PROGRESS marked their unofficial ninth anniversary with their latest chapter – and a big test for the Lykos Gym.
Spike Trivet pinned Chris Ridgeway in 10:17 (***¼)
Warren Banks defeated Gene Munny via referee stoppage at 11:03 (***)
Big Guns Joe pinned LK Mezinger in 9:09 (**½)
TK Coopper & Chuck Mambo pinned Ethan Allen & Luke Jacobs in 13:52 (***)
Kid Lykos I & Kid Lykos II pinned Cara Noir & Danny Black in 7:12 (**½)
Kanji pinned Millie McKenzie in 14:25 (***½)
When PROGRESS held their first show on March 25, 2012, you’d perhaps not have expected them to be running behind closed doors nine years later… Today’s show title is taken from a quote from the movie Attack the Block, for those wondering. We’re back at the Theatre Peckham in South London… Roy Johnson’s still hosting. He quickly pitches to the commentary pair of Hustle Malone and Charles Crowley to do the crowd interaction that usually comes with Roy.
Chris Ridgeway vs. Spike Trivet
The Young Guns accompany Ridgeway to the ring, with Ethan Allen wearing his outside coat. Must be chilly there…
We start with a lock-up that’s quickly broken… before a second one’s sustained as they head to the ropes. Trivet swings at Ridgeway, but it’s ducked as Trivet ends up in the ropes, ducking a Ridgeway kick as he powdered onto the apron to get some distance. When he returns, the pair light each other up with right hands, before a dropkick from Ridgeway takes Trivet back into the ropes ahead of a sunset flip. Ridgeway counters that with a couple of stomps as Spike was left turtling up on the mat looking to avoid further strikes. A wristlock from Ridgeway ends when Trivet wrapped himself around the rope, before he kicked Ridgeway’s head into the rope, following up with a pair of quick butterfly suplexes for a two-count.
A legdrop from Trivet doesn’t get a pin in, so he just punches out Ridgeway for a two-count. Trivet stays on top with a stomp to the ankle, before a neck crank was broken up as Ridgeway grabbed the wrist. We’re back to strikes as Ridgeway tries to push ahead, but Trivet hits the legs before he got taken into the corner for a knee strike. Another Ridgeway kick leads to a German suplex and a near-fall… but Spike then blocks a kick by snapping away at Ridgeway’s, erm, nostrils? From there Spike nails a Saito suplex for a two-count… then looked to pull him up for the Birthright, dropping Ridgeway’s head over his knee for another near-fall. Spike goes to a STF from there, letting go to stomp on the head some more before a pumphandle was countered out of, with Ridgeway going to an ankle lock as Spike did the dramatic “I’m about to tap” motion… only to get back up and back to the nose.
A Dragon screw takes Trivet down as Ridgeway hits a pumphandle Go 2 Sleep… with yet another near-fall leading to a PK. Yep, two-count. A waistlock from Ridgeway leads to elbows from Trivet as he finally gets back to the nose of Ridgeway, leading to a pumphandle’d Last Shot for the win. That’s some momentum building for Trivet as he managed to use foul means to get past Ridgeway. ***¼
Backstage, Warren Banks is arriving quietly. Unlike Gene Munny, who literally cannonballs in like a dog overly-eager to see someone. He tells Banks he’s too humble, before his attempt to get Warren to change his ways was blown off.
Gene Munny vs. Warren Banks
When I saw this announced, my first thought was “hasn’t GOOD Wrestling done this?” – a promotion based out of Milton Keynes… but shockingly, no. This is a first-time singles match-up.
We start with a fist-bump as the opening lock-up ends with Munny breaking in the corner. A second tie-up sees Banks return the favour before Gene… tickled Warren’s sides. Shoulder tackles ensue, with Gene ducking a strike before his side head lock was pushed off… with Banks’ leg lariat being avoided as Gene’s roll-up led to a two-count. Banks fires Munny into the corner as they continued to mouth off… a kick takes Gene back, before he leapt into Warren’s clutches ahead of a Beele throw. A diving elbow drops Munny, who’s then cornered with uppercuts. Elbows from Munny lead to a jaw breaker, but he’s caught with a leg lariat as Banks reverses an Irish whip.
Munny tries to fight back, but he just runs into a slam as Banks gets a two-count out of it, as he continued to dominate his trainer. Gene eventually nips back in with a right hand, but Banks strikes back before a ripcord knee was ducked… with Gene eventually taking out Banks’ knee ahead of a pumphandle fallaway slam. Gene keeps going with clotheslines in the corner, before he threw in a spinebuster for a near-fall. A punch knocks Banks back down for another two-count, before Gene stopped to think… rather than follow through, he picks up Banks for the Ainsley Lariat, but Banks kicks it away before he’s caught with a powerbomb for a two-count. Munny calls for Ainsley Lariat, but Banks has gone and pulled off a turnbuckle cover… Gene stopped himself from running into the cover, and once he’d been thrown the pad, gets caught with an enziguiri. The referee’s fixing the corner as Munny’s caught with a ripcord knee, before a fireman’s carry gutbuster led to a near-fall with Gene kicking out in time.
Munny takes Banks to the corner, then tried to escape a front facelock… but Banks kicks back before Gene hit back with a Sick Kick. From there, the Ainsley Lariat’s countered with a spear… but Banks doesn’t go for a pin, as he instead picks up Munny… and gets caught with another clothesline in the ropes. A second crack at Ainsley Lariat led to Gene getting speared in the back, before a guillotine choke forced the stoppage. They told a good story of Banks bettering his teacher here (and if you didn’t know, commentary were damn sure shouting it at you), as Banks gained an edge to his character here. ***
Jordon Breaks is still coming. He’s the only thing they’re actively building up…
LK Mezinger vs. Big Guns Joe
It’s a PROGRESS debut for Mezinger, who some may remember as one half of the Bowl-a-rama tag team from ATTACK! back in the day…
We start with a lock-up from “your favourite scumbag” Mezinger, but they head into the corner as it seemed like the camera was still shaking from Big Guns Joe’s entrance. Joe slaps back, then leapt over Mezinger for an uppercut… following up with one off the middle rope for a two-count. An O’Connor roll from Joe gets a near-fall as Hustle Malone’s filling in Crowley on Mezinger’s background… but Mezinger comes back by throwing Joe into the ropes, ahead of a back senton for a one-count. Chops keep Joe in the corner, while one to the back set up for a half-and-half suplex and a cannonball that gets a two-count.
A slingshot into the bottom rope gets Mezinger a two-count, before a Go 2 Sleep-ish gutbuster had Joe out on the apron. Eventually Joe fought back with a suplex, before he took Mezinger to the corner for a leaping forearm. LK misses a forearm and eats some more in return before Joe hit a fireman’s carry slam… that’s followed up with a Vader bomb for a two-count, before he wheelbarrowed Mezinger back to his feet. Mezinger elbows free, taking Joe onto the apron, where he twanged the rope into him ahea dof a slingshot slam for a two-count. A Finlay roll lands, but a moonsault misses as Mezinger’s page out of Kenny Omega’s playbook led to him taking a suplex before a capture suplex had him on the deck. From there, Joe straps up, then down ahead of a wheelbarrow German suplex, which gets the win. Decent enough, but by the numbers stuff as the debuting Mezinger falls to defeat. **½
Young Guns (Ethan Allen & Luke Jacobs) vs. Sunshine Machine (TK Cooper & Chuck Mambo)
They’re not calling TK and Chuck “Escape The Midcard” anymore… even if the gear needs the new name. Commentary was talking about how this was Mambo’s “last stand” giving his losing streak…
TK starts off hit with Jacobs, charging into him with shoulder tackles before Jacobs got one back… in comes Allen, whose leapfrog and trip has the Young Guns quickly on top. Allen’s knee barely gets him a one-count, so he grounds TK with a side headlock, before he charged down TK off the ropes.
Allen stays on TK with a butterfly suplex for a two-count, before Jacobs returned to put the boots to TK. The pair trade elbows, but TK falls behind as he has to push Jacobs outside from a toe hold… Jacobs is smart enough to pull Mambo off the apron before going back in, as TK remained on the defensive. TK’s kept in the Young Guns’ corner as Jacobs lands a neckbreaker for a two-count. Allen’s back in as some double-teaming led to TK back body dropping his way free ahead of a hot tag out. Mambo’s springboard dropkick took out the Young Guns, as did a superkick before Allen was taken to the buckles for a springboard abck elbow.
A tope wipes out Allen on the outside as Mambo’s like a bull in a china shop… he holds up Allen for a Gory bomb/cutter combo with TK for a two-count. Mambo’s double sledge to Allen off the top keeps the momentum up as almost a Dragon sleeper ended with Allen in the ropes. Mambo keeps going, tagging in TK as he took Allen to the ropes for a hotshot… with TK’s moonsault almost ending things. Mambo and TK start exchanging quick tags to isolate Allen, with a Meteora to the back leading to some kicks from Mambo. TK calls Mambo in for more double-teaming that’s too quick to call, before a second Gory Bomb attempt was countered with an armdrag as Allen kicks away and finally makes a tag out.
Luke Jacobs tosses Mambo away with a suplex throw, then charges in with clotheslines into the corner… a spinebuster dumps Mambo, before a Figure Four traps Chuck in the middle of the ring. The ropes save Mambo, who comes back with an exchange of right hands, leading to a Gunnslinger for a near-fall. A tag brings TK back in, but whatever the B-Roll is was blocked by Jacobs, who charges TK into the corner. Allen’s legal, hitting a superkick and a DDT for a near-fall before they headed to the corner. TK lifts Allen onto the apron, but can’t follow up… instead he sidesteps a springbaord moonsault as Mambo comes in with a Meteora for a near-fall. Dualling headbutts drop Jacobs as Mambo hoists up Allen for a stuff-Chuck You… and that’s the win! A good match that was getting hard to watch by the end, and that’s before you counted commentary that seemed to descend into just screaming gutteral noises by the finish. ***
Commentary does a bit where they trade characters. My sides.
Lykos Gym (Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II) vs. Cara Noir & Danny Black
Danny’s jumped by the Lykii, who boot him through a baking tray… the bell’s not gone, as Cara Noir comes out, sans entrance, to join the fray.
Things eventually calm down as he booted Lykos II on the outside… then Lykos I, before kicking away a dive from Lykos II. An errant kick from Noir hits the ring post, and we get going as Lykos II wrapped his leg around the ropes. Lykos I is in with a half crab on Cara, breaking it to stomp on the leg as the Lykii had the PROGRESS champion in trouble. Lykos II works over Cara’s legs, before a double clothesline left both men down. Cara gets up first and makes the tag out to Danny Black, who shoved the Lykii into each other, then used some headscissors to make a noggin knocker. An axe kick stuns Lykos II, but it’s shrugged off as a double jump cutter out of the corner gets him a two-count.
Cara Noir tags back in to hit shotgun dropkicks on the Lykii, then German suplexes and neckbreakers as he wa having his dances with the wolves. There’s a turnaround with a Lykos I kick in the corner, then a step-up knee before a Lo Mein Pain landed for a two-count. The Lykii look for a double-team inverted suplex, but have more luck with an Asai DDT onto the knees… before Cara Noir’s Blackout suplex needed Lykos I to doggedly break it up, eventually doing so with a knee to the back of the head. A second knee strike drops Cara Noir, with Lykos II being thrown on top for a near-fall. Lykos I tags back in but just walks into a headbutt from Cara Noir. Lykos II tries his luck, but eats Madame Guillotine as Danny Black wanted in… but just gets pulled off the apron. He eats another knee as Lykos II kicks Cara Noir low, before a pair of brainbusters almost got the unlikely win. Instead, Kid Lykos I goes for a submission to hold Cara up for a dropkick from Lykos II, before a knee strike from Lykos I gets the pin. Yup. Kid Lykos pinned Cara Noir – a result I wasn’t expecting, given Danny Black was right there, but was virtually a non-factor in this. Short, but well worked as I guess Lykos is going for a title shot? **½
Backstage, Kid Lykos I shoos away Kid Lykos II to the locker room… then called his shot. He complained he’d never had a chance to shine as a singles wrestler (one show after saying he’d dominate the tag team division, yes), and says he’s earned a shot at the PROGRESS title. Can’t argue with that logic.
Kanji vs. Millie McKenzie
Kanji’s on a hot streak having won the Thunderbastard and beaten Gisele Shaw last time out – while Millie McKenzie’s forged her own claim for a title shot with her recent run.
The opening lock-ups go nowhere as standing switches see them trade hammerlocks, before a snapmare took Kanji in for a chinlock. Millie escapes and returned with an armbar, before they reset with a front facelock. A roll-up gets Millie a one-count, and annoyed Kanji to the point where she ran back… only to get caught in another side headlock, which Millie synched in on as she tried to get a submission from the simple hold. Eventually Kanji countered out of the side headlock, but she gets pushed into the ropes as armdrags from McKenzie led to a twisting neckbreaker for a two-count. Kanji manages to return with a STO and a low kick for a two-count, then with a missile dropkick for another near-fall… before Millie hit back with a cutter for a near-fall.
Kanji tries to fight back, but Millie knocks her back into the corner before the pair went onto the apron. Millie teases a German suplex to the floor, but Kanji kicks her way free, only to get pulled onto the edge of the ring. Back inside, Kanji kicks the ropes into Millie, then caught her with a lariat in the ropes… then baseball slides to knock Millie’s head into the mat. A springboard elbow drop knocks Millie out of the ropes for a two-count, but McKenzie fought back with a forearm before she rolled back in with a spear for a near-fall. Kanji keeps the tit-for-tat going with a tornado DDT off the ropes, before she looked to put Millie away with some more springboarding… but Millie takes out the legs and eventually pulled Kanji into a torture rack.
From there, Millie bounces Kanji off the ropes, then hit a spear to the back for a two-count, before Kanji fought back while on the mat, throwing some elbows that almost forced a stoppage. Instead, Millie snaps back up and ties up Kanji in a Dragon sleeper on the mat, forcing Kanji to get her feet to the ropes to make a save. The pair get back to their feet and trade right hands, but it’s a head kick from Kanji and a German suplex from McKenzie that changes it up. A rear kick from Kanji catches Millie in the corner… but a 619 misses as Kanji’s caught with another German suplex for a near-fall. Millie takes too long going up top looking to follow up, and is brought down with a superplex for a near-fall.
Kanji tries to drag Millie back up, and lands a trio of kicks before a thrust kick leads to the springboard stunner out of the corner… and that’s the win after a spirited, but even main event that keeps the momentum building for the newcomer Kanji. ***½
This show very much felt like the proverbial “B show” that PROGRESS had the tendency to trot out from time-to-time – like the month or so before Super Strong Style 16 or the big September shows… I feel like I’m in the minority here, but if these shows had any other brand name on, they’d not feel as “eh” to watch. They’re finally building up more than just Jordon Breaks’ debut on these shows (although with four shows of vignettes, you’d hope he’d be more than just A Guy on the card at this point), while Kanji actually feels like she’s getting some proper steam behind her – although just when that title match will be remains to be seen.