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While my knowledge of World of Sport is severely lacking, Maffew, of Botchamania, joined us for this post and shared his love and knowledge of World of Sport. Contact Maffew on his Twitter, the Botchamania Facebook, and the official website of Botchamania.
Maffew Talks World of Sport:
Amongst all the promos, MV packages, fireworks, pomp and circumstance it’s sometimes forgotten that the principal idea of a wrestling match is one man trying to beat another. At it’s very basic, wrestling is a sport. Ever since Vince McMahon’s revamping of the concept of what wrestling can be in the 80s, fewer and fewer promotions have tried to present wrestling as a sport when presenting it as entertainment has provided far more financially viable. Which means that the pure beauty of World of Sport has thankfully only enjoyed a few token revivals/tribute matches over the years since it stopped airing on ITV rather than rehashed or ruined like so many other British Classics.
WoS’s style can be summed up in one sentence ”Every move counts”. The wrestlers want to pin or submit their opponents (usually in 2/3 Falls) using every bit of mat-skill in their repetoire. Not every wrestler is at the same skill level and there are wrestlers who cheat (the original show was full of characters but whenever it’s brought back both men are fan favourites regardless), but in stark contrast to mainstream (and some Indy) wrestling, every wrestler is on a similar level. Some would-be technical wrestlers would have you believe that technical wrestling is boring because their version of said genre involves relentless chinlocks and headlocks and inactivity. WoS pros are so gifted at their craft and making the viewer believe that any move could be the one that gets the important pin-fall or submission, that (just like The Wire) all the pieces fit.
Larry Zbyszko used to wax lyrical about ”Human chess” whenever he was given a mic. Kidd vs. Saint IS Human Chess.
TJ Hawke’s Recap and Much Less Informed Analysis
This was Saint’s first match since 1996 when he retired in Japan, which initially ended a nearly 40 year career. Someone from Japan came out to give Saint a gift before the match. It wasn’t explained well enough, but I know Saint competed extensively in Japan (and that he really enjoyed the experiences). Kidd was actually a replacement for Steve Gray, who had back issues that forced him to the sidelines. This match has a 30 minute time limit, with 6 rounds of 5 minutes.
Round 1: Things were mostly even during this round. Neither man had the advantage for very long. It was beautiful as expected.
Round 2: Kidd locked in an abdominal stretch, but Saint escaped. Kidd reversed a rollup attempt and scored a pinfall! 1-0 Kidd!
Round 3: Saint actually had the advantage at several points in this round, coming close to a submission. Kidd locked in several holds, but Saint forced him to the outside of the ring twice in a row. Kidd actually got Saint in the torture rack position at one point, but Saint escaped unscathed. The round ended without either man getting a fall, shortly thereafter.
Round 4: Saint used the great Lady in the Lake and the Johnny Saint Special, which helped him get a fall, very early in the round. Tied 1-1!
Round 5: Saint used a BEAUTIFUL combination to score an early fall in the round, which gives him the WIN: 2-1!
This match, as expected, was beautiful and a pleasure to watch. I encourage all of you to watch this match right now. Saint gets on the microphone after the match and puts over Kidd for already wrestling earlier on the show. Saint then puts over the crowd for giving him a great reception after being away from the ring for so long. Just a very nice moment all around for World of Sport.