Jim Smallman Intro - It's Unboxing Live and we don't know the card! We're having Liger vs Hacksaw Jim Duggan tonight! Or maybe not, but at least we're in for debuts, returns, surprises, and british eggnog. I really miss Smallman's Metallica intro, anyway, Don't Be A Dick!
Mustache Mountain vs Aussie Open vs Chris Brookes w/Blow Up Doll Lykos vs Grizzled Young Veterans -
It's incredible how everyone has forgotten than these two (MM) were huge assholes about three months ago. Brooks comes out third, but since Kid Lykos is still injured, he came out with a Lykos blow up doll. Out comes GYVs and now i'm guessing this has to be a 4-way for the titles. Gibson's pre-introduction promo shits on comedy in wrestling, speaking straight to BRM. Smallman announces that this match is gonna have different rules, and so we actually get...
4-on-4 Elimination Tag Team Match. Seven and Bate are team captains
Team Trent (Trent Seven, Zack Gibson, Kyle Fletcher, Blow Up Doll Kid Lykos) vs Team Bate (Tyler Bate, Chris Brooks, Mark Davis, James Drake) - 6.5/10
It was all a build up to a joke where a blow up doll got selected before James Drake, but Seven sucked at the delivery. Wouldn't it be incredible if Lykos unmasked and he would reveal that it's DDT Legend Yoshihiko under the mask!? Anyway, after exactly 30 minutes, we finally start the first match.
Match started with Lykos and Davis, with the latter easily manhandling the blow up doll. Then we had like two more pairings until Gibson was in there with Bate, and he is giving him the airplane spin, but Drake tags in and saves his partner, Gibson, not Bate. And so the match breaks up and all natural tag teams start hitting their finishers on Gibson and Drake who started the whole thing to begin with ending with Drake and Gibson simultaneously pinning themselves so they're both eliminated and thus we're not getting new title contenders out of this, but then again MM still has a title shot coming, Brookes has no tag partner, and AO just lost a shot last show.
Back in the ring, we get a bunch of dives from Lykos, Brookes, Fletcher, all building up to Lykos doing a stage dive from the balcony over everyone. First back in the ring were Bate and Lykos, Bate was going for the Tyler Drive '97, but Fletcher jumped in and with the help of Lykos rolled him up for the elimination. Few minutes later Fletcher submited to the Calamary Stretch by Brookes. Lykos was going to eliminate Brookes after a destroyer, but Davis came in and eliminated him with a piledriver.
Left in the match we have Seven vs Brookes and Davis. Seven eliminated Davis after a cool stiff strong style sequence. Brookes came in and they kept going strong style for a bit, ending with Brookes rolling up Seven for the win. Kinda hard grading this match because half of it was comedy clusterfuck, but then we had some good wrestling in there too. If you like the comedy, this was probably better than a 6.5.
Jack Sexsmith vs "Ironman" Joe Coffey - 7.5/10
Oh boy, Sexsmith is getting killed more than usual tonight. Story of the match was that Sexsmith tried to play cutesy and friendly, got his ass kicked, and realized he was gonna need to fight if he wanted to walk out of this one, and so Jack got a slight mean streak on him and got some offense on Coffey. The good thing about this mean streak is that he realized that he needs to cut the shit out of his stupid sex gimmick and get serious, and so when he went for Mr Cock-O, he instead threw it away. Sexmith brought the fight and it got him a win at the end when he submits Coffey to the Crossface. I can get behind this Sexsmith.
Post-match - Sexsmith thanked the fans for all the support this last year. It was emotional.
Chakara vs Candyfloss <3 vs Charlie Morgan vs Sierra Loxton vs Charli Evans vs Millie McKenzie - 7/10
Chakara has worked on her look and attire, good for her, she kinda needed it. And I totally forgot that Candyfloss had stolen the Gravity Falls theme, she also came out with a bag of cotton candy and she's just munching on it during the rest of the entrances. Candyfloss, Morgan, Loxton, and McKenzie were the bigger pops. I know it's not important, but McKenzie needs to get her hair done before wrestling.
Match was tons of spots and taking turns, there was about one multiwomen spot that included everyone. Candyfloss did the Popeye spot but unlike Martina that requires beer, Candyfloss needed a sugar-rush and so she got tons of candy before her dive. McKenzie got all Suplex City on the whole match and it led to her winning via pin. A fun match. Jinny was on commentary and was particularly respectful of Loxton and McKenzie, but hated Candyfloss.
12 Days Of Xmas Match
Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins w/Vicky Haskins vs Clint Marguera & Drew Parker - 8/10
This is technically a fans bring the weapons match, but all weapons are wrapped. For this match, they brought out a barbwire xmas tree and a gift that clearly looks like a monitor, among others.They removed the canvas for this. Vicky Haskins' barbwire bat also has little xmas lights on it.
Big pop when Clint Marguera came out, fans immediately knew this was gonna get violent. Everyone started with a xmas gift in their hands, the unwrapped them to begin the match. Marguera got beer, Parker a bundle of sticks. Havoc and Haskins got cologne gift sets.
So you get Jimmy fucking Havoc and two of the up and coming deathmatch wrestlers in the UK and Big Japan together and what do you get? A LOT of fucked up spots. Within minutes Havoc did the papercut and lime spot AND the stapler gun. A minute later, Haskins killed the ref and taped up his hands so there is no stopping the match. Havoc went head first into the aforementioned monitor, Haskins went back first into the tree, and Parker unwrapped a gift and reveal a box of legos, and those DO FUCKING hurt. This is hard to follow, just tons of spots and about 5% of actual wrestling.
At one point Parker and Marguera NEEDED the ref back, and this gave H&H the distraction to attack back and get the upper hand of the match and kill Parker for the near fall. They kept fighting working up to a DVD from Havoc to Marguera into a table outside that unfortunately, didn't break. Minute later H&H killed Parker with an Acid Rainmaker + Bat to the face combo. This was a hell of a weapons match, but like I said, not a lot of story other than H&H destroying their opponents and tons of sick spots.
Post-match - Announcers had previously mentioned that it was still unclear what was the motivation between H&H's new bad streak. After the match we got a small hint when Havoc told Smallman that everyone you threw at them, they were always on top, so sounds like disgruntled employees that are pissed that so many people got ahead of them of their respective title matches, but since their team is based on fighting on who deserved a title shot first, they shouldn't go for Banks' title just yet.
Flash Morgan Webster vs Rampage Brown - 7/10
Once again they dubbed his entrance song, so again we can't really experience the huge pop this man gets. I'd say this was speed vs power, but it was really just power dominating while speed had some hope spots here and there. Story here is that while Rampage was always on top, he couldn't out Webster out and in the frustration, Webster would get moves in, but at the end, you can only take so much and Rampage won after a piledriver.
During the match fans were singing "Twelve Days of Rampage" and Rampage incredibly amused that made it into the match as he would get distracted and this was when Webster would get small momentum on him.
Post-match - Webster hints leaving PROGRESS as he can't get a win and keeps losing and losing. He says he's taking a break for now. I can't disagree, he completely lost all the fire he had when he returned many chapters ago.
PROGRESS World Championship Match
"The Kiwi Buzzsaw" Travis Banks (C) vs "The Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay - 9.25/10
I'm really surprised this isn't the main event. Smallman listed Ospreay's achievements during the introduction, and when you list them like that, it really does sound impressive. Very early in the match while doing those square off fast spots, Banks took somewhat botched headscissors takedown right on the top of his head, he immediately rolled out of the ring and shit got scary, but he was ok.
Story of the match is that Ospreay has surely gathered a lot of experience in the last year, his wrestling is crisp and has tons of counters (as his usual ability wouldn't be enough to take on Banks), but Banks isn't going to be put down easily. They went back and forward from the start of the match, this was like a high flying version of strong style with tons of great looking moves, but also a lot of striking, both of them working each others heads. Towards the end of the match, both men were racing to hit their finishers, but they kept countering everything the other would, and after a set of great near falls, Banks caught a shooting star press with a cutter
Post-match - Banks thanks the fans and says that next year, he'll take on everyone and anyone, and of all people, TJ COOPER RETURNS!! TK says he's not clear to wrestle, but someday in 2018, he'd love to make it Banks vs Cooper for the title. They shake hands on it. Big reaction from the fans.
WWE UK Championship Match
Pete Dunne vs Jack Gallagher - 8.5/10
Ugh, fuck this shit, a shitty UK title that is never used shouldn't main event over the PROGRESS WORLD FUCKING CHAMPIONSHIP, what's that thing fans like to chant? THIS IS PROGRESS? I don't hear "This is corporate wrestling" chants from anyone. I don't know how Smallman managed to do the introductions with Triple H's dick in his mouth.
The way the match started, it seemed like it would be more submission based and stiff, but after a while they turned it into more of a brawl, a stiff looking brawl tho. They kept it back and forward throughout the whole match. One prop I'll give was a sick looking running dropkick counter into a powerbomb. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, they did a really stupid spot where Gallagher has a crossface on Dunne, and while he can't get out of the submission, he was easily able to separate the hands to bite them. Dunne won with the bitter end and tombstone. I honestly didn't give a fuck about this match. Go watch it if you like these guys since they're not allowed to wrestle like this on TV.
Great show for what it was, we got some good surprises, but in reality only Ospreay (and Gallagher for the geeks) were big surprises (Cooper was great, but it was just a quick segment). The gimmicky stuff was good except it took forever to set them up. Aside from Banks vs Ospreay, if you already read this review, I don't think there's anything you need to go out of your way to watch.