First up, there’s the semi-final matches in the ongoing tag-team tournament. FPW have made a point of looking for new talent to add to their roster, and Will Ospreay – one half of the Swords of Essex, who face Project Ego – is one of the newcomers now firmly established as a favourite.
“Will was someone we’d noticed in late 2011,” recalls FPW co-founder Matt Burden. “He’d sent us a compilation video of some of his matches and we were impressed with his athleticism immediately. It was a highlight reel, so of course it was high spots and flips and a pounding bass-line. The fact that he’d edited it himself impressed us and so we asked around. The word from Lucha [where he’d trained] was: ‘Just wait. Let us work with him.’
“And at Summertime Brawl 2012 Will debuted – and now he’s had more training at Lucha, ring experience and a tag-team partner and mentor in Paul Robinson. His work with Mark Andrews at Progress over the past 12 months has been a joy to watch as we’ve witnessed his evolution first hand; Rev Pro have seen his worth also and we’re proud to have been even just a small part of this talent’s growth.”
Ospreay and Robinson have made a good showing for the tag-team titles so far in a hotly-contested competition.
“The tag tournament has been a mammoth undertaking, with eight matches so far across two shows, then a break for the Halloween show, and now here we are,” says Burden. “It’s given us the chance to bring in and showcase teams that are new to our crowd like The Whizz Kids and Team Defend (Flash Morgan and Eddie Dennis), and at last we get to work with the likes of Project Ego and the new combo of Stixx and Iestyn Rees (the Sexy Beasts). And then who can forget The Bravado Bros too?
“When Steve [Evans, aka Heavy D] approached me and Lee [Elmer] with the idea of the size of the tournament, I must admit we had our doubts. But the talent and characters we’ve seen and met as a result has been well worth it and the fans have been spoilt. Never did I think morris dancing and wrestling would go together but we debuted The Traditionalists at School’s In to an immediate embracing from our crowd. Life is never dull at FPW.”
Then there’s the face-off between Greg Burridge and Jimmy Havoc, who have continued their feud and now look to secure the number one contender’s slot for Sir Thomas Chamberlain’s title.
“Jimmy Havoc has gleefully turned his back on both Progress Wrestling fans and our own this past year: a complete change of character indeed,” says Burden. “I don’t think the fact that Greg is so beloved by our fans helps Jimmy’s feelings towards him. Greg seems to represent Jimmy’s frustrations at not being totally accepted by the fans. This contender’s match does seem to be a culmination of a year-long feud.”
And finally there’s a 30-person Reloaded Rumble, with the winner receiving a contract for a title shot in the next 12 months. FPW are tight-lipped about the potential entrants, but – like all rumbles – there’s likely to be some old favourites, some new names, some up-and-comers – and a lot of surprises.
FPW Reloaded 3.0 is at Wallington Hall next Sunday (9th February), with doors at 2pm and first bell at 3pm.