OPENING SEGMENT - CCK come out to the ring, with Kid Lykos' arm in a sling. After Banks declares this building to no longer be the Cockpit but rather the C-C-K-Pit (the fans actually figured out where he was going before he got there and they just blurted it out, which was funny) they tell everyone that Kid Lykos was injured last night (in case his arm being in a sling didn't give it away) and thus he won't be able to wrestle tonight. But...
Brookes went on to cut an excellent promo about how they been willing to open the doors to any tag team that has shown up here asking for a tag title shot and they don't want to stop that now, so he suggests that he be allowed to replace Lykos in their scheduled tag title defense against War Machine. To be honest, I didn't realize that they had been using Freebird Rules this whole time... or even that Kid Lykos was considered one of the champions.
As the fans noted, Brookes said that this would indeed leave his scheduled opponent, the popular-yet-winless babyface Eddie Dennis, without an opponent tonight. A very unhappy Eddie Dennis then came out and expressed his frustrations to Brookes, saying that taking this match away from him was robbing him of an opportunity to earn his way into a match for the RPW British Heavyweight Title, which a win here tonight would surely earn him as Brookes is currently the #1 contender and will indeed face Zack Sabre Jr. for the belt at next week's Summer Sizzler 2017; a match Dennis believes that he will need to be added to should he defeat Brookes tonight.
Brookes acknowledges the validity of the points Dennis raised in the passionate promo he just cut and said that those very reasons are why, earlier today, he talked to Andy Quildan and suggested that Dennis be given another match tonight with the stipulation that if he wins he will still be added to the British Heavyweight Title match next week.
This was a great segment, and showcases something that has been unfortunately become extremely rare in pro wrestling over the past twenty years or so. Here we had a disagreement between two babyfaces in which both sides were acting in a purely babyface manner and had valid points and they not only got things very heated between them, but they managed to do so and to resolve the problem without anyone rushing to violence, which is the complete opposite of what'd you see on Raw or Impact or Nitro (or Smackdown or Thunder) or even ROH. Because the booker(s) here know how to tell nuanced stories that don't always require violence or even threats thereof to get things over.
As for who Dennis' opponent will be, well, like any good wrestlers, CCK apparently used this opportunity to get one of their pals booked on the show. The friend in question happens to be Travis Banks' tag team partner in his other team that is taking the UK by storm...
IF DENNIS WINS, HE IS ADDED TO THE RPW BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH AT SUMMER SIZZLER 2017:
Eddie Dennis vs. T.K. Cooper - 6.25/10
Dennis pretty much jumped the bell on Cooper, and the heel announcer put it over as an example of the type of aggressive attitude Dennis will need to have if he wants to earn the chance to challenge or the British Heavyweight Title in York Hall next week. He carried that aggression with him throughout the match, although aside from that first flurry he never really felt like a heel because T.K. was kind of being pretty cocky whenever he had control of the match, which was very important to allowing Dennis to feel like a babyface here even though he jumped the bell on a popular babyface. It also set up for an excellent false finish via roll-up, which was later played off of when Cooper got the win with a roll-up of his own.
RJ SINGH vs. CARA NOIR - 4.25/10
Cara Noir had a very elaborate entrance and costume. After their first exchange, he reached into the front of his tights and pulled out some lipstick and put it on. Referee! He's been hiding a foreign object! Disqualify him!
I am sick and tired of wrestlers whose gimmick is being weird for the sake of being weird. He's not an exotico. He's just a guy in a goofy get-up who is now putting on lipstick. He distracted the referee by kissing him, then kicked Singh in the nuts and hit him with a package piledriver for the win.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good angle. Dan Magee came out to check on RJ and complain to the referee about the low blow. He was then attacked from behind by a man dressed all in black (including a bandana over his face), who spray-painted him green. I'm not sure why any of this happened, but it felt sufficiently heelish and disrespectful for me to want to see Dan get some revenge, and I am at least moderately intrigued to find out who this masked man is.
LEGION OF LORDS SEGMENT - Good. Rishi Ghosh comes out and recaps the whole angle with Lord Gideon Grey becoming very sad after their handicap loss to Ryback and all of the subsequent events that have led to his depression. He is here tonight because he thinks he can snap his best friend and tag team partner out of his depression, but he needs the crowd's help to do so.
Lord Gideon comes out for this match with his sad and yet stoic expression and his sad music playing, completely ignoring his best friend's wonderful pep talk... and even his hug! Then, all of a sudden, he snaps back into being the old Lord Gideon Grey that we all know and love to hate, declaring himself to be "an evil genius" and revealing that this whole thing was a ruse to get the fans to be silent during his matches. He brags about having fooled everyone- even Rishi Ghosh- and says that this match will be the easiest match of his life.
KURTIS CHAPMAN vs. LORD GIDEON GREY (w/Rishi Ghosh) - 5.75/10
Good babyface vs. heel stuff, with Chapman's tag partner Josh Wall coming out to try to stop the dastardly heels from cheating. They had some very good false finishes in here, all of which led up to Lord Gideon picking up the win with a new finisher, although it's up for debate as to whether this new move put Chapman down over whether the credit should go to the weapon Lord Gideon hit him in the head with right before he hit the move.
MARK DAVIS vs. KYLE FLETCHER - 6.75/10
These two men traveled half way around the world to perform in front of a crowd (and announcers) to whom they seemed to be all but unknown, and they had a great showing for themselves, winning over both the announcers and the crowd. Fletcher worked the head over while Davis got to show off his power moves, and, while I can see some people criticizing this for being overly spotty and head-droppy, we hadn't gotten anything close to that so far tonight, so it didn't feel so gratuitous as to interfere with my enjoyment of the match.
JOSH BODOM, ROB LIAS, & ZACK GIBSON vs. LUKE PHOENIX, RYAN SMILE, & SHA SAMUELS - 6.5/10
Fun six-man tag team action, with the big news coming out of it being that Smile pinned RPW British Cruiserweight Champion Josh Bodom, so he'll be in line for a title shot at some point, either against Bodom or the man Bodom defends against next week Jushin "Thunder" Liger.
JINNY COUTURE vs. DAHLIA BLACK - 6.5/10
The personalities of these two women complement each other perfectly, with Dahlia as the never say die babyface and Jinny as the arrogant bully who can back her words up in the ring. They did some good stuff in here, but things started to go a bit awry towards the end. Dahlia's standing moonsault looked very weak- like she barely got enough height to get herself over and around- and they just seemed to lose momentum after that happened, though they did recover in time for the finish, which was Jinny pinning Dahlia with the "Stylish Clash."
JAY WHITE vs. EL PHANTASMO - 7.75/10
Has Jay White ever not come through when given the opportunity? Every company in the world should be trying to use this guy as a top babyface. He just comes across as the absolute hardest worker in the entire world. Here he worked the head and neck and just kept working them to the point that El Phantasmo became desperate enough to resort to tactics like biting and even a titty-twister. For those of you who have ever wondered whether a titty-twister is legal in pro wrestling the answer appears to be "yes," but the referee is allowed to order it to be broken up if both guys have a titty-twister locked in and neither man is showing any signs of giving up. I would have given this an 8/10 if they had taken the story of White working the head and neck to completion rather than their bizarre decision to change directions at the last moment and have White win with a Boston Crab.
WAR MACHINE RULES MATCH FOR THE RPW BRITISH TAG TEAM TITLES:
CCK(c) vs. War Machine - 8.25/10
Before the match Rowe asked for this to be contested under "War Machine Rules," which Hanson tahen explained means "there are no rules." This phrase needs to disappear from the universe immediately. CCK were fine with the rule change. Rowe also insisted that they follow the Code of Honor, but instead of shake their hands, CCK kicked them in the face, which was a mistake because it really pissed War Machine off.
This was an awesome brawl that did an excellent job of ratcheting up the tension as they built towards the finish. Kid Lykos once again interfered on CCK's behalf, even though his arm is in a sling. I'd love to see a rematch on a bigger show, maybe in a cage to keep Kid Lykos out.
A very good show from RevPro. They knew they were light on star power, so they used this show to focus on getting non-established talents over, either with storylines or by just letting them go out there and show what they can do. This is the approach that a promoter should take, rather than just putting on a short and completely skippable show like so many do in a situation like this. Props to the wrestlers, and props to RevPro.