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Revolution Pro: Spirit Of The Revolution Finals, 7/14/01
by Doron Diamond

Revolution Pro held the finals of their Spirit Tournament on 7/14/01. The tourny up to this point was a disappointment. Dragon was putting on very good matches (his 6/2/01 match against Excalibur is ****, and he had other good-to-great matches with Shogun and Mr. Excitement) but the overall match quality of the tourny was lacking. In fact, the shows as a whole have been lacking lately. The heat has been mild at best (and that`s almost never) and the cards have been plauged with outsiders who can`t really work, and draw less than no heat. This show, however, had tremendous potential. You had Rising Son (Kawada to Dragon`s Misawa) going up against Super Dragon yet again, except this time it was 2/3 falls, and for the finals of the tourny. It was expected that both men would go all out, but not to the extent that they did. Everyone from top to bottom put on a strong effort, and the show even had a strong angle to get the fans more into the product. All in all, the best show Revolution Pro has put on yet, and arguably the most heated show they`ve ever had (the attendance was 118...I think that may be the most they`ve ever drawn.

1. Mariachi Loco vs. Soldado de la Muerte These two Luchadors opened the last show I believe. Soldado played the Rudo in this match, and had no mask or anything. He looked as generic as a luchador could possibly look. Loco played Technico, and seemed to be leaning towards the Dick Togo side of roundness. Unforetunately he was nowhere near as good as Togo. The match was fun, although not very good. The crowd was hilarious for much of this match, and it was probably the most heated opener in recent Rev Pro history (not an amazing feat.) They were rough around the edges, and the match had no real flow whatsoever, but it was enjoyable for what it was, and got the crowd into the show for once, as opposed to kiling the crowd right off the bat like the other openers have. Loco takes it with a nice Gory Special. 1/4*, but definately a big step up from past openers, and I hope they bring these two back soon.

2. Triple Threat Elimination Match: Goalie Howe vs. Socal Loco vs. Luis All three of these guys are outsiders, but the promotion they worked in previously was never specified. Maybe they were Rev Pro trainees? Socal Loco was a small guy, who wore a Black Warrior mask, so he already gets points in my book. Luis and Goalie Howe are two of the most generic wrestlers you`ll ever see, although they aren`t totally awful as workers. This match, as most elimination Triple Threats, has no real flow, disjointed action, and typical 3-way spots. Loco hit some lowgrade highspots, Goalie Howe hit some midgrade Powermoves, and Luis didn`t do much of anything, except for a nice Tope Atomico (Swanton Bomb.) I don`t understand why these guys go out there and try working the spot-a-minute style matches. If they slowed things down, and worked a simple, basic old school match, I`m positive that it would be much more effective than the style they attempt. It`s like the lowest level ECW style spotfest matches, and those weren`t even good to begin with. These guys tried, and it was definately entertaining, but on a technical merit, it was even worse than the last match. Goalie Howe takes it with a modified Pump Handle suplex. DUD

3. Disco Machine/Shogun vs. Excalibur/Yakuza This was one of the best non-Dragon matches Rev Pro has put on in a long time. Disco`s a very good indy worker who leans more towards the heavyweight style, but can work with the juniors and not look totally out of place. Shogun is improving every show, but still shows a lot of greeness, and seems to forget a lot of his spots, or what he wants to do in between moves. Excalibur was great in this match, taking really nice bumps, and really getting the crowd into this match (which was the most heated undercard match in Rev Pro since Restart!) Yakuza made his return tonight, with a great new mask and costume. Yakuza`s a big guy that is a great catcher, and can work Lucha as well as some strong style. The match was very good. These guys also work the fast paced style, but they do it properly, building up to it first. Excalibur and Shogun do some nice matwork to start things off, and then things build nicely to the tope sequence, then to the double teams, then to the finish sequences. That`s the proper way to do it, and while these 4 aren`t even close to the best at doing it, they`re very good, especially for the indies. There was a lot of sloppiness in this match. A lot. But they made up for it with some really nice nearfalls and work. Disco did a very nice Plancha from the top (like Todd talked about earlier in his MCW review, he actually jumped, so the move looked more Liger-esque than not) and Shogun used a Tope Con Hilo. Excalibur went for his No Touch Tope, and Yakuza hit an even more impressive Plancha onto everyone. Anytime the match was getting really hot, Shogun would seemingly lose his place, and the match felt disjointed because of that, but it was still his best match yet (aside from his match against Super Dragon.) Yakuza hit some really great, Chono-esque Mafia kicks, and overall looked great back in action. This was a very good match, and to see the crowd so into an undercard match was an even bigger surprise, and hopefully a good sign of trends to come. **1/4.

4. Mexican Lucha Libre Heavyweight Championship: Jason Allgood vs. King Faviano Jason Allgood won the belt from Matt Sinister the week before, and this was his first defense. King Faviano is very funny the first time you see him, then becomes instantly stale. Unfortunately, he doesn`t have the wrestling to make up for his lack of comedy. Both men actually tried to put on a serious match for once, but the crowd was totally dead. Not much to write about here, except it was nice to see Allgood taking his role a bit more seriously inside the ring, even though he still can`t work all that well. Faviano should be working a more serious, focused power style if he ever wants to get over with the crowd. Togo/Vader/Super Boy are all asking WAY too much for Faviano to look to. However, a big guy like Bubba Ray Dudley, who hits really nice powermoves when motivated, and actually looks menacing during his matches, should be a wrestler Faviano looks to to improve his game. Not technically bad at all, but no one cared. Allgood makes his first successful defense after Favi misses a senton, and Allgood hits the Jackknife pin 3/4*.

Ultra Taro Jr. Retirement Ceremony This was one of the best angles I`ve seen for an indy. It wasn`t so much that the angle itself was compelling (to be fair though, no one really knew it was an ``angle``- It seemed legit to everyone). However, the way the angle was carried out was incredibly well done. Everyone believed Ultra Taro Jr. was retiring. The Revolution Pro website led people to believe it, the wrestlers comments led people to believe it- hell, talking to Taro and a few of the wrestlers before the show began, everyone was acting sad and regretful, selling the angle. I don`t think a person in the place believed he wasn`t actually retiring. Then, the ceremony began. It was touching talking about Taro and the great things he did for Rev Pro, and had each of the wrestlers come out and say something nice to him. He even mentioned that Super Dragon was his cousin. Finally, he asked Disco to remove his mask for him, saying that if no one was going to win it from him, Disco should be the one to unmask him. Next thing you know, Taro`s beating down Disco, turning his back on the entire Rev Pro roster, (including his former stable Tokyo Gurentai) and proclaiming that Ultra Taro Jr. is indeed dead, and that he`s sick of the Jr. label. From now on, he will be known as TARO! It was an awesome angle, and will actually lead to some very good wrestling, so for once, an angle actually paid off. Taro announces next week will have Dragon/Son/Disco vs. B-Boy/Funky Billy Kim/Chilango (Dragon`s trainer) as the big main event next week. **** angle, and Taro is really an awesome performer, despite being so small and unclear on the microphone.

5. Main Event: Rising Son vs. Super Dragon 2/3 falls (Finals of the Spirit of the Revolution Tournament)

From entrances to post match celebration, this was at least the best match in Revolution Pro history, at least Indy MOTY so far, at least the top 2 US Indy matches ever (if not the best US Indy match ever) and a very strong US MOTYC. Everything about this match was incredible. It had the feel of a very ``special`` final. The arena was more filled than ever before, and the crowd was buzzing from the get go. Before the finalists came out, all the other participants in the tournament came out to surround the ring, mimicking the way NJPW runs their Best Of The Super Junior final matches. It was a really cool Puroresu touch, and the first of many to come for the match. Next, they had Paul T. from Delphin`s Osaka Pro come out and do the ring introductions in Japanese. Very classy, and the introductions for each wrestler were very well done and very cool. After each participant was annouced, we all threw streamers into the ring, AJPW style. Rising Son got red and white colors, and Super Dragon got Green and black colors. The match could have been held in AJ rings, and you wouldn`t have known the difference. It was all extremely cool.

**Don`t read anything from this point on unless you want the match details, and match result spoiled for you. If you skip down and read below the match descriptions, you can get my thoughts on the match without having anything spoiled. My recommendation is to wait until the tape comes out (which should be really soon) and pick it up for yourself. It`s a must-see.**

 

 

 

 

 

The match itself was amazing. Rising Son has fought Dragon on 5 seperate occasions by my count, in three different promotions and has yet to beat Dragon. He hasn`t even been able to pin Dragon in a tag match yet. This was his biggest match yet, and it was obvious that he would go all out to finally beat Dragon. The heat for this match was electric. It started out silent and respectful like the beginning to a Puroresu match, and after the first few sequences, the crowd was erupting into chants of the wrestlers. My section of the crowd was clearly in favor of Rising Son, while the opposite side was in favor of Dragon. Aside from the match, the crowd was basically having a match of its own, screaming with everything they had for their favorite wrestler. Dragon`s family went balistic, and towards the ending of the match (which went about 15 minutes long!) they were banging on the walls of the arena as loud as anyone there. I lost my voice from screaming so hard, and after the match ended, you could see the toll the match took on the crowd, as everyone was sweating and exhausted from cheering so much. Both men were playing face in the beginning, and as the match went on, Super Dragon subtly changed his mannerisms to heel tactics, getting cockier and cockier as the match went on, because he was clearly dominating for the meat of the match. The first fall was very nice. Nice mat exchanges, counters of moves, and counters of counters. Son was sloppy during various parts of the match, especially during the first fall, but it was nothing terrible, and he covered for it very nicely. Dragon countered Son`s reverse Rana into a Gedoh Clutch which ended their first fall at MPW, but Son kicked out at the last second. They played upon their past matches about 10 different times in this match, and had the crowd believing it would be the end every time. Eventually, after about 6-8 minutes of work, Dragon put Son away for the first fall with a nice Silver King Lucha rollup. The first fall wasn`t bad by any means. In fact, it was very good, and nicely done, but suffered from some sloppiness, which definately took the match down. Compared to the third fall though (which they were clearly building for,) the first fall was nothing. Son was down 1-0, and things looked very bleak for him. The crowd was still on fire, and the wrestlers surrounding the ring were getting more and more into it as it went on. The second fall was better than the first fall, going longer, but still had a tiny bit of sloppiness. As the crowd got more and more into Son, pulling him to get out of submissions, Dragon`s attitude was changing. Dragon hit some chops that had the whole place howling in pain, and Son later returned the favor. Son hit his Sayama Feint Kick right in Dragon`s face for a huge pop. He also went for his Tope Atomico finisher, but landed right on Dragon`s knees in a sick bump. Son eventually went for his Misterio Swandive Rana, which pinned Dragon at MPW, but again, Dragon kicked out at 2 1/2. This fall had a bunch of flash pins by son, including an incredible backslide reversal out of Dragon`s Super Double Arm DDT for a great nearfall. Finally, Son went for a springboard crossbody, and turned it into some quasi-type of Crucifix pin (which Dragon took amazingly well) for the 3 count, and the second fall. It was an awesome new move, and looked amazing. At this point, everyone was really losing, just going all out in support of their favorite worker. The third fall is what made the match. It made up most of the match, had the biggest moves, and had the crowd completely losing it. Dragon went for everything he had for this fall, and Son just held on best he could. Son hit a swandive Tope Con Hilo to the outside. Dragon gained control, and set Son up for a dive off the top that Iím pretty sure is brand new, and hasnít been done by anyone else yet. Basically, Dragon spins sideways twice in midair, while in a cannonball position. We called it the UFO for lack of a better name, but it was insane. Dragon went for his Dragonís Fire (Top Rope Blue Thunder Bomb) for a nearfall. Dragon then got Son in a ďdangerousĒ version of his Double Arm DDT Brainbuster, and Son had to roll out of the ring to stay alive. Once Son was back in, Dragon hit the most vicious leg lariat Iíve ever seen on Son, and we thought he broke Sonís neck, but Son kicked out at two. The crowd was screaming and hitting everything in sight. Finally, Son managed to go for his Reverse Rana, only for Dragon to reverse it into Psycho Driver position. He finally hit the move, and PLANTED Son right on top of his head. No one has ever kicked out of the Psycho Driver. The crowd counted alongÖ1Ö2ÖKICKOUT!!!! The crowd at this point reached its peak. People got out of their seats, jumping up and down, people were running around screaming, and going ballistic. It was such a surreal moment, much like when Kobashi became the first to kick out of Misawaís Tiger Driver 91. Dragon couldnít believe it either. He went up top to use the only move he had left, his second most effective finisher, the Phoenix splash. Son slowly got up to his feet, and went for his Reverse Rana, off the top!!! He planted Dragon right on his head, and went for the pin. 1Ö2Ö3!!!!! Rising Son got his first win ever over Super Dragon, and thus became the first winner of the Spirit Of the Revolution Tournament. Everyone shot up and gave them a standing ovation. It was equivalent (on an indy scale anyway) to when Kawada finally beat Misawa on 5/1/98 for the Triple Crown, and a moment that may never be equaled again in Rev Pro.

Again, I canít stress enough how awesome this was. The only flaws were the few sloppy moments from Son, Son took too much of a beating to win, IMO, and Son got up a bit too fast after taking the Psycho Driver. However, all things considered, the match had too much psychology, and good stuff that completely outweighs the negative. Seeing people literally jumping out of their seats to bang on the walls and scream out the wrestlers names was something Iíll probably never see again any time soon. They played off so much of their other matches that it became dizzying. I work out, consider myself to be in great physical shape and lift weights everyday, but I honestly canít remember the last time I was so drained and exhausted as I was after pulling and cheering for that entire match. This was better than the Tanaka/Liger final from a month ago, and the best US Indy match ever, IMO. I bet Kawada/Muto in full was better than this, and Benoit/Austin from Smackdown might have been a bit better, but had a worse ending. This is my MOTY right now. By my count, the match went just a hair over 30 minutes, which is incredible given the pace they worked. Anyway, this is the crown jewel in Rev Proís short history, and a must-see match. I only hope that video captures even 1/10th of the magic it captured live. *****.

This was the best Revolution Pro show Iíve ever seen, and should be the first tape you pick up from them after the Dragon Evolution tape. Just amazing, and this match should have been the finals of the NOAH Junior Tournament for all I can say. Thank you, and see you next week!

Doron Diamond
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