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Friday, February 21, 2020

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World of Sport Wrestling: Viper makes History

New Year’s Eve saw a 2017 re-hash of the UK’s World of Sport Wrestling make a pilot return to UK primetime programming. WoSW ran from 1965 to 1985 and was the highlight of British professional wrestling, which always had a tough and gritty nature. Back in the 80s, there weren’t as many female wrestlers in the UK so there was no such thing as a women’s division.

However, 30 years later, British Broadcaster ITV brought back WoSW as part of a revival of wrestling in the mainstream. This isn’t the 80s anymore, so this show featured the first ever WoSW all female match!

First up, we see the energetic and vibrant Alexis Rose make her way to the ring. Donning a pair of shades and fur-lined red ring coat, she energetically skips to the ring to the sound of cheers and a couple wolf whistles.

Her opponent, is the physically bigger and mean looking Viper. She comes out with her own viper draped along her shoulders. Commentators Alex Shane and the well loved Jim “JR” Ross comment on how Viper reminds them of Klondyke Kate, who was the only female competitor back in WoSW’s original run and is also present at ringside.

Viper dominates her power from the get-go, shoving Alexis down easily, but Alexis kips herself back up. Her speed proves useful as she uses a Matrix counter (which JR still refers to Trish Stratus for!) and she starts to hammer away at Viper in the corner. She tries to get more offence in, until she’s shut down by the 209lb Viper nailing a running crossbody… ouch!

Viper is now able to take over the control of the match. She punishes Alexis with kicks, punches and another running press. However, the resilient Alexis still kicks out at 2! Viper proceeds to choke out her opponent on the ropes and starts to go for the 4 corner pound. Before Viper can smash Alexis against the last ‘buckle, Alexis blocks the shot, gives Viper a taste of her own medicine with her own ‘buckle shot and then hits a cross body!

Viper kicks out at 2, but Alexis lines her up in the corner. She goes for a second rope moonsault, but Viper rolls out the way! She hits another running senton on her fallen victim and Viper picks up the victory. Viper wins the first ever WoSW female match!

UK viewers are able to watch the full show here via ITV Hub.

Thoughts: While reviews of the overall show have been quite mixed, this was a big risk for ITV to take and I’m so happy that they did it! Professional wrestling in the UK was always tougher, but celebrated big characters and straight up brawling. Obviously the glitz of the American output has made things a but more fancy, so it was definitely not a small task to try and accomplish.

The inclusion of the women was another touch of the times in British women’s wrestling. We regularly cover the UK’s women’s indy scene and boy do we know that there’s a lot of talent. While this wasn’t the most stand-out match and possibly not everyone’s choice to workers, this match still stayed true to what WoSW was known for, which was the big characters. Seeing Klondyke Kate who was hated in the 80s, standing at ringside and showing her approval was a very nice touch to see!

Sure there wasn’t much time, but with Viper’s obvious bigger appearance, we were able to get a traditional David and Goliath match. Meanwhile, Alexis was playing your typical good looking and fun face. It would have been nice if Viper was able to do more power moves, but Alexis’ quick offence and neat Moonsault spot probably shocked some viewers who don’t watch wrestling… and that’s what this match was about.

I’ve certainly got the taste for more and hopefully we may see more from World of Sport Wrestling in 2017!

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