From wannabe Contender, to the number one contender. MICHAEL OKU’s rise in RevPro has been quite remarkable. In the following lines read how in just 15 short months the ‘Master of The Half Crab’ has put himself in a position to make history.
Oku first debuted against the undefeated ‘Dominator’ Great O-Kharn in September 2018 and whilst spirited in his offence, he came up on the short end against a man who, to this day, has still yet to be defeated.
Undeterred by his failure to upset the monster from Japan, Oku went back to the drawing board and back to RevPro matchmakers, requesting more opportunities against the highest level of competition. The end goal? Wanting to be installed as an official member of the Contenders division.
The following weeks and months would see him compete against a laundry list of world class competition. They would also see a series of high profile defeats. However, it was the manner of these losses that impressed wrestling fans and insiders alike. A never say die attitude, a constantly evolving in ring style and a willingness to compete against anyone at any given time all helped to establish the youngster from Old Street, London as one of the most popular newcomers to ever step foot in a RevPro ring.
At Live at The Cockpit 40, on the 31st of March, MICHAEL OKU was disappointed with the news that he had not qualified as a member of the Contenders division, however, he was later delighted as Revolution Pro President Andy Quildan announced that he was instead, a member of the main roster.
As a member of the main roster, these high-profile matches became more regular, with OKU visibly improving with every match-up, developing his arsenal, his drive unparalleled. These impressive performances culminated in what many cite as his defining moment in RevPro.
OKU would again enter a contest as the underdog, this time against a vicious nasty bastard named PAC. Those who had become familiar with OKU weren’t surprised by what happened next as OKU refused to let the world-travelled veterans, size & experience edge, be the determing factor in the contest and it didn’t take long for PAC to realise he was in for a real fight. The pair fought tooth and nail for an exhilarating and gripping 28 minutes, before just 2 minutes short of time elapsing OKU fell to the hands of a man who is in the discussion of being the best wrestler in the world.
They often say that man can learn a lot more in defeat than in victory and it would be hard to argue that this wasn’t the case here. As OKU although disappointed, walked away from the match without any question of the fact that he had what it took to compete with the best at the highest level, and if he made a few adjustments it would only be a matter of time before he beat the best. It wouldn’t take long for him to prove this point to the entire wrestling world.
After his impressive showing against PAC, OKU was granted a non-title match against EL PHANTASMO. The seemingly unstoppable ‘Headbanger’ took the fan favourite lightly, viewing the bout as nothing more than a formality. But as the story goes, it was anything but, as OKU, in the biggest moment of his career to that point, was able to pin the dominant champions shoulders to the mat.
Pinning the champion gave OKU a new sense of confidence and perhaps most importantly a new sense of purpose. He felt it was his destiny to cap off his ‘from rags-to-riches’ story with championship gold. The next chapters in his book were the things dreams were made of, picking up victories, teaming alongside childhood hero, wrestling-legend JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER, earning the respect of fans and his peers whilst becoming the legitimate number one contender to the most prestigious Cruiserweight gold in the whole of Europe.
However he would soon find that not all fairy tales have happy endings, as with the Championship gold on the line, OKU would again put in his trademark spirited performance, but this time it would not be enough to overcome the despicable ELP, whom, along with a game plan designed to frustrate OKU, brought along every trick in the book to hand him a heart breaking defeat.
For many that would have been the end. But if this article has taught us one thing it’s that MICHAEL OKU will never give up. In our game we often use the saying that “man should not be judged on how he falls, but instead on how he picks himself back up”. Since that match, since that moment, OKU picked himself up in spectacular fashion. With a chip on his shoulder he has gone about defeating every opponent that has been thrown his way & it was that attitude and momentum that lead to him being announced as an entrant in the prestigious, Third Annual British J Cup.
Being an entrant, being worthy of standing alongside & competing with the wrestling world’s elite is achievement enough for a young man just two years into his professional wrestling journey. But on that night there was magic in the air as OKU put in the performance of a lifetime, a culmination of everything he had learned and experienced to this point, last eliminating EL PHANTASMO, being crowned the winner and lifting the trophy that his hero JUSHIN LIGER was the first man to hold above his head. With confetti pouring down from the rafters, OKU celebrated with his family and his fans who had been there with him every step of the way. Everything he had strove for came to this, his biggest victory so far.
The wholesome celebrations were cut short as an irate PAC, frustrated that he wasn’t in OKU’s position, beat down the winner in a vicious assault, and in a malicious act he destroyed the British J-Cup trophy directly in front of MICHAELS own mother. A rivalry that, to this point, was strictly business had become personal. Leading us to Uprising 2019.
What ensued in the main event of RevPro’s final flagship show of the year was once again magical. As fighting with a new sense of purpose, OKU was able to channel the animosity he felt toward his opponent to sustain one hell of a beating and come back swinging. With both men upping their game to levels not seen before, an incredible back and forth contest ensued. Both men battled at a frantic pace until finally PAC, using that same size and experience advantage that he had used in their previous outing took control. With a battered and beaten OKU laying prone on the mat, ‘The Bastard’ ascended into the familiar territory of the top rope. With a sadistic grin on his face, he took to the sky, rotating in the air with a level of intensity and accuracy rarely seen. PAC was about to end the hopes and dreams of not just Michael, but everyone in attendance. But then it happened. As if time stood still, OKU, having seemingly learnt from his previous loss, anticipated the landing of his opponent, and was able to counter into a roll up and as the crowd held their breath, there was an explosion of noise as everyone leapt to their feet as the referee hit the canvas for a third and decisive time. OKU had made history. With his hand raised he became the only man in Revolution Pro to have defeated the unbeatable.
Which leads us to HIGH STAKES where MICHAEL OKU, undoubtedly the number one contender for the British Cruiserweight Championship, will get another chance to write his fairy tale ending as he challenges for EL PHANTASMO’s gold once again.
OKU has started the year 2020 the way he left the previous one. A winner. Picking up a series of victories over high level opponents. OKU’s confidence and form is at an all time high. Having tapped out ELP to his patented Half Crab, there is now no doubt in his mind that the first & indeed second times were no fluke. OKU can beat EL PHANTASMO. But can he do it when the pressure is on? The confidence he has built from the previous month’s successes will not doubt help to ease any nerves but without a doubt FRIDAY 14TH FEBRUARY is the biggest night of his career.
In just 15 short months, OKU has gone from a possible Contender, to the number one contender. A feat, that in such a short space of time, was unfathomable when OKU debuted. Will he be able to take it one step further on February 14th? You’d have to be a betting man to bet against him.