Rev Pro was back yet again to round out its third show this month with its family-friendly Portsmouth Guildhall show which they have dubbed 'Live in Portsmouth'. This time out they had announced a fairly decent lineup as Zack Sabre Jr would face Will Ospreay in a non-title match. Also, Sha Samuels would face RICKY aka Rob Lias in a big grudge match, Jeff Cobb was in action against DDT regular 'Speedball' Mike Bailey and ex-WWE Superstar Jack Swagger would tangle with Dave Mastiff.
It was your usual cold open with Andy Quildan in the middle of the ring introducing our first match. Something that bothered me here was how poorly lit this show was but then the building did look half empty. So it wasn't off to a great start.
Tag Team Match: All Day Swerve (Ryan Smile & Shane Strickland) vs. The Contenders (Josh Wall & Kurtis Chapman)
I'll save my criticism and own personal opinions on Ryan Smile not for this review and speak about how much I enjoyed this opener. I'm not surprised as both teams are more than capable of putting together a solid match. It was all go early on as The Contenders got two very near falls on All Day Swerve. The match then slowed down and Shane Strickland had a good exchange with Kurtis Chapman. It was also good to see Chapman making the hot tag to Wall as it's usually the other way around and Chapman proved to this reviewer he's just as good at selling as Wall.
The finish was hot as well as the contenders did a neat looking swinging DDT as Wall spun around Chapman and he launched him off and Wall caught smile with a swinging DDT (a sick fucking double team move). After lots of more back and forth it was time to go home as Smile hoisted up Wall into a powerbomb position. Meanwhile, Chapman went up top and flow off but Smile saw him and dropped Wall and gave Chapman an RKO in mid-air out of nowhere. Smile then hoisted Wall back up into the powerbomb position while Strickland headed up top. Shane came off the top and landed on Wall with his knees then Smile snapped him down onto the mat with a sit-down powerbomb to pick up the win for his team.
Winners: All Day Swerve (Shane Strickland & Ryan Smile)
Singles Match: 'Speedball' Mike Bailey vs. Jeff Cobb
This was a match I was really looking forward to when Rev Pro announced this card last month and in a surprise to no-one, it delivered.
Both men told a simple story of the big man vs. the little man. Early on 'Speedball' tried his best to take down Cobb but he was not going down and overpowered the smaller Bailey. Cobb began to overpower Bailey and beat him down with a slow and methodical beat down. Speedball came back with a number of kicks and his standing twisting Shooting Star Press for a near fall.
Cobb sold all of 'Speedball's' kick like death and was then on the receiving end of a spin back kick which hit so hard that his shin guard went flying! 'Speedball' nailed Cobb with a standing moonsualt knee drop for another near fall. Cobb made his comeback with a number of big suplexes and then a bear hug. Bailey tried to make a comeback but Jeff nailed him with a German, standing moonsualt and standing shooting star for a near fall. 'Speedball' countered a deadlift German and nailed Cobb with a roundhouse kick. Cobb again came back this time nailing 'Speedball' with the deadlift German for a two Count. 'Speedball' Missed his shooting star knee drop and Cobb nailed him with the Tour of the Islands for the three count.
Winner: Jeff Cobb
Singles Match: Jack Swagger vs. Dave Mastiff
This match was a long, boring and dull match up which existed to only put over the ex-WWE star in front of the crowd made up mostly of families and children here to see Jack Swagger. You'll know if you've read my previous reviews of these Portsmouth shows they are not aimed at me and I get why they do it. There was far too much stalling and working of the crowd and cheap pops which made this reviewer roll his eyes. Dave Mastiff is actually perfect in this role but at times I do wish they would do something different with him.
Anyway, after what seemed like a lifetime, Jack made Dave tap out to the Ankle Lock. It was the most obvious finish to this entire card. The only highlight of this match was a joke Andy Quildan made on commentary about the World of Sport.
Winner: Jack Swagger
RPW Undisputed British Cruiserweight Title Three Way Match: Josh Bodom (Champion) vs. David Starr vs. Bubblegum
I'm still puzzled as to why this match was booked as Bodom had beaten both previously on singles matches with the belt on the line but then I guess this crowd wouldn't know that. So why not and at least? It got the most improved wrestler in Rev Pro in Josh Bodom on the card!
Early on the two babyfaces teamed up on Bodom but then eventually it all broke down and Bubblegum and Starr began exchanging with one another. BritWres vet Bubblegum got a bit sloppy with his springboards early on but then who cares? Not many people see these Portsmouth cards anyway.
Bodom singled out Starr while continually knocking Bubblegum to the outside as Andy Quildan reminded us Bubblegum pinned Bodom clean a couple of months back but he must have forgotten Bodom also pinned Bubblegum clean in the Cockpit a few months back. Bodom went for the Bliss Buster but Bubblegum countered and sent Bodom out onto Starr. Bodom battled back with a superkick and then a moonsualt to the outside onto both Bubblegum and Starr. Bodom looked like a star in this match and I didn't think I would ever say that at the beginning of the year!
Both babyfaces exchanged some sweet looking strikes then Bubblegum got drilled with a Flatliner by Starr. Starr pinned Bubblegum but Bodom broke up the count at two with a shooting star press. Bodom nailed Bubblegum with a Revolution Kick and a hurricanrana for a near fall. Starr nailed Bodom with a superkick and a big knee smash. Bubblegum gave Starr a drop toe hold and a 619. Starr battled back with the tomorrow driver but Bodom rolled in and rolled up Starr for the three count with a handful of Starr's tights. This was far better than Cobb vs. Bailey and so far is going down as my match of the night.
Winner: Josh Bodom (And Still RPW Undisputed British Cruiserweight Champion)
Singles Match: Rob Lias Vs Sha Samuels
Up next was the big grudge match which has been building most of the summer. Let's forget both men being outclassed and made to look like mugs against Bully Ray because Rev Pro is trying to forget it by omitting it from the Summer Sizzler VOD which dropped last month.
Early on both men were all over one another and brawled all over the venue. Sha got vicious by pounding on a downed Lias, the ref stepped in and Sha nailed the ref but it didn't lead to a DQ. Sha and Rob continued to brawl and Sha took off his braces and began to whip lias over and over but still no DQ. Rob low blowed Sha and nailed him with a DDT for the win. Afterwards, an irate Sha chased rob to the back. This match was short but sweet outing but it really wasn't the kind of grudge match I was expecting between the two. Maybe they will work a more important match at York Hall at either Global Wars or Uprising -
but then I would be surprised if their big grudge match makes it onto either show.
Winner: Rob Lias
Non-Title Match: Zack Sabre Jr vs. Will Ospreay
When I heard about this match headlining this show my thinking was maybe they do something where Sabre Jr. just beats Will to set up a rematch but then they announced it would be non-title and the finish was kind of telegraphed although I can't say I'm against a Sabre Jr vs Will Ospreay RPW British Heavyweight title match at either Global Wars or Uprising.
As you would expect vicious Sabre worked over Ospreay's arm throughout in a number of brutal and vicious ways. Will's selling was spot on as he screamed out in pain and his facial expressions were better than anyone else on this show. Will's comeback was timed perfectly for maximum crowd reaction. Ospreay battled back with a cheeky Nandos and Revolution kick but Sabre Jr battled back with a rear naked choke and octopus stretch. Will went for the os cutter but Sabre Jr caught him with an armbar but somehow Will made it to the ropes to break the hold. Ospreay got a near fall with a Rainmaker then nailed Sabre Jr with an Os-Cutter for the one, two and three.
Afterwards, Will grabbed the RPW British Heavyweight title and signaled what he wanted next as Andy Quildan lost his mind on commentary.
Winner: Will Ospreay
Overall this was actually a decent show but nothing really stands out to mind as being important. Ospreay, Cobb, Speedball, Sabre Jr, Bodom and Starr all delivered and seemed to go out of their way to make this show seem more important than it was but as always with 'Live in Portsmouth' it wasn't the best of shows but nothing was stand out but then nothing offensive happened either. I'd give the match of the night to the three-way but also a lot of credit need to go to Sabre Jr vs. Ospreay and Bailey vs. Cobb.
Well, that's it folks and thanks for reading and as always if you enjoyed reading this then head on over to RPW on demand on Pivotshare to relive this show in all its glory. As always I'll end with my Bill Apter ripped off line - I'll see you at the matches.