Progress Wrestling

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Progress Wrestling
Founded 2011
Headquarters London
Key people
Jim Smallman (Owner) [1]
Jon Briley (Owner) [1]
Glen Joseph (Owner)
Website PROGRESSWrestling.com

Progress Wrestling (stylized 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 Joseph.[1]

History[edit]

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.[2] 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 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 Twelve in March 2014 for their second anniversary show where the sell outs have continued. To date PROGRESS has sold out all twenty main shows up to and including May 2015.

The promotion have been reluctant to use "imports" (talent for which the UK is not their home or one of their homes). Colt Cabana was the first such talent to be included on a show as part of the debut show, Chapter One, in a losing effort to Loco Mike Mason. Ricochet has appeared twice for the promotion, losing to El Ligero at Chapter Six and in a triple threat with Mark Haskins and Zack Sabre Jr at Chapter Eleven. Adam Cole was the first non-European wrestler to register a win in PROGRESS, defeating Mark Haskins at Chapter Ten. Prince Devitt also appeared twice for the promotion, defeating Zack Sabre Jr at Chapter Thirteen 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 Tomasso Ciampa.

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.[3] In December 2015 they will begin running regular shows at The Ritz in Manchester.[4]

Events[edit]

2012[edit]

Title Venue Location Date
Chapter One: In The Beginning... The Garage London, England 25 March 2012
Chapter Two: The March Of Progress The Garage London, England 24 June 2012
Chapter Three: Fifty Shades Of Pain The Garage London, England 30 September 2012
Chapter Four: The Ballad Of El Ligero The Boston Dome London, England 25 November 2012

2013[edit]

Title Venue Location Date
Chapter Five: For Those About To Fight, We Salute You The Garage London, England 27 January 2013
Chapter Six: We Heart Violence The Garage London, England 31 March 2013
Chapter Seven: Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future The Garage London, England 19 May 2013
Chapter Eight: The Big Boys Guide To Strong Style The Garage London, England 28 July 2013
ENDVR:1 The Bedford London, England 1 September 2013
Chapter Nine: Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kick Me, Kill Me The Garage London, England 29 September 2013
ENDVR:2 The Bedford London, England 17 November 2013
Chapter Ten: Glory Follows Virtue As If It Were Its Shadow The Garage London, England 24 November 2013

2014[edit]

Title Venue Location Date
Chapter Eleven: To Fight War, You Must Become War The Garage London, England 26 January 2014
ENDVR:3 The Bedford London, England 2 February 2014
Chapter Twelve: We're Gonna Need A Bigger Room The Electric Ballroom London, England 30 March 2014
ENDVR:4 The Bedford London, England 13 April 2014
Chapter Thirteen: Unbelievable Jeff! The Electric Ballroom London, England 18 May 2014
ENDVR:5 The Garage London, England 29 June 2014
World Cup The Garage London, England 29 June 2014
Sonisphere Night 1 The Satellite Stage, Sonisphere Festival Knebworth, England 4 July 2014
Sonisphere Night 2 The Satellite Stage, Sonisphere Festival Knebworth, England 5 July 2014
Sonisphere Night 3 The Satellite Stage, Sonisphere Festival Knebworth, England 6 July 2014
Chapter Fourteen: THUNDERBASTARD The Electric Ballroom London, England 27 July 2014
ENDVR:6 The Bedford London, England 7 September 2014
Chapter Fifteen: Just Because You're Paranoid, Doesn't Mean They Aren't Out To Get You The Electric Ballroom London, England 28 September 2014
ENDVR:7 The Bedford London, England 2 November 2014
Chapter Sixteen: Very Very Very Breaky Breaky Breaky Bishi Bishiii The Electric Ballroom London, England 30 November 2014

2015[edit]

Title Venue Location Date
ENDVR:8 The Garage London, England 4 January 2015
Chapter Seventeen: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger The Electric Ballroom London, England 25 January 2015
ENDVR:9 The Bedford London, England 1 March 2015
Chapter Eighteen: The Show We Can't Call ProgresslMania for Legal Reasons The Electric Ballroom London, England 22 March 2015
ENDVR:10 The Garage London, England 19 April 2015
Chapter Nineteen: Super Strong Style 16: Tournament Edition 2015 (Part 1) The Electric Ballroom London, England 24 May 2015
Chapter Nineteen: Super Strong Style 16: Tournament Edition 2015 (Part 2) The Electric Ballroom London, England 25 May 2015
Download Festival Night 1 Download Festival, Donington Park Castle Donington, England 10 June 2015
Download Festival Night 2 Download Festival, Donington Park Castle Donington, England 11 June 2015
Download Festival Night 3 Download Festival, Donington Park Castle Donington, England 12 June 2015
Download Festival Night 4 Download Festival, Donington Park Castle Donington, England 13 June 2015
Download Festival Night 5 Download Festival, Donington Park Castle Donington, England 14 June 2015
ENDVR:11 The Garage London, England 21 June 2015
Chapter Twenty: ThunderBastard: Beyond ThunderBastard The Electric Ballroom London, England 26 July 2015
Chapter Twenty-One The Electric Ballroom London, England 6 September 2015
Chapter Twenty-Two The Electric Ballroom London, England 18 October 2015
Chapter Twenty-Three The Electric Ballroom London, England 29 November 2015
Chapter Twenty-Four: Hit the North! The Ritz Manchester, England 6 December 2015

2016[edit]

Title Venue Location Date
Chapter Twenty Five The Electric Ballroom London, England 24 January 2016

Training School[edit]

In late 2012 PROGRESS launched the only full-time wrestling school in London and the South East, also known as the ProJo. The school has classes for beginner and advanced level wrestlers, and has a wrestling ring permanently erected along with another ring-sized matted area. The original head trainer at the school was Jimmy Havoc, but he was replaced in November 2013 by Darrell Allen. Other trainers include Danny Garnell, James Davis, Eddie Dennis and Wild Boar Mike Hitchman. The school has hosted seminars by the likes of Michael Elgin, Scott Levy, Nigel McGuinness and others. In late 2013 PROGRESS announced that the ProJo students would be putting on their own shows, which would be called ENDVR. ENDVR shows feature a mix of trainees from the ProJo, their trainers, and other professional wrestlers. The first four ENDVR shows were held at the The Bedford Arms in Balham, while ENDVR:5 was held as an afternoon show before the Progress World Cup on 29 June 2014 at The Garage in Islington. Starting from ENDVR:8, the trainee shows move to The Garage on a permanent basis.

Jimmy Havoc & Regression[edit]

To date, the most significant storyline within the company has been that of Jimmy Havoc's ascent to the championship. Havoc debuted for PROGRESS on Chapter Two in May 2012 and went on to lose six matches without registering a victory, though became very popular with the PROGRESS fans as an underdog babyface. At Chapter Nine in November 2013 Havoc attacked promoter Jim Smallman and aligned himself with the London Riots, turning heel in the process. Havoc would then use an open contract given to him by Smallman to defeat PROGRESS champion Mark Andrews (who had just wrestled both Paul Robinson and Rampage Brown in consecutive matches) to become champion and pick up his first victory in PROGRESS. In his first title defence at Chapter Eleven, Havoc defeated Zack Sabre Jr with the help of his newest associate, PROGRESS trainee 'The Omega' Isaac Zercher. Havoc was joined at Chapter Thirteen by Paul Robinson, and the group later christened themselves 'Regression' as a play on the name of the company and to symbolise their hatred of PROGRESS Wrestling.

The group lost its first members at Chapter Fifteen, as the four members of the group (not including Zercher) took on PROGRESS Tag Team champions Eddie Dennis and Mark Andrews, Will Ospreay and Noam Dar in a 'titles vs careers' match. Ospreay pinned James Davis of the London Riots, meaning that the Riots were gone from PROGRESS.

Championships and Accomplishments[edit]

Progress Championship[edit]

Unlike conventional wrestling championships which are generally represented by a belt, the PROGRESS championship was initially represented by a large staff with an eagle head piece. The eagle represented the promotion's logo, but was affectionately referred to as the "Nazi staff" by fans. Promoter Jim Smallman was never afraid to defend the accidental likeness of the championship during shows, by occasionally declaring "It's not Nazi, it's regal" whenever a "Nazi staff" chant was started by the fans in attendance.[5] At Chapter Sixteen the staff was replaced by a more traditional title belt.

# Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
1 Nathan Cruz 1 25 March 2012 246 London, UK Chapter One: In The Beginning Defeated Marty Scurll, El Ligero & Mike Mason in a tournament final to crown the inaugural champion
2 El Ligero 1 25 November 2012 245 London, UK Chapter Four: The Ballad of El Ligero
3 Rampage Brown 1 28 July 2013 119 London, UK Chapter Eight: The Big Boy's Guide to Strong Style
4 Mark Andrews 1 24 November 2013 0 London, UK Chapter Ten: Glory Follows Virtue As If It Were Its Shadow Cashed in his Natural Progression Series title shot
5 Jimmy Havoc 1 24 November 2013 587+ London, UK Chapter Ten: Glory Follows Virtue As If It Were Its Shadow Cashed in his open contract given to him by Jim Smallman

Progress Tag Team Championship[edit]

It was announced at Chapter Nine 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 Twelve, the second anniversary show, in March 2014. As with the PROGRESS championship not being a conventional belt, the Tag Team championship is represented by a shield with the PROGRESS eagle on the front. The shield splits into two, one for each championship holder.

# Champion Reign Date Days held Location Event Notes Ref.
1 FSU
(Mark Andrews and Eddie Dennis)
1 30 March 2014 301 London, UK Chapter Twelve: We're Gonna Need a Bigger Room 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)
1 25 January 2015 160 London, UK Chapter Seventeen: Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger Originally captured the titles as 'The Faceless' before unmasking as Nathan Cruz and El Ligero, renaming themselves 'The Origin' on 24 May 2015
3 The Sumerian Death Squad
(Tommy End and Michael Dante)
1 25 May 2015 40 London, UK Chapter Nineteen: Super Strong Style 16: Tournament Edition 2015 (Day 2)

Natural Progression Series[edit]

Beginning with Chapter Four: The Ballad of El Ligero, PROGRESS launched the Natural Progression Series, with the intention of showcasing young and up-and-coming British talent. From Chapter Four each card will feature a match in the series. The tournament was announced as an annual tournament, with the winner gaining a shot at the PROGRESS title.[6]

2013

Quarterfinals
(Chapters Four, Five, Six and Seven)
Semifinals
(Chapters Eight and Nine)
Final
(Chapter Ten)
                 
Mark Andrews Pin
Will Ospreay
Mark Andrews Pin
Jonathan Windsor
Mike Hitchman
Jonathan Windsor Pin
Mark Andrews Pin
Paul Robinson
MK McKinnan
Paul Robinson Pin
Paul Robinson Pin
Eddie Dennis
Eddie Dennis Pin
Darrell Allen, Joey Lakeside & Xander Cooper

2014

Quarterfinals
(Chapters Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen & Fourteen)
Semifinals Final
                 
Josh Bodom
Morgan Webster Pin
Morgan Webster Pin
Pete Dunne
Pete Dunne Sub
Robbie X
Morgan Webster Pin
Zack Gibson
Will Ospreay
Zack Gibson Sub
Zack Gibson Sub
Ali Armstrong
Ali Armstrong Pin
Chuck Mambo & Pastor William Eaver

2015

Quarterfinals Semifinals Final
                 
Pastor William Eaver
 
 
 
Sebastian
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Super Strong Style 16[edit]

The Super Strong Style 16 is an annual two-day tournament with competitors from around the world, in the vein of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla's Battle of Los Angeles or Westside Xtreme Wrestling's 16 Carat tournament. The first event was held in 2015, and was won by Will Ospreay.

2015

First round Second round Semifinals Finals
               
El Ligero 9:12
Will Ospreay Pin
Will Ospreay Pin
Mark Haskins 10:48
Mark Haskins Sub
Jack Gallagher 8:04
Will Ospreay Pin
Roderick Strong 12:45
Rampage Brown Pin
Big Daddy Walter 7:26
Rampage Brown 14:04
Roderick Strong Pin
Tommy End 17:49
Roderick Strong Pin
Will Ospreay Pin
Zack Sabre Jr 17:57
Eddie Dennis 10:49
Marty Scurll Sub
Marty Scurll Sub
Dave Mastiff 9:24
Dave Mastiff Ref Stop
Noam Dar 10:41
Marty Scurll 19:48
Zack Sabre Jr Sub
Damo O'Connor 12:52
Tommaso Ciampa Pin
Tommaso Ciampa 15:49
Zack Sabre Jr Pin
Zack Gibson 15:47
Zack Sabre Jr Sub

Media Review/Industry Response[edit]

Patrick Lennon, lead wrestling journalist for The Daily Star, has attended and reviewed PROGRESS Shows such as the acclaimed "Chapter Seven: Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future."[7]

Carrie Dunn, founder and main contributor of wrestling blog "The Only Way is Suplex",[8] recently published "Spandex, Screw Jobs & Cheap Pops: Inside the Business of British Pro Wrestling".[9] PROGRESS Wrestling features frequently in the book including opening a chapter regarding London based wrestling promotions.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "About". Progress Wrestling. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  2. ^ 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. Retrieved 14 August 2014. 
  3. ^ http://downloadfestival.co.uk/news/progress-wrestling-set-wreak-havoc-download-2015
  4. ^ http://www.progresswrestling.com/chapter24news/
  5. ^ "PROGRESS Chapter One DVD review". RTJR Publishing. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  6. ^ "Natural Progression Series". PROGRESS Wrestling. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  7. ^ "Every Saint Has A Past, Every Sinner Has A Future show is a winner". Daily Star. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  8. ^ "The Only Way Is Suplex". Carrie Dunn. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  9. ^ ""Spandex, Screw Jobs & Cheap Pops: Inside the Business of British Pro Wrestling" Amazon listing". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-08. 
  10. ^ 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 links[edit]