PROGRESS Wrestling: Super Strong Style 16 2017 – Day Three
Location: The Electric Ballroom, London
Date: May 29, 2017
Announcers: Glen Joseph, Callum Leslie, RJ Singh, and Matt Richards
The 2017 Super Strong Style 16 concludes here. Zack Sabre Jr, Travis Banks, Tyler Bate, and Matt Riddle compete to join Will Ospreay and Tommy End in the history books as Super Strong Style 16 champions!
Roy Johnson’s Wasteman Challenge
Oh dear god. After the candidates in last month’s snap election were denied, David Starr came out to answer the challenge. As did Pastor William Eaver. And Flamita. And Flash Morgan Webster. And finally Mark Andrews. This has already gotten ridiculous.
Starr starts by screwing up the Fresh Prince of Bel Air song. Eaver follows by showing off his London Marathon medals. Webster continues by saying that Johnson will never be on his podcast. Andrews ethers Johnson by saying that Triple H never called Roy back. And Flamita finishes with the Macarena. Jimmy Havoc comes out. He says that he’s given the company 5 years of his career, and that he’s better than the “hangover match.” He lays everyone out with a chair and leaves. Jack Sexsmith comes out and tries to pin everyone, but they all kick out, and I guess we have a match.
Wasteman Challenge Hangover Scramble: Roy Johnson vs. David Starr vs. Pastor William Eaver vs. Flamita vs. Flash Morgan Webster vs. Mark Andrews vs. Jack Sexsmith
A fun bit of wrestling to get the third day started. It had a lot of goofiness, with David Starr giving everyone a Jewish Cannon, and Pastor using his magic Jesus powers. Everyone got their stuff in, and Flamita won with the Spanish Fly on Starr. Great start to the day. Two thumbs up.
I do want to talk about Jimmy Havoc’s weekend, though. He lost to Travis Banks in the first round, complained about even having to be in the tournament on commentary, and now he’s laying people out with chairs because he’s mad. This seems like he’s on course for a heel turn, and I don’t know how I feel about that. On one hand, Jimmy Havoc as a bad guy is more interesting than he is as a good guy in my opinion. It’s not that he’s boring or anything like that, it’s just that a heel Jimmy Havoc is fantastic.
But on the other hand, turning Jimmy heel again feels like a step back for Progress. It would feel like treading ground that we’ve already walked on. There’s a chance that I’m reading this the wrong way, and this has been Jimmy being Jimmy, but I just wanted to get that out there.
Super Strong Style 16 Semi-Final: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Travis Banks
These guys skipped the exhibition grappling and went right to the part where they batter each other. This match was so great. We got bursts of jerk Sabre, stomping on the back of Banks’s head multiple times in the match. Both Banks and Sabre tried to cave the other one’s chest in with kicks, Sabre especially with two vicious Penalty Kicks. Banks hit the Slice of Heaven and goes for another one, but Sabre catches him in a triangle choke and starts elbowing the top of his head! Banks gets out by stomping on Sabre’s head and hitting another Slice of Heaven to win. The last two or three minutes of this was just a beautiful display of violence. Notice that Banks has won all three of his matches with three different moves (Kiwi Krusher, crossface, Slice of Heaven). TWO THUMBS UP.
Winner: Travis Banks
Super Strong Style 16 Semi-Final: Tyler Bate vs. Progress Atlas Champion Matt Riddle
Bate took his shoes off to mock Riddle. I wish that played into the match a little more, but it never did. They grappled for a while. Riddle hit these Mortal Kombat palm strike-combos that look awesome. There was an awesome sequence where Riddle got Bate’s back, but Bate stood up and got Riddle into tombstone position and hit a Gotch-Style Tombstone for 2. Bate kept hitting Germans on Riddle, but Riddle kept rolling through and hit a Bro 2 Sleep. They trade moves before Riddle hits his knockout knee, but it only gets 2. Bate ducks a kick, and hits a diving uppercut followed by two Tyler Drivers to win.
This match was very good, but for some reason didn’t click as well as that last one did. It had all the ingredients to make a fantastic match, but they just didn’t come all the way together for me. One thumb up.
Winner: Tyler Bate
#1 Contender for the Women’s Title: Katey Harvey vs. Kay Lee Ray
Women’s Champion Toni Storm joins Glen Joseph on commentary for this match. Both women in the match are heels in Progress, but the crowd still think Harvey is a crappy Winter Soldier, so Kay Lee is the face. As soon as I wrote that though, the crowd decided that Harvey is now a crappy Wonder Woman. There wasn’t too much to this one. The story throughout this match was that Harvey kept getting out of Ray’s Gory Bomb. Harvey got on a pendulum submission and turned it into a curb stomp for two. Harvey escaped the Gory Bomb again, so Ray hooked her leg and hit a one-armed Gory Bomb for the win.
After the match, Toni Storm came to the ring to stare down Ray, and Ray slapped her in the face. Nothing you’ll remember tomorrow. Thumbs in the middle.
Winner: Kay Lee Ray
Submission Match: Trent Seven vs. Mark Haskins
Haskins challenged Seven to a submission match after Seven interfered in the Haskins/Bate match on Day Two. This was a fun match. Seven got on the mic beforehand and said that there wouldn’t be any of the nonsense from the first two days, just him giving Haskins a lesson in submission wrestling. Haskins then caught him in a triangle choke and almost got him to tap in six seconds. They brawled around ringside for a while, which included Trent teasing chopping the ringpost as he always does, then actually chopping the ringpost. I do love it when a wrestler learns from their mistakes, only to immediately make the same mistake.
They ended up by the commentary booth where Jimmy Havoc was sat. Seven ended up smashing Jimmy with a chair before hitting Haskins as well. Seven brought Haskins back to the ring, but Haskins got a superkick in. Before Haskins could do anything else though, Havoc came down with a chair, aimed for Seven, but hit Haskins instead. Seven then laid out Havoc, and put a sharpshooter on a knocked-out Haskins for the win. Havoc then helped Haskins out of the ring, so my concerns about a heel turn have been assuaged for now. One thumb up.
Winner: Trent Seven
PROGRESS World Title: Jeff Cobb vs. Pete Dunne (c)
Pete Dunne won the title at Chapter 39. This is his tenth defense of the title, which ties Jimmy Havoc’s record amount of title defenses.
This match was awesome. Dunne kicked Cobb in the nuts before the bell rang. Once Cobb recovered, he responded by throwing Dunne around like a rag doll. One thing I really noticed here was Dunne’s ability to slow down the pace, yet keep it interesting. He doesn’t throw on a chinlock and sit there for minutes at a time, he does things that make people react while keeping a slower pace.
Meanwhile, Cobb is awesome as the face-in-peril because he can make either a speed comeback or a power comeback, and can do both very well. For instance, he gets out of a triangle choke with a Backlund-lift powerbomb and then hits a standing shooting star headbutt. He’s just incredible. Cobb pops up Dunne, but Dunne brings him down with a DDT. He hits a Pedigree (because Triple H is over), but Cobb kicks out. Cobb hits a pop-up German and goes for the Tour of the Islands, but Dunne rolls through into a small package for 2. A German suplex into the corner, followed by the Bitter End gets Dunne the win. A definitive title defense for Dunne, who will now break the record for most Progress title defenses in company history. Two thumbs up.
Winner: STILL Progress World Champion, Pete Dunne
Super Strong Style 16 Final: Travis Banks vs. Tyler Bate
The winner of this match earns a shot at the Progress World Championship.
There were a few things that I didn’t like about this match, but they were both in the first half of the match so I can get them out of the way now. First, the crowd seemed nervous about not making enough noise, so they did ALL the chants at the start of the match. They just chanted instead of reacting naturally, so that was annoying for a bit. The match was going well, and then the ref got bumped. British Strong Style came out to interfere, then CCK came out to run them off. After the interference, these two went into overdrive.
Bate hit Banks with a Bitter End, but Banks kicked out. They go back and forth in a pinning predicament. Banks hits a Slice of Heaven, but Bate comes back off the ropes with a Cappo kick. They trade huge dives before Bate catches Banks on the outside with a Tombstone. Bate tries to hit Banks with chairs, but Banks punches them all away before hitting Bate with a pump kick. Banks crotches Bate and hits a double stomp and a coast-to-coast, which gets a standing ovation. Both men start punching each other before Bate hits a snap Tombstone. Tyler Bate hits a goddamn Spiral Tap, but Banks kicks out!
Banks fires up again, but the Slice of Heaven gets met with a superkick. Bate hits the Tyler Driver, the move that won him the WWE UK Title, but Banks kicks out again! The announcers do a great job selling that as a really big deal, questioning what Bate can do to keep Banks down. Bate brings Banks to the top rope and goes for an imploding Tyler Driver, but Banks hooks Bate up and hits a Kiwi Krusher off the top. Bate kicks out before Banks locks him in a crossface and gets the submission to win Super Strong Style 16! TWO THUMBS UP. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Post match, Banks takes the mic and announces that he wants his title shot at Progress’s big Alexandra Palace show in September.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This show was a breeze. So much fun to cap off an awesome weekend of wrestling, along with three stellar matches. Super Strong Style 16 Night 3 gets TWO THUMBS UP.
You can watch all three nights of Super Strong Style 16 as well as every show in Progress history on their streaming service Demand Progress. I’ll be back with a review of Progress Chapter 50: I Give It Six Months. You can follow me on Twitter, @SuitWilliams.