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I went regularly for about a year or so and absolutely fucking loved it. Full on drank the Kool Aid. But the following year got pretty bored pretty quick. All the best talent had fucked off and they were pushing shit arses like Mark Haskins. There were no proper engaging storylines. Matches all started to merge into one as every wrestler seemed to model their matches off Young Bucks in PWG style matches. The owners got more and more smug, the fans more unbearable. 

It's so weird that for a brief moment it looked like the UK scene was going to truly become it's own special, unique and successful scene. Amazing how quickly it stopped being interesting or growing. Even more amazing is that it was the guys who built it up who sabotaged it.

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PROGRESS is dead. The sooner the owners and fans realise that the better. They had their brief moment in the sun but the owners sold out at the first opportunity, they lost all their top guys, ran out

One factor that I think is underestimated in Progress's decline is when they started rescheduling shows because they clashed with NXT UK tapings. Not only did that kill the image when it was obvious t

I never got the punk thing, probably as it's not my personal vision of punk which is probably skewed in an odd way tbf. By the time I really looked at the promotion it felt like the Brew Dog of w

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As well as everything that's been mentioned, the 'annoying fans' were a massive part of it. Like ECW in the day, there was an element of 'if everyone there is so into it, there must be something behind it'.

I only went to one show up at Alexandra Palace and really enjoyed it. And the crowd was definitely part of it - if you didn't know the jokes and references, you got swept up pretty quickly.

However, part of the passion of the fans was how inclusive it was - there was a lot more visibility of women and LGBTQ+ fans, which was something Progress worked hard for. And the feeling of something new in terms of what they were aiming for was what appealed to me as well. But that's also the same part of the fanbase that was going to be hit the hardest by the revelations, and the most likely to need them to be handled well.

The reputation of Progress amongst the general fanbase was hurt badly. The reputation amongst the fanbase they'd worked the hardest to foster? That was destroyed.

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The buzz had certainly died down but they still seemed to be trying new things, putting the belt on Cara Noir (even if that was due to Eddie Dennis’ injury), they still had access to Eddie Kingston and seemed to be positioning him high on the card. But to your original point, their popularity had certainly cooled, they’d gone quite some time without an instant sell-out

Edited by WyattSheepMask
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3 hours ago, Kamaras-Tash said:

Wasn't it on its arse a bit anyway before the whole #metoo stuff came out about Britwres? I wasnt a follower but had seen 1 or 2 shows but the buzz seemed to have died off a bit especially once WWE deals started getting thrown about

Yeah the buzz seemed to decrease at the exact same rate as their work with WWE increased. They let WWE come in and gut the entire roster.

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1 hour ago, LaGoosh said:

Yeah the buzz seemed to decrease at the exact same rate as their work with WWE increased. They let WWE come in and gut the entire roster.

More significantly, whatever creativity they had left was gone. They'd dined out on the Ospreay/Havoc feud for years - much longer than their storytelling could actually match the reputation that feud afforded them - and after that it became a running joke that to know what to expect from PROGRESS, you just looked to what Fight Club Pro were doing three months later. By the time the brain trust were all at NXT UK, they were effectively trying to book two shows - and you are going to focus your attentions on your meal ticket, or on the little indie show you don't need any more? It just became matches thrown together with no purpose, and combinations we'd seen a thousand times.

For all the talk of NXT UK gutting the UK scene, PROGRESS - by still having access to most of the core NXT UK talent - should have been the one to weather that storm best, but if anything were worst affected by it. Whether that damage was mostly reputational from those who had honestly bought into the "punk rock wrestling" gimmick, or just a result of the whole project losing steam, they seemed to have just lost all momentum long before Covid or Speaking Out came along. 

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Progress were trying to be British PWG. The set up with it being in the Ballroom with fans close to the ring and no barriers, the SSS16 tournament going from two days to three days and bascially being like BOLA. And they copied their Mystery Vortex format with Unboxing. 

Plus their attempt at “witty” show titles. 

Edited by TheBurningRed
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I can only speak on an icw fan side, but most People I knew got into it as an alternative to wwe, to see something different and fun. As soon as the relationship with wwe came in, the changing of Theme musics (from proper music, to a local talent created them , to then the EMI stock music) , cleaning of the language etc, interest and people I knew attending dropped off A cliff. I don’t see anyone I know discussing these taped shows and the retweets from the company all seem to be network viewers in the states. Maybe that is the audience for it, but it doesn’t seem to be its homegrown audience.
I have recorded podcasts with a lot of the guys now getting opportunities on their shows and they seem really proud to be on the network when last year I seen some wrestling at shows with under 20 people there, so that’s a good thing. but with the greatest respect to them, there’s not many around now that feel they have the character or personality of a Grado, a Jester or a Renfrew to pull in a loyal fan base the way they did to start the boom up here. Wish them well, but it’s not something I’ll be buying the network to watch

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One factor that I think is underestimated in Progress's decline is when they started rescheduling shows because they clashed with NXT UK tapings. Not only did that kill the image when it was obvious the promotion was no longer the top priority for its wrestlers and owners, but it pretty much wiped out the large proportion of the audience who were making lengthy train or coach trips that were only affordable on non-refundable/rebookable fares.

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43 minutes ago, JNLister said:

 it pretty much wiped out the large proportion of the audience who were making lengthy train or coach trips that were only affordable on non-refundable/rebookable fares.

One of the times I had Progress fans jumping all over me on Twitter was because of something like this; I suggested that moving dates, or only announcing a big match with a couple of days notice, was a shitty way to treat your fans because it didn't account for how much time and money fans had to invest in travel, and how much more expensive that becomes if you leave it until the last minute, or if your initial fare is non-refundable.

The show in question wasn't a London show, so I got people accusing me of being London-centric for suggesting that fans might have to spend a lot of money to travel from London to wherever this show was - overlooking the fact that, at the time, I didn't live in London, and had also quoted prices for travel from other cities as part of my argument. Because apparently it's daft to think that a London-based promotion would have a large proportion of its fans in London.

The other thing that I got a lot of people saying was basically "you're not a real fan if you're not prepared to travel to shows no matter what", which is absolutely cult behaviour.

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1 hour ago, Louch said:

As soon as the relationship with wwe came in, the changing of Theme musics (from proper music, to a local talent created them , to then the EMI stock music)

The music thing was a big deal for me. Proper music really added so much to the atmosphere and rock gig-like feel of the shows. Once that went the live experience was significantly less fun and the writing was clearly on the wall for "punk rock pro wrestling".

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