Progess Chapter 49: Super Strong Style 16 2017 Day Two is up on Demand Progress, so let's have at it!
London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) vs. Mark Andrews & "Flash" Morgan Webster
Davis and Webster starting with a bit of light lucha, double dropkicks to a stalemate and the shoving begins. Handshake, no hard feelings, tags made. Lynch trying to use his considerable strength advantage but Andrews flips circles around him, escaping when the Riot man's increased strength threatens to catch him.
A bit of mistiming on a dive gives Rob an opening and he takes it, isolating Mark and looking to keep him that way with quick tags. It doesn't last too long, however, as White Lightning is able to make the tag and Flash comes in hot, clobbering Lynch. Stereo standing flips on Rob, JD tosses Andrews, they're thinking District Line, powerbombing Webster on Andrews!
Rob adds a senton on the pile to try and end it... NO GOOD! German suplex reversed by Flash into a wheelbarrow facebuster into the turnbuckles, Poison Frankensteiner on Davis, assisted Shiranui / DDT combo on both Riots... NOT ENOUGH! Lynch isolated, he knocks Morgan back with a headbutt, Mark clips an awokened Davis with an enzuigiri, Rob hits the spear!
Webster looking for a dive, James catches him, slingshot into the spear, Morgan locks the Strangler on as a counter! Headscissors takeover wipes Davis out but he catches Andrews with a kick on the outside and breaks the submission up! Sidestep a spear, Big Rob takes the post hard, JD throwing lariats but he hesitates to check on his partner.
Andrews reverses a suplex, Stundog Millionaire, Flash hits Eton Rifles, Mark climbs up top...
Mark Andrews & "Flash" Morgan Webster win by pinfall with a shooting star press from Andrews on James Davis.
Really good opener. Love the Riots being maybe a little too eager to finish things in the middle there when they hit District Line and paying for it, especially in context of their greater losing streak story.
After the match, Davis goes to leave but thinks better of it, turning around to go check on Lynch.
Mark Haskins vs. Tyler Bate (Super Strong Style 16 Quarterfinal Match)
Grappling early, jockeying for position, Haskins locking Bate down with a headscissors such that the younger man has to take a powder and collect himself. Back in, Tyler right to the strikes, Mark turns the heat up in return with a snapmare, a series of kicks, Bate outside, feinting, Haskins back in and he catches him with a roll-through into a kick!
Targeting the head, knees and elbows, Tyler back with a diving uppercut that gets two. Chest kicks, Haskins defiant, scoop slam to a standing senton atomico and just disdainfully slapping and scraping his boot on the former champion. It becomes a full-on forearm exchange as Mark gets to his feet but Bate takes his leg out from under him and transitions to a bridging stepover toehold.
From there to a inverted Indian deathlock, again disdainful stomps at the head before he hooks the arm and wrenches it back. Switch to a deathlock bow-and-arrow and then a simple side headlock, Haskins to his feet but Tyler takes him right back down with a reverse Boston Crab before turning it into La Campana, transition to a Gedo Clutch, only two.
Kicks to the face, Mark getting fired up, to his feet and throwing wild forearms! Jumps a kick, leg lariat, off the ropes, low dropkick, looking for a shinbreaker, escaped but he locks a half-crab on Bate before nearly breaking him in half with an STF! The young man gets the ropes easily but Haskins aims to kick his chest in! Emerald Flowsion... NO GOOD!
Stalking, lying in wait for Tyler to get to his feet, charging blows, Bate gives right back as good as he got and forces Mark in the corner! Haskins with a desperate charge, Bate catches him with a true uranage! Kick, back suplex right into a cover, only a nearfall. Throwing jabs on his knees, Kawada kicks, crotch chop, Haskins blasts him with an elbow!
Rolling Koppo kick off the ropes, Mark back over, the roll-through Death Valley Driver.. NOT ENOUGH! Superkick, still only a nearfall! Setting him up, Haskins thinking about flight, double stomp misses, but he counters the bouncing lariat into the bridging Fujiwara armbar! Bate out, up for the airplane spin... Haskins counters with a roll into the Sharpshooter! PETE DUNNE YANKS THE REFEREE! JIMMY HAVOC LEAVES COMMENTARY TO EVEN THE ODDS! BUT PETER DRAGS REFEREE JOEL ALLEN WITH THEM AND TRENT SEVEN SLIPS IN FOR A PILEDRIVER! JOEL RETURNS...
Tyler Bate wins by pinfall with a lateral press.
Very good match with a rage-inducing finish, in the best way. Those British Strong Style boys are such dicks! Jimmy had it evened up!
Jack Sexsmith vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (Super Strong Style 16 Quarterfinal Match)
Sexsmith comes out with his arm in a sling and shoulder all taped up after the absolute mauling Zack Gibson gave him yesterday, and he gets on the mic during his intro. He says he hyperextended his arm yesterday and there's a tear in his bicep. He's been advised not to compete, but he's spoken with Jim, Jon, Glen, and Zack, and he's sorry, but he's competing tonight.
He doesn't give a shit, he fought tooth and nail just to get in and nothing will deny him! Visible pansexual, here, proud, loud, let's do it!
Feeling out, made a little awkward by the fact that Jack is literally wrestling one-armed, but he offers a test of strength and Sabre obligingly puts a hand behind his back and moves to accept... but it was a feint! Sexsmith rolls him up for a nearfall and plants him with the LGBDT! Climbing one-armed, he stumbles and Zack takes his leg out from under him.
Jack not giving up, to his feet with a forearm, and another, and a third, and again ZSJ takes his leg out. Sexsmith still throwing hands, he takes his sling off and cracks a few slaps across Zack's face only to again have his leg taken out from under him! Jack rises, full of resolve, more palm strikes, and Sabre cracks a few across his face in return!
Zack's ire is up, he picks the leg...
Zack Sabre, Jr. wins by submission with a half crab.
Excellent storytelling here. The match itself wasn't some epic classic, but it couldn't be, under the circumstances. And what it was exactly what it needed to be-- Jack Sexsmith, defiant, throwing hands as hard he can on one arm, but even a restrained, friendly Zack Sabre, Jr. is only going to let you go out on your own terms for so long.
Jeff Cobb vs. Matt Riddle (Super Strong Style 16 Quarterfinal Match)
Riddle right in with the knee that beat Trent Seven! Thence to the grappling, jockeying for position around a waistlock until the break, and then Matt goes low on Cobb until they stalemate. Bro thinking Kimura lock, Jeff won't give him it, he takes the back but again can't get anythign and has to back off.
Riddle poking holes, trying to find any weakness, he gets the beginnings of an armbar but Cobb denies him the full extension. Probing kick and slap, the Olympian returns in kind and we have a chop exchange! Bro backs him in the corner, knees, Pele kick as a counter to a lariat, the leaping corner forearm into the exploder suplex, high jump senton, only one!
Another senton gets another quick cover, then the rolling Karelin lifts but Jeff reverses to a tossing gutwrench suplex of his own, just ragdolling Riddle! Pumphandle suplex after a bit of struggle, Cobb is on a roll, elbow to the kidney, waistlock, Matt escaping, Jeff checks a kick and turns it into an exploder suplex.
Forearm, headbutt, a step ahead on a strike exchange, German suplex, Riddle rises! A second, same result! A third, Bro lands on his feet! Cobb pops him up, Matt hits a forearm on the way down! Bro 2 Sleep, bridging German suplex... NOT ENOUGH! Looking for the knee again, Athletic-Plex counters, diving uppercut, only two!
Jeff calling for the end, off the ropes, sliding, Riddle catches him and takes his back! Cobb to his fet, backing Bro in the corner, reversal... TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER! MATT RIDDLE LIVES! Strike exchange, just chopping each other raw, slap rush from Matt, he gets the Olympian up, jumping Tombstone piledriver... ONLY ONE! FISHERMAN BUSTER! NO GOOD! ANOTHER... STILL NOT ENOUGH!
Cobb sits up, but Matt is right on him, a kick and the high jump senton, so he lays in forearm after forearm right to Jeff's head, to a cover, only a nearfall! Senton again, but the knees are up! JEFF COBB FLIP PILEDRIVER! POP-UP GERMAN SUPLEX! SOMEHOW NOT ENOUGH! OFF THE ROPES, TOUR OF THE ISLANDS, BRO REVERSES...
Matt Riddle wins by pinfall with the running knee strike.
Really good match, blows their mysteriously lackluster Evolve meetings out of the water. Plus the story of Riddle's resilience and the deadliness of the knee made a great throughline for the match.
Flamita vs. Travis Banks (Super Strong Style 16 Quarterfinal Match)
Bit of grappling to start as these two get to know each other. Test of strength, Flamita gets the edge first and then Banks. Bit of lucha, quick pin exchanges, and Flamita pulls ahead with dropkicks and a choke in the corner. Cravate to a snapmare to a reverse chinlock, Kiwi Buzzsaw slips out and it turns into a forearm exchange before they exchange pump kicks for a stalemate.
Slingshot senton atomico, another snapmare and another slingshot senton atomico, whip reversed, Banks in hard with charging elbows and forarms, met with an uppercut, Flamita attempts a springboard, cut off with a low superkick into a lungblower and Travis hits the cannonball, only getting a two count out of it! Snapmare into a kick to the back, basement superkick, Banks is feeling pretty good about himself and caves the luchador's chest in!
Flamita wants more and Travis is happy to give it to him, but on this shot he gets up, snapmare, favor returned! Kiwi Buzzsaw does another cycle himself, whip across, boot up, drop toehold, Tiger feint kick blocked, looking for a powerbomb, Flamita snaps off a Frankensteiner and the Tiger feint kick connects! Missile dropkick, Travis outside, Flamita with the diving moonsault to the floor!
He puts Banks back in, the Buzzsaw comes right back out with a suicide dive! Back in the ring, struggle over a brainbuster, Travis slips out, roll-through superkick, Flamita back with a pump kick, that gets a big boot, trading kicks and they lay each other out with simultaneous boots! Thinking about Slice of Heaven, Flamita reverses, electric chair, Banks stops him on the drop.
Struggle in the corner, Muscle Buster into the lungblower... NO GOOD! Flamita up top, 450 splash, nobody home but he lands on his feet, Banks clobbers him with a lariat, then the Kiwi Krusher... NOT ENOUGH! Springboard for Slice of Heaven, nobody home, backspring back elbow, standing shooting star press, not enough to put the Kiwi Buzzsaw away!
Underhooks, Travis blocks, pump kick, into Flam Fly but Banks reverses the momentum for a pin! Butterfly suplex lungblower, Flamita climbs, Frog Splash, back up, 450 splash but Travis scoots away just enough to counter right into the finish...
Travis Banks wins by submission with the Lion Clutch.
Awesome match. Sometimes when you have a wacky first-time matchup like this they have a hard time getting past a level of good-but-not-great dream match quality where you're glad it happened but it doesn't blow you away like you hoped. Well, this one managed to score above that pretty handily. Plus, everyone is scouting Slice of Heaven so well that when Banks finally hits it I'm gonna go nuts.
British Strong Style (Pete Dunne & Trent Seven) vs. David Starr & Pastor William Eaver
The introductions alone here are a hoot and a half.
Trent charges in, Starr nails him with a forearm... PETER BREAKS THE PIN UP! Seven is out, however, and David has to roll him outside, where Dunne splashes water on him and wakes him up. Quick tags, Pastor tries to teach the Jewish Cannon how to cross himself before dropping an elbow but he doesn't quite get all of it. Hammers both Hebrew and Popish off the top as they keep Trent isolated.
Eaver blesses the crowd before turning to Seven, who tries to throw a crotch chop but is blocked by Pastor's holy power, forcing his hands into prayer position until Pete comes in to save him and also clobber him with a forearm to snap him out of it. The tide is turned and they proceed to work Bill over, quick tags, targeting the arm, Dunne taking all of his fingers to market.
All hell breaks loose, Starr's had enough and comes in, but order is restored and BSS continue beating on the holy man. Trent throwing forearms as Eaver fires up, big right, he gets a cover but it's not enough and he's desperate for a tag. Tags made, the King of Taunts in with a fury, pounding the crap out of Dunne.
To the apron, springboard lariat, he cuts Seven off, Product Recall, suicide dive on both men in turn, trying for six in total but an embarrassed Seven sidesteps... PASTOR FINISHES THE SEXTET! Davey Wrestling with an inverted suplex, Dunne fires back with an enzuigiri, the match breaks down, everybody throwing hands.
Pastor and Starr set it up... FORCE DESTROYER?! Double pin, crucifix and jackknife... NOT ENOUGH! Dunne throws Eaver's prayer hands into David, hits the Pedigree, Starr throwing hands, Trent catches him with a backfist, Dragon suplex...
British Strong Style win by pinfall with a spinning piledriver from Trent Seven on David Starr.
Very good match, a lot of fun with all of Pastor and Starr's interactions and BSS being dicks at every turn.
Jinny vs. Laura Di Matteo vs. Toni Storm (Natural Progression Series IV Final Progress Women's Championship Match)
Jinny right in, kick to Storm, looking to steal a win on Di Matteo, all three women trading flash pins to kick things off! Laura with the RVD legscissors clutch, Toni with a waistlock, breaking away, stalemate! Storm to the outside, Di Matteo and Jinny into it, whip, duck, Laura with an enzuigiri, headscissors takeover, up and over on the charge, a forearm, up top, missile dropkick!
Jinny bails, Toni back in, collar and elbow, bit of a wrestling exchange, Jinny back in and she's got kicks for everybody, STO backbreaker takes Storm out and she puts boots to Di Matteo. A biel, more stomps, drawing her up, another biel, the fashionista taking her sweet disdainful time, stomps to the back of the head and so on.
Outside for plunder, she's got a plastic bag! SHE'S CHOKING LAURA OUT WITH IT BUT TONI COMES FROM BEHIND WITH A CHOKE OF HER OWN! German suplexes for everybody, charging hip attacks corner to corner on both women, fired up! Suicide dive crossbody at Jinny but she backs up enough that Storm wipes out, Di Matteo to the apron, climbing up top... SENTON ATOMICO TO THE OUTSIDE!
Jinny and Laura brawling on the outside, Jinny puts her into the apron and yells at some fans in the front row.. Setting her in the front row, pummeling her, looking for a spear... DI MATTEO SIDESTEPS AND JINNY GOES INTO THE CROWD! Toni right over to take the lead, setting Laura up... CHARGING DROPKICK COMES UP EMPTY INTO THE EIGHTH ROW!
Di Matteo and Jinny in the ring, Laura meting out punishment, setting her up top, avalanche Frankensteiner! Storm in, Death Valley Drivers Di Matteo onto her former employer, diving leg drop... NOPE! Toni climbing again but Jinny cuts her off, the rope-hung Makeover connects... LAURA BREAKS IT UP!
All three women drawing themselves to their knees, three-way forearm exchange, to their feet, Jinny knocked out and Laura and Toni keep at it, double strike, Jinny back in... DOUBLE ACID RAINMAKER! NO GOOD! Jinny heads outside and gets the shiny new title belt, looking to crack Storm with it but she sidesteps, Di Matteo takes the hit, Toni is ready, piledriver... NOT ENOUGH!
Storm visibly paying a price for using her posterior so much now. All three women outside, Jinny and Toni still in it, brawling to the stage. Laura follows, Storm knocks her back and makes it to the stage with the Knightsbridge fashionista, throwing headbutts. Jinny with a boot, she clips Di Matteo with a forearm, claims a clipboard from the announce table but Laura catches it, clocks her, Toni in... PILEDRIVER ON THE STAGE!
Di Matteo hits a tilt-a-whirl DDT on Storm! Back in the ring, she does it again... NOT QUITE! Grounded octopus hold locked on, Jinny slowly making her way back. Toni stands up and reverses to a Reverse Neckbreaker! Climbing, Laura manages to cut her off, thinking Frankensteiner but Storm blocks, Tree of Woe, Jinny in the ring, Toni jumps right into a loaded punch... NOT ENOUGH!
Loaded punch on Di Matteo, she ducks the followup Acid Rainmaker, puts Jinny in the corner, Storm hits a piledriver... JINNY STEALS THE PIN BUT IT'S NOT ENOUGH! Acid Rainmaker attempt, Storm reverses...
Toni Storm wins by pinfall with a piledriver, winning Natural Progression Series IV and becoming the inaugural Progress Women's Champion!
Excellent match and very smartly constructed, not just to ensure all three women came off roughly equally, but to allow all their stories play out in full-- Jinny, the presumptive heiress, willing to do anything to claim the gold but laid low by her greed; Laura Di Matteo, focused on her former employer but never enough to lose sight of the prize; Toni Storm, fighting for the gold but with a huge target painted on her back as the biggest international star of the three.
And also a testament to the, well, progress that Progress has made. In a little over five years, to come from a plucky indie hoping to be a part of a UK revival to being not just one of the (if not THE) premier UK independent promotion, but to do so by growing their own talent is incredible, and nothing shows that better than their women's division.
To go from basically nonexistent to crowning their first champion in a main event that'd be worthy of the name on any wrestling show from Tokyo to Orlando to London and all points in-between, and all the work that implies at all levels of the business, it's incredible.
SSS16 heated up nicely with a Day Two that built on everything that was great about Day One. The main event, Riddle/Cobb, and Banks/Flamita are the obvious standouts, but both tags were really nicely put together, Haskins/Bate was infuriating in the best way, and Sabre and Sexsmith more than made the best of a bad situation.
Storywise, the Riots' losing streak continues and it seems like there might be just the tiniest bit of tension there, British Strong Style seem intent on putting their remaining man through the tournament by any means necessary, and Progress crowned a fitting women's champion in Toni Storm, who will assuredly defend the title around the world and really make it mean something. Plus Riddle's knee and Banks' kick are being built as deadly forces, and the contrast (where Matt picks up the win with his but Travis keeps digging deep and finding other ways to end matches) between them is pretty neat.
Check it out on Demand Progress, folks, and pop by tomorrow at 1PM Eastern when Day 3 goes up.