A question for old school WWF/E fans in UK circa 96-97 (Sky Sports centric) - Wrestling Forum: WWE, Impact Wrestling, Indy Wrestling, Women of Wrestling Forums
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
Learning to break kayfabe
ScottishPunk's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 8
Points: 0
A question for old school WWF/E fans in UK circa 96-97 (Sky Sports centric)

Hi Guys,

Ive got back into wrestling after a 10 year absence last Nov and found out a tun
of things that when I obsessively watched WWE as a young lad. I love all the Shoot
Interviews and watching the old IYH ppvs that were never shown on Sky Sports.

Which lead me to this question about the WWF ppv deal with Sky

Around late 96 Sky Sports stopped showing PPVs live and decided to show edited
versions a week later. I think after Summerslam 96 they stopped showing live
ppvs for the Uk audience. As anyone would know this was really frustrating as Sky
hacked/edited to suit time constraints and would leave out important promos
or good build ups like a weekly Monday night raw.

From memory Survivor Series 96 & Rumble 97 were never shown live in the UK.

Does anyone (even though random question) know why Sky Sports pulled the plug
For a couple of months? Everyone knows that Sky & WWE/F have had a great
Relationship over the years and still do to this day

From memory this was resolved after Mania 13 with the UK audience finally
getting to see IYH ppvs live and not a still picture from Raw the next again
Night. I was so happy and excited to see Revenge of Taker live as a young boy :-)

ScottishPunk is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 02:30 PM
ThunderAngel's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: From Downtown, outta nowhere, in a heartbeat!
Posts: 5,138
Points: 87
Re: A question for old school WWF/E fans in UK circa 96-97 (Sky Sports centric)

I remember watching Royal Rumble 1997 with commercial after commercial, So I assume it would have not been live at the time.
ThunderAngel is offline  
post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 07:54 PM
Wheelman for James Ellsworth
Forever Unchained's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ireland.
Posts: 604
Points: 0
Re: A question for old school WWF/E fans in UK circa 96-97 (Sky Sports centric)

Neither Survivor Series 1996 and Royal Rumble 1997 were shown live. They aired the following Tuesday or Wednesday at 8:30pm. If I recall correctly WrestleMania 13 was initially advertised to be shown at the same time and wasn't going to be shown live. In Your House 14 Taker's Revenge was of course the first In Your House shown on Sky.

They ruined the Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart match by putting an ad break in the middle of it as well as cutting out some of the wrestling outside the ring.

The reason I suspect was a renegotiation of the deal between Sky and WWF. To get a definitive answer I'd say track down old copies of PowerSlam from the time.
Forever Unchained is offline  
post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 08:22 PM
Learning to break kayfabe
Beautiful Bobby's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 154
Points: 120
Re: A question for old school WWF/E fans in UK circa 96-97 (Sky Sports centric)

Found this. Credit to Toffee Guy on Digital Spy forum

Originally Posted by Toffee Guy
I was an active campaigner during the time WWF went to a 11 day Raw delay in the U.K., late 1996 to early 1997, back in the pre-internet days, I wrote several letters back and forth to Sky complaining, as well as to other publications.

So here is the definitive list of dates of shows that aired and didn't air, and what actually happened:

The delay started just after Summerslam 1996. The last Raw to air on a Friday @10pm, on just the usual 4 day delay was the August 19th Raw (aired in U.K. on Friday August 23rd).

In the U.S., the WWF were pre-empted from USA in the last week in August due to U.S. Open tennis. WWF had no Raw on Monday August 30th, but had a make-good one hour 'Raw Championship Friday' show on Friday September 6th.

However in the U.K., on Friday August 30th, and Friday September 6th, we got two one hour highlight shows from the WWF's Middle Eastern tour, the Kuwaiti Cup, taped back in May 1996.

The Raw Championship Friday show, aired on USA on September 6th, aired in the U.K. on Friday September 13th. As a result of the knock on effect, the Monday September 9th Raw, airing on that day on USA, aired in the U.K. on Friday September 20th, and thus, the 11 day delay was in place. This had a knock on effect with the other programming, as WWF Mania and WWF Superstars were also put back a week in order to make sense with WWF storylines. For example, the Sunday September 15th WWF Superstars show aired on Sunday September 22nd in the U.K. Another reason for WWF Superstars being put back a week was because at the time, WWF did the voiceovers for the taped WWF Superstars live on air, so they could be as up to date as possible, and allow them to make up-to-date comments. The matches would be a few weeks old, but the announcers (JR and Vince) would be sat in the Titan Towers studios at 10am Sunday morning doing the voiceovers live on air.

These delays caused many problems and were deeply unpopular at the time. WWF was still extremely popular as a product in the U.K. I remember going to WWF live event in Birmingham in November 1996, and the Survivor Series ppv had only aired the night before on Sky Sports (on a 10 day delay). Lots of people in the crowd had missed the airing, and were shocked to see Sid as WWF Champion. In addition, Faarooq had debuted his new NOD gimmick at the ppv and the post-Survivor Series tv tapings, which hadn't aired in the U.K. yet, and yet he was doing the NOD gimmick in front of a bemused U.K. audience (many of whom were expecting the blue helmeted-Faarooq).

Things came to a head in early 1997, when WWF went 2 hours with Raw. The first 2 hour Raw in the U.S. was the Monday February 3rd show, taped from the Toronto Sky Dome in a last minute WWF decision (the arena was very dark as a result). This show was split into two parts for U.K. airing. First part aired on Friday 14th February and second part on Friday February 21st (meaning we were now 18 days behind the U.S. - people were getting furious at this point).

There was no Raw in the U.S. on Monday February 10th (Westminster Dog Show pre-emption), but there was a make-good live Thursday Raw Thursday 2 hour show on February 13th (the infamous show were Shawn Michaels gave up the WWF title after losing his smile and acting if he was retiring through injury). This show never aired in the U.K., though clips were shown on WWF Mania.

The 2 hour Monday February 17th Raw, featuring Sid winning the WWF title from Bret after Austin interference, aired in the U.K. on Friday February 28th, in one hour edited form. So the delay had now been cut from 18 days back down to 11 days (after skipping the Thursday Raw show), but there was now a major problem with the editing and things getting left out. At this point I was writing to Sky and complaining. They even started advertising Wrestlemania 13 as airing on a delay in April!

Then there was a breakthrough - WWF made a big deal with Sky, to start airing Raw and all programming up-to-date again, as well as EVERY monthly ppv live - including the 2 hour In Your Houses, beginning in April, which they hadn't aired before live.

The first sign of this was immediate - WWF held a one-night European title tournament show in Munich, Germany on Wednesday February 26th, and this aired THAT NIGHT (!!!!!) on an hour or two delay on Sky Sports (around 10pm-ish). What's more, it was the full 2 hour show. Rejoice!

It would take a few weeks to catch up with other things though- the 2 hour Monday February 24th Raw, featuring the ECW invasion at the Manhattan Center, aired on Friday March 7th in one hour edited form on Sky.

The Monday March 3rd Raw in the U.S. was a tape of the February 26th European title tournament, with added promos and a Paul Heyman phone call on commentary. We had already seen this 'as live' on February 26th (so now the delay was gone, and crazily, we were now ahead of the U.S.! Such a ridiculous time this was).

The first ever Raw Is War, with the debut of the Titantron and stage, aired in 2 hour form on Monday March 10th in the U.S. We FINALLY were back up to date, on the 4-day delay for Raw, and this aired in the U.K...... in one hour edited form! Sky was teasing us....

FINALLY - the Monday March 17th Raw, go home show for WM13, aired in the U.K. - in full 2 hour version - on Friday March 21st. Hallelujah! Wrestlemania 13 aired live two days on Sky Sports, the first live WWF ppv on Sky since Summerslam 1996.

And we were over this rocky period in WWF/Sky wrestling history.
Beautiful Bobby is offline  
post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 09:25 PM
Wheelman for James Ellsworth
Forever Unchained's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Ireland.
Posts: 604
Points: 0
Re: A question for old school WWF/E fans in UK circa 96-97 (Sky Sports centric)

I didn't think Survivor Series aired on a 10-day delay though I wasn't watching Monday Night Raw at the time and was thus relying on WWF Mania on Saturday morning/afternoon.
Forever Unchained is offline  
post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 09:32 PM
Butter My Arse
Honey Bucket's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Tits
Posts: 10,732
Points: 11,379
Re: A question for old school WWF/E fans in UK circa 96-97 (Sky Sports centric)

I remember that early 1997 debacle very well. Everything was all over the place and totally lost track of what was going on. When Raw Is War started it was like a fresh new beginning, and the rest they say, is history.

Flatley my dear, I don't Riverdance.
Honey Bucket is offline  
post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 07:43 AM Thread Starter
Learning to break kayfabe
ScottishPunk's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Edinburgh
Posts: 8
Points: 0
Re: A question for old school WWF/E fans in UK circa 96-97 (Sky Sports centric)

Thanks for the responses guys!

The big mistake was Sky missing 2 years of IYH
PPV'S only to show the big 4. As an avid fan drive
Me crazy watching Raw's knowing that I'll have to
Wait 4 days to raw to see a still picture of the match.

Thanks to toffee guy for the detailed explanation
As it was never explained to the UK audience.
It also answers another Question me like others
Would watch Nitro on TnT during the golden years
An hour before Raw started on Sky Sports.

Why did Bisch never think about airing PPV's live in UK?
ScottishPunk is offline  
post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 11:41 PM
Wheelman for James Ellsworth
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: San Jose, CA (formerly Cardiff, UK)
Posts: 971
Points: 1,191
Re: A question for old school WWF/E fans in UK circa 96-97 (Sky Sports centric)

I had been wondering about that for years. Thanks for posting this thread and for the answers. It drove me insane that WWF programming would air 10 days after its US airdate.

That's a wonderful mini-story that people were bemused about Sid as champion and Farooq's new gimmick.

I started at a new boarding school in September 1996 when as far as I knew everything was up to date. When I came back home for half term (very homesick and hating my dorm mates) in October I was looking forward to finding out the results of IYH Buried Alive and my hero Bret Hart returning on Raw, but they were showing the tapings leading up to it, which made me very upset. I never got to see Bret's full speech (until 2012 when finally someone uploaded the torrent of all 1996 shows - I kept missing its airing on WWE Classics).

Then when I came home for Christmas holidays in December they were talking about 'Razor Ramon and Diesel' having accepted that they were impostors (the episodes I missed), I was wondering what the hell the commentators were smoking, referring to those two with a completely straight face. I thought I was the only one that noticed.

And when Gorilla Mansoon was doing voiceover commentary while an angle with Steve Austin and Mr Perfect spilled into the US commentary booth on Challenge, I was wondering why WWF had gone to the extra extent to deny the UK viewers the actual storyline. Were they deliberately trying to stick it to the UK fans?

Last edited by sarnobat; 10-19-2012 at 11:59 PM.
sarnobat is offline  
post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 11:43 PM
Heel Turn on James Ellsworth
Wayne Rooney's Fellatio Slave's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Viaduct Villians
Posts: 2,418
Points: 408
Re: A question for old school WWF/E fans in UK circa 96-97 (Sky Sports centric)

I had totally forgotten about this. I always did wonder why it aired so late compared to the US version.

Wayne Rooney's Fellatio Slave is offline  
post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-19-2012, 11:59 PM
Winning World titles, Custom Made Clothes
RyanPelley's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Belleville, Indiana
Posts: 19,274
Points: 13,214
Re: A question for old school WWF/E fans in UK circa 96-97 (Sky Sports centric)

Oh, UK fans only huh? Ridiculous. I am tired of this racism, because the color of my pride. You're a racist.

RyanPelley is offline  

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome