Kevin’s PROGRESS Chapter 44: Old Man Yells at Cloud Review
PROGRESS Chapter 44: Old Man Yells at Cloud
February 26th, 2017 | Electric Ballroom in Camden, Greater London, England | Attendance: 700
Jim Cornette wasn’t a fan of the Matt Riddle/Will Ospreay match from PROGRESS last year. That’s fine but while talking about it, he also made remarks about thinking Jim Smallman should be hanged and that he dresses like a bum. That led to a bit of a Twitter war and set up the title for this show, “Old Man Yells at Cloud”, which is a play off a Simpsons episode, with Cornette being the old man. That’s the last I’ll mention on Cornette since he doesn’t deserve too much space on a PROGRESS review.
Jim Smallman’s nameplate came up and said “Co-Owner/Ring Announcer/Young Man Not Yelling at Cloud.”
James Drake def. Damon Moser in 1:45
I believe this was my first look at Moser, but I saw Drake in the WWE UK Tournament. Drake jumped Moser during his entrance and they fought through the crowd before the bell rang. Once inside, Moser nearly won in about five seconds with the knee trembler, but Drake got his foot on the rope. They traded blows before Drake hit a sitout DDT and won in short order. Too short to get a rating but what we got was fine, including the brawling outside. The fans were quite stunned with this turn of events. NR
Natural Progress Series IV First Round: Dahlia Black w/ TK Cooper def. Session Moth Martina in 9:27
I’ve only ever seen Dahlia as a manager before this. The crowd had glow sticks, adding a cool visual to Martina’s entrance. Martina seemed to be more of a comedy/fun loving character. She had a lot of energy, jumped around and had fun with the fans. She ran the ropes to start and got tired, so she pulled out a cigarette. She busted out a German and a fifteen second stalling vertical suplex. She also hit a suicide dive on TK Cooper before grinding on him and hitting a second on both of them. Martina’s penchant for wanting to mess with Cooper cost her at times. Dahlia took over for a while until Martina hit a bronco buster and spit beer in Black’s face. She accidentally spit in the ref’s face too, so he missed her potential victory. TK laid her out with a right hand and Black own. This was different from most women’s stuff I’ve seen in PROGRESS. It was ridiculous at spots, but highly entertaining and Martina was way over. **¼
Travis Banks def. Jordan Devlin in 10:12
Devlin was in the WWE UK Tournament. He was trained by Finn Balor and looks like a mini-Finn. Banks, despite usually getting heat with TK Cooper, got a positive reaction and eve told Cooper to head to the back so this could be one on one. The fans chanted “your head’s too big for you” at Devlin. Devlin’s kicks took a toll on Banks and he was arrogant as ever. As Banks rallied, the fans chanted “you’re gonna get your massive head kicked in” at Devlin. Commentary literally stopped and just laughed. The intensity picked up down the stretch, with a big lariat and fisherman sitout driver from Banks for two. Devlin busted out a Balor like dive but jawed with the fans and was taken out with a dive. Though he began bleeding from the ear, Banks hit a springboard kick to win. This was better than I expected. Devlin is good as a dick heel, while Banks showed babyface fire I’ve never seen from him before. I enjoyed the hard hitting style and it was an uptick in quality tonight. ***¼
Sebastian came out next to address the Pastor William Eaver situation. Sebastian is easily the most hated guy in PROGRESS. He spoke about being assaulted by Eaver and brought out a homemade kendo stick. He wanted Eaver to take his punishment or he’d contact his lawyers and have him thrown in jail. Eaver answered the call and got down for the kendo stick attack. Chuck Mambo interrupted and said he went to the law section of the library. According to his findings, since it has been over 150 days since Eaver attacked Sebastian, he has no legal grounds to press charges. What Sebastian was doing constituted as blackmail, so if anyone went to jail today, it would be him. Eaver gave Smallman the idea to set up the next match.
No Disqualifications: “Pastor” William Eaver def. Sebastian in 11:33
The “you deserve it” chant towards Sebastian was the best use of that chant in some time. Sebastian jumped Eaver before the bell but it was quickly turned around and Eaver took him out with a dive. Eaver got busted open as Sebastian launched chairs at him in the corner. The camera caught a particularly ugly spot where the side of a chair connected with his face. He responded by launching Sebastian into the crowd with a running crucifix bomb. The war continued with more chair throwing, biting and a uranage on an open chair. Sebastian taped Eaver to the ropes like he was crucified, which is perfect given the character. Eaver got one free but wasn’t quick enough as Sebastian DESTROYED him with kendo stick shots. Eaver’s back was ripped apart from that. He fired up and got his revenge by beating Sebastian with a lariat. An awesome, bloody brawl. I loved that they gave us just the right amount of Jesus related stuff. Both guys played their roles perfectly and it was the kind of match a feud like this needed to end on. ****
Sebastian got told to “fuck off” and was carried out by the ring crew.
Mark Andrews def. Shane Strickland in 14:46
For those unaware, Strickland wrestles at Killshot in Lucha Underground. Though both men are super athletic, they worked the mat early. As the pace quickened, Strickland showed off his agility and took down Andrews with an impressive display. He used his size and strength to do damage to Andrews, who bumped well for it all. Andrews attempted a dive outside but Strickland rolled in through the ropes and nailed an ace crusher. Outside, Andrews moonsaulted off a guardrail into the satellite DDT in an awesome spot. Inside, they traded strikes and kicks until Shane pulled out a deadlift brainbuster for two. We got a few more innovative spots from these two before Strickland hit a 450 splash, getting another near fall. Andrews avoided a kick, hit his own and a reverse rana. A dragon rana off the top got two. He tried another reverse rana off the second rope but Shane landed on his feet! He went for his finish only for Andrews to counter into Stundog Millionaire and winning with the Shooting Star Press. I usually don’t like Andrews, but he’s impressed me so far in 2017. This was another strong outing and I loved what I saw from Strickland. Great back and forth as they battled to one up each other. The crowd was hot, the work was crisp and the final few minutes were nuts. ***¾
After the match, Jim Smallman said they mainly use British talent but Strickland always kills it when he shows up. Jim invited Shane to PROGRESS for WrestleMania weekend.
El Ligero def. Nathan Cruz in 13:40
It’s the first two PROGRESS Champions colliding. They had a lot of fun with the ring introductions. Cruz got on the mic and talked about the origin of the Origin and how the fans turned their backs on them in the past. He tried to get Ligero to walk out but Ligero had none of it and took him out with a dive. Ligero continued to have fun, which just annoyed Cruz. Cruz tried using a chair but the referee stopped him. He attempted a low blow but Ligero knew him too well and caught the kick before hitting his own. Cruz hit the Show Stolen only for Ligero to kick out at one. He took time to taunt the crowd, allowing Ligero the chance to rally. Cruz begged off, giving a thumbs up. Ligero responded with a thumbs down but got trapped in a figure four. He nearly passes out and gets pinned but kicks out. Cruz pulled him to the middle of the ring, only to get pulled into a small package that ended it. Some good storytelling here involving the two partners. After a rather comedic start, Cruz took over and it got darker before the hero pulled out the win from out of nowhere. ***¼
Post-match, Cruz attacked and removed Ligero’s mask.
Zack Gibson def. Jack Sexsmith via countout in 12:02
Gibson cut a lengthy heel promo before things got started. He called Jack a loser and a joke before slapping him. Gibson ripped off Jack’s boot in an ankle lock attempt. The crowd was way into Sexsmith. They did a cool spot where Sexsmith wasn’t strong enough to pull Gibson crotch first into the ring post, so he got help from several ringside fans. Gibson took over again and worked the arm. Sexsmith made a comeback and brought out Mr. Cocko! He ate a Codebreaker instead. Jack fired off slaps only to take another Codebreaker. He kicked out into the Crippler Cockface (I’m not making this up) but Gibson reached the ropes. Pissed that he couldn’t pin Sexsmith, Gibson took him outside and hit a brainbuster on the floor. He ordered the referee to count, getting the countout. Better than I expected. Sexsmith showed a ton of fire and proved he’s more than a comedy guy. The fans love Sexsmith and hate Gibson, adding to the atmosphere. The story of Sexsmith not quitting so Gibson brutalizing him into a countout was great. ***½
Flash Morgan Webster, Jimmy Havoc and Mark Haskins def. British Strong Style (PROGRESS Champion Pete Dunne and PROGRESS Tag Team Champions Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) in 15:06
If Webster, Haskins or Havoc win, the guy getting the pin gets a title shot but if British Strong Style wins, the guy who takes the fall can’t get a title shot for six months. Tyler Bate brought the WWE UK Title with him. BSS hit a trio of low blows before the bell. They went for three Pedigrees but they were countered and the match officially began. The faces argued when Webster tried a pin before hitting three straight dives outside. The teams just went at it with non-stop action. Havoc and Seven botched a strange move, Bate did his airplane spin, Haskins and Bate traded strikes and Dunne hit the release suplex, all within the first five minutes. Dunne put Havoc and Webster into a double half crab, while Haskins put Bate and Seven in a Boston crab/camel clutch combo. The two men doing the submissions traded strikes while holding them. Seven nearly killed Havoc with an apron dragon suplex, so Haskins hits an apron DVD on Bate. There was too much going on to mention it all. The teams exchanged blows in the ring, including three finger bites, the faces all stealing bop and bang, a trio of Canadian destroyers and two Pedigrees. It was nuts. Dunne laid out Webster with a big forearm before Havoc came from out of nowhere to hit the Acid Rainmaker and earn a title shot. An absolutely wild main event. It went for fifteen minutes and literally had no down time. It was intense, filled with action and had great individual moments and interactions throughout. ****¼
Jimmy Havoc announced that on March 19th, he’ll get his title match on his birthday and it’ll be a Death Match.