Welcome, everyone to the first review of RPW’s World Of Pro Wrestling, their first foray into the UK terrestrial TV market. I’m “Smart” Mark Blake and I’ll be reviewing this show each and every week right here at Pro Wrestling Post. Here is Revolution Pro Wrestling presents World of Pro Wrestling episode 1.
I recently posted an article about the history of Revolution Pro Wrestling, and you can read that piece right here, to give an overview of the promotion before their big show. It’s garnered a lot of interest and praise which I’m most thankful for.
As I said, this show marks the first time Rev Pro have shown an event on UK terrestrial TV, and follow in the footsteps of World Of Sport Wrestling. With news that IPW: UK has signed a deal with the Fight Network UK, British wrestling is on a high at the moment.
So let’s ride that crest of a wave together as I review episode one of RPW’s World Of Pro Wrestling…..
World Of Pro Wrestling
Recorded last month at the world-famous York Hall in Bethnal Green, London, this episode opened with the commentary team of Kevin Kelly and Andy Simmonz running down the rules of pro wrestling. Yup, seriously, the rules. Now I know that it’s aimed at the casual fan or a first time viewer, and that’s a good thing, so don’t @ me as those young kids are saying (I’m 41 before you ask)
The first match is NJPW megastar and legend Jushin Thunder Liger versus one half of CCK, Chris Brookes.
Jushin Thunder Liger v Chris Brookes
A huge match to begin the show pitting the Japanese legend Liger against a very well known British star like Brookes.
The match began with Liger asking if Brookes’s shoulder is ok (Chris wears a tight shoulder sling/compress over his left shoulder due to a long-standing injury) which is the first time I’ve ever seen an opponent ask Brookes that. A handshake between both men before a very technical style began to start the match. Mexican surfboards, bow and arrow submissions attempts show the audience that even though Liger is entering his 30-year as a professional, he can still go.
Brookes soon takes charge and slows the match down with some chokeholds and strikes but again Liger takes center stage with some great classic high flying maneuvers.
The crowd was split between both men as the match went on and Brookes took more control of the match. It was nice to see that both men shined throughout this match and it wasn’t just Liger that was highlighted is the bigger known star.
The finish came when Jushin hit a sick looking brainbuster onto Brookes (and I mean sick the real way, as it looked like Brookes tucked his head in at the very last second to make the move look even more spectacular) and covered him for the win.
After the match, both men shook hands again but Brookes began to beat down Liger until El Phantasmo ran out to make the save. Possible future match up there?
Winner – Jushin Thunder Liger
Just as I was coming down from that great finish, Lord Gideon Grey made his way to the ring to announce that he had acquired the services of The Dominator, Great-O-Kharn. The Dominator is an NJPW contracted talent over here in the UK on an excursion and is very much a heavyweight division guy.
Now before I go on, I just want to say that Lord Gideon Grey is a great heel. I say that as he has one of those faces you just want to repeatedly slap as he gets on your last nerve really quick.
The Dominators unannounced opponent was Harrison Thompson, I think he’s a RevPro Contender student, but don’t hold me to that.
The Dominator, Great-O-Kharn v Harrison Thompson
This match was a total squash, a way to show how “dominating” Great-O-Kharn is. That’s not to say that Thompson didn’t get any offense in, as he did hit a dropkick. But that only riled up The Dominator enough to hit his Iron Claw/Chokeslam for the win.
Winner – The Dominator, Great-O-Kharn
A pre-taped ringside interview was next with Kevin Kelly interviewing Dan Magee, asking what the transition is like from the Contender division (like an academy) to the main roster. Before he had a chance to really talk he was interrupted by the longest-reigning RPW British Champion, Sha Samuels, who mentioned that he hasn’t stepped foot in Rev Pro for over a year and the spotlight should be on him. He then attacked Magee before security broke it up. Another possible future match up there? Young gun versus old hand?
Another pre-taped interview, this time Andy Simmonz is with Colt Cabana who talks about his love of the British wrestling scene, even from back in the original World of Sport days.
Zack Sabre Jr v KUSHIDA
The main event that could be held anywhere in the world, this match did not disappoint. Two of the best Junior Heavyweights in the world took each other to a great match that had the crowd rabid all the way through.
Just like in the opening bout, a technical start was made by both men, using their technical skills to gain the upper hand. A part that popped me the most was where Zack kept trying to slap on a headlock takeover onto KUSHIDA, only for the NJPW star to reverse out of each attempt and slap on a top wristlock of his own onto ZSJ. My kind of wrestling folks.
Having worked in NJPW, the chemistry of the two was there for everyone to see, and given the majority, if the show to work, they made sure we all got our monies worth.
From the technical start to a traditional Strong Style middle part, to a frantic paced finish, this match was really really good.
During the match, Chris Ridgeway made his way down the ramp and sat down to watch the match first hand. I think we all expected him to run in at some point but he held back and just spectated. Sowing the seeds of a possible match with ZSJ or KUSHIDA?
The finish came when Zack tapped out KUSHIDA using his ingenious Orienteering With Napalm Death submission maneuver, which needs to be seen to be believed, folks.
A great match to end a really good start to Rev Pro’s World Of Pro Wrestling show.
Winner – Zack Sabre Jr
Having Kevin Kelly on commentary is genius. A world-renown and well-respected guy that instantly gives gravitas to the show. Great job.
The lack of cutaways to the crowd – I’m looking at you World of Sport Wrestling!!! – and letting the action in the ring take center stage makes for better viewing. It’s amazing what happens when you let actual people in the industry produce shows doesn’t it.
The link that Rev Pro has with NJPW and Ring Of Honor will bring them dividends in this show. Some star power from around the world should and would help those all-important viewing figures.
Holding the TV tapings in York Hall was another great idea. The spiritual home of Rev Pro, the fans there are fantastic, and the venue looks great. I really need to get my ass there one day….
I honestly thought it was great, and a lot better than the opening episode it’s nearest terrestrial TV rival, World Of Sport. I’d give it a solid 8/10 and expecting the show to get better through it’s run.
Now it’s just the wait until next week…..
Credit to Robyn Goding for the use of the images.