As one of the most respected independent wrestling promotions in the UK, Revolution Pro Wrestling is no stranger to playing host to names from the biggest sports entertainment company of them all, World Wrestling Entertainment.
Having previously welcomed the likes of Bret ‘The Hitman’ Hart and this year’s Royal Rumble men’s victor Shinsuke Nakamura into its squared circle, Rev Pro’s latest takeover of Portsmouth Guildhall featured no less than three of WWE’s rising superstars.
WWE’s current UK champion, Pete ‘The Bruiserweight’ Dunne, was a mean old piece of work from the moment he marched out with his belt between his teeth. As he squared off against brutish Aussie Mark Davis, Dunne exploited his intimidating and cocky persona with finger-bending brilliance.
The moustachioed Tyler Bate – who resembles the sort of manly man you used to find on peppermint tins – wowed the masses with his acrobatic spots against the equally impressive El Phantasmo.
Their opening match was a highlight of the night for its side-splitting camaraderie, which at one point even involved Bate and Phantasmo helping the referee do a headstand on the turnbuckle.
The finale of the night with Trent Seven – Bate’s counterpart in the tag team Moustache Mountain – against Rev Pro’s British heavyweight champ Zack Sabre Jr was somewhat anti-climactic by comparison, but still had its fair share of hard-hitting action and wince-worthy moments.
Big names from WWE aside, At Our Best was a sterling showcase of some of the talent on offer on the indie wrestling circuit.
American cruiserweight David Starr is a hilarious heel, who took an inevitable amount of flack for walking out to what he calls a ‘scum Portsmouth’ crowd in Southampton FC kit.
The match between Kyle ‘Aussie Arrow’ Fletcher and ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey was a feast of savage kicks and high-flying skill, and Charli Evans v Veda Scott was testament to the ongoing evolution of women’s wrestling, no matter how loudly a small minority shouted undeserved derogatory comments towards the ring.
It’s unlikely you’ll get the same line-up of matches again, but Revolution Pro’s family-friendly approach to wrestling creates an irresistibly fun atmosphere.
Get out to one of the promotion’s many south coast shows – the next one is at The 1865, Southampton on March 11 – and find out for yourself that wrestling is far beyond a juvenile hobby.
For more information, visit revolutionprowrestling.com.