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RADICAN'S Progress Wrestling: Chapter 19: SSS16: Day 1 report 5/24: Sabre-Gibson, Strong-End, Riots-Regression

Jun 18, 2015 - 1:49:46 PM

By Sean Radican, Torch columnist


RADICAN’S PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 19: Super Strong Style 16: Day 1 Report
Camden, England
May 24, 2015
Available for purchase on

The show began with an opening video that featured fans young and old alike giving their pick to win the SSS16 tournament.

Jim Smallman kicked off the show in front of a red hot crowd. Smallman questioned a man that said he wasn’t coming to the second night of the tournament. The man said it was his dads 60th birthday tomorrow. The fans chanted for him to bring his father to the show. All the fans cheered when Smallman asked if they would buy his father a drink. The man said the women next to him weren’t hot enough to be with him when Smallman asked him and the woman flipped him off, which was tremendous. Smallman said the new fans in attendance had to buy people drinks.

Smallman introduced Kris Travis, who came out to a big pop. The fans then chanted welcome back. Smallman said Kris was back training after beating cancer, but wasn’t ready to wrestle yet. The fans chanted Tough Enough at Travis, who said it was all a fix. He said he came to see everyone. Travis said the card was strong and he wanted to watch the show and everyone could buy him a drink. He said if everything goes well, maybe before the end of the year he will be back in this ring. The fans popped big for his announcement.

Smallman said the show tonight would feature 8 SSS16 First Round matches. The fans then chanted This is Progress before the opening match.

(1) El Ligero vs. Will Ospreay in a SSS16 First Round match. The action was hot and heavy during the early going as the fans went nuts. Ospreay took control and hit rolling thunder on Ligero for a 2 count. Ospreay went for a handspring a short time later, but Ligero caught him with a dropkick and Ospreay rolled to the floor. Ligero took control inside the ring and hit a sliding dropkick for a 1 count. The announcers said it was difficult to pick a favorite in the tournament given the strength of the field. Ospreay fired back and hit a handspring enzuguri. Ospreay fired up with a flurry of offense and hit a standing SSP for a 2 count. Ospreay went up top, but took too long and had to jump over Ligero. They went back and forth and Ligero finally caught Ospreay with a sit-out face buster for a 2 count. He followed up with a wheel barrow into a face buster a short time later for another 2 count. The fans then chanted for Ospreay with a soccer style chant. Ligero kicked out of a small package and hit a reverse hurricanrana. He followed up with a step-up handspring ace crusher, but Ospreay kicked out at the last second and the fans roared. The fans chanted for both men, but Ligero popped-up Ospreay off the ropes and nailed him with a forearm. Ospreay slipped under Ligero from the top rope and hit a springboard sunset flip and the Essex destroyer for the win. Wow!

Ligero got a big ovation and chant once he recovered after Ospreay left the ring.

Winner: Will Ospreay

Star rating: (***1/2) – This was breathtaking to watch. It wasn’t a long match, but Ospreay and Ligero had some great exchanges in front of a red hot crowd. Ospreay’s flurry of offense to finish off Ligero was insane.

Smallman reset things and a graphic showing the next match appeared on the screen. That was a nice touch.

(2) Mark Haskins vs. Jack Gallagher in a SSS16 First Round match. This is Gallagher’s Progress debut. He has a high standard to live up to using Timothy Thatcher’s theme music. They had a crazy back and forth chain wrestling sequence to kick things off and the fans applauded both men after they came to a stalemate. Gallagher tied up Haskins in a double arm submission and bridged over into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Haskins fired back and got a sharpshooter in the middle of the ring, but Gallagher got to the ropes. Haskins caught himself in the ropes when Gallagher moved out of the way to avoid a dive and then caught him on the other side of the ring with a tope and the fans fired up. Both guys began exchanging blows in the middle of the ring. Both men slowed down the exchange before speeding it up. Gallagher then slipped under Haskins and grabbed a knee bar. Haskins struggled, but managed to get to the ropes. Gallagher nailed Haskins with a big dropkick in the corner and made a cocky cover for a 2 count. He then applied an ankle lock on Haskins, but managed to send him flying to the floor. Gallagher jumped up on the apron and nailed Haskins with a knee as he came through the ropes and grabbed a headlock using the ropes for leverage. The ref made him let it go and Haskins caught Gallagher with a dragon screw around the ropes. Haskins went for a kick to the head, but Gallagher ducked. They went back and forth until Haskins blocked an uppercut and hit a lariat. They traded pinfalls until Gallagher got up and hit a back breaker, which hurt his own leg in the process. Both men were down on the mat, but they got up and Haskins hit a 2K1 bomb variation and then applied a stretch muffler for the win.

Haskins raised Gallagher’s hand after the match and the fans gave him a big ovation.

Winner: Mark Haskins

Star rating: (**3/4) – This was good while it lasted. It was another short match with some technical wrestling and fast-paced counter sequences mixed in. They didn’t get a lot of time, but they did well with what they had.

(3) Rampage Brown vs. Big Daddy Walter in a SSS16 First Round match. This is Big Daddy Walter’s debut in Progress. The announcers said Walter is the first man he’s seen that makes Brown look small. Brown is a former Progress Champion. This definitely qualifies as a HOSS division match. Walter hit a huge chop in the corner during the early going and both men began trading blows. Walter took Rampage down with a shoulder tackle, but he kipped up. Brown couldn’t take Walter down with a shoulder tackle or a dropkick, so he got a running start and hit a clothesline that sent both men to the floor. Both men began trading chops on the floor. They ended up back in the ring and Walter blocked a suplex attempt and eventually floored Brown with a huge running boot to the head. Walter followed up with a big leg drop, but Brown managed to kick out at 2. Rampage tried to lift Walter onto his shoulders, but fell under his weight for a 2 count. Walter is massive. The fans tried to rally behind Brown, but Walter sent him to his knees with a big chop. Walter hit a suplex and went up top and the crowd gasped. He went for a splash, but Brown got out of the way. Both men got up and began trading huge chops. Rampage finally got the upper hand and hit a shoulder block off the second turnbuckle for a 2 count. Brown went for a piledriver, but Walter hit a back drop. They went back and forth and Walter decked Brown with a huge lariat for a 2 count. Walter hit a German, but Brown got up and nailed him with a huge lariat. He then rolled on top of Walter for a 2 count. Walter sent Brown into the corner with a shotgun dropkick, but Rampage lifted him onto his shoulders a short time later and hit a Samoan drop. Brown then lifted Walter up and hit a piledriver for the win.

Winner: Rampage Brown

Star rating: (***1/4) – This was another good first round match. Walter was impressive here. He’s gigantic and hits hard as all heck, but Brown showed a lot of guts making a comeback and lifting the massive Walter up for a piledriver to get the win.

Tommy End got a huge Tommy Tommy Tommy F’n End chant when he made his entrance. Roderick Strong came out next to a good reaction.

(4) Tommy End vs. Roderick Strong in a SSS16 First Round match. This is Strong’s Progress debut. The bell rang and the fans chanted s----ty little boots at Strong and Strong jawed with the fans. End teased some kicks and Strong bailed to the outside and the fans booed. Strong continued to stall as the fans booed. Strong teased leaving when the fans taunted him, but eventually came back to the ring where he continued to back away from End when he teased some kicks. They went to the mat and End got on top of Strong, who escaped and bailed to the floor again. End finally cornered Strong and nailed him with several kicks to the chest as Strong tried to back away. Strong fired back and caught End with a big dropkick for a 2 count. The fans chanted s—t boots at Strong in a singsong manner. Strong smiled and then choked End in the corner with his boot. End fired back and the fans began chanting for him. End nailed Strong with a big kick to the head in the corner. They ended up on the apron a short time later. They went back and forth and Strong tripped End to the floor, caught him, and then hit a back breaker over the apron. The fans gasped as Strong regrouped after the big sequence. Strong tossed End into the ring and began working him over. Strong targeted End’s back as he worked him over. Strong set up End for a superplex and ended up slipping to the mat, but he managed to finish the maneuver for a 2 count. Strong jawed with the ref and the fans reminded Strong the only Progress rule is don’t be a dick. Strong smiled at the chant.

End fired back and hit a big jumping double knee strike off the top on Strong as he charged at him and both men were down. They went back and forth in the middle of the ring and End hit a roundhouse kick to Strong’s head. Strong tried to escape from End’s clutch, but End nailed him with a German with a bridge for a 2 count. End rolled up Strong for a 2 count. He then nailed Strong with a roundhouse kick to the head right after he kicked out for a near fall and the fans applauded. Strong wrapped himself around the ropes to keep End from getting his hands on him. End pulled Strong to the middle of the ring and slowly went up top. End missed a double stomp and Strong fired back and hit a huge slam on End for a 2 count. The fans chanted for End once again as both men were slow to get up. Strong fired up and hit a series of Strikes on End capped by a huge lung blower. They went back and forth and Strong no-sold a running kick, but ate a jumping knee to the face. End went up top and hit a double stomp, but Strong got right up and hit a jumping knee to the head and the fans lost their minds with both men down on the mat. Holy s—t! Both men staggered to their feet and began exchanging blows in the middle of the ring. The pace picked up as they traded forearms. Strong ducked a kick and hit the sick kick off the ropes. He followed up with the end of heartache for the win. Amazing!

Strong taunted the fans and left the ring. End was alone in the ring when the lights began going on and off and music played. End looked confused and two masked men dressed in black with masks attacked him. They are the Progress Tag Team Champions and they are called The Faceless. The fans booed with End down in the corner. Another man in a mask dressed in a suit came out and told the men to take off their masks. They removed their mask to reveal Damon Moser and Danny Garnell. Ligero came out and held a mask as well. The man in the suit directed Ligero to head to the ring. The man in the suit took his mask off and it was Nathan Cruz.

The fans booed before Cruz could speak. Cruz told the fans who he is and said he was the first ever Progress Champion. He repeated himself several times and said he beat five men in one night and the title for a year. He said he gave everyone an opportunity as champion. He said he took on Ligero, who is the man that trained him. He said Ligero takes him back to his origin. He said Ligero was the second ever Progress Champion. The fans booed. Cruz put over Garnell and said he’s undefeated in Progress. He then pointed to Moser and called him one of the most successful students out of the Progress Wrestling Academy. He said all of them had been overlooked or forgotten. He said he left Progress to chase his dreams and he was exiled for it for a year. The fans chanted boring at Cruz. He said the fans. He said this is all his plan. He wanted to prove a point how stupid the people are. The fans continued to heckle Cruz. He said this was a declaration of war, but not on Progress. He said it was a declaration of war on the fans. He said the fans made it more about them and less about the talent athletes in the back. He said foot soldiers are usually the first casualties of war. Ligero then nailed Garnell with a superkick and his partner, Moser, kicked him to the floor. Cruz said as of now, the faceless dies. He said he still believes in Progress, but said they need to take a step back to The Origin. It looks like this group will be known as The Origin. Ligero and Cruz then held up the Tag Shields. Moser then walked to the back. Ligero and Cruz continued to pose with the Tag Shields before eventually leaving the ring. (134:37)

Winner: Roderick Strong

Star rating: (****) – Strong stalled during the early going and the fans were all over him with some amazing chants about his boots. The crowd was very pro-end and once the action picked up, they had some incredible hard-hitting exchanges. The closing segment of the match was red hot and this was one heck of a war between these two. I’m not familiar with the members of The Origin, but the post-match angle got a lot of heat and came across like a big deal.

A trailer for an interview with Jimmy Havoc aired. Al Roland did a sit down interview with Progress Champion Jimmy Havoc. He said the Progress owners felt uncomfortable doing it, so he was handling the interview. He told Jimmy that he was a videographer for progress. Havoc gave him a ton of crap and they ended the trailer at that point.

Tommy End came out to kick out the second half of the show to a huge ovation. He said he takes pride in being articular in many languages, but he said f--- me. He said nobody cares about The Origin. He says he cares about part of the #1 contenders for the tag titles. He said his partner was on his way to the airport. He promised to eat the souls of The Origin. Smallman said Nathan Cruz & El Ligero would defend the tag titles against The Samarian Death Squad on the next show.

(5) Eddie Dennis vs. Marty Scurll in a SSS16 First Round match. Dennis got a big pop during the ring introductions. The announcers noted he’s a former Progress Tag Team Champion. Scurll is a former #1 contender to the Progress Championship. Scurll backed Dennis into the corner and slapped him in the face during the early going. Dennis got the upper hand and Scurll tried to call a timeout. Scurll went for an eye rake and came off the turnbuckles, but Dennis caught him. Scurll fought out of it and snapped Dennis’s fingers apart. Scurll worked over Dennis for a long period of time. Dennis fired up from his knees and eventually popped Scurll up into the air and he landed face-first on the mat. Scurll went for a head stand in the corner a short time later, but Dennis kicked him right in the face for a 2 count. Scurll faked a superkick at Dennis and then kicked his knee out from under him. He then hit a flying elbow on Dennis for a 2 count. Dennis has bad facial expressions when he’s trying to show fire. They’re way too cartoonish. Scurll went for a dive a short time later, but Dennis caught him and slammed him onto the apron and the fans fired up. Dennis then hit a Razor’s edge into the turnbuckles and a lariat for a 2 count. They went back and forth and Scurll hit a tornado DDT and transitioned into the chicken wing. Dennis countered, but Scurll got the chicken wing again and Dennis tapped out.

Winner: Marty Scurll – This match lacked a spark. Dennis didn’t impress me here with his cartoonish facial expressions and his offense looked very light at times. They had a nice finishing sequence, but this was easily the least enjoyable match on the card so far.

(6) Dave Mastiff vs. Noam Dar in a SSS16 First Round match. Mastiff is a very large man with a beard. Dar is a smaller man. Both men are clearly fan favorites, although Dar got a big reaction coming out to Oasis. Dar wanted a handshake, but Mastiff blew him off. The fans went back and forth chanting for both men as they went at it during the early going. Dar escaped a powerbomb and sent Mastiff to the outside. He nailed Mastiff with a dive through the ropes and the fans fired up. Dar had two fans whip him towards Mastiff. Mastiff caught him, but Dar fought him off and shoved him into the ringpost. Dar hit a dropkick in the corner and set up for another one, but Mastiff caught him by surprise with an elbow. Dar seemed to be injured and Mastiff rolled to the outside to give him some time it appeared. The ref backed Mastiff off as he checked on Dar. Dar held onto the ref and eventually tried to get to his feet. He appeared to be wobbly. Dar seemed to indicate that he couldn’t see. Dar fired up, so Mastiff attacked him in the corner and went to work on him. Mastiff hit a big uppercut and Dar collapsed to the mat. The ref checked on Dar again. Dar used the ref to get to his feet and Mastiff nailed him with a headbutt. Mastiff set up for a move in the corner, but Dar popped up and waved his finger at Mastiff. Mastiff hit another headbutt and set up for a move in the corner again, but Dar got up once again. Mastiff wiped out Dar with a big boot to the head. Dar tried to fire back, but Mastiff sent him into the corner. Mastiff went for a cannonball, but Dar got out of the way.

Mastiff went up top and hit a double stomp to Mastiff’s leg. Dar set up for a move off the ropes and appeared to be on jelly legs. Mastiff caught him and hit a German into the turnbuckles. Mastiff went for a cannonball, but Dar tripped him and applied an STF. Mastiff managed to eventually fight Dar off. Dar went for the champagne super knee bar, but Mastiff fought out of it and began stomping on Dar’s head. The ref eventually waved the match off.

After the match, several people and Mastiff checked on Dar. A few fans chanted bulls---t. Mastiff helped Dar up to his feet, but he collapsed back to the mat. Dar was eventually helped to the back by several officials and attendants.

Winner: Dave Mastiff

Star rating: (**1/2) – It was hard to tell if Dar was selling or legitimately suffered an injury here. The match was certainly awkward after he got his bell rung after an early exchange.

Damo O’Connor came out first to face Tommaso Ciampa. He is a large bearded man. Ciampa came out next to a good reaction from the crowd. Ciampa came out to Psycho Killer. He got in O’Connor’s face and shoved him. The ref searched Ciampa before the match and found a foreign object. I haven’t seen that in a long time. The ref was searching O’Connor and Ciampa nailed him with a splash in the corner.

(7) Damo O’Connor vs. Tommaso Ciampa in a SSS16 First Round match. This is Ciampa’s Progress debut. Ciampa hit a series of running knee strikes to the head on O’Connor in the corner. O’Connor rolled to the floor and Ciampa went for a dive, but O’Connor nailed him with an uppercut. They went back and forth on the floor and O’Connor whipped Ciampa into the ringpost. He then sat Ciampa in a chair and nailed him with a huge running dropkick. Ciampa ended up crawling under the ring the ref and O’Connor looked for him. Ciampa ended coming up from the opposite side of the ring and he sent O’Connor to the floor with a running knee. He followed up with a senton off the ring apron. Ciampa had a hard time lifting O’Connor to get him back into the ring. Ciampa hit several back rakes and slapped O’Connor across the face. This seemed to make O’Connor upset. He shook off several blows from Ciampa and began walking towards him. O’Connor took several forearms before bouncing off the ropes and decking Ciampa with a big forearm. O’Connor caught Ciampa with another forearm off the ropes a short time later. They went back and forth and O’Connor caught Ciampa with a huge lariat as he came off the ropes. O’Connor stood on Ciampa’s chest and went for a senton, but Ciampa got his knees up. Ciampa then stood on O’Connor’s chest and hit a senton. O’Connor popped right up, but Ciampa didn’t see him as he played to the crowd.

O’Connor grabbed Ciampa and slammed him before hitting a running senton for a 2 count. O’Connor went up top a short time later, but Ciampa cut him off. O’Connor shoved Ciampa to the mat and they went at it in the corner. O’Connor lifted Ciampa onto his shoulders, but Ciampa rolled through into a pinning combination for a 2 count. Ciampa then hit white noise for another 2 count and the fans applauded. Ciampa tried to set up for project Ciampa, but O’Connor blocked it twice. They began exchanging blows in the middle of the ring. They continued to go back and forth in the middle of the ring until O’Connor caught Ciampa with a huge running dropkick. O’Connor lifted Ciampa onto his shoulders and dropped him down with a Michinoku driver for a near fall. The fans fired up and chanted for both men. O’Connor appeared to be bleeding from the mouth. O’Connor got a chair and brought it into the ring. He set it up over Ciampa in the corner. O’Connor then went up top on the opposite side of the ring. Ciampa popped up and tossed the chair into O’Connor. He went for white noise off the top, but O’Connor managed to slip out and landed on the apron. Ciampa went for a sunset bomb, but slipped out. Ciampa then got back under O’Connor and hit a sit-out powerbomb for the win.

After the match, Ciampa applauded O’Connor. He then got down on a knee and offered O’Connor a handshake. O’Connor told Ciampa to get up. He then shook his hand and hugged him and the fans applauded. The fans chanted or O’Connor as he left the ring. Ciampa then got a nice ovation as well.

Winner: Tommaso Ciampa

Star rating: (***) – This was a good hard-hitting match. It dragged a bit during the first half, but they had some really solid hard-hitting exchanges during the second half of the match. O’Connor is a huge man, so it was impressive to see Ciampa be able to hit some power moves on him during the match.

Gibson cut a promo before facing Sabre. He said this was his chance to rectify his loss in the last tournament and cement his spot in Progress. The fans kept shouting while he talked. Gibson said he was trying to be nice. Gibson said he was entering the tournament with a broken finger. Sabre was shown smiling in the corner. Gibson said if Sabre is half the man the internet dweebs claim he is, he will promise to stay away from his finger and he will play by the rules. Sabre got on the mic, but it was hard to hear what he said in response.

(8) Zack Gibson vs. Zack Sabre Jr. in a SSS16 First Round match. The announcers said this was a battle of two submission wrestlers that utilized the arm bar. The winner of this match will face Ciampa tomorrow. The fans sang Sabre’s name during the opening moments of the match. Sabre got a bridging leg submission during the early going. He then transitioned it into a bow and arrow submission, but Gibson got the ropes with his hand. The announcers said there would be a lot of chants related to the Liverpool soccer team chanted at Sabre for those watching in the US or Japan. Sabre worked a combination submission that stretched both of Gibson’s legs. Sabre then bridged back on the leg submission. Sabre then went to work on Gibson’s ankle and turned it hard to the left and right. Both men exchanging pinning combinations. Sabre did a neck bridge to escape a pinning predicament. Gibson thought about going after Sabre after he held the bridge once he got up, but ended up backing away to the corner. They went to a fast exchange and Gibson slid under Gibson and tripped him. He went for a bridging pin, but Gibson managed to counter it and he backed away selling frustration. The fans sang a song that talked about walking in a Sabre wonderland. This is awesome! Gibson fired back and dropped Sabre arm-first over the turnbuckles. Gibson went on the attack and worked over Sabre’s arm. Sabre tried to mount a comeback with several uppercuts, but Gibson decked him and went back after his arm on the mat. Sabre quickly got to the ropes and Gibson sold frustration.

Sabre fired back out of the corner and nailed Gibson with a kick to the chest. He then hit several running European uppercuts in the corner. Sabre finished the sequence with a springboard enzuguri for a 2 count. Sabre tried to shake some feeling back into his arm before going back on the attack. Sabre missed a kick, but went right into another kick that took out Gibson’s legs from under him. Gibson sold his broken fingers, but managed to get a rollup for a 2 count. They began exchanging blows in the middle of the ring. They went back and forth and Sabre got a rollup for a 2 count. Gibson hit a kick to Sabre’s arm and went up top, but Sabre nailed him with a European uppercut and a shining wizard for a 2 count and both men were down. Gibson hit several forearms on Gibson in the corner. The ref backed him away and Gibson went right back to nailing Gibson with forearms. The ref backed Sabre away, but Gibson raked his eyes and hit a codebreaker off the turnbuckles for a 2 count. He followed up with a cross-legged brainbuster for another 2 count. Gibson felt his mouth and he was bleeding Gibson missed a headbutt and Sabre countered it with a kick to the arm. Sabre slapped Gibson right across the face and floated into an arm bar. He eventually got it and went after Gibson’s fingers and he tapped out quickly.

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.

Star rating: (***1/2) – There was some really good technical wrestling here with Sabre going after Gibson’s leg and Gibson going after Sabre’s arm. Gibson seemed to light a fire under Sabre after poking him in the eye and Sabre finally went for the cross-arm bar and went after his broken finger, which was good for the win. The match seemed to be poised to go a bit longer and the finish seemed to come earlier than expected, but this was very good.

Smallman said this was the end of the first round of the SSS16 and asked the fans to give a round of applause.

The London Riots got a big reaction coming out first for the main event. Regression came out next to boos from the audience. Everyone turned their backs to the entrance and flipped off Regression as they made their entrance. The fans chanted Jimmy, you’re a c---t before the match began.

(9) Regression (Progress Champion Jimmy Havoc & Paul Robinson) vs. The London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch). Both teams began trading punches right away. Davis wiped out Havoc with a suicide dive during the early stages of the match. Lynch then launched Robinson over the top to the floor to wipe out Havoc. Davis tossed Havoc head-first into the wall at ringside several times and the fans fired up. Havoc fired back and hit a rainmaker on the apron on Lynch. Davis set up for a superplex to the floor on Robinson, but he fought him off. Havoc then powerbombed Davis off the apron to the floor. The smaller Robinson went to work on Lynch before tagging in Havoc legally. Davis was still down on the floor with several attendants checking on him. The fans chanted Jimmy’s still a bitch at Havoc. Regression tagged in and out to work over Lynch for a long period of time. Lynch fired back and shoved Havoc into Robinson, who was set to go for a dive off the turnbuckles. Lynch then nailed Robinson with a belly-to-belly superplex, but Havoc broke it up. Lynch fired back on Havoc a short time later and began nailing him with a series of chops. Havoc fired back with a series of chops of his own and a rake to the face. Lynch tore Havoc’s shirt off and continued to chop. He finally took him down with a double chop as Havoc came off the ropes. Lynch took care of Robinson and then nailed Havoc with several chops. Davis eventually ran back into the ring and exchanged blows with Havoc. Havoc eventually sent him down with a headbutt. The fans chanted for London Riots as Havoc choked Davis on the ropes. Davis appeared to be rocked and tried to mount a comeback. He absorbed a spinning kick/forearm combination from Regression and fired back with a double clothesline.

Davis hit an exploder on Robinson that sent him onto Havoc on the mat. The fans fired up and Davis hit a big sit-out powerbomb on Havoc, but Robinson broke up the pin. Davis tossed Robinson into Havoc’s arms. Havoc nailed Davis with a kick, but Lynch ran up from behind and hit a German on Havoc that sent both men flying into the mat. Havoc fired back on London Riots, but regression missed a double team move on Davis in the corner. The action continued at a rapid pace as the fans fired up. Davis pushed Havoc to the mat off the top. He then set up for a moonsault, but Havoc rolled out of the way. Lynch countered a rainmaker attempt and hit one of his own to cap a big sequence and everyone was down on the mat. Lynch went up top and went for a spiral tap, but Havoc rolled out of the way. Holy s---t. Robinson then went up top and caught Davis with a flying knee. Havoc then hit the acid rainmaker on Davis, but Lynch made the save and the fans applauded. The fans fired up and chanted London Riots. Lynch hit a double spear on regression and everyone was down once again. The fans chanted this is Progress as everyone tried to regroup. Robinson hit a low blow on Davis after countering a double team move. The action continued at a rapid pace and Davis ended a big sequence with a discus lariat on Havoc. Once again everyone was down on the mat. London Riots isolated Robinson, but he hit a double low blow. Robinson went up top, but London Riots caught him and Davis caught Robinson and tossed him into a sit-out powerbomb from Lynch. Havoc broke up the pin. Davis then hit Havoc with a huge release German into the turnbuckles. London Riots then hit a pop-up spear on Havoc a short time later for the win.

Robinson sold concern at ringside and dragged Havoc to the floor. Havoc then stumbled to the back. Smallman then got on the mic and said he was proud of The London Riots. Smallman then started a Thank You Riots chant.

Winners: James Davis & Rob Lynch

Star rating: (****) – This was a fantastic main event. The crowd was all over Regression from the start, especially Havoc. They started with a standard brawling segment that went into a long heat segment on Davis with Lynch down on the floor after taking a powerbomb off the apron from Havoc. They then went to a great final sprint with all four men going back and forth leading into the finish when The London Riots isolated Havoc and put him away with a pop-up spear.

Overall thoughts: (7.5) – The first half of the show started out strong and then the show slowed down a bit until the main event. Ligero-Ospreay was one heck of an opening match and then Strong-End tore things down. The show rebounded nicely at the end with Sabre-Gibson and then Regression vs. London Riots ending the show on a high note.

The crowd was red hot to kick things off. The opening match between Ospreay and Ligero went by like a blur and set a high bar for the rest of the crowd. They didn’t get a lot of time for their match, but they really tore it up with some fantastic exchanges before Ospreay got the win. If you haven’t seen Ospreay, go out of your way to see him. He’s an amazingly smooth high-flyer that is a ton of fun to watch in the ring.

Strong-End was the best match of the first round of the SSS16. Strong played the heel role heel and really slowed things down by stalling a lot at the beginning. The pace then picked up and Strong and End had a flurry of hard-hitting exchanges. This match was smartly paced, as they took the crowd down before building to a frantic finish.

The show slowed down during the second half after a hot angle with the introduction of The Origin. End came out during the second half of the show and challenged The Origin to a match for the tag titles. I would have liked to have seen End sell the beating he took from The Origin longer than he did, but the fans sure liked the match announcement.

After a series of matches that just didn’t deliver on the level of some of the matches that took place on the first half of the show, Gibson and Sabre brought the crowd back up with an excellent technical wrestling match with Gibson working on Sabre’s arm and Sabre going after Gibson’s leg and not his broken fingers. Gibson eventually got Sabre mad late in the match with his dirty tactics, so Sabre caught him in a cross-arm breaker and worked over his fingers to get the submission victory.

I’ve heard a lot about the heel work of Progress Champion Jimmy Havoc and the main event showed that he has a ton of heat on him. I didn’t get much of a look at what he does to get heat during this match, but it was clearly evident that the loud and passionate fans in the venue did not like him given the various chants at him during the match. The match itself was a blast to watch, as both teams went to a frantic spring during the second half of the match that really brought the crowd up several notches leading into the finish.

I really enjoyed this show. It came down for a bit during the second half, but overall, there were a number of very good to excellent matches on the card. The fans in attendance provided a great atmosphere that reminded me of watching the World Cup. The announcing was very much fitting as well and added to the sports-like atmosphere of the show. I’m very much looking forward to seeing the second day of this tournament. Thumbs up!

You can watch Progress Wrestling’s “Chapter 19: SSS16: N1” via their on demand service by clicking HERE or by visiting This service requires a monthly fee and includes most of the Progress Wrestling catalogue. For more information about Progress Wrestling visit


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PWTorch editor Wade Keller has covered pro wrestling full time since 1987 starting with the Pro Wrestling Torch print newsletter. launched in 1999 and the PWTorch Apps launched in 2008.

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He hosted the weekly Pro Wrestling Focus radio show on KFAN in the early 1990s and hosted the Ultimate Insiders DVD series distributed in retail stories internationally in the mid-2000s including interviews filmed in Los Angeles with Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara and Matt & Jeff Hardy. He currently hosts the most listened to pro wrestling audio show in the world, (the PWTorch Livecast, top ranked in iTunes)


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