As PROGRESS Wrestling celebrates the 5th anniversary of its first ever show, Pete Dunne defends his PROGRESS Championship against a longtime rival he has fought across numerous wrestling companies: Mark Andrews.
Zack Gibson & Nathan Cruz (“The Origin”)
Dave Mastiff & El Ligero (“The Origin: Banter Edition”)
(Winners via pinfall: Zack Gibson & Nathan Cruz)
Dahlia Black (with TK Cooper)
(Winner via pinfall: Toni Storm)
(Winner via pinfall: Travis Banks)
Mark Haskins (with Jack Haskins)
Axel Dieter Jr.
(Winner via submission: Mark Haskins)
“Fans Bring The Weapons in a Loser Leaves PROGRESS Wrestling” Match
(Winner via pinfall: Jimmy Havoc)
Trent Seven & Tyler Bate (“British Strong Style”) (C)
Lee Hunter & Jim Hunter (“The Hunter Brothers”)
PROGRESS Tag Team Championship
(Winners via pinfall: Trent Seven & Tyler Bate)
Matt Riddle (C)
PROGRESS Atlas Championship
(Winner via submission: Matt Riddle)
Pete Dunne (C)
(Winner via pinfall: Pete Dunne)
PROGRESS: Chapter 46 was a damn good wrestling show from top to bottom. Sure, there was some silliness in there, but it was all in good fun, and the wrestling was so good in parts.
The opening contest probably featured the most of the aforementioned silliness, with Dave Mastiff and El Ligero playing for laughs from the crowd (don’t expect to see that in their presentation for the upcoming World of Sport Wrestling…). Things did get more serious though, and we ended up with a decent match. I was a little surprised the heels went over, if I’m honest.
As we head toward PROGRESS Wrestling crowning its first ever Women’s Champion, Toni Storm and Dahlia Black put in a great semi-final match for the right to compete for the new championship. It was competitive from start to finish, with a good mix of wrestling, and stiff kicks. Storm came out of it looking very impressive, whilst Black sadly ended up leaving with a legitimate injury that will keep her out of wrestling rings for a while.
Travis Banks and Jack Sexsmith put on a contender for “Match of the Night,” working a quick paced match that never slowed down to take a breath. Whilst I’m no fan of watching a wrestler throw themselves around the ring in a pair of Ugg boots, Sexsmith looked strong here, and took some hard hits whilst dishing out hard ones of his own. His acrobatic style meshed well with Banks’ hard-hitting one, Banks himself looking stunned when a rejuvenated Sexsmith kicked out at one from a post-Blue Thunder Bomb pin attempt. Both men just went at it, told a good story, and rightfully got applauded as they left the ring following Banks’ win.
Haskins and Dieter Jr. had a much more technical and methodical match-up, compared to the previous three matches on the card. Whilst there were some hard hits right throughout the fight, there was also a strong focus on submission holds that could help wear down both men. One sequence of an exchange of submission attempts was particularly brutal to watch. Special shout out to Haskins for his entrance, by the way, where he shot dead the last known living Tyrannosaurus-Rex dinosaur. His son was there too, of course.
I found Havoc and Ospreay’s hardcore match to be somewhat disappointing. The match lacked psychology, and generally was just the two men moving from one weapon spot to the next, doing very little wrestling in the progress. I was ready to give the match a 2.5, but the promo from Ospreay mid-match, where he and Havoc agreed to add in a “Loser Leaves PROGRESS” stipulation, increased the stakes and made the match a little better. We saw many near falls after that change to the match, and fans were happy to see Havoc retain his place on the roster. Or maybe they were just happy to see Ospreay forced to leave (for the time being anyway!)? Best moment of the entire match was Havoc delivering an Essex Destroyer through a table, from the top turnbuckle. Lot’s of blood in this one too.
British Strong Style are such good heels, and they showed that here. They play the Triple H and DX homages/mannerisms perfectly, using them to build heat with the crowd. The introduction of the first ever legitimate PROGRESS Tag Team Championship belts was a historic moment for the company, and the design of the belts is great, paying respect to the divisions previous silverware (the shields), whilst feeling very new and contemporary.
The tag team match was very good, with Bate and Seven doing the majority of the work throughout. The Hunter Brothers played their part too, but this was all about British Strong Style, and the two men did not disappoint. It’s genuinely scary to see how good Tyler Bate is at just 20 years of age, as he added another big 2017 win to his list of accomplishments by successfully hitting the Tyler Driver 97 for the victory.
Riddle and Walter was an interesting one, as they put on a hard-hitting contest that had Walter control proceedings for the majority of the match runtime. The story here was that Walter had a significant size advantage on Riddle, making it hard for the reigning champion to ever get a foothold in the contest. Walter wanted to simply beat up Riddle, and did a good job of working his bare feet and ankles too, but got more than he bargained for when Riddle was able to lock in a submission hold and take the win. I’m still hit or miss with Riddle, who’s match catalogue hasn’t quite won me over yet. He’s had some great matches, but if he’s not with a top talent, I feel the match quality suffers somewhat, which goes to show that he isn’t great at carrying his own matches yet.
The main event was fun, as it always is with these two men. Andrews was over big-time with the crowd, and they ate up everything he did throughout the match. When he was able to fend off the interference of British Strong Style, he was able to get a three count, much to the delight of the fans in attendance. Sadly, there was some controversy, and the referees ordered the match to restart, with Dunne taking the opportunity to lay a beatdown on Andrews whilst he was still reacting to having a successful title win taken away from him within minutes. British Strong Style soon got banned from ringside, allowing a semi-clean finish to the title match, with a couple of near falls leaving the fans guessing as to who was going to take home the championship. Ultimately, the right man won, but I don’t think this will be the last time we see Dunne and Andrews lock horns with each other again this year.
Match of the Night:
Trent Seven & Tyler Bate vs. Lee Hunter & Jim Hunter
PROGRESS: Chapter 46 rating: