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Sermon on the Mat (August 11th, 2016): Progress Chapter 33 recap, Tommy End’s last match in Germany, free match extravganza and more!

Progress Wrestling

Welcome back to the Sermon on the Mat, your weekly one-stop shop for news from the wider world of wrestling beyond the big cable TV monoliths that get all the coverage.

In the news

FIP Heatstroke 2016 (August 12th)

WWN Under the Radar: AC Mack & Austin Theory vs. Roscoe Eat Lisa (Mikey McFinnigan & Zakk Sawyers)

“Cauliflower” Chase Brown vs. Earl Cooter

Black Baron vs. Jason Cade

Drennen vs. Kameron Kade

“War Pig” Jody Kristofferson vs. Jon Davis

Odinson vs. Rhett Giddens

Dirty Blondes (Leo Brien & Michael Patrick) vs. Hooligans (Devin & Mason Cutter) (c) (FIP World Tag Team Championship)

Martin Stone (c) vs. Peter Kaasa (FIP Florida Heritage Championship)

AR Fox vs. Fred Yehi (c) (FIP World Heavyweight Championship)

FIP are set to return tomorrow night with Heatstroke 2016 and it is a fantastic card. AR Fox makes his triumphant return to the World Wrestling Network after over a year away challenging Fred Yehi for the FIP World Heavyweight Championship in what is sure to be an incredible grappler vs. flyer struggle, Martin Stone defends the Florida Heritage Championship against a Dragon Gate seasoned Peter Kaasa, and ACW Tag Team Champions the Dirty Blondes look to double their gold with the Hooligans’ FIP World Tag Team Championship, and that’s just the title matches!

The undercard is also pretty well stacked, with two HOSS DIVISION matches in Odinson/Giddens and Kristofferson/Davis, and two of my favorite dudes on the southeastern independent scene, Black Baron and Jason Cade, going at it.

If any of this is as appealing to you as it is to me, you can go ahead and order on (make sure to order tonight to save $5!) or you can wait for my recap and pick it up on VOD.

Sumerian Death Squad Presents: The End & (August 13th)

Sumerian Death Squad Presents: The End

Courtney vs. Melanie Grey

Ashley Sixx & Kris Chamers vs. Hot & Spicy (Axel Dieter, Jr. & Da Mack)

Bad Bones vs. Mark Haskins

Leaders of the New School (Marty Scurll & Zack Sabre, Jr.) vs. Sumerian Death Squad (Michael Dante & Tommy End)

wXw Shotgun Livetour: Köln

Reich und Schön in tag team action

Ilja Dragunov vs. Tommy End

Tommy End is on his way to NXT and these are his last independent shows in Germany, folks. While 100% complete cards don’t seem to be available, there’s some good stuff announced, with CWC head-turner Da Mack in tag action and that final Sumerian Death Squad matchup.

“But Kain,” you say, “where do I go to watch wXw?”

Well, they’ve got a brand new answer to that, and conveniently it’s also debuting on Saturday. It’s wXwNOW, and it’s (all together now) a monthly streaming service! 9.99 Euros a month gets you access to all of wXw, including matches from the likes of AJ Styles, Bryan “Daniel Bryan” Danielson, Chris Hero, and Zack Sabre, Jr., and of course, wXw stars like Tommy End and Da Mack. More and more wrestling at our fingertips every day, folks, gotta love it!

Bryce Benjamin vs. Stevie Fierce

Folks, I had a dilemma this week. I got no less than four free matches I wanted to feature but usually I only have space for one. Well, to hell with that, we’re running all four! First up, from the excellent Freelance vs. CZW show I reviewed about a month ago, this tilt between Bryce Benjamin and Stevie Fierce is a hoot, with some real tight sequences and impressive work.

Project Lucha Underground (El Ligero, Martin Kirby, & Shane “Killshot” Strickland) vs. Swords of Lightning (Mark Andrews, Paul Robinson, & Will Ospreay)

Due to some issues with their hard camera shot, the fine folks at Pro Wrestling Chaos are going to be releasing their entire July 23rd show, Wrath of Khan, free on their YouTube in the near future. For now, they’ve put up Chris Hero vs. Eddie Dennis, for which a link shall have to suffice, and this trios match featuring a couple of dudes you may well be interested in seeing. Enjoy!

Jimmy Rave vs. John Skyler (2016 Scenic City Invitational First Round Match)

And last but not least, the main event of Sermon on the Mat Free Match Extravaganza Summer 2016, the opening match of the 2016 Scenic City Invitational, Jimmy Rave vs. John Skyler! Really good stuff from both men, lots of cool minimalist stuff that doesn’t blow your hair back but you notice and go “well that was cool”, just bits of outside the box thinking and aversion of standard pro wrestling tropes that makes for a real enjoyable viewing experience.

Progress Chapter 33: Malice in Wonderland (July 31st)

This is my first Progress show in about eight months and I haven’t had a chance to play catchup before watching, so this is gonna be an adventure. Let’s get on with it!

Dunne Brothers (Damian & Pete Dunne) vs. Moustache Mountain (Trent Seven & Tyler Bate) goes to a double count-out draw.

Moustache Mountain charge for the early goings, including an awesome sequence with Damian Dunne up in a delayed vertical while they tag in and out and trade him off a few times before he’s able to slip out and tag Pete back in to begin to turn the tide. Eventually back comes back to forth and Bate starts clearing house, swinging both Dunnes at once, one airplane and one giant-style! Bate ducks out of the way of a superkick from Damian that levels Pete and then drops him with a backdrop driver in turn. Tags made and Seven abruptly punches Bate out! Pete levels Damian as well and the two men shake hands and walk off to end the match.

Naturally ending in an angle saps the energy a bit, but that was a pretty fun opener. Not too familiar with any of these dudes, but they all acquitted themselves well and Tyler Bate in particular is real fun to watch, with his strongman shenanigans.

Jack Gallagher over Zack Gibson by submission.

Grappling! An “If you all hate Gibson clap your hands!” chant breaks out and Gallagher breaks out of a headlock in time to clap along! Gibson tries to tie Gallagher up in a ball but the Gentleman escapes and ties Gibson in his own, much more effective knot, only freeing him with a running kick to the bum. Gibson dissecting the arm in earnest now with a wicked arm wringer and a hammerlock Divorce Court before a headbutt on the apron evens the odds. The tightest small package trade I’ve ever seen followed up by Gallagher getting the most out of a cravate this side of Chris Hero and into the ankle lock for the win!

Very good, very fun, an excellent match. Gallagher’s taking the world by storm thanks to his appearance in the Cruiserweight Classic, but if you don’t know Zack Gibson, you’re missing out. A Liverpudlian curmudgeon who can go hold-for-hold with any technical grappler in the world, I’m not sure how much his uniquely English brand of location-based heat will hold up internationally, but he deserves a real chance to find out.

Jack Sexsmith answers Roy Johnson’s Wasteman Challenge.

So this is less of a match and more of a rap battle. Huh. Well, Johnson’s quite charismatic and Sexsmith is always a hoot (that full body kiss on the lips during his entrance sure gave Jim Smallman a thrill!), so I’m not complaining. Especially not when Sexsmith busts out a round of Guy Love rather than rapping. Which, in turn, is booed down by the crowd and he relents and raps, but then disses the South Pacific Power Trio, who come out for a brawl, at which point Jim Smallman makes it a tag match!

South Pacific Power Trio (TK Cooper & Travis Banks) over Jack Sexsmith & Roy Johnson by pinfall.

Mostly one-sided dominance with Cooper and Banks working Sexsmith over early on until he can finally, desperately tag Johnson in. Johnson takes them apart for a while before Sexsmith tags back in to try and use something from his gentleman’s area only to relent and execute a very nice Lotus Lock instead. Moments later, Mr. Cocko makes his presence known. Yep. It’s a condom, and it’s Mr. Socko. Can’t make it up, folks! But Dahlia Black takes Jack’s leg out of his leg and it’s over in short order.

Maybe a little longer than I’d like but this was fine for an impromptu tag match. Certainly all four men have some developing to do but I look forward to seeing it. And also Mr. Cocko was there.

Mark Andrews over El Ligero by pinfall.

Ligero punctuates the spaces in between dazzling athletic exchanges with stalling early but Andrews soon catches on and won’t have it. Ligero’s dirty holds see him in control soon after, though, wrenching, scratching and poking. A timely cry of “Ligero, you suck!” from the audience opens him up to an enzuigiri and an avalanche Frankensteiner into a standing shooting star press. A wheelbarrow bulldog attempt on the outside is countered, Ligero sending Andrews crotch-first into the ringpost before stomping him off the apron!

Poison Frankensteiner sends Ligero outside and Andrews follows up with a tilt-a-whirl DDT on the floor! Knees up on a shooting star press back in the ring, Ligero looks for a brainbuster and gets rolled up!

Good back and forth match. Bit of an abrupt ending but Andrews was taking a beating so it all fits together.

Mark Haskins over Will Ospreay by submission to become #1 contender to the Progress Championship.

Grappling to start, with Haskins targeting Ospreay’s taped up shoulder as Ospreay flips, flops, and flies to avoid him. Back and forth and forth and back and Haskins counters a headscissors into a Stretch Muffler! Essex Destroyer countered into a pop-up suplex! Looks for Made in Japan but Ospreay pops out for a German and a Yakuza kick, off the top but Haskins runs under, springboard forearm!

Haskins blocks the Rainham Maker but Ospreay fights back with strikes, Haskins goes for a Tiger Feint Kick but Ospreay has it scouted, slips through the ropes and kicks him in the face! Trading dives! Haskins catches Will on a flip, goes for a back suplex, but Ospreay flips out for the headscissors and nails him with a big boot to the back of the head only to get caught with the mighty armbreaker in the ropes!

Diving double stomp to the bad arm, strikes are traded before Ospreay lands a standing moonsault side slam. Forearms for forearms, Haskins lands a knockout kick and looks for the armbar but Ospreay slips out, standing shooiting star press, double jump moonsault, Haskins rolls away, the standing shooting star again, double jump corkscrew moonsault!

Looks for OsCutter but Haskins grabs the foot. Forearms! A headbutt leads Ospreay to Kawada kicks before trying for a suplex, Haskins shoots him into the ropes, Ospreay looks for the handspring and Haskins kicks his arm out from under him! Double jump 450 and Haskins gets the feet up! Tornado Divorce Court! Tilt-a-whirl armbar takedown! Goes for a pump kick, Ospreay dodges, no-hands handspring gamengiri!

To the top, Haskins looking for a superplex, Ospreay jumps down and gets the tuck superkick in the corner! OsCutter countered into the bridging Fujiwara armbar! It’s over!

Great match. Ospreay continues to be one of the best arm salesmen on the planet, although the tape and cupping marks make one wonder how much is exactly selling at this point, and Haskins is just plain one of my favorite grapplers on the planet to watch.

“Sign him up, Regal!” chants go up and Haskins says that before anybody gets signed, he’s gonna win that Progress Championship. He’s been sidetracked, made some hasty decisions, but no matter who’s champion come September, the title’s gonna be his.

London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) (c) over War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe) by pinfall.

Rowe and Lynch grappling to start, to some degree of surprise, but soon enough Davis and Hanson are in the clubbering starts. Riots trying to work War Beard over but it’s hard to keep a big lad down and soon enough they’re returning the favor to Davis.

Rob Lynch finally back in like a house afire, running roughshod over the War Machine! Davis back in and he eats an Earthquake splash from Hanson but Davis clears house one more time with a pair of dives! Hanson with the 300 pound suicide dive! Davis up on the balcony for a Swanton! Chaos reigns for a bit before the Riots land the District Line on Rowe... only two!

Double chokeslam on Davis into a pop-up powerslam on Lynch, followed by a diving Hart Attack for two! Setting up for another double-team and the Riots break it up... Davis with a schoolboy, it’s over!

Really fun match, some great HOSSERY on display here, and with that finish, a rematch down the line would be fantastic. And what a coincidence, but we’re getting one Sunday!

Marty Scurll over Pastor William Eaver (c) by submission.

Already going after Eaver before the introductions are even done, that Marty Scurll. Folding powerbomb immediately after the bell rings for two! Tussling on the outside, the Pastor dropkicks Scurll into the third row. Scurll rams Eaver into the stage and takes a moment to covet the title belt before landing a back suplex into the apron.

Scurll into the fourth row this time! Big chop but Eaver ducks and Scurll’s hand goes hard into the ringpost. Looking for the crucifix powerbomb but Marty slips out and snaps the fingers! Scurll just dominating Eaver for a while, dropping him with a brainbuster and a hard arm wringer in quick succession.

Pastor back in it with the Irish Church backbreaker into Fisher of Men suplex combo and the match levels out to more of a battle between equals again. Eaver to the top and Scurll hits a pair of gamengiri type kicks to cut him off. Superplex, double pin, but they both kick out!

Scurll nearly has the chickenwing and Eaver backs him into the corner and flips him over to break it. Crucifix powerbomb to Clothesline From Heaven! Someone on mic calls Eaver out, it’s Sebastian! He says he knows a secret about the Pastor, he knows what he did, and he’s going to tell the entire world. Chickenwing!

Good main event— not quite to the level of the #1 contender’s match or the grappling clinic Gibson and Gallagher put on, but a good match nonetheless.

And a good show overall. Again, not quite to the level of the glory days during Jimmy Havoc’s reign of terror, but a fine effort.

As always...

Remember folks, no matter what type of wrestling you like, no matter how down you feel about the state of WWE, TNA, ROH, or any other "big-time" pro wrestling, there's something out there for you. There's a pro wrestling product that can hit you in the right spot and make you love wrestling like you thought you'd never be able to love it again. It's there, I promise. You just gotta reach out and find it, and that, my friends, is what the Sermon on the Mat is all about.

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