OVW 1044 – A Royal Return
On commentary this week were Gilbert Corsey and Ted McNaler. They opened the show by hyping the big September 11th show, mentioning The Rock N Roll Express and Justin Smooth vs. Corey Storm II. Gilbert also mentioned that there will be two former WWE superstars there too and that tonight we will see a four-way match to decide an entrant in the $100,000 ladder match on the aforementioned show.
OVW TV Title Gauntlet Match
The first two competitors were Dustin Jackson and Chace. While I preferred Chace’s Chace Destiny gear in The Void, it is nice to see him being retooled. Hopefully, that leads to another push for him and Nigel. To that end, this one was surprisingly competitive given Dustin’s usual card position in comparison to the newly aristocratic heel. In the end though, a knee to the face won it for Dustin.
‘The Man’ Dapper Dan was in next. He’s a former OVW TV and Southern Tag Team champion and was actually once of the focused on stars when I first started watching OVW. The serial cheater started out with a sneaky attack but soon fell behind a rallying Jackson. Just when a Michinoku Driver looked to have the match won for the ‘Bro God’, Randall Floyd walked out and caused a distraction, allowing Dan to advance with a roll-up. Good, short match.
Randall Floyd turned out to be the next competitor and was incredibly happy with himself. Unfortunately for him, he spent so long shouting at Dustin, that Dapper Dan was able to score another shock roll-up win.
While Dustin and Randall brawled around the outside, the OVW TV Champion Jay Bradley made his entrance with his manager, Josh Ashcraft. The rest of the Legacy of Brutality followed shortly after, and the commentary team reminded us that Dapper Dan was actually once a member of the stable in its previous incarnation. Dan tried to play up on this, getting on the mic and trying to worm his way back into the group. Ashcraft put it to a vote. Hy-Zaya said no, so did Zo, Ca$h Flo, and Josh. Jay nailed the Boom Stick, and that was it.
The heels swamped the ring and started celebrating, and Gilbert had to remind them that there was one more competitor: Leonis Khan. Leonis was arrested after a bar fight with Hy-Zaya, and the result was he and Maximus losing the OVW Southern Tag Titles to Ca$h Flo and Jay Bradley when his replacement Zo turned on him. He came in like a house on fire here and the crowd was well and truly behind him. It was not to be his night though, as Bradley got the win with a rope-assisted roll-up.
The Legacy of Brutality ganged up on Leonis until Maximus Khan ran in to make the save. The numbers game came back to haunt him though, and before long, he too was taking a pounding. The stable stood tall as the segment ended.
That was one of the shorter gauntlets, but I enjoyed it. The first match was the only true match in there, with the rest of the gauntlet being an extended angle. Randall Floyd and Dustin Jackson’s story progressed with Randall looking more and more like a heel, and The Legacy of Brutality continued their dominance and rivalry with King’s Ransom. All in all, an enjoyable opening to the show.
Entourage 2.0 Backstage With Thunder Kitty / Valerie Vermin Is At It Again / Sinn Bodhi
DL3 and Shiloh Jonze appeared to be having an argument, but in a swerve, they had actually decided that Thunder Kitty was the source of their woes. As a result, they both dumped her and left together as best friends! As she was leaving, Thunder Kitty passed Valerie Vermin, who tried to make her way into Megan Bayne’s locker room again, only to be chased off by said OVW Women’s Champion. After that, we got a short video package with Sinn Bodhi promoting his OVW Anarchy Title match with Aamon at the September 11th show.
Short and to the point. I was actually hoping for a face turn for DL3 and a feud with Shiloh, but this works fine. I also like that when he though DL3 had fallen in love with him, Shiloh was flattered but not interested That’s actually made the heel less homophobic than face team King’s Ransom a few months back. I do wonder why they keep hanging out outside Megan’s locker room though. Meg and Valerie appear to still be on collision course, which is fine. And Sinn always brings the wackiness to his title matches, so that should be fun.
$100,000 Ladder Match Qualifier: ‘Mr. Marvelous’ Melvin Maximus vs. Shiloh Jonze vs. Drew Hernandez vs. Dimes
There was a funny moment where Shiloh interrupted Melvin’s kiss with his wife Miss Marvelous during the entrances. We also got a reminder that Drew won the last four-way match he was in, actually defeating Dimes as one of the competitors. The match initially split into two pairs, Dimes/Hernandez and Melvin/Shiloh. Once Dimes was taken out though, the heels teamed up on Melvin, at least until there was a pinfall chance. The story then shifted to the heels keeping Dimes out of the action as much as possible, only to have him come back and hit something flashy when he could. The back and forth action ended when Melvin took Shiloh to the floor on the outside and Dimes reversed a powerbomb into a match-winning Change Maker on Drew Hernandez.
This was a very enjoyable TV match. Both Shiloh and Drew were on fine form, and continue to look smooth in the ring. Melvin spent most of the action on the backfoot, which was a surprise given his current run of squash victories. Meanwhile, Dimes continues to connect well with the crowd. The match layout was good, with Melvin’s preoccupation with Shiloh building steadily through the match. Dimes and Drew had some good exchanges, and the underdog came out of the match looking great.
Corey vs. Smooth II / oVe Strikes / Two WWE Stars
We saw a brief video wrap-up for what happened last week, leading to the upcoming OVW Heavyweight Title rematch. After that, we cut backstage to see Dimes and Melvin Maximus laid out on the floor with OVE painted on their bodies. The commentators hinted at Sami Callihan being present again. After that, Gilbert announced the two former WWE superstars that will be at the September 11th show: Rhyno and Chavo Guerrero Jr.
Again, short and to the point, and a good continuation of last week’s appearance by Mad Man Fulton. Interestingly, the crowd had a dueling oVe/OVW chant going. The two ex-WWE announcements are fine too; neither was a major player for the company, but both should be able to work well with the OVW roster.
‘The Snake’ Adam Revolver & ‘The Trinidad Titan’ Justin Smooth vs. Corey Storm & Randy Royal
The crowd loves Corey Storm, and they responded well to the returning Randy Royal once he stepped through the curtain. The faces gelled well together and were pretty much unrelenting in dealing with Adam Revolver. The result was that the match went along at a good pace that highlighted the fan favourites’ strengths. Once Smooth got in, things became a little more back and forth. Corey got the win with a Category 5 on Smooth.
Randy Royal got on the microphone after the match and said that as an OVW original, he is challenging Corey Storm…to bring back the pride and glory to the OVW Heavyweight Title by beating Justin Smooth at Fight For Freedom. Corey accepted of course.
This was a fun match, clearly designed to get over the chance that Corey Storm could well walk out of Fight For Freedom as the champion. Adam Revolver was bumping well, and Smooth managed to avoid looking weak in his loss, so it was job done really. Great way to the end the show.
OVW 1045 – He Is Coming
On commentary again this week were Gilbert Corsey and Ted McNaler. They hyped the Fight For Freedom on September 11th again, and Gilbert said he has an announcement to make later regarding Rhyno and the Rock N Roll Express. The pair then talked a little about the Dustin Jackson/Randall Floyd feud and confirmed that they have a 60-minute time limit match coming up! Which brings us too…
60 Minute Tie Limit Match: ‘The Read Deal’ Randall Floyd vs. Dustin Jackson
The episode is less than an hour long, so you knew this wasn’t to go the distance, at least on TV. Given the chemistry between the two though, it was also clear that it was going to be a good match. After a bit of smack talk, a shoving match segued into a bout of pinfall trade-offs, and things were underway. From there, we got a good mix of limb work and big moves. Both guys had periods of control, and both had their opponent well scouted. In the end, the match went to a no contest, both because of the time limit, but because Mad man Fulton and Ace Austin ran in.
The Impact roster members beat down the two competitors after the match until the locker room emptied to chase them off.
These two really bring the best out of each other, and this was another fine example of that. Dustin fought hard to avoid letting Randall lock his holds in. Randall, for his part, was tenacious. One thing that really impressed was that, even during offensive flurries, both guys succeeded in looking more and more tired as they went on, and sold consistently. This was great work by both guys again.
The post-match angle was a surprise because, as the commentators asked, why would it be Ace Austin that Fulton was referring to? Still, Ace is a good shout and could do well against certain members of the roster.
Dean Hill discovered that Sam Thompson and William Lutz had been beaten up backstage. Upset by the invasion, he talked to the roster and rallied both heels and faces to take care of oVe. While everyone else filed out, Justin Smooth remained in place, telling them all to go and make the champ feel safe tonight. Corey Storm heard him and called him on it, so Smooth threw his champagne in Corey’s face and slammed him into a locker, knocking him out. Dean Hill was irate and sent Justin home for the night, threatening to take his title if he disobeys. The commissioner stormed off and found The Legacy of brutality playing cards rather than helping. He told them off and reminded Jay that he has a title to defend tonight too.
That was good. I like the OVW vs. oVe stuff, and we also got a little more interaction between the title contenders. It’ll be interesting to see whether the roster manages to drive out the invaders or not.
We learned that Nigel won a non-televised match to qualify for the $100,000 ladder match at Fight For Freedom. Gilbert also said that the Rock N Roll Express are going to compete at the show, and threw us over to a pre-taped video promo of the legendary tag team hyping up their match. He also confirmed that Rhyno will be competing, but not an opponent.
OVW TV Title Gauntlet
The first two entrants were the defending champion, Jay Bradley, and Maximus Khan. Maximus was the man that fell prey to Zo’s turn at the Saturday Night Special, and so this one was personal. This was mostly strikes and power moves, which made sense given the nature of it. The crowd were into it too and reacted appropriately to both guys. Maximus scored the win with a spear.
Next out was ‘The Indian Nightmare’ Vineeshhh. The debuting star is apparently well-traveled and spent the early going of the match getting the better of Maximus. The former tag champ won out though, hitting another spear for the win.
Chace was the next challenger. I’m actually beginning to really like the clash of his creepy contact lenses and the fancy clothing. Unfortunately, he didn’t get a chance to shine here and was pinned almost immediately with a spear.
Colton Cage made his return next. Cage was the first man to have to defend the OVW TV Title under gauntlet rules and hasn’t been seen since his feud with Dustin Jackson ended. The former champ took it to the tired Maximus Khan, but after missing a scissor kick, ate a spear and was eliminated.
The final competitor was another form OVW TV champion, Drew Hernandez. Drew took control immediately and controlled the early part of the match. Maximus khan was able to rally though and won the match with another spear.
After the match, Mad Man Fulton and Ace Austin ran in again and started beating down both guys. Much like last week with the Legacy of Brutality, Leonis ran in tackle the group on his own and got beaten down. Dustin Jackson and Randall Floyd ran in with chairs then and ran them off. Dean Hill then stormed out to the ring and demanded that oVe get back to the ring right now.
Of course, they did come out, and Dean told them to tell him what they wanted. Mad Man Fulton said they’ll be here on September 11th, because he wants them here on September 11th. Dean Hill told them that there is no way they’ll be involved with Fight For Freedom. Mad Man Fulton replied that it was already set and pointed to the video screen. We then got a pre-taped Sami Callihan promo, saying that he’s going to come to OVW next week himself to negotiate a contract for Fight For Freedom.
So, I wasn’t a fan of the match itself. There was too much of the face gets beaten down, then hits one move/very few moves to win trope for my liking. Given that he’s usually a tag team worker too, Leonis seems like an odd choice to win on the face of it. The crowd is behind him though, so that’s a good sign.
The angle after the match was decent. Leonis really needs to stop running in on his own to face groups of people, but it was good to see Dustin and Randall uniting against the invaders. The oVe stuff is always good in OVW too, so it’ll be interesting to see where it leads as we head towards the big show.
This was a good two week run of shows for OVW. There weren’t any in-ring botches, and bar a few minor sound issues, everything felt well produced too. In particular, the video packages are getting better and better as they go along. I’m a fan of Gilbert Corsey and Ted McNaler as a commentary duo too, as they play off each other well.
Let’s pick some highlights from the two shows:
MVP: This was pretty tough. I’m going to give it to Corey Storm though. He was excellent in the main tag match at episode 1044, and though his role at 1045 was limited, he still managed to get a little interaction with his future opponent. The crowd loves him, and they’ll be behind him at Fight For Freedom.
Best Match: I’m going to give this to the $100,000 Ladder match Qualifier from episode 1044. It’s a very good TV match that managed to get a lot of different things across. Dimes came out of it with a hard-fought victory, we finally saw a weakness in Melvin Maximus, and both Shiloh Jonze and Drew Hernandez played the dastardly villain role well. The action looked really good to boot.
Best Angle/Promo: This one has to be the ongoing oVe shenanigans. While I don’t believe he’s actually part of the stable, Ace Austin is a good addition to the angle, and Mad Man Fulton always looks impressive. That we now know Sami is going to appear too is a bonus. I’m looking forward to seeing how this ends up affecting the Fight For Freedom card.
So, those were my thoughts. But what about yourselves? Did you watch the shows? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below.