It’s safe to say that the first OTT show we reviewed, February 2016’s “Ah Ted”, wasn’t well received by us here at BackBodyDrop. Whilst the live atmosphere may have been raucous, it simply didn’t translate well to tape… but let’s give them another go with a show from May, entitled, “Even Better Than Better Than Our Best”
#TLDR: A much better show than February’s “Ah Ted”, OTT returned to the Tivoli with an import-heavy card which covered both ends of the spectrum. Tommy End had an brief match against Luther Ward in the main event, whilst the absurdly-entertaining Gymnasties got their crack at the OTT tag team titles in a match that really played up the stereotypes. Come for the atmosphere, stay for Scurll/Smile and Coffey/Dunne… then make sure you’ve checked out for the semi-final match!
The Full Review: We’re back at the Tivoli for the absurdly-long named event, and yes they’re still fishing for the “one fall” responses. They’ve changed the video wall at the Tivoli – it’s now a circular screen that isn’t quite as easy for the crowd to block.
Dunkan Disorderly vs. Danny Butler
Disorderly hails from Belfast, so he’s an immediate heel here in Dublin. Even more so when he comes out with a flag of the Northern Irish Football Association. Butler gets the crowd amped up with chants of “Beast”, and he gets us underway with a battle of forearms against Disorderly.
A chop drops Disorderly to the mat, as do some rolling German suplexes and a belly-to-belly overhead suplex that sends Dunkan out of the ring. Crawling back inside, Disorderly grabs the referee for cover, then walks into the path of another chop, before getting the feet up to a corner avalanche and taking down Butler with some headscissors. A bulldog out of the corner keeps Butler on the mat, eventually getting just a count of one.
Some crossface punches follow from Disorderly, before a dropkick sends Butler to the mat, and it’s time for some Scott Steiner push-ups for the hell of it. Disorderly goes to the top and lands an elbow drop, before deliberately breaking his own count at one.
After going to his jacket, Disorderly pulls out a pair of clippers, looking to trim Butler’s beard, but he’s cut off with a chokeslam and a clothesline, before Butler nails an Exploder-style suplex. A pop-up spinebuster gets him a two-count, but Disorderly fires back with knees in the corner, before a leaping double knee strike gets caught and turned into another overhead belly to belly.
A spear-come-clothesline folds Disorderly in half and sends him flying out of the ring. Butler reaches out through the ropes to drag him back in, but he’s met with a cricket bat to the head… and there’s your DQ. Look, I bury WhatCulture for cheap finishes like this, so OTT’s getting the same treatment. Why book a match to have a crap finish, particularly when the match itself didn’t feel like it was reaching a natural ending… The match itself was fine, but the finish took it down several notches *¾
Post-match, Disorderly beats down on Butler with the cricket bat, and he goes for the beard trimmer again, only for Justin Shape from the Gymnasties to make the save. Oh, nevermind, Disorderly returns to the ring and lays out Shape with the cricket bat, and this time he goes for a pair of scissors and re-styles Butler’s facial hair anyway.
Terry Thatcher & The Ballymun Bruiser vs. Angel Cruz & The Fabulous Nicky
Time to bring back the stereotypes here; Thatcher’s a white vest and braces wearing “tough guy”, whilst the Ballymun Bruiser looks like he’s playing a boxer. Angel Cruz is apparently the “ultrastar” and he has his own security team (who look like fifteen year olds in their first suits). Cruz gradually gets carried to the ring, but his music cuts out, causing another freak out… and the Fabulous Nicky is OTT’s ambiguously gay wrestler. You know, like Billy and Chuck back in the day?
Apparently at the last show, Cruz low-bridged Nicky, and now they’re teaming together. Still, at least they hug it out before the bell…
Bruiser confronts Cruz at the bell, and he immediately replies by tagging in Nicky, who takes down the Bruiser and does basic wrestling holds that vaguely look homoerotic. Thatcher gets tagged in as Nicky does a lewd gesture (the same one that Shawn Michaels did on Raw in the late 90s… you know the fella), and Thatcher tries to work an arm wringer, buy quickly gets taken down.
Cruz blind-tags himself back in, and quickly gets taken down with a German suplex from the Bruiser. Angel’s security team leans into the ring to save him, but one of the security guys gets dragged back in… only for Nicky to make the save. As Cruz and Nicky debate among themselves, Thatcher attacks Nicky from behind, before Nicky retorts with a spinning back suplex, then John Cena’s Five Knuckle Shuffle… which ends with him just kissing Thatcher instead. What is it with this group blatantly ripping off moves from WWE guys?!
Nicky belly bounces the Bruiser (so we’re now up to Big Daddy then), and then the heels go to work on the “Fabulous” one. Thatcher gets whipped into the corner to clothesline Nicky, as Bruiser follows up with an overhead belly to belly, before Nicky finally looked to make the hot tag, only for Cruz to drop off the apron instead. Cruz’s security “cleans the apron” so he conveniently can’t make the tag, and that means that he Bruiser keeps working over Nicky.
Cruz finally gets blind-tagged in, and the Bruiser goes to work on him with chops to the midsection, with a cheeky one below the belt as well. Nicky tags himself back in though, and takes down the heels with a double dropkick off the top, before cleaning house with a series of jabs. Thatcher hits a clothesline to avoid a hip attack in the corner, before Nicky superkicks him and Bruiser, only to put on the brakes as Cruz looked like he was going to low-bridge him once more.
Cruz makes up for it with a missile dropkick, before Nicky lands the Rough Ryder on Thatcher. Nicky does the Eddie Guerrero “viva la raza” shuffle, and climbs the ropes to prepare for a frog splash, only for Cruz to make the cover and steal the win for his team. Eh, I liked the “stolen” finish, but I’m not a fan of generic indy guys that are a mashup of stereotypes and WWE moves. **
Ryan Smile vs. Marty Scurll
Smile seems to have painted his chest to have the old Macho Man star on it, and he immediately gets taken down with a waistlock from Scurll. A drop toe-hold follows, but Smile works free into a wristlock, as the basic grappling opening continues.
After a stand-off, Scurll kicked Smile in the gut then lit into him with some chops, before a shoulder tackle sent Smile to the mat… and likely removed most of the remaining body paint from him. Some leapfrogs followed, and Smile took down Scurll with a dropkick, before using a shoulder throw to free himself of a chicken wing attempt.
Scurll went to the outside and caught Smile there, hitting a superkick before clearing a section of the crowd… and then tossing Smile back inside for the ultimate heel move. Teasing and not delivering! Back in, Smile was taken to the mat with an arm whip, and was then sent to the outside where he took a superkick from Scurll on the apron. Smile was dropped on the apron with a back suplex, before Scurll went back to the ring to wait for his prey, delivering a bodyslam upon Smile’s return.
Scurll went to work on Smile’s left arm, stomping on it, before teasing some chops in the corner… and just poking Smile in the eye instead. Scurll then lifts up Smile by the bad arm and slams him to the mat, before an eye rake from Scurll ends a brief comeback.
That comeback from Smile reignites with a couple of clotheslines, then a charging uppercut into the corner, and finally a diving cross body out of the corner for a near-fall. The pair trade stiff forearms, but Smile drags Scurll into a Blue Thunder bomb for a near-fall, before drilling him with a brainbuster. Smile goes up top, only to miss a frog splash and be greeted with a knee to the head and then a superkick to the head for a near-fall.
Scurll sets himself up for a chicken wing, but Smile drops down and rolls up Scurll for a near-fall, before a dropkick gets caught. Scurll stomps Smile’s knees into the mat, then goes for a reverse superplex, only for Smile to fight himself free. Smile looks to go flying, but gets caught on the top rope, as Scurll crotches him and follows quickly with the Tower of London (ace crusher to a rope-hung opponent).
A spinning pedigree came next from Scurll, as he responded to the two-count by trying to snap Smile’s fingers… that led to some chops from Smile, who ran into the Just Kidding superkick. A standard superkick followed from Smile, who flipped out of a suplex and levelled Scurll with another kick, but his OsCutter attempt saw him land into a chicken wing.
Smile flipped out of the chicken wing, and rolled through to give Scurll a big boot, before the two hit head kicks at the same time, knocking each other to the mat. They beat the standing ten count, with Scurll firing away with some forearms, before taking some from Smile. Scurll pops up for a superkick, but takes a backslide from Smile for a near-fall.
Smile catches another Just Kidding superkick as Scurll rolls to the floor, where he takes a tope con hilo from Smile, who’d dived over the turnbuckles to make his way to the Villain. Throwing Scurll back inside, Smile goes up top again, and gets nothing but knees from the frog splash. Scurll tries for the package tombstone, but gets rolled up… then hits a standard tombstone piledriver, with an Undertaker-baiting pinning pose, for a near-fall.
Enraged, Scurll snaps the fingers of Smile, then went for the chicken wing once more, utilising some knees to the head to get the hold on, and after adding in some finger bending and gut kicks in the hold, Smile had no choice but to tap, and bring to an end a thrilling match. Great work from both these guys, particularly Scurll whose heel work was on form here, and well appreciated by the fans in the Tivoli. ****
Post-match, Scurll grabs the mic and puts over Smile, and says that he wants to come back to OTT… for a rematch?! Understandably, the fans in the Tivoli want this, as does Smile (who notes this was the best match he’d ever had in OTT. Again, I have no trouble believing that!). They shake hands on it, and Scurll makes his exit…
We get a video package of the Kings of the North, and how they’ve reigned supreme in OTT’s tag team division. They show how the Gymnasties were laid out last time out by the Kings, and I feel dirty as I see the first piece of OTT merchandise I kinda like – Justin Shape’s “Squat?” t-shirt.
On the last OTT show I’d seen, the Gymnasties were starting their “breaking their losing streak” gimmick, and were targetting three wins for a tag title shot. Looks like they got those Ws!
Over The Top Tag Team Title Match: The Gymnasties (B. Cool & Sammy D.) vs. The Kings Of The North (Bonesaw & Damian Corvin) (c)
The Kings come out with a marching drummer, and a series of marchers holding flags. Wow, they’re going all out at portraying the Irish divisions here, aren’t they? Unsurprisingly, the Kings of the North are getting booed out of the building, whilst the Gymnasties get cheered for wiping their backsides with said flags.
After being shoved, Sammy grabs Bonesaw in a headlock, but gets dumped on his head with a back suplex, as Damian Corvin gets an early tag in… as did B Cool. Another headlock from B, but a shoulder tackle downs him, and they tease a test of strength, but B gets dumped on the top rope. B dropkicks Corvin to the mat, as Sammy comes in and we’re left with all four men briefly in the ring, as the Kings of the North get clotheslined to the outside.
The Gymnasties join them outside, before Bonesaw and Corvin are thrown back in, where they’re met with a dualling pair of missile dropkicks. Corvin ducks an RKO attempt, and sidesteps out of the way as Sammy superkicks B Cool by mistake, and Bonesaw returns to drill Sammy with a German suplex, bouncing and folding him inside out in the process.
The Kings work over Sammy, but he fires back briefly, only to be flattened with a tiltawhirl backbreaker. B Cool completely whiffs on an RKO, as Bonesaw stands still and follows with a back senton, as Corvin goes flying with a top rope elbow drop. Corvin took too much time gloating though, and found himself suplexed by B, who then made the hot tag to Sammy.
Sammy cleaned house on Bonesaw with the Dusty Rhodes punches and a leaping knee, before an enziguiri to the back of Bonesaw’s head. Sammy went flying with a nice cross body off the top rope – caught beautifully by OTT’s over-the-ring camera. A superkick attempt by Sammy saw him take out the referee… which was odd because all Bonesaw had to do was shuffle to the side, as opposed to turn away from the blow. Sammy D – confirmed referee hater?
As the ref was down, B Cool finally landed an RKO on Bonesaw, and got the visual pin… but of course, Sammy had superkicked the ref to death. The Gymnasties called for a brainbuster on Bonesaw, but Corvin ran in and gave them both low blows, then a Side Effect to Sammy. By now, the referee was at least draggable, but Justin Shape slid into the ring with a cricket bat and levelled Corvin.
Shape dropped Bonesaw with a fly swatter, and draped Sammy on top, but Bonesaw kicked out at two. A series of schoolboys got near-falls for all as Shape sold on the outside, but everyone kicked each other, ending with a Sammy D superkick, and a lifting reverse DDT from Corvin for another near-fall.
Sammy was set up for a wheelbarrow suplex, but he countered by giving Bonesaw a stunner. Corvin tried to pick up the pieces, but was shoved into a schoolboy, as B Cool rolled him up for the win. Jesus, that was the loudest pop I’ve heard in OTT so far! The Gymnasties win the titles! Immediately, Justin Shape grabbed the microphone before anyone had a chance to celebrate, and we have our victory celebration!
As a story, this was a fantastic piece of work from start to finish. Yes, I’m not keen on the part of the Gymnasties gimmick where they’re effectively untrained wrestlers using WWE moves (like a fair amount of the local talent here, it must be said), but this worked. I guess this was the Irish equivalent of William Eaver winning the PROGRESS title… ***½
Of course, this being OTT, we’ve got to pile on, so as the Gymnasties celebrated, Workie from the Lads from de Flats came out. He says “It’s not about me”… so why come out when you did?! Workie congratulates the Gymnasties, but I can barely understand him (a nice combo of the accent, poor audio work and the slurring gimmick from the character). Apparently Workie wants a title shot, but he’s had to get a new partner… Colt Cabana? I guess the “Colt must work for every British promotion” rule now applies to the British Isles, which includes the Republic of Ireland… and this is set for their “A Matter of Pride” show.
Music video time, and we start with Ryan Smile leading a conga line around ringside. This was a pretty good package, although it’d have helped if they at least told us what show these were taken from!
Pete Dunne vs. Joe Coffey
By this point in the show, it’s safe to say that a fair amount of alcohol had been consumed, and it shows, since there were a number of fans in and around the front row who were fuelled by Dutch courage trying to get in Dunne’s face.
Coffey starts by air guitaring and throwing it into the crowd, and Dunne kicks away the offer of a handshake. They lock-up, before trading wristlocks, as Dunne eventually catches Coffey in a hammerlock, then a rear chinlock as the match continues its slow start. Coffey leaned back on a wristlock so much that it turned into a pin, except the referee didn’t know what to do and hesitated for ages before making a count. Dunne kicked out at one, thanks to the delayed count.
Coffey laid into Dunne with some uppercuts, before colliding in the middle of the ring with a shoulder tackle. Wash, rinse, repeat the shoulder tackles, until Coffey floored Dunne with a flying shoulder tackle.
Dunne tried to block a German suplex, but instead went spinning around the ring before landing from a wheelbarrow facebuster, and then took an uppercut in the corner. Coffey’s bulldog was blocked, but he was able to save it and turn it into a sunset flip, before Dunne grabbed the ropes to block a giant swing attempt.
Dunne landed a DDT through the ropes on Coffey for a near-fall. The pair traded some more shots, as Dunne went for an eye rake, before kicking away at Coffee in the corner. Dunne went back to the armbar, tweaking away at the fingers and then sinking his teeth in for good measure.
Coffey fired back briefly, but found himself cornered, before Dunne dropped him with a back suplex. Dunne’s attempt at a suplex is blocked and countered by Coffey, who succeeds with a brief giant swing, before slingshotting Dunne into the turnbuckles. Dunne takes a couple of avalanches in the corner, then a step-up cross body off the top for a near-fall from the Scotsman.
Dunne bites away at Coffey again, and eventually takes a big boot for his troubles. Coffey avoids a corner charge, only to be caught with a release suplex for a near-fall, and then a sit-out powerbomb for another two-count. Coffey tries for a pop-up uppercut, but Dunne rolls around into a backslide, then a German suplex… which is no-sold and returned in kind by Coffey.
Dunne lands an enziguiri to Coffey, who quickly replies with a deadlift German suplex for a near-fall. Coffey takes Dunne to the apron and lands an impressive superplex, taking Dunne from the outside back in, again for a near-fall. Dunne replies with an enziguiri then a tombstone piledriver, only for Coffey to kick out at two, which angers Dunne into doing a spot of facewashing to the downed Coffey.
An attempted ripcord elbow from Coffey is blocked by Dunne, who out of nowhere takes a lariat that folds him in half… Dunne’s decision to go outside for cover wasn’t smart, as Coffey flew into him with a tope, before Dunne almost stole it with a roll-up with his feet on the ropes. The “Iron Man” kicked out, and then hit a pop-up uppercut and another lariat, again getting a two-count.
Another lariat attempt from Coffey was halted when Dunne pulled the referee in front of him, and the ensuing distraction gave him enough time to hit the pumphandle facebuster to pick up the win. ***¾
Post-match, Coffey got the mic and said that he didn’t mind losing to a guy that WWE had been looking at for the Cruiserweight Classic… but he wants a rematch. Fair enough!
Logan Bryce vs. Bull Dempsey
Bryce is the wrestling rugby player, and to be fair to him, he’s more into his gimmick than “I just carry a ball with me”. His opponent this time around is Bull Dempsey, who was announced under his NXT name, but he’s thankfully ditched his Bull-Fit attire. In passing, you’d be forgiven for saying that Dempsey looks a bit like Giant Haystacks in his attire here.
Bull yells for the microphone, and cuts down Bryce by calling him a “rugby wanker”. Bryce owns the insult, and starts by slowly trying to take Bull into the corner, only for the much larger Dempsey to push back, and get blown up. Dempsey swats down Bryce with a shoulder block, then follows him outside, taking him into the crowd where Bryce gets slapped on the back a few times.
Bryce fires back, and we can barely see anything as they fight throughout the Tivoli, going by the bar, before Dempsey takes it back to the ring, where Bryce stomps away at the former NXT star. A kneedrop connects with Dempsey, who tries to fight back from his knees, before Bryce swings and misses with a kick (with extra rugby mannerisms thrown in because… gimmick!)
Dempsey rolls up Bryce and hits a DDT before dropping to the mat, and it becomes clear that Dempsey really is blown up. Back on their feet, Bull hits some repeated jabs, then the Dusty Rhodes’ elbow, before squashing Bryce with a hip attack in the corner. Bull goes for that move that every released developmental star has to try once on the indies – the Pedigree – but Bryce fights free, before hitting a lariat for the win. That… was rotten. Nothing to do with Bryce, but by God, this really came across like a certain former developmental star was phoning it in. *¼
Bryce kept attacking Dempsey after the match, and that (for some reason) brought out Martina, with a cigarette and an open can of beer. The female Sandman landed a headscissors into a DDT, before Bull recovered to hit the Pedigree (because… released developmental guy!). Bull and Martina danced to end the segment, and this was mercifully short, if only for the sake of Bull’s cardio.
Bull got the mic afterwards, and confirmed that “none of this was PG”. Yep, whether he is or not, that’s the “bitter, released developmental star” checklist completed. Bull downs a beer, Martina dances around him some more, and we all move on with life.
Over The Top No Limits Title Match: Tommy End vs. Luther Ward (c)
Ugh, they had the ring announcer egg on the crowd for the “one fall” shtick. Guys, we’re in 2016… feel free to join us! Luther Ward, much like Bull Dempsey, had a run in NXT, and came back with the name rather than stick with his previous “Omen” gimmick. Hopefully he’s over the “bitter, released developmental star” stuff!
Ward is really over in OTT, with his “Ward Section” and all that… he comes out on the shoulders of Rocky Mac (think Little Guido being carried by Big Sal in ECW).
End charges at Ward with a bicycle kick, but he moves out of the way as the two circle each other. Ward grabs a waistlock, but End grabs a leg instead, and works a headlock as the pair grapple in the early phases. Of course, a wristlock isn’t getting Ward to submit, and sure enough, he fought free and dropped End with an overhead suplex.
End throws Ward to the mat and locks in an armbar, before going to the corner and kicking Ward back to the mat for a near-fall. Another head kick rocks Ward, sending him into the corner once more. Ward gets punched back into the corner, where he takes more big boots from End, before Ward fights back briefly.
Ward reverses an Irish whip, but gets shoulder tackled to the mat, before returning the favour and pulling off a ‘rana. A clothesline sends End to the outside, and Ward quickly meets him there via a tope between the bottom ropes. After a couple of chops, End just kicks Ward’s face off, and they exchange strikes before another pump kick drops the champion.
Back inside, End misses with a double stomp off the top rope, before Luther connects with a forearm for a near-fall. End fires back with a combination of kicks and knees, then he quickly goes for – and gets – the double stomp off the top rope, followed by a knee to the head for a near-fall.
A clothesline sends End flying inside out, and Ward continues with a long sequence of rope running, ending with a release German suplex. End immediately pops up though, and delivers some more kicks and knees, before another clothesline drops End for a two-count. Ward takes End up to the top rope, and crashes down to the mat with a superplex… but holds on and sends End to the corner for a couple of kicks. However, End slips out of a slam and rolls him up for a near-fall… before Ward gets an Emerald Fusion for another near-fall. From the kick-out, Ward catches End in a crossface, and just like that, he taps.
It was a decent enough match, in spite of feeling a little on the short side and having a finish come out of nowhere. ***
From top to bottom, this was a much better show than February’s “Ah Ted”. However, it’s safe to say that after two shows, Over The Top just isn’t my cup of tea/pint of Guinness/insert-local-stereotype-here. Most of the top acts in OTT are guys who’ve flown in from abroad, and a lot of home-grown talent just seem to be playing wrestler, with barely any gear and doing little more than their favourite Attitude era finishers. It sure does seem to be a lot of fun live, but a lot of that is lost in the on-demand version.