PROGRESS Chapter 13
Jimmy Havoc (C) vs Mark Andrews
Ladder Match for the PROGRESS Championship
Since its inception in 2012, PROGRESS has rapidly gained a reputation providing some of the best wrestling in the world through showcasing exceptional British talent such as Marty Scurll, Will Ospreay, Mark Haskins and Jimmy Havoc. Not only does PROGRESS showcase some of the wrestling in the world but also some of the finest storytelling in all of professional wrestling: few wrestling companies in the world provide such compelling stories on a consistent basis.
This week’s indy match of the week between Jimmy Havoc and Mark Andrews not only features an excellent match but an excellent story that fed into the overarching narrative which culminated at Chapter 20 when Will Ospreay, the defiant underdog, finally overcame the malevolent Jimmy Havoc.
However, the story of Chapter 13, and Jimmy Havoc in particular, begins at the very beginning of PROGRESS. Loveable loser, fan favourite, Havoc lost his first six matches in PROGRESS but was carried through by the support of the fans: following some complimentary comments from Nigel McGuinness, Havoc delivered an emphatic fuck you to the fans when, at the next show, he relentlessly beat Jim Smallman, PROGRESS co-owner, down with a steel chair. At Chapter 10, following the remorseless beat down of newly crowned champion Mark Andrews, Havoc demanded a shot at what he perceived to be his. The beat down continued before Jim Smallman was forced to reluctantly make the count as Jimmy Havoc now had what he always wanted: recognition.
Following a dubious title defence over Zack Sabre Jr then victory in a fatal four way, at Chapter 13 Havoc met the man he mercilessly unseated at Chapter 9, Mark Andrews.
Jimmy Havoc, following a fixed stare at the challenger, got things underway with a couple of cheap shots from behind with the PROGRESS Championship staph before Mark Andrews delivered a head scissors that sent the champion reeling to the outside before connecting with a tope suicida.
Following a brawl around the ring, Havoc gained the advantage when he powerbombed Mark Andrews on a ladder: Havoc, with malicious intentions, set up a table before Andrews delivered a uranagi to send both men crashing through the table.
After locating a larger ladder, Andrews, willed on by the crowd, began his ascent up the ladder before Havoc smashed a chair into his back sending him crashing to the mat. A fuck you Havoc/you’re a cunt chant only galvanised the champion, who drove the chair into Andrews multiple times: sadistic and nefarious as ever, Havoc delivered a snap suplex onto the wooden floor of the Electric Ballroom.
Again, Havoc set up a table to more success this time, powerbombing Andrews from the apron through the table! Havoc, unrelenting, delivered several more chair shots before Havoc began his ascent. Pausing, Havoc reflected he wished to inflict more punishment to the flaccid body of Andrews: encouraged by the crowd, Andrew delivered a hip toss to send Havoc into a chair before inflicting a degree of revenge with serval chair shots only to receive a low blow from the champion.
Havoc tossed Andrews down the entrance ramp before looking to powerbomb Andrews off stage: showing great wherewithal, Andrews reversed into a hurricanrana before connecting with a somersault senton off the stage!
The Electric Ballroom implored Andrews to climb the ladder before Havoc sent him crashing to the mat: after setting up two chairs parallel to each other, Havoc headed up to the top before Andrews telegraphed Havoc’s intentions before delivering a hurricanrana from the top rope to send Havoc through the chairs.
Once more, Andrews began his ascent up the ladder before the London Riots, Jimmy Havoc’s cronies, ensured Mark Andrews wouldn’t make it to the top: London Riots delivered the beat down before Eddie Dennis, Andrew’s tag partner and one half of the PROGRESS Tag Team Champions, and Pete Dunne made the save. As a brawl around the ring between the two teams ensued, Mark Andrews delivered a tope con hilo to take down all five men: after Eddie Dennis and Pete Dunne drove London Riots to the back, Mark Andrews and Jimmy Havoc batted on the ladder before a headbutt sent both men crashing to the mat.
Havoc rose to his feet first before both men, weary from their battles, fought on the top rope before an enziguri sent Havoc crashing through a table to the floor.
Sensing his opportunity, his opportunity to regain the title Havoc extorted from him, the opportunity to usurp the deplorable overlord of PROGRESS, Mark Andrews began his ascent before Paul Robinson, who had turned on his partner Will Ospreay earlier in the night, delivered several devastating chair shots to send Andrews and his hopes of atonement crashing to the mat.
Havoc, having returned to his feet, shook hands with Robinson before laconically climbing up the ladder underscored by the sound of Paul Robinson savagely beating Mark Andrews with a chair. Havoc, after unhooking the I O U The PROGRESS Championship, tore up the paper before smashing the clipboard over Andrew’s skull.
And so, Regression was born. Composed of Havoc, Paul Robinson, The Omega and the London Riots, Regression would dominate PROGRESS for the best part of two years before Havoc’s army began to crumble culminating in the loss of the PROGRESS Championship at Chapter 20 following a 609 day reign.
Mark Andrews, on the other hand, won TNA British Bootcamp II only to be criminally underutilised by TNA. This past weekend, at Chapter 22, Mark Andrews returned to PROGRESS to challenge Ospreay for the title at Chapter 23 in a match guaranteed to tear the house down.
One thing evidently clear in PROGRESS’ writing is the awareness of the interdependence of the traditional heel/babyface dynamic: in order to have a hero, you must first have a despicable villain. In recent memory, few companies have been able to execute the simple story of good overcoming evil as PROGRESS did with the Havoc & Ospreay storyline. In a wrestling landscape that has grown largely apathetic with the simple good vs evil dichotomy, the deafening roar that reverberated around the Electric Ballroom when Ospreay defeated Havoc testifies to both PROGRESS’ storytelling ability as well as Jimmy Havoc’s phenomenal contributions to the company.
You can see the match HERE match starts at 01:51:02
That’s all, folks. I’ll be back next week with another indy match of the week.