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The Week In British Wrestling: Eaver vs. Scurll, ICW crowns a new champion

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

1) Marty Scurll became the first two-time PROGRESS Champion.

After the highs of June’s 5000-to-1, which ended with Pastor William Eaver cashing in the title shot he got from winning the Natural Progression Series and becoming PROGRESS champion, Sunday’s Malice In Wonderland finished on a crashing low.

After an even contest, and with Eaver seemingly poised to win, the champion was confronted by a figure from his past, and Scurll used the distraction to lock on the chickenwing to become the first ever two-time PROGRESS champion.

If Scurll survives as champion until September’s We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Room Again (and there are two shows between now and then), he will face Mark Haskins, who beat Will Ospreay in a fantastic number one contenders match, which was only challenged for match of the night by a wild brawl between the London Riots and War Machine over the PROGRESS tag team titles.

The Riots kept their belts when James Davis rolled-up Raymond Rowe with a handful of trunks and both teams received an ovation from the crowd.

The show also opened with tag team action, as Moustache Mountain took on the Dunne brothers in a rematch from June’s Manchester show, but this time it didn’t reach a conclusion as Trent Seven and Pete Dunne turned on their respective partners and walked off together, seemingly forming a new team.

A new team was also formed when Jack Sexsmith answered “Bodyguy” Roy Johnson’s Wasteman Challenge, and used it as an opportunity to call out the South Pacific Power Trio of TK Cooper, Dahlia Black, & Travis Banks. An impromptu match was booked by Jim Smallman, in which the NZPT beat “The Shirtlifters” when Cooper punched Sexsmith and covered him for the three-count.

As well as another chapter in the Zack Gibson vs. Jack Gallagher feud which spans several promotions, and a lackluster encounter between Mark Andrews and El Ligero, the show also featured a surprise appearance by William Regal, and will be available on Demand PROGRESS by this weekend.

PROGRESS return on August 14th in Manchester, with Keep It Unreal.

2) 2017 calendars suddenly became must-have items.

While the dust was still clearing from Malice In Wonderland, PROGRESS delivered on their enigmatic “III” tease on Monday by announcing three huge pieces of news for 2017. Firstly, they will be running two shows in Birmingham, a new city for the promotion and one not yet “claimed” by any of the bigger groups running the UK.

Second, they announced that their September 2017 show will again be away from their Electric Ballroom home (this year’s is in Brixton) but still in London at a venue to be confirmed, presumably depending on continued/growing demand for tickets.

And third, they confirmed that next year’s Super Strong Style 16 will be a three day affair, again over the late-May Bank Holiday weekend, and although that may be a more paced-out affair for the competitors, it will be a hearty challenge to the constitutions of the fans!

PROGRESS were not the only group to announce 2017 news –- Insane Championship Wrestling released details of their first big show for next year, the annual Square Go Battle Royal show, and confirmed that it will be the first such show to be held outside Scotland, in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in February.

Newcastle is in the middle of a wrestling war right now, albeit a friendly one so far, with half a dozen promotions trying to stake a claim to the city, and ICW’s entrance into that conflict will certainly heat things up a little.

Another of the bigger promotions announced news, too, albeit for the back end of this year rather than 2017, when Revolution Pro-Wrestling released details (and tickets) for its annual Global Wars shows, held in accordance with New Japan Pro Wrestling.

Booked for Thursday November 10th and Friday November 11th, at the York Hall in Bethnal Green and the Assembly Hall in Walthamstow, respectively, the shows will feature upwards of a dozen NJPW stars, with the first names announced being Jushin Liger, Tomoaki Honma, and Tetsuya Naito.

3) GOOD Wrestling did, erm, good things again.

While the bigger promotions were announcing news and staging their big shows, some of the more interesting things on the UK scene were once again being done by their smaller counterparts.

One of a series of “boutique” promotions, bringing something a little different to the BritWres picture, GOOD Wrestling promoted their third show this year, fittingly titled The Power Of 3, at their regular home in Wolverton, the Craufurd Arms.

The show was headlined by Pastor William Eaver, then still PROGRESS champion, against Pete Dunne, the former RevPro cruiserweight champ and current VII-Pro title holder.

Eaver, one of the mainstays of the GOOD roster, triumphed to send the crowd home happy, but that was really never in doubt after an entertaining evening featuring some of the biggest characters on the UK scene, including Jack Sexsmith, who opened the show against Damian Dunne.

Sexsmith has gotten into a feud with the Dazzler Team in Wolverton, and they caused a distraction loss for the proud deviant, something Sexsmith reciprocated later when the Dazzlers faced the team of Big Grizzly & Panda Cub. After the match, Sexsmith issued a challenge for October’s 4 The Greater Good, and promised to find a partner to take them on.

Ashley Dunn drives Ryan Smile into the canvas - photo by Rolling Wheels's Lawrence Wheeler

The show featured the GOOD debuts of Ryan Smile and Chris Brookes, who both picked up wins over Ashley Dunn and Gene Munny, respectively, and the return of Wild Boar, who had a war with Mike Bird.

Evenly-booked in an intimate venue, the shows are a delight for the wrestling connoisseur and you can try them out for yourselves for free –- May’s 2 Good 2 Glorious is available to watch in its entirety on YouTube. GOOD Wrestling return on October 28th and will soon be announcing their dates for 2017.

4) Mark Dallas regained partial ownership of ICW.

At the end of a short, three-day tour (which also took in stops in Manchester and Birmingham), Insane Championship Wrestling returned to Glasgow on Sunday with Shug’s Hoose Party 3 at the O2 ABC.

Both Manchester and Birmingham produced results in the ICW Tag Team Championship tournament, with The Local Fire (Joe Hendry & Davey Blaze) and Mike Bird & Wild Boar progressing to the final, held in Glasgow, where The Local Fire won the titles.

After the match, however, Polo Promotions, who were stripped of the titles a few months back, appeared, holding the belts and had to be escorted out by security.

The big story of the show, which also featured Lionheart defeating Kenny Williams to retain his Zero-G title, and DCT beating Bram in a steel cage match, was the battle for control of ICW between Team Dallas and The Black Label.

Dallas’ team (Grado, Noam Dar, & surprise final member Sha Samuels) won, giving Dallas 50% ownership of the company with Red Lightning, whose Black Label trio also included Square Go title shot owner Wolfgang.

Wolfgang punches his way to ICW gold - photo by David J Wilson

Wolfgang’s story had a little more to be told, as he interrupted Joe Coffey’s celebrations after the main event, in which Coffey downed the WWE-bound Big Damo to win the ICW Heavyweight Championship, and cashed in his title shot, becoming the 12th man to hold the belt.

The show, which also featured Kay Lee Ray, Moustache Mountain, and The Sumerian Death Squad, was broadcast live on iPPV through the Fite Network, and is available to watch on ICW On Demand. ICW return with a show at their training school, The Asylum, this Saturday.

5) ProEVO fans can’t bear Big Grizzly (and other stuff).

Hopes were high at Pro-Evolution Wrestling’s show at Trowbridge Civic Hall last Saturday that Joel Redman could finally end Big Grizzly’s reign of terror as ProEVO champion, but the former NXT man came up short and was attacked after the bell by the champ until T-Bone made the save.

ProEVO were quick to announce that Grizz would face the heavily-tattooed warrior at The Great Battle Of Gloucester II in October, much to the champion’s annoyance.

The show also featured wins for T-Bone, Matt Maddox, and The Fever, as well as a ProEVO tag team titles match, won by champions “Filthy” Chris Walker & “Dirty” Dicky Riley over the team of Lee Hunter & Eddie Ryan. ProEVO return on Saturday night in Dursley.

Two weeks out from their supershow in Colchester on August 14th, the XWA promoted Road To The Summer Supershow on Saturday at the Delph Centre in Sudbury. The show was headlined by a big six-man tag team match, which saw The London Riots make their XWA debuts to team with Tom Dawkins against the Smooth Ravers & Lion Kid.

After the match, The Congregation (Dawkins, Pastor William Eaver, & James Castle) attacked Raver Danny Blaze, until Doug Williams, who had earlier beat Eaver to become number one contender to Blaze’s Frontier Sports title, appeared to make the save.

A miscommunication saw Williams and Blaze go at it, until security had to intervene to end the show. The show also featured Lance Lawrence, Bulk, RevPro young boy Rob Lias, and a Pro-Wrestling EVE showcase match, which saw Rhia O’Reilly down Nina Samuels.

The Summer Supershow is on August 14th in Colchester, and features Chris Hero and Vader, amongst the XWA regulars.