In my recent columns I’ve been discussing how the British wrestling scene is striving more than ever and this column is no different to that. With each passing month, more brilliant news regarding British wrestling keeps on surfacing, lately the news being that Anthem/Impact Wrestling will be partnering with ITV to bring back World of Sport Wrestling following their successful New Year’s special. With Jeff Jarrett taking on the role as WOS executive producer, ITV & Impact will be teaming up to deliver a 10 episode run for WOS and revamping the brand as a full on promotion.
During the Q&A at the WOS Press Conference, Jeff Jarrett confirmed that WOS will consist of 70-80% British talent, assuming that the remaining 20-30% being Impact wrestlers, he mentioned that in the future their is a possibility of wrestlers coming from Impact, Japanese promotion NOAH and Mexican promotions AAA & Crash. Hopefully this will see some of the UK stars of WOS get the opportunity to work in these promotions.
With the roster already consisting of WOS Champion Grado and stars from the special such as El Ligero, Zack Gibson, Sha Samuels, Rampage, Kenny Williams, Viper, Dave Mastiff and many more, they are looking to adding to their roster and started off with announcing that Impact Wrestling’s Magnus will be part of the WOS roster.
So with that being said, I’ve compiled a list of 10 wrestlers from the UK that I would like to see added to the WOS roster. I’m keeping the list realistic and therefore I won’t be including any wrestlers contracted to the likes of WWE, NJPW or ROH.
This list isn’t in any order.
In my opinion, Nathan Cruz could walk into any wrestling company in the world and given the opportunity will stand out as the star that he is. Having already appeared on NXT against Elias Samson, wrestled a dark match on Smackdown against the Uso’s on top of the body of work he’s got throughout the UK and Europe. He was the first ever PROGRESS Champion as well as wrestling for the likes of NGW, ICW and WAW it is shocking that he hasn’t already been given a full time contract.
He’s got the looks, the natural charisma, great mic work, and the ability to tell a compelling story in and out of the ring. His wrestling style I’m a huge fan of, he makes everything believable and make sense whilst staying loyal to his character. I feel he could be one of the go to guys on the roster because with his wrestling style and ability he is able to compliment his opponents regardless to the differences in style. If WOS was to get Nathan Cruz for their series, there’s no telling how his career with sky rocket. I could see him as one of the faces of World of Sport and feel that he’d be a success if given the opportunities to go work with Impact, AAA, Noah and Crash in the future. For me, he is a must get.
For years Doug Williams carried the British wrestling flag on his back and showcased it round the world. Whilst wrestling for the likes of ROH and Impact Wrestling (TNA), Williams would show British wrestling, is the best style of wrestling as he proved to be one of the best technical wrestlers in the world with his true British style. Williams has wrestled the who’s who of wrestling, with matches with the likes of Daniel Bryan, AJ Styles and Samoa Joe over the years, he is one of the most experienced British still actively wrestling today. This wouldn’t be some sort of nostalgic act, at the age of 44, he’s shown he can still go with some of the best wrestlers the world has to offer going against the likes of Cody Rhodes & Drew Galloway in WCPW.
With plenty to offer in the ring and so much knowledge of the wrestling business, he’d be great for fellow World of Sport wrestlers to learn from. Williams is a true pioneer of British Wrestling and I feel if anyone deserves a place on the WOS roster it would be this man.
UK HOOLIGANS (ROY & ZAK KNIGHT):
Roy & Zak Knight’s name alone speaks for themselves, the Knight family is famous through British wrestling however despite their legendary parents Ricky Knight & Sweet Saraya or their sister WWE superstar Paige, this reason I believe they should be used on the World of Sport series is due to their talent and talent alone and over the years the UK Hooligans have been building the reputation as the best tag team in Europe winning tag championships throughout the region. Working mainly for family company WAW and PCW, they are two of the busiest workers on the UK scene and with an upcoming tour of Mexico coming up with brother in law Alberto El Patron (fka Alberto Del Rio) with Mexican promotion FULL (Federacion Universal de Lucha Libre) their reputation is about to become more global.
With the ability to make the crowd love them or hate them and able to work a variety or match types I believe what they have to offer would be really exciting to see in WOS. I hope that this time round they’ll get the call as they’re one of the best tag teams I’ve had the pleasure to watch live, they’re able to get the crowd in the palm of their hands and make the atmosphere brilliant. Looking at the bigger picture, if their tour in Mexico proving to be a success, I would like to see what they could do with reoccurring appearances for Crash or AAA.
Having seen Kip Sabian for the first time last year, I said that 2017 has to be his breakout year and he’s proving that to be true with bookings for companies such as SWE and Lucha Forever. Over the past year Sabian has shared the ring with the likes of Robbie E & Magnus of Impact Wrestling and Rey Fenix who’s best known for his work in Lucha Underground and although he’s still early in his career, at the age of 24 Sabian didn’t look out of place one bit sharing the ring with these men. Already a fan favourite at WAW and with an upcoming fatal four way involving Rey Mysterio, Sabian is quickly becoming the go to guy for WAW. I believe that in two to three years at most, Kip Sabian would be great for World of Sport and like the idea of matches with Kenny Williams and El Ligero. If WOS was to do a division similar to Impact Wrestling’s X-Division, then Kip Sabian would be a perfect addition to this division.
I was debating whether to include Spud into this list, with him already extremely successful in his career with Impact Wrestling, however that being said with the addition of Magnus, I thought I’d include Spud. Spud has proved to be one of the most consistently entertaining wrestlers on TV for the past 2-3 years. In his time at Impact Wrestling he’s proven to be very entertaining with whatever they give him, his mic work is brilliant and with the addition of his in ring talent it has seen him become a two time X-Division Champion and unsuccessfully challenged Kurt Angle for Impact Wrestling’s World Heavyweight Championship. There’s no disputing, Rockstar Spud is a star and would be an asset to the World of Sport roster.
Liam Slater is incredibly focused and versatile, a product of the World of Sport teaching of Marty Jones and modern day masters such as El Ligero. Slater brings a wealth of experience to the ring that many of his age lack, having shared the ring with the likes Rampage Brown, El Ligero, Joseph Conners, Johnny Gargano and, more recently, Tyler Bate, Zack Sabre Jr and Cody Rhodes. Slater’s talent is beyond solid, in ring work with a highly marketable look and natural charisma; he’s a talent who can hold his own against any opponent, where both men shine and fans go home remembering Liam Slater’s name. I believe Slater is the future of British wrestling and WOS would be the perfect way to showcase this and with the partnership of Impact, NOAH, AAA & Crash, I believe he has the ability to fit in any of these promotions and transition to their style.
STU BENNETT (WADE BARRETT):
If World of Sport was wanting to look for a well established name and really wanted to kick things off with a lot of noise on the wrestling scene, then Stu Bennett, formally known as WWE’s Wade Barrett would be the perfect signing to do just that. Bennett hasn’t wrestled since departing WWE but seems to be slowly getting back into things with guest appearances. It would be a huge signing if they managed to get Bennett to call WOS his new home. Having seen Galloway explode on the wrestling scene following his WWE departure, I believe Bennett has the ability to replicate that upon his return in the wrestling business and make a lot of noise for both WOS and their partners Impact Wrestling.
Joe Hendry has the personality and the look to be a star in any field of entertainment and the magnetism to attract new fans to the product. Instantly and undeniably larger than life, Hendry carries with him all the tools to be a true icon in professional wrestling and – as fans who have followed his career in ICW, WCPW, NGW and anywhere else that he’s work will attest – he’s constantly fine tuning what he does and how he does it. There can be no doubt that all eyes are on Joe Hendry to see what he does next.
If ever there was a man who can easily be loved and hated, it’s Bubblegum! At 5″6, it’d be easy to overlook this Manchester native. But, take one look at a Bubblegum match and you’ll see what has made him a must-see performer. His chiselled from granite physique; an outstanding ability to morph from brawling to high flying, from being able to put on technical showcases to jaw dropping showreel moments; and, an innate talent for being simultaneously loved and hated from the second he steps through the curtain. Imagine a World of Sport talent that kids love to antagonise, women love and men want to be, and that’s Bubblegum.
Thank you for reading, please feel free to share your thoughts on this article, whether you agree or disagree with any of the names mentioned above. Let us know who you think World of Sport should add to their roster. You can give me any of this feedback on twitter @kurtjohansson93