Coming off of a Scrappermania that went down well – unless you were watching live on FloSlam – OTT returned home to the Tivoli for another loaded card with a rather different main event.
We’re watching this via OTT’s new on-demand gimmick, and given how exchange rates are panning out, $8 a month for the back catalogue is probably going to work out cheaper than the €10 to own on Vimeo. We open up with “live” footage of Sammy D and B Cool, the latter of which has a plan to snap the Gymnasties’ losing run. Unfortunately, Sammy feels that they should go their separate ways, which breaks Cool’s heart, especially as he had a Gymnasties 2.0 shirt made. Aww…
I’m not sure why that was marked as “live” because we go the arena next for Don Marnell and Aonghus McAnally’s opening spiel. These are largely interchangable to be fair, with this particular segment seeing Don channel Joel Gertner as he shoehorned in some fairly lewd video game jokes. ATTACK! this ain’t!
Adam Maxted vs. Sammy D
Maxted has some rather chilled music these days, along with a cape. Ooh, is this the Northern Irish Masterpiece? He’s still accompanied by the Body Bros, this time renamed as Brian Abs and CT Flexor as they’re still trying to find their grooves.
Sammy D hits the ring and snuck up behind the Body Bros as they posed, laying out Brian and CT with superkicks before finally taking out Maxted too. He goes flying with a tope that sent the Body Bros into the wall, before laying out CT and Brian on the outside. Back inside, Maxted gets some Dusty punches into some leaping knees, before his next superkick is caught and met with a spinebuster as “Flex” took over.
A picture perfect dropkick knocks down Sammy as the Tivoli broke into chants of “steroids”, but Maxted barely acknowledged those as he just kept up on Sammy with an elbow drop for a near-fall. Sammy headbutts his way back into it, then connects with a swandive headbutt for another two-count, only for Maxted to rebound out of a whip into the corner with a Slingblade. Regardless, Sammy was able to get back in with some running forearms and dropkicks in the corner, before a springboard something or other happened. Yeah, I don’t know what they were trying.
Maxted apparently avoided it and came back with a suplex, before a springboard moonsault off the middle turnbuckles got him a two-count. Sammy countered another springboard with a superkick, and that’s the cue for the Body Bros to hit the ring for the cheap DQ. CT and Brian beat him up afterwards, before CT escaped a suplex and threw in a superkick… and yeah, this was so-so. Two inexperienced guys having a match that wasn’t a trainwreck, but decent opening match fodder. **
Apparently Sammy D’s ring music is Tom Jones’ “It’s Not Unusual”, which he dances to. Because of course he does!
Justin Shape & Logan Bryce vs. Scotty Davis & Connor Andrews
Shape and Bryce were accompanied by William J Humperdink (the J, because Trump) and a new valet called Valerie (apparently Humperdink’s half-sister. Insert jokes here). They’re now apparently rich so they’re able to afford Cuban cigars…
Davis and Andrews debuted against each other on a Road to Scrappermania card at the Tivoli earlier in the year (one which commentary tries to label as a match of the year… stay credible, lads!), and now they’re teaming up against the guys who gatecrashed said match… but first Humperdink has something to say. He offers to pay the rookies to walk away, but they flip him off. Perhaps they could use that money to pay the fan in the crowd who manages to mis-spell Connor on their sign?
Davis opens with some Judo throws to Shape, who badly needs a new ring name now he’s a million miles away from the Gymnasties. Connor Andrews has slightly less luck, going through wristlocks and hammerlocks, but he too keeps Shape under wraps, eventually decking him with a right hand as Shape’s forced to tag out to Logan Bryce… who’s still in his ring jacket.
Bryce levels Andrews with a right hand before throwing him into the corner in a cannonball style, but Scotty Davis comes in and easily takes down Bryce with some amateur style stuff. Shape returns and just charges himself out of the ring, where Davis hits a body press onto him. Something happens where Davis is whipped into a security guard on the floor, before using him for a moonsault onto Shape as Andrews goes all flippy with a corkscrew 450 onto Bryce and Shape!
When everyone made it back to the ring, Andrews was taking a beating, with pendulum backbreakers from Shape then Bryce almost ending his night early, before the bad guys hooked away on Andrews’ mouth like two fishermen were going for the same fish. Davis gets the tag in and leaps onto the back of Shape for a clothesline that’s turned into a spear (nice save!).
Andrews hits a spinning backfist to Bryce, before trying for a back cracker… that’s countered and met with a German suplex that he flipped out of. Ditto a Dragon suplex, but Bryce catches a crossbody that gets turned into a backcracker by Bryce, then released into a swinging backbreaker that would have won it… except Humperdink tries the Rick Rude/Ultimate Warrior finish, and the referee holds up the count after seeing it!
With the ref distracted, Davis hits a standing shooting star press to Shape for a one-count, but Bryce just kills him with a half nelson backbreaker for another near-fall. Andrews runs in with a Bomaye knee, then a moonsault to Shape for yet another near-fall before Andrews pulled off a sweet roll-through into an armbar. Shape broke that up then went for a twisting sheer-drop brainbuster, only for Andrews to come straight back with a tiltawhirl into a flatliner, then a Koji clutch.
Again, Bryce breaks the hold, and had to thank Andrews for slipping on a dive as the bad guys took over again, this time with Davis taking a torture rack swung into a backbreaker by Bryce, before Andrews is flung onto Bryce’s knees for the pin. Well, they tried a lot, and a fair amount of it came off, but Andrews and Davis were doing a LOT of running before they could walk, which meant that this match felt overly long as they tried to shoehorn everything in. OTT’s got something in Bryce being an Irish Roderick Strong – whether that parlays into anything remains to be seen. **¾
After the match, Shape and Bryce returned to the ring to beat down on Davis, with Shape wildly kicking away at the youngster before grabbing a spanner… only for the lights to go out and the ring empty. When the lights returned, some orchestral music played as Shape had a “come to Jesus” moment… and it’s “Pastor” William Eaver on the big screen! “Pastor” told Justin to behave himself, and Shape freaks out, leading to a match being booked for June’s “Outer Space Odyssey III” show. Yeah, we’re behind with OTT…
We go backstage to some “live” footage of Angel Cruz and his security guards. He’s annoyed that he’s not booked in a match, and demands that the security guards speak to Gerry Humperdink to get it sorted. When they tell him Gerry’s gone, Cruz think he’s died (okay, that was funny in a dark way), before Cruz just walks out and goes home. Cue boos!
Alex Windsor vs. Martina
I’m sure I’ve said it before, but those OTT “entrance videos” are delightfully low-fi. At least they (usually) use up-to-date photos in them… meaning Alex Windsor resembles herself and not her 2015 self here.
This came after Windsor turned on Martina at Scrappermania III, and Windsor was less than thrilled at Martina blowing herself up during her entrance. Nor the chants of “stupid haircut”, which came from a comment during the preceding promo package.
Windsor slapped Martina at the start, but Martina hit straight back with a Seshbreaker (Codebreaker) to send Alex scurrying to the floor… dive! Nope, Windsor forearms her away instead, then dumped her with a back suplex on the apron. Still, Martina’s able to hit back with a tope, then a flying clothesline back in the ring only for Windsor to come in with a backbreaker as the pace kept switching.
Martina gets back in it with a Tarantula hold, before laying into Windsor with some forearms… only to run into a Blue Thunder Bomb as Alex nearly snatched the win. A superplex from Martina swung things the other way, only for Windsor to counter a German suplex with one of her own. After a headbutt, Martina hits a Seshbreaker off the top rope, and that’s plenty enough to get the win. Enjoyable enough as a match, and although I thought it was a little on the short side, it’s fine if the goal was to keep building up Martina for another shot at the (forgotten?) OTT women’s title. **¾
After that, a Looney Tunes-style promo for OTT’s WrestleRama show aired, announcing Ricochet for the bill. I swear another company’s used that music… then we get ring announcer Butch announcing “Liverpool’s Number One” to the ring. Nope, not Simon Mignolet, it’s Zack Gibson, silly…
Gibson debuted at ScrapperMania, and after burying the Irish crowd, he’s issued an open challenge here. Yep, the usual promo gets a heated reaction in the Tivoli, and chants of “delete” for some reason. So, after Gibson took aim at OTT for not having any Irish wrestlers, which member of the OTT roster answered the challenge? The debuting James Havoc…
Zack Gibson vs. Jimmy Havoc
Havoc instantly went after Gibson with chops and forearms in the corner, before turning into lucha Havoc with a ‘rana off the middle rope!
The pressure kept up with a crossbody before Gibson landed a knee to the midsection, only for Havoc to send him to the outside for… dive! Of course, they head up to the bar as the mobile camera gives us the same view as those fans who chanted “can’t see shit”. By the sounds of things, Havoc hit Gibson with something, before they emerge in the crowd, dangerously close to knocking several cans off a wall.
When they got back to the ring, Gibson accidentally chopped the ring post which allowed Havoc to keep control, knocking him into the front row for a pump kick before taking a swig of a fan’s drink. Finally in the ring, a double stomp earned Havoc a two-count, but Gibson started to work over Havoc’s arm, countering a lucha Havoc armdrag and turning it into a hammerlock. Havoc bites his way out of a Shankly Gates attempt, but a forearm quickly puts an end to that as the pair just trade shots back and forth. Gibson kicks away from an Acid Rainmaker, before falling to a wheelbarrow stunner, and we’re back to the crowd stuff again. Another Acid Rainmaker’s caught and almost turned into a Helter Skelter, before Gibson just gives him a Ticket to Ride…
Havoc instantly hit back though and catches Gibson on the top rope with an enziguiri. For some reason Paul Tracey comes out, distracting the ref allowing Gibson to hit a low blow, a Ticket to Ride, then a Helter Skelter as the Scouser won. Another decent outing, but this probably played better to the live crowd with all of the brawling and suchlike. I’d be curious as to what’s going on with Paul Tracey here, but I’m fearing it’s going to lead to an attempt to bolster the Social Elite, which seems to have died a death since William J. Humperdink became a thing. ***¼
Matt Riddle vs. Kyle O’Reilly
As you’d expect, these two tried for takedowns from the off, with Riddle opting to try for a cross armbreaker that forced O’Reilly to stand up and head into the ropes for safety.
The Spandau Ballet song returned for Riddle, before it stopped as the pair exchanged knee-bars in the middle of the ring – forcing a rapid rope break for Riddle. A guillotine from Riddle’s broken when Kyle carries him onto the apron to force another break… then score with a Dragon screw to the arm as the pair worked a staccato, hit-and-run style opening.
Which then changed as O’Reillys’ attempts to throw strikes ended with a gutwrench suplex out of nowhere. Riddle’s attempt to flip out of a double underhood didn’t quite work, but his kicks sure did… to some degree, as he eventually scored with an Exploder! O’Reilly hits back with an Arm-ageddon armbar, but it was too close to the ropes as Kyle is forced to break it up and just stomp away on Riddle some more, focusing on the arm ahead of another crack at the Arm-ageddon. Kneedrops to the left arm weaken it further, whilst O’Reilly swiftly ends some offence with a legsweep to take Riddle down yet again.
From there, Kyle chained together an arm breaker, a back suplex then a knee bar… but Riddle somehow countered into a knee bar of his own as they cinched in back and forth… at least until Riddle uses his free heel to batter his way to safety! Those shots rile up Riddle, as do some kicks to the chest, which he withstands before knocking Kyle down with a swift head kick.
A back senton earns a near-fall from there, before Riddle dived into Kyle with a knee to the ribs, then some kicks before O’Reilly countered a tombstone slam by slipping into a guillotine. Somehow Riddle stands up and turned it into a fisherman buster for a two-count, before another tombstone attempt was turned into a sleeper as O’Reilly unloaded some more, dropping Riddle onto the apron with a vicious knee.
Kyle tried to chain together the armbreaker and the back suplex again, but Riddle escaped and tried a Bro To Sleep… only to get a German suplex which sparked a series of zombie no-sells! An upkick follows after Kyle tried to block a kick, before the pair connected with boots to leave each other laying once more. More flurries of strikes left Riddle down for a one and two-count, before O’Reilly countered another Fisherman buster with a front facelock… Riddle counters another brainbuster attempt by kneeing his way free, then grappled Kyle to the mat for a Bromission, which left the Canadian with no choice but to tap. Absolutely superb grappling – an absolute clinic of technical wrestling and vicious striking between two of the best of that genre in the world today. ****½
We return from interval to the crowd being whipped up into what felt like a rather half-hearted OTT chant. It’d been a long day!
Donovan Dijak vs. Marty Scurll
These two have only met once before – in what was Dijak’s final match for ROH earlier this year.
So… Marty tried a bit of misdirection to start us off, throwing his umbrella at Dijak. Who caught it and flattened Scurll with a big boot. As you were… From there, they started with a back-and-forth sprint, with Scurll cutting off Dijak, only for his offence to get stopped as Dijak’s strength kept everything in flux.
An apron superkick rocked Dijak early as the pair wandered around ringside as Scurll threw in some back rakes for the easiest crowd alive. Scurll took his time clearing a path in the crowd, which led to Dijak hitting a moonsault off a wall into… nothingness really. It’s impressive for a big guy, but the camera angle they showed exposed it all.
When they made it back to the ring, Scurll started to wear down Dijak by… headbutting a wristlock? Fair enough. A more orthodox kick to the arm followed as he torqued away on that left arm before some chops woke up the demon that was the Tall Don. Which earned him a wild superkick to the mush. A ducked clothesline lead to Dijak just tossing Scurll from a side slam position, before he teased the Feast Your Eyes, which Scurll escaped by raking those eyes. Dijak runs into a “Just Kidding” superkick as Scurll chopped down the big guy, who then replied with a “Just Kidding” discus big boot. Not quite like-for-like, but it works! Unlike Marty’s attempt at a chokeslam, but the reversals ends up into a finger snap, before Scurll threw in a brainbuster and a snap piledriver for a near-fall!
Dijak thought he could chokeslam out of a chicken wing, but he gets rolled up for a near-fall before planting Marty with the Feast Your Eyes for another two-count… so Donny goes to the top rope and misses with a Spiral Tap, allowing Marty easy access for a chicken wing that forced the submission. A frenetic match that would easily be match of the night anywhere else… God, I love these sprints that hardly let up! ****
After the match, Marty took the microphone and addressed his forthcoming Best of Super Junior campaign. We know how that went, so we’ll avoid recapping promises, but the other thing Marty threw in was a challenge to Ryan Smile for the NLW championship at August’s WrestleRama show. Big show gets big match!
Sha Samuels vs. B. Cool
Sha Samuels’ “Parklife” rip-off song is amazing! Meanwhile, B. Cool is refusing to give up anything relating to the Gymnasties – the music, the outfit, the mannerisms, hell, he’s even addressed as “The Last of the Gymnasties”, which makes me think that he’s either going to be beaten into submission and saved, or actually get some success since OTT don’t do burials.
Sha’s not impressed with the squats, and he just swipes B. Cool, who unloads with forearms before trying a brainbuster. Yeah, Sha escaped, but runs into a tope that sees him spill into the crowd. Cool gets crotched on the top rope, which is where Sha took over, choking him with a scarf as the crowd drunkenly sang the Eastenders theme.
Once they’d done, Cool slapped and chopped Sha, only to get planted with a spinebuster as Sha looked to make light work of the final Gymnasty. Cool barely beat the count-out after he’d been thrown out, but he mounted a comeback of sorts with a dropkick in the corner before trying for his brainbuster. Yeah, Sha escaped it, then hit what used to be the One Night Stand/Show Stolen for the win. They tried to paint this as a big win for Sha, but let’s be real – a dominant debut against a comedy act isn’t earth shattering! **¼
After the match, B. Cool ripped off the tape from his t-shirt that had covered Sammy D’s face, before taking the shirt off entirely. Symbolic?
Marble Zone Match: Kings of the North (Damien Corvin, Dunkan Disorderly & Bonesaw) vs. Ryan Smile & CCK (Travis Banks & Chris Brookes)
So the stipulations here: it’s War Games mixed with Money In The Bank… so if any of the Kings of the North won, they get a shot at the NLW title, whilst if CCK or Smile won, they’d get a shot at the tag titles.
First out was the Kings of the North – because all good War Games matches have the bad guys with an advantage! Damien Corvin was out first against Ryan Smile, at least for the first two minutes… Smile had painted himself up with “King of OTT” painted on his back, in a clear swipe at the Northern Irishman…
There’s a counter ticking down on the video screen, and it’s clear that Corvin’s trying to wind down the time until he gets a two-on-one advantage. Smile plays along, which perhaps isn’t wise… but Corvin runs into an Ace crusher then wanders into the path of an attempted dive as Smile joins him outside with a dropkick before missing a double stomp. A dropkick takes Corvin into the corner, but Smile’s playing too much as the crowd count down to the entry of… Dunkan Disorderly. Who’s met with a tope by Smile before he even hit the ring.
Annoyingly, they try and play off that Corvin and Disorderly are the tag champs as they double-team Smile with a superplex and a moonsault – but they don’t make the cover even though that could have ended the match stupidly early. Smile takes a trio of Germans as he’s straight-up murdered by the Kings, with Corvin planting him with a sit-out suplex. The clock ticks away though, and out comes number four: Travis Banks! Who isn’t in any hurry to make his way in, and I don’t blame him since that two minute clock started a little late!
Banks unloads on the Kings, tripping Dunkan into a cannonball on Corvin, before throwing one of his own in as well. The pace slows a little as we work up to a pair of dives, with Smile leaping off the wall onto Corvin, before Banks PK’s Dunkan from the apron… the clock ticks down as Smile crashed and burned into the wall, and out comes Bonesaw! We get Bonesaw against the Kiwi Buzzsaw as Banks is surrounded three-on-one… Travis does his best, but he’s quickly swarmed as the Kings show just why they’re so dominant. A double-team DDT and a double-team lungblower leave Banks down and out, whilst Smile’s attempt to make a save is quickly cut-off.
The King go for a triple powerbomb, but Smile returns again as the good guys superkick their way free, only for Bonesaw to shove Ryan into that damned wall again. Finally out comes the last man: Chris Brookes! Bonesaw eagerly waits for him to make his entrance, but he’s taking his time as he instantly goes to the wet willie! It’s all Chris Brookes here as he slingshotted into a Cutter before Corvin and Disorderly found themselves trapped in dualling submissions by CCK… with Ryan Smile throwing in a mounted sleeper on Bonesaw to complete the set! Bonesaw fights free and turns it into a TKO on the pile as he freed the Kings. CCK go back to a submission with an ankle lock x Gargano escape combo, but Dunkan broke it up as this really did turn into a cluster!
A dropkick from Brookes takes Bonesaw into that wall again as all six men brawl around the rather cramped ringside area, which made for some rather stop-start action. Banks and Smile target Bonesaw as Ryan has a run-up for a running knee that sent him over a wall into the crowd! Travis Banks disappears with a low-pe onto Corvin and Disorderly, whilst Bonesaw took one from Brookes… only for Corvin to come back in and deliver a Razor’s Edge to Brookes out to the floor.
Holy crap that was wild.
Back in the match, Smile blasts Corvin with a tiltawhirl DDT before throwing in his over-the-post tope con hilo. Ryan keeps up flying with a cheeky hip swivel en route to a ‘rana on Corvin… as he then flung Bonesaw into the corner ahead of a THREE WAY Coast-to-Coast dropkick! Disorderly breaks up that cover as the pendulum keeps shifting, with Smile’s Destroyer leading to a German suplex as Bonesaw caught a handspring… but Smile gets back up into an OsCutter straight afterwards! All six men end up trading blows from their knees, ending with the Kings landing a trio of pump kicks… only for the good guys to pull a triple Undertaker sit-up and headbutt back into it!
Triple tombstones! The hell?! That gets a trio of near-falls as everyone kicked out, before a kick sequence led to an F5 on Smile, before Brookes’ Magic Killer left Corvin down as the parade of moves continued. A Meteora from Smile leaves Disorderly down for a frog splash, but Dunkan moved away and ended up taking a Slice of Heaven from Banks… Corvin takes the elevated codebreaker/back senton combo, with Smile throwing in a moonsault too… and that’s enough for the win! CCK and Smile take home the victory, so now I guess the Kings have to take on CCK down the line.
As a match, it was a fairly well done War Games – I’d have preferred longer segments at the start since they didn’t really make use of the man advantages. Likewise, towards the end if fell victim to the usual curse of multi-man matches in the whole “parade of moves” routines. but it was a refreshing change and something different. ***¾
Matt Riddle hit the ring as soon as the match ended, and issued a challenge to Ryan Smile… who popped straight back up and got in the Bro’s face. Smile initially rejects the challenge, which turned the crowd on him, at least until he started putting Riddle over some more. That seemed to have Smile talk himself into accepting the challenge for the June show, as he managed to save himself from a full on turn just in time!
After Scrappermania III, it would have been so easy for OTT to put out a “comedown” show… but that’s not what their business is. Having two challengers named for Smile was a bit weird, especially as they started building Smile/Scurll for their big summer show, but there’s clearly plans there. Likewise for CCK vs. the Kings – I’d much prefer the “original” CCK and have Banks run here as a single, but those are small tweaks as opposed to the glaring holes we’ve picked on before. Yes, you can argue that they were again import heavy, however they are at least now looking to pay lip service to the future with the likes of Davis and Andrews. Whether they remain part of the picture long-term, or fizzle out remains to be seen – but with the advent of OTT’s Contenders shows, it shows that they are now addressing the issue that has long been a stick they’ve been beaten with.