When I think about the wrestling I watch, I feel like most of it is from the United States simply because of WWE, TNA (sigh), ROH and even Lucha Underground since they tape that in California. Other than the USA though, I watch most of my professional wrestling from either Japan or Mexico. As wrestlers qualified for the Global Cruiserweight Classic and I wanted to know more about them, it brought me to a decent amount of wrestling from the UK. (Especially Jack Gallagher, who was not on this show but the man he defeated is) Looking over the card for this event though made me realize I knew a lot of these names already, which is cool, but then also looking up future cards for RevPro I found that Zack Sabre Jr. is going to have a match with the one and only Kurt Angle and, yes, I will be eagerly waiting to watch that match. But let's have these matches speak for themselves!
Match One: Michael Elgin vs. Ricochet
I've been seeing Michael Elgin a lot in ROH recently, as he lost his tag team match at Global Wars 2016, but perhaps the most noted thing about him that I can say right now is that he is the first action figure in the new Ring of Honor line of action figures. We are *still* waiting for our tax return to come, but when it finally does we will be making the grand purchase of Michael Elgin and the ROH real scale ring from Wrestling Super Store, so seeing Elgin is kind of like, "Hey, Quentin, look! Don't you want a figure of him?" since he's not on WWE and all that. But at this point it doesn't matter as much whether Quentin wants to collect the ROH figures because I do and as such this line can be for daddy. In any case, since none of that really had to do with this match, Michael Elgin and Ricochet had the match that you'd expect them to (and more) and in any other promotion this could have been the main event instead of the hot open that it was. Elgin used his power, Ricochet used his speed and high flying skills, but at the end of the day the power won over and Michael Elgin scored the win. I must also point out that as much as I tend to dislike commentators as a general rule of thumb, the two calling this match were rather entertaining and I definitely enjoyed that they made note of Ricochet being a former champion in Lucha Underground while Michael Elgin was a former ROH World Champion. I like when wrestlers from different promotions come together like that and a lot of times where they are meeting won't make mention of it. Additionally, this match was supposed to be Michael Elgin vs. Will Ospreay, who I've only seen once briefly in TNA, so I am kind of bummed about missing him here. But Ricochet will always be cool with me.
Match Two: Donovan Dijak vs. Josh Bodom
Josh Bodom actually lost to Noam Dar in a GCC qualifying match while Donovan Dijak has been plaguing my ROH TV. I'm not sure why, but Dijak just reminds me of Heidenreich and it's something I've never been able to get out of my head. Bodom started things off by waiting for Dijak to enter before jumping him, but it felt like Dijak knew that was coming. These two brawled around the arena before ever getting into the ring and starting the match. They don't make a lot of heated rivalries these days, but even seeing these two fight for the first time I could tell that there was tension between them. In the end, Josh Bodom won and he made me a fan, even if he's not in the GCC. Though I don't want to tell you what would have become of him- in my mind- had he lost to Dijak. Heh.
Match Three: The Revolutionists (James Castle & Sha Samuels) (c) vs. Jody Fleisch & Jonny Storm (RevPro British Tag Team Title Match)
I remember seeing Jody Fleisch in the early days of ROH and the name Jonny Storm sounds familiar to me as well so I've likely seen him in my years of watching professional wrestling, but I am not familiar with either of these two men who are the Tag Team Champions. This one ended with the challengers winning by DQ and it was an all right match for what it was, but considering it was a title match I would have preferred to see a clear winner. Still, The Revolutionists impressed me here and I look forward to seeing some more of them in the future. I like their sort of anarchy look, though they don't take it what some would think of as being too far like that Scum Nation stable I've seen in Blitzkrieg! Pro. Though a match between The Revolutionists vs. Scum Nation would be appealing.
Match Four: Big Damo vs. Roderick Strong
Roderick Strong has been everywhere and done just about everything (no WWE though) while Big Damo is a guy I saw in TNA once and said looked like War Machine (the ROH tag team, so as not to draw confusion with Iron Man or that UFC fighter guy) had a baby with Shrek. While this match was decent, it was sad to see Big Damo win because the guy doesn't offer a lot to me. After the match though, Michael Elgin came down and seemingly challenged Big Damo to a match. Now see, having Michael Elgin in the same ring as Big Damo makes sense because then Damo can learn some of the techniques of being a big man. I also wonder whether or not Damo will come back to TNA, but I wonder that about most of their roster. So this match was acceptable at best but the idea of Elgin-Damo is so much better.
Match Five: Pete Dunne (c) vs. ACH (RevPro British Cruiserweight Title Match)
If you haven't guessed by now, yes, I recognize ACH from ROH and I found it funny that when he came out it sounded like one kid was trying to start a "Go Go ACH!" chant. I hadn't seen Pete Dunne before but he did lose the GCC qualifying match to Jack Gallagher, so I at least know his name based upon that. Now let me take a moment here to explain to you how amazing this match was using the power of math. What you have to understand is that Pete Dunne is on his own level and quite frankly after watching this match I'm kind of surprised that he isn't in the GCC. As of my typing this, there are a total of eleven participants announced for the GCC and they are aiming at 32. So to think that one of those spots is not going to have Pete Dunne in it just goes to show you the level of competitor that is going to be involved in this match. It's like going back to the late 1990's of WWE and saying, "Okay, we'll put The Rock in this tournament because he qualified over Stone Cold" and it boggles the mind that Stone Cold isn't in it too. I seriously hope that WWE does some kind of second chance match for Pete Dunne here because not having him in the GCC would be a shame, though one could easily argue it is because he lost to Gallagher. This is just shaping up to be one of the best things to ever happen to professional wrestling (the GCC) and if you want to see how good it is going to be then simply watch this match and know that despite how great Pete Dunne is even he didn't make the cut. Wow, just wow.
Match Six: Dalton Castle vs. Gidon Grey (w/Rishi Ghosh)
Gidon Grey is this ridiculous character that reminds me of something out of CHIKARA but he also has that snobby look to him of how HHH debuted in WWE. And yet, he won this match over Dalton Castle just proving that no matter how ridiculous he might look as a character he certainly has the in ring skills to back it up. I was rather surprised to see Dalton Castle lose here, since this is supposed to be The Year of the Peacock, but I was perhaps more surprised to see Gidon Grey wrestle in his full on golfing outfit. I mean, I'm not saying it must have been uncomfortable for Gidon Grey to wrestle in such clothes but just keep your eye on the look on his face for most of this match and you'll see what I mean. I think a lot of watching a wrestling promotion for the first time is establishing your own stars and if Dalton Castle won this match then he might have just done so as an ROH guy. And here we have someone to relate to RevPro in Gidon Grey, just like Pete Dunne, The Revolutionists and Josh Bodom. I look at wrestling promotions I watch for the first time like this: Do you have enough of your own talent to create a first series of wrestling figures, and that series would come in a group of six? Well, I just named five guys right there and then if you add Marty Scurll and/or Zack Sabre Jr. to that list, yeah, I think RevPro is doing just fine.
Match Seven: Matt Sydal & Ricochet vs. The Leaders Of The New School (Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre Jr.)
Two interesting notes on this match from me. Matt Sydal & Ricochet are the IWGP Tag Team Champions, though I haven't seen them team together before. And on the other side of the match, I just finished watching EVOLVE 61 before this show (Though chronologically this one would come first) and at that event Marty Scurll and Zack Sabre Jr were opponents. So it was kind of strange to see them working together, Zack Sabre Jr the classic all around good guy and Marty Scurll the epitome of villain. I actually did a Google search for The Leaders Of The New School to see how often they were a tag team and when I put in "Marty Scurll a" to make it "and" it suggested "action figure" and I found out that RevPro has a Marty Scurll action figure in development which just makes me so happy. I also found photos on Marty Scurll's Twitter page of him with Bob Backlund which also makes me happy beyond belief. Is there any way that this Marty Scurll character cannot impress me? (Also, why isn't he in the GCC?) The thing you have to understand about this match is that these are four of the best high-flying mat technicians in the world, but you don't have to take my word for it. As previously noted, Sydal & Ricochet hold the gold in NJPW which should be enough for you to be a fan of them as a tag team, even though I enjoyed Sydal before he went to WWE and somehow enjoy him more now that he's back. Ricochet, of course, is in Lucha Underground and worked the opening match. And if you haven't read my EVOLVE 61 review then just know that Zack Sabre Jr is considered to be the best technical wrestler in the world and no one is arguing it except for perhaps Marty Scurll. I remember Marty Scurll- who defeated ZSJ at EVOLVE 61 and earned a title shot- said that ZSJ is too modest to declare himself the best technical wrestler in the world, but Marty Scurll isn't too modest. I think that the feud between these two men could write itself into NXT and beyond. Zack Sabre Jr, best technical wrestler in the world but never says it... Marty Scurll says he is... Who is the better man? It's like the UK's version of Okada vs. Tanahashi because I could watch them fight each other forever, and yet in this match they're a tag team. How good is this??
If this event gets a DVD release I will be buying it, but I'm also looking forward to that eventual Marty Scurll action figure. I looked at the DVDs RevPro currently has for sale and a lot of them have these amazing match ups with AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura, but guys like Will Ospreay, Zack Sabre Jr and Marty Scurll mixed in as well. Yeah, I don't know whether they have sales or not, but in the near future I will be likely buying four or five of these DVDs for my own personal enjoyment. If this does get a DVD release- Epic Encounter- I will likely buy it with the Marty Scurll action figure because I'm really excited for that as well, if you couldn't tell. But yes, people. Go watch RevPro! They have an On Demand site like The WWE Network but you can pay monthly or per event, which I think is cool and WWE should embrace. And now it is time to watch more professional wrestling from across the pond because PROGRESS is up next for me!