Lykos Gym and the Young Guns faced off in the finals of the PROGRESS tag title tournament as the promotion returned to Peckham.
Elijah pinned Danny Black in 9:08 (**½)
Warren Banks pinned LK Mezinger in 6:41 (**½)
Danny Jones & Brendan White pinned TK Cooper & Chuck Mambo in 16:11 (**½)
Dan Moloney pinned Gene Munny in 18:09 (***)
Mercedes Blaze & Gisele Shaw pinned Kanji & Alexxis Falcon in 11:14 (***¼)
Dean Allmark pinned Chris Ridgeway in 18:28 (***¼)
Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II defeated Luke Jacobs & Ethan Allen in 27:43 via referee stoppage to win the PROGRESS Tag Team Championship (***½)
We’re back at the Theatre Peckham, with a new ring canvas and Roy Johnson hosting. It’s a near-three hour show, so now’s the time to try out that “summarise” style again, eh? Commentary is now being manned by Hustle Malone and Olie Spring – who’s previously done commentary in the past for Sacrifice Pro. Olie’s taking the lead role by the look of it…
Kanji opens the show with a soliloquy, talking about how she came back from a broken arm to win the PROGRESS Women’s title. Of course she’s interrupted by Gisele Shaw, who mocked Kanji calling herself a “leader” and asked for a title shot.
Mercedez Blaze interrupts this very raw segment and brags about her recent unbeaten run. Blaze wants a title shot too, and things quickly break down as Kanji’s attacked… only for Alexxis Falcon to make the save as the scheduled Shaw vs. Falcon match later on got turned into a tag match.
Charles Crowley gets a cinematic entrance ahead of the opening match. He’s a baddie because he’s sneakily flipping us off. The audio’s really low as we get what I can best describe as a pantomime-level introductory speech (and I mean that in terms of delivery). Crowley’s associating himself with Elijah, and introduces him for the opening match…
Elijah vs. Danny Black
Black attacks Elijah before the bell as commentary reminded us of Black’s win over Elijah in the Natural PROGRESSion Series.
Crowley’s already interfering as he manages to neutralise Black’s early surge. An Electric Chair Drop gets Elijah a near-fall, as a cravat neckbreaker followed, before Elijah began to rake Black’s eyes. Black cuts him off with an enziguiri, before ‘rana’ing out of an Electric Chair drop… following up with a cross-armed SOS for a near-fall.
Elijah elbows Black away as he looked to win with a crucifix driver, but Black returns with a guillotine that Elijah suplexed his way out of… turning it into a Graveyard Smash suplex/powerbomb for a near-fall. A springboard into the ring is turned into a cutter by Black for another near-fall, but Elijah eventually got the win with the Dangerbuster. This was fine, but I’d rather have seen Elijah dominated Black rather than another even outing. **½
TK Cooper and Chuck Mambo have a backstage promo before their match with the Greedy Souls. Mambo’s a little delusional in his recollection of things, while TK Cooper starts reciting one of the Undertaker’s old theme songs.
LK Mezinger vs. Warren Banks
Mezinger’s back after losing to Big Guns Joe back in March…
Mezinger takes Banks to the ropes to start, then tripped him down before the pair hit the ropes. Given Mezinger used to be in a tag team called Bowl-a-rama, it’s very apt that the ring sounds like a bloody bowling alley! A ‘rana from LK has Banks down, but a Superman punch knocks Mezinger down into the corner for a series of stomps. Banks gets caught with some chops, before he caught LK in the corner, knocking him into the buckles head of an Eye of the Hurricane-like neckbreaker for a two-count. Banks tries to go for the mask again as he proceeded to wear LK down with forearms… seemingly knocking him out, but it’s a ruse as a diving kick from LK turned it around.
A cannonball from Mezinger nearly won it, as did a lariat, before a Kenny Omega-ish Finlay roll and moonsault came up short. Banks is right back in with a knee strike and a Michinoku driver, but LK’s up at two, before the Bullet Vehicle spear put Mezinger away. LK got a little, but the focus was on Banks here, who rightly won in short order. **½
Vignette time… Laura di Matteo’s returning on the next PROGRESS show. She’d been away from PROGRESS since March 2019…
Warren Banks called out Chris Ridgeway backstage…
Greedy Souls (Brendan White & Danny Jones) vs. Sunshine Machine (TK Cooper & Chuck Mambo)
The Greedy Souls return after their loss in an impressive outing two shows back…
Mambo and Jones trade holds early on, but it’s Jones who pulled ahead as the Welsh lads cornered Mambo. White tags in to wear down Mambo with an abdominal stretch, before White slammed his own partner onto Mambo for a two-count. Eventually Mambo fought back, booting White before the Macho Man hang up in the ropes led to TK tagging in for a quick Quebrada for a near-fall.
Cooper has more luck in getting things going, but he brings Mambo back in to try and keep White grounded. Mambo manages to tie up White for a surfboard, which led to a brief double-team with TK as the Sunshine Machine kept the upper hand. White charges TK into the opposite corner as he manages to bring in Danny Jones to turn things around, leading to a shoulder block from White for a two-count. Some elbows on TK lead to a backbreaker for a two-count, following up with a German suplex after an enziguiri from Jones. Danny’s in for a diving uppercut that nearly wins it, as White returned to keep TK cornered with some mudhole stomping. Eventually Mambo made a hot tag out in and cleared house on the Welsh lads, dropping Jones with a back elbow off the middle buckle, before a swinging side slam drew a two-count.
White breaks up the count, but gets thrown outside… a diving dropkick from Mambo to the outside keeps him there as TK returned for his part of a Gory Bomb Cutter. An assisted German suplex followed as the Sunshine Machine broke out the big guns, but a Chuck You’s stopped as Jones tagged out to White… but Brendan wasn’t holding the rope, nor was it a hand-to-hand tag, and that’s suddenly important right there and now.
As White argued with the ref, Jones raked Mambo’s eyes, before some double-teaming squashed Mambo in the corner en route to a slingshot Bossman slam for a near-fall. A double-team powerbomb gets the same result, but TK broke the cover before he headbutted Jones off the apron. A low-pe from TK keeps Danny on the outside as Mambo gets a near-fall from a frog splash, but bedlam breaks out as Mambo’s dragged onto the apron for a piledriver by Jones… leaving TK open to get thrown into an exposed corner, ahead of an assisted side suplex got the win. This was fine, but it took way too long to get going – I’d liked to have known more about the Greedy Souls’ characters, but we get what we get as they dished out another body blow to the Sunshine Machine. **½
Jody Fleisch is coming back to PROGRESS on the next show – he’d done 2018’s Unboxing Live and a match vs. Angelico in January 2019.
Backstage, the Sunshine Machine accuse the Greedy Souls of cheating. Mambo was remarkably chipper considering he was near death moments earlier after that piledriver.
Dan Moloney vs. Gene Munny
Munny’s dream of competing in a Super Strong Style 16 has no end date, since there’s no SSS16 on the cards at the moment… but he’s going to keep trying his best to earn a spot when it comes.
We’ve an even start as the pair went hold-for-hold, but Moloney enjoyed the early advantage with a shoulder tackle on Munny. A side headlock takedown grounds Munny, before another shoulder block had Gene down for a two-count. Munny tries a drop down as Moloney went to the ropes, and after some pinning attempts, found some form with a shoulder tackle of his own. Moloney returned, throwing Gene into the buckles, but he slingshotted himself into a Finlay roll from Munny, whose splash got countered with a roll-up as Moloney wasn’t in the mood for any fun or games. Munny teases a dive, but Moloney pulled him into the ropes and to the outside, before charging him into the edge of the ring.
Moloney takes off Munny’s dog collar, but the ref confiscates it as Munny got charged into the ring post. The focus stayed on the back as Moloney went back to the ring, clobbering Munny with a clothesline as commentary seemed to will Gene into giving it up. More kicks knock Munny into the ropes, before a big boot proved to be an effective response to Gene’s flash pin attempt. Munny counters out of a Drilla with a back body drop, before a slingshot spear gave him a near-fall… as did an F5?! Another boot from Moloney caught Gene up top, but a powerslam off the top got Gene enough time to reposition himself… only to get thrown down with an avalanche Angle Slam for a near-fall. They head onto the apron, as Moloney teases a Drilla on the side of the ring, only to get clotheslined back into the ring.
A Koppo kick knocks Munny to the floor, before Moloney flipped onto the apron and got clotheslined in the knee. An apron powerbomb from Munny turns things around as a second ref came out to check on Moloney… but Munny throws Dan back inside to clubber him with an Ainsley Lariat for a near-fall. More clotheslines wear down Moloney, before a superkick and a floatover into a Drilla for the win. This was a little longer than I expected, but it’s a valiant loss by Munny, whose long road here continues. ***
Backstage, Charles Crowley’s commandeered a camera for Elijah, as Crowley bigged up his performances since that Natural PROGRESSion Series exit earlier in the year. Crowley wants Elijah to take on Cara Noir… and that’s certainly A Match.
Mercedez Blaze & Gisele Shaw vs. Kanji & Alexxis Falcon
The scheduled singles match got turned into a tag at the top of the show then…
Falcon and Shaw start, which was the advertised match. They lock up into the ropes, with Falcon sparking some back-and-forth pins before Kanji and Blaze tagged in. A step-up legdrop from Kanji gets a two-count, with Falcon then returning as they worked over Blaze’s arm. Falcon builds up a head of steam, but she gets taken into the wrong corner as Shaw and Blaze looked to isolate her. Shaw’s kick to the back draws a two-count, as did a running Meteora from Blaze, before Kanji got drawn into the ring to argue the referee missing some double-teaming in the other corner. A suplex gets Shaw a two-count as Falcon tried in vain to fight back, but she’s overwhelmed by Blaze and taken into the corner as Kanji was left watching.
Shaw knocks Kanji off the apron as Falcon threatened another fight back, before taking Alexxis up into the corner for a hanging choke. Wash, rinse, repeat as Kanji’s knocked down again, before a tornado suplex out of the corner finally bought some time for Falcon to make the tag out to a fired-up Kanji. Kanji runs wild on Blaze, taking her to the corners ahead of a 619, before a sliding clothesline to the back of the head drew Shaw in to break up the pin. Falcon drags Shaw to the outside while Blaze’s hip attack in the corner, then a spear off the middle rope knocked down the champion for a near-fall. Falcon runs in with a splits legdrop, only to get kicked outside by Shaw… who then held Kanji on the top rope as a springboard armdrag was turned into the Tower of Blaze, as Mercedez pinned the champion. A solid tag match, with Kanji’s honeymoon with her newly-won title going sour quickly. ***¼
Backstage, Mercedez Blaze crowed over having beaten Kanji for a second time, then demanded a title shot.
Chris Ridgeway vs. Dean Allmark
It’s a PROGRESS debut for Allmark, who looks to be getting some more high profile bookings amid the pandemic…
From the opening lock-up, Allmark’s backed into the ropes as Ridgeway slowly backed off. A toe hold on the mat from Ridgeway’s escaped, as was Allmark’s cravat, with Ridgeway tying up the veteran for a tied-up STF. Allmark goes for a crucifix, but Ridgeway kicked out and rolled away into the corner, before the pair tried to go for heel hooks at the same time. The pair exchange elbows as they try to break it up, but they go back to the heel hooks before they scrappily get back to their feet. They then trade kicks to the thigh, but Ridgeway hits one to the inner thigh as he then tripped Allmark into an armbar. After some more dualling heel hooks, Allmark tied up Ridgeway in a deathlock as the pair stayed at close quarters, throwing elbows as they tried to push on in the hold.
Uppercuts from Allmark take Ridgeway into the corner, before a kitchen sink knee just turned the match on its head. Ridgeway stays on Allmark with a side chinlock, which gets elbowed out of, only for Ridgeway’s kicks to knock Dean back down. Shots target Allmark’s gut as Ridgeway began to get more clinical, before another kitchen sink was countered into a crossface by Allmark. Ridgeway escapes and took Allmark back into the corner for some boot chokes… but Allmark explodes back out, taking Ridgeway into the corner, tying him up for a stomp, before a Ruby Cutter landed for a near-fall. You know, that move everyone went nuts for that Toni Storm did a few weeks back on NXT?
We’re back to the elbows as Ridgeway pulls Allmark into a crossface by the ropes. There’s the expected break, before a German suplex and a PK draws a two-count for Ridgeway… more kicks have Allmark down to a knee, but he’s right back with a supekick and a pop-up powerbomb… pulling up Ridgeway into a Clash Driver for a near-fall. Shout-out to Jaxon Stone, the only other person I’ve seen hit that move…
Allmark trades strikes again, before a hiptoss took Ridgeway down for some open strikes to the face. The escape from Ridgeway took him into an ankle lock, but he gets pulled into a guillotine as the back-and-forth ended with a swift forearm from Ridgeway. They trade headbutts and more elbows as the intensity rose, but Ridgeway again pulled ahead before his PK was rolled away from… only for his follow-up of a crossface to be countered into a roll-up as Allmark snatched the win. For a match thrown out there cold, this was a pretty good scrap – although I do wish they’d thrown in SOMETHING to put meat on the bone, and give us a background, particularly since these two had fought for titles in the past elsewhere in the UK. ***¼
PROGRESS Tag Team Championship Tournament Final: Lykos Gym (Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II) vs. Young Guns (Ethan Allen & Luke Jacobs)
Winners get the PROGRESS tag titles that were stripped from previous champions Jordan Devlin and Scotty Davis last summer…
Allen and Lykos II start us off as commentary mentions how Kid Lykos I could be a record four-time tag champion if he wins today. The young ‘uns break in the ropes, then trade elbows as they looked to control the pace, with Allen’s side headlock folding Lykos II on himself. A tag brings in Jacobs, who dropped an elbow on Lykos II for a one-count, before the Young Guns’ quick flurry knocked the Lykii down. Allen’s back to kick Lykos II in the back, but a blind tag brings in Lykos I as the wolves rapidly combine to turn the match around. Despite being cornered, Allen tries to strike back, but gets caught in the thigh by Lykos II for a two-count as the Lykii forged a foothold in the match. A leaping stomp to the ribs crushed Allen for a two-count, before a leaping rear kick from Allen drew in Lykos I to snuff out the comeback before it got going.
Except Allen’s able to escape and make the tag to Luke Jacobs anyway, with Luke charging through the younger of the Lykii. A crossbody’s caught and turned into a suplex as Jacobs was having his way with Lykos II, ragdolling him around the ring for fun at points… before Lykos I got involved, allowing Lykos II to hit an armbreaker for a one-count. Lykos I tags in to take over, working over Jacobs’ wrist and shoulder, before Lykos II came in and threw him into Lykos’ boot. The tag rope’s used to choke Jacobs, before a phantom tag allowed the wolves to trade places. A mounted armbar from Lykos is broken in the corner, as Ethan Allen made the tag in to just run Lykos II from corner to corner ahead of an eventual back elbow.
Lykos I distracts again, allowing Lykos II to get a roll-up… but an Allen Slam countered that for a two-count for the Young Guns. Kicks weaken Lykos II, but Allen tags out to Jacobs, stinging the hand with a tag before an uppercut-assisted German suplex gets Luke a two-count. With one hand, Jacobs clubbed away on Lykos II, but got caught with a corner enziguiri from Lykos I as the Lykii again double-team, leading to a Sliced Bread onto the knees as the Wolves almost won the titles. Lykos I sits on Jacobs with an armbar as Lykos II restrained Allen… but he breaks free to break apart the hold as a Parade of Moves broke out among all four men. Rolling German suplexes from Jacobs ragdolled Lykos II, while a lariat dumped Lykos I for good measure.
Kicks are traded back and forth as Allen and Lykos II looked to strike a deciding blow, before an Allen Slam got countered into a DDT for a near-fall. Lykos II looks for more kicks, but that just fires up Allen, who punched him out before he windmilled away with strikes. The Lykii eat separate topes as Jacobs tagged in to try and finish off Lykos II, with German suplexes and DDTs getting a near-fall. The Young Guns keep going as a spinebuster/springboard back cracker on Lykos II nearly wins it. Lykos I throws in a baking tray to distract the ref, but the ref doesn’t fall for it. Instead, the Lykii gang up on Jacobs, with a Code Red and a bulldog into Lykos II’s knees leading to a Lykos I brainbuster for a near-fall as they continued to unload their arsenals.
Ethan Allen’s taken down with a Spanish Fly from Lykos II, then met with a brainbuster as Lykos I tagged in to stare down Jacobs. Kicks fired up Luke for one more comeback, which included him powerbombing the Lykii into each other ahead of a wicked lariat on Lykos II. Lykos I’s legal though, and gets lariated as well, before Lykos distracted the referee… cue some salt to the eyes of Jacobs, then a baking tray shot, before the grounded octopus stretch led to the stoppage. I wasn’t a fan of the referee missing the obvious interference with the WrestleMania 9 salt to the eyes, but the Lykii edged the win as the Young Guns fell short at the final hurdle. ***½
PROGRESS returns, likely in two weeks’ time, for Chapter 113: Warp into Monster Disco Hell. At this point these niche references are feeling like word salad…
A slightly underwhelming show, truth be told. Sure, we had Mercedez Blaze forcing her way into title contention, and Elijah trying to leapfrogg Spike Trivet as well, but otherwise this felt like a show where pieces fell into place, but not enough to give a fuller picture. Like the Catchphrase puzzles with those useless corner squares revealed… and after criticising it in prior shows, the commentary here was an upgrade, with the persistent-overhyping habits being reined in big time here.