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The Week In British Wrestling: Mark Haskins vacates his titles due to injury

Main photo by Portrait Of A Wrestler's James Musselwhite

Here’s five things you need to know about British wrestling this week:

1) Haskins injury forces PROGRESS into pressing restart

The dramatic storyline ending of PROGRESS Wrestling's latest show -- chapter 38, When Men Throw Men At Men -- on Sunday was very much based in reality as Mark Haskins, who beat Marty Scurll and Jimmy Havoc (who looked great on his return) to retain his PROGRESS title in the main event, then shockingly laid it in the centre of the ring and left without it.

Haskins, who has also vacated his titles in other promotions and canceled all bookings going forward, has been advised to stop wrestling to heal a neck injury, with the very real possibility that he may never wrestle again. It goes without saying that we send him our best regards.

Jason Prime makes an impact on Lee Hunter -- photo by Rob Brazier

The sudden ending capped a great show, with the main event furthering the Scurll vs. Havoc feud -- Scurll booted Havoc in the unmentionables just prior to the finish -- and the debut of a new tag team to bolster the burgeoning pairs scene in the promotion. The New Nation may have lost to the Hunter Brothers but Jason Prime & Alexander Henry certainly turned some heads on their Ballroom bow.

Also making his first appearance in a PROGRESS ring -- although no stranger to the UK scene -- was Bad Bones, who accepted Rampage Brown's open challenge for the Atlas Division Championship, and pushed the champion all the way before falling to a piledriver. Bones, of course, is from Germany's wXw, who PROGRESS are hosting for a showcase event in London in January.

The fourth Natural Progression Series kicked off at the show, and this year it will crown a PROGRESS Women's Champion. Whoever wins, it won't be Pollyanna, who fell to eternal nemesis Jinny in the opening round.

Speaking of titles, Matt Cross won a number one contenders match for the SMASH Wrestling Championship -- which was held by Haskins -- in a super contest against Mark Andrews, and the South Pacific Power Trip took another step towards the tag team titles, remaining unbeaten after ending their feud with Roy Johnson & Jack Sexsmith in a brutal tables match.

Dahlia Black meets a table -- photo by Portrait Of A Wrestler's James Musselwhite

Tickets for the next show -- chapter 39, The Graps Of Wrath, on November 27th at the Electric Ballroom -- sold out in just four minutes, and it's a stacked card, featuring a seven-man main event to crown Haskins' successor and a NPS match between Nixon Newell and Katey Harvey.

All PROGRESS shows are available on Demand PROGRESS, and that includes some shows from their Canadian sister promotion, SMASH.

2) The Road To Fear & Loathing took in three English cities

Insane Championship Wrestling warmed up for their huge Fear & Loathing IX show at the Hydro in Glasgow on November 20th by kicking off a nationwide tour last weekend. Starting in Sheffield on Friday, with Wrestleteria at the O2 Academy, the tour continued on to The Engine Rooms in Southampton on Saturday with That's A Paddlin'!, before finishing at Bristol's Marble Factory on Sunday (You Don't Win Friends With Salad).

Wolfgang defended his ICW title on all three nights ahead of his bout with Trent Seven at the Hydro, taking on (and defeating) Sha Samuels, Joe Hendry, and Charlie Garrett, who made his ICW debut in Bristol. For his par, Seven stepped out in Sheffield and Southampton, with his Wrestleteria clash with Chris Renfrew earning particular plaudits.

The big news from the weekend was the title change that wasn't, as Lewis Girvan, who beat Zero-G Champion Lionheart by DQ in Sheffield, thought he'd won the belt from him in Southampton, only for Lionheart to go crying to co-owner Red Lightning, and the two bullied the referee into admitting a fast count.

Besides Garrett, the weekend saw plenty of other ICW debuts, with Kimber Lee working Sheffield and Southampton in a three-way against Viper and Kay Lee Ray (Sheffield) and fellow debutante Pollyanna (Southampton), and Josh Bodom, Clint Margera, Damian Dunne, Dan Moloney, Travis Banks, and Chris Brookes all joining the ICW roster in Southampton.

The tour continues this weekend in Cardiff, Wolverhampton, London, and Leicester, and all this will soon be available on ICW On Demand (as well as the Fight Network in the US and Canada).

3) El Ligero dethroned Joseph Conners AT LAST

Ending a title reign that lasted for over 400 days, El Ligero triumphed against his arch-enemy Joseph Conners to lift the Southside Wrestling title at the promotion’s 6th Anniversary Show at the Gordon Craig Theatre in Stevenage last Saturday.

The match -- a tables, ladders, and chairs match -- was thrown into doubt a week earlier when Conners received an injury while wrestling in Ireland, but it’s a mark of the man and the prestige of the title that he picked himself up, laced up his boots, and made the town.

El Ligero and Joseph Conners battle in a TLC match -- photo by Brett Hadley

The promotion’s other titles were also defended, with the Southside Tag Team Champions Stixx & Flips beating Matt Cross & Shane Strickland -- billed as Lucha Overground (they play Son of Havoc and Killshot on the El Rey show, respectively) -- and Southside Women’s Champion Melina seeing off the challenge of Alex Windsor, Dahlia Black, Kay Lee Ray, Nixon Newell, and (subbing for Toni Storm) Ruby Summers.

The Southside regulars were enhanced by two big US stars, with Eddie Edwards defending his TNA World Heavyweight Championship against Bubblegum, and Cody Rhodes ticking another one off his list when he faced Pete Dunne. Mark Haskins opened the show in his penultimate match before his injury break, in a feud-ending kendo stick match with Robbie X, the scars of which he wore proudly at PROGRESS on Sunday.

You can see all the Southside action on their Vimeo page, and the promotion return for one more 2016 date on November 26th in St Neots.

4) The Big Guy was a hit with the children of Portsmouth

Showing a versatility matched by few promotions worldwide, Revolution Pro-Wrestling -- who will shortly play host to the stars of New Japan Pro Wrestling -- opened the doors of the Portsmouth Guildhall on Sunday to fans eager to see former WWE star Ryback.

Now going by the name "The Big Guy," he beat both members of the Legion of Lords -- Lord Gideon Grey & Rishi Ghosh -- in the main event, after posing for a ton of pictures with thrilled kids.

As usual, the rest of the card was filled with matches of interest to the greater BritWres community, with Ryan Smile -- who is getting a run on RevPro's smaller shows lately -- outpacing Shane Strickland in a battle of the high flyers, and Trent Seven dispatching David Starr, who was making his RevPro debut and will also be a part of the huge Global Wars shows next week.

Also making their RevPro bows were Swiss-based Oliver Carter, who saw off James Castle with a 450 splash, and Alex Windsor, who beat Zoe Lucas in the latest Pro-Wrestling EVE showcase match.

The show was opened by a British Blue Bloods win over Portsmouth School of Wrestling graduates Rob Lias & Dan Magee, and will soon be available on RevPro On Demand. The promotion are back this Sunday at the UK Paper Leisure Club in Sittingbourne.

5) Iestyn Rees won the battle of the Masterlocks (and other stuff)

Iestyn Rees celebrates his win -- photo by Shauna Askew

Whether it was Fright Night IV or V (no one seems sure quite what it is!), Preston City Wrestling’s latest Halloween spectacular was another fun night at the Evoque nightclub in Preston last Friday, capped by Iestyn Rees knocking off Chris Masters in the main event in an I Quit match for the PCW Heavyweight title.

There were also three other title matches on the night, with the brilliantly-named tag team champions 2 Mates P*ssing About (Martin Kirby & Joey Hayes) seeing off the challenge of CJ Banks & Danny Hope, Cruiserweight Champion Bubblegum beating Chris Ridgeway, and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Eddie Edwards emerging from a Grim Reaper costume to defeat Ashton Smith.

The show also featured El Ligero, Kenny Williams, Team Single, and a UK Hooligans open challenge where they ended up facing each other. PCW are back this Saturday in Wrexham, before welcoming CZW, wXw, and Beyond Wrestling for a packed weekend from November 18th.

Action from the Knights Of Chaos title match -- photo by Turning Face's Jim Maitland

In a battle for the control of the company, Dave Mercy’s foursome overcame Pariah Khan’s quartet at Pro-Wrestling Chaos’s All Or Nothing at the Yate Leisure Centre last Saturday. Mercy’s trump card was mystery fourth member Mikey Whiplash, who joined Gideon, Rampage Brown, and Mike Bird to see off Jeckel, Big Grizzly, and The Magnums, topping a show which also saw The Steele Dragons (Alex Steele & Eddie Dennis) become the first Knights of Chaos when they defeated Scotty Essex & Tom Dawkins for the belts.

The former Panda Cub, Richie Edwards, beat the mysterious Panda Mask 2, Aldo Rose defeated Danny Jones, and Wild Boar retained the King of Chaos Championship against Hardcore Holly, only for Chaos General Manager Jimmy Havoc to hit an Acid Rainmaker on the champ and leave with the belt, resigning his position as he went.

You can see Chaos action on UK Wrestling On Demand, and they return on November 26th with Let Them Eat Chaos.

Pro-Wrestling Pride came to Taunton again last Sunday for Undisputed 2 at the Wellsprings Leisure Centre, and crowned their first ever Women’s Champion as Nadia Sapphire beat Chardonnay.

The show was headlined by a six-man hardcore elimination match for the PWP Heavyweight title, with Bram beating champion Eddie Ryan, Doug Williams, Chris Andrews, John Harding, and James Baker, and also featured title wins for The Magnums (taking the tag titles from The House of Bones) and Kelly Sixx, who won a three-way TLC match to lift the PWP Catch Division belt.

The show also featured former WWE stars Scott Hall and Adam Rose, and PWP are back on December 11th with TNA’s James Storm.