RPW Summer Sizzler 2017 (8/17/2017)- Benthal Green, Greater London, UK
EDDIE DENNIS vs. MARTIN STONE- 5.25/10
The story going into this match was that Dennis has been in RevPro for a year and the fans have really gotten behind him despite the fact that he is yet to win a single match. He came lose several times, but lost via the cheating ways of Martin Stone, the most grizzled of all grizzled veterans since Ole Anderson. The problem is that the cheating in questions- a testicular claw- was done right in front of the referee, and instead of calling for the DQ, the referee started to apply a five-count. Would it have been that difficult to just have him hit a regular low blow?
POST-MATCH SEGMENT- terrible.
Stone cuts a promo on Sami Callihan, who I guess he was originally supposed to face but pulled out at the last minute. Then he proceeded to cut a nice long promo putting Eddie Dennis over as being a great guy and a hard worker and a future star and Dennis just stood there and accepted it graciously. This felt completely and totally disconnected from what I just saw, which was Stone grabbing Dennis by the testicles because he knew he couldn’t beat him cleanly. Did I hallucinate that testicular claw?
ZACK GIBSON GETS SOME CHEAP HEAT- not just by trying to talk but also by putting over Liverpool.
ZACK GIBSON vs. DALTON CASTLE (w/the Boys)- 6.75/10
These guys are both very good wrestlers, but I honestly cannot bring myself to care about either one of them due to the way they’ve been booked. I’m really, truly can’t think of any combination of guys from RevPro and their various gets this weekend that I would care less about.
During this match they did a good job of trying to make me forget that, though. They kept the shtick to a minimum and just focused on the wrestling.
THE BRISCOES vs. SHANE STRICKLAND & RYAN SMILE- 8/10
An awesome tag team match in which the relatively new combination of Strickland & Smile had to prove that they could up their game (and their aggression) enough to hang with the indies longest-established brother tag team.
JAY WHITE vs. TRAVIS BANKS- 7.25/10
This was a great, clean contest of will, stamina, and professional wrestling ability, culminating in what felt like a big win for Jay White. Also, while watching this match I learned that, because of his hair, if you look at Jay White from behind, he looks eerily like CM Punk sans tattoos.
RPW CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Josh Bodom(c) vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger- 6/10
This was a surprisingly short, but maybe it shouldn’t be so surprising because their last match was, too. This match played off of that one, with Bodom once again dominating until Liger hit all of his big moves in a burst of offense, but this time Bodom kicked out. Bodom used a low blow to get the advantage back and beat on Liger for a bit, showing off his athleticism and generally being his cocky douchebag self. Liger got another comeback in but Bodom once again cut him off with a low blow and hit his bouncing rope piledriver thing for the win, erasing Liger’s victory over him from last month’s British J Cup.
RPW BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH: Zack Sabre Jr.(c) vs. Chris Brookes- 7.5/10
Brookes’ strategy here was to come at Zack hard early on and keep him on the defensive. Zack would occasionally manage to bait Brookes into an exchange of strikes which he would win and start to take over, but Brookes would manage to come back and put Zack back on the defensive. The other story they told revolved around a variation of the Octopus Stretch, with both men use as finishers, and which is what Brookes had used to make Zack tap to earn this title shot back at Live at the Cockpit 17. Zack picked up the win here by adding something new to that variation: stomps to the head, which made the referee feel it necessary to stop the match for Brookes’ health.
REY MYSTERIO JR. vs. MARTY SCURLL- 7.75/10
They told a bit of a story with both guys looking for their signature move (619 and Crossface Chickenwing respectively), but for the most part the stuff in between was exactly what you would expect if someone told you there was going to be a match between Rey Mysterio Jr. and Marty Scurll, and that’s a high complement.
POST-MATCH SPEECHES- they put over each other, and other guys in the promotion and all of wrestling and they keep going on and blah blah blah and all I can think of is a comment CM Punk made in his first RF video shoot when he was talking about the frustrations of laying out his match with Justice Pain in CZW: “if you kick me in the balls then I’m not going to shake your hand.” If these two guys wanted to cut promos sucking each other’s (and the collective indy wrestling world’s) dicks then don’t do a spot where Marty Scurll rips Rey’s mask off. That’s supposed to be the ultimate disrespect, so why are they showing each other respect after that happened? The only possible answer is that “the fake wrestling match is over now and this is these two guys talking out of character” and that should never happen.
A pretty good show from RevPro, but there were some matches on high on the card that I was really hoping for more from. Still, a rather solid show, and definitely one you should watch if you feel a hankering for some Rey Mysterio.
NJPW, PROGRESS, RevPro, CMLL, etc
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