Reviews

PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 30: Super Strong Style 16 Day 1 Review

Show Date: 29/5/16

Mark Haskins vs. Pete Dunne (Super Strong Style 16 First Round)

Pete Dunne has become such a great professional wrestler in such a short period of time. He was so damn good at grinding down Mark Haskins here, he’s so good at being a gritty bastard it’s insane. Haskins was very good at selling the beating, and we got a very good back and forth match here to open the show. Haskins submits Dunne *** ¾

Mikey Whiplash vs. Damon Moser (Super Strong Style 16 First Round)

This was a fine little sprint. Moser was pretty good as the defiant face towards the end of the match. Whiplash has done nothing for me this year, and he continues to not impress that much. Whiplash pins Moser with a DVD ** ½

Kenny Williams vs. Zack Gibson (Super Strong Style 16 First Round)

Kenny Williams is making his PROGRESS debut here, he’s a guy that normally wrestles for ICW and is usually pretty good. Gibson cut a little heel promo before the match and got a great amount of heat. This was a good showing by both men, Kenny looked very good flying all over the place and Gibson looked like a monster going after Williams’ arm throughout the match. Gibson submits Williams with the Shangly Gates *** ½

TK Cooper (w/Dahlia Black) vs. Jack Gallagher (Super Strong Style 16 First Round)

This was almost a glorified squash, with Gallagher in control for much of the match. It’s clear watching Jack that he has an added confidence after getting into the Cruiserweight Classic. TK Cooper is still a little green, but he was generally fine. Jack Gallagher pins TK Cooper with a corner dropkick ***

Big Daddy Walter vs. Dave Mastiff (Super Strong Style 16 First Round)(Atlas Title Tournament A-Block)

This was an interesting match in that it is for both the SSS16 and the Atlas tournament. What we got was a very good big man match, perhaps the best match in the Atlas tournament so far with Walter coming across like an absolute star. Things got a little bit plodding in the middle, but the opening and finish stretches were both really good. Big Daddy Walter submits Dave Mastiff *** ¾

Chris Hero vs. Mark Andrews (Super Strong Style 16 First Round)

Chris Hero is having the best year of anyone in wrestling and this was asshole bully Hero at his best. He was beating the hell out of Mark Andrews with elbows and piledrivers all over the place. Andrews for his part was incredible as the sympathetic babyface and had you rooting for him at every moment, he really deserves to be getting praise on the level of Mark Haskins and Will Ospreay after this match. The escalation in this match was so perfect as well, with the crowd at a complete fever pitch by the end. Truly a great match. Chris Hero pins Mark Andrews with a Tombstone Piledriver **** ½

Sami Callihan vs. Matt Cross (Super Strong Style 16 First Round)

It’s a surprising choice to have two imports against each other, but these aren’t guys that have worked against each other that often so I didn’t have a huge issue with it. The match itself was a fun back and forth affair with all of the Sami Callihan tropes, such as crowd brawling and spit, that some people may hate. This didn’t go long and had a very fast pace, which is exactly what was needed after the last match. Sami Callihan pins Matt Cross with a double underhook piledriver *** ½

Tommy End vs. Rampage Brown (Super Strong Style 16 First Round)

Tommy End in PROGRESS has been interesting this year, he’s clearly being booked incredibly strong and protected but he has yet to really deliver in the ring. He didn’t take the fall in the tag match with the Riots, pinned Marty Scurll clean in a singles match, got screwed out of the title at the last show, and became the first person in PROGRESS to kick out of Rampage’s piledriver here. And yet in the ring he’s maybe the third or fourth best person in the company. His booking is especially weird with his signing with WWE meaning he isn’t long for the company, so why is he so strongly booked? The match itself was perfectly fine, with several cool moments as is the standard for Tommy End matches. Tommy End pins Rampage Brown ***

The Origin (El Ligero and Nathan Cruz)(c) vs. The London Riots (Rob Lynch and James Davies)(PROGRESS Tag Team Championship)

These four men had a really hard few matches to follow, and while this match wasn’t on the level of something like Hero/Andrews it was a very fun brawl and an awesome way to end the reign of The Origin and crown the Riots as the kings of the tag division. There was a lot of shenanigans as you would expect from Origin matches and all of it, apart from a fake pin fall which took some air out of the eventual win by the Riots, worked really well and didn’t detract too much from the match. I wasn’t sure about the London Riots when I started watching PROGRESS this year, but they are easily the best tag team in Europe right now and one of the best in the whole world. The London Riots pins El Ligero to win the titles ****

The London Riots gets on the mic after the match, puts over the Origin a little and call out tag teams from Ring of Honor, EVOLVE, and NJPW to end the show.

Overall: 7.5

This was a really great show top to bottom, with every match delivering big time and a real match of the year contender in Hero/Andrews. Roll on day 2.

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