Sports Illustrated reports that content from independent promotions EVOLVE, PROGRESS, wXw, and ICW will be added to the WWE Network on Saturday. The content will include two ‘best of’ specials focusing on Drew McIntyre and Keith Lee.
McIntyre’s special features matches against Chris Hero (EVOLVE 31 in 2014), Ricochet (EVOLVE 37 in 2015), Roderick Strong (EVOLVE 44 in 2015), Johnny Gargano (EVOLVE 65 in 2016), Matt Riddle (EVOLVE 79 and 80 in 2017) and a tag match with Gargano against Hero and Tommy End (Aleister Black) at EVOLVE 55 in 2016.
McIntyre said: “I absolutely never imagined matches from these companies, the places where I found myself in wrestling, are now going to be on the WWE Network. Hopefully theyre as good as I remember. Thats the period where I started to become the man I am today. I found myself on the microphone and in the ring. Independent wrestling, as a whole, was really growing during that period of time. There were a number of incredible superstars in America and the U.K. that are now part of WWE, and its going to be incredible to relive that part of history. When you watch those shows, youll see people that were so hungry and wanted to make the industry grow. For me, its one of the coolest eras ever, and I was so grateful to be a face of independent wrestling. I was so excited to be on these shows, and Im blown away that those matches, my history, are going to be on the Network. This current run I am having does not happen without the independents. Id lost my passion for wrestling, the one thing Id loved for as long back as I could remember. I didnt just recapture it during this period of time, I took it to a whole new level. I was surrounded by so many talented, hungry individuals, people that were believing in me and pushing me. There is no WWE Championship for me without that run, and that period of time, as youll see, created a lot of superstars in WWE and throughout wrestling.”
Other shows that will be released include ICW’s Shugs Hoose Party 5: Night 2 from 2018, wXw Femme Fatales 2019, wXw AMBITION 11 from 2019, and PROGRESS Wrestlings Chapter 92 from 2019. Those shows feature names like Timothy Thatcher, WALTER, Eddie Kingston, Jonathan Gresham, LuFisto, Leyla Hirsch and Jeff Cobb. WWE will also add more content from the promotions at a later time.