Or “the show where everyone’s favourite surfer travels time”, whilst we get a really good six-person tag with the women of PROGRESS!
We start in a lounge area, where Dahlia Black stops to chat with Livvii Grace – she talks about putting behind them “all that stuff that happened”, just as TK Cooper walks by playing with a paper fortune teller, just as Dahlia mocks Livvii for being single. That’s just mean!
After the opening sting, we’re in a pub garden with Livvii on a pub bench along with Laura Di Matteo and Candyfloss. All of a sudden, in rushes Dahlia, Jinny and Chakara for a really weird homage to a spaghetti Western, as they stand off and separate. Alrighty then! We head off to ringside next for some graps…
Ashmore vs. Chuck Mambo
Oh my word, I’d forgotten about this… the beach balls are flying, but there’s no Chuck. The crowd chant for him as we go backstage as Jon Briley’s in search of Mambo. He dispatches some trainees to look for him. Yes, Jon’s looking too, and before long out comes Chuck from a toilet with a time travelling surfboard (yes).
Now Mambo comes out, decked in a toga, propping his time travelling board against an empty seat. Even for a “Hipstar”, Ashmore is not impressed, even more so by the “This is To-gress” chants, which leads to him kicking Mambo with an enziguiri as he delivered another pun. Mambo bounds back with a corner dropkick and a pump kick to knock Ashmore off the apron… and then a tope con hilo into the front row!
Chuck spends too long jawing with the crowd, which lets Ashmore land a low dropkick to keep Mambo on the outside. There’s more of the same back in the ring as Mambo takes a bodyslam for a two-count, then a rolling death valley driver, but Chuck comes back with a backbreaker out of nowhere. A springboard Meteora keeps Chuck on top, before a Blockbuster forces Ashmore to kick out at two.
Ashmore withstands some forearms and delivers a reverse ‘rana… but that just sparks some back and forth as Mambo connects with a superkick… only to take a pop-up powerbomb onto the knee and a spinning heel kick as the “Hipstar” broke new ground to try and get the win. He even went up top again, but Mambo caught him and teased a superplex to the floor, only for Ashmore to break free and try for a superplex of his own… which Mambo also broke out of, before getting yet another two-count with a Meteora.
In the end though, Mambo found himself hung in the ropes as Ashmore bust out a standing Spanish Fly to snatch the win – a bloody good match on second viewing, and it’s left me wondering why Ashmore’s not getting featured more. They played this off as Mambo losing “because his head was elsewhere”…
We jump backstage to Dahlia Black and Jinny… they think they’ve got their match in the bag, but as soon as a perky Chakara pops up, they’re left rather nonplussed. Back to ringside now, and a rareity: the South Pacific Power Trip/Couple’s twice-used fake music, before they convinced Grandtheft to let them Keep it 100.
Dahlia Black, Chakara & Jinny vs. Livvii Grace, Candyfloss & Laura Di Matteo
Chuck Mambo’s toga’s still there, which was impressive given the order this was taped, and a fan tries to offer it up to Jinny. That didn’t work. We’ve also got a rare outing for Laura Di Matteo’s replacement theme, given she’s gotten the rights to come out to her “old” music at the Electric Ballroom since this.
Di Matteo and Jinny spearhead each team here, but it’s actually Candyfloss and Dahlia Black who get us going, or so we think, as Dahlia and Jinny swap tags to frustrate the rookie. Even Chakara gets in on the act, and it’s Jinny who launches the first strike as Candyfloss gets cornered. Chakara gets tripped as Candyfloss plays Doink and mirrors Chakara, frustrating her in the process, before a crucifix pin gets her a near-fall.
A diving bulldog off the rope gets a one-count as Chakara dives for a tag, and we get Dahlia and Livvii now, blasting each other with forearms in a bid to get ahead.Dahlia ends up bringing in Jinny as Livvii was getting the upper hand, but it was Di Matteo she wanted… and it was Laura she got.
Jinny flies in with a ‘rana into some ground and pound as the pair clawed at each other, before a legscissor roll-up gets Di Matteo a near-fall. A Jushin Liger-esque seated surfboard gets Jinny back in, but Laura quickly escaped and catches her in a crab, with Candyfloss and Livvii preventing any attempts at a break-up, forcing Jinny to make the ropes. Somewhere in there, Candyfloss looked to take a shot to the nose, but that didn’t stop her trying for a dive… which a right hand from TK Cooper put a stop to.
Dahlia goes all Kevin Nash with a big boot choke in the corner to Candyfloss, who’s quickly left in the wrong part of town. Dualling kicks from Jinny and Dahlia get a near-fall on Candyfloss, who’s then choked and chopped by Black in the corner. Chakara’s largely left sidelined as her team-mates continue to pile the pressure on Candyfloss… but when she does come in, she uses a sit-down splash in the corner to get a near-fall.
Eventually, Candyfloss has to resist a three-on-one attack, but she can’t make the tag as Jinny and Dahlia crept around and pulled her partners off the apron. That left Chakara and Candy to trade forearms and chops before Livvii finally came in to throw Chakara with a German suplex. Jinny gets one too into the corner, but replies with a Japanese armdrag as Candyfloss returns… and gets caught with a wheelbarrow DDT by Dahlia and Jinny for a near-fall.
A pair of leg sweeps take down Jinny and Dahlia as Laura comes into it, landing a missile dropkick and a back cracker on Jinny, only for a hammerlock DDT from Chakara to end that offence. We get a parade of big moves, ending with Candyfloss shoving Dahlia to the floor as she went for the Dark Side of the Moonsault, only for Candyfloss to turn into a Style Clash as Jinny picked up the win. This was a really good six-woman tag, especially when you consider the varying experience levels here. One takeaway from this though… Chakara badly needs ring gear that either fits, or doesn’t need adjusting all the time!
Chakara’s left frustrated as Jinny and Dahlia leave without her, before the crowd applaud the defeated trio of Livvii, Laura and a bloody-nosed Candyfloss as the show crashes to the end credits. No “next time” or anything like that, but while there seems to be enough content for another 2-3 episodes on the “two matches an episode” format, it’s getting close to taping time once more!
Yet again, this was a really fun episode of Freedom’s Road, and sadly, the last time we’ll see either TK or Dahlia in action here, since all of the matches they’d taped have now been shown. I really enjoyed the focus being placed on a more varied selection of the women of PROGRESS – and having said it live, Candyfloss is already looking like she’s well on the road to becoming a star.