Jim Smallman Intro - No big announcements for today, just a lot of fan interaction. I've always found it weird to point out the newcomers. Anyway, DON'T BE A DICK!
James Drake vs Damon Moser - 5/10
Oh look, another Tommy End inspired wrestler in the UK. It should've been Ashmore making the debut tonight, let's see if Moser can impress me now, so far what I've seen in Freedom's Road hasn't been all that noteworthy. Drake jumps Moser before introductions, they brawled around the Ballroom for a while before making it to the ring and properly start the match. Once inside the ring, the match was like 5 minutes with Drake taking out Moser with his Head and Shoulders DDT. Crowd was surprised by the win, I was too, but Moser is someone that should definitely be losing his first match.
Natural Progression Series IV First Round Match
Dahlia Black w/TK Cooper vs Session Moth Martina - 6/10
Ok, THIS is the final match for the first round, i've been thinking it's the last round for two or so shows. I'm really not a fan of SMM, but her intro was so over that maybe she can win me over tonight. SMM is sexually harassing all males in the ring, I think we could say she is the ODB of Europe and not be completely wrong. Match was mostly being comedy until SMM finally got her hands on Cooper and Black got pissed off, Dahlia herself told Cooper to go to the back. We got Black beating the living shit of Martina for a while until beer made its way into the match and Martina made a comeback. Black eventually wins when a Martina hits the Beer Mist into the ref and Cooper interferes. I'll admit it, SMM has a hell of a character, and a hell of a Tope Suicida.
Travis Banks vs Jordan Devlin - 8/10
If there's something we can't say about Cooper is that he is a team player for coming out with Banks, but Banks, the badass he is, sends Cooper to the back, ok I've seen Cooper be a team player tonight, and Dahlia and Banks willing to send him back and fight on their own, how are these guys heel again!? Devlin (the guy that is making his name out of rubbing off WWE and Prince Devitt) is making his debut tonight. Match was awesome, tons of stiff shots on each other, little big of submission, some high fly stuff including Bank's Tope Suicida, which could easily be found in the top 5 of the world. When Banks won, the whole crowed went crazy, Cooper and Black came out to congratulate Banks and the crowed loved them. Not sure, but match may have been cut early because Banks got a nasty cut on the right ear. Great debut for Devlin, he'll likely be back.
A chant of "You're gonna get your massive head kicked in" broke against Devlin's massive head, even the commentary was laughing. Tons of "Massive head" chants.
I think Travis Banks will be one of the breakout stars in 2017, soon enough he should be referred to as "The Kiwi Dragon."
Sebastian Address The PWE Situation - He's out here with a kendo stick, so surely something is gonna go wrong. Sebastian calls out William Eaver to come and get his punishment (via kendo stick) or else, Eaver is going to jail. Pastor comes out and is willingly accepting his punishment. Chuck Mambo comes out, he says that he's been to the library, and according to law, it's been over 60 days that Eaver assaulted him, so he can't charge him anymore, and that this whole punishment, could be taken as blackmail, so the cards were now on the other side of the table. Jim Smallman books on the spot...
No DQs Match
Sebastian vs Pastor William Eaver - 8.5/10
"You Deserve It" chants that seemed appropriate for the first time, Sebastian DESERVES a beating, William Eaver DESERVES to be the one handling that beating. Sebastian was at one point trying to leave the match but the ring crew blocked the path. Match was actually really violent, it was all chairs, but from the stiff kind, Eaver got busted open bad and it seemed accidental. There was a Crucifix Bomb into the crowd that looked sick. They did the sitdown-slap-off spot, but it didn't seem dumb or out of context. Sebastian at one point tied Eaver's hands on the ropes and proceeded to hit with the kendo stick, the stick broke after the second, Eaver's back was lashed out and started bleeding too, at this point Eaver is a bloody mess. Eaver reverses the Twisting Unprettier and his the lariat for the win. Crowd goes crazy. Fantastic ending to this feud.
Post-match - Jim Smallman himself tells Sebastian to Fuck off, ring crew carries him out. Is this like being fired? was Sebastian fired? Sebastian is the type of heel that you love to hate.
Mark Andrews vs Shane Strickland - 8/10
This should be jumpy. I love how different Strickland and Killshot are from each other, especially that entrance. Once the match started, you could tell these guys were going long. Match started with them facing off with hold-by-hold mat wrestling, then proceeded to measure each other with flippier stuff, then after some attacks to the outside, then the real fighting started. Story of the match was that Andrews kept getting the upper hand, but when he tried going for the top rope finisher, it was enough for Strickland to attack him and turn the momentum, eventually Andrews connects the Slumdog Millionaire and that was enough to hit the top rope and hit the SSP for the win. Great match, Andrews looks more than ready for that Thunderbastard title shot he earned, and Strickland got a standing ovation after the match.
Nathan Cruz vs El Ligero - 7/10
The Origin implodes. The worst thing about former team mates fighting, is that they come out with the same song, but at least here, Cruz came out to Metallica's, Ligero to Bob Seager's. Before they started fighting, Cruz cut a promo trying to remind why they created The Origin to begin with and he shouldn't turn his back on The Origin because the fans will eventually turn their backs on him, to which Ligero responded by literally turning his back at Cruz. At the beginning, Ligero was doing his funny schick like bringing in gummy bears to the ring, and Cruz kept getting the upper hand, eventually this forced Ligero not get more serious, not 100% serious, just a bit more serious than normal. Ligero didn't particularly have the upper hand against Cruz, but he did sneak a quick roll up for the win.
Post-match - Cruz attacks Ligero after the match and rips Ligero's mask off.
Zack Gibson vs Jack Sexsmith - 6.5/10
I don't know how this match made it to this spot of the card, oh wait, it's Sexsmith we're talking here, I can imagine how it did. Before the match, Gibson cut a good promo among a sea, nay, an ocean of boos from the crowd, it was really good. Match was complete dominance by Gibson with little spots here and there to make Sexsmith a bit more legit than a sex-fiend. It was one of those matches were they get someone over for not giving up until he/she are straight up knocked out. Gibson's dominance was so much that after hitting him with several moves, he took Sexsmith to the floor, hit another one and just left him for dead until the count of 10. Match was kinda meh as per wrestling, but a good story was told. Sexsmith was helped to the back by the ring crew.
British Strong Style vs Jimmy Havoc, Mark Haskins, and "Flash" Morgan Webster - 8/10
Big stipulation added to the match, if either Havoc, Haskins, or Webster win the match, they get a title shot, if BSS wins, whoever they pin or submit, is out of the title picture for the next 6 months. During their entrance, BSS throw away the tag shields and little Tyler Bate brings out his shitty WWE UK title. BSS were introduced as 'Representing the WWE." BSS hit a low blow on each of the babyfaces before the bell rang and then went for synchronized Pedigrees, but were all reversed. They quickly brought up the problems that all babyfaces want to be the ones making the pin. Match was really chaotic all over the place, tons of 3-on-3 spots, jumps to the outside, Acid Rainmaker attempts, and surprisingly, not that many pin attempts. Finish saw Havoc sneak a Rainmaker and pin on Dunne.
Post-match - Havoc calls for his title shot at the next chapter in Manchester, Havoc vs Dunne, No DQs. In the ring Haskins and Webster are actually disappointed they didn't get their shots.
This was definitely a sleeper show on paper, I had low expectations with so many debuts and the lack of the usual suspects like Scurll, Riots, or Ringkampf just to name a few. Show most definitely delivered, especially the first half. Another great show by PROGRESS.