Will Ospreay vs. Danny Garnell vs. Darrell Allen vs. Joey Lakeside vs. Marty Scurll vs. Mike Hitchman vs. Paul Robinson vs. Stixx from PROGRESS Chapter 14 (2014)
Post by Rob Reid:
“What on Earth is a Thunderbastard match?” I hear the fictitious voice that resides in my head and I attribute to you the reader ask. The answer to said question is that it’s a gauntlet elimination match; it is perhaps best described as a cross between the Royal Rumble and an Elimination Chamber match. To elaborate, the match starts off with two competitors in the ring who compete under traditional wrestling rules and then after a time interval of an undisclosed length (that seems to vary throughout the match as to suit the drama) a new participant comes out to the ring and joins the match. Eliminations occur via pinfall, submission, knockout, countout or disqualification (so the usual) and once the seven other participants have been banished from the ringside area the last remaining wrestler is crowned that year’s Thunderbastard and earns a PROGRESS title shot.
The match has gone on to become an annual tradition for PROGRESS, and this here is where it all started. From that you’d figure this inaugural contest must have been a huge success for them to decide to reiterate it every year, right?
Wrong. This was an absolute mess for a large chunk of the twenty-five minutes this match lasted
The match started off with Projo (PROGRESS’ wrestling school) trainee Joey Lakeside in there against a newly heel Paul Robinson. After and initial flurry from Lakeside, Robinson dominated the bulk of the initial period and looked on the verge of eliminating Lakeside before the third participant entered.
That third man was Will Ospreay, Robinson’s former partner, and out for revenge after a recent betrayal. That vengeance was denied him though, for as soon as soon as Ospreay entered the ring he was immediately met with a low blow from Robinson choosing to eliminate himself rather than face his the wrath of the other half of the Swords of Essex.
This was where it all broke down. Darrell Allen came out next but seemed to dislocate his shoulder on the way to the ring. He then tried to do a high flying exchange one armed but that lead him to being concussed. He was carried out of the match, so Danny Garnell was hurried out. He didn’t really seem to know what to do, which makes sense since he would have been expecting to be wrestling with Allen who was no longer out there. He ended up hitting a few suplexes while looking very lost until the next guy came out, the British veteran Stixx.
The match from there was pretty uninspired and uneventful until we got down to the final two. First, Stixx eliminated Garnell, then Marty Scurll and the Wild Boar joined the match. The Wild Boar then pinned Stixx and finally then Scurll submitted the Wild Boar.
Now, tacked onto the utter mess of a match which I have just described ended up being an enjoyable singles match between Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll. It was nothing on their recent encounter to start 2016 which has been gaining plaudits from across the world, but there were some enjoyable sequences and a nice flow to their encounter. Marty also showed some nice viciousness in going after Will’s injured shoulder, and the flash pin which led to Will’s victory was a logical finish given the duration of time Will had spent in the match when compared to Marty.
Was this a good match? No, definitely not. It was an utter clusterfuck for the most part. I wouldn’t reccomend taking the twenty-five minutes out of your day to check it out, although if you’re stuck for something to watch you’ll likely to be able to find a degree of entertainment from watching Ospreay and Scurll’s miniature singles match (starting at 19:52). Everything else worthwhile in this match was storyline related, and so doesn’t do much in a vacuum. Somewhat of a hard one to rate as a single entity, but let’s go **1/4