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
While I’m not giving it a full-sized berth, I’d still like to plug Marquee Wrestling’s first show, brought to you by some of the folks behind and featuring some of the talent from this year’s Scenic City Invitational. It’s available through Whoo! Wrestling on Vimeo and it sounds like another quality slice of the southern independent scene. Check it out!
Chikara The Black Goodbye results (September 17)
Princess KimberLee over Rock Lobster
Team Big Deal (Rick Roland & Sloan Caprice) over Bodyslam Brandon & Suplex Steven
Icarus & Mark Angelosetti over The Colony (Fire Ant & Silver Ant)
Hermit Crab over Amasis
Juan Francisco de Coronado & Wani over The Colony (Bullet Ant & Worker Ant)
The Batiri (Kobald, Kodama, & Obariyon) over Heidi Lovelace, Oleg the Usurper, & Ophidian
Hallowicked (c) over Drew Gulak to retain the Chikara Grand Championship
Chikara cheered up my migraine-y Saturday afternoon by offering this one free-for-nothing on their Facebook page and guess what, it’s still up! Dig in, folks.
CHIKARA Presents The Black Goodbye
We're Streaming CHIKARA's The Black Goodbye free today! Join the stream and tell your friends! #blackgoodbyePosted by Chikara Pro on Saturday, September 17, 2016
PCW Dar Wars (September 24)
Danny Hope vs. Iestyn Rees
Dave Mastiff vs. Kazma Sakamoto
Saraya Knight vs. Viper
Angélico & Jack Evans vs. London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch)
El Ligero vs. Sammy Smooth
Bubblegum (c) vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (PCW Cruiserweight Championship)
Team Single (Rampage Brown & T-Bone) (c) vs. the Hooligans (Roy & Zak Knight) (PCW Tag Team Championship Tables, Ladders, & Chairs Match)
PCW Heavyweight Champion Noam Dar says goodbye
Noam Dar says goodbye to indie wrestling with a bang at Preston City Wrestling’s Dar Wars this Saturday. He’s champion and no match has been announced, but one assumes that situation needs to be resolved one way or the other, whether he vacates or a match is made on the day. Beside that you’ve got Lucha Underground stars in action against the London Riots, Saraya Knight in what should be a violent match against Viper, and all-out TLC war for the tag titles.
If this sounds relevant to your interests, you can pick up tickets here if you’re in the vicinity of Preston and can catch it live, or you can sign up for their VOD service here and do an archive dive while you wait for it to come out that way.
Progress Chapter 36: We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Room Again (September 25)
Pastor William Eaver vs. Sebastian
Alex Windsor, Dahlia Black, & Jinny vs. Laura Di Matteo, Nixon Newell, & Pollyanna
Joe Coffey vs. Rampage Brown (Atlas Championship Tournament Final Match)
Damon Moser, F.S.U. (Eddie Dennis & Mark Andrews), & Jack Gallagher vs. the Origin (Dave Mastiff, El Ligero, Nathan Cruz, & Zack Gibson) (If the Origin lose, they must disband)
British Strong Style (Pete Dunne & Trent Seven) vs. London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) (c) (Progress Tag Team Championship)
Tomasso Ciampa vs. Zack Sabre, Jr. (Two Out of Three Falls Match)
Mark Haskins vs. Marty Scurll (c) vs. Tommy End (Progress Championship)
Progress have their biggest show to date lined up for Sunday, their debut at Brixton’s O2 Academy. As befits such a big show, a number of long-running feuds are set to finally pay off, and it’s a farewell for three Progress regulars who are headed to WWE.
Tommy End’s long feud with Marty Scurll comes to a close as he gets one last shot at the Progress Championship thanks to his victory at Super Strong Style 16, contesting the match alongside Mark Haskins, who earned a shot at Chapter 33 after defeating Will Ospreay. The odds are stacked against the Villain, to be sure.
Tommaso Ciampa says goodbye to Progress by ending the defining feud of his time in the company with a two out of three falls against Zack Sabre, Jr. Their first two were excellent, I can only imagine how good this one’s gonna be.
And last but most certainly not least, Jack Gallagher leads a team of Progress stalwarts in an attempt to finally stamp out the Origin before he heads off to the cruiserweight division. It’s a stacked card, and if you want to check it out live there are still a very limited number of tickets available here, otherwise you have to wait for the VOD on Demand Progress.
LuFisto vs. Veda Scott
Our free match this week comes to us courtesy of Women’s Wrestling Revolution and Beyond Wrestling. LuFisto and Veda Scott threw down at Flesh, as recapped here in Sermon right after it happened, and now you can watch it free for nothing. It’s hard-hitting David and Goliath meets cocky rookie vs. seasoned veteran action, check it out!
Progress Chapter 34: Keep It Unreal (August 14) recap & match recommendation
So I sat down to do a catchup dive on the last two events to get ready for Chapter 36 as previewed above, since I hadn’t watched a new Progress show since I recapped Chapter 33 last month and I thought to myself “Kain, buddy, it’s a little late, but why not write those shows up as match recommendations in the style of your New Japan posts?” So this week we’re going to go through Chapter 34, next week we’ll run Chapter 35, and we’ll be caught up for when Chapter 36 drops on VOD.
And to liven things up, I’m going to rate these shows with the simple five point scale I’ve laid out where a 1 is total skip, 2 you can probably skip unless you love one of the folks in it, 3 is a match that's worth watching but not necessarily worth making time for, a 4 is a solid recommendation to make time for if you can, and a 5 is a must-watch. They’re not star ratings, they’re just a quick way for those who can’t make as much time for the graps as I can to figure out what’s essential and what can be skipped.
Dave Mastiff over Iestyn Rees in an Atlas Championship Tournament Block A Match. (3): Dave Mastiff has been a favorite of mine for a while but this is my first time seeing Mr. Rees here and he brought it right out the gate in a big way. Not a huge amount to it, but while it lasts it’s a very fun HOSS BATTLE, with Rees being more athletic and flashy and Mastiff using mind games and underhanded tactics.
Tommy End over Zack Gibson to retain his contendership for the Progress Championship (5): Lot of pre-match preamble with Marty Scurll coming out to taunt Tommy some and Mikey Whiplash out for mind games only to be fended off by Michael Dante. Once we get in the match it’s fast-paced and violent until Zack manages to take control and start wearing Tommy’s arm down looking for Shankly Gates.
Another shift, dive after dive on the outside leaves Tommy in control for a moment but Zack’s able to reassert himself and even get the Gates in for a moment. And again, Tommy creates some separation and ends up in the Gates but he won’t let Zack tap him and eventually lands the knockout kick for the win. Really good match, definitely worth your time.
More stuff with Scurll post-match and Glen Joseph saying he doesn’t get to make matches around here and making Scurll’s defense at 36 into the three-way that it is today, adding Tommy End into the mix.
South Pacific Power Trip (Dahlia Black, TK Cooper, & Travis Banks) over Jack Sexsmith, Pollyanna, & Roy Johnson (3): Full-on 3-on-3 brawling to start and a fountain of dives from the babyfaces but after an insane superplex to the outside from Pollyanna on Black the Power Trip begin to assert control.
And so the match continues— Roy Johnson comes in, gets some spotlight, gets beaten down, then it’s Jack Sexsmith’s turn, busting Mr. Cocko out but getting cut off before he can strike, Pollyanna manages to drop Cooper with a Pollinator but again, cut right off. Cooper also tastes Mr. Cocko for the first time, but it’s simply not enough. Very fun trios match, some insanity to start and everybody got a chance to shine.
Joe Coffey over Michael Dante in an Atlas Championship Tournament Block B Match. (3): Another enjoyable HOSS WAR, fought on a more even footing as both men come in with similar strategies. Huge wild body slam from Dante dumps Coffey on his head at one point, almost like a release Michinoku Driver or a tossing version of Satoshi Kojima’s Cozy Crush Dynamite.
And so into bombs, both men kicking out of huge maneuvers at one before Coffey manages to pull it out. Bit of an abrupt ending, but it’s still a good time.
London Riots (James Davis & Rob Lynch) (c) over War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe) to retain the Progress Tag Team Championship in a Tornado Tag Match. (5): Match spills almost immediately to the outside, Davis & Hanson and Lynch & Rowe paired off and battering each other. Huge dives from Hanson and Davis (a tope con giro from the stage to the floor!), and the Riots become dominant for a while until War Machine Lawn Dart them into one another.
The match continues back and forth and Hanson spikes Rob Lynch with a Michinoku Driver from the apron to the floor! Davis mounts a valiant one-on-two comeback before Lynch can wake up and fend off a Fallout on the outside and even things up again. All four men trade huge bombs and pair off for hockey fights but War Machine manage an edge and take Lynch through an insane series of double teams, culminating with a Hanson moonsault and both men pinning him but it’s not enough!
Slingshot spear on Rowe and it still isn’t over but a pair of District Lines finally put War Machine away. Hell of a match, just pure chaos. This text here doesn’t cover the half of it, folks.
Jack Gallagher over El Ligero (4): Before the match begins, Ligero threatens to cut Gallagher’s mustache off, so you know he’s serious. Lot of playing off the crowd early as they taunt Ligero, at one point going into a “Small lads wrestling!” chant that sees Ligero climb on referee Chris Roberts’ shoulders. Gallagher busting out the deadly full nelson on the horns shortly after, it’s a lot of fun.
Dueling Ladies of the Lake, but of course an expert like Gallagher knows how not to fall for it. Faily serious grappling from there, although as I type that they go into an incredibly extended rolling cradle exchange that leaves Roberts dizzy. A bit more serious (and excellent) action Ligero’s got scissors, he’s going for the mustache! Roberts pulls them away and Ligero is soon outclassed for good.
Incredibly fun comedy match, although I’d be lying if I said I wouldn’t have enjoyed a longer, more intense serious stretch to finish. Either way it’s great fun and worth your time, though.
Dave Mastiff bowls Gallagher over post-match and trades thumbs ups with Ligero before sending Jack in the ring to be attacked. Mastiff gets the scissors back from Roberts and Ligero’s going for it but Roberts is able to wrestle the scissors away and stop the assault.
Jinny & Marty Scurll over Laura Di Matteo & Mark Haskins (3): Somewhat unusually for independent wrestling, this is contested under mixed tag rules rather than being a full-on intergender match. And that drives much of the drama here, with Jinny in particular taking advantage of it to duck Laura and kick and choke Haskins, hoping to earn an easy victory. Indeed, the match proceeds in such a way where you feel pretty confident that Di Matteo and Haskins would win their respective singles matchups here, but the tag format favors the heels.
As the match goes on the lines blur more and more and just about everybody gets a shot in on everybody, even their respective partners as communication breaks down. It’s really well laid out and cleverly executed in the end, so while I wouldn’t quite give it top marks here, it’s a strong 3 on the ol’ recommendation scale.
Zack Sabre, Jr. over Will Ospreay (5): Sabre controls Ospreay early on with the grappling, going to town on the arm in the same way he did in their Super Strong Style 16 finals match last year. But Ospreay mounts a defense with some grappling of his own and they have an excellent flashy exchange of dodges and evasions to essentially restart the match.
A good chunk of back and forth in there before Sabre goes back to the grappling, working Ospreay’s neck now after a kick to the ropes that whiplashes young Will, inaugurating it with a sweet headscissors torture crab and laying in with a cravate. Will evens it up a bit with an equally awesome inverted suplex lift cradle Michinoku Driver and some flips but when he goes for the corner tuck superkick Zack is right there with the sleeper counter into the bodyscissors guillotine.
Ospreay ducks a Penalty Kick, Sabre ducks an OsCutter, Ospreay catches an arm drag into a backslide, Sabre lays strikes in and runs in and eats a Spanish Fly that turns into almost more of a side slam on the landing. That’s just the highlights but it was a great sequence. Another great one here with Ospreay with a headbutt from the apron, springboards into an uppercut and Sabre follows with a Penalty Kick, Liger Bomb and an attempt at the Young Boy Killer but Ospreay fights out.
More crazy stuff as Will moonsaults off the top, lands on his feet because Sabre moved, standing moonsault, same result, lands the standing shooting star press, rolls out for a Phoenix Splash and jumps right into the triangle! Ospreay deadlifts but Sabre counters with the Hurrah double-arm octopus to end it!
Excellent match. Teased another round of their SSS16 match but went off in a different direction and it really paid off big. Definitely worth watching.
A good show, with a few dynamite matches in the form of End/Gibson, Riots/Machine, and Sabre/Ospreay to really bolster its lineup. Head on over to Demand Progress and subscribe if you haven’t and check it out!
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.