An impromptu title match headlined OTT’s latest trip North, as Belfast had their share of the third anniversary celebrations…
We open with the same celebration video as the first night, before throwing to Belfast’s Mandela Hall. It’s their third time here, after previously running in a hotel function room, and I have to say this place looks more like a wrestling venue… There’s the same Aonghus McAnally and Don Marnell opener from the first night, which is making me wonder if he’s going to become a wrestler, or if there’s a point behind having an announcer as a character? His shtick actually draws some boos, and mercifully we’re into the action.
El Ligero vs. Curtis Murray
There was a good reaction for the hometown hero Murray, who was cornered by Ligero during a rather cagey start.
Ligero took the upper hand early, as you’d expect the veteran to do, but he’s almost shocked as Murray snatched a roll-up, before he slipped as he went to leap into the corner for some rope-walking. Nevertheless, Curtis gets his ‘rana off, before he’s caught by Ligero with a swinging rope-hung neckbreaker after some switcheroos. Back on top, Ligero sets up the local lad for a standing moonsault, crushing him for a near-fall, but Murray rebounds, sending Ligero outside with headscissors before landing a suicide dive into him and a convenient staffer. A diving clothesline back inside and a tiltawhirl DDT sees Murray get a near-fall as he almost beat Ligero with his own move.
Ligero sits down on a Destroyer as we get some back-and-forth indy’riffic pins, but it’s a Mexican Wave splash that nearly seals it for Ligs… but somehow Murray kicks out at two as Ligero continues to throw rights, before a superkick, a Destroyer and a springboard cutter got Murray the biggest win of his career. Decent enough, although there were some inopportune slip-ups… but Murray would do well to pick one finish and stick to it rather than have two or three together! **¾
Eddie Dennis vs. Logan Bryce
Ah, nothing says “Gentleman’s Club” like a plastic cup of whiskey…
Logan was out by himself, so he had to rely on his booze to get an upper hand as he sprayed a mouthful in Eddie’s face to get us going, before whipping him with a towel. Eddie quickly puts on the brakes and throws him to the outside with a suplex, and it’s dive time… except Eddie aborts and just follows him outside for a forearm or two instead. Bryce tries to return fire, but to no avail, before having more success with chops back in the ring a he took Eddie around the corners. A backbreaker out of the corner’s good for a two-count, as was a suplex and a back senton, but Eddie’s back to the forearms, catching the rugby lover on the top rope ahead of a superplex.
A diving clothesline from Eddie keeps him in it, as does the swinging side slam, but another backbreaker from Bryce turns things back around… until he mouths off to the crowd and gets caught in the ropes with a crucifix bomb. Bryce somehow has enough to get off a discus lariat in response, before he literally steals the win with a roll-up and a handful of tights. Well, with nobody to distract, Logan had to do something underhanded, and I’d rather this so they can build him up a little. Decent stuff, even if it was more an Eddie Dennis match featuring Logan Bryce than anything else. **¾
Angel Cruzers (Angel Cruz & B. Cool) vs. Colt Cabana & Martina
Angel Cruz did the Hulk Hogan entrance… except it was his security team who had to rip off his shirt. Hah! Meanwhile, Martina brought her kids to work, or at least one of them…
Speaking of Team PRICK, they engaged in some underage drinking thanks to Martina’s bag of cans, and that’s a comedy spot in itself as Colt and Martina keep giving them the contraband. After the Heimlich maneuver got team PRICK to spray beer into Angel and B, the comedy continues as the Cruzers hit each other before Colt rammed B Cool’s head into Martina’s breasts, as if they were the turnbuckles.
Cruz gets something similar, but it’s pretty one-sided as the Angel Cruzers needed a leg lariat from Angel to get a sniff in. Angel gets stunned moments later when he pulls a can out of Martina, who then catches B Cool in a flap trap… yeah, it’s a non-stop rollercoaster of comedy spots, more a sketch than a match, which came to a halt when Angel threatened to throw Martina’s pram off the stage. Of course, Angel relents as Martina rescues her offspring… which of course was a box of cans. Angered, Angel dumps Martina in the pram and pushes her off the stage, a la Kane and Zack Ryder, before rolling in the ring so he could finish off Martina with a tombstone. She escapes, then has to rely on a Bionic elbow from Colt to stop B Cool from hitting it, as she instead grinds on him, with the ref stopping and restarting the count before giving up.
That led to an “injury”, as Angel had to give CPR, with the crowd singing “Stayin’ Alive” in time to it. Hey, the advert campaign worked! Somehow that grinding sent a condom into Cool, which gets thrown around in disgust before Martina caught it and used it for a claw… before Angel was finished off with, erm, the Wombstone. At about ten minutes, the crowd loved it, but for me it was on the verge of jumping the shark… but hey, it was what it was. After the match, everyone danced to Martina’s theme, and all was well with the world.
OTT Tag Team Championship: Chris Brookes, Luther Valentine & Tucker vs. Kings Of The North (Bonesaw, Damien Corvin & Dunkan Disorderly) (c)
So, we’ve another trios match for the regular tag titles. Eh, I’m not too fussed by this, but it is a bit of a headscratcher for outsiders. With Travis Banks and Kid Lykos otherwise unavailable, Chris Brookes had to hunt far and wide – within two miles – for some local partners in the form of Luther Valentine and WWE UK’s Tucker.
The Kings had new music, which makes me sad because that Prodigy tune was so so good for them. So ominous, so fitting. Regardless, they were massively over in their homeland, although the presence of fellow Northern Irishmen on the other side did water it down a little. Brookes and Corvin start off evenly, with the challenger slowly edging ahead with a back senton before going in for some chops and eventually, a drippy wet willie. Tags take us to Dunkan Disorderly and Tucker, with the latter edging ahead after landing a back elbow out of the corner as their brief exchange ended with more tags, taking us to Valentine and Bonesaw.
Bonesaw finally had some success, chopping Valentine with ease, only for Luther to come back with a tope that barely drew a murmur. More dives followed as Corvin’s plancha almost took him into the crowd, before Tucker cannonball off the top rope saw him narrowly miss the guard rails as Dunkan Disorderly wasn’t so lucky with a moonsault. The match continues on the floor as everyone trades chops, before Brookes sparked a Parade of Moves in the ring. It’s really quite odd seeing him get booed, but it would have been so much more effective had his partners not been locals… that Parade ends with a Falcon arrow from Corvin to Tucker for a near-fall, before the F-Six Counties gets another near-fall.
Corvin looked to finish it off with a lariat, but Brookes cuts him off before taking the White Star lariat. Brookes manages to rebound as he used Luther as a Lykos for the lungblower/back senton combo, but the rest of the Kings break up the pin on Corvin. They weren’t able to do it again when Corvin took a Jay driller, but Corvin kicked out at two before he began to Hulk up against all three challengers, rudely interrupted when Tucker sparked a Tower of Doom that almost went awry.
After making another save, the Kings go after Valentine as they went for a finish, but there’s still time for one more triple-team as the Kings finish off with a top rope splash on Tucker to finally get the win. Enjoyable chaos, but I still cannot get why they’d dilute the partisan crowd with these teams… isn’t all the fun having the KOTN as good guys in Northern Ireland? ***¼
Zack Gibson vs. Matt Riddle
Insert the regular Gibson promo here, this time with customisable parts referring to “last night in Dublin”. There’s a pretty dangerous remark about how “Belfast and Dublin are in the same country”, but we’re back on track as this first-time match gets going.
Gibson looked for the Shankly Gates early on, but Riddle tried to fire back with armbars of his own as Gibson counters with roll-ups. All while Belfast chanted “Gillberg” at him. The next dumb move was Gibson trying to throw chops, as receipts instantly came, before he took the match outside as Riddle was thrown into the guard railings. More chops from Zack took Riddle into the crowd as the Scouser rushed back to try and claim a count-out win, but Riddle’s able to beat the count, much to Gibson’s chagrin. There’s more of that when Riddle hits a suplex and some back sentons after Gibson’s strikes looked to have no effect, but Gibson’s boot stops that as his attempt to go for a German suplex… doesn’t work as Riddle instead popped back and gets in a Fisherman buster for a solid two-count.
Rolling gutwrenches keep Gibson on the back foot, as do some kicks to the chest, but Zack’s able to sneak in a Ticket to Ride, before the Helter Skelter’s countered into a guillotine choke! Gibson tries to counter out, but instead he’s dropped for another back senton, before Riddle catches him in an ankle lock. That’s quickly broken via the ropes though, as the momentum continued to swing, as did the hands as frantic slaps broke out…
Until Gibson caught an arm and took an overhead kick to boot, as Riddle looked to be on course, fighting out of another Shankly Gates and a superplex before eventually falling into the Helter Skelter as Gibson still couldn’t get the pin. Almost mocking him, Gibson started throwing the Bryan Danielson-esque elbows, but that’s only good for another near-fall, and the same again with a tombstone. This time, Riddle’s up at one.
We’re back to the slaps, with Riddle coasting again, as a headkick from the apron and a diving forearm from the runway leads to a tombstone… that doesn’t get the pin, so we’re back to those Danielson elbows before dragging Gibson into the Bromission as the Scouser picked up his first clean loss in OTT. Well then! A big result here, with Riddle going into a title eliminator next month… it just felt odd that this wasn’t on one of OTT’s bigger shows, but hey, at least Belfast got a cracking match out of this. ***½
OTT No Limits Championship: ACH vs. Jordan Devlin vs. Mark Haskins (c)
Originally advertised as a non-title match, Mark Haskins decided to put the title on the line there and then. So… yeah, Belfast gets an impromptu title match, and ACH has two title shots in his debut weekend.
We start with everyone trying to touch a disco ball that’s hanging above the ring, before we embark on a rather cagey opening spell that quickly bursts into life as all three go for each other. Haskins stands tall as he trades shots between ACH and Devlin, before the two challengers decide to try their luck on each other. A Devlin standing moonsault almost put ACH away, but then the Irishman’s got to make do with Haskins, who fakes out a dive before surprising ACH with the tope. Not to be outdone, Haskins gives Devlin the threatened dive anyway, as ACH returns with some PKs… only to get yanked down as the ringside area quickly becomes a warzone.
Devlin throws in another moonsault for the hell of it, but he’s back on the defensive as ACH takes him into the ring and starts to rack up those near-falls. ACH is smart and tries to keep Haskins on the outside, so as to stop the usual trope of broken up pins, and an Irish whip through the crowd barrier keeps Haskins well away from breaking anything up. ACH sneaks in a chop to the groin on Devlin, which got him on the Belfast crowd’s bad side, but Devlin’s able to stomp his way back in ahead of a double springboard cutter that nearly won him the title. More frantic stuff has ACH in control as he looks to hit a stacked-up death valley driver, but the crowd just want to see him squat. The Gymnasties have a lot to answer for…
It doesn’t come off anyway, as ACH ends up being thrown down by Devlin and caught in a Star armbar from Haskins… who avoids a moonsault from Devlin before putting the armbar back on. ACH escapes and breaks it up with a stomp as the pace increased, with Devlin countering a Sharpshooter on ACH into a package piledriver, but ACH breaks up that cover just in the nick of time.
Devlin responds with another package piledriver to ACH, but Haskins is straight back in with the roll-up death valley driver – and that’s enough to get the win! A hell of a fun main event, and one that gave us the visual of Devlin being within a split-second of winning the title, before ultimately falling short as Haskins got the clean win. ***¾
OTT’s latest trip to Belfast was by no means a “B-show”, but it was a step below the card they had in the Tivoli the prior night. Still, the company’s putting over their local guys rather than “always the imports”, as they kept an eye on to their end-of-year finale at the National Stadium.