It has been 20 months since the WOS pilot aired in late 2016 and 30 years since the original aired on Saturday afternoons. Much has changed since WOS was previously on television every week in the 1980s. The nation is about to be introduced to a whole new generation of British wrestling superstars.
The confirmed roster features a mixture of incredible high flyers, hard-hitting brawlers, technically gifted mat wizards, riotous entertainers and terrifying super heavyweights. There truly is something for everyone. Here are just some of the reasons to get excited about the weeks to come.
10. British Bulldog Jr. Continues A Legacy
The late Davey Boy Smith, better known to fans as the British Bulldog, is unquestionably near the top of the pile when compiling any list of British wrestling’s all-time greats.
When WOS hits the screens his legacy will be continued by his son, the 6’5”, 260lbs powerhouse Davey Boy Smith Jr.
Smith Jr. is a decorated athlete in his own right, having held championship gold at an elite level in North America and Japan. The New Japan Pro Wrestling regular brings a degree of polish and international flavour to the WOS roster that few can match. He will be one to watch.
9. The Next Generation Of British Athletes
Whatever the medium, be it football, movies, music or professional wrestling, it is always satisfying to be able to look back at the genesis of someone’s success and say, “I was there”.
Fans watching WOS from the start will undoubtedly be able to do that with some of the less well-known members of the roster that are about to receive their moment in the sun.
For young lions such as Robbie X, Gabriel Kidd and Liam Slater, this is their chance to catapult themselves into the public eye.
All three are supremely gifted talents. Masked marvel Robbie X is a lighting quick aerial specialist, Liam Slater brings elements of old school technical mastery courtesy of his training with the great Marty Jones and Gabriel Kidd is a throwback to the no frills grapplers of a bygone era.
It will be extremely exciting to watch the three of them develop as the series progresses.
8. Reality Bites
One member of the WOS roster perhaps already familiar to ITV audiences is Adam ‘Flex’ Maxted.
The self-styled ‘Most Handsome Man In Wrestling’ from Belfast, Ireland is no stranger to television screens, having appeared on season two of ITV smash hit Love Island where he finished in fourth place.
Viewers of that show, whether they loved Flex or loved to hate him, will be thrilled to see him in action inside the squared circle. For everyone else, it will be fascinating to see whether the reality TV star can cut it in the unforgiving world of pro wrestling.
7. The Women’s Revolution
One of the key differences from the last time WOS was on our screens is the emergence of women’s wrestling.
The original show never aired a women’s singles match on Saturday afternoons, despite the availability of talented bone-benders such as Klondyke Kate and Mitzi Mueller. That’s a wrong that will be righted with the exciting new WOS women’s division.
The pilot started the revolution when Scottish superstar Viper defeated Alexis Rose. Viper will be joined this time around by Bea Priestley, Kay Lee Ray, Ayesha and Kasey Owens, a veritable who’s who of Britain’s female wrestling scene.
As everybody is about to find out, they are just as talented, athletically gifted and indeed dangerous as the men.
6. The Aerial Assassin Lands In WOS
The inclusion of Will Ospreay on the WOS roster has wrestling fans in the know salivating at the prospect of what the Essex-born 25-year-old can deliver on Saturday afternoons.
The death-defying high-flyer has taken the global wrestling scene by storm since debuting in 2012. After wowing audiences nationwide, Ospreay received his big break overseas with global powerhouse New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Ospreay quickly developed into a regular feature of NJPW cards, capturing Junior Heavyweight titles and winning the prestigious Best Of The Super Juniors tournament in 2016 to mark himself out as the best aerialist on the planet.
Ospreay’s potential is limitless. Seeing him bring that incredible talent to Saturday afternoons is going to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of WOS.
5. Surprise! Surprise!
The WOS pilot delivered plenty of surprises, be it the first women’s singles match in WOS history, the British wrestling legends sat at ringside, or the unscheduled appearance of British Bulldog Jr. in the battle royal main event.
WOS fans will be eagerly anticipating similarly memorable happenings in the new series.
What could we see? Perhaps some new members of the roster that have not yet been revealed? Special match stipulations such as the ladder match that we saw on the pilot? Maybe even a completely new type of match never seen before?
4. A Showcase For Britain’s Finest
The names announced for the WOS roster left wrestling fans catching their collective breaths. With each new reveal it became clear that the new series was going to feature an incredible array of exciting talent.
Many of them are not strangers to British wrestling followers. The likes of Joe Hendry, Nathan Cruz, Martin Kirby and Rampage have been tearing up rings up and down the country for years.
For everyone involved, appearing on the WOS series is the pinnacle of their professional careers, the goal they have been striving for since taking their first tentative steps into the industry several years ago.
For fans that have been following them throughout their journey it will be incredibly satisfying to see these masters of the craft plying their trade on the national stage.
3. Modern Legends Receive Their Dues
British wrestling’s revival has been a long and winding road. The industry may be thriving in 2018 but that is thanks to three decades of hard work, struggle and dedication from a generation of forgotten greats.
Doug Williams and Alex Shane were two of those that paved the way, laying the foundations for the current scene to thrive.
Williams became British wrestling’s most successful export of his era with spells in Impact Wrestling, Ring Of Honor and Pro Wrestling NOAH. Shane’s vision for the future of British wrestling created the FWA, which catapulted the British scene into the modern era.
Both men are set to be integral figures in the WOS return, with the evergreen Williams a member of the active roster and Shane returning to the commentary role he excelled at on the pilot.
2. Grado Defending The WOS Title
The crowning of Grado as the WOS Champion at the conclusion of the pilot episode was an emotionally-charged moment for the Stevenson-born funster.
Now, with a whole new array of challengers vying for a shot at his prize, what tricks does Grado have up his sleeve to keep the wolves at bay?
The WOS Champion comes into the new series with a target on his back. He will need to draw upon every ounce of the experience he has gained in his 14-year career to emerge at the end of the season unscathed.
1. Stu Bennett’s Impact As WOS Executive
Those familiar with the personality of WOS Executive Stu Bennett are quite rightly expecting a degree of chaos with the decorated former multi-time international champion in charge.
After all, Bennett himself burst onto the global stage by destroying the set of Monday Night Raw back in 2010, causing untold thousands of pounds worth of damage in the process.
Whether Bennett will allow such anarchy in WOS rings remains to be seen. One thing that we can say with absolutely certainty though is that Bennett will not allow anyone to question or belittle his authority.
More than happy to make tough decisions, dole out punishments when necessary and lay down the law, we cannot wait to see what directives and match-ups Bennett brings to WOS.