PROGRESS’ final show ahead of Super Strong Style 16 set the stage for their June weekender, giving us some qualifiers and some landscape-changing incidents as well…
Tables Match: Alexxis Falcon defeats Skye Smitson in 7:16 (**½)
Ricky Knight Jr. pinned Leon Slater in 11:06 (***½)
Raven Creed pinned Max The Impaler in 9:12 (**¼)
Cara Noir vs. Spike Trivet ended in a double disqualification in 14:05 (***)
Maggot pinned Jurn Simmons, Bobby Gunns & Axel Tischer in 14:28 (***½)
Luke Jacobs pinned Roy Johnson to retain the PROGRESS Atlas Championship in 6:29 (**¾)
Charlie Sterling & Nick Riley vs. TK Cooper & Chuck Mambo ended in a draw at 20:07 (***¼)
Gene Munny defeated Jonathan Gresham via disqualification in 10:45 (***¼)
Gene Munny pinned Kid Lykos in 1:21
We’re back at the Electric Ballroom in Camden after April’s shows were relocated and… what the heck? Three and a half hours? It sure as heck didn’t feel that long live. The show opens with a video package to hype up the Cara Noir vs. Spike Trivet match, before we got the usual Simon Miller intro, and a nice touch as they recap (relevant) recent events with a video package. More of that, please.
Commentary comes from Olie Spring and Hustle Malone.
Tables Match: Alexxis Falcon vs. Skye Smitson
This one was sparked by the double count-out on the last show, and the ensuing brawl that involved the merch table.
Smitson attacked Falcon as she made her way out, hitting some body blows by the side of the ring before we got going. Uppercuts trap Falcon in the corner, but Falcon fights back with dropkicks and a tornado suplex. Things spill back outside for some brawling that led to Smitson having her head bounced off the table before she returned the favour.
Smitson maneuvers to the apron as she teases suplexing Falcon from the ring through a table… but it’s reversed as Skye’s taken back into the ring. Boots have Falcon rocked ahead of a Smitson Effect (Air Raid Crash)… but this one can’t end by pin, remember. Smitson brings a table into the ring, but gets caught with a Twist of Fate and a Sleeping Beauty diving legdrop from Falcon.
Falcon tries to push on, but gets caught in a Million Dollar Dream… and her tapping doesn’t help, as the crowd reminds Smitson “that’s not how you win it.” The table was then set up by Skye, who then got into it with the crowd, before spraying some water on Falcon… then the crowd. Back inside, Falcon’s lifted to the top rope as Smitson teased a superplex through the table, but Falcon charged her down through the wood… and that’s the win. This was alright for the time they had, but a little on the short side – and didn’t really make too much use of the table stipulation. **½
We cut to footage of outside the Electric Ballroom as Hustle Malone’s doing an interview, and news for Spike Trivet… his match with Cara Noir (who Spike insisted on referring to by his real name, Tom Dawkins) isn’t going to be the main event… because Cara reckoned Spike “didn’t deserve it.”
We’ve got another pre-tape, this time as Alexxis Falcon’s post-match comments were quickly interrupted by Skye Smitson, who threw her into a security gate. That feud’s not over, and my word, they’re still going ham with those video packages…
Ricky Knight Jr. vs. Leon Slater
We’ve a pair of chapter debuts, and an entrance video that perhaps should have been checked over…
Knight started by taking Slater into the ropes, eventually scoring with a shoulder tackle before his traditional speeding into the ropes led to leapfrogs, drop downs and a missed dropkick, before we hit a stand-off. That stand-off’s broken with a dropkick, as Slater’s taken into the ropes for a blistering chop.
Slater’s picked up and taken to the ropes for another one, before a stalling suplex threw Slater down for barely a two-count. A leaping forearm from Slater gets him back in it, as did a single-leg dropkick into the corner and a handspring back elbow that took RKJ down. Returning some of the earlier chops, Slater ends up getting downed again before he’s caught and drilled into the corner with a death valley driver.
RKJ’s next with dropkicks into and through the corner, before a London Bridge DDT planted Slater for a near-fall. Slater avoids a 450 splash and dives in with a superkick, before he spun RKJ down with a clothesline off the ropes. Knight recovers with some forearms as he again left Slater on jelly legs, which somehow drew chants of “murder.” Another single-leg dropkick has Slater back in it though, only for RKJ to return the favour in the ropes as a Destroyer then took RKJ outside.
Slater capitalises with a plancha, but RKJ caught it and countered it into a suplex on the floor. Recovering, Slater whips RKJ into the wall, then was popped up onto the mini balcony ahead of a flip senton back onto Knight, before a crossbody back inside nearly ended it. RKJ recovers with a Rainmaker and a Made in Japan for a near-fall, before a Fire Thunder Driver was escaped, with Slater hitting a leg lariat instead.
A back elbow from RKJ led to him getting pulled into a Blue Thunder bomb for a near-fall, before a springboard moonsault out of the corner was caught and turned into that Fire Thunder Driver for the win. A cracking debut for RKJ, although the story of the match on commentary seemed to be more about how hardy Slater was in defeat. Good showing from both men, and I can’t wait to see how they’re used going forward… ***½
After the match, Dan Moloney, Man Like DeReiss and Jody Fleisch come to ringside – and it seems like Slater’s now part of the (informal?) collective there.
Apparently March’s Electric Ballroom show is now steaming. It’s that hot?!
The obligatory post-match stuff outside has Dan Moloney and crew in the rain, putting over Leon Slater. Again, I like the idea of these promos, except when they interrupt the flow of the live show, but what was stopping that from being said in the ring?
Raven Creed vs. Max The Impaler
Creed’s been going after Lana Austin, but for this show Lana’s got some hired help in the form of a debuting Max the Impaler.
Creed’s frothing at the mouth (proverbially speaking), but gets taken into the corner to start, before she fired out with some forearms, then some work on the digits of Max as Creed took them into the corner for a dropkick. Max’s fingers are worked on again, before they crashed into Creed coming out of the corner.
A bodyslam dumps Creed after that, as Creed then got thrown across the ring as Max began to dominate. Creed’s met with a curb stomp after that, before Max got caught in the ropes as Raven choked them from the mat. A running knee followed, as Max ends up throwing away a waistlock and pulled Creed into a torture rack.
Max drops Creed out of the rack, then whacked her with a knee strike and a headbutt. Creed returned the favour with a headbutt of her own, then a diving knee before she took Max into the corner for a running uppercut. It’s back to the fingers as Max has their fingers stomped on before Creed went for a double stomp. That missed off the middle rope, but a standing stomp did not, only for Creed to get clobbered with a clothesline as she went for a Hellmouth.
Creed manages to haul Max up for a spinebuster, before she sidestepped a charge into the corner from Max. A German suplex takes them out of the corner, only for Max to return with a spear. Lana Austin tries to slide in a chair, but Creed caught her as Creed and Max resumed with forearms… Creed tries for a clothesline, but Austin tripped her in the ropes, and gets pulled into the ring for it. Lana’s cornered, then got thrown into Max, who squashed Austin with a body attack before Creed took the win with a roll-up. **¼
After the match, Max chased Austin into the crowd before heading to the back… and of course, we instantly teleport outside as Raven Creed promised Lana Austin she could throw anyone at her, and demanded someone bigger, stronger and scarier… so she could knock them down.
Another video package leads us into our next match…
Spike Trivet vs. Cara Noir
Cara came through the crowd, but didn’t attack Spike… who seemed to be expecting it…
When Cara did strike, he missed a corner dropkick, only to return with a shotgun dropkick as Trivet got bounced into the corners. We’ve a nice back body drop out of Trivet, who took one of his own seconds later before he was dropkicked to the outside. They head up towards the stage, where Trivet stomped Cara’s feet into the steel steps ahead of a teased piledriver on the stage.
Cara back body drops free, then kicked Trivet back to the floor, where Trivet took cover, taking Cara into the front row as the crowd scattered… allowing Cara to get back up and chop Spike into the third row. Trivet counters with a tombstone on the floor, then rolled back inside as he looked to claim a count-out win.
Barely beating the count, Cara slid back into the ring, but gets kicked and thrown with a wrist-clutch suplex as Trivet upped the ante. Snapping the toes does it, as does a snap suplex and a forearm, as Trivet followed that up with a suplex into the corner.
Trivet aims for the feet with another stomp, but Cara returned with a headbutt as he blocked an Irish whip… only for Spike to come right back with a Saito suplex. Dusty punches from Spike kept Cara on the back foot, as did a strait-jacket back cracker. A back senton’s next as Spike put Cara’s hands behind his back, before Cara blocked a package piledriver and countered into an overhead suplex, bridging for a near-fall.
Spike keeps the hooks on after kicking out, then took Cara into the ropes for uppercuts. They head onto the apron as Trivet took a back body drop, then a Capeoira kick back inside, as a Rude Awakening neckbreaker nearly won it. A sudden sleeperhold from Cara nearly had Spike out, but he punched out the referee… Cara breaks the hold, then went for a package piledriver, only for Spike to spin out and punt him low.
Trivet followed with a Birthright for a near-fall as a second ref counted a near-fall… elbows knock Spike into the ropes, before Trivet threw the ref aside as he went to separate. Cara does the same, before referee Oscar Harding was dumped through the ropes to the outside… and with the first ref Chris Hatch coming to, the match was thrown out. Now… a little annoyance here. Simon Miller announced the double DQ while Hatch was signalling, and before the bell was rung. Even if it’s obvious, it’s still irksome. Anyway, the match was fine, but save for the few loud ones in the crowd that played along, it didn’t feel like it was anywhere near as hot as you’d like the feud to be… ***
Spike and Cara continue to fight after the match… and the post-match is more anarchic than the match. Cara goes for a dive, but Spike stops it with a chair as he tried to bury Cara under chairs like he was Sami Callihan in AAW. The ring crew try to stop it, but Spike bites one of their noses, before Cara slung him into the back of the crowd. Hustle Malone leaves commentary as more ring crew try to separate them, but you know how pull aparts go. Cara then killed a crew member with a shotgun dropkick into the corner… then dove over the ring post with a tope con giro. They break apart again as Olie lost his mind on commentary… and I will say, the post-match stuff was better received than the match, particularly the challenge from Spike for Super Strong Style 16 weekend – an I Quit, Loser Leaves Town match against Cara. A nod from Cara signified the challenge being accepted, and my word, they sure love stipulation matches these days, huh?
After interval, they announce some more names for Super Strong Style 16 – Aramis and Robbie X. We’re then faded outside as Gene Munny’s arrived for his match tonight. He wants to get a deserved win, as those three seconds for the pin will be the biggest moment in his PROGRESS career to date…
Super Strong Style 16 Tournament 2022 Qualifier: Maggot vs. Bobby Gunns vs. Jurn Simmons vs. Axel Tischer
Our first Super Strong Style 16 qualifier of the night features some familiar faces from wXw, with commentary dubbing this a “Mount Rushmore” of wXw.
Gunns and Tischer get thrown outside early as Maggot tried his luck with Jurn, hitting the ropes before tripping the former three-time champion. Jurn responds with a throw into the corner, before he goozled Maggot and press slammed him to the mat. A standing moonsault followed for a two-count, before Tischer came in to hit some uppercuts.
Jurn took him to the corner, but Tischer escapes for a front suplex that gets a two-count. Another one’s blocked and countered by Jurn, only for Tischer to come back with a neckbreaker. Out goes Jurn, in comed Gunns, who snuck under the Axeman and kicked him in the chest. A kick to the back followed from Gunns, as the pair trade snapmares and punts, ending with Gunns torquing with Tischer’s arm for a stomp to the wrist. An O’Connor roll gets a near-fall as Tischer rolled out… Maggot slides back in to take advantage, strutting into a kick on Gunns for a two-count, before an enziguiri and a teardrop suplex nearly won the match.
Gunns goes back to Maggot’s arm ahead of an uppercut, before Simmons ran in to clear house. He chucks Maggot into Tischer with a suplex throw, then powerbombed Gunns for a two-count… that led to a powerbomb call, but Gunns gets free and returned with dropkicks and uppercuts. Tischer’s back too, but he gets met with an uppercut from a riotous Gunns, who then suplexed away Maggot.
A Saito suplex folds up SImmons, while a rebound German suplex catches Tischer, before Maggot’s cracked with a headbutt. The follow-up PK gets a near-fall for Gunns, as all four men hit the ring to try and take the upper hand. Jurn’s taken out with forearms from Gunns and Tischer, before a Maggot crossbody got rid of them… a spear from Maggot took care of Tischer, but a second’s kneed away by Gunns.
The Shotgun champion nearly wins with a crucifix on Gunns, before Jurn blocked another crucifix attempt. It’s turned into a Fireman’s carry as Tischer dumped the pair with a German suplex, before Gunns tried to take over. He and Tischer trade strikes, leading to an enziguiri from Gunns, before Tischer cleared out… hitting an uppercut to Gunns, who DDT’d Simmons in the process.
An inverted slam from Simmons dumps Tischer by the corner, before Jurn pulled himself up to the top rope… but he’s caught by Maggot, who’s then dumped onto Tischer below. Gunns catches Simmons up top, before Tischer’s leaping enziguiri led to the Tower of Doom that Maggot set off. Maggot tries his luck with pins, but only gets a trio of near-falls, before he caught Tischer with a satellite DDT.
Maggot’s resurging from there, going for a cutter on Gunns, who countered with an Octopus stretch… Jurn breaks that up with a Massive Boot to Gunns, then a spear to Maggot, as a Parade of Moves breaks out… ending with Gunns and Tischer spilling outside as Maggot surprises Jurn with a cutter for the win. ***½
After we’re told the 10th anniversary show is still steaming, we’re outside with Maggot and So Cal Val. He brags about beating wXw’s finest, and took that label for himself.
Back in the Ballroom, Kanji’s brought out as Simon Miller noted that they had two number one contender’s for Gisele Shaw’s Women’s title. Laura di Matteo’s not mentioned here, as Kanji threw down the gauntlet to cash in her shot at the title – in a best-of-three falls match over Super Strong Style 16 weekend.
PROGRESS Atlas Championship: Roy Johnson vs. Luke Jacobs (c)
This was Jacobs’ first defence, and Johnson’s first singles match in PROGRESS since the “Peckham era,” where he lost to Warren Banks in an outing that aired in November 2021.
Johnson tied up with Jacobs as they backed into the corner to start. We’ve a clean break, then some shoulder tackles, ending with Jacobs dumping Johnson ahead of a clothesline to the outside. Joining him on the outside… Jacobs gets POUNCE’d into the crowd, then was met with a Flatliner back inside as “Big Wavy” tried to end this one quickly.
A Last Set from Johnson’s escaped as Jacobs came back with a clothesline and a brainbuster for a near-fall. Jacobs followed in with forearms, only to get caught with another POUNCE back inside, as Johnson went back to that Last Set… landing it for a near-fall. Jacobs gets back to his feet and caught a charge into the corner, lifting Johnson up top ahead of a belly-to-belly superplex.
The pair trade strikes as they fight back to their feet, throwing forearms and uppercuts before a snap German suplex had Johnson back outside. Luke clears the crowd as a death valley driver threw Johnson into the seats, then it’s back into the ring as a sit-out powerbomb nearly won it. From the kick-out, Luke waits for Roy to get back up as a lariat knocked him down for the win. **¾
After the match, Axel Tischer comes out and interrupts Jacobs’ celebration so he could challenge him to a match for the title over Super Strong Style 16 weekend. Luke accepted, if only so he could “slap up” another former member of SAnitY…
Outside, Luke Jacobs said that some people “won’t ever be on my level” as he called himself one of the top dogs of PROGRESS – and vowed to keep the Atlas title with North West Strong.
Sunshine Machine (Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper) vs. Smokin’ Aces (Charlie Sterling & Nick Riley)
This was for a shot at the PROGRESS tag titles, with the Smokin’ Aces having been unseated at the 10th Anniversary show… while Sunshine Machine beat them for the belts, only to lose in the last leg of that gauntlet match.
When we finally get going, it’s Sterling and TK who get us out of the blocks with arm wringers, headlock takedowns and escape, before we reached a stand-off. Mambo and Riley tag in, as we get trip up attempts and a lucha roll-through as Mambo and Riley trade pinning attempts, before a neckbreaker from Riley left Mambo down.
A dropkick from Mambo knocks Riley off the apron ahead of a crossbody into the front row, before they returned to the ring, where Mambo took to the ropes for a springboard armdrag… but had to deal with Charlie Sterling before landing the move. The Macho Moonsault combination followed on Riley for a two-count, before Mambo’s springboard double back elbow took out both of the Aces.
TK and Mambo went for dualling O’Connor rolls, but they’re blocked as a blind tag from TK led to the Combo Meal for a one-count on Sterling. A spinning enziguiri from Sterling clears the ring as Riley dove into TK on the outside… Sterling tags in to hit one of his own, but Mambo kicks it away before Riley slingshotted him into the ring… only for TK’s crossbody to catch the Aces unawares.
Four become two as Mambo and Riley get clotheslines out of the ring, leaving TK and Sterling to trade right hands. Some confusion over a tag leads to Riley low bridging TK to the outside, before a back suplex onto Riley’s knees kept the Aces ahead. A grounded abdominal stretch is next as TK’s kept isolated, before he managed to squeak his way out to Mambo, whose missile dropkick took out two men at once. Chops see Mambo pull ahead as both the Aces were staying in the ring, leading to a back cracker and some corner-to-corner charges. A springboard back elbow from Mambo knocked the Aces down again, as did a double Blockbuster, before TK Cooper popped up and tagged in for a Gutterball Gory bomb cutter for a near-fall.
From there, a Designated Driver’s thwarted by Riley, but ends up having Sterling slingshotted into him as TK ended up hitting a shooting star press into a Sterling cutter. I have no idea what they were going for at the start of that… and I really ought to have kept a stop watch on how long the Aces have been in here. It was so long they forgot which of them was legal, as Sterling had to come in to make a cover from Riley’s Tiger Driver.
TK’s back to help set up for another Designated Driver, this time landing it on Sterling before leaping onto Riley for a Destroyer for a near-fall. All four men stay in the ring, trading forearms and the like… superkicks wear down Mambo, but there’s a lot more needed to put down TK, who ends up coming back with a headbutt, falling onto Nick Riley… and that’s the win? Except… TK’s shoulders were also down, so it’s called a double-pin.
Neither team was happy with the draw, so Sterling asked for five more minutes. I mean… it was a double-pin, not a time limit draw. Anyway, they restart the match with a five-minute limit. It doesn’t mean it restarted as a tornado, but all four men stay in the ring anyway, before TK and Mambo were lifted to the outside. Riley followed with a moonsault, while a big tope con giro from Sterling continued the carnage.
Back inside, a double-team legdrop/elbow drop off the top nearly puts TK away, before a Mambo superkick stops another double-team. TK rolls up Sterling for a near-fall, before a superkick/headbutt took Charlie outside as we’ve yet more dives to the outside. Back inside, a scissor kick from TK and a Mambo splash gets another near-fall. We keep going with a standing Spanish Fly from Riley, who then tagged himself back in to trade ref-trolling pinning attempts with Mambo.
We’re back to Sterling and TK, who keep it going, before duelling frog splashes got us back to ALL FOUR MEN IN THE RING AGAIN. Duelling Destroyers take us into the final thirty seconds, as Mambo and Riley hook themselves with superkicks, before reverse ‘ranas from TK and Sterling took us to the bell. I’m likely going to be the low man on this, but you should know by now that I cannot stand tag matches that end up like an extended four-way. Just do what War Machine used to do and have them under their own rules if you’re going to do this – at least it avoids awkward moments when people forget who’s legal! ***¼
Anyway, after all of that, Man Like DeReiss and Dan Moloney come out to address their “lack of number one contenders”. After the double pin, the crowd had chanted for a three-way dance, and wouldn’t you know it, we get that… as talk about “elevating the tag division” got us to that point, and the addition of ladder match rules. Given how those have typically gone in British wrestling’s recent history, I’m more than a little nervy, but hey, we’re loving stipulations around these parts.
Teleporting back outside with So Cal Val, and Sunshine Machine are more than ready for that title match… and then we get the 0121 with Val, who asked why they accepted the ladder match stipulation. Dan Moloney says they’re already at the peak, but won’t back down from any challengers or challenges.
Gene Munny vs. Jonathan Gresham
Rescheduled from last month, the gimmick here was that Gene had picked Gresham to face in a match to get into Super Strong Style 16. So Gene would need to beat the champion in order to qualify for a tournament that, if he won, he’d get a title shot for. Gresham bins a fan’s drink again (at least there’s no mess), then did the same with someone else’s full pint.
Before the bell, there’s shenanigans from the Lykos Gym, who attack Munny… and ended up getting another stipulation added to this. Namely, that is Gresham got himself disqualified – or if there were any other shenanigans – Gresham would be stripped of the PROGRESS title. Gresham ordered the wolves to the back to protect his skin…
We start with a swift Ainsley Lariat from Gene for a two-count at the bell, before he followed Gresham outside. A slingshot spear back in gets another two-count as Munny was throwing his best shots at Gresham, following with the DDD… but Gresham escaped as the pair began to trade chops. Gresham takes off his wrist tape and threw it aside – knowing the referee would be distracted by disposing of it – and followed up with a long eye rake that he broke at the count of four.
A neckbreaker’s neck from Gresham for a two-count, then a grounded Dragon screw before Gresham tied up Gene with a deathlock, looking for a submission… only to go back to the eye rakes. Another deathlock ends with Munny in the ropes, as Gresham stayed on Gene’s left leg, this time with a toe hold.
Gresham switches up with a side headlock that turned into a crossface, but Gene rolled it into a pinning attempt. Back on their feet, Munny tries to forearm away Gresham’s grip on his wrist, before it’s back to the mat as Gresham choked Munny by pulling on his collar. Not like in the Simpsons. Gene resists an Irish whip, so Gresham went back to the eyes… then went up top, only to miss a crossbody attempt.
A diving kick from Munny has Gresham down, right as the Lykii come back out… Gresham’s upset, but the distraction allowed Munny to splash him in the corner, ahead of a pop-up knee to the back and a pumphandle’d inside-out suplex for some near-falls. Munny tries to rebound out of the corner, but Gresham countered with an armbar, then switched it into an inside cradle for a near-fall.
A sunset flip yielded a two-count, as did further pinning attempts, so Gresham goes back to the crossface. Munny makes it to the ropes, before a baking tray’s slid into the ring. The referee gets rid of it, but Gresham’s attempted low blow gets blocked as Munny went for a roll-up, which only gets a two-count. Gresham intentionally pushes Munny into the corner for a ref bump, as this time the low blow lands…
Except Gene’s wearing a cup.
After we play a game of “pass the freshly pulled out cup,” Munny returned the favour and hit the DDD for a near-fall. Ainsley Lariat looks to follow, but Lykos slides the tray back into the ring. There’s a deft bit of footwork from Gene to take it out of the ring, but again the ref’s distracted as Gresham hits his low blow, this time for a near-fall as Gene kicked out. Heading outside’s not safe for Gene as a tope from Gresham lands, turning it into a mounted sleeper as he looked to snatch a count-out… but Gene rolls the pair into the ring to break the count in the nick of time.
From there, Kid Lykos heads into the ring with a baking tray… the referee caught Gresham with it, as Lykos gets the belt, and waited for Lykos II to turn the referee around. In full view of the ref, Lykos cracks Munny with the belt, and there’s a DQ. Gene Munny makes it to Super Strong Style 16… and Jonathan Gresham’s stripped of the title. ***¼
After the match, Kid Lykos mocked Gresham as he stormed to the back, explaining that this was all one big ruse as he and Kid Lykos II were looking for a purpose since they fell out of the tag title scene. Apparently they manipulated this with Gresham, as we get a lot of bleeped F-bombs as Lykos didn’t care about CCK, Jonathan Gresham or Chris Brookes… just the PROGRESS World title.
Lykos knew he couldn’t beat Gresham at his own game… but hatched a plan to get the title vacated. I mean, that’s a LOT of pieces he needed to fall into place. Anyway, that’s the belt vacated, and it’ll be put up for Super Strong Style 16… as Lykos mocked how “Gene 4 SSS16” ended. Munny fired back, demanding a match to “properly” qualify.
Super Strong Style 16 Qualifier: Gene Munny vs. Kid Lykos
It’s Kid Lykos I who wrestles here, not Kid Lykos II…
The bell rings, as Lykos is spun with an Ainsley Lariat… but Lykos comes back with a leaping knee and an eye rake, before a lungblower and a superkick left Gene down. A brainbuster lands at the first attempt, but Gene’s up at one… only to get taken into the ropes as Kid Lykos II cracked Gene with the baking tray as the ref was distracted. Again.
Gene quickly rebounds with another Ainsley Lariat to Lykos I, while another lariat lands… Kid Lykos II distracts the referee yet again, as Jonathan Gresham comes out to take care of the young wolf, fighting with him to the back. That leaves Munny alone to hit the DDD, and that’s enough for the win to get Gene into Super Strong Style 16. I mean, we got there in the end, but having built up, delayed, and had the shenanigans in the last match, I can’t help but feel this was a moment that in any other circumstance wouldn’t have been messed around with as much.
Munny celebrated with the crowd as we closed out the show… and now we’ve got a Super Strong Style 16 tournament for the vacated title – a tournament which’ll feature (deep breath, and with new announcements as of May 27): Gene Munny, Kid Lykos, Malik, Rickey Shane Page, Maggot, Chris Ridgeway, Big Damo, Robbie X, Aramis, Warren Banks, Charles Crowley, Jack Evans, plus one of Callum Newman/Joe Lando/Maverick Mayhew/Danny Black. Apologies to anyone I missed, but finding just the list of entrants is a bit of a mission…
PROGRESS in 2022 is a weird proposition. There’s plenty of things they’re doing well, but are either not clicking fully or are getting let down by the finishing touches just not being there. Regardless of what spawned it, Jonathan Gresham’s entire run has been a little odd – from his matches being edited off of the more “popular” airings of their shows, to his title run being wrapped up in a hurry after two defences. External forces, sure, but with the now-vacant title being put up in June’s Super Strong Style 16, we’ve got the chance for a real clean break with a champion that has no ties to old eras – and allow for a proper fresh start.