Gleed’s Review of WOS Wrestling: Rampage vs. Justin Sysum for the WOS Championship, Joe Hendry vs. Marty Kirby, Grado’s redemption story continues, BT Gunn and Stevie Boy vs. CJ Banks and Bradley Slayer, and Gabriel Kidd’s big opportunity

By Haydn Gleed, Prowrestling.net Staffer (@haydngleed)

World of Sport Wrestling
Aired on ITV on August 11, 2018
Taped in May 2018 in Norwich, England at Epic Studios

After showing highlights of last week and preview of this week’s show, they opened the show in the WOS Arena. Alex Shane, SoCal Val and Stu Bennett welcomed us to the show. Stu announced that the main event would be Rampage vs. Justin Sysum as Justin had been banging on his door for weeks for an opportunity. SoCal set up some footage from earlier in the day with Grado furiously walking the halls backstage. Grado barged into Bennett’s office and claimed that when he lost the title men, women, and children were crying. He demanded that Bennett gave him an opportunity to prove himself.

Bennett said let’s get one thing clear, he is the executive of WOS and one of his duties is to ensure that wrestling comes first and foremost above everything else. When he looks at Grado he doesn’t see championship material. Grado said he wants one chance against the big man, which Bennett said this is his one and only chance, but this has to be something that is taken seriously. With that Grado did his comedy walk out of Bennett’s office.

Gleed’s Take: Pretty good from a consistency and continuity basis. Although Bennett is the heel authority figure, it didn’t feel out of place that he would give Grado another chance since he stated he didn’t believe he had it in him. It’s difficult for me because while I like Grado and he certainly has a place in any organization, I see him as more of a comedy figure and would prefer for him not to be the biggest babyface main eventer that the company is building around. With that being said, as I’ve been saying for weeks, this show is not for someone like me it’s for more of the kids, families and casual fans.

In the arena, Grado’s music played and he came out dancing in a suit, tie and glasses. He stopped himself and walked down to the ring in a more sensible “professional” way. Bennett was more positive about Grado and said at least he’s taking things seriously. Once in the ring, his opponent Sha Samuels was announced and the crowd did their over produced thumbs down sign. Samuels pointed and laughed at Grado in the ring.

Once in the ring, Sha grabbed the microphone and said look at the state of you, what exactly are you trying to prove? He said no matter what you wear you will look like a clown and no one will ever take him seriously. Grado grabbed the mic and said he is taking this very seriously. He said he’s been going to the gym more and been walking his dog thirty six times a day. He said he’s going to prove how serious he is right now. With that he threw his glasses to the mat and said ring the bell…

1. Grado vs. Sha Samuels. Samuels got in Grado’s face but Grado slapped him. He charged at Samuels who scooped him up for a powerslam. He applied a chinlock on the mat but Grado quickly came back. However Samuels cut off the comeback quickly and threw Grado to the outside and continued with his beating.

Samuels threw Grado around the ringside area before rolling back into the ring. Grado beat the count but Samuels knocked him back to the outside. They fought on the ramp with Samuels attempting a powerbomb, but Grado countered. Grado went over to the kid who took his cap a couple of weeks ago, and the kid put Grado’s hat back on him. Grado rolled Samuels back in the ring before climbing back in, taking off his suit, and revealed he was wearing his usual attire.

With the “force of his outfit” coursing through his veins he was in total domination. He pointed at Bennett, which they of course replayed before hitting a cannonball in the corner. Samuels came back with a huge lariat. He climbed to the top rope and presumably was going for a top rope headbutt, but Grado turned it into a cutter and scored the three count…

Grado defeated Sha Samuels.

Bennett questioned where the hell that came from as they went to a break…

Gleed’s Take: As I already stated earlier, this is certainly not my kind of usual angle that I enjoy, but it’s being very, very well done. The crowd was totally into it, the story is being told well and most importantly of all is incredibly consistent and logical. It does throw me back to a time in my youth when I didn’t care about in-ring action, I just enjoyed the stories and the good guy stories, so for that I’m enjoying it.

After the break, ring announcer Phil Seymour proclaimed that the next match would be for one fall, which gained a one fall response. He introduced Martin Kirby while they showed what had happened in his feud with Joe Hendry. Kirby climbed into the ring and backed up Seymour into the corner so he could take the spotlight mid-ring as the crowd booed. Seymour introduced next the pride of Scotland, Joe Hendry. Joe’s music played as the crowd swayed back and for, as did Phil Seymour with a big smile on his face. Bennett on commentary said this doesn’t make any sense to him as Kirby walked out on him but Hendry just comes to the ring singing. Fair point…

2. Martin Kirby vs. Joe Hendry. In one of those strange WOS edit’s, one second Hendry had his jacket on with Kirby on the outside, two seconds later Kirby’s in the ring and Hendry had no jacket. Come on, WOS. Both men locked up as Alex claimed this wasn’t fun and games this was Hendry trying to prove himself to Kirby. Hendry took him down several times with some smooth looking amateur wrestling.

Kirby screamed at Hendry you think your so good, bring it on as he crouched down in an amateur wrestling crouch and encouraged Hendry to take him on. Hendry took up the challenge and easily won the contest. After some further Hendry offence, Kirby did some old school stalling on the outside. Hendry climbed out of the ring and chased him around the ring. Kirby slid in and went for a sneak attack but Hendry moved. Kirby came back and hit a flying kick to the head which was replayed twice. This allowed the heel to gain some momentum and was on offence for several minutes.

Henry eventually came back with a big clothesline and proceeded to try several leverage pin attempts but Kirby countered with a spinebuster. Kirby did the Zoidberg crab walk along the middle rope but missed with an elbow.

Gleed’s Take: It’s as lame as it sounds. I think Kirby is an excellent performer and as a babyface on the indie scene the Zoidberg crab walk along the middle rope is fun, but here it just felt completely out of place.

Hendry took the opportunity to hit some of his own offense and hit an impressive fallaway slam. “I think these two still have issues following their tag team tournament match,” SoCal said. Bennett replied by asking if she thinks so considering they are beating the hell out of each other. The ending came when Henry went for the Hendry lock. Kirby just managed to get to the ropes and was selling an injury to his ankle. The referee pushed Hendry away from continuing with an attack, but Kirby knocked Hendry to the mat and put his feet on the ropes for leverage and got the three count….

Martin Kirby defeated Joe Hendry.

With Alex and SoCal furious on commentary at the actions of Kirby, Bennett stated that it was a genius move…

Gleed’s Take: Three weeks and three losses for Joe Hendry, albeit each one with an out to keep him strong. If this were WWE I would be worried that they are cooling one of their top babyfaces but I’ll be honest I have more faith in the more TV show like WOS to tell a long term story with Hendry, so we will see when I do my end of series review in a few months time. I admire SoCal Val so much as she clearly has a passion for the wrestling business, and is clearly incredibly knowledgeable about the business, but she is getting lost in the three person booth. Alex’s play by play is not bad, Bennett is the heel color analyst, which leaves SoCal to come out with so many obvious cringy comments it doesn’t do her justice. Shame.

Alex Shane setup the next match which would be the continuation of the tag team tournament. BT Gunn and Stevie Boy were introduced and they came out wearing some cast off’s from the 1980’s and matching face paint. Their opponents were announced was CJ Banks and Brad Slayer…

Gleed’s Take: Both these guys are Scottish wrestlers who I’ve seen wrestle predominantly in ICW, but I’ve never seen them wrestle together as a tag team and certainly never seen them in this fluorescent 1980’s get up. In fact, the last BT Gunn match I saw was against Jimmy Havok and was certainly not in this style of character so this is quite jarring. CJ Banks we know as part of the stable he’s in on the independent scene with Sha Samuels and WOS Champion Rampage, while Brad Slayer is regarded as an up and comer in the UK independent scene.

3. BT Gunn and Stevie Boy vs. CJ Banks and Brad Slayer in a Tag Team Tournament first-round match. Gunn and CJ Banks locked up and spent a long time trying to gain the advantage. Banks came out on top but Gunn came back quickly and both men exchanged offence. Bennett stated that it was essentially Scotland against England, and England was not doing well. SoCal said she liked the look of Gunn and Boy. Bennett said it seems to be a theme on this show that Val likes the looks of the guys. Alex defended SoCal and told Bennett to lighten up because there’s only so many shades of grey. They also talked about Steve Boy being the real life boyfriend of WOS Women’s champion Kay Lee Ray and he in fact brought her into the wrestling business.

Late in the match, Stevie Boy made the hot tag to BT Gunn who went to town on both Slayer and CJ Banks. He hit a number of kicks on Brad before a Sting Splash in the corner. He hit a big move on CJ Banks to take him out of the match and then both he and Stevie Boy hit kicks to the head of Slayer in the corner. Gunn put Brad on his shoulder and Boy leapt off the top rope with a clothesline and they got the three count…

BT Gunn and Stevie Boy defeated CJ Banks and Brad Slayer to advance to the semifinals of the Tag Team Tournament.

Gleed’s Take: This was only a decent match. It was high quality match in terms of the smoothness of the wrestling in the ring, it just didn’t go on for very long. Slayer didn’t get much opportunity to show what he could do but there’s definitely something about this guy. I managed to get over the jarring I felt with Stevie Ray and BT Gunn quickly enough and they look like a good tag team. Not only do they have the matching gear but they have come up with some decent double team moves. They feel like a proper tag team which we haven’t had so far in the tournament. My biggest issue so far with this show (outside the usual constant replays and editing) is that nothing is given time to settle. It’s literally match then setup for the next match, so nothing is having time to settle.

The announcers setup a video package seeing Gabriel Kidd winning the ladder match last week and Stu Bennett once again claimed that he now has a big opportunity. In the arena, Gabriel Kidd was introduced as being all the way from Nottingham (about 80 miles away) and got a good reaction from the crowd. His opponent was announced as being the thirty six stone Crater. Shane and Val expressed shock and anger at towards Bennett for booking the match. Gabriel looked terrified in the ring as did some of the kids in the crowd…

4. Gabriel Kidd vs. Crater. Bennett mocked Gabriel on commentary as Shane was saying it’s not fair and that this kid had been training since being a lad and this could end his career. SoCal said Bennett was sitting there with a huge smile on his face and it was sick. Alex apologized to the viewers and said he likes to be professional but this is the most sick thing he’s ever seen in any professional organization.

Kidd started off with some clubbing forearms, which didn’t phase the big man at all. Crater quickly took control as the announcers continued to bicker. Bennett said that these millennials have it too easy and when he was a lad he would regularly face 36 stone men after walking to training, which Alex and SoCal mocked him for. Crater continued to dominate in the ring and applied a bear hug. Kidd immediately sold that he had passed out. The referee raised his arm three times and on the final drop Kidd fought back and broke the bear hug but was immediately taken back down with an elbow (WHICH WAS REPLAYED!!!! for goodness sake). Crater charged Gabriel in the corner and SoCal screamed JESUS….CRACKERS. Crater choke slammed Kidd and then hit a splash off the ropes for the three count….

Crater defeated Gabriel Kidd

The announcers continued to bicker as the paramedics brought a stretcher into the ring. SoCal asked how Bennett can sleep at night, to which he replied I’ll get my PA to send him a get well soon card. As they slid Kidd out of the ring they talked about the main event coming up next….

Gleed’s Take: Holy 1980’s, Batman! Not only did we have BT Gunn and Stevie Boy dress like Adam Ant knockoffs but we had an angle straight out of the 1980’s territory playbook. The huge monster takes on a budding young pup and beats him up so badly he must be stretched out of the arena. On a more positive note, the announcers were true to their characters and made Kidd feel like a victim during the match, which enhanced the story they are telling. I assume later in the shows run Kidd will make his triumphant return and take down the big evil monster. I just wish that some of the good work hadn’t been undone by the shifting straight away to the main event as Gabriel was still being stretched out. By the way, I am so using Jesus Crackers in my every day life and may try and slip it into every members audio I’ll do until I get bored with it (so in about ten years time).

Phil Seymour introduced both competitors for the main event…

5. Rampage (w/Sha Samuels, CJ Banks) vs. Justin Sysum: Sha Samuels and CJ Banks winged Rampage during the entrance and were selling the effects of their matches earlier in the night. The bell rang and they locked up in the ring. Rampage gained the early advantage with some clubbing forarms to the back. CJ Banks continued to sell at ringside while Sha Samuels seemed to have forgotten. Justin came back with some great agility including a crossbody off the middle ropes and a huge dropkick.

Justin went to the top to hit a 450 splash, but Samuels distracted the referee which allowed CJ Banks to knock Justin off the top ropes. The commentary team questioned Stu on why the referee wasn’t allowed to send Samuels and Banks to the back and was that something that he had told the referees not to do, which Bennett dodged the question like a true politician.

The finish of the match came when Rampage had been on offense for a considerable amount of time, Justin slingshotted Rampage into the corner. He hit a number of clotheslines and a splash in the corner. I just noticed Sysum looks like a version of John Cena. Sysum clotheslined himself and Rampage over the top ropes as the referee counted in the ring. We saw CJ Banks climb under the ring as Rampage rolled back into the ring. As Justin was about to do the same, CJ grabbed Justin’s leg from under the apron and Justin was counted out. Rampage and his posse celebrated as the commentators again turned on Stu Bennett, who said “all’s fair in love and war”.

Rampage defeated Justin Sysum to retain the WOS Championship.

They setup clips of next week’s show which will include Will Ospreay vs. Martin Kirby, Kay Lee Ray defending her WOS Women’s Championship, Rampage defending the WOS Championship, and again and we should be afraid, very afraid of Crater…

Gleed’s Take: The match was decent, and if nothing else comes out of this WOS run, Justin Sysum has looked damn impressive during the two shows he’s been part of. Another match and another distraction of the referee to the point that the casual fans must be getting bored of the same lame non-finish. It’s not that there are no clean wins, but the bigger matches always seem to end with a distraction finish so it’s getting a bit predictable.

Overall a decent show, but not my favorite of the bunch. For a start, it felt that there was too much going on that nothing really sunk in. The matches were too short and there were too many stories being told within the hour. That being said, the stories are being well told and the development of every character is being done well, even to the point that the commentators are starting to question Stu Bennett’s authority. That makes perfect sense considering what has gone on. I’ll have a lot more to say on my exclusive members audio momentarily.

Seen the show and agree or disagree? Let me know via twitter @haydngleed or via email haydn.gleed@gmail.com


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