On the 30th of September PROGRESS showcased the best of British talent to the biggest crowd in English independent wrestling history, of 4,750.
The show started with Matt Riddle’s final independent appearance against British veteran Mark Haskins. The match was full of hard hitting action, ultimately seeing Haskins pick up the victory. A fitting send off for Riddle, who’s heading to NXT.
The next match was for the Women’s title. This three way had great potential but fell flat due to hijinks meaning Jinny retained, whilst fan favourites Millie McKenzie and Toni Storm were left drawing the short straws. We did get the PROGRESS debut of Jordynne Grace though, so every cloud.
The show continued with the Atlas Title match that saw Doug Williams, the 20+ year veteran, career on the line, against Trent Seven. Seven managed to pin Doug to become the new Atlas Champion, and in turn retire Doug Williams. When British Wrestling was in the darkest of places, Williams never let the light die. A very sad and bittersweet ending to his long career. Thanks, Doug.
The fourth match before the interval was the NO DQ match between Jimmy Havoc and Paul Robinson. I don’t want to give too much away, just watch it when you can.
After the interval and buying a pint and a bag of nuts for roughly £340 (stadium prices, eh?) we saw the Thunderbastard tag match. This ran too long and was hard to follow at times. Aussie Open managed to secure the titles for their first reign.
Advertised as the biggest match in Europe, Pete Dunne and Ilja Dragunov squared off for a hard hitting, fast paced masterclass in the ring. They went near twenty minutes, and never let up once. The two young lads managed to live up to the hype and Pete came out on top. Amazing fun.
The year long rivalry of Eddie Dennis and Mark Andrews ended next, in a very unforgiving TLC match. It took Dennis diving off a ladder, Mandrews in tow, to finally break a table so Dennis could win, to an amazing reaction from the crowd.
Finally, we got to see PROGRESS Champion Walter take on Tyler Bate. The size difference alone of the two men is enough to think Bate has no chance, easily two feet shorter than Walter, but he more than held his own for half an hour. Sadly it wasn’t enough and Walter retained, but in doing so earned the respect of the current Champ, solidifying himself into the title picture.
Whilst the show did run over, it was incredible fun and a very proud moment for the British Scene.
A perfect example of what to expect from Indy wrestling, you can catch it on demandprogress.pivotshare.com as soon as it’s available.
You can also hear us go in depth into the matches and much more wrestling related guff the next episode of Staring At The Lights. Visit @thelightspod on Twitter for more details.