Views from the Hawke's Nest: PROGRESS Wrestling's Chapter Four: The Ballad of El Ligero
Posted by TJ Hawke on 01.14.2013
El Ligero finally wins the big one!
November 25, 2012
Islington, Greater London, England
Commentator: Jimmy Barnett
The Hunter Brothers (Jim Hunter & Lee Hunter) vs. The London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch)
The Hunters look like the Bravados circa 2010.
The Riots isolated Jim Hunter early, so they got the heat on him for a while. I love the London Riots. Jim finally managed to superkick Lynch in the chest. He tagged out to Lee, who ran wild for a bit. He gave Davis a Michinoku Driver for a nearfall. He gave Davis a Code Red for another nearfall. The Riots made a comeback. They gave Lee a tandem JayDriller. The Hunters came back. Rob Lynch ate a double boot in the corner. Lynch sold a knee injury for a while, and then attacked the Hunters when their back was turned. They gave one of the Hunters a double team powerbomb: 1…2…3!
The Riots are a really entertaining monster, heel tag team act. They always get the crowds into the match by just beating the shit out of their opponents. The Hunters ended up reminding me of the RockNES Monsters more than the Bravados. They should be brought back to future shows. Good opener. Match Rating: **3/4
Paul Robinson vs. RJ Singh
Singh’s entourage was with him. Robinson impressed me in his previous PROGRESS match, which was a loss to Noam Dar.
Robinson frustrated Singh in the early moments. Robinson took out Singh’s entourage with a dropkick, and he then wiped out Singh with a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Singh finally cut off Robinson with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Singh got the heat after that. Robinson came back with a springboard forearm and a series of kicks. Robinson went for a guillotine legdrop but Singh avoided it. They traded forearms. Singh avoided a 619, and he then hit Robinson with a double underhook backbreaker. Robinson came back with a superkick. Both men were down after that. Robinson hit a Sliced Bread #2: 1…2…NO! Robinson went for another 619, but one of Singh’s entourage ate the attack. Singh then hit a Gory Buster and locked in the Ethnic Submission! Robinson taps out!
The entourage beat Robinson down after the match, but Singh stopped them. Singh shook Robinson’s hand after the match.
PROGRESS really has something in Paul Robinson, as he is an awesome babyface. He really needs to be on all future PROGRESS shows. Singh’s matches are fun because his two dimensional foreign heel gets good heat. It’s just not a character that interests me if there is no subtlety or layers. We’ll see if they build off the post-match segment at all. Match Rating: ***
Noam Dar vs. Jimmy Havoc [Submissions Match]
Havoc is trying to prove he is more than just a hardcore wrestler, which is why this is a submission match.
The crowd wants Havoc to do some spooning. Havoc had trouble outwrestling Dar early. Havoc went for a dive, but Dar took him out with a dropkick. Dar got the heat for a bit. Havoc randomly came back with a delayed dropkick, but Dar cut him right off. Havoc managed to lock in a Sharpshooter. Dar brought out some thumbtacks. The referee begged him not to use the tacks. Havoc gave Dar a FU away from the tacks. Havoc then swept out the tacks with a broom. Wrestling. Yay. Dar came back with a double stomp on Havoc’s left knee. Dar then locked in a kneebar on that leg. Havoc made the ropes. Havoc came back with a Jig ‘n’ Tonic, and he then transitioned into a cross armbreaker. Dar escaped, but Havoc locked in a crippler crossface. Havoc then got an ankle lock. Dar escaped, but Havoc hit a buzzsaw kick. Havoc pulled out a sock and locked in the Mandible Claw. Dar lowblowed Havoc to get out of it. Dar tried to do an Eddie Guerrero fake weapon attack. The referee bought it and called for the bell.
The PROGRESS owner restarted the match. Havoc hit a superkick and locked in a crippler crossface! Dar made the ropes. Dar then caught Havoc with a kneebar, and Havoc was forced to tap out.
While I would love to see a match between these two where they go all out to have the best match possible, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this storyline driven match. The key was that Havoc’s character really drove the story and the action. The idea of Havoc not wanting to be pigeon-holed is a very relateable story, and it’s one that I’m glad PROGRESS is exploring. The crowd really seemed invested in Havoc’s story, which is a credit to Havoc and the promotion. Noam Dar continues to be one of the consistently great wrestlers in PROGRESS. Match Rating: ***1/4
Mark Andrews vs. Will Ospreay [Natural Progression First Round Match]
Mark Andrews resembles Draco Malfoy, so that usually leads to some Harry Potter related chants.
They did some cool mat based stuff early on. Ospreay managed to send Andrews to the floor, and he then wiped him out with a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Ospreay hit a standing shooting star press, and he then transitioned into a kimura. Andrews made the ropes. Andrews came back with an incredible DDT. Andrews hit a double stomp and a standing somersault back senton. Ospreay came back with a brainbuster. Ospreay then hit a super reverse hurricanrana. Andrews came back with a springboard hurricanrana: 1…2…3!
These two tried to go out and steal the show, and they nearly did just that. They pulled out all of their best tricks and put on a truly entertaining exhibition. Best match of the show so far. Match Rating: ***1/2
Dave Mastiff vs. Marty Scurll vs. Stixx
Mastiff killed Scurll with a bodyslam. Stixx had little luck with Mastif despite being much bigger than Scurll. Stixx and Mastiff were slugging it out on the floor. Scurll tried to wipe them out with a dive, but they moved out of the way. Scurll crashed on a chair. Scurll somehow survived that and made his way back to the ring. At one point, Nathan Cruz attacked Marty Scurll. Pretty stupid on Cruz’s part since he has to defend his title right after this. Mastif and Stixx traded some power bombs. Mastiff got a nearfall with a senton. Stixx came back with a Black Hole Slam, which got him a nearfall. Mastiff came back with his delayed cannonball corner splash: 1…2…3!
Dave Mastiff is awesome. That is all. This was Stixx’s best showing, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it happened when he wasn’t in the ring with Lion Kid. I wish Scurll was used better on this show, as having him wrestle for a few minutes in a triple threat seems like a complete waste of his immense talent. Match Rating: ***
Cruz demanded that the owner ban Marty Scurll from the ringside area. The owner agreed. The match started out as much more of a brawl than one would expect. They brawled throughout the crowd. Cruz suplexed Ligero onto a merch table that did not break. Ligero came back and hit a somersault dive off a stage to the floor. The crowd is very behind Ligero. Ligero then suplexed Cruz onto some chairs. They’ve been on the floor for a while. They finally made their way to the ring, where Cruz cut off Ligero with a massive German suplex. Cruz worked him over. He tried to get a countout win, but Ligero made it back into the ring. Cruz was mocking Ligero, and the Ligero promptly came back with a big DDT. Ligero hit a running punt to the chest: 1…2…NO! Ligero hit a Tidal Wave: 1…2…NO! Cruz came back with a lung blower for a nearfall. Ligero came back with an Air Raid Crash: 1…2…NO! Ligero hit a sole butt, but Cruz hit a leaping knee. Ligero caught him in a small package, but Cruz came back with a Liger Bomb: 1…2…NO! Ligero hit a superkick for a nearfall. Ligero went for a springboard DDT, but Cruz caught him with an Ace Crusher. Ligero missed a Ghetto Stomp, but he came back with a thrust kick and a cannonball corner splash. Ligero then placed him on the mat and hit a Superfly Splash: 1…2…NO! The crowd’s enthusiasm has been fluctuating, but they seem to be into the match again. Ligero then grabbed the Championship Staff. The referee convinced him not to use the weapon. Cruz then hit the Show Stolen: 1…2…NO! Another Show Stolen: 1…NO! Cruz hit a big boot to the face, but again, Ligero kicked out. Another boot to the face: 1…2…NO! Overkill. Ligero then caught Cruz with guillotine looking move…and Cruz taps!
I have very mixed thoughts on this match. While I normally don’t like extended brawling sequences, I really enjoyed the first half of this match (ie: the brawling section). I thought the segment did a great job of setting the tone for the match and Ligero’s character. While that was a great setup, only some of the stuff when they returned to the ring really paid off at all. A lot of the nearfalls felt aimless and obligatory. Luckily, the crowd responded by the end and Ligero winning the Championship felt like a “moment.” This wasn’t the best way to end PROGRESS’s first year, but Ligero being champion should lead to lots of great matches in 2013. Match Rating: ***1/4
The 411: PROGRESS Wrestling ran four shows in its first year, and I think the year can't be considered anything other than a success. Each show would be classified as a "Thumbs Up," with Chapter 1 and Chapter 4 being the two best shows. While this show had a somewhat disappointing main event, the consistency from top to bottom makes this another success for PROGRESS. I really hope PROGRESS keeps up the great work in their second year. Buy this show at the Progress Wrestling DVD Store as either a DVD or a MP4.