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WOS Wrestling: Episode One Recap

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British wrestling has returned to terrestrial television. It was over 30 years ago that the original World of Sport stopped broadcasting. Now it’s finally the time that we get to see our country’s tremendous national talent every week, on prime time ITV! What a time to be a wrestling fan.

After introducing the commentary team and revealing the big budget set, the episode opened with a speech from our WOS executive Stu Bennett. After attempting to tell us how serious this new show was, he was interrupted by our “less than serious” champion – Grado. Stu informed Grado (who he clearly despises) that he would not be the champion of his show for long, which leads us nicely into a match to decide his opponent for tonight’s main event.

WOS Championship Number One Contenders Elimination Match – Rampage vs. Adam Maxted vs. Sha Samuels vs. Justin Sysum vs. Crater

The opening contest was a great way to introduce a lot of performers in a short space of time, while also showing us their alliances. Sha and Rampage were quick to demonstrate their villainous nature, teaming up to take out the other men. We were then able to witness the power of WOS’ monster, Crater. He decimated the competition entirely, before being quickly disqualified for choking Adam Maxted on the bottom rope. In a few short minutes, Crater was shown to be the most dominant force in the company.

Shortly following the first elimination, a miscommunication between the two allied heels allowed Sysum to rollup and eliminate Sha. Justin’s momentum continued, and after hitting some beautiful dropkicks and a Tope was able to eliminate Maxted by count out. In an unusual twist, the referee forgot Rampage (who made the count with Sha’s assistance) was in the match and declared Sysum the winner. Executive Bennett was not going to allow this injustice however, and a triple threat match was scheduled for our main event. The sheer amount of character development and storytelling in contest was incredible.

Will Ospreay vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr

Next up, we had a showcase bout between two well-known stars. As the original British Bulldog is easily the most well-known British wrestler of all time, it’s a clever decision to have his son feature prominently. Coupled with Ospreay’s acrobatic prowess, this was the perfect combination of performers to create new fans.

The in ring action was as spectacular as you’d expect, a classic display of power versus agility. Trying to describe the aerial antics of Ospreay would be difficult, but combined with the power moves of Smith this was a phenomenal contest. Early in the match Will’s knee was damaged, and the story of him struggling to immediately pin Davey after high flying maneuvers began. After valiant attempts to keep the big man down, Ospreay was finally defeated by a brutal second rope Powerslam. I hope to see much more of both men in future episodes!

WOS Tag Team Championship Tournament Match – Martin Kirby & Joe Hendry vs. Kip Sabian & Iestyn Rees

Backstage, we were told (by interviewer Rachel Stringer) that there would be a tournament for the new WOS tag team championship. Rachel was soon interrupted by the incredibly rude Kip Sabian, who claimed that him and Iestyn Rees would be the first men to hold the titles. Which led nicely into the contest.

This tournament has already (with next week’s match confirmed at the end of the show) provided some really unique tag teams. Sabian and Rees are clearly a combination that WOS want to showcase going forward, and the pair of arrogant hunks really compliment each other in and out of the ring. They soon began to isolate Hendry, and even caused some miscommunication between the rival team. This led to Kirby getting knocked off the apron by Joe, and eventually refusing the hot tag and leaving his teammate outnumbered.

The Prestigious One fought valiantly, showcasing his technical abilities and pure strength when hitting a Freak of Nature on both his opponents at the same time. Unfortunately the numbers were too much Hendry, and a spectacular Powerbomb-Neckbreaker combination eliminated him from the tournament. The prospect of a future feud between Kirby and Joe is interesting – especially given their role reversal of hero and villain compared to their feuds in Defiant Wrestling.

WOS Championship Match – Rampage (w/ Sha Samuels & CJ Banks) vs. Justin Sysum vs. Grado (c)

Before talking about the main event, I want to congratulate WOS on choosing 3 competitors with great appeal for a mainstream audience. Children will love the antics of Grado, worship the cool superhero persona of Sysum, and detest the brutish Rampage. A perfect trio to entertain families and mega fans alike!

The contest opened with Rampage continuously being thrown from the ring, so that Grado could showcase his slapstick offense against a bemused Justin Sysum. After some comedy sidesteps and chanting, Rampage came into play and the match became more serious. Towards the end of the bout, Sysum hit a glorious 450 splash onto Grado. Rampage proceeded to throw Justin over the top rope, hit Grado with an Implant DDT and become the new WOS champion!

What an incredible first show! The episode was booked perfectly to appeal to non wrestling fans, but not in a way that detracted from its appeal to a hardcore audience. Also the production values and overall polish of the show could only be surpassed by WWE, and I really appreciated the big budget feel of WOS. Going forward we have a brutish heel as our champion, perfect for a hero to overthrow. The tag title tournament has only just begun, and we haven’t even seen the women’s division yet. Next week’s episode already feels like must watch TV, and I cannot wait to see more WOS every weekend!

9/10

Chips lives in a tiny seaside village in the north of England, where he watches a ridiculous amount of wrestling on demand, and then writes about it! His main passion is British wrestling, but he has an eclectic taste. Follow him on twitter @fishchipswhips where he talks more about wrestling, video games and everything else!

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