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Progress Chapter 70 recap & review: The Sheepwhackers are great, “fighting powder”, and lots of wrestlers in the 70s had drinking problems

Demand Progress

Progress Chapter 70: 27th May, 1978 went up on Demand Progress and... wait a second. I know I’ve been running a bit late on these this year, but this show is forty years old?! How did THAT slip through the cracks on me?!

Anyway, owing to both the age of the show (and thus its inherently irrelevant nature to current Progress continuity) and my slight backlog of Progress shows to get through, we’re doing this one bullet point style, folks. On with the show!

  • Referee Alan Parry has a lovely moustache.

Greased Lightning (Connor Mills & Maverick Mayhew) vs. the Mod & the Rocker (Mark Haskins & “Flash” Morgan Webster) (Thunderbastard Tag Team Series)

  • Present-day Mark Haskins should absolutely come out to White Line Fever also. Not as sold on the one-shoulder singlet, though.
  • Dissension early between the Mod and the Rocker leads to Greased Lightning taking charge with stereo dropkicks!
  • Haskins gets a chair but referee Parry is able to get it away from him.
  • Isolating Mills in the aftermath, Haskins starting to pick apart his arm in fashion.
  • Commentary has some, ah, interesting old-timey names for these various maneuvers.
  • Connor fights back into with forearms only to get faked out and jabbed in the bridge of the nose by Mark!
  • Mayhew with the hot tag!
  • Huge diving crossbody but Flash reverses and rolls through into a pin!
  • Double teams, Eton Rifle into an attempt at the roll-through Death Valley Driver but Mills fights out!
  • Avalanche Frankensteiner into a Millshot and a brainbuster on the knee but Vicky Haskins runs interference and her husband cracks Mayhew with Webster’s helmet!

The Mod and the Rocker win by pinfall with a lateral press from the Mod on Maverick Mayhew.

Fun opener. The historical gimmicks don’t really come into play maybe as much as I’d like, it’s prettymuch just the match you’d expect to get on any other Chapter show, but good times all the same.

  • Referee Clive Roberts, my god.

Catweazle, Jr. vs. “The Misfit” Chris Only

  • Catweazle’s rainbow onesie sure is something.
  • Disappointed the crowd went with the Seven Nation Army chant for Catweazle, very anachronistic.
  • Intital grappling ends up with Catweazle hammerlocking himself and going to the ropes for a break!
  • The straps are down!
  • Roberts makes a standing pin count and both men take a break from fighting to explain the fine art of counting a pin by slapping the mat, and...

Clive Roberts wins by pinfall with an inside cradle on Chris Only.

I... what? Nevermind.

  • Back into the action, Only with a sweet submission sequence, deathlock to deathlock STF to Regal Stretch.
  • Wet Willie!
  • ”But seriously, he may be carrying venereal diseases, we don’t know.” This commentary.
  • Catweazle with a palm-strike based comeback!
  • Diving blockbuster!
  • Huge running dropkick puts Chris to the floor and he follows it with a double stomp and a slingshot senton!
  • Fireman’s carry double knee gutbuster can’t put the Misfit away!
  • Meteora! Diving splash! Still no!
  • Only with the slingshot Ace Crusher but the underhook piledriver gets reversed into a spinning Air Raid Crash!
  • Catweazle fights to the ropes while in the octopus hold!
  • Taking it to him in the corner with strikes and half nelson suplexes! Repeated basement superkicks, Catweazle dives... CAUGHT BY A SUPERKICK!

”The Misfit” Chris Only wins by pinfall with the double underhook piledriver.

Silly early, this developed nicely and had a really strong finishing stretch. Not a great match, but a good one, and Chuck “Catweazle, Jr.” Mambo continues to build up a resume of strong performances as he rises the ranks in Progress.

  • Alan Parry appears to have lost his moustache. It seems someone took it for a walk.

”Black Belt” Chris Ridgeway vs. “Peace Loving” Drew Parker (Natural Progression Series V Semifinal Match)

  • Ridgeway’s isn’t as excellent as “Blackheart” Lio Rush’s, but I’ll never say “no” to a Paint It Black entrance.
  • He’s also introduced as having black belts in tae kwon do, jiu jitsu, karate, origami, kung fu, hapkido, and “being hard as fuck.”
  • Ridgeway with an Ode to Jim Breaks and some fine hand manipulation right out of the initial grappling and into an arm-trap cloverleaf but Parker’s able to slip out!
  • Fighting to the floor and Drew gets a double stomp to the back!
  • Back in, missile dropkick! (Or “double kicky boots,” as commentary put it.)
  • Kick for chop slugfest ends in a handspring scorpion kick from Chris!
  • Snap half-halch suplex!
  • Parker back into it with more double stomps and dropkicks!
  • Ridgeway manages to get a roundhouse kick to the head to connect while rising off the mat!
  • Saito suplex into an axe kick and the Fujiwara armbar off the kickout! Double arms now! Shifting, rolling, half bow-and-arrow with a boot to the head and then a cradle!
  • Tight reversals, Parker gets a Detonation Kick off, God’s Last Gift... NOPE!
  • Tope con giro!
  • Ducking kicks, stereo slaps, trading palm strikes, the crescent kick connects and Ridgeway hits a German suplex!
  • Black Magic, basement superkick, another God’s Last Gift, reversed into the suplex lift and the sleeper!

”Black Belt” Chris Ridgeway wins by submission with a sleeper hold.

This was awesome. Ridgeway’s kicking and grappling-oriented style meshed really well with Parker’s more high spots and double stomps approach and they really delivered here.

”Shiny Disco Balls” El Phantasmo & “Fighting Irish” Jordan Devlin vs. the Sheepwhackers (Sheepwhacker Coop & Sheepwhacker Trav)

  • Jordan Devlin coming out to the Boys Are Back In Town, solid move. Although I might have preferred something like Roisin Dubh or Cold Sweat, myself.
  • Oh god, the South Pacific Power Trip as the Sheepwhackers is just as glorious as I had hoped. I hope Chikara can book them and Bushwhacker Luke (who still wrestles pretty regularly at the age of 71!) for King of Trios sometime.
  • Devlin adopting an old-timey fisticuff stance, as befits his old nickname here.
  • Phantasmo walking the top rope and strutting! Into a Frankensteiner!
  • Spinning Argentine backbreaker rack drop into a standing moonsault!
  • Trav gets knocked to the floor and marches around the ring right into a suicide dive from Devlin!
  • ”...that crescent shape he makes, reminscent of the moon and a somersault.”
  • Plastic cutlery is in play as the match breaks down on the floor!
  • This brawl is legitimately quite intense.
  • Back inside Coop and Phantasmo wear each other out and Jordan comes in hot with punches on Trav!
  • Rock Bottom into a standing moonsault, roll into a double stomp on Coop and then a standing Spanish Fly for a nearfall!
  • Lungblower in the corner... PHANTASMO GOES COAST TO COAST!
  • A headbutt exchange leaves all four men down and out!
  • Sheepwhackers set ‘em up, double stomp Beach Break... NOPE!
  • They’ve got Coop... DOUBLE SPANISH FLY!
  • Cutthroat Psycho Driver!
  • Devlin slingshot Ace Crusher!
  • Everybody’s doing cool things!

Sheepwhackers win by pinfall with the Battering Ram on El Phantasmo.

...I’m a simple woman, folks. You give me some quality Bushwhacker pastiche and a plastic fork to the genitals and I’m happy. Love that Trav and Coop have managed to pay tribute to Butch and Luke as both the goofy WWE Bushwhackers and the brutal, bloody Sheepherders that proceeded them. Great match.

  • ”Well, they certainly know how to whack sheep.”
  • A man in a banana suit is interviewed to kick off the second half.

Billabong Boys (Kyle Fletcher & Mark Davis) vs. Kings of Europe (James Drake & Zack Gibson) (c) (Progress World Tag Team Championship Thunderbastard Tag Team Series)

  • Kyle Fletcher’s moustache is very attached to his face, I assure you.
  • The champs with the assault before the bell!
  • Assisted double dropkick gets the Billabongs back into it!
  • Kings counter a tope con giro into an apron powerbomb!
  • Ticket to Ride on Davis and we get a bell... NOPE!
  • Working Dunkzilla over now are the tag team champions.
  • He starts to break free but the piledriver is blocked and only a malfunction at the junction that takes Drake out lets him get the tag!
  • Two for one, he gets ‘em on the floor... DOUBLE JUMP SENTON ATOMICO!
  • A springboard back in goes poorly and Kyle’s knee comes up lame!
  • Gibson gets Drake up and at ‘em, electric chair and Fletcher blocks... AVALANCHE FRANKENSTEINER!
  • Double underhook lift into an Alabama Slam for a nearfall!
  • Double pumphandle, blocked, neckbreaker / superkick from the champs takes Mark out!
  • Kyle tries to fight them off, back up in the electric chair... DOOMSDAY DEVICE! NO!
  • WAR Special, going for Ticket to Mayhem but it’s countered into a DDT!
  • Double lariat leaves both legal men down and out!
  • Davis tags in, corner lariat, spinning Alpamare Waterslide but Gibson gets in the way of the piledriver!
  • Drake goes for the 450 splash... COUNTERED WITH A SUPERKICK!
  • Billabong Boys hit a finish but James isn’t legal!

Kings of Europe win by pinfall with a schoolboy pin from Zack Gibson on Mark Davis, to retain the Progress World Tag Team Championship.

Two in a row on great tag team matches here. Billabong Boys as the underdogs who’d probably outmatch the champs in a straight fight, Kings of Europe as the tag champs who would never let it come to that, just really good stuff. If I had to nitpick I’d say it’s a little weird seeing Progress care about who the legal man is, but I guess 1978 truly was a different time.

  • Nina Sparkles and Bonnie Bolan hit the ring with protest signs!
  • They’re gonna wrestle whether it’s legal or not!

Bonnie Bolan vs. Nina Sparkles (Unsanctioned Match)

  • Handspring escape on a side headlock!
  • Running double knees come up empty and Sparkles decides to take it to the floor!
  • Nina catches a boot but can’t finish it into the powerbomb!
  • Bonnie puts her hand into the post and Sparkles capitalizes, taking things back inside for a nearfall off a blockbuster.
  • Bolan perches up top and Nina pulls her down with a hair-pull snapmare, which isn’t exactly a killer highspot but it’s 1978, so I suppose it makes sense.
  • Cravate into a kick combo, just a nearfall for Sparkles.
  • Bonnie with a roundhouse into a fireman’s carry spinebuster and a double stomp... NOPE!
  • Sidestepping charges, trading strikes, stereo roundhouses leave both women down and out!
  • Nina up first, release underhook facebuster can’t do the deal!
  • Go 2 Sleep blocked, capture Jackhammer hits... NO!
  • Sparkles feigns a breakdown in the corner and rakes Bolan’s eyes!

Nina Sparkles wins by pinfall with a Go 2 Sleep.

Solid match, and of course quite historical for the role it played in getting women’s wrestling allowed in London.

  • ”Nina Sparkles with her big sleepy move.”

AJ Streetsmith vs. Jizzy Jizzbourne

  • Jizzy Jizzbourne bites into the neck of a rubber chicken during his entrance! (Although, point of order made out of kayfabe, both of Ozzy’s animal-biting incidents took place AFTER 1978. Jizzy must have been a pioneer.)
  • Jizzy has also brought a bit of cocaine with him and referee Clive Roberts takes a sample.
  • Streetsmith with a low blow at the bell but he can’t finish it that way!
  • AJ loses his wig on a charge!
  • At this point I should note that Jizzbourne has had a beer in hand this entire time.
  • Purple nurples!
  • I think Jizzy might actually have a drinking problem.
  • For real, he keeps taking beers off of fans, I hope he got the help he needed.
  • Streetsmith is given a public warning after repeatedly choking Jizzbourne over the ropes!
  • Jizzy goes for the coke, he’s flying high again! Chops and forearms!
  • Wearing down, feeling snowblind, he gets more and fires back up!
  • Commentary has been calling it “fighting powder”, for the record. Uh-huh. And the “Great COKE-Cola Company” was just a reference to the soft drink when they put it in the liner notes to Volume 4, sure.
  • Streetsmith with the Greco-Roman liplock!
  • ”All’s fair in love and war, but c’mon boys, let’s think about the war.”
  • Eye poke city!
  • Low blows! Pummeling each other’s gentleman’s areas!

Jizzy Jizzbourne wins by pinfall with a piledriver.

This was definitely a match that happened, and I say that in the most positive sense.

  • There’s some debate amongst ring crew and referee Roberts as to who should receive the leftover fighting powder.

“King of the Bogans” Andrew Wilmot vs. “Double Meat” Popeye Mulligan

  • Wilmot another one holding a beer while wrestling, I’m beginning to think 1978 had a real issue with this.
  • Like, a test of strength is stalling because he won’t let go of it.
  • Got a side headlock eventually, beer still in hand.
  • Lucha exchanges... OH NO IT SPILLED!
  • Andrew’s gonna beat him with his flip-flop!
  • Double crossbody and Popeye starts to fire up!
  • Punches for backhands, slugging it out, handspring back elbow and a springboard crossbody for Mulligan!
  • Action to the floor... SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP!
  • Back in, double stomp to the back... NOPE!
  • Wind-up... Wilmot catches him with a reverse STO into the turnbuckles, a tornado DDT, and Meteora!
  • Victory roll double stomp!
  • Slip out of a brainbuster... the rebound Ace Crusher connects!
  • Both men staggered, Double Meat tries to capitalize, fireman’s carry denied, up and over, flip piledriver from Andrew!
  • To the apron, headbutt for backfist, fireman’s carry, Wilmot slips away, charges into a boot, jockeying for position... DEATH VALLEY DRIVER ON THE APRON!
  • Back in, shooting star press comes up empty but Mulligan recovers...

”Double Meat” Popeye Mulligan wins by pinfall with the rebound Ace Crusher.

Once the beer thread ended this one kinda lost me. Good stuff overall, but I was kinda hoping for the match to really turn up into a real clobbering and instead it was... just the kinda match that Matt Cross and Adam Brooks might have anywhere. Which isn’t a complaint in a vacuum! But expectations are kinda weird on this show overall because of the gimmick, I suppose.


I’m not gonna do the usual story/quality breakdown here for somewhat obvious reasons, but this was a really fun show and I wish I could have carved the time out for it sooner. If I had to nitpick, I could say I wish more wrestlers had gone the way of the Sheepwhackers/Jizzbourne/Streetsmith types on this show and really tried to synthesize their present-day gimmick with the archetype they’re playing, but just changing your entire presentation like that is hard, so I get it.

And there is the weird feeling that some of these gimmicks are actually things I’d like to see in “real” Progress. Like obviously I love Jack Sexsmith’s pansexual icon deal and doing that makes quite a bit more sense in 2018, but he did a really great Adrian Street pastiche here and it’s kind of a shame if we don’t ever get more of it.

Check it out on Demand Progress, folks.

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