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The Early Progress Days: A Fast-Track Watch Guide


I love the UK’s Progress, but some friends looking to get into the promotion from its the early days have told me it’s not the easiest to latch onto (it took me two tries).

So, if you’ve tried and hit a wall or two, or if you just watched NXT UK TakeOver Blackpool and want to see Eddie Dennis’ earlier days, I’ve built a guide to help progressing through it all. This run-through cuts out the stuff that doesn’t hit as well or isn’t as important, and keeps a ton of good wrestling.

The other reason to trim it down is that these 9 Chapter (what Progress calls its canon-important events) shows total 19 hours and 29 minutes, which is a while. I’ve managed to chop it down to 13 hours and 7 minutes. Of course, I’d recommend you watch all of the promotion, not skipping anything, but not everyone has the time.

Here, you’ll see some of the best talent in the world — who have gone on to everywhere from NXT and NXT UK to NJPW to ROH — work in a very low-fi production situation, as Progress doesn’t use Drake’s “Started At The Bottom” at its live events for nothing.

Oh, and since Progress didn’t replay its social media content in its product, the way that WWE always does, I’ve included a few YouTube clips to provide context.

Chapter 1 — 1:55 down to 1:13

Start to 15:00 or so

Hey look, it’s an even younger Noam Dar! You thought you hated him for being this talented and young during his 205 Live and Cruiserweight Classic work, check out how good he was here against El Ligero.

~42:00 to 1:07

Enjoy a battle of good friends between Marty vs Zack.

~1:22:00 to ~1:55:00

You’ll see Jim Smallman launch their first championship. The main event is OK, not the most important.

Jimmy Havoc’s #BookHavoc campaign:

Progress’ Response

More #BookHavoc

Smallman’s response

Chapter 2 — 2:16 down to 0:51

~53:00 to ~1:24:00

You’ve watched those clips to set up Danny Garnell vs Jimmy Havoc, which starts at around 53 minutes in. That’s followed by the tag match of the London Riots vs Velocity Vipers, and make sure to keep your eye on the picture-in-picture interview to see a future NJPW Jr. Heavyweight champion.

1:39:00 to 2:16:00

Marty Scurll vs Nathan Cruz is a fun one, and Cruz is a guy who’s had trouble getting his proper play outside of the UK scene.

Chapter 3 — 2:08 down to 0:46

0 to 2:00.

Check out the Intro to stay aware of the broad strokes of this young promotion.

28:00 to 1:12:00.

The London Riots vs Bastard Squad, followed by Jimmy Havoc vs Jon Ryan.

Chapter 4 — 2:03 down to 1:11

~3:00 to ~1:14:00

This is one of the first super-stacked cards so far. Meet the Hunter brothers, who take on the Riots. Next, RJ Singh vs Paul Robinson, followed by Noam Dar vs Jimmy Havoc and then Mandrews — who the crowd shouts “DRACO MALFOY” at, against Will Ospreay.

Chapter 5 — 1:55 down to 1:02

53:00 - 1:55:00

Here, we’ve got three matches of increasing importance. El Ligero vs Dave Mastiff, then RJ Singh’s Open Challenge and then Riots vs LDRS of the New School (Zack and Marty).

Chapter 6 — 2:09 down to 1:53

00 to 1:06:00

Very little to cut here: In this first 66 minutes, you get Dave Mastiff vs Noam Dar, Paul Robinson vs MK McKinnan (which is a part of Progress’ Natural Progression Series), Nathan Cruz vs Jimmy Havoc and The Riots vs Hunters. When you hear the word raffle, fast forward onto 1:21:00 or so.

1:21:00 to 2:08:00

First, you’ll see a young Eddie Dennis tagging with Mark Andrews, as FSU (Friends Stand United or Fuck Shit Up). Oh and after that? El Ligero vs Ricochet.

Chapter 7 — 2:37 down to 1:24

28:00 to 1:52:00

Watch the intro package, for first few minutes, then feel free to skip to 28 minutes in, for a good few matches in a row. We start with Natural Progression Series elimination match with Eddie Dennis, Cooper, Allen and Lakeside.

Then Riots vs Project Ego (Kris Travis and Martin Kirby, followed by a special guest! Nigel McGuinness shows up to ref for Zack Sabre Jr. vs Jimmy Havoc, and make sure to watch Nigel’s speech at the end of that match. After that, you get the Mandrews Ospreay match teased in the opening package.

Chapter 8 — 2:07 down to 1:02

33:00 to 1:13:00

Start at around 33 minutes in for Rob Lynch vs Danny Garnell, which is followed by Jimmy Havoc vs the other Riot, which gets NASTY and has a lot of plunder.

1:45:00 to 2:07:00

The main event title match, Ligero vs Rampage is definitely worth it.

Chapter 9

Watch all of this one. Enjoy yourself.

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