Have to agree that I think Bates was planned to win and they were thrown into a corner with the semi’s they booked. There wasn’t really anyone else you could go with. I also find it interesting that Walter vacated his title, it really looks like they’ll give him the World title after doing that.
I watched all three shows recently. Some of the booking on the first two nights was questionable, but overall a very fun stretch of shows. I figured Sabre could have been a favorite that the BWE crew didn’t consider, but given his New Japan ties, I wasn’t sure. I agree that I think it could have been Bate if not for his injury.
I thought Chuck Mambo really stepped up for his first round match with Sabre, and Jordan Devlin got to show more flash and personality than I’ve seen from him before, winning over the crowd (I don’t watch OTT so I wasn’t sure what he’s been up to there).
A lot of stuff set up for Wembley (or before) on this third day. Not mentioned in this report is that a guy from wXw named Christian Mikael Jakobi showed up, addressed Pete Dunne (who didn’t appear on the third day because of a family emergency), and issued the challenge for Dunne to face Ilja Dragunov, which received a huge reaction from the crowd.
The Havoc-Ospreay match came about because Havoc was down on his luck following the loss to Janela and finally explained to Jim Smallman that his partnership with Haskins was formed out of frustration; they and Ospreay built the company, but now the focus is on wrestlers outside of England. Ospreay made his surprise appearance, wielding an axe, but explained he didn’t want to finish off Havoc like this, nor did he want Havoc walking away, hence the challenge for one more match together at Wembley.
Keith Lee bowed to the crowd following his loss to Sabre, signifying this as his farewell.
I loved the Havoc/Ospreay angle as like you said it explained so much about Havoc & Haskins and it made sense.
I did feel bad for Ohno on day 3 for trying to sing his old theme song during the Wasteman challenge, the guy had no chance after Devlin tore Johnson apart on the mic.
I think the 3 days set up a lot for the future, which I’m looking forward to. The main downside I see is the fact they ended up going with Sabre, the guy is so damn good but I don’t see him being a regular Progress member at all. That could actually help though as last year we saw that Banks had cooled down a lot before winning the title because they had so many shows they had to do before he cashed in.