Fresh from their travels to Birmingham and Sheffield, a stunning returning show was presented to the Electric Ballroom in London, and its name was HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF for very good reasons.
The long reign of the vulture of PROGRESS Wrestling, the Sovereign Lord Spike Trivet was in huge jeopardy, as Kid Lykos, the winner of Super Strong Style 16, was gunning for him. Who would have the greater hunger?
As it turned out – they both had the hunger and desire to win, but the appetite of the Vulture overcame that of the Wolf, and on the verge of defeat, Trivet went for possibly the one unexploited vulnerability of Lykos.
Ripping his mask from Lykos caused a protective reaction to his identity and a quick pin from the once again, conniving but triumphant Trivet.
So, what else happened:-
* Boisterous Behaviour def Paul Robinson & Malik to retain the Italian SAJ title
* Jack Bandicoot def Rob Drake
* Skye Smitson def Allie Katch
* Blake Christian def Charles Crowley to retain the GCW Title
* Tate Mayfairs def Simon Miller
* Smokin’ Aces def Gene Munny & Connor Mills
* LA Taylor def Renee Michelle
* Yoshiki Inamura def TK Cooper
* Spike Trivet def Kid Lykos to retain the Men’s PROGRESS World title
But back to the start of the evening and gaining a reputation for igniting the shows, and with another title on the line, Boisterous Behaviour made their first and successful defence of the Italian SAJ Tag Team titles.
Paul Robinson who still wanted to know what has happened to his PROTEUS belt and Malik gave them an energetic contest, though it was arguably Malik’s attempted steal of the winning pin which led to another joint pin on him by Man like Dereiss and Leon Slater. Robbo was less than pleased.
Jack Bandicoot returned to PROGRESS for his Ballroom debut and jokingly claimed the AAA title (as he said “the ah ah ah”) due to the absence of QT Marshall who sent his apologies. Out came the Lana Austin Experience’s self-appointed recruit, Rob Drake who was outdone by Bandicoot’s high energy performance.
We then saw surprising concern for the absent scouser, Lizzy Evo with Skye Smitson stepping in to face Allie Katch.
The Lana Austin Experience picked up a win here with Smitson pinning the over confident Katch, overlooked by LA Taylor.
Charles Crowley was out to prove himself against GCW World Champion, AEW-signed All HEART, Blake Christian (former WWE star, Trey Baxter) who put his title on the line. Christian targeted the previously injured Crowley shoulder which left him as the crowd’s favourite but not the new GCW World Champion.
The unlikely combination of Gene Munny and Connor Mills won a shot at the Smokin’ Aces having won SHAKE IT ALL ABOUT over the AEW Wembley weekend, with that whole show available on DEMAND PROGRESS PLUS.
After an evening so far of successful title defences, there was in this match a title change – a shocking, surprising and uplifting title change – a title change that the fans totally approved of – but a title change that was quickly over-turned due to the Referee’s ruling of an illegal pin by Connor Mills.
Despair, disbelief and disenchantment gave way to a frantic restart with Munny misjudging a clothesline and leaving Mills to receive the pin.
Anger, angst and annoyance followed Charlie Sterling and Nick Riley’s growing hold on the tag team belts.
One of the most emotionally charged matches of the day saw Simon Miller aiming to seek some retribution over Tate Mayfairs after the Sheffield assault.
This match did not provide any redemption with much raw brutality ending with an arguably unfair TKO by wrist lock after Miller’s face planting thanks to an illegal knuckleduster which left him unconscious.
Renee Michelle also made her PROGRESS London debut facing LA Taylor, and she certainly had the good wishes of her husband, and PROGRESS favourite RockStar Spud with her. If only there in spirit, Renee did wear his extremely chic PROGRESS leather jacket into the ring. That, though, only inspired Taylor to dismiss Drake Maverick’s memory and to do the same to Michelle, with an exquisite spinning drop to get the pin.
The cloud of the Lana Austin Experience continued post match with in-fighting between LA Taylor and Rob Drake – a mildly bizarre civil war.
Lana had the last word in reminding the absent Alexxis Falcon of the futility of her forthcoming challenge.
We then saw the London debut of Yoshiki Inamura on secondment from Pro Wrestling NOAH – and although disappointed that Big Damo was unable to attend, TK Cooper gave him an Electric Ballroom sunshine welcome.
This was a meeting with some Pacific theme and resonance of the forthcoming Japan vs Samoa match in the Rugby World Cup with the same great energy and power and ultimately some fine respect between two increasingly liked wrestlers, one cheered on by the effervescent Chuck Mambo.
Inamura however, finally earned his first PROGRESS victory and showed everyone the arc of his NOAH potential.
A show of immense buzz, with four title defences, superb emotion and a crowd showing who they want as their future Men’s champion – if Lykos and his mask can ever overcome Trivet.