RevPro British J Cup 2018: Day 2

RevPro British J Cup 2018: Day 2

By Big Red Machine
From September 09, 2018

RevPro British J Cup 2018: Day 2

El Phantasmo vs. Jushin "Thunder" Liger - 6/10

This was a good match for the time it got, but if RevPro is trying to push El Phantasmo (which seems like it's just about the only thing they've actually been trying to do all year) then why does he need a roll-up to beat a 53-year-old Jushin Liger?

David Starr vs. KUSHIDA - 6/10


A good six-man tag for the time it got. Everyone involved looked good, but particularly Allmark and Ridgeway.

Rich Swann vs. Yoh - 6/10

Yet another 12-13 minute match. Yoh worked over Swann's leg, but unfortunately Swann's selling wasn't particularly consistent (though at least they had some kind of story here).

Rocky Romero vs. Sho - 6/10

Another match of similar length, and what feels like a big missed opportunity to tell a teacher vs. student story instead of just having a generic match.


RINGKAMPF vs. LAX (Santana & Ortiz) - 6.75/10

At only about twelve minutes this was a lot shorter than I would have liked it to be, but they used their time to tell their stories well. Those stories were first that RingKampf was not having any of Ortiz's bullsh*t, and second that LAX was able to isolate Thatcher by constantly double-teaming him in a not-so-legal manner until WALTER got fed up and just started running in himself.

Rich Swann vs. El Phantasmo vs. KUSHIDA vs. Rocky Romero - 7/10

El Phantasmo's big spot in the beginning was very impressive athletically, but I don't understand why KUSHIDA couldn't just push him off the rope? That spots makes sense when someone grabs the opponent's arm and runs up the ropes very fast and springboards off to do a move, but to have KUSHIDA just stand there and be walked around the ring, acting as if holding his arm up like this somehow prevents him from moving the rest of his body is idiotic.

From there on they proceeded to have a pretty great match, aside from one major issue which was that they kept breaking up pins and submissions even though this is an elimination match. Is it really that hard for wrestlers to remember this sort of thig when they're laying a match out?

David Starr nailed KUSHIDA with the RPW Undisputed British Cruiserweight Title belt, allowing Rocky to pin him, so that, plus KUSHIDA's pin on Starr earlier build up to a title shot for KUSHIDA (likely at Global Wars 2018). Rocky then immediately got superkicked and pinned by El Phantasmo to eliminate him, setting up El Phantasmo vs. Rich Swann as the final two, and El Phantasmo won, which was the right move considering that RevPro has spent the whole year building the guy up and him losing to a one-off fly-in here would be pretty crappy.

Final Thoughts
This was another disappointing show to cap off a disappointing weekend from RevPro. This tournament felt like I was watching an ROH show, with the same cookie-cutter 10-13 minute match every time. It was also WAY too reliant on fly-ins, and put them over in spots that really didn't even make much sense. For example, if you are going to have some of the losers compete in a six-man tag on night two, why wouldn't you have Rocky, Sho, & Yoh all lose, as they are a regular six-man unit. That way you're probably getting a better six-man tag (and certainly one with more name value) and give locals like Allmark and Sabian something to hang their hats on even though at best only one of them would be getting to the finals. This is supposed to be a British/RevPro tournament, right? So why are eleven of the sixteen entrants people who aren't RevPro regulars and ten of those aren't even British, either?

Rocky in particular making it to the finals only makes sense if NJPW absolutely insisted that one of their guys be the one get the pin on KUSHIDA, which seems pointless from an NJPW point of view because KUSHIDA is already going to be protected via the belt shot, and because a guy getting a BS heel pin on KUSHIDA would set up a future IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title defense in the UK where KUSHIDA would get the win back clean, and because KUSHIDA getting a shot at Starr probably means he's going to have to do a job for someone in the UK anyway (and while he's the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion, no less), so what's the problem with him doing a second, dirtier job here when he isn't yet the champion?

The other possibility, of course, is that KUSHIDA is actually going to beat Starr for the RPW Undisputed British Cruiserweight Title, but if you're RevPro, why the hell would you do that when you seem to have spent your entire year building El Phantasmo up to be the guy to do that?

This all made the tournament feel extremely underwhelming, with almost all of the matches feeling like their results were going to be completely irrelevant once the night was over. Add in the disappointingly short amount of time given to the other tag matches on the show (specifically the RingKampf stuff, but the Brookes/Gresham team has also been getting themselves some buzz lately), this gave the entire weekend a feeling of dullness. It was just another indy show with a relatively generic assortment of indy guys and New Japan fly-ins. Aside from the David Starr stuff, most it almost felt like a one-off tournament not connected to any promotion, with contenders being crowned for the heavyweight, women's, or tag team titles, which was doubly shocking given the number of great tag teams they had booked for this weekend (RingKampf, Brookes & Gresham, LAX, Aussie Open, Flamita & Bandido, Roppongi 3K). A disappointing tournament ending on a disappointing show to cap off another disappointing weekend in a very disappointing year for RevPro.

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