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How The Rise Of Eddie Dennis Caused The Biggest Shock in PROGRESS Wrestling History

Daniel Leggett looks at the rise of ‘The Pride of Wales’ Eddie Dennis, and the road to his shocking PROGRESS Title win.

Chapter 95: Still Chasing marked one of the most shocking moments in Progress Wrestling history when the reign of WALTER finally ended as Eddie Dennis became the new Unified Progress Champion.

This is the story of how Eddie Dennis went from losing in the semi-finals of the first ever Natural Progression Series to shocking the world and becoming Progress Wrestling’s new Unified Champion.

Eddie first wrestled for Progress back in 2013 at Chapter 6: We Heart Violence, when he teamed with fellow Welshman and friend Mark Andrews as part of the tag team ‘Team DEFEND’. Although he came out as the loser, his performance lead to a long future with the company.

Eddie Dennis was then entered into the first ever Natural Progression Series, a tournament that would go on to make names of wrestlers such as Mark Andrews, Flash Morgan Webster, and Toni Storm. He managed to win his first round match but lost in the semi-finals to Paul Robinson, another wrestler who went on to become a major name in Progress Wrestling and is currently, as of writing, the first ever Progress Wrestling Proteus champion.

Eddie’s first championship in Progress Wrestling was as the first ever Progress Wrestling Tag Team champions alongside his partner Mark Andrews in a team now known as FSU (Friends Stand United). FSU held on to those belts for nearly a year, losing after 301 days to Danny Garnell & Damon Moser who were wrestling as The Faceless at the time.

Eddie’s career with Progress Wrestling then took a different turn and he wouldn’t hold anymore gold until becoming the Progress Wrestling Unified Champion, instead working in more of a midcard role and having matches where he would come close to becoming tag champions with Andrews but never quite being able to win the belts back.

This was until Progress Chapter 55: Chase The Sun at Alexandra Palace and the moment everything changed for Eddie Dennis. This was the year that Eddie Dennis decided to take a chance on himself and left his full time job as a headteacher to take up wrestling full time.

Eddie Dennis was booked to wrestle as part of a scramble match that would lead to the winner going on to become the Progress Wrestling number one contender. The finish to the match saw Mark Andrews set up Eddie Dennis to win the match but after he was able to secure the pinfall Mark hit a Shooting Star Press and walked away the winner. Post-match, Mark and Eddie were celebrating in the ring when Eddie suddenly turned on Mark and laid him out with a Next Stop Driver. This moment started one of the hottest storylines in Progress history.

The story progressed throughout the year with Eddie accusing Mark of being selfish and the reason their team of FSU ended. The story had fans fully gripped and even lead to some fans being unsure of who was the bad guy in the story. Eddie spent the early months of 2018 trying to get a match out of Mark Andrews but each time he asked, Mark refused. Just before SSS16 2018, Eddie Dennis unfortunately received an injury that meant he’d be out for some time. He did however show up after Day 2 of SSS16 and attacked a member of Mark’s band at a post show gig. On Day 3 of SSS16 Mark came out and agreed to the match, however the date of the match was never said.

It finally took place at Progress’ biggest show ever, Progress Chapter 76: Hello Wembley, in a Table Ladders & Chairs match. The winner would get a title match at a time of their choosing. The match had everything and finished off the story brilliantly, even if some of the tables didn’t break. Eddie Dennis ended up walking away with the contract and a title match at a time of his choosing within the next 12 months. Remember this: it will come up again later.

Eddie’s next few matches were matches that gave him the chance to show how much of a top level wrestler he was against the likes of Mark Haskins and Mike Bailey. That was until the group of Do Not Resuscitate (Drew Parker, Spike Trivet, Chuck Mambo and William Eaver) decided to set their sights on Mark Haskins and Eddie Dennis. This led to Eddie and Mark finally putting their differences aside and reuniting to stop DnR at SSS16 2019 Day 2, 18 months after their story started. FSU then partied with Haskins, Havoc and Ligero and it seemed Eddie and Mark were friends again once more.

Due to injuries and other responsibilities Eddie Dennis was not seen again in Progress until Chapter 93: Cheer Up Juice to work as ring announcer whilst regular announcer Jim Smallman was away on holiday. Eddie did a great job as ring announcer and showed that if he was to finish wrestling he would have a great career outside of the ring. At the end of the show. Eddie had an announcement to make – due to receiving injuries, he was going to concentrate on his WWE dream that he’s had since a kid and he will not be appearing in a Progress Wrestling ring again.

So what about that contract he had won at Wembley less than 12 months ago?

Progress Chapter 95: Still Chasing’s Main Event, David Starr Vs WALTER, the Ring General Vs Mr INDEPENDENT. The 13th match between the two and one of the biggest matches in Progress history. David looks to have the upper hand when referee Joel Allen gets knocked out by a stray WALTER kick and David uses the title to take WALTER out. Now that the stage is set, let me tell you how that contract comes in handy.

Whilst David Starr and the crowd scream for a new referee to come out and count the pinfall, referee Chris Adams suddenly appears on the stage after being pushed through the black curtain. Before the crowd can work out what’s happening, Eddie Dennis’ music and video plays and he comes through the curtain. Eddie grabs a microphone and announces that as his contract is due to run out in just a matter of days he’s cashing it in and the main event is now a triple threat. Eddie then informs David that due to the match being a triple threat the match is No DQ. Suddenly from behind a figure in black appears with a bandana over his face and beats down Starr with a chair. The masked man then reveals himself to be Mark Andrews and Eddie Dennis scores the pinfall, becoming the new Progress Unified Champion! One of the biggest swerves in Progress history was complete.

Eddie then took to the microphone and proclaimed that FSU were back and as champions FSU were here to “FUCK SHIT UP”. Just like that, 24 months of build were complete and Progress had achieved one of the best slow builds in their history. Eddie Dennis had managed to go from losing on Chapter 6 to become the Progress Unified Champion – the new face of the company.

Chapter 96: True Friends Stab You In The Front will be an interesting one for Progress Wrestling. What will Eddie and Mark have to say about their actions and who will be the first to challenge Eddie Dennis for his Unified Championship? Finally, will Eddie be medically cleared to even defend his championship after being out injured for the past six months?

Tickets are still available from http://www.progresswrestling.myshopify.com or make sure you catch the show when it hits On Demand a week later.

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