CHAPTER 70 – MAY 27TH, 1978
NOTE: This was originally published in the August 1978 Wrestling Voices magazine.
I have finally received the tape for the fancy new PROGRESS Wrestling promotion from over in London, in England, and have gotten the time to sit down and enjoy it. I see on the match listing provided (thanks to my good friend Dixon Crabtree for both the tape and the list) that we have a Tag Team title match on the card and a big main event between “The King of The Bogans” Adam Wilmot and “Double Meat” Popeye Mulligan. Let’s jump into the show!
THE MOD & THE ROCKER DEF. GREASED LIGHTNING IN A THUNDERBASTARD TAG TEAM SERIES MATCH
Greased Lighting are the obvious fan favourites in this one. The winner receives two points in the Thunderbastard Tag Team Series. Some good back and forth action between these four competitors with some moves that I have never seen before! The tape cut out on me a little bit (what else can you expect when it is being imported overseas?) but what I saw was some pretty good wrestling. Greased Lighting did very good for being as young as they are (in their teens, if my copy of Wrestling magazine is right), but the cheating tactics of The Mod & The Rocker meant they stole the win to get two points in the Series at around 9:32. Overall, this was some pretty good stuff for an opener.
“THE MISFIT” CHRIS ONLY DEF. CATWEAZLE JR.
A good grappling exchange that worked the arms started this match and then we had some fun antics that had Catweazle make a fool of Only. Referee Clive Roberts (who is supposedly making his refereeing debut) made a count in the traditional way of standing and counting, which is a lot better than this new referring technique of going to the mat to count, which the two kids in the ring immediately taught him – I guess they want to show the people that they are “cool” and with the times. Highlight of the match here was Roberts getting a pinfall on Only with Catweazle Jr. making the count. Funny stuff. Only began dissecting Catweazle but Catweazle hit an impressive jumping two-legged attack over the first rope. I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen that in this here sport of professional wrestling. Put a fork in Catweazle after a piledriver because he’s done and Only picks up the win in this good back-and-forth contest in 14:12.
“BLACK BELT” CHRIS RIDGEWAY DEF. “PEACE LOVING” DREW PARKER IN A SEMI-FINAL NATURAL PROGRESSION SERIES MATCH
Ridgeway looks like a proper gangster with his tattoos. I never realized gangsters were able to get a black belt – though I think his black belt is in the discipline of kicking ass. Parker is really impressive with multiple double kickeyboots attacks inside the ring and outside the ring. After a back and forth battle for control, Parker flew over the top rope as if he were a superhero and nearly wiped out a ton of fans. That is a change of pace from the wrestling up in New York, and I am loving this. Ridgeway finally managed to put away Parker after dropping him on the back of his head followed by a Judo submission manoeuvre to earn the victory in 11:39. Very good stuff from two people who I think will have great careers here in PROGRESS Wrestling.
THE SHEEPWACKERS DEF. JORDAN DEVLIN & EL PHANTASMO
I may be making a mistake here, but I think I’ve heard of The Sheepwackers from the Australia wrestling scene. It is interesting to see them here in the British wrestling scene. The Sheepwackers seem to have an issue with their tongues, often licking their opponents or whatever is in sight. “Shiny Disco Balls” El Phantasmo, who is from my home country, walked the ropes with disco fever in a very impressive and very fun manoeuvre. Phantasmo and “Fighting Irish” Jordan Devlin worked really well together as a team, innovating some moves that I don’t think have ever been done in a professional wrestling ring. The match soon broke down to a violent brawl, with The Sheepwackers showing their no-care-at-all violent Australian style. This then went into a very unique style that I can only describe as fast-paced. A lot of slingshots and dropping kicks and the like. It is hard to describe, it almost has a French wrestling type flavour to it. A “Battering Ram” that hit Phantasmo in the chest marked the end of this bout in 17:20, as the New Zealand imports secure the win. A very good match that might have shown me the future of pro wrestling as a whole. Very unique here in 1978.
THE KINGS OF EUROPE DEF. THE BILLABONG BOYS TO RETAIN THE PROGRESS WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP IN A THUNDERBASTARD TAG TEAM SERIES MATCH
The Kings of Europe are very hated here in PROGRESS but their tag team experience makes them looking like grizzle young veterans. The Billabong Boys are another Australian scene import, but they are very explosive and work well together. While both teams did some good work in the ring, something seemed to not have clicked in this bout. Kyle Fletcher flew around the wrestling ring with incredible agility – almost as if he was a young joey. James Drake, one of the champions, jumped off the top rope with a spinning flippy do but ran right into what can only be described as a super kick from Kyle Fletcher of the Billabong Boys in something completely off the wall! A lot of cannonballing from the Australians against the Kings of Europe, but the reigning Tag Team champions of the World outwitted their challengers to win the contest in 11:45, allowing them to retain their championship and to earn two points in the Thunderbastard Tag Team Series.
NINA SPARKLES DEF. BONNIE BOLAN
Apparently the Wrestling Council of London bans the competition of wrestling between women, but these two came out in protest carrying signs. The PROGRESS crowd here wanted them to wrestle, so they did so in an impromptu match. The two competitors traded the momentum to start the match. They connected with moves that I have never seen done by women’s wrestlers before, especially Moolah. This was a fun little match that showcased them both and for the love of God, London, please sanction Women’s wrestling! Sparkles used a referee distraction to her advantage to hit Bonnie with a lifting knee razzledazzle to earn the win in 9:50. A decent match.
JIZZY JIZZBOURNE DEF. AJ STREETSMITH
This was a definite clash of styles right from their individual entrances. Streetsmith came out decked in peacock feathers looking like a bird and being all exotic. Jizzy Jizzbourne came out with a beer in hand and ate the head off a chicken. I love this already. Streetsmith started the match off hot with a direct hit to Jizzy’s Jizzbourne. They brawled around the ring and Jizzy drank a bit of alcohol and always looked for his booger sugar. Holy Balls! Jizzy Jizzbourne hit a piledriver (what may be the first wrestling move of the match) for the win in 7:42. Wow.
“DOUBLE MEAT” POPEYE MULLIGAN DEF. “THE KING OF THE BOGANS” ADAM WILMOT
It is good to see Popeye here fresh off his feud with “The American Dream” in Arizona, this is a real treat for these British fans. Wilmot spilt his beer and it is a true travesty. These two put on a very good match that had a good clash of styles – the American style versus the rugged Australian version of grappling. Wilmot hit a flippy-double set-the-sun piledriver that was insane that somehow couldn’t finish the match. Wonderful wizardy. “Double Meat” bounced off the ropes and spiked Adam right on his face to put an end to this terrific contest in 18:33. Great stuff from these two international standouts in this ballroom blitz from start to finish.
PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 70 was a fantastic show from this young promotion in London. The wait to get this tape from my good friend was worth it as the future of pro wrestling seems bright. The Electric Ballroom is a nice venue for the graps, and I would recommend this show to anyone who can get a copy of this tape. As is always, I wish you peace, love, and good professional wrestling.