Progress weathers out a few cancellations to put on Chapter 59! In the main event, Travis Banks defends the Progress World Title against a refocused Eddie Dennis.
Progress Chapter 59: Whatever People Say We Are, That’s What We’re Not
Where You Can Watch It: Demand Progress
Date: December 10, 2017
Location: The O2 Academy, Sheffield, South Yorkshire
Announcers: Glen Joseph and Matt Richards
All three members of British Strong Style, Flash Morgan Webster, and Mark Andrews couldn’t make it to the show due to weather issues, causing big card changes. The most important of which being the “much anticipated” WWE UK Title match between Pete Dunne and Joseph Conners being scrapped. Fun fact, that was the second cancelled WWE UK Title match Progress has had this year, after Pete Dunne vs Jack Gallagher was called off due to injury.
Doug Williams comes out for his open challenge. His opponent…
— PROGRESS Wrestling (@ThisIs_Progress) December 10, 2017
The first Progress Atlas Champion, RAMPAGE BROWN!
Doug Williams vs. Rampage Brown
This was Rampage Brown’s first match in Progress since losing the Atlas Title to Matt Riddle (ironically enough, in an open challenge) all the way back at Chapter 42 in January. He came out live to I Will Be Heard by Hatebreed, but the music got dubbed on Demand Progress. This is a rematch from Chapter 9.
This match was ok. It was more of a hard-hitting affair, which Brown is very good at. Williams can hang in that style as well, but I like Doug best when he blends the hard-hitting with the World of Sport technical stuff. A little nit-picky, I know, but the style choice did slightly affect this match for me. The story here was that the moves that Williams used to be able to win with, like the Revolution DDT and the Bomb Scare knee drop, aren’t getting the job done anymore. His big shot is still the Chaos Theory, but Rampage stays out of it and hits the piledriver for the win.
Again, this match was a bit meh, but it served two bigger purposes. It continued Williams’s story of Father Time catching up to him, which is intriguing. It also got Rampage Brown back into Progress with a statement win. It’s always good to have Rampage around, and he will add some needed depth to the Atlas division. **3/4
Winner: Rampage Brown
Chris Ridgeway vs. Adam Chase (Progress debut)
Adam Chase is replacing the snowed-in Flash Morgan Webster.
Talk about taking advantage of an opportunity. According to Jim Smallman, Adam Chase had come in from Spain six weeks ago to train, and was only at this show to do ring crew. Flash Morgan couldn’t make it, so they gave Chase a chance. This was a really fun exhibition between two young guys who wanted to come out here and impress everyone. That’s something that Progress has been getting back into lately with guys like Aussie Open, Omari, and M&M. They are getting fresher faces on these shows and giving them opportunities to shine against each other, and it’s great. Ridgeway got the win, but both guys got standing ovations, and it would shock me if they didn’t make themselves Progress spots in this match. ***3/4
Winner: Chris Ridgeway
Eight Man Scramble for a Future Title Shot: Chief Deputy Dunne vs. Pastor William Eaver vs. Spike Trivet (chapter debut) vs. Gabriel Kidd (debut) vs. Saxon Huxley (debut) vs. Amir Jordan (debut) vs. Primate vs. Jack Sexsmith
Speaking of new faces, we’ve got FOUR chapter show debuts here. Amir Jordan’s entrance is awesome, even with the dubbed music. Spike Trivet spit in a lot of fans faces during his intro. It gets him boos, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it also got him punched in the mouth by a drunk fan one of these days, so he should probably be careful with that. I’ve sung Gabriel Kidd’s praises for a while, as I really think he’s got the potential to be a big name in British wrestling. And “Muscle Cat” Saxon Huxley has a dumb nickname.
You might want to sit down for this, but there were a lot of moves here. It was a lot to take in. In the chaos, Sexsmith pinned Dunne for the win. I figured this would set up a tag title shot down the line, and it still can as Sexsmith is in a couple of teams, but I wouldn’t be opposed to getting Sexsmith in a Progress World Title match one of these days. As for the match, it was a lot of goofy fun. ***
Winner: Jack Sexsmith
Joseph Conners vs. Chuck Mambo
Conners came out and cut a promo on the snowed-in WWE UK Champ Pete Dunne. Mambo came out and started a fight, so we got this match instead. This match, and Mambo in particular, really overdelivered. Chuck Mambo became Mick Foley overnight and just started throwing himself at Conners with reckless abandon. It was awesome to see, and the crowd really got behind him. But in the end, Conners hit a sunset flip into the corner and the Don’t Look Down for the win. A fun replacement match, but the end was never in doubt as Conners still has to get his UK title shot. Let’s hope it comes soon. ***1/4
Winner: Joseph Conners
Chris Brookes (w/ Kid Lykos) vs. Matt Cross
Mark Andrews was meant to be in this triple threat match, but got snowed-in. This was a weird one, as Brookes and Lykos acted like heels throughout the match. Lykos interfered a few times early, but Cross took him out. The match just never hit that second gear that Andrews would more than likely have gotten it to. Brookes was kinda just there for this. Death By Roll-Up gets Brookes the win. **3/4
Winner: Chris Brookes
Progress Tag Team Titles: Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson and James Drake) (c)
Aussie Open are replacing Mustache Mountain in this title match. It’s so odd seeing Gibson with a title. He’s been in Progress since Chapter 1, and the only accolade he’s ever had is the Natural Progression Series Trophy. Even then, he was only seen with it for about two minutes.
If you had told me that by the end of the year, James Drake would be in a Progress MOTY candidate, I’d have called you a madman. This was absolutely fantastic. GYV used Revival-style clever heel tactics to get the advantage on Fletcher. Then when Davis tagged in, he was a house of fire, taking both Veterans out. It was only a matter of time before the match devolved into absolute mayhem. GYV went for a Doomsday Device, but Fletcher turned it into a Spanish Fly off of Gibson’s shoulder for a two count. Aussie Open hit the Fidget Spinner on Drake, but Gibson yanked the ref out at the last second for a fantastic nearfall.
There was one spot that was just off the mark, no pun intended. Davis went for a split-legged moonsault to the outside, but it went a little wonky and he almost brained himself on the floor. Luckily for him, GYV threw two ring crew in his way. After dumping Davis into the chairs, the Vets hit Fletcher with the Ticket To Mayhem for the win. Add Aussie Open to the list of guys who stepped their games up tonight when given an opportunity. Between these two teams, Haskins and Havoc, and M&M, this Progress tag division feels revived after CCK took it over. More of this please! ****1/4
Winners: STILL Progress Tag Team Champions, Grizzled Young Veterans
(Eight minutes long, but well worth a watch.)
Progress World Championship: Eddie Dennis vs. Travis Banks (c)
Banks won the title at Chapter 56. This is his third defense.
This match started off hot, with Banks diving off the stage onto Dennis. They went after each other with really intense action, and it was ramping up really well. Then, out of nowhere, Dennis hit the Next Stop Driver, the move that laid out Banks at the last chapter. Dennis not only hit the move, he hit it off of the top rope. This should leave Banks lying, shouldn’t it? Well, Banks kicked out. At ONE. That is where this match hit a wall for me. It just felt like they were trying too hard to have an “epic match,” which is really disappointing because Dennis’s promos building this up have been awesome. After Dennis kicked out of several Kiwi Krushers, Banks tapped him out with the Lion’s Clutch. ***
Winner: STILL Progress World Champion, Travis Banks
FINAL THOUGHTS: Grizzled Young Veterans and Aussie Open was awesome, and Ridgeway/Chase was a great showcase of two young talents. Other than that, there wasn’t much to speak of on this show.
What are your thoughts on Chapter 59? Let me know by leaving a comment or reaching out to me on Twitter, @SuitWilliams.