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Thread: PROGRESS Chapter 53 - Fate Loves the Fearless Review

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    Progress Wrestling PROGRESS Chapter 53 - Fate Loves the Fearless Review

    PROGRESS 53 - Fate Loves the Fearless
    July 30, 2017



    CCK vs Extra Talent-ed - #1 Contender’s Match
    A rematch of sorts from the opening match at PROGRESS 52 when the finish was botched so badly that it took several minutes before we even learned that CCK apparently won the match. They immediately set the challenge for Extra Talent-ed to try and salvage that shit match a bit. This match only re-enforced my previous thoughts about both teams. Extra Talent-ed is pretty darn fantastic. For the size of this crowd, the heat they got during their pre-match promo was incredible. To me, they’re a team that has been earning their reputation. Meanwhile, there’s CCK and there’s no denying that they’re very over, but they haven’t done anything for me since debuting in PROGRESS. They may have a name from their time outside of PROGRESS, but at least in this company, they’re overpushed. Neither team held anything back as we’re given spot after spot after spot. My eyes do begin to glaze over as nothing really seems to mean anything. Sure, most of the moves looked swell, especially Extra Talent-eds, both none of it meant much. Even the finish played into this as after a match filled with one crazy tag move after another, the finish just sees Brookes delivering a double underhook piledriver. The fact that I am so much more into one team than the other, with the team I prefer naturally being the one that PROGRESS isn’t pushing, most likely did make me maybe a little bias and butthurty. Crowd seemed to love the match with Extra Talent-ed getting the heat for their hard work and CCK just being given the adulation of everyone. It’s an improvement over the mess in the PROGRESS 52 match for sure. ** ¾

    Rockstar Spud is apparently now acting like he’s a member of the ring crew, wiping down the ring ropes in between matches. I don’t get it, but it’s always nice seeing Spud.

    Chief Deputy Dunne vs Chuck Mambo
    Another sorta, but not really rematch from PROGRESS 53 where Dunne and Mambo were involved in a four-way along with Zack Gibson that Jack Sexsmith surprisingly won. I quite liked this. Mambo is a total geek, but he’s a fun geek. There’s a fun spot where he keeps trying to go for the People’s Elbow, but every time he pulled off an elbow pad, there was another one underneath. By time he finally pulled off the last one, it created a big celebration moment...for pulling off an elbow pad. Most of Dunne’s attempts at offense was thwarted by Mambo, creating a story of Dunne being the favorite to win, but Mambo is having so much success against him that I was actually buying into the Mambo victory. As we approached the finish, some big spots began including a Dunne spear in mid air and a fireman’s carry into a driver. Dunne would pull out the victory with his rope draped Fun's Over DDT. Good character work from both men. ***

    Grizzled Young Veterans vs Never Say Die
    First time seeing the Grizzled Young Veterans together and first time seeing Never Say Die in general. I’m a bit fuzzy on what happened, but it seems like James Drake is mostly just a replacement partner for Zack Gibson when his previous partner, Nathan Cruz, abruptly left PROGRESS. I’ve liked Drake in the couple of matches I’ve seen him in. Never Say Die sounds like the name of some indie wrestling show. NSD are nice enough to come out to the ring wearing jackets with their names on the back. If I thought Extra Talent-ed’s pre-match promo received a lot of heat, it was nothing compared to Gibson’s. For what this was, it was enjoyable. It was an excuse for GYV to bully around their rookie opponents and get in an easy victory. I wouldn’t mind seeing some more of Cupid. For D'Angelo, since so much of his offense was just high flying, the fact that he goes at a very slow speed meant his spots looked pretty rough. He has some clever ideas and his balancing is top notch, he just needs to learn how to pick up the pace if he wants to wrestle in this style. It’s cool though. You need experience to improve and both members of NSD, especially D'Angelo, looked really young. The Veterans would win after hitting their Ticket to Mayhem finisher. I’m interested in seeing how the Grizzled Young Veterans do against a better team. ** ¼

    Rob Lynch vs James Davis - #1 Contender’s Match
    London Riots explodes~ Considering London Riots aren’t anything great to me, I have a bit of curiosity if they’re better as opponents. The winner hear challenges for the Atlas Title in the future. Even though I don’t think the in-ring work was anything truly great, so much about this match did connect with me. For starters, I’m a sucker for tag partners fighting it out and really going at it. It reminded me of my favorite start of any Royal Rumble match (1989 with Demolition). The commentary was also top notch and did plenty of foreshadowing by bringing up the fact that Lynch’s family were in attendance and bringing up his severe shoulder injury that happened at some point in the past. There was also the fact that Lynch stopped the referee from counting when Davis was on the outside, showcasing that Lynch wants to proper finish. These two worked a very hard style with plenty of fighting on the outside including using a chair. Out of the two, I felt Lynch was performing the best. The story of the match turns from just good to amazing after Lynch attempts a Spiral Tap, but lands poorly on his previously injured shoulder. Lynch sells it huge while the referee appears to just want to stop the match. Davis, on the other hand, seems like he wants Lynch to get back on his feet and continue the match, rather than show concerned for his partner. Lynch does just that and bless his heart, Lynch really, really tried to bring the aggression back, but he’s an one armed man against an opponent that knows him better than anyone else. The end result was Davis locking in a Million Dollar Dream with the hurt arm and although Lynch tried to withstand the pain, is eventually forced to submit. A great story based match whose best moment is still to come. Better than I expected for sure. More than anything, it’s a good showcase for PROGRESS at its best, including the commentary. ****

    After the match, Lynch gets on the mic and announces his retirement. His shoulder is fucked and his personal life has been pure hell, so he needs to step away to sort his shit out. The emotion here is pretty incredible. Both Lynch and Davis are crying. As the segment is wrapped up and Lynch goes to kiss the PROGRESS logo, Davis breaks the London Riots’ cricket bat across Lynch’s back for the heel turn. Davis then locks the Million Dollar Dream back in, forcing Lynch to pass out from the pain. The heel turn only gets more sadistic as Davis cuts a promo, calling his now-former partner a loser. He lost his house, his fiance left him, and his own dad leaving his family. And now, Davis has left him. That was some really personal stuff to use in an angle, but hats off to both men and PROGRESS for creating one of the most effective emotional and realistic angles in recent memory.

    Pete Dunne © vs Jack Sexsmith - Non-Title
    Another non-title match for Dunne against someone who should be an easy victory for him. Dunne’s character work continues to be great as he spends a good portion of the match shoving or attacking the security. In some ways, I was a big fan of this, but the longer it went on, the less I cared. The early going of Dunne bullying everyone and allowing him to be distracted by bullying the guards, allowing Sexsmith to get in offense was great. It was all believable stuff and for the most part, Sexsmith worked a far more serious match than normal. Granted, there was still the condom Mr. Socko spot, but even that was quickly done. However, once Dunne began hitting the big moves, with each kick out, it felt more and more unnecessary. I would have been completely cool with this being a very intense three minute sprint instead of trying to stretch it out to a more typical time length. The double Tombstone spot in particular felt like it should have just been the finish. Dunne would win with the Bitter End. ***

    Toni Storm © vs Candice LeRae - PROGRESS Women’s Title
    It’s been ages since I’ve watched a Candice match. This would be her one and only PROGRESS match. I’m ready to write Storm off as being the female version of CCK. Pushed hard, certainly very over with the PROGRESS crowd, but I just don’t see the appeal. It’s not even so much that I think she’s a weak wrestler. Every time I watch one of her matches, I’m left thinking that her opponent was the superior one. They worked a hard fought contest with Storm showing off a bit of chain wrestling early on. The biggest surprise of the match came when Storm delivered her Strong Zero piledriver finish, but Candice kicked out at one. That led to a bit more action until Storm nailed three straight rolling Strong Zeros to put Candice away for the three count. Since it’s Candice, there was zero chance that Storm was going to lose here. Credit to LeRae for being popular enough that the crowd ended up being split 50/50 in support of her. ** ¾

    Mini rant discussion time. Does PROGRESS always only have one women’s match per show, if they have one at all? Granted, the division is still very new, especially at the time of PROGRESS 53, but it doesn’t feel as if there’s any real direction other than having Storm beat a bunch of women in matches without any backstories. The division as a whole could really benefit if there’s a second women’s match on the show, to help build up other women so that it’s not just Storm that is coming off like a star. I recognize that it’s a brand new division/title, so it’s not entirely fair to expect it to be perfectly booked just yet. However, some flaws are pretty noticeable.

    British Strong Style © vs Jimmy Havoc and Mark Haskins - PROGRESS Tag Titles
    It’s time for Havoc and Haskins to once again fail against BSS. That should really just be on their resume/CV for 2017 jobs - being BSS’ bitches. For ten minutes long and without having much of a story until the very end, this was really exciting. This was nothing more than a fight, both in and out of the ring. It seemed plausible enough that Havoc and Haskins may be able to pull off the victory, but it seemed like BSS had the better chemistry while Havoc and Haskins struggled at times. This is emphasized by two of the better spots in the match. The first saw a modified Bop & Bang with Bate doing the fake out while Seven is the one who actually connects with the punch. Then the challengers seemed to have the titles nearly won with a super kick/Acid Rainmaker combo on Bate, but Seven was able to shove the one challenger on the cover to not only break up the pin attempt, but seemingly twist Haskins’ ankle. The finishing involving Pete Dunne dragging Haskins’ wife out by her hair to provide some distraction, allowing Seven to deliver a low blow to Havoc for the victory is probably not too well liked, but I didn’t have a problem with it. It continues the theme of BSS being total dicks while Havoc and Haskins just can’t stop being bested by the trio. Forget CCK, it should have been Haskins and Havoc receiving the title shot at PROGRESS 55. *** ½


    After the match, Havoc gets all pissy because Haskins deserrted him to check on his wife. This led into a verbal argument. Haskins’ wife tries to calm them down, but she only makes it worse when Havoc gentle pushes her to the side, enraging Haskins. A brawl breaks out with some lowcarders including Mambo and Never Say Die having to pull Haskins and Havoc apart. Flash Morgan Webster comes out to try and get his buddies to make up, but just like Haskins’ wife, his presence in the ring only makes things worse, this time because Webster distracted the lowcarders, allowing Havoc and Haskins to break free to fight again. Eventually Havoc leaves and everything is clearly not okay in the anti-BSS camp.

    Travis Banks vs Keith Lee
    The PROGRESS debut of Lee and apparently the first time I’ve seen him wrestle as well. I could have swore I had watched one or two of his matches before, but I guess it was only in the PWG trailers that I saw some action with him. And to think, I was all excited for this match. For all I know, Lee could be a modern day Dino Bravo. His baby blue trunks is already too Bravo-like for my comfort. As it turns out, I had nothing to fear. Lee came in with the attitude that he’s a big mofo and Banks is pretty small, so Lee had little doubt that he’ll be able to just squash Banks. Several of the best moments of the match featured just that - Banks being destroyed. My favorite being Banks attempted a suicide dive, but Lee caught him and held him in the air like an adult would pick up a child, only to drive him hard into the ring apron. Banks sold the match like he was in the fight of his life and even though Lee was always cocky, he did sell a good amount for Banks. Without having much knowledge of Lee, I do hope that he normally doesn’t stall as much as he did here. If all it is is Lee acting like there’s zero urgency and that he can beat the little Banks whenever he pleases, cool, I can live with that. However, if Keith typically works a methodical pace, I can see it being pretty dull when he’s not wrestling an amazing wrestler like Banks. Much like the previous match, the finish is likely disliked by some as Pete Dunne came down to the ring to distract Banks just long enough for Lee to recover and destroy Banks with a Spirit Bomb/Ground Zero to pull off what I consider the upset victory. Knowing that Banks vs Lee will happen again after Banks’ title win, I’m not too bothered by the BS finish since it did set something up for the future. Still, it’s a little disappointing that it happened in a match that nearly reached great status. Banks continues to be fantastic and although I feel like I need to watch another match to figure out how I feel about him, Lee seems like someone I can really dig. Overall, a really good big man vs small man match with a disappointing finish, but one that had a purpose. *** ¾


    After the match, Lee returns to the back before Trent Seven and Tyler Bate attacks Banks in the ring. CCK tries to make the save, but Pete Dunne runs in and blasts them both with sledgehammer shots. While BSS holds Banks’ arms, Dunne looks to deliver a sledgehammer shot to Banks’ spine when suddenly, South Pacific Power Trip’s music hits and TK Cooper and Dahlia Black makes their return to PROGRESS to a monster reaction. With chairs in hand, The South Pacific Power Couple clears BSS out of the ring. From there, we get an awkward moment as CCK are recovering in one corner, South Pacific Power Couple are in another corner, and poor Banks is in the middle, unsure of which side he should go to. CCK bows out and lets Banks not be forced to make the tough decision. We then see the big celebration of the reunited South Pacific Power Trip.

    Overall
    Fate Loves the Fearless was a show all about setting things up for the future. The return of the South Pacific Power Couple was one of the better feel good moments for PROGRES in 2017, but it also creates a lot of uncertainty for not only Travis Banks’ potential future as PROGRESS Champion, but also his friendship with CCK. Even though Banks did embrace Cooper, I can’t imagine that’s the end of the story. PROGRESS really highlighted Banks’ uncertainty over what to do with Banks never actually deciding. Banks seems to as if he’s in a very rare spot in pro wrestling where he’s incredibly valuable to PROGRESS due to being able to be used in so many different ways right now. There’s obviously a singles run with the PROGRESS Title, there’s getting SPPT back together, there’s working trios matches with CCK, and there’s even possibly doing something with Cooper and CCK. It’s almost a shame that Banks will be winning the title soon because there won’t be enough of Banks to properly interact with all of these potential angles for him. Outside of the return of Cooper and Black was the retirement of Lynch/heel turn of Davis. The angle came off so well and believable. That whole finish to the match and post-match event is one of the best angles of 2017. The rest of the show was okay. The BSS interfering a lot I know isn’t too popular, but they’re still delivering good matches, even if there’s some clear flaws in them. The two big angles of the show made PROGRESS 53 into being a lot more special than it originally was going to be, thanks to it mostly just being a show to add a bit of heat to the big Chapter 55 event.

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    Re: PROGRESS Chapter 53 - Fate Loves the Fearless Review

    I totally get what you see in Toni Storm. She's not bad but she's just not as good as people hype her up to be, yet everywhere she's booked it's as one of the top women there.

    As for the women's division, it's still very much a case of one match per show (although they run a random women's tourney post Chase The Sun), but the silver lining of Toni working everywhere worldwide means they've built up a couple of challengers in the meantime.

    Sent from my E5823 using Tapatalk






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    Re: PROGRESS Chapter 53 - Fate Loves the Fearless Review

    It’s a shame Strangler turned out to be a fucking creeper because while disturbing and personal the heel turn on Lynch was, it really set Progress up to have as you said a long, intriguing story that now will probably never have a payoff in Progress.

    Jack Sexsmith really fucking annoyed me in that match with Dunne. Dunne has a really awesome mean guy performance and Sexsmith kicks out of what feels like multiple finishers and then even walks off like nothing happened.

    Progress showcased a great Jinny/Dahlia feud after/around this time but they seem to back back to one Women’s match a show.

    Ed disagrees but the Lee/Banks rematch is better.
    -------
    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
    Spoiler:


  4. #4

    Re: PROGRESS Chapter 53 - Fate Loves the Fearless Review

    Quote Originally Posted by Tennessee Nicky View Post
    It’s a shame Strangler turned out to be a fucking creeper because while disturbing and personal the heel turn on Lynch was, it really set Progress up to have as you said a long, intriguing story that now will probably never have a payoff in Progress.
    Has something happened in Davis' personal life?

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    Re: PROGRESS Chapter 53 - Fate Loves the Fearless Review

    I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I believe more than one person come out and said he assaulted them sexually.
    -------
    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
    Spoiler:


  6. #6
    YES! YES! YES!

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    Re: PROGRESS Chapter 53 - Fate Loves the Fearless Review

    Mini rant discussion time. Does PROGRESS always only have one women’s match per show, if they have one at all? Granted, the division is still very new, especially at the time of PROGRESS 53, but it doesn’t feel as if there’s any real direction other than having Storm beat a bunch of women in matches without any backstories. The division as a whole could really benefit if there’s a second women’s match on the show, to help build up other women so that it’s not just Storm that is coming off like a star. I recognize that it’s a brand new division/title, so it’s not entirely fair to expect it to be perfectly booked just yet. However, some flaws are pretty noticeable.
    While the UK scene has hit a boom period in recent years with all these talented guys breaking through at the same time, the women's UK scene is lagging behind. There's really not enough good female wrestlers here to make deep rosters, and the ones that are good like Kay Lee Rae and Viper are in high demand so are taking bookings in America and Japan, or one step further they get signed to WWE like Nikki Cross and Nixon Newell so they are lost from the indy circuit. It's actually makes you stand up and appreciate what the standard of women's wrestling is today that it isn't good enough to just have one match on the card for them with the same old faces rotated. It's nothing to rant about, but certainly a valid criticism that they can improve in. If I was Jim Smallman I'd be flexing that relationship with Trips and reaching out to NXT and asking if they can have an indy appearance for one of the many women in NXT signed but doing nothing but the odd TV appearance to help build Toni up some more.

    Toni is the winner in all this because she's the smart choice to push in the shallow pool of talent we have (and I'm aware I'm adopting her as our own here, but she lived in Dudley, I'm counting it); she's worked her way up over the years to where she's the most over and trusted girl in the circuit, plus they know she'll be gone soon so they want to use her to establish the new title. I know in wXw, because Toni trained with them they like to push her more than outside talent. I don't think she's THAT great, but she's good and has star potential which will stand her in good stead when she goes to WWE.

    And yeah Davis is scum.

    Nicky, there's every chance Jim will like that rematch more. I was just tired of Banks by that point.

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    Re: PROGRESS Chapter 53 - Fate Loves the Fearless Review

    I personally think he’s in a better stride post Chase The Sun than pre-Chase The Sun. His rematches have personally been way better than his summer series, but I can see why someone could get a little bored with him at this point.
    -------
    Quote Originally Posted by RaiZ-R View Post
    What the fuck is happening to you guys? I once got a blowjob where she used her teeth a little bit too much and I ended up with a bloody dick, I still enjoyed the blowjob up to the point I started bleeding. I can honestly say that I have never had anything I would call a bad blowjob, that wasn't a great experience but up until I started gushing blood I was having a great time!
    Spoiler:


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