#Preview: PROGRESS Toronto

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Photo / ticketscene.ca

PROGRESS’ first shows in Canada for a while certainly haven’t skimped on quality matchmaking at they return to Toronto. Following a collaboration with Smash the day before, PROGRESS unleash the full roster. There are some cracking, first-time match ups listed. This would be a great show to get your first taste of the company.

Here’s a little glimpse at why that might be –

Let’s take a look at what PROGRESS have lined up, shall we?

Chris Brookes & Jordynne Grace vs David Starr & Jody Threat

PROGRESS WOMEN’S TITLE SPOTTED!!! SOUND THE KLAXON!!!

In all seriousness, Jordynne Grace is great, but it would be beneficial to put the belt on someone who can appear more regularly. The division has been directionless during 2019. With Meiko Satomura challenging at Chapter 95, and Holidead being positioned strongly, that may not happen just yet. Grace’s partner, Chris Brookes, is, of course, a national treasure.

David Starr comes into the event with massive momentum. There aren’t many hotter (orĀ important) acts in the UK at the moment. Jody Threat is the wildcard as far as PROGRESS competition goes. She made her debut at Chapter 93 in a losing effort, so not a great start in that regard. However, she has a real physical presence, and seems a great match for Grace.

Prediction: David Starr and Jody Threat

Trent Seven vs Eddie Kingston

Photo / Twitter @ThisIs_Progress

In WWE terminology, you could term this one a ‘Battle of the hosses’. In British terminology, it’s ‘big lads wrestling’. Trent Seven as the Don, Eddie Kingston as the King. There will be knife edge chops. Oh my yes.

The one thing to not expect with this is technical wrestling. Kingston and Seven are both strong proponents are big old power moves, and hard strikes. We could see a little bit of a walk and brawl in the crowd. Perhaps even some foreign objects. If that is the case, then our Canadian friends had best practise diving out of the way.

This one could genuinely wind up being the match of the night.

Prediction: Trent Seven

Jordan Devlin vs Travis Banks

Devlin and Banks have had somewhat of an issue for most of 2019 thus far. Beginning in PROGRESS, and carrying over to NXT UK, they have wrestled a lot. On the occasions where Finn Balor hasn’t gazumped Banks’ spot (ahem).

All of the matches they’ve had thus far have been, needless to say, quality. With a comparable, and complimentary, ring style, this encounter should continue that trend. But will it be the Irish Ace or the Kiwi Buzzsaw that goes over this time? As discussed previously, I think Banks is on his way up the card. Therefore…

Prediction: Travis Banks

Toni Storm vs Holidead

Photo / Twitter @ThisIs_Progress

This will be the first time in a PROGRESS ring this year for Toni Storm. And it’s great to have her back. Although she only appeared sporadically last year, she always felt like a regular. Now that she has moved onto bigger things, it’s a treat to see her wrestling on the Eagle canvas.

This might be misreading the situation, but it seems like PROGRESS have plans for Holidead. She took the Ws over both Candy Floss and Lana Austin in July, which is unusual for an import. Couple that with her excellent Voodoo (?) based character, and Holidead is definitely someone to keep your eye on. A bit rough around the edges as far as ring work goes. But she’s young, and that will be corrected given time.

A match with the NXT UK Women’s champion is nothing to sniff at. Holidead will certainly get a decent amount of rub from being in the ring with Toni Storm.

Prediction: Toni Storm

Aussie Open vs The Butcher and The Blade vs The Dark Order

A tag team three way dance? Involving a nice mix of big lads and flyers? Yes please! Vince McMahon would be salivating at the beeeeeef on show here. Minimal actual tags, chaos in the ring – that shall be the order or the day during this match.

Aside from the match itself, it’s always interesting to see PROGRESS work with talent from companies other than WWE. It’s especially interesting to see that talent come from All Elite Wrestling. Before Aussie Open lost the tag belts a delicious thought had it that The Dark Order might walk away with the straps. Never overly likely, but a fun notion nonetheless.

The Butcher and The Blade come with a reputation for joy with violence. They have spent the year carving their way through the field in Smash (pun intended). Will this be a case of the two North American teams cancelling on another out? The net result would be that Aussie Open reap the rewards. Their hands raised in victory after a trying last month or so.

Prediction: Aussie Open

Walter vs Paul Robinson

Photo / Twitter @ThisIs_Progress

Now this… this is interesting. A real David and Goliath style battle. You can almost picture how this one will play out during the first act of the match. Paul Robinson striking the much larger Walter, and zipping out of the way before retaliation. Robbo taunting/swearing profusely at an incredulous Unified World Champion. All until he finally gets caught with a big chop, and then we’re away to the races. This could wind up on the best of the year list.

It will be curious to see how this is staged in terms of the face-heel divide. Walter has been playing the antagonist recently, and Robbo portrays a nasty piece of work like no one else. If this match took place in the Electric Ballroom, I think Robinson would be the crowd favourite by proxy. But who knows whom the crowd will favour away from home. Here’s Robinson’s fantastic, incendiary promo from Chapter 93 to hype you.

Wow! That is a man with fire in his belly, and something to prove. However, as he says, Walter does have his dance card with David Starr set for September. That would indicate that the conclusion is a foregone conclusion, unfortunately.

Prediction: Walter

As noted at the top, that’s one helluva card; and a helluva statement of what the company has to offer. Most anticipated match has to be Walter vs Paul Robinson, closely followed by Trent Seven vs Eddie Kingston.

Which match are you most looking forward to?