PROGRESS Chapter 7: Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future
Islington, London, England 5/19/13
The show starts off with Noam Dar interrupting Jim Smallman in the ring. Dar says that he’s an impatient nineteen year old, and wants his shot at the PROGRESS Title right now. El Ligero them comes out, and agrees to put his title on the line right now!
1.) PROGRESS Title - El Ligero vs. Noam Dar: ****
It’s so odd that the PROGRESS Title went from being defended in the main event on the last show to being defended in the opening match, but I think they managed to explain it well with Dar’s promo beforehand. I actually thought this was a great match. I would say El Ligero’s title defense against Ricochet was slightly better, but still, this was an awesome match. There was plenty of very good action throughout, but they also managed to tell a good story, as Dar kept working over the leg of El Ligero, so he could get him set up for his leg submission. Despite the setbacks, El Ligero managed to fight back. He was able to hit his finisher, C4L (basically a Springboard DDT), but Dar kicked out at one! El Ligero hit it a second time, and that managed to get the job done. Once again, this was a great match, and both men delivered in a big way here.
After the match, both men shook hands.
2.) Natural Progression Series - First Round - Four-Way Elimination Match - Darrell Allen vs. Eddie Dennis vs. Joey Lakeside vs. Xander Cooper: **3/4
Up next, we have another first round match in the Natural Progression Series, but this time, it’s a Four-Way Elimination Match. Two of these men (Darrell Allen & Eddie Dennis) were actually on opposite sides of a tag team match back at Chapter 6. To quickly go through the eliminations, Joey Lakeside eliminated Xander Cooper (who, in turn, attacked Lakeside as soon as he was eliminated), Eddie Dennis eliminated Joey Lakeside, and finally, Eddie Dennis eliminate Darrell Allen to become the final piece of the Semi-Finals. This was a relatively decent match, but it honestly wasn’t that memorable. The last portion was pretty solid, but there’s not much else to say other than that. Eddie Dennis getting the win is the only real takeaway from this one.
The London Riots then come out for their match against Project Ego, but before the match actually begins, they cut a promo. They talk about how they’ve dominated tag team wrestling in PROGRESS for a year. Despite their dominance, PROGRESS still doesn’t have a set of tag team titles, and they feel disrespected by the fans, calling them selfish. Then they bring up the title belts they have with them, which are the IPW: UK Tag Team Titles that they won the day before. The London Riots said that IPW: UK is a promotion that respects talent, and they then say that, because they have those titles, they’re considering themselves the de facto PROGRESS Tag Team Champions.
3.) The London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) vs. Project Ego (Kris Travis & Martin Kirby): ***1/2
This was a very interesting matchup, as you have The London Riots, who are definitely a more serious team, going up against a more lighthearted team in Project Ego. I thought this was a pretty entertaining tag team match. We did get some comedic moments early on, as Kris Travis tried to give the riots a McDonalds Happy Meal at one point. Once things got a little more serious, however, the action picked up, and this ended up being a really fun match to watch from start to finish. The London Riots would ultimately get the victory, but Project Ego definitely had a solid outing here.
After the match ended, The London Riots got in Jim Smallman’s face. Smallman responds by giving the duo their money for the night, and told them to fuck off. He said The London Riots have one match left on their contracts, and adds that PROGRESS management would whip up something special for them on the next show. Smallman told them to fuck off again, and The London Riots got into a shoving match with Smallman before leaving.
4.) Special Guest Referee: Nigel McGuinness - Jimmy Havoc vs. Zack Sabre Jr.: ***3/4
Jimmy Havoc had yet to score that elusive first victory, but he came into this show hoping that would change, as he took on Zack Sabre Jr. who (I believe) wrestled in the main event of the very first PROGRESS Wrestling show. Nigel McGuinness was introduced as the Special Guest Referee for this match. I don’t think there was any particular reason why he was the Special Guest Referee here, but in this case, it’s fine if they didn’t have a reason. I thought this was a really good match. There was a lot of solid back & forth technical action throughout this one. Of course, we all know that Zack Sabre Jr. is an incredible technical wrestler, but Jimmy Havoc (who is someone that’s known more as a hardcore wrestler) more than held his own against the “technical wizard”. Havoc put up a very good fight here, but in the end, Zack Sabre Jr.’s technical prowess was just too much, and he managed to get the victory over Havoc.
After the match, Nigel McGuinness raised Zack Sabre Jr.’s hand in victory. He took the mic, and said he was nervous about being a referee for this match because he had heard about Jimmy Havoc being a hardcore wrestler (McGuinness is someone who is against that style and, more specifically, the usage of blood in wrestling). He notes that after what he just saw, Jimmy Havoc doesn’t need to be a hardcore wrestler, because he showed that he is a great technical wrestler. If he could hang with Zack Sabre Jr., he could hang with anyone. Jimmy Havoc & Zack Sabre Jr. then embraced in the ring. McGuinness then talks about how he thought that he made the right decision to step away, knowing that wrestling was in good hands with all of the awesome talent coming up. He said that he was proud of the wrestlers and the fans for everything they do for something they all love. He added that British Wrestling is alive & kicking, and that he was proud to be just a small part of it. He then plugged his documentary before the show went to intermission.
5.) Mark Andrews vs. Will Ospreay: ****1/4
I believe these two had met in a singles match on an earlier PROGRESS Wrestling show (I could be wrong), but in this particular encounter, there are some pretty big stakes involved. If Will Ospreay won, then he would take Mark Andrews’ spot in the Natural Progression Series. However, if Mark Andrews won, then Will Ospreay would be forced to leave PROGRESS. I thought this was an incredible match!! There was a ton of amazing action from start to finish, and it was so awesome to watch. Ospreay did bust up his nose at one point, but he fought through it. Honestly, it’s amazing to look back at a match like this over three years after the fact. Everyone in 2017 knows how amazing these two guys are, but it’s so insane to look back and see that they were this good nearly three and a half years ago. it’s crazy to think about. This was easily the best match on the entire card, and both guys really put on a show. Ultimately, Mark Andrews scored the victory, which not only meant that he retained his spot in the Natural Progression Series, but it also meant that Will Ospreay had to leave PROGRESS.
Mark Andrews offered Will Ospreay a handshake after the match. Ospreay accepts, and Andrews raised his hand. Jim Smallman said he knew Ospreay was a man of his word, and told him that he’s an amazing wrestler before shaking his hand.
6.) Danny Garnell vs. RJ Singh: **1/4
RJ Singh was wearing….some peculiar attire on this show. He called out Jim Smallman for announcing his name wrong, and said that tonight, he is “Singhdango” (and obvious parody of Fandango from WWE, who was a relatively hot character at the time). He faced off against Danny Garnell here in an ok match. It wasn’t a bad match by any means, but it was just….average. There’s really not much else to say other than that. Garnell would get the win here.
After the match, RJ Singh took the mic. He was upset by the loss, but decided to do one final dance with a woman from ringside. The London Riots then come out from out of nowhere and attack him. They then “Pillman-ized” Singh’s leg with a pair of chairs. Darrell Allen & Danny Garnell then came out to make the save.
7.) Six-Man Tag - Team Screw Indy Wrestling (Mark Haskins, Nathan Cruz, & Rampage Brown) vs. Dave Mastiff, Marty Scurll, & Paul Robinson: ***1/4
Seeing Marty Scurll before he was "The Villain" was so.....weird. This match has an interesting stipulation, as whoever scores the fall becomes the #1 Contender to the PROGRESS Title. Jim Smallman had Nathan Cruz’s bodyguard removed from ringside because of what he did at the last show to Jimmy Havoc. This match was originally scheduled to be Rampage Brown, Marty Scurll, & Paul Robinson vs. Mark Haskins, Nathan Cruz, and a mystery partner, but when it came time to reveal the mystery partner, it turned out to be Rampage Brown, who attacked Marty Scurll & Paul Robinson. It was a three-on-two assault before Dave Mastiff made the save, and evened up the sides. In the end, Rampage Brown pins Dave Mastiff after a piledriver, not only winning the match for his team, but becomes #1 Contender in the process. As a whole, I thought it was a relatively good match, though I don't think it was worthy of being the main event. Obviously the angle involving Rampage Brown's heel turn was pretty big, but this was far from the best match on this show. There was some good action, though I think the stipulation with the winner of the fall getting a title shot did hurt things a little bit (especially with regards to the babyface side). Also, if Paul Robinson is in the Natural Progression Series, where the winner gets a title shot, why is he in this match with a title shot on the line? Despite all of the different issues, the match was still solid, but again, I don't think it should've been in this spot.
I thought this was a great show from PROGRESS, though it did have its issues. Aside from the Natural Progression Series Match, the first half of this card was incredibly strong, highlighted by El Ligero vs. Noam Dar for the PROGRESS Title, and the incredible match between Mark Andrews & Will Ospreay. The London Riots vs. Project Ego was a fun tag team bout, and Jimmy Havoc vs. Zack Sabre Jr. with Nigel McGuinness as the Special Guest Referee was very good as well. After the Andrews vs. Ospreay, the show appeared to really fall off, with an ok match between Danny Garnell & RJ Singh, and a main event that was good, but shouldn't have been in that spot on the card. Definitely check out the majority of the first half, and watch the rest if you really want to see the entire show.