Well, it’s New Year’s Eve, and I have nowhere I’d rather be than sat at home with my long-suffering wife and two cats, ready to watch them run for miles at the first fireworks – in the meantime, I’ll be watching World of Sport Wrestling, a return after almost two decades of being off the air. World of Sport was where you could catch legends such as Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks, names my mum likes to recall from childhood when I’m talking about wrestling. I’m incredibly excited for it to be back, and ready to get to recapping in an irreverent form that’s in keeping with the spirit of the site, and the spirit of the UK indie scene.
We start off meeting our commentary team, the legendary Jim Ross, and Alex Shane, who invite us to make some history with them.
MATCH: Grado vs. Dave Mastiff – World of Sport Championship Match
Grado’s first to enter, and no one is more disappointed than my wife that he isn’t accompanied by his normal ‘Like A Prayer’ by Madonna. So disappointed, in fact, that she sings it as he enters. We have it explained that the two competitors in this match were chosen by committee, rather than a series of pre-matches as would be usual for a tournament. As this is a one off, it makes sense. Dave Mastiff interrupts Grado to enter with Johnny Moss and Sha Samuels at his side, making his way down to the ring as Ross praises what a mountain he’ll be for Grado to climb.
- The two lock up, Mastiff driving Grado back into the corner. He swings and misses, Grado having a little dance for the crowd. Grado duck another wild swing, thrown into the ropes, rebounding into a huge shoulder tackle.
- Mastiff comes back, and Grado goes for a hitch, but can’t lift Mastiff, who slams him down in response. Grado drops, toppling Mastiff, goes for a cover, but doesn’t get Mastiff’s shoulders down.
- Armbar from Mastiff, reversed by Grado, who takes down Mastiff with the Bionic Elbow. Grado goes to the second rope, but he’s dragged off leg-first by Mastiff, who covers him for two.
- Rare Tyler Breeze t-shirt spotted in the audience as the crowd chant for Grado. Mastiff hits him in the small of the back, and he’s left clawing at the ropes as Mastiff drags him upright, and another blow fells him, pin for two.
- Rebound into a kick from Grado, but Mastiff turns him inside out with a clothesline. Headlock from Mastiff, then a blow sends Grado tumbling. Slam from Mastiff, who then goes to the second rope, goes for a senton, but Grado moves out of the way.
- Grado stomps, with knees and elbows to Mastiff, who goes down. Grado comes in with two corner splashes in a row, follow by a Wee Boot, knocking Mastiff down. Grado goes back to the corner and climbs up, but as Moss distracts the ref, Samuels is able to knock Grado off the ropes, and he lands hard.
- Grado crawls into the corner, and takes a huge cannonball from Mastiff – who pins Grado for the win!
Our new WOS Champion is Dave Mastiff! He heads up the ramp as the crowd boo him, and then chant Grado to the man himsel’ who slowly leaves the ring.
Rachel is our interviewer, talking to Mr Beesley, the GM of this show, and we’re being very excited about the opening. He says it’s the day we’ve all been looking forward to, a new champion, and – Grado appears to shout at him about how it’s not fair that Moss and Samuels got involved, and then there’s an altercation as Mastiff, Moss, and Samuels appear and Grado begins to brawl with them. We see security running towards them, and we go to a commercial break.
When we come back, Rachel has more into for us, and Beesley says he’s gutted, and that foul play isn’t allowed, because the young fans will learn that cheating is good. Dave Mastiff will have to defend his title against the winner of a Battle Royale match.
We’re taken back to the past, to meet the men and women who were such huge parts of British Wrestling, given backstory on Big Daddy, Rollerball Rocco, Johnny Saint, Giant Haystacks, Kendo Nagasaki, Klondyke Kate, and many others, telling stories of their time in the British scene.
MATCH: Kenny Williams vs. Sam Bailey vs. CJ Banks vs. Delicious Danny – Ladder Match
Kenny Williams looks like a neon pink Martin Kirby on acid, with a Back to the Future hoverboard and 3d glasses, which my wife describes as ‘tragically tacky’. Sam Bailey is wearing blue tights, and is a little bit bouncy. CJ Banks puts me in the mind of an untattooed CM Punk, all hoodie and trunks, and general malice, and Delicious Danny looks like Tyler Breeze if you removed all sense of style and added fringe. Dollar Store fringe. Everywhere. Well, with the stage set, here we go! The winner of this match will get a place in the Battle Royale, which is a chance to face Mastiff for the WOS title. Phew, that’s a trio of hoops to jump through!
- So, like MitB for WWE, there’s a briefcase in the middle of the ring, high above it. Banks and Danny head out to the ladder, while Williams decimates Bailey in the ring. This ends will all men aside from Bailey on one side, and Bailey comes over the ropes, landing on them hard.
- Bailey gets the ladder into the ring and begins to climb, but Danny comes in, punching him away from the ladder, toppled by Bailey, who’s thrown into the corner, but headstands on the turnbuckles, taking apart Delicious Danny before he’s toppled himself.
- Danny with the ladder, Williams taking Danny down, leg caught in the ladder. Williams is fast, springboard cross-body on Danny, who rolls out of the ring. Williams climbs up the ladder, but Banks comes in to suplex him off the ladder.
- Banks climbs the ladder, but just as he reaches for it, Danny hits a superkick, climbs to the turnbuckles. Bailey comes at him, fights him away, but Banks hits him with a European uppercut. Banks begins to raise the ladder, Bailey taken back down, Williams sent staggering with a flying knee.
- Bailey with a tightrope slam to Banks. Danny starts climbing the ladder in the corner, but he’s too far away, leaping onto the other three men in the ring instead on grabbing the briefcase.
- Danny goes under the ring for another ladder, Shane telling this is a weird DIY show, and he raises another ladder in the middle of the ring. Bailey is trying to move a ladder of his own, setting that up as Williams fights Danny away, both Bailey and Williams climbing. Banks takes down Bailey.
- All four men now climbing the ladder, Williams nearly there, but Bailey knocked off the ladder, along with Danny. Banks is kicked off the ladder, and Kenny Williams, our youngest competitor at 23, takes it! He’s got an entry to the Battle Royale!
We delve back into history with Jackie Pallo, Mick McManus, Steve Grey, and we’re told that British wrestling is revered throughout the world, and was seen as the best.
MATCH: Alexis Rose vs. Viper
Alexis Rose is all red lace and slink, Viper is carrying a SNAKE and she’s SHINY and I want to BE HER. It’s commented that Klondyke Kate, who is in the audience, used to wrestle men, so this will be the first all-female wrestling match in WOS history. Jim Ross makes a lot of comments about how Viper weighs more than Alexis, and this continues throughout the match, the general swearing from me and my wife.
- The two women lock up, and Viper takes her down hard. Kip up from Alexis. Waist lock from Alexis, who also ducks a blow from Viper. Cartwheel off the ropes followed by a kick frim Alexis, but Viper just slams her, tackling her to the ground, pinning her for two.
- Boot to the back of the neck from Viper, and when Alexis tries to get a grab on her, Viper pulls her hair down, getting her on the ground and crumping near the ropes. Cravate from Viper, but Alexis fights out, bouncing off the ropes into an uppercut, where she’s then pinned for two.
- Alexis shoves at Viper, another cravate from Viper, Alexis rolling through. Viper hits her with another cross-body, and a pin for two, but once more, she gets the shoulders up.
- Viper gets Alexis’ arm wrapped around the ropes, putting pressure on her, then she’s bounced off the turnbuckles a number of times, pulling the hair out of sight of the ref, Alexis finally gets a foot up, coming back with kicks and putting Viper against the turnbuckle.
- Shoulder block off the top rope, Alexis gets a pin for two. She hits a moonsault off the second rope, but Viper’s moved, and takes a chance to hit a senton on the unmoving Alexis – and that’s the win!
Alexis is helped out by the ref, and Viper stalks out, hopefully to go and give her snake a little cuddle in the back. God, I love her, she’s amazing, I want to see her everywhere.
Rachel is backstage with Dave Mastiff, who is clearly unhappy with proceedings following his win earlier tonight. He’s not happy to talk to Rachel, and grabs his title, saying he’s off to talk to the GM about this.
MATCH: Mark Coffey & Joe Coffey vs. Ashton Smith & Rampage
The Coffey brothers are in face paint, the other two are in denim jackets. My wife objects to the fact that only one of the second team has shaved, saying that your mate has to shave as well, because otherwise he’s showing you up. The winners of this tag team bout will each get an entry into the Battle Royale.
- We start with Mark and Ashton in the ring, collar-and-elbow tie up, Mark getting it right, and pushing Ashton into the corner. He reverses it, slapping Mark. Waist lock from Mark, Ashton fighting out, dropkick from Mark on the rebound.
- Joe Coffey tagged in, the two brothers chops to Ashton’s chest, before Coffey takes Ashton swinging, Suplex, cover for two. Wristlock, Coffey putting on the pressure, before Mark is tagged back in, taking over the hold, with a belly-to-back suplex, bridged.
- Cheap shot by Rampage to Mark Coffey, who goes down hard. Rampage in, back suplex into the cover for one. Clothesline and another pin, this time for two. Blows from Rampage, Ashton staged back in, Mark kept away from his brother. Ref distracted, Rampage takes the turnbuckle cover off.
- Pin from Rampage after he’s tagged in, holding Mark by the hair, dragging him up for a pin. Lateral press for two. Headlock from Rampage, keeping Mark locked to the ground.
- Ashton tags back in, inside cradle from Mark, and he almost makes it to his brother. Rampage back in, smacking Mark around. Stomps from Rampage. He gets Mark in the corner, but Mark fights back, however, a jump for the corner sends him up on Rampage’s shoulders, and Rampage slams him back down on that exposed turnbuckle.
- Ashton tagged back up, fireman’s carry, Mark drives Smith away and hits a lariat kick, and both teams manage to tag. Joe with some good uppercuts to Rampage, followed by a corner splash and some corner uppercuts. Rampage dives out of the corner, Joe goes high for a springboard cross-body and a cover for two.
- Waistlock from Coffey, followed by a suplex, and a pin for two, but Smith comes in to break up the pin. Smith backs out, Coffey distracted by him, Rampage lifting him high for a spinebuster, but Mark comes and interrupts. Rampage throws Mark out like so much rubbish.
- Smith tagged in as Rampage holds Coffey still. Superkick from Smith, but Coffey dodges and it hits Rampage instead! The Coffey brothers set up for the discus lariat on Smith. Smith goes with kicks, but Mark hits him first, and then Joe – and the Coffey brothers take the win!
Nice to see one of my WCPW faves and his bro heading forwards into the Battle Royale.
Rachel’s backstage and says there’s some commotion with Mr Beesley. Johnny Moss and Sha Samuels try to stop her coming in, but when she gets in, Mastiff has Beesley by the tie. He snatches it away and tells the trio that they’ll all be in the Battle Royale, and there’ll be a special guest, as well. Then he tells them to get out of his office, because they make it look untidy.
MATCH: El Ligero vs. Zack Gibson
It’s the hardest working man in pro-wrestling! He’s also my wife’s favourite, which means he’s very dear to my heart as well, as her view of wrestling is typified by her response to me wanting to watch this show, which was “It’s like all sport, it’s boring to watch, but it’s really fun to hit people in the face.” It’s cute how bloodthirsty she is. Zack Gibson is a massive, leather-jacketed accountant, apparently. I’d do my taxes pretty sharpish if he was my accountant, I’ll give him that.
- Collar-and-elbow tie, Gibson getting Ligero in a wristlock early, takeover from Ligero, headscissors from Gibson and this is FAST out of the gate from both men. Wristlock from Ligero, another pin attempts from Gibson, and the two stand apart as the ‘si’ chants rise.
- They lock up again, side headlock from Gibson. Rebound, shoulder tackle on Ligero, and then a second, Ligero dodges the first two off the ropes, and follows up with a dropkick to the head of Gibson. Elbow from Ligero, who gets up to the second rope as quick as you like, and hits a hurricanrana on Gibson.
- Ligero comes back with a standing moonsault and a pin for two, gods, I love this man. Ligero lets Gibson run him towards the ropes, but pulls on down, letting Gibson fly over it. He then comes back, going for a suicide dive, but catches himself on the ropes because Gibson has ducked. When he rises again, Ligero comes through with another hurricanrana, but he’s caught. We cut away from what was presumably Ligero being lightly bumped on the table, and when we come back, he’s crumpled on the floor by the announce table.
- We keep cutting to the same little blond girl, who was curiously intense with the ‘si’ chants, and looks absolutely horrified when Ligero presumably hits the table. She’s adorable, and her reactions are spot on, that’s Gibson throwing around a man who’s a phenomenon in British wrestling!
- Gibson listens to the boos as the ref checks Ligero can continue. He’s holding his arm, and Gibson takes advantage of that straight away, with blows to it and holds. Vertical suplex, but on the delay, Ligero knees Gibson in the face, and gets down. Armbar takedown from Gibson. Pin from Gibson for two.
- Blows to the gut from Ligero, but Gibson takes him down by the legs and pins him again for two, Ligero holding his left arm and struggling. Wristlock from Gibson, and he lifts Ligero high, before a takeover, rolling Ligero across the ring. Gibson blows a kiss to the booing crowd.
- Gibson in control, coming behind Ligero for a submission hold. Ligero manages to roll out, fighting out. He hits the ropes, and Gibson waits for the rebound, but Ligero holds onto the ropes. As Gibson comes near, Ligero hits a dropkick, and Gibson rolls out of the ring. Ligero comes over with a 450 splash to the outside, both men down hard.
- Ligero pulls up a ‘so’ chant, and throws Gibson back into the ring. He goes high, coming down and leapfrogging Gibson, uppercut to Gibson. Wheelbarrow from Gibson, powerbomb from Ligero. Ligero goes for the rope-assisted DDT, but he’s caught by Gibson, cover on Ligero for two.
- Gibson goes for the arm again, but Ligero gets hold of the ropes, Gibson smacking Ligero on the head. Gibson comes towards Ligero, who headbutts him. Two kicks from Ligero, once again goes for the DDT, but he’s caught, wheelbarrow, and then Gibson locks in a shoulder hold on Ligero’s bad arm.
- Ligero looks like he might tap, but at the last moment, he spins, rolling Gibson up in a schoolboy for two. This time, he hits the C4L, and gets the pin – for the win!
Yes! I’ll admit, we had to pause this match A LOT because I kept getting too excited to recap, and just kept giddily watching with glee. And I punched the air when he won. I love El Ligero so much.
Rachel introduces us to the Coffey brothers, who say they’ve been fighting all their lives, and they’re used to it. Ligero doesn’t speak, as is his manner, and Moss and Samuels aren’t scared at all, apparently.
MATCH: Grado vs. Mark Coffey vs. Joe Coffey vs. Kenny Williams vs. El Ligero vs. Johnny Moss vs. Sha Samuels vs. – Battle Royale
- We start with all the men in the ring, with Kenny Williams over early, but his feet don’t touch the floor. The Coffey brothers seem to be double-teaming Grado, and Samuels is taking it to Ligero. Johnny Moss has Williams high in the air – and he’s the first eliminated!
- Moss and Samuels double team Ligero, getting him out of the ring early, too, causing my wife and I to cry ‘NOOO!’ at a volume that frightened our cats. Mark Coffey is sent over the ropes, but only one foot touched the floor. Ligero is eliminated.
- Grado looks like he’s asking for a time out, while Mark and Joe Coffey try to take out Moss and Samuels, they pause, about to hit each other. In that moment, Moss and Samuels take their chance, and both Coffey boys are eliminated.
- Our mystery guest is here, and it’s Davey Boy Smith Jr. – a man with a wrestling pedigree that pretty much outshines that of anyone, unless Triple H and Shawn Michaels have a baby some day. Even then, I think this guy would take the cake, with his British Bulldog father, and his uncle Bret Hart. The men are staring up at him like they’ve seen the face of god, especially Grado, who is wreathed in smiles. Moss and Samuels rush him, and Davey Boy takes to them, smacking them about and just throwing them around the ring.
- Samuels is put up high, a superplex from Davey Boy taking him down hard. Moss goes for a suplex, but Davey Boy reverses it, holding it in a vertical delayed suplex. Davey Boy hits a running powerslam, and automatically goes for the pin, but no pins here. Moss is on the outside, and Davey Boy tries to take him down, but Moss stops him, going for a superplex to the outside. Moss and Samuels both lift Davey Boy Smith Jr. – and he’s eliminated.
- Moss and Samuels size up Grado, who looks terrified. He goes for punches to both, jab after jab, but a kick from Moss takes him down, and Samuels follows on. Double clothesline from Grado followed by a Grado cutter, and Samuels is gone! Moss left, strikes Grado hard. Moss runs at Grado, and Grado ducks, pulling the rope down and sending Moss tumbling over! Moss is eliminated, and Grado’s won it!
While Grado’s hand is being raised in victory, Moss and Samuels come back in, taking Grado down hard, and injuring his leg. Davey Boy Smith Jr. comes back in to take them down in defence of Grado, but the paramedics are called into the ring as we go to commercial break.
MATCH: Grado vs. Dave Mastiff – World of Sport Championship Match
And we’re back to this again! Dave Mastiff gets to come out first this time, no armour, just his two lads with him, limping and wincing from the match earlier. The ref isn’t happy to see Samuels and Moss, either, and sends them to the back. Mastiff starts to talk, saying he’s the best in World of Sport’s history, staring down at the veterans who are in the front row. He calls out Grado, prompting a WHAT chant – arguably the worst thing still in wrestling – and then out comes Grado! He’s fighting with paramedics to get down the ramp, and then Mastiff comes up the ramp, slamming into him and suplexing him. The ref says the match won’t start until Grado is in the ring, so Mastiff carries him down there, and throws him in.
- Mastiff stomps the prone Grado, who doesn’t seem to be able to get up. As he’s trying to stand, Mastiff hits him in the back of the knees. Grado rolls out of the ring. Mastiff comes outside, too, and slams Grado off the steps on the outside.
- Grado crawls back into the ring, Mastiff dragging him upright by the straps of his singlet, asking him why he doesn’t just quit, telling him that he doesn’t respect him. Grado tries to fight back, but a paw from Mastiff takes him back down.
- The crowd chants for Grado as Mastiff hangs him in the tree of woe, taking the injured knee and bending it over the ropes, damaging it further. The ref manages to get Mastiff back in, and to give him ties to get Grado down. Mastiff undoes the turnbuckle while Grado is being helped.
- As the ref goes to tie the turnbuckle cover back on, Mastiff tries to get Grado to stand. He does so, gingerly, and as Mastiff runs towards him, he didges, letting the big man’s head hit the turnbuckle. He sprawls, and Grado covers him – and gets the win!
Our World of Sport Champion is Grado! I’m very, very excited about this, hoping it means more wrestling on mainstream tv more often, and just… yeah. Happy New Year, readers. Let’s make 2017 a big one.