By Big Red Machine
From March 26, 2017
ROB LIAS vs. KURTIS CHAPMAN - no rating, good segment.
Lias is an excellent scumbag heel. He sucker-kicks Chapman o the handshake, hits him with a DDT and pins him. Then he attacks him after the match. Dan Magee came out to make the save and laid Chapman out with a Slingblade.
EDDIE DENNIS vs. ZACK GIBSON - 4.5/10
We got some very annoying pre-match promos from both men- especially Dennis. He was so annoying that I popped when Gibson jumped him from behind to start the match. The match was nothing special.
DAVID STARR vs. BUBBLEGUM - 7.25/10
Well... that was sure a sleeper match. Starr continues to impress me (and the RevPro crowd), and Bubblegum looked great in his debut. This was the first time I have ever seen him, but my immediate assessment of Mr. Bubblegum is that he needs to get himself a new name and maybe a mask because he's pretty ugly and then go be a successful babyface somewhere because he's got both the moves and the charisma to do so.
REVOLUTIONISTS SEGMENT - Good. Sha Samuels came out without James Castle, then cut a promo on him demanding that he come out. Samuels shouted at Castle that he was the one who made him so he had better do what he's told. Castle stood there and just took the tongue lashing, but at the same time you could kind of tell that he knows that it's not all true and that his own talents have played a role in his successes.
THE REOVLUTIONISTS vs. MOUSTACHE MOUNTAIN - 5.5/10
The Revolutionists jumped Moustache Mountain to start things off, and from the moment the bell rang Samuels and Castle were on the same page, working together seamlessly (aside from one moment where Samuels yelled at Castle because one of the Mustache Mountaineers kicked out of his finisher) until Castle accidentally hit Samuels with a flying knee strike. Castle then ate both Bate and Seven's finishers and was pinned.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - great! Sha Samuels predictably berates Castle for the loss and starts to slap him around... and this time Castle fights back, slapping Samuels in the face (which got a huge pop), the laying him out with the flying knee strike- this time on purpose. The Revolutionists have exploded!
JEFF COBB vs. DAVE MASTIFF - 5.5/10
Decent hoss stuff.
JINNY COUTURE PROMO - this was a great heel promo, but she really impressed me with her excellent handling of a hostile crowd.
Rhia O'Reilly came out and Jinny cut a promo on her. Rhia didn't react so Jinny slapped her in the face. Rhia responded by flooring Jinny with a punch and then hitting her with a fall-away slam. Jinny bailed and Rhia cut a promo on her. Good angle to build up a future match for RevPro's fledgling women's division.
RYAN SMILE vs. PETE DUNNE - 3.5/10
They started off with Dunne jumping Smile from behind and hitting some big moves on him, but rather than use this to set up the story of the match they had Smile being his comeback way too quickly. He was eventually cut off again but again they made the same mistake of not letting things breathe. After that things started to get worse as Pete Dunne has now begun to do Ishii spots like that one where he walks across the ring completely no-selling as the opponent punches him in the head. He also no-sold a Canadian Destroyer. Yes really. Wrestling would be a MUCH better place right now if Meltzer hadn't put that stupid Ishii vs. Shibata G1 match over so hard. Then people would actually SELL blows to the head and we wouldn't be devolving into this sh*t. And, come to think of it, if Dave didn't whack off to the PWG crowd so much we wouldn't have sh*t like the crowds killing every single count by chanting "TEN!" and ROH wouldn't be overrun with guys like Dalton Castle getting pops for doing stupid comedy instead of actually wrestling and concentrating on having good matches.
So Dunne kicks out of Smile's big moves (including kicking out of a springboard cutter at one because Ishii and Shibata did it and Dave liked it so now everyone has do it), then cuts him off... and immediately gets rolled up for the pin. WHAT?!
It's a real shame that this got dragged down by dudes deciding it would be cool to not sell, because if they had really kept up more with the story of Dunne as the big bruiser beating up on the young babyface Smile while Smile kept refusing to stay down, they really could have had something here.
RPW INTERIM CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
Josh Bodom(c) vs. RJ Singh - 6.5/10
I'm really getting behind Singh, and when he finally gets a big win this year, it will be a huge moment.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Very good. Bodom cuts a promo saying he is the real champion, not Will Ospreay, who hasn't been around recently, which is why we now have an interim champion. He announces that he is coming to WrestleMania weekend just like Ospreay. Hmm... that could be interesting.
And speaking of interesting, David Starr showed up and challenged Bodom to a title match in Orlando. Bodom left without answering so Starr cut a promo saying that he would win the title and making fun of Bodom.
TIMOTHY THATCHER vs. MATT RIDDLE - 7.25/10
Grappling! And leg submissions!
RPW BRITISH TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Charlie Sterling & Joel Redman(c) vs. CCK (Travis Banks & Chris Brookes) - 7.5/10
Lots of exciting chaos here and lots of intensity from both teams. CCK won via cheating (a title belt to the head) but then they did a restart with the ref having no real basis for doing so because he didn't see the cheating, and if he did he should have DQed CCK instead of ordering the match to be restarted. And then CCK just won again a few minutes later... so what was the point of doing the restart?
This was a mixed bag of a show from RevPro. The wrestling was mostly solid- though not really close to being blow-away, either- and the booking was good, aside from the very odd booking in the main event. The thing I liked most about it, though, was what they set out to accomplish here. As far as big-name talent goes, this was a pretty light show for RevPro. They didn't have any of their big three (Marty Scurll, Will Ospreay, and Zack Sabre Jr.) and aside from Cobb, Riddle, and (arguably) Thatcher they didn't have much in the way of big name outside talent, either. What they did with this was do their best to turn that negative into a positive. If this show couldn't be about their big names, then that meant there would be more attention on their lesser names... which made this a perfect opportunity to try to make those lesser names into bigger names. CCK, Ryan Smile, Josh Bodom, and David Starr all came out of this show feeling like they were much bigger deals in RevPro than they were going in, while James Castle and Bubblegum were also given some spotlight, and Jinny Couture was established as not just a heel but as the heel in the women's division. This is an approach that any company that has a good chunk of their top stars working semi-regularly for companies overseas should take. This is exactly what ROH hasn't been doing for the past two years, and now all of their exciting young talent is going elsewhere, while the star-power on their roster feels like it is shrinking by the month.