The final show from Progress before their trip to New Orleans for WrestleMania weekend featured some very big matches from the Electric Ballroom, including three big title defenses and yet another match of the year contender from the Atlas Division. It was announced before the event that this was the 6th anniversary of their first show. Incredible how far they come in such a short time.
Commentary for the show was provided by Glenn Joseph and Dahlia Black.
Atlas Division steals the show again
Yet again, the highlight of the show was the Atlas Division match, with WALTER again showing himself to be the main man in Progress right now. His hard-hitting, chest splitting matches against Timothy Thatcher and Mark Davis have put him in the running for wrestler of the year so far and he continued to prove why in his match against the first ever Atlas Champion, Rampage Brown. The former champ holds two victories over WALTER in the past, with their match at Chapter 23 breaking the ring ropes, so this was a highly anticipated contest between two of the biggest competitors in the company.
Heavy chops flowed throughout and it's exactly what we've grown accustomed to seeing from WALTER over the last year. This was heavy hitting, with every move making sense and making a dent on the other man. The mantra of big lads wrestling was on full display here and in a fantastic showcase of two guys just battering the hell out of each other. There was nothing fancy but everything looked painful and everything got a reaction from the crowd.
WALTER retained the title through the sleeper hold to continue his run in what was one of the best matches of in a Progress ring so far this year. Great showing from both guys, and while WALTER is already looked at as one of the biggest names in independent wrestling, the performance from Rampage showed that he is a force to be reckoned with himself. Match of the night.
Grizzled Young Vets retain
In a three-way elimination match, The Grizzled Young Vets retained their tag titles against Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins and the Sexy Starr pairing of Jack Sexsmith and David Starr. This was a rematch for Havoc and Haskins after they lost their titles at Chapter 64, with the inclusion of Sexy Starr adding the much-needed face dynamic that the last two title matches had missed.
Zack Gibson found a way to get even more heat from the crowd by stealing the mic during David Starrs much loved introduction. A long promo from Gibson further cemented just how great a heel the Liverpudlian is and he has to be considered one of the best heels in the business right now.
Once the match got underway it was chaotic, with fast-paced action from all six men. The first elimination came when Sexsmith got the pin over Havoc after hitting the BDSM, leaving Sexy Starr and GYV to battle it out for the titles. Sexsmith almost got the pin on Drake, only for Jimmy Havoc to pull the referee out of the ring at the last moment.
Some great back and forth between the remaining two teams was brought to a close with the champs retaining their titles after hitting The Ticket to Mayhem on Starr for the pinfall.
Banks shows his true colours to deny Webster
Flash Morgan Webster challenged for the Progress Championship after winning the Thunderbastard match at Chapter 64. He was accompanied to the ring here by Vikki Haskins, but Flash quickly asked her to leave, saying he wanted to prove he could do this himself. Travis Banks has been getting a mixed reaction from the fans of late and this continued after he hit Webster with a cheap shot to start the match. The anticipation from the crowd soon turned to a chorus of boos as they let the champion know exactly how they felt about his recent actions.
Banks seemed to toy with Webster, controlling the challenger with a series of chops and kicks as he arrogantly strolled around the ring with a sense of pride. Chants of Flash Morgan Webster seemed to get to Banks, and he took his frustrations out on Webster with viscous strikes throughout. Short flurries of offence from the challenger came and went, with the Welshman unable to gain any control over the Kiwi Buzzsaw. This was the story of the match and it worked amazingly. With Banks shifting effortlessly from face to heel while Webster got over as the ultimate underdog. The frustration grew for Banks after Webster managed to escape from the kiwi crusher and the lions clutch. A ref bump saw TK Cooper get involved, hitting Webster with a spear to help his SPPT partner.
There was confusion at the end when Flash pinned the champion, only for the referee to reverse the decision due to Banks foot being in the ropes. The match was restarted and the champion quickly retained through a roll up, much to the disappointment of the crowd who loudly chanted bullshit as Banks celebrated in the ring.
After the match he cut a promo saying that he is unbeatable in Progress, which brought WALTER to the ring. The big Austrian quickly laid out Banks with a massive chop, letting him know he's coming for his title. The heel turn of Banks has been done perfectly along with the ever increasing popularity of WALTER and a match between the two is a mouthwatering prospect.
Rob Lynch made his chapter return with a victory over the veteran Doug Williams in a good opener. It's been a tough time for Lynch after his injury last year and his return will be a good addition to the Atlas Division.
In a four-way women's match, Charlie Morgan replaced the injured Killer Kelly and got the victory over Millie McKenzie in a match that also included Chakara and the return of Session Moth Martina. Jinny was at ringside to keep an eye of her House of Couture members Chakara and Morgan. There also seemed to be an awkward moment after the match when Jinny got into an altercation with a fan.
TK Cooper and Chris Brookes collided in a no disqualification match that involved some rather disturbing moments, including Brookes trying to pull Cooper's teeth out and TK stapling a picture of Travis Banks to the head of his opponent. A lot of crazy spots here with one too many kick outs for my liking. Brookes got the win through submission.
It was a battle of the Dannys in the final first round match of the Natural Progression Series with Danny Duggan getting the win over Danny Jones. This was a good match with two big hitting young wrestlers each on the verge of breaking out in the UK. Eddie Dennis got involved towards the end, appearing to cheer on Jones, which lead to Duggan getting the roll up win. After the match Eddie Dennis told Jones that it was Mark Andrews fault since he wasn't there to look out for his young prodigy. Dennis then laid out another challenge to Andrews, telling him he would continue to target everyone that Andrews holds dear until he agrees to fight him. Along with the Atlas Division, the story between Dennis and Andrews is the most engaging thing in Progress right now and it gets better with every show.
Rob Lynch def. Doug Williams
Charlie Morgan def. Millie McKenzie, Session Moth Martina and Chakara in a four-way
Chris Brookes def. TK Cooper in a no disqualification match
WALTER def. Rampage Brown to retain the Atlas Division Championship
Danny Duggan def. Danny Jones in the NPS series
Grizzled Young Vets def. Sexy Starr and Havoc & Haskins in a three-way elimination to retain the tagteam titles
Travis Banks def. Flash Morgan Webster to retain the Progress World Championship
Progress will be back on the 6th and 7th of April with two Chapter shows in New Orleans as part of WrestleMania weekend.
What did you think of Chapter 65? Let us know in the comments below!