We’ve another PROGRESS show with three title matches, as Chris Ridgeway headlined in a half-hour iron man match for Cara Noir’s title.
Doug Williams pinned Danny Black in 8:43 (**½)
TK Cooper & Chuck Mambo pinned Elijah & Charles Crowley in 14:07 (**½)
Luke Jacobs defeats Spike Trivet by disqualification in 13:42 (**¾)
Charlie Sterling & Nick Riley pinned Kid Lykos II & Kid Lykos to win the PROGRESS Tag Team Championships in 19:26 (***¼)
Gisele Shaw submitted Alexxis Falcon in 20:40 to retain the PROGRESS Women’s Championship (***½)
Cara Noir and Chris Ridgeway drew 3-3 in a 30-minute Iron Man match – Cara retains the PROGRESS World Championship (***¼)
Two and a half hours and six matches – they’re staying frugal here. Olie Spring and Hustle Malone remain on commentary for the latest taped offering from the Theatre Peckham.
Danny Black vs. Doug Williams
“A battle for generational supremacy”, they billed this as. Given Danny’s win/loss record, he’ll need a big upset…
Williams’ early aggression leads the way, as he looked to stifle Black’s pace, pulling him into a Gory stretch before backing into the corner. A dropkick there’s good for a two-count, as Williams followed with a camel clutch and some punches. Williams stretches Black over his knee after a backbreaker, before Black’s cartwheel kick into the corner, then a roll-through into an enziguiri ahead of a Koppo kick for a near-fall.
Black escapes a Chaos Theory, countering with a Ranhei for a near-fall, but Williams hits back with an avalanche Exploder, then a Chaos Theory for the win. Perfectly fine, but Danny Black needs to get away from the “punching bag” label that he was given on commentary, lest he be pigeonholed. **½
Backstage promo from Lykos Gym, who brag about having never been pinned or submitted in PROGRESS… unlike their challengers, who the Lykii have already beaten. They called themselves the matadors that’d put down the “prize bulls” in Sterling and Riley.
Charles Crowley & Elijah vs. Sunshine Machine (Chuck Mambo & TK Cooper)
No split entrances here as Crowley comes out with Elijah and a wrong lower third!
Elijah and Crowley argue over who’s starting, and despite Elijah getting an agreement to start… Crowley tags in at the bell. I mean, didn’t they already explain he wasn’t a civilian, and was a trained wrestler, so I’m not at all on board with the goofiness here. I know, right? TK’s in with a wristlock as Crowley found himself getting isolated early on.
Elijah tries to interject, but he can’t save Crowley from a springboard rope-walk armdrag. TK punches out and suplexes Crowley, eventually forcing Elijah in to break up a pin. TK and Mambo home in on Crowley’s arm ahead of the Macho Man hotshot from Mambo, before Crowley whiffed on a back senton off the top.
Mambo leaps across the ring with a sit-out splash on Crowley to stop him from tagging, before the B-Roll almost put away Crowley. A low bridge sends Mambo sailing to the outside as Crowley finally tags out to Elijah, whose wild spell saw him take down TK with a Slingblade and a neckbreaker.
Mambo comes in but takes a springboard splash to the back, before Crowley demanded Elijah “touch me.” Crowley’s so happy to have hit a one handed spinebuster he forgets to cover TK, allowing Mambo to tag in and regain the upper hand. A sitout Gunnslinger nearly got Mambo the win, before TK launched Crowley into a Bad Burrito gutbuster for another near-fall.
Elijah’s back in, but runs into a slam as a Parade of Moves broke out, ending with an Electric Chair facebuster on Mambo for a near-fall. Crowley pulls out Mambo after an elbow drop-assisted reverse DDT on Elijah. There’s friendly fire from Elijah as he wiped out Crowley with a baseball slide, before we got the “I’m Samoan” stuff, then a dive from Crowley.
Crowley tags back in and Rolls the Dice on Mambo, but TK breaks it up as another Parade of Stuff broke out… leading to a springboard frogsplash as Crowley had dived onto Elijah… tags are a novelty now as everyone’s breaking up everything. This’d be adored by Jim Cornette, and that’s sarcasm. The Designated Driver (stomp-assisted Air Raid Crash) gets the win, and not a moment too soon as this just turned into movez by the end. At least they’ve gotten past “Crowley’s overawed”, right? **½
Post-match, TK’s rant to the camera seemed to be him demanding a test that wasn’t “two singles wrestlers”.
Backstage, Nick Riley and Charlie Sterling are excited ahead of their tag title match… and say that they’ll stop at nothing to win the titles.
After an advert, the Sunshine Machine are excited and shouting backstage as TK reiterates his plea for a fresh challenge. He straight up called for “the boys from Enfield if the guys from Connecticut will allow it.”
Spike Trivet vs. Luke Jacobs
This was set up via backstage segments last week, so both men have had a chance to change into their gear…
Jacobs roughs up Trivet early on, but had his holds broken with eye and nose rakes… which just earned Trivet a kick on the ground. After heading outside, Trivet goes back to the nose of Jacobs, who pulls him into a triangle as Spike’s games seemed to have been scouted here. At least until Trivet threw Jacobs shoulder-first into the buckles…
Trivet builds momentum with a wrist-clutch Exploder on Jacobs, but misses a legdrop to the arm as he’d changed the limb he’d focused on. Shaking it off, Trivet chases Jacobs on the outside, posting him before some Garvin-ish stomps wore down Jacobs back inside. Eventually Jacobs’ dropkick stems the tide, with Luke’s rolling German suplexes turning it around, while Spike’s attempts at chicanery in the ropes led to a powerbomb for a near-fall.
Kicks to the chest of Trivet lead to Spike going back to the nose, before a hammerlock’d Codebreaker targeted Jacobs’ arm. An over-the-knee butterfly brainbuster from Trivet’s good for a two-count, before half-a-straitjacket forced Jacobs into the corner to break it up. A Saito suplex dumps Trivet ahead of a PK, before a triangle armbar saw Trivet go for the noise, while not screaming for “my precious”… from there, Jacobs tees up for his lariat, only for Spike to punt him low for the obvious DQ, and that kinda explains why this was beginning to meander for a bit. Good aggression throughout, but this felt lacking towards the end. **¾
Post-match, Jacobs hits Trivet with the lariat anyway.
Backstage, Alexxis Falcon’s interviewed about her title match, just like she was a few shows ago. She’s determined to leave with the title.
PROGRESS Tag Team Championship: Smokin’ Aces (Charlie Sterling & Nick Riley) vs. Lykos Gym (Kid Lykos & Kid Lykos II) (c)
The champions get jumped before the bell, and spill outside as we’ve got some aggro…
When we get going, it’s fast paced with a back body drop from Sterling early, before Lykos II got pulled outside. It’s not for respite though, as the challengers clatter into them, before Lykos tried to trip Sterling into a chair. It’s blocked, as things head back inside for Lykos II to take a beating. Things didn’t initially change when Lykos I came in either, but once Charlie Sterling was taken outside, the two-on-one threatened to have some effect. Nick Riley makes the save after a low dropkick on Sterling, but Sterling found himself isolated as the wolves went for his knees. Lykos tries to cheapshot Riley, but Nick hit back as Sterling got up to hit a Blue Thunder Bomb… but couldn’t make the tag out before he threw the Lykii into each other.
Riley runs wild with clotheslines and heel kicks, before he began wearing down Lykos II. Lykos II pulls out Master Wato’s Recientemente, but both men tag out before a cover could be made, as Sterling goes for an over-the-shoulder backbreaker on Lykos I. Lykos II interferes, forcing Sterling to backflip out of the corner, but his knee gives way as a leg lace from Lykos nearly forces a submission.
An Asai DDT onto the knees, then a Total Elimination keeps Sterling on the back foot, but he powered back as the challengers again pick apart Lykos II, hitting a pass-the-parcel powerbomb for a near-fall. The challengers go up top, but take way too long and get knocked down by Lykos II as Sterling’s knee again was homed in on as the ref… yeah. Tags and the standing five-count are just things when they want them to be.
The leg lace is reapplied on Sterling, but he doesn’t submit… so out comes the hardware. NOW the ref stops it, but of course it’s a decoy as Lykos has powder. The ref stops him as Riley knocks Lykos’ hands – effectively having the wolf powder himself – before a Riley tombstone and a Sterling Spiral Tap led to a two-count because Lykos pulled out the ref.
Moves moves moves, as Riley grabs the ref’s hands to stop him from counting after a Kamigoye-like knee from Lykos… what are we even doing here lads? Lykos I and Riley trade blows, before we get more shenanigans as an Ace Crusher drops the ref. We’ve a belt shot on Sterling, a low blow on Riley as we’ve no ref, and while we’re firmly in TNA main event levels of overbooking, Lykos II hits a brainbuster onto the belt. The ref stirs for the slow mo near-fall that commentary blew on, before Sterling blocked a Lo Mein Pain, then handed Lykos II off to Riley for a Smoking Ace Crusher for the win. Another loss on the rounds for Lykos II then, and we’ve new champions in a match that saw the Lykii run out of shenanigans, as their run with the belts came to a shuddering end, even through multiple things that could have had this end in a DQ. Leniency, eh? ***¼
Backstage, the new champions are celebrating and offer a rematch…
PROGRESS Women’s Championship: Alexxis Falcon vs. Gisele Shaw (c)
Last time out, Falcon was attacked at the bell as we had a sub-30-second DQ.
They beat that mark as we opened with a tie-up into the corner, with Shaw ordering the ref to back up Falcon as she killed time. An exchange of strike attempts sees Shaw powder to the outside. When she returned, another exchange ends in a stand-off that went long enough they actually cut to the hard camera.
Falcon pulls ahead with a Curt Hennig neck flip and a bulldog, forcing Shaw to powder outside again… she’s joined by Falcon, who took things back inside, but a search for the finisher’s broken up. Shaw chokes on Falcon in the ropes, before she threw Falcon through the fire doors.
Beating the count, Falcon’s in with a tornado suplex out of the corner, but a clothesline to the back of the head from Shaw restored order. More choking in the ropes has Falcon on the back foot, with a draping DDT back in almost ending things about eleven minutes in as Shaw began to lose her temper.
A struggle in the corner sees Falcon land a superplex, before she chained together a clothesline and a dropkick as Shaw was literally on the ropes. Falcon’s hanging neckbreaker’s next for a two-count, while a roundhouse kick and a rolling neckbreaker adds another two-count. Falcon tries to add a boot, but Shaw catches it and clubs her down for a two-count, before Falcon returned with a German suplex and a back cracker to end a series of missed kick attempts.
The Sleeping Beauty splits legdrop gets Falcon a near-fall as I’m being shouted at again… Shaw’s right back with a half-and-half suplex, then a springboard cutter, but that doesn’t get the win… unlike the levering armbar, which Falcon rolled out of for a near-fall, following up with a backpack stunner as the two-counts keep coming.
Both women pull themselves back up for a hockey fight, which led to the Falcon’s Fury that saw Shaw roll to the outside after the impact. Falcon rolls Shaw back inside for a near-fall, but gets caught on the kick-out as Falcon grabbed the levering armbar for the eventual submission. A heck of a showing from Falcon, who’s truly shed the shadow of those questionable losses early on, but it’s a clean-as-a-whistle win for Shaw who continues to build her reign here. ***½
Video package time for the main event, showing stills from Ridgeway’s loss to Cara Noir 16 shows ago… then billed both as “the most dangerous men in PROGRESS”. I’m not quite sure what necessitated this being an iron man match given how long ago that last match was…
30 Minute Iron Man Match for PROGRESS World Championship: Chris Ridgeway vs. Cara Noir (c)
They have a ticker that periodically flashes up with the score and timer. I mean, just leave it up in the corner like football, no?
The early going’s tentative as Ridgeway looks to work Cara Noir’s arms, before dualling leglocks on the mat leads to Cara Noir going for the arm, only for Ridgeway to pull him up in some headscissors as the deadlock remained. Ridgeway offers his leg for some kicks from Cara, who indulged the offer, as back-and-forth kicks led to a trio of lesser-spotted Dragon screws. That leads to an ankle lock, as Cara taps at 10:07 (since the bell went – the on-screen timer differs) to put the challenger 1-0 up. We resume with Ridgeway going back for the leg, trapping Cara Noir in a STF before he began to kick Cara Noir’s legs as they headed to the mat.
Ridgeway’s attempt at a crossface is slipped out of as Cara grabbed the ropes to avoid another ankle lock. The champion ties up Ridgeway for a spell, but can’t get a decision out of it before he took Ridgeway into the ropes with elbows and kicks, leading to a low thrust kick and a Capoeira kick to level it up at 15:30 (since the first bell). We resume after the rest period with Ridgeway staggering out of the corner as he’s pulled down into an armbar, before Cara Noir’s kimura ends in the ropes.
Ridgeway recovers with a Dragon screw and a gutshot, before a pumphandle’d Go 2 Sleep drew a two-count. Another two-count comes from a Ridgeway German suplex, before Cara’s own gut shot stopped Ridgeway in his search for an ankle lock. Cara looks for that pumphandle’s Go 2 Sleep, lands it, then rolls through for a package piledriver to go 2-1 up at 19:44.
We resume with the Swan Woo dropkick from Cara Noir, but a missile dropkick from Ridgeway and a shotgun dropkick of his own sees him ape Cara Noir, before an over-the-knee brainbuster nearly made it 2-1 as the on-screen clock looks to have added time on for those rest periods. Eh, tomato, toe-may-toe.
Ridgeway’s right back in with a crossface, but Cara Noir dives to the rope. He tries another Capoeira kick, but Ridgeway blocks it and hits his own over-the-knee brainbuster it seemed, following up with a sleeper that Cara Noir rolled up out of. A knee strike from Cara earns him a package piledriver, but Cara kicks out at two, only for his bid to go up top led to him getting swatted away.
An avalanche German suplex levels it for Ridgeway at 24:31, before he resumed with a body blow on Cara Noir… another one follows, then another as Cara tried to fight back. A PK’s next as Ridgeway regains the lead at 25:38, and looked to add another with a crossface at the restart. Cara Noir tries to back into the ropes, but Ridgeway just ties him up as we hit the final four minutes of the match.
Ridgeway tries for a rear naked choke, but it ends in the ropes as he held onto the hold – all while commentary was really counting their chickens. Ridgeway stays on Cara with a German suplex attempt, but Cara Noir escaped and hit another Capoeira for a near-fall… then a roundhouse kick for another. The Madame Guillotine is next to keep the two-counts coming, before Ridgeway rolled his way out of a package piledriver.
From there, Cara Noir dives in with a Blackout sleeper, but Ridgeway breaks the grip… Cara Noir instead chokes out Ridgeway with his other hand, biting it to try and distract from the pain, and we’ve a ref stoppage to equalise things up at 28:49. Both men look spent, as Cara Noir rolled Ridgeway into the corner to give him space…
…we resume with Cara Noir pulling up Ridgeway as we pass 30 minutes since the first bell, and that’s the cue for the final minute countdown to flash up on the screen. Where’s Richard Whiteley? Cara Noir tries to haul up Ridgeway, but instead the pair break out into an exchange of palm strikes, before yet another Capoeira kick dropped Ridgeway. He’s back up to headbutt Cara Noir, and they all fall down as time ran out. The iron man match ends in a draw, and with no prospect of sudden death overtime as Hustle Malone, Roy Johnson, Ethan Allen, Luke Jacobs and medics ran out to help check on both men as the show just closes there. Iron man matches can very much be a marmite thing – this one wasn’t bad, as we saw Cara Noir finally get some holes in his proverbial armour, and an indecisive finish sets up for a third go around – although under what stipulation, I do not have the faintest idea. ***¼
PROGRESS returns next weekend for Chapter 122: Salsa Shark! An entirely suitable show name for a laugh after we ended on an injury angle…
This would have been one of the “big” Camden shows in the olden days, going by the video packages we had for the title matches, but the empty venue presentation tropes are wearing thin on me. The tag matches where the rules go out of the window (no, I’m not Jim Cornette, but why have rules when they’re intermittently applied?). The shouty olde-NXT style commentary. An overall air of this just having the feeling of being produced like several mini-projects without any end points being built to. Maybe I’m a masochist for wanting to like this, but on this showing, there’s a lot of little things on the “meant for TV product” that just don’t do it for me.