World of Sport Wrestling is a British professional wrestling television series. It is promoted as a relaunch of the popular wrestling segment of the World of Sport sports programme which ran on ITV between 2 January 1965 and 28 September 1985. The present programme was launched on New Year's Eve 2016. It was formerly associated with the United States-based promotion, Impact Wrestling.
ITV transmitted British professional wrestling for over 33 years from November 1955 to December 1988. The bulk of this was screened on Saturday afternoons or lunchtimes (although other slots including late evenings, midweek lunchtimes and Bank Holiday Monday afternoons were also utilized.) Throughout World of Sport's lifetime, the Saturday afternoon coverage was generally incorporated into the package show as a slot. Joint Promotions held exclusive rights to ITV television coverage until the end of 1986 when they rotated with tapings of All Star Wrestling and occasional WWF special editions.
Despite the cancellation, professional wrestling in the distinct British style has continued in the United Kingdom to the present day. Additionally, since the early 1990s, a second strand of wrestling promotions has emerged, producing more American-styled shows. The two genres have become known commonly as "Old School" and "New School" respectively, after the names used in an invasion angle run by the FWA promotion around 2001. Over the years, numerous attempts were made to relaunch televised British wrestling, with various promotions covered on local television or satellite/digital channels and often touted as the "revival" of British Wrestling. Although ITV screened WCW in the early hours and from 1992-1995 in British wrestling's old Saturday afternoon slot, no homegrown promotion ever received regular syndicated coverage on the network.
In the 21st Century, vintage ITV coverage was repeated as "World of Sport" on digital channels such as The Wrestling Channel and Men and Movies, resulting in the name "World Of Sport" becoming a frequent retronym for the traditional/Old School style.
Development and pilots
The mid 2010s saw an increasing drive to return British Wrestling to ITV. A pilot for World Of Sport Wrestling (branding itself as a direct revival of the old slot on the World Of Sport programme) was filmed at the Fairfield Halls, Croydon in 2013 but rejected by ITV. This was eventually posted to YouTube in mid 2015.
On 17 October 2016 ITV announced that they would be bringing back professional wrestling, arguably World of Sport's most popular segment. They announced they would be recording a pilot episode on 1 November 2016, being filmed at MediaCityUK in Salford, Greater Manchester. The show featured independent wrestlers such as El Ligero, Grado and Sha Samuels. ITV also announced that former WWE commentator Jim Ross would call the pilot episode. It aired on New Year's Eve on ITV.
The following year, on 23 March, Impact Wrestling announced that they would be teaming with ITV to yet again bring back the show with Jeff Jarrett as an executive producer as a ten episode series. The show was announced to be taping at Preston Guild Hall on 25 and 26 May. Impact Wrestling talents such as Grado, Rockstar Spud, and Magnus along with independent wrestlers such as El Ligero, Dave Mastiff and Sha Samuels, were confirmed to be part of the roster. The tapings were cancelled in April and were eventually rescheduled for 2018.
In April 2018 ITV announced World of Sport would air a ten part series later in the year on Saturday afternoons. The shows were taped in Norwich, on May 10, 11 and 12 and broadcast from July 28, only on ITV and STV. Jim Ross is not involved and neither is Impact Wrestling. Instead, the hosts are Alex Shane and SoCal Val.
|Championship||Current Champion(s)||Reign||Date won||Days held||Notes|
|WOS Championship||Justin Sysum||1||12 May 2018||193+||Aired on Saturday, 29 September 2018|
|WOS Women's Championship||Kay Lee Ray||1||10 May 2018||195+||Aired on Saturday, 4 August 2018|
|WOS Tag Team Championship||Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Grado||1||12 May 2018||193+||Aired on Saturday, 29 September 2018|
|World of Sport Wrestling Events|