Zack Gibson vs Jack Sexsmith
Electric Ballroom, Camden, Greater London, England, United States
(reviewed 09/25/2017) Hey, this is great! Not great, sure, but far and away the best match of the year so far in PROGRESS, one that feels genuinely like a match between two competitors, one that avoids most of the pitfalls of the modern indie style. After facing off in the Thunderbastard match last month, these two return in a one-on-one setting where Gibson has a notable advantage in size and experience. He dominates most of this match, to the point that Sexsmith can only really turn things around with a great deal of leverage and momentum, as well as both literal and figurative help from the fans. Gibson is simply too much for Sexsmith to handle in a singles encounter, though, and the Liverpudlian is able to easily wear away his opponent with big slams as well as some arm work. Through it all, Sexsmith survives again and again, even kicking out of the Helter Skelter twisting suplex that eliminated him from the Thunderbastard, but it proves to only infuriate Gibson. Eventually he brings Sexsmith out of the ring and hits a Helter Skelter on the floor for a countout victory. Very good match here. The selling and expressions from both men are great throughout, effectively illustrating these characters of “frustrated Scouse bruiser” and “never-say-die underdog”. The wrestling itself is exciting but not hammy or unbelievable, being quite well grounded for the most part. Sexsmith’s deviancy, which I’ve a lot of mixed feelings about, is kept at a minimum here and not directly sexually violent, or at least not to the degree of past “grabbing genitalia or entering orifices” incidents. All in all this is a lovely little singles match and the sort of thing I’d love to see more from this scene.