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Hamilton’s Best of Aleister Black in PROGRESS Report (10.17.20)

January 27, 2021 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
Best of Aleister Black in PROGRESS
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Hamilton’s Best of Aleister Black in PROGRESS Report (10.17.20)  

A reminder: these are old reviews, and while I’ve not updated names (so you’ll be reading about Tommy End, not Aleister Black) but I’ve done my best to remove mentions of people here who are on that suspected persona non-grata list…

Tommy End vs. Dave Mastiff – from PROGRESS Chapter 9: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kick Me, Kill Me (September 29, 2013)
Holy crap, none of these guys look like they do today. In the pre-match graphic, End looked like a fresh-faced kid, whilst Mastiff’s beard is a good two years away from the glory it is today. End’s filling in for the injured Jimmy Havoc, and he starts by being taken into the corner by Mastiff, before working an arm wringer which gets reversed back and forth.

End grabs a headlock, but a shoulder tackle attempt just sees the Dutchman get rocked back into the ropes. Mastiff ducks a kick, then shoves End to the mat with another shoulder tackle, before shoving End into the corner. More kicks from End rock Mastiff, before a short kneedrop gets End a near-fall.

A chop from End sent Mastiff into the turnbuckles, and he followed in with some shoulder charges and a back elbow before going to the top rope and missing a double stomp. Mastiff flattened End with a crossbody off the ropes, getting him a “big fat bastard” chants, before a knee-lift gets another two-count.

A rear chinlock from Mastiff keeps End on the mat, before he lifts him up for a stalling vertical suplex… with the fans counting up to 30 before End’s dumped onto the mat. Despite that, End grabs the ropes at two to avoid being pinned, but he gets taken into the corner for some strikes, then back to the mat for some bodyscissors.

End tries to fire back with a snap to the chest, then some forearm strikes and kicks, only for a back elbow to take the Dutchman down once again. Another fightback sees End hit a forearm smash and a moonsault press for a near-fall, but Mastiff blocks a roundhouse kick, before taking a second strike to the head. He follows up with a double knee press off the top, then another roundhouse kick for a near-fall.

A double stomp off the top rope connects, but Mastiff immediately rolls to the outside for cover, and End follows him and throws Mastiff back into the ring, but walks straight into a lariat. Mastiff looks to end things with a deadlift German suplex, bridging up for a two-count, before sending End into the bottom turnbuckle with another German suplex.

Mastiff goes for a cannonball dive into the corner, but is met with a big boot from End, and then another diving double stomp off the top, and the debutant wins! An impressive showing from Tommy End, and one of PROGRESS’ better openers. ***½

Tommy End vs. Eddie Dennis – from PROGRESS World Cup (June 29, 2014)
Eddie looks extremely odd clean shaven in this World Cup quarter-final… they start with a Newton’s cradle of shoulder blocks, going back and forth, finally ending as Tommy bumped. Dennis avoids one kick but takes a second, before the Welshman got cornered with a bunch of shoulder charges and kicks.

Dennis fires back with a rolling elbow for a near-fall, but quickly runs into a top rope double-kneedrop from End, before ducking some kicks and throwing End across the ring in an Exploder suplex. End’s caught in a Cloverleaf, but he makes the ropes and then leaps over a dropkick from Dennis and connects with a double stomp on the way down.

Dennis takes End from corner-to-corner with a crucifix buckle bomb, then drops End with a backbreaker uranage and a lariat. Another pump kick from End and a roundhouse staggers Dennis, before a reverse kick gets a near-fall for the Dutchman. From there, End gets a roll-up then another kick to the chest, before he finishes off the Welshman with a double stomp off the top rope. Perfectly acceptable opener, with as heated an atmosphere as you’d get for a face vs. face match. ***¼

Sumerian Death Squad (Tommy End & Michael Dante) vs. Hunter Brothers (Jim Hunter & Lee Hunter) – from PROGRESS Chapter 20: Thunderbastard – Beyond Thunderbastard (July 26, 2015)
Before the match, Jim Smallman announced that the Sumerian Death Squad’s tag team title shield was held up at customs, so whilst this is for the titles, there’s nothing physical to behold. On paper, the smaller Hunter Brothers looked like cannon fodder for the SDS, who held a notable height and weight advantage over their Midland rivals.

It started off as you’d expect with Dante and End dominating their foes with strikes, but the Hunters used their their speed to get back into it, with the Hunters utilising a giant swing and a dropkick combo to take take out End. Dante finally gets a hot tag in and wipes out the Hunters, before dropping Lee Hunter with a full-nelson flapjack for a near fall. The Hunters then hit a sunset-flip backbreaker in a double-team move, before a kneeling chinlock/senton combo as the Brothers looked to capitalise with their two-on-ones.

The Hunters get a near-fall with a spike Tombstone piledriver, as Michael Dante breaks up the cover. End hiptosses Jim onto Lee’s knees as the Hunters tried their sunset flip backbreaker combo once more, but the SDS can’t capitalise as the Hunters broke up the pin. In the end an Anti-Hero (wheelbarrow suplex set-up with a Blockbuster off the top rope) secured the SDS the win in what was a fantastic tag match that built the SDS as champions, and made stars in defeat out of the Hunters. ****

Tommy End vs. Rampage Brown – from PROGRESS Chapter 30: Super Strong Style 16 2016 Night One (May 29, 2016)
The pair start off unloading on each other with punches, before Rampage tried for an early piledriver, before turning End inside out with a lariat for a two-count in the opening minute. End scrambled to the floor, but he was quickly thrown back in as Rampage clearly wasn’t getting paid by the hour here.

End almost snatched the win with a sunset flip, before kicking Rampage so hard he went to the outside, where the Dutchman followed up with a moonsault press… only for Rampage to catch him and lawn dart End into the ringpost. A suplex in the ring ended up in a two-count for Rampage, but End managed to stun Brown with some double knees, then a series of kicks that sent Rampage into the bottom turnbuckle.

A lariat from Rampage cut off some more kicks from End, getting Brown a two-count, before a piledriver earned Rampage another two-count… and the Tommy End comeback started. End blocked a Rampage lariat with a jumping knee, before locking in the Octopus hold, rolling through for a two-count after that. End came off the top with a double stomp to Rampage, then got a two-count with a knee-strike, before securing the win with a roundhouse kick. **¾

Tommy End vs. Sami Callihan – from PROGRESS Chapter 30: Super Strong Style 16 2016 Night Two (May 30, 2016)
These two had a long staredown… at least until Callihan charged at End and had his head knocked off. They quickly ended up on the floor where Callihan kicked End into the front row, following up with a lap of honour and a cannonball dive into the seats.

A second lap of honour ended badly as End popped up out of the seat and smashed Callihan with a knee strike, before missing a double stomp back in the ring, and taking a big boot from Callihan. That comeback ended swiftly as Callihan was kicked on the top rope, before End backflipped out of a sunset flip powerbomb attempt, then landed a deadlift German suplex for a near-fall.

Callihan did make a comeback, with a couple of running knees to a downed End in the corner, but the third time wasn’t the charm as End delivered a big boot, before slipping on a Shiranui attempt, and getting planted with a spike tombstone piledriver by Callihan. We almost saw a repeat of day one, when Callihan bundled himself into the referee before going for a mule kick – and although End did block it, Callihan just turned around and punted the Dutchman low anyway.

The “Sami Driller” piledriver grabbed Callihan another two-count as the crowd chanted for a comeback from End, which came by way of trading forearms, a jumping knee, but Callihan hit a bunch of palm strikes… and ran into a roundhouse kick as End took the win out of nowhere. Only seven minutes long, but this was entertaining as heck and full of action. ***½

Tommy End vs. Chris Hero – from PROGRESS Chapter 30: Super Strong Style 16 2016 Night Two (May 30, 2016)
It says a lot when they’re listing Chris Hero and not the WWE-ized name here, eh? Student vs. Teacher here in the other semi-final, and I’m expecting a suitably hard-hitting affair between these two.

They started by offering themselves up for strikes, with End getting two free kicks in whilst Hero delivered two chops as the match quickly broke down from the “give-and-take” start. Spilling onto the floor, End and Hero swapped bicycle kicks and elbow shots, with a leaping knee strike sending Hero staggering up towards the stage, where the shots continued, culminating in a Cyclone Kill (discus big boot) from Hero to End.

Back in the crowd, Hero sent End into the front row, before landing a back senton splash into the crowd. They finally got back into the ring, where End nailed a double stomp as Hero came off the ropes, before getting a two-count following some more kicks and a knee strike to Hero’s head. Hero retaliated with a jumping knee, then a clothesline in the corner, but a kick to the back of End’s head proved ineffective, as the Dutchman landed a brainbuster for a two-count.

Hero avoided a double stomp off the top, and shocked End with a piledriver for a near-fall, and the American kept on top of End with knee strikes that repeatedly sent the latter into the ropes. A bicycle kick put End down briefly, but he picked himself up to return the favour and add in some more knee strikes, as the two went back and forth with increasingly-stiff strikes. Having won his prior two matches with those move, a jumping knee, double stomp and a roundhouse kick scored a shocked End a near-fall, before getting caught on the top rope, as Hero looked to end Tommy with a piledriver..

End blocked it initially, but after cradling him, Hero succeeded in a piledriver off the middle rope, but End kicked out just before the three count, as the Electric Ballrom erupted! Hero looked to polish him off with a ripcord elbow, but End ducked the move, and quickly rolled up Hero for the win. Just as expected, a fantastic, hard-hitting match, although I wasn’t too thrilled on the finish of a piledriver off the middle rope leading to a kick-out, before the guy taking it scored a win less than a minute later. ****

Tommy End vs. Mark Andrews – from PROGRESS Chapter 30: Super Strong Style 16 2016 Night Two (May 30, 2016)
End tried to jump Andrews at the bell, but the Welshman got out of the way, before delivering a tope con hilo after sending End to the outside with a kick. End flattened Andrews with a jumping knee to the back of the head for a two-count after some hesitation, before we got the Rick Martel reference opportunity as End slammed Andrews into the turnbuckles.

The crowd were slightly more in favour of Andrews as he took kick after kick from Tommy End, with a snap suplex getting the Dutchman a two-count. Andrews flipped out of a suplex and landed a stunner for a near-fall, before a hurricanrana got another two-count for Andrews. After getting a two-count from a head kick, End leapt to the ropes, only for the lights to go out… and when they returned, we had Mikey Whiplash in the middle of the ring. With Tommy End behind him, and as the attempted interference went wrong, the not-face-painted Whiplash ate a roundhouse kick and was promptly dispatched.

Andrews tried to capitalise with a roll-up and a reverse ‘rana, following with a shooting star press which actually landed, but End kicked out at two. Another shooting star press followed, but End rolled out of the way, before pulling off a deadlift German suplex and a double stomp off the top for another near-fall. After getting to his feet, Andrews begged End for another shot, and sure enough he got it, as a roundhouse kick sent Andrews to the mat, and gave Tommy End the three-count to win the tournament. ***¼

The final score: review Good
The 411
A lot of Tommy End/Aleister Black’s time in PROGRESS was spent in the tag team ranks - but his crowning moment was shown in full here, with his Super Strong Style 16 win in 2016. It’s a shame the “cash-in” match couldn’t be included (perhaps for expected reasons), but this was a solid selection nevertheless.