KOPW: Gizzled Young Veterans vs. Bitman and King Michael (March 17, 2018)

If you have access to China’s QQ video service, you can watch the whole show here.
If you subscribe to Demand PROGRESS, you can watch the match here.

Our Story So Far…
– James Drake and Zack Gibson are the Grizzled Young Veterans and current PROGRESS Tag Team Champions. PROGRESS is a storyline-heavy promotion out of the U.K. Drake and Gibson are also under WWE deals, though they still get to work elsewhere. Gibson wrestled in China previously during the first couple runs of CNWWE.
– Bitman has wrestled for the Hong Kong Wrestling Federation for a while. He’s also worked for Singapore Pro Wrestling and We Love Wrestling, among others.
– King Michael was on some early MKW and CWF shows, and he also has worked for the HKWF and SPW. He plays American football in Hong Kong, or he used to.
Now on to the match!

The Grizzled Young Veterans are defending the PROGRESS Tag Team Championships.

Bitman starts with Drake and gets the better of him. Then he gets the better of Gibson, so they try to double team him, but King Michael saves his partner. The Vets seem nervous about Michael and bail to the floor. When they get back in, their double teaming proves more effecting, and they take down Michael, too, with a dropkick off the apron from Drake and a dive from Gibson. They hit something on Bitman on the floor that the camera totally misses. They bring Bitman back in and take turns working him over. He eventually fires up and manages to escape Gibson with an enzuigiri and tag Michael, entering him legally into the match for the first time. He runs through the Vets with clotheslines, avalanches, and butt attacks. He hits a couple slams and lets Bitman jump off his shoulders with a (weak) splash. The Vets are able to get the upper hand with several strikes and team up to slam Michael. Bet he’s not used to that.

Michael runs the Vets into each other and tags Bitman back in. He fires off some offense including a nice German suplex to Drake. He and Michael set up something on Drake, but Drake backdrops Bitman and pulls the referee into the corner. Mochael stands on the bottom rope like a dummy for several second until Gibson hits him with a title belt. He can’t hit Bitman, who still has some fight left, but he ultimately gets a doomsday device and an assisted codebreaker, ending his night and keeping the titles on the Englishmen.

Afterwards, the Vets celebrate right in front of Michael until he runs them off. Then they celebrate up the ramp.

I thought this match was pretty good, but it certainly didn’t blow me away. Bitman worked well with Gibson and Drake, and they were probably wise to keep Michael out of most of the match to hide his limitations. He looked competent when he was in there, though, and I think they could’ve let him in for a couple more moves earlier instead of keeping him out until the hot tag.

The weirdest part of the match was the size differential. Gibson and Drake look like giants compared to pretty much everyone else on the show (besides Sam Gradwell). They even tower over King Michael, even though he’s considerably wider. So it was strange to see them running scared from him in the early parts of the match. Also, the part where Michael had to wait like a deer in headlights for Gibson to hit him with the belt made me cringe.

So, yeah. Very few bad points, everyone looked good, but there wasn’t anything I would insist on anyone going out of their way to see.