Chapter 47 Eyewitness Review
Lots of insane matches happened over in Orlando after the last chapter, I unfortunately didn’t attend so I’m unable to write an Eyewitness Review. I did however go to Camden this Sunday for Chapter 47, which was a lot of fun and quite emotional in places. Here is my take on the action.
The show kicks off with James Drake looking to carry on his momentum against Eddie Dennis. Due to contractual issues with Universal the tallest member of FSU is no longer allowed to party hard, but he will give it as good a go as possible with his new theme tune. I really liked the theme tune and I thought it matched Eddie well. With one less thing to worry about, can he overcome Drake’s winning streak?
Drake must have booked an early trip home and wanted to get Eddie over and done with quickly as he went for the sneak attack straight away. Eddie shakes him off and manages to hoist James up on his shoulders for a buckle-bomb. It looks to be bad karma for Drake as Eddie attempts a Next Stop Driver to end it all, but there’s a reversal. A series of roll ups follow, the best either of them get is a 2 count.
Eddie, with the momentum goes for a superplex, but its not enough. Drake hits a massive exploder suplex but is not able to beat the Welshman who lifts his shoulders up to deny the victory. Eddie busts out a fisherman’s suplex which almost keeps Drake down. Exhausted, both men are trading forearms in the ring for a last big hit. Eddie eventually succumbs to Drake in the end, perhaps due to the punishment he took early on. Clearly not one for the crowd, he calmly leaves the ring and heads towards the ramp.
The Natural Progression Series has it’s last semi-final next. Alex Windsor takes on Projo Alumni Laura DiMatteo with the winner going against Jinny and Toni Storm to crown the first ever Progress Wrestling Women’s Champion. Laura manages to push her opponent early on into the corner. A short tussle later and the Italian is trying a ground and pound attack but Windsor is able to take this in her stride.
Alex Windsor takes the action outside where she can seemingly try and regain composure. She gains the upper hand quickly by using her t-shirt to choke DiMatteo right in-front of referee Chris Roberts. He manages to snatch the shirt away before throwing it up to Jon Briley and out of action. The match continues inside and Laura gets her legs crossed over so she can’t escape, Windsor pulls Laura’s arms far back behind and wrenches them, raising Laura’s head higher until she lets go and Laura recoils into the canvas.
Laura is desperately trying to mount more than just the odd bit of offence, she tries a lung-blower but this is shrugged off by Windsor who is enjoying being so dominant. She throws Laura around into a blue thunder-bomb. It looks bleak for the home favourite, Alex is positioning herself to finish the match with a scorpion deathlock when this is reversed by DiMatteo which forces the tap. Windsor is right to be upset with this match as she had the upper hand for most of the match. Laura never gave up however and advances to the final in May.
Our third contest this evening sees the debut of Mike Bird from Newport, he is up against “Flash” Morgan Webster who is looking to climb the ladder and earn himself a title shot. The Birdman stands in his way.
Bird doesn’t stand out at being one of the strongest guys in the locker room, but he must have had his weetabix today as he is out to demonstrate his power. This is clearly frustrating Flash as he must use all his skill to escape a very tight wrist lock. Bird is getting annoyed by Flash’s antics and so spits in his face, the 700 strong Progress crowd telling him off for being a dick. Webster capitalises on this and goes for a series of arm drags to disorientate his opponent.
The match continues outside, Bird feels he can regain his momentum and slams Webster onto the unprotected floor, then on the corner of the ring apron for good measure. Sensing a debut victory within his grasp, Bird brings him back into the ring for a devastating pump-handle slam, but only gets a 2 count.
On the opposite side of the ropes, Webster swings round from one part of the ring to another and flies at Bird for a hurricanrana, slamming him on the floor. The fight breaks into the Electric Ballroom, the Modfather parts the crowd in-front of him before pacing back a little and then performing a running cross-body into Mike Bird who seems to be on the back foot now.
Back inside the ring, Bird is going back to the power game. He tries a sit down powerbomb but only gets a 2 count. Flash retorts with a fireman’s carry into a neck-breaker for a 2 count of his own. Both of these athletes are busting out the big guns , hoping one big move is enough to secure victory. Mike Bird tries again to fly, but is hit with an almighty knee on his descent from the top rope. Bird is unable to get out of Webster’s third attempt at a guillotine choke for the victory.
After an impressive debut in-front of the Progress crowd, it looked for one minute we would see Mike Bird shake hands with the victor. True to form, we see another spit in the face before leaving for Flash to soak up the spotlight. He tells us it has been one year since his WWE Cruiserweight Classic match against Zack Sabre Jr which put him out of action for 10 months, Webster is back healed now and is looking to catch up on lost ground. He heads back to the back and waves one more farewell to the crowd when all of a sudden he is hit from behind by James Drake. This unprovoked attack must surely have some repercussions further down the line.
The fourth match is the first half main event. The London Riots come down the ring first, awaiting their opponents; The South Pacific Power Trip. A standing ovation greets the trio, which would bemuse you if you hadn’t kept up with social media recently. TK Cooper and Dahlia Black are heading back to New Zealand due to their visa expiring.
The Riots, usually not one for sentiments allowed the couple to soak in the adulation before getting into the match. Both teams comfortable in chaos, this became a contest of who could wow the crowd the most. The Riots started with dives to the outside, Travis hits a topei, TK manages to lift a Riot up over his head and suplex’s him into his opponent and his own team mate! A few seconds later and we see a beautiful moonsault from a Riot, wiping out everyone.
Dahlia tries to help out her teammates by removing her protective boot (she recently broke her leg in a previous chapter) and smashing it over their opponents heads. Back to standard tag team now, Travis uses his kicks to their full potential, a European uppercut follows, then a massive cannonball, TK gets the tag and hits a beautiful delayed dropkick.
The Riots are used to taking a beating, they pride themselves on being the measuring stick for Progress. It’s not long until they are back in the saddle. A thunderous headbutt follows, no effect on TK who proclaims “I’m Samoan” before getting clotheslined inside out. Both men get up, a double spin kick and then a flip pile-driver on TK but the Riots still can’t put it away.
In quick succession we see a Spanish fly, a senton from TK and a graceful coast-2-coast from Travis. All appearing to set up the finisher, some more kicks and a Michinoku driver from Travis and a superb 450 splash by TK, but they can only manage a 1 count! Riled up now, they spike their opponents head right down in a vicious double move to gain an emphatic victory.
Glenn Joseph comes down to wish them well, and to let them know that anywhere in the world there’s a tag team title shot available; they just have to say the word. This was a fantastic match and a fitting way to say “good luck” as TK and Dahlia embark on their next chapter.
The start of the second half is a number one contenders match for the Progress Wrestling Championship. Mark Andrews comes out first, closely followed by Mark Haskins. Two fan favourites who have already been champions set out on their path to reclaim their belt after controversial circumstances.
Both competitors have a distinct style, Andrews is known for his high flying moves, while Haskins has more of an explosive moveset – at the start of the match they decide to feel out each other with mat wrestling.
Haskins has a game plan. Early on he targets the leg of White Lightning, trying to curb any athleticism later on. Some kicks and a dragon screw leg whip makes his intentions clear. Andrews manages to get Haskins on the mat and lunges forward with a double stop to the chest. Haskins regains his composure and is back to working the leg, hoisting it over his head in a modified crab submission, Andrews grabs the ropes for the break.
Andrews tries to make his mark on the match, he goes for a wheelbarrow / bulldog combo. Haskins attempts a brainbuster but this is countered into a stundog millionaire. There’s more back and forth action, Andrews is trapped in a triangle choke but manages to turn himself over, Roberts counts Haskins shoulders down for the 3 count, but Andrews couldn’t take it any longer and taps at the exact same moment. The referee declares a draw. Jim, Jon and Glenn all agree that the next Progress title defence after today will be a triple threat.
On we go now to a qualifying match for the Super Strong Style 16 tournament. Paul Robinson against Jack Sexsmith. These two have had quite the war of words over social media, Sexsmith seems to rub Robbo up the wrong way for some reason. Now it’s time to settle the score.
Robinson comes out first, while his music plays he taunts the crowd, a large section throwing their middle fingers in the air in defiance. Sexsmith comes out and attacks an oblivious Robinson from behind, ushering him into the ring. Sometime after ringing the bell Robinson gains the advantage again, setting Jack up for a Cheeky Nandos in homage to his friend Will Ospreay. Instead of the kick to the head we were expecting, Robinson starts biting the ankles of Sexsmith like a feral animal.
More offence by the rabid Robinson follows, Sexsmith manages to counter with a DDT. He then tries to enrage Robinson, throwing him off guard by kissing him and then going for a neck-breaker. This distracts Robinson enough so Sexsmith can rummage around for his secret weapon; Mr Cocko! Robinson breaks free and strikes Sexsmith hard with high knees, he then misses with a kerb-stomp. Jack tries to use Mr Cocko again but Robinson bites the hand, forcing him to release the hold.
Sexsmith lands a destroyer on Robinson but it’s not enough to claim victory, Robinson manages to pull off a kerb-stomp, moments later we see an Os-cutter, but still only manages a 2 count. Robinson takes his time, assessing the damage he has caused while climbing to the top rope. He hits a glorious shooting star press but unable to capitalise. Another attempt at the kerb-stomp is very reminiscent of Wrestlemania 31 but in this instance we get a reversal into a mRcocKO! Robinson taps and Jack Sexsmith is entered into the SSS16 tournament.
Paul Robinson is handed the microphone and explains that he will be unable to compete in Progress any more due to a hereditary condition which has been passed down for generations. He thanks everyone he has worked with, the management and the fans for their support over the years. The speech he gave was very emotional and made me feel very blessed that I was able to watch him do what he wanted to do, at the level he did it. I thoroughly enjoyed booing the shit out of him when he was competing, this is a testament to his talent. I will miss him immensely and I wish him all the best.
The final match is a first for Progress, a six man tag with a difference. Each member of British Strong Style will have their respective belt put on the line. If one of the competitors costs their team the match then they will also lose their championship. Tyler Bate, Trent Seven and Pete Dunne must be extra cautious when facing the formidable opponents Walter, Timothy Thatcher and Axel Dieter Jr; collectively known as Ringkampf.
Thatcher watches the champions head towards the ring, his gaze never leaving one of his opponents. His scarf is held in his hand, giving the impression he would love to replace it with a belt. The champions are in their usual taunt mode, they appear to perform a HHH spritz, but stop part way through, stirring up more jeers from the crowd.
Axel Dieter Jr starts the match, a heavy cravat placed on Tyler who is trying to break the hold. Axel then goes for a wrist lock, this is still applied even after a scoop-slam. Thatcher is called into the ring, Pete Dunne agrees to test the former Evolve champion, a tussle ensues and then the larger Walter is called in for maximum damage. The sheer sight of the Austrian is enough to bring all members of B.S.S into the ring.
It takes all three members to move the big lad, he then turns around and uses the ropes for momentum to take all three members with a dropkick. The action then spills outside, Walter chops Trent with his large hands. Seven reels from this and edges back into the ring. Walter sinks in a sleeper hold, Trent is trying to grab the ropes but is thrown to the floor with a mighty German suplex, and then a butterfly variation to boot.
Tags are made and we have Timothy Thatcher against Pete Dunne again, the Bruiserweight manages to lock Thatchers legs – leaving him nowhere to go. He taunts Ringkampf by linking his arms behind his back with a sneer of disdain to complete the look. He hops to lift his legs up and then brings them crashing down, Thatchers knees experiencing the injury to the added insult.
Tyler then goes to work on Thatcher, he rallies back with some slaps and then manages to tag Axel Dieter Jr. He hits Tyler with a flying uppercut and then a low flying uppercut while he’s reeling from the first. All of a sudden we have Pete Dunne in the ring, Walter picks him up and performs an air raid crash, slamming him down on Tyler. Thatcher grabs Tyler for a beautiful butterfly suplex into a pinning combination, but this is broken up before the ref calls for 3.
Walter uses his insane strength and pulls off a double German suplex on 2 members of B.S.S, there’s then a triple submission attempt by Ringkampf but this is short lived. Bodies everywhere, Tyler shows his own superhuman strength by lifting the dead weight of Walter into a German suplex of his own. An Indytaker of all things follows this up, but Ringkampf are still in it! Walter tries again for the sleeper on Trent this time, with the referee distracted, Dunne sneaks in a glancing blow to his head with the title belt, 3 seconds later and its all over. All members of B.S.S are champions still, but for how long?
This was the most emotional wrestling show I have ever seen. All matches had passion, and while I long for a change to the current championship scene, I have to concede that British Strong Style are the most dominant force is British Wrestling. I am already looking forward to the next chapter. It’s a shame that some of the familiar faces will be missing, but this just means that there’s more opportunity for others to step up. This is what makes pro-wrestling so special, I love being a part of it and I hope to see you there.