RevPro/NJPW Global Wars UK 2017: Night 2
By Big Red Machine
From November 10, 2017
CCK vs. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, & Gedo) - 5.75/10
A fine opener.
TORU YANO vs. ZACK GIBSON - meh comedy match.
JOSH BODOM vs. ROCKY ROMERO - 6.5/10
TOMOHIRO ISHII vs. DAVE MASTIFF - 6.75/10
RPW BRITISH CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE:
Ryan Smile(c) vs. El Desperado - 7/10
El Desperado worked the legs and they focused on it so well that they actually got me to bite on the idea of a title change even though El Desperado is a New Japan regular and Smile just won the title last night. Smile's selling could have been better, but this was still a great, dramatic title match.
KEITH LEE & YUJI NAGATA vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI) - 6.75/10
Major props to whoever put this match together for coming up with so many ways- not all of them dirty- for the heels to get the advantage on Lee without ever making his size a non-factor. I'd love to see a singles match between these two, and it would have something extra in it now as it would have to be Lee going for revenge on Naito for beating him here, which was shocking in and of itself as Lee is the WWN Champion and both Nagata and BUSHI are totally expendable at the moment.
MATT RIDDLE vs. MINORU SUZUKI (w/El Desperado) - 8/10
Great work on the arms by both guys and great intensity. Suzuki-Gun once again relied on interference, but the way they did it (much like last night's main event) always made it feel like actual, legit cheating rather than Suzuki-Gun just doing their interference gimmick on the outside, and so it got me legitimately angry that Suzuki-Gun couldn't just let me have this dream match clean! The interference played into the finish, too, with El Desperado nailing Riddle with a chair shot to the head leading to a Cradle Piledriver from Suzuki for the pin.
So we've now had Suzuki pin Riddle and Naito pin Lee, which leads me to suspect that somewhere backstage, Gabe Sapolsky has been pinned by Gedo.
RPW BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
Zack Sabre Jr.(c) vs. Will Ospreay - a PERFECT 10/10!
The story of this match was how personal it all felt. Obviously there was a title on line and that was extremely important to both men, as was the issue of pride, both for themselves and for their New Japan faction, but unlike most matches that feel personal because they start with a grudge, they started this one off in a very business-like manner. This match began to feel personal not because these two men hated each other but because their constant reversals of each other's standard moves showed us how well they knew each other, and the only way to get a leg up seemed to be by either pulling out something new or by taking advantage of a spot of your opponents that you had scouted and had developed a plan for dealing with.
As the match went on it was clear that both men were growing more and more frustrated with their inability to put the other away, which only increased their determination to not lose, and frustrations started to boil over as your standard forearms, European uppercuts, submission holds, kicks, and roll-ups started to turn into slaps to the face. One thing that they did here that I absolutely loved is that they got in very close before delivering their slaps and forearms to the face. It made it feel like they wanted to other person to be acutely aware of exactly who was hitting him. It felt extremely personal.
From there they continued on with a mix of those two stories, with some absolutely amazing false finishes peppered in. This match was an amazing mixture of the Jerry Lynn vs. RVD series from ECW and the Bryan Danielson vs. Roderick Strong match from ROH Vendetta. I don't think it's better than Okada vs. Shibata was, but I wouldn't hesitate to put this match up there with anything Okada and Omega have done together this year. GO WATCH THIS MATCH RIGHT NOW! And I mean "NOW!" as in before you get to the next paragraph, in which I unfortunately have to reveal who won.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Great! Suzuki-Gun came out to celebrate with Zack but Matt Riddle came out to make a challenge. El Desperado charged at him on the ramp but got knocked out by a flying knee. Riddle charged into the ring and Zack and Suzuki immediately beat him down but Riddle made his own comeback and sent them scurrying. Riddle then picked up Zack's RPW British Heavyweight Title belt and cut a promo on Suzuki's bullsh*t dirty victory over him earlier before challenging Sabre Jr. to a title match on December 8th. Zack and Suzuki sent El Desperado to go retrieve the belt but Riddle put him down once again, this time with a Bro 2 Sleep.
If I were booking this I would have had Riddle get the win on Suzuki and then get jumped and beaten down after their match to give him something to be angry about here rather than have him lose heading into a title shot, but this works, too, and does leave open the possibility of a Riddle vs. Suzuki rematch.
Another great show from RevPro, with a main event that you absolutely MUST see.