Welcome to this week’s edition of The PROGRESS Prerogative where we feature Every Saint Has a Past, Ever Sinner Has a Future. This is the column where, week by week, we will review each PROGRESS wrestling chapter in chronological order. Chapter 7 is next in the lineup; some strong matches are listed, so away we go.
Chapter 7: Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future Sunday, May 20th, 2013 The Garage, Islington, London
El Ligero vs Noam Dar
This certainly is a bold move; starting with your World title on the line. Perhaps there was a Presidential debate on at the same time? Maybe Ligs had to rush off to his third booking of the day? Either way, both competitors are evenly matched in terms of size and versatility. PROGRESS know their onions when it comes to matching wrestlers against one another. Lots of Scottish jokes from the crowd before the match begins; Dar does not seem particularly amused.
El Ligero takes the early going in the match, keeping the pace high and working his opponent hard. Noam takes the match over reasonably soon and slows the pace right down. Characteristic of Dar’s output, this really is a methodical beatdown of the champ. He targets Ligero’s leg, setting up for the Champagne Super Kneebar. Attempt number one at the move comes around mid-point of this 22-minute opener.
The two fellas have a bit of the old walk and brawl through the crowd, complete with the unusual sight of Dar standing on top of the bar. Back in the ring, Ligero takes control with a great superplex and follows up with a superkick party. Super. The challenger rallies one last time with a second Champagne Super Kneebar. The crowd are biting here, and think that this will be the finish. Ligero reaches the ropes, and nails two C4Ls to retain the staff.
That was a nice opener, though I’m not a massive fan of Dar, that garnered a standing ovation from the Ultras.
Darrell Allen vs Joey Lakeside vs Xander Cooper vs Eddie Dennis (Natural Progression series)
Hot opening to this as all four start brawling near enough straight away. Xander Cooper has a nice line in taking the Michael out of the crowd. Mocking their frequent clap-along particularly made me laugh. The early highlight sees Eddie Dennis attempt to powerbomb Darrell Allen on the floor. This is countered into a PK from the apron by Allen. Joey Lakeside schoolboy’s Xander Cooper for the first elimination! That’s a shame as I was really enjoying Cooper’s heel mannerisms.
Cooper gets revenge on Lakeside nailing him with a hammerlock back cracker, before leaving. Eddie and Darrell flip a coin to see who will pin young Joey, with the coin landing on Eddie’s side. One cradled fisherman buster later, and Joey lakeside is heading for the showers.
The two final men go at it hammer and tongs for the final fall. Allen sinks in a beautiful octopus stretch, which Dennis has to scramble to the ropes to break. Eddie hits a belting snap fisherman suplex for a near fall, before taking the win with another cradled fisherman buster. Lovely little match, but the final two falls were perhaps a tad too quick to happen.
Project Ego (Martin Kirby & Kris Travis) vs London Riots
The London Riots begin on the microphone by saying that PROGRESS doesn’t respect them enough to have tag team titles here at Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future. Holding up the IPW tag belts, they proclaim themselves PROGRESS tag team champions. That’s certainly different and presumably leads to the actual tag belts being created in fairly rapid order.
Lots of fun and games to start from Martin Kirby and Kris Travis. Kirby comedically cries when struck with a forearm until Trav gives him a hug to calm him down. Great to watch back Kris Travis’s work too; I haven’t gone back to any of his stuff since he tragically died in 2016. Some smooth working from Travis here, particularly his hurricanranas – those are bang on the money.
The Riots take a long stretch of the match with their deliberately basic offense, wearing Travis down. Kirby has the move of the match as he executes a superplex over his partner and opponent for a two count. That’s not enough for victory though, and the Riots get the pin following the District Line powerbomb. Post-match, Jim Smallman tells the Riots in no uncertain terms that, after one last match at Chapter 8, they are finished in PROGRESS. Ooooooooooooooh!
Jimmy Havoc vs Zack Sabre Jr
Nigel McGuinness serves as the special referee in the next match; the latest in Jimmy Havoc’s quest to be seen as a straight wrestler instead of hardcore at Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future. Sabre takes much of the early going in the match, switching through various wristlocks and armbars as only he can. Poetry in motion is the only way to describe ZSJ’s offensive style. Despite that, Havoc is able to rally here and there, countering the odd move before inevitably getting caught again.
That’s the story of the match in a nutshell: every time Jimmy manages a modicum of offense Zack cuts him off. It’s quite compelling stuff in truth. Among the highlights are an early sighting of Sabre’s Orienteering With Napalm Death. One of the most gloriously named/incredibly painful-looking moves in wrestling. It’s almost a reverse stump-puller, but pulling the arms instead of the leg.
Havoc gets a nice touch of lucha in, hitting a hurricanrana followed by a moonsault. As the story of the match dictates, his flurry doesn’t last long. ZSJ nails Jimmy with two nasty looking tiger suplexes before taking the win with a double armbar submission. Great story-based match up there, plus Jimmy Havoc’s storyline continues apace. Bravo!
Will Ospreay vs Mark Andrews
If Will Ospreay wins this then he gets Mandrews’ place in the NPS. If Mark Andrews wins then Ospreay must leave PROGRESS. Seems an odd choice for a stipulation given Ospreay has only had one match previously in the company.
These two young men have a great, great match. The match of the show, in fact. Watching the pair go hell for leather, on their way to making their respective names is a real treat. It’s back and forth the whole way through as Andrews and Ospreay take turns to hit big moves. Poison ‘ranas, standing moonsaults, space flying tiger drops – this one contains all the big moves.
The difference-maker, in the end, is that Mandrews seems to have a meaner streak in him than Ospreay. He draws blood from the Essex native’s nose and generally seems to put a bit more bite into his moveset. The match itself is very much 50/50, but Marky leaves a bigger mark on his opponent. The finish comes when Mandrews nails a beautiful Spanish Fly off the top rope. An excellent from both, but I don’t understand the need for the loser leaves stip.
RJ Singh vs Danny Garnell
A decent, if an unspectacular little match between RJ Singh and Danny Garnell next at Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future. Bizarrely, the main note that I made watching was that the crowd seemed preoccupied with Fandangoing. Remember that? This makes it one of those irritating occasions when the crowd seems more interested in getting themselves over than the match itself.
He’s not particularly similar in style, but Garnell really reminds me of Colt Cabana. Maybe it’s the singlet and the stocky build. But that’s by the by. The guys have a well-worked, but a basic, match which ends when Garnell pins Singh following a tornado DDT. The London Riots come out following the decision and give Singh a bit of a kicking. Darrell Allen makes the save, and I think the Riots’ ‘last match’ at Chapter 8 may have just been decided.
Marty Scurll, Paul Robinson & Rampage Brown vs Screw Indy Wrestling: Nathan Cruz, Mark Haskins and?
Whoever scores the win in this tag match will receive a shot at the PROGRESS world title at a later date. A lot of odd choices in this show, it has to be said for this match at Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future.
Screw Indy Wrestling set out on their way to establishing a stranglehold on the upper tier of the PROGRESS card next. Mark Haskins makes his debut for the company, and they are about to unveil a mystery third member for Chapter 7’s main event; who could it be? We don’t have long to wait as Rampage unzips his tracks jacket to reveal his Screw Indy Wrestling tee. They did the big reveal early, and I can’t decide whether that’s a good or bad thing.
SIW take their boots to Robinson and Scurll, and in double-quick time, Dave Mastiff comes down to even the odds. This is all within the first 3 minutes of the match! The gents split off into natural pairings in turn in the early going. Robinson takes on Haskins; Scurll takes on Cruz, and Mastiff faces off with Rampage. Those last two are the very definition of big lads wrestling, folks. The match soon settles a touch as we get SIW in control, wearing down Robbo by grounding him. The future Villain gets the hot tag and runs wild for a minute, but SIW takes control back again and wear him down over a prolonged period.
The match breaks down with all six fellas brawling with one another in the ring and on the outside. Mastiff has a definite pin on Haskins, but it’s broken up by Scurll who wants the title shot for himself. This disagreement amongst teammates leads to Rampage nailing Mastiff with a piledriver for the pin. That was a hugely impressive finish to a pretty decent match. Man of the match has to go to Marty Scurll; his Ric Flair-style tactics and showboating go down a treat.
A decent show overall, but certainly not as good as PROGRESS have been in prior Chapters with Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future. There’s tons of great stuff to come in future shows, however, and I’ll be here to cover them all. See you next time for Chapter 8.
The PROGRESS Prerogative – Chapter One: The Beginning
The PROGRESS Prerogative – Chapter Two: The March of Progress
The PROGRESS Prerogative – Chapter Three: Fifty Shades of Pain
The PROGRESS Prerogative – Chapter Four: The Ballad of El Ligero
The PROGRESS Prerogative – Chapter Five: For Those About to Fight, We Salute You
The PROGRESS Prerogative – Chapter 6: We [ Heart ] Violence