October is upon us and what a month it will be! We started how we start every month, with a return to the 229 for Live in London 78 but have grand returns to Southampton and Sheffield before the month is out, either side of the 6th annual British J Cup in Stevenage and NJPW's Royal Quest III, which we have more than just a vested interest in giving the amount of RevPro talent booked. It is safe to say we aren't slowing down after the mammoth show at the Copper Box Arena in August and last month's Fantastica Mania U.K. with CMLL!
But before we look too far ahead, let's look back to this last Sunday where we delivered another dose of Pro Wrestling At It's Best featuring both the Undisputed British Heavyweight and Cruiserweight Champions in action, a RevPro debut, a couple of big returns and an awful lot of tasty matches booked for the rest of the month!
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 Live in London 78 as Revolution Pro Wrestling returned to the 229.
1. All Eyes On The Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship
In our opening contest of the night, JJ Gale and Luke Jacobs received a thoroughly deserved standing ovation from the London faithful after the two went to war to keep momentum on their side. JJ came into the match on the back of four singles wins on the bounce, whilst Luke Jacobs was looking for back to back wins after beating 'Wild Boar' Mike Hitchman last time out after THAT performance against Tomohiro Ishii at the 11th Anniversary Show. Despite what could well be considered JJ Gale's best ever singles performance in RevPro, in what could also be described as his biggest challenge to date, it was Luke Jacobs who survived the war to have his hand raised. JJ got the better of Kosei Fujita at the Copper Box Arena but Luke Jacobs in 2023 is on a completely different level. 'Gale Force' pushed him to his very limits and on another day he could have taken the W but not this day.
Post-match Luke made it clear he is focused on Michael Oku and winning the Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship but, first, he needs to "right some wrongs", including the loss on his record to one Ricky Knight Jr. RKJ himself reminded the London crowd that he is the Uncrowned British Heavyweight Champion having done what Luke Jacobs and Michael Oku have never done, pin Will Ospreay. He wants Oku and the championship too but was happy to accept the 'Young Gun's challenge, saying he'd face Jacobs any time, anywhere. Well, we can confirm both the time and the place: October 21st, the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage, the British J Cup.
2. A Wanted Man
And it seems it isn't just Luke Jacobs that had eyes on the champion. After an absolutely stellar main event between Michael Oku and Robbie X, the 229 was interrupted by none other than 'The Vulture', Spike Trivet. At the climax of the 11th Anniversary Show, after the champion finally got his championship back from Trent Seven, who had held it hostage since Epic Encounter, it was Trivet who stole the moment, confronting Oku, putting his hands on Amira and making his intentions clear; 'The Vulture' has arrived in Revolution Pro Wrestling and is gunning for the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion. Oku said it there and then, if he's coming in, he's got to earn his chance and, in the 229, Spike challenged Robbie X, this Sunday, 8th October at the 1865 in Southampton.
Challenge set, challenge accepted, match made.
3. Jacobs? Check. RKJ? Check. Trivet? Check. Anyone else?
Ah yes, how could we forget. Last month, after defeating Leon Slater in the main event, Gabe Kidd called out the "very, very little man holding the Heavyweight Championship". Michael Oku, had words for Gabe in the 229, words and a rather comical 'War Ready' impression we might add. Oku and Kidd faced off in Birmingham earlier this year in a BRUTAL draw; therefore neither man has a win over the other but the score needs to be settled. And we can confirm, Gabe Kidd will challenge for the Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship in Stevenage, October 21st, at the British J Cup.
4. The Youngest In Charge, Plural?
Speaking of Leon Slater, he and Cameron Khai found themselves unlikely tag team partners in London squaring off against Danny Black and Joe Lando, CPF. This match was fascinating. CPF entered first, then Khai, then Leon. Khai did not take his eyes off of Leon for a single second. Leon and Danny Black started and Cameron Khai DID NOT take his eyes off of Leon Slater. Earlier this year the two went toe to toe, head to head in London. They went at it once more in Stevenage, partnered by Michael Oku and Gabe Kidd respectively. The animosity between the two threatened to derail the match - and CPF were excellent at playing off of it, causing a collision of the minds and much confusion with their fast paced tag offence which has been finely tuned over the past 18 months. However, as the match went on, the two prodigies of British pro wrestling found mutual ground around outdoing one another and what was first tension finally became smiles and, dare we say it, respect? And it was Slater and Khai who took the win after Danny Black became isolated after Joe Lando looked to injure his ankle, with the on sight medics taking Joe backstage immediately. Certainly not the result Lando and Black were looking for, and questions will be asked of RevPro management of how to proceed if Joe Lando's injury is severe enough to prevent him entering the Great British Tag League. However, the Youngest In Charge and, well, the YOUNGEST in Charge, picked up a big win and looked good doing it.
5. Welcome To The Revolution
We will have to see how CPF manage to navigate a potential injury to Joe Lando along with an intimidating Group B in the Great British Tag League alongside current tag champions Subculture and not one, but two former tag champions in Sunshine Machine and Greedy Souls. However, it was the A Group which kicked off in the 229 with The Knights facing Mark Trew and the debuting Kieron Lacey. There are different schools of thought on how to make a good first impression in professional wrestling. Jumping RKJ and angering two of the hardest hitters in all of professional wrestling may not be the best choice. Zak and Ricky dominated Trew and Lacey at various stages of the match but, when the two newcomers could cut the ring off and isolate one at a time with multiple quick tags, they were dangerous and, if they can do the same against Lykos Gym and The Billington Bulldogs, they'll get points in this competition. However, since RKJ and Zak found the same page last month, they've looked unbeatable with Zak picking up three wins on the bounce and Ricky furthering his unbeaten record in the 229 in 2023. A standing ovation for 'The Zodiac' and the 'Indie Killer' and the defeated newcomers, Kieron Lacey and Mark Trew.
6. Yes She Kanji!
Whilst Trew and Lacey made their 229 debuts, Kanji made her 229 return, squaring off against Safire Reed. After a frustrating 2023 so far, it was great to see Kanji back "home" but her opponent was focused on ruining the party and marking her first RevPro singles match in 2023 with a victory. And ruin the party she so almost did as Kanji had to apply every hold she could to outwrestle the 'Radioactive One' as Reed got the better of the strike battles and the grappling offence. On the back of this performance, we are very much hopeful we do not have to wait too long to see Safire Reed in a RevPro ring as she had a real breakout moment, demonstrating a wrestling ability way beyond her years but, at the end of the match, it was Kanji whose hand was raised, and any doubts or questions regarding her match fitness were answered unequivacally; can Kanji reach the levels she was at prior to her injury? Yes She Kanji.
In the post match, Kanji spoke passionately to the crowd about what it felt to be back in RevPro and then she had a clear message of intent; she is back for Alex Windsor and she is back to become Undisputed British Women's Champion. For so much of 2022 it felt destined that Kanji, the then Southside Women's Champion, was on a collision course with Alex Windsor and that the two champions would unite the belts on a big stage. But one setback after another prevented the match and the unification took place at Epic Encounter in July without Kanji. But here we are, October 2023, and we have a fit and healthy Kanji and a dominant 'Iron Willed' Champion without a number one contender after her headlining showdown with Dani Luna at Risky Business last month. Perhaps, finally, the stars are alligning?
8. Cruiserweights Vs Heavyweights
Speaking of champions and championships, Connor Mills faced off with fan favourite Shigehiro Irie in London and called out RevPro officials for continuing to book him, the Undisputed British Cruiserweight Champion, against heavyweight wrestlers. Mills defeated Robbie X in July at Epic Encounter to win the belt. Since then he has battled with Cruiserweights of every description, culminating in the six man scramble at the Copper Box Arena for the 11th Anniversary Show. He has then had the challenge of Heavyweight turned Cruiserweight Sha Samuels. Sha came so close to having his moment last month, coming as close as you possibly can to becoming a champion; winning a title shot clean, only to having the match declared non-title in retrospect when Sha weighed in over the 205lb limit. With the J Cup approaching, Mills took on a heavyweight challenge exhibition match against Irie, who presented a unique challenge of power and speed, known commonly to many as 'Beast Mode'. After a HARD fought contest, Mills got the victory after a Burning Cutter but his night was not over then...
9. 205 lbs
As The Undisputed British Cruiserweight Champion made his presence felt after Sha Samuels defeated David Francisco, attacking Sha, throttling him with his own trademark scarf and then curb stomping him onto his own title. It certainly isn't over between Sha and Mills, it seems. Can Sha make weight in time for the J Cup? Does Sha still want to complete the Triple Crown, or has his head been turned at the prospect of wrestling the Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion Michael Oku this Sunday in Southampton? What started as a pursuit of a championship through good form and hard work has become very, very personal, though, and whether it is for the championship or not, these two have a score to settle down the line.
10. A Glimpse of The East End Butcher
For a minute there, watching Sha Samuels wrestle David Francisco, it felt like it was 2019 as Sha let loose on a Contender and that aggressive, dare we say, that bully in Sha came to the surface. The East End Butcher looked to make Francisco the 'Mug of the Week' it felt. Maybe it was muscle memory when he heard the Contender's theme. Maybe it was banter taken a little too far. Maybe it was a teacher using non-traditional methods. Whatever it was, the mean streak, the vicous side of Sha Samuels, came to the surface. And, for a minute there, Sha lost himself and we saw 'The East End Butcher'.
So what's next for Revolution Pro Wrestling? This Sunday, 8th October, we return to the 229 in London before NJPW Royal Quest III on the 14th. We then hit the Gordon Craig Theatre for the British J Cup in Stevenage on the 21st and then finally the Sheffield Network on the 22nd.