PROGRESS Wrestling: Complicated Simplicity (Ch.47) (Review)

British Strong Style clash with Ringkampf, with both the PROGRESS Championship and PROGRESS Tag Team Championship at stake. If someone pins Pete Dunne, they become the new PROGRESS Champion, but if they pin Tyler Bate or Trent Seven, they become the new PROGRESS Tag Team Champions with a team member of their choosing. Everything is on the line…

James Drake
Eddie Dennis
(Winner via pinfall: James Drake)

Laura Di Matteo
Alex Windsor
(Winner via submission: Laura Di Matteo)

Flash Morgan Webster
Mike Bird
(Winner via referee stoppage due to opponent being unable to compete: Flash Morgan Webster.)

James Davis & Rob Lynch (“The London Riots”)
Travis Banks & T.K. Cooper (with Dahlia Black) (“South Pacific Power Trip”)
(Winners by pinfall: Travis Banks & T.K. Cooper)

Mark Haskins
Mark Andrews
(Draw due to referee decision)

Jack Sexsmith
Paul Robinson
(Winner via submission: Jack Sexsmith)

Pete Dunne (C), Trent Seven & Tyler Bate (C) (“British Strong Style”)
Timothy Thatcher, Axel Dieter Jr. & WALTER (“Ringkampf”)
PROGRESS Championship & PROGRESS Tag Team Championship


To say that I have become a huge fan of PROGRESS Wrestling would be an understatement. That it took me so long to find this gem of a wrestling promotion is criminal, but I’m happily onboard with them now and don’t plan to ever go away.

I was very excited about this event. For one, I enjoy Timothy Thatcher’s work in EVOLVE Wrestling, and I currently can’t get enough of British Strong Style. So the main event for Chapter 47: Complicated Simplicity really appealed to me.

I’ve been enjoying James Drake’s recent performances in PROGRESS, and he delivered more of the same here. His sneak attack on Eddie Dennis [during Dennis’ entrance] backfired for Drake on this occasion, with Dennis making a quick comeback and dominating for large periods of the match. Really liked the one spot where Dennis hoisted Drake up to hit an impressive hanging superplex from the turnbuckles. The finish seemed a little confusing, with Dennis seemingly randomly becoming distracted by the referee, leading to Drake grabbing the opportunity to hit his finisher and get the win. Felt it was a little weak.

The women’s match was a real disappointment for me. Something didn’t click here, despite the effort put in by both ladies, and what we were left with was a match that looked like it could have been very good, but never actually hit those levels. I don’t know where the blame lies here, but some of the moves were so telegraphed, particularly when Alex Windsor was taking offence. It genuinely felt was if she was standing in odd positions just waiting for Di Matteo to hit her moves which, yes is wrestling, but stood out so much perhaps due to Di Matteo being too slow to hit her spots. Maybe it was Windsor being too quick though? All I know is that I left this match thinking the wrong person won, and hoping even more that Toni Storm becomes the first PROGRESS Women’s Champion.

Flash Morgan Webster and Mike Bird had a nice little battle, worked at a good pace, and I was surprised to see Webster take a submission victory over Bird. The post-match attack by James Drake suggests that we are about to embark on a Flash Morgan Webster/James Drake rivalry, and I’m absolutely down with that.

On most wrestling shows, The London Riots versus South Pacific Power Trip would have stolen the show. And it did here, until the superb main event (more on that later). This match was crazy from the get go, hitting ringside almost immediately, and was something of a brawl for the first half of the match. When the big moves came into play in the second half, things really stepped up a gear, and the crowd were loving it. This was a damn good match, and it would’ve had a 4.5 rating from me, but I absolutely hated the no-selling of things such as a Double Superkick, etc. That really just takes me out of matches, and did so here.

Lovely promo afterwards, with T.K. Cooper and Dahlia Black saying their goodbyes to PROGRESS Wrestling due to visa issues (not a work!). This sentimental moment was broken up when British Strong Style came out, and Trent Seven took the microphone. His “One, two, is this on?” was hilarious, but was topped by his suggested visa solution of “I’m fucking rich now, how about I buy you a new visa?” Honestly, British Strong Style’s material related to their WWE contracts is gold, and so far removed from the nice babyfaces two of them play on WWE television.  A beatdown on T.K. Cooper followed, but Ringkampf quickly made the save, and added a bit more animosity to the shows main event in the process.

Andrews versus Haskins wasn’t quite the memorable match I expected it to be, which wasn’t helped by the finish. Normally, working a draw the way they did would be fine (Andrews pinning Haskins just as he tapped out to a submission hold from Haskins), but it was a match that didn’t equal my expectation of it, so the finish just made the whole thing feel underwhelming. That said, the setup of a PROGRESS Championship triple threat match between both men and Pete Dunne looks damn exciting for a future event.

I’m going to assume that Jack Sexsmith and Paul Robinson had the spot they did on the card due to Robinson’s post-match announcement that he was retiring. Nothing about that match deserved to go on before the main event, sadly.

Speaking of the main event, what a match that was. British Strong Style are the best thing in British wrestling right now, in this writers humble opinion, and they showed why during their match with Ringkampf. As a trio, Seven, Dunne and Bate have had a brilliant 2017 and are becoming huge names in the world of independent wrestling, and PROGRESS benefits so much from having them all onboard. That they’ve managed to make the fans want to see them lose so badly is a real compliment to them, and never was that more the case than at Chapter 47.

The ring action between both teams was solid, and for a long time Ringkampf were looking far superior. I’m always wary of those situations, as it normally suggests an obvious comeback win is coming for their opponent, but in this case you really couldn’t call it. Would PROGRESS really take one of their championships off of BSS when they are currently so hot? You’d expect not, but they bloody well teased such a switch a lot here, and teased it well.

I’ve been a huge fan of WWE‘s United Kingdom brand, particularly given I’ve attended all four shows they’ve put on thus far and so feel a great deal of attachment to it, so the tease of a breakdown in Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate’s relationship here was a damn exciting moment for me. Perhaps my favourite, in fact. That I saw this only a day after I’d been to the two WWE events in Norwich just added to the buzz for me, having seen them set up Bate versus Dunne for NXT Takeover: ChicagoPROGRESS Wrestling obviously moves within its own continuity, but are we starting to see them aligning their angles up with WWE‘s? Makes sense, but would seem to leave a lot of money on the table for the British Strong Style members.

The finish to the match came through a belt shot to the head of WALTER (I believe…), who was just about to put Trent Seven away. After the use of an illegal weapon, Seven’s arm happened to fall over his opponent, and the referee successfully counted to three. To say Seven knew little about it would be an understatement, and even by the time he and his team had made their way back to the ramp, he didn’t seem like he was completely aware of what had happened. It was great work by Seven, who really was on fire throughout this whole show.

A good show, though inconsistent. I have no doubt that the multiple departures/retirements meant this one was always going to have slightly wonky pacing, so I suspect things will pick up again at the next show. That said, two incredible tag team matches stole the show, with the main event being one of my favourite of the year across all promotions. Oh, and the damned camera work had me feeling all kinds of excited feelings from start to finish, too. PROGRESS Wrestling just looks stunning.

Match of the Night

Pete Dunne, Trent Seven & Tyler Bate vs. Timothy Thatcher, Axel Dieter Jr. & WALTER

PROGRESS: Chapter 47 Rating:


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