It’s time to step into British wrestling territory once again, and this time around we’re taking a third look at what Progress Wrestling has to offer with their third show and DVD release, Fifty Shades of Pain.
Disc one begins with Scottish star Noam Dar taking on late replacement Paul Robinson.
Now this I liked. It was a good way to start the show. We kind of had a mixture of everything here, some nice chain wrestling, a bit of high flying, Dar’s chewing gum spot, as well as a few submission attempts. All of these ingredients made this a pretty enjoyable match.
Both guys put in good performances, and I’m quickly becoming a fan of Dar’s work. That man is definitely one for the future
It was the Scotsman who took the win here, and having taken Robinson down with a couple of suplex variations he locked in his leg grapevine, with Robinson tapping out to give him the submission win.
The next match saw Xander Cooper challenging Mark Andrews for the BWC Scarlo Scholarship title.
This short and sweet encounter began with Cooper working over Andrews’ arm, but it wasn’t long before the champion sped things up a little with a few fast-paced moved.
It developed into a nice little back and forth encounter, and as the match went on Cooper became more and more frustrated by Andrews’ high flying tactics.
The end came when the impressive Andrews stopped his challenger’s top rope attack and came down with a Shooting Star Press for the title retaining pin.
The first tag match of the show saw the London Riots, James Davies and Rob Lynch, taking on the B*****d Squad, Danny Garnell and Darrell Allen.
Part brawl, part wrestling match, this proved to be a very entertaining encounter. The Riots started the match in their usual fashion, with the Squad quickly coming back as they took Lynch and Davies down with the aid of a front row chair.
The match soon settled down as Lynch and Davies used Allen as their personal punching bag, although it didn’t sit too well with them when Garnell kept coming into the ring to break up their pin attempts.
Eventually Allen got the hot tag to Garnell, who pulled off a few impressive moves before he was taken out by a gore. By this time Allen had already tagged back into the match, but as he came off the top rope the Riot boys caught him in mid-air before Davies took him down with a sit-down powerbomb for the winning pin.
Just when it looked like the Riots were going to accept their victory with good grave they returned to the ring and attacked Garnell, clobbering him with a chair before placing his left leg in the seat and smashing it with a cricket bat.
The final match of the disc saw Jon Ryan going up against Jimmy Havoc.
This was the battle of the teacher and the student, with Ryan none too pleased that Havoc had sought advice from Danny Garnell.
It started off as a good old fashioned wrestling match, but when Havoc frustrated Ryan his former trainer grabbed a frying pan from underneath the ring and clobbered him, busting him open in the process.
The referee immediately called for the bell and gave Havoc the disqualification win. Havoc wasn’t too pleased with this though and pleaded with promoter and ring announcer Jim Smallman (who has no affiliation with commentator Jimmy Barnett, even though they sound similar) to turn this into a hardcore match. It was a request that Mr. Smallman could not refuse.
Thus began the first hardcore match in Progress’ short history as mentor and student proceeded to knock the proverbial you know what out of each other.
As well as the aforementioned frying pan we also saw a Singapore cane, a cheese grater, baking trays, drawing pins (thumb tacks to you Americans), a barb wire board, chains, and the rather surreal sight of Ryan power bombing Havoc onto an ironing board.
While this wasn’t on the level of some of the Jimmy Jacobs matches I reviewed a few days ago it was still fun to watch as both guys put their bodies through hell.
Kudos must go to Ryan though. Not only did he take two big bumps on the drawing pins he was also in the middle of a pins/barb wire sandwich when Havoc came down from the top rope with a two-footed stomp.
But despite the great effort Havoc couldn’t get the win, and when Ryan Tombstoned him on the pins and held on to put him through the barb wire board with an overhead suplex it was all over when Ryan took the pin.
After the match ended the fans gave both men a richly deserved standing ovation, with Havoc shaking Ryan’s hand before he paid tribute to his mentor.
Disc two began with R.J. Singh, accompanied by his usual entourage, facing Rob Cage.
Another quick encounter saw Cage use his power advantage to good effect early on, but as usual Singh’s ringside cronies interfered to help give him the other hand.
Cage soon rallied, but when he went to the top rope Singh’s film director pushed him to send him crashing to the mat while the referee was otherwise distracted. Singh then seized his opportunity and applied his Ethnic Submission, his version of the Camel Clutch, for the submission win.
After the match ended Singh went to shake Cage’s hand, but when Cage accepted this gesture of good will Singh booted him in the groin before applying the Ethnic Submission for the second time.
The penultimate match saw Stixx taking on the Lion Kid in a re-match from the previous show.
Stixx, extremely annoyed that the much smaller Kid had beaten him in their previous encounter, attacked his man as he made his entrance, injuring his knee. Despite this the Kid agreed to go through with the match.
Stixx proceeded to dominate the action, working over the Kid’s knee as he tried to tear the limb apart. The Kid, plucky underdog that he was, kept coming back, but each time he did this his injured wheel hampered him greatly.
In the end the injury was too much for the Kid. After he landed on his knee when he missed a 450 splash from the top rope Stixx took him down with a powerbomb. He then considered going for a submission hold before taking the winning pin.
The main event saw El Ligero and Progress Champion Nathan Cruz going up against Greg Burridge and Dave Mastiff. Originally Burridge had been due to team with Marty Scurll, but Scurll’s appearance in the TNA British Boot Camp show meant that he could only make a non-wrestling appearance as the special referee instead.
This one had a lot of little back stories to it. Ligero was the number one contender to Cruz’s title. Scurll was annoyed with Ligero for costing him the win in his title match with Cruz on the previous show. Burridge also had some issues with Ligero. In fact the only one who didn’t have any issues with anyone was big Mastiff, who was basically there to kick someone’s backside.
As for the match, it was pretty good, and the various back stories added to the overall entertainment value, especially the dissension between Ligero and Cruz.
Although they didn’t get along the heels did a good job on the fluffy dice-wearing Burridge as they targeted his knee, until they started to argue that is.
Burridge getting the hot tag to Mastiff led to the free for all. The big man put on the best performance I’ve seen from him, and the moment where Ligero came down from the top rope and just bounced off him was the highlight of the night for me.
We also had Scurll showing complete bias towards Burridge and Mastiff when he refused to count some of the pin attempts. He even laid out across the top rope at one point.
Eventually the tensions between Cruz and Ligero led to their downfall. Ligero ended up super kicking his own partner before Mastiff took Cruz out with a cannonball in the corner for the winning pin.
That wasn’t the end of things though. After Mastiff, Burridge and Scurll taunted Cruz before heading off for a beer Cruz grabbed the microphone for a bit of moaning before Ligero came back to the ring and attacked him. The aforementioned Mr. Smallman then made the Cruz/Ligero title match for the next show.
Disc two is where you’ll find the extras: Greg Burridge’s hysterical intro video, a segment looking at the visit of Jeremy Borash and the TNA Boot Campers to the show, as well as Jim Smallman’s hilarious show introduction where he pleads with the crowd not to make any Nazi salutes.
In conclusion - they’ve gone and done it again.
Fifty Shades of Pain is the third great release in a row from this young promotion. As an adult wrestling fan who doesn’t mind a bit of cursing and who has a good sense of humour this ticked all the boxes for me, and once again these shows reminded me of the Australia Wrestlerock shows I reviewed a few years ago, without the heavy metal tribute bands that is.
As for the matches they definitely ticked all the boxes. Every single match delivered, which made it a little difficult to choose my match of the night. Eventually I plumped for the Jon Ryan/Jimmy Havoc hardcore brawl, although the main event tag ran it close.
So with all of that out of the way let’s wrap this thing up by giving this release the big thumbs up.
With thanks to the powers that be for supplying a copy of this release. Progress Wrestling Chapter Three: Fifty Shades of Pain can be purchased online at www.progresswrestling.com.