Views from the Hawke's Nest: PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter Twelve: We're Gonna Need A Bigger Room
Posted by TJ Hawke on 05.14.2014
PROGRESS moves on to bigger and better buildings.
March 30, 2014
The PROGRESS owners did a Wyatt Family gag to introduce the DVD viewers to the new (and much bigger) building. I thought it was pretty amusing.
Commentator: Jimmy Barnett
Paul Robinson vs. Tommy End
They were doing the big man/little man dynamic, which is something that I enjoy quite a bit. Robinson got a couple of roll-up nearfalls early, but End eventually cut him off with a big kick. End was a control for a while after that. Robinson came back and hit a standing SSP for a nearfall. End hit a bridging German and a Penalty Kick for a pair of nearfalls. Robinson managed to snap off a hurricanarana, but End came right back with a brainbuster for another nearfall. End followed that up with a ghetto stomp: 1…2…3!
This was a very fun opener that made sure not to unnecessarily waste time at all. It was more back and forth than I expected given the size disparity between the opponents, but that does not bother me really. Match Rating: **3/4
Grado vs. Mad Man Manson
This match is officially/unofficially a unification match between Grado’s fanny pack and Manson’s balls.
They worked a very serious, “strong style” match. These are the jokes. Gaga gaga gaga. They did a chain-wrestling parody sequence that I appreciated. They did the Jack/Rose “King of the World” spot, and “My Heart Will Go On” came on the speakers. The referee Germaned them both off the turnbuckle. Manson hit Grado with the fanny pack. Grado then ripped open ketchup packets and smeared them on his forehead. That is legit the first time I have ever seen that comedy spot done. Grado showed fighting spirit and a hit a Rock Bottom, Stone Cold Stunner, and Pedigree: 1…2…3!
This was a comedic version of the opener. The match did not go too long, and it kept the crowd engaged the entire time (are those two compliments essentially the same thing?). The ketchup gag was especially inspired. Grado has got an incredibly fresh act, and I’m curious to see how over he gets when he comes to America later this year. Match Rating: **3/4
Will Ospreay vs. Zack Gibson
I don’t believe I have ever seen Gibson before. This is a 2014 Natural Progression Series first round match.
They went back and forth for a while. Neither man could string together a sequence of successful movez. Ospreay appeared to finally get the advantage after a triple-jump somersault plancha to the floor. Naturally, when they got back into the ring, Gibson cut Ospreay off by going after Ospreay’s right arm. A wrestler being able to cut off the wrestler who just hit a big dive is one of my biggest pet peeves in wrestling. It completely devalues the effectiveness of big dives. Gibson was in control for a while. Ospreay eventually made a comeback. He got a nice nearfall with a rebound Falcon Arrow (he’s done the deal!). I think the biggest thing keeping me from getting invested in this match is that both guys are tall, white guys with red trucks. They also pretty much have the same haircut. I don’t know. It’s just one of those basic things that can harm a match with people you do not know very well. Gibson managed to cut him off again, but Ospreay obviously made another comeback. Gibson hit a super exploder, but Ospreay came right back with a slingshot cutter and a standing SSP for a nearfall. Gibson was getting frustrated and tried to use the ropes to pin Ospreay. Paul Robinson prevented that. However, Robinson inadvertently distracted the referee, which allowed Gibson to hit Ospreay with a low blow. Gibson applied a submission to the previously worked over (and long since forgotten) arm of Ospreay. Ospreay had to tap out.
There were some basic things about the match that bugged me (as detailed in the recap), and this match ended up not doing a whole lot for me. There were some cool sequences for sure, but it did not add up to a cohesive match. Ospreay is also the more talented of the two, which makes the finish (unsatisfying in its own right) disappointing. Match Rating: **1/4
London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) vs. Bhangra Knights (RJ Singh & Darrell Allen) [Street Fight]
Jimmy Barnett explained that this match had been in the works for a year, but I honestly do not remember any of the previous matches/angles specifically regarding these two teams. The Riots have been a hot act throughout their time in PROGRESS for sure though. They are also aligned with Jimmy Havoc at the moment.
The match started as a brawl. It was worked throughout as a brawl. Yay. The Riots eventually got control. Allen was isolated in the ring. Lynch accidentally speared Davis, and the Knights then made a big comeback. The teams started going back and forth. The Riots hit Allen with their pop-up/diving spear combo. Singh then ate a brutal series of movez. They hit Singh with District Line: 1…2…3
This was a really good brawl that put the London Riots over strong (and clean), which I just love. They have been one of the most consistently good acts in PROGRESS, and I don’t think that was worth sacrificing for the Bhangra Knights at this time. I’m honestly not sure who the Riots should lose to right now. They are that good. Match Rating: ***1/2
Screw Indy Wrestling (Nathan Cruz & Mark Haskins w/ Kathryn Rose) vs. Project Ego (Martin Kirby & Kris Travis) vs. FSU (Mark Andrews & Eddie Dennis) [PROGRESS Tag Team Championships]
This is the finals of PROGRESS’s tournament to crown their first tag team champions. It’s a single fall match.
The introductions took a very long time. A man from each team is allowed to be in the ring at all times. I was expecting hot and heavy action from the beginning, but that was not the case. None of the teams were able to build up any momentum, and there was a severe lack of story coming together for a while. Haskins, Andrews, and Kirby were in the ring for a while. Travis made a hot tag. Dennis then made a hot tag. Dennis hit a tope con hello, and Andrews then hit a SSP to the floor. They all started trading movez in the ring. Dennis and Andrews eventually hit Kirby with an Air Raid Crash/Ghetto Stomp combo: 1…2…3!
In the tradition of the PROGRESS Championship being a Nazi staff, the PROGRESS tag team championships are two halves of a Nazi shield. I approve. While it took a little bit longer to get going than I would have liked, the teams really put together a strong closing stretch that brought the whole match up for me. Andrews and Dennis are one of my favorite teams in PROGRESS, and they are a good choice for the promotion’s first champs. Match Rating: ***1/4
Doug Williams vs. Dave Mastiff
Mastiff is one of my favorite wrestlers in PROGRESS. Williams can still go. I am hyped.
The match started slowly and less physical than I expected. Mastiff hit a huge dropkick and called for his cannonball splash, but Kathryn Rose jumped into the ring to stop him. Mastiff went to powerbomb her, but Doug stopped him. Doug went to give her an exploder, but Mastiff stopped him. Nathan Cruz was angered on the floor. Did he really expect his valet to needlessly interfere in a match and then not get attacked? The crowd chanted for this woman to be doubleteamed. Errrrrrr. In the end, they compromised. Doug hit a running knee, and Mastiff hit a Liger Bomb (but not before revealing her underwear). This was some hot garbage. Cruz took his valet to the back, and Williams and Mastiff finally got back at it. Williams had the advantage. Mastiff came back, but Doug hit an exploder. Mastiff avoided the Bomb Scare and came right back with the dropkick/cannonball splash combo: 1…2…3
Well, I’m glad Mastiff got the win at least. I have to say that I have no idea what that Kathryn Rose stuff was about. Beyond the problematic “ECW” aspects of the angle, the stuff with Rose just hijacked the match and took up way too much time. The stuff before and after that sequence was fine enough, but the Rose stuff severely took away from the match. Match Rating: **
Jim Smallman was not interested in having The London Riots out with Havoc. Smallman said Havoc would get stripped if they stayed out there with him. Havoc reminded Smallman that this match has no disaqualifications. Smallman agreed to the no disqualifications stipulation. Scurll promptly whacked Havoc with a chair to the head and then a tope suicida. Havoc pretty much got his hands up on the chairshot by the way. The match started as a brawl on the floor. It mostly continued to be brawl on the floor for a long time. Havoc had been dispatched of early in the match. Rampage, Ligero, and Scurll got back into the ring. Havoc finally showed up to pick the bones. That did not work though, and everyone traded movez until they all fell to the mat. Scurll got the next advantage with the cunning use of a steel chair. Havoc placed Scurll on some seated chairs on the floor, and Havoc then hit him with a double stomp. This match has really done a great job of creating a chaotic environment that does not feel cliché. Rampage repeatedly hit powerbombs on Havoc. Rampage then repeatedly threw chairs at Havoc’s head (who did always get his hands up). The crowd chanted “ECW.” Scurll and Ligero teased throwing a chair with him, but they just threw it at Rampage instead. Ligero sent Scurll out of the ring. Rampage threw Ligero into the pile of chairs. Rampage then hit Scurll with a big piledriver. Havoc rose from the dead, hit Rampage with a chair, and then pinned Scurll: 1…2…3
Rampage gave Havoc another chairshot to the head after the match. He followed it up with a big piledriver. Jim Smallman then told a beaten Havoc that there is “always a Plan B.” Andrews came to the ring and gave Havoc a shooting star press. Andrews said he was getting his rematch at Chapter 13. Smallman then announced that it would be a ladder match.
While the ending was not tremendously satisfying, it was clean and a big improvement over the finish at Chapter 11. All four guys worked hard here to deliver an engaging brawl, which is not the easiest thing to do when you have such a long match. Match Rating: ***3/4
The 411: While there were two matches that I found underwhelming, the rest of the show was up to the standard PROGRESS has set for itself. PROGRESS does a solid job of providing lots of variety on their shows without doing it in a cliche way. Even the two brawls were distinctly different in how they were worked/laid out. Thumbs up for Chapter 12. Buy the show from the PROGRESS Store.