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Progress Chapter 60 recap & review: Gallagher challenges Dunne for the UK Championship, Ospreay returns, and James Drake gets picked last

Demand Progress

Progress Chapter 60: Unboxing Live! 2: Unbox Harder went up on Demand Progress last week so let’s hop right into it, shall we?

Jim Smallman is teasing the idea of doing “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan vs. Jushin Liger in his introductory ramble and I’m into it, frankly.

Moustache Mountain, Aussie Open, CCK (well, Chris Brookes and an incredibly lifelike inflatable Kid Lykos), and tag champions Grizzled Young Veterans make their entrances and Zack Gibson is immediately put off by Inflatable Lykos before railing against “fake” fans who pretend to watch wrestling, calling the crowd a room full of hipsters who think they’re at a comedy show and then launching into his usual #1 schtick.

Jim then announces that this isn’t the four-way tag it seems, and GYV, as tag champs, get to be captains in an eight-man elimination tag. They turn it down, however, and so Moustache Mountain are made captains and set to picking.

Team Trent (“Kid Lykos”, Kyle Fletcher, Trent Seven, & Zack Gibson) vs. Team Tyler (Chris Brookes, James Drake, Mark Davis, & Tyler Bate) (Elimination Match)

Davis and Lykos to start, Kid immediately taking control but Mark is able to use his strength advantage to pop-up press drop him to hell! Shifting to Drake on Fletcher after some more Lykos shenanigans involving Gibson refusing to tag himself in on an inflatable wolf, and in the feeling out Kyle takes the tag champ’s leg out with a dropkick!

Bate tags in, and that shifts us to Gibson and the airplane spin but James saves his partner tagging himself in! Tyler causes a meeting of the minds and the captains are spinning both tag champions! The match breaks down, Moustache Mountain and Grizzled Young Vets crossing team lines alike before CCK and then Aussie Open join them! This leaves Grizzled Young Veterans isolated and stacked up...

James Drake and Zack Gibson are eliminated simultaneously by each other with a double pin.

Lykos with a wicked corkscrew headbutt dive to the floor! Brookes follows it up with a tope con giro and Davis goes to choke Kid out. Somersault dive from Fletcher, Chris takes Lykos up to the balcony, they slug it out... INFLATABLE LYKOS GETS KNOCKED OFF THE BALCONY WITH A HEADBUTT! Fighting back to ringside, Bate has Lykos where he wants him, up for the Tyler Driver... FLETCHER WITH THE SAVE...

Kyle Fletcher eliminates Tyler Bate by pinfall with a schoolboy pin.

Bate and Seven have a moment and when the action resumes Brookes nearly takes Fletcher out with an Ace Crusher! Following it up with an octopus hold, Kyle is able to reverse, Aussie Arrow! Sick Kick off the ropes, not enough to put Chris Brookes away, springboard moonsault empty, Brookes snaps off the Praying Mantis Bomb but the Aussie gets the ropes. Back to the octopus...

Chris Brookes eliminates Kyle Fletcher by submission with the octopus hold.

Lykos in and CCK explodes! Headscissors takeover, satellite DDT, he’s got the brainbuster but Davis makes the save! Mark pops him up...

Mark Davis eliminates “Kid Lykos” by pinfall with a HUGE pop-up piledriver.

Davis and Seven in a battle of the big lads now, chopping away, Mark hits an Alpamare Waterslide, off the ropes and runs right into a shotei! Pump kick for backfist, Seven Stars countered with a punch but Trent snaps a Dragon suplex off, applies the wristlock...

Trent Seven eliminates Mark Davis by pinfall with Seven Stars.

On their knees, Brookes and Seven trading slaps, to their feet with chops, into charging double lariats! Chris knocks him down but the arm is hurting, and Trent is able to duck a charge and land a one-armed powerbomb! Calling for the brainbuster, Brookes reverses to a dragon screw neck whip... NOPE! TRENT TURNS A SPRINGBOARD INTO A BACK SUPLEX!

Seven Stars connects, he draws Chris up but Brookes reverses...

Team Tyler wins, Chris Brookes last eliminating Trent Seven by pinfall with Death By Rollup.

A good bit of fun pro wrestling action well-suited to kick off a show like Unboxing. The first section was hilarious and then the match clattered down the track snappily and (a bit, given the inflatable wolf and all) ended more seriously. Plus Lykos looked great, really.

Jack Sexsmith vs. Joe Coffey

Coffey using his strength early to manhandle Sexsmith but Jack is able to use his technical wherewithal to continue levering his way out of the situations he gets himself into, reversing an electric chair into a side headlock takeover in one memorable moment. Joe shifts tactics, freight training him in the corner, before a double underhook swing into a butterfly suplex gets two!

Discus lariat reversed into the Pearl Neckbreaker, Coffey to the floor but Sexsmith follows after and stays on him... only to get chopped clean in the throat. Joe stops short on a whip, gets caught by a forearm but then Rock Bottoms Jack onto the apron! Striking in the corner, a big left staggers the pansexual phenomenon and a hammer whip follows for two.

Float over a suplex, reverse a reversal into a small package, no good, off the ropes, sunset flip, Coffey with the giant swing and then the half crab! Jack gets the break, breaking free of a waistlock, off the ropes into a wheelbarrow but Joe turns it into a Face Eraser for a nearfall! Sexsmith fired up, trading chops(!), backs Coffey into the corner(!!) and finally another chop to the throat takes him down.

But not out, as a superkick finds home and Jack goes for Mr. Cocko! Sliding him on, Sexsmith considers it for a beat before throwing Mr. Cocko aside! Going toe to toe with the Iron Man, forearm for forearm! Kick rush, closing with a knee, LGBDT denied, another superkick finds home, shiranui... NOT ENOUGH! Nobody home on BDSM, Joe connects with a pop-up uppercut, shotgun dropkick and the pad is off!

Body avalanches, back elbow on the charge, Sexsmith coming from behind but he runs into a German suplex! Pop-up World’s Strongest Slam shortly after... JACK SEXSMITH WILL NOT STAY DOWN! LGBDT attempted, nearly blocked but he hits it true! Rainbow Road reversed into a spinning Alabama Slam! Blocking the discus lariat, rolling under a double jump crossbody, tilt-a-whirl into the crossface... IT’S OVER!

Jack Sexsmith wins by submission with an arm-trap crossface!

Holy hell this was satisfying. The final culmination of Jack’s evolution over the past year, hanging with AND beating a guy like Joe Coffey based purely on his own wrestling acumen, no shock tactics, no shady tricks. Toe-to-toe with the Iron Man, standing his ground, taking abuse that would have wilted him nine months ago and standing up to not just ask for more, but to win the day. And it was a damn good match worthy of the story invested in it to boot! Fantastic.

After the match, Sexsmith gets on the mic and puts Coffey over before saying he has a few things to tell us. Privately the year has been a miss, but none of that matters because of the fans. He thanks everybody and takes his leave.

Candyfloss vs. Chakara vs. Charli Evans vs. Charlie Morgan vs. Millie McKenzie vs. Sierra Loxton (Scramble Match)

Candyfloss right on Chakara for taking some of her candy before the bell and they proceed to brawling outside! McKenzie and Evans in the ring, bit of light lucha, Charli taking charge with power moves and clearing her out in time for Loxton to come in on her. Sierra lands a fallaway slam, Evans out and Morgan in, hard whip into uppercuts, leg lariat in the corner and now it’s Chakara’s turn.

Exploder suplex, kicks to the back of the head, Floss on the apron waving, roundhouse kick lands home, slide through, duck under, La Mistica! A dropkick follows, big hesitation dropkick, double stomp to the arm as she recovers and into a cross armbar but she can’t quite extend the arm so she shifts to a seated armbar! Evans in, three-quarter nelson, McKenzie with a sleeper on Charli, Loxton with a side headlock on Millie!

Morgan in and she breaks the submission pile with a superkick to Sierra! Candy low-bridges her... and runs the ropes one too many times and makes herself sick. The crew brings her some sugar and she powers back up... SUICIDE DIVE! McKenzie and Evans up top for stereo planchas! Everyone slowly back to their feet... MORGAN HITS AN ASAI MOONSAULT!

Back inside, Chakara pulls Evans down with a neckbreaker, causing a chain reaction DDT on Morgan. Candyfloss with a missile dropkick to clear Chakara out, Millie wipes her out in turn, Charlie hits a German and McKenzie pops up and returns the favor! One for Evans as well, and Chakara in turn! One more connects on Floss! Loxton ends the reign of terror with a spear and crushes everyone else with hip attacks!

Half-halch rolling neckbreaker, Chakara catches her after with a Widow’s Peak, tilt-a-whirl DDT from Candy, Charli hits the Stroke, lungblower from Morgan, McKenzie with the Ace Crusher...

Millie McKenzie wins by pinfall with a spinning neckbreaker on Charlie Morgan.

Scrambles work every time, and this was a really enjoyable window into the next generation of Progress women’s talent. If you like this and hadn’t yet bothered with the Revelations of Divine Love tourney since it’s not a main chapter show, you should probably get on that.

Clint Margera & Drew Parker vs. Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins (12 Days of Christmas Match)

Margera and Parker with kendo sticks, wailing away! Clint with a sliding forearm through a chair to Haskins as Havoc pulls ahead on Drew. Parker comes back with a bit of straight wrestling, northern lights suplex, and then he goes to the box of presents and pulls out a staple gun! Jimmy turns it around on him and staples his forehead! Suicide dive on Margera!

Havoc and Haskins throw Clint inside and go to town on both men with steel chairs! JIMMY HAS THE LEMONS! He gets a voucher from the box and gives them cuts across the webs of their fingers before spraying the lemon juice! Havoc sends a member of the ring crew with the voucher to go exchange it for some tables but the gap gives Drew and Clint time to recover and get some breathing room.

Back body drop to the apron, the established Progress men coming around, Parker passes Jimmy to the floor and makes a game effort of it but Mark cuts him off and wallops him with the chair! Haskins attacks referee Paz for no reason! Havoc clubs him and they bind his hands with tape and leave him to the mercies of Vicky Haskins. But again the lost focus creates an opening and we get big dives from the newcomers!

Jimmy cracks a brew open, blood pouring down his face, while Mark opens a present, pulling a TV out and leaving Havoc to set it up in the corner... but Margera turns it around and puts him into the TV instead! Cracking away, the ring crew returns with two tables in hand. Parker opens another box... it’s LEGO! Slugging it out, all four men trading shots, but Haskins cracks Drew with a kendo stick!

Clint powerbombs Mark into the barbed wire tree! Havoc sprays something in Margera’s face, Acid Rainmaker attempt on Parker but he reverses with a staple to the forehead! DEATH VALLEY DRIVER ON THE TV! A SECOND ONE! BUT THERE’S NO REFEREE TO COUNT AS VICKY HASKINS STILL HAS PAZ LOCKED DOWN! Haskins with a reverse STO / Russian legsweep combo... KISS OF DEATH ON THE LEGO!

Vicky lets Paz loose to count it, hands still taped as Haskins opens another present and finds a box of tacks! Drew fighting valiantly but Havoc wheelbarrows him and HASKINS STOMPS HIS HANDS INTO THE TACKS AND LEGO! Catapult into a DVD into the LEGO and tacks, roll-through to the fireman’s carry, DVD on the plunder... PARKER KICKS OUT?!

Margera back into it, hits Haskins with the kendo stick but Jimmy just dumps him in the tacks and slams Parker on top of him. Diving senton... NO WATER IN THE POOL! Detonation Kick from Parker on Haskins and Clint Falcon Arrows him on a chair... NOPE! Havoc and Margera to the apron, fireman’s carry, Jimmy out with elbows, fireman’s of his own... DEATH VALLEY DRIVER ON A TABLE!

Drew attacking Mark with the kendo stick again, he’s just fired up and takes it from him but Parker pops up with a huge double stomp! Setting a chair up, Vicky throws her bat at him and Havoc clubs him! Wrist-clutch applied...

Jimmy Havoc & Mark Haskins win by pinfall with a barbed wire bat assisted Acid Rainmaker on Drew Parker.

That was awesome. Violent, visceral, downright evil at times (who puts tacks in with LEGO?!), and a hell of an introduction for our two newcomers here. Good stuff.

Jimmy gets on the mic and talks about how they come out on top every time and the three Hs take their leave.

“Flash” Morgan Webster vs. Rampage Brown

A dour Webster on the back foot from the jump here, Brown toys with him at first but gradually takes him serious as Flash gets fired up. Bit of lucha libre, Morgan has to improvise to take big Rampage down but he finds a way, sending him to the floor with a headscissors takeover! Duck the lariat, drop down, leapfrog... AND BROWN POWERSLAMS HIM SQUARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING!

Uppercut, bodyslam, release suplex, just manhandling Webster is Rampage Brown here. Jackhammer gets two, Flash not willing to go down so easily. So goes a lariat as well, Brown following it up with a big back body drop as he stays on the Modfather. A back suplex sends Morgan rolling to the floor as the crowd begins singing a version of the Twelve Days of Christmas where every day’s gift is “Rampage Brown”.

Flash back in, trying to scrape out an opening and failing, just a bad day at the office but he manages to float over a suplex, flip over a charge, pass around him... and get caught by a back body drop and a spinebuster anyway. Military press... WEBSTER REVERSES TO A DDT! Rampage to the floor, and a suicide dive DDT plants him into the boards!

Back inside, Morgan plants him with Rude Boy... NOPE! Underhooks denied and a forearm wipes Flash out again but he’s not willing to go back under and starts throwing hands, rocking Brown even as he gets knocked down in return. Chaning forearms together, thinking about a backslide and Brown reverses to a release powerbomb! A lariat follows... NOT ENOUGH!

Webster distracts him from the apron and connects a wicked headbutt, Pinball Wizard, underhooks applied and the Angel’s Wings connect... NO GOOD! Kick in the corner, going for a Frankensteiner, Brown blocks... AVALANCHE POWERBOMB! IT’S NOT OVER! Piledriver clutch...

Rampage Brown wins by pinfall with the piledriver.

This was a great match. I’m pretty well on the record, I think, as not being a huge fan of Rampage’s and thinking Webster is perpetually just a hair short of putting it together and living up to his full potential, but this came together on all levels and was compelling start to finish for me. Especially in the context of bookending Sexsmith/Coffey, where both are matches with very clear underdogs, and Jack’s arc upward has paralleled Flash’s inability to get out the blocks since coming back from injury. Really strong stuff all around.

Flash cuts a promo post-match bringing up the way he’s been labeled the Nearly Man for not quite being able to get it done. Every time he tries he keeps failing, so to be honest he doesn’t know where he fits in in Progress and for the time being he’s going to take the time away and hopefully be better when he comes back.

Travis Banks (c) vs. Will Ospreay (Progress World Championship)

In hot, trading boots and forearms and chops before shifting into the lucha libre, Ospreay snapping off a crazy Frankensteiner in the middle of the ring to set up a handspring taunt when Banks moves aside. Back in, knee to the face, champion in charge, taking his time to throw precision strikes but Will fires up and they trade snapmares and kicks to the back!

Basement superkick from the Kiwi Buzzsaw, back to the slower pace and the carefully aimed kicks before drawing him up for a straight forearm and chops in the corner. Ospreay gets some separation with a handspring gamengiri but he’s slow to capitalize, having to block a kick from Banks before he can carry on with his own plans. Setting him up in the corner, Travis gets out but takes a kick and then the Tiger feint kick connects over the top rope!

Hesitation dropkick into a standing corkscrew moonsault senton(!), unable to finish it, inverted suplex lift, Banks slips out and hits the basement superkick again, sending the Aerial Assassin to the floor where he eats a dive! Back in, Will knocks him off the apron with a dropkick... SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP! Tossing Travis inside, springboard forearm, only two!

Banks sidesteps a charge, hits a lungblower and a huge pop-up double stomp to the back of the neck! Ospreay in position... AIR NEW ZEALAND! NOPE! Setting Will up in the corner, he reverses but Cheeky Nando’s doesn’t land and they run the ropes... Travis turns him inside out with a huge lariat! Suplex reversed into Stundog Millionaire but Banks stays on his feet, German suplex, lands on his feet, Ospreay returns the favor, such tight exchanges, another lariat... STANDING SPANISH FLY!

Both men down and out, slowly rising in opposite corners, Will up and at ‘em first but he’s barely got enough gas in his tank to throw a single forearm before crumbling. Waking up a bit, repeated forearms, but the Kiwi Buzzsaw is full of that primal rage and levels him with a single shot in return! Kiwi Krusher reversed into a poison Frankensteiner, OsCutter countered into a spin-out Argentine powerbomb... NOT ENOUGH!

Banks with a waistlock, standing switch, Will with the scorpion kick and inverted suplex lift Michinoku driver, running shooting star press, Phoenix Splash... TRAVIS BANKS CATCHES HIM INTO THE LION’S CLUTCH! Ospreay crawls, Banks wrenches back, Will gets to his feet but Travis gets the hooks in! Ospreay gets into the turnbuckles, climbing with the champion still on his back... HE FALLS CLEAR BACK TO THE MAT TO BREAK THE HOLD!

Both men on their knees, full of resolve, going forearm for forearm, slap for slap, headbutt for headbutt! Trading strike rushes, Ospreay lands a roundhouse kick, he tries for the Rainmaker but Travis Banks is unmoved! Wristlock kicks to the back of the head from the champion, trying to kickstart an imaginary motorcycle, one last gasp from the Aerial Assassin and the Rainmaker lands true!

BACKFIST ELBOW! ONLY TWO! Calling for the end, OsCutter countered into Slice of Heaven, Kiwi Krusher... NO GOOD! Fired up, Travis springboards... CAUGHT BY THE OSCUTTER BUT HE ROLLS TO THE FLOOR! Back inside, Will heads to the top, shooting star press... COUNTERED INTO AN ACE CRUSHER! ONLY A NEARFALL BUT THE LION’S CLUTCH IS BACK ON!

Travis Banks wins by submission with the Lion’s Clutch, retaining the Progress World Championship.

I loved this match. The somewhat mirror-matchy vibe where the key differences are Banks’ greater technical acumen versus Ospreay’s superlative flying skills, the clean clear escalation where even as the nearfalls got bigger and crazier they never did the thing “epic” indie main events sometimes do where there’s a big spot that probably “should” have ended the match but didn’t, a new contender for “best Ace Crusher counter of the shooting star press”, everything about it just hit me in the right way at the right time.

Travis Banks gets on the mic to say he’ll take on any comers as champion...

KEEP IT 100!

TK COOPER IS BACK! He says he’s not cleared to wrestle yet but in 2018 he’ll be good to go, so why not him?

It’s on!

Jack Gallagher vs. Pete Dunne (c) (WWE United Kingdom Championship)

Gallagher in with a slap and we have a slugfest on our hands! Shoulder thrusts in the corner, Jack rams Dunne throat-first into the turnbuckles on the other side! Pete back in it, big slap across the face, and now we go to the mat for some grappling and the wishboning of the fingers! Pressing the attack, going from an Ode to Jim Breaks into a modified bow-and-arrow into a torture half-crab!

Upkick takes the Gentleman into a reversal, picking the ankle before setting up the Romero Special but he falls back... and Dunne has it scouted! Headed to the floor, Jack throwing hands, Pete returning with chops, Gallagher smashes his face into the apron and puts him in the front row... big crossbody! Pillar to post, inside and back out again, fighting up the aisle, struggling over a suplex.

Headed up the stairs to the stage, Jack spikes the champ’s face into the stage and throws kick after kick that just riles Dunne up more! A forearm knocks Gallagher practically back to Gorilla position and Pete follows after him only to get run off... DIVE OFF THE STEPS! Back in the ring, Jack steps on his face before wrenching and tearing at his neck.

Empty on a cover, they go back to slugging it out, Gallagher levels him with a forearm but it won’t get the job done. Butterfly suplex, knee to the back, headed up top... DUNNE CUTS HIM OFF WITH A BELLY-TO-BELLY SUPERPLEX! Jack keeps his wits about him, gets him in the corner but Pete does the backflip up and over, running enzuigiri into a Tiger suplex... NO DICE!

Headed high-rent is the champion, double stomp comes up empty and Gallagher catches him with a Mafia kick! A second and Pete’s busted open but he shrugs a third off! Shrugging forearms off, he knocks Jack back with one of his own, up top again... the double stomp connects! Sit-out powerbomb... NO GOOD! Gallagher beginning to clutch his back, knockout kick to the back of his head, Bitter End... HE REVERSES TO A GUILLOTINE CHOKE!

WHICH IN TURN IS REVERSED TO THE X PLEX AND DROPPED INTO A CROSS ARMBAR! JACK REVERSES TO AN ANKLE LOCK, WRENCHING IT IN! Upkicks for the break, duck the lariat, Gallagher throwing hands but he runs into another enzuigiri. Land on his feet off the powerbomb, Jack hits the headbutt, charges in... PETER CATCHES THE DROPKICK INTO A FALLING POWERBOMB BUT HE CANNOT CAPITALIZE!

Struggling on the floor, Jack gets a DDT off on the apron and heads up top again... TORPEDO HEADBUTT! Up again, he dives into the boots this time but is able to get a double leg to a folding press, feet in the ropes and referee Paz catches him and refuses to count! Pumphandle, Bitter End denied, SAKA OTOSHI! WRENCHING BACK TO FULL FORCE, ROLLING TO THE CENTER WHEN DUNNE ALMOST BREAKS!

Champion refuses to tap, removes his mouthguard and bites the hand to force the break! Headbutt from standing, the running dropkick finds home... NOT ENOUGH! A second dropkick to the back of the head, trying Saka Otoshi again but Pete reverses to Bitter End... SOMEHOW GALLAGHER KICKS OUT! Back to the pumphandle, into a Tombstone clutch this time...

Pete Dunne wins by pinfall with a pumphandle Tombstone piledriver, retaining the WWE United Kingdom Championship.

Hell of a match. Commentary said it well, this wasn’t the match I was expecting from these two, but it ruled all the same. Just beating the holy crap out of each other. Perhaps a bit too epic with the kickouts towards the end? Perhaps, but even so I think it works more than it doesn’t.


This was another fantastic show from Progress. The two title matches on top were distinct and excellent, the two underdog singles matches bookended each other wonderfully, you got a hardcore tag war, six of the finest up-and-coming women the UK has to offer in scramble action, and a pitch-perfect comedy laced opener. In simple terms, a hell of a show that flowed along smoothly and built to a raging crescendo without a down moment...

...but there’s not a lot of storyline progression here, and I’m kind of starting to feel like Progress need to get to the next big arc sooner rather than later. Don’t get me wrong, there’s stuff moving along here, with the whole Havoc/Haskins/Haskins arc inching along as well as the closing beats of both the rise of Jack Sexsmith and the fall of Morgan Webster. And I’m into all of that, but I don’t know, something has felt a little off for a chapter or two now in much the same way as things felt off in the gap between Regression ending and British Strong Style kicking off.

Time will tell, of course, and hopefully I’ll look back months from now and think “boy, how silly was that, of course Progress had a plan! And who would have ever guessed that it would really end up with Duggan vs. Liger at Wembley?!”, but I have to share how I’m feeling with you, folks, or what’s the point of any of this?

In any case, I do want to reiterate that this was an excellent show. Don’t let my year-end meanderings dissuade you from tuning in, because it’s very much worth the watch.

Check it out on Demand Progress, folks.

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