On a muggy Sunday afternoon in East London a growing crowd gathered outside of Bethnal Green’s historical York Hall. All were in very good spirits as they were all preparing for Kurt Angle Vs Zack Sabre Jr at Revolution Pro Wrestling, one of the most highly anticipated in UK independent wrestling history. But this is Revolution Pro so this was going to be much more than just a one match card and they did not disappoint. We were treated to seven excellent matches one of which is my Match of the Year.
Under bright lights and sweltering heat Marty Scurll fought Noam Dar in a brilliant opening bout. Both Dar and Scurll are extremely over with the crowd but it soon became clear that the Rev Pro crowd is full of villains who cheered “The Villain” no matter what dastardly deeds he did. The two exchanged some excellent mat work, stiff kicks and chops throughout the match, but Scurll had Dar’s number and after some great high-spots and strong sequences Scurll caught him in the much anticipated and called for Chickenwing submission for a tap-out victory. Marty Scurll proved again way he is the best and most popular Villain in the business and Noam Dar showed why he was picked for the WWE Cruiserweight Challenge.
Next up we got Cruiserweight Champion “The Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne versus “The Guvnor” Martin Stone who returned to ‘old blighty’ from impressive stints in EVOLVE and of course NXT. Despite taking a while to get the crowd going Stone and Dunne soon turned it into a heated super-brawl that had the fans at fever-pitch toward the end. Great to see Stone back on UK shores and great to see praise given to Dunne as one of British wrestling’s most improved talents.
The following match-up saw the battle two beasts as Big Damo faced Big Daddy Walter. These two dudes are ginormous and put on an impressive match which featured some of the biggest and loudest suplexes I’ve ever seen, heard and felt. After a ring-shaking, ground-vibrating top-rope sulpex Damo clamped on the crossface that saw him the ICW title back in February for the win. An impressive battle of the big men match from two really, really big men.
After the match it was announced that Katsuyori Shibata’s Summer Sizzler opponent will be non other that Zack Sabre Jr. Queue roaring ovation.
Next up we got the pleasure of Mike “Speed Ball” Bailey vs returning NJPW Best of the Super Jr winner Will “The Ariel Assassin” Ospreay. But before the match could commence there was a good five minutes of cheers and chants for the genuinely touched returning hero. The crowd at fever-pitch for Ospreay’s first match since his spectacular, controversial and emotional run in NJPW. As the “You Deserve It” and “Ospreay, Ospreay, Ospreay, Ospreay” chants died down at the beginning of the match “Fuck You Vadar” chants took their place. For those who don’t know wrestling veteran Vadar was extremely critical toward Ospeay and Ricochet’s match in NJPW stating that their amazing high-flying, fast-flipping orchestrated spot-fest was, and I quote, “killing the wrestling business”. Vader was not a popular man that night and was openly mocked by fans and wrestlers alike. Ospreay called “Its Time” (Vadar’s tag) and hit Bailey with a Vadar Bomb (Vadar’s finisher) which he kicked out on the one count. This was easily one of the best matches I’ve ever seen and contender for MOTY as both guys went toe-to-toe, move-for-move, trading awe-inspiring high-spots and unbelievable counters. Ospreay’s speed and ariel ability met with Bailey’s martial-arts ability made for the best match of the night and in my book, the year.
After the much needed fresh, cool air during the interval uber-stiff veteran Chris Hero took on Josh Bodom. Hero was his usual impressive and down-right scary self, I mean this guy has to be he hardest hitter in wrestling, and to his credit Bodom not only took it but hit back as well. Trading vicious elbows, chops and piledrivers Bodom showed great resilience and earned the upmost respect in defeating Hero with own roaring elbow finisher. After the match Bodom challenged Tomohiro Ishii at Summer Sizzler. Talk about out of the frying pan into the fire.
RPW Tag Title Match followed with champions The Revolutionists Sha Samuels and James Castle defend against Joel Redman and Charlie Garnett. The match quickly became a free-for-all resulting in “Who Is Legal?” chants from the crowd and double pin counts by the ref. Messy at times but the tombstone, corkscrew moonsault combo finish for new RPW British Tag Team Champions was very nice.
The match everyone was in town too see time. Huge ovation for RPW British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr who looked is usual calm, cool and collected self. Massive ovation for former WWE and TNA World Heavyweight Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Kurt Angle. The crowd broke out the old “You Suck” chants in time with his music to the joy of everyone even Kurt. The two put on a wrestling master-class trading strikes and take downs combined with classic and innovative holds, stretches and submissions before Angle hit is famous triple German suplexes and Angle Lock for the tap-out victory. The match was awesome but over far too quickly, the reason for this Kurt explained was a knee injury preventing him from giving 100%. This was unfortunate news and stopped the match from being a classic but by no means dampened anyones spirits. Angle spoke to the crowd praising the crowd, Sabre Jr and RPW ending with the news that he will return when he his at full fitness.
RPW constantly raise the bar and raised it yet again with a show that from start to finish provided the electric crowd with matches of high quality and entertainment. RPW ‘Angle vs Sabre’ is now available on http://rpwondemand.com I strongly recommend you watch!
Photos by Craig Hermit.