PROGRESS Wrestling, ICW Leaving The WWE Network
UK indy promotions PROGRESS and ICW are set to depart the WWE Network
When it was announced that PROGRESS and ICW would be partnering with WWE to air their content on the WWE Network, it was met with mixed reactions, with some glad to see the popular UK indies gain wider promotion and get new eyes on the product, whilst others labelled this as a further knife to the once proud UK indy scene.
However, after six years working together, it looks as though the partnership between WWE, PROGRESS, and ICW is coming to a close, with PROGRESS confirming earlier reports that their content would cease airing on the WWE Network.
PROGRESS confirmed the news with the following press release:
“PROGRESS Wrestling‘s first show of 2023 was named START SPREADING THE NEWS for a very clear reason, and they can now confirm that its very positive and long-standing partnership with WWE Network is coming to a harmonious end.
“After six years and nearly 50 shows, both promotions are pursuing different digital media strategies, and fans of both WWE and PROGRESS are going to be the beneficiaries.
“As one chapter closes, so they say, another one opens, and PROGRESS management can confirm that they are in discussions with a number of high profile global digital media and streaming options.
“PROGRESS own an unrivalled video library containing more than a decade’s worth of the best of independent wrestling, showcasing many household names that have wrestled at PROGRESS over the course of the past 11 years.
“Wrestlers such as Pete Dunne, Toni Storm, Walter (current WWE Intercontinental champion, now known as Gunther), Adam Cole, AEW World Champion MJF, Samoa Joe, Swerve Strickland, Will Ospreay and Matt Riddle, to name just a few, have competed and enhanced their careers at PROGRESS Wrestling during this period.
“This extensive content library has more than 650 hours, featuring 170 shows, which resulted in PROGRESS Wrestling being the biggest independent wrestling company to feature on the WWE Network.”
PROGRESS co-owners Martyn Best and Lee McAteer said:
“First of all, we want to say thank you to the WWE for a fantastic six year relationship and we wish them all the very best for the future. “We are very excited for what the future now holds for PROGRESS Wrestling and we are currently in discussions with several high profile streaming platforms. Our US show during WrestleMania 39 is an exciting venture and we can only say that our recent decisions put us between a Rock and a hard place.
“This is the first of a number of important announcements we have coming up in the next two months, and there is no better place to start than just before our conveniently named first show of the year, START SPREADING THE NEWS.
“We would also like to say thank you to all of the fans for their support in 2022, our comeback year and for their continued support and with Sunday’s show marking the first not to be aired on the WWE Network for many years, we hope to see a great audience to watch an action packed show filled with our awesome talent.”
ICW also confirmed the ending of their relationship with WWE, Tweeting the following:
“ICW’s contract with WWE has come to an end. We’ll be revealing the new homes of ICW programming in due course. In the meantime, all unaired programming will air on YouTube and ICW On Demand. A new episode will air on YouTube every day at 5pm GMT from now till Thursday 26 January. ICW On Demand subscribers already have access to 5 new episodes, with 4 more due to air by Tuesday 24 January. Our ICW Fight Club event on Sunday 29 January will air live on Facebook and YouTube.”