PROGRESS Chapter 96: True Friends Stab You in the Front
By Big Red Machine
From October 13, 2019
EDDIE DENNIS PROMO - Bad. He explains to us that he and Mark Andrews hatched their evil plan at Super Strong-Style 16 to trick the fans into thinking he was leaving PROGRESS, just to surprise everyone when he would come out at the previous show and cash in his title shot. I’m not really sure what they gained by doing this. He buried the crowd a bunch, but the problem is that the crowd is already half cheering for him. F*cking stupid indy fans. Even when he is pointing out to them how easily he has played them, they all start playing into it and laughing rather than getting angry and booing. How did we come to this?
THE YOUNG GUNS (Ethan Allen & Luke Jacobs) vs. PRETTY DEADLY (Lewis Howley & Sam Stoker) - 7/10
An action-packed opener between two up-and-coming teams is a perfect way to start off the “new beginning” show after your biggest show of the year.
KNOCKOUTS OR SUBMISSIONS ONLY MATCH FOR THE PROGRESS PROTEUS TITLE:
Paul Robinson(c) vs. Travis Banks - 7/10
This was another great match, with an EXCELLENT choice of story for the first Proteus Title match. Said story was that Robinson- the man who got to choose the stipulations- had clearly put a lot more thought into the technicalities and ins and outs of what the stipulations really meant than Banks did, so while Banks was just wrestling a regular match and hoping his moves would knock Robinson out instead of putting him down long enough to pin him, Robinson was being wily and taking advantage of the no DQs parts of the rules. Banks had to learn to adapt to this and definitely started to do so, but was eventually put down with a VICIOUS finish of stomps to the head on the exposed wooden boards underneath the canvass.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Good. T.K. Cooper comes out to help Banks up, but then turns on him by headbutting him back down.
TONI STORM vs. DANI LUNA - 7.5/10
They not only showed that Dani Luna can hang with Toni Storm but went all the way and actually gave her the big upset win in a way that didn’t feel like it was just a cheap roll-up because they had her go even with Toni first rather than getting her butt kicked the whole time.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT #1 - Great! Toni Storm gave Dani Luna her full-throated endorsement, including telling Dani Luna that she wants her to be the one to take the PROGRESS Women’s Title from Meiko Satomura.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT #2 - Didn’t like it. After Dani Luna leaves, the lights go out… and when they go back on Jinny is in the ring, cosplaying as Jimmy Havoc. They had a big stare-down, and then Toni just left. That was kind of anti-climactic. They couldn’t come up with a better way for Jinny to return?
T.K. COOPER vs. ROY JOHNSON - 6.5/10
This was a solid win for Cooper, although it definitely dragged on a bit.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Fine. Cooper kept the beat-down going after the bell. Travis Banks ran out to make the save, and Cooper ran away.
Robinson tried to reach the belts by standing on Ospreay’s shoulders but Davis launched a chair at him from a great distance away, knocking him down. That was awesome.
ILJA DRAGUNOV vs. CARA NOIR - 7/10
These two definitely have some good chemistry together, so hearing that this is the first match in a trilogy makes me quite happy.
PROGRESS TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Jordan Devlin & Scotty Davis(c) vs. Grizzled Young Veterans - 8/10
They did a wonderful job telling the story of the isolated babyface, but doing so by focusing on the heels taking the other babyface off of the apron more than the usual double-teaming tactics, so it felt fresh. Then they took that story to the extreme in the end when Devlin was forced to fight by himself after Davis was hit with an Indytaker on the floor. That spot also convinced a good chunk of the crowd that we might just see the belts change hands right back to GYV again, which got people a lot more into the match than they previously were when it felt like a “just get the return match out of the way” throwaway title defense.
This was a very good show from PROGRESS, setting the stage for the next group of stories after the big blow-off show that was the previous chapter. Definitely a must-watch for anyone trying to follow PROGRESS.