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Thread: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

  1. #1

    Rev Pro RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    High Stakes
    January 20, 2018



    I believe this marks my third attempt at reviewing a RPW event over the years. Will I be successful? Well, if you’re reading this, I suppose I was.

    Kurtis Chapman © vs Rob Lias - RPW British Cruiserweight Title
    Never heard of either guy and both seem to be fairly new to the business, with neither managing to get bookings outside of the UK. At this point, Chapman, who looks like he may just be fifteen years old, has been champion for a month and a half since defeating Flash Morgan Webster for the title. Webster was actually involved in the first British Cruiserweight Title match I’ve reviewed, but not posted, against some Bruiserweight guy. For Chapman, it seems as if his abilities are limited in just being able to do some high flying stuff. Admittedly, the spots looked good, but that’s about it. Lias impressed a bit more with his heel work including going back in time to 2003 to doing the always successful - fake leg injury~! That allowed him to take over after some early Chapman offense. Lias spent most of the match working over the back and the neck of the champion. Late in the match, Eddie Dennis came out to distract Lias and when that doesn’t work, he even delivers a forearm when Chapman kicks out of a roll-up, causing Lias to by launched towards Dennis’ side of the ring. That still doesn’t get Chapman the win, but he finally finds some success with the Sega Mega Driver (I think?) for the victory. That finish spiked Lias on his head and was easily the most devastating move Chapman has. An okay match, even if it seemed odd to me that the apparent babyface was the one to receive a ton of help from outside interference. ** ½


    Before the next match, Josh Bodom and Kurtis Chapman exchanges some words before Eddie Dennis attacks Bodom. Man, does Dennis let Chapman do anything on his own?

    Travis Banks and Chris Brookes w/Kid Lykos vs Zack Gibson and Josh Bodom
    I suppose technically, this is CCK in action, but I’d rather not lump Banks in with that inferior tag team. Bodom is the only wrestler I haven’t seen before, but he’s one of those UK talents that you see mentioned here and there. Gibson cut a promo before the match, but the audio was such shit that I could barely understood a word said. This sort of issue isn’t new with indie wrestling. I know that for ages, ROH struggled with this problem. It makes me wonder why the company doesn’t just offer subtitles for promos. It’d be a cheap fix until they could get the money for better tech and crew. This was really good, although the majority of the match, particularly the start and second half, was just an all out chaotic match without any tags. Banks is always great at bringing the fire especially when having to go at it alone after receiving a hot tag and battling both Gibson and Bodom together. Speaking of Bodom and Gibson, I found them to be a pretty great tag team, hitting numerous tag moves together. Even though I’m not a Brookes fan, he was able to hang in there well enough that he didn’t detract from the match. I wasn’t a fan of Lykos using a cookie sheet for a shot to the head behind the ref’s back. That’s now two matches in a row where someone not involved in the match interferes, but for the babyface side. Sure, heels in both matches cheated, such as Bodom using the referee to prevent a Banks top rope move, only to deliver a low blow to the Kiwi Buzzsaw, but at least Bodom is actually involved in the match. The commentators spoke on this a bit with the babyface commentator (I don’t know either of their names) acting as if Dennis interfering in the previous match is just as innocent as Bodom cheating here. Dude, both are against the rules, but the babyface interfering is far more illegal! After a ton of big spots, which caused me to believe that either team would be able to pick up the victory, it’s ultimately CCK that wins with Brookes’ Octopus Stretch for the submission. Really entertaining, but very spotty. I’d love to see more of Bodom/Gibson together though. *** ½


    Ryan Smile vs Adam Brooks
    First time seeing both men in action. Seems like Smile is still looking to break out of Rev Pro whereas the Aussie Brooks has started to gain a lot of attention in recent months thanks to getting bookings with PROGRESS and PWG. In fact, this is his debut in RPW. I suspect he’ll probably have a far bigger name this time next year. The fact that both commentators each spend the match marking out for one of the wrestlers, it makes it difficult to remember which commentator is the heel commentator. This babyface commentator is doing a shit job at being a face tonight. With the commentators stating that this should be a #1 contender’s match to the Cruiserweight Title, it seems ludicrous that this wasn’t the title match as both men were vastly superior to Chapman and Lias. Smile may not look like much, but when he shows off his athleticism, it’s incredible. Even his selling of moves is top notch as he’s very good at landing on his head, carefully, and selling it like he’s dead. A bit like RVD actually. It’s easy to see why Brooks is having a breakout year as he has a good look, plenty of great spots, and has a cocky attitude to help give him a heel persona. Unfortunately, the longer this match went on, the less I cared. I was really into it in the early going, but then it just kept going on and on. It’s a twenty minute match that really should have been half of that to best showcase what both men could do without wasting time by just repeating the showcase. Like with any spotty match, you see so many crazy moves that you become desensitized since if crazy spot A couldn’t get the job done, why should we care about crazy spot L? Brooks would win after hitting a series of moves, culminating in a pair of knees to the back of the head to Smile from the top rope. Still, I’m really impressed with both men, it’s just that they shouldn’t be having such long matches if there’s going to be this little of a story. ***


    Aussie Open vs Los Ingobernables
    EVIL and Sanada are representing the NJPW faction. Apparently, they’re also the reigning IWGP Tag Champions. I think I’ve seen one, maybe two matches of EVIL. I know I saw more of his work as Takaaki Watanabe. Meanwhile, I don’t believe I’ve ever watched Sanada. First time seeing Kyle Fletcher in action, but along with Mark Davis, Aussie Open seems to be getting a lot of attention now. Unlike the earlier tag match, I felt the heel/face alignments were even more obvious with EVIL and Sanada being downright...evil? This include brutalizing the Aussie team on the outside, using chairs and generally being dicks. Aussie Open are pretty good babyfaces and typically when they’re in the ring and on offense, the pace picks up. The spot of the match was probably one of the most low key funniest spots I can remember seeing in wrestling. Sanada rolled Fletcher into the Johnny Saint Special with Davis rushing into the ring and hitting Sanada in the back. Davis tried to give Sanada a bit of his own treatment by wrapping him up in the Saint Special, but Davis couldn’t figure out how Sanada did it to Fletcher. Davis even stopped and inspected Fletcher, seeing where each limb ended up. Even though it was pretty clear that the NJPW team would go over, especially since they are the IWGP Tag Champions, Aussie Open still put on a great showing, doing their best to fool everyone into believing there may be an upset. Naturally, there wasn’t as EVIL and Sanada won with the Magic Killer. A good preview before I see Aussie Open in PROGRESS. *** ¼

    I don’t know if this is her regular entrance or if this was just something special, but Bea Priestley’s entrance for the next match was incredible. Very eerie and unlike anything I’ve seen before. I don’t know if she’s any good, but her entrances are at least really good.

    Jinny © vs Millie McKenzie vs Bea Priestley - RPW British Women’s Title
    There’s an European Women’s Title that Toni Storm isn’t the holder of? Color me surprised. It looks like Jinny just won the first ever British Women’s Title earlier in the month by winning an eight women tournament, including beating McKenzie in the semi-finals. I know nothing about Millie thanks to her not having a cagematch profile. Priestly is still new in this business, but she’s already working in Stardom and getting a couple of chances with PROGRESS. Remember how I was just all upbeat and positive on Priestley just moments ago? Yeah, well it turns out she’s garbage in the ring. Immediately at the sound of the bell, she’s botching and dishing out awkward looking spots. She’s clearly creative and wants to be a standout, but none of that really matters when everything you do looks bad. Millie was a bit better, but she too botched some including a Suicide Dive on Jinny that came well short of coming into contact with the champion. Jinny was easily the best, but she can only do so much when she’s wrestling such inferior wrestlers. Millie would deliver a poor looking Canadian Destroyer on Bea, but Jinny would steal the pinfall to retain the title. If nothing else, this match showed me that perhaps there’s worse things than having Toni Storm dominate various women divisions. If I could sum up Bea Priestley, it’s like watching one of Bray Wyatt’s awesome entrances and then being forced to watch one of his gimmick matches. * ½

    Will Ospreay vs Mark Andrews
    Hey, a match where I actually know everyone involved. Ospreay is the current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Something tells me this will be super flippy. This was exactly what you’d expect it to be. Just a never ending series of insane spots. There’s points in the match where I had no idea how they were doing the things that they were able to do. I’d be lying if I said there was any semblance of a story though. It’s a truly fantastic match for just finding clips to make into gifs. Ospreay would win with the OsCutter finisher. Not bad, but you have zero reason to be paying full attention to the match. It’s not as if you’d miss anything important. ***


    After the match, Adam Brooks runs out and attacks Will Ospreay. Mark Andrews tries to stop Brooks, but Brooks attacks him too. Brooks then pulls out a pair of scissors and cuts off the Australian Flag on Ospreay’s belt. I actually liked this post-match event more than the actual match. At least this segment had a story to it and added interest to a couple of future matches.

    Mustache Mountain © vs Zack Sabre Jr. and Minoru Suzuki - RPW British Tag Titles
    It’s been a long time since I’ve heard Kaze ni Nare. Technically speaking, this is the first time I’ve seen Mustache Mountain rather than Trent Seven and Tyler Bate being referred to as British Strong Style. At this point, Sabre is the RPW British Heavyweight Champion. Seeing as in recent months, I’ve been watching a lot of heel BSS, it’s nice seeing Bate and Seven work as babyfaces here. They’re benefitted by working against some top notch heels in the ultimate bully Suzuki and the shockingly good at being a dick, SZJ. Seeing Suzuki interact with BSS is really fun. Early on, Seven made the grave mistake of chopping Suzuki, causing Suzuki to retaliate, just completely killing Seven. It wasn’t just Suzuki-Gun destroying the champions though. I loved it whenever Bate got in a lot of great offense against Suzuki, actually looking like he could hang against the legend. Unlike the other tag matches earlier, this followed tag rules far better while keeping the moments with all four men involved to a minimal. It all built up to a big time finale with Suzuki kicking out of a Tyler Driver ‘98, which I’m fine with since A) I don’t know if it’s a protected move in RPW and B) I already saw the big payoff against Travis Banks. The finish sees Suzuki lock in the sleeper on Bate, but Bate refuses to give up. Seven attempts to save his little buddy, but ZSJ is there to lock him in an Octopus Stretch. Knowing that the sleeper isn’t working, Suzuki transitioned into his Gotch Piledriver. With Seven helpless and reaching out with one arm, Suzuki pins Bate to crown NEW RPW British Tag Champions. I loved that finish. It’s such a heartbreaking moment seeing Seven’s pathetic attempt at trying to help Bate while naturally struggling to even take care of himself against Sabre. Even though I wouldn’t call Seven a favorite and there’s certainly times when he frustrates me, I’ve come around on the guy. He’s managed to put on a good enough collection of singles and tag matches with Bate. I loved this match with everyone playing their parts so well. I’m more than willing to watch a rematch or just seeing Suzuki battle Seven or Bate in singles action. **** ¼


    After the match, the CCK trio came out to the entrance way to unofficially challenge the new champions to a future match. Looks like fans will have to wait a bit to see that match as it’s scheduled for The Epic Encounter 2018 on May 11th though.

    Overall
    It’s taken years, but I’ve finally watched a RPW show! I believe my first attempt was in 2015 and then I tried again in late 2016. For a first completed show, this had a killer main event. Not only did the match over deliver, but it was nice getting a bit of variety with babyface BSS and seeing Sabre act like a supreme douchebag. The rest of the show was mostly good. The other two tag matches were both really good, which is a bit of an accomplishment since the one featured Chris Brookes. Guys like Josh Bodom, Ryan Smile, and Adam Brooks all impressed me that I’d like to see more from them, especially Bodom. As far as RPW in general, I do wish that they focused a little more on creating stories in their matches rather than just being balls to the wall fights or spotfests. The audio was also pretty crap. I could barely make out what was being said during promos, the mics to pick up the action and crowd was very quiet, and the commentators mics were poor too. That may have just been the one show I watched though. Although not nearly as poor as the wXw commentators, the Rev Pro commentators weren’t great. The babyface commentator did such a lousy job at being a babyface that you’d think that he was the heel with his shit logic. The heel commentator who only referred to Adam Brooks as “Brooksy” was fine, he just wasn’t able to stand out as a heel with his partner out heeling him. While this show wasn’t as much fun as watching PROGRESS, I wouldn’t be against seeing another RPW show in the future.

  2. #2
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    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    Jinny rules. Probably my favorite BritWres woman (and the only one I enjoy watching). Bea is whatever.

    I really love Trent Seven. The guy is really diverse in his character work. He knows his strengths and never really feels like he has to get out of his range to put on a good show. Never going to set the world on fire with classics but is consistent enough and is one of the best entertainers out there at the moment.
    -------
    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
    Spoiler:


  3. #3
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    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    I really liked Bea when I saw her at PROGRESS, so either Jim got her on an
    off night or I got her on a great one

    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk






  4. #4
    YES! YES! YES!

    Ed's Avatar

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    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    Post icon added.

    You've gone too recent here for me to really comment on because I've only seen the main event. I would agree, it's a great tag match and Suzuki in particular has really started the year like a house on fire. I remember when you watched New Japan that Suzuki used to be one of your favourites for his facial expressions so I wasn't surprised to see a high rating here.

    I kinda hate Rev-Pro They've lost a bit of identity with their relationship with NJPW, every card seems to have these random NJPW Vs UK matches that take all the spotlight and you're left wondering just who is this company building around. They've turned into England's PWG. I also really hate Andy who books the promotion when it comes to his ring announcing and commentary, so over the top and forcing the narrative that every match is incredible.

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    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I kinda hate Rev-Pro They've lost a bit of identity with their relationship with NJPW, every card seems to have these random NJPW Vs UK matches that take all the spotlight and you're left wondering just who is this company building around. They've turned into England's PWG. I also really hate Andy who books the promotion when it comes to his ring announcing and commentary, so over the top and forcing the narrative that every match is incredible.
    I agree that RPW isnt really for me, and that’s an unfair insult to PWG. They would have never put Vader over.
    -------
    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
    Spoiler:


  6. #6

    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I kinda hate Rev-Pro They've lost a bit of identity with their relationship with NJPW, every card seems to have these random NJPW Vs UK matches that take all the spotlight and you're left wondering just who is this company building around. They've turned into England's PWG. I also really hate Andy who books the promotion when it comes to his ring announcing and commentary, so over the top and forcing the narrative that every match is incredible.
    I can see the PWG comparison when it comes to being able to see matches that you can't find anywhere else. Even though I suppose we do see the WWE UK Cruiserweights (And Seven) lock up against the ROH/NJPW UK Cruiserweights at various points in PROGRESS, it seems far more rare to be able to see these NJPW guys battling non-ROH indie talents. The frustration over the company losing its identity is fair, but being the unofficial UK home for NJPW talents has also allowed RPW to bring attention to their company. I get it though, I lost interest in PWG once they lost their SoCal identity and just focused on becoming a indie dream match promotion, even though it helped the company so much.

    The lack of awareness for what's going on in the company thanks to the NJPW guys is also something I felt with this show. I know that there's some sort of friendship between Chapman and Dennis, Brooks/Ospreay will likely be involved in a big feud, Jinny's the top dog in the women's division, but other than that, I'm not entirely sure what's going on.

    I don't know if this was Andy, but I'm pretty sure it was the babyface commentator who stated, at the conclusion of the tag titles match, that this was a title switch that would change the history of Rev Pro forever.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Nicky View Post
    I agree that RPW isnt really for me, and that’s an unfair insult to PWG. They would have never put Vader over.
    They were the company that opted to put RVD over Chris Hero and Roddy Strong, at the time two of their very top guys, in RVD's one and only match with PWG.

  7. #7
    YES! YES! YES!

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    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Nicky View Post
    I agree that RPW isnt really for me, and that’s an unfair insult to PWG. They would have never put Vader over.
    OH GOD. I totally forgot about that Vader/Ospreay match. Yeah, fuck Rev-Pro. They have a couple great matches a year courtesy of Zacky 3 belts, but other than that they are tough to support.

  8. #8

    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    What was the story behind Vader/Ospreay?

    I remember Ospreay had that well talked about flippy match against someone (Ricochet?) in NJPW that received a ton of different reactions, including Vader, who bitched about it looking fake. That created a Twitter war where RPW took advantage of it to book Ospreay vs Vader, only to have Vader win? So, does that mean Vader was right in his criticisms of this new style? Was Vader going over the only way Rev Pro could get Vader to agree to the match?

  9. #9
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    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    What was the story behind Vader/Ospreay?

    I remember Ospreay had that well talked about flippy match against someone (Ricochet?) in NJPW that received a ton of different reactions, including Vader, who bitched about it looking fake. That created a Twitter war where RPW took advantage of it to book Ospreay vs Vader, only to have Vader win? So, does that mean Vader was right in his criticisms of this new style? Was Vader going over the only way Rev Pro could get Vader to agree to the match?
    Will mentioned in an interview that Vader got the finish changed, and Vader has accused RPW of not providing tapes of the event for him to sell in the States as agreed. I don't think it's a stretch to suggest some type of backstage booking shenanigans were afoot.

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    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    Yeah Jim but at least RVD was in between runs with two noteworthy promotions at the time and there was at least some curiosity with what he was doing at the time.

    Vader shooted in flippy shit wrestling and won. In 2016.
    -------
    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
    Spoiler:


  11. #11
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    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    You are way higher on this show than I was. I pretty much saw it as a one match card, with everything being either meh or downright terrible; I thought the opener was a sloppy shit show between two trainees who weren't ready to be on cards, never mind to be fighting for a title. Main event was great though.

    Apparently Jinny's current injury was sustained during the match she had here so it's possible that much of what happened was on the fly to give her time to try and recover. Millie's only seventeen I believe and this is not a good representation for her at all; her showings for PROGRESS at Revelations of Divine Love, Unboxing Live! 2 and the tag match on Chapter 61 in Birmingham are all great.

  12. #12
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    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    Loved the main event, that and the Ospreay vs Andrews (which was okay) were the only two matches that I watched from the show.
    Spoiler:


    Milano Forever!

  13. #13
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    Re: RPW High Stakes 2018 Review

    Quote Originally Posted by MC 16 View Post
    Loved the main event, that and the Ospreay vs Andrews (which was okay) were the only two matches that I watched from the show.
    You did the right thing. I wouldn't even have recommended Ospreay/Andrews; it was good but waaaaaaay too short. It'd just got going and then it ended. I wasn't a fan of how that turned out at all.

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