Euro Fury: ITV Wrestling World of Sport
World of Sport
December 31 2016
This is ITV’s first foray back into the graps since World of Sport was cancelled in the 1980s. The lads from the 70s and 80s used to be household names. Could the new generation get the same love? Presentation is likely to be very ‘Gladiators’ as it’s on at 5pm on ITV. Jim Ross and Alex Shane are the hosts. JR seems like a strange choice but he’ll be the only recognisable talent on show to casual or ‘lapsed’ fans.
World of Sport Championship
Grado vs. Dave Mastiff
“Many insiders wouldn’t have picked Grado for this spot” shoots Alex. Both lads cut very generic pre-match promos. Mastiff, being the heel, brings both Johnny Moss and Sha Samuels with him. Grado has great charisma and presence, although his in-ring leaves a lot to be desired. Sometimes he’s in good matches but this isn’t one of them. Big Dave is one of the best banter men in the business but he’s strictly limited to being heel. The one positive is the crowd, who are fiery hot throughout popping everything hard. JR gives it gravitas by getting excited. It’s quite endearing that he can still get upset about interference. Sha pushes Grado off the top and Mastiff wins the vacant strap. All hail the Bastard!
Final Rating: **
Video Control takes us backstage where Mr Beasley, the man behind the graps, is interviewed. This leads to Grado bemoaning his fortunes and Mastiff bantering him off the park. Mr Beasley reviews the footage, because apparently he doesn’t watch his own product, and demands Mastiff defend the title against the winner of a “Battle Royale”. We get clips of World of Sport at it’s peak, which unfortunately includes glowing tributes to worthless fat fuck Giant Haystacks. Marty Jones is among those in attendance.
Kenny Williams vs. Sam Bailey vs. CJ Banks vs. Delicious Danny
The winner of this gets ‘entry into the Battle Royale’. Danny Hope, as he’s normally known, is a PCW regular. Bailey is an NGW/Futureshock guy, trained by Alex Shane and he loves a flip. That gets him over pretty quickly here. Banks is very technically solid. Kenny is perhaps the best known of the four, having worked regularly for ICW. The ladder match is an odd stipulation to throw out on a first show. There’s really no point to it all. It’s a ladder match for the sake of having a spotfest. The lads take a few decent bumps off the ladders before upping the ante and doing duelling ladders. The “they killed Kenny” line from Shane is something I’m sure he jotted down pre-show as a zinger he wanted to get in. Kenny ends up bringing down the briefcase, getting him into the Battle Royale. “The biggest victory of his entire career” says JR. Not sure about that. Super excited to see Chris Roberts refereeing this show by the way.
Final Rating: ***
Alexis Rose vs. Viper
Due to the old World of Sport never having a women’s division this is the first ever women’s match on the show. Viper comes out with a snake. It’s not a viper. Given her size she’s the heel. Alexis has only wrestled for about a year. Awesome to see Klondyke Kate sitting in the front row enjoying the graps. The match is very basic, which is largely because of the size difference and partially because of Rose’s inexperience. Again the crowd help immensely by being all fired up. Viper squashes Alexis with a running senton as JR tries very hard not to call her fat.
Final Rating: *3/4
Video Control takes us backstage where Mastiff bashes Rachel the interviewer for asking shitty questions. “What a rude man” says Ross of the champ. Then they show JR reading his script. What the hell? How did that make it onto TV? There are a hundred crowd shots on this show, why not use one of those there?
The Coffey Brothers vs. Rampage & Ashton Smith
Rampage has lost his ‘Brown’ for this one. Both teams do a fine job of dressing alike. The Coffey’s are faces and the other two heels. Every match has had a very deliberate face/heel structure. There’s also a mass of crowd shots, which is frankly jarring. Mark gets picked off for heat, which is fairly basic. Cutting the ring off and taking short cuts. The hot tag is incredibly heated. I can’t credit the crowd enough for their reactions to everything on this show. Ashton miscues on Rampage with a superkick and Joe nails him with a Discus Lariat to move on to the “Battle Royale”.
Final Rating: **1/2
Video Control takes us back to Mr Beasley’s office where Mastiff and his cohorts threaten the gaffer. Mr Beasley has invited a special guest for the Battle Royale. JR keeps calling it a “battle royal”. Also the phrase “commercial time out” is grating at me. Nothing says BritWres like an American commentator. I can’t help but feel they erred in hiring Jim, even though Ross is probably the best voice available.
El Ligero vs. Zack Gibson
They sold this match on morning TV where Ligero twatted Gibson with an Enzuigiri, triggering stay-at-home moms on the social media. These two are team-mates in Progress but here Ligero is the blue-eye. This is the first time the crowd actually go quiet, because they’re so into watching the technical stuff. This is the match for the actual graps fans. Ligero brings speedy offence and Gibson beats him up. It’s technically very sound. Zack does play the role of villain as if he’s auditioning for panto. There’s also another jarring cut away to a crowd shot as Ligero is being powerbombed onto the announce table. Probably an act of censorship to protect the fragile little minds watching at home. The in-ring is far ahead of everything else on the show with them starting strong with technical work before going crazy with the high spots. It’s a genuinely good match. Ligero takes it with the C4L. Great work from these two lads. Easily MOTN.
Final Rating: ***3/4
The winners of every match are in here; Williams, Ligero, the Coffeys and also Grado for being screwed earlier and, for no apparent reason Moss and Sha. How did they get in this match? They are the only heels in the match. Moss hurls the Bollocks out. That would be the ideal time for that “killed Kenny” joke Alex. The crowd chant it instead. Ligero gets tossed out. Battle Royal’s are generally rubbish and this one is no exception. The heels predictably clear out everyone bar Grado. We then get the surprise other entrant: Davey Boy Smith Jr. That’s pretty cool. Not sure why they decided to bring him out halfway through the match though. Davey is dumb as a bag of rocks and attempts a pin on Johnny. Babyfaces are so stupid. Grado spends the entire time Davey is fighting sitting in the corner because babyfaces can’t fight babyfaces. No shades of grey here! Davey gets thrown out by sneaky Sha leaving Grado against two heels. Naturally he wins because there’s no way Mastiff vs. Grado isn’t closing the show. This was borderline offensive.
Final Rating: *
Post Match: Grado gets his leg worked over until Davey runs back in for the save. He’s not careful in chucking the two heels out of the ring and Sha lands horribly.
World of Sport Championship
Dave Mastiff (c) vs. Grado
Ten minutes left on the show. Not that I want to see these two lads have another match, let alone a long one. So Mastiff yacks beforehand and the crowd wind me up something chronic by doing the “what” chant. You were doing so well. It’s all gone wrong. Grado fights off paramedics to get to the match. It’s a pathetic effort. He should watch Sasha Banks stomping the fuck out of that paramedic in Hell in a Cell. Mastiff takes out the knee with a sensational chop block. Seeing as Grado can’t stand it rather limits what they can do. Mastiff misses on a charge and Grado wins the title with an R-Grado.
Final Rating: ½*