PROGRESS has been a company since 2012. They run their shows as chapters, which is a cool concept. This was Chapter 13 and there were production issues. The good people of PROGRESS didn’t feel right charging viewers due to that, so it’s available for free on YouTube. The match starts around 1:33:15. As of 2017, they are my favorite wrestling company in the world.
In April 2014, Prince Devitt said goodbye to NJPW on his way to the WWE. Along that road, he made a stop in PROGRESS for a battle with European wrestling standout, Zack Sabre Jr. Devitt did a ton as a junior in NJPW, while Sabre was one half of the Jr. Tag Champions in NOAH.
Instantly, it stood out that Devitt came out with Dark Knight Joker paint, adding a card and Joker’s coat for full effect. He came out with a dropkick and the double stomp, getting a near fall early. It’s the kind of finisher kickout I don’t mind, because Devitt tried for the surprise win and Sabre wasn’t worn down enough to make kicking out seem like a bad move. Sabre stalled his momentum by attacking the left arm in that Sabre way we’re used to. Devitt continued to be aggressive, bringing a chair into play for a vicious dropkick outside. Sabre was aggressive in his own way, transitioning from one painful hold to the next, keeping the focus on the battered arm. Unfortunately, I wasn’t a fan of Sabre kicking out of another double stomp. Devitt won shortly after, via Bloody Sunday in 12:51.
Very good work from both men. Two highly entertaining wrestlers working to their strengths in front of a great crowd. Though I enjoyed Devitt’s style in this, it did feel like he might’ve been holding something back to preserve himself for his WWE run. I also wasn’t a big fan of Sabre kicking out of two double stomps, though now that I think about it, it might not have been his official finish at this point. Devitt sold the arm well, but Sabre’s selling left something to be desired. Since it’s free, this is certainly worth checking out.
Voting is now open for tomorrow’s match at strawpoll.com/g8b69sfz