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  #1  
Old 12-31-2016, 01:44 PM
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Well they managed it, wrestling back on primetime TV in the UK under the classic World of Sport brand.

They had JR which worked well and some good matches, defo family friendly stuff but on the whole I can see why WWE were worried enough to try and create their own competition for it.

Major downer for me was the ending (Spoilers)
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I felt that Harry/Bulldog should have replaced the "injured" Grado, similar to Hogan and Bret. It would have been a better and more fitting for the story they were telling of Davey Sr. being "the best ever" but I guess Grado is on US TV so it made some sense...


To be fair I didn't catch the whole thing as I had the Liverpool game on as well, but it seemed a good start and if the ratings are remotely decent, I am sure they'll do it again - only real thing is they need to bring in a better authority figure to make it work... I am guessing Max Beesly Jr's money played a role in the show getting made at all, perhaps if they could get him into the mix with his dad as a UK McMahon type family, it might help them get picked up and a couple of bigger names talent wise... Seemed a waste to bring Harry Smith over and use him as they did, perhaps they're waiting on someone like Stu Bennett or Drew Galloway to decide if they want to be part of it or not.

Not 100% certain they'd stay on ITV or in this timeslot, but it could be a fun lead in show for The Voice/X-Factor/Talent.
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2017, 11:54 AM
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Not been a fan of British wrestling for a long time now, but I thought id give it a watch for the hell of it.

I actually thought it was quite good & im hoping it will come back for a full time run on ITV, like you said it wont be in prime time because of all that reality crap thats coming back as of next week.

I would have been a bit more happy if theyd have had the mini battle royale or a tournament first to crown a new champion as opposed to a title match right off the bat & have it defended again at the end of the show too.

Also to have Grado to win the title might be a bit of a risk, as I never really liked him in TNA (just before I stopped watching TNA all together)

Along with JR's commentary (which I was glad to hear), which had a couple of complaints on the WOS FB page saying "why did they have a damn yank doing the commentary" as the one chap who complained said he was a wrestling fan, but didnt know who Jim Ross is.

Also the complaints by the ton on Good Morning Britain's FB page when EL Ligero kicked Zak Gibson around the head.

"Concerned Parents" saying "this should not be aired on live breakfast TV & is a bad influence to kids, shame on you GMB"

Again, im hoping this could come back full time & reports saying this was the reason WWE has brought in the UK Title.

Id be happy if WOS & WWE could come to some partnership, where we could see the WWE UK title being defended on their show too.
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2017, 06:40 PM
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I'm trying to get more familiar with the British wrestling scene, which is undergoing a huge Renaissance at the moment. Went to a Revolution Pro Wrestling v New Japan Pro Wrestling card in Bethnal Green, London in November and had a ticket for ICW Fear and Loathing IX in Glasgow, though I could not make it, sadly.

I watched World of Sport on catch up today. Despite trying to get more into the scene, I actually only had previously seen Grado, El Ligero and Sha Samuels (Sha on the aforementioned Rev Pro show). So I was essentially going in blind - as, I suspect, a large portion of the audience. And I have to say, I enjoyed it.

Seven matches in 90 minutes is usually a stretch, but as an introduction to the brand it was probably justified. A mixed bunch, with a fun opener for the WOS Championship, a very good Cruiserweight ladder match, a poor women's match (it's such a shame that, just as women's wrestling rises in prominence in the US, the Brutish women still tend to look and wrestle like its the 1980s.), a decent tag match and the match of the night between El Ligero and Zack Gibson, who has the look and move set to be one of the next breakout stars internationally in my opinion.

The battle royal wasn't great, but they usually suck to be fair, and the main event was meh but told a story. Not sure what the point of Davey Boy Smith Jr was, other than some 'name' value, and story of the show was perhaps a little too predictable.

On balance, more good than bad, in ring. The commentary was good, with a reinvigorated Jim Ross who had clearly done his homework on most (but not all) of the wrestlers; as a first show, it was a nice touch recognising the old UK stars who performed on the original Max Crabtree shows (my first exposure to wrestling was watching Big Daddy and his arch rival the Giant Haystacks on a Saturday afternoon on tv). The question is, will they be able to get a decent replacement for good old JR if the show becomes a regular event?

By far the biggest plus though was the production values, which put the values of TNA, the second biggest promotion across the Atlantic, to shame. That will be hugely important to keeping the audience.

So certainly more good than bad, and a solid platform to build on. It will be interesting to see if it becomes a more regular thing.
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  #4  
Old 01-02-2017, 12:07 AM
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Having watched the whole thing, it was very underwhelming. The show-long storyline wasn't all that interesting, the first match, a title match no less, was short and overbooked. The ladder match was a short spotfest and Davey Boy seemed like he was totally lost for a while.

I was not a fan at all at how the show spent 2 hours trying to paint World Of Sport as this once great wrestling promotion when it was a programming block that showed other wrestling promotions, them totally ignoring the Rounds from the past and the absurd lines about the "World Of Sports Championship decided for the first time in 30 years". 2017 years would be more accurate. Not to mention the show trying VERY VERY hard to be like WWE with constant crowd shots. You can see Adam Pacitti in total apathy there.

JR and Alex Shane were positives. Both guys are great commentators and were familiar with the wrestlers. JR got most of his spots in. Shane would get his funny one-liners in.

This show was pretty behind the stuff other British promotions do in terms of in ring and creative. Can't believe WWE freaked out over it. I don't see the quality carrying it far unless they get better writers.
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  #5  
Old 01-02-2017, 06:29 AM
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I think the problem is inherent that "family friendly" UK/American style wrestling will ALWAYS come across as "hokey" and a little bit shit to older fans and those who "study the game" because it's not where our strength traditionally was. Back in the day sure, the kids loved Big Daddy, but the 20m+ tuning in for McManus v Pallo or packing out arenas were working collar men and women, grannies with handbags who were drinking as they watched. Making it "for the kids" is something that came along in the time WoS has been away so to much of the crowd who grew up watching Nagasaki vs Haystacks or who remember Davey Boy and Fit Finlay as they were, most stuff put out on a live UK show today seems hokey, worse than fake and "a lot of flipping nonsense".

ICW have it nailed, Hammerlock and Irish Whip did back in the day... if it's aimed at the older crowd then it's going to come across much better on TV than WOS did this week.

They lost the rounds, that is NO loss (trust me I wrestled them, it sucked to do even 20 years ago) and brought in some of the WWE style tropes like the authority... that's fine if you do it right. Tommy Boyd back in the day or Andre Baker were good UK authorities, just as Nigel McGuinness or Normal Smiley will be for the WWE version... UK wrestling never had McMahon type shenanigans or Saville-esque guys in bowties making decisions. If there was a decision to be made, the ref made it or a a rich guy with a big burly bastard like the Crabtrees who the villains and blueeyes didn't want to fuck with and it was done off-screen. If you must do it onscreen, then you need someone like Andre Baker, who no-one fucks with... Max Beesly Sr. may as well have been Rockstar Spud if you want to go savage. But the point of this show was to get those older fans to reconnect in some way, by showing all the legends, admit the product has evovled and try to show who the equivalents are (the commentary was great for that, except for comparing Grado to Dusty..) to those they liked in the past... Even their choice of talent, Dave Mastiff was clearly playing the Giant Haystacks character for this fed...

Once the parents and grandparets could connect in that way, they can watch the show with the kids and understand it... That was why the booking of this show was a little unusual. They could have rammed the show with Stu Bennett, Drew Galloway, Nick Aldis etc or flown in American names but that's for later. If this show got ratings, then they have the platform.

ICW get it right and some feds like Preston City cos they run shows they don't advertise for kids. A guy I grew up with promotes in the midlands and he's front and centre about kid friendly - but with all the US production values... that's great cos it's a market, but I wouldn't go to his show cos it'd come across as babyish in the main. WWE manages to avoid that because its an American product, us copying it and making it extra kid friendly cos it's the only way it can get on TV/make money isn't what the UK does well and why all our best talents end up overseas eventually.

As for creative on this show, they did what they had to do to get on primetime UK Network TV... Vince would love that slot but had a bad experience with Channel 4... he definitely wants out of Sky when the deal is up. Main reason he is so "panicked" and starting a rival show is that WoS got the drop on him for once, and now it means the talent have 2 choices... given 6 more months and this not happening, the UK WWE would have still happened, still maybe made primetime eventually but the talent would have 1 place to work... now guys like Drew, Harry, even Wade and Aldis have a choice... they can go back to Vince and be the face of the show or go to World of Sport and still be the face of the show and in a true competition mode while keeping their US options open. If the WoS show had been fair, they'd have also mentioned that one week in 4, the WWF aired in its slot.

No one thought the UK would be where the WWE's next real competition would be, but make no mistake that this show got aired at all, however "low rent" it might have seemed to older fans, means it is competition. I just saw that this got 1.25m viewers, up against Liverpool v Man City a top of the table clash and biggest game of the festive period...TNA couldn't ever get what this show got with years served on UK Cable.

I expect there will be a big drop off in hourly figures, as the show seemed to drag at times and their decision to use the same match twice might come back to bite them... I am a firm believer Smith should have won the title at the end... but even so 1.25m is just under HALF what RAW gets in the US... so there IS a market!
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THTRobtaylor View Post
but even so 1.25m is just under HALF what RAW gets in the US... so there IS a market!
That number may not be as good as it looks. A guy on reddit gave that number, but also said that the lead-in and the next show were both a little over 2M. TV executives tend to regard a show that gets 1.25M between two shows getting 2 million as a failure.

I'm curious to see whether World of Sport Wrestling gets repeated or not.
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  #7  
Old 01-02-2017, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by johnbragg View Post
That number may not be as good as it looks. A guy on reddit gave that number, but also said that the lead-in and the next show were both a little over 2M. TV executives tend to regard a show that gets 1.25M between two shows getting 2 million as a failure.

I'm curious to see whether World of Sport Wrestling gets repeated or not.
Like I said, they were up against Liverpool v City, a flagship fixture... that game wasn't the most exciting so it might well be that some switched between the two.

As for lead in and lead out... It's irrelevant as it was New Years Eve... people do shit during the day and after... that they drew 1.25m in that "getting ready to go out" or "been in the pub all day" phase is pretty impressive for a first time... they want a new Gladiators type show for Saturday tea-time and they have it.
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Old 01-02-2017, 06:11 PM
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I think the problem is inherent that "family friendly" UK/American style wrestling will ALWAYS come across as "hokey" and a little bit shit to older fans and those who "study the game" because it's not where our strength traditionally was. Back in the day sure, the kids loved Big Daddy, but the 20m+ tuning in for McManus v Pallo or packing out arenas were working collar men and women, grannies with handbags who were drinking as they watched. Making it "for the kids" is something that came along in the time WoS has been away so to much of the crowd who grew up watching Nagasaki vs Haystacks or who remember Davey Boy and Fit Finlay as they were, most stuff put out on a live UK show today seems hokey, worse than fake and "a lot of flipping nonsense".
That's not a consequence of it being family friendly, really. It's more a consequence of overproduction. The problems the show had were very easy to fix. The biggest example was opening the show with a screwjob title match. It's 10 minutes into the show and you're expecting your audience to take at face value as the first match in the promotion and expect them to see the resolution at the end. All without really knowing anyone.

There's a difference between catering to a family friendly audience and making a TV show that can grab the attention of anyone. It may have gotten a good rating, which good on them, but as TV product it really wasn't doing a good job of easing viewers in and make them invest. It was very much like WWE going "you have to care because it's historic".
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Old 01-03-2017, 08:29 AM
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They did a half decent job of that... each match mentioned a legend the person was like... so it was easier to get Mastiff was like Giant Haystacks (even if it was obvious) and frankly it was more about the history and pomp than the show... the next one won't be... there was enough there to interest people.

My point on family friendly is on the live show circuit in the UK only a couple of places can really "do" older audiences like ICW and PCW... to make a living, the rest have to do the ULTRA family friendly style, and basically play to 70% kids. That's going to affect the workers and how they come across on any TV product, before you get to timeslots etc. To anyone who knows a little bit more, the presentation of most UK feds isn't overproduced... it's just aimed too young to take seriously.

They do regular shows in Colchester where I live where big names come every couple of months like Vader etc... I never go cos I know the show isn't going to be fun for me, as it's going to be very kid focused with a few bits for a fan like me. If a Stu Bennett turned up I'd go, but I'd be pissed if he was doing ultra PG stuff... I'd want him to be that rough edge and if the parents don't like it fuck em... Not many places in the UK can afford to do that/take that risk... and Glasgow's a bloody long drive lol.
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Old 01-07-2017, 05:54 AM
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Can we stop with the assumption that WWE in any way see WOS as budding competition? Because trust me, they don't. The ONLY reason they have set up their UK Championship tournament/potential show/sub-division is that UK wrestling is in a renaissance period right now and UK wrestlers en mass have never been so high profile, internationally. WWE wants 'first dibs' on those it can get (fair enough) and they also want fuel for the Network (also fair enough) - which the UK is the largest market for outside North America, by the way.

It's the same reason ITV have tried this WOS revival. Not to compete with WWE but to jump on the British wrestling Renaissance bandwagon.

And 'live' ratings aren't nearly as important as they used to be, ITV will probably look closer at the ratings on the ITV catch-up app than they do live, as people's watching patterns have completely evolved (which for some reason many wrestling fans don't seem to be able to grasp)
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