Event: Progress Chapter 100; Unboxing IV, A New Hope
Venue: The Electric Ballroom, Camden, London
Submitted by: Steve Harris (@ISteveHarris)
‘Unboxing’ is Progress’ annual mystery show with no talent or matches announced. Add in the fact that this was the 100th ‘Chapter’ show and Jim Smallman’s last show with the company and it’s a notable occasion that sold out in 20 minutes.
Jerry Bakewell and Mercedes Blaze over Cassius and Nye-oh
This was supposed to be the pre-show match but after illness prevented a couple of people appearing it was moved to the main show. Interestingly the men and women were allowed to wrestle each other which provided quite the picture when the big, burly Bakewell was in there with the tiny Nye-oh. Bakewell pinned Cassius with a fisherman’s suplex.
Chief Deputy Dunne over Roy Johnson, El Ligero, Chris Ridgeway, Scotty Davis, Gene Munny, Federales Santos Jr, Kid Lykos and Stupid Sexy Travis in a reverse battle royal
This started as a ‘Wasteman Challenge’ which is a rap battle, everyone getting a turn to bury everyone else. Lykos was declared the winner and named the stipulation as a reverse battle royal. Everybody started on the stage and elimination occurred when you were thrown into the ring. There was a sexy dance-off, a conga line and people eliminating themselves before Dunne eliminated Davis to win. This had its moments but went very very long.
Ilja Dragunov over Kyle Fletcher
Fletcher has a new look and is flourishing on his own with regular partner Mark Davis on the long term injury list. Dragunov’s nose was busted open early which they used to good effect. There was a brainbuster by Fletcher and a superplex by Dragunov for great near falls before Dragunov hit Torpedo Moscow for the win.
Progress Unified World Championship
Eddie Dennis over OJMO to retain
A great title match that had the whole Ballroom believing a change was coming at several points. A ref bump led to OJMO getting a visionary pinfall, a belt shot only brought a 2 count for Dennis, followed by a low blow and a cover using the ropes producing another close fall. OJMO had Dennis in his half crab on several occasions but the champion escaped each time before he used the ref as a distraction to hit a buckle bomb and the Next Stop Driver finally kept OJMO down for 3.
Women’s Champion Jinny addressed the crowd, promising that the women’s division would dominate 2020.
Cara Noir over Paul Robinson, Connor Mills and Mark Haskins in a fatal four-way
Non-stop action with some creative four-way submissions and spots. Haskins blasted Robinson in the head with a chair, Robinson started bleeding. It was brutal and unnecessary and I’m not sure how these spots are approved at this point. Noir pinned Mills after a package piledriver to keep his run going before he challenges Eddie Dennis for the World Championship on January 19th.
Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) over Rampage Brown and Dan Moloney
Both teams received a massive reaction, especially Brown who played a major role in the early days of Progress. Moloney and Seven had a brutal chop exchange, and Moloney was pinned after a burning hammer/double stomp combo. All four received a rapturous send-off.
Jimmy Havoc over David Starr in a Deathmatch
Havoc came out to his old (copyrighted) AFI theme. These guys took all kinds of punishment involving staples, chairs, tables, tacks and bamboo skewers. A piledriver off the apron through a table was not the finish, neither was a powerbomb onto two chairs that had been erected and laid on their side. Havoc pinned Starr after hitting the Acid Rainmaker onto a barbed wire board. Havoc thanked Smallman for what he had done for his career.
Jim Smallman bid farewell and promised that Progress would go from strength to strength in 2020 thanks to the people behind the scenes and the fans supporting them.