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The Week In British Wrestling: PROGRESS finalizes SSS16 field

Here are five things you need to know about British wrestling this week:

1) PROGRESS finalized the field for Super Strong Style 16

By Monday night, PROGRESS Wrestling had revealed all 16 names for the annual Super Strong Style 16 tournament, held over the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend, with PROGRESS Atlas Division Champion Matt Riddle being the final competitor announced.

The full field is Jack Sexsmith, Pastor William Eaver, Zack Gibson, Jeff Cobb, David Starr, Zack Sabre Jr., Trent Seven, Travis Banks, Flamita, Jimmy Havoc, Tyler Bate, Riddle, Mark Andrews, Mark Haskins, Nathan Cruz, and Flash Morgan Webster.

The last four came as a result of the events of last Sunday's Bang The Drum, in Manchester, where Webster and Cruz won qualifiers -- beating James Drake and Spud, respectively. Haskins and Andrews again failed to beat Pete Dunne for the PROGRESS title, with the usual interference from Dunne's teammates in British Strong Style proving decisive.

The odds might be evened up, however, by the appearance of cult favorites #CCK -- Chris Brookes and the dirty wolf, Kid Lykos -- who ran in to close the show with a massive pop.

Belt collectors Riddle and Bate get set to compare hauls -- photo by Ben Corrigan

Dunne's stablemates had a mixed time of things in singles matches earlier in the show, with Trent Seven beating crowd-favorite Travis Banks, and Tyler Bate losing -- by disqualification, when Seven interfered -- in a non-title match against Riddle.

The show's other contests saw Jinny beat Session Moth Martina, and Sweet Jesus defeat the London Riots, with some dissent between Davis and Lynch teased afterwards.

On Tuesday, PROGRESS announced that their big September show would take place on September 10th at the historic Alexandra Palace, with a 2,000-seat setup, with tickets going on sale on Friday this week. Bang The Drum will be available shortly on Demand PROGRESS and next up is that SSS16 weekender at the Electric Ballroom in Camden.

2) Pete Dunne made a surprise appearance at ATTACK!...again

ATTACK! Pro Wrestling returned to the Frog & Fiddle in Cheltenham last Saturday for Teenagers With Attitude, and it was a big night for one particular teenager. To celebrate evil child referee Shay Purser turning 18, ATTACK! announcer Jim Lee gave him the best present -- Pete Dunne!

The show's main event was supposed to be #CCK vs. FSU, but Lee turned that into a six-man -- with Purser joining #CCK and FSU recruiting surprise guest Dunne (who was booked in Cardiff for ICW that night and wasn't expected to be at the show).

The match ended with Purser face down in birthday cake -- this is professional wrestling, after all -- and capped a superb show that built from its opening four-way, won by Dan Moloney over Australian guest Kyle Fletcher, "Extremely Confused" Drew Parker (as Paul Heyman, complete with "Welcome to the dance" pre-match speech), and the returning Love Making Demon.

Tyler Bate with both his belts -- photo by Will Garland

It was a good evening for someone just out of their teens, too, with WWE UK Champion Tyler Bate not only joining Bowl-A-Rama ("Fat Cat" Lloyd Katt & Splits McPins) to beat the Anti-Fun Police's Chief Deputy Dunne and the Brothers of Construction but also impulse-pinning Katt to win the ATTACK! 24/7 title and become a double champion (your mileage may vary on the prestige of the two titles).

The show -- which also featured wins for Ryan Smile over misery-guts Elijah, and for Flash Morgan Webster (who beat Travis Banks in a hilarious encounter) -- was available on ATTACK!'s Vimeo service within 14 hours, and the promotion return this Saturday at the Trinity Centre in Bristol for a sold-out show with nothing announced ahead of time.

3) ICW finished off their latest tour in London

Despite some lower than hoped for turnouts in Leicester and London, Insane Championship Wrestling's commitment to taking Friday Night Fight Club outside of their Glasgow home concluded its latest run this past weekend, with three shows in three cities.

Beginning on Friday, at the O2 Academy in Leicester, and journeying through Cardiff's Tramshed on Saturday on the way to Islington's Assembly Hall on Sunday, the shows featured title defenses on all three nights, as well as all the promotion's favorites in action.

Joe Coffey put his ICW Heavyweight Championship on the line against Sha Samuels, Jack Jester, and Dave Mastiff, while ICW Tag Team Champions The Marauders defended against fellow Welshmen Modern Culture in Cardiff and the Hunter Brothers in London.

ICW Zero-G Champion Kenny Williams beat Kay Lee Ray (who answered an open challenge), Zack Gibson (who stole the belt), and Sha Samuels (in what may be the East End Butcher's last ICW appearance for a while). In addition, Kay Lee Ray defended her ICW Women's title against Sierra Loxton in Cardiff.

Kenny Williams uses any means necessary against Sha Samuels -- photo by David J Wilson

Outside the title matches, the highlight of this leg of the tour was arguably the falls count anywhere match in Islington between Jack Jester and Wolfgang, which spilled out onto the streets of north London, to the delight of fans and puzzlement of passers-by, although more noteworthy was Joe Hendry's challenge to Lionheart in Cardiff for an "unsanctioned" match at the upcoming Shug's Hoose Party weekender.

All the action can soon be seen on the weekly Friday Night Fight Club on ICW On Demand, which airs free-to-air for the first 24 hours. It can also be seen on the Fight Network in the US and Canada, and on Nuvolari TV in Italy.

ICW are back in Glasgow on May 28th for more Friday Night Fight Club.

4) Norwich got a little taste of Mexico for WAW TV

With Alberto El Patron (coincidentally engaged to World Association of Wrestling owner Ricky Knight's daughter Paige) as WAW Heavyweight Champion, there is bound to be a Latino feel to their big shows, but the addition of Alberto's brother El Hijo del Dos Caras and former WWE Champion Rey Mysterio Jr. to last weekend's TV tapings at Epic Studios in Norwich enhanced that feeling.

The big business of the weekend was a Norwich street fight between the owner and his champion for the WAW title, a match demanded by Knight which Alberto and WAW commissioner Scott Hall acquiesced to.

The match closed out the two-day tapings, and ended with Alberto holding the belt high after Knight's allies -- Mr. Anderson, Jimmy Ocean, Ivan Trevors, and Hot Stuff -- were thwarted by the UK Hooligans.

The UK Hooligans -- photo by Lee Henderson

The shows featured some of the best UK talent of the past 30 years, including James Mason, Jonny Storm, Nathan Cruz, and Kip Sabian, and a cornucopia of imports, from the top Mexicans and former WWE stars like Anderson and Hall to current indie stars like Scarlet & Graves and Luke Hawx. The shows will air on Mustard TV and on the WAW website.

The weekend also played host to the latest Bellatrix chapter, Bellatrix 25, which was centered around a Queen of the Ring tournament featuring some new female talent not seen much elsewhere outside of their training showcases.

This was won by the fittingly-named Queen Maya, who may have her sights on the Bellatrix Championship. That is in new hands after Alex Windsor -- who was trained by the Knights before branching out elsewhere -- returned to take the belt from Lory.

5) Sam Gradwell and Bubblegum kicked off at Grand-Pro

Trading on an increased reputation after being part of the pivotal angle on the WWE UK Championship tournament, Sam Gradwell demanded interview time at Grand Pro Wrestling's A Night To Remember last Friday at the Rose Club in Hindley

Gradwell used his opportunity to berate former Grand-Pro British Champion Bubblegum, who responded by coming to the ring and a brouhaha broke out, with the two having to be separated before order was restored.

Gradwell and Bubblegum go at it -- photo by Tony Knox

The show was headlined by a Grand-Pro Heavyweight title match between Dylan Roberts and Ashton Smith, and Roberts once again used every trick in his heelbook before submitting the challenger.

There was a title change earlier in the show, however, as Big Joe of The Bad Lads cashed in the championship opportunity he won in the show opener to challenge The Island Brothers for the Grand-Pro Tag Team titles. The Brothers had just survived an encounter with Tyson T-Bone & Craig Kollins, and were forced to defend their titles straight after, falling to Big Joe and company.

The show is a yearly tribute to both Dom Travis and Kris Travis (no relation), two former Grand-Pro stars who are sadly no longer with us, and area veteran Damon Leigh was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

There were also wins for Martin Kirby (over the Sheikh's latest investment), Joey Hayes, and Lizzy Styles, and Grand-Pro return on July 28th for The Great British Beatdown.