1.Robinson vs Lucky Kid ***1/4
2.Irie vs OJMO ***1/2
3.PROGRESS Tag Titles: Aussie Open(c) vs GYV ***3/4
That lost spark that PROGRESS is seeking to regain isn't coming easy, but that's no excuse to ignore them completely.
They still are one of the best companies in the world.
The first pull here was fairly good, though I would have liked a few extra minutes or so. The promo after, on the other hand, was awesome. Robinson has turned my head more than once this year but that was one of the best promos of 2019. He reminds me a bit of an angry chihuahua . The promo video is linked above if you care to check it out. I'm a huge Starr fan, but the emotion alone makes it worth seeing.
Irie and OJMO had a borderline great battle next, with OJMO looking like a star in the making and exactly what PROGRESS needs right now. Irie continues to excel in these types of spots. I look forward to his additions to Strong Hearts and hope he works a few AEW dates, too.
We closed with an interesting tag match and title defense. Aussie Open are arguably the best independent team in the game. Grizzled Young Veterans are NXT UK talents, obviously, and them winning is another step back in my opinion. I like the team, but PROGRESS needs their own identity with the NXT UK workers taking more of a backseat role if they want to get back on track. Have them make special appearances and stuff, but stop putting the gold on them. Remember, WALTER is their top champ, too. If they are planning a NXT UK versus PROGRESS angle like I saw rumored, that'd be a minor excuse but I don't know if that's even the plan. The UK scene needs help right now and PROGRESS needs to regain an actual identity.
Anyway, enough bitching. The good news is that the main event was great as a contest if you ignore the above issue and the finish itself was one of my favorites, visually, of the year.
I didn't start with PROGRESS at the first set of shows but I still have a love and appreciative connection with them and I want them to succeed. I see them trying, even if I disagree with some of the moves, and I hope you are giving them a fair shake this year.