The Natural Progression Series has become a regular tournament for Progress Wrestling and has been used as a way to introduce new talent into their roster.
Usually held over multiple chapter shows, the Natural Progress Series is a multi-person tournament containing wrestlers who have a lesser built profile within Progress. The winner of the tournament goes on to challenge for a belt of choosing apart from the NPS IV, in which the winner was crowned the first ever Progress Women’s Champion.
Previous winners have been, Mark Andrews, Flash Morgan Webster, Pastor William Eaver, Toni Storm and Mark Davis. This year the Natural Progress Series will be a one-day tournament hosted inside the Electric Ballroom the day before Chapter 95: Still Chasing. Due to the Natural Progression Series being a one night show this year the winner will have to wrestle 3 matches in one night. Therefore the winning wrestler will have to keep their talent to a high standard but also must be able to recover from those matches with very little time to recuperate.
Danny Duggan vs Malik
The first match of the tournament brackets contains the wrestler that last years winner Mark Davis selected to come back for this year’s tournament against Malik who was selected by Progress Wrestling original Paul Robinson.
Danny Duggan reached the semi-finals of the Natural Progress Series V before losing to eventual winner Mark Davis. Due to winning the tournament last year Mark was allowed to select someone to return and compete in this years. Mark has said that he chose Danny Duggan because when facing him last year, Danny beat the living hell out of him. He also believes that because the Natural Progression Series is about making stars, he is someone that needs that opportunity to become a star.
Danny Duggan has been a wrestler for roughly 5 years now, first breaking out by appearing in a tag team alongside Cieran Donnely in IPW as part of D&D Security. Last year before competing in the Natural Progression Series, Danny flew himself out to the NJPW LA Dojo and spent time learning under Katsuyori Shibata. Thanks to his tutelage, Danny is now a regular for promotions such as Pro Wrestling Soul and Battle Pro Wrestling.
Danny Duggan will be considered a favourite for the tournament due to his experience from competing in last years NPS and the experience of learning under Shibata. If Danny can put together everything he has learnt from past experiences in Progress Wrestling and at the LA Dojo there is little reason why he can’t win this year’s tournament.
His opponent Malik however is a relative unknown to fans of Progress Wrestling. Malik was chosen by Progress Wrestling original Paul Robinson because Malik “hits harder, he batters people and he will go through that tournament like it’s nothing”
This won’t be the first time Malik has performed in the Electric Ballroom after wrestling in a Frontline Wrestling showcase 3v3 pre-show match at Chapter 87: Breadknife. During the match Malik showed off his heavy hitting skills and his ability to work the crowd as a heel.
He looks set to be a talent with a bright future working as heel and enticing big crowd heat, if he can make it past Danny Duggan in the first round of the Natural Progression Series then he has a good chance of going all the way to the final.
Veit Müller Vs The OJMO
The second match of the brackets will see a tournament favorite, David Starr’s pick, The OJMO against a dark horse, WALTER’S pick, Veit Müller
Veit is the only Germany based wrestler in the tournament and is a complete unknown to most Progress regulars. Although he has yet to compete inside of a Progress Wrestling ring, he was schedule to tag alongside WALTER against Starr and OJMO at Chapter 90. Unfortunately Veit was in a car accident earlier in the day and due to injuries was unable to compete. Thankfully Müller recovered from the injuries and was able to wrestle again for wXw in August.
Veit Muller has been wrestling for 6 years currently and as of March is now a member of Ringkampf alongside WALTER. He wrestles an old school catch style of wrestling and has had stand out matches against legends like Ken Shamrock and big names like WALTER and Ilja Draganov. Veit has had some tournament experience, he was knocked out in the first round of WXW’s Ambition tournament and made it to the Semi-Final of the WXW Shotgun Title #1 Contender’s tournament.
If Veit Müller can use his experience and take in as much advice from his teacher WALTER then he has to be considered a dark horse who could certainly go all the way and depending on how things go at Chapter 95, use his title shot against his mentor WALTER for the Progress Unified Title.
The OJMO is somebody who is quickly becoming a household name for Progress Wrestling fans. He worked his way through Progress Wrestling all the way from appearing his first ever match at a Freedom’s Road taping, all the way to most recently winning a single matches against Senzo Volto in France and Shigehiro Irie in the Electric Ballroom at Chapter 93: Cheer Up Juice.
The OJMO has only been wrestling for 2 years so far but has had possibly the best 2019 of anybody wrestling on the British wrestling scene. He has stand out matches against names such as PAC, Shingo Takagi and El Phantasmo. Each of those matches OJMO managed to leave looking like a star.
One thing to look out for at the Natural Progression Series is that at recent Progress Wrestling shows, Spike Trivet has been trying to recruit OJMO into his stable, Do Not Resuscitate. So far he has refused all of Spike’s overtures and I wouldn’t be surprised if DnR make their presence known at the Natural Progression Series.
This match looks set to be great and the winner of this match looks certain to go far in the tournament and will be a favorite to go the whole way and win Natural Progression Series 6.
Cara Noir Vs Dan Moloney
The third match of the brackets contains two tournament favourites who are established names on the British Wrestling scene.
First up is Chris Brookes choice, The Black Swan Cara Noir. Cara has become a popular name around British Wrestling competing for lots of promotions and usually putting on some of the top matches of the night.
Cara Noir has been wrestling for 9 years in promotions up and down the country and was previously known by the name Tom Dawkins. He is currently a regular name for promotions such as; ATTACK Wrestling, Riptide Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Chaos.
2019 has been a stand out year for Cara Noir as he won the ATTACK 247 Championship and had an incredible match against PAC at Riptide Wrestling. Cara Noir is set to be a firm favorite at the Natural Progression Series and if he can get past his opponent and other firm favorite, Dan Moloney, he is certainly a favorite to win the tournament.
Dan Moloney is only 22 years old but already has a career most would be jealous of. Moloney was a part of the first ever WWE United Kingdom Championship Tournament losing in the first round to Mark Andrews and has since been seen in losing efforts on NXT UK.
His opponent Dan Moloney is someone who most people would consider to be the favourite going into the tournament and it’s easy to see why.
In the last two years Dan Moloney has worked to become a top name in the British Wrestling scene and a regular for promotions such as ATTACK! wrestling, Fight Club: Pro and Revolution Pro Wrestling. Dan Moloney has developed the name of Drilla Dan Moloney because of his hard hitting ways and his devastating finisher, DRILLA, a Gory Special transitioning into a Piledriver.
Dan Moloney, who is known as being the unofficial 4th member of British Strong Style, has shown that he is certainly a name to be considered a favorite and if he can get past Cara Noir then he will have a great chance of winning the tournament.
Gene Munny Vs Scotty Davis
The final match of the bracket sees one of the most popular wrestlers in the tournament in Gene Munny Vs the next generation of Irish wrestling in Scotty Davis.
Gene Munny has had an incredible 2019 and has quickly become an internet favorite. His comedic timing and hilarious creativity makes him great fun to watch which has lead him to getting bookings up and down the country.
He has been wrestling for 4 years now but it’s been 2019 where Munny has shot into popularity. He is now a regular for promotions such as Riptide Wrestling, Breed Wrestling and Wrestling Resurgence where he has now become their champion!
Gene will be a popular contender going into the tournament but his style of comedy wrestling may hinder him progressing far. If he can put that behind him and show a more intense, serious side of him then I’m sure Gene Munny will be a dark horse to go all the way and win it.
Scotty Davis, Jordan Devlin’s pick for the Natural Progression Series, is the next big star to come out of Ireland.
Scotty has been wrestling for just 3 years so far but has already had some huge profile matches. This year alone OTT have booked Scotty to wrestle David Starr in a number 1 OTT Heavyweight Championship contenders match and he has beaten, Japanese legend, Jushin Thunder Liger in Ligers last ever match in Ireland.
Scotty Davis has shown that he is an incredible technical wrestler who has the basics perfectly. He has a great look and has managed to come out of every match he’s had looking like a star. Currently Scotty is a regular for Breed Pro Wrestling, Over The Top Wrestling and has had stand out matches for Frontline Wrestling and Pro Wrestling SOUL.
Scotty Davis is quite possibly the biggest underdog in the tournament but if he can use the experience he gained by beating legends like Jushin Thunder Liger then he will be somebody to watch out for in the rest of the tournament.
STREET FIGHT: LUCCKY VS LAX & EDDIE KINGSTON
The war between Chris Brookes, Jonathan Gresham and L.A.X started in America last year and then bled over into Manchester on Chapter 80: Gods and Monsters, leading to a rubber match at Chapter 87: Breadknife. CCK won via count-out, leading to issues between the two reaching a boiling point. L.A.X enlisted the help of Eddie Kingston where as Brookes reached into his Schadenfreude playbook to bring in Lucky Kid. At Chapter 94, Eddie Kingston battered Chris Brookes all across the Electric Ballroom, picking up the win.
This meant he could pick the stipulation and decided to make it a street fight. So, six men will be hell bent on destroying their opponents, chairs, bystanders and anything not nailed down inside the Electric Ballroom. This is going to be good, and alongside the fact it could be L.A.X’s final PROGRESS hoorah before heading off to All Elite Wrestling, adds some importance to this already heated contest.
Every wrestler on the show is going to give their 110% and I’m sure once the night is finished Progress Wrestling will have 8 news stars that they can continue to build the company with.
You can find the author of this article on Twitter @ThisIsLeggett. Thanks for reading!