8 Questions With Doug Williams Ahead Of PROGRESS 'Hello Wembley'

The Atlas World Champion faces WWE NXT's Trent Seven on Sunday...

PROGRESS has been at the forefront of the revival in British independent wrestling over the past few years, and are all set to host a marquee event at the SSE Arena, Wembley THIS SUNDAY.

At the event - appropriately titled 'Hello Wembley' - a veteran of over 25 years in Doug Williams will defend his Atlas World Championship against WWE NXT Superstar, and Moustache Mountain member, Trent Seven. If Doug loses, then he has to retire - but if he wins, a miraculous run in the twilight years of his career rolls on.

It's going to be a clash of styles on Sunday, with the technical prowess of Williams meeting the brawling British Strong Style of Seven. And ahead of the big match, we were lucky enough to catch up with Doug for a few quick questions.

Tickets for PROGRESS Hello Wembley are still available and can be purchased here! The full card for the show is pictured below.

PROGRESS Wrestling

You're set to wrestle at PROGRESS' upcoming Wembley Arena show, an event which has already generated a lot of hype and excitement. Why do you think that is?

The last time a British Wrestling promotion ran Wembley Arena, wrestling was a fixture on ITV with a huge television audience. For a promotion to do it now, without that exposure, but through the gradual building and expansion of their audience specifically via social media and word of mouth, is a tremendous accomplishment. Couple that with the fact that there has never been so much great talent in the UK right now and people have very good reasons to be excited!

Your opponent is, of course, Trent Seven. What sort of match can we expect to see?

A quick squash where I beat him in 30 seconds! Ha, in all honesty, I don’t really know because Trent is pretty unpredictable. I imagine though that we’ll leave the fancy highspots and athletic accomplishments to the other matches and just tell a really good story full of drama that gets the audience totally lost in the moment.

Should you lose the match, you will be forced to step away from the ring. If that happens, what's next for Doug Williams?

Feet up, relax and have a cup of tea first and foremost. In actuality, if that happens, I am looking forward to becoming a fan again. I’d love to just be able to sit back, watch Wrestling, enjoy myself and be entertained.

You are currently the champion of PROGRESS' Atlas division, a division centred around heavyweights. What did you think of the idea when you first found out about it?

Truth be told, I liked the fact that a spotlight was being put back specifically on the heavier competitors. For years now Wrestlers have become smaller, faster, quicker and more skilful. Heavyweights had a reputation for being slow, and methodical - even boring! This spotlight has shown that the opposite is true, and that heavyweight wrestling is every bit as exciting and entertaining as the lighter weights. Plus, who doesn’t want to watch two huge bulls go at it and beat the living hell out of each other?!

PROGRESS has been home to many of the UK's new wave of megastars: Will Ospreay, Marty Scurll, Jimmy Havoc, and so on. Is there anybody that has flown under the radar who you think deserves as much credit as these names?

I definitely think Mark Haskins deserves more recognition that he gets. I’m talking outside of PROGRESS of course. He is someone who I have always touted for a long, long time.

Recently, your old tag partner Nick Aldis competed at All In. What are your thoughts on the event as a whole, and what it means for the wrestling world?

Outside of Nick's match (which I enjoyed very much), I’ve not seen the show, but the set up looked great - comparable with any major company. I don’t know what it means for Wrestling generally though because there’s a huge difference between promoting one show and successfully running an ongoing consistently successful organisation that can make money and compete with WWE on any level.

As a 25-year veteran, what is the secret to longevity in the ring?

Staying relevant, evolving who you are and what you do in the ring and with your character, changing things up and not getting too comfortable, and of course, wrestling safe and wrestling smart.

Finally, if you win at Wembley, who would be your ideal next opponent for the Atlas title?

Well I’ve never wrestled WALTER. He has to be top of the list. He was Atlas Champ before me and I never actually beat him. Plus I reckon I could Chaos Theory him, no problem!

Tickets for PROGRESS Wrestling's 'Hello Wembley' on Sunday 30th September are available now.

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Ross Tweddell

Written by Ross Tweddell

Presenter over on the Cultaholic Wrestling YouTube channel. Email: [email protected]