Chapter 48: Bang the Drum went up on Demand Progress over the weekend, so let's dig in!
I usually don't cover Jim Smallman's opening monologues despite how much fun they are, but I'd like to take a note that for the first time I can clearly and easily understand the audio on a Progress Manchester show! Top marks, guys.
James Drake vs. "Flash" Morgan Webster (Super Strong Style 16 Qualifying Match)
Webster ambushes Drake during his entrance, pushing him down the stairs! LOU THESZ PRESS INTO THE FOURTH ROW! Back in the ring, the bell rings, moonsault inverted DDT... NO GOOD! James bails and picks Flash's leg when he follows before wrapping the apron around his head and putting fists to him hard. Blackout stomp on the apron and Morgan collapses to the floor!
Chops, continuing Webster's trip to the woodshed, back in the ring, working his jaw with a forearm scrape in a really clever spot. Wrenching the neck, keeping Flash off-balance with short, disdainful strikes as the mod desperately tries to find a way back into the match.
Flip over a charge, off the ropes with a flying clothesline and Webster's back into it! Charging forearm, a knee, springboard dropkick after a whip, and again Drake has to bail. TOPE CON GIRO! Fireman's carry neckbreaker over the knee, only two! The Strangler's on but James reverses to an exploder suplex, looking for Mr. Misery, Flash slips out, spinning Angel's Wings, again just a nearfall!
Calling his shot, Webster runs into a goozle and Drake pounds on him in the corner before throwing another exploder but Webster rises! A headbutt cracks across the venue and lays both men out! On their knees, trading forearms, to their feet, Webster taking the lead but James throws a wicked elbow and knocks him back down. A second one leads to referee Chris Roberts making sure Flash is okay to continue.
Victory roll pin but Roberts catches him with a handful of tights! Jumping knee strike, Webster riding the momentum...
"Flash" Morgan Webster wins by pinfall with a standing shiranui, earning a spot in Super Strong Style 16.
Really good opener with an awesome opening segment. Flash is a guy who I really think is very close to putting it all together and reaching his full potential, looking forward to seeing him in SSS16 very much. Kinda wish Drake had stayed on the jaw longer just because that's such a cool and different idea for a body part to work, but I ain't complaining.
Jinny vs. Session Moth Martina
Shoutout to Jinny's increasingly visible anger and feelings of derision at Martina having fun during her entrance.
Trading pins the moment the bell rings and miraculously Martina doesn't spill her beer! Duck a lariat, beer mist! Jinny is apoplectic! Boot to the face, hurricanrana into mounted punches, Jinny isn't playing around! High knee, suplex reversed, delayed vertical suplex from the Session Moth!
Martina gets a cigarette from referee Joel Allen, inexplicably, and bums a light from the ring crew but Jinny immediately boots her in her face and takes her to the mat for a cover. Clubbing her, off the ropes with a knee, jawing at the Moth and getting caught into a cover for her trouble.
The fashionista keeps ahead, coming off the ropes with a lariat and puts boots to her in the corner, charging but Martina catches her with a hanging bodyscissors over the ropes! More beer mist, in with a forearm, whip but Jinny goes low and gets the reverse surfboard! Drawing her up, stomping her down, doing it again, just full of disdain and venom.
Jawing, another stomp, Jinny finds a Tesco's bag and puts it over Martina's head, choking the air out of her! Referee Joel Allen warning her, off the ropes, the Session Moth has a headbutt for her! Bag on her head now, Codebreaker, to the second, but Jinny kicks the legs out of her and traps her in the corner.
Bag on Martina's head again, still trapped...
Jinny wins by pinfall with the second rope Makeover.
That was awesome. A plastic bag! Never don't pop for a plastic bag. Jinny is the real deal, folks, she's racking up a streak of excellence this year. And, of course, Martina was a great foil for her here, an obvious but classic story of opposites interacting explosively.
London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) vs. Sweet Jesus (Chuck Mambo & Pastor William Eaver)
Davis and Mambo to start, a bit of light grappling, extended wristlocks, Chuck with a series of snapmare evasions, but JD's had enough and clobbers him with a forearm to end the fun. Sequence off the ropes, Davis with a really clever senton to counter a drop down, and then the Pastor comes in.
James in control, Lynch in, the Popish Hammer comes up empty, Eaver tries to force him to repent but all it gets him is a straight right hand to the face. Bill right back in with a backbreaker, quick tags and double-teams, isolating Big Rob. Riots end up outside, Pastor with the fakeout, Mambo with the tope con giro!
Lynch and Eaver jockeying for position as Chuck and James brawl outside, Rob Lynch with the big man tope con giro! Suicide dive from the Pastor! EAVER CRUCIFIX POWERBOMBS MAMBO TO THE OUTSIDE! THE RIOTS CATCH HIM! DISTRICT LINE INTO THE APRON! Bill isolated two-on-one! Double spinebuster puts him down, only good for two.
Springboard crossbody, Eaver trying to get back into it but Lynch catches him with a fallaway slam for a nearfall. Davis in, continuing to punish the Pastor, quick combinations of strikes from both Riots, not sure how much more of this he can take here. Rope-hung second rope senton, Lynch kicks Mambo away as he begins to come back in at last.
Bill manages to put a comeback together, trying to German suplex Big Rob off the apron but settling for a slingshot clothesline on Davis. Chuck up and at 'em for the tag, and it's made! Dropkick, back elbow, whip reversed, to the second for a blockbuster, superkick tags Lynch off the apron, springboard senton atomico to the outside!
JD with a suplex, Mambo back with a wild pop-up senton, calling for the Chuck You, blocked, sitout powerbomb, only a nearfall. Thinking District Line, Mambo slips away, superkick, tag, Pastor in with a big diving crossbody! Eaver and Lynch slugging it out, to a battle of the waistlocks, Bill gets his German suplex off! Big Rob has one in return!
Catch a boot, off the ropes, Clothesline From Heaven! He's slow to make the cover and Davis breaks it up! St. George's Cross, Chuck You, a spear from Lynch, all four men are laid out now. Eaver up, looking for a crucifix pin, Mambo with the assist...
Sweet Jesus win by pinfall with a blockbuster-assisted crucifix driver on Rob Lynch.
Really good tag match. Prettymuch everything from the crucifix powerbomb to the outside onward was great. Real high intensity stuff. The Riots recent lack of success really seems to be building to something, too.
Travis Banks vs. Trent Seven
Banks starting hot with a dive with Seven is focused on the crowd! Trent bails, Travis in with a Penalty Kick from the apron! Taking the British Strong Style man to the woodshed on the outside, Seven slowly getting back into it with chops but the Kiwi Buzzsaw retains the lead for now.
More chops, Banks ducks one and Trent's hand goes into the post! Brawling in the crowd now, Travis' head into a low dividing wall and throws chairs at him when he recovers! Banks continues, inexorably, blocking them, catching one and throwing it back in Seven's face and kicking him through it when he catches it!
The bell finally rings, charge in the corner dodged, hard whip, Trent gets some crotch stank on his hand and charges in but Travis gets the boot up! Charging forearms, a trip when Seven tries coming back off it, cannonball, only good for two. Jocekying for suplex, Banks chooses a roll-through superkick, brainbuster... NOPE!
To the corner, Trent cuts him off, Dragon suplex, piledriver... NOT ENOUGH! Disdainful forearms, a fire rises in the Kiwi Buzzsaw, he wants more! Slugging it out, double lariats conned, again, a third time and they grab each other by the head before going back to the forearms and then slaps. Backfist gets a roundhouse, another backfist dodged, slap rush, springboard kick, Seven off the ropes with the momentum for a lariat... NO GOOD!
Up and over, Banks pulls Seven crotch-first into the ringpost, double stomp to the back of his neck! Up top... COAST TO COAST! SOMEHOW SEVEN KICKS OUT! Climbing again, Trent cuts him off, forearms on forearms, cracking chops, to the second, Travis slips under, sit-out powerbomb! Big lariat... STILL NOT ENOUGH!
Looking for another brainbuster, Seven floats over, Seven Stars... TRAVIS BANKS LIVES! Snap Dragon suplex, Travis pops up! Springboard splash comes up empty...
Trent Seven wins by pinfall with a schoolboy pin and a handful of tights.
Amazing fired up start, good dickhead finish, great match. Travis Banks is incredible as the diehard babyface and Trent Seven is such an unlikeable asshole, great combination.
Nathan Cruz vs. Rockstar Spud (Super Strong Style 16 Qualifying Match)
Spud throws his jacket at Cruz and they get into a shoving match. Nathan patronizes the smaller man and gets the bird for his trouble. Throws him down, slap, Spud right back at him with a slap of his own and a side headlock and they're into it! Off the ropes, slide under, feint for an up-kick, ducking lariats, dropkick, Spud's on a roll!
Crossbody for a quick cover, back to the headlock, thinking shiranui but Cruz blocks so he turns it into a step-up headlock takeover. Cruz getting in the ropes, dirty break, cheap shot to the throat, slingshot back suplex, hamstring kick, forearm, but Spud starts to rally. Kicks of his own, chops, the former Progress Champion puts his thumb in his eyes!
Hard whip into the ropes, Spud still can't see, wiping at his eyes, and gets caught with a snapmare into a dropkick. Cruz drags him to the apron for a knee to the face, clubbing blow to the back once they're back in the ring and the beating continues. Nathan doing a "fat guy in a little coat" bit with Spud's jacket but the showboating gets him caught!
Spear, mounted punches, boots in the corner, firing away! Enzuigiri, double jump springboard Frankensteiner, Cruz heads outside... suicide dive! Spud is fired up! Splash off the top but the knees are up! Slingshot back suplex, Spud lands on his feet, Yoshi Tonic... NOPE!
Cruz dragging himself up the ropes, Spud tries to charge at him but his midsection gives out on him and he falls short. Trying to catch his breath, charge sidestepped, looking for the Frankensteiner again but Nathan has it scouted, powerbomb, Show Stolen... ROCKSTAR SPUD LIVES! Fireman's carry, Show Stolen spikeds Spud again... STILL NOT ENOUGH?!
Dragging Spud up, shoot kick to the ribs, another, a third, four, Spud is in agony on the mat. Fireman's carry and he just drops Spud this time, choosing a more definitive way to end it, Argentine backbreaker rack...
Nathan Cruz wins by pinfall with an inverted Show Stolen, earning a spot in Super Strong Style 16.
Really good match. Nobody takes a beating quite like Spud, and this is the first time in a while I feel like a Nathan Cruz match lasted the exact right amount of time as a result. That moment right at the end when he just lets Spud drop as the crowd berate him for not being banter? Beautiful.
Matt Riddle vs. Tyler Bate
A bit of showing off the title belts and Bate bails immediately as the bell rings. Referee Joel Allen tries to convince him back in, but Tyler is taking his time. Riddle heads out and immediately Bate slides in and acts like he was ready for a fight the whole time. Hiding behind the ref, getting in the ropes, but Bro picks the leg and we're off!
Huge waistlock takedown and Tyler heads right back outside. In the ring, Bate throws his jacket in Riddle's face and grabs a heel hook but the former UFC fighter reverses to one of his own and turns it into a half crab with a slap to the face. Shift to a bow-and-arrow and then an ankle lock but Tyler gets the ropes and smashes him with a forearm on the break.
Putting the boots to our Bro, mounted punches, a bit of posing and Matt catches him with an overhand slap. Rolling Karelin lifts, punctuated with a knee strike or two, up and over, triangle knee strike and Bate is outside again! Off the ropes, baseball slide, dodged, Tyler with a suicide dive! Back in the ring, double wristlocks with feet on Matt's hair, bootlace scrape, and he settles on an ankle lock in return.
Bro posts, Bate switches feet, reverse Boston Crab, double wristlocks, La Campana is on and scraping Riddle's face into the mat. Gedo Clutch gets two, kicks to the head, Matt is red-faced and panting but he's not done fighting by a longshot. Disdainful slaps, Riddle cracks one back across the face and starts throwing hands and knees.
Corner forearm, exploder suplex blocked at first but he gets it, high jump senton, only a two count. Chest kicks, teeing off, Tyler catches one, but gets caught in return, Bro 2 Sleep, bridging German suplex... NO GOOD! An angry god of war, Riddle rises, back to the waistlock but Bate escapes by stomping his foot, off the ropes, the back of the neck rebound lariat, standing shooting star press... NOT ENOUGH!
Underhooks, Tyler Driver '97... BRO COUNTERS WITH A TRIANGLE CHOKE! BATE LOCKS HIS HANDS... DEADLIFT POWERBOMB! RIDDLE CATCHES HIM WITH A GUILLOTINE CHOKE! AGAIN TYLER DEADLIFTS, RIDDLE FLOATS OVER, JUMPING TOMBSTONE... NOPE! FISHERMAN BUSTER... STILL NO!
High jump senton, another... NOW BATE CATCHES HIM INTO A SLEEPER! Bro stands up, gets the ropes, Tyler breaks, release German suplex, Riddle pops up! Another German, Bro lands on his feet, jumping knee for Bop and Bang, roundhouse kick, Matt ducks a lariat, Pele kick gets a rolling Koppo Kick in return and both men are laid out!
Slap for slap, forearm for forearm on their knees and to their feet, Riddle pulls ahead, kick to the corner, knee on the charge, Tyler with a diving uppercut but Riddle catches him into the Bromission! Trent Seven hits the ring (wearing an NXT jacket because 2017 pro wrestling) and mounts Riddle for punches!
Matt Riddle wins by disqualification.
Awesome match. So many catch submission counters! Hope we get it again in SSS16 since they're on the same side of the bracket.
Post-match, Riddle runs the British Strong Style men off.
Mark Andrews vs. Mark Haskins vs. Pete Dunne (c) (Progress World Championship)
Haskins and Dunne get into it during Mark's intro and Pete bails, allowing Jim Smallman to continue doing the intros. He sneaks up on Andrews during his but is well in sight of referee Chris Roberts. Forearm to White Lightning and we're at it! Sidesteps a dropkick, it takes Haskins out and Andrews throws a Frankensteiner that hits the mark on Dunne!
Double knees, standing moonsault, only two. Champion back in it with a lariat, Haskins in, roll-through into the Sharpshooter, Andrews breaks it up with a flying headscissors, one for Dunne, both men outside, Haskins snaps Andrews' neck over the rope, springboard into a small package, only two, ducking kicks, White Lightning misses a standing moonsault, bridging Fujiwara, reversed to a pin, double dropkick, stalemate!
Marks shoving each other, forehead to forehead, forearm, Pete yanks Andrews out and throws him into the crowd! Mule kick for Haskins... X PLEX ON THE APRON! Dragging the more recent former champion back in the ring, going after his fingers, putting his hand on the mat for the elbow stomp and clawing at his face before backing him in the corner for a choke in the ropes.
Andrews trying to get back in with a slingshot and Dunne just cracks him in the face with an elbow! Romero Special on Haskins, fish-hooking his mouth but Mark counters with a bite, leading the champ to stomp the knees and break. Kicks, drawing him up to knock him back down, full of disdain, Haskins throwing hamstring kicks, knotting his leg up, and a leg lariat lays the champion out.
Off the ropes, Haskins comes in with a low dropkick but gets caught with an enzuigiri in the corner. White Lightning back in, waistlock, Haskins fighting both men off with elbows, boot for Andrews, elbow for Dunne, Andrews gets them set up for a standing shiranui-assisted DDT!
Moonsault off the apron, nobody home, lands on his feet, Haskins with a suicide dive, cut off by Andrews, who slingshots in, roll-through, dive on Dunne on the other side, springboard, Haskins ducks, another dive on Dunne! Tope con giro from Andrews! Back in the ring, the Marks do battle, Haskins up and over on a charge, roll-through into the Sharpshooter but Dunne breaks it up.
Pedigree clutch, back body drop counter, bridging... ANDREWS BREAKS IT UP WITH A SPRINGBOARD MOONSAULT! NOT ENOUGH! Andrews bakcing the champ in the corner, up and over, Dunne picks the legs, rolls Haskins in, double half crab! White Lightning slips out and applies an octopus hold on Pete but Haskins fires a superkick! One doesn't break it up, two, three, four, five, Andrews shifts, six, assisted Yoshi Tonic!
Roll-through Death Valley Driver drops Dunne onto Andrews, roll-through Michinoku Driver on Andrews... PETER BREAKS IT UP! Dunne begging off, Haskins caves his chest in with kicks, the champ has an enzuigiri, underhooks, Andrews with a Poison Frankensteiner! Haskins with a superkick, Andrews with an enzuigiri, follow-up springboard dives into a Pete Dunne forearm!
One for Haskins on a dive as well and both challengers are out! Dunne goes to dive and gets caught by strikes, all three men are out on the mat! All three men on their knees trading forearms, rising to their feet, Haskins has the lead but Andrews and Dunne lay him out. Pete's feeling hungry and bites both men in the hand!
Stereo superkicks! Low superkick from Haskins, he tries to dump Andrews, but he blocks, wheelbarrow fails, superkick to the back of the neck, brainbuster, no... STUNDOG MILLIONAIRE! White Lightning climbing, shooting star press but Dunne yanked Haskins out of the ring! Regal Stretch applied, Haskins back in, he rolls into the bridging Fujiwara armbar on the champ.
Andrews with a shooting star press, Haskins rolls away, bridging Fujiwara on both men! Trent Seven and Tyler Bate yank referee Chris Roberts! HASKINS DIVES ON 'EM! Roll-through on Andrews and Dunne kicks him right in the groin! Bitter End puts Andrews on Haskins, underhooks...
Pete Dunne wins by pinfall with a Pedigree on Mark Andrews, retaining the Progress World Championship.
Great match. Not much I can really add here, never let down for a minute, lots of clever three-way stuff, good times for sure.
Dunne gets on the mic but before he can say anything Matt Riddle comes down, fighting mad! Seven and Bate put boots to him and Pete begins, saying Progress is his, sports entertainment is his, the universe is his, everything, in fact, is his. The crowd chants for Travis Banks and Dunne says there's not a single person left in pro wrestling that can beat him, not Matt Riddle, and not Travis Banks.
No one can take on British Strong Style, he says. Unfamiliar music plays... it's #CCK! Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos! Brookes has a boot for Bate! Lykos with a tope con giro! Assisted Codebreaker into a senton on Bate!
Another very strong outing for Progress, continuing this top shelf run they've been on all year. Banks/Seven, Bate/Riddle, and the main event triple threat really stand out match-wise, but there's not a bad one in the pack. And hey, Jinny choked Martina out with a trash bag!
Storyline-wise, we have the continuing fall of the London Riots, which hopefully leads to some good stuff for them once the tag team scene opens back up again, and British Strong Style starting to look just a tiny bit desperate to hold on to their spot atop the mountain, cheating even in matches where nothing but pride is on the line. James Drake's undefeated streak is over, "Flash" Morgan Webster is trying to climb the mountain, and, oh yeah, #CCK finally showed up to have Travis Banks' back in just the nick of time.
Can't wait for Super Strong Style 16!
In the meantime, though, check this one out on Demand Progress.