Welcome, one and all, to what I’m hoping will be a regular feature on the site. I’ve said before that I wanted to do some more wrestling related posts. Honestly, after spending ten years in the business, I’ve kinda missed it since retiring. So, I figured that I’d scratch that itch by watching and reviewing OVW’s free TV show from YouTube. Why OVW? Because it’s owned by Al Snow, who was one of my biggest influences when I was still active in ring.
This week, I’m going to cover the last two episodes. The reason for this is that I meant to start this last week, but time got away from me. So, you get a double this week. I’ll run through what happens in each episode, give some brief notes on the matches, and rate them using the usual five star system. It should be noted that my match ratings will be based on a combination of the technical quality, the story being told, and the crowd response. I’ll also link to the episodes in post so you can check them out too.
Anyway, let’s get to it.
OVW Episode 1021
On commentary this week is Gilbert Corsey, Josh Ashcraft, and Ted McNaler.
Opens with footage from the OVW vs. Impact PPV, Clash in the Bluegrass. Scott D’Amore congratulates OVW World Champion ‘Shotgun’ Tony Gunn on beating Sami Callihan, and offers him the opportunity to prove himself at Impact.
Next up, Thunder Kitty vs. Valerie Vermin. Kitty is doing a gimmick where she’s 97 years old. So, that basically means dressing like an older wrestler and doing a lot of old school moves, as well as entering in black and white. This is her second TV appearance, and much as they did when they introduced Kings Ransom, OVW is having her mostly squashing people. The commentary team make a ‘get off my lawn’ joke and Kitty wins with a Boston Crab after around 3 minutes. It was a fine display for the time. **
Backstage, Kitty comes across The Entourage and starts asking about where the knobs are on the TV. I did smile at the Laurel and Hardy reference.
Back I the ring, Sam Thompson enters and calls out Ca$h Flo. Ca$h has being do a ‘$1,000 Chop Shop Challenge’ each week of late, and Sam feel hard done by, because he hasn’t technically given up during the challenge yet. He ends up virtually begging until Ca$h finally appears and takes the mic. For the record, Ca$h Flo is essentially a big man that does big man things. He’s also a good promo, and comes out with a great line here when he accepts Sam’s challenge: “There’s a fine line between pleasure and pain, and I’m gonna take extreme pleasure causing you all kinds of pain.”
Ca$h starts with a big chop that drops Sam to a knee, and he responds with a chop that makes no noise and doesn’t budge the big man. The second round sees Sam dropped to all fours straight away, and again, his own chop does nothing. Round three sees Sam drop onto his stomach, but he won’t back down. He fires up and starts ducking Ca$h’s chops, and firing off a few of his own, but gets caught with a boot to the midsection and gets a buckle bomb for his troubles. Good segment. I do hope this builds to a proper match between the two, with Sam managing a win. No rating because it wasn’t technically a match.
Backstage, Kings Ransom are complaining that The War Kings have been dodging them and avoiding giving them a fair Tag Title shot. Kings Ransom have been built up well, and I think the crowd will love it when they finally get the belts.
Next up, is the weekly OVW TV Title Match. This title is defended exclusively under gauntlet rules on TV, so the champion has no advantage here. This time around, it’s a 9-man gauntlet, and we’re starting with Tanner Reynolds and Dimes. Dimes defeated ‘The Warlord of Weird’ Sinn Bodhi (formerly Kizarny in WWE) at Clash at the Bluegrass, and is looking to build some momentum from that. He beats Tanner with a handspring cutter after a little over a minute.
Nigel Winters is out next, and the two out on a fast paced back and forth match. Nigel advances with a schoolboy roll-up after four minutes, only to come face-to-face his tag partner in The Void, Chase Destiny. Chase ahs been on a good run recently, recently defeating Crazzy Steve in a Casket Match after a hot angle where Steve tried to suffocate him with a plastic bag. He takes advantage of Nigel having already worked a competitive match and wins with the Butterfly Effect after a minute of action.
William Lutz is out next, and the pace picks up again. Plenty of pin attempts as both guys try to end things quickly, but in the end, the Butterfly Effect claims another victim after two minutes. ‘Satan’s Favourite Sinner’ Amon, Crazzy Steve’s tag partner, jumps his intro and lays into Chase with some power moves. The two have a fairly long history, with Amon and Steve having manipulated The Void all through their time with Abyss. Really, I think this needs to lead to another gimmick match with the two teams squaring off. After being decimated for four minutes, Chase is able to pick up the win with a quick roll-up to a good reaction.
Amon beats Chase down after the match, leaving him easy prey for Brandon Espinosa. Chase manages a few kickouts, but with the damage done, a thrust kick to the face and a suplex puts him away in under a minute. Next, ‘Mr. Marvelous’ Melvin Maximus walks out and starts pounding on Espinosa. The match shifts into brawl territory, Espinosa takes control. Eventually, Melvin manages a fightback and puts Espinosa away with a powerslam after a little over two minutes.
The defending champion, Colton Cage, enters last. Colton actually reminds me a little of British legend Robbie Brookeside, at least physically. The pace picks up again until Colton bails from the ring ad runs the time down a little. He doesn’t manage to stay safe for long though, and Melvin is soon back in control. A low blow creates an opening though, and a scissor kick lets him retain. This was a good gauntlet, with the young talent getting plenty of time to show of their stuff, a continuation of The Void vs. Amon/Crazzy Steve, and a good mix of ring styles on show. There were a couple of sloppy exchanges, but nothing too drastic. After nearly twenty minutes of action, Colton Cage retains in a *** ¼ match.
We cut to a pre-taped video of Gilbert Corsey interviewing ‘Shotgun’ Tony Gunn about his first thirty days as champion. He defeated Abyss to win the title, has made a couple of successful defenses, and then launched into an inter-promotional feud with Sami Callihan. There’s a slight audio issue here where the video clip of them clashing is louder than Tony talking, but it only last a moment. This was a great package, overall. Tony looks like good, he’s great in ring, and he comes across as very natural in his promos. He addresses the offer from D’Amore, and says that he doesn’t need to prove himself, he’s going to go Impact to just be him. The segment ends with ‘The Trinidad Titan’ Justin Smooth turning up to tell Tony, “Enjoy it…while it last.” Weird delivery aside, this is interesting because for a while, it looked like Smooth was going to be who OVW chose to have defeat Abyss. His promos are a bit hit and miss, but he looks like a star, and his ring work is very smooth. I’ll be looking forward to them eventually facing off.
The final segment for the episode is Coltan Cage and Dustin Jackson’s contract signing for their upcoming cage match. There’s a long story going on here; the former tag partners clashed, and Dustin ended up accidentally hitting his kayfabe girlfriend, Dani. Next thing we know, Dustin is arrested, and it transpires that Colton and Dani are now together. Dustin has a surprise though…he’s now dating Colton’s ex-wife, Lilly. As you’d expect with a contract signing, things soon get physical, and Dustin ends up powerbombing Colton through the table. It’s a good little show closer, and I expect the match to be heated.
OVW Episode 1022
This week’s commentary team is Gilbert Corsey, and Ted McNaler.
We open with a recap of last week’s contract signing. There’s nothing new there, so nothing really to note. As a side though, I really like the OVW opening theme. At ringside, Gilbert and Ted start running down the show, but are interrupted by former OVW Women’s Champion Jaylee and the current champion, Cali Young. Cali snuck a win over her stablemate to get the title, and Jaylee has been angry ever since. Here, she drags Cali around ringside, slamming her into everything solid that she can find. Some officials try to separate them, but Jaylee throws them aside and hauls her former friend into the ring for another beating. More referees and some security run in, and struggle to get Jaylee off the champion. By the time they get Jaylee to the back, Cali isn’t moving. Good angle.
We return after commercials, and ‘BS’ Bruce Snyder is now on commentary while Ted McNaler ends to Cali backstage. Right now though, we’re getting some tag team action with William Lutz and Ashton Cove vs. Kings Ransom. Kings Ransom have been built well throughout their run so far. They have an interesting look too with the spiked helmets in their entrance gear; it’s very old school. Ted returns part way through but there’s no real update on Cali yet. It’s also noted that Lutz and Cove actually handed Kings Ransom their first defeat in OVW. They don’t fare well here though with the number one contenders throwing out some really nice looking double team moves, including a match winning King’s Landing on Lutz. Kings Ransom win after three minutes. ***
Post match, Maximus and Leonis Khan get on the mic and call out Crimson and Jax Dane, The War Kings. The champs respond on the video screen, and heel it up. The crowd is into the segment, and after some back and forth, the match is agreed for the 99th Saturday Night Special. Meanwhile, backstage, Cali is in pain. Her respite is short lived though, as Jaylee turns up and lays into her again, this time getting hauled away much more quickly.
Out in the ring, Sam Thompson is back. He calls out Ca$h Flo again, and the big man comes out. Ca$h runs the young man down and tells him outright that there’s nothing in it for him to go through this again. Sam offers to put his own money up – there isn’t much of it, maybe $46 – and Ca$h isn’t happy. He tells Sam to bring $1,000 or get out. In the end, Sam agrees to an IOU.
Big first chop drops ‘Boy Wonder’ Sam Thompson to the floor. He puts out a decent response this time though that actually makes Ca$h flinch and pause. Sam gets dropped again, but gets to his feet and fires off a chop that leaves Ca$h bent over slightly. Ca$h snaps and goes for a clothesline, but Sam ducks and fires off multiple chops, driving the big man into the corner. Sam backs up though, and eats a big tackle and a barrage of fists for his troubles. One top rope leg drop later, and Sam is done. Really good job here in building Sam up.
We get a little flashback to last week’s interview with Tony Gunn, complete with Justin Smooth’s interruption. We then head to the ring for Tanner Reynolds vs. ‘The Trinidad Titan’ Justin Smooth. The OVW World Champion, ‘Shotgun’ Tony Gunn, turns up to watch before things get underway. He doesn’t get to see much though as Justin puts Tanner away with the Street Justice kick after less than thirty seconds. Justin Smooth wins. No rating due to the shortness of the match.
The champ enters the ring after the match and gives Smooth the same slow clap that he gave Tony last week. The two square off, and the crowd is getting really loud. It sounds like they’re behind Justin Smooth here. In the end, the challenger backs off, but looks confident that he can take the belt.
Next up with the weekly OVW TV Title Gauntlet Match, this time with six competitors. ‘Montana Made’ Phil Early and Zo are kicking things off this time around. Zo is a great talent. He’s big but agile, and the crowd loves him. A bit of stalling segues into Zo no-selling Phil’s offense and putting him away with a spinning heel kick. Drew Hernandez is out next, and we see early on that he’s a much better match physically for Zo. The two big men trade big moves back and forth until Zo hits another spinning heel kick for the win.
‘Satan’s Favourite Sinner’ Amon is out next, and we get a quick strike exchange. Zo continues his dominance, but Amon sees the spinning heel kick coming, and avoids it to take control. After a long slow section, Zo reverses a Pedigree attempt and nails the spinning heel kick for the win.
Defending champion Colton Cage is out next with Dani. Zo’s power proves too much for the champion early on, but Dani interferes to give the champ an opening for a match winning scissor kick. The quick match makes sense given how long Zo had already been in there, but I’d like to see these two fight one-on-one. The final entrant is the masked Hermano Tatios. The debuting luchadore takes it to the champion with some beautiful dropkicks and a top rope crossbody to the outside. The commentators start speculating that his moves look familiar, giving the game away a little. Hermano Tatios wins the match and the title with a top rope splash at the thirteen minute mark, then unmasks as Dustin Jackson to end the episode. While the Amon section kinda dragged the match down a little, Zo came out of this looking great, and the exchange between Colton and Dustin as a great preview for their upcoming cage match. *** 1/4
OVW has been on fire since pairing with Impact, and the last two weeks were no exception. The intermittent audio issues really need to be sorted out, and I do kinda feel like there are too many workers in street clothes on the shows, but the overall quality of action is decent. There’s a very old school feel to it at times. The storylines are simple but effective, and the main roster is really growing in terms of what they’re able to do. So far, I’m thoroughly enjoying the product.