Kevin’s PROGRESS Chapter 46: I Like to Chill Out Here and Shoot Some Dinosaurs Review
PROGRESS Chapter 46: I Like To Chill Out Here And Shoot Some Dinosaurs
March 26th, 2017 | Electric Ballroom in Camden, Greater London
PROGRESS has been one of my favorite wrestling companies over the past year and a half. Let’s see if they can continue a strong 2017 with Chapter 46, featuring all three PROGRESS Titles on the line, a Loser Leaves PROGRESS match and the finals of the Women’s Title Tournament will be set.
Jim Smallman opened by addressing the crowd as always. These would tiring in someone else’s hands but he always does well with them. He talked about PROGRESS being around for five years and how much it has grown.
The Origin (Dave Mastiff and El Ligero) vs. The Origin (Nathan Cruz and Zack Gibson)
El Ligero has faced his former Origin alone with Mastiff missing the past few shows. For the babyface duo, the fans waved their thumbs up like lighters. The heels tried bringing El Ligero to their side. He teased it by giving Mastiff a thumbs down, but turned it up and hit Cruz and Gibson with low blows. They had fun and used the referee as a battering ram before the bell. Once it officially started, Ligero had some fun but took a short beating. Mastiff came in hot and did his thing, including BIG BOY SENTONS and a suicide dive. I got a kick out of Ligero shouting “SHORYUKEN” on an uppercut. The finish saw Cruz and Gibson give double thumbs down to Ligero, who responded with a double bird. They hit him with a double codebreaker at 8:58 to win. A highly entertaining opener, though the best parts were probably before the opening bell. [***]
Natural Progression Series IV Semi-Finals: Dahlia Black w/ TK Cooper vs. Toni Storm
“Queen of Hearts” Dahlia Black might be the best she’s ever looked. I haven’t seen much of Toni Storm but have heard a lot of good things. Toni held an early advantage thanks to her strength, so Black fought back with her long legs and quickness. Dahlia busted out a nice moonsault for a near fall. After exchanging strikes and kicks, Storm caught her with a German suplex. I know Dahlia broke her ankle at some point and it looked like it could’ve happened there. TK saved her shortly after, but got kicked in the nuts. Storm hit a powerbomb and piledriver to win in 6:51. Fine match but nothing special. It was getting good until the capture suplex and Black’s injury caused things to slow down. [**½]
Jack Sexsmith vs. Travis Banks
Sexsmith’s stuff is hit or miss with me, while Banks has shown that though his tag team is awesome, he’s great in singles action too. TK Cooper accompanied Banks to the ring, but was sent back by his partner. Banks took to the mat, not wanting to deal with Jack’s shit. Sexsmith used his unorthodox style to frustrate Banks. Banks took over and Sexsmith had to fight from behind, which is something he does rather well. Though I’m not the biggest fan, the crowd loves him. Banks destroyed him with forearms and suplexes but Sexsmith kept firing up. He survived so much and applied the CRIPPLER COCKFACE! Bank got free and hit a blue thunder bomb but Sexsmith kicked out at one! Finally some more offense and a springboard kick kept Sexsmith down at 13:26. Telling the underdog who won’t quit story is almost always a recipe for success, especially when the fans are invested. It was a bit overdone at parts though. [***¼]
TK Cooper returned and it looked like they would Sexsmith. Banks stepped forward and shook his hand instead. Cooper, who has a history with Sexsmith, did the same and helped him to his feet.
Axel Dieter Jr. vs. Mark Haskins
Haskins brought his son to the ring, who promptly sot a man in a dinosaur costume with a nerf gun. It prompted “HE SHOT A DINOSAUR” chants. This was some good old fashioned wrestling and I dig that. They traded a lot of stuff on the mat, which makes sense given the skillset of both guys. The fans were surprisingly quite split. Nothing against Dieter, but Haskins is loved. There was a great spot where Dieter went for a diving European, but got caught in an armbar, which was transitioned to a crossface. Dieter survived and the match got more aggressive. Haskins slapped on the Sharpshooter and wrenched way back to make Dieter tap at 14:19. Well executed professional wrestling. No nonsense. Just two great wrestlers doing their thing. [***¼]
Fans Bring the Weapons Loser Leaves PROGRESS: Jimmy Havoc vs. Will Ospreay
Will’s entrance was wild. He had four guys with towels over their heads and “executed” them all with gunshots and neck snaps. These two hate each other and have warred over the PROGRESS Title in the past. Within the first minute, we saw weapons like a cowbell, piñata, a potted plant and a donut. There was a cool moment where Havoc brought out the old PROGRESS staff (which he seemed to burn a while back) and use it as a weapon. Havoc hit him with a barbed wire bat, but Will shrugged it off because he was wearing a bulletproof vest under his entrance jacket. They creatively used the weapons, including a grandfather clock before Ospreay did a VERY obvious bladejob on a guitar shot. Paul Robinson returned and attacked Havoc with two curb stomps, busting him open. Fans are used to thumbtacks, but Legos being poured in the ring led to a “you sick fuck” chant. Ospreay got on the mic and seemed like he was going to punish Havoc. Instead, he stuck one pin in his arm and called to finish the match. That was weird. Havoc escaped an Oscutter and hit a double Acid Rainmaker before taking out Paul for good with a Canadian Destroyer. Havoc went into torture mode, doing things similar to the Dunne match at Galvanize. A hurt Will got on the mic and said “THIS PLACE AIN’T BIG ENOUGH FOR THE TWO OF US”. Kind of cheesy but it worked to make it a Loser Leaves PROGRESS match. Ospreay countered the Acid Rainmaker with his freakish athleticism and brought in a barbed wire board. Robinson saved Ospreay from a loss but ate another Acid Rainmaker. Ospreay hit the Essex Destroyer and the 630 but still couldn’t put Jimmy away. Ospreay tried choking him with barbed wire, but it was turned around. He did a lame sell on an Acid Rainmaker and kicked out again. Three more of those finally ended things at 25:17. This was the war it needed to be and a great way to end this longstanding rivalry. It was barbaric though it was far from perfect. I didn’t like how much Robinson was involved, some of Will’s selling and his odd mic work at times. Still, it was the best thing to this point and a great match. [****]
PROGRESS Tag Team Championship: British Strong Style (c) vs. The Hunter Brothers
Tyler Bate and Trent Seven brought out the new Tag Titles, which look like the shields they carry. I’m unsure about a title shot for the Hunter Brothers. Recently, they’ve only been on Chapter 45 and lost there. The champs dedicated the match to “Trips” and got some heat for it. They played up the arrogant role, taunting the challengers while cutting the ring in half. Bate showed his strength by doing an airplane spin and giant swing at the same time to both Hunters. The Hunter Brothers picked up steam late and came close to winning on a Christopher Daniels like Best Moonsault Ever. It did follow Bate’s awesome backflip into a German though, so it was a bit overshadowed. The champs were too much though, retaining after the package piledriver into the Tyler Driver ’97 at 13:46. The Hunters looked better here than at the last show. British Strong Style are top notch and helped this along. There’s a presence about them that other teams don’t have. I’ve seen them do better though. [***]
PROGRESS Atlas Championship: Matt Riddle (c) vs. WALTER
WALTER is a BIG BOY and one half of Ringkampf with Axel Dieter Jr. Riddle’s treated like a god in PROGRESS. Right off the bat, these two threw big blows at one another. WALTER did the wise thing and went after Riddle’s exposed feet. Fred Yehi did it during Mania weekend and I don’t understand why more people don’t try it. If you wrestle barefoot, it’s an easy target. Plus, it took away Riddle’s kicking. He delivered one and had to stop because of the pain. He did manage to pop up on a German and fire back, but WALTER put him back down with a super butterfly suplex. WALTER brought the big shots but Riddle impressed with the Bro to Sleep and a German for two. WALTER applied a sick looking heel hook thanks to Riddle’s lack of boots. It wasn’t enough and they continued going to war. After some great back and forth, Riddle made WALTER tap to the Bromission at 14:40. This was a great hoss fight, even though Riddle isn’t considered that kind of guy. I really like both guys and would love a rematch at some point. [***¾]
A cool video package was run before the main event, showing highlights of past matches between Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews.
PROGRESS Championship: Pete Dunne (c) vs. Mark Andrews
I like Dunne’s current theme but I miss Bring Me The Horizon. I’ve seen these guys wrestle three times, in the Battle of Los Angles last year (***¼), on NXT (***¾) and in the UK Title Tournament (****). Andrews showed his knowledge of Dunne, starting the match by biting his fingers, which is a Dunne trademark. He withstood some of Dunne’s usual aggressive tactics and used his athleticism to swing the momentum. I liked how they tried each other’s strong suits. Andrews brought his hardest hitting strikes, while Dunne nailed a sweet reverse rana. Just as Andrews fired up, he accidentally took out the referee. As expected, this brought out Trent Seven to attack Andrews. A new ref arrived but Andrews kicked out. Andrews hit the SSP but Tyler Bate showed up and held the referee from counting three. Andrews took out Bate and Seven, survived a low blow and hit a Vertebreaker (after a botched one) and got the win at 13:09. The crowd celebrated though the finish was anti-climactic. BUT WAIT! The original referee saw Dunne’s leg under the bottom rope, restarting the match. Dunne jumped Andrews before the restart but Andrews still countered him for several near falls. Dunne hit a forearm to block the SSP and retained after the Bitter End at 15:30. Not their best match though I liked it more than the PWG one. Their chemistry is top notch but there was a few too many bells and whistles to make it great. [***½]