Progress, or should we call them Snowgress, recently presented a weather-battered Chapter 59 from the 02 Academy in Sheffield. Due to heavy snow around the UK, the card was changed due to several wrestlers being unable to make it. British Strong Style, Mark Andrews and Flash Morgan Webster were all missing from the show after being snowed in elsewhere. The changes gave a lot of new guys a chance and did produce an as always entertaining and enjoyable event.
Doug Williams' open challenge was answered by the returning Rampage Brown, who hasn't been seen in Progress since losing the Atlas Division Championship to Matt Riddle at Chapter 42. Williams is a 25 year veteran and after a loss to Joe Coffey at Chapter 57, he teased his possible retirement. Saying he wanted to prove he could still compete and keep up with the younger guys in the business, he made an open challenge to whoever wanted to face him.
Enter Rampage Brown.
This was a great opener with two big old boys battering into each other. Doug may be a veteran but he can still go with the best of them. An absolute legend in the business, he is as good now as he was 20 years ago. It was also great seeing Rampage again. He has been very much missed by the Progress faithful.
The younger man toppled the veteran after hitting a spike piledriver for the win. It will be interesting to see what happens with Williams coming out of this match and whether we will be seeing more of Rampage Brown in 2018.
The Kiwi Buzzsaw survives the Pride of Wales
The main event was a Progress Championship match between the champion Travis Banks and challenger Eddie Dennis. The match came about after the Welshman laid out the champ during his match with Mark Andrews at Chapter 57. Just one show later, Banks saved Jack Sexsmith from an attack from Dennis. The Pride of Wales told Banks that if he wanted to fight him, then he had to put the title on the line. Never one to shy away from a fight, the champion accepted. Leading to the main event.
Banks wasted no time by jumping his opponent by diving from the entrance ramp while Dennis was still making his entrance. Travis Banks is such an intense competitor that it's hard not to love him. Never giving his challenger a chance to get going early on. This was a very aggressive showing from both guys and they pulled out a variety of big hitting stuff throughout.
Both guys kicked out of the others finishers multiple times towards the end which was a little silly, but this was still a very good match. The champ finally retained the title after making Dennis tap out to the Lion's Clutch. After the match, Eddie Dennis attacked the ring crew in a fit of rage to close the show.
The Grizzled Young Vets retain in the match of the night
With Moustache Mountain a victim of the snow, their scheduled tag title match was given to Aussie Open. This was the first defence for The Grizzled Young Vets since defeating CCK for the titles at Chapter 58. After getting pelted by toilet roll on their way to the ring, Zack Gibson again showed his fantastic promo skills by berating the fans and the wrestlers who couldn't make the show. As per usual, everything this man does on the microphone is pure gold.
This was an absolute beauty of a match. Gibson and Drake are the perfect heel team. Doing nothing fancy in the ring but inciting so much hatred from the fans that everyone in the building wants them to lose. In a time when so few guys want to actually be heels The Grizzled Young Vets are a breath of fresh air and any team that works with them instantly become fan favourites. Aussie Open were the perfect opponents, the younger and more flashy pairing as opposed to Gibson and Drakes old school no nonsense style.
Davis and Fletcher came incredibly close to winning, only for Gibson to pull the referee out of the ring before the three count. The champs went on to retain the titles after hitting the ticket to mayhem on Kyle Fletcher. Easily the match of the night in a match that epitomised everything that is great about Progress. Just brilliant.
Elsewhere on the show we saw Chris Ridgeway get a victory over the debuting Adam Chase. Originally scheduled to be Ridgeway against Flash Morgan Webster, the match was changed as Webster couldn't make it. Adam Chase stepped in. Hailing from Spain, the young man has been in the UK for a little while now and has been quietly making a name for himself. Ridgeway showed his technical ability by making Chase tap out for the win. Good showing from both guys.
Joseph Conners defeated Chuck Mambo, who was replacing Pete Dunne. Connors was supposed to be getting a WWE UK title match so Dunnes absence changed things quite a bit. A good match with a very good showing from Chuck Mambo, who showed a level of intensity not seen from him in quite a while.
Mark Andrews absence meant that the scheduled triple threat between him, Chris Brookes and Matt Cross was made into a singles match. It's been a while since Matt Cross wrestled for Progress and this was Brookes first match since the injury of his tag partner Kid Lykos caused them to lose the tag titles at Chapter 58. Early involvement from Kid Lykos spoiled things a little but once he stayed out of things and Brookes and Cross got down to it the match picked up. Chris Brookes picked up the win with a roll up on his more experience opponent.
In a chaotic and action packed scramble match, Jack Sexsmith earned himself a future shot at the title of his choice by defeating seven other guys. The match saw the returns of Pastor William Eaver and Primate to Progress, as well as the Chapter debut of Spike Trivet and the Progress debuts of Gabriel Kidd, Amir Jordan and WWE UK competitor Saxon Huxley. This match was your typical multi man outing with everybody getting their stuff in. Sexsmith winning made sense and it will be interesting to see where he goes from here heading into to next year.
Rampage Brown def Doug WilliamsChris Ridgeway def Adam ChaseJack Sexsmith def Chief Deputy Dunne, Pastor William Eaver, Spike Trivet, Gabriel Kidd, Saxon Huxley, Amir Jordan and Primate in an eight man scramble matchJoseph Connors def Chuck MamboChris Brookes def Matt CrossGrizzled Young Vets (Zack Gibson & James Drake) def Aussie Open (Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher) to retain the Progress tag team championshipsTravis Banks def Eddie Dennis to retain the Progress World Championship
Progress will back on December 30 for Chapter 60, Unboxing Live! 2 – Unbox Harder at the Electric Ballroom. Let us know in the comments what you thought of Chapter 59!