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  1. #1
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    British Wrestling

    I remember the last iteration of the thread ended with Mizfan discovering a love for Vic Faulkner, which reminded me of this match. Honestly, you won't have seen a lot like this. I actually think it's really a very interesting example of how you can blur the lines between a sporting presentation (look at the football scores flashing up at the bottom of the screen!) and what is quite obviously some very broad comedy. It's quite clearly more in a theatrical mode, but there's something about it that allows you to do this without it seeming incongruous in a more sporting context even though it's still kind of ludicrous. I have the feeling that somewhere that ability has been lost.


  2. #2
    The Brain
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    The classic World of Sport presentation is one of my favorites of all time, in part because it does have this interesting air of authenticity while still having room to play with a bit of comedy and other tropes.

    What I don't like is how fucking hard it is to figure out WHEN these matches happened! I can't even guess as to what year this took place, so any help with that it appreciated.

    I'll be checking this out for sure, I did love Vic Faulkner in that tag wrestling special episode you posted in the old thread because he was so charismatic and knew when to work in humor, and how to do it without derailing the match. Rather than doing hamfisted "THIS IS THE COMEDY SEGMENT" stuff he felt like a top level worker who looked like was just faffing about in an exhibition match, while at the same time unbalancing his opponent in subtle ways to gain a psychological advantage.

    Well worth checking out the old stuff for anyone who's interested in the style. My personal favorites are Johnny Saint (of course), Jim Breaks, Mick McManus, and Steve Gray, though that's really just scratching the surface. You also see guys like Finlay and Davey Boy Smith in the earliest parts of their career, among others.

    For current UK stuff I've mostly been watching bits of PROGRESS and RevPro this year, and both have their strong points. I think PROGRESS can get a bit too WWE-esque in their booking but sometimes they have incredible one off matches, and they're smart enough to book RingKampf which by itself is a huge point in their favor. WALTER vs. Timothy Thatcher from January 28th is still my #1 match of the year for anywhere in the world.

    As for RevPro, I've loved their presentation in the past but I feel I'm a little less interested lately. They still produce great shows generally, but the lack of angles has lowered my interest I suppose. There was a January 7th match between Zack Sabre Jr and Martin Stone that I thought was flat out fantastic though, worth checking out. They ran Minoru Suzuki vs. Jeff Cobb 'Mania weekend and that was pretty awesome too, though technically it took place in the states.

  3. #3
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    That feeling when you realise your ridiculously in-depth look at wrestling in North-West England has been nuked in the reset....



    Oh, and the tapings for the new World of Sport started last night, so far as I know.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 05-11-2018 at 08:30 AM.

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  4. #4
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    Haha christ, that Regal gif is amazing. One of the best ever.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    What I don't like is how fucking hard it is to figure out WHEN these matches happened! I can't even guess as to what year this took place, so any help with that it appreciated.
    I think I can help you with this, and I'm going to give you a reason to very briefly appreciate football.

    Those scores at the bottom are a big help because one of them is a bit weird. Tracking down all the dates that could have been left only a couple of possible dates.

    There's only three times in history Ipswich have scored five or more goals against WBA in a game, and one of those can immediately be dismissed as too recent for this. A quick cross reference against the other game that flashes up and there's only one very likely date: the 30th of October, 1982.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 05-12-2018 at 05:19 AM.

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  6. #6
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    Haha, I actually wondered about cross referencing those but I wouldn't have known when to start. Thanks Pete! Loved the match too, it was hilarious as expected!

  7. #7
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    It is good fun. My favourite moment is the really low key 'thank you' to the applause near the beginning.

    Busy time in the contemporary scene though. Progress have their strong style shows on at the moment and then it's just a few days removed from RPW's Epic Encounter 2018, which had a lot of big international names on it.

    At the other end of the (gender) spectrum, Pro Wrestling Eve ran a show in London the other night that had Toni Storm on it....


    Also, the World of Sport roster sounds pretty impressive, if what I'm reading about who was there is true.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 05-16-2018 at 08:30 AM.

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  8. #8
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    Just watched a batch of PROGRESS matches and had a blast with it. The fact that they are heavily featuring WALTER and Sabre is to their credit, those two may very well be the best in the world right now, and their match together over Wrestlemania weekend was unbelievably good. But I also got a reminder of why I hesitate to go all in on PROGRESS, as the recent WALTER/Travis Banks title match featured some very WWE-ish booking, complete with cutesy winks to the crowd about Roman Reigns. A little of that goes a long way for me, and I think they've done it too much at this point.

    The biggest recent news from EVE is running a show with a lot of Joshi guests earlier this month, including a Viper (Piper Niven) vs. Aja Kong match, and Meiko Satomura vs. Kay Lee Ray. I'll probably have to seek those out at some point, because on paper that's a hell of a one-two punch!

    Who's grabbing your interest for the WoS continuation, Pete? I have to admit I was turned off by Grado being front and center once again on the poster. I don't mind him in small doses but he's another case where I feel a little goes an awfully long way.

  9. #9
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    OK so consider this a minor spoiler and read on at your peril.....



    But the list I'd seen included Will Ospreay and Davey Boy Smith JR from Japan, Grado as you say, Doug Williams back from the abyss, then the supporting cast including Rampage Brown, Sha Samuels, Martin Kirby, Ieysten Rees, Kip Sabian, CJ Banks and others. There's a few women in the mix too, notably Kay Lee Ray and Viper. There's a lot of others but those are the big names and the people I know of from this neck of the woods.

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  10. #10
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    Interesting list... I'm not sure that's enough to go on and I feel like they're leaving a lot of top level Brits on the table, but maybe that'll come in time? Makes me wonder if there's a split between WoS and PROGRESS, as WWE probably isn't thrilled with the idea of a TV product to compete with them over there, even on a low level, and obviously PROGRESS is inextricably tied to them at this point.

  11. #11
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    There's a story on the front page about WWE trying to sign people up to prevent them working for ITV, actually.

    That wasn't the full list, and it's only ten weeks worth of TV they've done so far. I don't think it's going to be a 52-week product even if it does run beyond the ten weeks, so I don't know if they'll need as much talent as full timers.

    The big problem for them could be if WWE do run this UK show that's mooted and run it around the year, with exclusive talent deals, it'll obviously be in the wrestlers interest to work for WWE and get paid year round.

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  12. #12
    The Brain
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    Well, everyone got the right to go after the biggest paycheck, but you do start to get the feeling that WWE already has more talent than they know what to do with.

    I wonder if they can get Sabre to come in, seems like he'd be a must for a show that spotlights UK wrestling, and he's not likely to sign anything exclusive with WWE anytime soon.

  13. #13
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    I imagine it'll depend on his Japanese commitments?

    Speaking of which, first reveals for the NJPW/RPW shows in Milton Keynes and Manchester. Ishii, Ishimori, and Minoru Suzuki. Not a bad opening set!

    And on the subject of RPW, Cody is here to face El Phantasmo in a couple of weeks time.

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  14. #14
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    They've added more names to the above. Yuji Nagata was the one that excited me but they've also included Will Ospreay, Toru Yano, and making his debut in the UK (and exciting me far more than is reasonable), Taichi!

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  15. #15
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    Haha, I feel like until recently I saw nothing but hate for Taichi. I'm glad people have turned a corner on him, he's got his strengths!

  16. #16
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    A name I'm seeing more and more of here is Chris Brookes, though I can't claim to be familiar with his work.

    He is wrestling WALTER for RevPro on June 3rd so Mizzie, if you wind up checking that one out, a report would be good.

    Also saw he has an 'open challenge' set up for a Fight Club: Pro show that will also feature Low Ki.


    In other news Viper and Kris Wolf are working an Eve show in London on the 9th.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 05-30-2018 at 05:24 AM.

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  17. #17
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    I like Chris Brookes... sort of. His very lanky look is memorable but not especially imposing. He can be a little goofy in his matches, so your mileage may vary with that. I think I've liked him better in tag situations so far, but I could see him maybe breaking out further. He feels a little overrated to me at the moment but I'm happy to be proved wrong.

    I'll probably check that WALTER match out at some point. Brookes' chest is thin enough that WALTER might be able to stop his heart with chops, so that'll be interesting!

    I loved Low Ki for a long time but all I could think about was making a joke about what excuse he'll use to no show this time if they ask him to do a job. The guy takes himself a little too seriously.

    I miss Kris Wolf from Stardom but I love that she's getting a chance to work a bunch of other places while her visa(?) issues get sorted out. She's a really fun talent. My major Viper fandom is well known, so the more attention on her the better in my book!

  18. #18
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    Viper is wrestling the Australian, Charli Evans. I don't know if that makes it a match to look out for or not. All I've really seen involves her running her ass into opponents who are downed in the corner. But that could be a very unfair summary.


    Interesting development - I've seen indy shows here advertised as featuring WWE UK and WoS stars going head-to-head. Didn't expect that, and certainly not so soon.

    The Wrestling League also seem to be upping their level, they are bringing in a Japanese star (Naoki Tanizaki) for an Ipswich show. Think it's the first time they've had some one from Japan in, though I can't say that for sure.

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  19. #19
    The Brain
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    I saw Charli Evans work RevPro earlier this year and thought she did well. Sounds like it should be a fine match.

    Surprised as well about that, but I guess WWE still doesn't care that much what their UK people do on the indy scene, as long as they aren't working WoS directly.

    Haha, I wouldn't have guessed Mr. Kyu Kyu Toyonaka Dolphin, formerly of Dragon Gate, would get flown into the UK for something like that. I like him just fine, just not necessarily a talent I'd spend money specifically to bring in.

  20. #20
    Any update on the broadcast date for World of Sport? I can't find any information...

  21. #21
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    Yeah, I don't see any specific date except it's supposed to air sometime later in the year.

  22. #22
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    There's not a great deal out there. In fact, if you follow the link on the WoS twitter, it redirects you to the Global Force Wrestling homepage, so their online presence still needs some work it seems.

    Lots of card changes out there, but it's hard to keep track of them. We might have too much indy stuff going on at the moment, because they basically seem to feature the same people in slightly different combinations and then sometimes someone has a title belt that doesn't really mean a lot to anyone but the most committed fans of that promotion. I think we could probably do with someone establishing themselves, and a set of titles, as a 'top level' here.

    Maybe someone - World of Sport, perhaps - could buy out the old British title from All Star? I don't think they are doing much with it and it'd give them some tradition to play into. 'The belt that dates back to 1930 and the Mountevans rules...' etc etc....

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  23. #23
    The Brain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prime Time View Post
    There's not a great deal out there. In fact, if you follow the link on the WoS twitter, it redirects you to the Global Force Wrestling homepage, so their online presence still needs some work it seems.
    Haha, that didn't age well, did it?

    I have definitely noticed that the many UK companies are rather incestuous, sharing tons of talent and even sometimes running the same matches/feuds with different focuses. It can be a bit cluttered. What I'd like to see most is a promotion that went all in on creating unique characters and stories for these guys. PROGRESS is actually sort of doing this but I don't love their approach, as I've mentioned they tend to go overboard with cute WWE references and melodrama to the point where I'm sometimes turned off despite their amazingly good roster. The alternative is my other favorite, RevPro, which presents itself very straightforwardly as a well produced super indy, which leads to lots of fun matches (and benefits from their New Japan partnership to stay fresh), but doesn't necessarily draw you in long term.

    I feel like All Star means nothing to most people these days, except the die hard fans. Even they may not think much of it, I rarely think of All Star when I think of traditional UK wrestling, it's always World of Sport and they've already got that.

  24. #24
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    Oh no, you wouldn't want anything except the right to claim the title lineage. All Star doesn't mean a lot and I don't think even in the glory days they went by that name much, if at all.

    Maybe I'm the only person who'd give a damn about it but I think being able to claim it's the oldest British title was a respected lineage would help them stand out as more than one of the huge range of indies.

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  25. #25
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    Not enough older stuff in here yet so here's a short match between Dynamite Kid and Rollerball Rocco!



    And more modern.... SPOILER BELOW....


    If you have't seen, WALTER got the pinfall in a PROGRESS tag main event, so he now gets a title shot at Travis Banks for their version of the world title.

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  26. #26
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    Again, just gonna pretend that's in my recommend thread and put it on the list.

    Nice that WALTER gets another shot, I liked the first title match a lot earlier this year but not quite as much as I hoped I would. I'm really not a big fan of the heel turn for Banks, he's a scrappy, likeable guy whose biggest attribute is an ability to eat ridiculous offense and continue believably fighting back. Doesn't feel like it works as well as a heel act. With the reports that Banks may be signed by WWE, I wonder a bit if he'll lose the belt? Then again, those contracts don't really seem to mean anything in terms of not wrestling on the scene anymore, so I won't hold my breath. PROGRESS couldn't do better than WALTER as a champion if they are just concerned about their own success, but since WALTER turned down a WWE contract recently (or so the rumors say) I'd be a little surprised if they do the switch.

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    I'm putting the videos up in here for anyone and everyone, but yes, I think you should absolutely watch anything I post in this one, even if only to indulge me.


    Sounds like WALTER's shot won't be first, the Progress world cup winner will be getting a shot at their champ later this month. I guess WALTER will have to come later?

    Interesting, after her appearance on TV the other day Viper is now occasionally being billed as a 'BBC Star'. Not something that'll hurt her, I suspect.

    The biggest news from this side of the pond is that the World of Sport stars - incidentally, that is supposed to be aired later this year though no date is confirmed yet - are being paid as actors by ITV, and entered a full-on collective bargaining agreement like they would if they were soap opera actors. It's been seen as a fairly major step. If it gets popular, means they can negotiate higher salaries, and also leaves them free to work other promotions too, this is the sort of thing that might stop WoS bleeding out talent to the WWE.

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  28. #28
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    ^ Just to add to this last, no date is confirmed for WoS but the rumour is it'll air in July, so sooner rather than later.

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  29. #29
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    If I remember it was Sabre who won that tournament, and it's a bit hard for me to think he'll be the one to take it off him since he's so damn busy everywhere else. It's not impossible though, and Sabre/WALTER has been one of the best things in wrestling this year so they could use it to set up another bout between them. Not sure if the WALTER/Banks stuff pays off though then, but with Banks surely headed for WWE UK maybe it won't matter anyway?

    I LOVE that they're being paid as actors. That actually makes me feel more positive about the WoS reboot in general, to the point where I might try to watch and support them solely for that reason, because it's a change that is LONG overdue.

  30. #30
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    It was actually Chuck Mambo who won it, not ZSJ. My guess is Sabre won an older tournament?

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  31. #31
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    Ah, was thinking of Super Strong Style 16. Had no idea they ran another tournament so close to that. From what I've seen of Mambo he's not bad but doesn't feel like someone who will dethrone Banks. Looking at that bracket, I wish they'd gone with someone a bit more exciting, like Bad Bones or Naoki Tanizaki, but maybe they were concerned about getting them back in the country for a timely title shot.

  32. #32
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    Apparently Stevie Boy has a stipulation if he loses at ICW Shug's Hoose Party 5 then he'll need to leave the country. I wonder if he's been picked up by the 'E....?

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  33. #33
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    I've never even heard of the guy, and for me that's really saying something!

  34. #34
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    Have ICW made much of an impression stateside?

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  35. #35
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    I heard a bit about then when Grado and Drew Galloway drew some reasonably good sized crowd, but mostly you don't hear about them near as much as PROGRESS or RevPro.

  36. #36
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    That's interesting because here they are probably the best-known indy, thanks to that documentary on them. I don't know how they would compare in terms of the size of the fanbase proper but I certainly get the impression that they have more casual name recognition than, say, Progress. You never hear someone who just watches a bit of WWE mention them, for example.

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  37. #37
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    Huh, that's really interesting. I think PROGRESS and RevPro might be bigger in the US as they've actually done shows over here and are associated with bigger acts, PROGRESS with WWE and RevPro with New Japan?

  38. #38
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    I'm sure that is part of it. Generally more recognised talent too.

    But I've looked into their attendances and it seems ICW have done bigger shows (packing in 6000 in some cases) but Progress are looking to surpass that with their show in September, which in scale should be considered the British equivalent of All-in... Though I am sceptical about their ability to sell out Wembley Arena.

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  39. #39
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    Yeah, I have heard ICW does some big crowds. Do you have any idea what they do to draw? Like I said the main thing I know about them is that Grado/Galloway was a big feud, and considering I don't really care for either guy I have definitely wondered what they're doing right. Should probably finally check them out when I have the chance.

  40. #40
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    I was surprised an American promotion ever took a chance on Grado. Not because I don't like him but because his appeal was quintessentially British. And it's not a surprise to me that Impact haven't really known how to recreate the magic he had in front of Scottish crowds.

    As to what they do to draw... The documentary helped raise awareness of them. But it's a combination of the hardcore style, a sense of humour that works here, and getting big talent from the British scene in. It doesn't seem to be stunt driven so much as content led. There's also a pretty decent group of fans of Mark Dallas's style so perhaps a bit of a Diddy Heyman mentality at work?!

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