a backdrop suplex.
The women’s division is going through a bit of a rough time in RevPro. They built towards Jinny becoming the champ for so long and then she got injured in her first defence. While they obviously don’t want to strip her of the belt, it’s left the whole thing in limbo, and you end up with matches like this. There was no heat here because we don’t know what it was for. With only one women’s bout on most shows, there is not even a hierarchy set in place. If Davis had beat Dunne, we would have known he was going up the card. What does Evans beating Scott mean?
I assume RevPro are waiting for Jinny to come back but they shouldn’t wait too long. They have plenty of talented women available to them, and it’s high time they were given a chance to shine. A few bad matches won’t destroy a division. Only giving them ten minutes a show is much more likely to do that.
Verdict: Two Stars
Zack Sabre Jr defeated Trent Seven to retain the Undisputed British Heavyweight Title
I was relatively surprised to find these two have only had three singles matches over the years. There’s a handful of multi-mans and a couple of tags too, but a straight-up fight between two of the UK’s best is a rarity.
The early goings were shaped by a classic Seven spot when he chopped the ring post. Against most people, that’s a problem. Against Sabre it’s a disaster. ZSJ went straight after that hand and began to do the kind of twisting and probing that only he could do.
Seven wasn’t willing to go down without a fight, and he was able to use his power to rock Zack on more than one occasion. In striking battles, Seven had an advantage and when he was able to hoist Sabre up it was only going one way. Zack can have as many octopus-like limbs as he wants, a powerbomb is still a fucking powerbomb.
The problem is that Zack’s smart and while he might kick that title around he apparently wants to keep a hold of it. Towards the end, Seven seemed to have him beat. A piledriver and a couple of huge lariats got him a close two. He was just setting up for the Seven Star Lariat when Sabre struck. Because those octopus tentacles can take a hell of a beating and when they get wrapped around you, you tap.
I feel like these two could have stepped up one more gear if they’d had another five minutes. Yet, this was still great. You’ve got two wrestlers who rarely dish out anything below fantastic and unsurprisingly that’s precisely what they did.
Verdict: Four Stars
A show that was close to being outstanding and yet a few things held it back. The women’s match was poor while a couple of the others felt like they could have reached a higher level with more time or a different story. However, it was still a very good show. The main event and Fletcher vs Bailey were great. RevPro continues to do good stuff.