The dust has settled on the landmark, unexpected and hugely exciting news that Impact Wretling, through its parent company Anthem Sports & Entertainment will be teaming with ITV to bring World of Sport (WOS) Wrestling back to our television screens for a series for the first time in 30 years! For many readers, WOS will be the yardstick against which your relatives judge modern day professional wrestling. Names like Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks inspired a generation - including Her Majesty the Queen so it has been said! Well now, WOS is back (following a successful pilot on New Year's Eve 2016) for an initial commission of a 10-part series. In the best traditions of Royal Ramblings we've focused in on the top five reasons you should be excited about the announcement. Make sure to get to the live tapings on Thursday 25th and Friday 26th May at Preston Guild Hall if you can with tickets onsale Friday 7 April from Ticketmaster and others. Stay tuned to Royal Ramblings for further details...
1.Today's Top Talent
First and foremost the talent is, as they say in the wrestling business, hot!! Impact wrestling, ICW and Scottish TV sensation Grado is the WOS Champion and will certainly be putting bums on seats. Alongside the man from 'the tap end of Stevenston' will be the Mexican sensation El Ligero. Ligs as he is affectionately known on the circuit is a favourite of Impact head honcho Jeff Jarrett and has probably worked more independent matches than any other wrestler this year. A hard worker and super performer, he'll be one to watch. Another great name on the roster is Sha Samuels. Ask any top UK wrestler and they'll tell you Samuels is well overdue his shot at the big time. As for the ladies, there is Viper (we'll have an interview with her coming soon), an awesome, dominant and hugely talented star who has already made a great name for herself in Japan and elsewhere. These three will be appearing alongside British Boot Camp alumnus Rampage Brown, Kenny Williams, Zack Gibson and a host of other fantastic competitors. This is a chance for many British stars to shine and there is no doubt they'll make an impression
2. International Exchange
According to Jeff Jarrett the WOS show will feature "80% British wrestlers, but there's definitely going to be international stars integrated into the show". This is great news too. The Impact roster has just undergone somewhat of a renaissance with a new LAX and Alberto El Patron, a returning ODB and a host of new rising stars. Having the option to mix and match should prevent the roster getting stale and allows for great surprises.
Speaking of surprises, the man who ended Britain's 108 year wait for a Wrestling World Champion shocked attendees at the WOS press launch by revealing he would be a part of the series. Nick 'Magnus' Aldis had been away from Impact for some time but has returned under its new management. He told those gathered that "I don't make threats, I don't make promises but we can all agree that I make history". That he does and he's also made the Impact-WOS partnership unpredictable and exciting, so lets hope for more of that.
Jeff Jarrett is a well-considered fellow, as we discovered when we interviewed him recently. To that end, it was not a big surprise to read that he has a vision for WOS. Jarrett told reporters that in his mind WOS will be a fully-fledged promotion in its own right. He said that "the show is already being shopped internationally" and that there could well be a tour and accompanying branded merchandising and so on. Given some of the larger family friendly UK promotions have not fared too well against the rise of the super independents (RevPro, Progress, ICW, WCPW) there might well be a vacuum and with the Impact crew's knowhow the potential to grow is clear.
5. Renewal, Revival and Competition
Finally and best of all this marks a real watershed moment in the renewal, revival and re-growth of Impact wrestling. After a period in the not so distant past in which internet fans were down on the company, there seems to be a feel of absolute professionalism, vision and energy abounding. Having this arrangement in the UK is a marker and of course, an obvious statement of intent in respect of another major company's efforts in Britain. To have healthy and vibrant competition in the industry is as any wrestler will tell you, good for the talent and great for the fans. So we at Royal Ramblings have significant faith in the future...
The WOS roster will compete before of a live audience at Preston Guild Hall on Thursday 25th May and Friday 26th May (doors at 7pm). Tickets go on sale Friday 7th April from Gigs and Tours , Ticketmaster and Preston Guild Hall. We'll see you there!