Submitted by Matt Dagnall
York Hall in London wasn't quite sold out, but it was pretty full and had a great atmosphere for the night.
- Taichi defeated Chris Brookes (15:03)
Taichi kept leaving the ring and avoiding Brookes at the start, and when they eventually came to blows, a crazy brawl erupted all around the arena. The two had good chemistry when back in the ring and had a decent back-and-forth match.
Brookes had Taichi in a submission when El Desperado came out and distracted the official -- who then didn't see Taichi tap out. Will Ospreay came down to even the odds (despite not yet being cleared to wrestle) and went to hit Desperado with Taichi's mic stand, but Taichi ducked and Ospreay hit Brookes, and then got a superkick from Taichi.
Taichi took advantage and submitted Brookes after a low blow. After the match, Ospreay apologized and raised Brookes' hand, only for Brookes to turn on him and give the still-injured Ospreay a moderate beatdown. This was expertly booked and the crowd lapped it up.
- The Great-O-Kharn defeated Shane Taylor (7:14)
Lord Gideon Grey came out and said that RevPro had given in to his demands for The Dominator to have a match, but said it would be against a mystery opponent. Shane Taylor came down to little reaction and got an alright match out of the improving O-Kharn
There were a lot of strikes and suplexes, but O-Kharn won fairly quickly with a chokeslam after interference from Gideon Grey. Taylor got a good ovation at the end. This was a pleasant surprise on the card and O-Kharn remains undefeated.
- Josh Bodom defeated Chris Ridgeway (8:19)
This started off very hot with both wrestlers wanting to get at the other. They fit a lot into a short amount of time here, as the match hit top gear a few minutes in.
Ridgeway went crazy with kicks and nearly won with an ankle lock. Bodom was incredible. He did a picture-perfect moonsault to the outside, followed by a tombstone on the apron and a Bliss Buster for the win. Bodom was busted open halfway through and looked sadistic with blood all over his body -- this was a really good showing from him, as per usual.
- El Phantasmo defeated El Desperado (15:58)
As is often the case, the first half main event was stellar. It started off pretty fast paced as both men ran the ropes and got the crowd involved. They slowed down a bit, with Desperado gaining control until Phantasmo started to get the upper hand, leaping all over the place with the crowd firmly in his corner.
The last few minutes were insanity, with all sorts of near falls as the crowd became very invested. Phantasmo won this with his swanton and moonsault combination and received a huge ovation. Phantasmo is a superstar and it is only a matter of time before he is signed up somewhere.
- Satoshi Kojima defeated WALTER (11:40)
Kojima is incredibly over in the United Kingdom and WALTER is a pretty effective heel, so this made for a good dynamic. WALTER chopped the life out of Kojima, who kept on attempting to fire up but being swatted down.
Eventually, Kojima quickly won with a lariat in what was barely a three count -- a clearly improvised finish due to WALTER being apparently hurt. WALTER was taken to the back with the medics, but it didn't seem to be too serious.
Kojima cut a promo and was about to challenge Tomohiro Ishii until Bodom came out announcing he was moving up to heavyweight. He said Kojima was the past and he was the future, while demolishing a loaf of bread, much to the distress of the leader of Bread Club.
The match could have gotten very good had it not ended abruptly -- but regardless, you have to again question the booking of WALTER here. It genuinely baffles me why he isn't treated as a bigger star in RevPro and there was no need for Kojima to win this.
- MK McKinnan defeated "Speedball" Mike Bailey (14:37)
This was Bailey's return to York Hall after an over two-year absence following his incredible run in 2016. It was awesome to finally see him back. McKinnan was clearly not that over at the start of the match and the crowd was pretty worn out too, however this incredible match brought them right back up.
Both men wrestled really well, starting off on the mat before going to the top rope and the ramp. Bailey hit his double-knee moonsault on the apron, there was a massive superplex, and several great near falls. McKinnan got Bailey in a choke and elbowed him till he passed out.
This was really good stuff, and a very strong win for McKinnan, who has looked fantastic since returning. Hopefully Bailey can stick around too as he's such a valuable asset.
- Undisputed British Tag Team Champions Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) to retain their titles (21:50)
This had a really big-fight feel as both teams have been pretty invincible in RevPro this year. Suzuki dominated both opponents early on, scaring Fletcher, who was worked over for a lot of this. Davis tagged in and ran wild before being worn down by Suzuki's submission-based offense.
Davis tagged Fletcher back in for an awesome staredown between Fletcher and Suzuki -- Fletcher finally facing his fear. However, just as Fletcher was getting the upper hand, Sabre came in and they started applying double submissions. Davis eventually broke it up and Aussie Open hit their double-team finishers, each of them being kicked out of. Then while Sabre had Davis in a submission, Suzuki pinned Fletcher with the Gotch-style piledriver.
This was an odd result, -- Aussie Open had been building to this since January and I'm not sure where they go from here.
- Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii defeated Undisputed British Cruiserweight Champion David Starr to retain his title (19:07)
The build to this match was great, with Starr claiming he is not just the best cruiserweight but the best wrestler. The match was designed to appeal to the fans who object to NJPW talent holding RevPro titles and would prefer full-time champions like Starr.
Starr mocked Ishii's walk and stance, while Ishii just stared down his opponent. Starr outwrestled Ishii early on, being too technical, nimble, and agile for the heavyweight and wearing him down. As you'd expect, Ishii came firing back with heavy forearms, but Starr was able to match him and never gave up despite taking a beating.
They exchanged more strikes and chops, with Ishii often no selling Starr's strikes and even hitting the best superplex I've ever seen. Starr hit a combination of lariats and followed with a Han Stansen -- but Ishii kicked out at one. Ishii then hit his brainbuster for the win.
A really good main event and the crowd was very into Starr potentially being a double champion. After the match, Suzuki-gun attacked Ishii and Sabre announced that he never got his rematch from when Ishii beat him for the title back in April. Sabre will get his rematch at Wrestle Kingdom 13. The crowd loved this announcement -- it almost made up for Starr not winning.
Final thoughts --
This was an excellent show from top to bottom, with every match ranging from good to incredible. RevPro is often criticized for being all in-ring and no story, but they did very well to combat that at this show. The three big angles were really well booked and will lead to other matches down the line, with the Ospreay/Taichi stuff and Sabre/Ishii stuff standing out in terms of story.
The in-ring side was as good as ever, with The McKinnan vs. Bailey match, Phantasmo vs. Desperado, and obviously the main event standing out. The only concern is in the booking decisions. The main criticism of RevPro right now is that the NJPW guys that come over always win, after at Global Wars UK when every New Japan guy won except from against El Phantasmo. This was again the case here.
The WALTER loss hurt, as well as both Starr and Aussie Open losing their title matches. I think most people assumed at least one of Ishii and Suzuki-gun would lose their titles and neither did, which came as a surprise. It does make the RevPro roster look weak if they always lose to NJPW guys and it's certainly an issue that needs addressing before more of the fan base become angered.