If this is Manchester, the acoustics are always the same on Ondemand. They sometimes improve mid way through show but they are generally terrible...Before WrestleMania I thought I'd watch the latest PROGRESS show or at least the key bits. Before we get into the wrestling, can I just say, the acoustics of this show are terrible. I couldn't hear what the fuck Jim Smallman was saying. Also no Haskins on this show? Where is he?
Anyway the matches, surprisingly we kick off with a Title Match with British Strong Style technically defending their belts but not really as it doesn’t seem like they care if they’re champions or not for any reason other than the money. That opening bit with the towel was hilarious and Bate is looking awfully handsome now he’s gotten a bit scruffy I guess to separate the heel in PROGRESS from the face in WWE… despite apparently the two things being connected? I don’t know. It was a good match and a solid way to kick off the show regardless.
Next up I watched PROGRESS Number One Contender, Mark Andrews, take on a whole new Will Ospreay who I like very much indeed. This match almost felt like that trope in anime where the hero needs to fight his inner self and overcome it so they can go on and face the big bad. It was an epic match and I can forgive Havoc coming in to upstage everyone at the end because it tied into the main event and the continuing evolution of Ospreay and Havoc. This new heel Ospreay is perfect in ways I could have never imagined.
Then finally, speaking of the Big Bad and Jimmy Havoc, we have the no DQ Main Event. Which was basically what they last match was, until it wasn’t. In terms of the actual match, it was a weird one. I mean don’t get me wrong it was awesome but also oddly bloodless which took away from the match a lot, I felt. It had some of the most brutal spots on paper that I’d seen outside of some backwater promotion built on hardcore but in the execution it just seemed weird that neither man looked particularly hurt. Especially Dunne who walked off like he’d wrestled a regular match. But even Havoc, it took a frying pan to the head (of all things) very late in the match to give us some claret. Maybe it’s the WWE influence creeping in but I felt like this should have been a bloodbath and because it wasn’t that harmed it for me. Then again Havoc’s hardcore match against Scurll way back was underwhelming in similar ways. In terms of matches like this in PROGRESS it feels like Havoc peaked as he was curb stomped through light tubes. Shame, that.