Progress Wrestling is on the agenda once more as we take a look at Chapter Nine of their ongoing saga, with Doug Williams challenging Rampage Brown for the title in the main event of Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kick Me, Kill Me.
Disc one began with Tommy End taking on Dave Mastiff.
This was a pretty impressive opener, especially when you consider that Dutch star End came in as a very, very late replacement for the injured Jimmy Havoc.
It began with a nice exchange of hold before Mastiff showed his power by barging End around the ring a little bit. From there it became a nice back and forth battle, with End looking particularly impressive on his promotional debut.
The Dutchman looked like he was going to get the win with a double stomp off the top rope, but big Dave had the sense to roll out of the ring afterwards. His little trip to the floor gave him the chance to recharge his batteries, but when he went for his trademark cannonball End countered with a big boot before taking his man out with a second top rope stomp for the three count.
Afterwards End was met by a “please come back” chant from the faithful. A sure sign that he got over.
Next up was the second semi-final of the Natural Progression Series, with Paul Robinson taking on Eddie Dennis.
This has to be one of the best big man/little man matches I’ve seen in recent years. Would could have been a typical David versus Goliath kind of battle featured a ton of great wrestling from both men.
It began with Dennis carrying Robinson around the ring as they locked up. Then, instead of using hit and run tactics they engaged in a nice spot of chain wrestling, and while this sequence only lasted a few moments it really set the stage for what was to come.
And what came was great. Robinson’s speed and agility against Dennis’ power and agility made for a great combination, and it became a tremendous back and forth battle as both men tried to use the gifts that nature had given them to get the win.
Move of the match came when Dennis caught Robinson off the top rope into a suplex position before taking him down with a jackhammer. A few moments later he literally threw his man across the ring with a razor’s edge.
But despite all of this Dennis just couldn’t get the job done, and as they jockeyed for position on the top rope Robinson connected with a knee to the head that sent Dennis crashing. He then came down with an awesome looking shooting star press to take the winning pin.
The first half of the show concluded with three way action between Screw Indy Wrestling’s Mark Haskins, Zack Sabre Junior and returning American star Ricochet.
Before the match began Haskins insisted on doing his own ring introduction, and I swear he got the most heat I’ve seen from a crowd in years. He was almost booed out of the building as he tried to speak, and most of the time I couldn’t actually hear him speak.
As for the match it was your typical Progress three-way, and although each man brought something different to the table with their own distinctive style they complimented each other extremely well and put on a tremendous encounter.
Although the one-on-one situations were great it was the three-way moves that really had me smiling. For me the best of the bunch was when Haskins took Ricochet out with a lung blower while landing on a prone Sabre.
As for the performances they were all equally as good as each other. Ricochet impressed with his aerial arsenal once again, while Sabre’s hard hitting offence and submission game looked spot on, while Haskins played the villain of the piece perfectly, and could probably be considered the MVP of this particular encounter.
The finish came when Haskins took Ricochet down with a Michinoku driver-like move. It didn’t get him the pin though, because a boot to the face from Sabre took Haskins down and gave Sabre the three count and win.
Afterwards the Progress faithful took to their feet to give all three men a thoroughly deserved standing ovation.
Disc two began with former champion Nathan Cruz taking on Stixx.
Before the match began Cruz apologised to Stixx about the comments he’d made about his family, and after explain why he was a member Screw Indy Wrestling he offered Stixx a place on the team, and when the big man didn’t respond Cruz treated him to a kick south of the border.
So with the match beginning on that sour note Cruz went on to control the majority of the action. Stixx had a few fleeting moments of offence, but Cruz really cemented his position with a ringside brawl that was somewhat lengthy.
Eventually they returned to the ring where Cruz continued his domination until Stixx tapped into his reserve fuel tanks and took his man down with a spear and a spinebuster. Cruz still had his moments, but it was becoming clear that the heavyweight house of pain was coming into his own, and when his Boss Man slam didn’t get the job done Stixx wrapped Cruz up like a pretzel with his Boston crab variation, even holding back Cruz’s spare arm so he couldn’t tap quickly.
Which left Cruz with just one option left, the verbally submit the old fashioned way to give Stixx the submission win and his second win over the Screw Indy Wrestling faction.
The penultimate match featured six man action as T-Bone and the Project Ego team of Kris Travis and Martin Kirby took on the Bhangra Knight’ R.J. Singh and Darrell Allen and their mystery partner, a certain Scottish fellow called Grado, whom you may have seen on BBC television recently.
So, how best to describe this match? Part-wrestling contest, part-comedy match, part-chaotic, a little confusing, and probably a few other things beside, but I think quite entertaining would be best.
The best comedy came early on, and needless to say that everyone’s new favourite Scottish wrestler was involved. Eventually a wrestling match broke out when T-Bone grabbed his own partners by the ears and threw them over the top rope, and he soon beat the comedy out of Grado for a few moments.
Grado soon made it back to his corner though, and a few moments later both Singh and Allen tied the Ego boys up and applied their ethnic submission to both of them, but when the referee reached his five count he called for the bell, disqualifying the Knights and Grado and giving the match to Bone and the Egos.
It was then that Singh and Allen took two pieces of card out and declared their intention to play the race card. So the match was re-started, and it wasn’t long before all hell broke loose as the bodies flew around the ring. Numerous near falls followed, with Grado almost getting the win with a rock bottom.
But it was the zany Scotsman who fell. After finally body slamming Bone Travis rolled him up from behind for the three count and win.
Then all hell did break loose. After Bone and the Egos celebrated their win and returned backstage the London Riots appeared out of nowhere and obliterated Grado and the Knights. It looked like things were getting back to normal when the injured Jimmy Havoc came into the ring with a chair as the Riots headed for the hills.
But as head honcho and ring announcer Jim Smallman was verbally lambasting the Riots and praising the likes of Havoc it happened. Suddenly Havoc clobbered Smallman with his chair, adding a few further shots with a cricket bat. He then vented his spleen on the microphone, his fury targeted at Smallman at the way he’d been booked before he dragged Smallman to his feet so he could give him one final slap, leaving him laying in the ring as he left with the Riots.
The main event saw Doug Williams challenging Rampage Brown, accompanied by Nathan Cruz for the Progress title.
After the dramatic events of the previous segment this match had a hell of a lot to live up to, but these guys just about did it.
Williams took control early on when he out-wrestled Rampage, but the champion soon came into his own, and with a little help from his friend his no-nonsense approach served him extremely well.
As the match went on it became a much more even affair when both men brought out their big guns, and when Williams failed to get the win after the chaos theory suplex and the bomb scare knee drop the former Anarchist had to wonder just what it would take to put Rampage away.
He never found out. After throwing Williams down so he landed throat first on the middle rope Rampage then took him out with a piledriver. A three count later and the Progress title stayed in the Screw Indy Wrestling camp.
Disc two is also where you’ll find the extras. Just two for you this time around, Jim Smallman’s always enjoyable show introduction, and a bonus match from Progress’ ENDVR:1 show between Lord Jonathan Windsor and Joey Lakeside.
In conclusion – I really am running out of ways of telling you people just how great this wrestling company is.
Why? Because this was another tremendous show, and not just for the wrestling. That was, as always, outstanding from start to finish. There really wasn’t one bad match here, and that’s something I don’t always get to say when I’m reviewing a DVD or a television show.
But for me the best part of this release was the whole Jimmy Havoc situation. I’ve been following modern day British wrestling since 2001. I’ve seen DVD releases from countless promotions up and down the land, and this segment was, by far, the best segment I’ve seen on a British show in that time. Havoc’s heel turn was played to perfection, and was one of the most dramatic things I’ve seen on any wrestling show, and I hope that the good people at Progress give me the chance to continue to see how this storyline develops in their future DVD releases.
I’m also eager to see a bit more of Grado. I think I’m one of the few wrestling fans here in Britain who didn’t see all of the BBC documentary he appeared in. He certainly is an interesting character, and I have to admit I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more of his matches. Besides, I remember when he was a Lost Scot! (UK Fan Forum in-joke there!)
As for my match of the night no-prize I’m going to plump for the Paul Robinson/Eddie Dennis encounter. I don’t think that got too many nominations in any of the 2013 British match of the year polls a few months ago, but if I’d seen it back then it certainly would have got the nod from me.
So with all of that out of the way there’s just one more thing left to do, and that’s to give this release the big thumbs up.
With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. For more information on how to purchase this release visit www.progresswrestling.com.
By day I’m an unemployed retail worker, and at weekends I volunteer at a local museum, but by night I’m the author of The Two Sheds Review, Britain’s longest running professional wrestling and mixed martial arts blog. Visit my site at www.twoshedsreview.vze.com. It’s been online in one form or another since June 2000!