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The Week In British Wrestling: PROGRESS trainees fly the nest

Main image by The Ringside Perspective's Oli Sandler

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

1) CCK dominated another RevPro Cockpit show

In the absence of their usual headliners, Revolution Pro Wrestling has done a solid job in creating replacements this summer. Zack Sabre Jr. is off competing in his first G1 Climax for New Japan, Will Ospreay is taking Australia by storm, and Marty Scurll is busy having Converse shoes made for his Villain Club brand (really!), so RevPro promoter Andy Quildan has invested in the tag team division, and put his trust in two traditionally tag team wrestlers to breakout into singles action.

The carnage of war -- photo by The Ringside Perspective's Oli Sandler

CCK has become the in-demand team of 2017, in either their hashtag guise of Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos, or the Commonwealth-spanning pairing of Brookes & Travis Banks.

With Brookes picking up a submission over RevPro Champion Sabre Jr. a couple of months back, and being granted a shot at the title at Summer Sizzler later this month, RevPro sought to put together Lykos and Banks for the first time at last Sunday’s Live At The Cockpit 19 in Marylebone, London.

They were due to have a baptism of fire against IWGP Tag Team Champions War Machine, but a dislocated shoulder for Lykos put an end to that. Instead, Brookes insisted he would team with Banks, putting the RevPro Undisputed British Tag Team titles on the line, which made his scheduled opponent Eddie Dennis disappointed and angry.

Dennis had been told that, if he beat Brookes, he would be added to the Summer Sizzler title match, and was understandably miffed. The main event was wild, and the injured Lykos still sought to get involved, before being put down by War Machine’s Ray Rowe, but shenanigans led to a win for CCK when Brookes used the title belt as a weapon behind the referee’s back.

In Brookes’ stead, TK Cooper made his RevPro debut, and defeated the Welshman, who is on a RevPro losing streak lasting well over a year.

Ryan Smile leaves his mark on Josh Bodom -- photo by The Ringside Perspective's Oli Sandler

Cooper’s partner, Dahlia Black, also made her RevPro debut, losing to Jinny in the women’s match, and there were also wins for Cara Noir, Lord Gideon Grey (who was the subject of an intervention by Rishi Ghosh), Jay White, and the trio of Ryan Smile, Sha Samuels & Luke Phoenix.

Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher also continued their war around the UK, with Davis again picking up the win. The show is already available on RevPro On Demand, and Summer Sizzler is on Thursday August 17th, leading into Ring of Honor’s War of the Worlds UK weekend.

2) The ProJo graduated from PROGRESS

The announcement last week that the south London ProJo training school was to amicably separate from its parent PROGRESS Wrestling promotion makes the satellite promotions that have been using ProJo talent all the more valuable to its students.

Last weekend, three of those promotions were in action, using plenty of ProJo trainees and graduates, and if this continues there really should be no interruption in the talent produced by the school.

First up was the return of Riptide Wrestling, last Thursday at the Brighthelm Centre in Brighton, which featured ProJo talent on the undercard to two big main events. After wins for Jack Sexsmith (over Spike Trivet) and Dahlia Black (who beat Candyfloss), the first half was topped by the clash of British Strong Style and the ridiculous-but-formidable trio of Colt Cabana, Joey Ryan & Candace LeRae.

The post-interval action continued with Chuck Mambo defeating TK Cooper, and ended with Marty Scurll beating Jimmy Havoc, but only after a diversion into drunk wrestling when a pre-oiled Eddie Dennis was led astray by Martina the Session Moth as they teamed to beat Lord Gideon Grey & Kurtis Chapman. Riptide return in October.

British Strong Style show up, and show out -- photo by Rob Brazier

The next night, up the A23 in south east London, Battle Pro Wrestling presented What Fisticuffs?! at the Livesley Memorial Hall. Going with a clash of the past and present on top, which past won as Doug Williams beat Zack Gibson, the card was stacked with ProJo talent and trainers, as well as a sprinkling of Welsh and local flavor.

Under that main was a BPW Championship match, which ended in a no contest when James Davis ran in and attacked both champion Roy Johnson and his opponent, Davis’ former London Riot partner Rob Lynch.

Davis had earlier beaten Conner Mills, and there were also wins for Flash Morgan Webster, Earl Black Jr., The Bhangra Knights, Maverick Mayhew, and Chuck Mambo. Battle-Pro announced their return -- U Wot M8? -- for September 29th.

The action continued on Saturday, further into central London at Keeton’s Hall in Bermondsey, with Apollo Championship Wrestling. On another card stacked with ProJo talent, a graduate of the school picked up the win in the main event -- and the ACW Championship -- when Damon Moser beat Paul Robinson and Jack Sexsmith in a three-way.

Moser’s success joined wins for Candyfloss, TK Cooper, Connor Mills, and Big T & The OJMO in a good night for the ProJo, and there was also a breakout win for Hustle Malone in a number one contender's match. Apollo’s fourth outing -- Mercy Is For The Weak -- was announced for October 7th.

3) It was Strictly Come Wrestling for PCW

Blackpool’s prestigious Tower Ballroom is more usually the scene for Strictly Come Dancing, and other such light-footed endeavors, but last Saturday it played host to PCW’s Tower Slam.

Although the promotion has run the Tower Circus (and will return there in December for Joey Janela’s Big Top Adventure), this was their debut outing in such plush surroundings, and they topped it in style with a big eight-man tag team elimination match which exploded out of the scheduled PCW Cruiserweight title match between Dean Allmark and Martin Kirby.

While Kirby and Allmark were fighting, they were both attacked by the foursome of Iestyn Rees, Lionheart, Tyson T-Bone, and Sha Samuels, and when Bubblegum and Ashton Smith ran to their aid, the eight-man was on -- won, of course, by the good guys to send the crowd home happy.

The ornate Tower Ballroom

There was able support on the undercard, with singles wins for Soner Dursun, Doug Williams, and Dave Birch, and tag team victories for Joey Hayes & Danny Hope, and Big T & Matthew Brooks, and Lauren beat Rhio in a women’s match ahead of the all-woman tournament on August 26th at the PCW Academy.

Earlier in the day, in the beer garden of PCW’s usual Blackpool home, Club Domain, they held a showcase card featuring much of the talent from the evening’s action. There were wins for Seymour Gains, Philip Michael, Martin Kirby, Jake Long, and Tyson T-Bone, and Lauren once again got the better of Rhio.

Next up for PCW is their sixth anniversary show, Your Six Is On Fire, at the Evoque in Preston on Saturday, which is preceded by a free show at the city’s Flag Market.

4) Billy Gunn sent the fans home happy for Southside

Southside Wrestling staged another of their frenetic weekenders last Saturday and Sunday, with two shows at Nottingham’s Rushcliffe Arena on Saturday being topped off by a return to their spiritual home in St. Neots on Sunday.

The usual mix of the top UK talent and some interesting imports was once again in evidence, with David Starr, DJ Z, Su Yung, and Billy Gunn in action alongside El Ligero, Flash Morgan Webster, Bubblegum, and Kay Lee Ray.

The big story on Saturday’s shows surrounded the heel stable of Guilty By Habit, as they added to their numbers by recruiting local rookie Blake -- who turned on his compadres from the House of Pain training school -- but also losing their Southside Tag Team titles to El Ligero & Joseph Conners in the main event of the evening’s Menace 2 Society show.

There were also Nottingham singles wins for Ligero, Starr, DJ Z, Robbie X, Bubblegum, Webster, KLR, Lana Austin, and Gunn, and a slew of tag team action backing up the main event.

Lana Austin brings Southside Champion BT Gunn down a peg or two -- photo by Brett Hadley

Sunday in St. Neots started as Saturday ended, with Conners and Ligero celebrating their title win in front of the local fans. They were ambushed by GBH, only for Billy Gunn to make the save, and that set up the six-man main event where Gunn, Conners & Ligero beat Big Grizzly, Robbie X & Blake.

Southside Heavyweight Champion BT Gunn had been involved in tag team action in Nottingham, but he put his title on the line in St. Neots against David Starr, surviving not only that but also an attempted cash-in by briefcase-holder HC Dyer, which was seen off by the returning Rob Lynch. With Southside Speed King Champion Davey Richards seemingly retired, there was no defense of that title, but Stevie Ray won a five-way scramble to become number one contender to that belt.

There were also victories for Lana Austin, and Spud, and for the GBH team of Damian Dunne & Kip Sabian, and you can watch Southside on their On Demand channel. They return on September 10th, in Bedford, with Hardcore Holly joining the regulars.

5) Grayson still rules the roost in Morecambe (and other stuff)

A pair of shows on opposite coasts illustrated the depth of talent in the north of England last Saturday, as Alpha-Omega Wrestling presented Vendetta in Morecambe while Absolute Wrestling staged Chop Til You Drop at the Linskill Centre in North Shields.

Absolute stacked the card with some big names, as Mikey Whiplash beat Rampage Brown in a furious main event, topping wins for The Kings of Catch, HT Drake, and Little Miss Roxxy on a card which also featured The Primate and Pro-Wrestling EVE Champion Sammii Jayne.

Meanwhile, at the Carleton in Morecambe, Vendetta was shorn of its main event when AOW Heavyweight Champion “King” Ryan Grayson won his scheduled three-way defense of the title by forfeit when challengers Joey Hayes and Danny Hope took another booking.

Alpha Male Evil Lewis declared that Grayson would still have to defend his title, however, and still face two other men in a triple threat -- the Big Sexxxy tag team of Sexy Kev and Shaun Vasey. Kev had already competed, beating Barricade after Matthew Brooks also no-showed, but this didn’t seem to check his ambition as he and Vasey worked together towards their shared aim. In the end, however, Grayson outsmarted the duo, and rolled up Vasey to retain his title.

Big Sexxxy in control against King Grayson -- photo by Tony Knox

Grayson had a busy night, earlier costing Solar the tag team titles by offering his jester, JJ, as a stand-in for the missing Cyanide, and Solar’s mistrust of Grayson’s man was to prove costly. Cyanide will return for the next show -- Golden Chance on September 1st -- which will feature the eponymous rumble as well as a main event of Solar & Cyanide vs. Grayson & JJ!

A very busy weekend -- which also featured Over The Top Wrestling in big show action (you can listen to the DKP radio show on that here) -- was finished by Dragon Pro Wrestling, who promoted Endless Summer at Rodney Parade in Newport.

The show was headlined by a Dragon-Pro Tag Team title match, which saw the champions -- Joe Mezinger & Elijah of The Brotherhood -- retain against Mike Bird & Drew Parker, and also saw rookie-of-the-year Karambe Jr. lose his title -- and his identity -- in an ill-conceived wager with Sofia Ari, revealing him to be Shay Purser.

Sierra Loxton and Kaggy The Hippy face off

There were wins for Beano, Brendan White, Sierra Loxton, Dean Winter, and Matt Horgan, and Dragon-Pro are back on September 28th in another joint show with ATTACK! Pro Wrestling at the secret bingo hall in Cardiff.