Starting April 18, PROGRESS doing an Australian tour and some of PROGRESS’ best (Travis Banks, Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, Jimmy Havoc and Toni Storm) will challenge some of Australia’s best.
The events are huge for the Australian scene to showcase its level of talent, as well as PROGRESS to make its own impact in Australia.
First up, I will look at EPW x PROGRESS, followed by MCW x PROGRESS, MCW Ballroom Brawl and, last but not least, PWA x PROGRESS.
April 18, 2018
Gavin McGavin vs David Nero vs Tyler Jacobs vs Johnny Wimbledon
Despite being voted as EPW’s Best Wrestler of 2017 from fan polls, McGavin had found himself without a marquee PROGRESS match. This was due to his arrogant behaviour and notorious reputation for cheating. This, of course, was frowned upon by management and resulted in nobody wanting to work with him. McGavin would then send e-mails to the EPW roster for an open challenge at the event.
Eventually, his challenge would be answered by resident Englishman Johnny Wimbledon, EPW original Tyler Jacobs—who has recently got a preacher gimmick—and dynamic rising star David Nero. This should be a little contest that won’t overstay its welcome. The technically proficient McGavin is probably going to win this and looks set for bigger things in EPW.
EPW Coastal Championship – Scotty Ryan vs Jay Taylor
Scotty Ryan was one of the most improved wrestlers in EPW during 2017 and his stock rose from his matches with Gavin McGavin, which was capped off by winning the Coastal Championship (EPW’s secondary title) against longtime holder McGavin in a great Steel Cage match.
The very sleazy Jay Taylor won a number one contenders match in an opportunist manner by stealing a pin in a multi-man match. I’m not expecting anything that will set the world on fire, but it should be a solid context between two solid hands.
PROGRESS Women’s Championship – Toni Storm vs Allyson Cruz
Allyson Cruz is the most underrated female wrestler in Australia and she is one half of the EPW tag team champions with Hayden Zenith. Cruz is the only female on the EPW roster and doesn’t look out of place with the men. Think Candice LeRae — a great comparison not only with the way she looks but also how she wrestles.
Cruz and Storm could be a sleeper match on this show and it’s good to see Cruz getting this match considering how weak the women’s scene is in Perth.
Moustache Mountain (Tyler Bate and Trent Seven) vs The Untouchables (Damian Slater and Marcius Pitt)
Damian Slater, Chris Vice and Marcius Pitt had a reinvigorating heel turn during 2017 and they would become the stable known as The Untouchables. Slater became a cocky and confident heel with a shit-eating grin. Pitt became more deranged and unhinged with a crazed look in his eyes. Recently, The Untouchables had arguably two of the best matches in EPW history against the Street Gang Hooligans. Also, they were a part of the NJPW Australia tour as members of TMDK and got in the ring with the Bullet Club.
Moustache Mountain is The Untouchables’ biggest test to date as they want to cement themselves as a world-class tag team with Slater’s in-ring savvy and Pitt’s explosive power.
Travis Banks and Julian Ward and Street Gang Hooligans (Logan Grey and Alex Kingston)
The makeshift team of Banks and Ward are going against the well-oiled unit called the Street Gang Hooligans, who might be the best tag team in Australia. Grey and Kingston are known for their quick offence and ariel assault. Grey is a prodigious talent with less than three years of wrestling since debuting and has already been an EPW heavyweight champion. Kingston is the more experienced worker and is very crisp in the ring. Ward is the wildcard in this match as he is a future star in the Australian scene, but is still finding himself.
This is a good opportunity for him to step up to another level and having a tag team specialist in Travis Banks does help.
EPW Heavyweight Championship – No DQ – Jimmy Havoc vs Michael Morelone
For most of his career, Michael ‘The Don’ Morelone was a perennial midcarder. That changed in 2017 when he won the EPW Championship after an emotional feud with Davis Storm.
Morelone and his stable mates from Generation Zero (Scotty Ryan, Hayden Zeith and Allyson Cruz) hold all the championships in EPW. This No DQ match with Jimmy Havoc will be his first defense of the title. Everyone knows Jimmy Havoc as a hardcore wrestler, but Morelone is no stranger to plunder matches as he won the title in a street fight. The Don is known to be a bruiser and can bring the fight to Havoc.
Pete Dunne vs Davis Storm
The WWE UK champion vs. one of the most respected and influential men in modern Australian wrestling.
Davis Storm has been wrestling in EPW since it began in 2001 and is a seven-time EPW heavyweight champion. Storm was the top heel for EPW in the last couple of years and was much like what Jimmy Havoc was to PROGRESS in his heel run. Both were major focus points and had a bitter backstory where they both felt under-appreciated and disrespected. Plus, they both had a gothic vibe. Storm has turned back into a babyface and won a battle royal to face Pete Dunne. Storm’s biggest strength is his psychology and character work, which should make for an intriguing contest with Dunne.