Confirming its reputation for cool autumnal November rain, Manchester welcomed the PROGRESS faithful to Chapter 159 and the clearly Oasis inspired WONDERBRAWL – and there was indeed some wondrous brawling.
The change of the PROGRESS Women’s title at Chapter 158 was confirmed here with newly crowned Rhio enhancing her credentials, with a very challenging performance against her previously beaten foe, Lana Austin. Austin was hoping for a triumphal anniversary return to the O2 Ritz Academy having made her PROGRESS debut exactly 5 years earlier at this very venue.
However, even the menace of the Lana Austin Experience couldn’t be the ones who were going to save her. The newly aligned wannabe tag team of Charles Crowley and Alexxis Falcon played their part in dispersing them as Rhio delivered a winning package piledriver.
We all know the name of the ongoing and current PROGRESS Women’s Champion.
Simon Miller returned as show host, and quickly announced the first match, with local favourite, former ATLAS champion Luke Jacobs facing the increasingly loved NOAH guest wrestler of Yoshiki Inamura. No surprises with the hard hitting that followed but not even Inamura’s muscle and eye-watering spinning body slam could stop Jacobs’ home crowd victory.
Inamura looked very disheartened at the end, as despite some crowd-pleasing performances a winning record still eludes him. We shall see how he plans to change this in the upcoming weeks and months.
The Women’s shifting roster landscape continued with a Number One contender bout featuring two-time former Champion Kanji and the Liver bird, Lizzy Evo. These two had the bit between their teeth after the previous disrespect shown by Lizzy Evo and after a well matched contest, the referee spotted a mildly controversial simultaneous pin and a submission – despite calls for VAR a draw it was.
So, at Chapter 160: VENDETTA, on 26th November a triple threat match for the PROGRESS Women’s world title will take place between champion Rhio, Kanji and Lizzy Evo.
Jack Bandicoot then bounced in making his PROGRESS Manchester debut against long-time favourite Robbie X. The match continued the high energy of the show, with Robbie X finally getting the pin on his return to the company.
Who else but Charles Crowley would announce the next contest as “The Most Dramatic Match In Pro Wrestling History of all time?” Matthew Rehwoldt – the former WWE Aiden English and self-styled Drama King helped provide exactly that.
Throw in the ring crew, an over-enthusiastic top rope, and exhilarating performances from our stars, and we did indeed have a contender for that title in a match that has got a lot of online drama already. What did you expect from the most dramatic match in pro wrestling history?!
An announcement of former ECW Champion Masato Tanaka making his PROGRESS debut in March 2024 at the Dome then brought the second half with Francesco Akira arriving for his own PROGRESS debut fresh off the back of winning the Super Jr Tag League with Catch 22. Leon Slater having recently signed with TNA had a big point to prove and after the expected high flying doses of supreme agility from both, it was indeed Slater who did make that point with the win.
The elegance of that match turned to six-man tag mayhem as Spike Trivet led his Dominatus Regnumof Charlie Sterling and Bullit to a cunningly crafted win over Lykos Gym and Warren Banks. This does not herald well for Kid Lykos and the mask he has put on the line at VENDETTA in the main event in a Title vs Mask match.
Banks signed off with an emotional goodbye to one of his home towns. “Goodbye M30”, as he heads to into his final retirement match at VENDETTA against his trainer, friend and mentor, Gene Munny.
The crowd then gave their approval of the first announced entrant into the Super Strong Style 16 tournament of May 2024 as being Bryan Keith. The Bounty Hunter will be making his UK debut and looking to win the tournament for a shot at the Men’s PROGRESS Championship at the Electric Ballroom.
The penultimate challenge was for the ATLAS belt of long-standing champion, Ricky Knight Jr, and the day’s second hard-hitting Japanese challenger Shigehiro Irie came close – but a close second, meaning that RKJ will now defend his ATLAS title against Luke Jacobs at VENDETTA.
Then there was Rhio – and then after all, that was our Wonderbrawl!
PROGRESS now head back to the Electric Ballroom in London for Chapter 160:VENDETTA on Sunday 26th November when we shall see a TITLE vs MASK, as Kid Lykos will take on reigning Champion Spike Trivet in the time honoured tradition of Lucha de Apuestas.
PROGRESS Wrestling tickets are available for all future shows via the dice app.
You can see all Chapter 159: Wonderbrawl from Friday 17th November by subscribing to DEMAND PROGRESS PLUS.