OVW Christmas Chaos 2019
On commentary are Bruce Snyder and Ted McNaler. And tonight, every match will take place inside a steel cage! What sort of steel cage? As it turns out, a pretty damn tall one. Let’s get straight into it.
OVW Anarchy Title Triple Threat Match: Aamon [champion] def. Sinn Bodhi & Gangrel
It’s interesting to see Gangrel using that name rather than ‘The Vampire Warrior’, as I thought it was copyrighted to White Wolf. I also noticed that, not only was everyone wearing black, but all three wear also wearing at least one leather item. That doesn’t really mean anything, it’s just something that I picked up on.
Anyway, the match itself was what you’d expect. The competitors paired off as much as possible, and the plunder came into play early on. The crowd reacted nicely to the weapon shots – especially Gangrel’s ‘wet floor sign’ assault – and nobody came out of it looking weak. In the end, Aamon retained the title, scoring the pin on Sinn Bodhi after whacking him in the head with the title.
This was a decent way to start the show. The crowd was into it, and using the ex-WWE stars helped with that. My only real gripe with it was that a hangman’s noose came into play a few times, but the actual noose itself wasn’t used, only the loose end of the rope. That made as much sense as when people use a sledgehammer but don’t swing it like you would in real life. General rule here: if you can’t use the item in a way you’d expect to use it, then don’t bring it into play, because it damages the suspension of disbelief. Otherwise though, that was an entertaining brawl.
Maximus Khan def. Tony Gunn
Tony has transitioned from face to heel so smoothly, and that has been aided by his ringwork being strong enough to fit his ‘best there is’ theme song. Meanwhile, the youngest member of King’s Ransom is getting over well with the crowd too, and the simple story coming into this one made it a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
The match itself was a hard-hitting affair, with both guys showing off some authentic-looking brawling. There was a nice touch too where Maximus kept his hope spots short, building their length up as the match went along. You don’t need to make hope spots long, the idea is to give hope, not rally the crowd into a frenzy. In the end, Tony Gunn missed the Kill Shot and ate a Spear to take the loss.
That was good. I had hoped it would go a little longer, but what they did worked well, and the story told made sense. Very good work by both guys.
OVW Rush Title Ladder Match: AJ Daniels def. D’Mone Solavino, KTD, Nigel, Sam Thompson, and William Lutz
Okay, it’s a little silly, but I do like D’Mone’s entrance gear. Wings are cool, that’s all there is to it. I also loved Nigel’s ‘Straight Outta North Pole’ Santa sweater. It was nice to see the wrestlers making use of the time between entrances too, with Sam Thompson and AJ Daniels testing whether they could just reach the belt with a jump. The announcers confirmed at the start that you didn’t have to just grab the belt, but be standing in the ring on both feet with the belt in your possession to win.
Anyway, there were two ladders outside the ring here, and both Sam Thompson and William Lutz attempted to get them into play early on. While not the non-stop mass of high spots you might expect, there was plenty of good stuff happening. The crowd popped big for AJ Daniels and William Lutz diving off the cage onto the other competitors, for example. The finish saw everyone downed, but with the belt in AJ Daniels’ possession, meaning that he became the first champion the moment he managed to stand up.
This was surprisingly subdued but in a good way. The workers built to the bigger moments and let the pace increase as they went along rather than burn out too quickly. I was also happy to see Sam Thompson and Dapper Dan make sue of the no disqualification setting to allow for some interference. Good stuff that didn’t go too far.
OVW Radio World Title Match: Shannon The Dude def. Steve Rummage [champion]
Shannon got some mic time before the match to get the crowd good and angry. Even without that, the crowd was behind Steve anyway though; Shannon is a regular on OVW TV, and the crowd loves to hate him.
The two radio personalities were thrown in at the deep end here and faced off one-on-one without the pros to do the heavy lifting like they had in their tag match. Or not. Adam Revolver attacked Steve on his way to the ring and then entered the cage to stop any outside interference. That plan failed when Scotland’s Crixus made his debut to run Revolver off. That allowed Steve to make a comeback, but the damage had already been done, and Shannon took the win with a tight assisted roll-up.
This was decent for what it was. Plenty of smoke and mirrors early on, and both Shannon and Steve kept it simple when left alone. What they did looked fine, and there wasn’t really anything to complain about.
Last Man Standing Match: Randall Floyd def. Dustin Jackson
These two have been at each other’s throats for a long time now, and the hope would be that this one finally ends the feud and lets both guys move onwards and upwards. Given the nature of the rules, you’d also expect less chain work than normal, and instead a mix of brawling and impact moves.
Which is exactly what we got. Before long, it became all Dustin Jackson, with the popular competitor hitting everything in his playbook in an attempt to win. After two top-rope splashes almost got him the win, Randall Floyd produced a pair of handcuffs and snapped one onto Dustin’s wrist. He then bided his time until he could lock the other one on the bottom rope, preventing Dustin from beating the count.
I was surprised by the result, as my expectation had been for Dustin to win and move on to dethrone Justin Smooth. With the recent focus on Mahabali Shera though, perhaps there’s a pivot there, and we’ll be switching to Shera taking the gold and feuding with Floyd? Time will tell. It may well be that the shenanigans involved mean there’s one more big match to come. Either way, this was an enjoyable match with an interesting finish.
Reverse Battle Royale: Megan Bayne def. Cali Young, Jessie Belle, Madi Maxx, Mazzerati, Sarah The Rebel, Thunder Kitty, Valerie Vermin
The rules here are simple: the first person to be able to leave the ring wins. The cage means that this has to be achieved by climbing over the top. Sarah The Rebel got a good reaction from the crowd here, but the biggest cheer was, of course, reserved for Megan. Max The Impaler made an appearance before it started too, as she’ll be facing the winner immediately after the match.
The battle royale setting was a smart one to use, as Megan has been tearing through the competition in singles matches. Here, there’s the opportunity for the women to team up and take down the former champ. The problem is, with no eliminations, you really do have to pair off and work around the edges while other people do stuff in the middle. Anyway, we hit a point where everyone else was down, so Megan and Cali raced over the top. Megan won.
It was what it was. Battle royales are hit and miss anyway, and this was really there just to set up Megan vs. Max 2. Nobody messed anything up, and it was good to see Sarah getting a good response from the crowd though.
OVW Women’s Title Match: Max The Impaler [champion] def. Megan Bayne
Max being ringside meant that she was able to jump Megan the moment her feet hit the floor, giving her an early advantage in the match. That’s a smart move by the champ. So, she beat down the challenger until the ring cleared, then tossed her in to get things started.
Meg starting on the backfoot meant that she had the opportunity to fight from underneath rather than dominate. And that’s exactly what she did, reminding us that she’s the one woman on the roster who seems able to take it to Max The Impaler. The damage already being done though, Max picked up a quick win with the Spear.
In a way, this felt more like an angle than a match. The long term thinking is likely to build to Megan getting her in a fair match, where she’ll regain the belt. Meg is absolutely a star though, and this feud is good for her because it’s given her a chance to show some weakness. In turn, that gives the other women a storyline reason to believe they can beat her too. That’s important as her being indestructible would actually make Meg harder to book. Good work from both women.
OVW Heavyweight Title Match: Justin Smooth [champion] def. Leonis Khan
This one is not the main event, which was a surprise. In a way, it’s a shame there wasn’t more made on TV of the two men being former training partners. The build has been okay though, and Justin Smooth is definitely at home as the top heel in the company. Thrown in the popularity of King’s Ransom, and this one was always going to be hot.
The Trinidad Titan and the elder of the Khan brothers put together a decent, back and forth match here. This was also the first non-battle royale match where cage escapes were a way to win too, which played into the tone of things: Smooth, being the heel, went for the cowardly escape route, while Leonis wanted to score the pinfall. Smooth eventually won when Leonis accidentally knocked him out of the cage with a Spear.
While not on par with the Justin Smooth vs. Corey Storm matches, this was an enjoyable title match. The two men fought like heavyweights, there were some nice big moments, and the right man won. At the same time, Leonis came out of the loss looking tenacious, and that’s going to serve him well going forward.
Caged Warfare Match: The Legacy Of Brutality [Big Zo, Ca$h Flo, Hy-Zaya, & Jay Bradley w/Josh Ashcraft] def Corey Storm, Dimes, Jax Dane & Mahabali Shera
The rules were as follows: two men start and after five minutes, another enters. After that, we get a new entrant in one-minute intervals, and the match officially starts when everyone is in the ring. So, it’s kinda like War Games. Of note is that Mahabali Shera was mentioned first during the face entrance, subtly continuing his push.
Hy-Zaya and Corey Storm started things off, and the crowd was instantly chanting Storm’s name. The high octane youngster repaid them with some speedy maneuvers and clever use of the cage environment. Jay Bradley was in next, and the technical issues kicked in with the video. They were fixed just in time for Dimes to make his entrance and even things up. Next came Big Zo, who helped put The LoB back in front. Shera was in next, and the heels forgot how to use the numbers game, letting Shera take them all down one by one. Ca$h Flo put a stop to that, thankfully, and The LoB took over again until Jax Dane entered to officially start the match.
One thing became very clear here: we need more Jax Dane vs. either of Ca$h Flo or Jay Bradley. All three are excellent big men, and can really go. The match ended shortly after Jax was taken down, with Jay Bradley using Josh Ashcraft’s stick to KO Shera and score the pin.
I’ve been complaining about the way The Legacy Of Brutality has been booked a lot recently, and they finally got a change in fortune here. Bar the moment where Shera caused them to forget about ganging up on people, they were made to look strong here. They’re big bullies, and they did big bully things. Best of all, they got the win in an entertaining main event match. So, in my opinion, this was a good way to end the show.
This was an entertaining show. Some unfortunate technical difficulties at the end of the women’s battle royale and during the main event made short sections harder to watch Otherwise though, this felt like a big show. None of the matches were unwatchable, and the crowd was into the action.
Based on the noise the crowd was making, Corey Storm, Jax Dane, and Megan Bayne are easily the biggest faces in the company right now. The fans love them, and with good reason. All three hold themselves like stars and always put in maximum effort. Meanwhile, both Justin Smooth and Tony Gunn continue to stand out among the heels, with Ca$h Flo and Jay Bradley nipping at their heels.
While I’d have liked to see both Shiloh Jonze and Drew Hernandez involved on the show, this was definitely worth a watch. Everyone worked hard, and the storylines are moving along nicely. So, well done OVW, that was an excellent final big show of the year.