Welcome, everyone, to the second YouTube Wrestle War. OVW, MLW, and NWA are all putting out some quality content for free right now, and I’m loving being able to compare them. So, here we go with the latest triple threat tangle for these three companies!
OVW TV 1054
We get a brief re-run of the Jax Dane/Justin Smooth angle from last week, then cut to…
Rummage-ing Around / Dean’s Law / Inter-Gender Action / Radio Rebels
Outside the arena, Steve Rummage appeared and said that he’d found a tag partner for the Radio World Title tag match against Shannon The Dude and Adam Revolver. He wasn’t here yet though, so there was some doubt as to whether he’d make it in time for the contract signing. Decent, short segment to build up an angle for later.
We then went to the arena, where Gilbert Corsey and Shannon The Dude welcomed us to the show and threw things over to the OVW Commissioner, Dean Hill. Dean announced that some of the Nightmare Cup competitors had been offered a chance to appear for Impact Wrestling and that he has decided that all four Nightmare Cup teams will take part in an elimination match next week for the Nightmare Cup! That’s awesome to hear. There are some good teams in the OVW Tag Division, and some great singles competitors too.
Justin Smooth came out to interrupt with a cool headset mic. He was upset because the main event tonight is a mixed tag match, and he wants no part of it. Why? Because women do not belong in the ring with the champ. That brought out OVW Women’s Champion Megan Bayne, who told Justin that if he has a problem with women’s wrestling, he should say it to her face. He told her that he was worried he and OVW would be sued if he hit her. Megan said they could ditch the concept and make it a true intergender match, meaning he can hit her with no repercussions…but she can hit him too. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; these two are two of the real stars for OVW. This was a good segment, and the crowd loved it.
Finally, we got two quick-fire segments with Shannon building up the contract signing a little more, then a pre-taped promo from Sarah the Rebel, who will be debuting against Cali Young next week. Both bits were fine; Shannon did a good job playing the heel, and Sarah seems to have an unhinged character. It’s good to see the Women’s Division growing.
OVW TV Title Gauntlet: AJZ def. Dimes, Ashton Cover, William Lutz, Corey Storm, and ‘Shotgun’ Tony Gunn
Out first were defending champion Tony Gunn and Dimes. That’s an interesting pairing to kick things off, as Dimes defeated Tony in the gauntlet before, back when he won the OVW Heavyweight Title. The crowd was great here, giving Gunn plenty of heat, and getting behind the smaller fan-favourite. What we got was a back and forth battle of speed against strength. In the end, Tony nailed a Kill Shot to block the Change Maker and took the win.
Ashton Cove – and his stolen $100,000 briefcase – was out next, but got jumped by William Lutz before he could get in the ring. The pair brawled outside the ring until Dapper Dan turned up and beat them both up to steal the briefcase himself. The referee declared both Cover and Lutz as eliminated. That was good, especially as Tony’s next opponent was…
Corey Storm! The youngster continues to get a great response from the OVW crowd, and it’s not hard to see why. He’s got a unique look, he works well with the fans, and his in-ring work has been great so far. Storm took it to the champ throughout this encounter, and it took Gunn feigning a hand injury to set up a Kill Shot to take the win. Good work in making Storm a viable threat and Gunn a sneaky heel there.
The final competitor was AJZ. AJZ came close to defeating Justin Smooth a few weeks ago and has a really good physique. This was another good showing for the rookie, despite some inconsistent selling, but the match didn’t last long enough for him to show too much. It all came to an end when Tony went for the Kill Shot, and AJZ managed to duck under and hit a roll-up to win the title.
That was a decent gauntlet. I’m happy to see Dapper Dan involved with the briefcase shenanigans, as he’s actually better than you’d expect just looking at him. Also liked that, with that, Gilbert continued to note that whoever has the case should just go and deposit the cash. I suspect it’s building up to Sam Thompson revealing that he already did. Dimes and Corey’s involvement I the Nightmare Cup telegraphed that they weren’t winning here, but Tony’s loss was a surprise. I’ll be interested to see how AJZ develops from here.
Gunned Down / ??? Killed The Radio Champ / The Creep Show
Tony Gunn was not happy about the result and laid AJZ out after the match. He then took the mic, declared the gauntlet to be stupid, and walked out with the belt. Good, short promo.
We got a brief recap of the Shannon The Dude/Steve Rummage angle from last week, then the commentators ran down the Tuesday Night Fightmare card so far. Once we got to the Radio Title tag match, Shannon threw us over to some video footage of Steve Rummage trying – and failing – to convince Simon Dean to be his partner.
We then went straight to the contract signing. They stalled a little, playing up on Steve’s partner having been out of the country and not being at the arena yet. Adam Revolver signed the contract, meaning that it would officially be a handicap match if Steve’s partner didn’t turn up before the end of the segment. They teased fighting right now, then…’The Pope’ D’Angelo Dinero came out! The Pope got a great reaction and cut a quick promo before signing the contract.
Good segment that had the desired reaction. Interestingly, I think there must have been an audio issue with Pope’s music, as it seemed overdubbed on the video. That at least means OVW spent some time trying to fix the issue before they put the episode out, so that’s good.
We then got a pre-taped promo with Sinn Bodhi. The Warlord of Weird was his usual creepy self here, and confirmed that he accepts Aamon’s challenge.
Inter-Gender Tag Match: Megan Bayne & Jax Dane def. Justin Smooth & Max The Impaler
Ted McNaler replaced Shannon The Dude on commentary here because…well…Shannon ran away.
This was a tale of multiple rivalries. The commentary team did a good job in making it clear that Megan is not used to being overpowered in the way she was here. Max wore the champ down until she was incapacitated. Then Justin Smooth begged to be tagged in.
Smooth was shocked to find himself on the receiving end of a Megan suplex, leading to a hot tag to Jax Dane. Jax then threw the champ around until Max got back in to interfere. The ref got bumped, and everything broke down into a big brawl. Max then made use of the referee being out cold by setting up a table in the corner. She tried to spear Megan through it, but Jax ended up taking the bullet. The shock allowed Smooth to get a roll-up on Megan for the win.
The match was fine. Nothing stand-out, and the inter-gender stipulation didn’t come into play as much as I expected, but it certainly got some important points across. One is that Justin Smooth is still an opportunist, and will likely sue that to beat Dane at the big show. The other is that if Max gets a hold of Megan, she is perfectly capable of taking her down. That means that Megan is going to need to show more resilience than ever before.
Decent show with less audio issues this week. The Gauntlet was very good again, and the key players are all looking strong heading into the Tuesday Night Fightmare. In all, this was an enjoyable watch.
MLW Fusion 81
We opened up Josef Samael cutting a promo on Promociones Dorado, covering what happened at the last show. Jacob Fatu declared that his match with LA Park will not be a Super Fight, but a massacre to end the segment. This was the usual intense greatness from CONTRA Unit.
Hart Foundation def. Dragon Lee & Extreme Tiger
Rich Bocchini and AJ Kirsch welcomed us to the show while Brian Pillman Jr. and Davey Boy Smith Jr. made their entrance. Being in Tijuana, Davey was wearing a lucha mask for his entrance too. Pillman continued to play up his arrogant persona in the early going, keeping his shades on and posing to stall. Davey meanwhile, got in on the routine by using a handshake to trap Extreme Tiger.
This one told the story that Davey is bigger and stronger than the Mexican team, while Pillman is still angry after Low-Ki’s recent comments. Both members of the Hart Foundation embraced their enforced heel roles here, which not only helped the match along but made the crowd nice and noisy. The end came when Extreme Tiger accidentally took out his own partner then fell to a Hart Foundation double team attack.
The match was good, with the Mexican crowd reacting more like an American crowd in this one. I was glad that The Hart Foundation embraced the fact that they were always going to get booed against these two. The only problem with it is that it made me want a proper Pillman heel turn even more.
Super Fight Is Super / Salina Is Smoking & LA Park Is Mad / Dynasty & The Von Erichs / Hart And Soul
We got a video package running down the entire Super Fight card and, frankly, it looks superb. There isn’t one match on that show that doesn’t have something going for it, and the build has been phenomenal so far. Great stuff.
That led nicely into a pre-taped promo with Salina De La Renta, complete with cigar. She was all business tonight, not to mention power-hungry. For her, the feud with CONTRA Unit is a war, and she expects nothing but victory for Promociones Dorado. As always, Salina was excellent here.
We then cut to LA Park who was upset about CONTRA Unit injuring his son last week. The promo was short but had some passion behind it. Basically, he wants to break each member of CONTRA Unit’s faces.
Then, we cut to The Dynasty, who were back in the USA. Hammerstone had apparently been sneaking some stuff from the Mexican pharmacy over the border. Meanwhile, Rich Holliday now has a Louis Vuitton airpod case. They toasted themselves to end a short, character-driven segment.
That was followed immediately by a very short promo by the Von Erichs, who want to beat The Dynasty for the MLW Tag Titles.
Next, we got a video about The Hart Foundation, meeting fans and signing merchandise. This was a massive change from how they were treated during their match.
Proximo & Terror Azteca def. Toto & Torito Negro
This one was over quickly. We had some dives, some chops, and Terror Azteca pinned Torito. That’s about all I can say about it, unfortunately, as there was little else to note.
Promociones Dorado def. CONTRA Unit
Josef Samael, Simon Gotch, and Ikuro Kwon represented CONTRA here, giving the Heavyweight champ a break before the big show. No such maneuvering for the Mexican team though, as Salina sent out LA Park, Mecha Wolf and Bestia 666. That was a nice touch as it showed that LA Park is taking this all very personally and that he will not back down from the brutal CONTRA Unit.
This one immediately became a ringside walkabout brawl, with LA Park sticking closely to the man that hurt his son, Josef Samael. The whole first chunk of the match was all CONTRA too, with the vicious heel just tearing Salina’s men apart. Things started to turn around for them – and the crowd really came alive – when a dive trade-off saw the Mexican team gain control of the proceedings.
Eventually, the match settled into a back and forth affair, with both teams hitting some big moves in an attempt to end things. We also learned that Jacob Fatu was busy trying to get through security to storm the ring. The end sequence was a hot streak of gimmicks, with red mist, a fireball, and finally, LA Park getting some revenge with a spear to pin Samael.
That was fun. The match didn’t do anything fancy to stand-out, and the layout was messy, but it felt like a big-time fight. Easily the best match on the show, and well worth a watch if you’re invested in Salina’s battle with CONTRA.
That was a better show than last week, I thought. Perhaps a little heavy on the video packages, but the bookend matches made up for it, albeit in different ways. The PPV is looking phenomenal too, so good job.
NWA Powerrr 4
We opened up with a promo package highlighting Tim Storm’s work last week, culminating in Nick Aldis coming out to check on him after he and Eli Drake fell to The Dawsons.
Chasing The Gold / The Bruiser And The Spiritualist
Joe Galli and Jim Cornette welcome us to the show and start running down the card, but are interrupted by the NWA National Champion James Storm. Storm said that he felt like Nick Aldis was ducking him and Colt Cabana just wanted to jump on the bandwagon. Colt then came out and said that he should be the NWA National Champion. That brought out Eli Drake, who tried to convince Storm not to face Aldis. So, out came the champ himself. Eli put Aldis over and challenged him to answer Storm’s challenge. Aldis told Storm to get a couple of guys together and they’ll have a six-man tag match. If Aldis’ team wins, Colt Cabana gets a shot at the NWA National Title, and if Storm’s team wins, he gets a shot at the NWA Heavyweight Title. Aldis added the stipulation that he would have to abdicate the National Title if that happens because if you challenge for the ten pounds of gold, you need to have everything to lose. Storm agreed.
So, a lot happened there. We saw Storm being disgruntled and building a feud with Colt Cabana, we saw Eli Drake being manipulative because he wants to face Storm for the Heavyweight Title, and we saw Aldis putting over how seriously he takes being champ. The amazing thing with it was that the segment started at 6:34 and ended at 10:36. Which means they successfully got over all those angles in around four minutes. Excellent work.
Next up, David Marquez interviewed Trevor Murdoch. Trevor said he had to work for everything he has ever had, including his spot here in the NWA. He said that he doesn’t want Jocephus being suspended for throwing powder at his friend Colt Cabana, he should face Trevor in the ring. Jocephus came out to respond and said that his spiritual adviser has sanctioned all sorts of violence on Trevor tonight. He then jumpstarted the match. Good, short segment.
Trevor Murdoch def. Jocephus
This was a rough and ready battle that went about as short as you’d expect. Basically, we had some brawling followed by Jocephus’ powder plot being foiled. Murdoch followed up with a bulldog form the deadliest turnbuckle, and that was that. The crowd was hot throughout, and the match entertained, even while being short.
Thunder Rosa Is Coming / A Stevens-Starks Summit
We got a repeat of the Thunder Rosa package form last week. Again, it’s a good video. I’m looking forward to when she debuts.
Joe Galli was then joined by Aron Stevens, who reminded the crowd to avoid eye contact with him at all times. Joe asked him when he would get in the ring and wrestle. Before he could give a proper answer, Ricky Starks came out to interrupt. Aron told him that he looks ridiculous, and Ricky slapped him, sending the actor running. I like Aron’s gimmick. This feels like a heel vs. heel thing to me though with Starks’ arrogant persona. We’ll see how it goes.
No DQ Match: The Dawsons def. Eddie Kingston & Homicide
Kingston and Homicide jumped The Dawsons during their entrance, and this one immediately became a mass brawl. The big story here was that Kingston missed a chop, slamming his own hand against the metal ring post. That not only led Kingston selling the injury throughout but also cast some doubt on whether he could hit his Backfist To The Future. All four guys took a beating here, with the faces, in particular, taking an absolute pounding with chairs. The ending saw The NWA Tag Champs, Wild Cards, run in and destroy everyone, then give The Dawsons the win.
The match was a fight, which is exactly what it needed to be. The ending was odd though, with Wild Cards attacking The Dawsons first, then giving them the win. The commentators played up on that too though, so it’s obviously leading somewhere.
Marti Belle Speaks
We saw a video of Marti Belle backstage earlier today. She kept it short, and basically said she wants to prove that she deserves a shot at the NWA Women’s Title. Short and to the point.
Ashley Vox def. Marti Belle
NWA Women’s Champion Allysin Kay came out before the match and pointed out that neither woman was ready for a shot. She’s beaten them both before now after all. The match itself was a fun back and forth affair, with both women getting good time to shine. In the end, Ashley scored the popular win.
After the match, Thunder Rosa entered, complete with her drumming music, and offered Marti a hand. Marti was understandably not happy about her appearance and scarpered. It’ll be interesting to see what the Thunder Rosa character is all about in weeks to come
Ricky Starks def. Aron Stevens
Being a bit of an idiot, I only just realized that Aron Stevens was Damien Sandow when I saw him in his robe here. Silly me. Anyway, these two kept it simple, but also kept the pace up. In the end, Starks continued his good run by nailing a roll-up for the win. This was an entertaining match from start to finish. I also enjoyed the yes-no battle between Stevens and the crowd after the match.
Nick Aldis, Colt Cabana, Ken Anderson def. James Storm & Wild Cards
With the names involved, you might expect this to be a really good match. If so, you’d be right. The commentary team did a great job of putting over the huge stakes in this match too, especially as it pertains to James Storm. Given what’s on the line, I expected Storm and either Cabana or Aldis to be a major part of the finish, and that’s exactly what happened, with Cabana avoiding a James Storm Last Call, and scoring the win with the Superman Pin. Excellent work by all involved.
NWA Powerrr continues to be a consistent, straight forward wrestling show that balances past practices with current stars. Honestly, the vast majority of people involved are doing great in my eyes. I love that Eli Drake is subtly running the show too, pushing people into matches and sneakily setting himself up at the top of the card.
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 in 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 built a fair chunk of their show around the Radio Title angle, and this included a decent payoff with the appearance by The Pope. For me, MLW had two standout promos though, and both around the same feud. As such, I’m lumping them together here: Salina De La Renta and LA Park covered their war with CONTRA Unit, with both putting across the importance of it all. Salina is always great on the mic, and LA Park was full of fire this week. For NWA Powerrr, it’s hard to look past the opening segment. Four minutes of talk that got over four characters and several potential feuds. That was excellent work, and really, it has to be the winner. As such… The Winner Is: High Stakes Tag Match Set Up [NWA Powerrr]
Best Crowd: Now, this was interesting. MLW improved this week. While not at their usual standard, the fans were noticeably more responsive compared to the last episode, which helped elevate the show. At the same time though, they were quiet compared both OVW and NWA. These two had large, appropriate responses from the fans, and everyone was clearly enjoying themselves. The Winner Is: Draw [NWA Powerrr & OVW TV]
Best Match: This is an interesting battle this week. In terms of OVW, I thought that the OVW TV Title Gauntlet was the standout, and it certainly advanced plenty of concepts. Meanwhile, MLW fired back with a hot six-man tag main event that packed some emotion into the fighting. NWA Powerrr countered that with a six-man main event of its own though, and one that saw a huge amount of star power, high stakes, and some smooth action. While I enjoyed all of the above, one math did edge it for me. The Winner Is: Nick Aldis, Colt Cabana & Ken Anderson vs. James Storm & Wild Cards [NWA Powerrr]
MVP: This is going to be a surprising one, I think. NWA Powerrr saw a lot of people getting themselves over, and everyone played their part well. In OVW, both Tony Gunn and Megan Bayne stood out for me, playing their roles perfectly. It was MLW that impressed me most though. LA Park put over how personal his rivalry with CONTRA Unit had become after they attacked his son, and that got the crowd invested in the main event. He also gained some good momentum heading into the Super Fight, where he’ll face Jacob Fatu, also of CONTRA Unit. For that…The Winner Is: LA Park [MLW Fusion]
Overall Best Show: MLW put on an improved event this week, but it still felt like the weaker show to me. NWA continued to be a breeze to watch though, and they’re making great use of the Studio Wrestling format. Meanwhile, OVW’s effort this week was a lot of fun too, and I thought it was a really easy watch. So, who edges it? Well, that’s tough to call. I think though that I’m going to say that one was slightly more enjoyable than the other. The Winner Is: OVW TV
FINAL SCORE: NWA Powerrr (5 points) – OVW TV (3 points) – MLW Fusion (2 points)
A much closer battle this week sees NWA Powerrr beat out the competition. All three offer very different experiences though, and each has some excellent talent involved. So, here’s to some great wrestling!
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.