In this ongoing series, one where I try to get newcomers better acquainted with different promotions, we have already looked at three greats in CMLL, PWG, and NJPW. I’d be remiss if I delayed talking about UK’s PROGRESS next. If WWE products are still your main source of wrestling, the good news is that you already know a bit about their product. They were one of the companies hosting qualifiers for the Cruiserweight Classic, and have since had loose ties with the sports entertainment giant.
The fact is, now is a great time to get absorbed into their product. Rumors have circulated for a while now of PROGRESS being included on the WWE Network in some form, and the UK Division is very intertwined with them as well. Both men that have held the WWE UK Championship are regulars of PROGRESS, and are actually champions there too.
So, I try to mention talent in these to get you better ready to start watching. Starting with Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate are the obvious choices. The two are members of British Strong Style, a group that also includes Trent Seven. The rest of the roster are all very talented, with none actually being terrible. Mark Haskins, Mark Andrews, Matt Riddle, Jimmy Havoc and so on. If you enjoy good tag team wrestling, The London Riots, CCK, and SPPT are a few worth seeking out. If you want women’s wrestling, Matteo, Jinny, and Storm are all enjoyable, too. The fact is, the promotion has one of the best rosters in the world.
PROGRESS currently has four different championships. The World title is held by Pete Dunne. His allies, Seven and Bate, hold the Tag belts. The Atlas Champion is Matt Riddle, and the newly designed Women’s Championship is held by the amazing Toni Storm. The company also holds an annual tournament called Super Strong Style 16 that tends to be great, alongside the Natural Progression Series. SSS16 this year, having just ended last month, featured big indie names like Jeff Cobb, Flamita, and Sabre Jr alongside the more regular roster members.
One of the best reasons to suggest PROGRESS to newcomers is that storylines actually exist within their walls. Some indie feds are story-lite, but PROGRESS tells very enjoyable tales that aren’t too heavy either to turn away people from wanting to jump in cold. Super over faces, hated heels. Slow burn plots and emotional moments mixed with one of the best fans in the world. PROGRESS is for everyone.
So, are you ready to give them a shot? DEMAND PROGRESS is the easiest way, arguably. It’s their version of the WWE Network and costs less than $8 a month. The Highspots Network, which features several great promotions, is another decent option. That choice costs $9.99. Just make sure to actually support them if you choose to watch. But, if you’re broke at the moment, here’s a free show they posted on YouTube. It’s a few years old, but has Finn Balor, Sabre, and more on it.
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