PROGRESS Chapter 84: Eskeewd Beef! Have Anybody Got Any Bokkle Oran Doove
By Big Red Machine
From February 24, 2019
Mark Haskins (w/Vicky Haskins) vs. DO NOT RESUSCITATE (Spike Trivet & Chuck Mambo) - 6.25/10
This was supposed to be a regular tag team match but Mark Andrews got injured. Haskins made it perfectly clear that he was willing to fight on his own so we got a Handicap Match instead.
"Spike Trivet has been in plenty of trouble in the past for liquid interactions with fans." That's certainly not a sentence you hear every day. Action-wise this match was fine, but pretty much getting beaten (and losing by DQ when Drew Parker runs in to stop Haskins from getting the win) really makes DNR look bad.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Mostly good. Mark Haskins gets beaten down. Vicky Haskins gets into the ring and gets in the face of Spike Trivet, who was about to hit mark with Vicky's own barbed wire-covered baseball bat. Trivet drops the bat in order to shove Vicky to the ground... and then picks it up again so he can threaten to hit her with it. If he was going to hit her with the bat then why did he first drop it in order to push her? There is no good explanation for this other than that the angle required them to do things to maximize the drama before Jimmy Havoc's magical return via teleportation and control of the arena lights. If Jimmy could teleport here and magically knew he was needed, why didn't show up to be Haskins' partner at the beginning like the fans were chanting for?
Havoc utterly destroyed DNR with chairs and dragged Drew Parker off to the back like Parker had previously done to him. The announcers informed us that "this is the old Jimmy Havoc" finally back after months of confidence issues in most of 2018.
MILLIE MCKENZIE vs. BEA PRIESTLEY - 6.25/10
A very good match for the time it got. Millie McKenzie is an awesome babyface and Bea is a fine devious heel. Both women took some seemingly nasty bumps in this one (especially Bea) so hopefully everything we saw was just selling.
EDDIE DENNIS PROMO - Interesting. He said he was thinking about helping Mark Haskins out earlier but it turned out Jimmy Havoc took care of that so he didn't come out. He then reminded us all that he has an (apparently MITB-style) title shot due to him from beating Mark Andrews on the Wembley show and basically confirmed that he's still a heel and is happy sit back and wait until it benefits him the most to use his title shot. I like the idea that Eddie is taking a non-confrontational approach to DNR, as it fits in well with his self-image that he's smarter than guys like Havoc and Haskins. That being said, I think the best possible story to tell includes a future attack at a key moment teaching Eddie that this approach will not work and eventually he is forced to work with the babyfaces to defeat DNR.
WINNER QUALIFIES FOR THE FOUR-WAY PROGRESS WOMEN'S MATCH AT A LATER SHOW:
Nina Samuels vs. Jinny (w/Laura Di Matteo) - 6/10
Jinny and Laura made their entrance first... and Nina Samuels came out right behind them, and using the cover of the loud music she knocked Laura out with a big roundhouse kick to the head, then tapped Jinny on the shoulder while Jinny was posing on the stage, and when Jinny turned around Nina just want right after her. That was AWESOME!
This turned into a brawl around ringside, with Jinny eventually taking advantage off of a distraction by Laura. They finally made it back into the ring to start the match, but apparently the timekeeper was out of position because he/she failed to ring the bell the first four times that the referee called for it. After that point they had a relatively short but still good match where they managed to convince me that that darn Jinny was going to win again, which made the victory all the more exciting when Nina rolled her up and got the pin.
TRAVIS BANKS vs. JORDAN DEVLIN - 4.5/10
They stayed on the outside FOREVER without getting counted out. They finally got around to doing good stuff but the first chunk dragged it down a lot. Eventually Devlin looked like he was about to get the win but T.K. Cooper and NIWA ran in and attacked Devlin for the DQ, forming what the announcers told us looked like a new incarnation of the South Pacific Power Trip.
PROGRESS TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH:
Swords of Essex(c) vs. Aussie Open - 9/10
They started off by telling stories of the match turning into a handicap match with each guy taking a turn being the lone match. Then it just turned into your standard crazy "PWG-style" tag team match. They did an utterly fantastic job of making it seem like this would be Aussie Open's night... and that made it hurt even more when those cheating bastard managed to somehow pull one out of their hat again.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Fine. Mark Davis angrily announces that in order to prevent Ospreay & Robinson from using the tag title belts as illegal foreign object, he is going to cash in his Natural Progression Series victory in order to have a TLC match for the title the next time PROGRESS returns to the Electric Ballroom.
PROGRESS ATLAS TITLE MATCH:
Trent Seven(c) vs. Timothy Thatcher - 6.75/10
Thatcher worked over a bunch of parts of Seven's body. I just couldn't get into this one. I'm not even sure why. It just didn't click with me.
PROGRESS WORLD TITLE MATCH:
WALTER(c) vs. Chris Ridgeway - 8.5/10
The story of this match was Chris Ridgeway trying to take his bigger, stronger opponent down by working over his knee, while WALTER had to work to control his frustration so he didn't make a mistake and cost himself the title. It was just as awesome as you'd expect.
POST-MATCH SEGMENT - Very good. Trent Seven came out and basically said British Strong Style wasn't going to be a thing in PROGRESS anymore because the other two weren't around. He said that this meant that he needed to make his legacy standing on his own, so he challenged WALTER to a match at Strong Style 16 weekend in order to unify the titles (and the announcers pointed out to us that WALTER vacated the Atlas Title last year in order to go after the World Title rather than ever really losing it, so this match is actually kind of necessary for the purposes of the integrity of the titles.
A very worthwhile show from PROGRESS with lots of storyline progression and some excellent action in the title matches people care about, and an announcement that the belt that people don't seem to care about anymore is going to be unified with the other men's singles belt soon. It was also quite easy to sit through, so if you've got three free hours I'd definitely recommend giving it a watch.