Welcome back to another edition of my Wrestling Quickies as we have another stacked collection of matches for your reading pleasure.
The last one I did went over well with adding ROH into the mix with the Lethal and Ospreay match along with stuff from AAA and W-1. Now I got some nice surprises in this one lined up for you all and you’ll never know what’ll pop up in my quickies, so be sure to not miss them.
So let’s get started, shall we?
Tag Team Match
TAJIRI & Kagetsu vs. Minoru Tanaka & Konami
Review: Our first match for the evening is a show in Japan titled GPS Growth4, which is a Freelancing show that took place on September 26th and I decided to cover the main event of the show due to knowing the people participating in the match. We have TAJIRI (Yes, the one we all know and love) teaming up with our current World of Stardom Champion, Kagetsu as they take on Minoru Tanaka and Konami. Stardom was kind enough to upload this match on their website and how could I say no to watching and adding it on here? Which of these teams will win?
Konami and TAJIRI started it off and he would quickly tag in Kagetsu for the two women to really start it off as the to would have a kicking contest to see who would win and it was Konami who came out on top and the two would tag back in the men. When TAJIRI and Minoru came into the ring, they would have a slow paced match with just chain wrestling for most of it. Kagetsu would do her trademark spitting water into her opponent’s face and the referee, but she would also do it to Minoru right after and later on, Minoru got payback by doing it to Kagetsu.
I honestly thought the match had a couple of slip-ups like when Minoru got the hot tag and went for a Dropkick to Kagetsu, it looked like he missed and she told it anyway despite ducking it and despite stuff like that, it was still a lot of fun and focused more on Kagetsu and Konami since they deserve a chance to shine while the two vets worked with them a little to give them that little rub. TAJIRI and Konami are in the ring now as TAJIRI spits green mist into her eyes and hits his Buzzsaw Kick to knock her down and go for the cover, but he stops himself to tag in Kagetsu now who sprays blue mist into her eyes before hitting the Oedo Coaster as she gets the win for herself and TAJIRI.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Tag Team Match
CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham) vs Ringkampf (Timothy Thatcher & WALTER)
Review: We now travel to Germany for the next match which is another tag team match from wXw or Westside Extreme Wrestling and is probably one of my favorite promotions currently right now since they usually deliver with good quality shows and matches, plus it’s the home of two of my favorite wrestlers of 2018 and one of them is WALTER. This match was apart of their tag league tournament on the October 5th show as we got Ringkampf taking on CCK, Chris Brookes, and Jonathan Gresham. So which of these two teams would get points for the league?
One thing I can say about this match is that it is aggressive and I mean that in a good way with CCK and Ringkampf deliver a lot of powerful strikes to each other in this match and showing why they’re both considered one of the top teams in wrestling right now. Timothy is one of the best technical wrestlers right now and the knowledge and experience he has in the ring just shows that from how he was handling CCK while WALTER would just overpower the both of these men to make them a threat to this league. CCK also did well with how Gresham and Brookes work well together in the ring as a tag team with their exciting athletic ability while also knowing when to be technical with their opponent.
Still, it’s an entertaining match and a great way to start off their tag league. WALTER would manhandle Gresham and picks him up for a Powerbomb as Timothy hits a European Uppercut before Greshman landed on the mat and goes for the cover until Brookes broke the count. Gresham would get the crowd off their feet when he would catch WALTER for a German Suplex and even hits it to give them that little moment. Timothy is in the ring now as Gresham would apply the Octopus Stretch onto him and as WALTER tries to break it up, Brookes would catch him in the same hold between the ropes while Timothy keeps trying to fight out of it, but he couldn’t take it anymore as he tapped out!
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Best Two out of Three Falls Match
Michael Elgin vs. Ultimo Guerrero
Review: Our next stop is in Mexico for the promotion CMLL for their October 12th show, Super Viernes with our usual Two out of Three Falls Match like how CMLL does it as our main event of that show is between Michael Elgin and Ultimo Guerrero. Does Elgin pick up the win or will Ultimo get it?
The first fall was mostly technical with how they were in the ring together until they were both in the outside where Elgin slammed the guardrail onto him and oversold it despite it not fully hitting him. This one would last about seven minutes as Ultimo would get the first fall by making Elgin tap out to the Pulpo Guerrero. The second fall doesn’t last as long since it was mostly the two beating each other down until Ultimo threw Elgin over the barricade and would try to dive over but got caught by Elgin and threw him over to make him crash down onto the floor. Elgin would stand on the barricade to hit a Senton onto him and then threw him back into the ring so he could hit the Elgin Bomb and gets the second fall as we’re now tied up.
Elgin started to dominate the beginning of the third fall and even hits his Powerbomb onto the entrance ramp while taunting the crowd after to get the fans fully behind Ultimo. Elgin would hit another Elgin Bomb into the ring and Ultimo would surprisingly kick out of it. Elgin and Ultimo really do have good chemistry in the ring together and Elgin really does transition well to the Mexican style of wrestling since he’s no stranger to it due to being in AAA for a bit also, but I really enjoyed their work here in the ring. Elgin would have Ultimo on the turnbuckle to go for a Hurricanrana but Ultimo would catch his hands to hit a Powerbomb but Elgin kicked out of it. Elgin went to the top rope but Ultimo quickly follows behind him to hit an Inverted Suplex off the top rope and he goes for the pin as Ultimo wins the match!
Rating: Bruce Prichard
International Ribbon Tag Team Title Match
Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi (c) vs. Hiragi Kurumi & Tsukushi
Review: It’s been a while since I’ve had Ice Ribbon talked about from my stuff and was kinda hard to drop them after one show and it wasn’t bad or anything, just had other promotions lined up and it was getting too much without a balance. But now I get to talk about them in this set of quickies and it’ll most likely be where you’ll see them pop up from time to time unless there’s a rave about one of their big shows. So, we will be talking about the Ice Ribbon show from October 8th which was called Oktober Ice Ribbon Fest 2018 and the main event was the Lovely Butchers defending the International Ribbon Tag Team Championships against Hiragi Kurumi and Tsukushi. Will we have new champs or will they retain?
What’s this, no corner screen with the female commentators and using actual commentators for this match? This is a sudden surprise for me since that was one of my big problems with Ice Ribbon with that little corner screen being covered to watch them do commentary when it’s unnecessary to see and loses focus of the match. I thought the Lovely Butchers did a fine job showing why they’re the champions while Tsukushi and Hiragi seemed like they work just as fine as well. The match itself wasn’t great, but I thought it was still a solid bout with nice tag team wrestling involved along with some good chemistry, but still felt like they could’ve done more if they were given a little bit of extra time instead of about eleven minutes for their main event. Mochi would have Hiragi up on the turnbuckle as she hits the Styles Clash off the ropes to make it connect and the Lovely Butchers retain the titles.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Pete Dunne vs. Ilja Dragunov
Review: We’re now in England as we talk about one of the biggest shows for PROGRESS which was Chapter 76: Hello Wembley. The show was stacked from top to bottom with great matches and moments but we’re only going to be covering one of the matches and the match I’m covering is the one I was more excited for which is WWE United Kingdom Champion, Pete Dunne taking on wXw’s Ilja Dragunov. A lot of you people already know Pete Dunne by now, but not many of you know Ilja Dragunov and he’s the other favorite I was talking about at the previous match involving wXw and this guy just has the look of a star, has charisma, and can work a great match while being a good talker. When this match got announced, I was super excited to see it unfold finally and now that moment has come. Who wins in this special dream match?
This match was more of a battle for supremacy as both of these men were considered some of the best in Europe right now and seeing these two battle it out in that fashion is what made it exciting from bell to bell. Even just seeing them exploding with energy soon as the bell rang with them punching each other right away with Ilja getting the upper hand with it and dove to the outside later on. The match, while had great wrestling, involved also treated it like a fight with the strikes both of them would do to each other and trying to push their limits on one another. Ilja made his PROGRESS debut in this match and he would fit in right away playing the heel in the match to get the crowd to hate him while showing the fans how good he really is in the ring while Dunne is just being Dunne proving why he’s UK’s best wrestler at this point in time in this match.
Around the middle of the match, Dunne would even get some heat into the match when he grabbed Ilja’s arms so he could stomp his face down on the mat to make him feel defenseless and the fans seem to have disliked that type of thing for this match. Ilja’s manager would hit Dunne with the WWE United Kingdom Championship when the referee wasn’t looking and Ilja would capitalize on that but Dunne kicked out. The manager would start yelling at Dunne until he grabbed his hand to snap his fingers and would hit Ilja with a Bitter End but turned it into a Tombstone when he had him mid-air, but Ilja still kicked out of it. Ilja would hit the Burning Hammer and Sickle for a two count as he ran towards him for Dunne to catch him into a Triangle Choke which Ilja escaped out of. Ilja would later onrush towards him again for Dunne to catch him once again for the Triangle Choke but he shifted his body around so he was sitting on top of him to grab his fingers to snap them over and over again until Ilja couldn’t take it anymore and tapped out!
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
Impact World Title Match
Austin Aries (c) vs. Johnny Impact
Review: You heard it right, I will be talking about Impact Wrestling in this set of quickies like I did with ROH at the previous one. The show took place at Bound for Glory as Austin Aries is set to defend his Impact World Championship against Johnny Impact in the main event of this big PPV. I don’t follow Impact as much as I would like but from what I’ve seen with their recent work, it looks like they’ve been slowly getting better and I’m glad that’s been the case lately. This rivalry though has sparked some personal stuff between the two to get the crowd into the match more and now it’s time to see how it unfolds. Will Aries retain again or will we finally have a new champion?
I don’t get a chance to watch a lot of Johnny these days but from I’ve seen with him lately, it’s good to see he’s still in excellent shape and still doing the stuff I normally see him do while still finding ways to be creative, like how he stepped between the ring apron and guardrail to hit a Moonsault right onto Aries and it looked like a kick but still great with the impact. Aries really hasn’t changed a whole lot except for slowly upping his heel game in the match and knowing how to draw heat from the crowd.
I don’t watch too much Impact these days as I said previously due to not always being home and focused on writing other coverages, but I do watch clips and keep up to date with them when I can and this match was great and I do hope they find success with this new reboot they’ve been having this year and have been doing much better than ROH. Aries would hit the 450 Splash for Johnny to kick out of it at two and he would eventually hit his Starship Pain and it looked like he had it, but Aries grabbed the rope before the referee could count to three. The match is getting down to the wire now with close calls as Aries now hits his Brainbuster for Johnny to have his foot on the rope before the three-count also. Aries would then apply the Last Chancery for Johnny to break the hold again and Aries would hit a Suicide Dive onto Johnny’s wife, Taya Valkyrie which gets Johnny pissed and attacked him on the outside before taking him in to hit a Brainbuster and hits one more Starship Pain for the pin, and we have a new champion!
Once the bell rang, Aries would no sell the move and flip off Don Callis before walking out of the ring. Some people are saying it’s a work while others are claiming it to be a shoot since Aries’ contract would expire after the event and hasn’t shown up at the tapings. However, another source has claimed that Aries is doing a loose cannon type of gimmick where he would do this stuff on purpose and then wrestle for other promotions to keep the gimmick intact and not sure if I’ll fully buy it but we’ll see what happens, but also wouldn’t be surprised if it was, in fact, a shoot and not as bad as Low Ki. Congrats to Johnny Impact, hope you have a good reign.
Rating: Bruce Prichard and a half
GHC Heavyweight Title Match
Takashi Sugiura (c) vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima
Review: We return to Japan as we talk about another Japanese promotion, NOAH. If you have seen Hi5ame’s articles popping up on the website about NOAH, you’ll know what it’s all about and if you haven’t read them, then you’re missing out and you should check out her work since it’s great stuff and some of the best I’ve read whenever she has something posted. Anyway, we’ll be talking about the GHC Heavyweight Championship match that took place on the October 4th show which also had their Global Junior League finals taking place as Takashi Sugiura is set to defend the title against Katsuhiko Nakajima. Takashi is honestly my favorite champion in all of 2018 with how impressive he has been with his title matches since each match told a different story in the ring and each defense is just a work of art, he’s even a better champion than Kenny Omega and not many people will watch NOAH or his title reign and they’re missing out on that which is a shame. NOAH really needs a streaming service next. So will Takashi deliver us another classic while retaining at the same time or will we have a new champion?
The progression for Nakajima since he lost the title over a year ago has been an amazing experience seeing him turning from this vanilla like babyface to this heel with a new attitude to raise his confidence and made himself grow more as a character and a wrestler. These two would just beat the crap out of each other mostly with stiff kicks all around by both of these men, slaps, elbows, you name it and they did it in the match to give it that fighting type of feel while telling a great story in the ring. Takashi would once again give us a unique title defense to make all of his title matches have a different feel with completely different stories to tell you how great his reign as GHC Heavyweight Champion has been so far.
Nakajima would wrestle this match rather fairly until near the end of the match as he would use a weapon on Takashi to hit him with it over and over again to eventually choke him with it until the referee would finally turn around to see what he was doing as Nakajima threw the weapon out of the ring to go back to beating down the champion. Nakajima would deliver slaps to his face to get him down on his knees from the beating has was given would even get on top of him to keep delivering punches onto him. Nakajima would then have Takashi get up so he could kick him, but Takashi collapsed on the floor ducking the kick before it would connect and it looks like he’s out of it. Eventually, Takashi would get back up for Nakajima go for another kick but Takashi would catch his foot and would apply the Ankle Lock on him as he holds onto it tightly. It looked like Nakajima was going to break out of it but Takashi would land on the mat to hold him in place, still holding onto the submission with Nakajima being unable to move, he held on for as long as he could and had no choice but to tap out and Takashi retains once again. Beautiful match and probably his best title defense for this run. I hope to see a rematch if Nakajima wins the Global League.
Rating: Jim Cornette
BxB Hulk vs. Shingo Takagi
Review: Mat, don’t you already cover Dragon Gate? Why is this on here? Good question and I actually have the answer for you which is, I had a bit of a busy week last week and the Dragon Gate network takes their live shows off after a week and brings them back a month later, which means I was unfortunately unable to get to it in time. So instead of waiting a month for it to come back to the service, I’m just gonna move forward and only talk about the match that was important on the show, Shingo’s final Dragon Gate match. Before Shingo Takagi made the jump to New Japan Pro Wrestling, he would have his last match with the company he’s been known for as he fights on the October 7th show against his former rival, BxB Hulk. Will Shingo win his final match or does Hulk take it?
I gotta be honest here, it felt a little bit underwhelming and yeah the match was good, but I felt like the atmosphere of it wasn’t as impactful or nothing fully stood out and didn’t really have a bigger feel for a final match of his and it hurt it a little bit for me. Anyway, it was still solid enough to get over despite it being just a regular match with nothing special in it in-ring wise until the end, but it was mostly the story that helped carry it due to their history together in the ring. Around the last five minutes of the match or so was when it would start picking up to get better with Shingo hitting Hulk with everything in his arsenal, he would even hit two MADE IN JAPAN’s in a row to try and put him away but Hulk would kick out of it at two, even kicked out of the Pumping Bomber as well. Hulk would start getting in some offense now with his series of kicks all onto his head and would hit his First Flash which Shingo would kick out of right away before the referee could even get to one. Shingo would start yelling at Hulk which leads to Hulk kicking him more and hits one more First Flash to pin Shingo and end his Dragon Gate career.
Shingo Takagi was in Dragon Gate since 2004 when he made his wrestling debut and has been with the company ever since while doing a little bit of freelance work here and there. He’s been with the company for fourteen years and he’s done everything he could at Dragon Gate, which now means that it’s time for him to move on and do more with his career to show the world more of who he is. He made his return to NJPW on October 8th as he joined Tetsuya Naito in Los Ingobernables de Japon where he would now be considered a Junior Heavyweight and is now teaming up with BUSHI for their Jr Tag League. I’m kinda iffy about him being stuck in the junior division, but I’m sure it’s only a short-term thing since the heavyweight scene is stacked right now and I still wish him luck. Thank you, Shingo Takagi, for your contributions to Dragon Gate and still hope for more success in your career.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Overall: Despite some of the matches being underwhelming, the majority of the matches I’ve watched have been either enjoyable or great matches to give me plenty of excitement for this version of the quickies and could be a while for me to top it or have it this stacked, but you’ll never know what to expect.
Favorite Match: Takashi Sugiura vs. Katsuhiko Nakajima
Least Favorite Match: Hamuko Hoshi & Mochi Miyagi vs. Hiragi Kurumi & Tsukushi
Carol: Is Lacey Evans The Right Opponent For Becky Lynch?
Lacey may have The Woman’s Right, but is she the right opponent for Becky? Carol explores the question.
Lacey may have The Woman’s Right, but is she the right opponent for Becky? Carol explores the question.
It’s been one week since Becky Lynch won both the RAW and SmackDown Women’s Championships at WrestleMania. But Lynch doesn’t have time to rest because she’s getting ready to defend her titles against Lacey Evans.
Evans being the championship contender has caused mixed reactions with fans.
So I have to wonder, is Lacey the right contender for Becky Lynch?
I can see why fans are upset with Evans being Becky’s first opponent. Since Becky is the top star of the women’s division and fans would expect her first title defense to be with another big star such as Sasha Banks or Bayley.
I can see Becky feuding with someone like Sasha or Bayley, but their match would be saved for a bigger PPV such as SummerSlam. In the meantime, Becky will have to be put in a filler feud and Lacey Evans is her first opponent.
I don’t watch NXT so I’m not familiar with Lacey’s in-ring work, although I do know about her gimmick. Since arriving on the main roster, Lacey hasn’t competed much in the ring. The only thing she does is walk down the ramp like a runway model in the middle of a match.
This past Monday on RAW, Lacey competed in her first match on the main roster when she fought Natalya. While the match was short, it did give the WWE Universe a chance to see Lacey’s wrestling ability. Lacey showed that she has a lot of strength when it comes to wrestling, but is that enough to make her a worthy championship contender.
Reports say that WWE views her as a future star in the women’s division. She fits the mold of WWE’s women wrestlers, so it’s not surprising they want to push her. But are they pushing her too fast by having her challenge Becky Lynch for the Women’s Championships?
It would be best to slowly build up Lacey’s character until she’s able to prove why she’s championship caliber. But at the same time, a Becky Lynch feud could be just the thing to get the WWE Universe interested in the wrestler.
Becky’s the biggest star of the women’s division and anyone who has a feud with her is sure to gain a lot of attention. If WWE is adamant about making Lacey a star, a championship match with Lynch could be thing to get her push started.
While some fans are hesitant about Lacey Evans and Becky Lynch’s feud, this is a big opportunity for both ladies.
For Evans, she’ll have to prove to fans and WWE officials that she has what it takes to be a big star in the women’s division. As for Lynch, she’s worked hard to earn her spot as the top star in WWE. After a successful win at WrestleMania, she’s going to have to continue her momentum going to keep her spot as champion and leader of the women’s division.
Of course, WWE’s booking will play an important role in this feud. But if booked right, Lacey and Becky could both come out of this feud looking strong.
Chairshot Classics: PROGRESS Chapter 4
Harry keeps chugging away on the back catalog of Progress! He lends his expertise and knowledge to help us learn where some of our favorite UK superstars began!
Harry keeps chugging away on the back catalog of Progress! He lends his expertise and knowledge to help us learn where some of our favorite UK superstars began!
PROGRESS is coming off the worst of the three shows thus far (my ratings were 6.5, 7, 5.5 respectively). The main event was Nathan Cruz and El Ligero as tag partners took a loss to Dave Mastiff and Greg Burridge. Post match, it broke down into a brawl between the two and Jim Smallman announced that they would face here at Chapter 4 for the PROGRESS Championship. Previously, they have stuck with a three months between shows show time. This time, it’s only two months as we go from end of September to end of November (the Sunday after Thanksgiving 2012, I believe). I know of the main event and not a whole lot else in relation to this show, so we’re going to find out together. With that said, we once again go into our way back machine and head to November 25th, 2012 as “What I Watched” presents ‘The Ballad of El Ligero’ or PROGRESS Chapter 4.
WRITER’S NOTE #1: My reviews will not be a play by play recap. I’ve done that style in the past and honestly, I don’t especially care for it. Instead, it’ll be more of a stream of consciousness review as I talk about the wrestlers, the matches, the storylines and whatever else happens to pop into my head while I watch.
WRITER’S NOTE #2: As much as I’d like to let everyone make their own decisions on the matches, giving away match results in the review will be a necessary evil. The reason being is that I will discuss what I think everything means going forward and maybe even doing a little fantasy booking of where I would go from where they presently are. I will still post the results as one big listing at the end of the articles as well as my ratings for the contests. The final show review will be after that as well as the ‘Final Reaction’ for the show. Going forward, I’ll have an archive to all of my previous reviews here on the Chairshot if you click on my user name.
MY RATING SCALE: Excellent, Very Good, Good, Above Average, Average, Below Average, Bad, Very Bad, Terrible and SKIP. Some matches will occasionally get a ‘N/A’ rating as well. That will be reserved for matches that I feel don’t warrant a rating.
PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 4
‘The Ballad of El Ligero’
From: ‘The Boston Dome’ in Tufnell Park, London, England
Date: November 25th, 2012
Run Time: 2:03:48 (Demand PROGRESS)
WITH SPECIAL THANKS: Ian Hamilton for some of the research that I did while working on this review. (http://www.backbodydrop.com)
*GENERAL NOTES: Obviously, the first thing to discuss is that we’re in a different place then we were for the first three shows. Rather this is a full time thing or just a one off remains to be seen when we get to Chapter 5. As far as how the set-up looks, hard cam doesn’t appear to be too bad. There’s a bit of a glare on the ring which could prove problematic as the show goes on.
*Our opening video focuses on the changes we’ve seen in El Ligero in his time here in PROGRESS compared to how he was prior. They focus on the underhanded way he beat Burridge at Chapter 2 and the ‘sorry, not sorry’ shrug after superkicking Marty Scurll during his match with Nathan Cruz at the same show.
*Once again, no Smallman promo to start the show. I do look forward to when those become a regular thing going forward. Jim has such an infectious personality that you can’t help but enjoy him clearly having the time of his life in the ring. Even if he does tend to run a little long with the openings on occasion these days.
*Match #1: London Riots (James Davis/Rob Lynch) (2-0 as a team) vs. The Hunter Brothers (Jim and Lee) (debut)
The Who: London Riots are clearly the class of the PROGRESS tag division. At this time though, that’s not really saying a whole lot. Davis and Lynch are coming off back to back wins at Chapters 2 and 3. Hunter Brothers are making their debut here and I can’t say I’ve heard of them before this. They do sort of physically resemble the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson).
The Why: While I can’t say for sure, my guess is that PROGRESS is attempting to flush out the tag division by adding a new team in the Hunter Brothers against an established one in the London Riots.
The Match: I believe Smallman called them Lee and Jim. My guess is another name for them would be ‘dead’ and ‘meat’, because I don’t anticipate much of a contest here…Hunter’s slide into the ring, the fisticuffs start flying and the opening bell rings here…quick tags after a breakdown see the brothers in control early until Lynch launches Jim with an exploder…fans getting on Davis’ case by chanting ‘London Diets’. That’s pretty funny…tilt-a-whirl face plant by Davis on Jim Hunter. Always liked that move. Looks cool with a minimal amount of effort and risk for both parties…huge double stomp by Lynch to the back of Jim. That’s a big dude to be using that…after that opening flurry, it’s been all Riots. Not that it’s much of a surprise…overhead belly2belly by Lynch. Everything the Riots have done has been really smooth in this match. You can see them gelling more and more from Chapter to Chapter…Jim and Lynch end up trading shots in an exchange that Jim wins. Suspension of disbelief something serious there since Lynch has Jim outweighed by probably a hundred pounds…superkick into a Code Red by the Hunters. It looked good…overhead throw by Lynch tosses Lee across the ring…drop toe hold into a stomach breaker. Again, looked good too…Riots go for that double powerbomb that they hit at the last show, but Lee gets out with a ‘rana…first ‘This is Progress’ chant after a top-rope ‘rana-frog splash combo by Hunter’s…Lynch appears to hurt his knee coming off the ropes, but I’ve seen this ruse before…and sure enough, ruse it is as Lynch and Davis deck the Hunters from behind. Upon the second attempt, the double team powerbomb (which according to my research would become known as ‘District Line’) gets the three count at 14:25…long for an opener, but a good enough match. I don’t think I like the cliché of the ‘fake injury’ being used in the opening contest. Hunter’s held their own against the established Riots and even though I had a few minor issues here and there in terms of believability, I got more out of this match then I was expecting. Call it an ABOVE AVERAGE way to start, minor discrepancies aside.
Post-match: More mic time for the Riots and more of the same that we’ve heard from them before. Nothing really comes of it other then the crowd once again getting to chant ‘London Diets’ and I believe Davis shoving a plant to the floor.
*Match #2: RJ Singh (1-0-1) vs. Paul Robinson (0-1)
The Who: RJ Singh comes off a win over Rob Cage at Chapter 3. The draw you see in his record above was from a no decision in a three way where El Ligero became the number one contender. He still has the biggest entourage in PROGRESS to this point. Paul Robinson was tapped out by Noam Dar in his debut on what was the opening contest.
The Why: Truthfully, I have no clue. My theory is to give Singh more momentum going forward, but Robinson did have a pretty good match with Dar at Chapter 3 whereas I found the Singh-Cage match to be just there.
The Match: Can someone get Paul Robinson a good sandwich? If he lost any more weight, he’d be transparent. Something about seeing a guy’s ribcage just doesn’t scream wrestler to me…bell goes and we’re under way once again…apparently Robinson has outside wrestling experience as a kick boxer, so I take back what I said earlier. I ain’t trying to get kicked…Robinson with the series of short kip-up’s that I first saw by Chris Hero into an arm drag…say this much, Robinson is technically skilled. He may not be the biggest dog in the fight, but he might be the most aggressive…basement enzugiri by Robinson and that’s a new one for me…Robinson takes out both members of Singh’s entourage and then a suicide dive takes out Singh (and almost a couple fans) on the opposite side of the ring…Singh with a pair of backbreakers (tilt-a-whirl and pendulum) to set up an attempt for the ‘Ethnic Submission’ later on, I’m sure…HOOK THE LEG, MAAAAAN…Robinson with a nice springboard flying forearm before a single foot basement dropkick. The issue I have is there is no sign of the back work that Singh was doing here…Robinson goes for a flying legdrop and it does not end well for his tailbone…little later, Robinson goes for a 619 (to the fans approval) but Singh moves and hooks Robinson up to hit ‘Welcome to Chicago, Motherfucker’ (double underhook into a backbreaker). Would that be ‘Welcome to Bombay?’…Robinson gets ‘Sliced Bread #2’ (with a shout out to Naomichi Marufuji) for two…both members of Singh’s entourage get involved again. Shah Boudica eats the 619 to save Singh. Director gets knocked off the apron, but the distraction of Robinson allows Singh to catch him with a Widow’s Peak. Singh then applies the ‘Ethnic Submission’ (Camel Clutch) and that gives us a tap out at 10:56…I think the one I would use here is inconsistent. Singh tried to work over the back of Robinson, but Robinson barely sold it at all. The problem with that is when the ‘Ethnic Submission’ gets put on, you look like a putz who just taps rather then a guy who has been worn down. The ring work was fine otherwise but while I would put the entertainment level at about the same as the opener, I would call this one only AVERAGE due to the fact that Jim and Lee Hunter actually sold the beating they were taking from the London Riots. Somewhat of a disappointment.
Post-match: Director and Boudica come into the ring and attack Robinson after the match, only to be pulled away by Singh. Singh yells at both of them to leave and they exit the ring before Singh extends the hand to a now-risen Robinson. Interesting to see where a face turn for Singh could go. RJ seems to be a pretty competent wrestler, but the hijinx of his entourage have definitely hurt the quality of his matches thus far. I’ll be curious to see what he’s capable of against an opponent of a higher quality as well.
*Match #3: ‘Submission Match’- Noam Dar (2-1) vs. Jimmy Havoc (1-2)
The Who: Dar is coming off back to back wins here in PROGRESS, beating Darrell Allen and Paul Robinson by submission at Chapters 2 and 3 respectively. Havoc is coming off the absolute throw down with Jon Ryan in what basically turned into a death match at Chapter 3.
The Why: Unsure. It being a submission match is even more bizarre for me because to my knowledge, these guys have never been anywhere near each other in PROGRESS. That said, I’m actually looking forward to this as I am a fan of both guys.
The Match: Smallman’s ring intro is very biased…‘Spoon him up Jimmy, spoon him up’. PROGRESS fans, you glorious bastards…they then chant for a forking, but weapons are not legal…Jimmy does go for a spoon early but Dar is able to stay out…apparently, the bloodbath that Havoc had with Ryan at Chapter 3 was the end for Ryan. That’s unfortunate. I always thought he was a good hand…clean break by Dar in the ropes. Not something you usually see…Dar’s infatuation with his gum is borderline disturbing…Dar takes a tasty cake break and makes friends around ringside before eventually returning…Dar goes for the grapevine kneebar early but Havoc is able to escape and gets a dropkick while Dar is trapped in the corner…Havoc plans to fly, but Dar comes back in with a single foot dropkick before instinctively going for a cover. I would be shocked if that doesn’t happen more…Dar goes for a teabag but Havoc counters with the old Corino ‘thumb in the bum’. Wrestling, ladies and gentlemen…Dar is staying heavily on Havoc’s knee and Jimmy is actually selling it. Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson…the thing you learn in these early PROGRESS shows is Havoc is actually a competent wrestler. He just made his name as a death match guy…Jimmy Barnett compares Noam Dar to Brutus Beefcake on a sleeper before spinning that in a direction that is not appropriate for this review. Funny, just not appropriate…Havoc catches a Sharpshooter on Dar of all things. Been almost no work to set it up, but it does draw quite the pop from the crowd…and Dar empties a bag of thumbtacks in the ring. Havoc tries to DVD Dar into them, but the referee blocks that. A fireman’s carry throw puts Dar in the corner and Havoc sweeps up the tacks with a broom and basket…Dar has time to recover and takes Jimmy down before a top-rope double stomp to the knee puts Havoc down. Dar applies the Champagne Super Kneebar, but Jimmy is able to get to the ropes…they are just countering back and forth so fast that I can’t keep up with everything…Jimmy applies Mr. Socko (generic version) and puts on the Mandible Claw. Dar grabs the shoulder of Havoc to stop his hand from falling. That’s new…Dar brings a chair in. Ref gets rid of it and Dar pulls the Eddie Guerrero spot with a briefcase which leads to the referee ringing the bell on a DQ at 17:14…Smallman makes his way ringside and points out the shenanigans that Dar just attempted, restarting the match…Havoc takes Dar down into a Crossface. Dar once again gets to the rope. Dar is then able to catch Havoc in the ‘Champagne Super Kneebar’ once again and this time bites the foot. That’s just fucking gross. It also draws the tap out at 18:40…that was a lot of fun. They played the hits of a submission match and even tossed in a couple new school wrinkles with Noam Dar trying his best Eddie Guerrero impression. The finish, while gross, makes sense as well since Dar had been working the knee of Havoc for most of the match. The biting of the foot was just Dar being a dick and it protects Havoc a bit since it gives him an out that Dar had to do so. Fun match here and I’ll give it a GOOD rating. Best thing on the show thus far.
*Match #4: ‘Natural Progression’ First Round: Will Ospreay (0-0 as a single. 0-1 overall) vs. Mark Andrews (2-0)
The Who: Will Ospreay is obviously a big name now with his work for New Japan Pro Wrestling, however here he’s not nearly as big a deal. His only prior appearance for PROGRESS was a losing effort as one half of the tag team ‘Velocity Vipers’ with Alex Esmail. They lost to the London Riots in a match that was just getting good when Esmail broke his leg. Mark Andrews has been a staple since Chapter 2, defending the BWC Starlo Scholarship against Mike Hitchman and the former champion Xander Cooper. There is no mention of the Starlo here, so my guess is that three chapters is how long the PROGRESS/BWC relationship lasted.
The Why: First round match in what is deemed the ‘Natural Progression’ tournament. As to what exactly that means, maybe Jimmy Barnett will tell me and I can fill you all in on that. My guess would be a future title shot, but I honestly don’t know.
The Match: opening bell doesn’t go but goes, since it never officially rings, but the ref makes the motion…Barnett confirms the title shot for the winner as the tournament will continue over the next six Chapters…we stay on the mat early, but I don’t anticipate that will last long. Ospreay has gotten better on the mat over the years but both of these guys are much better fliers then they are scientific wrestlers…a high speed series of exchanges leads to Andrews getting in déjà vu (the double wrap around flying head scissors)…and Ospreay nails both Andrews a fan with a suicide dive. Her lap ate that dive. Make your own joke here…standing SSP gets two for Ospreay and he puts on a grounded Kimura. It’s the 2003 Brock Lesnar school of wrestling…I believe the mat portion of this contest is over. Of course, right as I type that, Ospreay puts on a seated chinlock…nice ‘dropsault’ by Ospreay. Almost as pretty as Paul London’s…tornado DDT out of back handspring by Andrews draws the second ‘This is PROGRESS’ chant of the night…Stomp 182 sets up a standing MS senton by Andrews. The flippy is strong with these two…impressive series of offense from Ospreay ends with a brainbuster for a double down…Ospreay has something ridiculous planned on the top, but Andrews has plans to drop him on his balls…avalanche reverse ‘rana draws a ‘he’s dead’ from Barnett. Andrews went all the way over and face planted on it…FIGHTING SPIRIT~!!!…Ospreay goes for a 450 but Andrews moves, leading to Ospreay landing on his feet. Andrews gets in a shot and heads to the apron himself, where a springboard in leads to him connecting with the ‘West Coast Pop’ (hurricanrana into a cradle) and that’s the three count at 10:29…man, if you are going to do one of these styles of matches, this is how you do it. Everything they did looked super clean and while there was no real selling to speak of, neither person had the advantage long enough for that to really be a complaint. They just traded bomb after bomb after bomb until eventually Andrews was able to put Ospreay’s shoulders down with that ‘West Coast Pop’ and advance to the semifinals on I’m guessing around Chapter 8 or 9. VERY GOOD match and definitely a sign of things to comes from both of these guys.
Post-match: A well deserved standing ovation for both competitors. A show of respect to each other as well and the fans chant ‘welcome back’ towards Ospreay as he makes his exit. Smallman puts over both guys on the house mic as well.
*Match #5: Stixx (1-1) vs. Marty Scurll (1-1-1) vs. Dave Mastiff (0-0 as a singles. 1-0 in tag matches)
The Who: Stixx is the guy who has faced Lion Kid (Wade Fitzgerald) on the last two shows. Chapter 2 was not so good. Chapter 3 was in my opinion the best match on the show. Here’s hoping his performance is more towards the second half of that. Marty Scurll is returning to in ring competition after TNA kept him off of Chapter 3, where he was just the special guest referee for the main event. In his most recent match in the company, he was defeated by champion Nathan Cruz in a ‘two out of three falls’ match for the PROGRESS Championship Staff at Chapter 2. Dave Mastiff who people may now know from the NXT UK TV show is making his singles debut here. He made his PROGRESS debut at Chapter 3, teaming with the now gone Greg Burridge to defeat Nathan Cruz and El Ligero, scoring the pinfall on the champion in the process.
The Why: The last time there was a three way in PROGRESS, it was a number one contendership match. One could argue that this could very easily be a de facto number contendership match as well. You have the best performer on Chapter 3 (Stixx), the man who took the champion to the limit at Chapter 2 (Scurll) and the man who pinned the champion at Chapter 3 (Mastiff), albeit in a tag match.
The Match: Would be wise for Scurll and Stixx to work together against Mastiff here, but we’ll see if that happens…we actually do get an opening bell this time…Scurll tries to make a friendship and attempts to double cross both Stixx and Mastiff. It doesn’t end well for him with either of them…Scurll tries an overhead chop to Mastiff and it has no affect. Following chops from Mastiff both stagger Stixx and knock Scurll down…Scurll slaps Stixx in the face. He’s just full of dumb ideas in this match, isn’t he?…huge clothesline from Stixx takes Mastiff over the top and to the floor. Not gonna lie, would be kinda interested in a one on one match between those two…Scurll comes after Stixx and Mastiff with a suicide dive. Both move and Scurll eats chairs on the dive attempt. That’s just a terrible idea and this is now a singles match, at least for the time being…wow, Marty came back a lot quicker then I thought he would. About a minute or so…Scurll hooks Mastiff and Stixx for a suplex but again, no dice…Mastiff tries a sit-down splash on Scurll and misses. Stixx then comes in and catches Mastiff with a rolling neckbreaker…at this point, Nathan Cruz makes his presence known and pulls Scurll out to the floor, brawling to the back with him…impressive escape by Stixx and a big flying shoulder block gets two…Mastiff with a Fit Finlay roll and a senton. That’s a big boy to be pulling off both those moves…Stixx with a backdrop counter to a powerbomb attempt. I believe these are the type of guys that led to the Hoss division becoming a thing in other companies. I think they add a belt down the line of that dimension here in PROGRESS, but I don’t know when…clothesline by Stixx is ducked and Mastiff with a release German into the turnbuckle. Mastiff creates a little space as Stixx slumps and a cannonball splash in the corner (Into the Void on NXT UK) spells the three count for Mastiff at 10:28…Cruz taking Scurll out of the match makes sense given their history but doesn’t given that Cruz is about to defend his title against El Ligero in the main event. What participation Scurll did have was fun, but it was minimal. As far as Stixx and Mastiff go, it was entertaining but never had the opportunity to reach another level just based on how short it was after Scurll got taken out. I stand by what I said earlier in wanting a proper one on one match between the two. Overall, it’s a GOOD match, but it could have been much better given what these men have proven capable of.
*Match #6: PROGRESS Wrestling Staff: ‘Showstealer’ Nathan Cruz © (3-0) vs. El Ligero (2-1)
The Who: Nathan Cruz is the inaugural PROGRESS champion, having won the title back at Chapter 1 in a four way match that included El Ligero, who was eliminated first. This will be his second title defense, as he beat Marty Scurll in the previously discussed ‘two out of three falls’ match at Chapter 2. El Ligero won a three way at Chapter 2 to become the number one contender, pinning Greg Burridge with a handful of tights. Ligero and Cruz teamed at Chapter 3, but it did not go well for them as Ligero kicked Cruz in the face, leading to Cruz getting pinned by Dave Mastiff. Post match, they got into another brawl and that brings us to the title match here.
The Why: This may be the easiest one of the evening. Tempers have flared over the last two Chapters and as the old adage goes, ‘if you can’t get along, you got to get it on’ so they will for the PROGRESS Wrestling Staff that represents their Heavyweight title.
The Match: Cruz has a pre-match promo that insults Ligero, Smallman and the fans to make Ligero the face for this match. In addition, Cruz demands that Smallman ban Scurll from ringside or Cruz is leaving and taking the Staff with him. Smallman agrees and the match is officially a go…again, the ‘shit Zack Ryder’ chant breaks out towards Cruz. He’s not wearing the single leg trunks this time, so it doesn’t have the same affect to me…opening bell goes and we’re underway…rolling sole butt leads to Cruz getting sent out to the floor less then a minute into the match…Ligero waits for Cruz to come back and it breaks down into a brawl in the middle…Ligero then proceeds to throw Cruz into the seats, about three row deep. Looks like we’re heading towards more crowd brawling here, which is something I absolutely don’t like for venues like this. Thankfully, this building is better lit then the previous one was, so we can actually see what’s happening…and there’s the ‘we can’t see shit’ chants. That’s not a good thing for your crowd to be chanting, guys…Cruz with lift and drop on the entrance and then a suplex onto the merch tables. Can’t help but feel like Smallman doesn’t appreciate this…Ligero pitches Cruz from the stage to the floor and then comes flying over with flipping dive, giving us the third ‘This is PROGRESS’ chant of the night…they briefly go back to the ring and then right back out…the moves on the floor are impressive and all, but I still feel like the match is best kept in the ring where the guys can go balls out…finally back in again and Cruz takes control with a huge release German suplex, throwing Ligero into a stomach first landing…fans chanting ‘Ole’ for Ligero. Reminds me of another masked guy they used to chant that for. Hope he’s doing well helping with the orphans…once we got back into the ring, it’s been all Cruz. On the floor, it was almost all Ligero…vertical suplex leads to a one count. Rare that you see the one count, but its Ligero’s way of telling Cruz that Ligero isn’t nearly done yet. I wish more people would use that story…Ligero gets the C4L (Crazy 4 Ligero) in ring (not the rope spring version) and that puts both guys down…Ligero gets a springboard enzugiri for a good near fall after Cruz went for ‘Show-Stolen’, the fireman’s carry Michinoku Driver…Cruz with a nice looking chest blower out of a pop up in the corner. For as much shit as the crowd gave him, he seems to win a good bit of them over during his matches…Cruz calls for the sliding single foot kick but Ligero moves. Ligero again wiggles out of ‘Show-Stolen’ and hits the Beach Break (down the back Tombstone) for two…trading blows back and forth here before Cruz again goes for ‘Show-Stolen’, turned into a roll-up for two…huge superkick puts both men down again. No count by the referee though. Ligero looks for C4L but Cruz counters with a Cutter which again leads to a double down, this time with a count from Chris Robinson…getting deep into this contest. Easily the longest on the show and not even close…Cruz looks for a superplex which could be a bad idea with this low ceiling…it’s countered, thankfully…top-rope splash by Ligero gets two. Fans are calling for flips, but I’m not sure the roof is high enough to support that theory off the top…Ligero gets the PROGRESS Staff. He looks to hit Cruz with it but the ref talks him out of it. The distraction leads to ‘Show-Stolen’ for a two count. A second ‘Show-Stolen’ only gets a one count…Cruz then hits the sliding single foot kick but that only gets two as well…alright, we’re on the verge of overkill here gentlemen. I get what you are trying to do, but killing Cruz’s move set isn’t the way to get there…Cruz tries to pick Ligero up and Ligero quickly catches him in a guillotine choke. Cruz tries to roll out but Ligero rolls through and has it hooked in from a seated position, bending Cruz forward. Cruz tries to fight but can’t and taps out, ending the match and giving the title to El Ligero at 26:51…I’m torn here. While I more or less enjoyed the match, there were definitely parts of it I did not care for. The constant crowd brawling that happens in the main events of PROGRESS shows has to stop. It takes the home viewer out of the experience. While it may be cool for the fans in attendance for the guys (or girls eventually) to make their way around the building, it’s a burden for the camera crew to follow along with and for the fans at home to follow. The overkill on the finishers at the end by Cruz was another thing that bothered me. I knew going in that Cruz was dropping the belt to Ligero here but in effect, you killed off most of Cruz’s main move set in the process with the repeated kick outs. That’s not to say the match was all bad. There was nothing blown, most of the exchanges looked really good and while I may not personally care for the amount of kick outs, I can understand the story they were going for. All in all, it’s a GOOD match to end the show and the Nathan Cruz era but for the time they got, I think I just expected more.
Post-match: Ligero is crowned king as they fans applaud his performance. Jimmy Barnett signs us off and the final images we get are that of El Ligero celebrating with the Staff after Cruz makes his way backstage to a ‘You Tapped Out’ chant. Credits roll and Chapter 4 is a wrap.
Match #1: London Riots (J. Davis/R. Lynch) defeat Hunter Brothers (Jim and Lee) when Lynch pins Jim (I think) after the ‘District Line’ powerbomb @ 14:25 (ABOVE AVERAGE)
Match #2: RJ Singh taps Paul Robinson, ‘Ethnic Submission’ @ 10:56 (AVERAGE)
Match #3: ‘Submission Match’: Noam Dar taps Jimmy Havoc, ‘Champagne Super Kneebar’ with foot bite @ 18:40 (GOOD)
Match #4: ‘Natural Progression’ Quarterfinal Match: Mark Andrews pins Will Ospreay, West Coast Pop @ 10:29 (VERY GOOD)
Match #5: Dave Mastiff wins three way, pinning Stixx with the ‘Into the Void’ cannonball splash @ 10:28 of a match that also involved Marty Scurll (GOOD)
Match #6: PROGRESS Championship Staff: El Ligero taps Nathan Cruz ©, guillotine choke @ 26:51 to win the title (GOOD)
FINAL SHOW THOUGHTS
Clearly a step up from Chapter 3, I’m not sure it quite reaches the heights of Chapters 1 and 2. The Ospreay and Andrews match is very good but there isn’t a match that gets an extended time to draw you in and push you to that excellent range like we got with Scurll and Sabre on Chapter 1 or the main event between Cruz and Scurll on Chapter 2. Times are definitely changing here, as the ‘Natural Progression’ tournament has started and that’ll give us something to look forward to as these shows continue. Plus, the era of the ‘Showstealer’ has come to a close as El Ligero goes from quasi dick challenger to now being the most hunted man in the company as the new champion. It’s a good show, but not the top-to-bottom great show that PROGRESS would eventually spoil fans with on a consistent basis.
So, where does this leave us all? Well, it’ll leave me coming back to watch ‘For Those About to Fight, We Salute You’, or PROGRESS Chapter 5. It’ll hopefully lead the readers here to give the show a shot themselves and form their own opinions. And for the fourth time in as many shows, I’m hungry after finishing one of these. I think it’s time for some pizza.
THE FINAL REACTION
Best Match/Moment: Ospreay vs. Andrews for sure. It was a spotfest and a sprint, but it was a really good one.
Worst Match/Moment: I’ll go with all the crowd brawling in the main event. A couple of cool spots aside from it, it just seemed like a way to make the match go longer for going longer sake.
MVP: Going to give this one to the new champion El Ligero. While I personally may have enjoyed the Ospreay and Andrews match more, this was a big moment for Ligero and you could tell that it meant a lot to him. We’ll see where his title reigns goes.
FINAL SCORE: 6.5/10
Until next time: “This Is PROGRESS” and that’s “What I Watched”. Up next is Chapter 5: “For Those About to Fight, We Salute You”.
And make sure you guys check out the Raw Reaction every Monday night at 11:30 PM (EST) to hear Tony Acero, Andrew Balaz and myself break down important news of the week and cover Monday Night Raw over on the Chairshot Radio Network. (www.blogtalkradio.com/chairshotradio for more)
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