Reviews

PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 26: Unknown Pleasures Review

Air Date: 14/2/16

We get some requisite Jim Smallman comedy to start the show before the first match.

Big Damo and Joe Coffey vs. Dazzler Team (Darrell Allen and Earl Black Jr) vs. Sweet Jesus (Chuck Mambo and Pastor William Eaver) vs. The Origin (Dave Mastiff and Zack Gibson)

Dazzler Team and Sweet Jesus started this match and did fine. However things really picked up when The Origin and Damo and Coffey got involved. This was Coffey’s PROGRESS debut and he looked good in his shine but was then worked over for a while and didn’t do anything spectacular when selling. This quickly descended into a pretty fun spotfest, with most guys getting at least one spot to look good. Fun way to open the show, even if it did take a little while to get going. Zack Gibson pins Chuck Mambo with a roll up *** ¼

Damo and Coffey go after the other two teams after the match, and get to look like absolute monsters in the process. Eaver was the first to get up after the attack so I assume that is the next program, which could be alright.

Bubblegum vs. Jack Sexsmith

Jack Sexsmith came out with a gimp on Valentine’s Day, I think I love this gimmick. This was a total comedy match with Sexsmith wrestling basically the entire match with his ass on show, and at one point he spanked the gimp. As a much this was absolutely nothing, but it was somewhat entertaining although I am biased as I am very into the Jack Sexsmith character. Bubblegum pins Sexsmith with the Ice Cream Headache ** ¼

South Pacific Power Couple (Dahlia Black and TK Cooper) vs. Flash Morgan Webster and Pollyanna

This was a perfectly serviceable tag match. Dahlia and TK worked over Pollyanna and kept things entertaining throughout, which is something that is often hard to do. Part of the credit for that must obviously go to Pollyanna, but the Power Couple were the bigger part of that being entertaining. Webster’s eventual hot tag was really good, and the entire finishing sequence of this match was great and felt earned after the opening heat segment. When all was said and done this was one hell of a match. Flash Morgan Webster pins TK Cooper with a 630 Splash *** ½

Timothy Thatcher vs. Jack Gallagher

Given the two people involved, this was a huge let down. This was almost exclusively lots of uninteresting grappling that lacked purpose or any real emotion. Even if you consider this as an exhibition match it was just fine, and maybe a little boring. Bleh. Gallagher submits Thatcher with the King Crab ** ¾

Mikey Whiplash vs. Rampage Brown

Lots of crowd brawling to start this off, which is normally not a good thing but the cameras were able to follow everything and we got one or two really cool spots out of it, like Rampage throwing Whiplash like three metres into the crowd. We got some more brawling in the ring which led to the finish, this was a real nothing match by the end and it seems weird to have Whiplash lose in his big return. Rampage Brown pins Whiplash with a piledriver ** ½

Tommy End vs. James Davies

Like the Dante/Lynch match from the last chapter, the winner of this match gets to pick the second stipulation for the SDS/London Riots match at the next show. This was a really awesome sprint, with the two going back and forth with mainly strikes. The only thing that really hurt this match was that the finish seemed to come completely out of nowhere, with no build and even seemingly catching the crowd off guard. Tommy End submits James Davies *** ¼

Tommy gets on the mic after the match and announces that the losing team can no longer team in PROGRESS again. That’s a really interesting stipulation to add to the TLC that Rob Lynch added.

Marty Scurll (c) vs. Mark Haskins (PROGRESS Championship)

This was a pretty good back and forth match, built around both men working over the others arm as they both use arm submissions. This wasn’t the main story or focus of the match, but worked as a through line building to Scurll locking in the chicken wing. It’s really interesting watching this match months later as you can see Scurll hasn’t quite worked out the Villain character yet or some of his more trademark spots. Marty Scurll retains with the croosface chicken wing ****

Scurll goes after Haskins’ arm after the match, and Haskins has to be calmed down by his wife to allow him to accept help.

Overall: 5.5

Not a bad show overall, Thatcher/Gallagher under delivered a little while the mixed tag match over delivered. Definitely check out the main event and the mixed tag, the rest is pretty skippable.

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