PROGRESS Wrestling went viral with over 500,000 views, thanks to Matthew Rehwoldt and Charles Crowley putting on a match that was billed as “The most dramatic in pro wrestling history” and judging by the response online, they certainly caused plenty of drama!
We sat down with the former WWE star Aiden English to discuss his PROGRESS debut, the reaction to his match last weekend, the UK scene and the future of TNA.
Were you excited when you found out you would be wrestling the Spectacular Twat, Charles Crowley? The online build to the match was fantastically fun with your musical back and forth…
Absolutely I was excited. I’ve had my eye on Charles for a little while now and thought in the back of my mind I had, perhaps, found a kindred spirit of sorts in this business – a kindred spirit who I felt I was still able to defeat soundly, but a kindred spirit nonetheless. Someone who draws attention and the spotlight in the most unconventional ways… in dramatic ways. I was very keen to experience that one on one.
Your match with Charles Crowley was billed as “The most dramatic match in Pro Wrestling history”… and its certainly caused drama! You didn’t exactly play this description down, but what is your reaction to the actual online noise?
The world of professional wrestling is an interesting landscape. To many it’s still a form of pure sport despite the evolution it’s taken over many decades. So I understand the aversion to something different – though the pearl clutchers among some in the wrestling community do make me chuckle. I recall several matches with some of the best “pure” wrestlers, including some you see on international national television every week, performing matches that were far outside the bounds of what anyone would call traditional.
I think that those who saw the entire escapade in Manchester got the right feeling that Charles and I were aiming to achieve. Was it outlandish? Yes was it over the top? Yes. But if you watch the whole thing you saw two unconventional athletes going on a ride. Trying to draw the spotlight by first out doing the dramatic reactions of the other, then, turning physical, with more standard wrestling, then, when we fell unconscious, we both experience something on another level that brought us actually together as allies, and when we came back to I unfortunately tried to take advantage of that moment, and Charles made me pay.
As Charles well knows, wrestling is a circus. That’s where it was born and that’s for much of it will always stay. To paraphrase the great Mick Foley, “There’s something for everybody. If you don’t like the lion tamer, we’ve got the trapeze artist, if you don’t like that, we’ve got 30 clowns piling out of a Pinto.”
I’ve never necessarily been for “everybody” and I absolutely love that.
With Bryan Keith and Masato Tanaka both confirmed to be coming to PROGRESS Wrestling in 2024 this week, would you like to be coming back next year too?
I’ll keep this one short: An unequivocal, undeniable YES
You may not remember, but your match featured a dream sequence against Crowley at Wonderbrawl. Did anyone in particular take your eye on the show for a future dream match at PROGRESS Wrestling in the future?
Wait – you saw that too?!?! My God.
But to answer the second half of your question, there is so much talent in the British scene and I saw so much it at PROGRESS that night. Of course Leon Slater, who will be joining us at TNA soon, is an absolute joy to watch, and would love to mix it up with him… provided I could keep up! Spike Trivet is a magnetic character to watch and let’s just say I can empathize with the crowds reactions to him. As well as folks like Jack Bandicoot, and Ricky Knight Jr.
Before we let you go, what are your thoughts on IMPACT going back to its roots and being renamed TNA?
I’m excited for the future of TNA. So much of our history is already under that banner, and to more fully embrace that will be a joy. I think there was a time just before TNA was initially re-branded to just IMPACT that it lost a little bit of what made it so interesting, however, under Anthem and their support, as well as Scott D’amore, the crew we have backstage, as well as our amazing roster talent, I believe we truly returned to that original spirit of what TNA was, and can forge it into the future.
PROGRESS Wrestling tickets are available for all future shows via the dice app.
You can see all Chapter 159: Wonderbrawl, including Charles Crowley vs Matthew Rehwoldt when it appears from Friday 17th November by subscribing to DEMAND PROGRESS PLUS.