Chapter 49: Super Strong Style 16 2017 (Day One)
Location: The Electric Ballroom, London
Date: May 27, 2017
Announcers: Callum Leslie and Matt Richards
For the third straight year, Progress Wrestling will present a tournament featuring 16 of the best wrestlers in Progress and abroad. The winner will not only join Will Ospreay and Tommy End as winners, but they will also earn a shot at the Progress Wrestling Championship. Sixteen men enter, one man will leave as the winner of the Super Strong Style 16!
Super Strong Style 16 First Round: Nathan Cruz vs. Jeff Cobb
Nathan Cruz defeated Spud to earn a spot in the tournament. This is both men’s SSS16 debut.
This was Jeff Cobb throwing a man around, and Nathan Cruz doing stuff in between. Turns out, that makes for a very fun match. Cobb gets the win with the Tour of the Islands. One thumb up.
Winner: Jeff Cobb
Super Strong Style 16 First Round: Mark Haskins vs. Flash Morgan Webster
Webster beat James Drake to earn a spot in the tournament. Haskins has been in both previous SSS16 tournaments. He was forced to drop out of last year’s tournament after Day One due to exhaustion and dehydration. This is Webster’s SSS16 debut.
I wasn’t high on this match at first, but on rewatch, this was really good. Webster keeps putting on really solid outings, and this was no exception. Haskins kept working the ankle that Webster hurt a year ago. Webster kept fighting back, but Haskins was too much. He gets Webster to tap out to a Sharpshooter by cranking on the ankle. Webster gets mad at Haskins after the match, but they talk it out and shake hands. Another very good match. Two thumbs up.
Winner: Mark Haskins
Super Strong Style 16 First Round: Jimmy Havoc vs. Travis Banks
This is Jimmy Havoc’s first time in SSS16. He was champion during the first edition, and he was injured during the second one. This is Banks’s SSS16 debut.
Unlike the Haskins/Webster match, this one was still lacking something to me on rewatch. It was technically good and fun to watch, but Jimmy Havoc in his first SSS16 should’ve felt like a really important thing and it just didn’t come across that way to me. Nothing against either guy, the match was good, but good is it. Banks won with the Kiwi Krusher. One thumb up.
Winner: Travis Banks
Super Strong Style 16 First Round: David Starr vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
This is Starr’s Progress debut. Sabre Jr. reached the finals of the first SSS16, losing to Will Ospreay.
The tattoo on Starr’s leg is…interesting. This match was going pretty well. Some very good technical wrestling, followed by Starr getting a little cocky (in more ways than one). Sabre went after Starr’s arm, and Starr responded with his impressive repertoire of moves. Then Sabre put on an impressive flying triangle choke, and this match went into second gear. Starr kept going for his Product Placement german suplex, but Sabre kept finding ways out of it. Starr eventually did hit the Product Placement, but the bad arm allowed Sabre to slip his hand out and kick out. Sabre then locked on an omoplata and stomped on Starr until he verbally submitted. Brutal ZSJ is always great, and the Man with a Million Nicknames was very impressive in his debut. Two thumbs up.
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.
Super Strong Style 16 First Round: Zack Gibson vs. Jack Sexsmith
Sexsmith defeated Paul Robinson to earn a spot in the tournament. This is his SSS16 debut. This is Gibson’s third SSS16, reaching the semi-finals last year before losing to Mark Andrews.
The crowd has pride flags lining the front row, and Jack looks genuinely overwhelmed. Gibson cuts his promo and says that despite the flags and the fans, Sexsmith is still a joke. Sexsmith attacks Gibson before the bell rings, but once the ref separates the two, Gibson hits Sexsmith with a Ticket To Ride out of the corner to immediately take control. This match was excellently wrestled. Gibson was his usual self, crisp but unwilling to take Sexsmith seriously. Sexsmith as always excels at getting himself and the crowd fired up.
There was a callback to their match at Old Man Yells At Cloud, where Gibson hit Sexsmith with a Helter Skelter on the floor to win by countout. This time, Sexsmith had people in the front row throw him back in the ring. Sexsmith rolls through another Helter Skelter attempt and gets the win to a huge reaction. Excellent stuff here from both men. A damn shame that Gibson won’t be moving on, but Jack Sexsmith has more than earned his spot in the next round. Two thumbs up.
Winner: Jack Sexsmith
Super Strong Style 16 First Round: Tyler Bate vs. Pastor William Eaver
Both men are making their SSS16 debuts. Tyler Bate is one-half of the Tag Team Champions, with Trent Seven.
The Pastor does a dive, and no one calls it the “Tope Con Halo.” Disgusted. This was surprisingly quick, I don’t think it went more that 5 minutes. There was a little bit of back and forth before Bate hit the rolling cappo kick and a Tyler Driver for the win. It was a bit choppy while it was going too, so not much to look at here. Thumbs in the middle.
Winner: Tyler Bate
Super Strong Style 16 First Round: Mark Andrews vs. Flamita
This is Flamita’s Progress debut. This is Andrews’s second time in SSS16. He lost to Tommy End in the finals last year.
Flamita was really impressive here. He did some moves that I genuinely had never seen before. Mark Andrews is the Designated Hitter of Progress. You can put him in the ring with almost anyone and expect a very good match. This match was no different, and the last two minutes were real hot. Surprisingly, Flamita gets the win with a frog splash and a 450. I’m sad that Andrews won’t get another run in the tournament, but I could say that about almost everyone who lost. Two thumbs up.
Super Strong Style 16 First Round: Matt Riddle vs. Trent Seven
This is both men’s SSS16 debut. Riddle is the current Atlas Champion. Seven is one-half of the Tag Team Champions, alongside Tyler Bate.
Seven cuts a promo and pisses off Riddle. Bell rings. Riddle hits a jumping knee and wins. Six seconds. Everyone rejoices in Seven getting killed. N/R
Winner: Matt Riddle
After Day One, the bracket now looks like this:
Final Thoughts: A fun show that peters out toward the end. The three matches in the middle (Havoc/Banks, ZSJ/Starr, and Gibson/Sexsmith) along with Andrews/Flamita were stellar. Super Strong Style 16 Day 1 gets one thumb up.