At PROGRESS Wrestling Chapter 154: It’s Clobberin’ Time, AEW’s Anthony Ogogo was the surprise guest referee for the Team Tate Mayfairs vs Team Simon Miller match. We caught up with him backstage to ask him about his return to PROGRESS at the Electric Ballroom the day before AEW All In.
You made your return to PROGRESS Wrestling at Chapter 154, what brought you back?
Honestly, I’ve got a couple of years left in wrestling and I want to have fun. I’ve enjoyed my time but I haven’t set the world alight. I think COVID really scuppered things for me. I had some VISA issues too. It’s been frustrating. I haven’t made the impact someone of my talent and legitimacy should have. So why not come back to PROGRESS? It’s a weekend of history for AEW at Wembley Stadium, so this is the start of my 12-24 months left in wrestling. Hopefully my contract is extended but I don’t look that far ahead, as of now I’m a professional wrestler and I want to have fun.
You have been away from PROGRESS Wrestling for nine months, your last match was at Chapter 146, but the crowd certainly didn’t forget you. The pop you got when announced as the special referee was massive. Did you feel the love from the crowd in the Electric Ballroom?
I genuinely did feel the love. Lee McAteer told me after the show that it was the loudest pop of the night and that made me feel very proud. Why was that? It’s because PROGRESS have used me in a really good fashion. They’ve highlighted my strengths and let me do what I do. They let me talk a bit of sh*t, knock people out and show my skill. These fans have probably seen my best matches.
The tag match with Malik last year was fantastic, the singles versus Tate Mayfairs was really good and my surprise debut against Hari Singh was possibly the biggest pop I’ve ever had. These fans have seen me adapt to my new life as a pro wrestler which unfortunately the wider American audience haven’t had the opportunity to do. People say to me to this day that they wish I would have won my only PPV match against Cody Rhodes which shows what I can do after only 34 matches, but because of the issues I’ve mentioned before they haven’t seen what the PROGRESS Wrestling fans have seen from me.
Is it a goal of yours to become the Men’s PROGRESS Champion?
It is actually, yes. I told PROGRESS Wrestling co-owners Martyn Best and Lee McAteer at the For The Love of Pro Wrestling event in Liverpool that it was the first title I wanted to win outside of AEW. I have freedom here and I know I’m good enough. There’s been some unbelievable Men’s PROGRESS World Champions in the past and I want to add my name to that list.