Thank fuck for the abject fickleness of modern technology eh. Cause without the hard camera at PROGRESS – Chapter 13 failing, we wouldn’t have been given the gift of seeing the show for fuck all. It says a lot about the dedication to the fanbase that the owners have that they deemed this unfit to charge any money for, cause let me let ye in on a wee secret troops. They absolutely could have charged money for this. Hard camera or not, this is easily one of the most complete wrestling shows I’ve seen all year. To the point that if I had run it, and all I had from it was a few blurry polaroids and a tape recording of Rampage Brown screaming “WRESTLING!” into a tin can, I’d charge a fee for folk just to have the privilege of being exposed to that. If you like indie promotions with a commitment to storytelling and building its own stars as opposed to relying on imports to shift tickets…PROGRESS has all of those things.
It also has the most despicable heel in the UK in Jimmy Havoc. An immensely talented wrestler, but someone who was widely known as a bit of a loveable sicko. Seemingly one of the nicest guys you could ever encounter, but he also might smash a bottle over your head if the mood strikes. In fact, he’d probably smash one over his own head first, because Havocs gonnae bleed. Havoc’s always gonnae bleed. Inevitable mate. At PROGRESS Havoc disnae bleed. Havoc makes others bleed. Havoc makes promoters, fellow professionals, and former friends suffer for underestimating him. Havoc is quite genuinely, a fucking bastard. Before we get to his proficient bastardry, we had a stellar wrestling show to occupy us.
Rampage Brown vs Darrell Allen
There was a bit of a size differential involved in the opening contest of Unbelievable Jeff, as the ‘really fucking huge’ Rampage Brown took on the ‘quite wee and zippy’ Darrell Allen. Wee and zippy had the upperhand early as Allen sent Rampage to the outside with a pair of dropkicks, before having his suicide dive attempt thwarted by one of Rampage Browns huge forearms. Rampage is nae joke. As much as I admire him as a wrestler, a small part of me is glad he’s not booked in Scotland more often, cause he frightens the fuckin life out me. In an entirely different way fae the way Tommy End does. With Tommy End theres a fear that he might sacrifice you, or at least yer soul, but with Rampage the main fear is that if he saw fit, he could punch your face until it isn’t a face anymore. He could strike you until your head resembles a plastic bag filled wae mashed potatoes, with a wig stuck on top. Thats a fate that Darrell Allen was in grave danger of falling victim too, as he hits the mark with a second suicide dive attempt. Followed by some ill advised, but sare looking leg kicks. Rampage derails his momentum with a jaw dislodging big boot to the melt and thats when the big scary guy started looking…well, really fuckin big and scary I suppose eh. Uppercuts and forearms are followed by a huge backbreaker as the big man started flinging Allen about like an empty suitcase. Allen rallies, but foolishly goes for a vertical suplex, which was of course blocked and turned into a sitout suplex from Rampage. The lesson to be learned there is that if you’re wrestling a bear, and that bear doesn’t want to be suplexed, he’s probably gonnae make every effort to stop you from suplexing him.
Allen rallied once more though, proving more than a match for Rampage in terms of spirit, and determination. Even exhibiting a couple of things that he’s probably better than Rampage at, when he hit a hurricanrana on the floor and a springboard clothesline back in the ring. I’ve never seen the big man attempt either of those things, but I wouldn’t imagine he’d count them as part of his moveset.
One move he most certainly does consider to be part of his moveset is the Piledriver, and more often than not, it proves fatal for those who take it. Allen does well to reverse the first attempt into another ‘rana, but his stern resistance is soon ended when Rampage planted him with that cranium cracker of a piledriver. (I like describing cunts finishers wae alliteration btw. Get used tae that if ye plan on reading on any further)
Stoater of an opener. I made it my mission to see as much Rampage Brown as I possibly could after being hugely impressed with his match with Joe Coffey at SWA last year, and I’ve failed with that mission. Fuckin miserably tae. So anything that makes me sit and watch Rampage Brown do his combative, and occasional brutal thing, is a good thing if ye ask me. This is PROGRESS, and its off tae a flyer.
‘Dynamite’ Pete Dunne vs Robbie X
Being in a bit of a Scottish Wrestling bubble, I admittedly had heard very little of these two guys before seeing them both at a recent PBW show. Both were impressive that night, with Dunne in particular taking part in an exhilarating triple threat match with Noam Dar and Kenny Williams, so I had a mild but audible buzz around the crotch area for seeing this match. It was part of the Natural Progression Series, a tournament in which up and coming wrestlers are given the chance tae compete in a tournament for a Progress Title shot, and it was a fucking belter. We started off with some leapfrogging, before Dunne hung himself between the top and middle ropes like one of yer French girls, letting ye know that this match was going to be a wee bit unorthodox. A handspring headscissors takedown from Robbie X was further proof that this shit was bananas. That was the first move in a succession of moves that I had no idea actually existed, and the next yin was a Pumphandle DDT from Dunne. In case yer wondering what a Pumphandle DDT entails, its pretty much a Pumphandle Slam turned into a DDT. Fairly self explanatory mate. Use yer fuckin heid.
Dunne had the better of the early exchanges, before Robbie X switched the momentum with a belter of a missile dropkick and that was the point in the match where the crowd picked up on a wee problem Robbie X was having. Ye see, after a lot of physical exertion, or anytime he chooses to demolish a KFC bargain bucket on his own, Robbie X gets a wee bit rosy cheeked. A wee bit red in the coupon, and the crowd simply started chanting “RED FACE” in his direction, which was met with a sincere and almost pained sounding cry of “I CANT HELP IT” Its awrite mate, I understand, its just a bit warm, and when yer dishing out chops and sitout powerbombs like a madman, the blood’s gonnae rush to the face. It happens. Did that stop me gutting myself laughing when the “He’s got a red face…on his face” chant started? It most certainly did not, but I’m just trying tae empathise here. After some slick suplexing from Dunne, Robbie X hits a middle rope moonsault off the apron, as this cracker of a match kicked in to full on “flippin, duckin and divin aw over the place” mode. One of said flips from Robbie X saw him caught and tombstoned by Dunne, in a move that saw Dunne burst his own knees. Burst knees quickly transitioned into a sare face, and an achey body as Robbie X hit a handspring Diamond Cutter, followed by a running Shooting Star Press for a 2 and a half count.
We kicked into flippy shit hyperdrive soon after as Dunne catches Robbie X coming off the ropes with a forearm in midair, before getting a near fall of his own with a stoater of a sitout powerbomb, followed by him turning Robbie X’s kickout into a Texas Cloverleaf. Of course he fuckin did. I wouldn’t expect any less from this match, which was making me re-evaluate all the shit I thought I knew about wrestling and its traditions. Although the match did come to a fairly standard ending, as Dunne got the knees up to block Robbies moonsault, before hitting him with the classic double underhook Powerbomb/Texas Cloverleaf 1-2 punch for the win.
Of course, that’s not a standard way to end a wrestling match. I was being sarcastic there! But aye, a belter of a match, with Dynamite Dunne moving on to the next round. Hope to see a lot more of both guys in the future, and if that “He’s got a red face..on his face” chant disnae catch on, something’s gone very very wrong.
Michael Gilbert vs Eddie Dennis
If he caught a glimpse of the previous match whilst putting on his plain black trunks, and finding just the right volume for his audio free entrance music, yer Michael Gilbert would have been fucking disgusted at all the high octane fun that was had. In case you hadn’t heard, TAFKA Mikey Whiplash now goes by his real name Michael Gilbert, and his gimmick…sorry, his…eh…whats the opposite of a gimmick? His ‘thing’ ? Aye we’ll go wae ‘thing’. His ‘thing’ these days is not having a gimmick. His ‘thing’ is bringing that World Of Sport style back and taking British Wrestling back to its roots, so there would be nae triple suicide dives anymore. Nae makeup and suspenders. Nae nibbling on his opponents earlobe and pretending its a submission while imploring the ref to “ask him!” None of that nonsense, just serious, strong-style, professional grapplin. His counterpart was a big Welsh tower of hilarity known as Eddie Dennis, and despite “Michael Gilbert vs Eddie Dennis” sounding like more of a matchup you’d find in a pub dominoes tournament, than the bizarre world of professional wrestling, this match was perhaps the most fun on the card, with Dennis bringing out his alter ego, the worlds largest luchador “Eddie Mysterio Jr” to take on Gilbert, much to the dismay of Mr Huffy.
The match started with a couple of belting arm drags from Dennis (sorry…Mysterio) before he hit a picture perfect dropkick, leaving Gilbert wondering what the fuck he had wandered into here. A 6 foot 6 Welsh luchador hitting ye flush on the jaw with a dropkick isn’t something you expect when you prepare for an old school strong style wrestling match. After taking Dennis down with an overhead takedown, Gilbert implores him to ‘BE SERIOUS’ so naturally Dennis saw that as his cue to try a 619. Gilbert evaded that attempt, before encouraging Dennis to join him in a spot of ‘SERIOUS WRESTLING’ with a strength test, which Gilbert turned into a slick takedown, into leglock on the floor, transitioning from that into a box and arrow lock. Straight into the thick of the old school british style with another simple takedown, followed by some entirely serious, strong style finger bending. Dennis resists the temptation to tap out to the finger crippler, and eventually flips his way back to his feet, only for Gilbert to engage in a cardinal sin. He took it upon himself to spit on the traditions of the lucha libre as he pulled Eddie Mysterio Jrs mask off. Exposing his face to the audience for the first time since about 6 minutes earlier. Clearly incensed at his disrespect, Dennis flew into a blind rage, only to be caught with an ‘accidental’ baw hit from Gilbert. There’s strong style wrestling, then theres kicking folk in the baws mate, thats not on.
A simple snapmare into a chinlock from Gilbert followed, with a shoulderblock taking Dennis to the ground after that, as Gilbert took control with his no frills, engaging style. A single leg takedown into an STF followed that, Gilbert screaming “ASK HIM…ASK HIM IF HE BOWS TO THE WILL OF STRONG STYLE WRESTLING!” in the refs face, but Dennis gallantly reached the ropes. We then had some rope use from Gilbert of all things! As he propelled himself off the bottom rope to drop a knee across Dennis. A succession of strong style jabs kept Dennis at bay for a while, but the big man rallied with a forearm smash or two, only for Gilbert to kill his momentum once more by wrapping his leg round the ringpost. Strong style sareness. Dennis just makes it back in the ring before the 10 count, and he finally built a bit of momentum with an atomic drop and a sweet diving clothesline. Followed up by a spinning forearm off the ropes, and an erection inducing exploder suplex.
Gilbert took control again with a pair of clotheslines. One to the back, and a decapitating clothesline to the front. Despite the prior decapitation, Gilbert re-attached Dennis’ severed head and also kindly re-attached his mask, kindly offering the opportunity to be a ‘funny man’ once again if he so wished. Of course, the slaps to the once again masked face of Dennis would indicate that this was less than friendly from Whiplash, as he picked Dennis up for the Rolling Senton, only for Dennis to reverse it into a 619 setup. This time he hit the mark with the “6-1-knee” a variation of the 619 which involves him kneeing his opponent for the finish, cause he’s 6 foot 6 mate. 6 foot 6 people cannae really bend the required way to perform a normal 619. That didn’t get the job done though, and Gilbert reversed Dennis’ rollup attempt, into a bridging rollup for the win. The perfect end to a match which told an enjoyable story. A rollup for the win drives home Gilberts message. Lets take wrestling back to its roots. Lets cut out all the ripping peoples masks off, and wrapping their legs round ringposts and take it back to the days where ‘British Wrestling’ actually meant something.
Screw Indy Wrestling (Sha Shamuels and Mark Haskins) vs Project Ego vs The London Riots vs The Swords Of Essex
Fucking. Insanity. I thought the triple threat tag match I saw in ICW down in London earlier this year couldn’t be topped, but I was sorely mistaken, cause this shit was probably just as good, if not better. The winners would receive a PROGRESS Tag Title shot, and that led each and every person involved in this feast for the senses to fire everything they had at it. As a match, it had everything. As a piece of storytelling tying in with the main storyline, it was fucking captivating, but that part isnae for ages yet. Before that we had a whole lot of unbelievably fast paced wrasslin, which served to bamboozle and titillate in equal measure. In amongst it!
Martin Kirby kicked it off with James Davis of the London Riots, and I was heartened to hear a “fuck the riots” chant on the go. The PROGRESS fans seem to hate them due to their affiliation with Jimmy Havoc in the promotion, whereas I just hate them for emerging victorious in a match that pitted a Scottish team against an English team (they beat The Coffeys in ICWs first London show btw, incase you’re wondering what I’m referring to) but its nice that we’re all united in the same sentiment. That sentiment being FUCK THE RIOTS. Having said that, the bigger riot, Rob Lynch had a cracking exchange with Kris Travis, which saw Travis combat the big mans hard hitting style with a variation of kicks and a pair of hurincaranas. Thats followed by another pair of ‘ranas, this time from Paul Robinson of the Swords of Essex, as he took down the big boay wae the braces Sha Samuels. The big man went for a suplex in response, only for Robinsons tag partner to sneak in and catch him, and he then proceeded to throw Robinson at Samuels like a baldy wee dart, and that baldy wee dart hit another huricanrana on Samuels for good measure. Ospreay got in next, and and took Mark Haskins down with an armdrag and a beauty of a standing moonsault. I thought standing moonsaults had been ruined forever for me by seeing Uhaa Nation perform a double standing moonsault in one motion (any fucking excuse to mention this, cause its AMAZIN) but Ospreays is one of the better ones out there.
The next two to square off were British stalwarts Mark Haskins and Kris Travis, and that saw a period of dominance from team Screw Indy Wrestling. A series of dropkicks, lariats and so forth from Haskins, followed by a slingshot into a spine buster double team move from Haskins and Samuels. Samuels then hilarious proceeded to choke Travis out with a variation of items passed to him by his tag partner. Started off with a fitba scarf, and when the ref confiscated that, we moved on tae Sha using one of his own braces to choke Travis, and finally some kind of sweat/spunk rag that Haskins pulled out of his sheath, but despite their best efforts. Kris Travis managed tae sook enough air into his probably tanned lungs to stay alive. Travis rallied with a few haymakers, only for Haskins to smash his tag partner off the apron and lock in a boston crab. Trav was taking a fair bit of a doing, when the Screw Indy Wrestling monopoly was broken up by an aggressive blind tag fae James Davis of the London Riots. As much as I fuckin hate the Riots and everything they stand for, I actually love the big cunts at the same time. Know why? Cause they seem like guys who would legitimately knock the utter shite out of ye in a bar fight, and I respect folk that make me fear for the safety of my jaw.
Sha Samuels was like a bear wae a sore heid after Davis tagged him back via a backhander across the chest, so Sha immediately tagged the cheeky bastard back in with a stinging slap across the chops. In the midst of all these tag shenanigans, Kris Travis was still taking a fuckin tanking, and taking it like a pro. Haskins even taking a short time out for a wee drink of water, only to spit some of it in Travs coupon. That evoked an “Evil Jesus” chant from the raucous crowd, which Haskins reacted to by grabbing a beer off a fan in the front row, and turning it into a pot noodle right before our very eyes. Fuckin astounding stuff. Seeing that miracle seemed to galvanise Travis, as he hit a stunneresque move from the canvas, rocking Haskins onto his heels, followed by a big lariat and FINALLY he got Martin Kirby intae the mix. Kirby fires in with a flying forearm, and a kick to the back of the heid, only for Sha Samuels to get into the mix, then fucking everyone got intae the mix and all of a sudden we had a good old fashioned brawl!
With everyone on the outside knocking the living daylights out of each other, Paul Robinson saw that as an opportunity to jump on a bunch of dudes. Project Ego decided that he wisnae gonnae jump on them of his own volition, as they jumped intae the ring at the same time and launched Robinson with a double hiptoss in the general direction of the collection of humans on the outside. Some wrestlers, some fans, and I think Vanessa Feltz wis in the mix somewhere, cause they slightly overshot the throw and he landed directly in tae her 20 foot wide mouth. He was regurgitated just in time to catch duelling knives from Project Ego, and that frenetic succession of madness was rounded off by a beautiful corkscrew moonsault type thing fae Will Ospreay, which led the commentator to deliver an ever so eloquent “fuck me”….I could see where he was coming fae tbh, cause that wee succession of moves turned an already brilliant match into a heart stopping classic, and believe it or not, the best was yet to come.
One thing to note at this point is that this is an elimination match, and everyone was too busy trying tae kill each other tae actually go for a pin. Another borderline insane succession of moves followed, as Kirby hit a superplex on James Davis, only to land just in time to catch a Shooting Star Press from Paul Robinson, and he wandered in a starry eyed daze straight intae the Yakuza Kick from Kris Travis, who also ambled absent mindedly into a Rainmaker from Mark Haskins, who put his brolly away just in time to get speared in hauf by Rob Lynch, and the big man didnae have time to catch his breath before catching an Exploder Suplex/Brainbuster from Sha Samuels, before we finally saw the whole utterly breathtaking saga rounded off with a kick to the back of the heid on Sha courtesy of Will Ospreay. Fuckin…wow
So that sounded fuckin amazing eh? All that good shit in the space of about 30 seconds. That must be the best bit? Nope. Was it fuck. Not even close. Was Haskins catching Ospreay coming off the top rope, and flinging him haufway across the ring with a suplex the best bit? Nope. Was Travis busting out a release German Suplex the best bit? Nah, not that either. We did have less of a complicated picture after that exchange though, as Project Ego and Screw Indie Wrestling let their battle spill to the outside. Travis found his route there a bumpy one as Sha Samuels nearly took his heid clean off with a huge lariat. Both teams wound up getting counted out, and now we were down to the best bit. The London Riots vs The Swords of Essex. Here we fuckin go.
This wasn’t the best bit because it was a class apart wrestling wise, although it was fucking stellar in that respect. But this was the best bit cause it as a storytelling triumph, as Ospreay took an absolute tanking from the Riots. Ron Lynch smashing him with big forearms, and considering his forearms probably outweigh Ospreays whole body by about a stone, that shit’s gonnae hurt. Ospreay rallied though, and slowed the Riots momentum down wae a double dropkick, but his rally was short lived as the Riots continued kicking the living shite out of him. He rallied again, only for Lynch to catch him in a bearhug, absorbing all his momentum in the process and making it his own, before proceeding tae throw Ospreay halfway across London with a huge Belly to Belly throw. OSPREAY WOULD NOT YIELD THOUGH MY FRIENDS. He channelled the spirit of some of the worlds greatest underdogs to rally once more. The Brooklyn Brawlers competitive spirit, and distaste for people having their jaw in one piece seemed to be coursing through his veins as he rebounded off the ropes into a handspring double kick to the face. Flooring both Riots and giving him an opening to tag in his long time pal and tag partner Paul Robinson. Robinson was thirsting for the tag let me tell ye. Absolutely fiending for it, but when Ospreay reached him…..
He was gone.
He pulled his hand away, and took himself up the road. This isnae a new thing in tag wrestling. The jump off the apron and leaving yer tag partner in the lurch routine is well known, but in the context of this fucking beezer of a match, it seemed so much more significant. Ospreay battled hard just to get a glimpse of an opening to get his partner in, and Robinson left his brother to die at the hands of a couple of nasty big bastards. The London Nasty Boys hit their double team finisher, The District Line, and that was that. 1..2…..WHIT
He kicked out.
He fuckin went and kicked out. Ospreay probably weighs about 8 stone soaking wet, but half of that 8 stone must be baw weight, cause this guy is packing a huge set of nuts. Testicular fortitude coming oot his ears. The Riots couldn’t fathom what just happened, and they were even more stunned when Ospreay hit a springboard double Diamond Cutter to floor both of them. Ospreay went up top looking for an unlikely win, which would give him and the guy who just stabbed him in the back a tag title shot, but his resistance was finally broken when Davis launched Ospreay into the path of Rob Lynch for a brutal spear to signal the end of one of the best tag team matches I’ve ever fucking seen. Unreal.
So that was the best bit eh? Well in terms of the match itself aye. It was a scintillating bit of storytelling, but what followed was perhaps even more captivating, as I was given my first glimpse of Jimmy Havoc. Not the Jimmy Havoc I’ve grown to know and love in ICW, I got a glimpse of Jimmy Havoc the fucking cunt. He appears at ring with a roll of duct tape and a pink chair, and he orders the Riots to sit the stricken Will Ospreay on the chair, as he explains to co-owner Jim Smallman that bad things are no longer gonnae be happening to him. Bad things are instead gonnae happen to people that the PROGRESS fanbase care about, and considering Will Ospreay is one of those people, well…..Will Ospreay was about to get fucked up. Jimmy Havoc calmly explains that he intends to torture Ospreay, and that he will very much enjoy doing so. Perhaps with a wee semi hidden in his suit troosers as he does. I get the impression this version of Jimmy Havoc gets a wee boaby buzz from his villainy. I was pretty much blown away by how much of a fucking cunt he appeared to be, then something amazing happened. I’m no sure if this kind of thing is for everyone, but it done the job for me, as Havoc reached intae his sock and pulled out a fucking switchblade. Aye….the cunt brought a knife to wrestling show. Ospreay flapped about and nearly made an escape, but he was eventually pinned down after a few chair shots, and Jimmy Havoc took a fuckin knife tae him.
He didn’t have enough time to get properly stabby though, as Mark Andrews, Eddie Dennis and Pete Dunne rushed out to make the save, but the job was a good un. Some of the most convincing heel work I’ve seen in a long time. For a guy to pull a knife out, and calmly tell a young man he’s going to torture him and enjoy it, and for it to not feel out of place on a wrestling show? A bit of a fuckin masterstroke. I’m no intae sooking up peoples arses, but its undeniable really. Jimmy Havoc is insanely good at what he does, and everything about that match, and what followed it was perfection. As good as it fuckin gets. The way Ospreay sold his horror at what had just happened was perfect as well.
So aye…just a whole other half of the show eh? Featuring 2 dream matches, and Jimmy Havoc probably torturing someone else. I’d like tae take this opportunity to once again thank the inanimate object that made this all possible. The hard camera which failed on the night. THANK YOU MALFUNCTIONING HARD CAMERA, YOU ARE A HERO AMONGST MERE MORTALS.
Tommy End vs El Ligero
After a brief intermission we finally made it to the multinational portion of the evening, as the worlds most frightening dutchman Tommy End, took on everyones favourite faux Mexican El Ligero. I’ve touched on this before, but aye. Tommy End gives me the fuckin fear man. Theres something quietly terrifying about the way he goes about his business, and I fear taking one kick to the chest off him could lead to yer ribcage disintegrating. I’d say my main goal in life is making it to the end without ever giving Tommy End any reason to kick me. So far, so good.
There was a feeling of mutual respect to this one, as they locked up early on, with some slick mat wrestling rounded off with a sideheadlock takedown by Ligero. Tommy End responding with a single leg takedown, into a pin for a 2 count. A mark of the great chemistry these two have as the action had right good flow to it when it got going. It was of course gonnae go up a few notches in terms of pace, and the impact of the moves, but sometimes its nice tae sit back and enjoy something a bit more intricate. Ligero attempts to take it up a few notches with a Huricanrana, but Tommy End escapes it wae a fuckin cartwheel, only to take the ‘rana second time round, followed by a springboard crossbody. Tommy End responded tae that by kneeing Ligero intae next week. We had our first Tommy End kicks after that, when he delivered a pair of stoaters in the corner, followed by a snap suplex as Ligero was scooping his ribs up aff the canvas. This imposing bastard has nae regard for you, and the welfare of yer ribcage, and he hit the mark with another belter of a running knee. Ligero was ribless and in a whole lot of trouble, but he finally got the momentum shifter he was looking for when Tommy End missed wae the big shoulder in the corner, and Ligero dislodged his chin with a running dropkick on the apron, followed up by a crossbody. We were then treated to a frenetic procession of kicks, elbows and various other sections of limb being launched at the other guy, finished off by some kind of innovative Sunset Flip/Facebuster thing fae Ligero. Fuck knows whit ye’d call it, but it was a sight tae behold.
Tommy End regained his composure and proficiency in scaring the shite oot me when he flew at Ligero with a double knee, followed by a big roundhouse. Another roundhouse and a brainbuster saw Tommy End take full control, and the bridging deadlift German suplex to follow was just showing off eh? Nae fuckin need tae be that good. Nae need ataw. The magnificent bastard came at Ligero with a springboard moonsault after that, but Ligero reversed it intae…somethin. It looked sare anyway. Up top he went and he landed a big splash for the win…only for Michael Gilbert to emerge and pull Ligero out. See the thing about this is that Ligero still won by DQ, but thats no what Ligero’s aw aboot. He didn’t want it that way, its just not noble enough! In a way Gilbert would probably have some admiration for that, but nah. Ligero had a mask on, so clearly he’s NOT TAKING WRESTLING SERIOUSLY ENOUGH! and his nobility was not rewarded on this occasion with Tommy End getting the win with the Dragon Sleeper after the match was re-started.
Michael Gilbert clearly must’ve thought the Dragon Sleeper wisnae quite enough choking for one day, as he rushed back out to choke Ligero out with the Triangle Choke. As unpleasant, and ungentlemanly as Gilberts conduct was, its clearly a setup for a future Ligero vs Gilbert match, and I have a stocious stauner at the prospect of that.
Then we had the small matter of a certain Irishman taking on a certain Englishman, in a match that was certain to fuckin end me. Aw christ man, its Joker Devitt time…
Prince Devitt vs Zack Sabre Jr
As Devitts music hits and he appears on the stage in all his glory, a single droplet of sweat comes trickling down from my forehead, and dribbles slowly intae my eyeball, but I’m paralysed. Frozen by Devitt. The simple act of elevating my arm enough to wipe the sweat clear proves an impossible task. The wonder of him is all too much. The wonder of Fergal. You might think this patter is a bit OTT, and yer right, it is. I wasn’t really paralysed at all, and it would be a bit fuckin weird if I was. I was using words to put powerful images in yer heid to build suspense. How did that work for ye? I feel like it hit the mark.
Anyway, this was the match where Devitt used the Joker character and for me, of the ones I’ve seen, this tops the lot. Admittedly I’m yet to see his match with Adam Cole where he used the Bane character, and that might top it, but this one, and the way he built the Jokers mannerisms into his match, was fucking perfect. Its rare Zack Sabre Jr takes part in a match where he’s not the starring attraction, but as good as he is, I don’t think theres many wrestlers on the planet who could compete with Joker Devitt.
A wrestling match broke out, and it nearly ended in the first 30 seconds, as Devitt took Sabre Jr to the ground with a dropkick, and nailed him wae the top double stomp for a 2 count. Nearly ended it before he even got the chance tae take the Joker getup off and reveal two startling things. First thing being that fucking chest, hand crafted by god himself, and the the second thing being the message on his back regarding the monsters inside of us being more frightening than the ones under yer bed. I’m not so sure on that one, there wis some socks of varying textures under my bed the last time I looked, and if any of them took to life and and crawled oot, I’d imagine they’d be pretty fucking frightening. The worst of the monsters inside of me, is my monstrous desire as a straight man, tae touch Devitts chest. Wae ma boaby. But aye. A wrestling match. A fucking astounding one. A big kick sends Zack Sabre Jr tae the outside, but he dives back in and hits Devitt wae a kick of his owne. Some uppercuts and leapfrogging magnificence, is brought to a close by a beautiful dropkick from Devitt, before Sabre Jr took the initiative and started working Devitts arm, with a smidgen of finger bending and smack talk in the mix. He’s get his comeuppance for all that cheeky finger bending right enough, as Devitt went chop daft. Taking Zack Sabre Jr to every corner, and chopping the life out him, and anytime he seemed to think the ordeal was over, Devitt would softly whisper “It’s never over” in his ear, before chopping him viciously once more. Aw the fuckin chops. Including one that genuinely made me wince when he whipped Sabre Jr to the corner, and hit him with a running chop. If you didnae shed a tear when you seen that one, you’re a better man (or wo-man) than me.
We made our way to the muhfuckin streets after that, well by ‘streets’ i mean roon the side of the ring, but aye. Sabre Jr levelled Devitt with a stoater of a kick, before sitting him down on a nice comfy seat and uppercutting him tae fuck while he tanned some dudes beer. Devitt did not take too kindly to that, and smashed Sabre Jr in the ribs wae a chair, before sitting him down on said chair and flying at him with a dropkick. Sending both men, the chair, and probably the top row of Sabre Jrs teeth intae the crowd. Sabre Jr just made it back into the ring in time to beat the 10 count, but probably wishes he hadn’t bothered his arse after taking another double stomp, this time to the back, Chops, kicks and forearm smashes followed and took both men tae the canvas. Before Sabre Jr knocked a few of Devitts braincells loose wae a full nelson suplex followed by a penalty kick to the side of the dome. Devitt somehow broke free of Sabre Jrs armbar and hit a brainbuster, but after kicking out at 2, yer man Zachary locked the armbar in again. Devitt broke free and nearly ended Sabre Jr with a juge lariat followed by another double stomp but yer had the impression the end was nigh, and and spinning heid kick followed up by Bloody Sunday finally got the job done for Devitt.
Fucking wonderful exhibition of…everything. Professional wrestling at its best. This show’s just too fuckin much man. I’ve wrote at least 3x as much as I intended already, but I cannae help it. Its quite a buzz to be so gripped by a show without being there. A rarity, and still the main event tae come. As long as Jimmy Havoc disnae actually kill Mark Andrews I think it’ll be good shit. Shall we fire it on and see?
Jimmy Havoc (c) vs Mark Andrews (Ladder Match for the PROGRESS Title)
All that’s left to do is decide if Jimmy Havoc truly is the living embodiment of pure evil. Evidence so far suggests that he is. Evidence so far suggests that he might be responsible for every unsolved crime in the history of the world. I’m hauf expecting a fully grown up Maddie Mccann tae come out as part of his entourage at this rate, cause Jimmy Havoc is a bad man. The PROGRESS Title isnae a belt btw, just in case you’re unaware, its a big staff with a nazi symbol on the top of it. Its supposed tae be ‘regal’ but regal is a make of cigarettes mate, thats a Nazi logo right there. Nah I jest, I don’t see the Nazi thing myself, but that’s apparently what the fans chant, and as wrestling crowds go, I’d say the PROGRESS crowd is fairly sound, so I’ll trust their judgement and buy in tae it. Whatever the fuck it is, its certainly more lethal than a belt, as Havoc showed when he knocked fuck out of Andrews with it to kick this match off. Because in case you hadn’t gathered this yet, Jimmy Havoc is a bad bastard.
Andrews sends Havoc tae the outside with a headscissors takedown, followed by a hurricanrana, and once he got out there, he barely had time tae count the lives he’d left ruined in his villainous wake, before Andrews hit him wae a suicide dive. Clearly Andrews having the PROGRESS Title robbed from him by Havoc all those months ago still rankles with the high flying Welshman, and he made an attempt to quickly grab the belt with a hlf stepladder looking thing that got nowhere near the wee clipboard hanging above the ring. It had tae be something of that nature, cause ye can’t have Nazi propaganda hanging above a room packed wae people. Noam Dar wisnae on this show sadly, but if he was anywhere in the area, he’d find himself suddenly gripped wae terror for no apparent reason. (The joke there is that he’s Jewish, and the Nazis didnae like the Jews. I know its no very good, gie me a fuckin break eh. We’re near the 7000 word mark here awrite? I’m fuckin tired)
Andrews gets tae work on Havoc in the corner, but with the ladder set up in the other corner, Havoc grabbed Andrews and tossed him straight intae the steel. Andrews rolled tae the outside, seemingly to safety, only to have that very same ladder hurled at him from a great height. After all that carnage, it was time for decorum eh? A wee bit of fuckin order. So in a move that doesn’t really suit his maniacal bad bastard character, Jimmy Havoc pulled a table out. They were gonnae sit down and iron this out like gentleman it seemed Maybe over some cheeseburgers, and cauld beers, but aw fuck. Spoke too soon there eh. Seemingly the intent was tae put Andrews through the table would ye believe! But Andrews was having none of it, instead reversing in tae a rock bottom to send Havoc through the table. Andrews decided that if he was gonnae have another go at getting his hands on the clipboard, he needed a real ladder, so this time he got a big bastardin windae cleaner ladder, only for oor evil Jimmy tae throw a chair at him numerous times. Another table comes intae play, and Havoc found himself on it, but he didnae fancy going through another one, so he planted Andrews with a Snap Suplex on the floor instead, cause Snap Suplexes on floors without crash mats are fuckin sare (i imagine) and Jimmy Havoc is all about inflicting pain.
The fight makes its way on to the apron, wae Andrews perched precariously on the top rope, near the recently set up table. This table was also set up for evil deeds. Nae peace treaties tae be had here, as Havoc hurled Andrews through the table with a powerbomb aff the apron, leaving him free and clear tae take a wee saunter up that ladder to retrieve the bit of paper that means he’s entitled to keep his big Nazi logo on a stick. Andrews valiantly climbed back in tae the ring, much to evil Jimmys annoyance, as he implored the plucky Welshman to “STAY DOWN” This is when it got fuckin masterful tae me. Seeing Havoc as a dominant heel champion, ruining Andrews’ shit without any outside help, but the spirited challenger just wont stay down. As a fan it makes it pretty fuckin easy tae pick a side, and tae me thats a good thing. A rare thing in wrestling these days. A match that pretty much forces ye tae get on the good guys side, cause the bad guy is just that much of an evil cunt, that ye’d need tae be equally evil tae get behind him. Andrews gets back in the fight wae a hiptoss on to a chair set up in the corner, but Havoc regains control with a low blow. He carries Andrews out tae the entrance way after that, and its sound logic tbf. If he knocks him out over there, there’s less chance of him somehow crawling bac intae the ring. Could even find a nice big wheelie bin somewhere outside and stick him in that just tae be sure. He goes for a powerbomb aff the stage, but Andrews blocks it and goes flying at Havoc and a whole lot of empty chairs wae a somersault senton. Leaving Andrews wae the opening to dream the impossible dream. Climb that ladder kid…make yersell a hero!
Havoc’s no deid yet though, and he climbs back intae ring to stop Andrews in his tracks, before sprawling him out over two chairs and going up top tae end this shit. Once again the plucky bastard got up and back in the tae the battle, although at this stage yer no entirely sure if hes brave or fuckin daft. He sends Havc through the two chairs with a top rope hurricanrana (taking the Huricanrana count for this show intae the thousands) and seemingly he’s free and clear tae climb up that ladder and make himself a hero. This time ma man its aw yours! Reach for the starts, and DREAM the IMPOSSIBLE dre….aw fur fuck sake. These cunts again. The fuckin Riots. Of course its them. Couple of dream killing bastards. BUT WAIT! HERE COMES THE CAVALRY. Eddie Dennis and Pete Dunne provide the hauners, making this a three on three scrap. Dunne and Dennis dive on yer riots on the outside of the ring, leaving Havoc to take Andrews’ heid aff with a rainmaker in the ring. Havoc in a rare moment of compassion jumps oot tae help his pals, leaving Andrews in the ring on his own. Finally he got within touching distance of glory, but its bros before belts (or tridents if ye prefer) and he decided tae use the his higher vantage point tae dive on everycunt. They all fall the fuck down, with Dunne and Dennis seemingly ushering The Riots away from the scene, and leaving it down to the two warriors to battle it out. One on one, both on top of the ladder. An exchange of forearms, is followed by a double heidbutt which sends both crashing to the deck, and it looked like it was finally time for Andrews hearty challenge tae come to an end. Table set up. Superplex in motion. Lights out. He fought again though. By fuck, this cunt just does not give up. They coulda dragged him outside, and Irish Whipped him intae oncoming traffic, and he still would’ve crawled to his feet somehow. He reversed the Superplex attempt, and send gently eased Havoc off the top rope through the table, and surely this time the opening was there, nae Riots. Nae backup. On ye go Marky boy, make yersell a two time champ.
Theres always a Plan B though.
That Plan B was the traitorious wee dickpiece who left his brother in the lurch (aye I might be channelling some bitterness about The Shields breakup here, so whit?) Paul Robinson comes oot and saves the day. Throws all sorts of chairs at Andrews anaw. Steel chairs, rocking chairs, recliners, a three seater sofa, a fuckin FOUR seater sofa wid ye believe. All the chairs, and Havoc makes his way up the ladder to grab the clipboard. Jimmy Havoc is still your Progress Champion, and of course he scudded Andrews with the clipboard to add insult to injury as the poor guy lay hauf deid. Jimmy Havoc has a new hooligan for his flock, and PROGRESS Wrestling still have the devil himself as their champion.
So aye. I was fuckin…blown away by the quality of that show. We should all be very thankful for the fuckle nature of modern technology for making this free for all tae see. Thank fuck for the failing hard camera.
I suppose after reading a fuckin disseration about it, ye might be sick to the back teeth of hearing about this show, so instead of hearing about it, why not watch it for yerself?