Chapter 51: Screaming For Progress
Location: The O2 Academy in Birmingham, England
Date: July 9, 2017
Announcers: Glen Joseph and Matt Richards
In the main event, it’s six-man tag team warfare as the three members of British Strong Style goes up against all three members of CCK! It’s Progress Chapter 51, Screaming For Progress!
Mark Haskins def. Mike Bird
Something I noticed in the pre-match speech from Jim Smallman is that the hard camera over the entrance way looks very grainy compared to the other cameras. Hopefully that’s something they can look into before their next Birmingham show. To the match, these two wasted no time getting into it. One would lay in a hard shot, and the other would get fired up and ask for more. It was very Strong Style, hitting hard until someone gave in. And give in is what Mike Bird would do after Haskins hit two superkicks and rolled into a sharpshooter for the win. After the match, Haskins takes the mic and says that he wants the Progress Title back. ***1/2
Eddie Dennis def. Ashmore
Newly full-time wrestler Eddie Dennis was supposed to be teaming with Mark Andrews, but Andrews is recovering from injury and has yet to be cleared. This gives Eddie a singles match against Freedom’s Road veteran “The Hipstar” Ashmore.
This match was fine. Dennis hit a great crucifix powerbomb for 2. Ashmore came to impress, hitting a pop-up powerbomb over the knee and a cool back kick, both of which got two. He also tried a Phoenix Splash and a Spiral Tap, but Dennis got out of the way of them both. A buckle bomb and a Next Stop Driver got the win for Dennis. There were good parts here, but the whole just didn’t connect all the way for me. **3/4
Jimmy Havoc def. Jigsaw
This is Jigsaw’s Progress debut.
An interesting match on paper ended up being a good match in practice. There was a lot of technical wrestling and high-flying in this one. Jigsaw looked smooth, and Havoc held his own as well. Jimmy hits a (insert hometown here) Destroyer, a rolling elbow and a Rainmaker for the win. Post match, Havoc grabs the mic. Havoc tells Mark Haskins that if the Progress Title meant everything to him, he wouldn’t have given it up. Havoc says that he wants his title back and leaves. A very fun match, and I’d love to see Jigsaw back in Progress. ***1/2
Tornado Tag Team Match: War Machine def. The London Riots
This match was supposed to include FSU, but Mark Andrews is still recovering from injury. This gives us a rematch of one of Progress’s best matches of 2016. Before the bell, Rowe asks the Riots if they want to make this a tornado tag match, and the Riots happily oblige.
This match was absolutely incredible. It was four big angry men commiting violent acts against each other, and I absolutely adored it. People were diving and being thrown around like cruiserweights. Hanson did a cartwheel that ended in a James Davis exploder suplex. Hanson did a Tajiri-style handspring elbow that had people in the crowd jumping for joy. Davis did a springboard moonsault. There was an insane Tower of Doom spot. The Riots hit both the District Line powerbomb and the slingshot spear, but both got kicked out of. War Machine got the win in the end with Fallout.
My god. One of the best tag matches I’ve seen this year, and a match sure to be on the best of Progress 2017. WATCH THIS MATCH. ****1/4, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
PROGRESS Atlas Championship: WALTER def. Matt Riddle to win the title
Riddle won the Atlas Title at Chapter 42 in January. This was his tenth defense of the title, but only his second at a Chapter show. WALTER earned this shot by defeating Mike Bird at Progress’s recent show in Germany.
Big. Lads. Wrestling. These two hit each other hard, and they hit each other often. There were four different CHOP EXCHANGES during this match, and they were all awesome. Riddle tried to cave in WALTER’s chest with his foot. WALTER almost took Riddle’s head clean off with a massive big boot. This match displayed everything the Atlas Division was promoted to be, hard-hitting and high intensity.
There was also some very good mat work. Riddle put the elbows to WALTER to set him up for the Bromission, but WALTER fought it off and rolled through. WALTER had let Riddle beat him before, and he wasn’t letting him do it again. He hit two powerbombs before sinking in a sleeper hold to get the tapout win and the Atlas Title. WALTER is a fantastic pick for Atlas Champion, as he is both massively talented and respected by the Progress crowd. Fantastic stuff here. ****1/4, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Chief Deputy Dunne v. Flash Morgan Webster
This match was technically fine, but there wasn’t much to it. Dunne was a lot of punches and stomps when he was in control. It wasn’t very compelling, but his character is that he’s no fun, so it makes sense. Webster was as good as he usually is, but the match never really got off the ground floor. Flash got Dunne in the Strangler, but Dunne rammed the ref’s head into the mat. That allowed Dunne to kick Webster between the uprights and hit a top rope DDT for the win. After the match, Dunne confiscated Webster’s scarf. **3/4
Six-Man Tag Match for PROGRESS Tag Team Titles: British Strong Style (Dunne/Bate/Seven) def. CCK (Banks/Brookes/Lykos), Bate and Seven win Tag Team Titles
Brookes and Lykos of CCK won the Tag Titles at Chapter 50 from Bate and Seven. This was their first defense.
This match was non-title, but before the bell, Seven asked CCK to put the tag titles on the line. In return, if CCK won again, himself and Tyler Bate wouldn’t challenge for the titles again. There were some people cheering British Strong Style here, as they were in Dunne’s hometown of Birmingham. To them I say, BOO THE F***ING HEELS. It just makes everything more fun.
This match was three parts: British Strong Style beating up Lykos, ALL THE MOVES HAPPENING, and the end sequence. There were so many dives and moves and tag team moves. Pete Dunne hit an X-Plex on Lykos from the apron to the other four guys on the floor. CCK did a triple coast-to-coast in there somewhere. BSS hit an IndieTaker on Lykos on a chair on the outside. They also hit Brookes with the MDK combo of a piledriver, a Tyler Driver and a Bitter End. Banks fought back against all three, but Dunne pulled the ref in the way of a Slice of Heaven.
Dunne kicked Banks low and hits a Pedigree (because Triple H is over). He pulled out a sledgehammer (because Triple H is over), but Banks ducked it. More six-man brawling, and Lykos hit a BRAINBUSTAHHH on Bate. But Dunne hit Lykos with a sledgehammer and pulled Bate over Lykos for the win and the titles. This got a lot of angry reaction online, and I can understand the reaction. It made the match at Chapter 50 feel like a title change for the sake of it. But I’m not too steamed over it, because it will probably lead to another CCK/BSS match. Real fun main event here though. ***3/4
Two fantastic matches in the middle, a fun main event, and a solid undercard make Chapter 51 a show to look out for. Chapter 51 gets TWO THUMBS UP.
You can watch this show, along with every other show in Progress history, on Progress’s streaming service Demand Progress. I’ll be back with a review of Chapter 52, Vote Pies.