World of Sport 6/27/79
Having done shows from all over the US, Mexico, and Japan, I felt it was time to hit up the UK and Europe for their grapples.
Marty Jones vs Pete Roberts
I believe this starts in the second round. Fighting spirit uppercuts early on. Roberts does a monkey flip. He attempts a second one and is pinned. Fall one goes to Marty Jones, who looks so British it hurts. Marty appears to be the heel in this. He's a right shit bird, doing eye pokes and throat chops. Roberts fires up and sends him flying with a hip toss. Another uppercut exchange. Roberts counters a hip toss with a wacky hand stand right into a roll up to even the score of 1-1. The next round starts with Marty trying to stall and getting tossed to the floor. Octopus arm bar from Marty. He started grinding the hand, so when Roberts tried to hand stand out of another hip toss, he was unable to support himself. Marty continues the arm work. The round ends. Round 5 begins. Roberts opens the round with a big uppercut, but is unable to keep a headlock on. Hard suplex from Marty. Hard because the ring has even less give than a lucha ring. They get a little too aggressive and the ref is shoved away. Back body drop from Roberts. Knee lift from Marty. Marty Jones gets his second warning. One more and he will be disqualified. I'm a little unclear on what constitutes an illegal move and what doesn't. This ring looks like hell to bump on. Roberts wins with a roll up in the 6th round, 2-1.
Mal Sanders vs Chato Pasto
Mal is a pretty put together guy, at least compared to the smaller, older, and swarthier Chato. Mal goes for a big cross body and is caught in a powerslam. Mal is able to block a roll up attempt, but not the following forearms. Gut buster. Mal is getting his ass kicked. Round 4 begins. Mal comes out with a lot of fire, throwing Mal a number of times. He nearly gets a fall with an O'Connor Roll. Chato starts some wrist work. Mal targets the leg. They trade roll ups as the round ends. Chato gets a quick pin seconds into the 5th ground. Mal is tossed over the ropes and lands on the announce table. WoS refs don't fuck around with their counting. As soon as someone hits the mat, a FAST 10 count starts up. Mal hits a series of strikes and seems to be pretty pissed. Uppercut sends him to the mat. A sweet swinging back breaker from Chato. Head scissors and a drop kick. Round ends with the score still 1-0 in favor of Chato. Chato lands on his feet after a monkey flip. He's way better than you'd think just by looking at him. Another back breaker from Chato. Headbutt to the gut. Mal gets a warning for hair pulling of the bald guy. You can't pull the horse shoe! Round ends, still 1-0. Slingshot from Mal. He gets a fall after countered a lariatoo with a hip toss. 1-1. Big series of reversals, which ended with Mal winning after what was nearly a Ganso Bomb with a jackknife pin. Mal wins, 2-1.
Tony St. Clair vs Lenny Hurst
Tony is back from a North American excursion. He's working that hammer lock. Lenny does a headbutt to the gut. Tony leap frogs over the second, but is caught in a jackknife pin. 1-0 heading into the next round. Some rough arm work from Hurst, including a nasty looking shoulder jerk. Tony wins early in to the next round with a cartwheel into a backslide. The ring announcer, who had gone missing, is back. 1-1. I think one of Tony's corner men may be Vladimir Putin. Hurst goes back to the arm work in the next round. Tony holds off a crucifix for quite a while and then kicks out of the pin. Solid dropkick from Hurst. One armed back breaker from Tony. Bridge spot into a monkey flip. Hip toss sends Hurst all the way to the floor. Hurt tries a small package. After some struggle to block it, they fall through the ropes. A very hard Irish whip in the corner stuns both Hurst and the crowd. The next round starts with Tony applying a Boston crab. They trade knee lifts. Tony wins with what was almost a Jackhammer. 2-1.
Big Daddy vs John Quinn Last Man Standing Match
Big Daddy was one of the most popular UK wrestlers ever. I don't know why, but he was. John Quinn comes out and tries to start a riot with his heeling. Haystacks Calhoun, who would briefly be a part of the Dungeon of Doom in WCW, was his corner man and the former partner of Big Daddy. Big Daddy is over like prime Hogan in the States, despite having no wrestling ability and looking like Dick Murdoch's big brother. Bird legs and all. For real, imagine if Dick Murdoch ate Dick Murdoch. That's the best way I can describe Big Daddy. What I'm saying is HE'S FAT. Scott Steiner would hate Big Daddy. Quinn keeps trying to run into this guy like an idiot. He decked Daddy's manager, though. Big Daddy hits some slams. Actually, he's kind of a cross between Dick Murdoch and Bastian Booger. Big Daddy wins in like 3 minutes with a falling back drop. Crowd is going insane. I have no idea what they see in him, but it's like the end of a championship boxing match in here. I think Quinn is dead. Haystacks tried to talk some shit.
Wayne Bridges vs Ray Steele
Bridges gets to work with some wrist locks. Steele basically ballerina dances out of them. Oh shit, Bridges has a Stretch Muffler applied. Steele gets out and hits a hard knee lift. Bridges gets up and hits an equally hard shoulder block to the chin. Round 1 ends mid hold. Bridges is doing some leg work and gets kicked right in the face. I get the feeling that the knee lift in round 1 got both guys pretty pissy. Sunset flip. Steele gets an abdominal stretch on before getting hip tossed out. The weirdest thing about this show/style is that there seems to be very little aggression or effort put into pins/kicking out. Steele is sent to the floor, but in a gentlemanly way. The round is over. They have like a full on dinner bell instead of a ring bell. Bridges gets a pin about 2 minutes into the first round. 1-0. The ring announcer says the fall went to Steele and then apologized. I think it's pretty clear he got boozed up during his missing time. I'm not sure I like the automatic 10 count after every bump. Really doesn't give guys time to sell slams or strikes. It's not a slow count. It's double time. Steele goes back to arm work in the opening moments of the round. He missed a dropkick. And sometimes the refs don't even count falls when shoulders are clearly down. They'll just stare at the the wrestlers. Bridges does some flying headbutts but the round is over before he can make a pin. Steele wins a fall with a gut wrench suplex. 1-1. They have a mid ring collision. Bridges wins the deciding fall in the 6th round with a back slide. 2-1.
Jim Breaks vs Steve Grey
A god damn horn is played over and over before anyone comes out and the fans are as sick of it as I am. There are no rounds in this, but there is a 30 minute time limit and it is single fall. Should it go to a time limit draw, the referee will decide the winner. Grey gets out of a head lock by standing and walking on his hands. Breaks is looking what looks to be a choke, but the ref allows it. He starts working the wrist. Grey gets out and applies some kind of half crab. Breaks is definitely a bit cunty. He goes back to the chin lock. Grey is doing these weird palms to the face. Kind of like the Iron Claw, but as a strike. Breaks goes back to some mean arm work. WoS has a backslide ever 4 minutes. The ref has to warn Breaks about being a dick. I'm not sure what he did, though. Fucking fish hooking son of a bitch! Grey goes in with some kicks to the knee. Romero special! If he drops it into the D-Bryne knee stomp, I'll lose my shit. Instead we got a rope break, then a tense handshake. Grey SWERVES the heel and gives him a headbutt. Dropkick. Breaks is able to get back on the offensive and does a backslide. It had literally been right around 4 minutes since the last one. Breaks applies a back hammerlock. Grey stand sup with it and dumps Breaks on the ropes. The drags him across, taint first. After Grey rolls out of a few holds, Breaks does a little twerk. Shortly after, he throws a fit over getting hit in the back. He claims a tooth was knocked out. Grey then repeatedly smashes his forearm into the bridge of Bridges nose. Looked like he was intentionally trying to break it. Back to the Breaks Special, which is a raise hammer lock done from the front. Taker did it for a while during 2001-2003. Grey gets out of a double arm stretch by bicycling. HE'S GOT A BICYCLE! We're getting pretty close to 30 minutes. 5 minutes left. Grey is doing repeated arm whips. Then he tries to run the ropes and falls through them on accident. He hits the announce table and the match is stopped. Jim Breaks is declared the winner and new British Welterweight Champion.
Mark Rocco/Steve Logan vs Chris Adams/Pat Patton
Mark Rocco is one of the more well known UK wrestlers, having much success as the original Black Tiger in NJPW. Adams and Rocco start the match. It is the same Chris Adams known to American fans from WCCW/WCW. Big monkey flip from Adams. He wasn't a Gentleman yet and instead went by Black Belt. He and his partner were doing martial arts gimmicks. Superkick! Patton is tagged in. Imagine Bob Ross wrestling in a gi. He's quickly thrown to the floor. Logan is tagged and immediately knocks Patton down with forearms. Many times. Adams is back in. Enziguri. Adams wins the first fall in under 3 minutes. Logan is not good at all. Neither is Patton. I'd rather just see a Rocco/Adams match. Rollerball is putting the boots to Adams. Top rope cross body. Big Irish whip, which Rocco sold by flipping and standing on his head. Bulldog stole that spot completely. Patton comes in and gets his ass kicked immediately. Scoop tombstone. A second. A neck submission gets the fall. 1-1. Rocco hits another tombstone in the next round to win the match, 2-1.
I'm kind of undecided on this. Not a fan of the round system. Especially when it isn't being used as part of the match. On this show, none of the matches used rounds as part of the in ring story. I can see how it would be interesting when guys would nearly lose at the end of a round or who would stall for a whole round or whatever, but none of that happened on this show. I was also a bit confused on the rules. Guys were getting warned for things that I didn't see or understand the reasoning. Not a fan of the 10 count for every bump, especially when it is so fast that guys aren't able to sell a bump.
The refs in general were really weird. Besides the super fast 10 counts, Sometimes they just outright wouldn't count pins. Guys would do a spot and pin, waiting for the ref to count. The ref would just stare at them and they'd move on. Happened multiple times in almost every match. And when there are pin attempts, it didn't seem like either side really put any effort into the pin/kicking out. It was pretty strange. Best match to me was Grey/Breaks by far. I think I had my expectations a little too high. I was expecting matches full of things that Cabana/Hero/Danielson were doing in 2005, but by OG British guys. There wasn't much of that at all. A few wacky counters, though.
I would revisit WoS again, but preferably with guys like Dynamite or Johnny Saint.