Views from the Hawke’s Nest: PROGRESS Wrestling’s Chapter Two: The March of Progress
June 24, 2012
Islington, Greater London, England
Commentator: Jimmy Barnett
The PROGRESS Wrestling owner was in the ring to start the show. He did his usual stuff to hype up the fans. The crowd responds positively to him, so that’s good. It doesn’t do much for me, but I imagine I would enjoy it if I was there. Stixx eventually came out and told him to shut up. He then demanded that his match happen now.
The Lion Kidd vs. Stixx
Stixx is a big rudo. Kidd is a little tecnico. The crowd is hot, so this should be a good dynamic.
Kidd hit a crazy springboard corkscrew hurricanrana. Stixx tried to overpower Kidd, but Kidd sent him to the floor. Kidd went for a diving hurricanrana, but Stixx caught him and powerbombed him into a ringpost. Stixx brought him back into the ring to get the heat. Kidd quickly came back with some flippy stuff, but then Stixx cut him off with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. More heat from Stixx. Kidd tried to come back with a slingshot dive, but he kind of fucked up. They ended up on the apron. Kidd delivered some kicks. Kidd then hit a Silverking Lariat that sent Stixx to the floor. Kidd then hit a double springboard plancha. Back in the ring, Stixx hit a Black Hole Slam variation: 1…2…NO! Kidd came back with some flips and a bridging pinning combination: 1…2…3!
The crowd was really into this matchup, which helped to make up for a lot of the sloppiness. These two have a good dynamic, but they are not sharp enough to get so much time for a match. Their matches would probably be much better if they were around eight minutes.
Match Rating: **1/2
Mark Andrews© vs. Mike Hitchman [GWC Scarlo Scholarship Title Match]
Xander Cooper was the champion at the first PROGRESS show, but Andrews obviously won the belt since Chapter 1.
Andrews sent Hitchman to the floor and hit a moonsault off the apron. They ended up on the apron, where Hitchman hit a DDT. Hitchman was in control after that for a while. Hitchman went for a powerbomb at one point, but YOU CAN’T POWERBOMB MARK ANDREWS! Andrews followed that up with a double stomp and a standing moonsault: 1…2…NO! Andrews then got caught in the Tree of Joey Lawrence, and Hitchman speared him into the ringpost. Hitchman then hit an exploder into the turnbuckle. Hitchman then hit a package piledriver: 1…2…NO! Hitchman tried for a super package piledriver, but Andrews knocked him down. Andrews went for a shooting star press, but Hitchman avoided it. Andrews avoided another package piledriver attempt, and he then caught Hitchman with a small package: 1…2…3!
Xander Cooper attacked Andrews after the match. Andrews sent him packing with a dropkick.
This was a really strong undercard match. Hitchman is doing his best Sami Callihan imitation (in terms of look), so he’s gonna have to take steps to differentiate himself soon. I definitely hope to see him on future PROGRESS shows. Andrews is a good tecnico, and I’m glad to see he has become a regular for PROGRESS. This was one of the better undercard matches that I’ve seen on the first three PROGRESS shows.
Match Rating: ***1/4
Darrell Allen vs. Noam Dar
NOAM DAR! He’s awesome. Someone needs to pay to bring him to America.
Allen sent Dar to the floor, but Dar was able to run away enough so that Allen couldn’t try for a dive. Dar cut off Allen with a dropkick, and he started to work him over. Allen came back with a running punt to the chest. Dar came right back with an airplane spin, which he transitioned into a northern lights suplex: 1…2…NO! Dar put his used gum in Allen’s mouth at one point. That woke Allen up. Allen came back with a superkick and an enzuigiri: 1…2…NO! Dar hit a rolling forearm for a nearfall of his own. Dar came back with a double stomp on Allen’s left leg. Dar then got a leg lock with a grapevine. Dar then delivered headbutts and kicks from that position. Allen taps out!
Noam Dar is definitely someone who should be on every single PROGRESS show from here on out. He’s incredibly talented technically and with getting the fans to hate him. I love watching Dar wrestle.
Match Rating: ***
Danny Garnell vs. Jimmy Havoc
Apparently, Garnell was Havoc’s trainer. They did a storyline where Havoc got booked with a Twitter campaign. Something, something, Gabe.
Things were very respectful at the start. They even spooned each other on the mat. Havoc managed to send Garnell to the floor, and he then took him out with a slingshot plancha. Back in the ring, Garnell took Havoc down with a big lariat. Havoc came back, and he locked in a Crippler Crossface. Garnell made the ropes. Some fans chanted for Benoit. Meh. Garnell came back with an assisted DDT. Garnell hit a German suplex, a half-nelson suplex, and a snapmare driver: 1…2…NO! Havoc avoided a Face Wash, and he then hit a middle rope lung blower. Havoc locked in the crossface again, and again, the fans chanted for Benoit. Weirdos. Garnell made the ropes again, so Havoc decided to grab a chair. The ref convinced Havoc to not use the chair, which allowed Garnell to catch him with a school boy: 1…2…NO! Havoc got the crossface again, but Garnell reversed it into a pinning combination: 1…2…3!
Danny Garnell expressed his disappointment with Havoc for thinking about using a chair. They start to walk back, but the PROGRESS owner makes them spoon one more time. The owner then asks the crowd if they want to see Havoc again. They do. All three of them proceed to spoon. What a wonderful promotion.
This was another really fun match. This match not only had good action, but I really liked the spots with the chair, where Havoc thought better of using it and then Garnell scolded him after the match for thinking of using a chair. Havoc would go on to have a crazy deathmatch with Jon Ryan on the third PROGRESS show, so we’ll see if something comes of that.
Match Rating: ***
The London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) vs. The Velocity Vipers (Alex Esmail & Will Ospreay)
I have never seen, nor heard of, any of these men before. The Riots jumped them at the bell, but the Vipers managed to send them to the floor. Esmail wiped them out with a somersault plancha. Ospreay went for a tope suicida, but Lynch blocked him with a forearm. Back in the ring, the Riots worked over Ospreay. This beatdown went on for a while. Ospreay finally came back with a couple of kicks and a hurricanrana. Esmail tagged in and hit a springboard cross-body, but Lynch cut him off with a big spear. Lynch proceeded to destroy Esmail. The rudos allowed Ospreay to tag in for some reason. He hit Damher with a handspring enzuigiri. He then hit Lynch with a Code Red for a nearfall. Esmail was carried to the back. Ospreay hit Dahmer with a rolling snapmare. He then went for a double rotation moonsault, but Dahmer avoided it. Lynch then killed him with a lariat: 1…2…3!
Lynch got on the microphone after the match. They say the riots are now back in London. He calls out anyone in the back.
This was pretty much an extended squash for The London Riots, but it was a very entertaining one. The Vipers did get some offense in, and their offense was usually very exciting.
Match Rating: **3/4
El Ligero vs. Greg Burridge vs. RJ Singh
Singh has a whole entourage with him, but they’ve never been clearly identified on a PROGRESS show. Singh was supposed to be on the first show (against Colt Cabana, I believe), but he had to pull out at the last second.
Burridge and Ligero double teamed Singh to start the show. I feel like indies are the only places where heels get double teamed all the time. Ligero and Burridge went at it for a short while. Burridge fell to the floor after he took out his fury dice, and that allowed Ligero and Singh to go at it. Singh got a nearfall on Ligero with a running knee. Burridge then took out both men. Singh went for a springboard move, but Ligero caught him with an enzuigiri. Ligero then took out one of Singh’s entourage with a tope con hello. Ligero got the Rings of Saturn on Singh, but Burridge broke the hold. Ligero took out Singh with a springboard DDT. Ligero then got Burridge with an O’Connor Roll and a handful of tights: 1…2…3! The crowd does not like that Ligero cheated to win. El Ligero is now the number one contender for the PROGRESS Championship.
Burridge got the crowd to run down Ligero after the match.
This match was going well, but the ending was rather deflating. I watched Chapter 3, and I couldn’t figure out why the crowd did not love Ligero. Now, I know why. Ligero seems like such a natural tecnico, so I’m not sure why PROGRESS decided to turn him, especially when their champ is a heel as well. It will be interesting to see how that championship match plays out. Ligero is also one of the stronger performers on the PROGRESS roster, and I wish he was put in a position to have better matches.
Match Rating: **3/4
Nathan Cruz© vs. Marty Scurll [2/3 Falls Match for the PROGRESS Championship]
Cruz cheated to defeat Scurll in the finals of the PROGRESS Championship that happened on the first show.
Scurll was in complete control at the start of the first fall. Scurll went for a tope suicida, but Cruz avoided it and Scurll ended up a few rows into the crowd. Cruz brought him back into the ring and worked him over. Cruz was in control for a while. He got a nearfall with a leaping knee. Scurll then got a nearfall with a tornado DDT. Scurll got a couple more nearfalls. Scurll went to the top rope, but Cruz came back with an enzuigiri. Scurll came back with a Meteora and the torture rack backbreaker: 1…2…3! Marty Scurll leads 1 fall to 0.
Cruz cut Marty off to start the second fall. Scurll came back, and they spilled onto the floor.
They brawled on the floor for a bit. Cruz tried for a countout win. It did not work. Cruz then through Scurll into some chairs, in an another attempt to get a countout win. The fans actually helped Scurll get back in the ring. Cruz then took Scurll back to the sound area and hit a DVD on a machine. Cruz’s third attempt at a countout win was also unsuccessful. Scurll made a comeback and hit a Fucking Machine Suplex: 1…2…NO! Out of nowhere, Cruz caught Scurll with a Tombstone: 1…2…3! Each wrestler has 1 fall.
Scurll hit a big rolling elbow. They traded strikes. Scurll got some nearfalls on some pinning combinations. Cruz came back with a low blow and a bridging German: 1…2…NO! Cruz hit another German, but Scurll no sold it. Scurll got a Figure Four Leglock. Cruz finally managed to get to the ropes. Scurll accidentally took out the referee. Cruz gave Scurll a sit-out DVD. Cruz then got a chair. El Ligero ran out and took away the chair. Ligero then accidentally gave Scurll a superkick. Ligero didn’t care. The referee counted: 1…2…3!
This was a building to a really great match, but I think it was a misstep to have El Ligero run in towards the end and make it a messy finish. I understand the need to tell some stories, but I really think PROGRESS should try to do as many clean finishes as possible in their main events, because they are on pace to only run 4-5 shows ever year. Waitng for the end of the match to run an angle makes the match much satisfying, and it gives you an opportunity to set something up for future shows. On top of that, I don’t really understand the point of setting Ligero up as a rudo when Nathan Cruz is the champion. Before the finish though, it was a really good match. Marty Scurll absolutely should be one of the foundations of PROGRESS Wrestling for as long as possible.
Match Rating: ***1/2
Thanks everybody for reading! You can send feedback to my Twitter or to my email address: [email protected] Also, feel free to check out my own wrestling website, FreeProWrestling.com. Also, check out my Best of Chikara blog and an archive of all my 411 video reviews.
The 411: PROGRESS Wrestling is quickly becoming one of my favorite promotions to watch. I’ve seen their first three shows now, and I have gotten a lot of enjoyment out of all of them. This was a really consistent show that I think you will enjoy if you purchase it. There is no one match that you have to go out and see, but there is so much good stuff throughout the show that the reasonable price is more than worth it. Buy this show at the Progress Wrestling DVD Store as either a DVD or a MP4.
|Final Score: 7.0 [ Good ] legend|