OTT went to Dublin’s National Stadium for their biggest show of the year – and perhaps their biggest ever – as the Elite came to town.

So, one week later, the full replay was up on FloSlam, which meant that we got to see their opening video… featuring a highlight video set to Creed’s “My Sacrifice”. It’s too easy to make the attack that “someone else just did it”… For some reason they left in the pre-show stuff of the commentary team warming up the crowd before the live feed began. Fair do’s!

There’s an insane 2,200 people inside the National Stadium (which isn’t actually a stadium, but let’s not dwell!). Aonghus McAnally and Don Marnell are on commentary as usual, the latter of whom channels Joel Gertner for his promo. Sadly, there were feed issues that blighted the first hour of the show, which probably were foreshadowed as the opening segment was pixellated to hell. Of course, if you’re reading this bit, we’ve filled in the blanks, so here’s the three matches we missed!

Charlie Sterling vs. Grado
This was where the feed issues really bit during the live stream, as those watching were treated to a loop of Charlie’s rear end. Yep.

Grado did his usual shtick, which cued up a look of disgust from Charlie Sterling. As it should. Grado dropped an F-bomb, then begged people not to grass him up, since I guess you can’t swear on those ITV deals. Bugger. When they got going, there was the usual comedy, with Grado playing a matador to Sterling’s bull, and plenty of these guys getting a lot of reaction out of very basic stuff.

A crossbody gets Grado a near-fall, before he signalled for an R-Grado that was countered with a slam from Sterling. That standing moonsault misses, because of course it does, and then we get the spot that broke the internet as Grado pulled down Sterling’s trunks to block a sunset flip. Charlie can’t figure out how to pull them up, so he staggers around with his arse out as he takes some Dusty punches, then a kick up the arse for a near-fall.

Yep, that was what looped when the stream died.

Sterling shoves off an R-Grado, but misses a bare arse legdrop off the middle rope. A Bubba Bomb follows from Grado, before he decides to take off his singlet and start wrestling… which sees him take a superkick for a near-fall. After Sterling slipped on the top rope, he takes a press slam down, before the R-Grado gets the Scotsman the win. Mark tape, I kinda enjoyed this Grado match, as the cliched parts of his act were kept to a minimum. A fine opener, even if we saw way too much of Charlie Sterling… **¾

Scotty Davis vs. Jigsaw
Davis is one of the homegrown guys that OTT’s starting to add to their cards – and apparently had a good debut in a no-contest on the Road to ScrapperMania III show at the Tivoli in March.

They start out fairly slowly, with Jigsaw and Davis working over wristlocks, before they turned up the tempo with Jigsaw being sent to the outside with a satellite headscissors that scrambled him up “like a Rubik’s cube”. I see what you did there Marnell… Impactful pun! Davis fakes out a dive, but Jigsaw returned to give him a flapjack as the veteran took over with kicks and chops.

Jigsaw’s stretches saw him bend Davis on himself with a Gory stretch, before a nasty pendulum backbreaker gets the masked man a near-fall. Davis comes back with a sunset flip after standing on Jigsaw’s jack, then takes down Jigsaw with a series of kicks. A running shooting star press gets Davis another near-fall, but Jigsaw quickly turned things back his way with a Torture rack into a Blue Thunder Bomb.

Davis used his amateur background to wrench away with a crossface on Jigsaw, before grabbing a guillotine choke, but Jigsaw escaped it and turned it into a brainbuster that planted the rookie, before a double stomp off the top got the veteran the win. A fun match that gave us glimpses of Davis, whilst being utterly believable given his lack of experience in OTT. **¾

Paul Tracey vs. Jurn Simmons
Tracey came out in something that was meant to resemble a chain-mail, medieval attire… to be frank, he just looked bloody ridiculous. We’re told that Jordan Devlin asked for a match, but didn’t get it, so he’s “in a villa in Spain”. Presumably on that WWE UK money! Tracey’s open challenge was answered by wXw’s Jurn Simmons, who looked to get a good reaction, even if it didn’t come across audibly. The good thing is that since this wasn’t wXw, we got the full Jurn entrance experience! When they did get going, Tracey and Simmons launched into each other with forearms, before trading chops and clotheslines.

Simmons bulled Tracey to the outside, then followed him around ringside for some crowd brawling, featuring Tracey taking a Snake Eyes on the apron. It’s more of the same when they returned to the ring, as an elbow drop led to a near-fall from Jurn, but just like that, Tracey comes back with a missile dropkick from the middle turnbuckle. Tracey’s shaven head, mixed with his facial expression, gets him chants of “giant baby” from the Dublin crowd… but his offence quickly wore down as both men just threw themselves around the ring.

Clonking clotheslines follow, ending with a Rainmaker-esque lariat from Tracey for a near-fall, before a sit-out gutwrench powerbomb almost got Jurn the win. Tracey backdrops out of a powerbomb, but gets caught with a dropkick as a piledriver earned him the win. This was fine, but this combination didn’t seem to click in places. ***

Logan Bryce & Justin Shape vs. Gymnasties (Sammy D & B Cool)
The live feed returned for this match…. The Gymnasties had weightlifting belts with their names on them, and they start by clotheslining Bryce and Shape to the floor!

Sammy D takes a backbreaker from Shape, as he and Bryce double-team Sammy with a pair of forearms then a neckbreaker. B Cool comes in and immediately counters a tiltawhirl backbreaker with some right hands and Exploder suplexes into the corner. The Gymnasties land a step-up leg lariat to Bryce… but he catches it and flattens Sammy with a back senton, before B Cool hits that step-up leg lariat on the second attempt, this time sailing to the floor and into his foes.

William J. Humperdink – OTT’s answer to Donald Trump – gets on the apron for a distraction as we end up seeing Justin Shape teasing a superplex to the floor. B Cool gets down and tries for something off the top… that doesn’t work, but a brainbuster does for a near-fall after some iffy camera cuts. Logan Bryce hits a Hercules cutter over the knee for another two-count, before a uranage backbreaker sees the Irish Roderick Strong collect another two-count.

B Cool calls for a Brainbuster, but Justin Shape’s Fly Swatter counter gets superkicked as the move’s turned into a Destroyer. The Gymnasties put on their belts so they can land the Squat Rack (double-team elevated DDT) to Bryce… they hit a big splash/legdrop off the top rope, but Humperdink pulls the referee out, because of course he did. That just earns Justin Shape a whipping, which Humperdink doesn’t see to let the referee turn around before Justy takes a Squat Rack for another near-fall.

Sammy D clotheslines Logan Bryce and himself to the floor as B Cool calls for the brainbuster in his former mentor… but Shape countered it into a Fly Swatter for another near-fall! Shape looks to hit a brainbuster, but of course it’s countered… but Humperdink grabs the leg and we have a Warrior/Rude finish as he holds down B Cool’s leg for the pin. A little wonky finish, but the first match we saw live was pretty solid. ***¼

Don Marnell and Aonghus McAnally are broadcasting from inside a broom cupboard it seems… before the next match though, we’ve got a “live” video of Angel Cruz, but we don’t see it at first. Eventually we cut to the full screen video, and Cruz throws down an open challenge for later on.

Team Katie (Katie Harvey, Jinny & Bea Priestley) vs. Team Martina (Martina, Nixon Newell & Alex Windsor)
Harvey’s team came out separately, whilst Martina’s team came out raving together in their pyjamas… the ring gets showered in glow sticks, which makes for a cool visual when the lights were turned down.

Martina takes her onesie off which gives the heels a chance to attack them from behind – Jinny, as you’d expect from a fashionista, beat her with her own onesie. Triple headbutts get us going, before the good guys get thrown into the turnbuckles rather violently. Things settle down with Jinny landing a knee in the corner before a boot to the face gets an early near-fall.

A stalling vertical suplex sees Martina channel the British Bulldog to take down Jinny, who replies with a big boot and a leg sweep to send Martina onto her knee. Nixon Newell and Katie Harvey square off for a spell, with Harvey catching Newell in a brutal looking pendulum swing, only for Nixon to come back with a forearm out of the corner! She avoids a big boot from Harvey in the corner and replies with a big crossbody off the top rope as we get a brief shot of the commentary cupboard.

Alex Windsor and Bea Priestley have their go next, and it’s Windsor who gets turfed to the outside. Windsor eventually comes back, but takes too long playing to the crowd as Priestley leaps up for a superplex, before we go back to Katie and Martina, the latter of whom lands a Codebreaker. They exchange running forearms in the corner, before a blind tag from Priestley goes wrong for her, and all three of the bad gals end up on the floor…

and then the crowd “woah” as Martina prepares for a big dive: a beautiful tope through the ropes! Windsor adds to that with a high angle cannonball off the apron, then Nixon finishes it with a 450 Splash!

Back inside, Katie and Martina windmill punches on each other, but Martina scoots around the ring into a Widow’s Peak. Martina counters with a Shining Wizard, before Jinny spikes Newell’s head with the Makeover (an X-Factor off the middle turnbuckle). The parade ends with a Codebreaker to Bea off the middle rope, and that’s all! Team Martina and her Session Friends win! Perhaps not everything went as planned, but this was a balls to the wall performance from all six women, and you cannot ask for anything more than that. ***½

After the match, Martina cuts the music and grabs the microphone for a final farewell for Nixon Newell. It’s that time of year again – one last rave – and so whatever glowsticks hadn’t been thrown yet… weren’t thrown as Alex Windsor turns on Newell and Martina! Now those glowsticks fly!

More VT follows, but we don’t see it on the full screen. It’s Paddy M and Workie from the Flats inside a boxing ring inside the National Stadium. Credit for trying to make it “earlier today”… they’re building up to the six-man tag for the OTT tag team titles. It’s not the first time they’ve done that stipulation, but yes, it’s odd.

Of course, the Lads from the Flats need a third man… who is it? We’ll find out after their DJ introduces them… it’s Martin! Back after a (kayfabe) prison sentence. At least, I hope it was kayfabe… The Kings get their own WrestleMania-esque entrance, with a series of marchers and a drum band playing Prodigy’s “This Day Is My Enemy”.

OTT Tag Team Championship: The Lads From The Flats (Workie, Martin & Paddy M) vs. Kings of the North (Bonesaw, Corvin & Dunkan Disorderly) (c)
No idea which pair of Lads will be champions if they win, by the way…

We start with Workie getting bulled down with some shoulder tackles, but he trips Corvin and lands some right hands… before a big boot takes him down hard. Paddy M has some more joy, landing a knee to Bonesaw’s nether regions, before a clothesline flipped Paddy inside out. That leads to Martin’s return, featuring a sunset flip and a dropkick – all without his baseball cap budging! Now THAT’S impressive.

Workie holds up Dunkan for a triple-team big boot Hart Attack, before a hattrick of dives take the champions down on the floor. Paddy launches in some mounted punches, before a bad landing seems to tweak his knee… and of course, Bonesaw just dropkicks the bad wheel as Paddy’s left knee now becomes the focus of the champions. Bonesaw ties up Paddy with a leg lock, before Corvin DDT’s the same leg for a near-fall.

Finally Paddy manages to get free and eventually makes the hot tag to Martin, whose hat IS STILL ON. Ah, now that missile dropkick shifts it. Right hands from Workie follow as Bonesaw’s worked on as things get a little scrappy with flying kicks back and forth, until Corvin hits the White Star Line to take off Martin’s head and hat. Somehow, Paddy’s on the top rope, but his crossbody is caught and turned into an F5! Workie takes Corvin Sky High as another parade of moves follow, ending with a TKO from Paddy M as all six men are left laying.

They go back and forth with shots against the ropes next, ending with a pair of Cactus Clotheslines to the outside as Dunkan Disorderly looks to superplex Workie… but instead he takes a Del Rio double stomp before the other two Lads hit Coast to Coast dropkicks for a near-fall. From there, the Kings target Paddy M, leading to a frog splash from Disorderly for another near-fall that really popped the crowd.

Looking for the finish, they repeat the spot, but it goes awry as they all head up outside before a reverse DDT/moonsault combo from Workie and Martin, before a Paddy M senton flattens Dunkan. He rolls outside, so Workie and Paddy do the reverse DDT/moonsault, and now Martin does the senton bomb… but that’s still only enough for a two-count!

The Kings quickly recover as Martin’s killed with a spinebuster, a double-team wheelbarrow DDT, a wheelbarrow Codebreaker and finally a Blue Thunder Bomb as the Kings retained. This was all sorts of crazy, and in the end a bloody good match-up – perhaps a little spotty in parts, but when this cynic is enthralled, it’s gotta be good! ****

The Lads rave after the match, although after the earlier heel turn, it’s perhaps forgivable that some are feeling a little nervy before the music kicks in.

Up next is “former OTT owner” Gerry Humperdink. If he’s no longer the owner and his evil son is, why is he out? I must have missed a storyline here, because the last I heard he was 50% owner? Anyway he’s got an announcement; initially thanking the fans before unveiling one last surprise: they’re back at the National Stadium on August 5, with a special GM for the night… MICK FOLEY! Mark tape, there’ll be no shenanigans, so sayeth the Mickster, for the show called WrestleRama. Also with Joey Ryan, Candice LaRae, Jeff Cobb, Lio Rush and Matt Sydal.

Jay White vs. Marty Scurll
Early shenanigans from Scurll see him trying to psyche-out White, who returns the favour with an unpopular chicken pose, before tope’ing himself and landing perfectly in a seat on the front row.

Back inside, Scurll chops away on the Kiwi, who replies with a Muta lock! Marty escapes and replies by taking White to the outside, but he blocks an apron superkick and tries for a German on the apron, only to be elbowed down for that eventual superkick. White takes a piledriver onto a fan’s chair, and it’s all one-way from there as a Jim Breaks special takes down the Kiwi as Scurll methodically works over his left arm and shoulder.

White comes back with a forearm after a leapfrog, then a suplex into the corner as Marty heads out… but returns to the ring for a Flatliner and a German suplex as White finishes with a Rock Bottom for a two-count! Scurll nearly steals it with a small package from a suplex position, before a piledriver (cut with a shot of Aonghus McAnally once again for some reason) gets another two-count.

Scurll pounds away on White in the corner with boots and forearms, which lead to windmilling punches and a “Just Kidding” superkick! A brainbuster follows, as does a superplex… but White cradles him on impact and nearly wins it. Annoyed, some kicks follow from Scurll, whose Chicken Wing attempt is countered into a Flatliner as White again comes close before he sits down on a La Magistral for another two-count.

A snap Regalplex gets Jay closer to a win, as does a crossface which becomes a grounded Cobra clutch. Scurll suckers White into giving him space, which leads to the finger snap, but Jay repairs the damage and flips off Marty… who shoves the referee aside to snap it again. White kicks out after a low blow and a piledriver, but from the kick out Marty goes to the chicken wing, and it’s academic from there as the arm-drop gimmick sees White lose by ref stoppage. Once this got going, this was really good – and that should surprise nobody! ***¾

Before the main event, Zack Gibson interrupts for some reason… with an entrance photo that’s easily 2-3 years old. He gets a random flash of flame pyro as he launches into his usual promo, complete with a softball “all over the werld” line to get the crowd to rip into him. Gibson calls the OTT crowd a “parody” of the English crowds. The lights go down, which lead to a fake “we’ve lost power” line… which doesn’t work on a show that’s already been beset by tech issues. They finally turn off the video screen, and then play some music as a choir gathers in the entranceway.

Oh my God, it’s the Angel Cruz open challenge! But Angel flips out at the choir for their singing and mic feedback, and yes, we have our impromptu semi-main event.

Zack Gibson vs. Angel Cruz
Cruz gets whacked with a forearm by Gibson as he tried to tell Gibson who he was… Team PRICK – Cruz’s security detail – stop Zack from a dive… and Cruz returns to score a two-count with a roll-up.

Cue some cat and mouse around ringside, again with Gibson blocked by the security kids, before he takes a pratfall on the outside. Back inside, Gibson gives Cruz a Codebreaker out of the middle turnbuckle, and it’s all Zack as he beats the reality star with forearms to the head. Cruz hits back with a ‘cutter, then a poke to the eye as he goes all Undertaker with a rope walk.

With the help of Team PRICK.

Cruz nearly slips, but manages to hit a diving knee for a near-fall before Gibson clotheslines Angel and wipes out his security. One Helter Skelter later, and Cruz is left helpless for the Shankly Gates as he gives up. Solid for what this was, and hopefully this is the start of something, and not a one-and-done for Gibson. **¾

There’s an advert for ROH for some reason. Of course, that’s met with OTT chants…

Uptown Funkers (Will Ospreay & Ryan Smile) & Lio Rush vs. The Elite (Kenny Omega & Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson))
The Funkers have matching ring jackets… and march Lio Rush (sadly, not Lee O’Rush here) away to change so the three can have their dancers. And their conga line.

The Elite had their expected reaction, and my God, the National Stadium is full of Bullet Club (and similar) shirts. Someone in the front row even had a Superkick Counter flip chart, which I hope he’s gotten signed…

So we finally get going with Matt Jackson grabbing a wristlock on Lio Rush, and pleading that he doesn’t tap. Cute. A step-up ‘rana and an enziguiri from Rush forces Matt to tag out, so we get Ospreay and Nick Jackson, and this is where I tap. Way too much stuff happening too fast for anyone to call, including a long series of intentionally missed moves, and I’m getting flashbacks to Thursday’s Rev Pro main event, with Shane Strickland being played by Will Ospreay.

The Elite head to the back as Ospreay, Smile and Rush crotch chop in their absence, but of course they return as we go to Smile and Omega. Ryan pulls off see-saw kip ups to escape a wristlock, a la Ospreay, before a leg lariat takes down Omega, and it all goes a bit spotty again en route to a Kotaro Krusher.

The Young Bucks rana and dropkick Ospreay and Rush to the outside, and now we get the Terminator topes! Back inside, Smile’s caught in a Sharpshooter from Matt Jackson, and now we get a promo as Nick Jackson’s filming it all on a phone to shoot a segment for their YouTube promo. Omega does some commentary over the house mic too, but Smile powers out of it and tags in Omega to keep up the commentary gimmick.

Who needs Aonghus and Don?

Omega talks his way into an enziguiri… which he ducks, before Smile makes the hot tag to Will Ospreay, who kicks away at him… WHILST OMEGA STILL HAS THE MICROPHONE. Will gets booed for kicking Omega, and grabs the microphone… and seemingly has overdosed on Red Bull. Two superkicks!

We get a running Blockbuster onto Nick Jackson’s knee from Matt for some near-falls, and now we’re onto the comedy portion. Again. Ospreay’s thrown into one boot, then two, before throwing Omega into four as they went to the well once too often. After that, the Bucks try – and fail – on a brainbuster attempt, before the Elite take brainbusters in triplicate.

A third superkick cuts off Ospreay’s Asai moonsault… he gets two more then a flip senton before Ryan Smile gets back in to blast Matt Jackson with uppercuts and enziguiris. Matt takes a missile dropkick, before Smile makes Omega DDT Nick, and after a miscommunication, Lio Rush gets mad and takes off his custom trunks. He’s joined the Elite… of course he hasn’t.

It’s a double-cross, and he quickly puts the starry trunks back on as they beat out the melody to Uptown Funk for a trio of dives. More superkicks follow from the Elite, but Ospreay hits a Stundog Millionaire on Omega, before Lio Rush slides in for the Rush Hour moonsault. Ryan Smile hits the across-the-corner tope con hilo, and yeah, we’re nowhere near the end as top rope moves lead to a dog pile pin that a senton bomb quickly breaks. Shenanigans, superkicks and synchronisation follow, before Omega dishes out a hattrick of snap Dragon suplexes on the Funkers.

Ospreay flips out of another Dragon suplex and comes back with a corkscrew kick, before handspringing into a triple superkick. More of those follow, before apron PKs take out Rush and Smile. The V-Trigger rocks Ospreay, but he counters a One Winged Angel into a reverse ‘rana, then sees an OsCutter turned into a pop-up Meltzer Driver as the One Winged Angel finally does the job. At the final bell… the counter read 26 superkicks, for those who counted. Then 28, as Omega and the referee got taken out… ***¾

This is firmly one of those matches that, if you love the Elite, you’ll have fallen in love with. If you hate them, then you probably turned off early on, and if you were on the fence, they probably sailed past the point where they went too long for your liking. A lot of this match mirrored what I saw for Rev Pro on Thursday, but they threw in enough different stuff to make it worthwhile… but for that “Your Milage May Vary” tag, they sailed way past the point where I’d seen enough. Fun, but if you’d seen any of their other matches this weekend, this’ll be wearing thin.

What we saw live was amazing – it’s just a shame that the common spectre of iPPV reared its head and turned off a lot of live fans. Those who stuck around saw a grand card, and some stellar wrestling to boot. OTT may not be “your graps”, but they delivered on the big stage. With the opening three matches now viewed, this was indeed a good top-to-bottom show, with stuff building to a crescendo in the right places. Yes, you can wave a red flag over the use of random imports in random matches, but that seems to be an OTT trademark nowadays, and at least they are finally starting to add some newer homegrown talent to the card. Next up for OTT is May’s “Marble Zone”, featuring Ryan Smile, Matt Riddle, Donovan Dijak, Marty Scurll & Kyle O’Reilly in another loaded line-up.