So, another PROGRESS Wrestling chapter is in the books, and with it is a new number 1 contender, Spike Trivet, who was victorious in Chapter 136’s main event.
Trivet outlasted 7 other men in the company’s unique Thunderbastard match to earn a future shot at the world title.
Although not my favourite ever Thunderbastard match, it was definitely a result that will make things interesting within the company as Trivet also continues to ensure Tom Dawkins, aka Cara Noir, will wrestle for the promotion without the glitz and glamour of his gimmick when coming back from an injury that prevented him wrestling on the show.
Other major takeaways from the show included a successful title defence from Chris Ridgeway as he defeated a hard-hitting Dean Hallmark in a brutal match where both men would be sure to feel it in the coming days.
Ridgeway confidently spoke to us at PWMania.com in the lead-up to the match. This confidence was evident throughout the match, with a mat technique and a strong style that will make many uncomfortable when trying to take the strap off the man from North West Strong. Click here to read our exclusive interview with Ridgeway.
The first half of the show had two really bright sparks, one of them being the PROGRESS Wrestling debut of Nick Wayne, taking on a vibrant Robbie X, who replaced a travel-delayed Swerve Strickland.
The match was as expected; fast, high-flying, and never letting up. For Wayne, a young man of 17, to be so accomplished and slick in the ring is incredible. He is making headlines week after week, and the victory in this match would have further cemented his role as a big time player going forward.
And then, for me, the opener, the show stealer, the tag team championship match between champions Sunshine Machine and the interesting combination of Ricky Knight Jr. and Leon Slater.
You’ll remember I said RKJ and Slater were ones to watch for the rest of the year after their bout at the Ballroom in May, and this was proven even more true after this match, where although never really tagging together, they took the champs so close in a match that had everything.
High spots, great impact moves, top cohesion. It was a match that received a standing ovation and made every match after it one that would be very hard to follow. TK Cooper and Mambo are a top duo, great mates, and are clearly thriving in this role as a tag team, both in PROGRESS and beyond. The two deserve this limelight and praise, and long may it continue.
For RKJ and Slater, I say once again, remember their names and get to shows where they are billed because they are the real deal.
Some other bright spots included a fun, mid-card match between Charles Crowley and Maggot where Crowley lost his cloak.
Daily Star’s favourite wrestler, Lana Austin, continued to be an entertaining force in the women’s division during a tag match where she stole the victory away from her partner, Eliza Alexander, as they defeated Raven Creed and Alexxis Falcon.
And Laura Di Matteo took her frustrations out on Kanji after her loss in a women’s title match that served more as a simmer to a bigger rematch. The two will definitely take this up another level.
All in all, it was fun, slightly long at nearly 4 and a half hours, with the main event not having the twists and turns many would have expected.
Positives are that crowds at the Ballroom are starting to grow, with no seat left in the house for Chapter 136. Going forward, it will be great to see some more feuds build to Dawkins vs. Trivet’s level of anticipation.
As PROGRESS now embark on a UK tour this August before a big show in Cardiff during the Clash At The Castle weekend, it will be interesting to see what is in store. It’s great to see fans reacting well to what they see and enthusiastic about a new crop of UK talent, looking to emulate or even surpass the scene that was the talk of the world from 2014-2018
I, for one, look forward to getting out to as many promotions as possible to see how everything builds.
The UK scene is starting to hit its stride once again.