Progress Wrestling
AcronymProgress
Founded2011
StyleProfessional wrestling
Sports entertainment
HeadquartersLondon, United Kingdom
Founder(s)Jim Smallman
Jon Briley
Owner(s)Lee McAteer
Martyn Best
WebsiteProgressWrestling.com

Progress Wrestling (stylized as PROGRESS) is a British professional wrestling promotion that was established in 2011 by comedian Jim Smallman, events and comedy promoter Jon Briley, and later, actor Glen Robinson (professionally known as Glen Joseph).

History

Progress was conceived by Jim Smallman and Jon Briley in 2011, who were both massive wrestling fans. Smallman is a big fan of "strong style" wrestling, Japanese in particular, and Briley was Smallman's agent.[1]

In 2015, Progress appeared for five nights at Download Festival.[2] In December of that year, they began running regular shows at The Ritz in Manchester.[3] On 30 September 2018, Progress Wrestling held "Hello Wembley" at the SSE Arena. Billed by the promotion as the largest independent wrestling show in England for 30 years, the event drew 4,750 people; making it the most attended event in Progress Wrestling history.[4]

In 2016, the company began working relationships with other promotions. At Chapter 29 on 24 April in London, Progress hosted two qualifying matches for the WWE Cruiserweight Classic.[5] In 2017, Progress wrestlers such as Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate, Trent Seven, and Mark Andrews participated in the WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament, culminating in Bate being crowned the first ever WWE UK Champion.[citation needed]

Smallman left Progress at the end of 2019 after Chapter 100. In June 2020, Progress would be affected by reports of sexual harassment in the British independent circuit. After several accusations, Progress decided to no longer work with David Starr, Travis Banks, and El Ligero, as well as suspending indefinitely then- Tag team Champions Jordan Devlin and Scotty Davis, who vacated the titles.[6] Ring announcer and creative team member Matt Richards also left the promotion.[7] On 21 June 2020, it was announced that Glen Joseph was stepping down with Michael Oku, Vicky Haskins and James Amner all taking prominent roles in the company.[8]

In 2021, Progress announced its return admist the COVID-19 pandemic, travelling to South London to set up a temporary home at Theatre Peckham for Chapter 104: Natural Progression on 20 February, eventually producing 23 shows behind closed doors which featured on the WWE Network. On 31 December that year, ahead of their return to live shows in January 2022, it was announced that Progress had been acquired by Lee McAteer and Martyn Best - taking over ownership from Briley.

Demand Progress

Demand Progress is Progress' Pivotshare-based video-on-demand service that launced in March 2015.[9] January 2017 saw the first episode of Freedom's Road, a new series from Progress which would feature matches taped specifically for the show and have a heavy focus on characters and plots.[10]

Championships

Current champions

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days held Location Notes Ref.
PROGRESS World Championship Spike Trivet 1 28 August 2022 80+ Sheffield, England Defeated Big Damo at PROGRESS Chapter 139: Warriors Come Out To Play. [11]
Progress Wrestling Atlas Championship Big Damo 1 25 September 2022 52+ Birmingham, England Defeated Luke Jacobs at Chapter 142: The Deadly Viper Tour [12]
PROGRESS Tag Team Championship Sunshine Machine
(Chuck Mambo and TK Cooper)
1
(1, 1)
4 June 2022 165+ London, England Defeated The 0121 (Dan Moloney and Man Like DeReiss) at Chapter 135: Super Strong Style 16 Day 2. [13]
Progress Women's Championship Kanji 2 5 June 2022 164+ London, England Defeated Gisele Shaw in a best two-out-of-three falls match at Chapter 135: Super Strong Style 16 Day 3. [14]

Inactive championships

Championship Date introduced Date retired Last champion Notes
Progress Proteus Championship 21 July 2019 24 February 2021 Paul Robinson Retired after champion Robinson left Progress.

Progress Proteus Championship

Progress Proteus Championship[15]
Details
Date established21 July 2019
Date retired25 February 2021
Statistics
First champion(s)Paul Robinson

It was announced on 21 July 2019 that the old Progress Atlas Championship which was unified with the Progress World Championship will be replaced. The title was named after the shapechanging Greek god, Proteus. Progress co-founder Jim Smallman said in the announcement that the champion will be able to pick the stipulation for the championship matches, subject to approval by the promotion.[16]

Reigns

Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
Defenses Number of successful defenses
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days Defenses
1 Paul Robinson 15 September 2019 Chapter 95: Still Chasing Haringey, London 1 529 7 This was a 30-person rumble match. Paul Robinson lastly eliminated Danny Duggan to become the inaugural champion. Robinson's selected stipulation was that he could only lose the title by being knocked out or by tapping out. [17]
Deactivated 25 February 2021 Vacated after Paul Robinson left the promotion.

Reception

Patrick Lennon, wrestling journalist for the Daily Star, has attended and reviewed Progress shows.[18]

Carrie Dunn, founder and main contributor of wrestling blog "The Only Way is Suplex",[19] published the book Spandex, Screw Jobs & Cheap Pops: Inside the Business of British Pro Wrestling.[20] Progress Wrestling features frequently in the book including opening a chapter regarding London based wrestling promotions.[21]

See also

References

  1. ^ Rehal, Sumit (26 May 2014). "Progress Wrestling – 'If we didn't have such talented guys in Britain, then the promotion wouldn't be doing as well as it is,' says co-founder Jim Smallman". The Independent. Archived from the original on 31 May 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2014.
  2. ^ "Progress Wrestling set to wreak 'havoc' at Download 2015 | Download Festival 2015". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.
  3. ^ "MASSIVE Announcement Regarding Chapter 24 in December… on Sale Tonight! ‹ This. Is. Progress". Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.
  4. ^ "Progress wrestling attendance record". 411mania.com.
  5. ^ "Another Indie Promotion To Host WWE Global Cruiserweight Series Qualifying Matches". Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 28 March 2016.
  6. ^ "411Mania".
  7. ^ "411Mania".
  8. ^ "When it comes to PROGRESS, huge change is needed and huge change has begun: Glen Robinson and Matt Richards are stepping away. @VickyHaskins is involved, @lucefromsocials is involved, @jamesamner is involved & I am involved. More on this tomorrow - Michael Oku". Twitter.
  9. ^ "Progress Wrestling Launch Their On Demand Service". WrestleRopes UK. 22 March 2015. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  10. ^ Perry, Ian. "Progress Wrestling: Freedom's Road Debut Episode TV Report". PWInsider. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  11. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (28 August 2022). "PROGRESS Chapter 139: Warriors Come Out To Play - TV-Show @ Electric Ballroom in London, England, UK". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 28 August 2022.
  12. ^ Daly, Wayne (25 September 2022). "PROGRESS Chapter 142 Results: The Deadly Viper Tour ~ Codename: California Mountain Shake – Birmingham, England (9/25)". wrestling-news.net. Retrieved 25 September 2022.
  13. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (4 June 2022). "PROGRESS Chapter 135: Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Edition 2022 - Tag 2". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 4 June 2022.
  14. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (5 June 2022). "PROGRESS Chapter 135: Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Edition 2022 - Tag 3 - TV-Show @ Electric Ballroom in London, England, UK". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 22 June 2022.
  15. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip. "Progress Proteus Championship". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  16. ^ "411MANIA". PROGRESS Wrestling Announces New Proteus Championship.
  17. ^ Kreikenbohm, Philip (15 September 2019). "PROGRESS Chapter 95: Still Chasing - Event @ Alexandra Palace in London, England, UK". Cagematch - The Internet Wrestling Database. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  18. ^ "Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future show is a winner". Daily Star. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  19. ^ "The Only Way Is Suplex". Carrie Dunn. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  20. ^ "Spandex, Screw Jobs & Cheap Pops: Inside the Business of British Pro Wrestling" Amazon listing. ASIN 1909178462.
  21. ^ Dunn, Carrie (2013). "Chapter 11: In the spotlight - London calling". Spandex, Screw Jobs & Cheap Pops: Inside the Business of British Pro Wrestling. Pitch. pp. 174–176. ISBN 978-1-909178-46-5.