Welcome, welcome, welcome once again! We’re back with the PROGRESS Prerogative, the weekly column that reviews each of PROGRESS Wrestling’s Chapters in turn. This time we cast our steely gaze upon Chapter 28 – the one with the mystery opponent for Marty Scurll. There are a few balls up in the air for the company heading towards September’s big show in Brixton Academy. The most pressing of which is that Mark Haskins just cannot catch a break when coming up against The Villain. Let’s have a look and see where Chapter 28 leaves us, shall we?
The show is in memory of Kris Travis who passed away a few days prior to the show. He gets a booming standing ovation at the start of the presentation.
PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 28: Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want. March 27th, 2016. The O2 Ritz, Manchester.
Moustache Mountain vs Pete & Damian Dunne
Trent Seven makes his PROGRESS debut as he teams with Tyler Bate to face the Dunne Brothers. This is Pete Dunne’s first appearance since Chapter 15, back when he was ‘Dynamite’. Pete and Damian Dunne, of course, are only kayfabe brothers as the former’s shoot name is Pete De Beaumarchais. The match is very fast-paced and kicks off the show very well indeed. There’s some great comedy spots involving each team trying to get a chokeslam from an elevated position, along with some excellent… strong style. Trent and Pete slap the shit out of each in the final sequence, basically. And it’s Pete Dunne who scores the pin over Trent with his Bitter End finisher. A great opening match with a nice glimpse at what is yet to come from the British Strong Style lads.
Ashton Smith vs Damon Moser – PROGRESSNatural Progression Series Semi Final
Ashton Smith and Damon Moser battle it out to join William Eaver in the final of NPS3 next. This is a damn sight smoother than Smith’s first round match which had a fair few botches happen. He and Moser construct a smooth and fairly complex match in which both men come out looker better than they did going in. I’d say that’s a positive result for all concerned. Moser takes the victory with a running knee (Knee Trembler) for the pinfall. Pastor Bill comes out afterward to stare down his opponent for the NPS final.
Toni Storm vs Jinny
And so begins the great Toni Storm – Jinny rivalry which, more or less, rages on to this day. As an opening gambit in that story, this contest is perfectly serviceable. Jinny in particular really impresses as she shows a great mean streak aided and abetted by her corner-woman Elizabeth (Laura Di Matteo). There’s a great spot late on in the match where Storm hulks up, ripping a bin bag that Jinny has covered her with a la Hulk Hogan. That is the Aussie’s last flurry, however, as she succumbs to a distraction by Elizabeth allowing Jinny to hit her with the Facelift (X Factor from the second rope). Post-match, Jinny bellows at her assistant to cut Storm’s hair but she refuses and pushes the Primark Princess down. Storm gets her heat back by giving Jinny a quick kicking too.
Mark Haskins vs Flash Morgan Webster
Well, this was a pleasant surprise. Mark Haskins and Flash Morgan Webster had a bit of cracker here. I’m not generally a fan of face vs face matches with no issue between the participants. But these two went at 100 mph against one another and left a big impression on your writer. Standout sequences include the pair taking it in turns to hit each other with dives to the outside one after another. Also Haskins schooling Flash on the mat, keeping the high-flyer grounded, and trying to set up for his armbar finisher. There really is a lot to enjoy during this contest. The finish sequence is smooth as anything too. Flash misses a 450 and gets countered into the armbar. But Webster counters that with a crucifix, only for Haskins to counter into a cradle for the pin. What a doozy of a sequence, and a result that keeps Haskins’ recent run of victories going. Loved it.
Big Daddy Walter vs T Bone – Atlas Division Group Stage
Walter and Tyson T Bone are the first two competitors in the newly created Atlas division. This is for wrestlers over 205 lbs, to counter-program WWE’s 205 and under Cruiserweights, and the hunt for its inaugural champion starts now. Matches have a 15-minute time limit, you get 2 points for a win, 1 for a draw, and the two men with the most points at the end of the ‘season’ will face off at Brixton to crown the champ. The match itself is pretty good. For an exhibition of big lads wrestling there’s a touch too much top rope stuff for my liking. Walter even hits a dropkick at one point! Under the eyes of today the conclusion is absolutely bizarre are it’s T Bone who takes the pin following a Frog Splash. This is after T Bone has also won a battle of the chops. Mental.
Marty Scurll’s PROGRESS Non Title Open Challenge
Now it’s time to find out who Marty Scurll’s mystery (non-title) challenger is going to be… It’s Tommy End!!! The former Sumerian Death Squad man marches out accompanied by new theme music as the Ultras go wild. The match that follows is as stiff as it is brief with both men going for the big moves pretty much from the get-go. I’m not exaggerating, this contest clocks in at around five minutes and it has a sudden, explosive finish. As Marty hits his Chicken Wing pose behind Tommy, the Dutchman spins around with the Black Mass kick knocking Scurll out. 1, 2, 3, the PROGRESS champion has been pinned in stunningly quick fashion. End poses with the belt before leaving. That was short, but very sweet as The Villain’s title reign twists and turns in unexpected ways.
FSU vs The Origin (c) – No DQ PROGRESS Tag Title Match
A deserving main event for FSU and The Origin as the former seek to regain the tag titles they lost at Super Strong Style 16. Four absolute workhorse wrestlers who have been with PROGRESS from the very beginning – lovely. FSU come out in camo shorts, brandishing steel chairs. The Origin make their entrance in regular gear looking smug as ever, no weapons needed. Immediately following the introductions they spill out to the outside for a bit of the old walk and brawl. Mandrews and El Ligero wander off to the bar area where they take it in turns throwing one another into walls and pillars. Nothing fancy from the two high flyers here. Nathan Cruz and Eddie Dennis stick around the ringside area, crashing into the fans and seats as they go. One particularly amusing spot sees Dennis grab a trainer (presumably from a fan) and start to wallop Cruz with it. I suppose that’s him stamping his authority on the match…
Anywayyyy, once the action makes it into the squared circle we start to see some serious hardware emerge. The Origin set up a ladder in one corner and wedge a steel chair between the ropes of the opposite corner. Eddie Dennis is then summarily whipped from corner to corner into both objects. Ouch. Strangely, all four immediately brawl back to the ringside area having only just gotten into the ring for the first time. All becomes clear though as Dennis fights with both of the tag champs. Mark Andrews retreats up the entrance stairs before running back in and hitting a huge senton on all three guys. He mainly flattens his partner, but you know what he was going for! That’s the cue to return to the ring once more for a nice dueling steel chairs spot. The Origin come out on top of that then bring a bag of drawing pins into the ring.
Ligero chucks the drawing pins all over the canvas and tries to dump Andrews onto them. Sadly for the Mexican Sensation, he is hoist by his own petard as Mandrews launches him onto the pins with a hurricanrana. Ligs writhes around in agony as his back and arms begin to show tiny trickles of blood rolling down them. Nathan Cruz clears the ring of wrestlers and the pins – by booting them into the crowd! He and Dennis have a hockey fight in the middle of the ring that referee Chris Roberts attempts to break up. They run him into the steel chair that is still set up between the ropes for his trouble. That gets a big cheer. Now the ref has been taken out, you know what that means? Yes, FSU have a clear pin – from a shooting star press – but there’s no one to count the pinfall. Oh bother. Joel Allen runs down but it only gets a two count. Ligero launches ref number two into the ring post in frustration.
In response to that FSU drag the last piece of hardware from under the ring: the dreaded PROGRESS unbreakable table. That proves not to be the case for once as it’s The Origin who out Dennis through said table. That leaves Mandrews alone with the tag champions now. They hit him with a Conchairto which Chris Roberts recovers in time to count… two! It’s a brief reprieve however as Cruz buries him with a Tombstone piledriver onto a steel chair for the pin. That was an excellent match and a great finish to a great show. It had a bit of everything and made both teams look good, particularly The Origin.
That’s all for another week ladies and gentlemen. Once again, if you would like to follow me on Twitter you can find me @JesusofGazareth The PROGRESS Prerogative will return next week for Chapter 29. Have a great week!