PROGRESS “Chapter 53: Fate Loves the Fearless” 7/30/17

Credit: Martin Bentley

PROGRESS Wrestling held “Chapter 53: Fate Loves the Fearless” on July 30th at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, London. Among the many significant events occuring at the show was Rockstar Spud as a member of the ring crew, as part of his recent character of having taken a bump to the head and believing he is a trainee in the year 2002.

0: Connor Mills beat Spike Trivet – this was a pre-show match featuring two talents from the PROGRESS training school who have featured in the company’s Freedom’s Road series of shows. Trivet ground Mills down and threw some insults at the direction of the fans, but Mills came back and won with a 450 splash.

1: #CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) beat Extra Talent-ed (Aaron Solow and Ricky Starks) in a #1 Contenders Match for the PROGRESS Tag Team Championship – Solow used his relationship with Bayley for great heel heat here, adding some energy to a very good match. Extra Talent-ed spent most of the match working on Kid Lykos, who fought hard to make the tag to Brookes. Several sick f’n tag moves later, Brookes got the win with a Praying Mantis Bomb on Solow to give #CCK another title shot.

2: Chief Deputy Dunne beat Chuck Mambo – a good match, which despite Dunne’s best efforts, was a lot of fun. Mambo had chances to win down the stretch, but Dunne cut him off and won with the Fun’s Over rope-suspended DDT.

3: James Drake & Zack Gibson beat Never Say Die (Alex Cupid & Dillon D’Angelo) – Never Say Die are two PROGRESS training school graduates making their main show debuts. Gibson announced that he had left The Origin and joined up with Drake, with whom he has set up the Fighting Spirit training school. Despite some hope spots for Cupid and D’Angelo, the new team of Drake and Gibson finished them off in short order.

4: James Davis beat Rob Lynch in a #1 Contenders Match for the PROGRESS Atlas Championship – the London Riots had asked for a new challenge, and PROGRESS responded by putting Davis and Lynch against each other, with the winner getting a shot at WALTER’s Atlas Title. This was initially a good spirited match with both partners not holding back, and going heavy on each other outside the ring. The key point was Lynch suffering an injury, and Davis taking advantage by submitting him to earn the title match.

After the match, Lynch announced that this was his last match for PROGRESS, and that he was retiring in October to sort his health and life out. Davis responded by turning on his partner, hitting him so hard with the Riots’ trademark cricket bat that it broke in half, and said he was leaving Lynch because he’s a loser and that both his fiancee and his father had left him, and that he was holding Davis back. The fans booed Davis, and applauded Lynch as he was helped to his feet.

5: Pete Dunne beat Jack Sexsmith in a non-title match – Dunne attacked Sexsmith from behind and threw him through many ringside chairs. It looked as though the match may have been called off, but Sexsmith escaped and hit a dive off the top rope onto Dunne outside the ring. Sexsmith countered Dunne’s big moves with tornado DDTs and had Dunne in the Mr. Cocko Crossface at one point. Dunne finally survived his gallant opponent by hitting The Bitter End for the win, with the fans giving Sexsmith a standing ovation for his efforts.

6: Toni Storm beat Candice LeRae to retain the PROGRESS Women’s Championship – a very good match with a split crowd. LeRae hit a dive to the outside, and tried to throw Storm through some chairs, but Storm caught her and suplexed her through them instead. LeRae hit her trademark spots, including the Boxplex and the Gargano Escape, but Storm got out and hit LeRae with several suplexes. LeRae kicked out of the Strong Zero Piledriver at one, but after a brief rally, Storm cut her off and gave her three Strong Zeros in succession to retain her title.

7: British Strong Style (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) beat Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins to retain the PROGRESS Tag Team Championship – this match barely stayed in the ring, with both teams brawling all over the Electric Ballroom. There were many lariats and pin breakups, as well as Havoc accidentally kicking Haskins. Havoc and Haskins had the match won with dual submission holds when Pete Dunne came to ringside holding Haskins’ wife Vicky hostage. While Haskins went to go after Dunne, Seven low blowed Havoc to get the win and retain the titles.

Afterwards, Havoc blamed the loss on Haskins, and the two started brawling with each other despite Vicky’s attempts to patch things up. The locker room emptied but could not keep them apart, and “Flash” Morgan Webster came out to try and get them to see reason, but to no avail. Webster claimed that British Strong Style were making Haskins and Havoc fight with each other instead of fighting against them.

8: Keith Lee beat Travis Banks – another split crowd as Lee proved massively popular with his size, agility, power and strength, including throwing Banks over the front row and through the next few rows of chairs. Pete Dunne was on commentary taking delight at the punishment that Banks, his opponent at Alexandra Palace on September 10th, was taking. Banks rallied with kicks and strikes, even hitting the Coast to Coast dropkick on Lee at one point. Banks hit the Kiwi Krusher and the Slice of Heaven, both for near falls, and he kicked out of a Lee moonsault at one. At that point, Dunne went to ringside with his sledgehammer, once again distracting Banks, allowing Lee to hit the Ground Zero for the win, giving Banks a second straight loss since becoming the number one contender to Dunne’s PROGRESS World Championship.

Trent Seven and Tyler Bate attacked Banks from behind after the match, with Dunne joining in. #CCK attempted to make the save, but Dunne laid both Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos out with the sledgehammer. Bate and Seven held Banks in place for Dunne to hit him in the back of the head with the sledgehammer, when both TK Cooper and Dahlia Black made their surprise returns to PROGRESS to the loudest reaction in company history. The South Pacific Power Couple, who had to leave the UK and return to New Zealand after their visas expired, arrived with new visas, and saved Banks from British Strong Style. Following British Strong Style’s departure, Banks was inbetween his old friends Black and Cooper, and his new friends #CCK. Brookes and Lykos then left the ring to allow Banks to reunite the South Pacific Power Trip.

PROGRESS will be in the United States in August, appearing in Queens, New York on August 12th, and just outside Boston on August 13th (sold out). They return to the UK on August 27th for Chapter 54 at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, with tickets on sale to mailing list subscribers from tomorrow (July 31st).

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