Kris McCarthy is the Manager of Epic Studios, the home of the revival of WOS Wrestling, the brand-new British mainstream promotion that hopes to give British wrestlers the biggest audience they’ve had in thirty years. We talked to Kris at the press preview of the first episode in the new ten-part series about the challenges, triumphs and ambitions of this much anticipated new show.
How did you get involved with WOS?
Epic Studios has been a pioneer in production values for getting indie wrestling up to the broadcast scene. We’ve done a lot of local indie shows and even had WWE come to the studios. We’ve been slowly but surely working out the format and the way the studio’s laid out to film wrestling. When WWE came down, they did their UK Championships. They did two shows over two days and it finished the day before they were in the O2 for their London Raw show. It went out on the Network. Triple H was there, and it was really to showcase their British brand. It’s not working so well for them as the American stuff is. They came to the studio as they were testing out some technical stuff and because the TV studio was being used as a back-up for technical. So, if what they were testing out for shows didn’t work, they had a TV studio to switch on and use. So we were used as a test bed for things that aren’t really suited for filming.
What were the challenges in getting WOS Wrestling filmed?
No. The only challenges were post production. The set up and the filming for us was business as usual. It was a similar lay out and it works. It’s nice that ITV listen to us. They listened to our feedback, they saw our shows and realised we needed to do it this way or that because the pilot didn’t quite hit the nail on the head.
Did it not? Everyone I’ve spoken to raves about that pilot. What were the criticisms?
It was more from a production end really. The wrestling itself was amazing. The audience was great. I think it was just more about a production value end. It just didn’t feel right as a show. We were after that live event feel. There are three pieces of talent in any ring. There’s the wrestler, the ref and the audience. The way we spin the room around now, and the way we handle the audience meant that the crowd were a bit more animated, a bit more lively and that added a third dimension that was a little bit lacking in the pilot.
What are your hopes for WOS Wrestling?
World of Sport is going to be up there. It’s going to challenge WWE. It’s going to be the UK output for British wrestling and it’s going to be on that epic scale. We’re in it for the long term, there’s much more in the pipeline. We’ve just showed the first ten episodes. We’re the production partners so wherever it’s filmed, whether it’s in our studio or an arena that’s fine. It wouldn’t matter to us. We’ll still be involved in the production. This would probably start off as two separate things. A studio program and a live event show and there’s going to be a point in the road where the two meet and it’s going to be arenas. It’s going to be the next gladiator style scale show every Saturday night on ITV.