Sunday, October 27th sees PROGRESS return to the Electric Ballroom in Camden for Chapter 97. Sex Robots Will Eventually Be Capable Of Murder is the long-winded, beautifully peculiar moniker. I for one am a fan of it. Let’s have a squiz at the card, and have some fun getting my predictions mostly wrong!
Cara Noir vs Ilja Dragunov
At Chapter 96, Cara Noir and Ilja Dragunov collided in a match that I had the pleasure to witness in person. The contrast between the two men is evident from their entrances alone. You have Dragunov pounding the floor, as his brutalist, tribal, drumming entrance theme makes your ears ring. Then you have Noir elegantly gliding down the aisle, shimmering with glitter as Tchaikovsky plays over the PA. This is carried through somewhat to their respective ring styles. Dragunov bludgeons his opponents, whilst Noir is poetry in motion, linking moves and sequences seamlessly.
Dragunov took the win in Manchester at Chapter 96 following a sudden Torpedo Moscow, and the rematch was soon set. Are we in for a long-running series between the two? One would certainly hope so, as they have plenty left in the tank to escalate things further.
Prediction: Cara Noir
Mark Andrews vs Connor Mills
Mark Andrews takes on Connor Mills in the former’s first match for PROGRESS since his heel turn at Chapter 95. It’s going to be very interesting to see Mandrews working as a heel as it hasn’t happened in the company previously. Aside from a run in TNA as a bad guy, the Welshman has been a consummate white-bread babyface. His renewed alliance with Eddie Dennis is clever for breaking new ground whilst re-treading a piece of history.
Unfortunately, Connor Mills looks like he has been slotted in as a sacrificial lamb for the new main event heel act. He’s a very promising young wrestler who is capable of spectacular matches, but I don’t see it being enough. There’s only one logical winner here.
Prediction: Mark Andrews
Meiko Satomura vs Dani Luna – PROGRESS Women’s Title Match
Meiko Satomura makes her first defence of the PROGRESS women’s title as she faces off with Dani Luna. Luna became number one contender by getting the win over Toni Storm at Chapter 96. That’s a big scalp to take as Toni is one of the biggest stars worldwide, and was the first Women’s champ.
Satomura is an incredibly exciting choice as champion, and her stiff kicks are something that feels very at home in PROGRESS. It’s heartening too to see her back and defending the belt as soon as two chapters later. The women’s division has been beltless for large stretches, and so it’s great to see it defended so soon. I just wonder whether Jinny Havoc will interject herself into this one after her return at Chapter 96. Again, though, there is only one logical winner.
Prediction: Meiko Satomura
Paul Robinson vs William Eaver
The Proteus Championship is defended once more by Paul Robinson as he faces off with Present William Eaver. The madman of Do Not Resuscitate has been very impressive of late, and to all intents and purposes appears genuinely unhinged. He has the title shot here due to his win over Robbo at Chapter 94. That defeat meant that Robinson entered the Proteus Rumble at number 1. Eaver entered at number 30, but it was the Sword of Essex who prevailed.
Robinson has become a firm fan favourite of late. He has put in great performances against the likes of Trent Seven, Travis Banks and Walter. This happened organically as fans really began to appreciate the intensity that he brings to each performance. We should be in for another belter between the pair, especially with the current Proteus title stipulations of knockout or tapout.
Prediction: Paul Robinson
The NIC vs Do Not Resuscitate
Another rematch for DnR, as they face the challenge of The NIC at Sex Robots Will Eventually Be Capable Of Murder. The question posed by PROGRESS is what combination of Do Not Resuscitate will face them. It’ll be Chuck Mambo and Danny Duggan, won’t it? Spike Trivet has a broken wrist, and Eaver is otherwise occupied, so the answer seems quite simple.
The hook for the match this time around is that The NIC are members of a newly formed babyface stable. Naming themselves Destination Everywhere, the group is comprised of The NIC, Connor Mills and The OJMO. Babyface factions rarely work, historically, and I’d be surprised if that changes now. Still, it’s nice to see DnR with a renewed focus after a slightly aimless year. A rivalry with Destination Everywhere throws up numerous scenarios and could be great for all involved.
Prediction: Do Not Resuscitate
The Knucklelockers vs Pretty Deadly
If you read my weekly column The PROGRESS Prerogative (and if you don’t, why not?), you’ll know that Darrell Allen is a PROGRESS original. Wrestling in singles and in conjunction with RJ Singh as Bhangra Knights, it’s great to see him back in action. He’s bringing along Jordon Breaks, one of the breakout stars of RIPTIDE. This young man has an extremely technical style a la Zack Sabre Jr, and I expect big things from him. Beautiful sideburns, too.
Pretty Deadly return to PROGRESS after a winning debut opposite Young Guns at Chapter 96. To be fair, they’ve got a ways to go before they’re a great act, but they have solid foundations on which to build here at Sex Robots Will Eventually Be Capable Of Murder. There were a few nice team-based spots in their debut that popped the crowd, after some intial ‘NXT jobber’ chants. Their arrogant, pretty-boy characters are reasonably well defined also. This should be a very interesting encounter, for sure.
Prediction: Pretty Deadly
Also scheduled to appear are David Starr and The OJMO. Both men were wronged in September: Starr by Eddie Dennis at Alexandra Palace; OJMO by Danny Duggan at NPS6. No match has been announced for either, but both will surely be out for revenge.