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The Week In British Wrestling: WCPW kicks off the Pro Wrestling World Cup

Main image by Portrait Of A Wrestler's James Musselwhite

Here's five things you need to know about British wrestling this week:

1) Ospreay and Havoc clashed again at PROGRESS

There are some who've claimed that PROGRESS Wrestling shows outside of London -- in Birmingham, Sheffield, and especially Manchester -- are "B" shows when compared to those held at the Electric Ballroom, but if there was any credence in that theory it was blown out of the water by last Sunday's Galvanize at the O2 Academy, which has been described as the most stacked PROGRESS card ever.

The show was headlined by a no disqualification match for the PROGRESS Heavyweight title, between champion Pete Dunne and recent nemesis Jimmy Havoc, with the stipulation stacking the deck heavily in Havoc's favor, especially after he'd taken out Dunne's British Strong Style comrades earlier in the show.

But Dunne triumphed, with the help of Will Ospreay, who is still mad at Havoc for, well, trying to kill him during their feud two years ago, and Ospreay ended the show telling Havoc, "This has to end."

Jim Smallman welcomes another sold out crowd -- photo by Portrait Of A Wrestler's James Musselwhite

The British Strong Style team of Trent Seven & Tyler Bate opened the show, finally defending their PROGRESS Tag Team titles against number one contenders The South Pacific Power Trip, with the Manchester crowd firmly behind Travis Banks & TK Cooper. SPPT fell short, however, and BSS' reign of uniquely nonchalant terror continues.

They'll face The Hunter Brothers on this coming Sunday's show, despite losing to Ringkampf in Manchester, and this Sunday will also see the second semifinal in the Women's Natural Progression Series, after Jinny beat Nixon Newell to advance in the first of three penultimate stage battles at Galvanize.

The show also saw wins for Zack Gibson, James Drake, Flash Morgan Webster, and number one contender to Dunne's title, Mark Andrews, who will get a shot at the belt this Sunday in Camden. That show, called I Like To Chill Out Here & Shoot Some Dinosaurs in honor of Mark Haskins' young son's favorite pastime, also features Matt Riddle defending his Atlas Division Championship against WALTER.

All of PROGRESS' shows are available on Demand PROGRESS, although there may be a delay getting this week's and next week's up, due to their activities in Orlando over WrestleMania weekend, where they'll be a part of two shows, as well as some matches at WWE Axxess.

2) Fight Club: PRO said goodbye to Nixon Newell

On any other night, bidding farewell to Nixon Newell at the eponymously-titled First Female Of Fight Club: PRO would be the focus of the show, and it's certainly true that the send-off she received was emotional and heartfelt, with a loss to eternal nemesis Chris Brookes (ending in thumbtacks), and a win over mentor Candice LeRae, the perfect way to mark her passing onto the next phase of her career.

However, Travis Banks winning the Fight Club: PRO title from Pete Dunne -- the culmination of a long-running storyline, which saw the Kiwi (and head trainer at FCP's academy) survive a long losing streak to win the Infinity tournament late last year, becoming dearer to the fans' hearts with every show -- was rightly placed as the main event of First Female..., the second of a two-show set at the Fixxion Warehouse in Wolverhampton last Friday and Saturday.

Travis Banks: "The best night of my life" 

Banks' win, coming after he'd actually lost a title match to Dunne (who cheated, naturally) before invoking his Infinity shot, was wildly celebrated by fans and the babyface roster alike (including the returning former champion MK McKinnan, who'd been instrumental in the victory), with even Dunne begrudging respect as he handed the belt over.

The previous night, at All The Best 2017, Banks had led a trio of himself, Wolfgang & Will Ospreay into battle against Dunne & Moustache Mountain, united for the evening as British Strong Style, with Dunne picking up the pin on Banks as a warm-up for both the title match and BSS' headline battle with Kenny Omega & The Young Bucks next month.

That event kicks off the Dream Tag Team Invitational triple-shot, and two qualifiers were held at FCP's weekend shows, with the Hunter Brothers and #CCK going forward to join a star-studded lineup over Easter.

There were also wins for David Starr and Martina the Session Moth (both making their debuts), Chief Deputy (Damian) Dunne, Jimmy Havoc, Candice LeRae, and the team of Will Ospreay & Mark Haskins.

The shows should be available on Vimeo soon, and FCP return with the Dream Tag Team Invitational in Wolverhampton on Good Friday.

3) The Pro Wrestling World Cup kicked off in Nottingham

What Culture Pro Wrestling started the ball rolling on the twelve-show Pro-Wrestling World Cup this week with the English qualifying round, at the Harvey Hadden Sports Village in Nottingham on Tuesday evening. Eight men from the home nation were entered, with two going forward to the four-day finals in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in August.

Will Ospreay beat Martin Kirby in the opening match of the show, before downing Rampage Brown (who'd pinned Nick Aldis in the first round) to make that final stage, where he'll be joined by Zack Sabre Jr. (who overcame Jimmy Havoc and Marty Scurll to advance). They'll be joined by two men from the Scottish round, held tonight in Motherwell, and by qualifiers from Mexico, Japan, the US, Canada, Germany, and a Rest of the World group.

As well as PWWC action, the WCPW Heavyweight title was defended, as Drew Galloway beat Ricochet in a fantastic match, and there were also wins for new Ring of Honor Heavyweight Champion Christopher Daniels, the ad hoc team of Matt Riddle & Liam Slater, and for WCPW's top heel stable The Prestige, who beat The Bullet Club of Adam Cole & The Young Bucks (who wrangled in Gabriel Kidd for the night, having lost Cody Rhodes to another engagement).

The Bullet Club were the focus of WCPW's show at Bowlers Exhibition Centre in Manchester on Monday, entitled Bulletproof in their honor. The show's main event had been advertised as a ROH Heavyweight title match between Adam Cole and Zack Sabre Jr., but with Cole losing that title to Christopher Daniels at ROH's 15th Anniversary PPV a couple of weeks back it was changed to a non-title match.

Cue Daniels, who inserted himself in the match, making it a three-way for the title, and coming out on top over both his foes.

For their part, The Young Bucks competed in a WCPW Tag Team Championship match, which they cringe-worthily referred to as a "Texas Tornado Four-Way Spotfest," against champions The Swords of Essex, Prospect, and that Matt Riddle & Liam Slater duo.

The Swords won to retain their titles, as did WCPW Heavyweight Champion Drew Galloway (against Joe Coffey) and WCPW Women's Champion Bea Priestley (over Tessa Blanchard). There were also wins for Grado, Rampage Brown, Martin Kirby, and Joe Hendry, who beat Gabriel Kidd to become number one contender to the WCPW title.

Bulletproof was transmitted live on WCPW Extra, while the two Pro Wrestling World Cup shows should show up on YouTube soon, where they are supposed to be free-to-air.

4) Joe Coffey named his date at ICW's Friday Night Fight Club

After winning the Square Go! battle royal last month, and earning a shot at Trent Seven's Insane Championship Wrestling Heavyweight title, enquiring minds have been eager to find out when Joe Coffey would cash in that opportunity.

On Sunday, at the Friday Night Fight Club taping at the Garage in Glasgow, Coffey came to the ring to confront Seven (having earlier beaten BT Gunn), and announced he would face the champion at Barramania III on April 16th, and the two shook hands.

Seven had just beaten Coffey's brother Mark in a title match which topped the show, the third championship match on the card. The other two -- ICW Zero-G Champion Kenny Williams against Andy Wild, and ICW Tag Team title holders The Marauders vs. Liam Thomson & Christopher Saynt -- also went the way of the defending champions.

Martina the Session Moth makes her unique entrance -- photo by David J Wilson

The situation between Joe Hendry and Lionheart was clarified when Hendry appeared and apologized for his behavior on the Friday Night Fight Club tour in Manchester, where the two had to be pulled apart. Lionheart accepted the apology but challenged Hendry to a match at Barramania, and the world sighed a little bit.

The show also featured wins for Iestyn Rees, Martina the Session Moth (fresh off being banned from ICW TV in Canada), Dave Mastiff, WWE UK Champion Tyler Bate, the team of Wolfgang & Kid Fite, and the trio of Chris Renfrew, DCT & Viper, which set up matches between Renfrew and Stevie Xavier, and DCT & Viper against Davey Blaze & Kay Lee Ray for Barramania.

Friday Night Fight Club airs on ICW On Demand each Friday and is free-to-air for the first 24 hours.

5) Sammy Smooth stacked the deck to win the IPW:UK All-England title (and other stuff)

Lucha Britannia opened the doors of the Resistance Gallery last Friday for their monthly showcase of lucha libre and cabaret. The show was headlined by a defense of the Lucha Britannia title by La Diablesa Rosa, who beat a Jerry Bakewell who'd freshly-turned on his brother Steakley to earn the shot.

The monkey god Hanuman may be the next after Rosa's title, having won the Lucha Chaos opener, and there were also wins for Fug and the team of Muneca de Trapo & Cassius.

La Diablesa Rosa celebrates another title win -- photo by Jamie MacFarlane

On Sunday, the London Lucha League, organized by the London School of Lucha Libre, crowned its first champion, when Bacon Jr. took the honors. He'll defend the belt on April 23rd.

On Saturday, up in Scotland, Pro Wrestling Elite staged the fourth edition of their Elite Rumble at the Citadel Centre in Ayr. It was won by Joe Coffey, who is making a habit of this sort of thing, and he'll line up to face new PWE Heavyweight Champion Joe Hendry, who cashed in his own opportunity to beat Iestyn Rees for the title, with the help of PWE owner Lionheart.

The PWE Tag Team Champions, the New Age Kliq, successfully defended their titles against the World of Sport team of Rampage Brown & Ashton Smith, and there were also wins for Sha Samuels and Wolfgang. Pro Wrestling Elite return on May 6th.

New PWE Champion, Joe Hendry -- photo by David J Wilson 

Finally for a very busy week, IPW:UK went live on FloSlam on Sunday with Supershow 7 from the Casino Rooms in Rochester. The show was main-evented by an All-England Championship tables match between Scott Star and former friend Sammy Smooth, and it was Smooth -- with the help of his Havoc's Army stablemates Livvi Grace and Adam Maxted -- who triumphed, sending Star crashing through two tables at ringside.

#CCK, the team of Chris Brookes & the dirty wolf Kid Lykos, became number one contenders to the IPW:UK Tag Team titles with a win over Jody Fleisch & Jonny Storm, and they'll face champions DnD down the line after they beat the debuting Kings of the North.

Tom Dawkins picked up a big win over Timothy Thatcher, and there were also victories for Big Grizzly, Drew Galloway, Cuban Heat, and Grado.

The show is available on catch-up on FloSlam, and IPW:UK are back on April 2nd, in Derby for the first time.