This afternoon, ITV held a press conference following the news of World of Sport Wrestling’s 10-episode order, featuring ITV’s Tom McLennan, IMPACT/Anthem’s Jeff Jarrett & Ed Nordholm and the majority of the roster. We still don’t know everything about the reboot, but we gleamed a few important titbits.
All 10 (I assume, 1-hour-long) episodes will be recorded at Preston Guild Hall on the 25th and 26th of May, to be aired weekly on Saturday afternoons sometime thereafter. Tickets for the events go onsale at 9AM (or 8 – some discrepancy there, but probably 9) on April 7th.
Preston was obviously chosen because of the city’s very active wrestling community and the panel made a point to namecheck Preston City Wrestling, suggesting there’s no turf-war between the promotions. As a man who lived in Preston for a while, any added rays of sunshine to that place are more than welcome.
On that point, Jarrett did clear up that WOS will be a fully-fledged wrestling promotion, rather than just a 10-episode TV series. He added that “the show is already being shopped internationally,” and that they’re intending to tour and sell merch etc.
Out of all the roster members in attendance, 2 men garnered the hottest crowd reactions: “The Mexican Sensation” El Ligero and Sha Samuels, the most despicable man to ever wear the fashion-forward combination of suspenders and trunks. While Grado is the champion and “fan favourite,” WOS likely will not ignore the abundance of “Si” chants for the Leeds-born Ligero.
A surprise addition to the roster was Magnus (Nick Aldis), the first British TNA World Heavyweight Champion and former ITV Gladiator. Magnus remained a strong and silent type, though he did tell the audience: “I don’t make threats, I don’t make promises but we can all agree that I make history.”
Grado suggested that he would happily defend the WOS title anywhere and everywhere and Jarrett added that there will be no restrictions on the performers working with any UK independent promotions while contracted to WOS (though obviously only un-televised promotions). Double J praised the British independent scene and suggested that working along with them could only yield positive results for everyone involved.
When asked whether we could expect to see stars from IMPACT turn up in WOS or vice versa, Jarrett said that the show will feature “80% British wrestlers, but there’s definitely going to be international stars integrated into the show.”
Klondike Kate, a mainstay of WOS’ last televised run, was present, suggesting that the show will happily make reference to its storied past. On that topic, Kate told the audience: “Don’t worry about the past – this is a new era.”
Viper was in attendance as World of Sport’s only female wrestler, though when asked about the inclusion of other women on the roster, Jarrett suggested she wouldn’t be alone for too long, adding “I can’t give you names. There are gonna be females that we’re gonna integrate into the show.”
When asked about the creation of other championships, Tom McLennan said, “We’re definitely gonna bring in other titles,” though the panel remained tight-lipped as to whether we should expect a tag team, cruiserweight or women’s championship.
Everyone knows that interviews and promo segments rarely go according to plan in the world of wrestling, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that when called “a big, cockney dafty,” by the champ, Sha Samuels simply would not stand idly by. A brawl broke out and everyone on the roster got a chance to shine (NOT THAT THIS WAS A SCRIPTED EVENT IN THE SLIGHTEST, OBVIOUSLY). Luckily, WOS had referees on hand to break things up (for some reason).
If there’s one takeaway from the events of this afternoon it’s that Sha Samuels is the man. I suppose another takeaway would be that things are looking promising for WOS on ITV (and that tickets are available on the morning of April 7th).