It’s been a while since we’ve dipped into OTT, but their third year anniversary show seems as good a time to peer back in…
We open with a video charting the three years of OTT to this point – featuring a not-exactly full Tivoli and a youthful Pete Dunne on their debut event – to the high-level names that regularly packed out the place. Oh, and the Father Ted guys. I’d forgotten how loud some of those pops were, like when the Gymnasties won the tag titles… oh hey, and there’s Finn Balor. We’ve still got Aonghus McAnally hosting the show, but Don Marnell gets his own entrance, for… reasons. He’s back as this is apparently the biggest show of the year – as opposed to the National Stadium shows. The one thing I heartily agree with is Don’s speech to tell “fans” who only go to shows to make ill-advised “jokes” to leave – there’s no place for that in this world, let alone at a wrestling show.
Eddie Dennis & The Fabulous Nicky vs. Curtis Murray & Nathan Martin
Eddie debuted at OTT’s Wrasslepop’s event the prior month (one we’ve yet to take a look at), and this is a bit of a step change for the promotion since we last watched – as in they’re finally making use of local talent, with their Contenders series of shows giving them a “secondary” playground.
We open with Eddie absolutely charging through Martin with a shoulder tackle, but Nathan’s able to quickly hit back, as he takes down the Welshman and lands a dropkick… which earns him a customary Eddie forearm. Nicky tags in, to rather little reaction for someone who was on this show to keep the ties in to the initial OTT show, as Curtis Murray also heads in.
Murray makes Nicky run the ropes until he realises… they were meant to do something. Rather than go through with it, the comedy’s in Nicky tagging out so Eddie can take the headscissors. That opened up a decent period of offence from the contenders, who somehow managed to isolate Eddie as they exchanged frequent tags, until they were caught out for Eddie’s fallaway slam/Samoan drop combo.
Except the Tivoli wanted him to squat. He’s not a Gymnasty, damn you!
After that, Nicky’s back in as he squats in a stalling suplex to Murray, out-doing his lanky Welsh partner, whose able to land what he knows best… forearms, only for Murray to hit a surprise tiltawhirl DDT to give the contenders a shot. Murray just about tags Martin back in, as the hot tag leads to a hanging dropkick in the corner followed by a High Fly Flow to Nicky… but Nathan’s not done, as a PK on the apron to Eddie keeps him a one-man wrecking crew!
Murray swings away a superkick from Nicky and lands a springboarded cutter that forces Eddie to make a save. A neat springboard double armdrag to Eddie and Nicky gets the crowd going as Curtis looked all fired up, but another springboard’s caught as Eddie plants him into the crowd with a crucifix bomb! Eddie tries to go for a Next Stop Driver, but it’s blocked and met with a Belfast Destroyer (springboard Destroyer) which of course doesn’t win the match. What does win the match are some superkicks after the rookies accidentally forearmed each other, before a Next Stop Driver sealed the deal. Well, I’m sold on Murray and Martin – one of my biggest criticisms of the “home grown” guys of the past were that they just felt like backyarders with gear, but these youngsters felt refreshingly different. Bright futures lie ahead, I feel for them. ***
Throughout the match, Nicky had been trying – and failing – to kiss referee Niall Fox. After the match, Nicky got his wish.
Next up they introduce the Gentleman’s Club – no, not Chuck Taylor – it’s the trio of William J. Humperdink, Sammie D and Logan Bryce. Humperdink gleefully announces that he banned B Cool and Angel Cruz for the night, because he’s a heel GM and we’re meant to boo him. You know, I’ve never gotten heel GMs who only focus their time on a certain part of the card…
Logan Bryce vs. Chris Brookes
It’s solo Brookes here tonight, with Travis Banks not booked and Kid Lykos on the shelf. Bryce jumps Brookes with a headbutt, but it’s the lanky one who’s able to hit back in the corner before squishing Bryce with a back senton for an early near-fall.
Brookes quickly works Bryce into a camel clutch and the inevitable wet willie, but Bryce quickly hits back with some backbreakers. The crowd seemed to treat Logan as more of a comedy figure than a threat, but that might just be because of the gang he’s around, and it just felt like a matter of time before Brookes was able to resurge. A pair of dropkicks rock Bryce ahead of the rope-hung neckbreaker, but there’s room for more backbreakers and a Blue Thunder Bomb as Logan nearly snatches the win. Some back-and-forth forearms follow, before Brookes whiffs on a slingshot cutter… but Bryce whiffs himself next as a springboard moonsault crashes and burns, allowing Brookes to get that cutter in anyway.
A discus lariat from Bryce nearly puts Brookes away as the momentum continues to swing… as does Brookes, with a whirlibird backbreaker almost getting the win. For some reason Logan decides to take out his frustrations on the referee, using him as a makeshift Lykos to spoof Brookes… but Chris superkicks it away and should have gotten the win, except there’s distractions, then interference as Sammie D gets involved for the DQ. A rather unedifying result from a match that never really got the crowd going. **¾
B Cool quickly hits the ring for the save, but he’s stomped away as the crowd chants for Angel Cruz. Commentary tells us he’s not here, but the sound of a chainsaw tells us otherwise as the wacky ride of Angel and his litany of weapons sees him emerge from under the ring with a live chainsaw. Of course, everyone scarpers as OTT’s answer to a horror movie has to make extra careful that he doesn’t wreck the ring… we’re only two matches deep!
One half of Team PRICK takes the mic afterwards and declares his anger with Sammie D. Cue a vague gay joke, and there’s a challenge for Sammie D & Logan Bryce vs. Team PRICK. You know, Angel Cruz’s security guys who look like they’ve come straight from school?
OTT Women’s Championship: Veda Scott vs. Martina (c)
After winning the title back at WrestleRama, this was Martina’s first defence – albeit firmly in the “travelling challenger” realm. Martina’s borrowed the David Starr list of nicknames here, and Veda’s firmly playing the role of the saviour as she tries to make an “intervention” on Martina. Wrong time, wrong place, I fear!
Veda tries to walk out, saying this is a waste of her time, but then changes her mind… before getting her hand caught as she went for a slam. The flap trap’s followed by a spray of beer to Veda’s eyes, then a roll-up as the challenger struggled out of the gate.
A slam gets Veda some hope, as does a kick to the midsection, which allows Veda to literally shove Martina into the corner for some stomps, before she herself ran into a roundhouse. Martina misses a forearm in the corner and gets kicked down for a diving crossbody, before Veda uses a helping hand from the referee to do a little rope-walk and a dive to the outside. Back inside, Veda steals one of Martina’s cans, and pours it away… which fires up Martina into a monster comeback. Scott misses a charge and gets sent outside for a series of topes, before Martina needs a drink to complete the dives, going up to the top rope for a cannonball to the floor!
Another leap off the top misses from Martina though, and a spear from Scott looked to have her on the right track as a Saito suplex dumped Martina for a near-fall… only for Martina to catch her in a crossface straight after the kick-out for the flash submission. This was solid enough, but we’re still firmly in the ballpark of “challenger of the month” territory when it comes to OTT’s women’s division. **½
Rene Dupree vs. Bobby George Jr.
The actual hell? Rene Dupree’s indy career has been a little off-the-radar since leaving WWE, but he’s still got some name value, if the pop for the old La Resistance theme was anything to go by. Dupree was a replacement for Bram, whose booking here was quickly rescinded after fan pressure.
As for his opponent, well, Bobby George Jr. is a bit of a cult favourite in OTT, although a lot of that is to do with the presentation of him, largely due to the presence of his own personal announcer Tony Idle. The match starts with Bobby trying his best to get in a cheapshot, putting the ref on the top rope and making him cover his eyes, as he tried to use his portable dart board on Rene. Yeah, that was easily stopped as Dupree went on offence. In keeping with the gimmick, every strike from George was called as a dart score, with a flying chop off the top getting a “180!” – surely that’s double tops, no?
Still, Idle gets the crowd going for the darts – as opposed to the graps – as Dupree manages to slam Bobby for a French Tickler… before Bobby escapes an elbow drop and hits a spear. He goes for the “double top elbow drop”, but decides to spoof the French Tickler for a near-fall instead, before Dupree quickly hits back with a back suplex and an elbow in the corner.
One Michinoku driver later, and Rene’s back in control, finishing with the top rope elbow for the win. Well, that was a squash and a half… The Bobby George Jr. act is entertaining as hell, but it’s extremely limiting and I’d imagine will have a distinct shelf life. *¾
Zack Gibson vs. Colt Cabana
The last time I saw OTT, Zack Gibson was part of a group of Brits who were tearing into the “parody” that he called Irish wrestling. So I can only assume that wrestling an American would provide even more material for him, right?
Well, we get the well-rehearsed, almost soundboard-like promo, featuring jabs at New Japan for reasons, before directing it back to the pop that Bobby George Jr. just got. This promo would be so much more effective were it not so comically predictable… The camera focuses on Bonesaw and Damien Corvin as Gibson bemoans that there’s “no more Irish talent to wrestle”. Ooh, foreshadowing!
We start with comedy as Colt makes a charge into the corner from Gibson look more lewd than it has to, which clearly rankled as Cabana tried to coax Gibson into what the crowd called a “Werld of Sport” style. Cabana makes things look easy as he flowed into a wheelbarrow roll-up before chopping Gibson in the corner, and yes, we get the Zack slip, which draws chants of “you can’t wrestle”. Oh dear.
Cabana continues with his usual comedy stylings as he avoids a bunch of near-falls, before Gibson finally edges ahead as he works over the arm. Colt escapes, and manages to throw in some chops as well, before a Lionsault takes Zack down as Cabana enjoys a fairly long period on top, throwing in Dusty punches and the Flying Asshole. When Zack did manage to catch him in the Shankly Gates, Colt was able to slip out and put on the Billy Goat’s Curse reversed Boston crab, but Gibson makes it to the ropes, before he’s caught up top as Colt drops him across the turnbuckles for a near-fall. Gibson removes a turnbuckle pad in full sight of the ref… and with that distraction he’s able to head outside for a… car stereo?
Well, that’s keeping the gag alive. Except the referee catches Colt in the act, and while he’s disarmed, Gibson takes the chance to hit a Ticket to Ride before wrapping in the Shankly Gates once more for the submission. Now that’s how you do a comedy match without wearing down the act – it helps that Colt’s really good and has a lot more in his locker than the gags. Easily the best thing on the show so far. ***½
Mike Bailey vs. Matt Riddle
This wouldn’t have looked too out of place in early UFC – Taekwondo versus grappling. We start with flailing strikes as both men looked for the early advantage, with Riddle seemingly getting in some ground and pound… something he has to escape when Bailey switches it into a triangle armbar. Hey, the Tivoli’s appreciative of this stuff!
Bailey returns fire with some kicks before picking Riddle up into a Destroyer… but it’s shrugged off and returned in kind as Riddle almost blew out Bailey. Speedball retaliates with his favourite kicks, before eventually taking Riddle outside when he low bridges the former WWN champion ahead of a Golden Triangle moonsault! The two exchange strikes and kicks on the apron, with Riddle seemingly winning out there, before he climbs up to a wall… where he eventually tries to suplex Bailey from the floor and into the stands. Holy crap! More kicks in the stand follow, until Riddle catches him in a hanging armbar off the edge of the stage.
Eventually Riddle relents as Bailey’s able to take him back into the ring for a springboard dropkick, but Bailey ends up switching a German suplex and takes down Riddle in a moonsault fallaway slam for a near-fall. More near-misses give way to switching waistlocks before Riddle hits a Bro to Sleep and a bridging German that almost gave him the huge win. It’s still one-way for Riddle as forearms build up to an Exploder suplex, then a crushing back senton, as some rolling gutwrench suplexes looked to have Riddle on his way to victory… but Bailey shrugs off more kicks and starts to reply in kind, ultimately dropping Riddle with a corkscrew roundhouse.
Except Riddle instantly responds with a German suplex as he was sinking to his knees, leaving both men laying! Back on their feet, Riddle obliterates Bailey with a running knee, before planting him with the tombstone slam for a near-fall, before a Destroyer’s blocked and met with some moonsault knees from Speedball! Another corkscrew roundhouse kick traps Riddle in the corner, but his attempt at the shooting star knees misses as he falls into a triangle choke, with Bailey barely breaking it as he rolled into the ropes! Repeated stomps from Riddle just soften up Bailey for a Rainmaker knee, before another back senton follows… and again Bailey retaliates, planting Riddle with a reverse ‘rana off the middle rope!
Riddle gets back up, but gets crushed with shooting star knees as Speedball almost claimed victory. An attempt to finish off Riddle with a German suplex doesn’t work, but some more kicks certainly do, before Riddle’s overhead kick earns him a Dragon suplex. Yeah. It’s about as effective as a German suplex, as Riddle instantly rebounds with a diving knee, and that is the fatal blow as Riddle gets the win. Bloody hell, that’s a match that flew under the radar! An instant classic for OTT, and one you really ought to dig up! ****¼
El Ligero vs. Scotty Davis vs. Jordan Devlin
Originally “stuck” in the opening matches, Jordan Devlin’s really getting heated up for something here. Yeah, I know what it was, but kayfabe! Scotty Davis, lauded as “the supreme suplex machine” is in for the injured Bubblegum, so there’s two local lads looking to impress…
Ligero sulked in the corner at the start since nobody chanted for him, as the match eventually starts with a long series of armdrags and one-counts. Davis catches Devlin early with an armbar in the ropes, which is broken in the ropes despite this being a no-DQ 3-way, as Ligero then thwarts a springboard so he could go after Devlin. It’s fast-paced, and largely sticks to the two-in, one-out formula, which gives a handy transition for some when Scotty Davis comes in to start throwing his German suplexes. Ligereo puts a stop to it when he makes Devlin “accidentally” give Davis a stunner before he tries to put the finishing touches on with a Mexican Wave… but Devlin moves away and comes back with a uranage and a standing moonsault for a near-fall.
Scotty Davis makes good use of a blocked backslide by rolling over Ligero and Devlin to try and claim a double pin, but it doesn’t work as Ligero responds by trapping him in a figure four… while simultaneously catching Devlin in an inside cradle, then a crossface as the Mexican tried to push for the win. Ligero tries to backdrop Devlin to the outside, but Jordan instead rebounds off of an already-there Davis and hits a tornado DDT… before Scotty hits one of his own for a near-fall, as his search for a double German suplex had to be changed into a sunset bomb instead.
Davis ends up getting thrown into the crowd as Ligero and Devlin jockey for a suplex… which Jordan puts the brakes on as he Asai moonsaulted into the crowd to keep Davis down! Ligero joins them with a springboard senton into the crowd, but the frantic stuff continues in the ring as Devlin and Davis get hung in a Tree of Woe ahead of a double stomp through the pair of them.
After that, Davis rolls free and traps Ligero in an armbar – with Devlin coming in just in time to stop the tap – before smashing the youngster with a spinning package piledriver for the win. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think that Devlin was going to be the flagship for this company just going by commentary… and given showings like this, 2018 will probably be Jordan’s year to shine. Another fun outing as the 3rd anniversary show continued to pick up steam. ***½
OTT No Limits Championship: ACH vs. Mark Haskins (c)
This is the kinda thing the old Jordan Devlin was complaining about – a debut for ACH, who goes straight into a title match. But hey, at least Haskins still has Crobot here…
Haskins was all over ACH early, at least until the challenger distracted the ref so he could hit a chop to the crotch. Not to be outdone, Haskins throws in some misdirection of his own with a tope as the frantic start only cooled down as the pair brawled around ringside, where the lighting was sparse as Haskins seemed to set up for a running knee into the abyss.
Back in the ring, ACH tries to subdue Haskins, but it doesn’t work as a slingshot dropkick into the corner keeps the challenger firmly in the blocks, with Haskins measuring up for shot after shot. Eventually ACH is able to get in the game, tripping Haskins before landing some kicks as he built up to a Super Saiyan discus lariat in the corner… before flapjacking Haskins for a solid two-count.
Just like that though, Haskins fights back in with a series of kicks and uppercuts, before a crossbody out of the corner seemed to build up to something… except ACH frees himself, only to get caught with a Sharpshooter right by the ropes. Haskins keeps up with a rolling death valley driver, but he doesn’t follow up straight away, instead taking ACH onto the apron for a teased death valley driver, which is escaped as ACH waffles him with a PK instead.
ACH eventually rolls Haskins back inside as he gets near-falls out of frog splashes and Liger bombs… but it’s not long before Haskins mounts a comeback, which is rudely stopped with a superkick and a pair of clotheslines, with ACH seemingly on his last legs… and that was the case too as Haskins instantly trips down ACH after that, and catches him in the Star armbar for the submission. That felt rather flat and rushed, as the bell went with a little under 8 minutes left on the VOD… because there be shenanigans! ***
Jordan Devlin came out and stared down Haskins, before ACH grabbed the title belt. Apparently ACH has an instant second shot on the next night’s show in Belfast, with Devlin also getting involved. Erm, why is an import getting two title shots in one weekend? Ah, it’s a placeholder as Devlin challenged Haskins to a title shot at the Being The Elite show at the National Stadium… which for some reason draws out Matt Riddle, as he too wants a shot.
Perhaps not straight at the title though – Riddle wants to test the “Import Killer” against “the Import” – himself. Devlin accepts, and that’s for a shot at the belt in December. The crowd seems to enjoy that, but what happens if Devlin gets the title tomorrow?
After a slow start, OTT’s Third Anniversary show was pretty impressive – once we got past the opening matches, this show exploded, with some good comedy, some good wrestling, and a lot of fun. Yeah, there’s still some niggling issues with commentary perhaps liking the sound of their voice a little too much, but OTT definitely seem to have taken some steps with the biggest issues we had, as there’s more home-grown names making appearances… and not just in token efforts too. This show (at time of writing) is on Highspots, and is well worth hunting down!