Thursday, 5 March 2015

DVD Review: Progress Chapter 12: We're Gonna Need A Bigger Room

British wrestling is on the agenda next as Progress Wrestling makes it's long-awaited return to The Two Sheds Review, so let's pick up where we left off a few months back by going back in time to last March and Chapter 12: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Room.

Disc One began with Dutch star Tommy End taking on Paul Robinson.

Time to bring out that short and sweet line again, because that's just what this match was. It began with some lightning-quick exchanges until End stopped Robinson in his tracks with a good old fashioned kick to the head. From there End did a great job of controlling the action until Robinson got his second wind and took the speedo up a few notches, and when these two got really going they produced sequences that were so fast it was a little difficult to take everything in.

But I just about managed it, right up to when End came off the top rope and took the prone Robinson out with a double stomp for the winning pin, with both wrestlers earning a well-deserved standing ovation from the Progress faithful.

The battle of the slightly eccentric ones followed as crazy Scotsman Grado took on insane Irishman Mad Man Manson, with Grado's Bum Bag Championship and Manson's Balls on the line. Yes, that's what I said. Manson's Balls were on the line.

How best to describe this one? Completely f***ing crazy would probably be best. To say this was played for laughs would be a criminal understatement. We had a re-enactment of the historic Rock/Hogan encounter, a re-enactment of a scene from Titanic, and a whole lot of other stuff that for the life of me I can't find the words to describe.

Things got a little serious towards the end when Manson grabbed Grado's Bum Bag title and clobbered him in the head while the referee was otherwise occupied. While Manson tried to reconcile with his conscience Grado took out a packet of ketchup and put it on his forehead.

As the referee came to Grado made his comeback, and after taking the Mad Man down with a rock bottom and a stunner he finished the job with a pedigree, retaining his title and winning Manson's balls in the process.

Normal service resumed with a first round match from the Natural Progression Series II tournament as Zack Gibson went up against Paul Robinson's buddy Will Ospreay.

This was pretty damn good. From the off these two put on a great technical battle. Ospreay's high-speed offence looked top notch, while Gibson played the part of the heel extremely well, especially when the fans came out with their anti-Liverpudlian chants.

As the match went on Gibson did a good job of working over Ospreay's arm, but no matter what he did to the Essex boy he just couldn't put him away. Ospreay kept coming up with his high impact stuff, but he often found himself unable to polish his man off when Gibson rolled out of the ring just as he was about to hit his move.

The big turning point came when Gibson rolled Ospreay up and put his feet on the ropes. Robinson quickly ran to his tag partner's aid and pushed Gibson off the ropes, and while the referee was trying to get Robinson off the ring apron Gibson connected with low kick before he rammed Ospreay into Robinson. A few seconds later Gibson went back to work on the arm, locking in his version of Nigel McGuinness' old armbar, and it wasn't long before Ospreay tapped out to give Gibson the submission win.

Needless to say that Ospreay was none too happy, and when Robinson tried to console him Ospreay pushed him away, but as the crowd chanted "hug it out" Ospreay soon shook Robinson's hand before leaving the ring.

The first tag team match of the evening followed as Rob Lynch and James Davis of the London Riots faced the Bhangra Knights team of R.J. Singh and Darrell Allen in a street fight.

This one was just as crazy as the Grado/Manson match, but crazy in an altogether different sort of way. Basically these two teams beat the hell out of each other. At times they did it with any kind of weapon they could get their hands on, and at other times they flew all over the ring and around ringside. It wasn't pretty, but it was pretty damn effective as it turned into a great encounter.

There was one slightly dodgy moment towards the end that brought a you f***ed up chant from the faithful, but those concerned quickly recovered as the Riots took Singh down with their district line finisher for the pin.

The tag action continued with the final of the Progress Tag Team Championship tournament and three way action between Martin Kirby and Kris Travis of Project Ego, Screw Indy Wrestling's Mark Haskins and Nathan Cruz, and FSU's Mark Andrews and Eddie Dennis.

I'm now going to do something I don't think I've done before, and that's criticise the booking of a Progress match. The rules for this one meant that there was one man from each team in the ring, which meant that in effect this became a series of mini-triple threat matches. I've seen a few of these matches before, and they've never really done it for me.

That being said, I can't really fault the action here. There were an absolute ton of great moves throughout here, particularly when the bodies were flying during the all hell breaking loose segment of the match.

But in the end only one team could win the belts....I mean shield as Welsh lads Andrews and Dennis took Kirby down with a double stomp/next stop driver combination to become the first ever Progress tag champs.

Disc Two began with the penultimate match of the show as Doug Williams took on Dave Mastiff.

This one had a rather interesting storyline. Before the match began Screw Indy Wrestling's Nathan Cruz and Catherine Rose went into the crowd to watch the match. Big Mastiff was distracted a little at first until he joined Williams in beginning a good old fashioned British-style wrestling match, evoking memories in this particular writer of the good old World of Sport days.

A few high impact moves were mixed in along the way, but when it looked like Mastiff was going to take Williams out with a cannonball in the corner young Miss Rose suddenly came into the ring and blocked his path. As neither man had any real love for Rose an argument of sorts began as to who would take her down. All of this happened while Cruz remained at ringside and basically did nothing but scream at the ring. Eventually the two protagonists agreed to share the spoils as it were, with Williams connecting with a knee lift before Mastiff finished Rose off with a sit-down powerbomb.

The truce lasted just a few more seconds. As Mastiff argued with Cruz Williams came up on him from behind, almost getting the pin with a roll-up. A brief shoving match ensued before the action began again, and after Williams missed with his bomb scare knee drop Mastiff connected with a big dropkick, knocking Williams into the corner so he could finally finish him off with the cannonball for the winning pin.

The main event saw Rampage Brown, Marty Scurll and El Ligero challenging Jimmy Havoc for the Progress title.

Boy was this crazy, but not in a Grado kind of way. It began with head honcho Jim Smallman almost stripping Havoc of the title when he brought the London Riots with him. Havoc agreed to send his co-horts to the back, and after Smallman agreed to the bout becoming a no disqualification match Scurll promptly hit Havoc with a chair.

Thus began the mass brawling segment as all four men fought around ringside and through the crowd. It certainly was crazy at times, and when they eventually made it back to the ring it got even crazier with a ton of high impact moves.

After about fifteen minutes Brown, Scurll and Ligero decided to team-up for a spot of Havoc bashing. The crowd went absolutely nuts as each man took it in turn to throw the hated one through piles of chairs. The champion was then thrown back into the ring, and as Scurll and Ligero threw chairs into the ring Brown clobbered Havoc with them, bringing back memories of a certain flying chairs incident in a certain bingo hall.

The three-man alliance didn't last much longer, and it was soon back to normal service for the three challengers, which led to Brown taking Scurll down with a piledriver. But when he went for the cover Havoc smashed him with a chair, which meant that the most hated man in the company could take the title-retaining pin, much to the disgust of just about everyone else in the building.

Needless to say that Mr. Brown was none too pleased with the way things had panned out, and he soon took his frustrations out on the champion by taking him down with two pile drivers. Then Mr. Smallman revealed that he had a "plan B" up his sleeve when Mark Andrews, the man Havoc had screwed out of the title a few months before, came down to the ring and connected with a shooting star press.

Then, to the delight of the crowd, Andrews announced that he would be Havoc's next challenger at Chapter 13, with Smallman adding that Havoc would have to defend his title in a ladder match.

Disc Two is where you'll also find the extras, and even though Jim Smallman's show introduction is as hilarious and watchable as ever there's something even better this time around, so if you want to see a 300 pound man with a massive beard giving out advice then you've got to see Dave Mastiff's agony aunt piece.

In conclusion - do I really need to write something here? You should know how these things go by now!

This is another great addition to the ongoing saga that is Progress Wrestling. They were great before, and it seems that the move to a bigger venue and a slight up scaling in production values has made them even better.

Everything about this show just screamed quality. Well, apart from that Tag Team Championship thing I mentioned earlier. Then again, you've got to give these boys some leeway after all the great things they've achieved over the past couple of years or so.

As for my prestigious match of the night no-prize, and as much as I'd like to give every match the award there can be only one winner, so let's go for the four-way Progress title match and Progress Wrestling's continuing attempts to get their title back from the most evil man in Britain today.

So with all of that out of the way there's just one more thing left to do, and that's to give this release the big thumbs up.

With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. For information on how to see this show visit www.progresswrestling.com.