Progress Chapter 81: Pour Some Progress On Me Review

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Results + Star Ratings:

  • Travis Banks defeats Ilja Dragunov @13:34 ****
  • Mark Haskins defeats Mark Andrews @10:01 ***1/4
  • Chris Ridgeway defeats Paul Robinson in a Chain Match @10:02 ***1/2
  • British Strong Style defeat Calamari Thatch Kings @24:07 ****3/4
  • Jordynne Grace defeats Toni Storm @10:03 ***1/2
  • Walter defeats Shigehiro Irie to retain the Progress World Title @13:43 ****
  • Aussie Open defeats LAX to retain the Progress Tag Team Titles @19:13 ****3/4

DtHjaEqXoA4mJDY-e1544139048362Travis Banks vs. Ilja Dragunov:

  • A match that has been long in waiting due to injuries and the feud being long and drawn out.
  • Stiff chops by Dragunov early on weaken Banks. 
  • Banks fires back with chops of his own, Travis is a great heel recently.
  • Chop/Senton combo by Ilja rocks Banks.
  • Innovative inverted rebound lariat by Dragunov sends Banks ringside, Ilja goes for a dive but Banks kicks out the leg of Dragunov. Banks sends Ilja into the ropes, Dragunov hit his throat against the ropes and smacked his back on the apron in a hard landing. Yikes.
  • Banks attacks Ilja ringside and throws him into chairs and striking him down. Travis is even wrestling like a great heel in the mannerisms of the way that he moves and keeps dominant. 
  • Banks hits forearms on Dragunov that fire him up as Dragunov sends chops the way of Banks but Travis drops him with a Vertical Suplex for a near fall. 
  • Banks wrenches in a headlock but Dragunov escapes by hitting an intense Saito Suplex. 
  • More chops by Dragunov into a huge rebound lariat that knocks Banks down for the first time in a while. Dragunov goes for a discus clothesline but Banks hits a German Suplex. Dragunov goes for a rebound lariat but hits the ropes hard again, Ilja decides to go for it again and succeeds in hitting the rebound lariat. 
  • Slingshot Double Stomp by Banks in the corner for a near fall. 
  • Great Low Suicide Dives by Banks take out Ilja ringside, Ilja comes back in and hits a suicide dive of his own. Dragunov sends Banks into a chair and hits a senton. Then Ilja hits a Saito suplex on the apron. 
  • Banks catches Ilja mid-air with a superkick and follows it up with a Kiwi Crusher for a great near fall. 
  • Strikefest begins as the two send vicious chops at each other. A double lariat rocks both down to their knees but they rise up together to continue to strike off. Banks ends the great strike sequence with a running Shinning Whizzer, Ilja stops the near fall by grabbing the hand of the ref which is really innovative.
  • Deadlift Death Valley Driver by Dragunov sends Banks into the corner. Dragunov hits a diving senton.
  • Banks distracts the referee then hits a low blow on Ilja and follows it up with a Disaster Kick for the win. 

Winner: Travis Banks @13:34!

Rating: ****, This was near a masterclass in British Wrestling. The speed and intensity were top notch making it an incredible opener. The crowd was hot for Dragunov which made it very exciting and Ilja sold the rope spot early on to perfection. This was very entertaining and Dragunov continues to show why he’s one of the best Professional Wrestlers in the world. The referee spot was trite and overdone but it protects Dragunov while allowing Banks to maintain his heat so, in the end, it was a smart choice. 

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Mark Haskins vs. Mark Andrews:

  • These 2 start the match looking very evenly matched doing some technical work.
  • Haskins takes Mandrews out with a Crossbody Suicide Dive to ringside.
  • Mark is dominating early on with constant strikes to keep Mandrews down. 
  • Crossface by Haskins is locked in, Haskins transitions into a Rings Of Saturn but Mandrews gets the ropes. 
  • Mandrews tries to strike back to get back in the match and succeeds by hitting an enzugiri that rocks Haskins. 
  • Great moonsault off the apron by Mandrews to Haskins off the floor. Mandrews hits a Tornado DDT back in-ring for the first near fall.
  • Roll through Double Stomp by Mandrews is dodges, Haskins attempts to roll into the Sharpshooter but can’t get it. Haskins rolls back through to hit the rolling Landslide for a near fall. 
  • Made in England attempt by Haskins gets caught with the Double Stomp but Mandrews misses a standing moonsault, Haskins locks in a Fujiwara armbar but Mandrews gets the ropes.
  • Haskins goes for Made in England but Mandrews turns it into a Stundog Millionaire, great counter.
  • Haskins rolls Mandrews into a brutal sharpshooter that taps him out. 

Winner: Mark Haskins @10:01!

Rating: ***1/4, This was a solid match that continues the downward spiral for Mandrews as Haskins continues to look strong. The match never kicked into top gear but had some good moments and kept a good pace. 

  • Do Not Resuscitate comes down to attack but Eddie Dennis saves Haskins and Mandrews but is still in conflict with Mark Andrews. 

Paul Robinson vs. Chris Ridgeway in a Chain Match:

  • A late addition to the card, which sucks because any card without a Paul Robinson match is instantly a better card. 
  • Ridgeway uses the chain to pull Robin towards him to hit a stiff buzzsaw kick.
  • Ridgeway uses the chain to lock Robin in a Bow and Arrow lock temporarily. 
  • Stiff stepover kick by Ridgeway sends Robin ringside but he can’t go anywhere because the chain wraps around the ropes.
  • Robin uses the chain from in-ring to pull Ridgeway into the ring apron.
  • Robin uses the chain to deliver a neckbreaker to Ridgeway.
  • Robin wraps the chain around his leg to kick Ridgeway but Chris shrugs it off. 
  • Robin tries to leave the ring but Ridgeway delivers a low blow with the chain. 
  • Deadlift German Suplex with the chain by Ridgeway for the first near fall.
  • Right hand with the chain by Robinson for a near fall. 
  • Curb-Stomp onto the chain by Robinson for another near fall. 
  • Roundhouse Kick/Snap German/AxeMurderer Kick by Ridgeway into an Ankle Lock with the chain that taps out Robinson.

Winner: Chris Ridgeway @10:02!

Rating: ***1/2, It’s hard to be creative with a chain match because the stipulation restricts major moves and huge spots but these guys used that to their advantage and delivered one of the best and most brutal chain matches I’ve seen which honestly still doesn’t say much, chain matches suck. It’s always great to see Robinson get beat up because the guy gets major heat. 

British Strong Style vs. CCK (Jonathan Gresham, Chris Brookes, Timothy Thatcher):

  • BSS’s entrance is one of my favorite moments in 2018 wrestling, these guys had so much fun and it’s been forever since they’ve tagged so it felt like a genuine reunion. 
  • The match is conducted under Lucha Tag Rules meaning there are no tags and everyone is legal. 
  • Pete Dunne and Jonathan Gresham start the match. Two of the best Technical Wrestlers in the world right now, in the same league as guys like Zack Sabre.
  • Pete Dunne helps Tyler Bate do a flying armdrag to Chris Brookes as the crowd chants Lucha.
  • A solid sequence between Tyler Bate and Chris Brookes ending in a near fall Victory Roll up by Bate. 
  • Tyler Bate tags in Trent Seven to go against Timothy Thatcher who is a scary, scary man. Thatcher is a possible challenger to Seven’s Atlas Title Belt. 
  • Seven chops Thatcher which is a big mistake. Seven is able to knock Thatch down with a shoulder block though. 
  • All 3 brawl in the ring as the match breaks down. Gresham hits an insane springboard huricanrana take over to Dunne. Seven hits a couple stiff chops on Thatcher but Thatcher kicks him in the stomach while he is draped on the top rope. 
  • Seven and Dunne swing Brookes into Bate who hits a deadlift German suplex on him for a near fall, great tandem spot. 
  • Bate lifts Seven up for a Back senton on Brookes for a near fall. 
  • The BSS members all have miscommunications and strike each other off the apron, Brookes hits a senton taking out Seven. Gresham comes in for a hot tag on Bate.
  • Big team sequence ensues, Thatcher hits a Belly to Belly suplex on all 3 members of BSS. Dunne breaks the fingers of Thatcher but Thatch locks in an ankle lock on Dunne, Seven hits a chop on Thatcher to break the hold but Thatcher gets mad as Seven and Thatch send hard strikes at each other. Ripcord Double Lariat by Thatcher and Seven knock both down.
  • BSS and CCK huddle up on opposite sides of the ring, Bate hits a Cannonball Suicide Dive that takes out CCK. Brookes hits a suicide dive on Seven, Dunne tries to plancha dive Thatcher but fails but Seven comes through to suicide dive on Thatcher. Gresham hits a suicide dive that takes everyone out. 
  • Tandem Sequence by CCK on Bate gets a great near fall. 
  • Figure Four by Seven on Gresham, Dunne kicks away the arm of Gresham that tries to escape. Thatcher takes Dunne out of the ring and Butterfly suplexes Bate into Seven to stop the hold. 
  • Gresham and Dunne strike off, Gresham misses a moonsault as Dunne grabs in a Triangle Lock. Brookes dives in with a double stomp to break the hold. 
  • Octopus Lock by Brookes on Seven, Octopus Lock by Gresham on Dunne, Sleeper Hold by Thatcher on Bate, Bate walks around with Thatcher on his back and punches off Brookes and hits an amazing German Suplex to Gresham with Thatcher still on his back. 
  • BSS swings Gresham into Dunne but Gresham hits a reverserana on Dunne which is a great counter. 
  • Brookes rolls Gresham into Bate to hit a cutter for a great near fall. 
  • Praying Mantis Bomb by Brookes on Bate for a near fall. 
  • Thatcher grabs in a sleeper hold on Bate, Seven saves Bate from tapping, Dunne kicks Thatcher off the hold. 
  • Twisting Piledriver by Seven on Brookes, followed by a Tyler Driver 97 and a Bitter End for an amazing near fall. 
  • Spiral Tap by Bate hits Brookes to close the match. 

Winner: British Strong Style @24:07!

Rating: ****3/4, I enjoyed this a lot more than LAX vs. CCK mostly because British Strong Style is 3 of my favorite wrestlers but regardless this was insanely fun, high impact, and the pace was incredible. Everybody in this match is at the top of their game and they took this match and made one of the best and most creative tag matches that has happened in 2018.

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Toni Storm vs. Jordynne Grace:

  • Slower paced start to the match.
  • Jordynne Grace catches Storm running with a Lateral Press that pushed Storm a couple feet back.
  • Bearhug by Grace locked in, Storm elbows her way out. 
  • Another bearhug by Grace is locked in, Grace transitions into a deadlift vertical suplex for the first near fall. 
  • Yet another Bearhug locked in for Grace as Jordynne begins to dominate a bit, Toni delivers a great counter out with a Spike DDT.
  • Bodyslam by Grace but Toni pops back up, Grace hits another one but Storm pops back up again. German Suplex by Storm followed by a headbutt for a near fall on Grace. 
  • Grace plants Storm on her neck with a Michinoku Driver for a near fall. 
  • Grace catches Storm mid-air with a sit-out powerbomb for a near fall. 
  • Deadlift German Suplex by Storm, great show of power. Storm hits the Strong Zero Piledriver but Grace rolls to the outside. Suicide Dive by Storm takes out Grace ringside. Back in-ring, Storm counters strikes by Grace by taking her out with a lariat. Last Falconry by Grace ends the match.

Winner: Jordynne Grace @10:03!

Rating: ***1/2, This is probably the best Progress Women’s match I’ve seen which sadly isn’t saying that much. Grace is majorly on the rise and Storm is one of the best Women’s wrestlers in the world. These two put on a good sprint style match with some big spots and clean work. 

DtmJmvtW0AECKAK-e1544139092542Walter(c) vs. Shigehiro Irie for the Progress World Championship:

  • Timothy Thatcher is back out to accompany Walter to the ring.
  • My first exposure to Shigehiro Irie who is a DDT wrestler.
  • Irie comes out of the gates how hitting Walter repeatedly with shoulder blocks but he can’t knock him down, Walter takes Irie down with a chop. 
  • Walter boots Irie off the apron from in between the ropes. Thudding chops by Walter hits Irie ringside. Saito suplex by Walter sends Irie into the apron.
  • Irie hits forearms that rattle Walter but Walter hits another intense chop to knock him down. 
  • Walter hits some scary clubs to the chest of Irie and follows it up with a sleeper hold but Irie gets the ropes fast. 
  • Irie tries to come back with more strikes but Irie gets flattened with another thudding chop. 
  • Irie hits an impressive cannonball to Walter in the corner but Walter catches him running with an even more impressive shotgun dropkick. 
  • Strikefest hits really hard to both men, Walter ends it with another thudding chop but Irie gets back up. Walter attempts a sleeper hold, Irie tries to suplex out but Walter shifts his weight and comes down directly on Irie for a near fall. 
  • Irie starts to string together successful strikes but Walter hits Irie with a Tombstone Piledriver for a great near fall. 
  • Walter shockingly heads up to the top but Irie meets him there, Irie hits an intense superplex that I’m shocked didn’t break the ring. Irie hits a cannonball to Walter in the corner for a solid near fall. 
  • Irie tries to suplex Walter but Walter fights out and hits yet another tough chop. Walter locks in a Sleeper Hold, Irie fights out and hits an impressive Saito Suplex on the bigger man. 
  • Irie climbs to the top and hits a Diving Splash for a near fall. 
  • German Suplex by Walter, Irie pops back up but is met with a stiff lariat for a good near fall.
  • Walter grabs in an STF and wrenches it in to tap out Irie. 

Winner: Walter Retains @13:43!

Rating: ****, This was a great hard-hitting and fast-paced big match wrestling showcase that is one of Walter’s strongest-looking defenses. Irie gets great exposure as he turns in an amazing performance in this match hanging with Walter which is an incredibly hard task to accomplish. I enjoyed this match a lot even though it lacked some of the drama that the near 5-star Walter title defenses have because the crowd was relatively unaware of who Shigehiro Irie was.

LAX (Santana and Ortiz) vs. Aussie Open(c) for the Progress Tag Team Championships:

  • LAX defeated CCK in an absolute banger on the last chapter to gain the opportunity to be in this match. 
  • Kyle Fletcher and Santana start the match.
  • Santana asks Fletcher to bring on the shoulder blocks after a bit of a sequence and Fletcher takes Santana down. 
  • Satana hits Fletcher with an uranage, Ortiz hits a Senton, Santana moonsaults off of Ortiz and hits Fletcher for a near fall.
  • Vertical Suplex attempt battle from Fletcher and Ortiz, Kyle shows some great strength getting Ortiz deadlifted up and succeeding the suplex.
  • Mark Davis delivers a hot tag on Ortiz. 
  • Amazing show of athleticism by the bigger Mark Davis hitting a flipping arm drag to Ortiz.
  • Arm Drag pinning combination by Ortiz on Davis for a near fall.
  • Ortiz pokes the eyes of Davis for some heel heat, Davis hits an intense high five to attack the hand of Ortiz. 
  • LAX isolate Fletcher in their corner. Fletcher hits a Michinoku Driver to Ortiz to open tags.
  • Hot tag by Mark Davis on LAX. Santana takes Davis down with a springboard crossbody.
  • Great Tope Con Hiro by Santana takes out Aussie Open, Ortiz meets Davis in-ring with a pinning combo for a near fall but Davis does a roll-up of his own for a near fall. 
  • LAX Tandem Sequence on Davis into a dead weight senton by Ortiz for a near fall. 
  • Diving Crossbody by Fletcher takes out both members of LAX.
  • Deadlift sit-out powerbomb by Fletcher on Ortiz for a near fall. 
  • Stereo suicide dives by LAX stopped by Aussie Open. Strike sequence takes all 4 out ringside, innovative spot. Both get up and continue to strikefest ringside until they realize they’ll be counted out then they continue to strikefest in-ring. Stereo lariats by Aussie Open end the awesome striking sequence.
  • Ortiz dumps Davis all the way to the floor, Tandem Sequence by LAX to Fletcher into a near fall save by Mark Davis. 
  • Alley Oop/Powerbomb combo by LAX to Fletcher. Santana uses Ortiz to springboard into Fletcher in the corner with a cannonball for a near fall. 
  • Incredible split-legged moonsault by Davis to the outside to LAX. Assisted Diving Cutter by Aussie Open to Santana into a great near fall save by Ortiz.
  • Fidget Spinner by Aussie Open to Santana, suicide dive by Davis takes out Ortiz but Santana still kicks out of the Fidget Spinner. 
  • Another Fidget Spinner that catches Santana mid-air closes the match. 

Winner: Aussie Open Retain @19:13!

Rating: ****3/4, Another amazing tag team main event for LAX with a constant amazing pace and innovative spots especially the outside to inside strikefest and the insane split legged moonsault by 250 Pound Plus Mark Davis. This was an incredible match that solidifies Aussie Open at the top of the division and LAX leaves Progress and goes back to Impact but hopefully, they will come back overseas because I still have no intention of watching Impact. Aussie Open was my #5 tag team of the year in 2018 and closing the year with a classic like this one it will be interesting to see if they move up on that list in 2019.

Grade: A

Last Word: While there isn’t a total standout match from this show unlike there have been in many other Progress Chapter, this is one of the most well-rounded shows of last year as there wasn’t a single bad match. The tag team matches were bangers, the Walter vs. Irie match was hard-hitting, Dragunov vs. Banks was a great opener, and Storm vs. Grace was great women’s division match. Progress looks to be back on track after some of the NXT UK news but Progress’s great shows like this may be limited so it will be interesting to see where 2019 takes the UK Wrestling Scene. 

 

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