All Hail The New Puritans | The PROGRESS Prerogative – Chapter 31

The PROGRESS Prerogative is back yet again on our epic journey through each and every PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter. This week sees us examining Chapter 31, the first show following Tommy End’s big win of the Super Strong Style 16 tournament. Whilst End isn’t on this show we do have the conclusion of an issue set up at that show as Marty Scurll defends the PROGRESS title against Chris Hero. If the prospect of that match doesn’t whet your appetite then nothing will. Let’s get cracking with the show. This is all hail the new puritans.

PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 31
All Hail The New Puritans
June 19th, 2016
The O2 Ritz Academy, Manchester, UK.

Atlas Division Group Stage
Big Damo & Joe Coffey vs Rampage Brown & Michael Dante

Photo / PROGRESS Wrestling

A tag team match in the Atlas Division group stage? Apparently so as Big Damo and Joe Coffey team up to face Rampage Brown and Michael Dante. In this case, the winning team will receive 2 points apiece, or if the match goes to a 15-minute time limit draw all four men will a point apiece. Mikey Whiplash actually takes Michael Dante’s place in the match at the opening as Dante has been ‘forced to withdraw’. Oh yeaaah? Seems a bit sus’ to me.

Whiplash goes on to do very little of note during the course of the contest, until the finish that is. As Rampage attempts to make a hot tag to his fishnetted friend/foe, Whiplash turns his back and retreats up the entrance ramp. This leaves Brown open to Coffey and Damo hammering him with stiff strikes until the Irishman gets the pin from a discus clothesline. Whiplash smirks from the entrance as the winners look anything but elated and Rampage seems most perturbed. This match was fairly rudimentary in all fairness and was there primarily to service the end of match angle. Not a bad start to Chapter 31, but not great either.

Damon Moser vs Zack Gibson

Photo / Portrait of a Wrestler

Damon Moser, Origin member for a hot minute, takes on Zack Gibson in a bit of a grudge match next. The stipulation added prior to the opening bell has Moser demand a match with Nathan Cruz should he be able to vanquish Liverpool’s Number One. And indeed he does so after a fairly quick contest. There isn’t a lot of back and forth surprisingly as Gibson dominates with the majority of the offense. Again, it seems like the match was really put on the card for the post-match angle. Moser scores the fluke win as he catches Gibson with a surprise roll-up, then Cruz enters the ring for the beatdown.

The Origin’s main man clatters Moser with a (plastic?) chair several times and chokes him with the end of said chair until several crew members pull him away. That’s two matches in a row that were in place purely in service to an angle. That’s not a dreadful idea in theory, but it does become one when those two matches were as uneventful as these two were. Not a great start.

All Hail The New Puritans

Pollyanna vs Dahlia Black

Photo / PROGRESS Wrestling

Pollyanna and Dahlia Black hoper to elevate the action somewhat, and they should be aided by their match stipulation. If there is interference on behalf of either wrestler then that competitor will be fired from PROGRESS. Things start with a bang as Dahlia attempts a spin kick that Pollyanna ducks and counters with a dropkick. They really do go after one another with all guns blazing, and it’s to both wrestlers’ credit that this match erased the bad feeling that the first two encounters created.

Jinny attempts to interfere in the match at the midway point and she is every inch the conniving heel as she makes to get someone fired. Jim Smallman stops that from happening by noting that the Primark Princess will also be fired if she sticks her oar in where it doesn’t belong. And that’s the end of Jinny; a very quick cameo indeed. But it does add to the match a fair bit. The two women carry on wrestling at a tremendous tempo until the finish. Black takes some wicked looking bumps, especially a standing fireman’s carry on the top rope and then dropped onto¬†the top rope.

They made an incredibly risky move look easy with that exchange. Pollyanna deservedly picks up the win after a Blackout Driver that creases Black in half to cap off an excellent match. It’s a real shame that we don’t see either of these wrestlers in PROGRESS anymore; they’re both incredibly talented.

All Hail The New Puritans

PROGRESS Tag Team Title Match
London Riots (c) vs Dazzler Team

The PROGRESS Prerogative - Chapter 31: All Hail The New Puritans
Photo / PROGRESS Wrestling

The London Riots make the first defense of the tag titles opposite Earl Black Jr and Darrel Allen. Rather pleasantly, the two teams start out with some excellent chain wrestling and transitions. Not your typical London Riots fare, and all the better for it in my opinion – there’s only so many brawls you can do in a row after all. Dazzler Team too put on a really good show as the teacher/student combo style out some great mat-based wrestling of their own.

There’s a particularly hair raising moment that sees Davis caught in the Allen Key Lock and Lynch trapped in a sharpshooter that feels like a match ending sequence. Swinging my thinking that way shows great skill as logically there’s no chance the Riots would fluff their first defense. And so that proves to be the case as the Riots claim the victory following a pop-up spear to Allen for the win. That was an excellent showcase for both teams and once again the show is rising to a high standard.

All Hail The New Puritans

FSU vs Pete & Damian Dunne

The PROGRESS Prerogative - Chapter 31: All Hail The New Puritans
Photo / PROGRESS Wrestling

FSU and the Dunne Brothers square off as we kick off the second half of the show. This is everything that you would expect from these four consummate professionals. Damian Dunne kicks things off bang as the bell rings and takes Mandrews out. That inspires the return of one Eddie Mysterio as Dennis dons the lucha mask and wipes out both Dunne boys. The main takeaway from the match is just how smooth Pete and Mandrews are when working with one another. I believe this is their first interaction opposite one another in PROGRESS but they’ve clearly been putting the work in at ATTACK! and elsewhere.

The best sequences all have those two involved, and this isn’t a slight on Eddie and Damian; it’s just that Andrews and Pete are on a different level. There isn’t any one run where either team dominates, it’s back and forth constantly which makes it the wrestling equivalent of a page-turner. I had thought that perhaps the Dunnes would get the win here to set up a match with London Riots at some point; I was wrong. FSU gets what must surely count as a big win after hitting Damian with a Next Stop Driver. Cue Party Hard and a jolly old sing along!

All Hail The New Puritans

Pastor William Eaver vs Mikey Whiplash

The PROGRESS Prerogative - Chapter 31: All Hail The New Puritans
Photo / PROGRESS Wrestling

Mikey Whiplash has his second match of the evening in his scheduled clash with NPS winner Pastor William Eaver. And it’s considerably better than the first as they have a wild brawl around the Ritz. Whiplash takes a nasty knock to the side of his face as he gets barrelled into a bunch of chairs by the good Pastor. Mr Whippy soon gets his revenge as he hits a diving elbow from the bar. That really seems to tickle to the staff serving up beverages. The action continues apace inside the squared circle, and they really do knock lumps out of one another.

One particularly nasty spot has Eaver drop his opponent right on the back of his neck with a Crucifix Bomb. That only earns him a two count though, and Mikey is soon back on the offensive. Still building his feud with Tommy End, the victor in this match was inevitable in some ways but slightly odd in others. Perhaps the NPS winner shouldn’t have been sacrificed in order to build Whiplash up to (presumably) lose to Tommy End? A Death Valley Driver seals victory for Mikey as he marches towards a showdown with his Legion buddy.

All Hail The New Puritans

PROGRESS Title Match
Chris Hero vs Marty Scurll (c)

Our main event features the inestimable talents of PROGRESS Champion Marty Scurll and the delightful Chris Hero. As noted on commentary by Glen Joseph, Hero is a longtime fan of British wrestling and it really shows in the pace of the match. It’s an excellent slow burn that doesn’t fall back on spots or brawling until the crowd is at a fever pitch in the closing ten or so minutes. Scurll plays the long game as he immediately targets Hero’s arm and shoulder.

A lot of mat-based wrestling and chain sequences take their time and lace together a bunch of different threads. This is high-level storytelling from two of the best in the business. When Hero takes charge he gives as good as he has received and keeps Scurll grounded as he works him over. Of course, the match does gradually break down and the forearms start flying from the Knockout Artist. The champ fires back with stiff punches and kicks, trying to chop the larger man down. Everything builds to an incredibly satisfying crescendo in the home straight.

An Exchange of Blows

Soaked with sweat, they trade big moves back and forth – both nail each other with piledrivers for incredibly near falls. The chicken wing is foiled numerous times. A cyclone kick from Hero only yields a two. There’s a dueling chant from the Ultras for both men, a rarity for a crowd that doesn’t generally cheer the heels. Ultimately, the most ruthless man emerges victorious as Scurll devastates the challenger at the close of the action. A finger snap to each hand, delayed Gotch piledriver, and finally, a chicken wing with added boots to the stomach cause a referee stoppage. Beautiful. That is how you cap a showoff. What a tremendous main event, and a credit to both wrestlers and PROGRESS.


I was unsure of this event after the pair of matches that opened the show. As things progressed the action became more refined, right up until that superlative main event. Quite the turnaround, and a real testament to the men and women working in the ring and behind the scenes. That’s about all for this week I’m afraid. We’ll return next week for Chapter 32 and hopefully, you will return too. Have a wonderful week!

The PROGRESS Prerogative - Chapter 31: All Hail The New Puritans