One more crack at OVW then, but we’re going to this one for it’s newsworthiness – as a new era began in Ohio Valley.

Once we got past the longer-than-usual intro (I still don’t get why OVW continues to plug HD as a selling point in 2018), we opened with Gilbert Corsey in the ring. He introduced Dean Hill – who had been off the show the last few months due to a storyline where champion Michael Hayes (not that one) had filed a restraining order on him. Hill in turn introduces OVW founder Danny Davis and after metaphorically patting him on the back, asks the roster out for a big announcement…

Hill notes that Michael Hayes could file a new complaint every week to ban him from OVW… but the only way he could stop that was to sell his stake in the company. In storyline, Hill owns 51% of OVW, Josh Ashcraft owns 1%… no idea on the other 48%… Danny Davis? Ashcraft’s told that he was bought out by Hill, and I guess they’re hurriedly wrapping up this storyline.

The reason is: Hill’s no longer the majority owner… and Danny Davis has sold off too, as they reveal the new owner of OVW. If you read the news over ‘Mania weekend, it’ll be no surprise: it’s Al Snow!

Snow puts over the talent in OVW, then Dean Hill, as this felt like they were clearing the decks, at least in terms of “ownership”. He puts over Davis Arena as one of the historic arenas in wrestling, before declaring it the “fan’s promotion”… and of course, there’s a run-in by the champion Michael Hayes, who called himself the future of OVW. Al, Dean and Danny looked so unimpressed in the ring as Hayes called OVW “his company.”

Let’s fast forward past Al’s t-shirt plugs…

OVW Anarchy Championship Tournament – First Round: Shiloh Jonze vs. Big Zo
The Anarchy Championship is OVW’s Hardcore title that they’re bringing back. Jonze qualified for the tournament, but tried to cry off the match with a head injury… Big Zo refuses, and demands that Shiloh forfeits.

Jonze doesn’t, and as his chain-assisted punch misses, Zo takes him into the corner before connecting with a handspring back elbow. Zo’s a little rough around the edges, but he’s got decent agility for his size. Shiloh tries to powder to the back, but he’s caught by the steps by Zo, who clotheslines the ring post as Jonze went on the search for plunder.

A full beer keg did nothing but give Jonze something to pratfall over, before he had it thrown at him. Kudos for finding a new weapon for hardcore matches, guys! Zo continues on Shiloh, choking him with the bandages that used to be on his head, before Jonze hit the ropes as he went to swing with a chair… it’s almost like a comedy hardcore match at points, as Shiloh tried to throw powder at Zo. He ducks, then forces the powder into Shiloh’s eyes before a spinning heel kick and a Vader bomb as Jonze was sandwiched between chairs got the win. Decent enough for a plunder match, and having a fuller arena than last time I saw OVW helped too. **

Yes, they still botch “tickets” on the show plugs…

OVW Television Championship: Billy O vs. Logan James (c)
The winner of this match becomes a team captain in a ten-man elimination tag at OVW’s “Run For The Ropes” show at the Kentucky Derby Festival.

O, which I guess stands for Oceans, going by his trunks, took James into the corner before nailing a dropkick in a rather even opening spell. James’ comeback looked wonky as his tornado DDT was turned into something resembling Wasteland by O, who followed up with a Stinger splash and a sidewalk slam, as commentary noted that James is now “all about himself”.

I just wish his wrestling was a bit more reflective of that, you know?

Just as I typed that, James rams O’s knee into the mat, before decking Billy with a forearm as he tried to eke out a submission with something resembling a stepover toe hold. Billy, whose name was starting to peel away on his gear, fights free, as “Uceans” tried to kick back before landing a clothesline or two. He misses a big boot as James lands an overhead kick instead, before Logan ran into a spinebuster as the momentum continues to swing.

Despite having had his knee worked on for most of the match, Billy charges into Logan with a step-up knee into the corner for a near-fall – which the ref counted despite Logan having a foot on the ropes. James gets up and goes for that tornado DDT again, which I assume had to be a tornado reverse DDT, which still didn’t look too clean, also getting a near-fall.

James tried to follow-up with a big bot off the top (yeah, I think he saw Sid at WCW Sin…), but he misses, before going to the eyes and landing a low dropkick, taking O down for a knee trembler. For some reason he rolls O closer to the ropes, and gets the win despite Billy getting his foot to the ropes. Ah, I see what they were going for, but I am not buying Logan James as a heel. Considering we’re really fresh from his turn, I’m surprised he’s not rubbing it in, or at least being more overt about it – here he’s coming across as just another midcard bad guy, which isn’t how you establish yourself in a new role. The match was alright, nothing special, but that finish needed to be executed better (or at least, hidden better in production). *¾

After the match, Matt Lacett tries to interview James about that finish, saying he kicked the foot off the ropes. Well, he did, but well after the match. James walked off without commenting.

We get a promo shot outside Davis Arena for what I assume is a new character – a mysterious, brooding, blonde woman.

Randall Floyd vs. Drew Hernandez
Floyd, who came out on the losing end of a feud with Logan James earlier in the year, gets a tomato can here as Hernandez got the “already in the ring” treatment. He attacks Floyd in the corner to start us off, but Floyd comes right back with an Ace crusher for the win. Well, Hernandez didn’t look at all convincing, but he wasn’t there to be a challenge.

Post-match, Lacett tells Floyd he’s in a match against Amonn to become the other captain in that ten-man tag. Out comes Aamon, whose name changes every bloody week, wearing a crown of thorns, but he provides a distraction as The Void come out from under the ring to attack Floyd… but he deals with them all single-handedly like he’s Randall Orton, before falling to a Pedigree from Triple Aaamon. By the numbers as an angle, but it worked.

A traffic news reporter replaced Ted McNaler on commentary, plugging a show that had already happened by the time this dropped on YouTube. Shannon the Dude comes out with his title belt, as he brags about being the “World Radio Champion”. Storylines between commentators and other TV personalities is always a massive hit, right? Oh God, it leads to a match at that aforementioned show between Shannon and the traffic guy Mike Marshall. I guess it hits with the locals…

OVW Anarchy Championship Tournament – First Round: David Lee Lorenze III vs. Dapper Dan
DL3 won the OVW tag titles with Scott Cardinal since we last reviewed this – it’s one of those wacky “partners who don’t get along” deals. Lorenze sent his entourage to the back as Dapper Dab and his dad bod came out, but was attacked by the director’s chair as Lorenze took the fight to him from the off.

These two used to be partners years ago, and there’s a lot of brawling around ringside as DL3 eventually pulls Dan into the ring steps, then into a supporting column before an attempted ‘rana off the commentary desk is turned into an apron powerbomb for a near-fall.

There’s more plunder as Dan grabs a ladder, and a table, before dumping DL3 with a wheelbarrow German for another near-fall. DL3 low bridges Dan to the outside, but his tope to the outside is caught and turned into a death valley driver through a table. DL3’s disappeared after that, but he emerges under the ring to spit water at Dan as we go to a break… and return with Dan in a… nerve hold?

He breaks that with a couple of Singapore cane shots, whacking DL3 in the back before crotching him with it. A lariat of sorts takes Lorenze down, but he’s back up as he set up Dan for a Coast to Coast onto a garbage can… and it connects too! Tony Gunn and Flex Murphy come out to attack Dan, but Cardinal comes out to make a save as DL3’s tag partner kills Murphy with a TKO, before he’s bleeped out.

DL3 lands a Shining Wizard to almost win, but Dan’s right back with a second death valley driver through a table, and that’s enough for Dan to get through to the semi-finals. As a plunder match this was alright, but it didn’t grab me – as it seemed the buzz from the start of the show had long since dissipated. **

It’ll be interesting to see what changes, if any, are made under the new guard at OVW. The TV shows we’ve been watching on-and-off for the past few months have been very much archaic at times. Sure, there’s talent there, but a reliance on tropes like “tag team partners that can’t get along” and “bad guy against the authority figure” made the product come across as tired and stuck in the past to new viewers. Snow has had form with OVW before, working as a trainer and on-air talent in multiple stints, but it’ll be interesting to see how much the product diverges from what we currently have under the new regime.