SPW Battlelines in Invercargill, Southland, NZ is the last stop before their mega-show in July, Southern Rumble, and here Southern Pro Wrestling gets just a little flavor of PROGRESS Wrestling. PROGRESS, which is in the midst of their Australian tour, will have several of their talent participating in Melbourne City Wrestling’s Ballroom Brawl the same night, while Travis Banks, Jim Smallman, and Glen Joseph will make their way to Invercargill. Banks will defend his PROGRESS World Championship, while Smallman will be the guest ring announcer, and Joseph the guest commentator. But with perhaps the biggest show in the company’s history on the horizon, what will this show entail? Let’s run down the card.
“Hooligan” Marcus Kool vs. Taylor Adams
Both of these men are coming off losses two weeks ago at SPW Dunedin. Adams failed to capture the Heavyweight Championship from Moody, and Kool fell to Khan. Hooligan desperately needs a win, having lost at Fight for Gold last month as well, and Adams is just the man for the job (pun intended). Adams won’t be hurt by the loss, and he can bounce back at the Southern Rumble Match to have a strong showing.
Prediction: Taylor Adams
Southland Street Fight Match: T-Rex vs. Will Power
Last month at Dunedin, T-Rex and Will Power each led a five-man team against each other in an elimination tag match. The winning team guaranteed their spots in the Southern Rumble Match (similar to the Royal Rumble) in July. Will Power’s team won. Well, T-Rex must not have been too happy about that, because now he is going toe to toe with Power in a Southland Street Fight. These two will demonstrate some creativity with weapons in this match, with both getting good licks in, but Power will go over, as he is the current holder of the Fight for Gold briefcase (think Money in the Bank), and it seems his role to play in the Khan/Moody feud isn’t quite over yet, having interfered in their title match last month.
Prediction: Will Power
Hammer vs. Shane Sinclair
Hammer, who defeated Hooligan at Fight for Gold last month but lost at Dunedin two weeks ago as a part of T-Rex’s team, is looking to get his momentum back against Sinclair who is coming off a big win in a No DQ against Dr. Feelgood. The winner of this match gets the #20 entry in the 20-man Southern Rumble match in July. This will be a solid match, but Hammer will take the win, and pose a big threat to whomever is left in the ring when he comes in last at the Rumble.
SPW New Zealand Tag Team Championship Match: NZXT (Michael Richards & Mason Daniels) (c) vs. CruiserMates (Liam Fury & Falcon Kid)
At SPW Dunedin, just two weeks ago, NZXT defeated the CruiserMates to defend their SPW New Zealand Tag Team Championships. Both these tag teams, and the tag belts, are all newly formed, with NZXT first competing together at Halloween Haunting last year, the first tag team championship match was last month at Fight for Gold, and the Cruisermates themselves only performed together once, in their losing effort to NZXT. While everything is new in the tag team division, history will repeat itself this Saturday: NZXT will once again retain. With the belts still being so new, and with the biggest show of the year coming up next, it wouldn’t make sense to do a title change yet.
SPW New Zealand Heavyweight Championship Match: JK Moody (c) vs. Jakob Cross
SPW announced that another company’s show, IPW New Zealand, Cross scored a victory over Moody, and therefore granted this title shot at Battlelines. In terms of the main event scene, this match is a stepping stone for Moody to continue his run as champion. His feud with Kane Khan hasn’t had its blow-off yet, and with Will Power injecting himself into that scenario, it looks like the story will culminate in a three-way match at Southern Rumble. The talented Moody has already established himself as the top heel for SPW, and he hasn’t even hit his prime yet as a performer. Keep an eye out for him in the future. This match will be good, as Cross is no slouch either, but all in all this match is about JK Moody.
Prediction: JK Moody
PROGRESS World Championship Match: Travis Banks (c) vs. Kane Khan
No, PROGRESS isn’t going to switch their world title at a non-PROGRESS show, but this match will still be awesome. Banks will put Khan over huge, making him look like a superstar, and doing his best to give him a rub, as SPW clearly has big plans for him. Banks, on the other hand, is returning to the SPW ring for the first time since November 7th, 2015, in Queenstown. While he has been working heel lately for PROGRESS, expect him to get a hero’s welcome in Southland. Banks is obviously a world-class wrestler, and Khan is underrated, and this match will exceed expectations. Look for lots of nearfalls, and for Banks to sell a lot, but in the end, Khan will fall just short, while Banks moves on to Sydney to defend his title at the PROGRESS x PWA on Monday. Conversely, Khan will look to move back into the world title picture, and try to exorcise his demon that is JK Moody.