NATURAL PROGRESSION SERIES V FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Spike Trivet vs. Drew Parker - 3/10
Are the fans really chanting "F*CK THE TORY?" Wouldn't sh*tting on someone else's political beliefs qualify as breaking the cardinal rule of "Don't be a dick?"
The match- well... not so much the match as all of Parker's offense- was pretty spotty, but the character-dynamics were very good.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Excellent! PORGRESS is probably the best company in the world and making sure their angles are done in a way that really gets heat. I just really hope that bottle that Trivet shattered over the back of Parker's head was gimmicked.
CHARLI MORGAN & TONI STORM vs. NINA SAMUELS & CHAKARA (w/Jinny) - 4.75/10
This was more of a brawl than an actual tag team match because it never really settled down after the babyfaces' opening charge.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Toni cut a promo on Jinny that would have been really great except that she inexplicably said the word "pirate" when she meant to say "private." Her promo was about the inevitability of her getting revenge on Jinny now that she has Charli Morgan to watch her back. Then, at a signal from Jinny, Charli superkicked Toni and joined Jinny's faction, despite having just teamed with Toni to fight them off. This was basically the best execution you'll ever see on stupid Russo Swerve.
MARK ANDREWS vs. "FLASH" MORGAN WEBSTER - 6.5/10
This was mostly them doing stuff until it was time for the finish. I had figured that we were going to get some sort of distraction finish here, and between Vicky Haskins helping Webster with a distraction at the last show and Eddie Dennis' vow to hound Andrews at every show and make his life miserable, I figured that Andrews was f*cked here. Vicky Haskins did indeed come out and seemed to be trying to help Webster, but he ordered her to get to the back, meaning it turns out that Webster was actually telling the truth on the last show when he insisted to Doug Williams that he knew nothing about Vicky's presence.
Vicky did head to the back... but not before grabbing that stupid football helmet of Webster's that he seems to bring to the ring for no other reason than that a heel can have something to grab to distract him. This caused Webster to get distracted, and Andrews capitalized on that to pin him. Major props to PROGRESS for the way they set the whole Vicky thing up on the last show to subvert expectations here. Now, the next time someone in PROGRESS claims to have had no idea someone was going to come out and interfere on their behalf, I'll be much more inclined to believe them.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - EXCELLENT! The aforementioned Eddie Dennis does indeed come out, and points out that while Webster was trying to ensure that things were fair and stop Vicky Haskins from ruining the match, Andrews did basically the opposite by using the fact that Webster was distracted while doing so in order to defeat him. Dennis then mockingly responded to what I assume was fans trying to make fun of him/poke holes in his storyline by asking him if his vow to show up at every show Andrews was on extended to Andrews upcoming appearance in the first round of the Cruiserweight Title tournament on 205 Live by saying that he's not going to be on 205 Live because he's not employed by WWE so he'd get arrested if he jumped the guardrail.
But, he says, he's not the only one who won't be making it to 205 Live. Then he attacked Andrews and went to destroy his ankle with some chairs but THE RING CREW MADE THE SAVE, pulling Andrews to safety. The crowd actually chanted "LET'S GO RING CREW!" And somewhere in the world, sitting at home and watching this with huge smiles on their faces, are Dunn & Marcos.
ZACK SABRE JR. vs. TYLER BATE - 8/10
They made up for their comedy-filled match at the last show by putting on a hell of a match here. The last few minutes in particular were excellent.
JACK SEXSMITH PROMO - The audio here was bad enough that I couldn't understand most of what he said. Not sure if that's on him or on the company. Probably on him because I was able to understand the stuff at the end, which was the important stuff. Namely, Chapter 69: Come Here Now will take place in Manchester, and Sexsmith is getting a world title shot there. The internet tells me he won a title shot back in December, which makes me wonder why they are waiting forever to give it to him. The only thing I can think of is that they want to build it up really big for him to win the belt, but that seems a little too clumsy for PROGRESS.
DAVID STARR & MATT RIDDLE vs. BRITISH STRONG STYLE (Pete Dunne & Trent Seven) - 8.25/10
A fun clash of personalities and awesome tag team wrestling. Riddle and Starr make a great, slightly odd-couple kind of tag team.
MARK DAVIS vs. WALTER - 6.75/10
WALTER chopped the sh*t out of Davis, to the point here he was bleeding from the chest. Davis lost here, but it still felt like a big step up for him.
PROGRESS TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
James Drake & Zack Gibson(c) vs. Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins (w/Vicky Haskins) - 6.5/10
They had a good match that then descended into heel vs. heel antics, resulting in Vicky Haskins using Webster's dumb football helmet to nail James Drake with. Webster came out to get his helmet back but his presence only resulted in more issues for Drake & Gibson, who were then defeated, leaving us with new champions, a mortified Webster, and a mean Vicky Haskins mockingly "comforting" him on the outside.
PROGRESS WORLD TITLE MATCH:
Travis Banks(c) vs. T.K. Cooper vs. Chris Brookes (w/Kid Lykos) - 8.75/10
The first ten minutes or so of this were just as intense as you'd expect, given the situation, but really wasn't anything out of the ordinary. The last few minutes, though; those were nuts. Cooper got the belt and Banks basically dared him to hit him with it, seemingly ready to risk losing the championship he had worked so hard for just to be able to know for sure whether Cooper was really an honorable and trustworthy friend. After some hesitation, Cooper did seem to be going to hit Banks with the belt when Brookes pulled it away from him. Brookes swung the belt at Cooper but Cooper ducked and it hit Banks instead. Brookes didn't seem too upset about this, although he probably was upset that Cooper then almost pinned him with a roll-up. More stuff happened between them until we got CCK hitting their tag team finish on Cooper... and then Lykos immediately tossed Brookes the ring bell which he smashed Banks right on the head with. Banks would eventually get the win by making Brookes tap, but this match might well have lasting consequences on Banks' two most important friendships in wrestling.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Or not. He pulls both men up, shakes their hands, and then walks off because apparently everything is fine again.
But not between Brookes and Cooper, apparently. Brookes offered a handshake, and T.K. responded to it by giving Brookes a closed hand to the face. T.K. being the heel here makes sense be3cause he has definitely been the biggest dick during this, but Brookes hasn't been an angel, either. It will be interesting to see how Banks reacts to all of this the next time he has to team with Cooper.
Another great show from PROGRESS, with the big matches all delivering and stories feeling like they are not only moving forward, but doing so in interesting ways as well. The undercard could be better, but I'm almost willing to give them a pass on the women's stuff because it's clear that this Jinny injury has derailed their plans and they are doing their best to compensate with this heel stable. Hopefully they keep up the good work at Chapter 64.