British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, & Trent Seven) (c) vs Ringkampf (WALTER, Timothy Thatcher, & Axel Dieter Jr)
PROGRESS World Championship and PROGRESS Tag Team Championship
Electric Ballroom, Camden, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
(reviewed 09/28/2017) This match is about what I expected. Parts of it are DELIGHTFUL, most notably the first ten or so minutes with Dieter working over Bate and later Thatcher working over both Dunne and Seven. After that, BSS run through a bit of masturbatory Triple H tributing before a brawling segment that is surprisingly good before the champs isolate Thatcher and beat him down. As with the brawling, it’s better than I’d have thought, basically because it’s just Thatcher selling for an extended period of time while three guys put the boots to him. This transitions slowly into Ringkampf making a comeback and a hot finishing stretch with all six men flying all over the place. Sure, there’s a limp-wristed title shot finish and some of the spots in the final third are goofy (most notably things like the stereo submissions and Rainmakers) and the WWE pandering is the laziest form of heel “work”, but all in all, with a 28 minute runtime there’s a lot to enjoy here. Outside of the aforementioned finish and things like spraying water, BSS are better heels here than I’ve seen them be all year, at least partially due to Ringkampf being the sorts of guys to take their openings when they get them, forcing their opponents to stay on their feet. Ringkampf themselves are great here as these bruisers with similar but distinct personalities. Dieter’s just as cocky as BSS are but is more composed, happy to manhandle some Brits when he gets the chance. Thatcher’s a stone-faced killer who finds himself on the wrong end of the stick for most of the match and is eager to get his revenge. WALTER shows the most life of all of them, being the protective papa bear of the team who goes to town on the sneering punks making a mockery of his business. Everyone matches up stylistically quite well here, too, as BSS have more than enough technical skill to keep up with Ringkampf on the mat and Ringkampf can sprint around enough to stay with BSS down the bend. Of course some of the shortcomings of the scene in general as well as the antics of one team in particular bring this down, but this is one hell of a six man tag.