British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, & Trent Seven) vs Jimmy Havoc, Mark Haskins, & “Flash” Morgan Webster
Electric Ballroom, Camden, Greater London, England, United States)
(reviewed 09/25/2017) In my review for the Zack Gibson vs Jack Sexsmith match that preceded this, I described that match as something I’d love to see more from this scene. This match, though? This is everything I need to see less of. Less middle fingers and coy title belt abuse as the primary source of heel work. Less WWE pandering, both as a way to draw heat and as something to shill for throughout the match (“Wouldn’t this be some sort of WWE UK title match?”). Less ”””wild”””, ”””crazy””” unstructured tag matches that aren’t interesting and aren’t exciting enough to be appealing. Less freaking out about weak apron spots. Less apron spots in general. Less tandem trios sequences. Less bullshit.
It’s not all bad. Bate’s marvelous here, especially in a sequence with Haskins wherein the former PROGRESS champion is scrambling for his signature submissions. Bate’s feeding and bumping and selling throughout that is just superb, managing to be lively and yet lifelike, not over the top but still animated and engaging. Likewise, the stipulation for this match adds some enjoyable drama on the face side of things, as whoever pins one of BSS gets their choice of title shot but whoever gets pinned by BSS can’t have a title shot for six months. As this hodge podge team of Havoc, Haskins, and Webster frantically try to pin one of their opponents and prevent any of their partners from doing the same, we’re given a greater deal of emotional stakes than in any other BSS match I’ve seen yet, which is nice. But man, these scant highlights are accompanied by a deluge of tedious, uninspired, and occasionally insulting wrestling, the sort of thing that makes me reconsider whether or not I should still be reviewing this promotion at all. Less of this, please. I beg of you.