With this years Super Strong Style 16 a few weeks passed, it’s time to switch discussion to Progress’ other annual tournament, the Natural Progression series.
This tournament is the proving ground for the young talent in the British industry, and its track record of turning out big names is pretty impressive. From current WWE superstars (Mark Andrews, Toni Storm and Flash Morgan Webster), former PROGRESS World Champions (William Eaver) and a current PROGRESS Tag Champion (Mark Davis); if you want to get fast tracked to stardom, winning the Natural Progression Series is a good place to start.
So what about this year’s?
We already know one of this year’s eight entrants – Danny Duggan – having been handpicked to re-enter the tournament this year by last years winner Mark Davis, but that still leaves seven spots to fill.
With the British wrestling scene booming more so in 2019 than ever before there are so many potential candidates, with social media constantly buzzing with people’s predicted eight entrants. So what I’m here to do is give you my thoughts, feelings and possible predictions on just who I think could be the ones to take those seven spots.
Slight spoiler alert: this was really hard to fit into just seven names, so just because I feel there is so much talent that deserve an opportunity, I’m going to be listing off some ‘honourable mentions’ towards the end.
1. Cara Noir
The man with possibly the most theatrical entrance in British Wrestling to date (at least that I’ve seen). Cara Noir has been a long time standout in other promotions, and seemingly is a talking point no matter where he goes.
His matches in Riptide have been stellar and he came into Attack Pro Wrestling in January of this year as a complete surprise, yet has been having match of the night candidates since arriving. He even won the Attack Pro 24/7 Championship at one point. So why is he on this list? He’s never been booked by Progress, and in fact seemingly challenged them to book him in social media posts during his ‘Cara’s having a meltdown’ phase in late December and early January.
The Black Swan of British Wrestling is a phenomenal in ring talent to go along with the mystique of his entrance, and it would be a damn shame to see him not getting an opportunity in one of Britain’s biggest promotions to show what he can do once again, and possibly even take home a trophy whilst doing it.
2. Scotty Davis
Perhaps regarded as the forefront for the up and coming Irish wrestling scene, Scotty Davis has been breaking out not just in his home country, but up and down the UK alongside it.
He is a Frontline Young Lion, recently won the Fight Club Pro: Project London tournament to become a full time roster member and has been having phenomenal matches in Ireland’s OTT whether it be against fellow Contenders or even legends such as Jushin Thunder Liger.
Scotty also wouldn’t be making his Electric Ballroom debut as he recently featured in a six person tag for Progress’ pre show with other Frontline Young Lions, getting a very audible reaction from the moment he entered the ring. He is a wrestler on the rise, very much like names from NPS’ prior, and would make a fine fit to this tournament. No matter who he would get paired up against, whether it’s youth against experience, or a battle against a much larger opponent, Scotty Davis would be a threat to any competitor.
3. Nico Angelo
A standout of the Dragon Pro Academy in South Wales, the high flying Nico Angelo is guaranteed to be a breakout star of 2019.
An unfortunate injury may have kept him out at the tail end of last year but since returning he has been killing it everywhere he goes. His speed, quickness and high flying prowess are a key component of his in ring work, much like one of his mentors Mark Andrews.
Angelo has also started to break out around the UK, with strong showings in promotions such as HOPE, Attack Pro Wrestling and Fight Club Pro, leading to many more fans believing he could be a highly sought after acquisition for this years NPS.
4. The O.J.M.O
A mainstay of the Progress pre-show matches, making his main show debut at SSS16 Day 3 this year, the master of the half crab is no stranger to the Electric Ballroom crowd. The O.J.M.O may have said he’s here to fill a certain ‘quota’ in his battle rap, but why not also fill a space in the NPS?
He is putting on great matches no matter where he goes, be it Riptide, Battle Pro or anywhere else, and already has fans engaged with his mantra of ‘Now We Play.’ A strong worker, his in-ring style could throw off any opponent which may lead to a few shocks if The O.J.M.O enters this year’s Natural Progression Series.
5. Jordon Breaks
An up and coming technical wrestler but one that seems to be the name on everyone’s lips right now, Jordon Breaks would seemingly be the dark horse of the NPS if he so enters.
His mat wrestling style can throw any opponent off their game, as in his matches he seems to be able to take the advantage at any given time, even if he is the one in peril. And to top it off, he’s just so god damn likeable that you can’t root against him! Appearing in some recent pre-show matches for Progress, Jordon Breaks would be a welcome addition to the Natural Progression Series for 2019.
6. Jay Joshua
Another standout from the Dragon Pro Academy, Jay Joshua has been breaking out across the UK in recent months.
He has faced Timothy Thatcher in Attack Pro, proving that in his young career he is already not afraid to take on all comers. His martial arts background definitely plays a hand in his seemingly shoot style offence, as he is known to utilise a multitude of different strikes and submissions to try and get a victory. With a never say die attitude, Jay Joshua would bring heart and fire to this tournament not only with his in ring technique, but a competitor as a whole.
7. Callum Newman
I mean come on! Who doesn’t love watching flippy juniors wrestling? Callum Newman is definitely one to watch in his very young career. His style is high flying and risk taking, but it’s all done with a purpose.
Much like other possible competitors mentioned here, he also brings a lot of heart to this tournament. With so much talent at his young age, there is no way to tell which way his matches could go in the NPS if he is included, but due to this it may lead other competitors to overlook him. I’ll just say this, DO NOT OVERLOOK CALLUM NEWMAN. He is a soon to be star.
- Dan Moloney
- Brendan White
- Ashley Dunn
- Damon Moser
- Carlos Romo
- Sugar Dunkerton
There are so many wrestlers I could probably mention that I would like to see in this tournament, but there are only seven spaces up for grabs in the Natural Progression Series. With just under four months to go it remains to be seen how entry will be decided. The field is completely open for, well, anybody! I can’t wait to see how this turns out.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @YaBoy__KJ. Thanks for reading!