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Indies UK confirms end of WWE Network deals

It was recently reported that Progress and ICW will no longer be available on WWE’s streaming platform. He issued both statements today.

During the summer of 2020, WWE announced that it would air content from international independent promotions. Deals with Progress, ICW, and WXW gave fans access to archive footage of current WWE talent from Drew McIntyre to Gunther (then WALTER), and gave fans hope that the biggest wrestling company in the world was pretending to be the only wrestling company in the world.

A lot has happened since then, and a lot of other things now indicate that WWE is playing nicely with others in the industry they’ve transformed over the past half century. But a new report says that offering independent content on the network won’t soon be one of those things.

Today (January 18), Progress and ICW have confirmed the termination of their contracts with the WWE Network.

English indie Progress released a statement:

Obvious reason, and they can now confirm that his very positive and long-standing partnership with the WWE Network is coming to a harmonious end.

Six years and nearly 50 shows later, both promotions are pursuing different digital media strategies, and fans of both WWE and PROGRESS will be the beneficiaries.

As one chapter closes, as they say, another opens, and PROGRESS management can confirm that they are in discussions with a number of global digital media and broadcast options.

PROGRESS has an unparalleled video library containing over a decade of the best independent wrestling, showcasing many of the household names that have wrestled in PROGRESS over the past 11 years.

Wrestlers like Pete Dunne, Tony 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, just to name a few have competed. And they boosted their career in PROGRESS Wrestling during this period.

Containing over 650 hours of content, featuring 170 shows, this comprehensive content library has resulted in PROGRESS Wrestling being the largest independent wrestling promotion to be shown on the WWE Network.

They also announced that they would be holding their first show in the United States in six years during the week of WrestleMania in Greater Los Angeles.

ICW show in Scotland their update via Twitter:

ICW’s contract with WWE has expired.

We will be revealing the new homes for ICW programming in due course.

In the meantime, all unaired programming will be broadcast on YouTube and ICW on demand.

A new episode will stream on YouTube daily at 5pm GMT from now until Thursday, January 26th. ICW On-Demand subscribers have access to 5 new episodes, and 4 more episodes are scheduled to air by Tuesday, January 24th.

The ICW Fight Club event on Sunday, January 29th will be broadcast live on Facebook and YouTube.

German WXW did not comment. It’s not clear what WWE’s plans are for the Evolve library, which they’re purchasing in 2020.

The news was a bit disappointing, but WWE wasn’t really promoting the material and there wasn’t much buzz outside of hardcore wrestling circles and existing fan bases. Maybe it deserves a positive spin?

Let us know what you think, Cagesiders.

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