By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
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Available to stream on Peacock
April 18, 2022 in London, England at Electric Ballroom
This was day two of a two-event, 8-man “Atlas Tournament.” The four first-round matches occurred a day earlier. Olie Spring and Hustle Malone provided commentary. Lighting and sound is decent.
This show was recently added to the WWE lineup on Peacock. It is identified as “Season 11, episode 7, Chapter 13.” I watched this after seeing Jonah post about it on his Twitter feed. Also worth noting that Jonah must have flown out immediately after his Chicago New Japan date to make it over to the UK for these shows.
1. Jonah defeated Rickey Shane Page in a semi-final match at 9:15. Page is a big guy but still probably lighter than Jonah. They traded shoulder tackles early and Page hit a Stinger Splash in the corner at 3:00. Jonah flattened him with a shoulder block and applied a sleeper. Page hit a belly-to-back suplex and a Swanton Bomb for a nearfall at 6:30. Page went for a chokeslam but Jonah hit a headbutt to escape. Jonah nailed a senton for a nearfall.
Page DDT’d Jonah at 8:00, then a springboard frogsplashed him for a believable nearfall. Page came down a little short of his intended goal and it wasn’t ideal. Jonah speared Page, then nailed the top-rope frogsplash for the pin. Good opener and the right length for a big-man matchup.
* Backstage segments, with So Cal Val interviewing first Page, then Jonah. Jonah was confident he would win the tournament.
2. Luke Jacobs defeated Warren Banks in a semi-final match at 10:55. Banks is a tall, muscular Black man with a great look; a thicker Kofi Kingston. Jacobs is shorter and white. They stood toe to toe and glared at each other. They traded shoulder tackles. Jacobs hit some loud chops. They fought to the floor and Banks hit a back body drop onto the cement at 5:00. They brawled into the crowd.
In the ring, Jacobs hit a spinebuster for a nearfall. Banks threw a kneestrike to the jaw, then a German Suplex. Banks nailed a dive through the ropes. In the ring, Jacobs hit a hard clothesline for a nearfall at 8:00, then a powerbomb for a nearfall. Banks nailed a spear and a Shining Wizard for a nearfall. Jacobs hit a Brainbuster suplex for a nearfall. The crowd was going nuts and chanted “This is Progress!”
Jacobs hit a pair of superkicks, then a piledriver for a believable nearfall. Jacobs then hit another hard clothesline to score the clean pin. Really good back-and-forth match. Two scrawny masked wrestlers, the Lykos kids, hopped in the ring and attacked Banks after the match. Jacobs returned to the ring and beat up the scrawny guys, then he hugged Banks.
* So Cal Val interviewed Banks backstage, who indicated he was going after those scrawny guys. Back to ringside, where Lana Austin came to the ring. She got on the mic and declared she was injured and couldn’t compete. She reiterated she wasn’t scared, she was injured. However, she has a replacement.. Nightshade.
3. Raven Creed defeated Nightshade (w/Lana Austin) at 8:02. Nightshade, a red head, has the same size and generally same look/gimmick of Jessicka Havok, and this is her Progress debut. Creed wore a straight jacket and acted crazy as she ran to the ring; she has green streaks in her long black hair. Creed attacked with forearm shots at the bell, and Nightshade bailed to the floor. They brawled on the floor, and Creed couldn’t pick up her opponent.
Back in the ring, Nightshade was in charge as Creed sold a back injury. Creed tried to pick her up at 4:00 but couldn’t get her up. Nightshade hit a German release suplex for a nearfall. Creed hit a German suplex and a missile dropkick. They traded sick-sounding headbutts and Creed fell on her for a nearfall at 6:30. Creed finally got her up, hit a Death Valley Driver, and scored the pin. Good women’s match.
* Backstage with So Cal Val again. Lana was upset with Nightshade and warned her not to let her down again. We then have a separate interview with Creed, who vows she is ready to take on anyone in Progress. I really, really like these backstage segments.
4. Danny Black defeated Spike Trivet at 11:08. Trivet (pronounced “Triv vay”) is an early-in-career Hunter Hearst Helmsley “Royal Blood,” snooty gimmick and he came to the ring to classical music. With his shiny, red pants and overall look, I’ll compare Danny Black to Trey Miguel, or the bushy-haired younger Amazing Red. Black dove between the ropes and nailed Trivet to start the match, and they brawled at ringside. The bell finally rang at 2:00 on my watch. In the ring, Trivet nailed a snap suplex into the turnbuckles and he was in charge.
The lights went out at 3:30, but when they came back on, Trivet gave us a middle finger and laughed at us. Black hit a 619. Cara Noir appeared in the crowd, and the fans went nuts; Noir has a Black Swan ballet look and somewhat similar to Darby Allin in size and popularity. However, Noir just grabbed a seat and sat on the ramp. Trivet was clearly unnerved; he kept beating on Black but jawed at Noir. Black hit an enzuigiri at 5:30, then a Lungblower double knees to the jaw.
Black hit a flip kick to the head. He went for a move off the ropes but Trivet caught him with a forearm. Trivet hit a Michinoku Driver for a believable nearfall at 9:00. Trivet got him up for a JayDriller but turned it into a backbreaker. Trivet got a nearfall but hopped up to jaw at Noir. Black hit a dive through the ropes on him. In the ring, Black hit a neckbreaker over his knee, then a sitdown slam for the pin. Trivet destroyed a mask that belonged to Noir. Noir hopped in the ring and attacked Trivet. They brawled until security guards separated them. Good match and compelling story.
* Intermission. Big Damo and Alex Tischer were both eliminated in the first round of the tournament. They agreed to team up.
5. Axel Tischer (f/k/a Alexander Wolfe) and Big Damo (f/k/a Killian Dain) defeated Joe Hendry and Adam Maxted at 14:16. “This is insanity, that we get to see these two share a ring,” a commentator said of the former WWE teammates. I don’t know Maxted; he’s really tall, muscular and blonde and he reminds me of Grayson Waller but bigger. Tischer and Hendry opened with basic reversals and Tischer did the Imperium pose with his hands behind his back. Damo entered at 3:30 to face Maxted, and Damo hit a Sky Hi Spinebuster for a nearfall. Tischer hit a second-rope moonsault. Hendry and Maxted tag by hugging. Tischer hit a top-rope crossbody block on both heels.
The heels bailed to the floor; Damo joined Tischer in doing the Imperium pose and the crowd cheered. The heels began beating down Tischer. Damo finally made the hot tag at 10:30 and he nailed some hard clotheslines. Damo hit a sit-out Michinoku Driver, holding Maxted, sitting down on Hendry. Cool spot. Hendry hit a Lungblower to Tischer’s chest for a nearfall. Maxted hit a spinebuster. Damo hit a flying crossbody block and everyone was down at 13:30. The babyfaces hit simultaneous German suplexes, then a team faceplant for the pin. Fun match. Damo and Axel hugged after the match.
* So Cal Val interviewed Hendry and Maxted backstage. She then interviewed Damo and Tischer. Tischer said it had been three years since they teamed up. Damo said they’ll likely team again.
6. Joe Lando defeated Vaughn Vertgo at 6:56. This is Vertigo’s debut here; he has long hair and colored glasses and made me think of Adam Rose. Lando is short with short brown hair. Some quick reversals to open. Vertigo hit a sit-out powerbomb. Lando hit a doublestomp to the chest, then a Meteora double knees drop. Lando hit a Samoan Drop flip slam to the ring at 4:00. Vertigo hit a Tiger Suplex and a neckbreaker over his knee for a nearfall.
Vaughn hit a Swanton Bomb onto Lando’s back for a nearfal. These guys are showing some great athleticism. Lando hit a snap German suplex, then a moonsault from the corner to the floor. Lando hopped back in the ring, hit a Shooting Star Press, and scored the pin. That was fun.
7. Gene Munny defeated Kid Lykos II (w/Lykos I) at 9:32. Munny came out in a ridiculous flamboyant outfit, including a tail hanging off the back of his jacket. He also has black tape across his nipples. He got on the mic and said he was supposed to be facing Jonathan Gresham, but that is now postponed until May. Lykos wore a wolf mask; he is much smaller than Munny and rather scrawny. The crowd was all over Lykos. Lykos yanked the tail off the jacket, so Munny punched him to start the match. They immediately brawled to the floor.
In the ring, Munny hit a forward Finlay roll, then a second-rope moonsault for a nearfall at 2:30. Lykos began working over the left arm. Munny hit a Claymore Kick at 6:00. Munny hit a spinebuster for a nearfall. Lykos hit an enzuigiri. Munny hit a spear for a nearfall. Lykos hit a second-rope Spanish Fly for a nearfall at 9:00. Warren Banks hit riingside to distract Lykos I. This allowed Munny to hit a DDT for the pin. Blah action, but Munny is really over with this crowd.
* So Cal Val interviewed Kid Lykos II, but I didn’t understand anything he said under his mask. She then interviewed Munny, who reiterated that he is ready and waiting to face Gresham on May 15.
8. Luke Jacobs defeated Jonah to win the Atlas Tournament at 15:14. The winner gets the Atlas Championship, a title belt. Nice ring introductions, making this feel like a big deal. Jonah nailed a Stinger Splash at the bell and stomped on Jacobs in the corner, and Jonah was in total control. They traded chops on the floor. Jonah nailed a rolling cannonball onto Jacobs in the rows of chairs, and an announcer said it was like a mid-sized car coming at you.
Jacobs hit a crossbody block on Jonah into the rows of chairs at 3:00. They traded punches on the ring apron, and Jonah nailed a DDT. In the ring, Jonah applied a bear hug from behind. Jonah gave him a Tongan Massage Parlor, standing on his chest next to the ropes at 7:30. Jacobs hit several Stinger Splashes in the corner, then a Spinebuster at 9:00.
Jacobs nailed a German Suplex for a nearfall. He applied an anklelock, then he turned it into a Crippler Crossface, but Jonah reached the ropes at 11:00. Jacobs tried to pick him up but he collapsed. Jonah nailed a Senton for a nearfall, then a standing powerbomb for another nearfall. Jonah nailed a top-rope superplex, and the announcers went nuts, as Jonah got a nearfall at 13:00.
They fought in the corner and Jacobs hit a powerbomb, then a hard clothesline for a nearfall. Jonah hit a spear for a nearfall, and he’s in disbelief he hasn’t won yet. Jonah went to the top rope for his frogsplash, but Jacobs caught him, hit a Samoan Drop, and scored a nearfall. Jacobs then hit a series of clotheslines, finally knocking Jonah down, to score the pin. Fantastic match.
Jacobs got on the mic and said he’s just 21 years old, and he’s dreamed of this moment since he was three years old.
Final Thoughts: I don’t get it. I don’t get that Vince McMahon saw Jonah/Bronson Reed and said, “No thanks, I don’t see anything there.” Just this week, I watched Jonah have a fantastic brawl against PCO in Impact Wrestling, a quick memorable match against Blake Christian in New Japan, and now these two matches in Progress.
The tournament matches were really good, as well as Damo and Tischer getting to team again. Of the guys I haven’t seen before, Banks and Maxted really stood out. The semi-main event of Munny-Lykos was my least favorite of the show. The show clocks in at 2 hours, 47 minutes.