2022’s Super Strong Style 16 tournament concludes, with a new PROGRESS champion being crowned.
Charles Crowley, Charlie Dempsey, Dean Allmark & Rickey Shane Page pinned Callum Newman, Big Damo Jody Fleisch & Maggot in 12:35 (**¾)
Super Strong Style 16 2022 Semi-Final: Warren Banks pinned Johnny Progress in 10:26 (*¾)
Super Strong Style 16 2022 Semi-Final: Chris Ridgeway defeats Gene Munny via referee stoppage in 11:10 (***)
Best Two Out of Three Falls – Kanji defeated Gisele Shaw by 2 falls to 1 in 19:21 to win the PROGRESS Women’s Championship (***½)
Aramis & Jack Evans pinned Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II in 13:18 (***)
Anthony Ogogo pinned Tate Mayfairs in 6:53 (**)
Luke Jacobs pinned Axel Tischer in 15:23 to retain the PROGRESS Atlas Championship (***½)
Super Strong Style 16 2022 Final: Chris Ridgeway pinned Warren Banks in 21:46 to win the PROGRESS World Championship (***½)
Nearly four hours long, and eight matches on the card… everyone’s gotten half an hour, have they? We’re back at the Electric Ballroom for this test of endurance, as we open with a recap B-roll package of night two, before we go to Olie Spring and Hustle Malone on commentary.
Our opener is a “pick your teams” match, with Big Damo and RSP picking their own sides. We’ve got referee Tom Scarborough with a football, we’ve a coin toss, and RSP and Damo “swap shirts,” and already I’m envisioning some folks hating the ever-loving shit out of this. Damo called out Jody Fleisch as his first partner, but Charles Crowley came out, complete with his video, music and production while commentary acted like this was a production flub. RSP told Crowley to buy a ticket, as the team picking ended with RSP trying to pick Rollerball Rocco for his time. He’s dead, so Crowley got picked last… oh, we also saw the return of “Charlie Dempsesy”. Check your lower-thirds, lads…
And since they’d gone overboard on football analogies on commentary, they played the Champion’s League theme live… which had to be dubbed over on the Network, because, you know.
Big Damo, Jody Fleisch, Maggot & Callum Newman vs. Rickey Shane Page, Charlie Dempsey, Dean Allmark & Charles Crowley
We’ve over 20 minutes into the VOD when the bell went…
Allmark and Fleisch start off at a pace, with backflips, legsweeps and handsprings into a stand-off. Tags, or “substitutions” as they called them, brought in Dempsey and Newman, with the former taking Newman down in a wristlock before he worked the shoulder. Newman countered onto the ropes, leaping over Dempsey ahead of a BUSHI roll from Dempsey for a near-fall. Damo and RSP tag in… but Crowley and Maggot blind-tag in before anything could happen, as those two apparently give us Rock/Hogan vibes? Maggot blocks a poke to the eye, then grabbed a side headlock which was pushed off before Maggot tripped Crowley. The poke to the eye from Crowley followed, with a quick receipt coming, before a Test of Strength ended with the two dancing.
Crowley tries to hit a clothesline, but Maggot ducked it as Damo and RSP wandered in to break that shit up and drag them to the corners. Damo and RSP hit shoulder tackles, before a RSP ‘rana and a head kick had Damo staggered. A blind tag brings Crowley back in, but he’s just battered around by Damo, who walked over him before Fleisch tagged in. A slam gets Jody a one-count, as Newman came in to get a two-count out of a standing moonsault. Crowley runs into Newman’s boots ahead of a springboard… but it’s caught and turned into a Cross Rhodes by Crowley… whose attempt to tag out saw his team leap off the apron in unison. Maggot’s back to hit an enziguiri and a crucifix bomb for a near-fall.
Dempsey slaps Crowley in the back to tag in as he hit a gutwrench, then a German suplex to Maggot, before a bridging butterfly suplex forced Crowley to change the grip to get a pin. Kicking out at two just earns Maggot a spinning Cattle Mutilation, but Maggot escapes an armbar as Damo tagged in to trade uppercuts with Dempsey. A blind tag out’s ignored as Dempsey runs into a choke bomb… and now the blind tag counts as the ref refuses to count the pin. Allmark came in with a crossbody off the top as I wondered, wwhatever happened the five count, eh? A Ruby Cutter from Allmark took Damo down, before a Parade of Moves broke out as RSP cut off a 720 DDT from Fleisch. RSP takes the 720 though, before a rebound heel kick and a kick-assisted Made in Japan from Newman led to dives. A shooting star press into the pile outside from Fleisch… while one to Allmark from Newman in the ring sees RSP break up the cover.
RSP tags in, but instantly gets blind-tagged by Crowley as he was dropkicked into the corner… a chokeslam with a kick on the way down has Newman down, but Crowley missile dropkicks RSP out of the ring, then stole the pin on Newman for the win. As a multi-man tag, this was fine, but the presentation around this just irked me to no end. **¾
After the match, Crowley’s team-mates chase him to the back. Imagine if they’d lost.
So Cal Val’s somewhere backstage “after day two,” telling us that Anthony Ogogo’s issued an open challenge. Tate Mayfairs wanders in to answer it, and I guess we’ve a match.
Super Strong Style 16 2022 Semi-Final: Johnny Progress vs. Warren Banks
“This weekend, essentially, has all been about the Strong Style 16 tournament.” They should have named these shows after the tournament… oh.
Banks went out in the semis in April’s Atlas tournament weekender, and is looking to at least go one step better here. A wristlock took Banks to the mat early, with Johnny working the wrist and a chinlock, grounding Banks in the process. Bending back the not-taped-up arm, Johnny looked to be setting up for a stomp, but Banks takes it to the corner, following up with a monkey flip out of the buckles. A snapmare from Banks ends with Johnny going to the ropes… tripping Banks into a side headlock. Getting free, Banks gets met with a single leg lariat, then rolled Johnny up for a two-count after avoiding a kick attempt. Banks’ own leg lariat takes Johnny down for a two-count, following up with chops before they began to trade forearms.
Banks hits the ropes, but Johnny’s springboard leg lariat countered for a near-fall. A snapmare, a kick to the back, a knee strike and a break-dancing legdrop gets Johnny a two-count, before Banks’ jawbreaker took Johnny to the outside. Johnny goes under the ring to confuse, but emerges… and eventually picks Banks’ ankle ahead of another knee strike. Johnny drags him to the corner, but a Starship Pain’s countered with a roll-up and a superkick, before the pair traded right hands. Johnny aims for the knee, then hit a Moonlight Drive neckbreaker… but Banks kicks out at two. He blocks Johnny’s next attempt at Starship Pain, countering it with a spin-out suplex for a near-fall.
A charge from Banks hits the corner, before he went up top… he’s caught by Johnny, who couldn’t get a Spanish Fly off. They go to the opposite corner to set it up again, with Banks this time landing awkwardly on his already banged-up shoulder. Johnny rolls over to go for a pin, but he’s clearly buggered too… Banks kicks out, goes straight for the Bullet Vehicle spear, and that’s enough to make it to the finals. This wasn’t good – at times it felt in slow-motion, and with definitely Banks and maybe-Johnny banged up, this perhaps could have done with being shorter. *¾
Afterwards, Banks headed straight to the back, presumably for some ice, while Johnny Progress got “please come back” chants. We then go to Banks with So Cal Val outside for the requisite promo.
Super Strong Style 16 2022 Semi-Final: Chris Ridgeway vs. Gene Munny
Barring injury, the winner of this should be the clear favourite in the final, going by Warren Banks’ condition…
Gene’s left hand is taped up with a broken knuckle… and Ridgeway looked to go for it early on amid a knuckle lock. A kick to the leg drops Gene, as Ridgeway then worked the left leg with elbows and a grounded Dragon screw. Ridgeway offers his leg, but it just baited Gene in for a front facelock, before Ridgeway pulled Munny into a modified calf slicer, ending in the ropes. Forearms from Munny take Ridgeway into the corner, with a T-Bone suplex taking Ridgeway out of it. Clothesline in the opposite corner follow, as did some Snake Eyes and a German suplex as Munny was building up a head of steam. Only for a wacky wheelbarrow takedown from Ridgeway to stop it all as a heel hook ended in the ropes.
Munny held onto the rope for too long, as Ridgeway stomped on it to break the grip… more work to the injured hand followed, leading to a Kimura… but Munny powerbombed his way out of it for a near-fall. A Dragon screw in the ropes takes Munny back down as a leg lock looked to force the stoppage, but Munny bites Ridgeway’s knees before making the ropes. Ridgeway goes to the Trailer Hitch from there, loosening Munny’s boot while he had the foot… off comes the sock and the knee pad as Ridgeway puts in a regular Figure Four, pounding at Munny’s knee to boot, but Gene’s able to scoot on his arse towards the ropes to force the break. Out of nowhere, an Ainsley Lariat nearly steals it for Munny, before Ridgeway pulled Gene down, looking for a Skayde special, only to roll him into a trapped Stretch Muffler with some extra kicks… but again, Gene makes it to the ropes.
A stomp to the unprotected knee of Munny followed, then a PK… but Gene rolls up and takes some palm strikes. Another PK sinks him to the mat for a near-fall, before Ridgeway sized up for a punt to the back. Munny’s pulled up by the collar, then dumped with a brainbuster before a knee bar forced the referee to call it. While the injury hampered things, I really liked the story here of Ridgeway being all aggressive – it gave Munny a chance to show more heart, but in the end the walking wounded was no match here. ***
Post-match, Munny’s chucked through the ropes to the outside… then was met with a kick as Ridgeway made his way to the back. The Gene Munny story ends in heartache, unfortunately.
So Cal Val’s outside, but she tells us Chris Ridgeway turned down an interview… o-kay?
We’ve a cracking video package for the Kanji/Gisele Shaw match that’s up next. More of this please!
Best Two Out of Three Falls for PROGRESS Women’s Championship: Kanji vs. Gisele Shaw (c)
Kanji won a Thunderbastard match back in February to get a shot at the title she was forced to vacate last summer when we were still in the midst of the empty arena shows. She comes out in the medieval shield and sword from the video package, which is a nod to the whole “dragon slayer” theme they’d weaved in here… while Gisele Shaw got pyro. This probably should have been a main event, but I don’t know where you’d have slotted it in with the rest of the stuff they had on the cards.
The crowd’s solidly behind Kanji at the start, but Shaw explodes with a spear and began to choke Kanji with her boot by the ropes. Chops take it to the corner, but Kanji rebounds in… and eats a clothesline for a two-count as Shaw then went to the levering armbar… forcing Kanji to tap just 1:50 into the match.
Shaw celebrates her early lead, and booted Kanji out of the corner before some choking in the ropes followed. Kanji fights back, but gets clubbed down with two forearms and some chops… uppercuts into the corner follow, ahead of a running uppercut for a near-fall, before she booted Shaw between the ropes, sending her across the middle buckles for a knee to the back of the head. Kanji heads to the apron and elbows Shaw as she was across the middle turnbuckle irons, only for Shaw to sneak in as she pulled Kanji arm-first into the post. Shaw rolls Kanji into the ring, but turned around into a swinging kick through the ropes… only for Kanji’s follow-up ‘rana to get caught and cut-off with a stomp on the floor. Shaw clears a section of the crowd out as she proceeded to bowl Kanji through the seats, hitting the wall rather than heading all the way through to the bar. That can’t not have sucked…
Kanji staggered back towards the ring, beating the count, but not Shaw’s barrage of stomps that led to a couple of two-counts. Punches from above follow, but Kanji switched around, only for Shaw to regain the advantage, pulling her challenger up ahead of a throw into the corner. Shaw blocked a boot and spun Kanji into the ropes for a draping DDT, but Kanji’s up at two. Gisele lords it over Kanji, mocking her as right hands stung… but also fired up the challenger, who rolled out of a backslide, only to come off worse on dualling lariats. Shaw windmills Kanji as this turned into a hockey fight, but Kanji sneaks out with a series of forearms to the back as Shaw was getting thrown front-first into the ropes, before a superkick almost equalised things. Strikes from above from Kanji laid out a defiant Shaw, as a back elbow drew another near-fall, before a triangle armbar was quickly fought out of.
Shaw rolls Kanji through for a running knee strike, but Kanji kicks out at two, then blocked a half-and-half suplex, slapping Kanji ahead of a springboard armdrag that was pushed away. Another knee from Shaw wipes out Kanji, as did a springboard cutter, before Shaw went up top for a Spiral Tap… crushing Kanji for another near-fall… before Kanji surprised Shaw with a roll-up out of a Dragon suplex attempt to equalise at 16:02. Shaw immediately swarms Kanji with right hands and stomps, before she pulled off the sleeve on Kanji’s arm. There’s a weird crossfade as one of the cameramen downed tools to beg Shaw to not go for the arm again… and they show the angle from the downed camera for… reasons? We eventually crossfade back to lice action as several ring crew, not looking entirely concerned, are standing by the ring in case they need to step in. Commentary’s gone dark too as Kanji was rolled outside…
The crowd gets behind Kanji as she decided to carry on, but she’s immediately double-legged… then surprised Shaw with a triangle choke as Shaw went for the spear. Gisele powerbombs her way out of it, but doesn’t stray from the hold as Kanji put it back in, pulling tight on the choke as Shaw eventually tapped. The crowd popped for that, as Kanji finally regained the title she wa forced to vacate… ***½
… and deep breath… okay. As a match, I loved the story, but for the love of God, PROGRESS, the choices you made in the presentation here were diabolical. Commentary going silent amid cameraman Al downing tools to plead with Gisele made this look hokey – particularly when we know that this isn’t live (nor live edited). All you had to say was something to say why Al was taking that step… why an unconcerned-looking ring crew were preparing to jump in… but the frankly, odd view at that point of the final furlong really took me out of this. PROGRESS, you just can’t help yourself, can you?
Kanji gets pyro on the stage afterwards, and for all the false starts she’s unfortunately had through injury, I sincerely hope this is the start of a lengthy run for her. Or at least, a lengthy run without injury. Oh, and Gisele Shaw gets a farewell in the ring afterwards, with the crowd (that she’d literally said moments earlier she’d not cared for) giving her an ovation on her way to the back.
Simon Miller announces that Chris Brookes is heading back to PROGRESS for their show in Birmingham in September. It’s since sold out…
Spike Trivet’s brought out next, limping somewhat after the I Quit match some 24 hours earlier. Trivet’s drowned out by the crowd, but brags about “clipping the wings of the Black Swan,” only to say that that wasn’t the end of the process, claiming we “had no imagination.” Spike tells the ring crew to act as a line of defence between him and the stage, before inviting Thomas Dawkins to the arena.
Dawkins appears, to some applause, and gets the “thank you, Cara” chants from the prior day. Trivet’s got a proposition for him, as long as Dawkins doesn’t touch him “in a violent way.” The crowd laughs at what started this – Cara not giving Spike a title shot – as Spike then said that stipulation was “Cara Noir had to leave PROGRESS.” Semantics. I cackle at Spike clarifying that Tom Dawkins is allowed in PROGRESS, but not “Black Belt” Tom Dawkins or “any of your shitty gimmicks with a mask on.” So we’re getting a “Young Lion” Thomas Dawkins, without any of his signature moves, which Spike also inherited.
Trivet then takes a dig, saying Dawkins was “nowhere near being signed…” and that Dawkins would have to accept his offer, because apparently PROGRESS pays the most… and everyone needs food on the table. That feels a little close to the bone given the economy right now, but Dawkins accepts in the most nonchalant way possible. Like Columbo, there’s one more thing… Spike’s bad has some plain-ass black boots for Dawkins, and drops them at his feet as Spike exited stage left. Hey, I’m all for storyline progression, but I’d absolutely not have done this TWENTY FOUR HOURS after the big “loser leaves town” match. At least build up a big appearance from Spike on the next show after Super Strong Style, even if it is six weeks later.
So Cal Val’s outside with the Lykii, passing on the Chris Brookes news. Kid Lykos mocks Brookes coming back for an easy payday, and it looks like we’re getting the obvious Lykos Gym vs. the Calamari Drunken Kings.
Lykos Gym (Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II) vs. Aramis & Jack Evans
Oh joy, we open with a dance-off… I’ll be right back.
Okay, it’s quick as an assisted low dropkick saw Lykos take down a break-dancing Evans, before a pair of shoulder tackles had the Lykii on the front foot. Double back elbows follow, then another low dropkick, before a Quebrada from Evans took the wolves out amid a lack of a five-count. Ararmis is in to dropkick Lykos II into the ropes, then pancake him and hit a heel kick, with a German suplex bouncing Lykos II into the corner. Lykos I tags in, but Aramis rolled to the ropes from a ‘rana… and followed up with a wacky inverted suplex/DDT to the wolves for a near-fall. Evans comes in for a leaping kick to Lykos, before Aramis’ blind tag led to some kicks to Lykos, then a springboard revolution kick-assisted German suplex from Aramis.
Body scissors from Evans rolled Lykos down, ahead of a snap suplex, before Evans aborted a standing corkscrew moonsault as Lykos bailed to the outside. We Benny Hill chase around ringside, with an apron PK from Lykos II greeting Evans, following up with some stomps on the floor after Lykos had distracted the ref. Back inside, Lykos stomps on Evans for a near-fall, while Lykos II cornered him with some mudhole stomping. A grounded Octopus from Lykos II ends with Evans scooting into the ropes, before the wolves tried for brainbusters. Evans blocks them, eventually coming back with a double Northern Lights suplex before he Falcon Arrow’d the Lykii into each other. A tag brings in Aramis for a standing Spanish Fly to Lykos II… then a Ligerbomb with Lykos onto Lykos II for a near-fall, before Evans leapt off of Lykos in a Fireman’s carry ahead of a moonsault off the back that nearly went horribly wrong.
Lykos breaks up the pin, and the wolves are quickly back in it, charging into Evans in the corner ahead of a Code Red for a near-fall. A high/low adds another near-fall, before Aramis tries to shove Lykos II off the top rope. Instead, Evans gets popped up for an avalanche German suplex that folded Lykos II in half, after an Aramis dive took out the elder Lykos. Evans misses a 630 splash though, then ate a brainbuster from Lykos II that almost ended it… a double dropkick frees Evans as Aramis returned, only to take superkicks… he shrugs them off before stacking up the Lykii in a double spinning rack bomb, landing it for the win. This was a pretty good throwaway tag, with Aramis getting a highlight finish to cap off his weekend. ***
Tate Mayfairs interrupts Simon Miller’s spiel… so he can plug his own merch and some SEO results. Mayfairs is wearing a PROGRESS flag as an analogy, but gets interrupted by Ogogo.
Tate Mayfairs vs. Anthony Ogogo
Unlike Ogogo’s first match in PROGRESS, this wasn’t edited off of the WWE Network…
Mayfairs tries to charge Ogogo before the bell, but he just sent himself sailing to the outside. When we get going, Mayfairs gets powerbombed with ease, before a missed floatover from Tate ended with him… overegging a turnaround into a kick as one of the ringside cameras went all weird. Ogogo’s stalling suplex gets us up to 20, but Tate’s back with a cross-chop to the throat before a series of chops ended with him getting a receipt. Tate flips onto the apron, drawing in Ogogo as he dropped the arm across the top rope ahead of an Exploder out of the corner. A cartwheel elbow drop gets a near-fall for Tate, who followed in with a hammerlock… but Ogogo powered out for a powerslam to break the grip.
Clotheslines with the good arm from Ogogo puts him ahead, spinning Tate to the mat before Tate blocked what looked to be a pop-up punch. An uppercut from Ogogo followed instead, before Tate eye-raked his way out of a superplex. It left Ogogo in a Tree of Woe, with a Coast to Coast elbow drop crashing into Ogogo as he tried to free himself. Tate’s able to get a near-fall out of that, before a Fireman’s Carry slam left him laying. A Commonwealth Slam followed, and that’s all folks. **
After the match, Tate mouthed off, claiming Ogogo got lucky… and was left laying with a Tower of London. Ogogo’s nearly gone, but Tate makes a dig at Ogogo getting an Olympic bronze medal in 2012, and earned himself a pop-up punch to finally close this own. The post-match probably should have been the match, in all fairness.
Outside, So Cal Val’s with Anthony Ogogo… who claimed Tate’ll be eating with a straw for the foreseeable.
PROGRESS Atlas Championship: Axel Tischer vs. Luke Jacobs (c)
Tischer’s rolled back the years, coming out his old RINGKAMPF tracksuit jacket, after Jacobs had taken a pot shot at that group…
Opening with a big ol’ tie-up, Tischer and Jacobs break before they headed to the mat, with a scramble for control ending with shoves. Jacobs slaps Tischer, who struck back before he booted Jacobs outside… where Luke quickly upped the ante with a death valley driver into the crowd. Tischer’s bowled into the crowd on the other side of the room too. Back inside, Tischer’s charged into the corner, then chopped, before a series of knee strikes led to a gut shot. Jacobs’ offence ends when he’s met with a leaping dropkick and a back suplex, before a chinlock and some eye rakes kept the former wXw champion ahead.
Jacobs gets taken into the corner after a knee from Tischer, then was rolled to the mat with a cravat. Uppercuts follow, but Jacobs fought back with clotheslines in the corner, then with running chops, before a suplex into the buckles left Tischer down. A spinebuster gets Luke a near-fall, before Tischer and Jacobs traded uppercuts and chops. A running neckbreaker puts Tischer back ahead, before roll-ups from Jacobs led to near-falls… only to be met with an X-Plex in return. Tischer’s running European uppercut, then a clothesline looked to keep him ahead, but Jacobs wallops him with a clothesline to the back before he took a German suplex into the buckles. I mean… not to be all safety police, but after the Otani injury, I’m not thrilled that’s been pulled out of anyone’s arsenal these days.
Tischer pulls ahead with a suplex out of the corner, a flying clothesline, and a German suplex that nearly won it. A jack-knife roll-up out of nowhere nearly nicks it for Jacobs, before he stomped his way out of a sunset flip. Jacobs’ sliding lariat followed, only for a Tischer enziguiri to set up maybe a piledriver… with a Saito suplex breaking it up, as Jacobs hits a Ligerbomb for a near-fall. Jacobs charges at Tischer, but gets lifted up top ahead of an uppercut and a superplex… both men take a while getting back to their feet as they trade right hands. A boot from Tischer sees Jacobs wilt into a powerbomb for a near-fall, before a lariat out of nowhere almost won it for Jacobs. He follows up with a snap slam, before a trip up top ends with a moonsault that Tischer avoided… returning with a Shouten Kai for a near-fall.
The pair trade right hands as they fight back to their feet, but a head kick from Tischer earned him another lariat… that still doesn’t end it. A piledriver’s next, again for a near-fall as commentary’s wetting themselves, before one more lariat finally got the win. ***½
Super Strong Style 16 2022 Final for PROGRESS World Championship: Chris Ridgeway vs. Warren Banks
Banks came into this with a litany of injuries, while Ridgeway was relatively fresh. At least, I’m sure it was Chris, but with a different lower third. Like your balls, your boobs, and your poop, check ‘em…
Ridgeway attacked Banks from behind, hitting him with his GHC junior tag title as someone’d thrown a streamer into the ring. The match starts with Banks on the deck, but he kicks out from a brainbuster, only to get taken onto the apron as Ridgeway teased a second one… Banks resists, and came out with a Bullet Vehicle spear onto the edge of the ring. The ring crew just about clear the crowd away in time as Banks went for a second spear, but Ridgeway sidesteps as Banks ate the chairs as he inadvertently made a beeline for the bar. Banks recovered though to hit a death valley driver into the front row of another part of the crowd as a lot of people suddenly were having to stand.
Back inside, a low dropkick from Banks before a teased cobra clutch saw Ridgeway squirm into the ropes. Ridgeway tried to go for Banks’ ankle, but a series of hammer elbows stopped it before he chopped Ridgeway into the corner. Another low dropkick lands as Banks went back to the arm, only for Ridgeway to pull at Banks’ dreadlocks in a failed bid to break the hold… so the ropes would have to do. Banks tries to whip Ridgeway into the corner, but it’s reversed as a follow-up attempt to go off the top led to Banks getting shoved to the floor. Returning to the ring just saw Banks eat a load of elbow drops to the knee, then a grounded Dragon screw as Ridgeway smelled blood, following up with a Calf Slicer as Ridgeway rolled through the playbook he used against Gene Munny earlier.
A stomp to the bad arm followed, then a snapmare and a kick to the back as Ridgeway began to look comfortable here. A bridging deathlock targets Banks’ left leg, before it was snapped back on as a half crab followed. It’s morphed into a STF, but Banks gets to the ropes before Ridgeway could fully hook it on. A step-up enziguiri from Banks offered some hope, as a pump knee and a hesitation dropkick into the corner had Ridgeway down for a near-fall, while a pair of Michinoku drivers added those two-counts. Banks goes for another Bullet Vehicle, but Ridgeway sidesteps as Banks sailed to the outside via the ring post. Nevertheless, on the outside, Banks was able to hit a suplex as Ridgeway then headed up to the stage… where he caught Banks with some gut shots and a brainbuster.
Banks makes it back to the ring to beat the count, but was instantly caught with a PK for a near-fall… then a Yakuza kick as Ridgeway amped it up. A bridging German suplex almost ends it, as a crossface forces Banks to crawl into the ropes… despite Ridgeway turning it into a Rings of Saturn on the way. Ridgeway stays on Banks with a ripcord knee, before Banks countered a brainbuster into one of his own. Banks kips up into a Falcon Arrow for a near-fall, as a Shining Wizard ensured he racked up another near-fall… only for Ridgeway to counter a Meter Burn knee with a roll-up. Banks kicks out and keeps up the pressure, scooping up Ridgeway for a Fire Thunder driver for another near-fall, before a Bullet Vehicle spear was stopped with a knee strike from Ridgeway.
On their knees, the pair trade right hands, before Ridgeway added kicks to the chest into the mix. Those eventually take Banks down, as he then tried to issue receipts… only to get slapped down. A PK gets a one-count… then a two-count… as Ridgeway then looked to complete the hattrick, but Banks still kicks out, earning himself some gut shots that virtually silenced the crowd. A series of retaliatory forearms from Banks didn’t faze Ridgeway, who hit back with a single shot… then chokes Banks with some wrist tape. Another PK gets a near-fall, so Ridgeway ups it with some headbutts as yet another brainbuster didn’t put Banks down… before a series of punts (this time filmed like one to the head) finally ended it, with Ridgeway getting the win… and a couple of streamers to boot. This went over 20 minutes and it probably could have done with being a little shorter and tighter – it’s another defeat in a big spot for Banks, which I’m not entirely thrilled with, as we ended with Ridgeway sitting on a chair, resting his feet on Banks… ***½
Perhaps the best top-to-bottom show of the weekender, but that’s feint praise. Now all three nights of Super Strong Style 16 are done and watched, I can only say that PROGRESS have become a maddening product to watch on VOD. Twice on this show I was left angry, and not at the wrestlers in a “boo, I hate you” kind of way. Nevermind the absurd run-times (is brevity the biggest enemy here?), but this weekend alone… we had them build up a loser-leaves-town match and bring the loser back within 24 hours. Then they added in something extra to a women’s title that simply doesn’t need it – all at the detriment of the VOD product. It’s almost like they just cannot help themselves.