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PROGRESS WRESTLING: CHAPTER 58 “LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE”
NOVEMBER 26, 2017
CAMDEN, LONDON AT THE ELECTRIC BALLROOM
REPORT BY DAVE GREEN (@dagreeno), PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
Tonight’s preshow match was different to previous show as it was advertised in advance and was a qualifying match for Tetsujin Shoot Style, a tournament taking place in Liverpool in February. The rules are submission or KO are the only ways to win, no standing ten count and each competitor are allowed three rope breaks. These bouts are wrestled in a more realistic style.
11/26 In the match, Chris Ridgeway defeated Damon Moser to qualify for the tournament. Both men started off even, with both using a rope break early on. Ridgeway focused on Moser’s leg with hard kicks and various submission attempts, which saw Moser give up his last two rope breaks. A drop down Suplex into a neck clutch saw Ridgeway get the tap out. The crowd really got into the match and gave both men a lot of appreciation.
The main show kicked off big with the PROGRESS World Title match. This was the latest defence from champion Travis Banks against someone that had defeated him in his run up to winning the title. Tonight, it was Matt Riddle.
(1) Travis Banks defeated Matt Riddle to retain the PROGRESS World Title. This was a chop fest. Both men delivered a beating to the other with massive strikes. After some chain wrestling and outside brawling, Riddle scored a number of bear falls from two Fisherman Busters, before delivering a jumping Tombstone. Banks kicked out at one, after Riddle delayed in covering. Riddle attempted a middle rope piledriver, but Banks turned it into an Avalanche Kiwi-Krusher. This also garnered a one-count, but Banks hit the Slice of Heaven and another Kiwi-Krusher. After another two-count, Banks locked in the Lion’s Clutch to make Riddle tap out. Post match, Riddle spun Banks around and, with a huge grin, told the champion “that was f**king awesome” and hugged the victor.
(2) Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins (w/Vicky Haskins) defeated Connor Mills & Maverick Mayhew. When the team of Mills and the debuting Mayhew made their entrance, the crowd audibly groaned in a worried fashion as they were sure the youngsters were about to be murdered. A few bright spots took place early, with Mayhew (who is only 17 years old!) being particularly impressive. Once the action settled, Havoc & Haskins destroyer Mayhew with wicked tandem offence.. They took Mills out of action, not allowing Mayhew a hot tag, and put him out of his misery with a Rainmaker/Roundhouse kick combo. After the match, Vicky Haskins took the mic looking to address the audience. Instead, she dropped the mic and the group left, still not explaining their union.
(3) Eddie Dennis defeated Jack Sexsmith. Dennis was making his official chapter return after his actions against his former tag partner and friend Mark Andrews at Ch55. At the last show in Manchester, Chapter 57, Dennis attacked Andrews after his loss to Travis Banks. Banks tried to help but also got dropped by Dennis. Dennis started strong, hitting a crucifix bomb on Sexsmith against the ring post. Dennis insisted on a count out, but Jack got back in just before ten. Dennis piled on the punishment, all the while being incensed by the crowd’s vocal displeasure, questioning why they were reacting this way when he felt justified in his actions. Sexsmith finally came back with a DDT on the floor. Dennis rallied and caught Sexsmith with the Next Stop Driver. Dennis picked Sexsmith up during the pin attempt, telling him he should have taken the count out. Another Next Stop Driver, another pull up from the pin. Dennis slammed Sexsmith’s head against the mat repeatedly, telling the referee to stop the match. Eventually the ref did exactly that, awarding the bout to Dennis. Dennis kept piling on the punishment, until Travis Banks interrupted to save Sexsmith and chase Eddie away. Dennis got on the mic to remind Travis that it was none of his business, that the management had never rewarded his years of duty with a singles title shot and told Travis that if he wanted to fight, then put the title on the line.
(4) Jinny defeated Dahlia Black in a No DQ match. This was to crown a new No1 contender to the women’s title and to settled the feud between the pair. The violence kicked off huge as Black powerbombed Jinny through a table on the stage. Later Black suffered the same fate, before reversing a whip sending Jinny flying into the crowd. The combatants got through canes, tables, barb wire chairs and drawing pins before the final fall was scored. Jinny hit a Style Clash on a chair to score the win and finally get the title shot that has eluded her since May.
(5) Timothy Thatcher defeated Strangle Davis. This rematch was in response to Davis cheating his way to victory over Thatcher last month and this time his Atlas title shot was on the line. The match started much differently from the last encounter, with Thatcher attacking at the bell. Davis threw Thatcher over the top, where he landed with a huge thud. Suddenly, unknown music hit and Davis turned his attention to the stage. A few days ago, a video was posted with the guise of Valhalla, seemingly signifying the appearance of someone on today’s show. Through the curtain emerged none other than Rob Lynch, Davis’ former London Riot tag partner, to a huge pop. The Valhalla was indeed posted by Lynch to come back to take on Davis. Thatcher got back in the ring and rolled Davis up to win the match and the title shot. Lynch then ran into the ring to brawl with Davis. Crew and staff got in the ring to break the fight up. Lynch shouted that he was back to get his revenge on his former partner. This was huge, as Lynch had recently announced he was going through rehab for his various injuries. Presumably this return will be for one more match against Davis. Thatcher returned to the ring to address that he would take his Atlas title shot against his Ringkampf teammate WALTER whenever he was ready, but he wasn’t satisfied with that match and offered anyone in the back that wanted to wrestle again to come out. Chris Ridgeway accepted the offer to a big reaction from the crowd.
(6) Timothy Thatcher defeated Chris Ridgeway. I thoroughly enjoyed this purely technical encounter. Ridgeway stunned Thatcher with some wicked kicks, ending with a great PK. After a series of German Suplexes, a Ridgeway pin attempt was reversed into a Fujiwara armbar which saw Thatcher get the submission. Ridgeway lost nothing in defeat and garnered great support tonight from his two appearances. Meanwhile Thatcher moves on to an Atlas title shot against WALTER, which I personally cannot wait to see.
(7) Joseph Conners defeated Flash Morgan Webster. Conners started off with stalling, antagonising the jeering crowd.. Flash put an end to that with a big dive to the floor, as well as backdropping Conners outside the ring. Conners controlled most of the action with methodical offence, infuriating much of crowd who chanted “boring”. When the action picked up, Webster managed to hit much of his signature moveset, including the Eton Rifle followed by a Swanton to the back of Conners. Failing to garner the pin from this, Webster sunk into the corner looking deflated and holding his shoulder. He looked like he was giving up, not convinced he could win. After deciding to continue, Conners burst into life with some high impact manoeuvres. After battering Morgan with elbows, he hit Don’t Look Down to get the win. Webster looked inconsolable on his way back, tweeting later his apologies and stating he will keep fighting to earn our respect.
(8) Toni Storm defeated Alex Windsor to retain the PROGRESS Women’s Title. This was a really solid match. The crowd seemed a bit distant during this for some reason, which is a shame as I thought this was one of Storm’s better title defences. Storm started strong with a series of German Suplexes, with Windsor hitting her own later in the match. Windsor hit some great moves, including a few powerbombs that connected wonderfully. Another powerbomb attempt was countered into the Strong Zero piledriver to give Storm another win, with the challenge of Jinny now looming on the horizon.
(9) Grizzled Young Vets (Zack Gibson & James Drake) defeated CCK (Kid Lykos & Chris Brookes) to win the PROGRESS Tag Team Titles. This match started off fantastically before the action even came into it. Gibson and Drake went round the Ballroom building, with Gibson cutting his promo while being booed out of the building again and Drake getting “Choo choo” chants after his 205 Live appearance. Lykos spoke for the first time telling Gibson to shut the f— up, before Brookes advised his partner to also shut up as is tradition.
After a lot of back and forth between the teams, Gibson & Drake shut down Brookes down with Grit your Teeth and tossed a diving Lykos into a section of crowd chairs. While Brookes was being beaten down in the ring, Lykos was nowhere to be seen from my viewpoint. After Brookes took both Vets out of the ring, Lykos suddenly emerged at a raised section of the building. Lykos dives onto the GYV. At this point, things took an unfortunate turn. Lykos looked at Brookes shaking his head, signifying that something was wrong while he clutched at his right shoulder. While he was being attended to by crew and medics, Brookes fought the GYV alone up to the stage. After Gibson cleared a section of the crowd away, it was he that was thrown from the stage into the rows of chairs by Brookes. Upon their return to the ring, Lykos had been taken away by the medics, with it looking apparent that his shoulder was separated. Brookes was taken down again in the ring and locked in Gibson’s Shankley Gates. Brookes was forced to tap, giving the Grizzled Young Vets the shocking tag title win. After a celebratory speech, Gibson & Drake headed straight to the back, followed quite swiftly by the former champ Brookes.
This was a sad end to the show. Not from the point of view that the GYV won the titles, but out of sadness for Lykos having yet another setback in what has been his breakout year. He’d recovered from a previously separated shoulder to get a broken wrist to then separating his shoulder again here. Here’s hoping it is not too serious.
Tonight’s show featured a really strong first half and a terrific return. As far as the action goes, there were a lot of people being thrown into the empty chairs of the crowd. This seems to get increasingly more frequent and considering how this spot turned out for Lykos, maybe it’s time people started scaling back on those sort of moves. Overall, a strong show with a sad ending.
2017 ends with a show in Sheffield on Dec. 10 and Unboxing Live on Dec. 30, which I shall be attending. Thanks for reading!