PROGRESS Wrestling and DEFY announce merger

Photo Courtesy: PROGRESS / DEFY

DEFY Wrestling and PROGRESS Wrestling are merging.

The promotions issued a joint press release on Friday to announce the alliance.

The news was first reported by Fightful comes ahead of DEFY’s seventh-anniversary event this weekend in Seattle.

PROGRESS was launched in 2011 by Jim Smallman and Jon Briley and became one of the dominant independent groups over the next several years and a key promotion when it came to the rise of the U.K. wrestling scene.

The company began a working relationship with WWE in 2017, which eventually led to members of Progress’ staff working with the NXT UK brand. Smallman left Progress in 2019 to focus solely on his WWE duties with the other founding members moving on as well.

Multiple performers attached to the company were named during the Speaking Out movement in 2020 which led to the company undergoing significant criticism during the pandemic.

The company was sold at the end of 2021 with the new ownership consisting of Lee McAteer and Martyn Best, who have been running the promotion for the past two years.

The company launched its Demand Progress Plus streaming service last year, which DEFY will be part of in this alliance.

DEFY was launched by Matt Farmer and Jim Perry in 2017 and has become one of the top groups in the United States, based out of the Pacific Northwest.

Both promotions will be staging events as part of The Collective during WrestleMania Week in Philadelphia in April.

DEFY’s anniversary event is this Saturday night at Washington Hall in Seattle and features Mustafa Ali vs. Judas Icarus, Vert Vixen vs. Nicole Matthews, Sami Callihan vs. Artemis Spencer, and The Bollywood Boyz vs. Sovereign in the top matches.

About John Pollock 5435 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.