RPW British J Cup 2017 (7/8/2017)- Walthamstow, Greater London, UK
BRITISH J CUP FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Marty Scurll vs. Tiger Mask IV- 6.5/10
They had a very good match, but I thought the finishing sequence was ridiculous. Here is how it went:
1. Marty did his finger-breaking spot
2. Tiger Mask kicked Marty in the stomach
3. Marty rolled Tiger Mask up for the win.
WHAT THE F*CK?
BRITISH J CUP FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs. Josh Bodom- 4.75/10
This was GREAT for the time it got. The story here was that Bodom took it right to Liger in the beginning, but then he started to be a cocky dick, and eventually Liger exploded, hitting all of his big stuff and getting the upset win. Being the RPW British Cruiserweight Champion and a guy RevPro seems to be looking to build into a top guy this year, I (and I think everyone else) figured that Bodom was as sure-in to at least make it to the finals, if not win the whole thing, and with Liger having just gone on a nice long “put everyone over” tour during Best of the Super Juniors, such an outcome seemed all the more certain, so this was quite the shock, but the more I think about it, the more I like it. Beating Liger here in the first round of a tournament bound to have much better matches later on (never mind Riddle vs. Ishii and LIJ vs. CCK) isn’t going to get quite as much attention for Bodom as RevPro probably wants. Doing it this way ensures that Liger will come back, in what will be a bigger match, likely for the title, on a show where Liger coming in can be the selling point and Bodom beating Liger can be the big story coming out of it. A bold decision by the RevPro crew, but (assuming Liger is, indeed coming back to return the favor to Bodom) an excellent one (and the huge pop this victory got seems to be a good omen that the gate for the return match will verify that).
BRITISH J CUP FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Kyle O’Reilly vs. KUSHIDA- 8.75/10
KUSHIDA applied an interesting arm-lock I had never seen before that, when combined with the camera angle they used, made it look like KUSHIDA’s wang was sticking out of his tights. KUSHIDA worked the arm, Kyle worked the leg. You know how awesome these two are together.
BRITISH J CUP FIRST-ROUND MATCH: Will Ospreay vs. Ryusuke Taguchi- 7.25/10
Fun comedy (which they probably shouldn’t have done in a tournament, but at least it was funny), followed by some great Jr. Heavyweight action.
JOSH WALL & KURTIS CHAPMAN vs. THE TEMPURA BOYZ- 4.5/10
RPW BRITISH TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: CCK(c) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI)- 4.75/10
Things were going fine until LIJ randomly decided to get themselves disqualified. Unfortunately, no one rang the bell and referee didn’t signal for it and the action in the ring just kind of continued, both myself and the announcers were left extremely confused as to what was going on. Things were not helped when a guy in the most atrocious mask I’ve ever seen ran in to make the save for CCK. He is apparently Kid Lykos, and wants to be part of their crew. He doesn’t seem to fit in, but they were thankful for his help. Finally we got an announcement that CCK had won by DQ. Why didn’t that happen when the disqualifying fouls were actually committed?!
MATT RIDDLE vs. TOMOHIRO ISHII-7/10
Both guys worked over the other’s head. There was some fighting spirit stuff at times. The match was great and all, but with two names that are this big I was hoping for more. I was also hoping for something different, solely because I’m tired of seeing Ishii matches where he and the other guy work over the head. Why has no one tried to outwrestle him or use their speed to beat him or something?
BRITISH J CUP FINALS: Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger vs. KUSHIDA- 8.5/10
British legend Marty Jones came out to cut a promo before the match and I assume he will be presenting the big honkin’ trophy to the winner.
This was an elimination match, so Scurll, realizing that there were three babyfaces and just one of him, took steps to sew some dissent between the babyfaces, which paid off for a while. He pinned KUSHIDA with a Mouse Trap, setting him up for an IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title match at some point (probably the final day of the G1 or the Global Wars UK shows) as well as theoretically setting up yet another match between these two for the ROH TV Title (which could also theoretically take place at either of those times).
After that point they kept coming up with ways for Liger to get taken out so we could have Ospreay and Scurll doing their usual greatness together, with a bit of a story of “they know each other so well that they could counter all of the other guy’s stuff.” They also had Ospreay hit a Rainmaker and Scurll kick out of it, which will probably get them in trouble.
Scurll eventually got Ospreay with the Mouse Trap as well, leaving us with just Marty and Liger, who did some good babyface vs. heel stuff, but most of their drama came from building off of spots that had been established earlier in the night, including Marty’s Mouse Traps and Liger’s comeback sequence in his first-round match. Liger had a great fighting spirit spot and came back and got the win here, which made everyone go nuts. You can definitely criticize them for putting the 52-year-old Liger over in a match that also featured Scurll, Ospreay, and KUSHIDA, and there was definitely a feeling that the spots where Liger kept getting taken out while the other three did their spots were a way to keep Old Man Liger out of the ring while the three men who were born well after Liger’s debut did their stuff, but with the frustrating booking of Liger in this year’s BOSJ, I found it quite satisfying to see the all-time legend get one more notch on his belt, and this clearly sets him up to put over Bodom, who certainly needs the win over Liger to establish his credibility a lot more than Ospreay, KUSHIDA, or Scurll do.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- excellent!
Marty Jones presents Liger with the trophy but Josh Bodom comes out and attacks Liger. The 72-year-old Marty Jones comes to Liger’s defense and slaps Bodom, so Bodom goes after him as well but the whole locker room comes out to make the save before Bodom can harm the British legend. Then, because they were all out here, we got to have our nice moment with Liger celebrating with his trophy while everyone else clapped for him.
An awesome show from RevPro. Lots of great wrestling, several nice little self-contained stories that will likely have consequences later on as well, a great crowd, and very fun and easy to sit through. If only they hadn’t screwed up the finish of the tag title match. Definitely worth checking out.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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