The Week In British Wrestling: Das Ist PROGRESS!
Here are five things you need to know about British wrestling this week:
1) PROGRESS hit Germany with a massive main event
PROGRESS Wrestling made their second trip overseas this year (after their appearance at More Than ‘Mania in Orlando in April) with a visit to Cologne’s Live Music Hall last Saturday, as part of a double-bill of shows with wXw.
With PROGRESS Heavyweight Champion Pete Dunne relegated to the opener (where he beat David Starr) because of another booking in Ireland later that night, the show was headlined by a PROGRESS Atlas Division Championship match between Matt Riddle and “Massive” Jurn Simmons. Riddle overcame the challenge of the wXw Heavyweight Champion to continue his 2017 run with the belt.
The Regression revival — photo by Meg Hewitt
A number one contender to Riddle’s belt was also decided at the event as WALTER beat Mike Bird, and there was further local interest as Marius al-Ani lost to Super Strong Style 16 winner Travis Banks.
In addition, Laura Di Matteo once again bested her arch-nemesis Jinny to become number one contender to the PROGRESS Women’s title, and former Regression stablemates Jimmy Havoc & The London Riots teamed to beat Roy Johnson, Jack Sexsmith & Chuck Mambo.
The show will soon be available to watch on Demand PROGRESS, but they’re hoping to at least have the number one contender’s matches up before Sunday’s return to Birmingham.
2) Jack Swaggered into Southside with Nothing To Lose
After a last-minute trip over last month to replace an otherwise-occupied Cody Rhodes, Jack Swagger made another post-WWE appearance in the UK last Saturday as he headlined Southside Wrestling’s Nothing To Lose at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage.
His opponent, ironically, was WWE UK’s Dan Moloney, and Swagger sent the sell-out crowd home happy with a victory over the heel. Also in Stevenage, Saraya Knight beat Mia Yim for the vacant Queen of Southside title, and the Guilty By Habit duo of Robbie X & Damian Dunne overcame Hubba Bubba Lucha, The Hunter Brothers, and Extra Talented in a four-way match for their Southside Tag Team belts.
There were also wins for Juventud Guerrera, Joseph Conners, and HC Dyer, as well as a number one contender’s victory for Chris Tyler.
Main event chaos in Sheffield — photo by Brett Hadley
The next day, the promotion de-camped north to Sheffield’s Corporation nightclub for a double-shot, with El Ligero and Bubblegum being declared co-winners of the six-way that main evented the matinee Day Of Reckoning 17.
The Hubba Bubba Lucha pair were less fortunate in the six-man main event of the evening’s Morals Don’t Pay The Bills, though, as they teamed with Blake in a defeat to Guilty By Habit’s Robbie X, Damian Dunne & Kip Sabian.
The show featured wins for Big Grizzly, Joseph Conners (who is still insisting he is the rightful Southside Heavyweight Champion), Chris Tyler, Mia Yim, Flash Morgan Webster, and CHIKARA’s Ophidian. Lana Austin also picked up a victory as she revealed her surprise partner to take on Extra Talented was her boyfriend, Tyson T-Bone.
Also of note is that the Scottish contingent — amongst them Southside Heavyweight Champion BT Gunn — failed to show for the event. Southside return in early August with shows in Nottingham and St. Neots.
3) CCK headlined another Cockpit show and remain unbeaten
After a big win over Suzuki-gun at last month’s Live At The Cockpit 17, the CCK team of Chris Brookes & Travis Banks once again headlined Revolution Pro Wrestling’s monthly showcase at the Cockpit Theatre in Marylebone, London.
This time their opponents were two graduates of the Portsmouth School of Professional Wrestling (and regular performers as part of RevPro’s Contenders Division), Kurtis Chapman & Josh Wall (who is also known as Kelly Sixx in some places).
CCK picked up the win but had to fight off interference from the London Riots’ Rob Lynch, and there is unfinished business between those two teams. The Riots had earlier beaten RJ Singh & Dan Magee, but CCK will next take on Los Ingobernables de Japon at this weekend’s British J-Cup.
A favorite for that tournament, the current RevPro Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion Josh Bodom, defended his title against David Starr, a rematch from RevPro’s trip to Orlando in April, and picked up another big win.
The show also saw Eddie Dennis continue his Cockpit losing streak, falling to Sami Callihan, and delivered another big name to the RevPro faithful in Keith Lee, who lost to Matt Riddle. There were also wins for Dave Mastiff, Zack Gibson, and Rob Lias, and former FWA Academy graduate Max Voltage made his return to action after seven years.
There was an attempt to stream the show live, which succeeded after a few issues, and it is already available on RevPro On Demand. The British J-Cup is at the York Hall, Bethnal Green, on Saturday.
4) The T-Bone/Rampage WAR continued at FutureShock
That Tyson T-Bone and Rampage Brown are the two biggest dogs in the FutureShock Wrestling yard is a fact few will contest, and their battle to claim the alpha male position continued at last Friday’s Underground 22 at the Longfield Suite in Prestwich.
Zack Gibson and Joey Hayes clash before their match — photo by British Wrestling News, Info & Events
Although the matchmakers kept them apart, their clashing was inevitable, and they cost each other their scheduled contests — Rampage against James Drake (after T-Bone hit him with a steel pipe), and T-Bone to Ashton Smith (after Rampage returned with the pipe to distract his nemesis).
The show was headlined by FutureShock Heavyweight Champion Zack Gibson putting his title on the line against Joey Hayes, in what my spy called the best Hayes outing for some time, and the main event was ably supported by Soner Dursun defending his FutureShock Adrenaline title against Bubblegum, and by April Davids making quick work of Little Miss Roxxy in a FutureShock Women’s Championship match.
April Davids punishes Little Miss Roxxy — photo by British Wrestling News, Info & Events
The show opened with non-title tag team action as Sexy Gentlemen won a three-way over the team of DDL & Cyanide and FutureShock Tag Team Champions Wonderland, which surely must earn them a title shot soon.
You can see FutureShock action on their On Demand service, and they return on July 16th in Stockport. Coming up next month is the Thirteenth Anniversary Supershow on August 25th, when Ashton Smith will challenge Zack Gibson for the FutureShock title.
5) Ireland got a taste of Calamari (and other stuff)
After winning the Fight Club: PRO title (and picking up a host of tag belts with his CCK partners), “Calamari Catch King” Chris Brookes is very much in demand, and he made his Over The Top Wrestling debut last Saturday, winning a Gold Ring match against Corvin to secure an OTT Tag Team title match for himself & Kid Lykos at August’s Wrestlerama.
The main event of the Born To Be Wasted show, held at the Tivoli in Dublin, however, was a massive clash between the British Strong Style trio of Trent Seven, Pete Dunne & Tyler Bate and Donovan Dijak, Keith Lee & Sami Callihan, which wowed the sold-out crowd.
There were also wins for Katey Harvey, Mark Haskins, Bobby George Jr., and The Anti-Fun Police (including new recruit, Bull James!). Wrestlerama is on August 5th and 6th in Dublin and Belfast.
Kamikaze Pro-Wrestling celebrated their fourth anniversary last Friday night at the Meadway Sports & Social Club in Stechford, Birmingham. The show was headlined by a Kamikaze-Pro Relentless Division Championship match which had to be started twice, eventually becoming a no disqualification, no countout match. When the final bell rang for the third time, Gabriel Kidd had defeated Marshall X for his first Kamikaze title success.
X had only become champion at the start of the show, cashing in his Bank On It! briefcase and pinning Ryan Smile while Smile was fighting Clint Margera for Margera’s Kamikaze-Pro Championship. Margera retained after a restart, and there were also wins for David Starr, Joel Redman, Kay Jutler, Mia Yim, and the Hunter Brothers.
Kamikaze-Pro are back on July 16th in Bournville.
In brief news from other shows, there was action at both ends of England as IPW:UK and NORTH Wrestling were in action this weekend. All three of IPW:UK’s singles champions retained their titles in Harlow last Sunday, with IPW:UK Heavyweight Champion Jimmy Havoc beating Danny Duggan, IPW:UK All-England title holder Scott Star winning a three-way over Juventud Guerrera and Sammy Smooth, and IPW:UK Women’s Champion Livvii Grace defeated Ayesha Ray, Chakara, and Nightshade in a four-way match.
Nathan Cruz flying in at Eddie Dennis at NORTH — photo by Stomp Photography
At NORTH, the main event ended in a no contest when interference from Screwface during the scheduled Nathan Cruz vs. Eddie Dennis encounter sparked a brawl involving Danny O’Doherty, Saxon Huxley, Roxxy, Amir Jordan, Dom Black, and HT Drake. NORTH return on September 9th with NORTH 6.