11 years to the day since our first ever show, Revolution Pro Wrestling celebrated our biggest ever event at the Copper Box Arena this past Saturday. In front of over 4,000 loud and passionate pro wrestling fans, we delivered a show full of shocks, surprises and showcases but, most importantly, we delivered what we promised; Pro Wrestling At Its Best. The show is available to watch on RevProOnDemand.com now, but if you prefer the TLDR version, here's 10 Takeaways From The Copper Box.
Before we get going we should also point out the full show is available to watch now on www.revproondemand.com so if you don't want any spoilers GO THERE NOW!
1. The Champion Without A Championship No More
Justice prevailed. Despite the most dastardly, cowardly and violent efforts of Trent Seven and Levi Muir, Michael Oku left with his Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship and will, finally, enter the 229 this week with the belt across his shoulders. The match was everything we love about pro wrestling; story driven drama focused around men and women for whom we feel every emotion. The noise and disgust of the Copper Box when Levi put his hands on Amira was only heightened when Trent Seven delivered a pile driver to her through a table. Yes you read that right: Trent Seven tried to kill Amira by hitting her with a pile driver off of the ring apron through a table at ring side as Ref Harv tried to recover from an inadvertent corner dropkick from Oku. The entire room was shocked into silence before raucous boos and chants of "holy sh*t" were deafening. The fire it lit in the champion was unreal and it drove him to victory, making Trent tap to the Half Crab in what will become an iconic image for years to come as Seven tapped out, literally, on the Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship belt. In what was the most dramatic match of the night, Michael Oku entered the match first but left last - he came without the Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship but he left with it. And, with a new challenger, it seems, as Oku and Amira were confronted by 'The Vulture' Spike Trivet at the conclusion of the match who had his eyes set on both Oku and the gold he wears so proudly.
2. "The Best In The World Is On This F'n Island"
Will Ospreay, ladies and gentleman, Will Ospreay. In his own words, despite advise to not perform due to an injury, there was no way Ospreay wasn't going to be at the Copper Box because RevPro is his "f'n home". On a card which featured legends, rising stars and legit best in the world contenders, there was only one man who could headline and that is THE genuine best professional wrestler on the planet. Ospreay and Shingo tore the house down with too many standing ovations mid-match to even count. It was truly breathtaking and no words written here can do it justice; you simply HAVE to watch it. Post-match, Zack Sabre Jr (not God) challenged Ospreay for his IWGP United Kingdom Championship (formerly the U.S. Championship) for Royal Quest III in October and then the Billy G.O.A.T. had the crowd eating out of his hand and feeling every emotion as he cut an impassioned promo in the ring, preparing for the day that would change his life against Chris Jericho in front of 81,000 people. And then, it happened, didn't it? For many of us we dreamed it might but until we saw Chris Jericho in a Revolution Pro Wrestling ring hitting Ospreay with a Codebreaker and a Judas Effect it didn't feel real. At least the Assassin got his vengeance on Sunday. An all-timer of a professional wrestling moment held in a Revolution Pro Wrestling ring, not for the first and certainly not for the last time.
3. The Young Show Stealer
The hype going into the show was surrounding Ospreay, I think it is fair to say, but the hype as fans left and ever since over socials has been around another man; Luke Jacobs. In the Copper Box Arena, in front of the world, North West Strong's own put his name on the map, and his head in Tomohiro Ishii's orbital socket. On our preview of the show we said this would be the strongest of strong style and it certainly lived up to that and gave so much more. It has long been said in wrestling that one person should go over and the other should get over and that has never been more applicable than here; the Stone Pitbull reminded the world that he is still the bar for this style of wrestling but it was Luke Jacobs who the fans were desperate to see get over the line in what, internationally, will be a breakout moment for Luke. After years of grafting, the world is ready to see what we have been blessed in Revolution Pro Wrestling to see week in, week out; the rise of Manchester's favourite son, the Young Gun, Luke Jacobs.
4. The Youngest Really Is In Charge
In the main card opener we saw quite possibly the most frenetic sprint we can recall in recent RevPro history. Starting almost literally like he was shot out of a canon, Leon Slater took it to 'Drilla' Dan Moloney with every ounce of his being. A dive over the Turnbuckle, a dive over the guard rail, a gore and a 'Drilla Killa' were not enough to put '.44 Calibre' away but victory was Slater's after the 'Swanton 450' in what is the biggest victory of Leon's career. With the brightest lights shining on him, 'The Youngest In Charge' got his redemption over the man who ruined their friendship at last month's Epic Encounter and made light of their entire relationship earlier this month in the 229. In a call back to the origins of this sorry, Leon grounded Dan and delivered the same elbows to the back of the neck that Ospreay delivered to Leon in Sheffield - and that may well foreshadow Moloney's future as the Aerial Assassin is awaiting after Moloney turned his back on the United Empire to join Bullet Club.
5. The Wrestler Wrestles and We All Rejoice
Speaking of Bullet Club, it was the greatest of pleasures to welcome former British Heavyweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata back to Revolution Pro Wrestling to face BC. In one of the loudest crowd reactions of the night (and of the entire weekend) The Wrestler returned, along with the homecoming king, El Phantasmo, to face Bullet Club leader David Finlay and his War Dog, Gabe Kidd, with the legendary figure of Gedo in their corner. ELP had possibly the best ring gear of the entire show, wearing one of his trademark LED jackets which repeated the message "I've Come Home" across it in the red, white and blue of the Union Jack. After demanding an in-ring opportunity against his mentor for as long as we can remember, Gabe Kidd played every mind trick in the book to get in Shibata's head and David Finlay, on his RevPro debut, assisted at every opportunity. But to see Shibata and Gabe go toe to toe, head to head, chop to chop in the middle of the ring was truly, truly special. Shibata and ELP made their returns victorious ones and we look forward to the next time we welcome any and all of these immense talents back into a RevPro ring. 6. The Iron Age Continues
Alex Windsor was up against it on Saturday. She faced an in-the-form-of-her-life Hyan, a debuting legend in Mickie James and the deafening sounds of the Copper Box's Hardcore Country chants. Hyan had promised to take the championship across the world with her. Mickie was ready to take it home to Richmond, Virginia. Windsor just needed to keep it in her grasp long enough to get through the night, to allow the Iron Age of the Iron Willed Champion to last long enough to face the upcoming challenge of Dani Luna after the Subculture member survived nine other women on the pre-show to become number one contender to the Undisputed British Women's Championship. In the toughest match of her career, facing two fierce opponents and a crowd determined to see her lose, Windsor showed why she is called 'Iron Willed'; she scratched and clawed to ensure she left with the belt. Her adversaries put in fantastic personal performances but champions, at their best, find a way to win even then their back is against the wall, and that is exactly what Alex Windsor did. Now she faces Luna, who eliminated Saffire Reed at the conclusion of the womens battle royal on the pre-show which showcased some of the finest female athletes in the country in the likes of Skye Smitson, Maya Matthews, Mercedez Blaze Rayne Leverkusen, Chantal Jordan and Alexxis Falcon, as well as the debuting Rhio and Skye Blue.
7. ZSJ. RKJ. WOW.
Ricky Knight Jr returned to RevPro at Epic Encounter after recovering from injury and he took no time at all to reassert himself in the mix by challenging one of the biggest fish in the whole entire ocean in Zack Sabre Jr. ZSJ has his eyes on recapturing the British Heavyweight Championship but RKJ hasn't moved on from having it taken away from him so cruelly in York Hall in December when it had to be defended on his behalf by his uncle, Zak Knight, who despite his best efforts, couldn't overcome the underhanded tactics of The Legion, dropping the belt to Great O Khan. This match, therefore, had high stakes in the Copper Box as both men are determined to end the year as British champions. They fought on the mat, hold for hold. They fought in the middle of the ring, strike for strike. Zack couldn't cope with Ricky's heavy hitting. Ricky couldn't cope with Zack's catch-holds. Despite throwing everything at ZSJ, and more than one 2.99 counts, it was the submission game that defeated RKJ. With a sleeper hold variation locked in, Ricky strived to escape, taking Zack to the second rope and launching back to break the hold but The Submission Master popped back up like Michael Myers to sink it back in and RKJ just didn't have enough left in the tank to fight. A headlining performance from two headline acts. Zack will now challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP United Kingdom Championship but win or lose at Royal Quest III, he will be back for Michael Oku and that Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship sooner rather than later.
8. The Summer of Subculture Rolls On
With Dani Luna winning the right to challenge Alex Windsor in the near future, are we set to see all three members of Subculture draped in gold? The VeloCities did what the VeloCities do; delivered high octane, high flying duel offence at every opportunity but, like we said of Alex Windsor, champions find a way, one way or another. In a highly competitive battle, it was a retention for Flash and Mandrews, grinding out the win by fighting fire with fire coupled with an incredible sense of teamwork to always know where the other one is to ensure every attack Jude 'The Dude' and 'Spartan Spirit' created was stopped, at times at the very last minute. A truly gutsy performance from both teams, who have a tremendous respect for one another, the same of which cannot be said for the former champions Greedy Souls, with Brendan White and Danny Jones attacking both teams after the match. We were left with no doubts as to Souls' motivation; they, in no uncertain terms, are coming for THEIR belts.
9. The Lifeless Eyes Behind The Biggest Smile In Stratford
Connor Mills spent the best part of 2023 ensuring he got to the top of the Cruiserweight division; singles wins over eight different opponents on his path of destruction en route to facing Robbie X at Epic Encounter. There was a cloud of controversy in the circumstances that he took the belt but he has been an active champion since - competing in the 229 in London, the 1865 in Southampton and the Portsmouth Guildhall before the 11th Anniversary Show at the Copper Box. However, he worked himself into trouble in the Guildhall, saying he'd face any genuine Cruiserweights but not Sha Samuels, who has historically always been a Heavyweight. With Sha making weight, half a pound below the 205 lbs weight limit, 'True Grit' was forced to defend against not only Sha, but also every other wrestler in the division he had said he'd face. Jordon Breaks, 'Wild Boar' Mike Hitchman, Robbie X, Callum Newman, and Sha Samuels awaited and all five went straight after the champion. Breaks tried to break everyone's arm - often two at a time. Boar promised a Trapper Keeper for everyone in the event programme and delivered on his promise. Robbie X and Callum Newman moved the ring bout ten inches in every direction as they hit the ropes harder than you've ever seen anyone move in a wrestling ring. Sha Samuels welcomed everyone to Spinebuster City. And Connor? Well, Connor survived. And that was all he needed to do, wasn't it? Sha looked like he had the match won, single handedly taking everyone out before hitting Callum Newman with a moonsault only for Mills to shove him out the ring and pin the Prince of Pace himself - sneaky, snake-like tactics from the cockroach of RevPro, but you can't argue with the result. Mills retains.
10. Gale Force Builds Momentum
When JJ Gale met with Dave The Mark prior to the Copper Box (link) he said that everything he'd do to Fujita would be what he'd do to Zack Sabre Jr "in the very near future". JJ said that Zack "disappointed him" at the Revolution Rumble and that the two were destined to meet after Zack had presented JJ with all the hurdles he could to prevent the inevitable, the first being ZSJ's "boy" Kosei Fujita. So what did JJ do to Fujita that he says he'll do to Zack? He. Tapped. Him. Out. And he didn't just make him tap out to any move but THE move, the Boston Crab, the staple submission hold of the New Japan Dojo. JJ said this was a "full circle" moment for him, as he was once the Young Boy wrestling the big names, like how he debuted against Hikuleo, but now the Young Boys were coming to wrestle him, submit to him and, ultimately, lose to him. The momentum JJ is building continued at the Copper Box and he's now racked up six singles wins out of his last nine outings - the best form of his life. What's next for JJ? Does he go after Mills and the Cruiserweight Championship or does he have tunnel vision on Zack Sabre Jr? Something tells me we won't have to wait long to find out. So what's next for Revolution Pro Wrestling? This Sunday, 3rd September, we return to the 229 in London before heading to the Priory Centre in St Neots for Risky Business on Sunday 24th. We then have a busy October which sees us in the 229 on the 1st, Southampton's 1865 on the 8th, the Gordon Craig Theatre for the British J Cup in Stevenage on the 21st and then finally the Sheffield Network on the 22nd. For all your tickets, visit revolutionprowrestling.com and to catch all the action live from home, visit revproondemand.com