WWE recently announced that they would have another two-night tournament in the United Kingdom to showcase their long-gestating U.K. division. At this point, WWE has had a good number of British wrestlers under pretty unique contracts, and that stems partly from ITV’s World of Sport reboot pilot that was shot back in 2016.
If you recall, ITV, the second-biggest network in the United Kingdom, spent several months coordinating a pilot for World of Sport, with the idea that the relaunched wrestling show could go to series and do big business, given ITV reaches substantially more homes than Sky Sport, which is the overseas home of WWE programming.
ITV essentially signed half of the top U.K. independent talent for the reboot, while WWE signed the other half for its U.K. division, which still doesn’t have a deal for a television show, although things finally seem to be moving in that direction. While the impetus for starting a WWE U.K. division may have been to trump the competition, said competition has lain dormant for nearly two years.
This week, ITV formally announced that they have commissioned a 10-episode series of World of Sport, and the network is officially in the pro wrestling business.
ITV commissions new 10-part wrestling series: ITV has commissioned a new 10-part wrestling series from ITV Studios Entertainment
WOS Wrestling will be jam-packed with the UK’s top names in the sport, competing in a fun-filled evening of family sports entertainment.
Recorded in front of a live audience at studios in Norwich, fans will get to see some of the finest pro wrestlers compete in various, intense bouts. At the end of each show, only one will get to take home the coveted WOS Wrestling Championship belt.
Plus, backstage interviews between rounds will deliver news on what the wrestling stars are thinking – be it elation or frustration.
Tom McLennan, Creative Director, ITV Studios Entertainment said
“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.”
This is probably why WWE has recently had a fire lit under it regarding making moves for the U.K. division, but the wrestling scene across the Atlantic just got a lot more interesting. World of Sport was a beloved fixture of British broadcasting from 1965 to 1985, and its pro wrestling in the 1970s and 1980s was legendary and formative to generations of performers.
We’ll see what happens when ITV and WWE go head to head in the coming year.