Raven Creed had the chance of a lifetime, as she looked to regain the OTT Women’s title in her hometown.
Cork’s Neptune Stadium was the venue for the promotion’s debut in the rebel county, and if you were wondering… no, it’s not an open air stadium. It’s an indoor basketball arena, which OTT’d cut in half while packing out floor seats along with general admission seats in the stands. We were there live for this one, dodging the swarms of wasps in the queue. Commentary’s from the trusty duo of Aonghus og McAnally and Tony Kelly…
Jody Fleisch vs. Jordan Devlin
There’s a hell of a way to get us going… this was Jody’s first appearance in OTT in over two years, while Devlin was very much treated as the good guy here, away from the mixed reactions he’d been getting up against David Starr.
Fleisch looked to work over Devlin’s left arm early, clinging onto the wrist as Devlin tried to roll free. He manages to do that, but his headlock’s countered in kind ahead of a standoff. Devlin lands flush with a leaping shoulder tackle, but can’t avoid a double leapfrog/dropkick as Devlin went scrambling into the corner before another sequence ended with Fleisch sticking the landing on a monkey flip as another stand-off got heated. Devlin offers a handshake, but both men had the same idea in going for a cheapshot, as a negotiated settlement led to Fleisch… ignoring what he’d agreed to. Sounds like an analogy for something political, eh? He misses a head kick as Devlin quickly followed up with an Air Jordan for a near-fall, which preceded him ripping off his wrist tape as he seemed to be a little more protective of that body part.
Stomping Fleisch into the corner, Devlin followed up with a leaping back elbow for a near-fall, before Fleisch Matrix’s out of a clothesline to reply with an enziguiri. A back suplex/facebuster’s next as Jody began to build up some steam, before the pair brawled around ringside a little. They head into the crowd, where Devlin cleared some space to try and whip Jody into the wall. Yeah, that never was going to work, as a wall walk saw Fleisch counter it into a crossbody. What the absolute hell was that?! Back inside, Devlin fell to an enziguiri before he replied with a superkick… but ended up taking a top rope ‘rana as Fleisch followed up with a springboard shooting star press that saw everyone gasp as he looked to land square on the top of his head. That was nasty, but somehow Fleisch was (relatively) fine, before Devlin began to box his way in as a brainbuster almost ends things.
Devlin looked to head up top, but gets caught by Fleisch who looked for a suplex of sorts, only for things to switch around as Devlin got spiked with a reverse ‘rana off the top. A slight delay to the cover means Devlin was able to kick out at two, before he responds with a headbutt and a snap Devlinside for the win. A cracker of an opener – with Fleisch perhaps a little off the pace thanks in part to that screwy dive… but this was more than a “gimme” outing for Devlin. ***½
Justy & Sammy D vs. Dan Barry & Martina
“Justy looks like a cosplay mermaid”… crossed with Iron Mike Sharpe, perhaps.
If you weren’t expecting comedy here, then perhaps you ought to re-read the names of people in the match. Dan Barry hid a can of Stella in his shorts, and had pretty much the same reaction I usually do to it… From the opening lock-up Martina grinds her way out of a waistlock, before she built up into a missile dropkick and some headscissors as Dan Barry looked on stunned from the apron. Tags bring in Justy and Dan, with Justy falling to a shoulder tackle before he got suckered into a side headlock. A leapfrog and a dropkick keeps Justy in the corner, as Martina prepped for chops… but ended up grinding on him.
Dan Barry tries to show her, but she still gets chops wrong, to the point where Justy tagged in Dan to do it properly. Pop. A slingshot senton from Barry keeps up the momentum, before a missile dropkick/side Russian legsweep gets another near-fall… but Justy’s able to grab a headlock as the former Gymnasty pair… run into each other. Ah well. From there, we find out who doesn’t know how to row, before Justy snuck in a cheeky kick to the back. He’s decked for that, before Sammy went wild with a clothesline and some stomps. Sammy distracts the ref as Justy wrenches away on Martina’s arm… which has the pay-off you’d hope as Justy ended up forgetting to check and yanked on Sammy’s arm at the third go as Sammy called for his big finisher.
Justy makes a save, pulling Dan Barry off the apron and into the crowd to stop a tag, as Martina was double-teamed. She quickly gets free as Barry got the hot tag… then does a dive as she stopped Dan from his Asai moonsault. It’s just delayed in the end as Dan ends up righting a Botchamania wrong with a flip tope to the outside. Back inside, a suplex from Martina and a frog splash from Barry drew a near-fall, before an Alabama slam from Justy was broken up. All four stayed in the ring as things threatened to break down, but in the end Martina’s given Sammy D as a Jagerbomb and a pile-on pin finally ended things. This was a solid outing, but your mileage will perhaps vary. **½
After the match, Martina and Dan celebrate with their cans, only to be interrupted on their way to the back by some Deep Purple and “this idiot”, who still doesn’t have a name. We bleed into the next match a la Paul Heyman and Gabe Sapolsky, buffeted by Irish Weird Al Yankovic’s whinging. You know the score – once he’s christened, the joke stops… although Aonghus came close with a reference to “throwing his money around”.
Only True Pros (Liam Royal & Michael May) vs. Strong Hearts (El Lindaman & T-Hawk)
There’s no CIMA on hand here, but it’s a decent showing from the Strong Hearts, who came out in face masks that were apparently on sale at the merch table. I could have done with those..
We get going with May and Lindaman scrapping before May nearly shocked him with a lucha roll-up. May telegraphs a back body drop and ate a dropkick, before tags brought in Liam Royal and T-Hawk. A Test of Strength’s ended with T-Hawk landing a kick to the gut, but he has less luck with shoulder tackles as Royal charged through him with ease. Some brief double-teaming from May and Royal drew in Lindaman to break up a cover, before Lindaman went around the ring to get his licks in. Lindaman and T-Hawk have a brief brain fart as they forgot who was legal, leading to Lindaman slapping around and flipping off Royal, who just boots him with ease. May’s snap suplex gets a quick two-count on Lindaman as the Irishmen were settling into a groove, with a slingshot into a spinebuster nearly getting the win also.
A stalling suplex from Royal’s good for another two-count, before Lindaman got the tag in and cleared house with suplexes. T-Hawk’s back to chop May as the Strong Hearts built up their own head of steam… until T-Hawk accidentally chopped his own man. A clothesline-assisted elevated German suplex nearly gets May the win, before he ran into a pop-up knee as Strong Hearts tried their luck with a German suplex… May tags in, cracking Lindaman with a Koppo kick, before helping fold Lindaman back for the pin after a sit-out powerbomb from Royal. A solid, and, ahem, professional outing for Royal and May, who continue to establish themselves here. ***¼
Scotty Davis vs. Cara Noir
After the sound guy ran for his life, we have our music for this one… and it seems like Cara Noir’s mirror mask didn’t make it to customs as I’m wistful over how Noir never got to do a show in the Tivoli. That’d have gone over gangbusters there…
We start with a lock-up as Davis took Noir to the mat in the search for an armbar… and this is where the crowd broke up as the referee’s attempt to ask Cara Noir if he gave up was responded to by someone telling Niall Fox that Cara doesn’t talk. Cheers Eamonn…
Davis forces Cara Noir to powder outside after a series of attempted kicks, but back in the ring Noir decides to borrow a page from Scotty’s book and test his legs with some kicks. It finally worked, as Davis buckled a little, allowing Cara to try and take over in the corner. Instead, he bites away on Scotty, who responded by grabbing his tongue and returning fire with Gator rolls to send the swan outside, as the crowd cleared. Davis misses a dive off the apron and quickly got flung head-first into the ring post… with similar treatment following back in the ring, as Davis was taken from pillar to post.
Throwing Davis onto the apron proved to be a bad idea as Scotty rebounds in with a superkick before a top rope moonsault’s kicked away by Noir for a near-fall. That kick looked to have tweaked something in Noir’s bare feet, but he’s able to recover and land a clothesline for a near-fall. A cobra clutch followed as Cara Noir ends up tripping Davis to the mat for extra pressure… but Scotty manages to break free and flip Noir away, only to get caught with a headlock on the ropes that forced Davis to get inventive and suplex Cara back in to break the hold. Noir goes back to a mounted sleeperhold, but Davis flips back on himself to force a pinning attempt, before a Chaos Theory rolling German suplex nearly got Davis the win. A Dragon suplex ends when Noir ran Davis neck-first into the ropes ahead of a snap German suplex, then a thunderous Rude Awakening neckbreaker as Noir nearly marked his debut with a win.
A lengthy build-up looked to have Cara in trouble as a German suplex off the top was flipped out of, before Cara went back to that mounted rear naked choke… only for Scotty to get free by tweaking at an injured toe. From there, Scotty deadlifts Cara up into a Fisherman buster… and that’s your lot. Live, I wasn’t sold on Cara until the finishing stretch, which made this a bit of a struggle to get into… but on the second viewing I “got” it a little bit more. At some point, this winning run ought to translate into something for Scotty, who made the universal belt sign afterwards. ***¾
There’s no interval yet – we’re powering on…
More Than Hype (Darren Kearney, LJ Cleary & Nathan Martin) vs. The Rascalz (Dezmond Xavier, Trey Miguel & Zachary Wentz)
For the second time in three days, these two teams square off, with the Rascalz a match ahead after picking up the win at Fight Club Pro on Friday…
The opening spells saw the Rascalz look to go over LJ Cleary’s hair, with Trey Miguel in particular looking to cop a feel. Aonghus short-circuits briefly as LJ and Trey continue to fight over a knuckle lock, with Dezmond Xavier looking to coach his partner free… which works as Miguel got into the ropes for a springboard lucha armdrag to start a series of those things ahead of a stand-off. Tags bring in Darren Kearney and Dezmond Xavier, with the latter having some luck with a dropkick… prompting Nathan Martin to tag in and land one of his own. Zachary Wentz tags in to land a nice tornillo for a near-fall, before a standing moonsault missed, allowing Kearney and Martin to combine with some quick double-teams.
Martin’s caught with a chop as the Rascalz looked to corner him… and succeeded with a series of slingshot sentons, with Wentz landing on Martin’s arse. That’s the softest part of the body! A Muta lock follows, but Martin got to the ropes… only for Wentz to keep up the offence with chops and a stomp. Nathan gets the tag out as LJ confuses Trey with some lucha inspired stuff, while Darren Kearney’s waistlock/facebuster helped him to get a near-fall. Miguel evades the Irish lads some more as he took them outside… only for a Superman punch from LJ to help swing things around as he hit a tope con giro to the outside, starting an insane sequence of dives, including a springboard body press a la TAKA Michinoku as Darren Kearney had to avoid the lighting rig. Back inside, Migel remains legal as he couldn’t deal with More Than Hype, with Kearney catching a monkey flip to buckle bomb him into Martin’s knees as the Irish lads continued to wow. An Activate Destroyer backfires though, with the Rascalz rushing the ring, sparking a rapid-fire Parade of Strikes and a nice leaping running reverse Bloody Sunday… ending with a suplex into a sit-out powerbomb from Kearney.
Another flurry sees Martin eat a Meteora, then a shoved-on standing shooting star press that needed Darren Kearney to break up the pin with a powerbomb… before LJ came in and took a few Cheeky Nandos-style kicks before his team mates made a save, eventually propelling into Xavier with the Activate Destroyer for the win. Live, this was absolutely nuts – sure, some of the match was a little rough around the edges, but this clicked where it needed to, and had the crowd on their feet repeatedly. ****
Calum Black vs. David Starr
Still in the hunt for his first singles win, Calum Black’s back as he’s up against a potential title contender.
We’ll let others note how weird it is that David Starr was here, and not on the go-home show ahead of his PROGRESS title shot in a few weeks time. Ah. We just did. Starr instantly went to work on Black’s arms, tying them up before he went in between the ropes to force some distance when the Irishman got himself free. On the mat, Starr works over the wrist and arm, but again Black got free as he swung at Starr, who had to go to ground to avoid the shot. Starr took a verbal pop at the referee, stinging after what happened with WALTER last time out.
Starr poked at a different target next, calling out “Joe” for how he trained Black, before he repeatedly pie-faced Black in the corner. A forearm’s the measured response to that, as Calum began some ground and pound only to get thumbed in the eye as Starr found a way back in. The pair remain on the mat, scrambling for an advantage as Starr again forced Black into the ropes. Chops keep Black in the corner, before he got punched out as Starr called his bluff… but Black boxes back, then caught Starr off the middle rope and dumped him with a spinebuster. Using the ropes, Starr pulls himself up as Black wanted to box some more, eventually sending Starr into the ropes for some misdirection and a pounce.
Black keeps up the momentum with a knee lift, but nearly fell to a small package as a standing X-Plex drops Starr down to the mat hard for a near-fall, as the match then descended into a battle of lariats. Starr’s attempts at Han Stansens were swatted away with headbutts, which just made Starr go to the well as he told Black that he’d “seen better lariats from guys who work WWE”. So they swat each other with lariats at point-blank range, until Starr dropped Black with a Han Stansen… Black hits one of his own, before a discus Rainmaker-like lariat drew a near-fall… as did a sit-out powerbomb that saw Starr bounce up on impact. After kicking out, Starr looked to mount one final push, cracking Black in the back of the head with a forearm before he had to kick out of a backslide. A Blackheart Buster’s good for another near-fall as Starr seemed to get agitated, even more so when Black told him that “Jordan hit harder”… and that just prompted Starr into another murderous lariat for the win. Simple stuff by the end, as this was more of a statement win than any kind of “greatest hits” outing for Starr here. ***½
After the match, we had promo time with Starr, who in an underhanded way told Calum that he was out of his depth. Starr mentioned how there was someone else he wanted to fight, but he’s not around here anymore… maybe I’m reading too far into this, but is WALTER done with OTT? Talk turns to Irish wrestlers, with the crowd instantly chanting for Scotty Davis over Jordan Devlin (“the other Irish wrestler”). Starr sends Niall Fox packing when a fan reminded him he couldn’t beat WALTER. Labelling Jordan Devlin a “false prophet”, Starr tells the crowd that the import killer’s become the import, as he swung things back to his independent crusade… which gets the crowd on his side. Even if he didn’t want it.
OTT Women’s Championship: Raven Creed vs. Valkyrie (c)
We’ve got a video package building this up, with clips of Valkyrie telling Raven Creed she was “never meant to be a champion”. There’s no Debbie Keitel here tonight, as Valkyrie only had CT Flexor as cover… which was apt as the match started with a dive from the challenger, who proceeded to choke Valkyrie with her own cape.
Yeah, the cape was doing a pretty good job on its own… Creed keeps up, charging Valkyrie into the ring post before they hit the ring, with Valkyrie slipping out of a death valley driver, only to get caught with some squatting snake eyes in the corner. A Samoan drop’s next for a two-count, before Valkyrie sidesteps a charge, sending Creed outside… she misses a dropkick through the ropes as Flexor’s distraction didn’t pay off, with Valkyrie instead having to charge Creed back-first into the ring post.
A dive off the apron’s caught as Creed ends up getting shoved into Flexor, then thrown into the crowd as the champion began to build up momentum. Valkyrie uses her forearm to try and rub off Creed’s war paint, before she stretched her challenger around the ring post. A neckbreaker on the top rope keeps Valkyrie ahead as Creed looked to have little response, at least until Valkyrie told her she was letting her hometown down. Cue chops as Creed fought back, as the match descended into an exchange of forearms. Valkyrie lands a slap, but ends up getting knocked down with a clothesline for a near-fall. Valkyrie’s back with an enziguiri as she looked to get frustrated, prompting her to go for her title belt. CT Flexor comes in to stop her… which opened the door for Creed to spike Valkyrie with a piledriver. Problem was, the referee’s too busy with Flexor, who was arguing so much that nobody could make the count.
Valkyrie got back up and used the belt anyway, but Creed kicks out at two after the ref ran back, before Valkyrie went for the Death Note… and whiffed badly. Creed cracks her with a headbutt after that, but couldn’t get a back cracker off, as Valkyrie held onto the ropes, then used them for leverage as Valkyrie rolled up Creed for the win. A heartbreaking loss for Creed, but in truth, this match didn’t really feel like it was building up to Creed’s big win. Perhaps if OTT’s able to build her up for a solid six months and a return to Cork – but with Valkyrie retaining anything’s fair game, especially going into the third Defiant show later in the year. **¼
Mike Bailey vs. PAC
These two have only met once before – back in November as PAC made his return to the UK indies for Rev Pro. By the way, PAC did indeed threaten small kids again.
We start with the customary tie-up into the ropes, which Bailey gave a defiant thumbs up for the break on, before sending PAC, erm, packing with those thumbs up. Back inside, the pair switch between headlocks and headscissors until they reached a stand-off, prompting PAC to run away again. A Mackem would never go that… Aggravated by another thumbs up, PAC charges in with a headlock takedown, before they cartwheeled out of each other’s ‘ranas on the way to another staredown, which ended with Bailey getting lifted onto the apron ahead of… no dive by PAC. It’s too early. Regardless, PAC follows Bailey outside and lands a Quebrada, skidding into the front row after the impact, before he began to wear down Bailey with a series of stomps in the ring.
A standing shooting star press connected for a near-fall as PAC slowly was being forced to incorporate flying into his game. Bailey’s massively on the defensive as PAC again went for the little bairns, allowing Bailey time to recover as he offered himself up for the Canadian… who fell for it. A kick’s caught, before the second one went straight through the Geordie, as did some more kicks as Bailey found his mark with a running corkscrew press for a near-fall. They spill outside again as the front row’s cleared, but it’s for nought as it was a false alarm, with the pair returning to the ring as PAC hit back with an uppercut. A Ligerbomb’s next for a near-fall, before PAC rolled into a Rings of Saturn, looking to force a submission, ending when Bailey got his toes into the ropes. Bailey tries to hit back, sending PAC to the outside with a kick before the Golden Triangle moonsault connected flush, prompting PAC to try and bail again.
This time, Bailey gives chase, as they wandered towards the seating decks… but PAC had his eyes on something bigger. The balcony. PAC threatens to throw Bailey off the balcony, as you heard the odd scream around the arena… especially when PAC joined him on the “wrong” side of the railings. However, the Russian legsweep failed, as Bailey kicked PAC down, before he stomped the hands to the point that PAC spilled to the floor… only for Bailey to moonsault onto him. A hell of a camera angle there lads! We get an ultra-rare replay of that, as the pair made their way back to the ring, where Bailey went straight back in… only to get caught up top with a superplex that popped the boards up from under the canvas. PAC’s back to his feet, springboarding into the ring… and into a kick from Bailey as the match descended into another striking battle. Bailey’s kicks ring around the stadium once more as PAC’s sent into the corner… but PAC avoids a bicycle knee, and returns with a slingshot cutter. A snap German suplex too, then a deadlift German, bridging neatly for another near-fall on Speedball.
Bailey tries to fight back, tripping the legs of PAC before landing the delayed buzzsaw kick before the moonsault knee drop got us even closer… but once again, PAC catches Bailey up top. This time, Bailey headbutted PAC into a Tree of Woe… only to take too long following up as PAC crotched him on the turnbuckles. From there, PAC heads back up and pulls Bailey into a tombstone off the middle rope, quickly following in with the Black Arrow as that pair of Death Blows proved to be enough. You’ll probably remember the balcony dive the most, but this was a cracker of a main event as European crowds are slowly starting to get used to PAC’s way of doing things – and are reacting accordingly. ****¼
While the hyped women’s title match didn’t deliver, the remainder of OTT’s debut in Cork certainly did – with PAC and More Than Hype knocking it out of the proverbial park. As a debut in a new city, this was a resounding success for OTT. Citing a crowd of 1,000 on commentary (I’m not too sure on that, but I’ll take their word for it), this blew away any concerns I’d heard in the build up over whether the “Dublin wrestling” would be shunned in a new city.
While no return date was announced, you’d have to think that there will be a second show on the cards – and with the ongoing venue crisis in Dublin showing no let up, perhaps Cork could prove to be much more than a “B-city” for OTT into 2020 and beyond?