Coming hot off the heels of the highly acclaimed Super Strong Style 16 weekend, PROGRESS return to the Ballroom for their landmark Chapter 50. The show was headlined by the #CCK team of Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos challenging British Strong Style duo of Trent Seven and Tyler Bate for the Progress Tag Team titles.
Chapter 50: I Give in Six Months
June 25, 2017
Watch: Demand PROGRESS
PROGRESS Women’s Championship
Toni Storm def. Kay Lee Ray
This was Toni’s first title defense after successfully defeating Jinny and Laura Di Matteo on night 2 of the SSS16 weekend to become the inaugural Progress Women’s champion. ICW Women’s Champion KLR earned her shot by defeating OTT Women’s Champion Katey Harvey in a #1 contenders match on Night 3 of SSS16.
After a slight feeling out process these ladies brought their A games. Neither woman was able to dominate for too long with the momentum constantly swinging from one to the other. Highlights included a KLR step up swanton dive to the outside and Toni countering a KLR springboard attempt into a release German suplex. In the end, after a short piledriver wasn’t enough to get the win, Toni went to another level and put Kay Lee Ray away with a middle rope piledriver. A fine match to kick off Toni’s reign. ***1/2
London Riots def. The Origin Banter Edition
The Riots were continuing their quest for a first win in Progress since January opposite the most fun loving team in PROGRESS in El Ligero and Dave Mastiff. As you would expect this was comedy heavy throughout but did have some good action. Dave Mastiff somehow doing a hurracanrana was an unbelievable moment and the Riots always bring some heavy shots. The Riots got their long sought after victory via a pop up spear on Ligero. **1/2
Flash Morgan Webster def. Jack Sexsmith
This match was all about the debut of Chief Deputy Dunne at the end. Dunne would cause the end of the match by hitting Webster with his megaphone (giving Flash got the DQ win) and then laying out Sexsmith and confiscating cocko. Damian Dunne hadn’t been seen in Progress since Chapter 35 back in August 2016 and is a totally different guy to the one he was then. Now Chief Deputy Dunne of the Anti Fun Police is all about eliminating fun from wrestling and his number one target is now Jack Sexsmith.
Speaking of Sexsmith, nobody on the PROGRESS roster has suffered worse than he has due to the copyright laws PROGRESS now adhere to. His entrance has gone from a highlight of the show to “oh look here’s Sexsmith and his generic music”. He is a perfect example of why in 2017 entrance music is a massive of part of anybody’s act. Sexsmith and Flash had a perfectly fine match but it was no more than that and probably Webster’s most disappointing outing since his return from injury, but in the grand scheme of things all anyone will remember here is Dunnes re-debut. **3/4
Pete Dunne def. Donovan Dijak
Dijak was a surprise opponent, and suprise he was as pretty much nobody knew he was in the country. The match had been set up at the beginning of the show when Dunne cut a promo saying he wouldn’t be defending the PROGRESS title until Travis Banks gets his shot at Chapter 55 in September. Smallman agreed to this with the stip that Dunne was wrestling that night and if he lost whoever pinned him got a future PROGRESS title shot.
Now is there a cooler sight in wrestling than Pete Dunne making his entrance with the PROGRESS and WWE:UK belts in his mouth? I don’t think so. When the 5th maneuver in a match is a 6ft7in man doing an Asai moonsault and the 6th move is a chokeslam on the apron I think you know this is not an average match. Pete tried to go the route of grounding the bigger man but soon the match became a battle of who could hit harder. Dijak’s athleticism never ceases to amaze; how a guy that big can effortlessly do a space flying tiger drop is beyond me. Again though Dunne was to prove he can win without his BSS mates as Dijak fell victim to the Bitter End. ***3/4
The Origin (Cruz & Gibson) def. Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins
This match began with an appearance by Mark Haskins’ wife Vicky giving out party hats because it was Mark’s birthday, but this was a hell of a scrap by two teams that I would love to see on a regular basis in Progress. Gibson and Cruz have been depushed in recent times but they are a genuinely hated duo and there seems to be no danger of them ever becoming cool heels. The Origin focused much of their offense on Havoc’s horrifically scarred back following his victory at Tournament of Death.
Haskins and Havoc, both having failed to wrestle the PROGRESS title from Pete Dunne, have been trying recently to get on the same page and while 95% of the time they are the 5% of the time they aren’t has end up costing them. That proved to be the case again here again, with Havoc presenting Haskins with a gift wrapped steel chair, it was his birthday after all. Haskins attempting to hit Gibson with a thrown chair instead hit Jimmy and this allowed Gibson roll up Haskins with a handful of tights for the surprise victory for The Origin. ***1/2
Travis Banks def. James Drake
Fresh off of his victory of the Super Strong Style 16 tournament Travis Banks was taking on probably the least popular person on the whole of the PROGRESS roster: James Drake. I actually think the PROGRESS fans are a little hard on Drake as he is a decent wrestler and was more than able to hold his own in this one opposite Banks. That said Banks just seems to be another level to most in the UK right now. He is without doubt the most popular man in PROGRESS and the fans are just itching to see him be the one to end Pete Dunne’s and British Strong Style’s reign of terror. Travis picked up another impressive win in this one on his road to Alexandria Palace and his title shot, putting Drake away with the Slice of Heaven. ***1/4
PROGRESS Tag Team Championship
#CCK def. British Strong Style (Seven & Bate)
Considering #CCK had only debuted at Chapter 48 this match had been much anticipated and boy oh boy did it deliver. BSS get a lot of shit due to their 6 man matches often being full of comedy and schtick, but this match is living proof that when they want to be they are still one of the absolute best teams in the world. Right from the get go this match was insane with all four men sacrificing their bodies to put on a hell of a damn show in the Chapter 50 main event.
The atmosphere was electric throughout, with the PROGRESS fans 100% behind the Best Boys. Brookes gets a lot of credit for #CCK’s success, but Kid Lykos was flying about all over the place and taking some incredible bumps. Seven and Bate in particular did everything in their power to help establish #CCK in the space of just this one match. The closing stretch of the last five minutes was utterly fantastic, with the finish especially being magical with Lykos getting an El Generico-esque top rope brainbustaaaahhhhh on Bate for the fall. The Electric Ballroom exploded! The Best Boys had finally proven that BSS could be beaten when it counted. ****1/4
By PROGRESS standards this wasn’t a totally blow away show, but it was still good. Dijak and Dunne was the highlight of the undercard but this show was all about the main event. #CCK are the hottest act in all of Europe right now and it was definitely the right time for BSS to show a chink in the armour heading into the biggest PROGRESS show of the year at Alexandria Palace.