SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Progress Wrestling had a rough weekend for their U.S. debut in the northeast. It started on Aug. 11 when WWE U.K. Champion Pete Dunne was injured during a match against Darius Carter at Battle Club Pro. One trusted source close to Dunne noted that he was cut when Carter gave him a belt shot and cut again when Carter gave him a Dick Togo style pedigree on the belt. Multiple sources have confirmed that Dunne was expecting a traditional pedigree where his arms would get released, but Carter held onto them and delivered the Dick Togo style pedigree on the belt.
Dunne suffered a large cut on his head as a result of the blows with the belt and had to get stitches. He was pulled from his scheduled matches in Progress Wrestling after the incident took place. One WWE official noted that Dunne being pulled from his scheduled matches was a case of being safe than sorry, although he did do some brief physical spots during his appearances over the weekend. Dunne’s announced match was a WWE U.K. Championship match against Jack Gallagher. Dunne did make appearances at both Progress shows to set up his upcoming Progress Title match against Travis Banks.
On Saturday, T.K. Cooper, who had just straightened out his visa issues and gotten a new three year visa to wrestle in the U.K. after having to leave Progress for several months when his visa expired, suffered a fractured ankle at the Progress show in NYC on Aug. 12. Cooper was going for a dive off the top to the floor during a match with the Progress Tag Team Championship on the line against British Strong Style and he ended up fracturing his ankle on the landing. People that were there live noted to PWTorch that it was a gruesome injury.
Progress co-owner Glen Joseph stayed with Cooper overnight along with his girlfriend Dahlia Black. Joseph tweeted pictures from the hospital as he waited for Cooper. Cooper was sitting at a merch table during the show and appeared to be in good spirits considering the severity of his injury. Cooper had previously tweeted out a picture of himself in good spirits with a cast on his ankle from the hospital.
An entire crew of Progress wrestlers and owners were supposed to take a coach bus from New York to Boston on Sunday morning, but it disappeared. Jim Smallman talked about the incident during his opening promo at Progress: Boston on Aug. 14. Eventually Progress co-owner Jon Briley was able to get everyone from the Progress crew on the train.
Beyond Wrestling didn’t announce any matches for their double header with Progress on Aug. 13 outside of Donovin Dijak’s farewell match against Walter, but they had to shuffle their planned card due to injuries and the Progress crew arriving to the venue later than expected.
Progress had not announced any matches for Boston and had said they would announce their lineup for Boston after Progress: NYC before all of the difficulties they encountered during the weekend began to pop up. They ended up tweeting out a six match lineup about a half hour or so before the show began. Some of the crowd didn’t check Twitter, so the matches came as a surprise to some people as the card unfolded during the show.
Radican’s Analysis: Progress management did an admirable job of dealing with a number of difficult situations during the weekend. In addition to the details in this story, Progress dealt with an extremely hot and packed building in NYC at ELMCO on Saturday night that lead to many fan complaints on social media. I’m currently working on getting all of the details on that story.
The injuries were really unfortunate. You hate to see anyone get hurt, but T.K. Cooper just made an incredible return to Progress recently and got a huge pop top to restart South Pacific Power Trip’s title program against British Strong Style. In addition, Progress was supposed to host a WWE U.K. Championship match that got nixed due to Dunne’s injury on Friday night, which was a major blow to the NYC card.
On top of the injuries and having to shuffle their lineups, Progress had to deal with a really unfortunately situation where the coach bus that was supposed to take them from NYC to Boston simply disappeared off the face of the earth.
Despite all of the obstacles they encountered during the weekend, Progress management pulled through in NYC and Boston and deliver back-to-back quality events and deserve a ton of credit for handling a number of incredibly difficult situations admirably. It was clear looking at the Progress crew after the show on Sunday night that everyone was exhausted.