BRM Reviews PROGRESS Chapter 88: Super Strong-Style 16 Tournament 2019- Day 2 (AWESOME!)

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews PROGRESS Chapter 88: Super Strong-Style 16 Tournament 2019- Day 2 (AWESOME!)

Post by Big Red Machine » May 16th, '19, 16:07

PROGRESS Chapter 88: Super Strong-Style 16 Tournament 2019- Day 2 (5/5/2019)- London, UK

AERO STAR vs. DAGA- 7/10
A great, pace-setting opener.

SUPER STRONG-STYLE 16 QUARTERFINAL MATCH: Jordan Devlin vs. Kyle Fletcher (w/Mark Davis)- 8.5/10
An all-out war of escalating big moves. This built extremely well and had a great feeling of “anything could be the finish.”

SUPER STRONG-STYLE 16 QUARTERFINAL MATCH: Ilja Dragunov vs. Trevor Lee- no rating, fine segment
Lee tried to lure Ilja into a trap by saying he respected him because they both worked for WWE. It worked in the sense that Ilja fell for it and Lee was able to kick him in the nuts while the referee’s back was turned to order the bell wrong, but it didn’t work in the overall sense of winning the match, as Ilja kicked out of the pin, hit a Death Valley Driver, then a Torpedo Moscow for the win.

WINNER QUALIFIES FOR THE FOUR-WAY PROGRESS WOMEN'S MATCH TOMORROW NIGHT: “Session Moth” Martina vs. Jinny (w/Laura Di Matteo)- 6.75/10
The referee made no effort to count them out when they fought on the outside and failed to eject Laura when she clearly attempted to affect the outcome of the match by pulling Jinny down when Martina got her up for a vertical suplex. Or when she pulled Jinny towards the ropes when Martina had her in a Boston crab. Even when she grabbed Martina by the hair and pulled, preventing her from following upon a move- which should have been an outright DQ- the referee didn’t eject her from ringside. Do your job, referee!
Fortunately, Martina was able to get the win anyway, so the poor refereeing did not affect the outcome of the match. This win was Martina’s first win over Jinny in several attempts in PROGRESS, and the announcers made a big deal of it. Sh*tty refereeing aside, the match was very good. It turns out that Martina is actually really likeable and easy to get behind when she’s not being a comedy goof, doing drugs, and sexually harassing people.

POST-MATCH SEGMENT- Apparently I’m not the only one whose respect Martina won tonight, as Jinny actually raised her hand in victory, and Martina seemed genuinely shocked that Jinny did not turn this into some kind of sneak attack. Laura walked out on Jinny, and Jinny and Martina hugged. This felt like a goodbye for Jinny, which is the only circumstances under which I would be fine with Jinny turning babyface. I mean... she’s Jinny. he could be a babyface for a solid year and I would still be suspicious that there is some sort of Ole Anderson turning on Dusty moment in the works.

NO DISQUALIFICATIONS MATCH: DNR vs. El Ligero, Jimmy Havoc, Mark Andrews, & Mark Haskins (w/Vicky Haskins)- 8.75/10
They played a FANTASTIC video package before this match to bring us up to speed. Jim Smallman also announced that Eddie Dennis would be doing guest commentary for this match, so him getting involved in some way seems likely, even if he is injured.
This was an excellent “big weapons match blow-off,” although given the people involved, I will admit to being a little shocked that it wasn’t particularly bloody or deathmatch-y or nothing insane like a balcony dive happened. It was just people who didn’t like each beating each other with weapons and moves in a dramatic, well-paced manner, giving everyone the time to shine. It definitely had a number of moments that felt more than a little choreographed, but nothing so bad that it got in the way. Dennis’ moment of reunion with Mark Andrews got a HUGE pop, and the Glenn Joseph’s ending call of “the dinosaurs are not extinct!” sounds like something that an announcer should never be saying about top stars, but in this situation it worked perfectly, as these men are not the aged dinosaurs of WCW’s Millionaire’s Club to DNR’s New Blood, their footprint in PROGRESS has been just as large as the Millionaire’s Club members’ was in WCW.

SUPER STRONG-STYLE 16 QUARTERFINAL MATCH: Kyle O’Reilly vs. Paul Robinson- 6.75/10
The story was Robinson’s original strategy wasn’t working so he had to adjust and work over O’Reilly’s knee. Kyle got some work in in Robinson’s knee, too, and got the win. Robinson’s selling could have been better.

Jimmy Havoc came out and said that tomorrow is his last match in PROGRESS, so he wants another deathmatch against Robinson. Robinson accepted.

SUPER STRONG-STYLE 16 QUARTERFINAL MATCH: David Starr vs. Travis Banks- 6.75/10
They had very good brawling start and did some good wrestling and eventually wound up in a double-pinfall. Smallman said we can’t have a draw in this tournament, so he restarted the match. They eventually went to a double count-out, even after the referee was way too lenient with them about it. They kept brawling afterwards and had to be separated. Smallman told them that if they didn’t stop fighting they would both be out of the tournament, but if they calmed down and went to the back, he’d make the semifinal on their side of the bracket tomorrow into a three-way. So after telling us that we absolutely cannot have a draw... they had a draw. (Full disclosure: I know who wins the tournament but nothing else, so I have a good guess at how tomorrow’s match does down, and if my theory about where things are heading afterwards is correct, it probably would have been a better idea to not do the double-pinfall part of this... but I’ll reserve final judgment on that (and go into more details) in my review of the final night of the tournament.

LUCHA RULES MATCH: Chris Brookes, Artemis Spencer, & DJ Z vs. Lucky Kid, Darby Allin, & Chris Ridgeway- 6.5/10
Good action and good use of the rules although I really didn’t like the pointless heel finish from a team of guys who have always been babyfaces in their limited PROGRESS appearances, and doubly so with the way they had to distract the referee. Grabbing a referee like that should be an automatic DQ.

A FANTASTIC, emotion-filled match with some great storytelling that was enhanced even more by the commentary. Not only did they help to add a psychological layer onto the story of WALTER’s hand being injured, but they did an absolutely wonderful job of finding ways to incorporate WWE in as well, truly making this feel like a shared universe with the exact same people in it, rather than characters whose history and dispositions vary from promotion to promotion. WALTER’s heelishness at the end continues the trend of the PROGRESS World Title being a “poisoned chalice,” and the exact nature of the finish perhaps portends a bit more of an incorporation of wXw’s character continuity as well.

Another AWESOME night of action from PROGRESS. Almost every match felt important, and the few that didn’t were at least given the time to be good. Storylines moved along, we had some big moments, and it was a piece of cake to sit through, even at nearly four hours in length. This is a show build for rewatching again and again any time you say to yourself “I just want to sit down and watch some damn good professional wrestling.”
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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