September 16 saw Shropshire’s VII Pro Wrestling return to Telford for their latest show, “Fight Forever!”. As is customary with the promotion, it’s been posted onto YouTube for the masses…

If you want to watch along, you can do via the VII Pro channel, but be warned, the first match of the night – Dan Moloney vs. Ethan Silver – doesn’t make the cut here, so we start with:

Travis Banks vs. Wild Boar
It’s nice to see Mike Hitchman finally settle on a name, after promotions used “Wild Boar” and/or Mike Hitchman when booking him earlier this year.

They start with a lock-up and your usual reversing goodness, before Boar gets a single-leg takedown to ground the Kiwi. Banks rolls around to dizzy Boar and get a couple of near-falls, before Boar struggles to pull himself up via the ropes. I think he might also have been dry heaving there…

Banks cartwheels over Boar, before a kick takes him into the corner for a series of chops. The pair went back and forth, before Boar gnawed away at Banks’ head, and took him down with a spear-turned-uranage. Boar rams Banks’ chest into the apron, before he looks to do the mounted corner punches… and instead just bites him.

A kneedrop gets Boar a two-count, before Banks mounts a comeback with running knees into the corner and finally a diving dropkick that gets him a near-fall. A Fisherman’s buster gets Banks another two-count, before Boar cuts him off again and lands a leaping shoulder into the corner, followed by a T-bone suplex.

Boar backs Banks into the corner for some more shots, but Travis fires out with a lariat and then a cannonball dive that almost won him the match. Banks misses a crossbody then gets flattened with a back senton and a cannonball from Boar, as his version also gets him a two-count.

Banks flips out of a Trapper Keeper package piledriver, before almost slipping on the middle rope as he connected with a roundhouse kick out of the corner for the win. A fun, basic opener, between two of the more underrated guys on the British scene today. ***

VII Pro British Lions Championship: Chris Brookes (c) vs. Drew Parker
Well, that didn’t happen. As soon as the bell rang, Kid Lykos ran in and attacked Parker from behind with a baking sheet. Your winner by DQ, Drew Parker!

Brookes grabs his belt and celebrates, but as #CCK left the ring, Chris Ridgeway came out to make a save. Just a touch too late… Ridgeway offers a tag match, and before Brookes can offer a response, Drew Parker flies over Ridgeway with a tope con hilo to take out both of #CCK.

Drew Parker & Chris Ridgeway vs. #CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos)
Parker and Ridgeway start with a double-team hiptoss and a double dropkick to Brookes, before Parker works over Lykos. A tiltawhirl headscissors from Lykos sends Parker into the ropes, as the heels take control, with Brookes tagging in and stomping over Parker.

Lykos and Brookes double-team Parker in the corner, which leads to the usual spot of the referee getting distracted as Ridgeway tried to make a save – only making things worse! The heat on Parker continued for a while, featuring some choking in the ropes from Lykos, and a wet willie from Brookies. Parker finally mounted a comeback and made the hot tag to Ridgeway, who laid into both Brookes and Lykos with kicks to the chest.

A Fisherman’s suplex gets Ridgeway a near-fall, before he’s tripped in the ropes by Brookers and dragged to the outside. The fixed camera just about shows Brookes slamming Ridgeway on the outside, and the heat continued on Ridgeway as Brookes kept him grounded with a rear chinlock.

Lykos scored a near-fall from a back senton, and again from a dropkick as Parker broke it up… but that just led to Ridgeway being dragged into the wrong corner. Another long grounded chinlock followed, before a double clothesline took down Ridgeway and Brookes. Parker got the tag back in and knocked Lykos off the apron, before flipping over Brookes and landing a spinning heel kick.

The fixed camera just about missed a Sasuke Special from Parker, before he got a near-fall on Brookes in the ring. A push-down stomp from Parker on Lykos led to a top rope move, but Parker just dived into a big boot from Brookes as #CCK landed a rope-hung neckbreaker for a near-fall.

Ridgeway sent Lykos out of the ring with a back suplex, before an uppercut to Brookes and a duck to a roundhouse kick was followed up by a deadlift German suplex. A roll-up out of a tombstone piledriver got Ridgeway a two-count, before a superkick led to him teasing a finish… but Kid Lykos found his baking sheet and used it on Ridgeway for the DQ. A cheap, nasty finish that worked in the first match, but did nothing in the impromptu tag – I know it’s sort-of Lykos’ gimmick, but why book the match to be of any length if you’re going to have a cheap finish? **½

Chuck Mambo vs. Isaac Zercher
There’s a blast from the past, as the Omega – who’s not been on any PROGRESS shows for over a year now, since the end of the Jimmy Havoc heel run – resurfaced here. Zercher looked good in his earlier work, and Chuck Mambo’s always fun to watch, so I’m quite interested in how this’ll play out.

Zercher starts by driving Mambo into the corner repeatedly, almost ragdolling him in the opening moments. Mambo dropkicks Zercher to the outside, then kicks him off the apron as a springboard flipping dive sends both men out of the view of the hard camera.

Another springboard into the ring from Mambo misses as Zercher takes over again, before Mambo rebounds off the turnbuckles with a clothesline. A sick capture suplex takes Mambo down, before Zercher stays on top of him with a series of crossface punches. Mambo fights back, but again gets cut-off, before he floats over Zercher in the corner and gets a roll-up for a two-count.

A judo throw from Zercher takes Mambo down once more though, as does a pop-up Samoan drop that gets a near-fall for the Omega. Mambo finally makes a comeback with a Blockbuster neckbreaker for a two-count, before connecting with a Meteora (diving double knees off the top rope) for another near-fall. Zercher tried to take him down with another pop-up Samoan drop, but Mambo countered it into a crucifix roll-up and got the win.

A fun match, with Zercher using his size and power to steamroll over Mambo, but it was the quicker man who eked out a win in the end. ***

Sierra Loxton & Jinny vs. Dahlia Black & Nixon Newell
Loxton is an up and coming Welsh wrestler, and this’ll be the first time I’ve seen her. She started out against Newell, trading arm wringers, before Nixon grabs a headlock. Loxton works out and reversed the hold, before a headlock from Newell sees Loxton go on the mat for what seemed forever, until she suckered Newell in for an upward kick to the head.

Undeterred, Newell went on another flurry of offence, before some tags saw the introduction of Dahlia and Jinny. Dahlia feinted a kick to the head as Jinny just about avoided it. They traded forearms for a spell, before Dahlia whipped Jinny into the former and smashed into her with a leaping knee strike. Newell returned with a snap suplex, before tagging Dahlia back in for a double axehandle onto the outstretched arm of JInny.

Dahlia saw a kick caught by Jinny, as she swept her leg so Black took a knee to the face (aka the Botox Injection), and that started some heat for the heels, beginning with a massive headbutt from Loxton. A series of running elbows into the corner from Loxton set up for a hip attack, but only got Sierra a one-count as a frustrated Jinny demanded a tag in.

Black fires back with forearms to Jinny, but ends up being taken down with a snapmare for a near-fall as Newell dives in to make a save. Jinny orders Loxton to “take care of Newell” whilst she works over Dahlia in the corner, before leaping in with a knee stripe and a snapmare. Black’s walked all over in the middle of the ring, before a running kick to the head gets Jinny a near-fall.

Nixon Newell inadvertently distracts the referee and causes Dahlia to be double-teamed. Another snapmare gets Loxton a near-fall, before Jinny stomps over Dahlia some more. Dahlia ducks a Rainmaker and tags in Newell, who dropkicks Jinny from the middle rope, and in comes Loxton once more, only to be cornered by Newell. Another leg-sweep this time sees Newell send Loxton face-first to the mat for a near-fall.

Jinny succeeds with a Rainmaker to Newell, but Dahlia runs in and takes her down with a roundhouse kick to the head before Loxton tried for a springboard bulldog off the ropes, but didn’t quite get all of it. Newell breaks up the pin before it happens, and Rolls the Dice on Loxton for the win. Until the finishing sequence, that was pretty solid work, and it’d be unfair to slam Loxton for one missed spot, as it was just bad luck that it came at the wrong time. ***¼

VII Pro Championship: Pete Dunne (c) vs. Tyler Bate
Dunne, of course, won the VII Pro title from Ryan Smile at VII Pro’s last show in July, cashing in his Money in the Bank contract.

They start off by going to the ground, with both men grappling for an advantage, only for Bate to make the ropes. After a takedown, Dunne reverses a wristlock, only to fall into a groin stretcher-of-a-hold by Bate, who then looked for an armbar, before Dunne went into the ropes.

Dunne and Bate traded shots, until a slap took Dunne to his knees. The champion recovered to stomp Bate very close to his groin, and then turned that into a leg grapevine with some added biting. The match went a little bit sumo for a while, as Dunne and Bate fired away with palm thrusts like they were E. Honda, before Bate took his opponent down and worked over the leg.

Dunne bites away at Bate’s hand once more, and that sparks the youngster into some uppercuts, only for Dunne to reply with some vertical suplexes. Bate popped up after the final suplex though, and took up an offer of a suplex on Dunne… who popped up after a brainbuster. Wash, rinse, repeat, and this is like how New Japan treat German suplexes!

After being taken to the corner, Bate had to defend himself from a flurry of punches, and the pair ended up outside where we just about saw Dunne get posted, before we heard him chop the post. Sadly, this is where the fixed camera detracts, especially as referee Shay Purser’s line of sight needed to be the same as the camera’s in also to see that spot…

Bate got trapped in the ring apron as Dunne unleashed fury on him, before a freed Bate finally replied with a pump kick. They went toe-to-toe outside the ring as the referee kept counting, ending with a release suplex from Dunne onto the apron. Back inside, Dunne used Bate’s own towel to choke him, before Bate started to fight back… and ended up taking another pump kick to the head.

A lariat from Bate turns Dunne inside out, before he connects with a back elbow off the middle rope. Bate gets a near-fall from a pop-up powerbomb, before turning it into a crossface after the kick-out, but Dunne bites his way free and into another fist fight.

Both men collapse after a double clothesline, before the slapping battle resumes, ending with an attempt at a rolling German suplex being countered back and forth as the two guys traded Germans. Bate won that battle in the end with a release German suplex, before going up top for a swandive headbutt for a near-fall. From the kick-out, Bate got suckered into a triangle armbar, which Bate powers up out of and breaks by way of a powerbomb, before a small package forces the challenger to kick out at two.

An airplane spin takes Dunne for a ride, but he ends up slipping out of that for the win as he schoolboys Bate and gets his feet on the ropes for the winning pinfall. An entertaining match that I’d like to have seen go a little longer, but I’d happily take a rematch anywhere! Especially as Dunne kicked Bate low after the match… ***¾

After the match, Travis Banks runs in to make the save, and sent Dunne packing with a roundhouse kick out of the corner… and I guess Travis is our next challenger when VII Pro returns in the new year!

Like the previous VII Pro shows, this is free on YouTube, and it’s a shade over an hour long. You can’t go wrong for that low low price of free! The calibre of talent on show is really quite high, and it shows – in spite of my rating for that tag match, #CCK, Drew Parker and Chris Ridgeway put on a decent match, with only the finish dragging it down for me.

All in all, put an hour or so aside and give this a go. You’ll not feel short-changed, that’s for sure!