Today on YouTube and through their Social Media, PROGRESS Wrestling announced plans for a PROGRESS Tag Team Series this summer, leading to a PROGRESS Tag Team Championship Thunderbastard match at their Hello Wembley! event at Wembley Arena in September. PROGRESS co-owner Jim Smallman made the announcement this afternoon.
For those not familiar, a Thunderbastard match is similar to a WWE Royal Rumble, in that entrants enter the match in timed intervals, but it’s actually more of an elimination gauntlet match, as the wrestlers can win by pinfall, submission or disqualification instead of being thrown over the top. As stated by Smallman, the teams will enter together in intervals and will feature seven tag teams, including the current PROGRESS Tag Team Champions The Grizzled Young Veterans (Zack Gibson & James Drake). Per PROGRESS Wrestling, rules for a Thunderbastard match are as follows: “The Thunderbastard match is a #ProgressOriginal invention – a new competitor enters every 2 minutes, and wrestlers can be eliminated by pinfall, submission or disqualification.”
The tag team series will leading up to this Thunderbastard match at Wembley will be for the entrance order in the match. The seven teams will compete in a series of matches similar to NJPW World Tag League, in that they will compete in a series of matches against the other competitors. At the end of the series, the tag team with the most victories will get to enter the Thunderbastard match last (with the best advantage), while the team that finishes last will enter first (least advantage). Here’s a look at the seven teams competing in the PROGRESS tag team series, leading up to the Hello Wembley! PROGRESS Tag Team Championship Thunderbastard Match.
AUSSIE OPEN (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis)
The Australian duo made their UK splash last summer and have become one of the most popular tag teams in the UK circuit. They made their PROGRESS debut at Chapter 54: Go To Your God Like A Soldier in dark match against Never Say Die (Alex Cupid & Dillon D’Angelo) and by the end of last year were already competing for the PROGRESS Tag Team titles. They’re the reigning (and 2x) Defiant Tag Team Champions and this could be there time to finally claim the PROGRESS titles that have eluded them for the past five months.
M & M (Connor Mills & Maverick Mayhew)
.@fsmills & @maverick_mayhew have struggled to replicate their show-stealing #LiveAtTheDome performances on Chapter shows. They grabbed a camera and sat down to send us a message… pic.twitter.com/G72X8bBJ6T
— PROGRESS Wrestling (@ThisIs_Progress) May 16, 2018
Two very young competitors (Mills is 19 and Mayhew is 17) who started teaming at the end of 2017, M & M have shown great fire and passion for such a young age. Although they haven’t scored a victory at a PROGRESS Chapter show yet (having been roughed up by Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins at Chapter 58, and then Haskins & Flash Morgan Webster at Chapter 68), they’ve showed great strides at the Live At The Dome shows. This a huge opportunity for two bright stars in the UK’s tag team scene.
THE ANTI-FUN POLICE (Chief Deputy Dunne & Los Federales Santos Jr.)
Chief Deputy Damian Dunne and his Anti-Fun Police stable has been wreaking havoc on the UK scene since late 2016, starting out in Wales’ ATTACK! Pro Wrestling. Since then, they’ve taken their obstruction to Fight Club: PRO, Riptide and IPW:UK, while also making their PROGRESS debut this past February at Chapter 64. While Anti-Fun Police boasts multiple members, Smallman stated in the video that it would be Chief Deputy Dunne and Los Federales Santos Jr. that would be entering the series.
CCK (Chris Brookes & Kid Lykos)
CCK has emerged as one of the best tag teams in Europe in the past year or so, as Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos (and occasionally their third man, Travis Banks) have competed across the British Isles with ATTACK!, RevPro, OTT, SWE, IPW:UK and of course, PROGRESS. They’re 3x ATTACK! Tag Team Champions and 2x PROGRESS Tag Team Champions and have been shelved for all of this year due to an injury Kid Lykos sustained last fall. He’s due back in the ring in June and CCK will be looking to make a statement by becoming three time PROGRESS Tag Team champs.
MARK HASKINS & FLASH MORGAN WEBSTER
Over the past several months, the sinister union of Jimmy Havoc, Mark Haskins and Vicky Haskins has expanded their darkness, by welcoming Flash Morgan Webster into the faction. Together, Jimmy Havoc and Mark Haskins won both the PROGRESS and Defiant Tag Team titles this year, but at Hello Wembley! Jimmy Havoc already has a planned match, a historical grudge match against his arch-rival Will Ospreay. For the tag team series, Mark Haskins (who is the current reigning IPW World Champion) will be partnering with Flash Morgan Webster to represent the stable.
GRIZZLED YOUNG VETERANS (Zack Gibson & James Drake)
The current reigning (and 2x) PROGRESS Tag Team Champions are entered into the tournament as well, but the reasoning is sound. Since the series is designed to secure your entry position in the match, the champs have to duke it out like everyone else for their spot in the entry line. One interesting tidbit that Smallman mentioned, is that for every one of their tag team series match-ups, they will be defending their PROGRESS Tag Team titles. So there’s a very real possibility that the Grizzled Young Vets may not even still be the PROGRESS Tag Team Champions by the time Hello Wembley! comes around.
SEXY STARR (David Starr & Jack Sexsmith) or SOUTH PACIFIC POWER TRIP (Travis Banks & TK Cooper)
The final seventh team has yet to be officially decided, but it will be one of these two teams. The reasoning is because of the PROGRESS World Championship match this weekend at Chapter 69: Be Here Now that pits current World Champion Travis Banks against Jack Sexsmith. If Banks retains, he will go on to face Zack Sabre Jr. at Hello Wembley! and Sexy Starr will enter the tag team series. Should Sexsmith dethrone Banks this Sunday, then Banks will rejoin his South Pacific Power Trip tag team partner TK Cooper, and they will enter the series.
— PROGRESS Wrestling (@ThisIs_Progress) May 17, 2018