Due to time constraints, I’ve decided to skip a full review of Chapter 61. Here are the results from the show:
- Grizzled Young Veterans def. Moustache Mountain to retain Progress Tag Team Titles
- Drew Parker def. Chris Ridgeway; both men are entered into Natural Progression Series IV after the show
- Charli Evans & Millie McKenzie def. Bea Priestley & Nina Samuels
- Pete Dunne def. Joseph Conners to retain WWE UK Title
- Will Ospreay def. Adam Brooks – Match of the Night
- Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins def. Aussie Open
- Travis Banks def. Chris Brookes to retain Progress World Title; Kid Lykos and TK Cooper interfered on their respective partner’s behalf
A skippable chapter. Ospreay/Brooks is good, and the main event has some important story points, but nothing was must-see.
Tag teams explode in the Electric Ballroom as TK Cooper takes his World Title shot against Travis Banks, and Timothy Thatcher receives his Atlas Title shot against WALTER. It’s Progress Chapter 62: Fear No More, Come To Dust!
PROGRESS Chapter 62: Fear No More, Come To Dust
Filmed January 28th, 2018 from the Electric Ballroom in London, England
Commentary done by Glen Joseph and Callum Leslie
Available to watch at Demand Progress
Natural Progression Series V First Round: Chris Ridgeway vs. Omari
The Natural Progression Series is a tournament used to spotlight up-and-coming talent in the UK scene, much like ROH’s Top Prospect Tournament. The previous winners of this tournament are Mark Andrews, Flash Morgan Webster, Pastor William Eaver, and Toni Storm. The winner of the tournament will receive a title shot, available to cash in at any time.
This was a nice opener here. Both guys have tons of potential, and I am a bit disappointed that only one of them will move on to the next round. Omari has the build of a basketball player, he’s quite tall and he has long limbs. He uses his legs for a lot of his offense, using leg lariats and side kicks to take Ridgeway down. I’ve been impressed with Ridgeway in his appearances as well, as his hybrid offense and his really cool look have already gotten over with Progress fans. Seriously, Ridgeway looks cool as fuck. Ridgeway got the win with a suplex into a rear naked choke. **3/4
Winner: Chris Ridgeway
Roy Johnson vs. Pastor William Eaver
It’s a little weird seeing Big Wavy and the Pastor here, right after seeing the new guys show up in the opener. It’s like these two were going to be somewhat important parts of Progress, especially the Pastor, but time just passed them up and they’re now the old guard. Unfortunately, in the early part of this match, Eaver went for a dive. His kneepad caught the top rope, and he hit the floor hard. He ended up with a torn right quad, and he will be out for several months. He did power through and finish the match, so there’s a good chance Triple H signs him to an NXT contract out of solidarity. Johnson won with the WavyTonic. N/R
Winner: Roy Johnson
Chris Brookes vs. Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Trent Seven
I swear Sabre comes out to a different song every time he shows up in Progress. This was one heck of a three way. It started with Trent thinking it was the Royal Rumble, and Brookes and Seven having to break it to him that it wasn’t. This then became a fun and hard-hitting affair, with all three men taking turns chopping and forearming each other. There was a section where Sabre and Brookes traded octopus stretches before Seven back-handed both of them. Just a ton of fun. Seven hit a piledriver on Brookes, but Sabre got the penalty kick on Seven for the win. I’m expecting this to set up Sabre’s yearly title match. ***3/4
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.
PROGRESS World Championship: TK Cooper vs. Travis Banks (c)
Banks won the title at Chapter 55. This is his seventh defense. This is Cooper’s first match on a chapter show since Chapter 47 in April, due to visa issues and injury.
I understand not rushing TK back into things, but having the title match on before the interval just tipped it off that this wasn’t going to be important. Now don’t get me wrong, this match was good and TK is right back in the swing of things. But a World Title match before the interval was an odd choice. But again, these two did a good job. Banks held nothing back on TK here. And aside from one spot where he declined to do his spiral moonsault, TK was fearless here. Then we got STORIEZ.
TK got frustrated at one point and grabbed the Progress title belt. This brought out Chris Brookes, who TK stopped from cheating in his title match at Chapter 61. In response, TK put Banks in an octopus hold, which led to Brookes yanking the ref out of the ring. In the melee, Banks hit the Kiwi Krusher and got the tapout win with the Lion’s Clutch. The match was decent, and the story is fine. It just feels like TK’s big return is being pushed to the side to get to the CCK/Power Trip issue, which I felt they could’ve held off on for a while. A fine match, but I’m just a bit wary of where this is going. ***1/4
Winner: STILL PROGRESS World Champion, Travis Banks
After the interval, Trent Seven went to fly to the Rumble, but he missed his Uber and did a sad walk backstage. Toni Storm comes out. She was meant to defend her Women’s Title against Jinny, but Jinny broke her hand and suffered a concussion at a RevPro show. Toni was then slated to defend against Millie McKenzie, but she was injured on a show a few days beforehand. Jinny comes out and cuts a very good promo about how this was the biggest opportunity of her career, but as soon as she got hurt and her replacement was announced, everyone forgot about her. She told Toni that she would be the champion once she recovered, and announced that her handpicked opponent for tonight was Chakara.
PROGRESS Women’s Championship: Chakara vs. Toni Storm (c)
Storm won the Women’s Title on Super Strong Style 16 weekend. This is her eighth defense.
This probably would have been the big title change with Jinny, and when that fell through, they at least had an impressive replacement that everyone loved with Millie. When both of them fell through, you kinda just have to work with what you have. For a last-minute third option, you can do a lot worse than Chakara.
This match was forgettable, unfortunately. Chakara filled her role well, and Storm was good as well. But the crowd was not into it, as no one believed that Chakara had a chance here. Storm got the win with the Strong Zero. After the match, Jinny attacked Storm. Storm ran her off but Nina Samuels came in and attacked her as well. Samuels, Chakara, and Jinny laid the boots to Storm and posed over her. Samuels showed a lot of promise at Chapter 61, so I’m glad she appears to be sticking around in a prominent position. **1/4
Winner: STILL PROGRESS Women’s Champion, Toni Storm
Mark Haskins & Jimmy Havoc vs. Mark Andrews & Danny Jones (chapter debut)
After the four men entered the ring, Eddie Dennis came out. He said that Mark found a new way to piss him off, by trying to replace him with fellow Welshman Danny Jones. He warns Jones that Andrews is a user and will use him like he used Dennis. Eddie reiterates that despite his torn pectoral, he will not miss a show until he gets his match with Andrews and joins commentary for the match. Good to see Eddie stick around, as he has been incredible as a heel.
The match felt very cold. Despite my predictions, Havoc and Haskins aren’t exactly lighting the world on fire as a team. That may be because Progress haven’t taken any time to explain why they’re a team now after killing each other at Alexandra Palace. It may also be because the focus of this match was on the guest commentator. But the crowd was very cold for this one. On the bright side, Eddie was great on commentary and Jones was good in his debut. Haskins and Havoc got the win with the Kiss of Death, and as Jones and Andrews walked away, Dennis shit-talked him on the stage. **1/2
Winner: Mark Haskins & Jimmy Havoc
Doug Williams vs. Flash Morgan Webster
Both men are coming in with losing streaks, and both have questioned their futures in Progress in general. Flash planned to take a leave of absence before Williams challenged him to this match. This match wasn’t bad, but at this point of the show, it was tedious. Williams had control over this match, and while his style is enjoyable, it isn’t exactly one that will wake up a sleepy crowd.
The match went on with Williams mostly in control. Flash made a comeback, but Williams caught him on a dive and threw him into the crowd with a suplex. The countout started, but Vicky Haskins came in and kept the ref from counting Flash out. Flash got back in, ran through his moves, and won with the Strangler. While I am NEVER opposed to seeing more Vicky Haskins, I’m a little confused what she’d want with Flash. **1/2
Winner: Flash Morgan Webster
PROGRESS ATLAS Championship: Timothy Thatcher vs. WALTER (c)
WALTER won the title for a second time at Chapter 55. This is his second defense. Thatcher earned this title shot at Chapter 58.
My god, my god, MY GOD, WHAT A MATCH! This was a slobberknocker-and-a-half. These two went hell-for-leather here, holding nothing back despite being regular tag team partners. WALTER was especially ruthless here, chopping the piss out of Thatcher until his chest was red and bloody like a rare steak. Something that shocked me was seeing how great Thatcher was fighting from underneath. He was feisty and intense, he wouldn’t quit no matter how hard WALTER beat him down. If you’ve read these reviews for any period of time, you’ll know Thatcher’s style isn’t my cup of tea. But on this night, he was unequivocally impressive.
There were so many highlights. When WALTER chopped the ringpost by mistake, Thatcher went after his hand like a rabid dog. Thatcher tried to block chops to the chest, so WALTER CHOPPED HIM IN THE FACE. Thatcher locked an armbar on, and WALTER broke out of it by STOMPING ON HIS FACE REPEATEDLY. WALTER has been a revelation in Progress, and he had truly defined Atlas division matches in this company. WALTER would get the win with a double underhook powerbomb. Seek this match out as soon as you can. You will not regret it. ****1/2
Winner: STILL PROGRESS ATLAS Champion, WALTER
Progress is headed in a good direction. The NPS is starting up, there’s a very interesting women’s stable starting up, and the World Title picture is intriguing. While this wasn’t the best top-to-bottom chapter, I can see this being one to look back on as a very important show. And that main event was absolutely incredible. WALTER/Thatcher has my highest of recommendations.