On the final day of 2017’s Super Strong Style 16 tournament, Tyler Bate, Travis Banks, Matt Riddle, and Zack Sabre Jr., all compete to be crowned the winner of the prestigious competition. Pete Dunne defends his PROGRESS World Championship against Jeff Cobb.
Roy Johnson vs. Pastor William Eaver
vs. Mark Andrews vs. David Starr
vs. Flash Morgan Webster vs. Flamita
(Winner via pinfall: Flamita)
Zack Sabre Jr.
(Winner via pinfall: Travis Banks)
(Winner via pinfall: Tyler Bate)
Kay Lee Ray
#1 Contender Match for the PROGRESS Women’s Championship
(Winner via pinfall: Kay Lee Ray)
(Winner via referee stoppage: Trent Seven)
Pete Dunne (C)
PROGRESS World Championship
(Winner via pinfall: Pete Dunne)
(Winner via submission: Travis Banks)
PROGRESS Wrestling saved the best for last, as the third and final show in their three day weekender brought Super Strong Style 16 (2017) to a wonderful end. There was action, drama, comedy, and a general wave of emotions that made Day 3 incredible viewing for this wrestling fan.
The Wasteman Challenge was great fun, and normally that kind of segment wouldn’t play as well on a television broadcast as it would to a live crowd, but it worked perfectly here…maybe because of the crowd? If you want to hear Mark Andrews, beloved wrestling babyface, drop one of the most incredible insults the business has seen in 2017, then make sure you watch his promo on Roy Johnson. Genuine “holy shit!” moment.
As I watched the crowd continue to fall in love with people such as Flamita and Jeff Cobb, I couldn’t help but think that PROGRESS have found two top talents for the company moving forward. I was already familiar with Jeff Cobb, particularly through his EVOLVE Wrestling work, but the way he was presented at in Chapter 49 made him look like a genuine top talent. Here’s a guy who has seemingly been weakened in EVOLVE due to losing matches he’d be expected to win, but here in PROGRESS he somehow cemented himself a potential future run as their champion even though he left the weekend with a 1-2 win/loss record. That’s not only good booking, but great work from the talent himself. That Flamita guy is pretty good too, let’s be fair!
I did have a little issue with Cobb receiving a title match following his defeat in Super Strong Style 16, given the whole point of the tournament was to give its winner a title match, but he and Pete Dunne worked a great contest so it would be foolish of me to start complaining about minor issues. Although Dunne won this fairly clean, I’d go as far as to say that there is big money in having a longterm feud with these two, as they have superb ring chemistry with each other.
The final three SSS16 matches did not disappoint. I felt that Zack Sabre Jr. and Travis Banks was a mouthwatering stiff affair that could have done with more time, but when you’re watching great wrestling, you always want the match to go longer. ZSJ is now at a point in his career where he’s become so established, despite his age, that he’s become a great talent to use to put people over in tournament action. I don’t expect that to change any time soon, as he continues his prolific appearances across the world.
Tyler Bate and Matt Riddle wrestled a superb semi-final, absolutely outclassing their already impressive match at PROGRESS Wrestling: Chapter 48 in every way. Bate removing his boots was a nice touch that got a good pop, and their match was full of numerous big spots that should’ve ended the contest. Fans were so sure that Riddle was heading to the final, that when Bate got the three count, there were genuinely fans in the front row with their mouths hanging open. No interference from British Strong Style…just a straight up win for Bate. I loved that.
The final was almost perfect. I say “almost,” because I personally think it was overbooked at the halfway mark, when BSS and CCK both interfered. I understand why, as they needed to continue that feud, and it would’ve made no sense for BSS not to get involved given their previous behaviour in Bate’s matches, but Bate and Banks were having a match that was getting so close to being a classic, that I found the outside interference a little distracting. Thankfully, it was back down to Bate and Banks rather quickly, and they got a good amount of time to wrestle afterwards so that the interference didn’t play a part in the finish.
Some wonderful moves, and Bate himself hit some damn hard versions of his moveset throughout. The guy is turning into a nasty piece of work in the ring, and I love it. Banks wrestled like he always does, with heart and honesty, and both he and Bate left it all there in the ring. When Banks won, the Electric Ballroom popped huge, and the images of a victorious Banks being swarmed with streamers will live on in PROGRESS for a long time to come.
I personally thought Bate was going to win, but I like that they used his growing stardom to put Travis Banks over. Without question, when Banks cashes in his title shot in September, the entire PROGRESS fandom is going to be cheering him on to victory.
So that was Super Strong Style 16 (2017), and it was awesome. Wait, it was fucking awesome. Day 1 was already great, but Day 2 somehow topped it, and then Day 3 knocked it clear out the park. The only negative, for me, is that I couldn’t be there to watch it live, as I get the feeling it would have not only been a superb experience, but one that no one who attended all three days will ever forget.
Match of the Night
Travis Banks vs. Tyler Bate