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ITV commissions new 10-part series World of Sport Wrestling

Thursday, April 26th 2018 by Steve McCaskill

ITV has green lit a ten-part professional wrestling series in a move that could restore the glory days of the British grappling scene.

Wrestling was a staple component of World of Sport, which was broadcast on Saturday afternoons on ITV in the 1970s and 1980s, and made the likes of Big Daddy and Giant Haystacks household names in the UK.

A one-off special was shown on ITV on New Year’s Eve 2016, starring some of the biggest names in British wrestling such as Grado and other performers from the independent circuit. WWE legend Jim Ross provided the commentary and provided legitimacy to proceedings.

The success of the show led to plans for a full series, but this never came to fruition due to protracted negotiations. Now it appears as though the conditions are right for a revival and World of Sport Wrestling will be filmed in front of a live audience in Norwich.

'Strong nostalgia'

“There is a massive indie wrestling scene in the UK and a strong nostalgia for the wrestling shows of our youth. WOS Wrestling will combine the best of the past with incredible talent available today to make a fun, exciting and thrilling show that the whole family can enjoy,” said Tom McLennan, creative director of ITV Studios Entertainment, adding that the show would include full matches, backstage segments and interviews.

The new show will feature some of the biggest names in British wrestling

The revived WOS Wrestling will hope to fare better than 5 Star Wrestling, the last promotion that attempted a national television programme. 5 Star held shows at huge arenas around the UK, with Grado joined by UK stalwart Zack Gibson as well as former WWE stars Rey Mysterio, Rob Van Dam and John Morrison.

It was broadcast live every Thursday on Freeview channel Freesport, but the project was ultimately too ambitious and the promotion went bankrupt last month, forcing the cancellation of all remaining shows.

ITV is available on all television platforms, including Sky and Virgin Media, with on-demand content available on the ITV Hub.

The world’s largest wrestling promotion, the WWE, is available on Sky Sports with Raw shown live on Monday nights and Smackdown Live on Tuesday nights.

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