Welcome, one and all, to my first YouTube Wrestle War post! This is going to be similar to my Crunchyroll of the Dice anime series, in that I’m going to watch three different wrestling shows on YouTube, give my thoughts, and let you know who won for week based on a simples coring system over multiple categories. My picks: OVW TV, MLW Fusion, and NWA Powerrr. So, let’s dive right in!
OVW TV: 1053
The show opened with the usual recap of the previous week, this time focusing on Jax Dane winning the top contender’s Rumble match.
Jax Dane Risks It All
This week’s commentary team, Gilbert Corsey and Ted McNaler, hyped up the Tuesday Night Fightmare show in two weeks. This brought out the current OVW Heavyweight Champion, ‘The Trinidad Titan’ Justin Smooth. He cut a promo talking about how he’s in a bad mood, then pointed out that Jax Dane has been absent for almost a year now. Smooth listed off his conquests this year, and declared Jax unworthy of a title shot.
Jax then came out to interrupt, causing Smooth to back up a little. Jax snatched the mic and tore into Justin’s assessment. He pointed out that he’s a former NWA Heavyweight Champion, and last week, he defeated the Legacy of Brutality by himself. He set himself up as just like the fans, then told Justin that he’ll fight anyone Justin wants to earn a title shot. Justin said he’d hold him to that, and left.
This was a good opening segment. It played into Justin’s manipulative persona well, and gave Jax a chance to connect with the fans again, so job done there. Just has been warned about making matches before though, and it’s a risk by Jax if he truly puts his title shot on the line here.
The Nightmare Cup Round One: The Legacy of Brutality def. Adam Revolver & Ted McNaler
Revolver cut a quick promo before the match to set the match up. He explained that Josh Ashcraft has gotten The LoB back into the tournament via a loophole: Only two members lost a few weeks back, so there are two members that haven’t lost yet. He then offered Ted McNaler a chance to join him in the match, reviving their old Mobile Homers team. Ted was reluctant, but after drinking some moonshine, he reverted to his Ted ‘The Trailer’ McNaler persona. Hy-Zaya and Ca$h Flo immediately grabbed Ted and flattened him. That caused Revolver to flee, and gave the LoB an easy win.
This was more of an angle than a match, but I was happy with it. I feel like The Legacy of Brutality have been mistreated in recent weeks, with not only their first round loss making them look foolish, but their Rumble loss to Jax Dane weakening them. This puts them back on the rise again, which is a definite positive, as the group has a lot of potential.
A Briefcase Opening Drill / Pain For Bayne? / Entourage 2.Oh No!
We cut backstage, where Ashton Cove and William Lutz were trying to break open Sam Thompson’s $100,000 briefcase. Ashton claimed to have seen a ‘briefcase opening drill’ down the hallway and said Lutz should go and get it. When he left to do so, Ashton took the briefcase and ran. That was pretty fun.
We then cut to Max the Impaler who was busy beating up referees and demanding to face Megan Bayne. They told her that Megan was in Las Vegas, so Max left to find her. At which point, Shiloh Jonze and DL3 entered, arguing about DL3 apparently being with Thunder Kitty last week. They ended the segment by going their separate ways. I liked this double header of angles. It was a really short segment, but it put across both Max’s run at the Women’s Title and the continued internal issues with Shiloh and his crew. Good stuff.
OVW TV Title Gauntlet Match: Tony Gunn def. Ashton Cove, Drew Hernandez, William Lutz, Dustin Jackson and Randall Floyd
Shannon The Dude joined Gilbert at commentary here, allowing Ted to sell his injuries. First out were ‘Real Deal’ Randall Floyd and Ashton Cove, who was still carrying the stolen briefcase. This was as quick as you’d expect, with Floyd squashing Cove in quick order. To make things worse for the resident thief, William Lutz snuck out during the match and took the briefcase too.
‘The Mayan Mauler’ Drew Hernandez was in next and went straight to work on the fan favourite Floyd. Drew came out of this one looking really good, after spending a good amount of time physically dominating his foe. A series of disrespectful slaps woke up Floyd though, and he was able to put the big man away with his version of the Angle Slam.
William Lutz came out with the briefcase and took a microphone. He told Floyd that he’d love to beat him for the OVW TV Title again, but was going to play it safe and stick with the briefcase As h tried to leave, Cove attacked him and stole the briefcase though.
With Lutz counted out, that brought out ‘The Bro God’ Dustin Jackson. While tag partner is the Nightmare Cup, these two have had a competitive rivalry for some time now, and that was made clear in this match. The pair went back and forth, trading moves and strikes, but with an early focus on the fresh Jackson. Once Randall took over, we were treated to some nice psychology with Jackson having all of his big moves scouted. In the end, Floyd reversed a Boston Crab attempt into a small package, with both men’s shoulders on the mat, leading to a double elimination.
The final entrant, defending champion ‘Shotgun’ Tony Gunn then came out and took the mic. He cut a promo on Dustin and Randall, and told them they actually need to win a match a get to him. He said that he thought it was funny that people still think he turned his back on OVW, but that their rivalry was even funnier. He threw out some insults, and a three-way brawl erupted to end the segment.
This was a very good gauntlet match. The stuff with Lutz and Cove was fun, Randall Floyd came out of it looking like a star – much like he did when he first returned to OVW – and both he and Jackson continued their rivalry. Meanwhile, Gunn continues to get over as a heel champ, and is reminding us why he was a top liner for the company.
Justin Smooth Has A Plan / Tuesday Night Fightmare Killed The Radio Star / Aamon-ster
Backstage, Justin Smooth was seen talking to someone of camera. He told them that they’d be fine against Jax Dane, and if it goes wrong, he has their back. I wonder who it is?
We then cut back to the commentary team who spoke some more about the upcoming Tuesday Night Fightmare. They mentioned that Megan Bayne will defend her title against Max The Impaler, The Nightmare Cup and Justin Smooth vs. Jax Dane. Finally, Gilbert spoke about the guest host, radio personality Steven Rummage. Shannon The Dude, who has been clashing with Rummage on social media, complained about this and that brought the man himself out. After security came out to keep them apart, Commissioner Dean Hill appeared and told Shannon that he and Rummage would clash at the show. It would be Shannon The Dude and Adam Revolver vs. Steven Rummage and a partner of his choosing with Shannon’s Radio Championship on the line. Decent angle to set up a celebrity match at the show, but with trained workers to shoulder the action.
The lights cut and Aamon appeared up in the rafters. He cut a quick promo on Sinn Bodhi, putting over his opponent and building up their OVW Anarchy Title match at the Tuesday Night Fightmare. He invited Sinn to meet him in his home, so I guess it’s going to be a pre-taped gimmick match. I’m cool with that if that’s the case. Honestly, this is the most interesting Aamon has been for me since his feud with The Void.
Jax Dane def. Max the Impaler
Justin Smooth revealed his chosen opponent for Jax as Max the Impaler. Gilbert put this over as the number one contender for the OVW Heavyweight Title versus the number one contender for the OVW Women’s Title. They played up on Jax not wanting to hit a woman, but he didn’t need to worry. She kicked him in the nuts very quickly, causing a DQ.
After the match, Jax briefly teased choke slamming Max, but Justin saved him from becoming a woman beater by jumping him. Things didn’t end well for the champ though, as Jax took him apart with a vast array of power moves, including a beautiful belly-to-belly suplex. The show went off air with Jax Dane standing tall.
That was a surprise choice by Smooth. Again, more of an angle than a match, but it was decent. At worst, I’d say the post-match beatdown maybe went on a little longer than needed, but it achieved its goal of making it clear that Jax could be the one to dethrone Smooth.
From start to finish, this was a very good show. The matches all served a purpose, a bunch of storylines were progressed, and everybody had their working boots on. It’s a shame that OVW seem to be suffering with some intermittent audio issues since getting their TV deal, because they’re really working hard to put on a great show. Here, it was also nice to see OVW show that their roster has enough depth to put on shows with featuring someone of the usual suspects like Corey Storm and King’s Ransom. Really good work overall.
MLW Fusion 80
The show opened with a recap about The Dynasty getting a court order to prevent their title match with The Von Erichs in Tijuana. That segued into…
Texas Tornados / Jimmy Causing Havoc
The Von Erichs cut a pre-taped promo, putting over that The Dynasty are cowardly. They also confirmed that the match is not off, but has instead been moved to the upcoming Superfight show. It will also now be a Texas Tornado Tag Match. Good, short promo for what should be an excellent match.
We then got a video package for Jimmy Havoc, who happens to the executive producer for tonight’s show. He cut a promo about how violent the show will be. He ran down the hardcore portion of the card. Decent video to hype the bloodbath that I’m sure will come.
Los Haraganes def. Triple Amenaza
Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch welcomed us to the opening match, Los Haraganes (Animal, Demencia, Silver Star) vs. Triple Amenaza (Star Boy, Arandu, Zarco). The commentary team did a good job of putting over that these two groups have been having a blood feud in The Crash Lucha Libre, who are joint hosting this episode. Los Haraganes won with a Triple-Team Triple Powerbomb on the rudos.
This was pretty typical of what you’ll see in the modern lucha scene. The rudos controlled a fair bit of the match, and were a little more brawl-based than the quicker technicos. We got some big moves, and some bumps through floor-boards that were set up against the guard rail. In all, it was an enjoyable opener.
In the middle of the opening match, CONTRA Unit interrupted with a video package. This was designed to build up the Salina De La Renta vs. CONTRA feud that’s brewing, and in particular the LA Park vs. Jacob Fatu match that’s coming at the Superfight. As always, this was a decent promo form the group.
LA Park Is Ready For Battle / H2O-TV
The legendary LA Park was backstage with Salina De La Renta and cut a promo where he told Jacob Fatu he was going to ‘break his fucking face and end him’. This was a good, short promo to put over how confident the former WCW star is heading into the PPV match.
We then cut to a hotel swimming pool where Brian Pillman Jr. was hanging out with a young lady. Brian ripped on Low-Ki’s voice a little. Why? Because he gave Brian some advice last week, and Brian didn’t like it. While fine for what it was, I still have the same problem as I always did with these H2TV segments: the stable are supposed to be faces, but come across as very arrogant whenever they do them. Here, Brian was essentially an asshole. If they’re turning him, that’s fine, but this wasn’t any different tonally than any other promo they’ve done.
Next, we cut to Salina De La Renta and Jimmy Havoc on the roof. Salina questioned what she was doing there, and Jimmy talked about how much he liked blood. He introduced El Hijo De LA Park and then got into an argument with Salina. Apparently, someone else was supposed to be there too but didn’t get the memo. The segment ended with Josef jumpstarting the match. This was fine, and I liked the dissension between Salina and Jimmy. The important thing is the match though.
Tijuana Street Fight: Josef Samael vs. El Hijo De LA Park
Josef tore into LA Park’s son here, beating the life out of him all around the roof. He physically shoved Salina De La Renta too, playing into the feud between CONTRA Unit and Promociones Dorado. El Hijo eventually got back into things and the two continued to brawl all over the place. Just as El Hijo looked to be building an advantage, Simon Gotch and Ikuro Kwan turned up and beat him down while Salina made a call for backup. The matchup ended there with no clear finish, and El Hijo was taken to the hospital.
This was an entertaining walkaround brawl that looked more like a fight than a wrestling match. It did a great job of building up the feud between the two stables, and in particular, making it clear to Salina that she doesn’t have a definite victory on her hands.
Southern Psycho-Warpath / Jimmy Goes To Hell / Superfight Hype / Lawyers And Compromises
We cut to a video phone promo with Mance Warner. He talked about his recent bloody battle with Jimmy Havoc, and said he wants a rematch at the PPV in a Stairway To Hell Match. That’s basically a Ladder Match with barbed wire hanging above the ring. Mance is consistent on the mic and plays his character well. This was no exception.
We then cut to Jimmy himself who says he’s just seen a tweet from Mance Warner, and blames the MLW staff for not letting him kill him. He agrees to the match. That was a good promo from Jimmy and the match should be absolutely brutal.
Next, we got a brief video package to cover what to expect at the Superfight PPV. There are too many things to go through in detail here, but the show looks awesome. Top to bottom, there isn’t a potentially bad match on there.
We cut to The Dynasty, who were hanging out back in the USA. MJF didn’t know that the Von Erichs were getting to pick the stipulation for their match at the PPV. This was the typical fun video from the heel group, and got their rich-boy personas across well.
No DQ Triangle Match: Savio Vega, Damian 666, Jimmy Havoc
It was interesting to see that Damian came out with Salina De La Renta and was listed as being presented by her, but Jimmy wasn’t. Anyway, it didn’t take long for the plunder to come out, which set the tone for the match. This was pretty much a tale of three guys hitting each other with stuff until Havoc pinned Savio with an Acid Rainmaker. After the match, he beat up Damian 66 some more for good measure, only to be run off by Damian’s real life son, Bestia 666.
This was exactly what you’d expect it to be. If you’re into plunder brawls then you’ll enjoy it well enough. I like the hint at a potential Jimmy vs. Bestia match too, as Bestia would be a good foil for him.
A decent show, though not the best MLW have produced. The pairing with The Crash Lucha Libre is good for both sides, I think. Here, I thought that the Josef Samael/El Hijo De LA Park fight was really good, and the promos were all decent too. So, good job by MLW in building up towards an awesome looking PPV.
NWA Powerrr 3
The show opened with a rundown of fan reactions to the last show. I really like that. It makes it very personal feeling in terms of their relationship with their fans. After that, we got a video rundown of Nick Aldis vs. Tim Storm from episode 1, and the interview with Aldis and Kamille last week. Joe Galli then made a video statement confirming that he has been told that his line of questioning with Kamille has been confrontational, so tonight, he will only speak to Aldis about the NWA Heavyweight Title. This has been an intriguing angle so far, because I’m really not certain where it’s heading.
The Mad King Is Angry
The legendary Jim Cornette and Joe Galli welcome us to the show, and are immediately interrupted by ‘The Mad King’ Eddie Kingston. He confirmed that he and Homicide are still getting their title shots, but that they also want revenge on The Dawsons after their attack last week. He said they’d fight them tonight, next week, next month, or any time. Eddie is always a delight on the mic, and this was no exception. He always comes across as authentic, and the crowd are loving him. That makes me happy, because he was so close to retiring, and he’d be a genuinely sad loss to the industry.
Marti Belle def. Crystal Rose
These two went back and forth, trading off their own brand of offense. In that regard, Crystal is more of a bruiser than the quicker Marti, but Marti is certainly capable of brawling too. In the end, Marti won with a Pedigree.
This was my first time seeing either woman in action. While not the greatest women’s match you’ll see this year, it was a good showing from both competitors. During the match, Cornette also confirmed that The Dawsons are coming out to respond to Kingston after the match, so nice progression there.
The Dawsons Will Fight…But Not You / Thunder Rosa Is Coming / Yo-Ho-Ho
David Marquez called The Dawsons out to the interview desk and asked them why they attacked everyone last week. The brothers riled the crowd up and said that they’re here to throw their weight around. They then said that they’ve been challenged and will fight any single guy back there…except those two. Decent TV promo to build up the eventual match and make it clear the heels want to mess with the faces. Given the match up in styles, I’m looking forward to that one. When it happens, it’s gonna look stiff!
That was followed by a short video package for Thunder Rosa. I’m not familiar with her work, but I like the Dia de Muertos style face paint.
Joe Galli then welcomed us to the interview desk for a talk with Tim Storm, but before the former top contender could come out, Aron Stevens entered. He reminded everyone of his no eye contact rule, and the crowd started chanting Captain Morgan at him. He was dressed as a pirate, so it makes sense. He threw us over to B-Roll footage from his latest film, ‘Tropical Pirates’. That got some good heat, and he left to a chorus of boos. Cheesy, but enjoyable stuff there.
Caleb Konley def. Dan Parker
This was a short match to get Konley over. To that end, he got to show off a mix of smooth mat work, a couple of good strikes, and some nice flying moves. Cornette did a good job of putting him over on commentary too. In the end, Parker got a short flurry of control, only for the popular Konley to rally and hit a beautiful springboard moonsault for the win.
What I liked about this was that it was designed to get Konley over, but Parker didn’t come out of it looking weak either. If anything I thought he played his role well. Good work from both guys.
Eli And The Perfect Storm / Jocephus / The Champ Is Here
Back at the interview desk, Joe Galli finally got to speak to Tim Storm. He reminded the veteran that the deal was that, as he lost to Aldis, he can never challenge for the NWA Heavyweight Title again. Storm put Aldis over and told the fans that he had no regrets. He started to talk bout his future in wrestling, but before he could go into detail, Eli Drake interrupted. Eli talked about how good Storm is and tried to convince him to not retire. Why? Because he wants to tag with him to go after the NWA Tag Titles. He told Storm that he’s already arranged a match for them with The Dawsons. Storm said he’ll think about it and left. Good work from both guys. The retirement teas from Storm and the admiration from current star Eli Drake worked well in tandem.
Next, Jocephus came out to speak to David Marquez. Two weeks ago, he got into a studio-wide brawl with James Storm, and was apparently out to apologize to Storm and shake his hand. The Cowboy didn’t appear though, and instead, we got Colt Cabana. The lovable goof took a cowboy hat and beer from Jocephus, shook his hand, and started to leave…but Jocephus pulled him back and hit him with the mysterious white wrestling powder. He started to beat on ‘Boom Boom’, but the real James Storm came out and superkicked him. Colt’s tag partner Ken Anderson pulled Cabana out before the NWA National Champion could attack him too. That was a fun angle. It’ll be interesting to see if it leads to Anderson vs. Storm down the line.
Next up, Nick Aldis (and Kamille) came out to speak with Joe Galli. He said that the NWA is cooking, and that there’s plenty of people competing for the title. He mentioned a few names, but said that nobody has moved to the front of the pack yet. Aldis said he’ll let it all play out, but in the meantime, maybe he’ll look outside the NWA for a challenge. Joe then returned to why Aldis won’t let Kamille speak for herself, which the champ danced around again. He said she can speak whenever she wants, so Joe tried questioning her again. Once again, she blanked the question. Aldis said that she doesn’t speak unless she feels like speaking, and when she does, Joe will be the first to know. I like how this is building up. There are a lot of good opponents for Aldis on the roster too, so we’ll see where they end up with that one.
The Dawsons def. Eli Drake & Tim Storm
There was a short tease as to whether Tim Storm would come out to partner with Eli, and he got a good reaction when he finally did. Meanwhile, The Dawsons got the best sort of heel reaction. Eli Drake come across really well here; he’s a very audible worker and his moves look huge. Case in point, he hit a swinging neck breaker early on that looked great. In the end, The Dawsons hit their tag finisher on Tim Storm for the win.
That was a decent TV main event. Everyone pulled their weight, nobody lacked a chance to shine, and the crowd were hot throughout.
The Difference Between Heels And Faces
After the match, The Dawsons continued their beat down on Time Storm. As you’d expect, Homicide and Eddie Kingston ran in to make the save. The Dawsons bailed before they could get their hands on them though, so they gave chase. The show went off the air with Nick Aldis coming out to check on Tim Storm with the recovering Eli Drake.
This was the angle I expected to end the show. Here’s the thing to note: The Dawsons attacked both The Wild Cards and Kingston and Homicide last week, causing their match to be declared a no-contest. This week, Kingston and Homicide waited until the match was done, and only went after The Dawsons. That’s a subtle but important distinction because it shows clearly which team your supposed to cheer. That The Dawsons verbally ducked them earlier and physically scarpered here sets it up as a slow-burn angle too. Again, I’m looking forward to when they do square off, two-on-two.
NWA Powerrr has the best opening video of the three companies ‘m looking at. I mean, c’mon! It’s Dokken! An old school band with an old school song that fits well with old school wrestling. The show itself has an interesting feel too, with the intimate setting and lack of entrance music. The roster has a lot of depth too, with a couple of stars they clearly want to focus on, but always making time to show off some new talent too. This was an easy watch.
Let The Battle Commence
So, I’m going to be picking a winner from the following categories: Best Angle/Promo, Best Crowd, Best Match, MVP, Overall Best Show. The winner in each category gets two points, and all I the case of a draw, those involved get one point. In the end, we’ll pick a winner based on the total scores. So, let’s begin.
Best Angle/Promo: OVW trundled along nicely this week, with the angles being kept short and simple. Some of it was silly (but in the right way), and the Dane/Smooth/Max stuff was a little risky, but nothing was bad. MLW fell a little behind for me, but I absolutely loved the CONTRA Unit vs. Promociones Dorado progression. My only quarrel with it was that I wasn’t certain whether they were trying to turn Salina and co. NWA had a similar mix of short and simple stuff as OVW, but with a generally more serious tone overall. The exception was the show long angle with The Dawsons and Kingston and Homicide. Even putting aside how much I enjoy Eddie Kingston’s work in general, that was well executed, and featured a clear progression from last week. In truth, it was the most standout angle across all three shows for me. As such… The Winner Is: The Dawsons Duck Eddie Kingston/Homicide [NWA Powerrr]
Best Crowd: This one is perhaps slightly unfair for MLW. You’ll notice that different crowds in different countries react very differently to one another. As such, the normally excellent MLW fans felt a little off to me this week. Similarly, while they reacted appropriately, OVW’s fans seemed a little quiet this week. Given the occasional audio issues they’ve had though, that could be a technical issue. That means that this is an easy win for the NWA. Their fans boo and cheer who they’re meant to, laugh when they should, and keep the noise going throughout. The Winner Is: NWA Powerrr
Best Match: NWA Powerrr seems to build around a mix of TV squashes and a big main event, so their main contender here was The Dawsons vs. Eli Drake & Tim Storm. As TV matches go, it was probably the most technically proficient on display this week. MLW went down a different route, and for me, it was the Josef Samael vs. El Hijo De LA Park fight that stood out. It felt real, and it pushed the attached feud forward, so good stuff there. OVW saw the TV Title Gauntlet step up a notch. While perhaps not as technically good a match as the NWA main event – due entirely to the time constraints of individual sections – it did a really good job of building multiple stories. A lot of the people involved are looking like real stars to me, and that helped push it over the edge. The Winner Is: The OVW TV Title Gauntlet [OVW TV]
MVP: OVW is a strange beast in that it doesn’t always give too much focus to one individual person. Justin Smooth and Jax Dane were undoubtedly the big focus this week, bookending the show, but they do well with splitting time across the stars. The problem is, while nobody fell short of expectations, I don’t think anyone really stepped up above the rest for me. MLW went the opposite way and placed most of the focus on Jimmy Havoc as he executive producer for the show. Despite him getting the brunt of the focus though, it was Salina De La Renta that shone brightest, making the best use of her TV time to put her character across. NWA was different still, with different workers get multi-section moments of focus scattered through the show. Of them, I though Eli Drake was the biggest star though. His promo with Tim Storm was good, he has a great look and does excellent work I the ring, and he was name dropped by Nick Aldis during the NWA Heavyweight Title promo. For that…The Winner Is: Elie Drake [NWA Powerrr]
Overall Best Show: This was a tough one to call. MLW’s focus on hardcore wrestling made it one of their weaker shows since I started watching. I don’t object to plunder brawls, but the show felt reliant on the plunder to live up to their normal heights. NWA had the brunt of the highlights for me in terms of angles and star power. OVW meanwhile put on a solid, easy watch that advanced more stories than the others, but with no major star-making (or star-destroying) moments. While different in their strengths, I will say that I enjoyed two of these shows equally this week. The Winner Is: Draw [OVW TV & NWA Powerrr]
FINAL SCORE: NWA Powerrr (7 points) – OVW TV (3 points) – MLW Fusion (0 points)
It was actually a little closer between NWA Powerrr and OVW TV than the score would have you believe, and MLW Fusion wasn’t a worthless show either. When it comes to straight comparison though, that’s the right overall rankings I think.
But what about yourselves? Did you watch these shows? What did you think? Do you agree with my rankings? Let me know in the comments below.