Reviews

Revolution Pro High Stakes 2016 Review

Show Date: 16/1/16

Revolution Pro, or RevPro is one of the biggest indie companies in the UK. They are the official UK affiliate of NJPW and are known to bring in a lot of major international talent, some would argue to their detriment. High Stakes was their first big show of the year and featuring AJ Styles wrestling one of his last indie matches against Zack Sabre Jr. in the main event in an absolute dream match.

Pete Dunne (c) vs. Flash Morgan Webster (Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship)

Dunne recently won this title in a tournament after it was vacated by Andrew Everett who is injured. Dunne is billed as the “Bruiserweight” as he wrestles as more of a big man than traditional cruiserweights. Flash looked like a pretty good high flyer here, he hit a great looking moonsault on Dunne at one point and kept going for 450s. Pete Dunne looked really great here, he played the big bully who just went after Morgan, who for his part took everything Dunne had kept coming back. I didn’t really buy into any of the nearfalls here, which is a shame since these guys worked really hard. Pete Dunne retains ***

Big Damo vs. “Speedball” Mike Bailey

Big Damo is a giant of a man who has been having a great few months with matches against NJPW’s Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shinsuke Nakamura. Bailey is one of the imports brought in and has quickly become one of the must watch wrestlers on the US indie scene. Bailey lit up Damo with a series of kicks early on and then got absolutely murdered by a forearm. That was basically the story of the entire match, Bailey was outwrestling Big Damo but the big man was far stronger and bigger than Speedball and used that to his advantage. That’s not to sell Damo short, he moves like a man half his size and is a lot of fun to watch. Eventually the size advantage got the better of Bailey, but both men came out of this looking great. Big Damo pins Speedball *** ¼

Damo and Speedball share a mutual size of respect after the match.

Doug Williams vs. Colt Cabana

Doug Williams is a phenomenal wrestler that never really got what he deserves, and he was treated like a god here. Colt is an interesting character, I am a big fan of his non-wrestling stuff but inside the ring he can be very hit or miss and that is coming from someone who enjoys comedy wrestling. This match, however, was a fine mix of comedy and serious wrestling with a lot of chain wrestling. Colt Cabana pins Doug Williams ** ½

After the match Colt gets on the mic and talks about wanting a match for the RevPro heavyweight championship. He is attacked from behind by Matt Classic, who unmasks to reveal himself as Lord Gideon Grey.

Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay (Number One Contender Match for RevPro British Heavyweight Championship)

Marty and Will are two of the biggest stars in British Wrestling right now, being top stars all over the country and regularly being flown to the US. There was real big match feel to this and both men looked like the legitimately hated each other. These two have had a long series of matches against each other, which they played into with each man countering the other multiple times in some seriously incredible sequences. Ospreay may very well be the best high flyer in the whole world right now and Scurll is one of the most well rounded, with his ground work being incredible. This is a match that will be talked about for a long time as one of the examples of how good British wrestling is in this period and is a very strong Match of the Year contender. Phenomenal stuff. Marty Scurll makes Will Ospreay tap to a crossface chickenwing **** ¾

The two men shake hands after the match.

Jay Lethal (c) vs. Mark Haskins (Ring of Honor World Championship)

This is a match between two guys who had bad TNA runs and then become amazing. Haskins only worked a couple of TNA shows but has improved so much as a performer since then and is a top UK star now. These two men had a very good back and forth match, it’s just a shame that they had to follow the last match, especially since the crowd was tired out after that match and was quieter than they had been all show so far. Lethal retains after a low blow and Lethal Injection *** ¼

The Revolutionists (James Castle, Josh Bodom, and Sha Samuels) vs. Jimmy Havoc, T-Bone, and Bram (NoDQ)

Jimmy Havoc was one of the best heels in wrestling in 2015 for his work in PROGRESS, in RevPro he has been feuding with The Revolutionists after they cost him the Cruiserweight title. Bram was a surprise appearance for this, which is a bit of a disappointment for me but the crowd seemed to love it so I can’t complain too much. I was not into this match at all, there was a lot of crowd brawling that was difficult to follow and honestly not very entertaining. Once things got back into the ring we got some decent hardcore spots but nothing great. I am sure I would’ve enjoyed this more if I was more invested in the storyline but as is this was just kind of there for me. Jimmy Havoc pins Josh Bodom with a Rainmaker ** ¾

AJ Styles (c) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (RevPro British Heavyweight Champioship)

ZSJ has really broken out in the last year and is one of the best technical wrestlers in the world today, while AJ is one of if not the best wrestler in the world today. It was very clear in this that AJ wasn’t giving his all in this match given his back injuries and not-so-secret debut with WWE coming up. We got some great chain wrestling to start the match and then the two started exchanging bombs. One criticism I have heard of ZSJ is that his selling can be a little off and points, I didn’t notice any major cases of bad selling in this match but equally this was not the match to really showcase someone’s selling ability. Sabre Jr. makes AJ submit to win the title ****

AJ cuts a promo putting over Zack and RevPro, as well as teasing an appearance at the Royal Rumble, to end the show.

Overall: 7.0

This was a really great show, with Ospreay/Scurll clearly being the match of the night and a frontrunner for Match of the Year. Everything, apart from maybe the six man tag match, truly delivered and was at the very least good. Go out of your way to watch this show, or at the very least Ospreay/Scurll.

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