PROGRESS Chapter 52: Vote Pies report

PROGRESS Chapter 52: Vote Pies report
Credit: Martin Bentley

PROGRESS Wrestling hosted “Chapter 52: Vote Pies” on July 23rd at the O2 Ritz in Manchester, the third of four shows the company is promoting this month. At the start of the show, co-owner Jim Smallman invited a fan into the ring, having lost a bet to him recently. Smallman then invited the fan’s girlfriend to take a picture, only for the fan to then propose to her, which was met with a great reception. She said yes – all the best to the happy couple!

1: #CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) beat The Banter Edition (Dave Mastiff & El Ligero) and Extra Talent-ed (Aaron Solow & Ricky Starks) in a three way match – there were balloons, party hats and poppers in the ring for Dave Mastiff’s birthday. A good bout, with Starks and Solow (who some may recognise as Bayley’s other half) impressing. There was a confusing finish where #CCK hit Ligero with the Ink Bomb, and Ligero looked like he kicked out, but referee Chris Roberts counted 3 and awarded the match to Brookes and Lykos. Following the match, #CCK were angry at Extra Talent-ed, attacking them with chairs and challenging them to a match next week at Chapter 53 in Camden.

2: Tyson T-Bone beat Mike Bird – WWE UK star T-Bone appeared for the first time since last year’s Atlas Championship Tournament. This was a solid bout with T-Bone and Bird brawling at ringside for much of the contest, and T-Bone caused somewhat of a surprise by scoring the win with the Pole Shift.

3: Toni Storm beat Laura Di Matteo to retain the PROGRESS Women’s Championship – this built slowly into a great contest. Storm, following her run in the Mae Young Classic, had the early control, but Di Matteo came into it when she threw Storm into the ringside chairs. Di Matteo looked for submission attempts, but Storm survived them, and the match got really good when they traded suplexes and kicks to the head. Storm retained with the Strong Zero Piledriver.

4: Matt Riddle beat Travis Banks – an amazing match that got taken down by a poorly overused WWE style finish. This was ferocious from the start, as Banks wanted to get at Riddle, who was chosen as his opponent by PROGRESS World Champion Pete Dunne. The match was full of heavy blows, suplexes and fighting spirit spots, and it was building to a great conclusion with Banks going for the Lion’s Clutch when Dunne arrived on the stage to taunt him with his titles. Banks was distracted, allowing Riddle to hit him with his Jumping Tombstone to get the win. The main body of the match was tremendous, but the end left something to be desired.

After intermission, Smallman pointed out a fan who had been caught up in the recent bombing at the Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena who has since recovered, and he got a standing ovation.

5: Jack Sexsmith beat Chief Deputy Dunne, Chuck Mambo and Zack Gibson in a four way match – Dunne and Gibson ganged up on Sexsmith at the start of the match. A decent four way, with Mambo putting in a good showing, and Dunne and Gibson getting great heat. The fans were mostly behind Sexsmith, and he got the win with a rollup on Gibson.

6: Pete Dunne beat Eddie Dennis in a non-title match – this was Dennis’ best performance of his career, showing a marked change since recently deciding to leave his career as a teacher to begin wrestling full time. Dunne antagonised the fans by roughing Dennis up and goading everyone. Dennis rallied, hitting a piledriver on the stage, and would have won the match with the Next Stop Driver had referee Joel Allen not been knocked down. Dunne went for his trusty sledgehammer, and missed with his initial shot, but when both men were outside, Dunne hit Dennis with it, followed by a Pedigree and then the Bitter End for the victory. Dennis got a massive standing ovation after the match.

7: British Strong Style (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) beat War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) to retain the PROGRESS Tag Team Championship in a Tornado Match – this went all over the building, with the IWGP Tag Team Champions Hanson and Rowe using their power and agility to overwhelm Bate and Seven early. Everyone got bieled into ringside chairs, and War Machine then slammed Seven into Bate on the stage before Hanson hit a senton on them. The most impressive moment of the match saw Bate lift the giant Hanson up to give him an airplane spin. War Machine rallied, forcing Seven to look for something under the ring – this was merely a distraction, as Bate blasted Hanson and Rowe with the belts, leading to Seven hitting a Pedigree on Hanson onto one of the belts for British Strong Style to retain. Afterwards, Rowe said War Machine had let everyone down by not winning the titles, and said that the PROGRESS fans were the loudest and craziest that they had ever wrestled in front of.

PROGRESS return to Manchester on November 12th for “Chapter 57: Enter Smiling”, with tickets on general sale tomorrow (July 24th). PROGRESS are back next week (July 30th) at the Electric Ballroom in Camden for “Chapter 53: Fate Loves The Fearless”, with #CCK set to face Extra Talent-ed in tag team action.

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