*** UPDATE – WWE has now released a statement confirming the new network additions. You can read that at the bottom of the article ***
For years now, it has been reported that part of the new tiered WWE Network would see matches/shows from top independent promotions across the globe be made available for subscribers.
This has now been confirmed by WWE through Sports Illustrated, with content from EVOLVE, wXw, PROGRESS and ICW being available to watch on the network from this weekend.
WWE is adding content to the WWE Network, Sports Illustrated has learned.
WWE officials have confirmed that shows from EVOLVE, wXw, PROGRESS and Insane Championship Wrestling will begin airing on the WWE Network beginning this Saturday. The shows will add an international flair to the Network, with wXw based out of Germany, PROGRESS a staple of the English wrestling scene and ICW in Scotland.
WWE will show compilations of the best matches and moments from Drew McIntyre and Keith Lee’s time with EVOLVE. Drew McIntyre spoke to Sports Illustrated about the news:
“I absolutely never imagined matches from these companies, the places where I found myself in wrestling, are now going to be on the WWE Network. Hopefully they’re as good as I remember.
“That’s the period where I started to become the man I am today. I found myself on the microphone and in the ring. Independent wrestling, as a whole, was really growing during that period of time. There were a number of incredible superstars in America and the U.K. that are now part of WWE, and it’s going to be incredible to relive that part of history.
“When you watch those shows, you’ll see people that were so hungry and wanted to make the industry grow. For me, it’s one of the coolest eras ever, and I was so grateful to be a face of independent wrestling. I was so excited to be on these shows, and I’m blown away that those matches, my history, are going to be on the Network.”
McIntyre’s showcase matches will feature his matches with Chris Hero, Ricochet, Roderick Strong, Johnny Gargano, Matt Riddle and a tag match with Gargano against Hero and Tommy End (now Aleister Black).
Sports Illustrated has also confirmed that several other wXw, ICW, PROGRESS & EVOLVE shows will be released onto the network in just a few days.
- ICW Shug’s Hoose Party 5: Night 2 (2018)
- wXw Femme Fatales (2019)
- PROGRESS Wrestling’s Chapter 92 (2019)
- wXw AMBITION 11 (2019)
The aforementioned shows feature wrestlers from several different promotions including Eddie Kingston from AEW, ROH’s Jonathan Gresham, free agent Jeff Cobb and more.
WWE has confirmed to Sports Illustrated that more independent wrestling content will be made available on the service over the coming weeks/months.
WWE has now released a statement:
Starting this Saturday, the best independent promotions in the world are coming to WWE Network.
EVOLVE, PROGRESS Wrestling from England, Germany’s wXw and Scotland’s ICW will debut for subscribers to the award-winning streaming service, giving the WWE Universe the chance to see some of their favorite Superstars like never before. And this is just the beginning! You’ll continue to see footage from their libraries, as well as new and exciting content from all of these promotions on WWE Network in the weeks and months to come.
The first drop features a pair of compilations highlighting two of WWE and NXT’s top stars, along with full shows from each promotion.
The Best of Drew McIntyre in EVOLVE features the WWE Champion in action before his 2017 return to the company. You’ll see McIntyre in thrilling matches against the likes of Ricochet, Johnny Gargano, Roderick Strong, Aleister Black and Matt Riddle.
The Best of Keith Lee in EVOLVE features the NXT Champion coming into his own before making the jump to the black-and-gold brand. In this compilation, The Limitless One takes on Timothy Thatcher, WALTER and Riddle. The special also features a pair of early battles against his rival and close friend, Dominik Dijakovic.
Fans will get a look at Germany’s wXw and see different styles of combat on display. wXw AMBITION 11 is a one-night, smash-mouth tournament featuring NXT UK Champion WALTER and Timothy Thatcher setting out to punish the competition. Also featured from the wXw library is a one-night, all-women’s tournament, Femmes Fatale 2019.
PROGRESS Wrestling has been hailed as the jewel of the British independent scene, having catapulted Superstars like Pete Dunne, Mark Andrews, Flash Morgan Webster, Toni Storm and Grizzled Young Veterans onto a worldwide platform. PROGRESS Chapter 92 is highlighted by a hard-hitting battle for the PROGRESS Championship between WALTER and Ilja Dragunov.
The WWE Universe will also be introduced to the Scottish underground with Insane Championship Wrestling. Night 2 of Shug’s Hoose Party 5 sees WWE Hall of Famer Jeff Jarrett take over as commissioner for the evening, NXT UK’s Piper Niven in action, as well as viral video sensation Grado.