Celebrating their fifth year in style, OTT delivered an absolute banger of a show with a main event everyone’s talking about… and an undercard that you shouldn’t sleep on!

We’re at a PACKED National Stadium in Dublin for this one – and there’s been some late changes to the card. Killer Kross drops off the card because he apparently ended up in the American Manchester and not the British one, while an injury to Tyler Bate (who was also trying not to aggravate things ahead of an NXT match the following Wednesday) meant that the OTT tag title defence against More Than Hype was off. Trent replaced Killer Kross in the trios match, while the Grizzled Young Veterans took on More Than Hype in what became a late top contender’s outing.

The show opens with a backstage interview as David Starr’s “just arriving”. Eddie Kingston’s backing him up, before we cut to the opening video that recapped OTT’s five years so far. That segues into a performance from the Fire Angels before we seem to skip the opening rah-rah speech and go straight into action. Commentary, as always, comes from Aonghus McAnally and Tony Kelly.

Calum Black, Mike Bailey & Trent Seven vs. Cara Noir, Omari & The OJMO
Holy Christ, the NOISE for this opener. It’s deafening, and in a good way too. OTT’s continuing to blood new faces here, including the ironic O’Mari and O’JMO. Yeah, it’s an eclectic mix of talent here…

Once more, Cara Noir’s mirror mask didn’t make it through customs, not that that detracted from the entrance. Magnificent work from Matthew Macklin and the crew here, and throughout the show. Bailey and Noir start us off, heading into the ropes as the early exchanges had Bailey screaming to get away from Cara’s mind games. Tags brings in Calum Black and OJMO, and it’s O’JMO who hits an early dropkick before Trent came in with a chop to stop a single-leg crab. The ring clears, with OJMO lifting Black outside ahead of a goddamn Fosbury flop that Calum Black’s POUNCE assisted, sending OJMO crashing down hard to the outside.

OJMO’s thrown back inside as he became isolated, suffering kicks and knee drops from Bailey on the way to a near-fall. Things turned around when Trent came in, as OJMO surprised him with a DDT, before Omari dropped Trent with a leg lariat as bedlam broke out once more. Omari uses a Tim Thatcher-like side Salto into a sitout powerbomb on Trent, lifting the tag champion like he was nothing, before Trent’s powerbomb bought him enough time to tag out too. Speedball’s back in, but Bailey misses a running shooting star press. Omari doesn’t miss, and gets a two-count out of it, before Cara Noir came in to trade kicks with Bailey. It goes well… until Cara bites away on Bailey’s big toe. That little piggie went to market…

Bailey tries to respond with kicks, eventually landing some moonsault knees to Noir, only to get caught with a Blackout rear naked choke from Noir… which Trent just saunters into break up. The ring fills and clears with a Parade of Movez, ending with a Swan Woo from Noir and a fallaway moonsault/slam from Bailey that nearly ends it. Noir’s Blackheart Buster stops it all as Bailey’s left in agony… tags get us back to OJMO and Black, with a half crab getting chopped away by Trent, only for him to end up in the pile along with Bailey, as we had… three half crabs?

That’s one and a half crabs!

After the trio got free, they all took their shots at OJMO, until Omari and Noir came in with superkicks. A stomp-assisted Rude Awakening from Noir sets up for a frog splash that nearly gets OJMO the win, before Trent came in and told Calum “you be Tyler” ahead of a shooting star knees to an outstretched OJMO for a near-fall. Bailey kept up the insanity with moonsault knees to the outside, while Black stayed in the ring to lariat OJMO to death, following in with an inverted death valley driver for the win! It’s a big win for Calum Black to cap off a frenetic opener… how the hell do you follow that?! ***¾

A sit-down promo sees Terry Thatcher recap his win over Timothy Thatcher last month in Belfast… which led him to his first outing at the National Stadium. It’s not going to be an easy match though… he’s got a Mad King opposite him.

Terry Thatcher vs. Eddie Kingston
Thatcher’s painted a literal bull’s eye on his chest. That’s bold.

Thatcher tries to dictate the pace early by working Kingston’s wrist, but it gets him nowhere as the match instead turned into a bit of a strike fest, which lowered Eddie’s guard as a Quebrada dropped him for an early two-count. A springboard crossbody from Thatcher works, but Kingston just chops him down as the veteran began to make his size advantage pay off.

Kingston sees a back elbow blocked, but he just chops down Thatcher anyway… Terry fires back with right hands and forearms to trap Kingston into the corner. A dropkick finds Eddie in the corner, as does another, taking Kingston outside as a baseball slide dropkick and a tope took Kingston towards the stage, ahead of a springboard body press to the outside.

Kingston heads back in and takes a flying ‘rana for a near-fall, only to respond with a Fisherman buster that almost ended things right there. A Saito suplex is next, before Eddie ragdolled Thatcher with a release Tiger suplex for a near-fall… only for Thatcher to snatch the win with a reverse ‘rana and the DeThatched! This was a LOT more deliberately-paced than the opener, with Thatcher getting a big win as he looked to be set for another GN title shot. ***

Ladder Match for OTT No Limits Championship: LJ Cleary vs. Scotty Davis (c)
There’s just the one ladder on show here, as OTT have drafted in a rare second referee for this.

Rather than go balls to the wall early, we start with the pair having a wrestle, before Davis’ standing moonsault landed in LJ’s knees… which prompted the champion to roll outside and grab a ladder. It’s barely the same height as him mind, so he tosses it aside and grabs the big arse ladder off the stage.

LJ grabs the ladder as soon as it hits the ring, which led to a pseudo tug of war that gets him driven into the corner… a shotgun dropkick adds more pain as LJ eventually got free, setting up the ladder into the corner for Davis to dive into, with LJ following up by dropkicking the ladder into him some more. Davis gets free and tries to leap off the ladder bridge in the corner, but he’s caught and slammed onto it, only for Scotty to make use of the flat surface to catch LJ with an armbar on the ladder.

LJ tries to walk it off, but Davis just pulls him to the mat. After getting free, LJ watches Davis run into the ladder again, before he grabbed it and did the Terry Funk helicopter-ladder stuff… that Scotty just broke up with a nasty superkick. There’s a goddamn leaping DDT as LJ goes through the ladder for a spinning DDT to Davis, barely scraping the thing as the ladder remained upright for LJ to go for a climb… but that led to both men cutting each other off as Scotty ends up using said ladder for a moonsault.

Davis smartly puts down the ladder, then suplexes LJ onto it… and LJ looked to land elbow-first on the ladder. The ladder gradually became more of a weapon as LJ gets whipped into it in the corner as the crowd piped up for both men, before LJ ended up getting hurled into the ladder yet again. Davis uses the ladder to tie up LJ in a double armbar, trapping him in the ropes as Scotty proceeded to blast Cleary with body blows and knees ahead of a face-washing boot in the corner. The front row clears as Scotty bridges the ladder between the apron and the seating area, as the pair fight over a suplex onto the bridge… ending with Scotty taking a front suplex onto the thing.

Back in the ring, LJ sets up the ladder and scales it, but Scotty meets him up top as they slug it out, ending with a headbutt that sent both men to the deck. Scotty one-ups LJ with a spear through the ladder, before LJ hung him up in the ladder and looked to climb. Davis gets payback before he punched Cleary out of the ladder, as the pair began to trade head kicks… which open it up for Davis to land some suplexes.

Cleary stops him with more kicks before a reverse ‘rana spiked Davis again… a Chaos Theory suplex dumps LJ into the ladder in the corner, before Davis climbed the ladder once more… only for LJ to meet him up top, and shove him down! LJ doesn’t go for the belt though, instead repositioning himself for a splash off the top that led to a long phantom count… but this is a ladder match, LJ!

Cleary gets up and begins to climb the ladder again, but Davis joins him on the top and caught a headbutt before Gator Roll’ing LJ off the top! Holy sh… that could have gone so badly wrong! That one big bump was enough though, as Davis got up and scaled the ladder, retrieving the belt before LJ could get a foot on the ladder, and that’s the win! A heck of a ladder match, one that traded balls-to-the-wall bumps for a more measured match, with the one big bump at the end proving to be the difference maker. ****

We get a video package next recapping Katey Harvey’s injury at the start of the year – the one that broke both of her arms, through to her return at the KRFC in that camera-shaking pop.

OTT Women’s Championship: Katey Harvey vs. Valkyrie (c)
Katey was out with CT Flexor, who was rocking an AEWWF shirt… Always Eternally Woke With Flexor. Cute. There was a heck of a reaction for Katey, as you’d expect, who got kicked in the elbow before the bell as Valkyrie tried to get in a cheap shot.

More kicks followed at the bell as it was clear what Valkyrie was going for, but Harvey fought back with some lariats and an elbow to the back of the head. Valkyrie responds with a Codebreaker to the arm, before she kicked the arm away as the focus returned to the limb… but Katey looked to get some payback in, before Debbie Keitel and CT Flexor got on the apron.

Valkyrie mimed being hit with the belt, which led to CT getting ejected… as the crowd chanted “We Want Foxy”. That WWE training paying dividends for Chris Sharpe there! With Flexor gone, Valkyrie again worked the arm, draping it across the top rope before Harvey fought back, telling Valkyrie that she was ready… and showed it with a big palm strike. A running uppercut into the corner lands, as Valkyrie got flipped to the mat ahead of a DDT… and when Debbie Keitel got caught putting Valkyrie’s foot on the rope, she too was ejected. That’s the cue for Flexor to come out and cart Keitel to the back, while Valkyrie’s Pele kick finds its mark back in the ring. Another spinning heel kick dropped Harvey for a near-fall, so it’s back to the arm as Valkyrie busted out an Axel Dieter Special, pinning Katey’s arms behind her back…

Harvey manages to get a foot to the rope anyway, before she caught Valkyrie, pulling her off the top rope before landing a Gory bomb into the middle turnbuckle… and that’s all folks! One big move was enough, as Katey Harvey marked her return by winning the big one. A feel good moment after a match that was exactly what it needed to be. Straightforward, with the bad gal’s dastardly deeds backfiring in the end. ***¼

They show clips of a mockumentary of B. Cool, who had been kept off the card… he’s dishing out pro-B. Cool signs, as this feels very much like a David Brent bit. Bless Linus for going along with this… anyway, B. Cool found a way into the show, hijacking OTT’s social media to book himself, before he found his way into the arena with his crew to continue the documentary.

B. Cool tries to set up the crowd, asking him to cheer for him “like he was Hulk Hogan before he was a racist”. I’m dying. He got it, too… and I’m dying at the credits on-screen…

B. Cool vs. Orange Cassidy
Apparently B. Cool gets a title shot if he wins… but they’re being painfully non-specific.

B. Cool’s flummoxed by Cassidy early on, as he tried to take the hands out of his pockets… then again when Orange just sauntered over him as we got slow-mo graps. I’m not a fan, but part of me really wishes we got Orange Cassidy vs. El Phantasmo… B-Cool goes all RD Evans by smashing Cassidy’s sunglasses, prompting Orange to go under the ring for a chair… because he wants to sit down and show off his second pair. This crowd is eating up everything Orange is doing.

With Cassidy in a chair, B. Cool went for a chinlock, which led to comedy as the ref’s arm drop gimmick was just used for Orange to put his arms in his pockets, before Orange just gave him a thumbs up. A hands-free dropkick followed ahead of a lucha roll-up from Cassidy.

B. Cool gets frustrated as he went up top repeatedly, only for Cassidy to roll away. It got to the point where the crowd begged for B. Cool to jump… and of course, he comes up short. Chops follow as B. Cool tried to incide Cassidy, which sort-of worked as Cassidy “unloaded”, finishing off with a superkick. I died at the thigh slap on the way… A Superman punch and a Michinoku driver follows for a near-fall, before Orange reached for some OJ… and that Tropicana was the proverbial spinach, and was enough for him to block a brainbuster. B. Cool hit back, “pretending he was Cabray”, but ends up getting sprayed with the orange mist and rolled up as that title shot’s going to have to come another day. You know what you’re getting with Orange Cassidy – and your mileage will vary considerably. This was fun, but nothing more than a comic relief… ***

Kings Of The North (Bonesaw & Damien Corvin) vs. Guerrillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)
The Fire Angels were back out for the Kings’ entrance, as was PYRO. No expense spared here, eh? It was the Kings’ first match in Dublin in over six months, and yes, I’d forgotten the Guerrillas were IWGP tag team champions.

Tama Tonga cheapshots Corvin before the bell, as the Guerrillas started out on top, but Bonesaw pulling Tanga Loa out of the ring looked to change the path of the match. Quite literally, in fact, as Tanga seemed to jam his knee on the bump he took before getting pulled outside. That opened things for a double-team as Tanga Loa hobbled back in for a double clothesline to start some crowd brawling.

Crowd brawling is always a bugger for camera crews to follow, but they largely followed Corvin and Tama brawling in the crowd while Tanga Loa had a fan film him working over Bonesaw. Headbutts sandwich Corvin, who responds with a dropkick before he got lifted onto the apron… from where he hit a uranage and slingshot senton on Tama.

Misdirection from Tama led him to a dropkick and a Stinger splash on Corvin, but Bonesaw caught him from behind for an eventual spinebuster. Tanga Loa’s back in to stomp on Bonesaw, following up with a clothesline in the corner… but an Exploder suplex from Bonesaw has Tanga Loa across the ring before the pair stared down and traded some forearms. Bonesaw edges ahead there, but Tama’s back to help out as he frog splashed into Bonesaw for a near-fall.

A Magic Killer’s next for a near-fall, before an assisted Tongan Twist was stopped by Corvin, who cleared the ring and took to the skies with a tope that he landed flush. The Kings keep up from there, cannonballing into Tama Tonga in the corner for a near-fall, as Tanga Loa was being looked at by the ringside medic.

With Tama on his own again, he teases a Gun Stun as Tanga Loa returned… then hit Bonesaw with Apeshit. Corvin tries to capitalise with a sit-out front suplex, but he’s caught celebrating too long as a Gun Stun from Tama Tonga gets the win. This was fine, but you got the feeling that all plans went out of the window early when Tanga tweaked his knee in the opening minute. Very walk-and-brawly, and I wonder what’ll happen to the Kings from here, as they gave a real good account of themselves in spite of the loss. ***

Grizzled Young Veterans (James Drake & Zack Gibson) vs. More Than Hype (Darren Kearney & Nathan Martin)
This became a defacto top contender’s match for the OTT tag titles after Tyler Bate’s injury forced the card change… and hey, it’s an OTT debut for the former JD Sassoon! It also means we’ve got the return of the Zack Gibson promo, which was as curtailed as it was drowned out. Although it led to the comedy moment of Gibson trying to promo over It’s a Beautiful Life. Worst. Karaoke. Attempt. Ever.

We start with Kearney and Drake trading holds, which led to the obligatory stand-off, before Drake and Gibson began to work over Kearney’s arm. Kearney fought back with a hiptoss on Gibson for a near-fall, before Nathan Martin came in and found himself in a headlock as the former NXT UK tag champions pulled ahead. Dublin railed on Drake, calling him a “shit Charlie Sterling”, as it was clear that the OTT faithful wanted the Rapture, not the Veterans.

Martin shut them up with a suplex, but there’s a quick turnaround as Martin’s taken outside for a slingshot backbreaker on the floor. Back inside, a cobra clutch keeps Martin grounded, before Gibson came in and threw “Psycho Nathan” into a spinning heel kick for a near-fall. Gibson stays on top with a brainbuster for a near-fall, before Martin managed to get free… low bridging Drake to the outside, ahead of a tag out!

Kearney slingshots in to dropkick Gibson, then dump Drake with a back body drop. A step-up dropkick awaited Drake too, as did a springboard body press to the pair of them on the outside, but it was More Than Hype who found themselves in the driver’s seat. At least until Gibson’s Ticket To Ride spiked Martin… and the momentum’s all over the place. Martin tries to go for a submission, but he’s caught in a Shankly Gates by Gibson while Kearney had Drake in a half crab. That’s broken up as Kearney’s pinned into the corner for a running dropkick, with Gibson following in with a Helter Skelter for a near-fall as the Veterans pushed on.

Kearney slips out of a Ticket to Mayhem as Nathan Martin got the tag in… but he’s quickly overwhelmed. In the end, it’s the Veterans who were their own worst enemy, as Gibson ate a superkick from his own man before Martin trapped Drake in a single leg crab. Kearney tries to restrain Gibson with a single leg crab, and it worked as Drake was forced to tap… and More Than Hype retain their top contender billing! A decent match, but this being made a top contender’s match felt a little weird considering that a loss would have felt so unfair, and would have likely made for a more molten hot environment for the main event given the circumstances. ***¼

OTT World Championship: David Starr vs. Jordan Devlin (c)
Jordan Devlin rolled back the years to give us some Miseria Cantare, going back to the song he used when he won the NLW title… except it wasn’t Jordan. It was David Starr in the Greater Power-like hood. I POPPED. Doubly so for Starr’s “IMPORT KILLER” trunks as both men were leaning into their characters the portrayals of them…

The build for this had managed to successfully turn Jordan Devlin whenever he was in the same room as David Starr. On their own, both men got largely cheered, but in this atmosphere, Devlin was being treated almost like a pariah by his own people. On the VOD, it made for a white hot atmosphere and I can only imagine what it’d have been like live…

We’re off to the races, with the crowd chanting the Jordan Devlin song for the challenger, and they shoot into each other with a tonne of yay/boo ground and pound, with Dublin vehemently against the champion. This isn’t a match, this is a fist-fight and this feels goddamn real!

Devlin stung Starr with a right hook, before he got sent outside for a tope… Devlin threw in a tope con giro of his own, but it’s almost unanimously booed as the pair slugged it out on the floor before an almost WALTER-like boot and set up for a teased powerbomb into the seats… which Jordan ate instead. Starr got the chairs anyway as his charge was side-stepped, before the pair got back inside, exchanging forearms at short range as Devlin clung onto Starr’s wrist. Devlin added mustard to his, hammering down on Starr from above as the crowd booed… but a Devlinside’s countered with a headlock takedown as Starr ended up following in with a back elbow and a sliding splash into the corner. I’m barely getting the time to breathe, especially as Devlin kicks out at one, and threw in a shot to Starr from the kick-out. Starr tries to work over Devlin’s wrist and fingers, before a springboard clothesline was caught as Devlin hit an Air Jordan, using the ropes for propulsion for a near-fall.

Another right hand from Devlin left Starr in the corner, before Devlin looked to go old country and use a camel clutch… with a few extra short cuts to remind you the bad guy was meant to be here. Starr gets up as another slugfest ended with a Pretty Pumped, then with a Han Stansen after an enziguiri from Devlin proved to be the meat in that Starr sandwich. The next step sees Starr do the Bad Bones suplex, as both men tumbled awkwardly over the top rope to the outside, as the crowd interestingly were starting to get behind Devlin some more…

Devlin seemed happy to take the count-out victory, looking happy when Starr slipped at 18, but the challenger rolled back in in the nick of time before both men put their dukes up for a bit of boxing. Of course, the more experienced Devlin had Starr rocked instantly, but Starr managed to get some lucky shots in, busting open the champion in the process before punching Jordan to the outside. Now THAT is your blood feud! Starr looks to capitalise by launching in with a tope, but Devlin caught Starr with his own Cherry Mint DDT… only for Starr to hit a Devlin-like jumping Destroyer that prompted the champion to hit a Han Stansen! Devlin looked to add a Devlinside, but a headbutt from Starr earned him almost a Torpedo Moscau before the Devlinside nearly ended the match!

Devlin looked to head up top, but he got crotched by Starr as a back superplex saw the champion rudely bounce off the mat ahead of a big Han Stansen… which gets blocked as Devlin ended up taking a nasty Blackheart Buster for a one-count. A Kaepernick looks even nastier for a near-fall, before another Han Stansen almost got undone by a backslide as Starr was swinging for the fences here. A Product Placement gets a two-count, prompting Starr to go after the referee, almost sensing a screwjob in the offing… Starr’s back outside as he looked to snatch the OTT title off of the ring announcer. Butch puts up no fight, as select members of the crowd were begging Starr to reconsider… then Devlin, after he’d retrieved the belt following a superkick. Would Devlin live up to the devil status that hype video had given him? Starr wanted it… but he spits on the belt (and Devlin) before Devlin threw the belt aside… meaning the ref missed a low blow that almost got the win! Starr goes back to the belt, and the tug of war ends with a low blow as Starr’s punted in the ding ding. Now Jordan’s booed again as he laughed, then landed a package piledriver… but Starr kicks out! That’s damn near unprecedented!

Frustrated, Devlin stalks Starr, but he’s caught in the Republican Remorse (the old Edgucator), but the champion’s able to get to the rope as they teased a tap-out a la WALTER. Starr slaps feeling back into his arms as Devlin was looking the worse for wear, before Starr teased a Triple H tribute with a crotch chop and a Pedigree… but instead he stuns Devlin with a Trapped Arm Bob Fossil for a near-fall! The crowd were biting, then again after a one-count from a Han Stansen… but a second Han Stansen spun Devlin…. AND WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION! Absolutely no fear here – you perhaps need to have been fully on board with the story to appreciate it all, but this was the goddamn peak of this storyline, highlighted with the mixture of rapturous Starr fans and the dejected Devlin supporters at the end. Especially when a second Han Stansen after the bell underscored it all. *****

Commentary made a point of noting how Starr wasn’t celebrating with the locker room afterwards, as he instead was crowd surfed around the National Stadium as commentary went a little overboard describing the scene… that aside,  and I can’t believe I’m quoting Kid Rock’s Lonely Road of Faith music video, but it’s true: if it sounds good, you’ll hear it If it looks good, you’ll see it If it’s marketed right, you’ll buy it but if it’s real, you’ll feel it. We felt it, even on VOD.

As for the remainder of the show – pretty much everything delivered to some extent. The ladder match was a low-key banger, and one that’ll likely be underrated, especially by those who grew up on the stunt show ladder matches of the 00s, while feel-good moments for Katey Harvey, Calum Black and Terry Thatcher characterise an OTT show that in spite of the imports, was putting a lot of focus on the home-grown stars this time around.