The New Japan Pro Wrestling/Revolution Pro Wrestling two-night crossover event, Strong Style Evolved UK, saw RPW crown a new British Heavyweight Champion in Minoru Suzuki, and their Summer Sizzler main event just set up his first challenger: Tomohiro Ishii, who defeated indie wrestling superstar WALTER to win a rematch against Suzuki for this championship.
SSE UK (available to watch on NJPW World or Rev Pro On Demand) essentially saw Suzukigun take over RevPro. In the first night’s main event, Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr. retained their Undisputed British Tag Team Championships against the Chaos team of Kazuchika Okada and Tomohiro Ishii. ZSJ pinned the then-British Heavyweight Champion Ishii (who won that title from Sabre) to win the match (and went on to tap him out during NJPW’s G1, for those keeping score for this rivalry at home.)
The second night saw even more success for the heel army, with El Desperado, Iizuka, and Kanemaru defeating Gedo, Yano, and Yoshi-Hashi in a six-man tag match; Taichi defeating Will Ospreay; ZSJ. defeating Okada and continuing the Rainmaker’s losing streak/descent into balloon-centric madness; and Suzuki defeating Ishii in the main event to become the British Heavyweight Champion. It was hardcore and fun, and the crowd was incredibly into it, and it was one of my favorite matches I’ve seen this year.
We also saw WALTER defeat NJPW talent in singles matches on these shows: Yugi Nagata on night one, and Yujiro Takahashi on night two. And as the no-longer-champion Ishii exited after the main event, WALTER attacked the Stone Pitbull and made eye contact with Suzuki. The promotional video for the Ishii vs. WALTER main event of RevPro’s Summer Sizzler event made WALTER’s goals clear, with the Austrain wrestler stating, “after August 17th, the Ring General is going to come for the King.”
But at Summer Sizzler, Ishii defeated WALTER in a match that got strong, positive responses on social media from fans attending the show. (It should be up on Rev Pro On Demand within the next 48 hours.)
Ishii will now have a chance to win back the British Heavyweight Championship in the next chapter of his hard-hitting rivalry with Suzuki. These men can’t be contained to any one promotion, continent, or even normal set of wrestling rules, since both men pretty much ignore referees when they fight each other, and the RevPro refs just let them do it because the crowd loves to watch them forearm the bejesus out of each other so much.