Preview: PROGRESS x MCW (4/20/18)

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Photo: PROGRESS

PROGRESS x MCW takes place on Friday, April 20th at the Thornebury Theatre in Melbourne. This is PROGRESS Wrestling’s second stop on their historic Australian tour, and what separates this joint show from the other two, is that Melbourne City Wrestling is hosting one of their biggest shows of the year, Ballroom Brawl, the very next night, using several performers from PROGRESS on the card. MCW almost gets a two-for-one deal this weekend, so look for several things on the joint-show to promote the Ballroom Brawl. That covered, let’s take a look at Friday’s card:

MCW Tag Team Championship Match: Prehistoric Death Cult (Caveman Ugg & Syd Parker) (c) vs. Helter Skelter (Big Ali & Jake Andrewartha)

Photo: PROGRESS

This complex storyline is months in the making, and this match will be another stepping stone on the way to the blow-off. At MCW Vendetta in January, the Prehistoric Death Cult, with Erika Reid at their side, were defending their tag team straps against the Brat Pack (from whom they won the belts) when Helter Skelter, under the command of Julian James, attacked mid-match, and kayfabe injuring Caveman Ugg’s leg. At Clash of the Titans the following month, Helter Skelter went up against the Brat Pack, which ended is disqualification, after Avary, the third Brat Pack member, distracted Helter Skelter and Syd Parker attacked them which chairs. Then, at the March show Tensions Rising, Julian James cut a promo, directed at Erika Reid, which brought about Helter Skelter’s title match up. Even though the Brat Pack has been involved every step of the way in this story, the build-up has really focused it as a revenge match for PDC, with the Pack as auxiliary characters, having moved them. They did get a big win over Mr. Juicy & Dowie James, and will beat Mustache Mountain the next night, so they are being kept strong to finally rematch with PDC down the road. In the meantime, Prehistoric Death Cult has not defended the belts since January, so expect a strong showing from them, including finally giving Helter Skelter what they deserve, and winning to retain the titles.

Prediction: Prehistoric Death Cult

Pete Dunne vs. Mike Burr

Photo: PROGRESS

This interesting match-up will be highlighted by two things: the age difference, as Burr is portrayed as a grizzled veteran and Dunne is only 24; and the physicality they both bring to the table. This match will be brutal. It won’t be hardcore or a daredevil spotfest, but these two will forearm and clothesline the hell out of each other, and the palpable intensity will draw out the emotion out of the audience. Burr came off a surprising win last month against Loverboy, who is a rising star in the company, so expect him to make an appearance during this match, to set up a blowoff between the two (they’re booked to face each other the next night at Ballroom Brawl) so Loverboy can get his win back.

Predicition: Pete Dunne

MCW Intercommonwealth Championship Match: Slex (c) vs. “Loverboy” Lochy Hendricks vs. Trent Seven

Photo: PROGRESS

Slex is a phenomenal performer, and deserves recognition on a grander scale, and will one day get it. Here he is defending his Intercommonwealth title that he won from Robbie Eagles in a killer ladder match at Clash of the Titans in February. This match will be a fun one. Seven is an excellent complement to both Slex and Loverboy, as his comedic antics will annoy the heels whose characters take themselves seriously. Loverboy is tying off a three month story the next night at Ballroom Brawl, so don’t expect him to take the title, and with Seven having few connections with the company, Slex will retain. But don’t expect Loverboy to take the pin, as MCW has been booking him strongly since his match with Krackerjack at Final Battle in December.

Prediction: Slex

Alan Payne vs. Jimmy Havoc

Photo: PROGRESS

Payne made his return last month at Tensions Rising, after not being in MCW since his loss against Jonah Rock at Final Battle. He surprised everyone by answering Fun Time Phil’s challenge, and after making quick work of Phil, he challenged Havoc at the PROGRESS joint show. Payne’s gimmick is that he’s insane, so obviously the recklessness of Havoc will be played up as well. Both of these men will want to live up to their reputations, so look for this one to get a little crazy, and don’t be surprised if there’s blood.

Prediction: Jimmy Havoc

PROGRESS Women’s Championship Match: Toni Storm (c) vs. Kelly Anne

Photo: PROGRESS

Storm makes her return to MCW, her first appearance there since Final Battle in December. Expect this one to breakdown early, as Kelly Anne is a bit of a brawler, and Storm can keep up in that area when she needs to. Anticipate some fantastic highspots, as Kelly Anne always seems to try something new in her big matches, and Storm is no stranger to attempting different things. However, “Impressive” Indi Hartwell has been feuding with Kelly Anne since late last year, and after Kelly Anne’s attack on her at Tensions Rising last month, expect Hartwell to retaliate and cost her the match. This will set-up their blow-off (they’re already announced to face each other the next night at MCW Ballroom Brawl), and allow Storm to keep the belt so she can defend it one more time on the tour, three nights later in Sydney against Jessica Troy.

Prediction: Toni Storm

Dowie James vs. Tyler Bate

Photo: PROGRESS

Yes, this match will be awesome. Tyler Bate, the shockingly young, absurdly talented grappler from Dudley, England, can have a terrific performance with anyone. But, pair him up with a Super-talent like Dowie James (pun intended), and magic happens. James is currently the MCW Heavyweight Champion, having taken the strap off of Jonah Rock in December, is defending the belt the very next night against Mr. Juicy. James can move very well, and works like a 90’s WCW cruiserweight, which will blend perfectly with Bate’s technical/strong style/high-flying (and basically everything else, this kid’s insane) offense. This match will be one the short-list of possible matches to steal this whole tour. But, since James will be dropping the title the next night, expect James to get the biggest win of his career.

Predicition: Dowie James

PROGRESS World Championship Match: Travis Banks (c) vs. Elliot Sexton vs. JXT

Photo: PROGRESS

Sexton, being by far the biggest man in this match, will play the part of the bully as the two smaller performers try to overcome him. Banks, though, with his newfound heel status, will not be working any kind of babyface sympathy against his larger opponent. Expect some dirty tricks from the Kiwi Buzzsaw to maintain that status. Sexton works his size well, and gets legitimate heat from the crowd; it looks like MCW has bigger plans for him in the future, but since this is for the PROGRESS title, don’t expect it to go anywhere. Banks has to defend the title later on in the tour, and even if he didn’t, Banks has built up a lot of heat in PROGRESS, and they’re not going to blow it off to an opponent with little story built into it. That being said, this match with still be killer. JXT will go for the high-spots in the match, Banks will work his intense style, and Sexton will dominate. But in the end, Travis Banks will keep the strap, as he defends the belt the next night in New Zealand at SPW’s Battlelines, before rejoining the PROGRESS crew in Sydney for the final show of this Australia tour.

Prediction: Travis Banks

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