Chapter 47: Complicated Simplicity
Location: The Electric Ballroom in Camden, London
Date: April 23rd, 2017
Announcers: Glen Joseph and RJ Singh
James Drake vs. Eddie Dennis
James Drake has a ’93’ painted on his forehead, because he has a personality you see. Eddie Dennis looked a lot better here than he normally does. While Dennis is in control, the ref pulls him off of Drake for no reason. Off the distraction, Drake hits the jawbreaker forearm and a Mister Mayhem DDT for the win. Dennis looked very good here. However, I’ve run out of patience with James Drake. He’s a perfectly competent wrestler. But Progress is full of wrestlers as good or better than him. Almost every wrestler in Progress connects with the crowd better than Drake does. There is nothing James Drake does that stands out in any way. Unoffensive, but also unmemorable. Thumbs in the middle.
Winner: James Drake
Natural Progression Series Semi-Final: Laura Di Matteo vs. Alex Windsor
The fourth edition of the Natural Progression Series tournament is being used to crown a Progress Women’s Champion. Whoever wins this match will join Jinny and Toni Storm in the final in May. They gotta get a new picture for Alex Windsor, she’s always been a brunette in Progress.
An average match here. Di Matteo has had better days, and while Windsor is a solid hand, she isn’t particularly compelling in-ring. The crowd felt cold for this one too, which did the match no favors. Di Matteo locks Windsor in a Rings of Saturn-type submission for the win. Nothing else to say, this was only worth watching for the result. Thumbs in the middle.
Winner: Laura Di Matteo
The first Progress Women’s Champion will be crowned on Super Strong Style 16 weekend, when Jinny, Toni Storm, and Laura Di Matteo face off in a triple threat match.
Flash Morgan Webster vs. Mike Bird
This is Bird’s Progress chapter show debut.
I’m noticing a lot of Hot Tag Media specials tonight as far as music goes. These two had no story going into this match as well as an oddly cold crowd, but they managed to have themselves a damn good match here. Flash was inconsistent before he got hurt last year, but since coming back he has put together a string of really solid outings. I also think that Mike Bird put on one of the best debut matches I’ve seen in some time in Progress. Bird comes off the top rope, but Flash kills him with a jumping knee. After Bird kicked out of a standing Sliced Bread #2, Flash made him pass out with the Strangler submission. Don’t sleep on this one. Two thumbs up.
Winner: Flash Morgan Webster
Flash gets on the mic. He says that on this day (April 23) last year, he had his Cruiserweight Classic qualifying match where he injured his shoulder and his ankle. He thanks the crowd for staying with him through it all. As Flash leaves, James Drake attacks him on the stage. Drake hits the jawbreaker forearm and leaves.
The London Riots (James Davis and Rob Lynch) vs. The South Pacific Power Trip (TK Cooper and Travis Banks w/ Dahlia Black)
This match will be TK Cooper and Dahlia Black’s last appearance in Progress for a time. Their visas have expired, and they have to return to New Zealand before the visas can be renewed.
The London Riots have new music, and it is AWFUL. The Power Trip come out to a standing ovation, and it’s gonna be emotional in the Electric Ballroom for this one. This was a chaotic mess in the best way. Dives and double team maneuvers to spare. The Riots were good as the default heels here. They knew they weren’t gonna have the crowd on their side, so they didn’t try to get them. They did little jerk moves (like steal the Power Trip’s finisher) that let the crowd get their boos out. The Power Trip won with the tandem DDT. High energy and high emotion, this was a stellar way for the Power Trip to go out (for now). TWO THUMBS UP, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
— Dan (@GolazoDan) April 30, 2017
Winners: South Pacific Power Trip
Post match, TK and Dahlia both give heartfelt speeches about how they’ve grown over the past two years in Progress, and that they were made in Progress. Co-owner Glen Joseph takes the mic and tells TK and Travis that due to their victory, he is granting them a tag team title shot whenever they want it anywhere in the world. That brings out all three members of British Strong Style. Trent Seven is great at being a condescending jerk, telling TK and Dahlia that since he’s rich now, he can buy them visas. He teases giving the Power Trip their title shot now before they lay them both out. Trent wraps a chair around TK’s ankle and crushes it with another chair. Ringkampf run off BSS before they can do more damage. Fantastic segment.
Back from intermission, Jim Smallman brings Pastor William Eaver to the ring. Eaver is fresh off of running the London Marathon earlier in the day for charity. Smallman tells Eaver that he is in the Super Strong Style 16 tournament in May.
Number One Contender’s Match: Mark Haskins vs. Mark Andrews
The winner of this match will get a Progress World Title match.
This match felt off to me. It was a fine match that was stuck in first gear for a while. Haskins worked on the leg of Andrews, then Andrews got on the comeback. But just as soon as it was starting to heat up, it was over. Haskins caught Andrews in a triangle choke, but Andrews got Haskins’s shoulders down. Andrews tapped when the ref counted three, so it was ruled a draw. After a brief discussion, Jim Smallman announced that both men would challenge for the Progress Title at the next show in a triple threat match. While I think Progress have been leaning on the screwy finish a bit too much recently, I don’t have too big a gripe with this one as the problem was immediately resolved. But surprisingly, the match was nothing to write home about. Thumbs in the middle.
Winner: Match ends in a draw (Both men get a title shot)
Super Strong Style 16 Qualifying Match/Progress Career on the Line: Jack Sexsmith vs. Paul Robinson
This match came together when, quite randomly, Paul Robinson challenged Jack Sexsmith to a match for a spot in May’s Super Strong Style 16 tournament. Robinson also said that he would leave Progress if Sexsmith beat him, despite the fact that these men haven’t spoken two words to each other in Progress.
— Dan (@GolazoDan) April 30, 2017
This match was a lot of fun. The crowd love Sexsmith and they love to hate Robinson, so they were fired up for this one. Sexsmith matches are a lot of fun because he loses all of the time, so every time he kicks out, the crowd gets fired up thinking that tonight could be the night Jack wins. It reminds me of WCW shows from the 80’s where the crowd lights up whenever Jimmy Valiant throws a punch. Robinson steals a couple of Will Ospreay’s moves to win this match, but Sexsmith keeps fighting. Sexsmith eventually gets a straight Crossface on Robinson and gets him to tap out. One thumb up.
Winner: Jack Sexsmith (Sexsmith enters Super Strong Style 16)
After the match (edited to the end of the show), Robinson announces that due to a hereditary blood condition, he has to retire from wrestling. A damn shame, as Robinson was always a solid hand and a highlight of the early Progress shows. Take care Dobby.
High Stakes Six Man Tag for both Progress World and Tag Team Titles: Ringkampf (Axel Dieter Jr., Timothy Thatcher, WALTER) vs. British Strong Style (Tag Team Champions Trent Seven and Tyler Bate and Progress Champion Pete Dunne)
If Dunne loses the fall, whoever scores the fall becomes Progress World Champion. If Seven or Bate lose the fall, whoever scores it becomes Progress Tag Team Champion and can pick their partner. This is Seven and Bate’s third defense of the tag team titles. This is Dunne’s eighth defense of the World Title.
— Dan (@GolazoDan) April 30, 2017
In my opinion, this was British Strong Style’s best outing as a unit. They were fantastic as the little weasels that kept just out of Ringkampf’s reach. Every time they taunted Ringkampf or cheated to gain the advantage, they literally ran away to their own corner to avoid a fight. Ringkampf were exceptional in this match as well, getting angrier at each BSS offense, which riled the crowd up more and more.
There was a tease of tension between BSS when Dunne threw Bate in the way of a WALTER chop. They were able to get back on the same page, and they were able to have a very good six-man tag. Bate hit a stalling deadlift German on WALTER. Let me say that again. TYLER BATE DEADLIFTED WALTER. The match broke down into a Pier 6 brawl. WALTER got Seven in a sleeper, but Dunne knocked out WALTER with the title belt. Seven got the cover and the win to retain the title. Two thumbs up.
Winners: STILL Progress World and Tag Team Champions, British Strong Style
Post match, Axel Dieter (who is rumored to have signed to WWE) takes a lap around the Ballroom to say goodbye. I can’t wait for Byron Saxton to constantly tell us that Dieter “has all the tools to be a star in WWE.” In all seriousness, Dieter is a great talent on his own right, and I hope he does well for himself.
Final Thoughts: This was a noticeable step down from the last two chapters (which were both Show of the Year level shows), but there were matches you should go out of your way to see here. Webster/Bird was surprisingly great, the main event was stellar, and the Riots/SPPT match was a perfect conclusion to the Power Trip’s current run. Everything else is take it-or-leave it. Chapter 47 gets one thumb up.
Match of the Night: The London Riots vs. The South Pacific Power Trip
You can watch this and every Progress show on their streaming service Demand Progress. You can follow me on Twitter, @SuitWilliams. I will be back with a review of Chapter 48: Bang The Drum, where Progress Champ Pete Dunne will defend his title in a triple threat match against Mark Andrews and Mark Haskins.