Show Date: 24/4/16
Jim Smallman opens the show and announces that the next Natural Progression Series will be to crown the first ever Woman’s Champion. I am very excited for this and am a big fan of PROGRESS slowly becoming a more well-rounded company. Smallman then brings out Mark Haskins who puts over the crowd and asks to be entered into the Super Strong Style 16, which Smallman accepts.
Big Damo vs. Michael Dante (Atlas Title Tournament B-Block)
This was a pretty good big man match, with the finishing coming a little bit out of nowhere. Dante needed the win here in order to re-establish himself after the split of the SDS. Dante pins Damo with a spear ** ¾
Flash Morgan Webster vs. Zack Sabre Jr (Global Cruiserweight Series British Qualifier)
What a damn great showcase this was for both men. Zack started out the match trying to grind down Webster, who did a great job upping the pace of the match and flying all over the place. Zack showed the mean streak towards the end of this match that always makes his matches that much better. Webster put everything he had into this match and oh boy did it deliver. Zack Sabre Jr submits Flash Morgan Webster ****
Pete Dunne vs. Jack Gallagher (Global Cruiserweight Series British Qualifier)
Another very good showcase, and perhaps both men’s best match in PROGRESS this year. This was a very good technical back and forth, with Pete being an awesome gritty heel who just wore down Jack and took any opportunity he could to cheat. Jack Gallagher submits Pete Dunne *** ½
Damon Moser vs. Pastor William Eaver (Natural Progression Series III Final)
Pretty damn good back and forth match here. I am not really a fan of Moser, but he impressed me quite a bit here throwing everything he had at Eaver, with the emotion he conveyed with his facials being really top notch. The finish came out of nowhere and hurt the match a little for me, but the right guy won for sure so I can overlook it. Eaver pins Moser with a lariat *** ¼
Eaver cuts a pretty rambly, clearly edited, promo after the match and brings out Chuck Mambo.
Pollyanna and Jinny vs. Dahlia Black and Elizabeth
This was a pick your opponents partner match, with Pollyanna and Dahlia Black picking the others partner. This was more about the angle of Elizabeth seemingly finally turning on Jinny and it was sold so well by both of them. Jinny’s anger and Elizabeth’s defiance and slow realisation at what she has done was masterful. Elizabeth pins Jinny with a backcracker **
All four women brawl and have to be separated by security. The crowd was so into this and it came across as a huge deal, I was a little bit iffy on this angle but this has won be back over.
Joe Coffey vs. Rampage Brown (Atlas Title Tournament A-Block)
This match had some cool spots, but didn’t hold together as an overall match very well. Neither man was really that good at holding the match together, which meant it started to get very plodding at times. This was less of an issue towards the end, so I think the issue was more about wrestling to a draw than the two men not being good wrestlers. Time Limit Draw ***
FSU (Mark Andrews and Eddie Dennis) and The London Riots (Rob Lynch and James Davies) vs. The Origin (El Ligero, Nathan Cruz, Zack Gibson, and Dave Mastiff)
The Origin took out Eddie Dennis and James Davies at the start of this match, so it became a handicap for much of it. The both did come back eventually, and Ligero and Cruz were awesome in mocking Davies upon this return. Once the teams evened up, this became a really great chaotic multiman match with the London Riots stealing the show. This win makes them the number one contenders to the tag titles and I am all for a title change here. James Davies pins Nathan Cruz *** ½
Marty Scurll (c) vs. Tommy End (PROGRESS World Championship)
This was a fine match, it suffered a similar issue to the Atlas tournament match earlier where we got some very cool sequences but the match as a while didn’t work as well as it could have. I think in this instance it was due to Tommy’s comebacks not having the fire and intensity that they needed for the crowd to really be invested in him. Mikey Whiplash came out and cost Tommy End the match, which means another of Marty’s title matches have ended with shenanigans. Marty Scurll wins by DQ ***
This was a very good show hurt by a main event that didn’t quite deliver and ended with shenanigans. This feels all too common for PROGRESS, the main event scene has a lot of issues. This is partly due to lacklustre matches but also the lack of truly clean finishes. The main event shenanigans worked in the Jimmy Havoc era, but have grown tired now that we are past that and the company really needs to catch up. With all that said, the tag division is starting to really heat up and the Atlas stuff seems interesting enough. If things can pick up in the main events then there’s nothing this company can’t do.