Earlier today, PROGRESS Wrestling announced a huge PROGRESS Women’s Championship match for Chapter 71: f.e.e.l.i.n.g.c.a.l.l.e.d.p.r.o.g.r.e.s.s. (just so you’re not stuck wondering why the event is called that, it’s a nod to the Pulp song “f.e.e.l.i.n.g.c.a.l.l.e.d.l.o.v.e” from their 1995 album, Different Class – the one that spawned the huge hit “Common People”).
SHEFFIELD: @JinnyCouture's first Women's World Title defence takes place next Sunday at @O2AcademySheff… vs the returning @NixonNewell! TICKETS: https://t.co/T5bxEzuReX #Chapter71 #FeelingCalledProgress #ThisIsProgress #WelcomeBack pic.twitter.com/3dWbMQIFGJ
— PROGRESS Wrestling (@ThisIs_Progress) May 31, 2018
In Jinny‘s first PROGRESS Women’s title defense since winning it at Chapter 69: Be Here Now in May, she’ll face off a woman who hasn’t stepped foot in a PROGRESS ring since March 19, 2017 at Chapter 45: Galvanize, where she was knocked out of the Natural Selection Series IV to crown the inaugural Women’s Champion – fittingly by Jinny herself. But the reason why that woman hasn’t appeared for PROGRESS in just over a year is because she left for the WWE. To the WWE Universe, she is Steffanie Newell, the newest face of the NXT Live Event circuit. To fans of the UK indie scene, she’s Nixon Newell.
The WWE continues to loan out NXT and main roster talent to indie promotions around the world (at least the ones it’s in alliance with), and PROGRESS is the latest recipient, most likely to build promotion and hype for the upcoming United Kingdom Championship Tournament event in London, that will feature several PROGRESS talents. Regardless, it’s a win-win for UK fans, as they once again get to see one of the brightest stars of the UK indie scene for the past few years return to ta PROGRESS ring. The 23-year old Welsh native has been wrestling for five years, working her way through the UK scene as Nixon Newell via the Welsh promotion ATTACK! Pro Wrestling (owned by Pete Dunne and Mark Andrews). By her second year, she was working Germany with wXw and other UK indies like Southside Wrestling Entertainment (SWE) and Trent Seven‘s Fight Club: PRO, and then followed by the likes of IPW:UK, Pro Wrestling: EVE, ICW, PROGRESS, and even SHIMMER in the United States. When WhatCulture launched WhatCulture Pro Wrestling (WCPW) in 2015, Nixon Newell, along with Bea Priestley, were the focal point of their women’s division from day one, with Newell winning the inaugural WCPW (now Defiant) Women’s Championship.
Her final indie match was on April 30, 2017, where she defeated Joey Ryan for the DDT Pro Ironman Heavymetalweight Championship at IPW Extreme Measures. Then she was off to Orlando, Florida and the WWE Performance Center, where she was to become a huge player in the upcoming Mae Young Classic, where she’d make her debut with the company. But unfortunately, tragedy struck and while training at the WWE Performance Center in preparation for her Mae Young Classic debut, she was injured in “a fluke accident. I was running a drill,” she recently told wwe.com. “My foot stayed perfectly forward, but my body turned the other way, and I dislocated my knee and tore my ACL at the same time. Luckily, as soon as I hit the mat, my knee popped back in, so it was one less thing I had to deal with.”
Oh hai there @wwenxt Universe 😜🤙🏼 It’s 1 year since I had my last match before suffering an injury just after arriving at the WWE Performance Centre almost 10months ago! Thanks to the incredible work of the phenomenal WWE doctors, the support of amazing friends, coaches & colleagues, I was finally able to make my NXT debut with one of my best friends @dakotakai_wwe 💕 Thank you @wwenxt , Thank you Dakota and thank you Venice, you certainly made this welsh girl feel extremely welcome💜 Time to see what #FlyKicks can do🤙🏼 #Repost @wwenxt with @get_repost ・・・ #NXTVenice gets a dose of @nixonnewell and @dakotakai_wwe! #FlyKicks
It was just two weeks shy of a year when Nixon Newell, now going by her birth name of Steffanie Newell, returned to NXT from her torn ACL, pairing with Dakota Kai in tag team matches to ease her back into action. And now, as she prepares from a probably inclusion in this year’s Mae Young Classic II, she returns home to the UK for a shot at the title she missed out on in her last match, and against the woman who stopped her quest for the title before – Jinny Couture.