RPW/NJPW Global Wars UK 2018
By Big Red Machine
From October 14, 2018
KUSHIDA vs. KURTIS CHAPMAN - 6.75/10
KUSHIDA was originally supposed to challenge David Starr for the RPW British Cruiserweight Title but Starr "couldn't make it" so Chapman (who got injured a few minutes into a match against KUSHIDA last month at Brawl at the Guildhall) was booked as his replacement "at the last minute." I'm not sure if Starr's no-show is a work or not, but it does fit in with his character, and Chapman slides in well as a replacement. Chapman and KUSHIDA proceeded to have a very solid opener.
RINGKAMPF vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Sanada & EVIL) - 6.75/10
More good wrestling.
RISHI GHOSH vs. THE GREAT O-KHARN (w/Lord Gideon Grey) - 6/10
Before the match, Lord Gideon apologized to Rishi for being so mean to him the last time they were together, and praised Rishi Ghosh for taking this match because it shows he believes in himself even though "no one would think you stand a chance." He tempered this put-down by telling Rishi that if he proves himself tonight, then "maybe I can start to believe in you again."
Rishi Ghosh put up a hell of a fight, and looked like he could have gotten the win, but first Lord Gideon distracting the referee, allowing O-Kharn to kick Rishi in the nuts, and then finally personally hitting his former best friend in the face with his cane, leading to O-Kharn defeating him. This might be the most dastardly thing Lord Gideon has ever done. O-Kharn choked Rishi out with some athletic tape after the match.
TETSUYA NAITO vs. CHRIS BROOKES - 6.5/10
ZACK SABRE JR. vs. HIROOKI GOTO - 7/10
Zack worked over Goto's leg and eventually pinned him with his special bridging pin that rarely gets kicked out of.
SATOSHI KOJIMA vs. MARK DAVIS - 5.75/10
Kojima won, keeping tonight's streak of wins only going to NJPW-contracted talent alive.
ROCKY ROMERO vs. EL PHANTASMO - 5/10
Rocky jumped the bell on El Phantasmo with a big running knee... but then Phantasmo immediately tossed Rocky out of the ring and dove on him, so what was the point of having Rocky jump him before the bell?
This was a relatively short match with just a bunch of stuff happening. El Phantasmo won, so it's nice to see that New Japan decided that least the bottom rung of their roster was expendable.
WILL OSPREAY vs. CHRIS RIDGEWAY - 8/10
An awesome match. Easily the best of the night so far. They both worked on the head and had a bunch of exciting spots ducking kicks, getting in and out of submissions, etc. It was, unfortunately, cut short by Ospreay's injury, which looked quite scary.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. Speaking of things being cut short, Ridgeway's celebration was unfortunately cut short by an attack by Josh Bodom. Between the win over Ospreay and getting immediately involved with Bodom here, they have done more to elevate Ridgeway in this one night than they have done for anyone else throughout the entirety of 2018 aside from El Phantasmo.
RPW BRITISH HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE MATCH:
Minoru Suzuki(c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii - 6.75/10
They tried to brawl through the crowd in a building/production set-up that wasn't equipped for it. We also had no count-outs and no DQs for weapon shots even when the referee was yelling at them to stop using the chairs. This was a fitting start for a completely disjointed match in which they kept switching stories along the way, forgetting each one as they picked up the next. Ishii wins the belt back from Suzuki, leaving Suzuki with a grand total of zero title defenses over his three-and-a-half-month reign. In fact, he didn't even appear in RevPro since he won the belt. What he did do during that that was a bunch of jobs in New Japan. Can someone please explain to me why they put the belt on Suzuki- or even on Ishii before him- instead of letting a home-grown guy end Zack's reign? If David Starr fails to win the RPW British Heavyweight Title from Ishii at Uprising 2018 (which I don't see him doing because he's already the RPW Undisputed British Cruiserweight Champion), we will have gone OVER TWO YEARS since the RPW British Heavyweight Title was not held by someone under contract to New Japan Pro Wrestling.
This was a very frustrating show from RevPro, full of stuff that just plain didn't deliver to the level you would hope it would. It was also full of RevPro putting New Japan over, and devaluing their own top title with a zero-defense title reign where the champ loses the belt right back to the guy he won it from. Ospreay and Ridgeway (and the post-match stuff with Bodom) did their best to add some actual value to this show, but they couldn't stop it from being completely emblematic of what RevPro has become, which is an enhancement territory for New Japan.