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Hamilton’s Best of Timothy Thatcher in PROGRESS Report (10.31.20)

February 5, 2021 | Posted by Ian Hamilton
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Hamilton’s Best of Timothy Thatcher in PROGRESS Report (10.31.20)  

A reminder: these are old reviews, and while I’ve not updated names (so you’ll be reading about Donovan Dijak, rather than Dominik Dijakovic or T-BAR) but I’ve done my best to remove mentions of people here who are on that suspected persona non-grata list…

Timothy Thatcher vs. Donovan Dijak – from PROGRESS New York City (August 12, 2017)
The winner of this’d get the next shot at the Atlas division title… Thatcher was out with Stokely Hathaway, who was out to do Timmy’s ring announcing as he prepared for a Donovan Dijak who was in the middle of a farewell tour (of sorts).

Thatcher’s deceptively big, and there’s plenty of bulling around and flips – primarily from Dijak – as we sneaked a look at the current Atlas champion in the entryway. A belly-to-belly off the ropes keeps Thatcher involved, but Dijak just picks him up and tosses him away with ease like he was nothing. Again, Thatcher shrugs that off and goes for Dijak’s shoulder, shoving it into the corner before working over it with strikes and a Kimura attempt, as Dijak was almost left cowering in the turnbuckles. Dijak hits a clothesline to free himself, before throwing some forearms… but an enziguiri from Thatcher ends all that, as Thatcher drives a series of knees into Dijak’s back.

Thatcher’s gutwrench suplex gets a near-fall, and the two go from there into a series of slogging elbows, leading to Dijak dropping Thatcher with a slingshot knees into the corner. A release suplex keeps Timmy down, but he’s able to escape the Feast Your Eyes by grabbing a rear naked choke, taking Don off his game for a brief moment.

A sit-out spinebuster gets Dijak back in for a two-count as the conditions were making everyone glisten, but Dijak strung together some stuff including a cyclone kick and a top rope moonsault for a near-fall. Despite all that, Thatcher never felt too far behind, blocking another Feast Your Eyes before taking a uranage backbreaker. Somehow, Thatcher kicks out and goes straight to a Fujiwara armbar… which is reversed when Dijak stood up and hit Feast Your Eyes on the third attempt.

The count’s barely broken when Thatcher’s leg ended up on the ropes, and now Hathaway gets involved… only to get flipped off as Thatcher escapes the top rope moonsault. A rear naked choke from Thatcher’s turned into a cannonball as Dijak found a novel way to escape, but Timmy rose from the dead and went back to the arm, forcing the submission. This was another really good outing here – Thatcher looked like a killer at times, whilst Dijak impressed as usual. That cannonball escape from a rear naked choke was quite the thing! ****¼

Timothy Thatcher vs. Doug Williams – from PROGRESS Chapter 54: Go To Your God Like A Soldier (August 27, 2017)
Doug gets a pretty good reaction for his first PROGRESS appearance in almost three years, as does Timothy Thatcher… but he didn’t have anywhere near as long to wait. As you’d expect, this was a technical clinic, with both men keeping things on the mat early as they looked to wrench away on a body part, with Williams’ trying to use a leg spreader… only for Thatcher to sit up and pull Doug to the outside. They return to trade straitjacket holds, before Thatcher’s counter to a trip led to some indy’riffic pinning sequences.

Thatcher rebounds with a bow-and-arrow stretch, but they’re too close to the ropes so Williams gets himself free before he’s forced to block a butterfly suplex attempt. Instead, he launches into a battle of uppercuts, with Doug finally winning out as he dropped Thatcher to the mat.

However, Thatcher gets back up and looks to take Williams into a cross armbreaker – which the veteran tries to block by rolling up Timmy for a near-fall. He switches the plan into a more standard armbar but the war of attrition continued as Doug grabbed the ropes… before being taken onto the apron as Thatcher threw him into it. Another armbar’s instantly broken as Doug was still in the ropes, but Williams rebounds with a Gory special!

Williams charges Thatcher upside-down into the corner, but Timmy comes back with a butterfly suplex before rolling straight back into the armbar, which Williams again breaks in the ropes. A flying forearm helps Doug rebound as he hits a leaping knee and an Exploder as a build-up to the Chaos Theory… but Thatcher clings to the ropes!

Instead, Williams tries to get a crossbody going, but he crashes and burns as Thatcher grabs another armbar, and despite rolling in for a near-fall, Timmy keeps hold as Doug’s forced to tap. A technical affair that’s not for everyone – I can understand why some may not have liked this, but I rather enjoyed this on replay. ***¾

Timothy Thatcher vs. Chris Ridgeway – from PROGRESS Chapter 58: Live Your Best Life (November 26, 2017)
There’s a lot of grappling early as Matt Richards on commentary seemed to think this was another TETSUJIN rules match… stopped when Chris Roberts started to count pins before Thatcher began throwing right hands to the body of “Smashmouth”.

Ridgeway rebounds and returns some of those favours, as the pair traded the advantage numerous times, with Ridgeway throwing Thatcher around for fun with a trio of German suplexes… but after kicking out Timmy goes straight to the key lock before slapping Ridgeway to the outside.

When Ridgeway returns, he’s instantly taken down with a butterfly suplex as they continued to go tit-for-tat, with Riddy hitting an enziguiri and an axe kick as he looked to polish off the RINGKAMPF member with a PK… but he’s suddenly caught with a Fujiwara armbar from Thatcher for a flash submission. Enjoyable, but I can’t help but wonder how much better this’d come across had it been built. Then again, with Thatcher being the number one contender for the Atlas title, it’d have been quite the shake-up if he’d won here. ***¼

Timothy Thatcher & Chris Brookes vs. Mark Davis & Kyle Fletcher – from PROGRESS Chapter 75: These Violent Delights Have Violent Ends (August 27, 2018)
Chris Brookes is somewhat cursed when it comes to tag team partners. As you’ll have seen from our reports of the US tour, first he won the tag titles with Kid Lykos… who got injured the next night, which meant that Brookes needed a proxy… which turned out to be Jonathan Gresham. Except he got injured after a match, and so Brookes moved onto his third partner of the tour: with AR Fox taking the fall as CCK? lost the titles to Flamita and Bandido.

Back home, that means that Brookes is onto his third Thunderbastard partner, and it came in the form of Timothy Thatcher. Cue the jokes about the sternness of Thatcher coupled with Brookes’ sometimes carefree attitude… this was a real odd couple, but it worked from the moment they set foot through the curtain with Thatcher wearing his RINGKAMPF scarf like how Brookes wears shirts as a bandanna. Thatcher kept it somewhat clean, stopping Brookes from doing the wet willie, confirming that the “fake Lykos” vibe didn’t stretch too far though.

It did appear briefly as Brookes; once when Brookes told Thatcher to “shut up, Tim” when he tried to keep the match clean (Chris would then run away in fear, like we all would) before he had Thatcher go up the ropes for the CCK elevated lungblower… but instead Thatcher just leapt off of Brookes’ shoulders and slapped the taste out of Fletcher. No matter how hard-hitting and bell-ringing this was (those exchanges between Thatcher and Davis were extremely tasty), Aussie Open went on to record another loss in the Thunderbastard series as a Parade of Moves ended with Fletcher getting caught in a Kondo clutch as Brookes forced him to tap. The win did more than get some points for CCK? as Brookes would win the ability to hold up the sacred RINGKAMPF scarf in celebration. ***½

PROGRESS Proteus Championship: Timothy Thatcher vs. Paul Robinson (c) – from PROGRESS Chapter 98: May I Play Devil’s Advocate For A Minute? (November 24, 2019)
This has the potential to be a cracker of a match – with the almost-Ambition/Tetsujin rules playing into Thatcher’s wheelhouse. Even if he isn’t a part of RINGKAMPF anymore… cough.

Thatcher starts off by looking to go for a lock-up, but instead had to neutralise the terrier-like Robinson with a front chancery as he grounded the champion and threw a swipe from the guard. Robbo gets free and tries to throw some strikes, but an uppercut downs him, before Robinson tried to bite his way back into things.

When that worked, Robinson unleashed with a flurry of strikes, only to get caught out as Thatcher went for a side armbar that Robbo nearly heeled his way out of. A mounted choke hold forced Thatcher to crawl under the ropes for a break, before Thatcher retaliated with strikes and a bow-and-arrow hold. From there, Robinson flips out, then countered a backbreaker by spinning out into a DDT, following in with forearms to the head as Thatcher was suddenly on the defensive.

Thatcher managed to roll through though, using a quick ankle lock, only for Robinson to get free and land a Robinson special en route to a crucifix… but Thatcher just stands up and breaks it with a Samoan drop. A knee to the midsection propels Robinson away from his challenger, before Thatcher dragged him down into a Fujiwara armbar. Again, Robinson gets free and punts Thatcher low… he gets slapped out for that as I wonder about cars getting driven into your face.

The camera’s gone really dark as Robinson pulls out some nunchucks from under the ring… striking Thatcher with them before choking him out for the submission. Aren’t nunchucks illegal in the UK? Either way, it showed that Robinson needed to dig a little deeper to get the win, but I’m not wild that two of the three defences so far have been gimmicky, with bare ring boards and nunchucks being used to keep the title. ***½

Timothy Thatcher vs. Kassius Ohno – from PROGRESS Chapter 99: With A Flake, Please (December 15, 2019)
He was Kassius Ohno at the time, remember… Ohno’s not exactly in a rush to engage with Thatcher, in what was their first match in three and a half years. They start by working over the arms, before Thatcher found a leg and looked to roll Ohno into a half crab, only to roll him over for a quick pinning attempt. Thatcher tries for the arm again, but neither man’s giving any quarter, at least until Ohno found his way through with an abdominal stretch.

Thatcher gets free, but his cross armbar ends with Ohno in the ropes, before Kassius tried to work a standing surfboard stretch, only for it to get reversed as Ohno rolls free. Ohno grabs one leg, but kicks away the other knee as he took Thatcher down, moving his focus across that left leg. Ohno stands on Thatcher’s ankle, then hit a back senton for a two-count before the work continued on the leg. Ohno mixes it up with a knee drop, but he stays on Thatcher as he worked over the ankle with a modified figure four, only for Thatcher to free himself as he teased a deadlift gutwrench suplex… but Ohno goes back to the leg with a toe hold. Firing back, Thatcher kicks Ohno from the ground before a rebound belly-to-belly opened the door, leading to a mounted sleeperhold from the recently-unseated wXw champion.

Thatcher tries to club away some more following a rope break, but Ohno’s back on the leg, only for Thatcher to break free and hit an enziguiri. Ohno doesn’t go down though, and is quickly back with a sharp piledriver for a near-fall. As the ref checks on Thatcher, Ohno stomps on Tim’s head, before he took off the elbow pad and began to wallop Tim with some elbow strikes. Ohno runs into Thatcher, who grabs him and hits a palm strike… but the knee gives out as Ohno hits back. A forearm strike’s headbutted away, as Thatcher made a desperate bid to grab Ohno’s arm… it works too, as he pulls in with a Fujiwara armbar for the submission. Looking on GRAPPL, the early ratings for this was below the “Gentleman’s Three”, and I’d be inclined to agree – the match felt way too slow-paced, and while Thatcher gets his first singles win of the year, I’m not sure if it means anything given both of these guys are hardly regulars here. ***

The final score: review Good
The 411
Thatcher has been a part of PROGRESS for a lot longer than you’d think - but his big runs seemed to come as part of tag teams, be it RINGKAMPF or with Chris Brookes. Of course some of his bigger matches had already ended up in other best-ofs, so rather than repeat them PROGRESS dug a little deeper, but the choices here were worthy additions to that highlight reel.