By Mark Worrall @hoohoowozza
02 Academy – Birmingham
Sunday January 15th 2017
London’s premier wrestling promotion Progress continue to spread their wings as they made their debut in the Midlands as the 02 Academy in the centre of Birmingham played host to Chapter 42. Progress Wrestling continue to host shows in the major cities of England and continue to grow, which was evident as 700 fans filled the 02 Academy as their debut Birmingham show hosted seven matches and several big surprises that made for an awesome afternoon of wrestling.
Ringkampf defeated The London Riots
Jake Sexsmith defeated Sebastion
Jimmy Havoc defeated Tommy End (Aleister Black)
Alex Windsor forced Livvi Grace to tap out
South Pacific Power Trip defeated The Origin (Banter Edition)
Spud defeated Paul Robinson by disqualification
Matt Riddle won the Atlas Championship defeating Rampage Brown
Jim Smallman opens the show and introduces the audience to an old friend; the whole of the 02 Academy erupts as Finn Balor’s music hits the speakers and the man formerly known as prince Devitt makes his return to a Progress ring. Balor decides that he wants to be active and participate in the show. What follows is a game of musical chairs with selected members of the crowd which unfortunately Balor fails to win! A great segment that really got the Birmingham crowd hot!
THE LONDON RIOTS v RINGKAMPF
Solid opening match where The WXW regulars were allowed to dominate most of this tag team encounter, For a large man Big Daddy Walter showed great agility as he powered over both the Riots who tried in vain to regain some control and even though they showed some moments of what they are about, Ringkampf were not to be undone as a great power bomb from Walter followed from a nice upper cut from Dieter and the beginning of the end was near as two big exploders from Ringkampf was followed by a BDV choke on Lynch who submitted to Walter.
SEBASTION v JAKE SEXSMITH
Pastor William Eavor continues to walk alongside Sebastion, however his presence may have cost him this match as a super kick from Sexsmith from the off allowed him to take some early control as he flew from the top rope taking down both Sebastion and Eavor on the outside. Sebastion was able to turn things around after he took an opportunity to send a drop kick through the ropes on Sexsmith as he stood talking to the Pastor. Sebastion hit Sexsmith with a variation of an Unprettier that was breathtaking to see. However Mr Cocko soon made an appearance and a miscommunication saw Sebastion send Eavor flying from the apron and Sexsmith took advantage as Sebastion submitted to Mr Cocko! Sebastion continued to berate the Pastor and initiated three slaps to the face of Eavor, who, held his own and walked away.
JIMMY HAVOC v TOMMY END
He maybe Aleister Black in NXT but to me he is Tommy End, who answered the call has Jimmy Havoc, who suggesting to Jim Smallman that the British Strong Style trio had failed their contractual commitments by wrestling elsewhere needed to give him an opponent today. The second surprise of the night as Tommy End, last seen leaving to join the WWE yet again erupted the crowd as he made his way to answer the challenge. This match went back and forth as both wrestlers new each other well. However, this match was quite short, although fast paced and Havoc managing to fly into End on the outside which saw himself land on the stage stairs would end after Havoc, kicking out from a nice German suplex from End was able to hit the returning end with his patterned Rainmaker to pick up the win.
NATURAL PROGRESSION SERIES
ALEX WINDSOR v LIVVI GRACE
Livvi struggled to keep up in this match and one could be seen to have some sympathy as she worked really hard to perform in a match that went too long as a variation of a sharpshooter from Windsor, who tried to keep Grace in the match, finally saw Livvi’s torment end as she was more or less egged on by the crowd to tap as Windsor progressed in the women’s version of the Natural Progression series.
SOUTH PACIFIC POWER TRIP (TRAVIS BANKS/TK COOPER) v THE ORIGIN (EL LIGERO/DAVE MASTIFF)
Referee Joel decided he had had enough of Dahlia Black’s interference and scoop slammed her sending her to the floor as Banks and Cooper cut the ring in half to work on Ligero. This match had opened with The Origin both sporting Lucha masks until Mastiff lost control and his mask. However Black’s interference would again be influential in this match as she stood on the apron and was the distraction the SPS needed as Cooper scored the pin on Mastiff keeping this team really strong. Really good tag match with plenty of humour from the Origin (banter edition) who did a really good job putting Banks and Cooper over.
PAUL ROBINSON v SPUD
Robinson brought so much heat with him into this match as he battered Birmingham’s own Spud, who himself was making his Progress debut. Spud selling was top notch as Robinson used his belt as a weapon before hitting some really hard kicks to his back. Robinson did his job perfectly as he knocked Spud all over the ring as his parents sat in the crowd watching as they witnessed their boy being bit on the neck and having spit dropped on him. Of course the retaliation came as Spud dived three times to Robinson ringside before unleashing his own belt onto Robinson. Spud picked up the victory as Robinson was caught by Referee Joel after giving a low blow. Robinson wasn’t done as he attacked Spud post match which saw Jimmy Havoc making the save.
PROGRESS WRESTLING ATLAS CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
RAMPAGE BROWN(c) v MATT RIDDLE
Another surprise as ‘Bro’ Matt Riddle answered the Rampage Brown open challenge for the Atlas Championship. However, Riddle nearly had his head knocked off has he took some really hard and vicious clothes lines as Brown was really powerful from the start. The match was hard fought throughout as Riddle countered with some strong kicks to the back of the champion that hurt his own foot. Riddle’s determination to win helped him topple the champion has he pummelled Brown continuously with slap after slap until the champion succumbed to the three count and a new Atlas champion. A Really awesome main event, that saw both wrestlers work really hard in a true Progress style match.
A great debut event for Progress Wrestling as they held their first and definitely not their last show in Birmingham. Of course the surprises helped put the show over, and the enormity of those surprises would have done that anywhere. A must watch when the show airs on the Progress on Demand service so be sure to check out the show.
Show Rating A-