Revolution Pro Wrestling (RevPro) is best known for high quality matches between men, with their biggest recent buzz generated by Zack Sabre Jr.’s Undisputed British Heavyweight Championship matches against PAC and Shigehiro Irie. But the RevPro women’s division has also included some cool developments and matches since 2019 began, with the RevPro Queen of the Ring tournament and exciting RPW British Women’s Championship match at New Year’s Resolution. Tomorrow’s Live in Bristol show will likely set up Sammii Jayne as champ Zoe Lucas’s next challenger, so let’s take a look at the events of this month that let us to this point.
All the shows discussed in this article can be watched on RPW On Demand. All pictures used in this article are from Beyond Gorilla, whose full albums of RPW action shots can be seen on the promotion’s Facebook page.
The RevPro Queen of the Ring tournament at the Live at the Cockpit 36 & 37 shows in London featured a who’s who of the BritWres scene’s current female talent not recently snapped up by NXT UK. Along with Lucas, the third-ever holder of the British Women’s Championship created in January 2018, the competition had Sammii Jayne, Zan Phoenix, Kellyanne, Chardonnay, Laura Di Matteo, Yuu, and Debbie Keitel.
Going into opening match of the tournament’s opening/
The RevPro crowd was much more invested in the tournament’s second match, Sammii Jayne vs. Kellyanne. After “the Scottish Sensation and the Main Event Empress” talked trash with the audience, a strong lockup got the match off to an aggressive start. The wrestlers looked evenly matched, and neither showed a shortage of attitude. The crowd was on Kellyanne’s side as both women managed to hit and kick out of high impact moves, but a strike and a knee from Jayne sent her to the second round looking like a contender.
After two men’s matches, RevPro returned to Queen of the Ring action with Chardonnay vs. Laura Di Matteo. Di Matteo looked very focused, with no frills and all business, and the visual contrast with the glamorous Chardonnay, representing Stardom’s Queen’s Quest, couldn’t have been more dramatic. In contrast to the Jayne vs. Kellyanne, both women here wrestled methodically, looking to take each other apart technically rather than put on a slobberknocker. Di Matteo hit most of the match’s flashier moves and overall gave a great performance, really earning the support of the crowd. But after managing to just about not lose for much of the match, much like Keitel in the tournament opener, Chardonnay ultimately picked up the W with a club to the chest and a powerbomb.
The show’s semi-main event pit the heel champ Zoe Lucas, an American former cheerleader, against beloved babyface guest star Yuu, a Japanese judoka and former Tokyo Joshi Pro wrestler who’s been working internationally as a freelancer. The audience expressed their disappointment at this being a non-title match, but, as commentary pointed out, Yuu could earn both a title shot and a spot in the semi-finals by defeating Lucas.
This was a pretty strong match in which the crowd was invested throughout.
Both women were aggressive from the collar and elbow tie up, and, probably thinking of the final match to be wrestled later the same night, went for pins early. Jayne and Yuu battled it out, each getting more and more frustrated as their opponent continued to kick out. It looked like Yuu could have the answer to Jayne when she locked on a kata
The vengeful Lucas had just cost Yuu the tournament, but with Yuu angry and still coming for her title, that might not have been the best idea. Jayne, having used a combination of fighting hard and opportunism to become a Queen of the Ring finalist, also looked, at this point, like someone for Lucas to watch out for in the future.
The next semi-final match, in which Debbie Keitel defeated Chardonnay, was weaker than the previous, but Keitel came out of it looking a lot stronger than her first. Chardonnay got meaner and meaner as the match went on and Keitel earned a solid amount of support from the crowd. She escaped some painful-looking leg work and managed to create some distance with a desperate dropkick. She was then finally able to answer Chardonnay’s kicks with a German suplex, and after kicking out a pin by her opponent, took home the win with a creative bridge. She still seemed like an underdog going into the final, but one more likely to surprise you.
Before the final and after two men’s matches, the show featured a tag team match with a fun level of urgency and lots of internal drama between the losers of the quarterfinals: Kellyanne and Zan Phoenix vs. Laura Di Matteo and Zoe Lucas. Kellyanne causing Di Matteo to accidentally strike Lucas was the final straw for their tense team, and an offended Lucas hit her finisher on Di Matteo and ditched her. But that didn’t mean their opponents were all sunshine and roses. Phoenix ended up getting the pinfall victory after throwing Kellyanne out of the ring. After this tag, Kellyanne and Di Matteo were more aligned with each other than their partners.
The tournament final for the right for a wrestler to both call herself Queen of the Ring and get a championship opportunity in the future saw Jayne as the RevPro crowd’s clear favorite. The surprise return of referee Chris Roberts, apparently on the same flight back from Japan as ZSJ, gave the audience another little shot of energy.
Both women pulled out all the stops, resulting in exciting moments like Jayne blocking the X Factor that helped Keitel out the day before and Keitel blocking a suplex from Jayne on the apron to land her own. Keitel seemed to have the answer to Jayne for much of the match, blocking one powerbomb attempt and reversing another midair into the X Factor she had been denied earlier. Jayne responded to this by unleashing her inner killer, delivering a nasty neckbreaker and double knees while Keitel was trapped in the ropes. After a surprising transition to a
The epilogue, of sorts, to the 2019 Queen of the Ring
The match’s first five minutes were so eventful and substantial that they felt like they could have been ten.
The crowd was invested as both women laid each other out and screamed as they rose to their feet for a chop battle. Backed by a wholesome “Yuu can do it” chant, the Japanese Judo Fighter tried for an armbar on Lucas, but the champ wouldn’t let it lock in and rolled it over into a
The cheating was obvious to the audience, but the referee was somehow oblivious, and Lucas retained her title with an honesty shocking finish to an excellent, compact match. Yuu protested, Lucas mocked her, and the crowd booed. It was a controversial and frustrating win, exactly the kind that makes you hope for someone to take the title from an underhanded heel champion.
Though some of their women’s matches this year have been notably stronger than others, RevPro has started 2019 by setting up their women’s division as a compelling part of their shows and definitely one worth keeping up with. The impending Jayne vs. Lucas title match will definitely be one to watch.