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PROGRESS WRESTLING: CHAPTER 44 – “OLD MAN YELLS AT A CLOUD”
FEBRUARY 26, 2017
CAMDEN, LONDON AT THE ELECTRIC BALLROOM
REPORT BY DAVID GREEN (@dagreeno), PWTORCH CORRESPONDENT
Tonight’s show saw two debuts, a big main event with high stakes and the blow off to a long storyline.
(1) James Drake defeated Damon Moser by pinfall. Drake attacked Moser while he was posing on the turnbuckle during his entrance. The pair brawled outside for a while before finally entering the ring, where Moser almost won mere seconds into the match with the Knee Trembler, but Drake was too close to the ropes. Drake caught Moser coming in off a charge and laid him out with the elevated DDT for the win in just under two minutes. There was no ring bell, which suggested to many that there may have been an injury at some point and they skipped to the finish early. A shame, as these two meshed well for the time they engaged. Hopefully there will be a rematch at a later show.
(2) Dahlia Black (with T.K. Cooper) defeated “The Session Moth” Martina by pinfall to advance in the Natural Progression Series. Martina was making her debut. She is a big hit in her native Ireland in the OTT promotion. Her character is a party girl that wrestling in her PJs with a can of alcohol never far away. She’s very quick witted and the audience made her welcome with a glow stick waving entrance. This was a really fun match, with Martina seemingly enthralled with Cooper leading to some interesting exchanges. Martina isn’t just all character, as she hit a pair of beautiful dives to the outside, and a wonderful Codebreaker, which she would have won with had the referee not just had beer sprayed into his eyes. The ref was once again distracted which allowed Cooper to hit Martina with his right hand gifting Dahlia the victory.
(3) Travis Banks defeated Jordan Devlin by pinfall. Essentially a battle of two villains, Banks told his partner TK Cooper to stay backstage. As soon as he did this, the crowd overwhelmingly supported him against Devlin, who also was making his PROGRESS debut. This was a sound technical encounter, with the later stretches being particularly engrossing. Banks hit an astonishing lariat at one point that turned Devlin inside out, but Devlin stayed in it with many fantastic kicks. A springboard enzeguri from Banks was enough to get the three count, with both men getting a standing ovation from this effort. Banks and Cooper still have a tag title shot in their near future, but if the crowd reaction is anything to go by, they are reading for a Travis Banks singles run as a face.
What followed next was an encounter between Sebastian and Pastor William Eaver. At the last chapter, Eaver stopped Sebastian from delivering a beating to Jack Sexsmith and struck him down. Sebastian called out Eaver, stating he was still in his control due to the threat of legal action and was going to take a beating with his home made kendo stick. Eaver prepared himself for the beating, but Chuck Mambo made his way out. He stated to Sebastian that he had been doing some law research and said that it had been over 150 days since the incident at Brixton. As a result, Sebastian could no longer press charges against Eaver and that He was actually guilty of blackmail. With that, Eaver was free from Seb’s control and a NoDQ match was immediately made.
(4) Pastor William Eaver defeated Sebastian by pinfall. This match got bloody very quickly, with Seb throwing chairs at Eaver’s head busting him. Eaver came back with the sickest thing I’ve seen in a PROGRESS show – a running crucifix powerbomb into the audience chairs! Somehow that wasn’t it, as Seb came back with some cheap shots. He taped the Pastor’s arms to the top rope and leathered him with shots from the kendo stick, breaking it into pieces and bloodying Eaver’s body. Passion of the Christ had nothing on this! Finally the Pastor hit the Clothesline from Heaven to defeat Sebastian (proceeding to put Seb in the recovery position) and to put this feud to bed. Sebastian was then told to f— off by the management and he was carried out by security.
(5) Mark Andrews defeated Shane Strickland by pinfall. Those expecting a high flying spectacle from the start were probably surprised as this pair exchanged in some highly technical wrestling, which was a wise idea considering the emotional response to the dramatic match we had just witnessed. They paved his match perfectly, as they built to some tremendous exchanges. Andrews was spectacular as he hit a moonsault into a DDT on the outside, while Strickland kept Andrews guessing with some unique counters. Strickland hit a sick 450 splash for the closest of nearfalls. Andrews went for a top rope reverse rana, but Strickland landed on his feet! Undeterred, Andrews hit the Stundog Millionaire, followed by the Shooting Star Press to win and keep his momentum going towards his eventual title shot. Strickland was then announced as being part of the PROGRESS shows in Orlando over Wrestlemania weekend.
(6) El Ligero defeated Nathan Cruz by pinfall. The battle between the Origin stablemates continued, as Nathan Cruz representing the serious Origin, entering as usual to the Metallica version of Turn the Page, fought El Ligero of the Banter Edition of the Origin, entering the Bob Seger original version of Turn the Page! This was a nice match that a told a simple but effective story. Cruz was constantly befuddled by Ligero’s insistence on messing around, by eventually got Ligero down with some heavy punishment. At points, Cruz was shouting at Ligero to give up, but fell foul of a change from his usual ground based game, as he leapt from the top rope into an Ace Crusher. Cruz came back by wrapping Ligero’s leg into a Figure Four. After ramming the legs into a ring post several times, he tried for the same move but was caught in an inside cradle, giving Ligero the pinfall victory. Post match, Cruz attacked Ligero and pulled of his mask! Ligero’s was covered by the referee, but Cruz left with the mask in a manner of moral victory.
(7) Zack Gibson defeated Jack Sexsmith by countout. This match was the start of Sexsmith’s campaign to be taken seriously and considered for Super Strong Style in May. Gibson treated Sexsmith with disdain, calling him a joke. Sexsmith surprised Gibson with some great chain wrestling, but Gibson’s size and experience advantage was too much to overcome for the most part. Sexsmith rallied to the point where he caught Gibson in several Mr Cocko submissions, but Gibson hit big moves in succession, including the Ticket to Ride and the Helter Skelter. A cover garnered only a two count, to the shock of Gibson and the elation of the crowd. However Gibson hit another Helter Skelter, this time on the floor, and left Sexsmith to be counted out.
In the main event, the team of British Strong Style, comprised of PROGRESS champion Pete Dunne and tag champions Trent Seven and Tyler Bate, took on Jimmy Havoc, Flash Morgan Webster and Mark Haskins, the latter pair making their in-ring returns to the promotion. If British Strong Style won, then whoever they defeated would be out of the title picture for six months. If the opposition won, then whoever got the fall would get a title shot of their choosing.
Upon their entrance, British Strong Style were roundly booed, but Tyler Bate went backstage and reemerged with the WWE UK Championship belt! The crowd gave a big ovation for Tyler’s achievement.
(8) Jimmy Havoc & Flash Morgan Webster & Mark Haskins defeated “British Strong Style” (Pete Dunne & Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) by pinfall. This was supposedly a six-man tag match, but there were no tags made at all. It was tornado rules and all action. An early pinfall made by Webster was broken up by Havoc, as it seemed that despite their unity at the end of the last show, the promise of the next title shot threatened to tear the team apart. It was a very entertaining main event, although for me there were a few too many triple move sequences which made portions of the match a little contrived. Haskins managed to trap Bate in the Sharpshooter, with his partners holding back Seven and Dunne in a show of unity until Dunne managed to interfere. A close fall occurred as Seven and Dunne hit Pedigrees, but Webster countered the Tyler Driver ’97 into a roll up. Dunne caught Webster with a big forearm and set up for the Bitter End, but Havoc caught Dunne with the Rainmaker to pin the champion and get the title shot!
Havoc got on the mic and stated he would cash in the title shot at the next show in Manchester, March 19th, Chapter 45: Galvanise and that it would be a death match. He left the ring without giving much notice to his partners, who were visibly disappointed to have not got the win themselves.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Another good show from PROGRESS, which will be on their on-demand service next weekend. Recommended viewing would especially go to Banks vs Devlin, Strickland vs Andrews and the main event, while the Cruz vs Ligero match can be seen right now on the PROGRESS Facebook page.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS PREVIOUS PROGRESS LIVE EVENT REPORT: 1/29 PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 43 in Camden, London: Pete Dunne defends against Jimmy Havoc, plus Mark Andrews, South Pacific Power Trip, Kings of the North, London Riots