PROGRESS Chapter 68: Super Strong Style 16, Day 1

PROGRESS Chapter 68: Super Strong Style 16, Day 1

From May 05, 2018

PROGRESS Chapter 68: Super Strong Style 16, Day 1
Jim Smallman Intro - There's people from all over the world and Wrestling is the greatest thing in the world. There's a new ring. Don't Be A Dick.

SSS16 First Round Match
"Bruiserweight" Pete Dunne vs Doug Williams - 7/10

Pete Dunne came out wearing a bear lucha libre mask, he looked like a villain from Tiger Mask W. This is in a way a weird match to start the whole weekend with since this was a 100% British wrestled match, a lot of submission work, beautifully executed, but it's not the type of match that takes the 'first match' hype and explodes in the crowd.

Story of the match is that Dunne is trying to prove that he isn't the kid that he was when he first fought Doug, and Doug himself needs to prove that he can still go and that no kid is gonna stop him. They worked each other's arms, except Dunne would sneak in a forearm here and there. Williams was coming close to winning, but after going for the Chaos Theory, Dunne rolled it over and won via pin. Match was great, but like I said, not the best placing in the card in my opinion.

SSS16 First Round Match
Chuck Mambo vs Zack Sabre Jr - 7.5/10

Sabre is coming in like a superstar after his latest endevours in NJPW, but a lot of people are trying to support who is probably the biggest underdog in the tournament. Match saw Sabre completely dominate Mambo until Mambo was pushed off the charts and got a mean streak out of him and got some offense on Sabre, but then Sabre managed to counter out of a Mexican Surfboard into a wristlock WHILE being held up. After that, Sabre's mean streak came out, he wasn't the happy go lucky Sabre from last year, this guy was here to win. Towards the end, Mambo did get a lot of offense in with big moves and some high fly spots, but Sabre never seemed in trouble, he just couldn't put Mambo down. At the end, Sabre locked in a sick looking Dragon Sleeper to submit Mambo. Best Mambo match I've seen, he got a standing ovation at the end.

It was really weird trying to get behind Sabre and appreciate his work when you know he's torturing someone like Chuck Mambo. I do hope that after this, we were to see a more focused, never give up, Mambo trying to change his career.

SSS16 First Round Match
David Starr vs TK Cooper - 7/10

Cooper, being the villain that he is, jumped Starr during the quite quite long introduction of Starr. They worked each other's heads and necks, and they went back and forward all match, a lot of striking by both men, a lot of high impact moves, and some high fly ones too. TK seemed more in control throughout the match just because Starr's selling was spot on. Finish came when Starr dropped Cooper with a Brainbuster into the knee it seemed. Good match. Starr was sold as a tournament favorite because of this history with 16Carat Gold and winning Best of the Best a few weeks back.

SSS16 First Round Match
Angelico vs Mark Andrews - 6/10

An even match, two guys with really similar style, just a big difference in height. Early in the match, Eddie Dennis came out to ring side, his arm seems better now. He sat down front row. Angelico was nice enough to not attack Andrews while he was distracted, but eventually did tell him to focus. The match was well wrestled and balanced between the two, but the Eddie Dennis spot did take out the excitement of the match for a while, we suddenly got the feeling that this was gonna be an angle and they would waste the Angelico match, and every time that the match got momentum, Andrews would again turn to Dennis and remind me that sooner or later, Dennis is gonna make his presence felt in a bigger way.

Match got pretty good towards the end, Angelico had been trying to hit the Crucifix Bomb into the Turnbuckle for a while, and couldn't. At the end, Andrews manages to drop Angelico with a Slumdog Millionaire, and as he is going to the top rope, Dennis just stood up from his chair looking at his phone, this distracted Andrews enough for Angelico to dodge the Shooting Star Press, land the Crucifix Bomb and pin Andrews to advance.

Post-match - Dennis is talking to Andrews while Andrews is on the apron. Andrews FINALLY looks pissed at Dennis, almost a year later, yet he still didn't do shit. Could we PLEASE advance this feud!?

Freedom's Road Season 2 Trailer - Looks great, but it looks like it's turning a weird turn, like Lucha Underground weird turn.

SSS16 First Round Match
Jordan Devlin vs Tyler Bate - 8.5/10

He barely made it through the curtain and he already got some 'Massive Head' chants. He really has a huge massive head. This match was great from the start, Devlin worked over Bate's arm a lot, meanwhile, Bate just kinda worked with all his greatest hits. This had a Japanese feel to it. Finish saw Bate take out Devlin with the Tyler Driver '97. Bate SHOULD be coming out tomorrow with an injured arm.

SSS16 First Round Match
"Bad Boy" Joey Janela vs Zack Gibson w/James Drake - Dud!

Janela's entrance with PROGRESS production looked amazing. As of the entrances, we still didn't know which Grizzled Young Veteran would be fighting tonight. Gibson cut his usual promo filled with booes, but among all of it, he said some truth saying that PROGRESS went out to find a spot for people like Ohno or Janela, but they, the tag team champions, had to share one spot. Janela attacked both before Gibson could confirm who it was, but since the bell never rang, they both worked Janela outside the ring for a bit, but Joey made a comeback and once again, took them both out.

When Janela had them both under peril, Gibson said that they hadn't said who it would be, and the distraction allowed Drake to take out Janela. The ref tried to get things under control, but they kept this loophole that they hadn't announced, but when the ref was about done, Drake finally said that it was Gibson who signed the contract, the ref rang the bell, and Gibson rolled Janela for the win. Fuck the booking of this match, not only did a geek like Janela get the upper hand over BOTH tag team champions, but he didn't even win. If they were gonna do something like this, may as well do it with someone like Brookes or Keith Lee, that we know they're top level and could credibly take it to both champs, but at the same time lose credibly to the shenanigans of GYVs.

SSS16 First Round Match
"Limitless" Keith Lee vs Flash Morgan Webster w/Vicky Haskins - 7.5/10

Flash jumped Keith Lee before the match started, he hit a bunch of dives so that when the match officially started, Lee was already somewhat dazed and hurt. Webster kept that little upper hand for a bit, but sooner or later, Lee was gonna get his footing back and kill Webster, at which point, Vicky had to help Webster with this as little as putting him back in the ring when he was about to be counted out.

Lee kept his dominance over the rest of the match with Webster having some hope spots here and there, but Lee still couldn't put him down, not even with a Spirit Bomb. But the same was going on to Webster, when he hit about 3 or 4 knees to the head and 2 Shadows over Malice, and Lee still kicked out. At this point, Vicky distracted the ref so that Webster could hit Lee with the helmet, but he hesitated, allowing Lee to grab him and drop him Fireman's Carry Slam for the win. Vicky Haskins was pissed off her shows at Webster being a weak human with no drive to win.

SSS16 First Round Match
Kassius Ohno vs Chris Brookes - 8/10

Fuck yeah, that fucking wolf Lykos is not out here. Ohno came out to his shitty NXT song, I miss the old Hero theme, I dislike the new one so much that it actually got me cheering for Brookes.

Match started with both men sizing each other up with locks and submissions, Ohno as usual went for the Cravate and Brookes worked the arm, and he actually had the upper hand, and this pushed Ohno into striking mode. Brookes tried to go toe-to-toe with Ohno's striking game, but they don't call him the Knockout Artist for nothing, so Ohno started working over Brookes for a while. Brookes made a comeback and at least get the match to go back and forward. They hit each other with tons of big spots, but neither man could put the other out, but it was definitely Brookes the one that was working uphill. Finish came when Ohno hit a Leaping Death By Elbow for the pin.

I see no reason why they would put over a dude doing a one nighter over a guy that for the last 20 chapters has been a HUGE fan favorite. Oh yeah, WWE. It's pretty low hindsight not seeing that Brookes has a brighter future in PROGRESS than having Ohno win, that the real money is not in Ohno pinning Brookes, it's if anything, in WALTER beating the shit out of Ohno. It's funny that PROGRESS still pretends to be the punk promotion of wrestling.

Post-match - Ohno cut a promo putting himself over and his friends from WWE. He pretended that Brookes kicks hard trying to put him over, but he just comes off as a dick.


Other than a match or two, this was slightly underwhelming, at least compared to 2017. When your breakout performances come out of guys like Chuck Mambo not giving up or Jordan Devlin that is already awesome, then you know something was off. I really disliked the booking of this show top to bottom, this was in a way, the typical indie that is willing to let people run over their own talent like Janela pretty much beating both Tag Team Champions. Your top contender is arguably just Sabre, and his first match he is torturing an underdog. Webster keeps losing to another WWE signed person, and for god's sake, can we please get on with the Andrews vs Dennis program? That shit has been going on since the last time they were in Alexandra Palace!

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