PROGRESS – Freedom’s Road – Episode 7: “Suplex Time’s Over”

Earl Black Jr’s search for an upgrade to his former partner continued – with a little bit of deadpanning to boot.

The show opens “a little while ago somewhere in London”… with a Star Wars intro! Earl Black Junior’s looking to form a new “Team Suplay”, and we have a weird sequence with the Bhangra Knights on a sofa recalling old times, with clips above their head in thought bubbles.


RJ no sells his retirement, as Earl Black Jr’s watching from the doorway in horror. He wants a match with the “Retirement Rockers” against Earl and his new partner. But first, everyone’s favourite Tory Boy…

Spike Trivet vs. James Best
Trivet’s told to “f**k off back to Oxbridge”, which I originally misheard for another place close to home… I don’t want Spike living near me!

Best opens up with an enziguiri to send Trivet to the outside for a tope con hilo, but Trivet counters a springboard into the ring with an arm whip. Spike targets the arm, then plants him with a flapjack for a near-fall.

Trivet shrugs off some of the one-note chants before he wipes his boot on the head of Best, who mounts a comeback with a ‘rana and a neckbreaker, only to miss a springboard senton. That allows Spike to get his “Privilege Lock” – or the Rings of Saturn to you and me – forcing the submission. A pretty good outing for Spike, who’s got the character down pat, but there’s a long way to go before he’ll be troubling the chapter shows, I feel…

We’re backstage again, and it seems that Earl Black Jr’s found his man… Mark Ryan. He’s trying to get him onto “Team Suplay”, but Earl’s got to explain what a suplay is. I love the deadpan, Jack Dee-esque stylings of this character. “This is from the mind of Gordon Solie… I am the human suplay machine” says Earl, who’s on the verge of beating suplexes out of Ryan, replacing it with suplays.

Team Suplay (Earl Black Jr & Mark Ryan) vs. Bhangra Knights (RJ Singh & Darrell Allen)
Ryan’s suitably dressed in “default” black trunks, knee pads, boots and t-shirt, prompting chants of “default tag team”. The Bhangra Knights are using the music that RJ’s using in Rev Pro, which is one of the better newer themes doing the rounds…

Earl attacks Darrell from behind, but the Knights hit back with a pair of Thesz Presses. Ryan gets flattened with a version of Total Elimination out of the corner, and it’s the newbie who’s taking a lot of offence as a 619 and a sunset flip roll-up nearly gets the win. Black pulls down Darrell Allen as they looked for a springboard finisher, and that turns things around.

Earl works over RJ’s arm with a hammerlock, then Ryan does the same. Out of nowhere, RJ ends the spell of offence with a moonsault to Earl and Mark, and finally he makes the hot tag, as Darrell lays waste to Team Suplay with forearms. Allen hits a Razzle Dazzle kick to Earl before taking out Ryan with a tope, but Earl counters a Dazzler Twist into a suplay!

First one of the match!

Some “Old School Violence” from Earl’s countered with a superkick and a shining wizard before Ryan comes in with a sit-out reverse DDT to RJ. Allen saves RJ from a suplex, before his attempt at a Bhangra Buster’s stopped… but a wheelbarrow roll-up stacks up Ryan as Darrell Allen gets first blood against his former partner.

There’s nothing for “next time”, so take your pick from whatever else was taped! A quick pause on the end credits gives you a surprise name for Earl Black Jr’s theme music. If you’re looking for RJ’s theme, have a look on the Soundcloud of Mikey Ruckus…

All in, this was another decent episode – the backstage stuff was somewhat cheesy but enjoyable (especially the Earl Black deadpanning), and it was nice to see some newer faces in the ring. More please!