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

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

Contents

HistoryEdit

The company 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] The pair decided to put on a wrestling show in London, as not many shows were being put on in the capital itself, featuring the type of wrestling that they would both like to watch. The pair then spent seven months putting their first show together. Smallman is also a huge fan of punk music, and the pair decided to emphasize the fact that it would be a London-based promotion with a punk rock vibe. They also were keen not to be import-heavy, like other promotions, but to promote British talent. The pair eventually settled on The Garage in Islington for the venue, because of the size and also having a great reputation as a music venue. The Garage were also very supportive of what Smallman and Briley wanted to do, and the pair ran their first show on 25 March 2012.

After eleven consecutive sell out shows at the Garage, with the later shows drawing 350 fans, the promotion moved to the 700-capacity Electric Ballroom in Camden from Chapter 12 in March 2014 for their second anniversary show where the sell outs have continued. To date, Progress has sold out all London Chapter shows at The Garage and Electric Ballroom. For Chapter 36 in September 2016, Progress staged their largest ticketed show at the time at the Brixton Academy, to an audience of 2,400 and announced that they would return the following September. Though they have run most of their shows in London, in 2014 Progress held three shows at The Satellite Stage at the Sonisphere Festival, and in 2015 they appeared for five nights at Download Festival.[2] In December 2015, they began running regular shows at The Ritz in Manchester.[3] In 2017, Progress began to promote shows in Birmingham. For Chapter 55 on September 2017, Progress held their first show at the Alexandra Palace to an audience of 2,000. On September 30, 2018 Progress Wrestling held "Hello Wembley" at the SSE Arena. It was 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 2018 the promotion expanded to run event's in Sheffield as well as touring across the United States and in 2019 it will be expanding further to run shows in Bournemouth and Newcastle.

The promotion have been reluctant to use imports (wrestlers for which the UK is not their home or one of their homes). Colt Cabana was the first wrestler to be included on a show as part of the debut show, Chapter 1, in a losing effort to Loco Mike Mason. Ricochet appeared twice for the promotion, losing to El Ligero at Chapter 6 and in a triple threat with Mark Haskins and Zack Sabre Jr. at Chapter 11. Adam Cole was the first non-European wrestler to register a win in Progress, defeating Mark Haskins at Chapter 10. Prince Devitt also appeared twice for the promotion, defeating Zack Sabre Jr. at Chapter 13 and losing to Jimmy Havoc at the Progress World Cup, his final match in the UK before signing with the WWE. Other talents that have appeared include Samoa Joe, Roderick Strong and Tommaso Ciampa; though Ciampa established himself as a Progress regular with seven Chapter show appearances.

In 2016 the company began working 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 United Kingdom Champion.

International expansionEdit

In June 2016, the Canada-based SMASH Wrestling had its title defended at a Progress show, ahead of three co-promoted shows between the two in Ontario in September.

January 2017 saw Progress promoting a show for Germany-based Westside Xtreme Wrestling in London, with wXw helping with Progress' début German show in Cologne in July.

2017's Wrestlemania Weekend saw Progress travel to the United States for a number of shows; including their own Orlando show, a joint show with WWNLive, and contributing talent - including ring announcer Jim Smallman - to WWE's WrestleMania Axxess events. Progress returned to the States in August for two shows - one in New York City and one just outside of Boston - as well as announcing they would be running two shows as part of Wrestlemania Weekend 2018 in New Orleans.

In April 2018 Progress Wrestling embarked on a three-show tour of Australia, co-promoting shows alongside Explosive Pro Wrestling, Melbourne City Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Australia.

From August 4 to August 11, 2018, Progress Wrestling undertook a tour across the United States, titled the "Coast to Coast Tour." They worked in conjunction with WWNLive and Pacific Northwest-based promotion Defy Wrestling. Their shows took place in Philadelphia, Boston, New York City, Seattle, Chicago, and Detroit.

Demand ProgressEdit

Demand Progress
Owned byProgress Wrestling
Website{{URL|example.com|optional display text}}

In March 2015, Progress launched Demand Progress, their own video-on-demand service.[6] 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.[7] The second season of Freedom's Road launched in August 2018, with an even greater focus on characters and plots than the preceding season.

Current championsEdit

Championship Current champion(s) Reign Date won Days
held
Location Event
Progress Wrestling Unified World Championship WALTER 1 25 July 2018 300+ London Chapter 74: Mid Week Matters
Progress Wrestling World Tag Team Championship Aussie Open (Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis) 2 31 March 2019 51+ London Chapter 87: Breadknife
Progress Wrestling Women's Championship Jordynne Grace 1 30 December 2018 142+ London Chapter 82: Unboxing Live, A Dukla Prague Away Kit

Progress Unified World ChampionshipEdit

Progress Unified World Championship
Details
Date established25 March 2012
Current champion(s)Walter
Date won25 July 2018
Other name(s)
Progress Championship, Progress World Championship

Unlike conventional wrestling championships which are generally represented by a championship belt, the Progress championship was initially represented by a large staff with an eagle head piece. At Chapter 16, the staff was replaced by a more traditional title belt. The title has been defended in the United States at the Wrestlecon Supershow in Dallas, Texas, and subsequently defended in Italy on 30 April 2016[8] and Ireland on 16 July 2016.[9] On 5 May 2019, the World Championship and Atlas Championship were unified by WALTER, defeating Trent Seven. The title was henceforth known as the Unified World Championship.

As of 21 May 2019.

Reign The reign number for the specific champion listed
Location The city in which the title was won
Event The event promoted by the respective promotion in which the title was won
+ Indicates the current reign is changing daily
Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
+ Current reign is changing daily
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days
1 Nathan Cruz 25 March 2012 Chapter 1: In the Beginning Highbury, London 1 245 Defeated Marty Scurll, El Ligero, and Mike Mason in a tournament final to crown inaugural champion
2 El Ligero 25 November 2012 Chapter 4: The Ballad of El Ligero Highbury, London 1 245
3 Rampage Brown 28 July 2013 Chapter 8: The Big Boy's Guide to Strong Style Highbury, London 1 119
4 Mark Andrews 24 November 2013 Chapter 10: Glory Follows Virtue As If It Were Its Shadow Highbury, London 1 <1 Successfully cashed in his Natural Progression Series title shot
5 Jimmy Havoc 24 November 2013 Chapter 10: Glory Follows Virtue As If It Were Its Shadow Highbury, London 1 609 Used the open contract given to him by Jim Smallman to make an immediate title match
6 Will Ospreay 26 July 2015 Chapter 20: ThunderBastard: Beyond ThunderBastard Camden Town, London 1 182 Successfully cashed in his Super Strong Style 16 title shot
7 Marty Scurll 24 January 2016 Chapter 25: Chat Shit, Get Banged Camden Town, London 1 154
8 Pastor William Eaver 26 June 2016 Chapter 32: 5000 to 1 Camden Town, London 1 35 Successfully cashed in his Natural Progression Series title shot
9 Marty Scurll 31 July 2016 Chapter 33: Malice in Wonderland Camden Town, London 2 56
10 Mark Haskins 25 September 2016 Chapter 36: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Room... Again Brixton, London 1 35 This was a triple threat match also involving Tommy End
Vacated 30 October 2016 Chapter 38: When Men Throw Men At Men Camden Town, London Haskins vacated the title due to injury
11 Pete Dunne 27 November 2016 Chapter 39: The Graps of Wrath Camden Town, London 1 287 Defeated Jimmy Havoc, Matt Riddle, Sebastian, TK Cooper, Travis Banks, and Trent Seven in a seven-way elimination match to win the vacant title
12 Travis Banks 10 September 2017 Chapter 55: Chase the Sun Haringey, London 1 318 Successfully cashed in his Super Strong Style 16 title shot
13 Walter 25 July 2018 Chapter 74: Mid Week Matters Camden Town, London 1 300+ Unified with the Atlas Championship on 05/05/2019 following Walter's win over Trent Seven

Combined reignsEdit

As of May 21, 2019.

Indicates the current champion
Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined days
1 Jimmy Havoc 1 609
2 Travis Banks 1 318
3 Walter 1 300+
4 Pete Dunne 1 287
5 El Ligero 1 245
Nathan Cruz 1 245
7 Marty Scurll 2 210
8 Will Ospreay 1 182
9 Rampage Brown 1 119
10 Mark Haskins 1 35
Pastor William Eaver 1 35
12 Mark Andrews 1 1

Progress Tag Team ChampionshipEdit

Progress Tag Team Championship
 
The Progress Tag Team Title
(April 2017 — Present)
Details
Date established24 November 2013
Current champion(s)Aussie Open
(Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis)
Date won30 December 2018

It was announced at Chapter 9 that beginning in November 2013 there would begin a series of matches to determine the first Progress Tag Team champions. The champions were crowned at Chapter 12, the second anniversary show, in March 2014. As with the Progress Championship not being a conventional championship belt, the Progress Tag Team Championship was originally represented by a shield with the Progress eagle on the front. The shield splits into two, one for each championship holder.

At Chapter 46 the Tag Team shields were replaced with traditional strap title belts, with the design on the front plate of each belt representing the defunct Tag shields.

As of 21 May 2019.

Reign The reign number for the specific champion listed
Location The city in which the title was won
Event The event promoted by the respective promotion in which the title was won
+ Indicates the current reign is changing daily
Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
+ Current reign is changing daily
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days


1 FSU
(Mark Andrews & Eddie Dennis}
30 March 2014 Chapter 12: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Room Camden Town, London 1 301 Defeated Screw Indy Wrestling and Project Ego in a tournament final to crown the inaugural champions.


2 The Faceless/The Origin
(Nathan Cruz, El Ligero, Danny Garnell and Damon Moser)
25 January 2015 Chapter 17: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Camden Town, London 1 120 Danny Garnell and Damon Moser originally captured the titles as The Faceless before all four unmasked, renaming themselves The Origin on 24 May 2015.


3 Sumerian Death Squad
(Tommy End and Michael Dante)
25 May 2015 Chapter 19: Super Strong Style 16 2015 Camden Town, London 1 188 Defeated Nathan Cruz and El Ligero.


4 The Origin
(Nathan Cruz (2) and El Ligero (2))
29 November 2015 Chapter 23: What a Time to Be Alive Camden Town, London 1 182 This was a three-way also involving London Riots.


5 London Riots
(Rob Lynch and James Davis)
29 May 2016 Chapter 30: Super Strong Style 16 2016 Camden Town, London 1 119


6 British Strong Style
(Trent Seven and Pete Dunne)
25 September 2016 Chapter 36: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Room... Again Brixton, London 1 82


Vacated 16 December 2016 Vacated by Progress management after Pete Dunne attempted to give his half of the title to Tyler Bate.


7 British Strong Style
(Trent Seven (2) and Tyler Bate)
30 December 2016 Chapter 40: Unboxing Live Camden Town, London 1 177 Won a three-way with London Riots and LDRS of the New School for the vacant titles.


8 CCK
(Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos)
25 June 2017 Chapter 50: I Give it Six Months Camden Town, London 1 14


9 British Strong Style
(Trent Seven (3) and Tyler Bate (2))
9 July 2017 Chapter 51: Screaming For Progress Birmingham 2 63 This was a six-man tag team match featuring British Strong Style and Pete Dunne vs CCK and Travis Banks.


10 CCK
(Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos)
10 September 2017 Chapter 55: Chase the Sun Haringey, London 2 77 This was a ladder match.


11 Grizzled Young Veterans
(James Drake and Zack Gibson)
26 November 2017 Chapter 58: Live Your Best Life Camden Town, London 1 77


12 Jimmy Havoc and Mark Haskins 11 February 2018 Chapter 63: Take Me Underground Manchester 1 14


13 Grizzled Young Veterans
(James Drake and Zack Gibson)
25 February 2018 Chapter 64: Thunderbastards Are Go! Camden Town, London 2 160


14 CCK
(Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos)
4 August 2018 USA Coast to Coast Tour Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 3 7 Kid Lykos was injured in the title match. Subsequent defences were made by Chris Brookes and either Jonathan Gresham or AR Fox.


15 Flamita and Bandido 11 August 2018 USA Coast to Coast Tour Chicago, Illinois 1 50 Defeated Chris Brookes and AR Fox.


16 Aussie Open
(Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis)
30 September 2018 Chapter 76: Hello Wembley Wembley, London 1 91 This was an eight-team Thunderbastard match also featuring Sexy Starr, M&M, Anti-Fun Police, Calamari Thatch Kings, Grizzled Young Veterans and The 198.


17 Swords of Essex
(Will Ospreay and Paul Robinson)
30 December 2018 Chapter 82: Unboxing Live, A Dukla Prague Away Kit Camden Town, London 1 91


18 Aussie Open
(Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis)
31 March 2019 Chapter 87: Breadknife Camden Town, London 2 51+ Successfully cashed in Mark Davis' Natural Progression Series title shot. This was a tables, ladders, and chairs match.


Combined reignsEdit

As of May 21, 2019.

Indicates the current champion

By teamEdit

Rank Team No. of
reigns
Combined
days
1 FSU
(Mark Andrews and Eddie Dennis)
1 301
2 British Strong Style
(Trent Seven and Tyler Bate)
2 240
3 Grizzled Young Veterans
(James Drake and Zack Gibson)
2 237
4 The Summerian Death Squad
(Tommy End and Michael Dante)
1 188
5 The Origin
(Nathan Cruz and El Ligero)
1 182
6 Aussie Open †
(Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis)
2 142+
7 The Origin/The Faceless
(Nathan Cruz (2), El Ligero (2), Danny Garnell and Damon Moser)
1 120
8 London Riots
(Rob Lynch and James Davis)
1 119
9 CCK
(Chris Brookes and Kid Lykos)
2 91
Swords Of Essex
(Will Ospreay and Paul Robinson)
1 91
11 British Strong Style
(Trent Seven and Pete Dunne)
1 82
12 Flamita and Bandido 1 50
13 Jimmy Havoc and Mark Haskins 1 14
14 CCK
(Chris Brookes, Kid Lykos, Jonathan Gresham and AR Fox)
1 7

By wrestlerEdit

Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined
days
1 Trent Seven 3 312
2 El Ligero 2 302
Nathan Cruz 2 302
4 Eddie Dennis 1 301
Mark Andrews 1 301
6 Tyler Bate 2 240
7 James Drake 2 237
Zack Gibson 2 237
9 Michael Dante 1 188
Tommy End 1 188
11 Kyle Fletcher 2 142+
Mark Davis 2 142+
13 Damon Moser 1 120
Danny Garnell 1 120
15 James Davis 1 119
Rob Lynch 1 119
17 Chris Brookes 3 98
Kid Lykos 3 98
19 Paul Robinson 1 91
Will Ospreay 1 91
21 Pete Dunne 1 82
22 Bandido 1 50
Flamita 1 50
24 Jimmy Havoc 1 14
Mark Haskins 1 14
26 AR Fox 1 7
Jonathan Gresham 1 7

Progress Atlas ChampionshipEdit

Progress Atlas Championship
Details
Date established25 September 2016
Current champion(s)deactivated
Date won5 May 2019

The Progress Atlas Championship was a championship exclusively for wrestlers over 205 pounds - the cruiserweight weight limit - in weight. Rampage Brown was the first champion after winning a tournament.

On the 27th of February, 2019, PROGRESS announced that there would be a unification match between the Atlas and World championships at Super Strong Style 16 on the 5th May of that year, with Walter winning and thus unifying the two titles.[10]

Reign The reign number for the specific champion listed
Location The city in which the title was won
Event The event promoted by the respective promotion in which the title was won
+ Indicates the current reign is changing daily
Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days


1 Rampage Brown 25 September 2016 Chapter 36: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Room... Again Brixton, London 1 112 Defeated Joe Coffey in a tournament final to crown the inaugural champion.


2 Matt Riddle 15 January 2017 Chapter 42: Life, the Universe and Wrestling Birmingham 1 175


3 Walter 9 July 2017 Chapter 51: Screaming For Progress Birmingham 1 34


4 Matt Riddle 12 August 2017 Progress: New York City New York City, New York 2 29


5 Walter 10 September 2017 Chapter 55: Chase the Sun Haringey, London 2 238 This was a three-way also involving Timothy Thatcher.


Vacated 6 May 2018 Chapter 68: Super Strong Style 16 2018 Haringey, London Walter voluntarily vacated the title.


6 Doug Williams 20 May 2018 Chapter 69: Be Here Now Manchester 1 133 Won a four-way with Joseph Conners, Rampage Brown and Rob Lynch for the vacant title.


7 Trent Seven 30 September 2018 Chapter 76: Hello Wembley Wembley, London 1 217


8 Walter 5 May 2019 Chapter 88: Super Strong Style 16 2019 Haringey, London 3 <1


Unified 5 May 2019 Chapter 88: Super Strong Style 16 2019 Haringey, London Upon Walter's victory, the title was unified with the Progress World Championship.


Combined reignsEdit

Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined
days
1 Walter 3 272
2 Trent Seven 1 217
3 Matt Riddle 2 204
4 Doug Williams 1 132
5 Rampage Brown 1 112

Progress World Women's ChampionshipEdit

Progress World Women's Championship
 
The Progress Women's Title
(May 2017 — Present)
Details
Date established28 May 2017
Current champion(s)Jordynne Grace
Date won30 December 2018
Other name(s)
Progress Women's Championship

It was announced on 24 April 2016, that Natural Progression Series IV would crown the first Progress Worlds Women's Champion. The tournament got underway in October 2016, with the champion to be crowned during the Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Edition 2017 weekend from 27 May 2017 to 29 May 2017. At the conclusion of the tournament at day two of the Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Edition 2016 weekend, Toni Storm was crowned the first Progress Women's Champion.

Key
No. Overall reign number
Reign Reign number for the specific champion
Days Number of days held
+ Current reign is changing daily
No. Champion Championship change Reign statistics Notes Ref.
Date Event Location Reign Days


1 Toni Storm 28 May 2017 Chapter 49: Super Strong Style 16 2017 Camden Town, London 1 357 Won a tournament final to crown the inaugural champion. This was a three-way also involving Jinny and Laura Di Matteo.


2 Jinny 20 May 2018 Chapter 69: Be Here Now Manchester 1 224


3 Jordynne Grace 30 December 2018 Chapter 82: Unboxing Live, A Dukla Prague Away Kit Camden Town, London 1 142+


Combined reignsEdit

Rank Wrestler No. of
reigns
Combined days
1 Toni Storm 1 357
2 Jinny 1 224
3 Jordynne Grace 1 142+

ReceptionEdit

Patrick Lennon, wrestling journalist for the Daily Star, has attended and reviewed Progress shows.[11]

Carrie Dunn, founder and main contributor of wrestling blog "The Only Way is Suplex",[12] published the book Spandex, Screw Jobs & Cheap Pops: Inside the Business of British Pro Wrestling.[13] Progress Wrestling features frequently in the book including opening a chapter regarding London based wrestling promotions.[14]

ReferencesEdit

  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. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 July 2015. Retrieved 1 July 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  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. ^ "Progress Wrestling Launch Their On Demand Service". WrestleRopes UK. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  7. ^ Perry, Ian. "Progress Wrestling: Freedom's Road Debut Episode TV Report". PWInsider. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 14 August 2017.
  8. ^ http://www.cagematch.net/?id=5&nr=1723&page=5&reign=7
  9. ^ http://www.wrestling-news.net/ccw-project-mayhem-2016-results/81341/
  10. ^ https://twitter.com/ThisIs_Progress/status/1100839272972726275
  11. ^ "Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future show is a winner". Daily Star. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  12. ^ "The Only Way Is Suplex". Carrie Dunn. Archived from the original on 20 December 2013. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  13. ^ ""Spandex, Screw Jobs & Cheap Pops: Inside the Business of British Pro Wrestling" Amazon listing". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 8 December 2013.
  14. ^ 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.

External linksEdit