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The Week In British Wrestling: #CCK go for PROGRESS gold

Main image: PROGRESS Wrestling

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

1) The best boys ended BSS' tag reign of terror

After bursting onto the PROGRESS Wrestling scene six weeks ago in Manchester, where they interrupted a British Strong Style beatdown of Matt Riddle, #CCK have taken to the hearts of the PROGRESS fans, many of whom were already familiar with their outstanding work in other promotions. 

This last Sunday, at Chapter 50: I'll Give It Six Months at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, #CCK made their in-ring debut, facing Trent Seven & Tyler Bate for the PROGRESS Tag Team titles. When the final bell had sounded, Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos had added those belts to their considerable haul, which also includes the ATTACK! Pro Wrestling & Combat Zone Wrestling tag belts.

The other member of British Strong Style, WWE UK and PROGRESS Champion Pete Dunne, kicked off the show by denigrating the PROGRESS title, and claiming he wouldn't defend it until Alexandra Palace.

While co-promoter Jim Smallman acquiesced to this for some weird reason, he did inform Dunne that he would wrestle a non-title match, which turned out to be against surprise debutante Donovan Dijak. Dunne won, but Dijak -- as always -- impressed.

It was Mark Haskins' birthday...photo by Rob Brazier

Dunne's opponent at Alexandra Palace, Super Strong Style 16 winner Travis Banks, beat love-to-hate figure James Drake, and has since been announced for Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Battle of Los Angeles, alongside fellow SSS16 alumni WALTER, Flamita, and Jeff Cobb.

The other matter settled at SSS16 -- the PROGRESS Women's Championship -- was defended for the first time on the show, and Toni Storm beat Kay Lee Ray to retain.

The show also featured wins for The London Riots, Flash Morgan Webster, and The Origin, and will soon be available on Demand PROGRESS. The promotion ran tapings for their Freedom's Road show on Tuesday, with David Starr and Donovan Dijak in to join the ProJo regulars, and they're back on July 16th in Birmingham.

2) Liam Thomson bet the house and lost

While other, more important matters -- particularly concerning the upcoming Shug's Hoose Party 4 weekender -- were decided at Insane Championship Wrestling's T2: Tramspotting, held at the Liquid Rooms in Edinburgh last Sunday, the bout that caught this journalist's eye was the rematch between Wolfgang and Liam Thomson.

At the last Friday Night Fight Club taping, in a Good Housekeeping match, Wolfgang walked away with Thomson's washing machine -- to get it back, Thomson offered his house in a double-or-quits gamble. Readers, Thomson is now homeless. Wolfgang has possession of Thomson's house and washing machine, and this feud surely isn't over.

Everything but the kitchen sink? Photo by David J Wilson

That more important business I alluded to was never more important than finding contenders for the ICW Women's and WWE UK titles, both of which will be on the line at SHP4. In the former, Kasey Owens defeated Viper to claim the shot at champion Kay Lee Ray (who incidentally missed the show due to flight issues between London and Edinburgh), and the latter saw BT Gunn pick up the chance to face Wolfgang for a shot at Dunne's title.

The ICW Heavyweight title was also on the line at the show, which saw champion Joe Coffey face Joe Hendry, walking away with the victory to ensure he's still in the driver's seat when it comes to next month's double-shot. It wasn't without incident, however, as Coffey berated and then battered referee Thomas Kearns, which will surely not go unpunished.

The show's main event was due to be a hardcore tag team encounter between Stevie Boy & Kay Lee Ray and Mikey Whiplash & Chris Renfrew. However, neither KLR nor Renfrew were present, so Stevie took on Mikey, one-on-one, and picked up the win when Dickie Divers ran in to throw Whiplash into barbed wire and make the three-count.

There were also wins for Iestyn Rees, Lionheart, and The Kings of Catch, and you can see the show in full on ICW On Demand. ICW return on July 9th with another FNFC taping at the Garage in Glasgow.

3) Bubblegum picked up a big steel cage win at Tribute to the Troops

Organized in conjunction with Preston City Council, which allows them to charge nothing but a booking fee for tickets to the shows, PCW's annual Tribute to the Troops shows -- now held at the city's Guildhall -- have gone from strength-to-strength.

This year's edition encompassed a Saturday matinee and evening show (and was heralded by an outing at their regular Evoque home on Friday night), and -- except for Moose and X-Pac -- focused on PCW's regular cast of characters.

Bubblegum starts his victory climb

The big talking point of the weekend was the promotion's first steel cage match, between Bubblegum and Tyson T-Bone, which was built in the afternoon with a contract signing and then exploded into action on the evening show. Bubblegum won, to keep up his charge towards the top of the card, where Iestyn Rees is quietly dispatching all comers, including James Finn at the matinee show in an open challenge.

Rees worked the evening's main event, teaming with Sha Samuels & Lionheart to face X-Pac & a D-Generation X-themed Models team, with Pac, Joey Hayes & Danny Hope picking up the win in a fun match to send the crowd home happy.

The promotion's other titles were defended, too, with PCW Tag Team Champions The Hooligans beating both The Entourage and family -- in the shape of PJ Knight & Ricky Knight Jr. -- to retain their belts, and Dean Allmark beating Ashton Smith in a two-out-of-three falls encounter.

While there are no big shows until August, PCW will still be active and you can see them next on July 1st with a showcase at their training academy.

4) The Secret Bingo Hall added Thursday Night Throws to its schedule

Since discovering the secret, unused former bingo hall behind Cathays Youth & Community Centre, their regular Cardiff venue, ATTACK! Pro Wrestling has made it a hub for undergraps in the Welsh capital. Not only does it host all but ATTACK!'s biggest Cardiff shows, it has also recently become home to the Dragon-Pro Academy, and has hosted shows by Dragon Pro-Wrestling and Lucha Forever in the last few months.

The packed bingo hall -- photo by Turning Face's Jim Maitland

Last Thursday, ATTACK! and Dragon-Pro teamed up to present Thursday Night Throws, featuring a mix of talent from both promotions, in a night described by one attendee as "like ATTACK! but more light-hearted!"

The show was headlined by an ATTACK! Tag Team Championship number one contender's match, between Bowl-A-Rama and Bird & Boar, and the former champs picked up the win to continue on their revenge mission against #CCK, who blew up their beloved Hackney bowling alley.

#CCK were in action themselves, joined for the night by doom-monger Elijah and Los Federales Super Santos Jr., in an eight-man against Dragon-Pro's Brendan White, Oliver Sudden, Jeff Ramsey & Sierra Loxton.

The night's other bouts saw Danny Jones beat REG, The Brothers of Obstruction defeat The Alaskans Brothers, Chief Deputy Dunne down Beano, and Australian visitors Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis tear the house down.

ATTACK! has announced a surprise -- and already sold out -- show in Cheltenham next Friday, and return to Bristol on July 16th for The Neon Wristlock.

5) All-change at the StarWorks as Brookes became Fight Club: PRO champ

Although they didn't deliver on any of the three previously-announced matches, Fight Club: PRO's Stranger Than Fixxion last Friday was a massive triumph for the promotion on their second show at the new StarWorks Warehouse venue in Wolverhampton. The secret, of course, is delivering more than you originally promised, and by adding and merging, they did just that.

An opening Raw-like promo to present FCP Heavyweight Champion Travis Banks with a new belt turned the originally-scheduled Banks vs. Pete Dunne, and a #CCK/Moustache Mountain tag team encounter, into a six-man scramble, with the shiny new strap on the line.

While cynical observers may have imagined this to be a way for Banks to retain his title without having WWE UK Champion Dunne pinned or submitted, there was no eyebrow left unraised at the climax, which saw Chris Brookes -- with help from Kid Lykos -- make the cover and take the win.

Brookes can't believe it himself -- photo by Oli Sandler

Brookes now becomes the only man to have won all three "titles" in FCP, having previously carried off the Infinity tournament and won -- with Lykos -- the inaugural Dream Tag Team Invitational.

Brookes' win capped a night of surprises and new faces, which also saw Omari added to the advertised three-way between Will Ospreay, Mark Haskins, and Jordan Devlin, and come away with the biggest win of his career.

There were also debuts for Mark Davis (who had an outstanding opener with fellow Aussie Kyle Fletcher), Millie McKenzie (who lost a spirited bout against Kay Lee Ray), and for Extra Talented, the tag team of Ricky Starks & Aaron Solow, who took on the Hunter Brothers and Wolfgang & BT Gunn (another debutante, even at this stage of his career).

In addition to all that, there were hijinx from Martina the Session Moth, and the show will soon be available on FCP's Vimeo service. They return to the StarWorks on July 28th for International Tekkers.