Show Date: 30/5/16
The show opens with Jim Smallman welcoming the crowd as usual, he announces that PROGRESS are going to do a two day show with Smash in Toronto and the next show will feature Johnny Gargano defending his Smash title, which is really fucking cool. He also announces that Mark Haskins collapsed after the show last night due to exhaustion and there will be an eight man scramble to open the show with all of the loser’s from last night with the winner taking his place.
TK Cooper (w/Dahlia Black) vs. Dave Mastiff vs. Pete Dunne vs. Matt Cross vs. Damon Moser vs. Mark Andrews vs. Kenny Williams vs. Rampage Brown vs. Nathan Cruz vs. El Ligero
Before the match can start, Nathan Cruz and El Ligero come out and enter themselves into the match. This was a really great chaotic multi-man match with a lot of really cool moments such as the Origin beating on Damon Moser, and Rampage hitting a dive to the outside. The absolute highlight of the match though were the interactions between Matt Cross and Mark Andrews, these two will most definitely have a match at some point that could rival Ricochet/Ospreay in terms of flipping greatness. Andrews was the perfect person to win this as he’s a great underdog, which is exactly what this role needs. Mark Andrews pins Pete Dunne with a Shooting Star Press *** ¾
As Mark goes to leave, he is attacked from behind by Mikey Whiplash, and the match starts right now.
Mikey Whiplash vs. Mark Andrews (Super Strong Style 16 Quarter Final)
This was a super quick, nothing match. Whiplash beat on Andrews for a few minutes and then got hit with a roll up. Andrews pins Whiplash NR
Jack Gallagher vs. Zack Gibson (Super Strong Style 16 Quarter Final)
Before the match, Gibson cuts the same promo he did yesterday and then goes off on Gallagher. This match started off as a complete showcase of Gallagher and his technical abilities, which while entertaining got a little too cute for me at times. Things eventually developed into more of a fight, which was fairly entertaining as well but the entire match just felt like it went on too long and sucked the energy out of the room. It felt almost like two different, decent matches instead of one really good match. Zack Gibson submits Jack Gallagher with the Shangly Gates *** ¼
Big Daddy Walter vs. Chris Hero (Super Strong Style 16 Quarter Final)
These two men havn’t had very many matches together, only two singles matches aside from this as far as I can tell, but they worked so damn well together here. This was just two big mother fuckers beating the crap out of each other. It’s rare that Hero isn’t the biggest bully in a match, but he got to play that at times here against Walter who really brought the aggression needed in a match like this. This match was everything you would expect and if you don’t think Hero is the best in the world right now you aren’t paying attention. Hero pins Walter with the Gotch-Style Piledriver **** ¼
Sami Callihan vs. Tommy End (Super Strong Style 16 Quarter Final)
These guys had a tough match to follow, but they did a fair enough job. Tommy was made to look like a monster here, kicking out of a couple of piledrivers and a low blow and pinning Callihan with a single roundhouse kick. I am not a huge fan of these guys as singles competitors, but this was a solid enough effort. Tommy End pins Callihan with a roundhouse kick ***
Before the next match can start Marty Scurll makes his way out in a super snazzy suit and joins commentary.
Mark Andrews vs. Zack Gibson (Super Strong Style 16 Semi Final)
Gibson again cuts the same promo before the match, this is my new favourite gimmick and it’s beautiful in its simplicity. This match was very similar to the Whiplash from earlier, with Andrews putting on a great babyface performance and Gibson being better at playing the monster heel than Mickey. The story of Andrews losing last night and now making his way into the final has been really well told so far. Andrews pins Gibson with a roll up ***
Tommy End vs. Chris Hero (Super Strong Style 16 Semi Final)
Its student vs master here as Heroes Eventually Die explode! This was another example of Hero and his opponent just beating the crap out of each other and exchanging brutal strikes. Things weren’t quite as well paced as the Walter match, but there was a phenomenal moment where Hero kicked out of End’s roundhouse kick, I believe he is the only person to do so, that brought things to an incredible climax. These two men went to war with each other and I honestly think this was the best Tommy singles match I have seen in quite some time. God bless Chris Hero, God bless the wrestling. End pins Hero with a roll up **** ½
The two men bow in respect to each other and embrace after the match. Hero and Marty have a confrontation as Chris is leaving, presumably setting up the title match at the next Chapter show.
Dazzler Team (Darrell Allen and Earl Black Jr) vs. Sweet Jesus (Chuck Mambo and Pastor William Eaver)(PROGRESS Tag Team Championship Number One Contendership Street Fight)
These two teams have been feuding for a while on ENDVR and this is the blow off of that feud. This wasn’t quite the cool down match one would expect as these guys had a pretty damn fun garbage brawl, heated enough that it works as a feud ender but not so heated that it might take away from the main event. Mambo was the absolute star of the match as he had the crowd eating out of the palm of his hand. Pinning Eaver right after winning the Natural Progression Series is a very dumb move though and something I can’t overlook. Darrell Allen pins Pastor Eaver after a Dazzler Death Drop into thumbtacks *** ¼
Roy Johnson is out next for his Wasteman Challenge, which is answered by none other than Eddie Dennis. Dennis says that he can’t rap and so is going to do karaoke instead and sings “Your Mother’s Got a Penis” by Goldie Looking Chain. Roy responds with a freestyle and gets hit with a Next Stop Driver for his troubles. Johnson and Dennis are so damn charismatic and this was a fun little distraction before the serious business begins.
Mark Andrews vs. Tommy End (Super Strong Style 16 Final)
This didn’t feel like the culmination of a weekend of shows, the drama wasn’t quite there. I put the blame for that more on Tommy End than I do Andrews, who worked pretty hard as the underdog babyface. The match just didn’t play to Tommy’s strengths, was far too short at what felt like ten minutes, and the shenanigans with Mikey Whiplash killed any heat they had built up. What a let-down after such a great show, and I am not a huge fan of End getting another title shot but that’s something I can live with. End pins Andrews with a roundhouse kick ** ½
After the match Tommy gets on the mic, dedicates his victory to Kris Travis, puts over the crowd, and thanks them to end the show.
Besides the dud of a main event, this was a damn near perfect show from top to bottom. It went longer than normal PROGRESS shows but never once felt like it was dragging. Chris Hero put on the two best matches on the show by some margin, but so much credit needs to go to Smallman and co who were thrust into a shitty situation with the Haskins stuff and knocked it out of the park. Very strong contender for Show of the Year.