As one of the latest groups on FloSlam, OTT made their debut on the American platform with their return to the Tivoli… headlined by a much anticipated rematch straight outta Korakuen Hall.
We opened with that 2016 video featuring Foo Fighters’ “My Hero “that started their last few shows. As a total side-note, I was surprised to see that “Paddy M” from the last few shows was actually a repackaging of a former OTT/NLW champion Paddy Morrow. Hey, it worked!
They open with Don Marnell and Aonghus Og McAnally in the ring, with a countdown clock in the background. Don Marnell’s got his own shirt, in the style of those “I’m A (NAME) Guy” shirt, except (A) and (GUY) were crossed out. Hey, it’s a new take on that design.
The good thing is, that countdown clock meant that the opening wasn’t drawn out, and we’re taken to Paddy M outside, who’s having trouble getting into the building. Someone holds a gun to Paddy’s head, but it’s actually Angel Cruz, who accidentally fires the gun and sets his security guard onto Paddy – and we have a match later on tonight from all of this!
Charlie Sterling vs. Justin Shape
During the introductions, the OTT crew refer to Finn Balor having “just been in the ring”… except that was only for the live crowd. Sterling is the rebranded Charlie Garrett, complete with a £ on his ring trunks. His attempt at a pre-match promo was interrupted by Justin Shape, and they started with some gaga based around Shape’s ugly Christmas jumper.
Shape dumps Sterling with a hiptoss backbreaker, before knocking the Englishman off the apron, and then joined him on the floor with a slingshot using the bottom rope. Comedy! Sterling gives Shape a wedgie, before taking a brainbuster as the back and forth continued with Sterling teasing a standing moonsault… and of course, Shape had long since rolled away.
Shape then goes for a standing moonsault, with the help of the referee, but of course, he can’t do it, so he and Sterling exchange some right hands. A brainbuster is blocked as Sterling throws Shape into the ringpost, which leads to some chants from the Dublin faithful that I can only transcribe as “they don’t like the British monarchy”. Sterling slipped as he climbed the ropes, which led to him being thrown down a la Ric Flair, before Shape landed a couple of clotheslines and that brainbuster.
Another low-risk dive from Shape sees him land a missile dropkick off the bottom rope for a two-count. Shape then goes up top, but Sterling shoves the referee into the ropes to crotch him, then lands a piledriver and a frog splash… but Shape kicked out at two! The comeback continues with a big boot, before the sit-out Alabama Slam gets the win for Justin Shape. A rather outta-nowhere finish, but a decent opener. **
Paul Tracey vs. Fabulous Nicky
Tracey cuts a pre-match promo, angered at how a member of the Social Elite (Sterling) was once again in the opening match. He threatened to ruin the main event, then said that Pete Dunne wasn’t here because he was scared of the Social Elite. In reality, Pete was on a flight back to Europe after working for PWG… and with that in mind, Tracey got an opponent in the form of the Fabulous Nicky, who’s not been on OTT since May’s “Even Better Than Our Best”, where he bust out half of the WWE main event’s moves.
Tracey knocks Nicky down early on with an uppercut, before he takes some big boots and a shotgun dropkick. An attempt to go outside only earns Tracey a kick from the apron, then a slow-mo rana off the apron to the floor. Back inside, Tracey drops Nicky with a clothesline, and gets a couple of near-falls as he used his size and experience to keep Nicky grounded.
Nicky comes back with a fallaway slam as he followed up with clotheslines too, before a kick gets him a near-fall. A superkick gets another two-count, but Nicky went for another ‘rana that was turned into a powerbomb… then a headlock driver, and a Rainmaker, and that’s your lot. At least they kept away from the whole backyarder vibe, but this was a take-it-or-leave-it outing. **
We’re taken to “live” footage of Angel Cruz annoyed that he can’t get hold of Tyler Bate for his “crew vs. crew” match. The joke here is that Angel’s “crew” is going to be made up of his security guys: Peter and Rick, the Pricks!
Fabian Aichner & Dave Mastiff vs. The Big Hangover (Jordan Devlin & Sean Guinness)
Since his one match in the Cruiserweight Classic, Aichner’s made quite a showing on the European indy scene with plenty of blow-away matches. Their opponents were a reunited Big Hangover in Jordan Devlin and Sean Guinness (formerly Sean Maxer; and still known as that according to recycled art on the OTT-Tron!)
Aichner and Devlin worked well in the opening, with a sequence ending with Aichner dropkicking Devlin into the corner to force a tag out. Guinness and Mastiff came in next, and when Guinness went to the outside to avoid Mastiff… he just got thrown back in by Aichner! Wash, rinse, repeat…
Back in the ring, Devlin’s moonsault press barely grazed Mastiff as he bounced off of him, before a back senton crushed the WWE signee for a near-fall. The heels took over from here, with Guinness choking Aichner in the ropes, before Devlin used his boot in the ropes to choke away on the Italian.
Aichner finally broke the code, as he became the first wrestler in ages to make the despairing leap to his partner for a tag, despite Guinness grabbing the leg… and Guinness took a massive flapjack from Mastiff seconds later. More of the same for Devlin, but Mastiff missed a corner charge and ended up being taken down by a pair of missile dropkicks for a near-fall. Guinness and Mastiff traded chops in the corner, as Mastiff’s left arm was being worked over by the Irish heels.
Mastiff finally backdropped his way free and tagged in Aichner, who dropped Devlin with a springboard crossbody, before Guinness took a Finlay roll and a middle rope moonsault for a near-fall. Devlin ate a wheelbarrow suplex, before the heels recovered to drill their opponents with superkicks, only for Mastiff to dropkick Devlin into Guinness.
Mastiff continued to impress with a double German suplex, before Guinness saved Devlin from a double superplex. Guinness took Mastiff to the outside for a tope, leaving Devlin in the ring alone for a suplex that was lifted up into a sit-out powerbomb for a near-fall… only for the Italian to miss with a frog splash off the top. Devlin tried to use a cane on Aichner, but Mastiff delayed it… before Devlin missed a cane shot and took an enziguiri. Third time was lucky as Aichner was drilled before a frog splash from Sean Guinness earned the heels the win. A great outing here, but afterwards you could see Devlin getting some “respectful cheers” – a similar issue that PROGRESS’ heel trio have had after those WWE UK deals… ***¼
Angel Cruz & Team Prick (Peter & Rick) vs. The Lads From The Flats (Paddy M & Workie) & Swoggle
This was a crew vs. crew match, based on the earlier segments where Angel Cruz had a shotgun…. Angel was thrilled that Paddy and Workie didn’t have a third man. They did, and I pitied the US audience for having to understand what Workie was saying. Their third man ended up being Swoggle!
After a tonne of stalling, Swoggle went toe-to-toe with Cruz at the bell… which made sense, since Cruz’s partners were on the apron in their suits! Swoggle did the Kojima-like rapid fire chops to Cruz’s midsection, which barely worked… so the crowd chanted “hit the hashtag” – referring to the hashtag on the midsection of Cruz’s tights. That worked.
Swoggle grabbed Cruz’s nippled then punched him low once more, before biting the arse. Team PRICK came in, but were stopped by Swoggle as the Lads from The Flats bit their arses, before Paddy M’s attempt at a dive was cut-off. Team PRICK dropped a double-team elbow onto Workie, before being admonished by Cruz for overshadowing him.
Cruz’s crew teased a dive, but instead just threw Angel onto the Lads from the Flats. Swoggle returned the favour with a dive off of a wall next to wXw’s Alan Counihan. Angel tried to grab Paddy’s crotch, but instead he got a couple of chops, before dropping a knee to Paddy as he waited for too long as Workie tried the old Hardy Boyz’ step-up splash thing. More American-confusing chants were thrown in Cruz’s way, as he then threw out a tribute to Tyler Bate, by trying to squat Paddy M… and did so!
From that squat, a death valley driver gets Cruz a two-count as the match kept tilting back and forth, before Workie tagged in an dropped Cruz with a Lo-Down powerbomb. Swoggle comes in, but he gets overwhelmed by Team PRICK. Cruz does take a German suplex from Swoggle, who then sidestepped a low blow from PRICK, before Workie dumped Cruz with a TKO. Paddy M lands a top rope senton, before Swoggle demanded that the Lads from the Flats grabbed the tables. A mini coffee table comes out, but team PRICK dispatch of Workie and Paddy… leaving Angel alone with Swoggle in the corner. For some reason, Cruz climbed the ropes above Swoggle, leaving himself wide open for a powerbomb through the coffee table for the win. Ridiculous, but quite fun. *¾
After the match, we had Martina out in a Santa Claus outfit for a session with Paddy, Workie and Swoggle… a session that may have lasted longer than the match did.
Next, we get a promo from Corvin and Bonesaw, who are mad that the Kings of the North never got their rematch after losing the tag titles to the Gymnasties six months ago.
OTT Tag Team Championship: Kings of the North (Bonesaw & Damien Corvin) vs. Gymnasties (B. Cool & Sammy D.)
The Gymnasties entrance featured them running through the streets of Dublin, with Justin Shape pacing behind with the tag titles in tow. They get the bus instead, and jog the final few yards into the Tivoli, before shoving their challengers before the match.
There’s an extra stipulation here where Justin Shape and Dunkan Disorderly had to either be handcuffed together or sent to the back. They eventually get cuffed, before they get booted off the apron and we finally start with an all-out brawl. Sammy D clotheslines himself and Corvin to the outside early, as Bonesaw launches himself with a somersault plancha to the pile of Gymnasties on the outside.
A long run from B. Cool sees him caught by the Kings and thrown into the crowd, as Bonesaw and Corvin climb up to join him there… just so they can press slam him down. Back inside, Corvin tries to crucifix powerbomb B Cool out of the ring, only for Sammy D to make the save… and then finally go for a tiltawhirl that ended with a dropkick.
Bonesaw returns and catches Sammy in a powerslam, before turning around into a missile dropkick from B Cool. A White Star-line (lariat) gets Corvin a near-fall, before he takes a Stunner from Sammy D as we get a brief parade of big moves. Corvin accidentally shoulder charges the ring post as B Cool staggers away with the assistance of the referee, which then leads to an awkward clash of heads between Corvin and Sammy D that left all four men down.
The handcuffed pair pulled themselves up to the apron, which led to Bonesaw spearing Dunkan onto the floor, before Sammy D landed a tope into the front row. Corvin throws in a plancha too. Inside again, Corvin lands a Yakuza kick for a near-fall, before Sammy D pulled off – of all things – an ushigoroshi to Corvin. Was NOT expecting that! Bonesaw surprises Sammy with a Blue Thunder Bomb, before B Cool breaks the pin and gets a fist to the throat as he went for a brainbuster.
Corvin eats a superkick and an Ace crusher after slingshotting into the ring, but Bonesaw made the save and dropped Sammy with almost a Benoit-to-Sabu-like back body drop. Bonesaw gets caught in a Sharpshooter by Sammy, but Corvin leaps in from above with a stomp to the back of the referee to make the save. Sammy replies by giving Corvin a Sharpshooter, but of course, there’s no ref to see Corvin tap.
Like a dumb babyface, Sammy things he’s won, as we see Dunkan Disorderly climb in and get the key from the referee… he removes the handcuffs and drops Sammy with a cuff-assisted punch, only for Justin Shape and his thong to land an Alabama Slam. Shape looks to drop Bonesaw and Corbin, but instead he double-crosses B. Cool with an Alabama Slam” That leaves the way clear for the referee to wake up and make the count… and thanks to some backstabbing, the Kings regain! This was good in patches – the Kings have shown themselves to be really good, but the Gymnasties weren’t quite on the same level as them today. **¾
After the Kings left, the crowd chanted “Why Justy, Why?” – except he’d long since left… We have an HOUR left on the show for our main event, which is making me worry that they’re either going to kill themselves, or we’re going to have a lot of padding.
Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet
You know they’re trying to get lightning to strike twice, and hopefully, this doesn’t lead to another match against Vader!
We get a trolling start with wristlocks and arm-wringers from Ricochet, before the crowd becomes unglued for a headlock from Will – well played! From there, they explode out of the gates with some of their greatest hits, featuring double dropkicks and aversions to headscissors, a la their famous Korakuen Hall match. The crowd chants for, then gets flips as both guys try to one-up the other like it was a break dancing battle.
The camera man shows Swoggle sitting with the crowd watching along, before Ospreay went into a Zack Sabre Jr-esque Octopus hold. Ospreay followed up with a spinebuster before mocking one of Ricochet’s own moves – the People’s moonsault… but Ricochet got the feet up to block, before doing the move properly.
Ricochet landed a punch in the corner before a PK took Ospreay down, as Ospreay then found himself helplessly feeling his head bouncing off the underside of the middle turnbuckle. Will bounced back with a handspring corkscrew kick off the ropes, then with his springboard forearm and a corkscrew senton that moved faster than I could keep up with for another near-fall.
Ospreay landed a sunset flip, then ducked a kick from Ricochet, only to fall to a snap Regalplex for a near-fall. A reverse DDT from Ricochet is blocked by way of a knee strike, but Will eats a Codebreaker-like move out of the middle ropes for another two-count for the Lucha Underground star. The Cheeky Nandos sees Ospreay get back on top, as he sent Ricochet onto the apron for some back and forth punches, ending with a double big boot to send both men to the floor.
Ricochet tried to leap onto a barrier to avoid being thrown into the wall… but Ospreay followed by shoving him into the crowd, then joined him there with a High Fly Flow off the top turnbuckle. Yep, I’ve not seen that in OTT before – that’s what unique venues can do for you! Ospreay spent too much time appealing to the crowd, and was wiped out by a flying Ricochet who rolled him into the ring to collect the near-fall. After the kick-out, Will gets a small package for two, before Ricochet lands a rolling Northern Lights, only for Will to turn the second suplex into a Stunner… then fall into a German suplex as Ricochet finally collected that near-fall.
My God, that went from 0-100 quickly!
After taking a forearm, Ospreay surprises Ricochet with a move that I can only describe as Angle Slam-esque, before dumping Ricochet with the Rainham-maker for a near-fall. A forearm rocks Ricochet, before a second drops him to the mat, as Ricochet eventually slapped back. That just got him a headbutt as the pair continued to trade shots, as Ospreay hit an overhead kick to Ricochet on the top rope, then a leaping ‘rana… but Ricochet landed on his feet, before both men traded reverse ‘ranas.
The tempo again increased, with Ricochet leaping over the apron to dump Ospreay with a Dragon suplex. Both men get to their feet just in time, and went straight back to exchanging shots with each other. Another sequence sees Ospreay land a knee strike, only for an OsCutter to be caught and met with a pair of reverse ‘ranas, then a Benadryller for a near-fall.
A Shooting Star Press gets just a one-count, so Ricochet gives Ospreay a shotgun dropkick, only to miss with a double stomp and turn into a Spanish Fly for a near-fall. A diving corkscrew kick and an OsCutter gets a two-count, before an imploding 450 splash gets another near-fall for Ospreay.
Ospreay calls for the Rainmaker, but gets a bicycle knee, then another… so he spits at Ricochet. More knee strikes see Ospreay crumple to the mat, before he lands the Vertigo (a reverse DDT into a sit-out tombstone) to finally end the match! This was quite something – and easily matches their Korakuen Hall effort… whether it was better, is a matter of opinion. ****¼
We’ve got a good twenty minutes left on the show at this point, which saw Ricochet mouth off to a (microphone-less) camera, as the crowd chanted “match of the year”. Ricochet then got a microphone to do half a Tye Dillinger as he lead the crowd in chants of “five” as they’d wrestled five times before this… apparently this win tied both men at three apiece, and Ospreay suggested an instant rematch, but instead they just shake hands.
Ospreay then took the microphone and retold a story where he was apparently told that “they” could have a great match, or they could revolutionise the business. Will then proposed his usual end-of-show dance, and the crowd exploded when “Uptown Funk” played over the PA. We got our dance-off, with plenty of break dancing too, before Swoggle interjected himself into things… and said that he’d pay to sit front row to see those two wrestle again.
Ospreay seemed to wave off that whole thing – perhaps it was because of the C-word (cruiserweights). Swoggle brought in some shots as the dancing party turned into a drinking party… Sláinte!
Ricochet and Ospreay try to go to the back, but they’re interrupted by the Fabulous Nicky coming out with candy canes, before Martina and the Lads from the Flats return, and now I’m starting to wonder if this is going anywhere, or if this is just for-the-crowd stuff that wasn’t deleted. The music stopped as Paul Tracey came out and threatened to drop Ricochet on his head… then threatens to cancel Christmas. Ricochet offers a candy cane to Tracey to make things up to him, but instead he gives the Lord of the Manor a stunner before “Uptown Funk” pipes up again. Yep, this is pure “after the show ends” fodder!
It’d be really harsh to label this as a one-match show, but once Ricochet vs. Ospreay was announced for this, they didn’t need anything else. They didn’t quite recapture the lightning in a bottle from Japan, but rematches of amazingly good matches rarely do. That’s not a knock on either guy – as this was a different match to what captured everyone’s mind in Japan.
The undercard had the usual OTT mixture of character-heavy matches, and an interesting turn as the Gymnasties lost their tag team titles. We could have done without the lengthy “for the live crowd” stuff though – but in all fairness, if you’re not a fan of OTT, you’ve probably only watched this for the main event… but at least give the undercard a shot too.