Progress Wrestling was back in Manchester at the Ritz for Chapter 63. The show saw Travis Banks defend his World Championship against his tag partners Chris Brookes and TK Cooper, as well as another great match from Atlas champion WALTER and a wrestling clinic. The only low point of the show was the sound quality of the MC system, meaning that a lot of the promos were difficult to understand.
Commentary was provided by Glenn Joseph and Matt Richards.
Mixed fortunes for British Strong Style
With all three members of British Strong Style on the show, Tyler Bate was up first in a dream match against Zack Sabre Jr. This was only the second time these two have met in a singles match and the first time since becoming the stars they are.
Not surprisingly, this was an absolute wrestling clinic from start to finish, and while Zack is considered the king of technical wrestling, Tyler is certainly no slouch himself and went toe to toe with Zack in the early exchanges. This seemed to anger Sabre Jr, and he showed a lot more aggression as the match went on by consistently outmanoeuvring his young opponent every time Bate seemed to get the upper hand.
Zack eventually came out on top after making Tyler tap out to a submission move that I'm not even going to try to name. A brilliant match I would very much like to see again, it was also very nice to see Tyler in a more serious light as opposed to his more comedic role in Moustache Mountain.
Later in the show, Pete Dunne and Trent Seven teamed up to take on the new team of Matt Riddle and David Starr, going under the name The Broduct. The laughter began before the bell rang when David Starr put on Dunnes jacket to chants of "Jewserweight". Genius.
The crowd were on form throughout the match with loud chants for all four guys. While there was a little bit of comedy it didn't over stay it's welcome and we saw a much more serious Trent Seven, which is always a good thing. The exchanges between Riddle and Dunne were a particular highlight and every time they shared the ring together the atmosphere went through the roof.
British Strong Style got the win after Dunne hit the bitter end on David Starr. This was a really fun and hard-hitting contest before four of the most popular guys in the promotion.
Poor Mark Davis
If you are looking for the current MVP of Progress, then it's hard to look beyond WALTER. His recent match with Timothy Thatcher at Chapter 62 being a contender for the greatest match in Progress history and it could even be argued that the Atlas Division has been elevated above the Progress Championship in the hierarchy of titles. Something I would have to agree with.
Mark Davis was next in the firing line for the big Austrian and while Davis is a big man himself, it didn't take long before WALTER had made his opponents chest look road kill. While Davis certainly matched the champ for power; even getting the big man up for a death valley driver at one point, there is simply no answer for a WALTER chop. The equivalent of being hit a four tonne truck, every time Davis got himself into the match he would be floored with relative ease.
The champ came out victorious after making Davis tap out to the sleeper. This was a fantastic battle between two big guys just battering the hell out of each other. Yet another match of the night from WALTER and a great showing from Mark Davis who really made a name for himself with his performance.
New tag champs crowned
The Grizzled Young Veterans put their tag titles on the line against the unbeaten team of Mark Haskins and Jimmy Havoc in a battle of the heel teams. Although it could be argued that anybody who faces Zack Gibson automatically becomes a face by default.
As per usual Gibson was booed loudly by the Progres ultras to further cement his standing as the biggest heel in wrestling right now. The double heel dynamic was weird at times but it worked surprisingly well and didn't really affect the quality of what was a superb match. Drake especially putting in his best performance to date in a Progress ring.
After constant interference from Vikki Haskins, the finish came about when Flash Morgan Webster came to the ring to stop James Drake using his helmet, which Vikki Haskins had stolen from Webster earlier in the night. His distraction helped Haskins and Havoc hit the Kiss of Death on Drake to become the new tagteam champions
It's a shame the GYV reign was as short as it was as I thought they were the perfect hell champions, but it will be interesting to see where they go from here as Gibson really needs to be given a push towards either the Atlas or World title. Haskins and Havoc have still given us no explanation as to why they are teaming together, but the adding of the titles and the storyline between Vikki and Webster should make things interesting going forward.
Banks retains against his tag partners
The story heading into the main event was Travis Banks having beaten both his CCK partner Chris Brookes and his SPPT partner TK Cooper over the past two chapters, both due to interference from the other guy. The ending of his Chapter 62 match with Cooper ending in a brawl between all three.
This one didn't take long to descend into another brawl, with the three men exchanging chair shots as they fought into the crowd. Once back in the ring the chair shots were replaced with heavy strikes as neither man could take control of the match. Both Cooper and Brookes came close to the win on a couple of occasions before Banks eventually retained his title after locking in the Lions Clutch on Brookes for the win.
After the match, Banks shook hands with both men before leaving for the back. Brookes tried to make amends with Cooper, only for him to receive a left hand for his troubles.
Also on the show, Drew Parker defeated Spike Trivet to advance to the semi-finals of the Natural Progression Series. A good opening match, with Trivet in particular impressing. His in ring and heel work is top-notch and I would certainly like to see more of him on Chapter shows. After the match, Trivet hit Parker with a champagne bottle which proved very difficult for the ring crew to clean up.
Jinny paraded her new House of Couture stable, with her new proteges Chakara and Nina Samuels facing Toni Storm and Charlie Morgan. Storm was attacked by the three women at Chapter 62 and she was eager to get her own back here as she quickly took the fight to her opponents. Storm got a sprinkling of revenge after picking up the win for her team by hitting the Ground Zero on Chakara. Her celebration was short lived though as Charlie Morgan turned on Storm, hitting a super-kick before aligning herself with the House of Couture.
Two of Welsh wrestling's finest talents went against each other as Mark Andrews wrestled Flash Morgan Webster in a battle of the high flyers. These two know each other well, having come into the business together and both men tried hard throughout to prove they were the better wrestler. Vikki Haskins interfered towards the end, and after being sent to the back by Webster she stole his helmet. Andrews took advantage of this to pick up the victory. Second match in a row Haskins has interfered in Webster's business as something seems to be brewing between the pair.
As Webster left, Eddie Dennis appeared. Spitting more vitriol towards his former best friend. Dennis attacked Andrews and had to be stopped from doing more damage by the ring crew.
There was also a promo from Jack Sexsmith, where the 'Pansexual Phenomenon' told us he is going to New Orleans for the Progress shows over WrestleMania weekend. He also reminded us that after he won a title shot at Chapter 59, he will be challenging for the Progress Championship at Chapter 69 in Manchester.
Drew Parker def Spike Trivet in an NPS first round match
Toni Storm & Charlie Morgan def House of Couture (Chakara & Nina Samuels) w/Jinny
Mark Andrews def Flash Morgan Webster
Zack Sabre Jr. def Tyler Bates
British Strong Style (Pete Dunne & Trent Seven) def The Broduct (Matt Riddle & David Starr)
WALTER def Mark Davis in a non-title match
Mark Haskins & Jimmy Havoc w/Vikki Haskins def Grizzle Young Vets (Zack Gibson & James Drake) to win the Progress Tagteam Championships
Travis Banks def Chris Brookes, TK Cooper in a three way to retain the Progress World Championship
What did you think of Chapter 63? Let us know in the comments below!