Main photo by Rob Brazier
Here’s five things you need to know about British wrestling this week:
1) PROGRESS moved all their pieces into place
With September 25th’s We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Room… Again! just around the corner, PROGRESS Wrestling fans were curious to see whether Sunday’s Writing Nirvana On Other People’s Bags, held at the promotion’s spiritual home of the Electric Ballroom in Camden, would move the pieces into place for that show, given that just two matches had been announced for the big show so far.
They left the Ballroom certain of a few more attractions for the big show, and were put out of their mystery the next day by the full card being announced.
Just who would face PROGRESS Tag Team Champions The London Riots was clear after the debut of Trent Seven & Pete Dunne’s new tag team, British Strong Style, who confronted the champs after dispatching the makeshift team of their former partners, Tyler Bate & Damian Dunne, in impressive style.
And the finals of the at-times-confusing Atlas tournament (for the big lads) were set, too, when Joe Coffey overcame Dave Mastiff, and Rampage Brown hit two piledrivers to send off his Team Single teammate T-Bone to confirm the participants in the climax to the series.
Alex Windsor hits Nixon Newell hard — photo by Rob Brazier
The show saw three PROGRESS debutantes — Nixon Newell and Alex Windsor (who were rewarded for their efforts with a slot in a women’s division showcase match at Brixton, alongside the promotion’s regular women’s roster), and Lucha Underground’s Killshot, Shane Strickland, who faced Will Ospreay in the match of the night (and, to be honest, the match of a lot of nights).
Ospreay gradually turned heel during the match, eventually receiving boos from a big portion of the Ballroom crowd, and apologised afterwards for breaking the cardinal rule of PROGRESS — Don’t Be A D*ck! — before saying a temporary farewell due to his New Japan commitments.
With Tommaso Ciampa vs. Zack Sabre Jr. already announced (although a best-of-three falls stipulation was added on Monday), the rest of the Brixton card took shape when Sebastian clashed with Pastor William Eaver during a long talking segment, and PROGRESS Champion Marty Scurll beat Mark Andrews in a decent main event to confirm his place in the PROGRESS Championship three-way against Tommy End and Mark Haskins.
The aftermath of the title match, which saw The Origin attack Andrews, only for Eddie Dennis, Jack Gallagher, and Damon Moser to make the save, has resulted in an Origin vs. those guys eight-man at Brixton, with the threat of The Origin having to disband if they lose.
The show should be up on Demand PROGRESS this weekend, and there are still a few tickets left for that Brixton show if you fancy sampling one of the UK’s top, top promotions at very reasonable prices.
2) Ospreay & Dunne clashed again in RevPro
Away from the bright lights of London’s east end, Revolution Pro-Wrestling pitched up in one of their regular stops (and the home of their training school) on Friday as they visited the Portsmouth Guildhall.
The show was headlined by a rematch for the RevPro Undisputed British Cruiserweight Championship, between Will Ospreay and the man he pinned to win that belt, Pete Dunne. Ospreay retained, but Dunne’s foot was on the ropes during the pinfall, and this doesn’t seem to be over between the two.
Dunne’s complaints were seen off by Moose, who had earlier lost to Marty Scurll in similarly-disputed circumstances, and the TNA star led the curtain call.
Ospreay takes flight — photo by Portrait Of A Wrestler’s Jim Bob
The show opened with the British Young Bloods team of Jake McCluskey & Bruce beating RevPro young lions Dan McGhee & Rob Lias, and the card featured several graduates of Andy Simmonz’s school, with Zoe Lucas seeing off Bea Priestley, and Psycho Phillips — accompanied by Simmonz himself — taking on Big Damo in the huge Ulsterman’s last RevPro match before heading off to NXT.
Damo triumphed, which led to Simmonz attacking Phillips, only for Damo to make the save and give his farewell speech to the crowd.
After New Japan’s Jay White submitted Mark Haskins (who began his career in the city, at the old FWA Academy), Lord Gideon Grey & Rishi Ghosh — the Legion of Lords — came out, demanding more respect from RevPro owner Andy Quildan.
Ghosh challenged Quildan to a match on October 30th — their return date at the Guildhall — but Quildan instead announced that the duo would face the former Ryback instead.
Tickets for that show are on sale now and you can see RevPro action on their On Demand service. They return with a smaller-scale show in Fareham on Friday September 2nd, with a show that features the debut of new powerhouse, Rob Frampton.
3) The war for control of ICW looks to have an end in sight
If PROGRESS have done well to sell almost 2500 tickets for their show at the Brixton Academy later this month, Insane Championship Wrestling will have done fantastically if they get anywhere near the capacity needed to fill the SEC Hydro in November for Fear & Loathing IX.
Not resting on their laurels, they’re continuing to build the card for that show, with a mixture of the UK’s best, nostalgia acts, and some top US indie stars, and this weekend added the recently-departed from WWE Dudley Boyz to the show.
Team 3D (as they are known outside WWE) will face the winners of a ladder match at next week’s Friday Night Fight Club tapings between The Local Fire and Polo Promotions, who dispute ownership of the company’s tag team titles.
On August’s FNFC tapings, held at the Garage in Glasgow last Sunday, The Local Fire defeated The New Nation to ensure they made that shootout, and plenty of other business which will impact on November’s card was conducted in front of the usual rabid crowd.
Trent Seven, who beat Massimo late in the card, challenged ICW Heavyweight Champion Wolfgang (who had defeated DCT by TKO in the opener) to a match at the Hydro, and this will likely be joined on that show by a 10-man tag team affair for full control of ICW, after 50% owner Red Lightning challenged his counterpart Mark Dallas to a contest for all the beans.
This came about after Lightning’s cohorts, The Black Label & Lionheart, had beaten Dallas’s pals Grado, Noam Dar, & Sha Samuels, dubbed the Pinky Party, in the show’s main event.
The Pinky Party make their entrance — photo by David J Wilson
All of this action — and more, including appearances by Kenny Williams, Colt Cabana, Iestyn Rees, BT Gunn, and Stevie Boy — will feature in upcoming episodes of Friday Night Fight Club, which can be seen on ICW On Demand, as well as through the Fite Network and on Italian TV.
Fear & Loathing IX, which is headlined by Kurt Angle vs. Joe Coffey and also features Ricochet and Timothy Thatcher, is on Sunday November 20th, but the promotion are back at the Garage on September 11th.
4) Pete Dunne waved goodbye to Kamikaze-Pro
Seeking to cement control of their Birmingham home, Kamikaze Pro-Wrestling delivered Run This Town at the Collingwood Centre in Great Barr last Saturday, with a blockbuster main event which saw Pete Dunne lose a Loser Leaves Kamikaze match to his great rival Ryan Smile.
The loss of Dunne from his hometown promotion, assuming he doesn’t return under a mask (and I fully endorse that course of action if he does!), has led to tongues wagging about his future endeavours, and it’s no secret that all eyes are on him this weekend at Pro Wrestling Guerilla’s Battle Of Los Angeles tournament.
The show — which also featured Xia Brookside and WWE Cruiserweight Classic competitor Clement Petiot, known as Tristan Archer — opened with a Dan Moloney victory over Lee Hunter, and that wasn’t the last the fans saw of Moloney that night.
He cashed in his Money in the Bank contract to make the Kamikaze-Pro Relentless Division title match between Tyler Bate and Robbie X into a three-way, and carried off the title after pinning Bate. It was announced after the victory that Moloney would make his first defence of the championship on September 25th — against Sami Callihan!
That show will also see the return of Jessicka Havok, which will no doubt greatly interest Nixon Newell.
Newell featured in the evening’s other title match, as she reformed her Vulture Squad tag team with Chris Brookes to take on the Kamikaze-Pro Tag Team Champions Damian Dunne & Marshall X.
The Squad came up short, the champions took the belts home, and Newell superkicked Brookes after the match for good measure. Kamikaze-Pro return on September 25th at the Cadbury Club in Bournville, south Birmingham.
5) Reckless Intent regulars scored huge wins over big names (and other stuff)
It’s safe to say that Ian Williams has had better nights than last Saturday’s Choose Your Weapon for Pro-Wrestling Chaos at the Hanham Community Centre in Bristol, when he ended the night shorn of his hair after losing to Gideon in a match which, if Gideon had lost, would have seen Williams drive his rival into retirement.
The show was opened by the eponymous tag team match, as Jeckel and Mike Bird each chose a partner to act as their weapon, with Jeckel’s choice of Dick Magnum trumping Bird’s Rampage Brown when it all came down.
Williams gets his head shaved by Gideon — and GM Jimmy Havoc! — photo by Turning Face’s Jim Maitland
Also on the show (which featured Big Grizzly, Dave Mastiff, and Panda Club), the Swords of Essex — made up of Will Ospreay & Paul Robinson — won a Knights of Chaos tag team tournament semifinal over Project Lucha’s Martin Kirby & El Ligero, and Eddie Ryan became number one contender to Wild Boar’s King of Chaos title by beating Eddie Dennis.
Boar did not compete, due to injury, but General Manager Jimmy Havoc allowed him to keep his title so long as he agreed to face Sami Callihan at The Hungerford Games at the Hungerford Community Centre in Bristol on September 24th.
You can see all the Chaos action through the UK Wrestling On Demand service for just £3.99 a month.
Massimo ties up Grado — photo by David J Wilson
On the very outskirts of Glasgow, near the new town of Cumbernauld, Reckless Intent Wrestling made their third visit to Twechar Healthy Living Centre last Saturday, with some big names coming to the small town.
The night featured two title matches, with RI regulars taking on much grander opponents and coming out on top, as Massimo beat Grado to unify the Reckless Intent UK Championship and Michael Chase defeated Big Damo to take the Reckless Intent Heavyweight title in the evening’s main event.
The show opened with Joe Coffey beating Jackie Polo, and also featured ICW regulars DCT, Sha Samuels, and Chris Renfrew, and RI are also bringing in more ICW stars — including Polo Promotions — for their next outing on September 10th in Murieston, Livingston.
EC3 hands BT Gunn his title — photo by David J Wilson
Also up in Scotland, on the other side of Glasgow to Twechar in Kilmarnock, British Championship Wrestling also brought some big names out to an appreciative crowd, with a main event of BT Gunn vs. the third version of Carter, EC3, for the BCW Heavyweight Championship.
Gunn retained through disqualification after the new number one contender, Stevie (Boy) Xavier — who had earlier beaten El Ligero, Liam Thomson, and Andrew Wilde to earn that honour — attacked the champion.
The show, which also featured Colt Cabana, Grado, Sha Samuels, and Drew Galloway, opened with Kenny Williams successfully defending his BCW Openweight Championship against Martin Kirby, and saw Jack Jester issue an open challenge and have to face Joe Coffey as a surprise opponent. BCW return on September 23rd in East Kilbride.
Note: There was an error and an omission in last week’s column. The picture of The New Nation from Absolute Wrestling was taken by AA Emerson, and that show’s women’s match featured Kat von Kaige. Happy to put the record straight!