One of the final shows at the Tivoli was highlighted as we saw a chink in the proverbial armour of Jordan Devlin – caused by the very real chops of WALTER in the main event.
We’ve already covered parts of this show in our “Saying Hello (and Goodbye) to the Tivoli” piece, but here’s a more detailed look.
We open with ring announcer Butch interviewing the BFFs – David Starr and Jordan Devlin. Apparently Starr puts ice in hot coffee to cool it down, which seems like a rather unintuitive thing. They plug their t-shirts, as they almost glossed over their match against WALTER and Low Ki… Jordan Devlin’s stunned at how much David Starr’s lost against WALTER, but he reckons that the Tivoli atmosphere will help break his record.
From there, we go to the Tivoli itself, and my God, the hot atmosphere carried over to the VOD, to the point where the hot crowd killed the white balance! Tony Kelly is being given a hard time over wearing loafers without socks.. so much so, the crowd start throwing socks at him! Gerry Humperdink ordered Butch and referee Niall Fox out of the ring, and Long story short, Humperdink tells us Don Marnell is still fired, while Aonghus Og McAnally was suspended. That call was reversed by GM for the night, Trent Seven, once he’d established he was able to do anything. And that meant anything.
Oh yes, Trent came out as Vince McMahon, complete with an example from the Ministry of Silly Walks, before doing the Triple H spray with the reinstated commentary team. One last question… I wonder if Don Marnell lends his can belt to Club Rock Shandy?
Team White Wolf (A-Kid & Adam Chase) vs. More Than Hype (Darren Kearney & Nathan Martin)
We started with ground work between Kid and Martin as both teams looked incredibly even… but it was Martin who drew first blood, snapmaring Kid down for a low dropkick before both men tagged out.
Chase managed to edge ahead with a dropkick, before Kearney rolled him through into the single leg crab as he gave a shoutout to one of his trainers, Lance Storm. More Than Hype worked a nice double-team on Chase, tripping him and landing a low dropkick, before Kid returned as the Spaniards isolated Martin. Adam Chase keeps up the pressure with a snapmare and a kick to the back, but that just fired up “Psycho Nathan” as a dropkick to the head rocked Kid!
Both men tag out, with Kearney picking up where things left off, hitting a pop-up dropkick on Chase before he went for the single leg crab again… that’s avoided as More Than Hype double team again, almost nicking the win with a Blue Thunder Bomb. A-Kid hits a nice version of the baseball slide German suplex, this time going between the top and middle rope, before a dropkick Total Elimination wiped out Kearney for a near-fall.
Team White Wolf keep up on Kearney, finishing with some superkicks as a frantic spell ended in a near-fall, but More Than Hype turn the tables, catching Kid in the corner for an Exploder/frog splash combo for yet another near-fall, before some superkicks left everyone laying. It was the local lads who got back in though, with Martin’s lariat flipping A-Kid inside out, before the bodyslam/neckbreaker combo left A-Kid open for another single leg crab. Adam Chase breaks it up with a Shining Wizard, allowing Kid to get in a bridging German as the pace and momentum picked up… Kearney again gets the single-leg crab, and that was the end as he sat down deep on A-Kid for the submission. This was fantastic stuff – a little rough in the middle, but overall this was crisp and the crowd bought into everything. Believe the hype. ***¾
Angel Cruz came out after the match for a surprise appearance – as he’s got a few words for Trent Seven. Cue “No Chance” once again, as we find out that Angel is still harbouring a little resentment over the wacky trios match from a year ago – where British Strong Style faced the Angel Cruzers, with Tyler Breeze/Bate floating on both sides. Trent admitted that he had it out for Angel, and there were more partnerships of his that he wanted to wreck: B. Cool… and Fabulous Nicky.
It was Nicky’s first appearance at the Tivoli in eighteen months, as he and Angel Cruz came face to face. Trent had bigger ideas – he wanted them to fight to the death… something they were reluctant to do. At least until Trent raised the stakes, promising that Nicky’d be on the Money in the Bank pre-show, in a backstage segment if he won. Nicky refused, so Trent makes a phone call, during which he dropped in “I know we’re not allowed to do it (OTT), but we’re doing it anyway”. The upshot was that Nicky could win a spot… at WrestleMania… Axxess… with a day pass for some autograph signings. Angel thinks nothing of it, but…
Angel Cruz vs. Fabulous Nicky
Nicky superkicks Angel and gets a near-fall, then goes for a Pedigree. The bell rings, as Cruz hits a flapjack and a pump kick, before a front suplex would have ended it…
But Trent forgot to tell us the stipulation. It’s now First Blood! Luckily, Angel Cruz had a fork in his pocket and goes to use it… which is the cue for things to change. It’s now a bra and panties match, which prompts Nicky to try and strip off Angel, before stopping to let Angel finish him off. Just before we got nudity, Trent changes it again, to a steel cage match! My God, they flash the lights and have Trent doing the music.
Nicky tries to climb the imaginary cage, only to get pulled down and have his head rubbed into it. They have Nicky run into the door, but part of Team Prick slam the door in his face, before Cruz escaped the cage…only for Trent to hold his foot on the apron as he reminded him it’s not a real cage. Plans change again, as we’re now in a Royal Rumble?!
The countdown starts immediately, as Captain Sexsea of Club Tropicana hit the ring… to a loud pop. Yep, those Contenders shows are working as far as establishing new acts. Sexsea hits the ring, but instantly gets thrown out! Cruz then does the same to Nicky, who skins the cat… just as Trent changes his mind yet again! It’s a normal match, which Nicky tried to win with a clothesline as Angel just keeps on ducking!
Finally Angel hits a bulldog, before he dove to a non-existant tag partner… a punch to the throat almost spelled the end for Nicky, but it was just a ruse, so Angel goes Old School. Except Nicky slides outside and stares down Team Prick, who make Angel rope walk backwards as Nicky returned with a flying cutter!
Angel passes Nicky to the referee for a brainbuster… of course Foxy isn’t down for that, so Cruz does it himself, and that’s it! This was certainly different, although I have no idea where Trent buggered off to when he finally decided on the match.
Ah, there’s Trent! He’s back to point at a non-existing sign, before giving Angel a quick peck. All’s fair in love and war, eh?
Damien Corvin vs. Sean Guinness
A rematch from the debut OTT show in 2014, we started with Corvin taking Guinness into the ropes as they kept things simple early on.
Corvin popped right back up from a headlock takedown, before Guinness flipped out of a hammerlock, eventually sliding under Corvin and returning fire with headscissors before hooking himself in the ropes. That was a ruse of course, as he watched Corvin throw himself to the outside, before he returned in with a hard back elbow.
Corvin keeps up with a boot to the face and a missile dropkick, before dumping Guinness with a uranage ahead of a tope into the crowd! There’s brawling around ringside as commentary reminds us that we’ve a 20-count outside the ring – and when Guinness returned, he took a backbreaker after dishing out some chops. A hard Irish whip into the corner seemed to cut open Guinness’ back – something that was a bit of a trend all night, as one particular turnbuckle seemed pretty sharp – prompting referee Niall Fox to glove up.
Guinness clings onto the turnbuckle pad to save himself from a superplex, eventually shoving down Corvin before a missile dropkick was caught and countered into a Boston crab. Corvin started to work over Guinness’ back, but a leg lariat takes him outside as Guinness looked for a dive, this time crashing into the front row with a somersault plancha!
Back inside, Guinness cartwheels away from the top rope as he came back in with a cross-legged Falcon arrow, almost taking the win, only for Corvin to rebound with a death valley driver as he came even closer… and again with a hangman’s TKO as the King of the North seemed to be inching towards victory. Corvin keeps up with a superplex, that he tried to roll through into a brainbuster, but Guinness is out on his feet… and suckered in his foe into a brainbuster of his own!
Guinness misses a frog splash as his burst of offence ended briefly, before he avoided a top rope elbow and ate a running lariat instead. Headbutts followed from Guinness, who took some and had to skin the cat to stop himself falling out of the ring. The Six Counties death valley driver barely gets a one-count, so Corvin followed in with some Belfast Boots in the corner, before Guinness slipped out and caught him with a Prawn hold for the flash victory! A hell of a showing from both men, with Corvin coming achingly close to victory, only to fall short to a roll-up. Well worth your time to go back and watch, as I feel that bigger things were perhaps in Corvin’s near future… ***½
B. Cool vs. Dan Barry
Well, this was unexpected. Coming out to Axel F (yeah, I was sad we didn’t have Human), Dan Barry tried to talk the crowd out of the match as he felt he couldn’t live up to the stars that were going to follow.
The offer of getting drunk seemed to be a good one, before some insults saw Dan call B. Cool the “Marty Jannetty of that tag team”. Cue anger, and we have a match after all! And a c-bomb too, because that apparently offends Americans! Cool trips Barry as he’s furious, taking him outside for a quick tour of ringside as Angel Cruz tried in vain to calm down “Marty”. That just ended up causing a distraction as Dan Barry flew to the outside with a tope con giro over the ring post… hey, that reminds me of a former champion, who was nowhere near this popular when he left.
Back inside, Barry slingshots into the ring with a senton for a near-fall, as the crowd really started to warm towards him. Pretty much any chant you could shoehorn “Dan” into was used, as Barry managed to send Cool into the corner for some Dusty punches, before landing a German suplex… it’s no sold, but Cool eventually falls as Barry tried to get a quiet count. Cool kicked out at two because Angel Cruz shrieked at just the right moment.
Not to worry, Cool’s trapped in a grounded Octopus next, but B escaped a Stinger splash in the counter, before stumbling all over the place as Barry pratfalled all over the place. As for the crowd, it was Match of the Dan! Cool wastes some time trying to kip-up, and gets shown up when Barry pulled it off effortlessly, only to get taken down with a butterfly suplex as B was in control.
A superkick fake-out led to a brainbuster, but instead Barry’s sent to the outside as B looked for a dive. He called for security to help cushion his fall… giving Barry a chance to slither away and watch as B dived into everyone BUT Dan! Barry was waiting for him in the ring, and instantly takes him down for a moonsault off the top, almost winning with it as well.
Cool eventually hit back with a Figure Four, but Barry’s able to hold on and make it to the ropes… and with B Cool taking too long to dance to the crowd’s chants, he’s caught up top and brought down with the Irish Car Bomb – Barry’s moonsault fallaway slam! Angel Cruz has found a toy – an angle grinder – which he threatened Barry with… so out comes Detective Dan Barry’s gun, which suddenly disarmed Cruz!
A roll-up from that nearly ends it though, as Barry had to kick out, before getting caught up top with a DDT as he looked for a middle rope bulldog… and that was all she wrote as B finished him off with a brainbuster for an unpopular win. Yeah, I think the crowd would have wanted to see Dan Barry win… and just like I said then, there’s a part of me that feels that he probably should have been brought to Ireland a lot sooner! As a match, it served its purpose, but the reactions for Dan Barry will be the stuff that’ll live on in your memory and in video packages. ***
OTT Tag Team Championship: The Rapture (Zack Gibson, Sha Samuels & Charlie Sterling) (c) vs. Team OTT (Pete Dunne, Mark Haskins & Martina)
It’s another trios match for the tag titles… which would make sense, except it’s against a makeshift team, so this was something that didn’t need to exist, apart from it being a vehicle to bring Martina back after one show away.
That brought a rather mixed reaction, not least from her partners as they couldn’t believe their (mis)fortune. Following some close-to-the-bone comments from Gibson about the lack of any Irish presence on team OTT, Martina came out as the “Boozerweight”, complete with a knock-off belt between her teeth a la Dunne, who came out with his old OTT theme, to a much louder pop!
The Rapture jumped the match as things quickly spilled to the outside, with Pete Dunne getting some fans to help tweak Charlie Sterling’s fingers, while Gibson and Haskins went into the merch area. Back in the ring, Martina tried to please Dunne with some finger tweaking and biting… drawing some boos, it had to be said. She tried to get Dunne to join in with a Mr Durexo spot, but all Dunne pulls out is a middle finger as he was sick of it.
That kinda threw Martina to the wolves for a bit, as the Rapture wore down on her… eventually Dunne caves as he let Martina tag out, and goes straight to work on Sterling with a forearm and an X-plex. Things picked up when Dunne came in, as we quickly reached a staredown between him and Gibson – teasing a UK tournament in a week or so. Dunne no-sells the Ticket to Ride, but gets taken down with a lariat instead as Haskins tagged into keep things hot… only for Martina to forcibly tag herself in and flop miserably as she tried a Rainmaker. Because… Japan.
Dunne and Haskins score with a single leg crab and a Sharpshooter… so Martina comes in and gets a single-leg crab herself. She celebrated because “I done a move”, which inadvertently saw her grind on Haskins and Dunne, who were revulsed at this… but hey, Martina doesn’t notice her partners getting dragged to the outside as she’s forced to fight back from 3-on-1 down. The Rapture set up Martina for a triple team powerbomb, but he flat out refused to have Martina there. When he was forced, she managed to knock him down, before ducking a Sterling superkick and taking him down with a satellite DDT as all of the Rapture were down, but only for long enough for a near-fall – and a shout-out to Kazza G. Hmm…
Martina’s able to do some finger snaps with Dunne, but she can’t get Sha up for a Bitter End, and Samuels falls on her for a near-fall. In the end though, more miscommunications sees Haskins wipe out Dunne, then Martina, before a stuff piledriver wiped out the Session Moth for the win. This was fine, but I had massive issues with this match, as did a fair bit of the crowd. I touched on them in the earlier review: but in short, trying to keep it canon that “Martina doesn’t know how to wrestle” yet have her trying new stuff out “because Japan” didn’t gel at all with the crowd. Evolution is needed, not revolution, because done right, I feel that hope isn’t lost for the character… but in this form, there’s a growing part of the OTT faithful that’s done with it all. ***
As was Mark Haskins, who laid her out with a forearm afterwards, to cheers that were rather too loud…
OTT Gender Neutral Championship: Kris Wolf vs. Tyler Bate vs. LJ Cleary (c)
There were more shenanigans here, as referee Niall Fox was visibly tired before the match, so he was forced onto the sidelines as GM for the night Trent Seven appointed himself the official here. Tyler Bate looked visibly pleased at this: the fix was in, particularly when Trent kept pointing at LJ Cleary during the “no chance!” parts of the theme music.
The opening stages of this match saw LJ tease laying down… but the match quickly turned into an attempt to keep Kris Wolf out of the match. Trent takes his time to make some early counts, because of his knee, so he spent most of the match doing it old school (aah) and fast-counting while on his feet.
Wolf manages to take LJ for an airplane spin, using it to knock Bate down before a kick to the gut sent LJ into the ropes. Tyler doesn’t like the wolf’s mask, so he gets it dropkicked into his nether regions as he and LJ were sat against the ropes. He came back with a press slam, sending Wolf into LJ on the outside, before Kris’ attempt at fighting back saw Cleary pull her from the top rope to the outside via her tail.
In a bid to keep it one-on-one, Wolf kept getting knocked to the outside as Clearly tried to wear down on Bate. Those “accidental” knocks to Kris almost turned the crowd on LJ… but she’s able to come back with a crossbody into both LJ and Tyler before kicking him low. A double bulldog followed, as Wolf tried to stack her opponents up… but she’s pulled off the top rope as we’re back to the norm.
Bate catches a charge from LJ and turns it into a capture suplex, kipping up so he could follow in with a standing shooting star press as Trent was limited to counting pinfalls from the floor. LJ counters a Tyler Drive into an ushigoroshi, before holding the boot of Wolf so Tyler could punch her out. There’s the heat! LJ tries to repeat the bop/bang punch, but Bate catches it as Wolf again tries to hit back… she’s knocked down as Bate comes back off the ropes with a rebound lariat, before catching both opponents with an airplane spin/Giant Swing combo! A bridging German from Tyler nearly gets the pin over Cleary, before Kris Wolf countered a rebound lariat into an Exploder… taking Tyler out of the match as LJ catches her with a uranage out of the corner before a top rope splash led to what should have been the pin, but Trent holds up the count!
LJ exploded, but was smart enough to sidestep a punch from Tyler as he sent his tag team partner off the apron and into the crowd! Wolf takes down Tyler with a Meteora, just as referee Niall Fox returned from his slumber, but it was Cleary who stole the win, rolling up Wolf for the pin! This was a little heavy on shenanigans, but a decent match nevertheless as LJ continues to establish himself in OTT. ***
WALTER & Low Ki vs. David Starr & Jordan Devlin
Now then! Jordan Devlin has been unbeaten in the Tivoli for almost two years – and with WALTER making his debut, it seemed that this could be a bridge too far.
Devlin and Starr came out together as BFFs… but their entire shtick, including dualling nicknames, just earned looks of disapproval from WALTER and Low Ki. Oh boy. They’ll be done for soon.
Starr started off by taking WALTER into the corner for a chop. WHY?! He’s able to duck the receipt and come back with one more of his own, but you know what’s eventually going to happen. A headlock from Starr earned him a shoulder tackle as WALTER just shoved him into the ropes, before WALTER decided to tag out and give the Product a new foe: Low Ki.
Grabbing Low Ki by his collar, Starr managed to subdue things before tagging in Jordan Devlin to have a go at “killing” the import. A test of strength ensues as Low Ki eventually forced Devlin to bridge… and breaks that bridge with a simple series of kicks to the thigh. After that, Devlin managed to score with a waistlock takedown, then a cross armbreaker, but Low Ki rolls them into his own corner as WALTER ominously looked on. A hanging armbar in the ropes from Low Ki keeps the pressure on Devlin, but the OTT champion’s able to tag Starr back in as he tried to clear house against Low Ki.
A suplex from Starr takes Low Ki down for a near-fall, as does a uranage and a standing moonsault, as the BFFs began to target Low Ki – with a helping hand of David Starr winding up WALTER for good measure. It backfires a little as Ki kicked away Starr and brought WALTER in, and Starr’s still going for the chops… only to get caught eventually as CHOP! The big boot from WALTER knocked Devlin off the apron as der Ringgeneral had his laser-like focus on Starr. More chops come as Low Ki returned to wear down on Starr, targeting him with elbows in the corner as that sharp turnbuckle seemed to cut open Starr’s back. WALTER returns, because he’s not done with chops, and even gives Jordan a taster too, forcing Starr to try and fight back himself with a Han Stansen.
It barely registered on WALTER.
Starr manages to flip out of a German suplex, but he can’t get to a tag as a butterfly suplex dumped Starr further away for a near-fall. The cycle of Ki and WALTER on Starr keeps going, with a Low Ki back suplex dumping Starr so hard he rebounded to his feet, before Starr again tried to make the tag out, only to get caught an a Boston crab. That finally drew Devlin into the ring to break it up, but he too felt the power of the Austrian’s chops! After taking a spin kick to the gut, Starr tried to fight back with even more Han Stansens, before finally getting the tag out to Jordan Devlin… a challenge that WALTER relished… as did the Tivoli!
WALTER just walks through some forearms so he can chop Devlin back down, but Jordan’s back in with a knee before he’s caught in a Gojira clutch. The RINGKAMPF German’s attempted, but Devlin rolls through into a stomp as WALTER’s forced to tag out, as the ring filled up since David Starr had seen enough. Low Ki looked for a double DDT on the BFFs, but instead he’s slung into the corner as he leaps up and crashes in with a double stomp instead!
WALTER returns for a springboard enziguiri/powerbomb for a near-fall on Devlin, and tags take us back to Starr and WALTER. Starr tries, as a quick battle of chops and lariats eventually took WALTER down for a near-fall as both BFFs stacked up on the Austrian for a near-fall. Starr and Devlin try to clock WALTER and Low Ki in corners, but things reverse as a pair of shotgun dropkicks wiped out the BFFs, as you sensed the end was nigh. Starr nails a Code Red to counter a WALTER powerbomb for a near-fall… but that just fired up WALTER into some more chops as he tried to take down Devlin. A Pele kick from Jordan actually gets WALTER off his feet, but he can’t quite get the win with a top rope moonsault, and things suddenly take a turn for the worse as a springboard back elbow was caught and turned into a Gojira clutch!
Devlin tries to fight back to his feet, with Starr trapped on the outside, but WALTER just pounds him with forearms before a trapped-arm Gojira forced the submission, and the Tivoli was left in shock! A hell of a match to watch live, and on VOD – with Jordan Devlin’s unstoppable aura finally slipping a little. To make matters worse for him, save for the odd hope, Devlin was pretty much outclassed by WALTER in this match, which will make it really interesting if and when WALTER goes for his belt. ****½
Post-match, Mark Haskins came out with his Golden Contract… but the cash-in tease was just that, as the mind games with Devlin started!
So, like we said in our first review… A Haven for Monsters was a really fun show to watch live – and a show that improved on the second watching. From top to bottom, just about everything delivered – the opening tag match with Team White Wolf and More Than Hype damn near stole the show, Corvin vs. Guinness was a hoot to watch, and as for Dan Barry… nobody could have predicted how over he’d gotten in one night! OTT is one of those companies that manages to capture the live atmosphere and do a good job of transferring it onto their VOD product. While the future of the Tivoli isn’t good, the promotion at least has created a hot feud for themselves – and one that, as long as external forces don’t damage it, will create some good in-ring action as well as atmosphere.