Over the weekend, I had the privilege of attending PROGRESS’ Super Strong Style 16 tournament. The weekend featured 24 matches, each with their own unique quirks. The tournament aspect of the weekend made for exciting match-ups and nail-biting contests.
— PROGRESS Wrestling (@ThisIs_Progress) May 7, 2019
In this piece, I will run through the results of each night’s bouts, and any interesting comments I had about the matches or the performers.
Day One Results:
Ilja Dragunov def. Chris Brookes- This was a fantastic opening match for not only day one, but the whole weekend. Within the first few minutes Ilja’s chest had turned a bright shade of red thanks to some stiff strikes from Brookes. NXT UK’s Dragunov was able to hit Brookes with a Torpedo Headbutt and advance to the second round.
Kyle Fletcher def. Daga- This was Daga’s first PROGRESS match, and by the end of this bout the crowd chanted for the Mexican to “come back soon”. Very early on in his debut, he busted Kyle Fletcher open with a flurry of chops. However, the Aussie Arrow walked out with the win and progressed into the second round.
Travis Banks def. DJZ- NXT UK’s Travis Banks proved to be too much for one of NXT’s newest signees DJZ in the third first round match of the day. He put the former Impact star away with a Duplex Driver. After the bout, Banks took to the mic and promised to be the first two-time Super Strong Style 16 winner.
Jordan Devlin def. Lucky Kid- Lucky Kid may have won the 16 Carat tournament in wXw, defeating WALTER in the process, but he was not as “lucky” at Alexandra Place on Saturday. Devlin was able to escape some brutal submissions from Kid as he advanced to the second round. Here we had the first second round match set, Jordan Devlin vs. Kyle Fletcher.
Trevor Lee def. Aerostar- After the intermission, Trevor Lee came out wearing his NXT jacket. He was really heeling it up, constantly pointing to the WWE logo on his top. He even told Aerostar he was only booked as PROGRESS couldn’t get Pentagon or Fenix. Lee used dirty tricks to overcome the luchadore, and advanced to the second round for a match with NXT UK’s Ilja Dragunov.
David Starr def. Artemis Spencer- Whilst Starr might have picked up the win here, Spencer had a great PROGRESS debut. This was his first match outside of America and Canada, and fans grew to like his act throughout the match after some great highflying offence. Starr and Banks were now set for Sunday’s second round.
Paul Robinson def Darby Allin- Paul attacked Darby before the match, and the two smaller guys fought around the ring. The action was gripping, with some scary looking bumps from two daredevils. Robinson won with a double stomp to the back of Allin’s head that made Seth Rollins’ curb stomp look like a gentle brush.
Kyle O’Reilly def. Chris Ridgeway- The pop of the night was easily in the main event, when Unidpsuted Era’s Kyle O’Reilly came to the ring for the final first round match against Chris Ridgeway. The match was interesting in terms of its style, taking a more MMA-like approach. Both men brutalised eachother with stiff kicks and brutal looking submissions. Ridgeway could not handle an O’Reilly knee bar, and the NXT star was then booked into a second round match with Paul Robinson.
Dragunov vs Lee
Devlin vs Fletcher
O'Reilly vs Robinson
Banks vs Starr
Walk-up tickets and upgrades are available!
Box office opens at 11.30 #ThisIsPROGRESS #SSS16 pic.twitter.com/Zl4VCH1JeW
— PROGRESS Wrestling (@ThisIs_Progress) May 5, 2019
Overall, day one featured some great first round matches that got the crowd hot for the exciting quarter-finals that were to come the following day. Match of the night would have to go to either Kyle O’Reilly vs. Chris Ridgeway or Chris Brookes vs. Ilja Dragunov. Both matches were fantastic in their own unique ways.
On day one, WrestleTalk also got the chance to speak to David Starr, and the opinionated performer did not shy away from voicing his opinions about WWE, and revealed he had been approached by them on a few separate occasions.