I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. World of Sport wrestling is back! New Years Eve saw the triumphant return of a British institution. After more than 30 years away from television, at a time where British wrestling is experiencing a renaissance, World of Sport had to make a statement. After sitting down and watching it I can safely say I left happy. As some of you may be aware I had my concerns leading into the show, about certain things it needed to do right, even writing an article about it that you can read here:
World of Sport had to do a lot in its return. It had to appeal to the nostalgia crowd while keeping focus on a new breed of wrestler. It had to appeal to wrestling fans but more importantly it had to appeal to a Saturday afternoon television audience. First and foremost though it had to deliver on the wrestling. Now I’m not saying the show was perfect, far from it, but first episodes rarely are perfect. It takes time for shows like this to find their footing. Try and tell me that the first episode of NXT was perfect or the first episode of WCPW, you can’t, what I’m saying though is that WOS made a great start and I sincerely hope they get the opportunity to carry it on because it has a lot of potential.
Something I think has the most potential for the show is the very first rivalry they established, the main event feud so to speak. We got to see TNA regular and ICW favourite Grado taking on PCW mainstay Dave Mastiff in a championship match to open the show. The match was a nice start and set up Grado and Mastiff as the top guys in World of Sport, no doubt do to the numerous comparisons to Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks. After Mastiff stole the win from Grado it was firmly established that we were going to have a story going forward, which was great and it made sense why the championship match went on first. We saw a shady finish that set up a number 1 contender’s battle royal later in the night which then gave the other matches some high stakes as it would allow the other wrestlers to gain entry into the battle royal.
Mentioning Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks was my biggest concern going into the show. I felt like WOS might lean too heavily on the past, and while it is important to pay respects to the men that paved the way for the new era of British wrestling it is also important to not get too bogged down with nostalgia. Of course there was a lot of video packages featuring the history of British wrestling mentioning some other legends such as Rollerball Rocko and Johnny Saint but that was to be expected and although there were a lot, they didn’t overdo it. My only complaint was that we didn’t really get any video packages for the new wrestlers, they would have been a quick way into getting to know our new stars. New stars like Kenny Williams, the youngest WOS wrestler on the roster.
Kenny Williams was the winner of the second match, a ladder match for a position in the number 1 contender’s battle royal. From the off Kenny impressed in that match, he stood out from everybody else with his bright trunks and incredible speed. he flew around the ring taking everybody on showcasing a high flying style not often seen in British wrestling or at least not often seen in the old World of Sport days. It brought something different to proceedings and helped mix things up.
Another way to mix things up was to introduce a women’s division, something lacking from the old World of Sport. Although back in its heyday World of Sport did have female wrestlers like Klondike Kate, there was no women’s division to so break up the show with a women’s match was nice. We got to see Viper take on Alexis Rose in a match that seemed to mean a lot to Klondike Kate who was watching on with a smile on her face. For wrestling fans women’s wrestling is now a given but for World of Sport fans this was something new and exciting which is exactly what the show needs to be presenting. New and exciting wrestling for the casual fans and the hardcore. Ultimately Viper walked away with the win setting her up as the new head of the division as was expected due to the Klondike Kate comparisons made throughout the match.
In an effort to give viewers as much as possible while still furthering the narrative of the special the next match we got was a tag team match in which the winners would both progress to the battle royal later on in the evening. We were treated to the Coffey Brothers vs the Ashton Smith and Rampage. In what I felt to be one of the best matches of the night. I have always been a fan of Joe Coffey but nevertheless the match was great and like I have said far too many times when tag team wrestling is good, it’s great. Tag team wrestling has always been my favourite so it was no surprise that this was going to be one of my favourite matches.
From there they seemed to rush things together for the battle royal announcing that Mastiff’s lackeys, Sha Samuels and Johnny Moss were taking part during a backstage segment in which the GM also announced a mystery competitor in the royal. It was one of the lesser parts of the show but it wasn’t a glaring issue and managed to create suspense for the mystery competitor.
The final qualifier was the Mexican sensation El Ligero, a personal favourite of mine vs Liverpool’s own Zack Gibson. They managed to switch things up and wrestle some great mat and catch wrestling to start things off. Having not seen much of Gibson before I was really impressed but of course my heart belongs to El Ligero and I was ecstatic when he hit the C4L for the win confirming his place in the royal.
That means besides the mystery man we have our competitors for the battle royal. Grado, Kenny Williams, Mark and Joe Coffey, Sha Samuels, Johnny Moss and El Ligero and it isn’t until all 7 of these men are in the ring and half way through the match, when Ligero, Williams and the Coffeys have already been eliminated that we find out who the mystery 8th man is. As Samuels and Moss start to close in on Grado all is revealed as the Son of the British Bulldog, Davey Boy Smith Jr makes his way to the ring. Bulldog Jr cleans house taking the fight to Samuels and Moss as Grado watches on in amazement before bulldog is eliminated leaving Grado to save the day and pick up the win. Shenanigans ensue after the match leaving Grado’s ability to compete in question and tensions high before the finale.
The show thus far had been great and created some fun moments and great reactions. I can only hope the show is continued in the future as although the show had its flaws it was ultimately an entertaining wrestling show which was the important thing. I can only hope it got the viewers it needed.
As the finale approached the crowd was fully invested. The boos for Mastiff were intense as he cut a promo on how he was the champ. The excitement for Grado was building when he came out against the paramedics’ advice and a brawl erupted outside of the ring. After a short match the crowd erupted for Grado when he claimed the title and everybody went home happy, especially myself. That was a great show and as I keep saying I only hope the show can continue in future.
Follow us on Twitter: @Wrestle_WorldUK