BRM Reviews PROGRESS Coast to Coast Tour: New York City

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Big Red Machine
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BRM Reviews PROGRESS Coast to Coast Tour: New York City

Post by Big Red Machine » Mar 23rd, '20, 13:28

PROGRESS Coast to Coast Tour: New York City (8/7/2018)- New York, NY

Dennis cut a very good heel promo before the match, although I was not thrilled with him calling Cooper a “de facto babyface.” The word “babyface” has no kayfabe meaning, so using it doesn’t make sense. Most of the rest of the ground that Eddie covered in his promo was to remind us that the last time Cooper was here in New York, he went to the top rope to do a move… and shattered his leg. In addition to being mean, this planted the seeds for an important them in this match, which was that Cooper would go to the top rope, but then get hesitant and waste time, and eventually do something else instead. For the finish, when he finally seemed to be ready to do something off the top rope, Dennis shoved the referee into the ropes, knocking Cooper off balance. Dennis then hit his finisher and got the win.

#1 CONTENDERSHIP MATCH: Ashley Vox vs. Natalya Markova- 7/10
This was one heck of a nine-minute sprint with a lot of emotion and hard-hitting. Markova also took a terrifying face-first bump on a missed dive on the outside. This was the best I’ve ever seen either of these women look by quite a bit. I actually had me wondering what has happened to Markova in the following year that she seems to have gotten so much worse when I’ve seen her.

SUBMISSIONS MATCH: “Flash” Morgan Webster vs. Mark Haskins (w/Vicky Haskins)- 7/10
PROGRESS apparently operates under what I like to call “dumb submission rules,” where the idea of the match has been taken to the extreme that “the only way to win is via submission” and thus there are no DQs, in which case it’s just an I Quit match without the referee shoving a microphone in the wrestlers’ faces. If the idea of a “submissions match” is to see who the better submission wrestler is, then it should be the same as a normal match except without pinfalls.
They worked a different submission style than you’ll usually see, using non-submissions to work body parts over and building the actual submissions up as very big. They also didn’t go overboard on the weapons, which (as you can tell from the above paragraph) I appreciated. Vicky’s involvement worked well to keep things going, allowing the heels to get a screwy victory. The Haskins’ work extremely well as a unit, and Vicky definitely is one of those managers who feels like she brings something a little different to the table with her willingness to get involved in these very real ways, whereas most heel managers tend towards the cowardly.

PROGRESS TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: CCK (Chris Brookes & Jonathan Gresham)(c) vs. LAX (Ortiz & Santana)- 8.75/10
This was one of those matches that is almost brilliant in its simplicity, while still not being simple at all. On the one hand it seemed like they made an effort to subvert the tropes of tag team wrestling, but on the other hand, they’re pretty much all there and work as you’d expect. We’ve got the match breaking down, a babyface in peril, partners diving in to break up pins and then the more modern spot where the non-legal partner on the pinning team is standing guard but the other guy bowls through him and still breaks up the pin. We had an injured body part but it wasn’t done in quite the way you’d expect but still worked. It’s the sort of thing that probably would have bugged me in a match that wasn’t being worked the way this one was. This was like if there was a street that you walked on one side of every day of your life, and now you’re walking on the other side in the other direction for the first time.
It was also one of those matches that if I recapped everything that happened for you, you’d probably think started to drag but it somehow didn’t. I know this all sounds really weird, but this is really the best way I can explain it. You definitely need to watch it for yourself. Props to all four of these guys for putting in the necessary brain-work to come up with a match on this familiar and yet also different avenue.

THUNDERBASTARD SERIES TAG TEAM TITLE MATCH: Grizzled Young Veterans vs. Jack Sexsmith & David Starr- 7/10
This definitely had a lot of action in it, but I can’t say I wasn’t annoyed with how cutesy they got with thing (mirror image spots, and so forth), and the idea of having a referee count two pinfalls at the same time one minute and then demand that the heels break a double-submission the next (especially after not caring about the “one in, one out” rule for the past ten minutes) is more than a little silly. There were some story elements in here, with GYZ’s miscues costing them the match, which both continues that storyline and also gives Sexy Starr their first win in this series. Now let’s see if they can win one without needing their opponents to screw up.

This was just too spotty. There was some decent stuff earlier on, but by the end… well…
Riddle takes Andrews finisher but doesn’t go down, just so Andrews can charge at him and try something that Riddle reverses into a fireman’s carry just Andrews can counter that into a Canadian Destroyer. This set up Andrews going to the top rope for a shooting star press… that got blocked with the knees. So within a span of ten or fifteen seconds, Riddle has taken Andrews finisher but shook it off enough to counter the next move, then took a Canadian Destroyer and shook that off in time to counter the next move as well… all in ten or fifteen seconds. So how much damage do these moves really do? Then Riddle hits Bro Derek but Andrews kicks out, then Riddle boots him in the face and gets the win. Within twenty seconds of taking both Andrews’ finisher AND a Canadian Destroyer.

We’ve got the team of EDDIE KINGSTON, BRODY KING, & JIMMY HAVOC engaging in GOOFBALL COMEDY. Yes, really. In a f*cking main event, too.
This was the beginning of a bunch of spots that were just way too cutesy. Over-complicated spots with guys forced to DDT their own partner, simultaneous leg locks on the outside, all of the babyfaces running around hitting the heels with shoes, Kobashi rapid-fire chops with the shoes, misdirection eye-pokes. This felt less like an athletic competition and more of a performance where their goal was to get me to either laugh or chant “THAT WAS AWESOME!” After ten minutes of that, everyone got on the apron and it became serious time. Not for any organic reason but because they had finished all of their outside spots. The last ten minutes or so were very good, but because of the beginning of the match I couldn’t shake the feeling of this all being planned, and an otherwise cool sequence of dives felt like them checking a box on a list. Tyler Bate dropped Kingston right on his head with the Tyler Driver 97. I don’t know if this was the planned finish or not, but it wound up being the finish. Hopefully Kingston wasn’t hurt too badly.

This was a fine show from PROGRESS, but one that can’t help but feel disappointing because of how well it started out, only for the top of the card to really drop the ball. CCK vs. LAX is definitely a match you need to see, but nothing else here is really worth going out of your way to see.
Hold #712: ARM BAR!

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