The European Wrestlemania weekend kicks of with RevPro UK Epic Encounter on Friday. NJPW stars Minoru Suzuki and Tomohiro Ishii will be there and of course the greatest of the independent scene: Zack Sabre, Jr. Keith Lee, Matt Riddle, Jeff Cobb, Will Ospreay etc. On Saturday OTT continues the weekend with Scrappermania IV. Let´s take a look at Friday´s card.
Fred Yehi vs Josh Bodom
Yehi is known as a regular performer for EVOLVE and makes his debut for RevPro in this match. Josh Bodom is a former British Cruiserweight Champion and tries to make his path back to the top. Bodom lost the title in a triple threat match last November. His athletic ability is on par with the best and his charisma makes him one of the top heels on any show. The future is bright for this young man.
Shane Strickland vs Adam Brooks
The “King of Swerve” is a former CZW World Heavyweight Champion, winner of the wXw World Tag League 2016 and current MLW World Heavyweight Champion. The MLW title was won after he fought through a tournament that decided the first MLW World Heavyweight Champion in nearly 15 years. The final match of the tournament, Shane Strickland vs Matt Riddle, can be found on Youtube HERE. Strickland also has some strange similarity to Killshot in Lucha Underground… The man standing across the ring will be Adam Brooks. He made waves in the international wrestling scene after his debut for PWG last year. He has since performed for promotions like CZW, PROGRESS, Fight Club: PRO, OTT etc.
Prediction: Shane Strickland
Will Ospreay vs El Phantasmo
If you have seen the Spanish Fly Ospreay did at NJPW Sakura Genesis you have to be very surprised that he is not permanently injured. He even worked the complete NOLA weekend and pulled off great matches. He is the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and is set to face KUSHIDA at Wrestling Dontaku May 4. His Canadian opponent has become a regular addition to the RevPro roster. If he wins this match, the 31-year old could be in for a title opportunity in the near future. Stealing the show is the goal for the two exceptional Highflyers and this could very well end up being the match of the night.
Prediction: Will Ospreay
Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship: Kurtis Chapman (c) vs David Starr
David Starr definitely has the experience factor on his side in this match, he is a 16 Carat Gold 2018 finalist and the winner of CZW´s Best of the Best tournament. The “Jewish cannon” has more nicknames that one could imagine but he backs each of them up in the ring with consistent performances. His opponent is the 20-year-old champion Kurtis Chapman who won the title at Uprising in December 2017. He since defended his gold against Rob Lias, Chris Brookes, Morgan Webster, David Starr, No Fun Dunne and Wild Boar.
Prediction: David Starr wins the title
Chosen Bros (Jeff Cobb & Matt Riddle) vs Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher)
The former PWG Tag Team Champions Matt Riddle and Jeff Cobb in their first match as a team in a RevPro ring. They will face the upcoming stars in the international Tag Team Scene, Aussie Open. The team of the two Australian men was formed in 2017 and they are the current Defiant Tag Team Champions and Fight Club: PRO Dream Tag Team Invitational finalists. They qualified for the wXw World Tag League in October 2018 when they defeated the Hunter Brothers during wXw´s show in London in March. This is a match between two teams that have been around only since 2017 and they have been so successful in that short period of time that this is truly a dream match and they will leave it all out there to prove they are the best.
Prediction: Chosen Bros
Undisputed British Tag Team Championship: Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr.) (c) vs CCK (Chris Brookes & Travis Banks)
During the NOLA weekend, Zack Sabre Jr. started to lose some of his international titles, including the EVOLVE Championship to Matt Riddle and his British Heavyweight Title to Tomohiro Ishii. Shortly after the two title changes the news broke that ZSJ will be going fulltime to NJPW. The story of this match will be if Zack can keep one of his former two belts in RevPro. Ishii is also a full-time performer in Japan but won the Undisputed British Heavyweight title from the New Japan Cup winner. So being full-time in Japan doesn´t necessarily mean he can´t compete in partner promotions like RevPro. For a detailed match analysis please look out for an upcoming article in our “Match Point” series.
Prediction: Suzuki-Gun retain
Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship: Tomohiro Ishii (c) vs Keith Lee
Nobody was expecting the Stone Pitbull of NJPW to win the gold from ZSJ at Wrestlecon but when it happened everyone knew that the man who is one of the hardest workers in the business deserved the crown of being the Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship. This is a rematch from Global Wars 2017 Night 1 when these two powerhouses collided and put on a match that was answered by a reaction that shook the York Hall and standing ovations by the end. Now the title is on the line. The two competitors will have everybody on the edge of their seats, we are going to see pure Strong Style by Ishii and power mixed with Lucha libre from Keith Lee. A true Main Event and an Epic Encounter for the most important title in the UK.
Prediction: The Stone Pitbull retains