How do you respond to the critical acclaim, the fanfare and the buzz of the 11th Anniversary Show at the Copper Box Arena? It's been a week where everyone outside of the UK has been googling Luke Jacobs, where Dave Meltzer dipped deep into his bag of stars for Shingo Takagi Vs Will Ospreay and the post-show blues from the biggest weekend in British wrestling has taken the nation by storm. But the wheels keep turning, the plates keep spinning and everyone keeps grinding to deliver even more Pro Wrestling At It's Best and, dare we say it, we did more than a good job of that at Sunday September 3rd's Live In London 77, delivering eight stellar matches full of significant moments which develop every division moving forward. But before we dive into it, if you weren't able to join us live, check out the full show on RevProOnDemand.com and, if you need the TLDR version, here's 10 Takeaways from the 229 as Revolution Pro Wrestling returned for Live In London 77.
1. The Return of The Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship
The 229 is a passionate and raucous crowd - and never more so than this past Sunday - but the loudest gutteral reaction of the night was simply seeing Michael Oku step out with the Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship. The phrase "Champion Without a Championship" can be retired and, following the unequivocal defeat of Trent Seven in the Copper Box, we can look ahead to the Grand Slam Champion's reign as a defending champion.
This past Sunday, the champion faced Cameron Khai in a rematch of their showdown in Southampton back in February when Khai pushed Oku to his limits in a 20 minute early match of the year contender. Cameron, now 18 years of age, was wrestling only his second ever singles match then, demonstrating the unbelievable potential he has in the sport of pro wrestling, and this Sunday he went one step further and almost caused an upset. Michael Oku told Cameron afterwards that he wanted to go a third time but with the championship aon the line and challenged the young prodigy to put in the work to earn that chance.
2. The Champion Has His Championship... And A New Challenger
Speaking of prodigies, the main event of the 229 saw a frantic brawl of a match between Gabe Kidd and 'The Youngest In Charge', Leon Slater. In one of the shortest main events in recent 229 memory, Leon jumped Kidd out the gate and the two went at breakneck speed from that very moment until Kidd had Slater's shoulders down for 3, eleven minutes later. Sometimes less is more, it seems, as this match BANGED and, in the main event slot, the War Dog took the opportunity to address the crowd claiming to be the "best wrestler in the world", "better than Ospreay" and certainly better than the man he describes as weighing "70kg and a pack of custard creams" carrying the Heavyweight Championship. The showdown that ensued between Kidd and Michael Oku had fans salivating at the prospect after their barnstormer in Birmingham in February ended in a double countout in a genuinely scary moment for each man's safety.
Every champion has a target on their back and the War Dog has Oku locked in his sights it seems.
3. And new...
The show opened with the Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship bout between Connor Mills and Sha Samuels and it ended in the crowning of a new champion in a moment that will serve long in the memory of Sha and the 229 faithful.
The Triple Crown champion.
A clean, decisive win for a man who dominated the closing stretch at the Copper Box before the wily Connor Mills seized the opportunity to capitalise.
4. ... Or not?
Devastating for Sha, devastating for the fans and devastating for us in RevPro management. After a moment of the year contender, in such a conclusive victory, it was cruel to see Sha have to hand back the championship and hear Francesca announce that Connor Mills is still your Undisputed British Cruiserweight Champion. Sha pinned Mills. Sha was handed the belt, Sha left with the belt and the show continued. Three quarters of an hour later, Mills returned, grabbed Andy Quildan by the throat, and demanded Sha be weighed in - clutching at straws it seemed. But. But, but, but, but, but... The Cruiserweight Championship has a 205lb limit and Sha weighed in at 207lb. The match has to be thrown out therefore and the result expunged from both their records. Devastating. Mills was clutching at straws but he's still clutching that belt. We'd like some answers from 'True Grit' so will be sending Dave The Mark out in the next week or two to put the Champion 'Under The Microscope'.
5. All Hail Windsor or Is Dani Our Champion?
Alex Windsor Vs Maya Matthews was the grudge match we have been waiting for and 'Fighting Spirit' put in the fight of her life to try and cause the biggest of upsets by defeating 'Iron Willed' who is wrestling on another level since her return to the ring and her return to the top of Revolution Pro Wrestling. Maya pushed Windsor to her limits and the match was closer than the champion would like to admit. Her cool, calm and callous demeanor was certainly rocked more than once. However, champions are just that for a reason - they have to know how to get the job done. On the other hand, they also need to be prepared for new challenges and Alex has Dani Luna on the horizon. The Subculture member made her feelings known when the champion took liberties with Matthews in the post-match, entering the 229 to rapturous chants of "Dani's Our Champion" and, whilst that may not be the case yet, it may just be a matter of time until it is.
6. Honourable Knights or Opportunistic Messengers?
After Luna chased off Windsor she found herself in the middle of deep water with two circling sharks around her in the form of Danny Jones and Brendan White; the Greedy Souls wanted to send a message to Subculture and we're going to do so in the most vicious, deplorable way possible. But who was there to make the save in Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Andrews' absence? RKJ and Zak Knight hit the ring and the Souls fled quicker than you could say "The Knights of Wembley".
Zak and Ricky did the honourable thing, saving Luna from an inevitable Soul Destroyer, but their message was clear - they want the tag belts and they wanted Luna to make sure her stablemates know.
7. The Tag Division Is At Boiling Point
The Great British Tag League is around the corner and those wanting to put their claim to a spot in the blocks are making match maker's jobs difficult as the division is hotter than it's ever been. The 229 saw big wins for Greedy Souls over VeloCities in a dominant performance from 'Wales' Number 1 Tag Team' as well as a resurgent win for The Knights against Sunshine Machine in a rematch from January 2022 when TK and Mambo won the belts they held for the best part of the year. A big win for Zak and Ricky, especially as Sunshine Machine were coming in off a big victory of their own over CPF last month.
Subculture, Greedy Souls, VeloCities, The Knights and Sunshine Machine - a stack of GBTL contenders right there. On the basis of Sunday, Souls may be front runners for their combination of teamwork and power in a field of Cruiserweight tag teams but The Knights, true heavyweights in their own right, could be unstoppable if they can stay on the same page.
8. "Five Stars In Our Hearts, In Our Hearts, Five Stars In Our Hearts"
Luke Jacobs, for the first time in living memory, had himself a chant at the 229 beyond the intimidating "LUUUUUUKE" and the expletive ridden "He Comes From Manchester..."
Why is this a takeaway? Well, Luke Jacobs is a 5* wrestler - and if Dave Meltzer had an extra quarter star in him, the whole world would know it. Jacobs Vs Ishii at the 11th Anniversary Show was the most talked about match of the entire weekend and was the most critically acclaimed match to not feature THE best in the world, Will Ospreay. At 23, Luke Jacobs is ready to TAKE OVER. This Sunday he and 'Wild Boar' Mike Hitchman stole the show once more, delivering Strongstyle at its very best to a standing ovation. In a show full of talking points, showdowns and controversy, this was the match of the night.
Make time for Luke Jacobs.
9. Is That An Upset?
Is JJ Gale beating Robbie X an upset? Six months ago and the answer is DEFINITELY. Today, at the time of writing, we are less sure. 'Gale Force' has racked up win after win after win in 2023. Unbeaten since June, four successive singles wins, and a 64% win record in the calendar year suggests we should not be surprised. But then Robbie X is the former Cruiserweight Champion and has only lost five of his sixteen singles matches in 2023. Whatever way we look at it, we can't look past the fact that this was a BIG win for JJ. He wants Zack Sabre Jr; "tunnel vision" is the phrase that comes to mind after Dave The Mark met JJ recently (and watch this space as that interview drops on the website this week). However, he is also putting himself right in the centre of a stacked Cruiserweight division with another big victory.
10. Maybe We Don't Need To Talk About TK After All?
Sunshine Machine made a big return to Revolution Pro Wrestling last month at the 229 but fell short against Subculture in a non-title match which, had the result gone the other way, would have surely earned them a title shot at the Copper Box. Instead that opportunity went to VeloCities. You could visibly see the devastation in TK's eyes, which turned to anger when Jude and Paris challenged Subculture directly in front of them. We then saw another side to the Sunshine Machine man in The 1865 in Southampton, taking an extra aggressive and ruthless approach when facing Joe Lando and Danny Black, with CPF falling foul to Sunshine Machine's frustration. But here in the 229, TK had his smile back. Though he angered Zak Knight with what he must have construed as friendly banter over X, both he and Mambo managed to keep their cool and wrestle a true Sunshine Machine match - that trademark combination of fantastic athleticism, tremendous charisma and fan fuelled energy. But then they didn't get the win, and winning big matches is something we grew accustomed to as part of the Sunshine Machine package last year.
In Southampton we felt we needed to talk about TK, do we still need to? Maybe, maybe not. Perhaps it's time to send Dave The Mark down to meet TK and find out...