Preview: PROGRESS Chapter 76: Hello Wembley (9/30/18)

PROGRESS are holding the biggest independent wrestling show in the UK in 30 years.  The upstart promotion are running Wembley in a huge step for UK wrestling and a scene that 10 years ago could only have dreamed of a Wembley show. Unfortunately for PROGRESS, this card has been torn to bits with injuries and contractual obligations. A years worth of hype and expectations, coupled with PROGRESS running more shows than ever in 2018, have led to some fans feeling underwhelmed with the build.  Despite this, the card is still stacked and worthy of such a big stage.  PROGRESS Chapter 76: Hello Wembley is no ordinary show with no ordinary card, let’s jump right in to the action.

Match 1: Matt Riddle vs Mark Haskins


The WWE connection comes through for PROGRESS as they host Matt Riddle’s last ever indie date.  With NJPW pulling Will Ospreay and Zack Sabre Jr., WWE have given PROGRESS a top import to draw interest.  For Riddle’s last opponent, is there a more perfect opponent that Mark Haskins?  Both Riddle and Haskins are brilliant workers who can do almost everything.  They can throw stiff strikes and kicks, they can grapple, they can go at a fast pace, and they can throw bombs.  Riddle was adopted by fans in Europe as he fit in so well with the scene, so it makes sense then that his last independent match will be in his second home.  Expect both men to go all out and tear the house down at Hello Wembley.

Match 2: ATLAS Championship: Doug Williams (c) vs Trent Seven


The “Big Lads” division gets a title match at Wembley with some very high stakes.  Doug Williams has been on a miracle run as champion to see out his career and if he loses to Trent Seven here he will retire on the biggest stage possible.  NXT UK star Trent Seven is a multiple time PROGRESS tag team champion with both Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate.  A clash of styles as the technician Williams faces the brawler Trent Seven.

Match 3: Thunderbastard PROGRESS Tag Team Championships: Bandido & Flamita (c) vs The 198 (Flash Morgan Webster & “Wild Boar” Mike Hitchman vs CCKampf (Chris Brookes & Timothy Thatcher) vs Sexy Starr (David Starr & Jack Sexsmith) vs Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson) vs Anti Fun Police ( Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Junior) vs Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs Connor Mills & Maverick Mayhew

Hello Wembley will house the first ever tag team Thunderbastard match.  The rules are as follows, a new team enters after a timed interval and if one member of the team is pinned then both members are out.  This series has played out over many months and seen numerous changes.  The 198 go in as obvious favorites after their dominant displays.  The action in this one will be frantic with bodies flying everywhere.  Expect at least one elimination for young Mills and Mayhew and for Zack Gibson and Jack Sexsmith to continue their grudge.

Match 4: No DQ Grudge Match: Jimmy Havoc vs Paul Robinson


A rematch of one of the most bloody encounters in PROGRESS history.  The last time Jimmy Havoc and Paul Robinson shared a PROGRESS ring, Robinson sent Havoc packing with a curb stomp through some light tubes.  We would not see Havoc for another year and when he returned he was a changed man.  Gone was the Jimmy Havoc that held PROGRESS hostage for over 600 days, gone was the demonic evil monster that corrupted the once babyface Paul Robinson.  The now good guy Havoc would find himself on the receiving end of a beating from the reformed Swords of Essex, as a reformed Will Ospreay and Robinson were set to make Havoc’s life miserable.  Real life problems would get in the way for Robinson as he was medically unable to compete at the level required for PROGRESS.  To announce his comeback and make a statement, Robinson cost Havoc the main event of Wembley as he squared off with career rival Will Ospreay.  Jimmy Havoc has been getting increasingly unhinged for the last few months and a deathmatch with his old right hand man may be enough to see JIMMY F’ING HAVOC come back.

Match 5: Pete Dunne vs Ilja Dragunov

Back at Super Strong Style 16Christian Michael Jakobi (CMJ), the managing director of Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw), made a challenge to Pete Dunne – he wanted to prove to Dunne and the fans that this notion of Pete being Europe’s best wrestler is a myth.  CMJ wants to prove that his creation, Ilja Dragunov, is Europe’s best wrestler.  With the challenge laid out the Bruiswerweight accepted and the fight was on.  Dragunov has never wrestled in PROGRESS and mainly plies his trade in Germany’s wXw.  At 24, both men have had different career paths.  Dunne has gone from NLW Champion in Over The Top (OTT) Wrestling, to PROGRESS champion and now has been WWE UK Champion for over a year after a classic series of matches with Tyler Bate.  To the wider audience, Dragunov is a bit of an unknown.  He is a very mysterious man who rarely works outside of wXw and holds down a job while not wrestling.  His commitments to his family have so far prevented him from breaking out in the way a Pete Dunne or a WALTER has.  If not for his outside commitments, Dragunov would have broken out big time, which may happen after taking part in this year’s Battle Of Los Angeles, as he is a fantastic wrestler who plays his character very well.  One is a worldwide superstar and the other is a cult hit in a German promotion, but both are two of the very best wrestlers in Europe and this match is going to prove who really is the best in Europe.

Match 6: PROGRESS Women’s Championship: Jinny (c) vs Toni Storm vs Millie McKenzie


Storm is a late addition to the match after being cleared to compete following injury.  Storm was the first ever PROGRESS women’s champion and put the division on the map before being dethroned by Jinny.  Storm and Jinny are the two most recognizable and talented names in the division.  McKenzie, at only 18, has the potential to eclipse them both and if she were to win the title here and upset two established stars, would put the world on notice.  A divisions OG, a belt collector and the future face of at PROGRESS Wembley in the biggest and best women’s title match to date on the UK’s biggest stage at Hello Wembley.

Match 7: TLC Number One Contender- Eddie Dennis vs Mark Andrews


A match one year in the making.  At Chapter 55: Chase The Sun in Septermber 2017, Eddie Dennis turns his back on Mark Andrews.  Dennis threw away years as a tag team as both Welshmen came through together and are former PROGRESS tag champions.  Over the past year, Dennis has been intent on destroying Andrews.  Mark has been hesitant to fight back, as he still believes that the old Eddie is in there.  Injuries prevented these two from sharing a ring, but Dennis made sure to be a thorn in Andrews’ side, constantly interfering in his matches and attacking Andrews’ band manager during a Junior concert.  Andrews has started to fire back, as he has been pushed far past his limit.  Over the last few months, this feud had been boiling away as both men have raised the ante by brawling and making deeply personal digs at every opportunity.  The stipulation was set as a TLC match and PROGRESS management added the number one contendership to add even more reason for these two to kill each other.  Dennis finally gets his hands on Andrews as Andrews is ready to fight his friend.

Match 8: PROGRESS World Championship: WALTER (c) vs Tyler Bate


WALTER has been on a tear this year in PROGRESS.  For the first few months, he was dominating the Atlas division and chopping peoples chests raw.  Come Super Strong Style 16 and he had his eyes set on the World championship.  He finally managed to get Travis Banks in a match where Banks could not run and he claimed the title.  With Zack Sabre Jr. no longer eligible for this show, we needed a number one contender for WALTER.  To crown a contender PROGRESS ran the 3 and In competition, where everyone on the roster was eligible.  Tyler Bate would go on to defeat TK Cooper, Eddie Dennis and finally Mark Haskins to become the number one contender for WALTER’s title.  This is the first time that Tyler Bate and WALTER will ever face off one on one.  This match sees two of European wrestlings best wrestlers meet on the biggest stage in wrestling.  The big strong boi meets The Ring General as 2018’s MVP meets the First Ever WWE UK Champion and a monster faces the one man who could match his strength.