July 9, 2017
From the O2 Academy in Birmingham, West Midlands, England
Jim Smallman is your host
Mark Haskins vs. Mike Bird
They trade forearm smashes to start. Haskins then rolls through a sunset flip and hits a soccer kick before flying out with a tope. Haskins hits several kicks to Bird’s chest as he is in firm control of the match. Bird gets knocked into the crowd but comes back to drop Haskins. He hits a baseball slide before bringing Haskins back inside where he stretches him out. Bird gets two with a snap suplex then goes back to stretching out Haskins, who has a history of neck problems the announcers are playing up. Haskins escapes and hits an enziguiri then lands several more kicks. Haskins takes Bird down with a dropkick to the knee and gets a nearfall with a Death Valley Driver. Super kick gets two. Bird catches Haskins on his shoulders but Haskins avoids a gutbuster and puts Bird in a bridging Fujiwara armbar. Bird reaches the ropes then boots Haskins on a charge and sends him into the corner with a German suplex. Bird climbs up top and hits a back elbow smash and hits a Splash Mountain for a two count. Pumphandle slam gets two. Bird chops Haskins across the chest but Haskins pumps up and fires away but Bird starts smiling. They trade strikes until Haskins lands a few super kicks and takes Bird down with a sharpshooter for the win (9:52) ***1/4. After the match, Haskins gives credit to his opponent and says PROGRESS is all about hard-hitting action before saying he wants his PROGRESS Championship match.
Thoughts: Good stuff here. Both guys worked hard and impressed me here. Bird is a veteran of the UK scene and is a solid talent while Haskins has been impressing people for a few years now. Haskins promo about wanting a title match seems to be gearing him up for a future shot against current champion Pete Dunne.
Kyle Ashmore vs. Eddie Dennis
Ashmore dropkicks Dennis out of the ring before the bell then flies out with a tope con hilo. Back inside, the bell rings and Ashmore covers for a two count. Dennis fights back and knocks Ashmore through the ropes then heads out and no-sells a chop before knocking Ashmore down. Dennis rolls inside to break the count and continues to rough up Ashmore. They head back inside where Ashmore cuts Dennis off of the top rope and gets a nearfall with a Death Valley Driver. They trade strikes until Dennis hits a clothesline. Dennis gets tossed outside but catches a dive and sends Ashmore into the ring apron. The action is back inside where Dennis hits a crucifix bomb for a nearfall. They have a reversal sequence that ends with Ashmore hitting a powerbomb backbreaker for two. Ashmore rolls through a Phoenix Splash but connects with a reverse hurricarana. He heads back up top but misses a Spiral Tap as Dennis connects with a lariat then a buckle bomb before the Next Stop Driver gets the win (9:20) **3/4.
Thoughts: Dennis is quite tall and thin but very much over with the crowd. He is a decent wrestler and Ashmore also had a good showing himself. The match did have a rough spot in the middle but otherwise it was a solid affair with the right guy going over.
Jigsaw vs. Jimmy Havoc
This is the PROGRESS debut of Jigsaw. He takes Havoc down with a crucifix for a nearfall to start. They trade holds until Havoc reaches the ropes as Jigsaw has the advantage in the early going. Havoc strikes back then pokes Jigsaw in the eye but ends up running into an arm drag where Jigsaw uses his technical skills to his advantage. He puts Havoc in the Gory Special but Havoc escapes and fights back. They head outside where Havoc is knocked into a fan’s lap as Jigsaw kicks him a few times across the chest. Havoc fights back and teases tossing him into the crowd as they cleared away then actually sends him into the chairs. Jigsaw is placed in a chair but avoids a running attack as Havoc goes flying. Havoc is able to suplex Jigsaw on the ring apron then takes the action back inside. Jigsaw comes back with a tope rope hurricarana then flies out with a tope con hilo. Back inisde, Jigsaw sends Havoc into the corner with a missile dropkick before getting two with a tornado DDT. He hits a super kick then sets up for a running attack but eats a back elbow smash then gets spiked on his head with a DDT. Havoc flies out with a tope then heads back in with a double stomp for a nearfall. Jigsaw blocks an Acid Rainmaker attempt and hits a bridging German suplex for a nearfall. They fight up top where Havoc is hung up in the tree-of-woe. Jigsaw hits a double stomp then a coast-to-coast dropkick but that only gets two. They work a reversal sequence then Havoc hits the Camden Destroyer before the Acid Rainmaker gets the win (11:43) ***1/2. After the match,
Thoughts:Really good match. Jigsaw is an underrated talent and Havoc has a lot of charisma as the two showed some chemistry working together. I’d like to see Jigsaw get more opportunities in bigger promotions.
Tornado Tag Match: London Riots vs. War Machine
Before the match, War Machine suggests they make this have Tornado rules and the Riots obliged. Both teams brawl immediately after the bell. The Riots take control early as the crowd starts up a dueling chant. War Machine fights back with a few double-team moves then beat on Davis outside of the ring until Lynch makes the save with a tope con hilo. Davis hits a cannonball off of the stage as the Riots are now standing tall. They continue to fight outside where Rowe hits Lynch with a spienbuster into the chairs then Hanson takes Davis down with a running senton as Davis was on a chair. Rowe and Lynch trade strikes as Lynch wins that battle until Hanson takes him down in the corner. Davis is in and hits Hanson with an exploder then Rowe knocks him down with a rolling elbow after an insane sequence. Hanson drops Lynch with a handspring elbow that brings the crowd to its feet then they all trade more high impact moves until all four men collapse. We get a tower of doom spot next then War Machine wins a slugfest with Hanson running back and forth to hit corner clotheslines on the Riots. Hanson hits an avalanche on the Riots but misses a second attempt. War Machine catch the Riots and as Hanson has Davis on his shoulders in a powerbomb position, Rowe puts Lynch in his arms as Hanson hits a powerbomb/slam combo in a really impressive spot. Hanson then hits Lynch with a top rope splash for a nearfall. Lynch breaks up a double-team move the Riots hit Rowe with a double powerbomb for a two count. They hit Hanson with a double chokeslam but Rowe breaks up a slingshot spear. Lynch knocks Hanson off of the top rope as the Riots beat on Rowe for a bit. Lynch takes Hanson off of the apron with a spear then the Riots hit Rowe with a slingshot spear but it still cannot put Rowe away as they are in shock. Hanson fights back and then takes out Davis with a tope before hitting Lynch with the Fallout for the win (16:05) ****1/4.
Thoughts: This match was nuts. They went all out the entire time doing all sorts of crazy stuff. It was chaotic and everything you want from a tornado tag match. War Machine have really improved over the past few years and the London Riots always bust their asses in the ring. This is definitely a match to seek out.
PROGRESS Atlas Title Match: WALTER vs. Matt Riddle (c)
We get dueling chants here. Riddle had worked against Tomohiro Ishii the previous night for RevPro as he spent the weekend in the UK which caused him to miss this weekend’s EVOLVE shows. WALTER shakes Riddle’s hand then the two trade chops as there chests are already red. Riddle unloads with kicks in the corner then hits a pair of running forearms but WALTER sends him down with a bicycle kick. Riddle rolls outside where WALTER beats him down with some brutal strikes. He tosses Riddle on the apron then heads inside and hits a gutwrench suplex. He tries it again but Riddle blocks and hits one of his own then deadlifts WALTER for another gutwrench in a tremendous display of strength. WALTER kicks out at one after a senton then Riddle kicks his chest. Riddle hits a German suplex after WALTER missed a running kick in the corner but WALTER comes back to lock on the sleeper then hits a German suplex. He tries it again but Riddle lands on his feet so he boots him down. WALTER tries for a suplex but Riddle blocks that and hits a fisherman’s suplex as both men are down. They get up and trade strikes until WALTER kicks Riddle’s legs out. They work a reversal sequence that ends with WALTER putting on an ankle lock. WALTER then hits a clothesline for a nearfall then locks on a sleeper. Riddle escapes and hits an upkick then the Bro to Sleep. Bridging German suplex gets two then Riddle tries to soften up WALTER for the Bromission but WALTER rolls out and locks on the sleeper in the middle of the ring. The ref raises Riddle’s hand but it stays up on the third attempt. Riddle tries to reach for the ropes so WALTER hits an overhead suplex then flattens him with two straight powerbombs but Riddle kicks out so WALTER puts on another sleeper and uses a bodyscissors as Riddle has no choice but to tap out as WALTER is the new Atlas Champion (11:39) ****1/2. Riddle hands the title over to WALTER after the match then leaves as WALTER celebrates.
Thoughts: An incredible match. WALTER is a beast and Riddle a former UFC fighter as these two proceeded to beat the shit out of each other. I loved the finish and both guys chests were beet red at the end. WALTER is someone whose stock will rise when he comes stateside next month. This guy is fucking great. Riddle is a star who keeps putting on great matches as this would be a MOTYC but with 2017 stacked with great matches already, it will probably get overlooked.
Flash Morgan Webster vs. Chief Deputy Dunne
Dunne’s gimmick is that he is the “No Fun Police.” He cheap shots Webster before the bell then hears it from the crowd. Dunne cuts off a comeback with a knee smash but gets caught with a pair of arm drags. Webster hits a standing inverted senton but Dunne takes him off of the apron with an enziguiri after yelling at him to freeze. Dunne targets the back then gauges the face of Webster. Dunne charges in the corner but Webster escapes and hits a clothesline. Webster hits a bicycle knee smash in the corner before flying out with a tope con hilo. Webster then swings around the ring post to hit a hurricarana then heads back in with a Swanton for a two count. Dunne avoids a spingboard attack then hits a springboard Codebreaker but that only gets two. They work a reversal sequence that ends with Webster putting Dunne in the Strangler. Dunne then pulls the ref closer to break it up and rakes Webster in the eyes before getting the win with a draping DDT (9:35) **1/4. After the match, Dunne takes Webster’s scarf.
Thoughts: Webster, who will be part of this year’s PWG BOLA tournament, showed some potential. However, Dunne appeared to be out of position a lot and while his gimmick is amusing he is lacking inside of the ring.
Before the match, Seven asks CCK to put the PROGRESS Tag Titles on the line, like they did at Chapter and if they lose, they promise never to challenge for the titles again. CCK huddles and agrees then Seven says if one of them pins Dunne they will win the WWE UK Title…….in their dreams. The story will be that Bate & Seven will become champions if they win as the current tag champs are Brookes & Banks.
PROGRESS Tag Team Title Match: CCK (c) (Travis Banks & Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos) vs. British Strong Style (Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate & Trent Seven)
Banks and Dunne start off but Dunne immediately tags in Seven then Lykos tags and drills Seven with a knee smash for a two count. Dunne tags in as Seven rolls outside then flips off the crowd. Dunne works the arm of Lykos, who comes back with a hurricarana. Dunne heads outside for a breather then returns to cheap shot Lykos with a forearm smash. Bate tags in but Lykos drives him into the corner. Brookes tags and they hit Bate with a couple of double-team moves. Bate hits a knee lift then Seven and Banks tag in and work a reversal sequence that ends with Banks hitting a super kick. The match breaks down with the CCK hitting dives to the outside. Bate cuts off a Lykos dive then flies out with a plancha. Dunne then takes Lykos off of the apron with an X Plex onto everyone before hitting a moonsault from the middle rope. Lykos hits a corkscrew plancha to the floor then runs wild on Bate until Seven and Dunne make the save. BSS cut off the ring and taunt the crowd as Lykos is in trouble. Lykos tries to fight back but Bate cuts him off then Dunne tags in and knocks the rest of CCK off of the apron as he remains focused on Banks. Lykos sends Bate & Seven outside and flies out with a moonsault then heads back in to take Dunne down with a Dargonrana before tagging out. Banks runs wild on Dunne then hits a lungblower in the corner. He follows wit a cannonball then beats on Bate & Seven until he is hit with a double headbutt then a double brainbuster. The match breaks down again where Dunne sends Lykos into Brookes in the corner then hits Lykos with an Orange Crush but Banks breaks up the pin and everyone trades high impact moves until CCK hits triple coast-to-coast dropkicks. Everyone trades strikes now as the action is too quick to call as everyone is down with the crowd going nuts. Both teams brawl from their knees then get up and slug it out until knocking each other down. Bate dumps Lykos outside as Dunne catches him then flies out for an assisted tombstone. Seven hits Brookes with a piledriver then Bate hits the Tyler Driver ’97 before Dunne hits the Bitter End but Banks makes the save. BSS stomp on Banks now but he pumps up and fires away and takes them all down with German suplexes. Banks tries for the Slice of Heaven but Dunne avoids it and he takes out the ref instead. Dunne then hits Banks with a Pedigree then goes underneath the ring and grabs a sledgehammer. He taunts the crowd before heading back inside but swing as and misses and eats a triple super kick. Bate & Seven hit Brookes & Lykos with low blows but Banks makes the save. Seven cuts Banks off of the top rope then takes him off with an avalanche piledriver but the ref is still out. Another ref finally runs down but Banks is just able to kick out. Dunne and Brookes fight on the apron until Seven hits Brookes with a Dragon Suplex. Bate sends Brookes into the chairs with an exploder then heads in but Lykos cuts him off of the top rope and hits a brainbuster on the top turnbuckle but Seven distracts the ref and that allows Dunne to hit Lykos with a sledgehammer and drag Bate on top as the ref turns around and counts for the win as BSS are once again the Tag Team Champions (26:37) ****. The crowd chants “bullshit” at the win as BSS poses on the ramp.
Thoughts: Another excellent match. The crowd hated BSS and with Banks winning the Strong Style 16 tournament he will get a future shot against Dunne, which is set for September at Chapter 55. Banks will also be featured in this year’s BOLA tournament and is a talent on the rise. All six guys worked hard and it was dramatic at the end. Dunne remains one of the top heels in wrestling today. The crowd hated him.
Final Thoughts: PROGRESS put on another fantastic show. The wrestlers are not only talented but engaging and the crowds are great as it all comes together to give off a great vibe while watching the product. There are three matches here I rated **** or above as I highly recommend the show and is easily worth the $4.99 rental.
You can find out how to rent this show, get a monthly subscription, or to buy the show via digital download here
Here is my schedule for the next several days:
Thursday: Highspots Shoot Interview with Terri Runnels
Friday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 3/31/90
Saturday: Mid-South Wrestling 11/26/82
Sunday: WWF Wrestling Challenge 4/1/90
Monday: WWF WrestleMania VI 4/1/90
Tuesday: WWF Superstars of Wrestling 4/7/90
Wednesday: EVOLVE 88 7/8/17