Progress Chapter 44 recap & review: Jimmy Havoc earns a title shot, Dahlia Black advances, and Pastor William Eaver is free at last

Progress Chapter 44: Old Man Yells At Cloud went up on Demand Progress today, so let's dig right in!

Damon Moser vs. James Drake

Drake clobbers Moser during his entrance! Hands are flying, clubbing blows to the back, hammering 'em down! Big uppercuts in the crowd, but Damon fights back, getting strikes of his own in, a reversal puts James' face into the ringpost and Moser fires a knee off the apron.

Back in the ring, the bell finally rings, Damon lands a Knee Trembler but Drake has a foot on the ropes. James back in with an enzuigiri but shoulder thrusts and a few forearms turn the tide the other way. Caught with a forearm on the charge…

James Drake wins by pinfall with Mr. Mayhem, a lifting sit-out DDT.

Short but sweet, I dug it.

Dahlia Black vs. Session Moth Martina (Natural Progression Series IV First Round Match)

Bit of stalling early, Dahlia stealing and destroying Martina's cigarettes. A German suplex avenges the fallen tobacco product, delayed vertical suplex, she calls for the Bronco Buster but TK Cooper saves his girlfriend! Moth goes flying, she grinds on TK and Black destroys her for it!

Martina macks on Cooper some more and pays for it even harder the second time. Dahlia keeps taking it to her, choke in the corner, match spills outside, face to post, Black just taking her to the woodshed. A bit of a break for a refreshing drink of beer, Black brings an empty in the ring, wanting to smash it over Martina's head but she gets the last drops out of it and powers up!

Headbutt, elbow… Bronco Buster! She goes for a second but Dahlia gets a boot up into her lady garden! She heads up top as Moth fuels up… beer mist counters the dive! A second shot catches referee Chris Roberts! Martina with a forearm and a Codebreaker but Chris can't make the count.

Cooper slides in, hits the big right hand…

Dahlia Black wins by pinfall with a lateral press.

Bit shaky around the edges but the comedy landed pretty well with me.

Travis Banks vs. Jordan Devlin

Mat grappling early, jockeying for position and trading advantage. From there, criss-cross exchange and pinning cradles as the temperature increases, and Devlin hits the enzuigiri that beat Martin Stone, knocking Banks to the mat and nearly out! Disdainful shots as Travis covers up, but his resolve hardens and he stands defiant in Jordan's face, throwing forearm on forearm.

A palm strike keeps him from pulling ahead, kicks traded and Banks lands a Busaiku Knee! Tight exchange ends in a brainbuster for two, but Devlin catches him with a lungblower in the corner and Tiger suplex for two of his own. Struggling in the corner, Jordan goes for the moonsault but Banks has it ducked, big lariat and a fisherman suplex lift dropped into a Michinoku Driver impact nearly ends it!

Slugging it out forearm for forearm, turning to charging blows after a series of kicks, Devlin lands a spin kick to win the exchange. Travis heads out for a breather… TOPE CON GIRO! Banks has a suicide dive of his own in return, penetrating like five rows into the crowd!

Back in the ring, it's chest kick time, but Jordan has a jumping knee to cut the rally off. Going back to the Tiger suplex, Travis slips away, dodges another kick…

Travis Banks wins by pinfall with a springboard roundhouse kick.

Very good match. Travis Banks is so close to his breakout I can taste it. Dude is awesome, really hope he's gonna make it over for WrestleMania weekend shows.

Sebastian comes out to address the Pastor William Eaver "situation". He's brought a home-made kendo stick and asks Eaver to come out and take his punishment like a man, on pain of having the lawyers called and potential jail time. Eaver comes out, takes his coat off, and knees, ready to turn the proverbial other cheek.

Chuck Mambo interrupts Sebastian taking his sweet time to get ready to strike the first blow, and Bill gets up. Chuck calls Sebastian a twat and says he went to the library, went to the law section, and according to what he read, it's been 150 days since Eaver "assaulted" him, which means he has no legal grounds to press charges anymore.

As of right now, in fact, Sebastian has nothing on the Pastor. And furthermore, what he did constitutes blackmail, so if anybody's going to jail, it's not Pastor William Eaver, it's Sebastian.

Jim Smallman says Sebastian has a match, and since he brought a weapon out with him, it'll be a no disqualification match!

Pastor William Eaver vs. Sebastian (No Disqualification Match)

Sebastian, naturally, jumps Eaver immediately and chokes him over the ropes. Cut off when he goes to use his home-made double-thick kendo stick, Bill throws uppercut on uppercut and fakes a dive out! Seb gets a chair but chooses to just slide it in the ring and spit in Eaver's face. He goes to leave, the ring crew form up in the entry to block him!

Eaver wipes 'em all out with a suicide dive! He helps each member of the ring crew up in turn and slingshots himself right into a thrown chair! A second chair goes across the Pastor's back and Sebastian sets it up on his arm but the armbreaking shot is dodged.

Two more thrown chairs clock Bill in the face, Jesus. Sebastian follows it with a chair-assisted facewash in the corner that busts the Pastor open. RUNNING CRUCIFIX POWERBOMB INTO THE CROWD! Back in the ring, Seb is out of it and gasping as he sets a chair up and takes a seat.

Eaver has a chair of his own, considers waffling him with it, but chooses to set it up and take a seat himself. They go slap for slap but Sebastian bites the wound on Bill's forehead! He goes for a chairshot but gets caught… ROCK BOTTOM ON THE OPEN CHAIR! IT DOESN'T BUCKLE AN INCH!

Going for the Clothesline From Heaven and Sebastian kicks him low! He follows it up just BLASTING him with the chair before throwing it at him! The crowd wants Eaver to rise, but Seb mocks them before setting Pastor on the middle rope and getting a roll of tape out from under the ring.

He crucifies Eaver on the ropes! Throws a snot rocket to boot and goes back under the ring for more plunder. He's got the double-thick kendo stick again, Pastor partially frees himself but Sebastian wails on him with it, the stick disintegrating with every blow!

Referee Chris Roberts pulls him off! Eaver's back is bloodied and scourged but he fires off the Popish Hammer. Lariat reversed to a Canadian backbreaker rack Go 2 Sleep variant, Sebastian off the ropes with a huge lariat. He has him hooked for the spinning Killswitch but Eaver blocks it, comes off the ropes…

Pastor William Eaver wins by pinfall with a Clothesline From Heaven.

Awesome match, a beautifully bloody brawl, ending a great feud on exactly the right note. Awesome work from both dudes, and credit for playing with the Jesus stuff just enough to be cool but not quite hammering the proverbial nails in.

Post-match, Mambo comes back out to help Pastor to the back with a hug and Jim Smallman personally tells Sebastian, on behalf of everyone, to "fuck off", prompting the ring crew to remove him bodily, which is always one of my favorite things in wrestling.

Mark Andrews vs. Shane Strickland

Mat grappling to start, Andrews settles on the leg and Strickland on the arm as they go back and forth. The action heats up, arm drags are traded, and Mark chooses to ground Shane to try and wear him out rather than going flip for flip. Quick exchanges, ducking and diving, Strickland catches him with a dropkick!

King of Swerve in charge with an uppercut off the ropes, a back suplex lift Canadian backbreaker, forearms, a snapmare into a wicked kick to the back of the head but it's not enough to put Andrews away. Mark back in with chops and a jawbreaker, he sends Shane outside off a Frankensteiner.

Going for a dive but Strickland rolls in and hits an Ace Crusher! Shane with a dive, Andrews dodges, charge pops him up on the balcony, he moonsaults off, Strickland catches him, Mark reverses again to a tornado DDT! Back in the ring after, going strike for strike, Strickland pulls ahead and catches Andrews with a roundhouse kick and a tilt-a-whirl slam off the ropes.

Deadlift brainbuster follows immediately… NO GOOD! Double stomp dodged, Mark connects with an enzuigiri, poison Frankensteiner blocked, Andrews reverses the reversal to a victory roll, standing shooting star press… NOPE! Stomp to the foot, Mark up to the second and Shane crotches him.

Series of kicks gives way to a short DDT, 450 splash… NOT ENOUGH! Struggling, Andrews lands on his feet on a back suplex, ducks some kicks, poison Frankensteiner connects, he goes up top… AVALANCHE HURRICANRANA! STRICKLAND KICKS OUT! Shane cuts him off up top, a jump kick catches Mark square in the temple.

Thinking superplex, Andrews blocks, Strickland lands on his feet off an avalanche poison Frankensteiner! He gets a kick in but another brainbuster is reversed to Stundog Millionaire! Andrews climbs the turnbuckles…

Mark Andrews wins by pinfall with a shooting star press.

Good match. Bit of a slow start but it heated up well.

Jim addresses Shane after the match, telling him they mainly use British talent but he's nailed it every time before inviting him to the WrestleMania weekend Progress show in Orlando.

El Ligero vs. Nathan Cruz

After Ligero's traditional (and hilarious) intro spiel, Cruz gets on the mic to ask him if he remembers why they founded the Origin. Ligero mimes cash, but Nathan continues, talking about how, forty chapters ago, they main evented the show and everybody turned their backs to them, forcing them to found the Origin.

He tells Ligero not to turn his back on the Origin like these people turned their backs on him, but Ligero, by measures, turns his back… and gets a cheap shot for his trouble! He sends Cruz outside and plants him with a tope con giro! Bell rings, Ligero catches a boot and gives it to referee Chris Roberts before kicking the other leg out!

The Mexican Sensation remains firmly in control and is having a lot of fun, to Cruz's increasing consternation. He busts out the gummy bears but Nathan takes the opportunity to turn the tables and hammer Ligero with knees. El back in it, ducking and dodging, nearly ending it early with a shiranui.

Ligero retrieves some athletic tape and tapes his thumb in the upright position. Cruz ducks the spike, has a Codebreaker dodged, grabs a small package for a nearfall. Ligero charges in, Nathan throws him off, and the Codebreaker connects this time!

Going for Show Stolen, Ligero blocks, Cruz plants him with an actual jackknife powerbomb before heading out for plunder and returning with a chair. Roberts yanks the chair away, Nathan goes for a low blow but Ligero catches the boot! Returned in kind, springboard kick and the action spills to the apron.

Cruz throws Ligero from the apron to the video screen wall! Into it a second time! Back in the ring, El drags himself to his feet by the ropes before catching a running forearm. Slingshot back suplex, but he wastes time playing to the crowd instead of covering the hardest-working man in pro wrestling.

Ligero gives a defiant thumbs up and Nathan wrenches it before hitting Show Stolen… LIGERO OUT AT ONE! Cruz yells at him, telling him he's nothing and should stay down, but Ligero beats on him unholy, forcing him to the corner. He's fired up, finger guns, gets caught by a back elbow but Nathan dives into an Ace Crusher! Ligero off the top with a splash… no good!

El throwing kicks now as Cruz tries to beg off, even offering a thumbs up of his own. Ligero turns his own thumb down and goes to kick his head off but it's ducked and Nathan locks a figure four leglock on! He nearly passes out and gets pinned but kicks out, so Cruz drags him to the ringpost, absolutely destroying his leg against the steel!

Going for the figure four again but Ligero reverses…

El Ligero wins by pinfall with a small package.

Good match, and banter wins as it always should. Also very much enjoyed the decision to largely partition the match into two halves, with the more comedic opening section giving way to, as always with the slow destruction of the Origin, a surprising amount of pathos.

Afterwards Cruz presses the attack and removes Ligero's mask! He leaves the ring holding his trophy high, mocking the thumbs up once again.

Jack Sexsmith vs. Zack Gibson

Zack, of course, cuts his usual promo to incredible heat, before adding an appendix calling Jack a joke and a loser and telling him he doesn't belong in the ring at all, let alone with Gibson. He finishes with a passing slap for added insult.

Mat grappling early, Zack riding him and going right after Shankly Gates but Jack is aware of his positioning and gets the ropes. Convinced he's got to grind him down, Gibson applies a figure four ankle lock and rips Sexsmith's boot off, throwing it!

Jack heads to the apron as the crowd proclaims their love for him. He slips his boot back in and considers his fight a moment before heading back in. Again, Gibson quickly outwrestles him and applies a wristlock, but Sexsmith reverses it! So Zack goes to his striking game, hammering Jack with forearms.

On a whip, Sexsmith gets back into it, catching Gibson with a two-handed chop and a forearm of his own before heading outside and trying to leverage Zack into the ringpost. He can't do it alone so he recruits a bunch of folks from the crowd to help crotch Liverpool's #1!

Jack up top now but Gibson has a double thrust to the throat to counter the dive and a lariat for a nearfall after. Back to working on the arm with an elevated wristlock suplex, then forearm on forearm and a short-arm lariat to boot. Thinking Shankly Gates but Sexsmith is too close to the ropes, so he picks him up and puts him down with a back suplex for two.

Cobra clutch applied, kick to the back, Jack fighting back desperately, boot up, leapfrog, barely clips him with a forearm, and catches him with the Pearl Neckbreaker! Big DDT follows, no good! Mr. Cocko time! Sexsmith lying in wait, Gibson counters with a Codebreaker but Jack's fired up!

Zack pasting him with slaps to the face and another Codebreaker! A folding press… JACK KICKS OUT! CRIPPLER COCKFACE APPLIED! Gibson gets the ropes! Sexsmith trying to beat on him in the corner but Zack gets away, Helter Skelter connects… STILL NOT ENOUGH!

Gibson takes him outside… HELTER SKELTER ON THE FLOOR! Zack rolls back in the ring and orders referee Paz to count…

Zack Gibson wins by countout.

Really good stuff here, a fine addition to the story of Jack proving that he's not just comedy sex guy. Gibson is really good as the gruff veteran brutalizing the young lion, and Sexsmith is a dude you really want to get behind, pun not intended but welcome.

I could quibble that some of Jack's striking looked weaker than maybe it should have, but it fit the story they were telling so it's not really here nor there. And the moment where he's on the apron putting his boot back on and considering how the rest of the match is likely to go is worth a hundred good forearms.

After the match, Nathan Cruz comes out, still holding Ligero's mask, to celebrate with Gibson on the stage as referees and ring crew attend to Jack Sexsmith.

British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven, & Tyler Bate) vs. Flash Morgan Webster, Jimmy Havoc, & Mark Haskins

The stipulation for this match is that if Webster, Havoc, or Haskins win, they get a title shot, but if British Strong Style win, the man that loses the fall will be banned from challenging for the title for six months.

Tyler brought the WWE United Kingdom Championship with him, because this is 2017 pro wrestling. And indeed, the trio insist on being introduced as representing WWE. They jump the faces before the bell rings with a trio of low blows!

They go for triple Pedigrees to boot but eat triple superkicks! More spots in triplicate! They isolate Dunne and go to work, knocking the tag champs off the apron but a bit of miscommunication keeps them from getting an easy win over Peter. Suicide dive DDT from Havoc, straight tope from Haskins, tope con giro from Webster!

Dunne ducks a 450, Webster distracts him into a headbutt and hits a standing shiranui but Seven comes in and catches him with a brainbuster. Jimmy in with a shotgun dropkick, facewash, diving double stomp, a second attempt at a diving move goes slightly wrong but still proves effective.

Bate in with an airplane spin, dumping Havoc aside but Mark comes in and they get into it, strike for strike, blow for blow. Pete in, X-Plex gets two and he tries to cow referee Chris Roberts into submission. Dunne throwing disdainful strikes but Haskins steels himself and fires back.

Haskins and Dunn have simultaneous double submissions on the other two men on their opposing teams and go trading slaps. Peter going for a piledriver on the apron, Flash fights out and they spill outside… DROP DEAD INTO THE APRON! Bate suplexes Haskins into the apron! SEVEN DRAGON SUPLEXES HAVOC ON THE APRON!

Pete charges in, Morgan catches him, diving headscissors takeover! Tyler hooks Mark on the apron but it gets reversed, Haskins plants him with a DVD on the apron! Jimmy's in the ring, waiting for Trent, he back body drops Pete to the pron, where he moonsaults on the other two as Seven piledrives Havoc.

Bate with a Tombstone… Havoc kicks out! Trent and Tyler hooking for a suplex, but he slips out… DOUBLE ACID RAINMAKER! Dunne over, trying for his own, Jimmy ducks… CACTUS ACID RAINMAKER! Webster's alone in the ring now, he's got aerial intentions… RINGPOST SENTON ATOMICO!

Haskins and Bate going strike for strike now, rolling Koppo kick, but Mark bounces out into the roll-through DVD! Bridging Fujiwara armbar applied but Tyler reverses to a pin! Roll-through Sharpshooter, Haskins is sitting way back in it! Dunne makes it through Havoc's blockade and breaks it up!

All six men in the ring now, trading blows. Faces seem to pull ahead but BSS do a tandem Bate jab, then they block Acid Rainmakers and do the Peter finger bite! Crotch chops ahoy and they get punched in the dick for it! Tandem flip piledrivers! Tandem Koppo Kicks!

Tandem Pedigrees… except Tyler was going for the Tyler Driver and Flash reverses to a hurricanrana… NOT ENOUGH! Dunne takes him outside and throws him into the ringpost for his trouble. Seven and Haskins going at it as Peter tries to remove Havoc as well.

Trent thinking avalanche piledriver but Mark blocks, Tree of Woe… HE BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPLEXES BATE INTO SEVEN! To the apron with Tyler now, fireman's carry, Peter over to block and Morgan comes over for a springboard poison Frankensteiner! Off the ropes, springboard and Dunne blasts him with a forearm!

Jimmy clutches Pete's wrist…

Flash Morgan Webster, Jimmy Havoc, & Mark Haskins win by pinfall with an Acid Rainmaker from Havoc on Pete Dunne, earning Jimmy a Progress Championship match.

Awesome, awesome match. Stuff just constantly happening, it's a very good time.

Jimmy gets right on the mic and tells Pete to wait. He points out the next show is on March 19, his birthday, and a deathmatch for the Progress Championship is the best present he can imagine!

Overall

A really good show from Progress. Eaver/Sebastian was the absolute highlight, but the main event and Sexsmith/Gibson stood out well themselves. Plus some good storyline movement for the Origin, Jack, and the ongoing British Strong Style saga, and you've got an enjoyable three hours of wrestling.

Check it out on Demand Progress, folks.

Original Article

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