Preview: PROGRESS x EPW (4/18/18)

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Photo: PROGRESS

The first stop of the PROGRESS Wrestling company on its historic Australian tour is at the Vasto Club in Perth, Western Australia, teaming up with Explosive Pro Wrestling (EPW) on Wednesday, April 18th. Yes, the show is happening on a Wednesday, but with the name recognition that PROGRESS brought with them, it won’t hurt at all. Let’s run down the card of PROGRESS x EPW, this game-changing show for Australia.

Davis Storm vs. Pete Dunne

Photo: PROGRESS

Holy sh*t, will this match be awesome. Storm, who went one on one with Minoru Suzuki on the New Japan tour, may not be known too well on the worldwide stage, but should be. He’s a terrific in-ring performer, good promo, and takes his character seriously. He won a battle royal during their last show, EPW at the ‘Deen, where the winner got to pick his opponent at PROGRESS x EPW. He immediately cut an emotional promo, at the end of which he finally named Dunne as his opponent. Dunne, who really needs no introduction at this point, is believed by many to be one of the best in the world right now. He’s wrestled everywhere it seems, even Singapore, and puts on classic matches like his life depends on it. He has more eyes on him than ever, getting work with WWE/NXT over the last year or so. This match may not just steal the night, but steal the tour as well, and show the world just how good Davis Storm really is.

Prediction: Davis Storm

Gavin McGavin vs. Tyler Jacobs vs. David Nero vs. Lord Jonathan Wimbledon

Photo: PROGRESS

McGavin is truly an underrated performer. He’s talented enough to be recognized internationally, and should be. He’ll shine in this match, as these four will put on an entertaining show. Jacobs, Nero, and Wimbledon have been mixing it up in multi-person matches lately, and Gavin is seemingly still in his feud with Julian Ward. All of these men could use a win, and while McGavin is the most over and the most talented, Jacobs will get the win. Expect him to be moving on up in the world of EPW.

Prediction: Tyler Jacobs.

Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) vs. The Untouchables (Marcius Pitt & Damien Slater)

Photo: PROGRESS

Marcius Pitt and Damien Slater, The Mighty Don’t Kneel (TMDK) and The Untouchables members, are just a couple months off a red-hot feud with Street Gang Hooligans, having stellar matches against at Reawakening and Hot Summer’s Night (seriously, check them out if you haven’t). They are now going up against the iconic British duo, who mix technical and comedic wrestling seamlessly, and have a knack for stealing the show. Slater, who participated in the WWE Cruiserweight Classic in the summer of ’16, is underrated, and should be booked internationally more often. The Untouchables will be perfect heel foil to Moustache Mountain, whose antics and Strong Style will give them the upper hand in this sure to be crazy-fun match.

Prediction: Moustache Mountain

Travis Banks & Julian Ward vs. Street Gang Hooligans

Photo: PROGRESS

Banks has quickly made a name for himself internationally, and that’s why he’s the perfect pairing for Julian Ward. Ward, who dropped a bout to Gavin McGavin last month due to a foreign object usage, is very talented, but has yet to have a spark that pushes him to become a top guy at EPW. He was voted the Most Improved Wrestler of 2017 in EPW, and the rub from Banks is exactly what the doctor ordered to push him over the top. Meanwhile, the Hooligans have never been hotter due to their feud with the Untouchables (see above), and are brilliant workers in their own right. Their skateboard spots are always memorable , and they pace matches perfectly. These four will have no problem tearing the house down.

Prediction: Travis Banks and Julian Ward

PROGRESS Women’s Championship Match: Toni Storm (c) vs. Allyson Cruz

Photo: PROGRESS

Going into the tour, this match is a sleeper to steal the weekend. While not possessing a name as recognizable as Storm’s, Cruz moves smoothly, and is very crisp on her strikes. Anticipate some lucha-esque highspots from Cruz, mixed in with her stiff-looking forearms and kicks. Expect her to put her best foot forward, as this is her biggest stage yet. Storm, on the other hand, can have a good match in her sleep, and on special tour like this, she’ll bring that up another level. In the end, though Storm will retain, as the promoters will want to her defend the belt on the other two shows.

Prediction: Toni Storm

EPW Coastal Championship Match: Scotty Ryan (c) vs. Jay Taylor

Photo: PROGRESS

“The Hottest Man Alive” Jay Taylor is coming off a big win over David Nero, Kiel Steria, and Hayden Smith at the Aberdeen last month. Ryan, however, is coming off an even bigger win over world-renowned Damien Slater to retain his belt. After Ryan successfully defended, Taylor immediately attacked him to set up this match. Now, with a much larger global audience watching, these two will go all in on this match. Ryan and Taylor will put in a lot of effort, but both of their peaks are ahead of them. A big show like this would typically be a great place for a title change, but “The Big Rig” Scotty Ryan hasn’t held the title quite long enough, so expect Taylor to come up just short.

Prediction: Scotty Ryan

EPW Championship No DQ Match: “The Don” Michael Morleone (c) vs Jimmy Havoc

Photo: PROGRESS

Don’t expect Jimmy Havoc to pick up a pinfall victory here, but the match itself will be must see. The heat Havoc has creates memorable environments everywhere he goes, and for a No DQ title match, that’ll be turned up exponentially. His connection with crowds is truly something special. The Don and him will have a good match, and as with all Havoc matches, it will be intense, and expect some creative use of weapons as well. Chris Vice, with whom the Don has been feuding with the last couple months, didn’t show up at the Aberdeen show, so look for him to interfere in this one, though in the end, Morleone will retain.

Prediction: “The Don” Michael Morleone

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