by Kyle Watt.
Progress x WrestleCrate – Progress Pick: 2015 DVD Review
‘Flash’ Morgan Webster Vs Zack Gibson
We start off the DVD with the Final of the Natural Progression Series 2 between Zack Gibson and Flash Morgan Webster. You can tell before the match even begins that the Progress faithful are not too keen on “Liverpool’s number one”. Gibson comes out the gate pushing Flash around, getting in his face, much to the crowd’s chagrin. Zack quickly brings the fight to the mat, taking control of the arm in an attempt to wear it down for the Shankly Gates. It didn’t take long for the fans to get under the skin of Gibson, with him going to the outside to argue with them, allowing Flash the opportunity to hit an impressive Tope Con Hilo. Flash then begins to pick up the pace only for Gibson to use to referee to knock Flash off the top rope. Again Gibson starts working on the arm of Flash. Flash then hits arguably the moment of the match, with a huge flip to the outside from the top turnbuckle. Flash takes control again, showing his insane speed and high flying ability. Flash misses a 450 splash and is hit with a disgusting looking lungblower by Gibson. Gibson hits Flash with a brutal penalty kick before locking in the Shankly Gates, the crowd are deafening begging Flash not to tap and even louder when he eventually grabs the bottom rope. Every one in the venue thought the match was over when Flash reversed a cross-legged brainbuster into a stunner followed by a 450 splash, however Gibson managed to kick out. Gibson goes for a double under hook powerbomb, Flash reverses it into a pin for the three count!
For anyone who hasn’t seen PROGRESS before, what an introduction. Great technical ability from Gibson, amazing high flying from Flash and they both were hitting HARD. British Strong Style in one match.
Zack Sabre Jr Vs Will Ospreay
The next match on the DVD is another tournament final, this time it’s the Super Strong Style 16 Final. The fans here were behind both men, struggling to pick sides between two of the most beloved wrestlers in PROGRESS at the time. You can see the effects of earlier rounds on the chest of Will Ospreay, which is now bright red. The match got off to a flying start with Ospreay landing a Tope Con Hilo within seconds, followed by an ace crusher for the near fall. Ospreay then hits another dive to the outside, clearly avoiding taking this fight to the mat. Sabre Jr takes control after a brutal kick to the arm of Ospreay mid handspring. Doing what he does best, Sabre Jr began working the arm in a very vicious manner. You could tell that both competitors wanted to win this match, fighting harder than usual. With Ospreay struggling to stand, the two trade heavy strikes, at one-point Sabre Jr looked like a lion toying with his prey. Ospreay attempted another handspring but his arm gave out, thanks to Sabre Jr’s repeated attacks on it. After more dominating from Sabre Jr, Ospreay pulls out a big hurricanrana, getting in some offence at last. Ospreay hits a huge spike DDT and tries to get Sabre Jr in to an arm bar. Sabre Jr hits Ospreay with a series of penalty kicks which Ospreay somehow manages to kick out of. Huge reverse frankensteiner off the top rope by Ospreay, followed by a shooting star to the back of Sabre Jr. He then hits the Red Arrow for the win.
This was a great match between two of the top names in Britain, a great showing of the hard hitting, technical style which has become synonymous with PROGRESS Wrestling.
Jimmy Havoc Vs Will Ospreay
Now, this was THE big match for PROGRESS in 2015 so I am not surprised they have decided to feature it on this DVD. This match had so much hype going into it, Havoc was easily the most hated man in the company while Ospreay was the most loved. Havoc is flanked by Regression while Ospreay has the London Riots by his side. Havoc sends Regression to the back in what seems to be a display that he can do his own business. Ospreay and Havoc stand face to face, with the crowd going mental behind them, reminiscent of The Rock Vs Hulk Hogan (just a bit more mental). This match was never going to be a technical masterclass; this was a fight. The two start off brawling, quickly taking it to the outside. Ospreay dives out of the ring and throws Jimmy into the chairs at ringside… three times. Jimmy keeps trying to grab weapons from under the ring, only to be stopped by the London Riots every time. They keep brawling on the outside until Opsreay decides to look for a table under the ring, this gives Havoc the chance to grab a weapon of his own, laying in vicious strikes with a kendo stick. Ospreay does a diving DDT through the turnbuckles, a page out of Sami Zayn’s book there. The commentary team explain to us that Ospreay was injured trying to perform a 630 Splash and hasn’t been able to do the move since. The match really begins to descend into chaos with weapons filling the ring, Ospreay hits big release suplex onto a pile of chairs. Havoc takes control, reigning down with chair strikes. He goes to the outside and grabs a bag of thumbtacks, classic Jimmy Havoc. Now this is where things start to go too far… Havoc fills Ospreay’s mouth with a handful of thumbtacks and hit him with a right hand to the jaw, one of the most sickening things I’ve seen, I wouldn’t expect anything less from the twisted Mr Havoc. One of the stand out moments of this match came when Havoc hit a brutal looking burning hammer driver onto an upright chair. Just as Ospreay starts to gain the upper hand Regression return to ringside with Paul Robinson pushing Ospreay off the top rope and hitting him with a sick curb stomp! Havoc goes for the Acid Rainmaker, but Ospreay kicks out. Havoc snaps and knocks out the referee, much to the crowd’s distain. Both head up to the top and Havoc tries to pull off a superplex through a table, only for them both to fall backwards, crashing through the table. A second referee comes to the ring and counts a near fall. Ospreay hits the twisting star press, which has finished almost everyone with only for Havoc to kick out! Now it’s getting interesting. Havoc lands a crazy double stomp to Ospreay through a table on the outside! Somehow Ospreay manages to kick out, frustrating Havoc even more. The second referee is then the victim of the Acid Rainmaker! Havoc then demands that PROGRESS owner Jim Smallman makes the count. ONE… TWO… kick out! The crowd goes wild. Havoc goes under the ring and pulls out an axe! He threatens to behead Ospreay right there in the ring. Ospreay hits Havoc with a low blow followed by an Acid Rainmaker and Ace Crusher, he goes for the Essex Destroyer which is reversed into an Acid Rainmaker from Havoc. The crowd hold their breath as Smallman counts… near fall! Ospreay hits the Essex Destroyer, followed by an incredible 630 for the win! The crowd go berserk!
Well then… what a match that was. This wasn’t your ordinary PROGRESS match; this was a real personal war between two men who couldn’t stand each other. If this match wasn’t enough to make you a fan, nothing will. Absolutely incredible.
Sumerian Death Squad – Open Challenge
Next up is the Sumerian Death Squad’s Open Challenge from Chapter 21. There was a lot of anticipation going into this match so Tommy End decided to cut to the chase and invite out their challengers… Queue Roderick Strong’s music to a big reaction from the Ballroom! Roddy comes to the ring and gets on the mic. “…partner, why don’t you get your ass out here, BAY-BAY.” Adam Cole’s music hits and I’ve never heard a reaction like it, Cole comes through the curtain only for the crowd to get even louder! Strong and Cole go straight after SDS before the bell rings and the two teams brawl on the outside for some time before getting back into the ring. We see some great double team moves from SDS as you’d expect from such an experienced team. Cole and Strong gain control after a big superplex from Roddy on End. The two begin cheating behind the referee’s back which the fans don’t take too kindly to, but there is no arguing that Cole and Strong have taken control of the match; cutting the ring in half and keeping End away from his corner. Tommy eventually gets the tag and Dante goes to town, wiping out Cole and Strong in quick fashion. Some miscommunication from SDS allow Cole and Strong to almost pick up the win, while End almost gets the win with a double stomp on Cole. We see a great moment where Cole gets Dante in a figure four while Strong has Tommy in the Stronghold… only for both moves to be reversed into SDS’ submissions. SDS pick up the win with the Anti-Hero after some miscommunication from Cole and Strong.
This was a fantastic match. The surprise debut of Adam Cole was one of the best moments of 2015 for PROGRESS so I am glad that it managed to find it’s way onto the DVD.
Zack Sabre Jr Vs Tommaso Ciampa
The final match on the DVD sees a match from PROGRESS’ debut show in Manchester. This was a huge deal for the promotion as this was their first ever venture outside of London. We get a rematch from SS16 with Zack Sabre Jr facing Tommaso Ciampa, both men start off slow; trying to get a feel for each other early on. Great exchange of holds from between both competitors, but slowly Ciampa decides to stop playing nice; turning the fans against him. Sabre Jr starts to get more and vicious with his wrestling, for a while the match is really back and forth until Ciampa takes it to the outside and the two begin brawling. Once the two get back in the ring Sabre Jr begins to work on Ciampa’s arm. Ciampa hits Sabre Jr with a series of hard chops which only seems to anger him more! Sabre Jr starts locking in some vicious submission holds, only for Ciampa to escape. He hits a brutal kick to the back of Ciampa’s leg, which allows him to start targeting the leg. We get a close near fall following a Penalty Kick from Sabre Jr. Ciampa gets out of an armbar by stamping on the head of Sabre Jr, which looked brutal! They exchange brutal strikes and chops before Ciampa reverses an Armbar into a Project Ciampa for the near fall. Ciampa manages to pick up the win after reversing Sabre Jr’s O’Connor roll into a pin of his own for the three count.
What a great way to round off this DVD, a great bout between two of the best wrestlers in the world today. Perfect technical work you expect from Sabre Jr and the rough brawling style of the “Psycho Killer” Tommaso Ciampa, made for a fantastic watch.
A perfect introduction to PROGRESS Wrestling for anyone who hadn’t seen their product before. I can imagine that anyone finding this DVD in their WrestleCrate would be more than happy with their purchase!
Our thanks to Kye Watt for contributing thre review to the website. You can sign up for Wrestle Crate UK’s monthly crates at www.WrestleCrate.co.uk. Use the code: WRESTLEROPES to receive 10% off your first crate.