Jim Smallman Intro - Show today is doing a Mystery Vortex gimmick where none of of the matches have been announced, so be prepared for tons of pops. Otherwise, it was same as always, but with Johnny-5 in the ring. Don't Be A DICK!
The South Pacific Power Trip vs F.S.U. and Nixon Newell - 6.5/10
They teamed up the most over chick and team for this match. Eddie is dressed as Santa Claus today, he's not as good as Dave Mastiff from last show. There was a double sexual harassment spot that ended with Andrews and Travis Banks kissing. Nixon was kinda doing babyface in peril, but they were so short that it was most just like losing the upper hand every time she was in the ring, so the match was pretty even if you think about it. Towards the end, Nixon was hitting headbutts on SPPT, one of them was a headbutt to a handchop, and the TK's hand was the one injured, so this chick is either Samoan, or that's not how wrestling works. Decent ending sequence. Great opener.
Toni Storm vs Kay Lee Ray - 7.5/10
Neither girl is from Camden, but I should move to Camden if it means being in the proximity of these women. I don't know if this will make sense and it may be a terrible analogy, but during this match, I felt like I was watching a 07-08 female version of an Austin Aries match, submission play, reversals into pins, tope suicidas, etc. It all felt constructed like a ROH match from 10 yrs ago....10 yrs...wow, time goes fast. Anyway, if you watch the match, I'd appreciate the feedback on what you think of that idea. Match-wise it was quite balanced, Kay Lee Ray worked most of the submission work and Toni was going for the high impact moves and babyface spots, eventually putting down Ray with a piledriver.
"Bodyguy" Roy Johnson & Mad Man Manson segment - Entertaining, but a waste of time. Gonna display my nerd side here, but Roy Johnson reminds me of Killer B from Naruto. Roy Johnson cut a promo, I could only understand like half of it, but it was pretty much about tomorrow being his birthday or something. Huge pop for Mad Man Manson coming out, not a surprise since he has the best entrance theme ever. Manson says he's not back to wrestle, but he wants to become the first ever white rapper and needs Johnson's teachings. They got into a musical battle, it was all to put Roy Johnson over. Johnson's rap was actually quite good. There was a funny joke about WWE signing everyone, so PROGRESS had to call him [Manson] of all people.
3-Way PROGRESS Tag Team Championships Match
British Strong Style (Seven and Bate) vs London Riots vs The Leaders of the New School! - 9/10
Initially BSS and Riots come out, Smallman announces it's a 3-way and the anticipation starts, suddenly Scurll comes out, different song, people know what's coming, Scurll brings out a box, opens it and Zack Sabre comes out! Crowd goes crazy for the return of the Leaders of the New School! Of all people, Sabre got in a brawl with Davis and got his ass kicked. Most of the start of the match was Riots vs Leaders, until Scurll got BSS involved, who were trying to stay fresh. After this all hell broke loose, lost and lost of double team work. There was a really close nearfall towards the end when the Leaders were going to win by double submission, but soon after that BSS took the win. Leaders took the fall, so that leaves Riots as strong contenders for a two-on-two match later on. This should have been the main event.
I didn't realize when this got announced, but this match was for the VACANT tag titles since BSS got stripped from them because Dunne is now the PROGRESS Champ. BSS recaptured the titles, so this match was just a formality to properly crown Tyler Bate.
Pete Dunne Promo - Awesome, he says that a year ago he couldn't even get booked for PROGRESS and now he was the champ. PROGRESS is to him just a stepping stool into WWE, which works perfectly because he has just been announced for the WWE UK project and is scheduled to miss the next PROGRESS show.
PROGRESS Championship Match
"Bruiserweight" Pete Dunne (C) vs Fabian Aichner - 7/10
I don't even know him, but I want Dunne to beat the living shit out of Fabian. I really couldn't get into this match, there is no way that Aichner was winning and so every time he was on the offense, it felt like a drag, but it makes Dunne look better than Smallman for defeating the wrestlers he may bring. Match was a bit more technical that I expected from Aichner, he's actually a better wrestler than what I expected, but he's as generic as the next guy, that 2010's gimmick-less wrestler that does a lot of springbaords. Dunne definitely needed to build up on his title defenses, but I feel this should have been more of a squash. It was a decent match regardless.
The thing that I get out of this is that Dunne gives no shits about PROGRESS and is using it to move on to WWE, Smallman doesn't want him to take the title and makes him defend the title.
Sebastian & Pastor William Eaver vs Jack Sexsmith & Chuck Mambo - 4/10
I can't believe they're having this match follow both main title matches. Thank god for this match, I really needed a coffee break. This was a nothing match, the only thing I got from it is that there are already hints of Eaver getting fed up with Sebastian. Between Sexmisth's poop spots and Eaver's existential problems, I really couldn't care less about any of this. Sexsmith and Mambo suck and I hope they never come back.
Jimmy Havoc vs "The Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay - 8.5/10
Ospreay is out and he is not his usual jolly self, maybe because he knows he's going one-on-one with Jimmy Fucking Havoc. These guys have a big past with each other, and since we're in Camden, crowd is against Ospreay, who in return is acting a lot more heelish; add to this that Ospreay is about to close 2016 without winning a single match. These guys started at 60mph, we were less than 5 minutes before we got the first Acid Rainmaker. Ospreay was vicious throughout the match and slowly escalating as frustration built up every time Havoc kicked out, best one when Ospreay hit his own Rainmaker (from his CHAOS bff Okada) and Havoc kicked out at 1, then kicked out of the Os Cutter.
Post-Match - Awesome. Havoc cuts a promo on Ospreay, kinda making fun of him, but also putting him over as an opponent. He says he has a problem with BSS and asks Will to join him fight them. It all seems like a wet dream that Ospreay and Havoc would team up and challenge for the tag titles, but as they shake hands, Ospreay finally turns heel and low blows Havoc.
Will Robinson comes out, swerve the fans and reform The Swords of Essex and take out Havoc. They both take turns hitting Havoc with a barbwire bat and power moves. Fans chanted "Essex is a shit hole."
Great show inside the ring, a great way to close off the year, with several big storylines going forward, and a big angle to close the show.Definitely worth checking out.