NXT Takeover UK Blackpool 2019 Review

dsydqtsw0auzzjc-696x494-e1546892521155

Results + Star Ratings:

  • Grizzled Young Veterans defeat Mustache Mountain to become the First NXT UK Tag Team Champions @23:47 ****3/4
  • Finn Balor defeats Jordan Devlin @11:24 ***3/4
  • Dave Mastiff defeats Eddie Dennis in a No DQ Match @10:49 ****1/4
  • Toni Storm defeats Rhea Ripley to win the NXT UK Women’s Title @14:49 ***1/4

 

20190109_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_moustachemtn_zachjames-d49ff78df5b843efc538cd15cbe6f70a-e1547076591879
Moustache Mountian vs. Grizzled Young Vets to Crown the First NXT UK Tag Team Champions:

  • Moustache Mountian waring tribute attire to the British Bulldogs. 
  • Really beautiful belts are unveiled. 
  • Tyler Bate and Zack Gibson start the match. 
  • “Shoes off if you hate Gibson” chants happens and delivers another reason why the UK crowd is the best regardless of in Progress or here. 
  • Great chain wrestling from Tyler Bate and Zack Gibson, Gibson tags in Drake but Bate escapes isolation. 
  • Trent Seven tags in and him and James Drake standoff.
  • Tyler Bate flips over Seven to senton onto Drake, Bate gains some momentum but Gibson pulls Drake to ringside to half the momentum. 
  • High Cross Body by Seven gets a pop because of the history of that move in Progress retiring Doug Williams, hits on Gibson for the first near fall.
  • Great low suicide dive by Seven takes out Drake ringside. Trent seems to have tweaked his elbow, Seven chases Drake but Gibson catches him with a lariat knocking Seven down.
  • Grizzled Young Vets isolate Seven and hit him with a diving sidewalk elbow ringside, Gibson rolls Seven back in and continues to isolate Seven with Drake. Drake caught Seven with a stiff discus elbow that busts him open hard way. Tyler Bate begins to look worried on the apron. Draka and Seven strikefest ringside and Seven tries to go for the tag to Bate again but Drake pulls him in with a heel hook. Seven flies over Gibson to tag in Bate. 
  • Amazing hot tag by Tyler Bate with the crowd excited as hell. 
  • Airplane Spin by Bate to Drake into an insane double airplane spin with Drake and Gibson on his shoulders. The crowd keeps the amazing intensity. 
  • Exploder Suplex by Bate off the apron to Drake sending him into Gibson ringside, Bate hits a Standing Shooting Star off the apron to the Vets and pulls in Gibson to attempt the Tyler Driver 97 but fails. 
  • Running Powerslam/Flying Headbutt combo by MM pays homage to the British Bulldogs for a great near fall. 
  • Bate dives out to Drake ringside, Seven hits a Buring Hammer to Gibson for a great near fall save by Drake. 
  • RollUp Batte between Bate and Drake gets a really near fall on Tyler. 
  • Gibson catches Tyler Bate off the rebound lariat with a Ticket to Ride codebreaker, Helter Skelter/450 Splash combo for the Vets hits and they get a great near fall with an insane crowd pop. 
  • Shankly Gates by Gibson locked in on Seven and the tweaked elbow, Drake stops Bate from getting to the save by locking in a Shankly Gates of his own on Tyler. Bate deadlifts up Drake and Death Valley Drivers him into Gibson to end the great double submission sequence. 
  • Rebound Lariat/German Suplex combo by MM on Drake for a crazy good near fall.
  • “Fight Forever” Chants. 
  • Doomsday Suicide Dive by GYV is one of the best dive spots I’ve ever seen. Trent Seven goes for a suicide dive but Drake catches him with a dropkick. 
  • Ticket to Mayhem in-ring by GYV to Seven closes the match. 

Winners: Grizzled Young Veterans First Champions @23:47!

Rating: ****3/4, Peak Tag Team work from some of the best in the game right now. The match built around a great layout on the isolation of Seven building the match up until the insane hot tag by Bate which unglued the match as it diverged into chaos. Mustache Mountain did some of their normal spots but Bate included an insane double airplane spin and the heel work of GYV was amazing. Nothing was better than the Doomsday Suicide Dive from GYV in this match either as that’s probably my favorite spot of the year so far. 

20190109_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_travisjordon-4e2573744a15ac27a6dbaa2821635e3f-e1547076514126

Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin:

  • A video was shown of a brawl earlier today in which Banks injured his knee. Devlin and Banks brawl before their match and Devlin brutally works Travis’ knee.
  • Jordan Devlin grabs a microphone and cuts a heel promo and calls himself the Greatest Irish Wrestler Alive. You know who is coming out right now. 

Jordan Devlin vs. Finn Balor:

  • Insane pop for Finn Balor like the pop of the year material type. 
  • The tension is in the air big time between the mentor and mentee showdown.
  • Devlin tries to leave but Balor brings him back and hits a running forearm ringside. 
  • Devlin kicks the ropes to low blow Balor to knock him off the apron.
  • Double Stomp by Devlin gets boos as he makes fun of Balor and does his signature taunt.
  • Dropkick by Devlin catches Balor on the top rope and Finn takes a rough tumble hitting the apron going to the outside, Balor gets back in at 9. 
  •  Stiff chops by Balor but Devlin fires back with some of his own, Devlin catches Balor with an uranage/standing moonsault combo for the first near fall. 
  • Strike sequence begins and a Pele Kick from Balor puts both down. 
  • Bloody Sunday Driver by Finn Balor for a near fall. 
  • Devlin catches Balor running with a superkick and follows it up with tight Saito Suplex for a near fall. 
  • Devlin keeps Balor down with kicks as he talks trash to Finn and the audience, great heel work. Balor gets him down and turns up the aggression with stomps in the corner. 
  • Running Penalty Kick off the apron by Balor follows by a Coup D’Grace attempt, Devlin runs into the top rope to take him down and rolls him up with his feet on the ropes for a great near fall. 
  • Diving Moonsault by Devlin but Balor gets his knees up. 
  • Balor hits a shotgun dropkick and follows it up with a successful Coup D’Grace for the win. 

Winner: Finn Balor @11:42!

Rating: ***3/4, A really good hard-hitting and high-flying encounter from two wrestlers with very similar looks and styles but the main thing separating them was Devlin’s great heel work selling the dynamic of being the disgraced mentee and Finn Balor being a great bold babyface who got insane crowd support. The match ran at a solid pace and momentarily kicked into top gear with some solid near falls and big moves but the star of the show was how big the match felt. Jordan Devlin really deserves to be the flagship of NXT UK however I feel like he will always be in the shadow of Balor which made me disappointed that he caught the loss in clean fashion in this match. 

20181231_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_mastiffdennis-0a4aa3c18ce6ddb119627544b75559d0-e1547076531779Dave Mastiff vs. Eddie Dennis No DQ:

  • Strikefest out of the gates between the two big guys, Mastiff catches Dennis with a high crossbody. 
  • Mastiff grabs steel steps and brings them in-ring, Dennis rolls ringside and grabs a kendo stick and hits Mastiff twice. 
  • Dennis removes the ringside padding but goes back in-ring to continue clobbering Mastiff with the kendo. 
  • Mastiff catches the kendo stick and turns the tables and hits Dennis with some hard strikes with the kendo, powerbomb by Mastiff takes down Dennis.
  • Dennis catches Mastiff running and shows incredible strength lifting up Dennis and swinging him uranage-style into the steel steps, great spot. 
  • Dennis grabs a steel chair but misses the shot, Mastiff hits him with a rolling slam. Mastiff climbs to the middle rope but Dennis deadlifts him into the Crucifix Bomb and hits it for another great show of strength for a good near fall.
  • Eddie brings in a table while the crowd comes unglued for the table but Dennis can’t do anything with it.
  • Rolling Slam/Running Senton by Mastiff to Dennis on the exposed floor from earlier 
  • Insane split legged moonsault attempt for Mastiff misses. Neck Stop Driver by Dennis hits and gets an incredibly close near fall. 
  • Dennis gets Mastiff on the middle rope and goes for the Crucifix Bomb through the table in the corner but Mastiff rolls off. They club each other with lariats but Dave catches Eddie with a German Suplex.
  • Insane running cannonball by Mastiff sends Dennis through the table and closes the match. 

Winner: Dave Mastiff @10:49!

Rating: ****1/4, These two big dudes just hit each other really hard for 10 minutes. Dennis showed some incredible strength and Mastiff worked the hardcore style really well. This was a smartly worked match with some great spots like the combo onto the exposed floor by Mastiff and the Swinging Uranage by Dennis onto the steps. Big dudes clobbering the hell out of each other on a good pace is always good but throw in two guys who match their size with athleticism and some weapons for some good measure it makes a more than worthwhile 10 minutes.

20181221_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_rilpeystorm-1fd73827cda6292deac9d66406871ccd-e1547076548241

Rhea Ripley(c) vs. Toni Storm for the NXT UK Women’s Title:

  • Toni Storm’s first big match back since her photo scandal. It is great to see her shrug it off and step back into the spotlight unphased. 
  • Storm chases Ripley around the ring but eventually catches her with a suicide dive.
  • Ripley begins to dominate and keeps Storm down with stomps in the corner. Ripley gets Storm back in the middle of the ring and keeps her down with a body scissors hold, Storm hits Ripley with forearms to escape but Ripley slams Storm with a stalling Vertical Suplex for the first near fall. 2 Bodyslams by Ripley for another near fall. Ripley has been dominate for 3 minutes now but Ripley goes for the Cloverleaf and Storm kicks her off into the post. 
  • Ripley takes Storm down with a dropkick for a near fall and gets back to dominating. 2 Leg Drops consecutively by Ripley for another near fall. Headbutt by Storm catches Ripley running and both are laid out. 
  • Strikefest gets fast as both send strikes at 100 MPH but it slows down then speeds up again, German Suplex by Storm but she holds on and hits the 2nd one then holds on again but Ripley fights out of a 3rd. Storm goes for Storm Zero but fails, Ripley goes for RipTide but Storm shifts her weight to come down on Rhea for a near fall. 
  • Inverted Cloverleaf by Ripley applied on the weakened lower back on Storm, Toni fights out and applies an Ankle Lock but Ripley gets to the ropes.
  • Cannonball in the corner followed by a 3rd German Suplex into a Bridge by Storm for a near fall. 
  • Storm looks desperate as she starts to strike at Ripley but Rhea slams her down and follows it up with a RipTide for a very close near fall. 
  • Arm Control Lariats by Ripley 2 hit but Storm counters it with a headbutt and hits Storm Zero successfully for a great near fall.
  • RipTide fails as Storm flies over and hits Storm Zero to close the match. 

Winner: Toni Storm New Champion @14:49!

Rating: ***1/4, While much of the match was slow and Ripley was dominating there was a very good story in Storm beating the odds and becoming champion. Storm looked amazing for her first match back from her troubles and Ripley played a great dominant heel but Storm kept fighting with some great near falls and the speed gradually increasing over time. The match was played out really well but lacked some of the drama it could’ve had and the crowd seemed the least invested for this match of any tonight but that still means the crowd played a big role because this crowd is amazing. 

20181231_nxttakeoveruk_blackpool_dunnejoecoffey-d8905660e4915f6374f9f28656df272a-e1547076611615

Pete Dunne (c) vs. Joe Coffey for the NXT UK Championship:

  • In my opinion, this is Dunne’s first formidable challenger in the 600 days he has held the title. He’s kind of been a flagship champion in a company that didn’t exist for a while so now that the company exists he actually has to act like a champion. 
  • Staredown as soon as the bell rings and they start the collar and elbow tie up with aggression. 
  • Coffey absorbs a forearm strike from Dunne and they go back to the stand-off, Dunne gets Coffey down and wrenches on the fingers. Very solid technical start to the match. Dunne gets in an inverted Figure 4, Coffey escapes by grabbing in a headlock and bringing Dunne to his feet. Coffey catches Dunne running and brings him back to the mat to trade submissions. Discus Lariat by Coffey sends a warning shot to Dunne but clearly misses.
  • Dunne lays out Coffey with a side lariat and gets in the Regal Stretch on Coffey but Joe grabs the ropes. 
  • Coffey pops up Dunne but Pete comes back down and tries to get in the Bodyscissors Kimura, Coffey gets Dunne into a stalling vertical suplex but Pete rolls back into the Bodyscissors Kimura, Float Over suplex by Coffey gets Dunne off finally.
  • Coffey throws Dunne to ringside and he clips his head on the apron on the way out. Dunne flips off the steps over Coffey and hits an enzugiri ringside. Pop-up Bodyslam by Coffey slams Dunne onto the ramp. Joe lets the ref count Dunne out but Pete fights to get back in. 
  • Backbreaker/Sidewalk slam combo by Coffey for the first near fall.
  • Coffey begins to dominate and locks in a bearhug but Dunne fights out and regains the match. 
  • Belly to Belly suplex by Coffey for a near fall. 
  • Great forearm by Dunne knocks Coffey into the corner, Dunne flips off the top rope over Coffey and hits an enzugiri. German Suplex by Coffey but Dunne flips off that too and hits a snap kick to a kneeling Coffey. Amazing moonsault off the corner to the outside by Dunne takes out Coffey with precision. 
  • Stiff elbow by Coffey catches Dunne back in-ring but Dunne reverses into an Explex for a near fall and both are laid out. 
  • Dunne flips over Coffey off the top rope again but Coffey fires back with a diving crossbody, Coffey hits a powerbomb for a near fall. Dunne is starting to sell a back injury. 
  • Piledriver Bend hold by Coffey which is really innovative but he transfers it into a Boston Crab wrenching the hurt back of Dunne, Joe steps on Pete’s head and he looks to be knocked out but Coffey still has the hold in Dunne wakes back up to grab the bottom rope.
  • Dunne wrenches the fingers of Coffey but he holds on as the two tradeoff headbutts until both get knocked down great strike sequence. 
  • German Suplex by Dunne but Coffey gets back up immediately, Pete catches him with a Koji Clutch, Coffey deadlifts Dunne up for a Tombstone attempt but Pete rolls through and locks in an Ankle Lock, Coffey gets back up and drops Dunne with a German Suplex. 
  • Coffey flies at Dunne for a spear but Pete knocks him with a knee strike. Diving Crossbody attempt by Coffey caught mid-air with a forearm strike. Bitter End by Pete Dunne hits for a great near fall.
  • Coffey sends Dunne into the post on the apron and hits a Powerbomb on the apron with Coffey driving himself into the apron too, crazy spot. Both get in at the ring count of like 9 3/4.
  • Coffey sends strikes to a downed Dunne but Pete grabs his arms and strikes on his head from the ground then gets him down and continues to stomp away as the crowd becomes unglued again. Pop-up uppercut by Coffey, enzugiri by Dunne, and Coffey finally hits the Discus Lariat for an amazing near fall and both stay down as the crowd gives a standing ovation. 
  • Another Discus Lariat from Coffey is caught by Dunne as he pulls him to the ground and tries to work the fingers but Dunne gets in a triangle, Coffey pulls Dunne up and to the top rope. Dunne keeps in the triangle on the top rope but Coffey lifts him up and super swinging powerbombs him. Amazing innovative spot. 
  • Both stare down from opposite corners as the crowd erupts and they strike off in the middle of the ring, they strike each other into the ropes until they’re exhausted. 
  • Pop-up German Suplex off the corner by Coffey for a great near fall. 
  • Coffey keeps striking at a downed Dunne, Coffey went for the Bitter End but Dunne reverses with a DDT. Dunne hits a Bitter End but can’t immediately capitalize as Coffey rolls away from the one-arm pin. 
  • Discus Lariat by Coffey from the apron to Dunne in-ring. They climb to the top rope but Dunne pushes Coffey to the outside. Coffey gets back up though and hits a Discus Lariat ringside. Bitter End uranage in-ring by Coffey for another great near fall. 
  • Coffey climbs to the top rope again and they pull each other both to the outside into the barricade.
  • Ducking Discus Lariat by Dunne hits and he follows it up with another Bitter End for an amazing near fall.
  • Dunne taps out Coffey with the finger wrench to end the incredible match.

Winner: Pete Dunne New Champion @34:12!

Rating: *****, Yeah okay this wasn’t a perfect match. The botch towards the end is not as close to as bad as people are saying it is. Coffey falling off the top rope is absolutely no big deal and it looked like Dunne pushed him and they shrugged it off and continued the incredible incredible match. There’s so much to talk about, this was an all-around amazing technical, striking, and high-flying match with too many amazing spots to talk about. The crowd was incredible here too adding so much intensity and urgency to the breakneck speed these guys were going. The near falls were absolutely bloody incredible and both sold the match as it was a life or death scenario. I like this better than Dunne vs. Bate from Takeover Chicago, and all Progress matches other than Walter vs. Tyler Bate that I’ve seen so far. Also, might be a bit of a stretch but I also like this better than Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi. This was a more entertaining and electrifying match than the Wrestle Kingdom main event even though that meant much more to the wrestling landscape in 2019. Incredible work and sets the tone for NXT UK to run wrestling in 2019. Progress, the ball is in your court. 

Show Grade: A-

Last Word: As an idea, I don’t love NXT UK as a promotion. WWE doesn’t need to create more content as they are right now with the Main Roster and 205 Live and NXT US they are stretching themselves too thin. Also, NXT UK kills a promotion I love in Progress, WWE takes their main wrestlers like Walter and British Strong Style and forces Progress to almost die in silence unless they can find a new wave of talent that can have banger matches and not want WWE money just yet. However, the wrestling fan in me is willing to forgive sin if it is to be for a good wrestling future. This show made me forgive NXT UK for what they have done to the UK scene and WWE itself. Starting off, the show had one of the tightest cards I’ve seen in a while with every match delivering quality which is what we’ve come to expect from a Triple H produced show. Coffey vs. Dunne is my MOTY so far, GYV vs. Mustache Mountain is one of the peak tag matches I’ve ever seen, and the rest of the card delivered fun moments like Balor’s appearance, Dennis vs. Mastiff, and Storm winning the title coming back from adversity. Truly, an incredible show for the risks it took, however, it doesn’t rank in the top Takeovers from 2018 which is just a testament to how good NXT US is. Hopefully, NXT UK doesn’t stretch NXT US too thin and suicide both companies. 

 

Progress Chapter 81: Pour Some Progress On Me Review

DthjXYjW0AgyHX8-e1544138993293

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. 

Dtw4MTSXQAAu-bZ-e1544139068103

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.

DthJEkvX4AA9PXx-e1544138962417

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. 

 

Progress Chapter 75: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends Review

screen-shot-2018-08-24-at-11-10-47-am

Chapter 75 Results:

  • Grizzled Young Veterans defeat Mills and Mayhew in the Thunderbastard Tag Series ***1/4
  • Millie Mackenzie defeats Chakara, Charlie Morgan, Candyfloss and Laura DiMatteo to earn a shot at the Women’s Title against Jinny at Wembley *1/2
  • Chris Brooks and Timothy Thatcher defeat Aussie Open in the Thunderbastard Tag Series ****1/4
  • Walter and Doug Williams defeat Trent Seven and Pete Dunne N/A
  • Tyler Bate defeats Mark Haskins in a 3 and In match to earn a shot at Progress Title against Walter at Wembley ****3/4
  • Will Ospreay defeats Jimmy Havoc in a NO DQ 2 out of 3 Falls Match with Paul Robinson as the Special Guest Referee *****

 

dlep0yzwsaeuhct-e1535123577851

Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake and Zack Gibson) vs. Mills and Mayhew Thunderbastard Tag Series:

This was a very solid tag opener, Gibson and Drake are both established wrestlers having highlights in the WWE UK Tournament. Mills and Mayhew looked like local jobbers but honestly surprised me with talent in this match. Mills and Mayhew worked off of tension between Drake and Gibson leading to some solid spots like having M and M throw Gibson to the outside to dive on Drake. There were enough near falls to get the crowd heated up and it didn’t go too long but was fun while it lasted. ***1/4

  • Millie Mackenzie wins a sloppy 4-way to become #1 Contender *1/2

dlehawzxoaauw67-e15351235986491

Chris Brooks and Timothy Thatcher vs Aussie Open:

Another match in the Thunderbastard Tag Series and this match was awesome. It somehow successfully fused a comedy match and a hard-hitting technical encounter. Brooks and Thatcher were a makeshift team for Thunderbastard leading to some great comedy spots based on their difference in style and Brooks just trying to fit in with Thatcher. Mark Davis of Aussie Open really impressed me in this match. He’s a big guy but did some awesome hot tag work and worked great with Thatcher. At a point in the match, Davis and Thatcher just decide to strike the hell out of each other and they both grabbed their opponents into a Double Submission spot then continued to strike off, Davis hits a KO Punch knocking Thatcher down for a near fall, Frog Splash by Fletcher of Aussie Open breaks the pin and a Coast to Coast by Chris Brookes ends the awesome sequence. Aussie Open hits a Crucifix Bomb on the apron to Brooks ringside taking him out and hit a pop-up cutter on Thatcher for a great near fall. Aussie Open hit their signature Fidget Spinner move on Thatcher and Fletcher dives to stop Brooks from breaking the pin but Thatcher near fall kick-outs anyway. A Dual Submission spot by Brook and Thatch close the match. ****1/4

  • Thatcher and Brooks show respect for each other after a great match. 

progress-walter-vs-dunne-696x392-e1535123672611Doug Williams and Walter vs. Pete Dunne and Trent Seven: 

This was set-up as a preview match for Trent Seven vs. Doug Williams for the Atlas Title at Wembley. Pete Dunne played a great cocky heel in this match but it started off slow. Walter and Trent Seven do a shoulder block sequence where Seven tries to knock Walter down but Walter boots Seven down. Walter starts to hit the stiff chops on Seven, Dunne mocks throwing in the towel calling back the Moustache Mountain vs. Undisputed Era match on NXT TV. After Williams and Walter isolated Seven he makes a hot tag to Dunne. Dunne hits an Explex on Seven sending him onto Walter for a near fall. Williams goes for his Signature Chaos Theory rolling German Suplex on Dunne but lands bad suffering a stinger to the neck. The concern for UK wrestling legend Doug Williams set over the match and the guys try to wrap it up as soon as possible and the injury, unfortunately, put a dark cloud over the match. Thankfully, Williams will be good for his match against Seven at Wembley. N/A due to injury

  • Pete Dunne and Trent Seven help Williams out but WxW booker Christian Michael Jakobi comes down, Dunne attacks him but Pete’s opponent at Wembley, German Wrestling legend Ilja Dragunov attacks Dunne and stands tall.

dlt7jbrxoaaahq4-e1535123709205Mark Haskins vs. Tyler Bate winner faces Walter for the Progress Title at Wembley: 

The match starts very technically making it feel even. They start fighting ringside and Haskins sets up Bate on a chair, Haskins runs to hit a Yakuza Kick to Bate off the chair. Fighting on the apron leads to Haskins drops Bate on his knees. Haskins begins to wonderfully work the leg of Bate which was some of the best working of the leg I’ve ever seen, it added a lot to the story and Bate sold it incredibly well. Haskins locks in an STF to torque the leg of Bate but Bate gets rope break. Haskins locks in a Deathlock but gets tired of the hold and DDTs Bate for the first near fall. Bate hits a Suicide Dive and rushed back in for a standing shooting star for a near fall. Haskins hits a great Landslide for a near fall. A great strike-fest gets stereo and ends with a double head kick sending both men down. Bate hits a great one-legged German Suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Bate strikes Haskins into a corner but Haskins fires up and hits an awesome Canadian Destroyer, Suicide Dive and Diving Double Stomp for a near fall closing a great burst of offense by Haskins. Haskins locks in an armbar into his signature Made In England for a great near fall. Haskins goes for another Diving Double Stomp but Bate catches him and does an awesome one-legged airplane spin. Haskins locks in a Sharpshooter, Bate fights into a Tyler Driver 97 qualifying himself for a Progress Title Shot, This was an AMAZING match with the ending being some of the best work I’ve seen from either man and especially Tyler Bate was on fire here. The selling of the leg was tremendous and these two tore the house down and then Havoc and Ospreay wrote the blueprints for the next construction in blood. This show had one of the greatest Co-Main Event and Main Event sequences I’ve ever watched. I was contemplating whether I liked Bate and Haskins more than Bate vs. Dunne from Takeover Chicago but decided to just give this match 4 and 3/4 rating. ****3/4

dltocqmxsaalu8r-e1535123730434

Will Ospreay vs. Jimmy Havoc No DQ 2 out of 3 Falls Match, Special Referee Paul Robinson and if Havoc wins he gets a spot in the main event of Wembley:

This absolute spectacle started with the best video package I’ve ever seen and it highlighted perfectly this brutal feud. Ospreay played an amazing heel that snapped unlike the babyface he plays in New Japan and Havoc plays an awesome death-defying face. These two literally want to kill each other and the feud feels real. Ospreay comes out with an army of people dressed in his entrance attire and they set up 5 tables around the ring. Before the match even starts it feels like I’m witnessing history with the crowd yelling “Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy Fucking Havoc”. The crowd was amazing in this match too making the match that much more special. This is the 5th match between them and Havoc leads 3-1.

Ringside, the match starts to heat up and Ospreay dives between the turnbuckles but Havoc throws a chair at him stopping the dive. Havoc duct tapes Will’s hands together and Ospreay gets pretty busted open. Havoc sets up Will in a tree of woe over the ropes on the outside and hits him with a chair a few times but follows it up with literally stapling paper to the chest of Ospreay. Havoc goes for the ear of Ospreay with scissors but Robinson takes them away and cuts Will free from the duct tape. Ospreay acts like Robinson is on his side and asks him to curb stomp Havoc, from behind Havoc hits an Acid Rainmaker on Ospreay for the first fall. Ospreay hits an awesome sunset bomb as a call to Hiromu Takahashi through a table set up ringside. Ospreay staples the head of Havoc busting him open. Fighting into the crowd allows Ospreay to set up 2 Back to Back tables. Havoc brings in a guitar to hit Will but Will hits a cheeky Nandos kick and busts the guitar over the head of Havoc. Ospreay brings a mystery bag in that is unsurprisingly thumbtacks. Havoc double stomps Ospreay into the tacks. Ospreay goes for an Oscutter but Havoc catches him and hits a Death Valley Driver onto a setup chair giving Ospreay a brutal landing. Explex by Ospreay sends Havoc into back to back set up chairs. Superplex onto a pile of chairs by Havoc. Acid Rainmaker attempt by Havoc gets reversed into a backslide by Ospreay using all of his weight to pin Havoc and tie up the falls. “Ospreay, go and fuck yourself” song by the crowd.

Ospreay is a fantastic heel in this match. They fight further into the crowd and Ospreay sets up Havoc on the tables set up in the crowd. Ospreay climbs a pile of speakers and hits an awesome elbow through the tables. Ospreay asks Robinson to countout Havoc and Havoc gets back in at 9 but Ospreay hits 2 back to back shooting star presses immediately for an awesome near fall. They fight back out and climb the balcony back over 2 back-to-back tables. They fight on the balcony until Ospreay hits a Spanish Fly off the Balcony down to the tables but they both bounce but don’t break leading to probably a harder fall for both men in one of the spots of the year. Robinson starts to count both out and both get back in at 9.

Ospreay ducks an Acid Rainmaker and hits an Oscutter for a very near fall, Will wants it to be over and attacks Paul Robinson but Robinson chases Ospreay around the ring. Havoc throws a chair at Ospreay but Ospreay ducks sending the chair into Robinson and sending him through a chair. Havoc hits the Acid Rainmaker and a new ref comes down for another great near fall, Havoc Death Valley Drivers that ref through a table in the corner. Ospreay hits a Diving Oscutter, another new ref and another awesome near fall but Ospreay crucifix bombs that ref through a table. The Progress mouthpiece Jim Smallman becomes the referee and Ospreay hits an Acid Rainmaker and Smallman counts to a near fall. Havoc hits a Diving Oscutter and Smallman counts another near fall. “Fight Forever” chants. An Acid Rainmaker by Havoc is reversed into an Essex Destroyer by Ospreay and follows it up with a 630 senton, Paul Robinson comes back to pull out Smallman from counting 3. Paul Robinson grabs the ax from the Ospreay and Havoc promos and looks both men down and puts it in the middle and both dive for it but Havoc hits a Death Vallet Driver on the tacks for another near fall. They keep wrist control and lariat the hell out of each other Havoc grabs the ax cuts Will’s leg and hits a final Acid Rainmaker but Paul Robinson attacks Havoc. “Robin, you’re a cunt” song by the crowd and Ospreay hits a Stormbreaker for the close. *****

This is one of my favorite matches of the year for the fact that it was an amazing story that was executed in match to perfection. Both played amazing characters and the ending with the ref destruction was insanely great. The spot of the year so far happened in this match with the Spanish Fly off the balcony through the unbreakable table by Ospreay. The crowd and atmosphere made this match something absolutely special and if you’ve never watched Progress before, go for the subscription to watch this instant classic. 

Show Grade: A

Last Word: This was the first Progress show I’ve ever seen and I got brought in because of the hype surrounding Ospreay vs. Havoc. The show had an amazing crowd in the Electric Ball Room and this show had a plethora of great matches. GYV vs. M and M was a good underdog vs cocky heel opening tag, Aussie Open vs. Brookes and Thatcher somehow was both a comedy match and a great technical match. Bate vs. Haskins was an amazing technical but exciting match with a great performance by both men. The highlight was definitely Ospreay vs. Havoc though. The package of this show was amazing and some of the best wrestling I’ve seen since NJPW Dominion.