Another deep PROGRESS cut, although this one (and another that immediately followed it) would link into the Jimmy Havoc vs. PROGRESS storyline, one of the best stories in wrestling in the last few years. The London Riots had been knocking about for a while as villains (an early match saw them kick the shit out of the one-and-done Velocity Viper duo of Will Ospreay and the star of Strippers vs. Werewolves, Alex Esmail). Danny Garnell, meanwhile, was a regular fixture on early PROGRESS shows. He was accompanied by Jimmy Havoc, who at the time was a big fan favourite and underdog, having petitioned to get into the promotion since the start. Havoc was armed with a pink steel chair and tasked with preventing Lynch’s partner James Davis from interfering. Davis and Havoc would have a match after this under hardcore rules.
Before the match Havoc threatened to kick the shit out of Davis if he dared to ruin the wrestling for us, so thank God he definitely wouldn’t. Havoc then went over to the bar to keep watch from there, like your dad definitely did on one of his visitation days. Sat you down on the snooker table for a bit, didn’t he, keep you in the line of sight. This and Davis vs. Havoc were advertised as the final contracted matches for the Riots (spoiler, they were not). This match had so much fucking suplexes in it. Garnell suplexed Lynch all over the place forever. Lynch came back with some of his own but Garnell was like no mate and just continued with his own. It’d be easy to look at this move spamming and think, my word. These moves are so popular. It’s almost like these matches are taking place inside some sort of throw-based settlement. But nobody did say that, nor would they ever. Lynch launched Garnell off the top with a belly-to-belly with such force that it caused Chris Roberts’ voice to break during the double count. And thus a PROGRESS meme was born. Lynch went up top for a FUCKIN’ FLIP but a corkscrew splash (or Sparkle Splash!) missed and Garnell rewarded him for his magnificent athleticism by DDTing him on his head. Lynch returned to the top once again and went for a moonsault only to get German suplexed off the top, flipping him right over onto his face. Davis tried to interfere but Havoc chased him off, allowed Garnell to repeatedly DDT Lynch in a variety of ways, ending in a hangman’s DDT that kept Lynch down for the count.
This was quite an interesting attempt at a Last Man Standing match as it was completely weapon-free and didn’t end in anything super mental. Their fists were the weapons, dawg. It was more of an endurance test. I wasn’t so into the match just being all suplexes all the time but I did like the selling of the moves. They’d fight for a while, then both be so exhausted they’d both be down for ages before reconvening for another suplex session. The finish did a nice job of displaying that, as Garnell didn’t really hit a gigantic sick move, he was just able to hit his biggest move and hit it a hell of a lot, and that proved to be too much for Lynch. This resembled two stags running at each other, or maybe two of those cool dinosaurs with the hard heads and no fear of post-concussion syndrome, except instead of that tame shit they threw each other onto their heads with cool wrestling moves. ***