Zack Sabre Jr. Wins PROGRESS SSS16, Plus Other PROGRESS News

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Photo: James Musselwhite / portraitofawrestler.com

Third time’s a charm for Zack Sabre Jr. who finally won his first PROGRESS Super Strong Style 16 tournament after making it to the finals (and losing to Will Ospreay) in 2015 and bowing out in the semifinals last year to current PROGRESS World Champion Travis Banks. This year, Zack Sabre Jr. defeated NXT’s Kassius Ohno in the finals, and announced he’d be taking his World title shot prize at PROGRESS’ big show in Wembley at the SSE Arena on September 30, 2018. It marks Sabre’s second major tournament win of 2018, having won the New Japan Cup this past March.

It was also announced that PROGRESS would be doing a proper US tour this August, from the 4th through the 12th, with stops in Boston, Seattle, Detroit, New York City and Chicago. PROGRESS has been running more and more shows in North America of late, with their annual shows at WrestleMania weekend in the host US city, as well as other small tours. They performed in Boston and New York City last August and in September of 2016, they did a three date tour in Canada with Smash Wrestling. This year’s five city tour is their longest in the United States.

Another crowd shocker was the return of Will Ospreay to PROGRESS. While he wrestled for PROGRESS in New Orleans, his last appearance in the UK for them was January’s Chapter 61: Don’t Touch Me…Don’t…Touch Me, where he defeated Adam Brooks. Ospreay returned to challenge one of his greatest rivals, Jimmy Havoc, to a match at Wembley in September. Back in July of 2015, it was Will Ospreay who finally ended Jimmy Havoc’s 609 days as PROGRESS World Champion, ending one of pro wrestling’s greatest stories. Havoc and Ospreay continued to fight after, including Havoc defending his IPW World Championship against Ospreay in September of 2015, and then engaging in a battle at Chapter 41: Unboxing Live! in December of 2016 that lead to their Loser Leaves PROGRESS match at Chapter 46: I Like To Chill Out Here and Shoot Some Dinosaurs in the spring of 2017 (Ospreay lost and left, but returned in December of 2017).

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