#AndNEW: Women’s and Atlas Championships Change Hands in PROGRESS

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Photo: twitter.com/ThisIs_Progress

Two huge title changes occurred at last night’s PROGRESS event Chapter 69: Be Here Now in Manchester, including a changing of the guard in the Women’s Division and the crowning of a new Atlas Champion following WALTER‘s forfeit of the title in his pursuit of the PROGRESS World Heavyweight Championship.

For three years, Jinny Couture has been fighting Toni Storm, starting at PROGRESS ENDVR:12 in September of 2015. Since then, the careers of both women have skyrocketed. Toni Storm has gone on to become of one the most successful wrestlers of the past few years, winning titles in PROGRESS, Germany’s wXw and Japan’s Stardom, while Jinny has become one of the UK’s biggest stars. Since their first encounter at the ENDVR showcase, the two were deadlocked at 5-5 against each other in singles matches with the rubber match last night for the PROGRESS Women’s Championship. Last night marked Jinny’s first opportunity for the PROGRESS Women’s title since making the Natural Selection IV Finals to crown the inaugural PROGRESS Women’s Champion at last year’s Super Strong Style 16, where she and Laura Di Matteo lost in a Triple Threat to Toni Storm. The win last night makes Jinny the Undisputed Queen of British Wrestling, as she adds the PROGRESS Women’s title to her current collection that includes the RevPro British Women’s Championship, the Southside Wrestling Entertainment (SWE) Queen of Southside title, and Pro Wrestling Chaos (PWC) Maiden of Chaos Champion. While some fans are speculating that Toni Storm lost her title due to reportedly signing a WWE UK deal, it should be noted that under the UK deal, Storm could still compete with PROGRESS – Storm also stated last night that she wasn’t finished with Jinny, so expect this feud to continue (Jinny is also reportedly on WWE’s radar for a WWE UK deal). Toni Storm and Jinny main evented last night’s PROGRESS event, which was announced as the largest PROGRESS event outside of London.

It’s been a long 24-year career for UK wrestling veteran Doug Williams, who has found a sense of resurgence in the exploding UK scene the past few years. Originally starting out in the early 1990s as a student of Andre Baker and NWA UK Hammerlock, Williams also became a regular with the Frontier Wrestling Alliance (FWA) and All Star Wrestling (ASW). In the early 2000s, he worked with Ring of Honor (ROH) in the United States and Pro Wrestling NOAH in Japan, where he broadened his experience, capturing the ROH Pure Championship and GHC Tag Team titles with 2 Cold Scorpio. He continued to work with ASW in the UK, as well as other promotions like the Knights’ World Association of Wrestling (WAW) and IPW:UK, while also working deeper into Europe with Germany’s wXw. In 2009, he moved from ROH to Impact Wrestling in the US, where he became a 2x Impact X-Division Champion, TNA Television Champion and Impact Tag Team Champion alongside Nick “Magnus” Aldis in a five year run with the company. He returned to the UK scene a wisened ring general and over the past few years has begun working with promotions like PROGRESS, Defiant Wrestling, RevPro, ICW, SWE, Preston City Wrestling (PCW) and many more. Last night at Chapter 69: Be Here Now, Williams won his first PROGRESS championship, overcoming Joseph Conners, Rampage Brown and Rob Lynch in a Fatal 4-Way for the vacant Atlas Championship.

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