Orig Williams Started Reslo On The New S4C Channel


Hamish Woodward

After World of Sport on ITV was cancelled in 1988, Reslo was the last wrestling programme left of terrestrial television in Great Britain.

The Welsh-language show was the last place you could watch wrestling for free on TV in the UK. Stars like Giant Haystacks, Big Daddy, Marty Jones, Robbie Brookside and more competed on the show, for an audience in both Wales and Ireland (who received the broadcast).

The show was run by Orig Williams, the legendary Welsh wrestler and promoter. Williams left a career in football to compete in the ring, and wrestled all over the world in increasingly huge bouts, including in front of 120,000 fans in Pakistan.

After touring the UK numerous times, he learnt of a new TV station in Wales called S4C. This was a new, Welsh-language channel that was the culmination of years of protests and campaigning by Welsh-language activists.

When it was green lit in 1982, there were some issues. The BBC needed programming to fill the air time that viewers actually wanted to watch. This is where Williams’ came in, who ran the show throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s.

Orig Williams wrote about the origins of Reslo in his book “El Bandito“.

“It came with the introduction of the Welsh-language channel, S4C, in 1982. The public were asked what sort of programmes they would like to see on the new TV channel.”

“I was not slow in responding, and with a mushrooming of small independent television production companies, I was able [to] persuade S4C to feature wrestling on a weekly basis. Greg Dyke had pulled the plug on Saturday afternoon wrestling. The likes of Mick McManus, Jackie Pallo were no longer seen on a weekly basis and attendances were dwindling. Pallo left, as did many others, leaving Max Crabtree to rely on the drawing power of Big Daddy. It was the beginning of the end for Joint Promotion, and guess who had the only TV show in town!”

“Even Big Daddy and Pallo wrestled for me on Reslo – that was the imaginative Welsh name for our weekly wrestling show.”

Reslo was the last British promotion to be shown on terrestrial television, all the way up until the 1990s. They toured not just Wales, but took regular trips to Ireland, where the show was also broadcast.

Orig Williams was the last man standing against the rise of American wrestling. Reslo also had the distinction of being the first time many fans saw women wrestling on TV in Great Britain.

That caused quite the uproar!

Various venues, promoters and TV channels did not want women wrestling. Women wrestling was banned for over 40 years in the UK, with stars like Mitzi Mueller and Klondyke Kate never getting the chance to wrestle on World of Sport on ITV.

Learn more about why ITV banned women from wrestling on TV.


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