Revolution Pro Wrestling held its annual Uprising event in York Hall, Bethnall Green on Friday, and with the hype surrounding the Vader – Ospreay match, especially after their twitter beef they had been engaged in for the months prior to this event, and the fact that the venue is only a short tube journey from my house, I thought it would be rude not to attend!
The night kicked off in spectacular fashion, as RoH and NJPW star Jay White fought RPW’s own Josh Bodom. This was the perfect kick off match, and the crowd was hot for both stars. This is probably one of the only matches I’ve seen Josh Bodom in that wasn’t a hard-core match, but it was still a chop-fest nontheless, with Josh doing his signature hush-the-crowd chops on Jay White. However, Jay White got Josh Bodom in a painful Boston crab submission, and as Bodom was about to crawl his way to the ropes for a rope break, White pulls him back into the center of the ring and modifies his Boston crab, so rather than squatting over his back, he moved further backwards and was squatting over his head, increasing the pressure on his back tenfold. This looked extremely painful, and our homegrown hardcore sweetheart had no choice but to tap out. Jay White wins via submission.
Next up, probably one of my favourite wrestlers in the UK independent scene, Big Damo, went head to head with probably one of my least favourite wrestlers on the independent scene: Sha Samuels, one half of the RevPro tag team “The Revolutionists”. The match started out with the Beast from Belfast, Damo throwing around Sha Samuels making him look weak. With Sha Samuels getting literally no offence in, Big Damo continued to throw his weight around the ring. Towards the end of the bout, Damo had Sha in the corner, when Sha pushed Damo into the ref, making him tumble over and fall to the ground. As the ref was recovering from this somewhat feeble ref bump, Sha Samuels took his football scarf which he uses during his entrance, and strangled Damo from behind, forcing Damo to tap out, conveniently as the referee got up from rolling around. Sha Samuels wins via Submission, much to the upset of the fans, who were chanting the classic “Fat Cantona” song to him as he left the ring.
The next match was the one before the intermission, and it was probably the weakest match on the card. Ryan Smile and “Mystery guest” vs Bruce & Jake McCluskey in a tag team match. The McCluskey brothers came out first, followed by Ryan Smile who introduced his tag team partner. PJ Black’s music hit, and every popped as the Darewolf walked through the curtain and down the ramp. Unfortunately, PJ Black spend 90% of this match on the apron, whille Ryan Smiles was doing most of the work. Luckily there were a few high spots in the match when the Darewolf jumped from the ring. forcing McCluskey brothers into the barricade. This disappointingly ended when Ryan was pinned after a suplex.
After the submission, the crowd was refuelled with beer and ready for more wrestling, and the next match did not disappoint. Probably the match of the night – it was a real lift Hero vs Villain battle, as Chris Hero went head to head with the villain Marty Scurll. Marty seems to get better and better every time I see him, and I would be surprised if we don’t see him in next years WWE CWC tournament. There was even a t-shirt made for the match, to mark this event in history – which I even brought after the match to support both wrestlers. Chris Hero is still as agile and technically sound as ever, which is surprising due to his age, and the fact that he has put on some weight in recent times. But this didn’t stop him from putting on a match filled with kip ups and moonsaults. Marty put on a spectacular show in front of his home crowd as well, especially when he paid homage to Hero’s old tag team partner, Cesaro, by cracking his neck before doing a gotch neutraliser. After many big spots, and many kick outs at two and a half, the crowd started the “fight forever” cants. But unfortunately, this wish wasn’t granted as Chris Hero finished Marty Scurll by doing a styles clash into a pile driver off the top turnbuckle and pinning him for the three count.
The next match did not disappoint either, and it had a lot to live up to in order to compete with the prior match. RPW regular, Ricochet, went head to head with the ex cruiserweight champion Pete Dunne – again, one of my favourite independent British wrestlers. The match was very back and forth, with both wrestlers making each other look strong. I saw what I expected to see, the submission specialist Pete Dunne getting Ricochet in a plethora of holds, typing him up in all kinds of knots – and Ricochet doing his usual high flying Lucha Libre style of wrestling on Pete Dunne. Ricochet wins by doing an amazing 450 swanton from the top turnbuckle onto Pete Dunne, and pinning him for the three count. After the match, the two shake hands, but as Ricochet leaves the ring, the Bruiserweight jumps him, leaving him laying on the mat as he walked off the ramp.
The penultimate match was for the RevPro British Heavyweight Championship belt, and it was between Jeff Cobb, better known to some as “Matanza” from Lucha Underground, and RPW’s very own technical wizard Zack Sabre Junior – who must have the busiest schedule in the world right now, flitting between the US for the CWC tournament and the UK for his usual shows. The match started out with Jeff Cobb throwing Zack around the ring, show boating his immense strength and skill. He was actually making ZSJ look very weak, by powering out of every single submission that ZSJ put him in, and squatting him away like an annoying mosquito. This is when the boos for Zack started, and they were loud! Every time Zack got on a bit of offense, by doing his usual stiff kicks to Jeff Cobb’s legs, the crowd erupted in boos. This isn’t surprising though, because ZSJ is known as a cocky heel in the UK crowds.
The match ended way too quickly, with ZSJ pinning Jeff Cobb after a measly few seconds of offence. I was on the balcony so I could see a better view than usual, and it looked like Jeff Cobb was supposed to kick out but he didn’t. Rather than the ref doing the usual signal to ring the bell as soon as the three count is hit, he stayed on the ground as if he was expecting Cobb to kick out as well. Regardless, the three count was hit and the match was over. Zack was greeted by Marty who met him on the entrance ramp, and they left together, jumping and celebrating the victory. Jeff stayed on the mat, and Andy came up to him and offered him a place with the RPW roster next March, when they go to Orlando during Wrestlemania Weekend, to which Jeff Cobb replied “Oh hell yeah!”. I can’t wait to see more of Cobb in RPW!
The last match was the one everyone was waiting for, as it was time. Vader time. He made his way to the ringfirst, followed shortly after by the new Cruiserweight Title holder, Will Ospreay. Already, the boos were real, and the chants were loud. Vader was not welcomed in York Hall that night, but Will Ospreay was cheered on. Before the match started, Vader got in Will Ospreay’s face. In response to this, Ospreay did the ultimate wrestling disrespect before a match, and turned his back on Vader. Fuming, Vader attacked Will before the bell was even rang, and as the ref tried to break the fight up, Vader turned around and threw him into ring post. RevPro staff came rushing out from the back, in an attempt to separate the two, but Vader continued his onslaught onto Will, eventually picking him up and putting him through the announce table. Medics rushed out to see if Will was alright, as he lay there folded up into the announce table. By this time, Vader had made his way back into the ring and was asking the crowd “Is this your guy?” By this point, the boos for Big Van Vader were deafening. The medics had managed to put a neck brace on Will, which he ripped off as he fought his way through the security guards and crawled his way back down the walk way and into the ring.
The bell was rung, and the match had began – but Will was already in a bad state and didn’t put up much of a fight. As soon as he began getting a bit of offense, Pete Dunne’s music hit, and Will span around to face the curtain in anticipation for Pete to come out. However, the cunning Bruiserweight had snuck in from the back of the venue, and came behind Will to attack him, claiming that he wants his title back from Will. He shook Vader’s hand, and they began to attack Will Ospreay, who at this point was laying in a heap on the ground. All of a sudden, Ricochet comes sprinting out from the curtain, with his famous “Wrestling is an Art” t-shirt on. He jumped in the ring and began helping out his pal Will Ospreay, but this wasn’t enough, and Ospreay got pinned for the three count by Vader.
Pete Dunne and Vader returned to the back, arms around each others shoulders, while Ricochet and Will remained in the ring. Once Vader’s music stopped, Will took a microphone from Andy, who had also made his way down to the ring, and said “If I’m going to drop a pipe-bomb, I best sit down,” and sat cross legged in the middle of the ring. The crowd cheered him, as he began to make a speech about how it was not fair what just happened, and that Vader should be retired, and Ricochet and Will represent the next stage in the evolution of wrestling. He also threw shade to Pete Dunne, telling him that he has just made Will very upset, and Will can be a very “nasty b*stard” when he’s upset. After Will was done, Ricochet jumped on the mic and said a few words as well, basically echoing what Will had said, and also thanked the crowd for being so supportive of them both.
The night ended on that note, and Revolution Pro Wrestling hosted another outstanding Uprising event, culminating in a fight that had been boiling over on social media for months.