2017 SSST Semifinal: Tyler Bate (PROGRESS Tag Team Champion) vs. Matt Riddle (PROGRESS Atlas Champion) (Super Strong Style Tournament Night 3- May 29, 2017)

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Riddle and Bate both had quick wins in the first round. Riddle had the best match of the tournament against Jeff Cobb. Bate had a decent going until a wonky finish involving interference happened. Bate takes his boots and socks off as a way of countering Riddle. Methinks this a bit too cute for a match of this magnitude.

This is a very mat based match as the crowd has various chants about Bate’s feet among other things. They hit each other quite stiffly with duel forearms. Riddle gets away from the grappling and goes to some of his patented offense. Bate gets out of the Bro 2 Sleep and hits a huge forearm. Stiff kick. Bate works over the arm. Riddle absorbs some of Bate’s best kicks and just stares him down. Bate fakes a kick and stomps his foot instead. That was nifty. Bate dives but nearly gets put in the Bromission. Bate hits a Gotch tombstone piledriver for two. Riddle no sells German suplexes. Bro 2 Sleep into a German suplex gets two for Riddle. Back and forth with chops. More finishing type offense from Riddle but Bate won’t die. Some incredible counters. Riddle hits the big knee strike that away the other half of the tag champions, Trent Seven. However, Bate still kicks out.  Pair of tiger drivers leads to a clean Bate win.

I thought Bate going barefoot was a bit gimmicky but it played itself out quite well as this developed into a really good semifinal, not as consistent as the first one, but there was a lot of heat. Both matches felt fully developed and didn’t suffer from two of the guys wrestling later in the evening. Most importantly, I’m glad Bate won clean and really earned his way into the final. Excellent work from both guys.

Winner (s)/Rating: Tyler Bate/****


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