DAN MAGEE vs. JOSH BODOM - 6.75/10
Bodom worked over Magee's head, including a big sequence of stuff on the outside. He rolled Magee back in and made a cocky cover but Magee kicked out, which got a huge pop... and then Bodom hit Magee with a penalty kick and pinned him with the same cocky cover for the win, so what did the kick-out accomplish?
SHANE STRICKLAND vs. THE GREAT O-KHARN - 6.75/10
O-Kharn still doesn't strike me as having too much value over a generic replacement heel, but the match was rather enjoyable.
ADAM BROOKS vs. KUSHIDA - 7/10
This was an exciting match, but I really disliked KUSHIDA ending Brooks' undefeated streak, and doubly so that the match only went about twelve and a half minutes. This, along with NJPW's domination of the heavyweight and tag team title scenes recently (I'm not even counting Zack as an NJPW guy in regards to the heavyweight title, but am in regards to the tag belts, teaming with Suzuki), is combining to create a similar feel to that which began to crop up in ROH a few years ago where they're using NJPW as a crutch to draw and putting the NJPW guys over guys who they should be building up nas the future of their promotion.
AUSSIE OPEN vs. CALAMARI CATCH KINGS (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) - 8/10
The crowd went totally nuts for this, but I felt they wound up overdoing it on the nearfalls to the point where I ceased to believe any of the false finishes. It was still awesome, but not some sort of super-crazy must-see match.
EL SOBERANO JR. vs. TITAN - 6.5/10
They did Lucha. The match didn't build very well. Also, Titan totally heeled on El Soberano Jr. in the middle of the match and tried to take his mask off (among other things) and yet they still hugged at the end. You can do one of these things; not both.
LANCE ARCHER vs. JURN SIMMONS - 6.75/10
This definitely falls into the category of, as Barney Stinson once put it, "I never knew it 'til now but I've always dreamed of that!"
Archer offered a pre-match handshake but Jurn turned it down. In Jurn's defense, Archer is a member of Suzuki-Gun, so the chances of him being genuine in his show of respect and bot panning to pull Jurn in for an attack were minuscule at best. These guys then proceeded to have a match that needed to have the middle cut out of it. Archer's heat was pretty damn boring. It didn't get me behind Jurn at all. It was just... there. The last few minutes of this were pretty great, but this match really turned out to be two guys who I think are two of the most underrated hosses in the entire world going out there and having a hoss fight that made me think that the conventional wisdom may have been a bit more wise than I gave it credit for.
DAVID STARR PROMO - Boring. This was the same boring promo about the supposed "conspiracy" against him that he always cuts.
RPW UNDISPUTED BRITISH CRUISERWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
David Starr(c) vs. El Phantasmo - DUD!
They traded strikes for a bit until we got the completely pointless time-wasting spot that is the tease that the champion will just walk out of the match and take the count-out loss. We all know it's not going to happen (and especially just a few minutes in) so why even do it? Even better, there should be a rule that says that if a champion walks out of a title defense he/she/they forfeit the title.
After teasing that star would take a count-out loss, they then did a bunch of stuff on the outside without the referee counting them out. *Facepalm*. Once they were done doing all of their spots, Starr dragged the referee back to the ring and the referee started counting, because the next spot they want to do in their fake wrestling match is the count-out tease that no one ever buys, and because it's fake, the referee doesn't have to apply the rules in a consistent manner like a referee in a sporting event would Well If you're going out of your way to show me that this is all fake then why should I give a sh*t who winds up with the fake title?
Basically the first twelve minutes or so of this match was just them doing sh*t they knew would get pops, without any actual story. You could have easily chopped it up into its component segments and put those segments in any order and it wouldn't have made a difference.
After that they spent a few minutes trying to tell a story, and were actually doing a really great job of it, with Starr viciously attacking El Phantasmo's knee. Then they did a ref bump... and today we learned that there is a magical connection between El Phantasmo's knee and the referee, because when the referee was down, Phantasmo's knee was magically doing a lot better.
We also learned that this referee has quite the sense of dramatic timing, as after Phantasmo got a visual pinfall only to get kicked in the nuts when he picked Starr up to hit him with something else once he realized the ref wasn't getting up and Starr went for the cover, the referee was able to revive himself just enough to make the count... and once El Phantasmo kicked out, the referee collapsed again. Fortunately for El Phantasmo, this meant his knee was now better. Unfortunately for El Phantasmo, Starr nailed him with the title belt. Doubly unfortunately for El Phantasmo, this almost mean the referee was able to recover due to his amazing sense of timing. He suddenly revived and dove across the ring to count the pin... but even with his diving across the ring, he still wasn't in a position where he could have possibly seen both of El Phantasmo's shoulders... but that didn't stop him from counting anyway. El Phantasmo kicked out... and then Starr immediately hit him with one of his finishers and pinned him. If the heel is going to cheat, let the f*cking belt shot be finish. Don't kill belt shots just to get one last pop.
These weren't my only issues with this match, either. Some of their (non)-contact bordered on phantom bumps, Phantasmo's "flop around like a fish" selling reached Ziggler-esque levels, and Phantasmo took forever to show off his balance on the ropes and all of that dumb sh*t before trying to give Starr a hurricanrana and Starr just caught him and powerbombed him, I laughed my ass off because this showboat idiot deserved it. That's not the reaction I should have to your babyface. Aside from the few minutes of Starr working on El Phantasmo's knee, this was a total sh*tfest. If I was booking this, I would stop using both El Phantasmo and the referee, and start planning to take the belt off of Starr unless he shapes up.
RPW UNDISPUTED BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE #1 CONTENDERSHIP MATCH:
Tomohiro Ishii vs. WALTER - 6.5/10
They hit each other very hard a lot of times, and were growl-y and defiant. If that's all you need in a wrestling match then you'll enjoy this. IF you're looking for something more than just hitting each other very hard, you won't be too thrilled. Ishii picking up the win here was pretty disappointing, as it means we'll be getting an Ishii vs. Suzuki rematch rather than the first time ever dream match that is WALTER vs. Suzuki.
This was a pretty good show from RevPro, but it really petered out at the end. Everything other than the Cruiserweight Title match was solid, but there was nothing on the level of what you'd like from one of the bigger shows of the year, and their first big show in a month and a half. The action in RevPro is good, but the booking has taken a major turn for the worse this year, especially where titles are concerned.