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PROGRESS CHAPTER 41 “UNBOXING LIVE!”
DECEMBER 30, 2016
CAMDEN, LONDON AT THE ELECTRIC BALLROOM
Report from Dave Green (@dagreeno), PWTorch correspondent
This was a mystery show with no previously announced matches.
(1) FSU (Mark Andrews and Eddie Dennis) and Nixon Newell vs The South Pacific Power Trip (TK Cooper, Dahlia Black and Travis Banks)
This was a tremendously fun match to kick the show off, with Welsh trio of FSU and Nixon bringing the crowd to their feet for their entrance. A lot of funny shenanigans took place, including a moment where Dennis threatened to kiss Dahlia, Cooper in return threatened to kiss Newell and Andrews threatened to Banks! The latter pair ended up being drop kicked into a lip lock, which resulted in a manly handshake between the two. The PROGRESS crowd don’t judge and lapped up this moment. Nixon proved to have the hardest head in pro wrestling by butting down Black and Travis. Cooper’s knock out right hand proved useless against Nixon’s cranium and she followed with the Welsh Destroyer to a massive reaction. She followed with the Shiniest Wizard for the three count on Black, giving the Power Trio a rare loss.
WINNERS: FSU and Nixon Newell by pinfall.
(2) Kay Lee Ray vs. Toni Storm
A Women of PROGRESS match took place next, with Kay Lee Ray taking a shortcut after a wonderful sequence of chain wrestling to take advantage. Storm took some tremendous punishment throughout this match, but kept kicking out from Ray’s big moves like the Gory Bomb and top rope Swanton. Storm came back with a tremendous Muscle Buster and followed shortly with a huge piledriver to put KLR down for three. This was tremendous and well worth a watch. It can be seen right now via the PROGRESS Facebook page via FaceBook Live
WINNER: Toni Storm via pinfall.
(3) “Body Guy” Roy Johnson vs. Mad Man Manson
Next out was “Body Guy” Roy Johnson for another round of the Wasteman Challenge. Answering the challenge was the comedic genius and two years retired Mad Man Manson. Manson with a live mic is not necessarily a good thing, as he can literally say anything, but it’s always funny. This was a great surprise and the segment was hilarious. Johnson provided a great rap referencing Manson’s past PROGRESS moments, which was a great callback for long term fans like myself.
WINNER: Everyone in the building
(4) British Strong Style vs. The London Riots vs. The LDRS for the vacant Progress Tag Titles
Next was a match for the vacant tag titles. The titles were vacated after the last show due to British Strong Style giving Tyler Bate one of the shields and declaring themselves champions using the Freebird rule. Management decided that wouldn’t happen, so vacated the shields with the promise that BSS could challenge for the titles when they saw fit. Tonight was the night, as first out were Trent Seven and Tyler Bate.
Next also challenging were James Davis and Rob Lynch, the London Riots. However, it was then announced that the match would be a three way tag. Out to music unknown by most of the crowd, so the pop was huge when he emerged, was the Villain Marty Scurll. He brought with him a shipping crate. Upon the silence of the music, he opened the case to reveal Zack Sabre Jr! The first time the LDRS have teamed in PROGRESS since Chapter 5 and only the second time overall.
So it was British Strong Style vs The London Riots vs the LDRS for the tag titles and this was a classic. Superb exchanges throughout, with Tyler establishing his new persona as that of a quick tempered vile piece of work. After some comedy from the LDRS, the match went back and forth through each team taking control before it all broke down. Multiple dives took place, including the final one being the biggest man of the match Rob Lynch hitting a beautiful Tope Con Hilo. Back in the ring, a five man submission spot took place, with Seven breaking it up after realising he had no one to grab. After the Riots hit the GBH on both Scurll and Sabre, BSS took out the Riots and hit Sabre with a pair of piledriver for the win and the tag titles. They played up to their forthcoming appearance in the WWE UK tournament by mimicking signing contracts on the tag shields.
WINNERS and NEW PROGRESS TAG CHAMPIONS: British Strong Style, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate
(5) “The Cruiserweight” Pete Dunne vs. Fabian Aichner – Progress World Championship match
PROGRESS World Champion “The Bruiserweight” Pete Dunne came out to address the crowd stating that 2016 was his year of being on top of the indies and that 2017 would see him leave for good. The title was on the line in his match tonight against former WWE Cruiserweight Classic standout Fabian Aichner, making his Ballroom debut.
This match was solid throughout, with some wonderful chain wrestling in the early portions and Aichner stunning the crowd with his aerial prowess. Towards the end of the match, Aichner hit an incredible running springboard crossbody to the outside, the height of which was out of this world. Aichner missed his double springing moonsault and Dunne took advantage to hit Drop Dead for the title retaining pin. Not a show stealing match, but one that settled the rowdy crowd well and was an interesting watch. Afterwards, Dunne simply said: “See you on the Network!”
WINNER and STILL PROGRESS World Champion: Pete Dunne by pinfall
(6) Sebastian & (his blackmailed charge) Pastor William Eaver vs. Jack Sexsmith & Chuck Mambo, tonight known as Sex on the Beach.
This match was a continuation of the story involving Sebastian and Eaver, with Seb wanting revenge on Sexsmith for causing his elimination in the title match last month. Mambo is also Eaver’s regular tag partner in the team Sweet Jesus. Exchanges between Mambo and Eaver ended in both men mocking Sebastian, who was taken down by the unique offence of Sexsmith, including a bare-arsed stink face. Seb threw Sexsmith hard into a ring post, leaving Mambo alone. After Seb hit a GTS, he made Eaver get in the ring to deliver two Clotheslines from Heaven to get the win, leaving Eaver devastated at what he had to do to his friend. A fine addition to the storyline, though the story and match may not be to everyone’s taste.
WINNERS: Sebastian and Pastor William Eaver by pinfall
(7) Jimmy Havoc vs. Will Ospreay.
The first time these men have shared the ring since Ospreay defeated Havoc for the PROGRESS title at Chapter 20. It was immediately apparent that the crowd have shifted in their support during that time, as the vocal majority supported Havoc. Ospreay was visibly annoyed that he wasn’t getting the support of the crowd. It didn’t take long for this to spill to the floor. Havoc took a swig of my cider can to spit into Ospreay’s face, but unfortunately i’d almost finished it all so it wasn’t a large volume. Havoc was a bit annoyed with me #SadFace. Ospreay picked Havoc up in a double leg and plowed him into a huge section of the crowd. Ospreay worked on Havoc’s right knee, which had been previously injured for nine months. It was a great back and forth match, with Ospreay noticeably different in his performance being the aggressor. Eventually Havoc hit a second Rain Maker to get the win on Ospreay, leaving Will’s win tally in PROGRESS in 2016 at zero.
WINNER: Jimmy Havoc via pinfall
Post-match Havoc got on the mic stating that Will broke one of his ribs, but he probably deserved it after everything he had done to him in the past. Havoc tried to make amends with Ospreay, apologising and proposing a team to take on British Strong Style. To the crowd’s delight, Ospreay and Havoc shook hands, but Ospreay kicked Havoc and beat him down. They brawled to the stage where Paul Robinson, Ospreay’s old tag partner and Havoc’s former stablemate, emerged with a barb wire baseball bat and attacked Havoc. Back in the ring, both men hit Havoc in the stomach with the bat, with Ospreay screaming at Havoc the same words he’d used against Ospreay at Chapter 13: “I’m going to torture you and I’m going to f***ing enjoy it!” Ospreay and Robinson left Havoc lying in the ring to the boos of the crowd.
This was very well-executed. The turn for Ospreay has been coming for a while, but as this was a mystery show. It stopped anyone from guessing that tonight would be when it happened. If this match had been advertised in advance, it’s quite possible people could have been waiting for the turn to happen rather than enjoy the match.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Really fun show as always, with the tag title match, women’s match and the main event particular standouts. The mystery show concept will be repeated at some point next year. This show should be on demand-progress.com by next weekend.