Progress Wrestling brought us their biggest show of the year with a crowd of 2000 people at Alexandra Palace. Progress has grown incredibly over the year and the growth continues as they announced during the show that in September 2018 they will be doing their biggest show yet at Wembley Arena. Well done Progress, it's very well deserved.
It's all over for British Strong Style
It was a night that British Strong Style will certainly want to forget as they lost all their gold at the Ally Pally. The biggest show of the year started with a bang as Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos won back the titles they lost at Chapter 51, in a ladder match against Tyler Bate and Trent Seven. This match quickly went to the outside and was manic from start to finish. Tyler Bate again showed his amazing strength by doing an aeroplane spin on both members of CCK at the same time, and after a lot of sick f***ing tag moves Brookes climbed the ladder to regain the titles for his team. This was a very good opener that proved to be the beginning of the end for British Strong Style.
In the main event, Pete Dunne defended his title against Travis Banks. Ever since becoming number one contender at Super Strong Style 16, Banks has been one step behind British Strong Style. But after four months and countless beat downs, The Kiwi Buzzsaw finally got his chance at the biggest show of the year. Another match that had a great build up, this one promised to be special but didn't quite live up to expectations. After early shenanigans from British Strong Style, referee Chris Roberts ejected Bate and Seven from ringside so the match could finally get underway. The bruiserweight tried to take a shortcut by getting his opponent counted out but Banks showed his resilience by making it back to the ring at the count of 9.
The resilience of the Kiwi Buzzsaw was the theme of the match as he went on to kick out of a second rope X-Plex, countless bitter ends, a pedigree and a sledgehammer shot before making Dunne tap out for the win. The ending of the match seemed to defy logic and there were way too many kick outs for my liking. We had more nonsense at the end with the rope breaking, referee knockouts and interference from CCK and Bate and Seven, making it feel like we'd gone back to the attitude era. The fans loved every moment, which is really all that matters but for me personally, there was a bit too much silliness with the countless kick outs and interference. I'm a big fan of both guys, Dunne especially but the ending was not my cup of tea. Still, British Strong Style losing the titles was the right decision and marks a major shift for Progress as a new era begins.
The king of the deathmatch proves too much for Haskins
After a very good video showing the rivalry between the two, Jimmy Havoc and Mark Haskins settled their difference with a death match. The build towards this match has been great and the match certainly lived up to it. The intensity was high from the start and things got pretty violent very quickly. With everything from frying pans to thumbtacks to even a guitar being used by both men as they tried to put their opponent away. Haskins even shot Havoc with a nerf gun at one point, much to the appreciation of the crowd.
The fight found its way to the stage, where Haskins put Havoc through a table with a death valley driver. I'm not the biggest deathmatch fan but when done in conclusion to a heated rivalry then I'm on board and this ticked that box. Haskins wife, Vicki came to the ring to help her husband, handing him a barbed wire baseball bat which Haskins then proceeded to use on his opponent. The carnage came to an end when Havoc used the bat to deliver an acid rainmaker to his former friend for the win. This was a very entertaining match with Havoc proving his death match pedigree once again. Haskins showed a new darker edge towards the end and it will be interesting to see where this takes him in the future.
The Villain answers the open challenge
In his first match in Progress since reaching the semifinals of Super Strong Style, Zack Sabre Jr. held an open challenge match which was answered by former two-time Progress Champion and his sometime tag partner, Marty Scurll. This was also the Villians first match in Progress since Chapter 43 and he took it right to his friend out of the gate in what proved to be a masterclass in in-ring psychology.
ZSJ eventually came out on top after reversing the chicken wing into a roll up. These two have had many classics over the years – including a match five years ago at Chapter 1, and this was no different. This was a great match from two of the promotions most decorated competitors. Marty cut a promo after the match saying that they won't be seeing much of him at Progress for a while but the company and the fans still mean a lot to him.
New Feuds Begin
In what really did feel like a new era for Progress, Jinny attacked Dahlia Black after Black came up short in her Women's title match. The former friends have been at odds since New York and Black actually beat Jinny to become the number one contender. Viscously attacking Blacks leg with a chair, it seems these two will be feuding for a while to come.
Eddie Dennis also shocked the 2000 fans in attendance when he attacked his friend and tag team partner Mark Andrews after Andrews won an eight-man scramble match to become the No. 1 Contender for the Progress Championship. This came completely out of the blue and it will be interesting to what happens next.
Match of the Night
Anybody who knows me or has read my recaps in the past will know that I'm a pretty big fan of both Walter and Matt Riddle, so it's not a big shock that I loved this match. Add in the technical intensity of Timothy Thatcher and this match gets even better. Each man added a different dynamic to the match, with Riddles strike based MMA style, Thatcher's strong grappling game and Walters big man throwing people around for fun approach.
This is also the first time I have seen the Ringkampf members Thatcher and Walter compete against each other and I would love to see them face off in a singles match at some point. After more suplexes, chops, kicks and forearms than you can shake your fist at, Walter got the win with a big piledriver on Riddle, and in doing so regained the title he lost in New York. This has got to be the best triple threat match I've seen this year and it the fans certainly seemed to enjoy it. Big lads wrestling for the win.
After the match, Wolfgang made his first appearance at a Progress show, coming to ring for a stare down with the new champ and it seems we will be seeing the two men do battle for the Atlas Championship sometime soon.
- CCK def. British Strong Style in a ladder match to win the Progress Tag Team championships
- Toni Storm def. Dahlia Black to retain the Women's Championship
- Zack Sabre Jr. def. Marty Scurll in an Open Challenge Match
- Jimmy Havoc def. Mark Haskins in a death match
- Walter def. Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher in a triple threat match for the Atlas Championship
- Mark Andrews def. Flash Morgan Webster, James Drake, Zack Gibson, Eddie Dennis, Jack Sexsmith, James Davis and Chief Deputy Dunne in an 8 man scramble match to become number one contender for the Progress Championship
- Travis Banks def. Pete Dunne to win the Progress Championship
Progress Wrestling's next show will be Revelations of Devine Love on October 2nd, where we will see an eight-woman tournament to crown a new number one contender for the Progress Women's Championship.
What did you think of Chapter 55? Let us know in the comments below!