Chapter 54: Go To Your God, Like A Soldier
Date: August 27, 2017
Location: The Electric Ballroom, London, England
Announcers: Callum Leslie, RJ Singh, and Glen Joseph
Strangler Davis def. Connor Mills
This match went on first, presumably because Connor Mills had an English project to finish that night. This match was a one-sided beatdown, with Davis getting the quick win with the Stranglehold. It did what it was set out to do, and there isn’t much more to say about it. **1/4
Flash Morgan Webster’s Wrestling Friends with Mark Haskins and Jimmy Havoc
Flash decided to host a live edition of his podcast with his two friends Haskins and Havoc to try and mediate the issues between the two. Unfortunately for Flash, once the two men got in the ring, they had already sorted it out with each other and hugged it out. They talked for a while before Mark mentioned “his” Progress Title. Then Jimmy said that the Progress Title was his and that Haskins just gave it up. Things were getting testy before Travis Banks came out.
Banks could barely finish a thought before Progress Champion Pete Dunne came out. Both men end up revealing that they had put the other in a triple threat against Havoc and Haskins. That led Jim Smallman to give both men their match, as Haskins and Havoc would take on Banks and Dunne in a tag team match in the main event. This was a fun segment to set up the main event.
Winner Chooses Stipulation for Alexandra Palace: Tyler Bate def. Kid Lykos
The winner of this match will choose a stipulation for the British Strong Style/CCK rematch at the Alexandra Palace show.
This match was fine. You can tell Bate wasn’t used to being a base for someone smaller than him, because there were some flubs in this match. But it came together well. Lykos hit his tornado DDT and Trent Seven came out to interfere, but Bate kicked out. Bate then took the ref so Seven could lay out Lykos. A Tyler Driver gets Bate the win. I don’t know why it felt necessary for Seven to help Bate win. Bate is a top-tier wrestler, and Lykos is primarily a tag wrestler, so Bate beating him clean wouldn’t have hurt anyone here.
After the match, Seven takes the mic and says that their stipulation will be FALLS COUNT ANYWHERE…inside the ring, AKA a normal match. **3/4
Winner Earns Progress Women’s Title Shot: Dahlia Black def. Jinny
This match came about after Progress: New York, where Jinny went after the leg Black broke earlier this year.
These two started off fast with a hockey fight before introductions. This match went the same way the match in New York did, with Jinny going after Dahlia’s leg. Dahlia could never get a sustained bit of offense in, as Jinny just tore into her knee. Eventually, Jinny went for a figure-four, but Black rolled her up for the win. This was a fun, heated sprint. I like Dahlia getting the win here. The crowd has been behind the Power Trip for most of this year, especially since the visa issues her and TK have had. Now with TK on the shelf with his ankle injury, I have no doubt Dahlia will have the crowd behind her at Ally Pally. ***
Winner Chooses Stipulation for Alexandra Palace: Chris Brookes def. Trent Seven
Chief Deputy Dunne would hate this match because it was very fun-nah. These two went back and forth with strikes before Brookes laid out Seven with a cutter. Tyler Bate came in to run interference, but the referee caught him and literally threw him out of the ring. With the ref distracted, Kid Lykos came in and helped Brookes do a sick freakin’ tag move for the win. I’m still not crazy about the interference, but at least this time the faces got their payback. ***1/4
After the match, Brookes made the tag team title match for Alexandra Palace a LADDER MATCH!
Grizzled Young Vets def. FSU
FSU came out to Andrews’s normal music (A House That’s Not Quite Home by Junior), and Eddie Dennis looked like a lost puppy coming out to a slower song. Zack Gibson didn’t cut a promo either. I guess he’s saving his voice for a 20-minute shoutfest at Ally Pally.
This was a very solid tag match. I am convinced Drake and Gibson have teamed before because they have a tag team fluidity you usually see in long-term teams. They did well keeping down FSU, and the FSU boys had a lot of fight. The Vets got the win with a Ticket To Mayhem on Dennis. I’m digging the Grizzled Young Vets. I don’t know if I said it before, but these two against CCK in a battle of sick tag moves would be awesome. ***1/4
Timothy Thatcher def. Doug Williams
This is Williams’s first match in Progress since Chapter 15.
Depending on how much you enjoy grappling/submission-style wrestling, you may like this more than I did. I enjoyed it well enough. Williams has been a favorite of mine since his run in TNA, and he looked as good as he ever did here. Thatcher has never been my cup of tea, but he does what he does well. As expected, both men were smooth on the mat, and when they had to throw strikes, they threw them hard. Thatcher got the tap out win with an armbar. A fine exhibition match. ***1/2
Pete Dunne and Travis Banks def. Mark Haskins and Jimmy Havoc
HOW WILL THE OPPONENTS CO-EXIST? This idea of this match is so dumb. There is absolutely nothing on the line. Who cares if these guys can win a tag match? This was a stupid angle for Monday Night Raw, not for the last show before Ally Pally.
Dunne bailed out before tagging in. He kicked Callum Leslie in the crotch before taking his spot on commentary. Haskins and Havoc kept miscommunicating, which basically ended up making this a triple threat match. The match was really fun for a while, with Havoc and Haskins getting on the same page for long enough. But, eventually Haskins hit Havoc one time too many, and Havoc bailed.
In the meantime, Banks hit a Kiwi Krusher on Haskins before Dunne slid back in, threw Banks out of the ring, and hit a Bitter End to steal the win. A fun, if stupidly put together. ***1/2
After the match, Banks went after Dunne before British Strong Style and CCK came out to even the odds. CCK were in the ring when Dunne dragged Dahlia Black on the stage with a sledgehammer. BSS attacked CCK from behind, and Dunne kicked Dahlia in her bad leg. BSS then propped Banks up for Dunne to hit him with a sledgehammer. All three British Strong Style members stood tall as we faded out.
Thus ends what is probably the worst match build in Progress history. Let’s take a look at Travis Banks’s road to Alexandra Palace.
- Chapter 50: pinned James Drake
- Chapter 51: w/ CCK, lost to British Strong Style
- Chapter 52: lost to Matt Riddle via distraction
- Chapter 53: lost to Keith Lee via distraction
- Chapter 54: w/ Pete Dunne, beat Mark Haskins and Jimmy Havoc (Dunne got the pin)
When Super Strong Style 16 ended, Travis Banks was the hottest name in British independent wrestling. Now he’s a dope who gets distracted by the mere presence of Pete Dunne. It’s disappointing to see because I’ve seen Progress do better. Now, instead of being excited to see Banks beat Dunne for the title, I just want this whole thing done with.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Chapter 54 doesn’t offer much in terms of importance. There weren’t any title defenses, there weren’t any standout matches. It wasn’t a bad show by any means, and it did its job as a go-home show well enough. There’s just nothing I would tell you to go out of your way to see.
MATCH OF THE NIGHT: Dahlia Black vs. Jinny
I will be back with a review of Progress’s big Alexandra Palace show Chase The Sun. You can watch this show (along with every show in Progress history) on their streaming service DEMAND PROGRESS. Any thoughts on this show? Leave a comment below, or let me know on Twitter, @SuitWilliams.