The wait is over for us Brits. On the day NXTUK began their TV tapings and became an official entity, WoS Wrestling began it’s 10 week run on terrestrial TV. All the hype was over and it’s time for them to deliver. I’m here as the official PWP WoS Wrestling reviewer. Enough guff from me, let’s get reviewing! Here is the World of Sport Wrestling Review.
First things first, the show is a 5 pm teatime slot on terrestrial TV. Don’t be expecting edgy content and suchlike. The ITV powers that be (ITV is the channel its shown on) are aiming this show at the younger audience and casual fans. As with all TV shows, it’s the ratings that matter, and this show more than most considering wrestling has been absent for so long from our screens.
It helps that former WWE Superstar Stu Bennett (aka Wade “Bad News” Barrett) is the authority figure of the show, the man in charge, and a co-commentator. WoS has got off to a legitimate start. A man who knows how to talk and control a crowd, making a statement that the times of UK wrestling being frowned upon are over.
Grado, the current WoS Wrestling Champion is super over with the crowd, even more after a “verbal confrontation” with Barrett. Grado‘s bouncy happy demeanor rubbed off on the crowd and popped them even more.
Some good future booking was shown too with Justin Sysum coming across as a plucky against the odds fan favorite. Got to say I don’t know that much about the guy, but I’m looking forward to seeing him grow during this run.
He featured in a Five-Way Elimination match at the top of the show against Rampage Brown, Sha Samuels, Adam Maxted & Crater. The winner of the match would go onto the main event of the evening and face Grado for the WoS Championship.
Now if anyone was a throwback to the original World Of Sport era it’s Crater. He’s a 32 stone (448lbs) bearded and masked behemoth in the mold of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks. We didn’t see much of him as he was DQ’d early in the match. I think WoS officials see him as a monster type character so I’m sure we’ll see more of his destructive ways soon.
Sha Samuels is a mainstay of the UK scene. Sporting an East London heel gimmick and seemingly aligned with Rampage Brown. Sha is taken out after accidentally clotheslining Rampage and being rolled up by Sysum for the three.
Adam Maxted has the look of a modern day wrestler. Buff to the max, tattoos, good to look at (so I was told by my wife), and functional in the ring. I expect to see him around for a long time in the industry. Unfortunately, he didn’t shine in this match, after being counted out and eliminated.
Unbeknownst to the referee, Sha had rolled Rampage back into the ring behind his back, therefore “beating” the count, and joined Justin in the now three-way main event.
Star power was then shown with worldwide sensation Will Ospreay, showing a small glimpse of why he deserves such global praise. It helped that he paired off against The British Bulldog Jr – Davey Boy Smith Jr to us fans that don’t need reminding every 45 seconds of who his father was.
A quick five-minute match that showcased both men’s style. The aerial attack from Ospreay versus the power game of Bulldog Jr.
If you’ve seen them in NJPW then what you had here was a highlights package of their work. Short, sweet and straight to the point. Davey picked up the win after powerslaming Ospreay from the middle rope. Definitely won’t be the last we see of these two during this run.
Seeing the new WoS Tag Team Title belts look like boxing titles was a bit off-putting, especially seeing how much belt design has changed globally. That was offset by seeing a very confident Kip Sabian cut a good promo about how he and Iestyn Rees will win the tag tournament & become the inaugural WoS Tag Team Champions
If you don’t know who Joe Hendry is, let me tell you right now, that this man is going to be a star. Whether it’s in Impact Wrestling, WoS or wherever, Hendry has the talents to be as big as he wants. A rivalry against Martin Kirby is on the cards after possibly the quickest break up in tag team history took place. Kirby turned his back on his partner and walked away leaving Joe to fend off Sabian & Rees. Unsuccessfully I may add. Kip & Rees advance to the next stage of the tournament.
In the main event, Justin Sysum faced off against Rampage Brown and WoS Champion Grado in a Three Way for the championship.
A fun main event to close this first show. Rampage comes to the ring shadowed by Sha Samuels and CJ Banks. Followed by Justin Sysum and then the champ Grado.
A very quick three-way dance involving some cool spots (the outlawed spike piledriver being one such spot) ended with Grado pinned by Rampage for the three. New champion Rampage closes the show celebrating on the turnbuckles.
Blake’s Take –
An authority figure, new talent and a new champion introduced in the first episode, plus a ladder match and the women’s division in next week’s episode means the sky’s the limit for WoS Wrestling.
The smaller studio/Full Sail crowd helps the atmosphere, along with a pretty decent set. The commentary team of Alex Shane, SoCal Val, and Stu Bennett are ok at best. I’m just not a fan of Shane, he sounds like he’s reading from a script rather than reacting, but that’s just a minor gripe.
Production value does remind me of old school show Gladiators, especially with the sometimes unnecessary crowd cutaways, but again it’s a small thing.
All in all, I enjoyed the show and I’m looking forward to next week’s edition.
With this in the books, I bid you all adieu and look forward to seeing you again next week for episode two of my WoS Wrestling Review!
To check out Mark’s initial thoughts on the reboot of World of Sport Wrestling click here.