We’re back for more from PROGRESS’ Freedoms’ Road – as the Dazzler Team exploded!
The recap showed how the Dazzler Team had another shoving match after a loss to the Bodyguy Roy Johnson, before we go back to the Bedford where Damon Moser has arrived. He bumps into Kyle Ashmore, and then we’re off to see the Dazzler Team arguing again over who was to blame for losing again.
They’re interrupted by the South Pacific Power Trip – Travis Banks reckons they’re desperate, and he drops in a dig that they’re undefeated… whilst the Dazzlers are still hunting for a win.
We’re off to live action now, as we see Kyle Ashmore watching on for the debut of spoiled posh boy Spike Trivet (that is, if you don’t count his PTNTL show that was uploaded last year).
Spike Trivet vs. Damon Moser
Moser has had a bit of a weird history in PROGRESS, debuting on the original ENDVR show in 2013 and having had a brief run on the main roster as one of the Faceless, before he was kicked out when they became the Origin. Heck, he was picked as the “ProJo guy” to get an appearance at Brixton last year, but his entire run just feels stop-start.
Trivet’s got a bottle of what I think is meant to be champagne that he’s drinking from throughout his entrance, which leads to him spraying some at Moser, who lays into him with forearms at the bell. A knee drop and a kick to the head knocks Trivet down, as this is all Moser early on, but the posh boy comes back with a low blow and a sit-out front suplex.
Remember R-Truth/K-Kwik’s “Hat Rat Crack”? Yeah, that.
The crowd start to make fun of the pronunciation of Trivet’s last name, calling him “Trivet” (as in a hedge) rather than the way he prefers it, “triv-eh”. Moser lays into him with uppercuts from the corner, before Trivet pulls the referee into his way so he could land an eye rake and a running Meteora for a near-fall.
Trivet gets another near-fall from a clothesline, then again from a neckbreaker, as Moser tries again to fight back, but again Trivet goes back to the eyes. More Moser forearms rock Spike, who manages to block an Eat Defeat, before taking some big boots from Damon, who connects with a running dropkick and a Coast to Coast. Moser gets a near-fall out of that Coast to Coast dropkick, so he goes for a version of Adam Cole’s Last Shot (fisherman’s buster into an over-the-knee neckbreaker), before Trivet hits back out of nowhere with a tornado DDT and a bicycle kick for a near-fall. Trivet pulls Moser into a DDT for another two-count, as we get a shot of a disapproving Ashmore in the crowd, before Trivet goes up top…
He misses a moonsault, which seems to give Ashmore wind, and that leaves Spike open for a Knee Trembler as Moser gets the win. Good stuff – you could tell that Trivet was relatively inexperienced, but having a character will help mask this… even if it looks, on first sight, a basic act that serves well to anger fans.
Kyle Ashmore leaps onto the apron after the match, and congratulates Moser on his good year. Ashmore reckons that Moser is fading away, after being a star on the Brixton card “and now you’re entertaining these idiots at PTNTL”. This leads to Kyle saying he has a plan to get himself noticed… and it’s a challenge for some beard-on-beard violence, “next week in a main event”, before asking if we’re going to get “Brixton Moser or PTNTL Moser”. Damon accepts, and we have our main event for the next episode of Freedom’s Road. In two weeks.
So, they clearly had plans here for airing this stuff on-demand, but they may not have been firmed up. No big deal – at least we’re getting storylines to build up the undercard guys!
South Pacific Power Trip (TK Cooper & Travis Banks) vs. Dazzler Team (Earl Black Jr & Darrell Allen)
Darrell and Earl take the fight to the Kiwis at the bell, with Allen taking Cooper to the outside with a ‘rana, before using a surprised Earl Black Jr as a launching pad for a dive.
Earl comes in and drops TK with a butterfly suplex as the crowd chant “we love you default”. A corkscrew senton gets Allen a near-fall, but things turn around when Travis Banks tags in, as he lands a running kick to Black for a near-fall. The Kiwis corner Earl Black, stomping on him in the corner whilst exchanging rapid tags, but Earl pushes them away and tags in Allen, who lands a double missile dropkick!
Allen charges between the Kiwis, who run into each other in the corner accidentally, before a monkey flip on Banks results in an accidental ‘rana on Cooper. Dahlia Black’s run of bad luck in attempted interference continued as she took a superkick from Allen… at least it wasn’t a WALTER right hand, I guess! Speaking of, TK punches out Allen, and he lays into Allen some more, whilst nobody seems to be checking on Dahlia at all!
Allen takes a running Yakuza kick and a forearm from the Kiwis, before TK’s axe kick gets a near-fall. Banks chops away on Allen as it’s his turn to be isolated, but he tries to fight back with some chops of his own, only to fall into a suplex from Cooper for another near-fall. Cooper runs his mouth at Earl Black, and that just distracts him for a Razzle Dazzle kick from a resurging Allen, which leads to both men making tags out.
Earl Black Jr’s hot tag sees him dump Banks with an overhead belly to belly suplex for a near-fall, but TK breaks that up. Cooper’s backdropped to the floor to the outside as they go for the Dazzler Death Drop – and they hit the assisted brainbuster on Banks for a near-fall. Cooper comes back in and flips out of a German suplex, before Earl gives a double German suplex to Banks and Allen.
Black calls for the Black-Out, but Banks avoids it and pushes Earl into the referee… TK Cooper gives Banks a wrench, which is smashed into the back of Black’s head, before he throws it to Darrell Allen. Earl catches it, and thinks he’s been hit by his own partner, and in the middle of it, the Kiwis dispatch of Black, before laying out Allen with an assisted DDT for the win. A really good tag match that kept the story between the Dazzlers rolling on – to an eventual climax!
Cooper and Banks leave the ring, leaving the Dazzler Team in the ring, where their shoving match continues. Black is enraged, as he shoves away at his partner, before eventually snapping into Allen with a German suplex… and I guess that’s the Dazzler Team dissolved? Earl Black Jr clubs away at the back of Allen’s head, before his attack is broken up by RJ Singh – and there’s some seeds sewn for another Bhangra Knights reunion?
“Next Time”, we’ve got more of the Bodyguy, and a Freedom’s Road debut for Jack Sexsmith and a possibly-forgotten name from ENDVRs past: Shen Woo!
Three episodes in, and it’s hard to call Freedom’s Road anything other than an unabashed success. These half-hour shows are easy to watch, and are working excellently in giving us reasons to care about guys who aren’t regularly used on the shows . Case in point, across the three shows so far, we’ve had a reason to care about the Dazzler Team, a duo whom haven’t troubled the main shows since last summer.
Whilst the Spike Trivet character is intentionally polarising, at least they now have a platform to debut wrestlers and characters on a lower-level without having to “throw them to the dogs” as it were on the main chapter shows. Hopefully in time, this’ll set up PROGRESS in good stead to keep churning out the next generation of home-grown talent from the ProJo.