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Kevin’s Random Reviews: PROGRESS Chapter 25: Chat Shit Get Banged

February 21, 2018 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s Random Reviews: PROGRESS Chapter 25: Chat Shit Get Banged  

PROGRESS Chapter 25: Chat Shit Get Banged
January 24th, 2016 | Electric Ballroom in Camden, Greater London

For their first show in 2016, PROGRESS presented their 25th chapter. Will Ospreay ended Jimmy Havoc’s record setting PROGRESS Title reign in 2015. To kick off 2016, he was scheduled to defend it against one of the hottest stars in PROGRESS, Marty Scurll. That rivalry has kind of been run into the ground, but it was still fresh to me at this point. The card features a bunch of other people I’ve become familiar with since PROGRESS became my favorite promotion, so I’m excited for this review.

The show opened with the usual Jim Smallman antics.

PROGRESS Tag Team Championship: The Origin [c] vs. FSU
The Origin were represented by El Ligero and Nathan Cruz (also the first two PROGRESS World Champions in history), while FSU consisted of Mark Andrews and Eddie Dennis. The fans were way into this and loved FSU. The champions isolated Dennis throughout the early portions of the match. El Ligero got great heat in the form of “El Torito” chants. He took time to mock Andrews, allowing Dennis to get free and make the hot tag. Andrews’ run was great, though he whiffed badly on a standing SSP. There was a great spot where Cruz avoided a Dennis baseball slide in the corner, only for Andrews to come off the top with double stomp onto him. The Origin used a great series of moves that ended with a German for a close near fall. FSU came back with the Next Stop Driver, only for Ligero to pull the referee out. That led to Cruz hitting Andrews with a Tombstone onto one of the Tag Shields (those were the old PROGRESS Tag Titles) for the win in 13:01. Good way to start the show. They didn’t overdo anything and tag formula was well done. The heel/face dynamics worked in a match that didn’t have a dull moment. [***¼]

Natural Progression Series III Quarterfinals: Damian Dunne vs. Tyler Bate
Not exactly the Dunne/Bate match I hoped for. Though Bate was still a bit far off from his star making 2017, he showed a fair amount of technical acumen to start this. Even here, he was clearly smooth in the ring. He continued holding serve, with a sweet uppercut, abdominal stretch transitions that were great and a brutal headbutt. He also made me chuckle when he hit a belly to belly and pulled down imaginary straps like Kurt Angle. Dunne came back and eventually won with a nice springboard lung blower in 9:56. I felt like this was kind of one-sided. It was a showcase for Bate that previewed the incredible 2017 he’d have. It was a lot of fun, because Bate’s awesome. A year and a half later, Dunne would be kind of a comedy character, while Bate would be a top star in the UK. [***]

Michael Dante vs. Rob Lynch
One half of the Sumerian Death Squad against one half of the London Riots. It’s also BIG LADS WRESTLING in the pre-Atlas Title era. The first few minutes of this were wild. They traded strikes and headed outside. Lynch nailed an awesome belly to belly, before taking an insane bump when getting swept on the apron. The pace slowed considerably after that, which was a shame because it was going so well. Dante was in control during that portion, before Lynch rallied with a tope suicida. They went back to trading forearms until Dante hit a huge POUNCE…PERIOD! However, Lynch survived and scored the win with a spear in 9:10. Had it kept the pace it started with, this would’ve easily been the best thing on the show. It couldn’t maintain the intensity and peaked too early. [**¾]

Since he won, Rob Lynch got to pick the stipulation for the next match between the London Riots and Sumerian Death Squad. He picked a TLC match, which sounds wild.

Number One Contender’s Match: Mark Haskins vs. Zack Gibson
Watching a lot of current day PROGRESS, it’s odd to see Gibson not cut a heat filled promo before the match. They opened with a lot of mat wrestling. Haskins surprisingly applied the Sharpshooter in the opening minutes, but Gibson was too close to the ropes. Gibson turned his focus to Haskins’ arm. He nearly got a countout win after attacking it and was relentless in going after it at every opportunity. He applied a particularly vicious looking submission before Haskins fired up and mounted his comeback. Haskins wowed me with an awesome leg drop counter into an ankle lock. I watch so much wrestling, that when I see something new it truly stands out and that spot did just that. He locked in an armbar, but again Gibson was too close to the ropes. It was as if Haskins wanted to fully lock in any possible submission, because he was so good at them. Gibson started throwing his best moves at Haskins, yet couldn’t keep him down. Gibson finally applied the Shankly Gates, but Haskins found his way out. They into a series of counters, with Haskins winning out and making Gibson tap to the Stretch Muffler in 19:39. Good old fashioned wrestling. Two guys having a match with no frills or nonsense. Quality psychology with good selling, though it lacked something to make it truly great. [***½]

Flash Morgan Webster vs. Paul Robinson
These are two guys I’ve seen a lot in PROGRESS, but have no real feelings towards. I don’t like or dislike them, they’re kind of just there. Robinson went for a cheap shot to start, but Webster avoided it and ran wild on him. Robinson turned the tide by being a dick. He soccer kicked a downed Webster to set the tone for his offense going forward. Webster missed a 450 splash, Robinson wiped him out with a lariat. It was athleticism against brute force. Flash had to start hitting hard, delivering a vicious knee strike before scoring a near fall on the Angel’s Wings. Robinson retaliated with a second rope Curb Stomp that somehow didn’t end the match. Frustrated, Robinson started wailing on Webster and shoved the referee away multiple times. That led to a DQ finish in 11:23. Disappointing finish, because that was going quite well. Webster was a fine babyface, while Robinson was a standout on the show with his heel antics. [**¾]

Paul Robinson got a chair, but was sent packing by Webster. Security took him away for going after the referee again.

Dahlia Black w/ TK Cooper vs. Jinny w/ Elizabeth vs. Pollyanna vs. Toni Storm
It’s strange to hear “Keep it 100” and the crowd not go wild. Toni Storm is also sans eye black and seems rather generic here. They’ve come a long way. Jinny came out to an awful “Turn My Swag On” cover, while Pollyanna had the awesome Game of Thrones themed entrance. Jinny started the match by being a bitch to everyone, so Toni and Pollyanna worked together to kick her ass. Dahlia Black was also on the receiving end of their attack. Pollyanna also hit TK with a low blow. They both hit double knees outside, as the match got off to a wild start. Pollyanna and Storm went at it inside until Black interrupted. Black and Storm gave us a preview of a match that would go down on PROGRESS’ biggest show to date. Pollyanna impressed by putting all three opponents in submissions AT THE SAME TIME. Jinny got help from Elizabeth, ordering her to attack Pollyanna while Jinny sat and rested. Jinny also took scissors and cut some of Pollyanna’s hair. There was a great spot where Toni took out both TK and Dahlia with a tope suicida. Everyone got involved in a tower of doom spot that came off awkwardly. I’m surprised nobody got hurt. Storm German suplexed Jinny into the corner, setting up a flurry of offense from everyone. When Pollyanna hit her finish on Dahlia, TK came in and decked her. Jinny dumped him outside and covered Pollyanna to steal it in 13:00. That review felt all over the place, but that’s how the match was. And that’s a good thing. It was hella fun and everyone played their roles to perfection. [***½]

PROGRESS Championship No Disqualifications Match: Will Ospreay [c] vs. Marty Scurll
This ranked #26 in my Top Matches of 2016 list. Will Ospreay was awesome in the first half of 2016 before tailing off. Now, I’m beyond over him. This was bonkers. Within five minutes, Ospreay’s mouth was bleeding and that was just the tip of the iceberg. There was a clear sense of hatred here, with both guys doing everything possible to hurt the other. At one point, a headbutt exchange was quite violent and Ospreay sold it like death. The fans popped when Ospreay stole Scurll’s signature “JUST KIDDING” kick and got even louder when it led to a fast series of moves by both men. They were just warming up, too. Scurll brought a ton of umbrellas into the ring, while Ospreay got a table that he ended up powerbombing Scurll through. They fought to the stage where Scurll returned the favor, powerbombing Ospreay through a table. Back in the ring, Scurll took out the referee with his umbrella. Ospreay put him in an umbrella assisted crossface and made him tap for the visual win. Scurll delivered his own, sick looking Essex Destroyer for a near fall as a second ref arrived. Ospreay got caught in a great Chicken Wing, yet escaped again. He hit an SSP to Scurll’s back, followed by the Red Arrow and Scurll still kicked out. After taking a tornado DDT on the outside, Scurll got something from under the ring. It was handcuffs, which he used as a weapon and then to cuff the champion. Will remained defiant despite his predicament. Scurll rained superkicks and umbrella shots on him. Ospreay still spat at him, so Scurll wrecked him with a barbaric umbrella shot to the face. Will still barely got his shoulder up on the pin. A pissed Scurll applied the Chicken Wing and Ospreay passed out at 30:16. Wow. That was quite the spectacle. I made the comparison that this felt like the kind of match I’d do with my figures when growing up because of how wild it was and that remains true. This is the Ospreay I liked. He did so much right here, from selling to his hope spots to the defiance at the end. Scurll was fantastic, too. [****½]

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
It should come as no surprise that I really enjoyed a PROGRESS show. When the worst matches on a show clock in at **¾, something is going well. All the matches were good and the main event was excellent. I liked the inclusion of the women, which wasn’t consistent at the time for PROGRESS. It helped launch the company’s very strong women’s division. There were some strong moments of character development, a great flow to the show and it was capped by a big moment in the end.