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PROGRESS Chapter 88: Super Strong Style 16 Night Two Review

May 29, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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PROGRESS Chapter 88: Super Strong Style 16 Night Two Review  

PROGRESS Chapter 88: Super Strong Style 16 Night Two
May 5th, 2019 | Alexandra Palace in Haringey, Greater London

Oh, baby. It’s a near four hour PROGRESS show. That can either be really good or really. Nothing on night one of this tournament blew me away, but pretty much everything was good. It made for an enjoyable start. I’m hoping they step up and reach another level with this show.

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Jim Smallman opened the show be welcoming every country that fans in attendance were from. He also spotted four fans dressed in different color John Cena merchandise.

Aerostar vs. Daga
LUCHA UNDERGROUND BABY! These guys have a history from their time in Mexico. And they played into it. Lots of fast paced lucha style offense from both men. It moved quickly and featured plenty of flips and aerial stuff to keep you interested. Daga felt like he was more interested in taking things towards a battle of strikes, knowing he would win that. He got too cocky at points. Instead of trying for pins, he’d stop to taunt or talk smack. That gave Aerostar the opening he needed to bust out even more impressive offense. He used a splash to pick up the win in 11:30. A good little exhibition here. Nothing was on the line and it lacked drama, but they put enough action in there to keep be entertained. [***]

Super Strong Style 16 Quarterfinals: Jordan Devlin vs. PROGRESS Tag Team Champion Kyle Fletcher w/ Mark Davis
I’ve heard some very good things about this one. It lived up to the hype. They threw bombs at each other and while you got the sense they were out to steal the show, they also did it in a way that made sense within the match. I loved the little things they got right. For example, Devlin had a slingshot cutter blocked, so when he did hit it on the second try, he made sure to come from out of nowhere with it. He knew Fletcher had him scouted and had to adjust. Fletcher showed off some great transitions and innovative offense. The drama kicked in late. Devlin got a near fall after an Irish Destroyer and moonsault that everyone bit on. They tried for a wild exchange down the stretch and it came off a bit awkward. But, they made up for it with one of my favorite finishes of the year. They traded strikes and Fletcher hit a superkick that the camera beautifully caught. Devlin was stunned but managed to respond with a huge headbutt on the way down. He landed on Fletcher to get the three count in 13:11. A war that continued Devlin’s great run while working as a breakout singles performance for Fletcher. [****]

Super Strong Style 16 Quarterfinals: Ilja Dragunov vs. Trevor Lee
I LOVE DOUBLE DOUBLE E! Lee got on the mic before the match and was much better than on night one. He said Ilja didn’t work for the good NXT, that as WWE guys they didn’t have to impress these marks, and that he’ll win because we all saw how Rocky IV ended. Despite saying he’d wrestle fair, Lee used a low blow for a near fall in the opening seconds. Ilja used a Death Valley Driver, senton, and Torpedo Moscau to squash Lee in 1:12. Just the kind of thing this tournament needed. It worked. [NR]

PROGRESS Women’s Title Qualifying Match: Jinny w/ Laura Di Matteo vs. Session Moth Martina
Martina had an altercation with Laura Di Matteo during her entrance. Interestingly, both women lost qualifying matches already, but with a spot still open they had another shot. There was more intensity to this than expected. They don’t like each other and it showed. There were a lot o strikes thrown throughout. Martina went for a suplex onto chairs, but Di Matteo stopped her and took the spot instead. That gave Jinny the opening to get going. She applied a few vicious looking submissions, but Martina responded with a Boston Crab of her own. When Martina was near a win, Di Matteo got involved again and Jinny tried a rollup with her feet on the ropes. The referee caught her and as she argued, Martina rolled her up to win in 8:12. A solid match that was more intense than I expected. It also continued the idea that Jinny made a mistake when she dumped the House of Couture for Di Matteo. [**¾]

Laura Di Matteo walked off without Jinny. Surprisingly, Jinny raised Martina’s hand in victory and hugged her. Jinny was left alone in the ring to bow to the crowd, seemingly saying goodbye to PROGRESS.

No Disqualifications Match: Do Not Resuscitate vs. Jimmy Havoc, Ligero, Mark Andrews and Mark Haskins w/ Vicky Haskins
My friend really liked this match, while a review I saw online considered it one of the worst of the year. It’ll be interesting to see where my feelings land. The feud has basically been Do Not Resuscitate saying they’re tired of the PROGRESS originals hogging the spotlight. Shoutout to Ligero and Andrews for wearing jeans to the match. Fitting of the stipulation. Right off the bat, all eight men went to war. They battled all around Alexandra Palace. It felt like the originals were on the verge of ending it all when they trapped in a 4-on-1 situation. But DNR got their second wind to save him and put themselves in the driver’s seat. After that, the match was a swinging pendulum of momentum. Most of the spots had great callbacks to the feud, like Trivet attempting to cut off Ligero’s horns. Vicky nearly got pulled into a submission, only to trap Trivet in her best attempt at a triangle choke. I loved how she stopped Trivet from tapping so Mark could beat him with a bat. Though it’s not her him tapping out would’ve mattered since she wasn’t legally in the match. There was a fantastic moment where Eddie Dennis, who was on commentary and got replaced in the match by Ligero due to injury, got spat on by Mambo. He got involved and was surrounded by DNR, only for Andrews to come to his aide and for the former partners/rivals to embrace. That sparked the good guys to a rally. Parker was again left alone with them and fell to a series of moves capped by the Kiss of Death at 23:09. There were definitely some spots that came across awkwardly. However, they called back to so many things that it made this rivalry more rewarding. Dennis and Vicky getting moments was cool. I liked a lot of the spots and felt this was a fitting end to the program, while also being a very good brawl. [***½]

Super Strong Style 16 Quarterfinals: Kyle O’Reilly vs. Paul Robinson
Though the fan favorite of the tournament is David Starr and his “independent” stuff, the fans had to root for the WWE guy here. Robinson is just super unlikable. O’Reilly used his height advantage to do pretty much whatever he wanted to Robinson. His roughhouse work on the mat exhausted the angry little guy. To combat that, Robinson went after the leg. It helped to cut Kyle down a bit and gave him the advantage. He couldn’t grapple with O’Reilly, but he could brutalize his leg in a bunch of different ways. His offense was pretty dull, though. It made this match feel even longer than it was. Robinson threw everything he had at O’Reilly, but still tapped to a kneebar in 17:45. That went on forever, which detracted from a lot the good they did. [**¾]

Jimmy Havoc came out and challenged Paul Robinson to a Death Match on night three. It’s his final PROGRESS match and he wants to go out in a Death Match against a guy who beat him in one last time they met.

Super Strong Style 16 Quarterfinals: David Starr vs. Travis Banks
Travis Banks wore an “independent” shirt to mock Starr. That made it so Starr jumped him as soon as he came out, getting this off to a quick start. It also set the tone for a match that felt pretty intense throughout. They hit each other hard and you got the sense they don’t like each other. As the match progressed, they moved into attempting to win, rather than beating each other up. Near falls, submission attempts. That kind of thing. Just when things were getting going, get got a situation where there was a double pin and both men had their shoulders counted to the mat. That came at the 8:59 mark. Jim Smallman had the match restarted because we needed a winner in a tournament setting like this. The next section of the match had some near falls and a fight on the ramp that resulted in a double countout after 4:05. Before an official decision could be made, Starr and Banks brawled and had to be pulled apart by security. The decision was ultimately made to advance both guys into the semi-finals for a triple threat against Ilja Dragunov. The match itself was good, though I didn’t love the convoluted way they got through it all. [***¼]

Artemis Spencer, Chris Brookes and DJ Z vs. Chris Ridgeway, Darby Allin and Lucky Kid
Six guys who didn’t make it past the opening round of Super Strong Style 16. The teams are interesting to say the least. A strange blend of personalities and styles. This benefitted from that because everyone got to bring something unique to the table. Each guy showed off a bit of offense that worked for them and it all came together in a cohesive match. I liked the spots of the DJ Z busting out three straight aerial moves, anytime Allin did something crazy, the meeting between Brookes and Kid. There was a fair amount to enjoy. The best spot was the absurd height that DJ Z got on a late ZDT thanks to the help from his teammates. It is something that truly needs to be seen because looked awesome. Minutes after that, Ridgeway made Spencer tap to an Ankle Lock at 10:51. A fun tag that shined due to the personalities involved. Nothing you’ll probably remember long after the tournament, but fun. [***¼]

PROGRESS World and Atlas Championship: Trent Seven [c] vs. WALTER [c] 
A unification match with some history. WALTER gave up the Atlas Title, in this very building, for a chance to be World Champion. Meanwhile, a win would not only be huge for obvious reasons for Seven, but it could mark the kind of moment that vaults him past being the “other’ guy in British Strong Style. A lot of this match was built around making sure Trent Seven looked great. He stood up to WALTER at every turn. Even when WALTER was chopping him at his hardest, Seven refused to go down. It was a great bit of serious babyface work from Seven. He excels at it when he wants to. Remember that tag on NXT TV against Undisputed Era? Fans bit on his near falls, like after some Seven Star Lariats and a piledriver. But there’s a reason WALTER has been unstoppable for so long. After an interesting spot with both titles, WALTER caught Seven in the Gojira Clutch. Seven kept his arm up to survive and even got his foot on the rope. However, the referee missed the foot and signaled for the bell, ending this in controversial fashion in 25:46. I liked most of this match. WALTER was a fantastic bully and Seven showed the kind of heart you want from a top babyface. That finish was a tough sell, though. A match that hyped as being this important needed a decisive finish. And if you’re going with a controversial one, it needed to be clearer. Some of the fans couldn’t tell the foot was on the ropes, so they didn’t react to it. [***¾]

The final score: review Good
The 411
This took a while to get through. You feel the four hours at some points. That being said, it’s a very good wrestling show. The lowest rated matches got **¾, so like night one, it was consistently solid. It does have higher highs thanks to a strong main event and a great Devlin/Fletcher match. Plus, that eight man tag is a lot of fun.