OTT closed out their 2018 at the Tivoli with their second Defiant women’s show – and ended up leaving us with a new women’s champion to boot.

As we’ve already covered, OTT’s days at the Tivoli are numbered, with the venue scheduled for demolition at some point in 2019. While they’ve been working other buildings like Suir Road and the National Stadium, these last few Tivoli shows have been seen as special events for the obvious reasons. The promotion piggybacked a Contender’s show onto this, which we’ve covered separately…

Don Marnell opens up this show with what’s likely to be his final OTT appearance, repping Raven Creed while doing the Duffman.

Kasey Owens & Lana Austin vs. Amy Allonsy & Debbie Keitel
Kasey’s got her last name back here for her OTT debut – while Allonsy seemed to be over like rover in her Tivoli debut.

Kasey tries to toss aside Allonsy’s unicorn horn, but gets knocked aside by Keitel at the bell, before a dropkick took the Northern Irishwoman into the ropes… and out for a quick tag as Austin and Allonsy came into the match. Allonsy knocks Austin into the corner… and much like our last match, the pair start a fight over the Floss, which just gave Amy an opening to roll-up Lana for a two-count.

From there, Allonsy takes Austin into the corner for some mounted punches, but Kasey provides a distraction as Lana gets free. Amy’s isolated in the corner as Lana and Kasey exchanged frequent tags, allowing Lana to hit a big uppercut before getting frustrated at the crowd not playing along for a hip attack. So she just kicks Allonsy in the head.

Kasey’s back in to ground Amy, but she fights out… and gets yanked down by her hair as the crowd willed her on while her opponents went to the usual well of villainous tactics, knocking Debbie Keitel off the apron. Allonsy tries to fight back, only to run into a boot and a handing armbar in the ropes a la Suzuki. A dropkick from Kasey misses, but Allonsy opts to go for a cover rather than tag out… and after she gets a near-fall she’s caught with a rear spin kick as Lana runs in for some double-teaming.

Allonsy finally fights back only to take a sunset flip from Austin that rolled into a German suplex for a near-fall – with Keitel having to storm the ring to break up the cover. Finally, Amy gets the tag out as Keitel charges into the ring with a new sense of vigour… but Austin lays into her with kicks and a headbutt before a hip attack was telegraphed and turned into a German suplex.

There’s a German suplex for Kasey too, but the numbers game comes back into it… only for Keitel to hit a double overhead kick to Kasey and Lana! Allonsy hits a leg lariat to keep them at bay, while Lana hits back with a rolling elbow that sent Keitel down hard. That prompts Allonsy to tag back in, as she’s forced to quickly sidestep a charging Kasey ahead of a DDT for a near-fall…

More double-teaming catches Allonsy unawares in the corner, with a knee in the corner nearly putting her away as Keitel broke up the cover. Austin takes her outside as Allonsy nearly wins with a schoolboy on Kasey, before an ushogoroshi and a diving kick proved to be enough for Owens to get the win. This was a little rough in places, but Allonsy in particular shone as the “babyface in peril” throughout the match with the spotlight on her here. I’d liked to have seen more of Keitel in the match, but given the relative inexperience on show, there’s plenty of room for improvement. Hopefully they’re back on OTT shows that aren’t Defiant specials! ***

Elimination Rules: Jetta vs. Katey Harvey vs. Emi Sakura
This was Jetta’s first appearance in Ireland in over a decade, and unfortunately the crowd perhaps wasn’t as au fait with her act as say… those in the Resistance Gallery. These Defiant cards are a little bittersweet for Harvey, who’s had to travel Europe as there was no scene to speak of in Ireland.

Sakura basked in the glory of the Tivoli, and if you’ve seen her in EVE before, you kinda know what to expect. LOTS of vocal selling.

Jetta tries to stall from the off, but the crowd want no part of her… still, she gets a test of strength off to begin the match, only to back off as Sakura and Harvey went to work on each other, with Jetta playing cheerleader as Sakura pulled Harvey into a Romero special. Smartly, Jetta tries to cover Emi during the hold, but Sakura kicks out… then gets punched in the face.

Harvey comes back by catching Jetta in a pendulum swung while Sakura watches on… but she breaks it up as we briefly forget what eliminations mean, as she then set them up for an “accidental” sunset flip that turned into a double submission attempt. Why not get them both to quit at the same time? Emi stacks them up in the corner for a crossbody, before a double underhook backbreaker to Jetta and a stacked-up big splash from Harvey nearly put away “Britwres’ Princess Diana”.

Sakura’s taken outside by Jetta, who wants to get the win on her own, but she can only get a near-fall from a roll-up on Harvey before she slid outside and cheapshotted Sakura. She’ll pay. Back inside, a back cracker gets another two-count on Harvey, before Jetta promised to “beat your Katey to within an inch of her life”.

Yeah, that riles up Harvey, who hit back with some clubbing blows and a Fisherman’s suplex for a near-fall, before she headed up top and… got pulled into the ropes as Jetta pulled her into a Tree of Woe. Sakura’s back, but gets used as a human battering ram into Harvey, who’s then met with a dropkick from Jetta for an eventual two-count.

Jetta keeps up as she tries to tie up Harvey for a neckbreaker… then floats over into a modified Muta lock, only for Sakura to break it up with a body splash as she beckons Katey back into action… and the crowd into an OTT chant. Yep, Emi won the crowd over, but she’s again dispatched by Jetta before Harvey got rid of Jetta with a double-chickenwing facebuster. Or Dodon.

We’re down to Harvey vs. Sakura, with Emi bringing the fire early, but she’s forced to wriggle out of Dodon before she threw some chops. Harvey replies with uppercuts, before Sakura struck back with a big chop… and a Vader bomb-like elbow drop for a near-fall. Harvey’s straight back with a full nelson, but Sakura dances her way free and grabs a handful of hair… before going doe-see-doe with the referee.

That led to an accidental clothesline with Niall Fox on Harvey, who just comes back with a T-bone suplex and a missile dropkick for a near-fall. Harvey follows that up with a version of Konnan’s old Tequila Sunrise, but Sakura gets a hand to the ropes, before she comes back with a sudden Cross Rhodes and a Majistral cradle for the win. A hell of a showing for Sakura, and I’m reminded again how good Katey Harvey is – it’s just a shame that her non-Ireland appearances are fleetingly rare. ***¼

Kay Lee Ray vs. Jordynne Grace
It wasn’t until I saw OTT’s video for Kay Lee Ray that I remembered she was in the inaugural Mae Young Classic last year. That feels like aeons ago…

We start with a tie-up as both women tried to show their strength, with the crowd largely being behind Grace as she took Kay Lee down with a side headlock. Those are quickly escaped with headscissors, but Jordynne gets free and goes right back to the headlock.

The pair go back and forth on the mat, from headlock to headscissors, then into pinning predicaments as the pair displayed experience beyond their ages. Grace offers a Test of Strength, but after Kay Lee does some push ups, and sees Jordynne do them one handed… the Scotswoman walks to the back, anything to avoid a Test of Strength!

Kay Lee walks back into the Test of Strength anyway, but gets outdone against just one of Jordynne’s hands, before a shoulder tackle saw Grace charge straight through her. Ray comes right back though, throwing Grace to the outside for a tope – after a slip that can’t have done Jordynne’s ankle any good. Grace avoids a second tope, but ends up having to duck an apron PK before she drops Ray down to the apron with an Electric Chair drop.

A backdrop suplex onto the apron follows from Grace, who resumes with some shots in the corner before an Irish whip sent Kay Lee crumbling into the other corner. Grace keeps up on Kay Lee with elbows to the lower back, but Kay Lee tries to strike back, only to get caught with a standing sidewalk slam as Jordynne made this look easy. Shoulder charges pin Kay Lee into the corner, but she avoids a charge and looked to mount a fightback, only for a Stinger splash to get caught and turned into a bear hug. Somehow, she switches it into a mounted guillotine, but Grace countered that back into a suplex for a two-count. A tornado suplex in the corner keeps Kay Lee Ray in the hunt, as she followed in with a superkick… only to get clotheslined back to the mat by Grace.

Ray has to elbow out of a Fireman’s carry as she manages to surprise Jordynne with a Gory Bomb, but she can only get a two-count out of it, and a swift spinebuster not long after put the American back in control. Clubbing clotheslines to the front and back put Kay Lee down to her knees, before she’s pulled up for a half-nelson driver that somehow only gets a two-count. More superkicks and a Gory Bomb puts Grace down, but she rolls away from a senton bomb and goes back to the bear hug as Kay Lee Ray instantly tapped. This was a fantastic match – sure, there was “nothing on the line”, but the way Kay Lee and Jordynne worked belied that, as they fought tooth and nail until a simple bear hug forced the stoppage. ***¾

Viper vs. Valkyrie
Fresh off winning the EVE International title, Viper made the trip over to Ireland to take on another of Ireland’s hottest prospects.

After the opening handshake, Valkyrie resists being taken down… but Viper manages to muscle her down as she began to play the spoiler for the Dublin crowd. Much like Amy Allonsy in the opener, I’m expecting Valkyrie to be playing the babyface in peril for much of this outing.  A waistlock from Valkyries’ easily broken as Viper takes her down, before the Scotswoman caught a crossbody with ease. Undeterred, Valkyrie escapes, but a dropkick barely registers as Viper shoves away a wheelbarrow attempt and flattens Valkyrie with a diving crossbody splash for a near-fall.

A spinning heel kick from Valkyrie stuns Viper, who’s low bridged to the outside ahead of a baseball slide dropkick through the ropes that kept the Scotswoman down. There’s a PK on the outside too, but they quickly return to the ring as another crossbody smashes down the Dubliner for a near-fall. Viper keeps up on Valkyrie with a snapmare ahead of a Japanese strangle hold, which she mixed in with an over-the-knees stretch that had to be released as Viper nearly pinned herself.

Viper comes right back with a ripcord clothesline for a near-fall, but Valkyrie tries to chop her way back into things, before an attempt at some tiltawhirl headscissors were easily caught and changed into a sidewalk slam for a near-fall. We’re back to the strait-jacket choke, but Valkyrie’s able to reverse the hold, somehow busting open Viper’s nose in the process as the Scotswoman added a tinge of “bloodied monster” to her act tonight.

Viper backs up Valkyrie into the corner to break the hold, and it’s back to the offence as Valkyrie’s whipped from corner to corner. Valkyrie backflips over her though and lands an enziguiri, then a missile dropkick for a near-fall, before she connected with the wheelbarrow bulldog. For some reason Valkyrie doesn’t go for the cover, but she’s caught up top and press slammed down a la Ric Flair… but she does at least avoid a Vader bomb out of the other corner as she goes up a second time, only for a twisting splash to land in Viper’s knees.

A simple headbutt knocks Valkyrie into the corner, before a cannonball almost puts her away. It’s Valkyrie’s turn to cut-off Viper up top, but a top rope ‘rana’s blocked and turned into a nasty powerbomb off the top, which still isn’t enough to put away Valkyrie! There’s a shotgun dropkick from Valkyrie, who’s still trying to attack from above, this time scoring with a twisting splash for a near-fall, before Viper hit back with another headbutt, then a Viper Driver for the win. A really good outing here, with the loss perhaps doing more for Valkyrie, who left Viper bloodied up on her debut. Mark my words, this isn’t the last time these two will meet. ***½

OTT Women’s Championship: Raven Creed vs. Sammii Jayne (c)
Since winning the title at April’s first Defiant event, Sammii Jayne’s reign has been rather marred by injury, with the broken ankle putting her on the shelf for a while.

This was the first time I’d seen Creed in any kind of featured role (I’m not counting that 5-way on the Anniversary show), but Raven had been building up a little run of wins on Contenders shows while not having won “official” top contenders match. Heck, she’d even won over the crowd who usually took dumps on Cork, as they serenaded her with chants of “Cork is cool, and so are you”. Cool isn’t the word they usually insert there…

We start with a wristlock, which Sammii countered out of with an armdrag that turned into a roll-up as she tried to get under Creed’s skin early on. It was the crowd who were doing the annoying though, with Sammii taking the bait, as the champion tried to turn that into some sort of offence. Creed goes back to a wristlock as the pair keep things rather simple and on the mat, with Jayne rolling Creed into a reverse Figure Four right by the ropes.

Creed instantly hit back with a submission attempt of her own, but it’s in the ropes as Creed literally hit back again with a headbutt… trapping Jayne’s foot and pulling her up as she peppered her with a series of those headbutts. Sammii eventually wises up and throws a forearm before tossing Creed outside… but of course she’s not diving!

Instead, Creed drags her outside to trade places as she does the dive, complete with what looked like a nasty landing as she clipped the apron. They stay outside as Jayne throws Creed into a dividing wall while we get a foghorn-like boo… Creed leaps onto the stage to avoid another throw into the wall, and she’s right back at her with a body press into the champion!

The pair end up on the apron trading forearms, and it goes south quickly as Creed dumps Jayne onto the edge of the ring with a German suplex. Back in the ring, Jayne goes after Creed’s shoulder, as the champion looked to assert herself, scoring with a snap suplex for a near-fall to boot. A dropkick connects flush with Creed for a two-count right by the corner as the pace seemed to slow down a little… and just as I type that, Creed finds a second wind!

A Samoan drop puts Jayne down, as does a diving boot and a Blue Thunder bomb, but Jayne’s up at two. She’s caught up top though, and crashes down to earth with a superplex as the pair exchange more strikes. A German suplex is shrugged off as Creed returns with one of her own… which is met in kind as they just can’t put the other down! The chain of Germans ends with a back cracker from Creed, only for Jayne to hit back instantly with a knee to the head, before she rolled Raven into a trapped armbar.

Creed just about gets a foot to the rope and comes back with a mounted Kimura that Jayne easily charges out of, as she took Creed into the corner for the Shadowfax baseball slide German suplex. Jayne only gets a two-count though, despite having her feet on the ropes, and Creed is right back on top as she catches Jayne in the ropes, causing the champion to come down hard on her previously-injured ankle.

Rather brazenly, the crowd chanted for an ankle lock, but it was a ruse as Creed walked into a small package. She kicks out, before a Samoan driver gets another near-fall… but Creed is right up and grabs hold of Jayne’s ankle, forcing the champion to tap instantly to an ankle lock. Holy crap, the Tivoli just blew its roof there – with Raven Creed becoming the fourth woman to hold the title. Now, if only it could be less generic! As for the match, this was another good underdog story, but unlike with Valkyrie and Allonsy earlier, the local(ish) lass came good! ***½

Defiant 2 was a really good show from OTT, who look to be making this a bit of a regular deal. While part of me wishes that they did this along with increasing the exposure of women’s matches on their main show, but I also don’t feel like we’re too far off that happening. The belief that the Irish women’s scene is no good outside of Katey Harvey is quite simply wrong – as seen by the likes of Amy Allonsy, Debbie Keitel, Valkyrie and Raven Creed more than holding their own. 2018 has been a bit of a success on that regard… here’s to 2019 being even more of a breakout year!