This past Sunday, PROGRESS held their first show of 2023, Chapter 148 ‘Start Spreading The News,’ at the Electric Ballroom, Camden. It was the company’s first show since announcing the contract with WWE and content on their network would be coming to an end.
As a fan of PROGRESS for many years, this was a refreshing announcement. To feel truly independent and not bound to any protocols or procedures from a major company feels like the company can truly go anywhere and work with anyone they like.
Many fans have been critical about the product and the promotion from the moment a deal to work with WWE in different capacities was signed in 2018, with the ‘Speaking Out’ movement also causing major fan backlash.
However, I for one, believe many fans who have stayed away, should stay away and not even bothering to tweet or chat on forums about the product if they don’t care so much, because for those of us who do, I think Chapter 148 was a great insight into what looks to be a very promising year of wrestling from the promotion.
My top 5 takeouts from Chapter 148 are:
5 – LEON SLATER CONTINUES TO SHINE
PWMania.com spoke to Leon Slater in the run up to this show and he backed up what he said, he would beat Tate Mayfairs. Slater has already been making waves across the pond for GCW and will continue to have big matches and wider coverage as the year goes on. PROGRESS should look to be pushing this guy further up the card and dare I say it, don’t be surprised if Slater is shining brightest come SSS16 in May.
4 – RKJ IS CASHING IN!
After beating Axel Tischer in a solid bout, RKJ stated he will cash in his NPS title shot on his birthday, at Chapter 150 on Feb 26th, against BIG DAMO!
Yes, the Atlas champ!
RKJ proved last year that he has all the tools to go all the way and I’ve got to say, taking on Damo for the ‘Big Lads’ title is a great way to highlight his ability to work with talent of all different speeds, strengths and sizes. Alongside Slater, 2023 is RKJ’s year to shine across the world, we are blessed with being able to see these two month in, month out, and I think it will be a happy birthday for the young Knight on Feb 26th.
3 – RHIO HAS THE KEY!
Rhio won the latest Thunderbastard match, beating Skye Smitson, Raven Creed, Lizzie Evo, Millie McKenzie and Dani Luna. Even with Lana Austin and LA Taylor outside, Rhio got the job done and now has a title shot opportunity when she chooses. I love The Lana Austin Experience, they are great to hate and you can see a long-burning storyline of dissension in the ranks occuring, but for now, Lana – who luckily defeated Session Moth Martina due to outside interference – will have to get ready for Rhio, who has all the taolent to take many titles across the UK, including the PROGRESS Women’s Championship.
2 – LIO RUSH, PLEASE COME BACK!
Lio Rush has levels. The guy is quick, strong, agile and had the PROGRESS crowd wanting more. After defeating a solid Danny Black in a top class match, it was clear that Lio would consistently thrive in front of a packed Ballroom. Who wouldn’t love to see Lio vs Leon in Camden very soon? PLEASE COME BACK!
1 – ONE MORE TIME
Yes, it’s happening. A pay off to one of PROGRESS’ best every feuds.
Chapter 150, February 26th, Electric Ballroom.
Tom Dawkins vs. Spike Trivet.
If Tom wins, he gets ‘HIM’ back. He loses and he is gone. Forever.
After Spike Trivet beat a dogged Gene Munny in the show’s main event, Dawkins returned to clear the ring as Trivet and Bullit attempted to totally destroy Munny with chairs and chains. The reaction to Dawkins returning and setting up the match closed a really good show that looked to the future, looked to building new feuds and closing out others.
Will the Ballroom see Cara Noir again?
So, all in all, this was a solid 8/10 show from PROGRESS. It sets up the next Ballroom chapter perfectly and for me, gives a British crowd a solid British product. Let’s get behind our local companies fans, enjoy what these promoters and performers are doing, because it is definitely something I look forward to being at every month.
CHAPTER 148 – FULL RESULTS
Leon Slater def. Tate Mayfairs
Warren Banks & Big Damo def. The 0121
RKJ def. Axel Tischer
Rhio def. Skye Smitson, Lizzie Evo, Raven Creed, Dani Luna and Millie McKenzie
Lio Rush def. Danny Black
Lana Austin def. Session Moth Martina
Sunshine Machine def. Lykos Gym
Spike Trivet def. Gene Munny
Tickets to PROGRESS Chapters 149 and 150 are available here.
Pictures: Progress Wrestling