SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
CHAPTER 38: WHEN MEN THROW MEN AT MEN
OCTOBER 30, 2016
CAMDEN, LONDON AT THE ELECTRIC BALLROOM
REPORT BY DAVE GREEN, PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
(1) The Hunter Brothers (Jim and Lee) defeated The New Nation (“The Primate” Jason Prime and “The Class Apart” Alexander Henry). This was a fantastic opening tag match, with the debuting New Nation looking like they very much belonged with a great entrance and some incredible power displays from Primate. A series of German suplexes was added to on the third by a second rope Henry uppercut, while later Primate gave bother Hunters a double delayed-suplex, which earned him a “This is Primate” chant. The Hunters looked good as well in their PROGRESS return, scoring the win when Lee avoided a Prime corner charge and rolled him up. Great match with both teams looking evenly matched, while arguably the New Nation made the biggest impression.
(2) Jinny pinned Pollyanna to advance in the first round of Natural Progression 4. This incarnation of the tournament is to crown the first ever PROGRESS women’s champion. These ladies have been rivals for two years now and they brought a lot of fire to this match. While it started out slightly sketchy, they turned things around to deliver a highly dramatic encounter. They hit all of their big moves, including some top ropes variations, but nothing could keep the other down for three. Pollyanna was able to finally hit the Finish-Her, but held on to Jinny to deliver a second one. She made the mistake of going for an immediate third, but Jinny somehow shifted herself around into a roll up which got her the win. The crowd were fully invested in this one and the reaction to the final fall was one of disbelief. Jinny advances to the semi-finals.
(3) Paul Robinson defeated Pastor William Eavor. This was Robinson’s return to Camden after several shows and his surprise return at the Brixton show last month. Eavor tried to start out with his Clothesline from Heaven but Robinson avoided and kept Pastor down with constant takedowns, strikes and aerial assaults. This wasn’t a completely one-sided affair, as Eavor came close to a win with the Last Supper powerbomb, but Robinson proved too much for Eavor, finishing him off with the Curb Stomp.
After the match, Sebastian made his way out in a neck brace. For those unaware, a match between Sebastian and Eavor at the Brixton show ended as soon as it started after an Eavor clothesline, which legit knocked Seb out. He was attended to by medics and taken to hospital. This was not shown in the recorded version of the show for obvious reasons. Seb removed the neck brace and berated the management team for booking Eavor when he nearly killed him at Brixton. Seb threatened Eavor with legal proceedings unless he did his bidding from here on out. Eavor appeared to relent to Seb’s demands, not wishing for his career to end. A new twist of the story using the events of Brixton, with no mention of the secret that Seb claimed to have over Eavor, but I dare say that will be explored at a later date.
(4) The South Pacific Power Trip (T.K. Cooper & Travis Banks w/ Dahlia Black) defeated Jack Sexsmith & Body Guy Roy Johnson in a tables match. This match stipulation was voted for by the fans in an online poll. Both members of the teams had to be put through a table for victory. Sexsmith & Johnson had failed so far to get a win in this long feud. The match started with Black entering the stage without her team, causing a distraction as the pair attacked Sexsmith & Johnson from behind, coming through the crowd. This was a pretty insane match, with everyone turning in a commendable performance. Sexsmith was thrown off the stage into the crowd by Cooper, leaving Johnson alone for a 2-on-1 beat down. Out of everyone involved in the match, it was Dahlia Black who first went through a table at ringside courtesy of an errant Cooper right hand. Johnson was shortly thereafter thrown through a corner mounted table. Sexsmith recovered to mount a comeback and the tandem affectionately known as The Shirtlifters executed a 3D on Banks through a table to make it 1-1. Sexsmith and Cooper found themselves alone to face off after months of feuding, with Sexsmith finally getting Cooper with Mr Cocko. The tap out that followed didn’t count, of course, and left Sexsmith open for a Travis powerbomb through a table for the final fall. The Power Trip remain undefeated, while Sexsmith & Johnson were given a standing ovation for their efforts.
(5) Rampage Brown defeated Bad Bones to retain the PROGRESS Atlas championship. This was the second of Brown running series of open challenge defences, which looks to be a constant thing for his title reign. Bad Bones was making his surprise PROGRESS debut and the former WXW champion made a major impression. He and Brown had a lot of chemistry and this was a hard hitting affair. At one point, Brown hit a standing lariat that could quite easily have taken someone’s head off. The match ended with Bones missing the Wrecking Ball knees in the corner, Brown positioning him and delivering a top-rope back suplex, followed by the piledriver for the win. Bones received “please come back” chants following the match, which he hopefully will.
(6) Matt Cross defeated Mark Andrews to win a future Smash Wrestling championship match. Surprisingly this started off slower than you might expect, with Andrews working on Cross’ legs and slapping on a Muta Lock. Before long, these guys were flying everywhere, with both hitting dives to the outside. Andrews executed a top-rope reverse ‘rana, but Cross landed on his feet, which blew the audience’s collective minds. A Cross shooting star press was met with Andews’ knees and an inside cradle, but Cross kicked out. He immediately surprised Andrews with a shoulder-springboard Ace Crusher to get the win. This was awesome, especially the final few minutes which included one of the best final sequences to a match I have ever seen.
(7) Mark Haskins defeated Marty Scurll and Jimmy Havoc to retain the PROGRESS World Championship. Havoc was making his in-ring return to action after being cleared from his knee injury 9 months ago. The crowd rose to their feet for Havoc’s entrance. In the ring, co-owner Jim Smallman, who had been at odds with Jimmy for so long, mouthed the words “welcome home” to him. He and Scurll fought each other before Haskins made his entrance, who did so by suicide diving into the pair on the outside. What followed was an insanely good triple threat match. Some fantastic spots took place throughout, including Havoc somehow manoeuvring his two opponents into a double Rainmaker. Haskins attempted various submissions throughout, Scurll tried for the chicken wing multiple times and Havoc used weapons whenever he felt necessary. He assembled a stack of chairs on the outside, only to be knocked onto them from the top rope by a Scurll forearm. That wasn’t it for Havoc as he still managed to make a comeback before being low blowed by his arch rival Scurll. However, Haskins took advantage by locking Scurll in his new variation of the Sharpshooter, which resulted in an echo of the closing moments of Brixton with Scurll tapping out.
Post-match came one of the most unusual endings to a wrestling I’ve ever seen, which has since turned into one of the most tragic stories. Instead of writing about it, please watch the footage that PROGRESS posted on their YouTube page.
This is one of the most sad things I’ve ever seen in wrestling. To watch him on this night, you wouldn’t think there was anything wrong with Mark, but truth be told he has taken some beatings this year, not to mention his collapse from exhaustion during the PROGRESS weekender in May. This is, of course, the right thing to do for the sake of his health and his family, but it does seem that, for the foreseeable future, we have seen the last of Mark Haskins. He is, in my humble opinion, the best in Britain right now and is going to leave a huge hole to fill. I hope he is able to make a full recovery and that we’ll see him again.
FINAL THOUGHTS: I’d say it is up there with their best from the year, although to be fair the standard of PROGRESS is always so high it’s tough say what is better than another. There were some star-making performances from the likes of Jack Sexsmith and New Nation, the excellent debut from Bad Bones, the awe inspiring sequences from Andrews and Cross and the superb main event. This show, along with the recent Chapter 37, plus content from Canada’s Smash Wrestling, makes a month of Demand Progress well worth your time and money. This show itself will be available from mid-November.
PROGRESS have also announced that at the next show on November 27th, the winners of all the men’s matches will advance to an elimination match to crown the new PROGRESS World Champion.
NOW CHECK OUT A RECENT LIVE EVENT REPORT FROM GERMANY: 10/22: WXW in Frankfurt, Germany: Marty Scurl vs. Jurn Simmons for WXW Unified World Champion, Lio Rush & David Star vs. A 4, plus Paul London
(If you attend a live pro wrestling event, please send a report to email@example.com. Thanks!)