#Preview: PROGRESS vs Smash Wrestling

Or Smash vs PROGRESS depending on where your loyalties lie. The two companies last did this dance three years ago. The rosters have changed dramatically for both in the intervening years.

It’s a big card for a big week in Toronto leading to SummerSlam. Let’s have a gander.

David Starr, Chris Brookes, Paul Robinson and Travis Banks vs. Idris Abraham, Joe Coleman, Sebastian Suave and Daniel Garcia

Photo / @smashwrestling

Team Smash against Team PROGRESS. Three heels and a face taking on two heels and two faces. It’s like Survivor Series ’95 all over again!

The Smash tag team champions, Halal Beefcake team with Sebastian Suave and Daniel Garcia. They face the oddball team of two avowed Indy guys, a little psychopath, and a Kiwi Buzzsaw. Things probably won’t end very well for either team.

Add to the mix that Daniel Garcia is back for Smash for the first time since a car crash in January. He will likely return to a hero’s welcome, and rightfully so. Look for him to engage Travis Banks and Paul Robinson in strong style sequences.

David Starr won’t be doing the job before his date with Walter in September. The side with champions has to go over, doesn’t it?

Prediction: Team Smash

Trent Seven vs Psycho Mike Rollins

At the beginning of a big of week, Trent Seven’s first opponent will be Psycho Mike. It is to be expected that comedy shenanigans will ensue.

These two fellas seem tailor-made for one another. Witness Trent Seven’s matchups with the likes of Los Federales Santos Jr, and Jonah Rock. Next, take on board Psycho Mike wrestling the likes of Orange Cassidy, or Kikutaro. She-nan-i-gans.

Add to that, the fact that Psycho and Seven are fond of hitting their opponent as hard as they possibly can. This could turn nasty very, very quickly. Both men enjoy a nice snap German suplex. Both men enjoy a nice, stiff clothesline Both men enjoy chopping their opponent’s chest raw.

Get ready for this one. It will be memorable.

Prediction: Trent Seven

Jordynne Grace vs Alexia Nicole

Photo / @smashwrestling

A late change to the card as PROGRESS women’s champion Jordynne Grace takes on Alexia Nicole. Originally due to see Grace take on KC Spinelli, a contrast of styles is still on the cards. You have Grace, a woman who likes to overpower her opponent. Nicole is a quick mover who likes to chop opponents down with explosive moves. A fun, cat and mouse style match would go down a treat.

Maybe we will see something that sets things up for the following evening too. Jody Threat is in the house and takes on Grace in an intergender tag match on PROGRESS’ solo show. Perhaps a soupcon of skulduggery would allow Nicole the chance to gain the upper hand.

Still, with the assumption that this will be a championship match, you have to give the champion the advantage. Grace has built a reputation for domination, and that will likely continue throughout the course of the week.

Prediction: Jordynne Grace

Jordan Devlin vs Tarik

The Irish Ace Jordan Devlin takes on the recently dethroned Smash Wrestling champion, Tarik. The two men are very evenly matched in most regards. Similar size, move set and work ethic. Once again, as in so many of the scheduled matches, they should bounce off one another nicely. And the great part about both is that their best years are ahead of them.

A lot of back and forth/give and take should give us a very satisfying clash. Possibly taking the title of best technical display of the show. But, ultimately, you have to think that Devlin’s ties to WWE may play a part in the outcome. Politics in wrestling being what they are, everyone’s favorite Killer Import must surely take the W.

Prediction: Tarik

Toni Storm vs Jody Threat

Photo / @smashwrestling

What a pleasure it is to see Toni Storm back under the PROGRESS umbrella! A true star, and fantastic pro wrestler, she has been sorely missed. Jody Threat, a regular for Smash, is effectively being booked as the new girl on the block (in PROGRESS). She will be facing familiar foe Jordynne Grace the next night in a tag match. Although not for the title, Threat would be a credible challenger, and this may position as a future challenger.

Storm and Threat could wind up having the wildest match of the night, as both women are not averse to a good old brawl. Storm built her name in PROGRESS alongside Jinny by having crazy, arena-wide fights. Jody Threat, too, likes to mix it up with the heavy hitters. On her recent trip to the UK, she faced the likes of Omari, Travis Banks, and Cara Noir et al. That’s quite the list of talent to be mixing it up with, and a sign of the confidence in her abilities.

Both women are likely to be bruised and battered after a hard-hitting match. But based on the way the wind appears to be blowing, Jody Threat could well be getting her hand raised at the end of this one.

Prediction: Jody Threat

Aussie Open vs The Pillars

Former PROGRESS tag team champions Aussie Open take on The Pillars combo of Tyson Dux and Brent Banks. Whilst not exactly on a losing streak, Aussie Open haven’t had the best of fortunes lately. A similar story applies to for Smash champions The Pillars, albeit several months prior.

So, what are we likely to see here? Despite his size, Mark Davis is a quite capable high-flyer despite being a power-based wrestler. His partner, Kyle Fletcher, also likes to fly. Same with Dux having power and flying capabilities, and Banks being a flyer. We should anticipate big dives and smash-mouth, high-impact moves. The near falls towards the end of the match should be absolutely electric.

There’s nothing quite like watching accomplished professionals at work. The four men that will grace the ring in this encounter are some of the most accomplished. Aussie Open seems to be on a bit of a downer at the moment, though. Based on that, the win has to be heading the way of The Pillars.

Prediction: The Pillars

Walter vs Kevin Bennett

Progress Smash
Photo / @smashwrestling

A big, old battle of the champions will round out the show. Kevin Bennett is not a small man by any means. But Walter is a very big man. Not only that, but the Austrian is a man who, as his merch says, doesn’t just wrestle; he kills.

Kevin Bennett is a long-running fixture of the Canadian independent scene and has a reputation for grinding out victories against opponents with different skill-sets to him. Adaptable would be the word to describe the near-ten year pro. And adapt he will have to, in order to survive Walter’s trademark strikes during this battle between Progress and Smash champions.

The PROGRESS Unified World champion is not a man to be trifled with at the best of times. How could anyone defeat him at the moment is the question. Kevin Bennett is likely not the man who has the answer.

Prediction: Walter

Likely to be hot-ticket, this is not going to be a show for the feint of heart. It will be heavy-hitting, strong style, and quality through and through. Both Toni Storm vs Jody Threat, and Jordan Devlin vs Tarik have piqued my interest. Which encounter are you looking forward to the most in Progress versus Smash?