Welcome, one and all, to a random wrestling review! OVW has been on form in terms of the TV show the last few weeks, and the line-up for Reckoning 2021 was pretty good on paper. The show itself turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag though. Let’s get into how…
Hy-Zaya [w/Josh Ashcraft] def. Drew Hernandez
Joined in progress with no commentary, Drew and Hy-Zaya went back and forth at pace. The finish came when Drew went for the Mayan Apocalypse, but the Legacy of Brutality mainstay fought out and nailed a high leg lariat for the win. What we saw was pretty good, so it’s a shame we didn’t get the whole match. [No rating as clipped]
Ari Alexander def. Dream Girl Ellie
This, like the previous match, was just on the hard cam with no commentary. The crowd was pretty dead for this one, which is a shame as the ladies put in a good effort. The pace was kept relatively high, and both nailed some stiff-looking moves before Ari took the win. [**]
Commentary: Bryan Kennison and Shannon the Dude
Reverend Ronnie Roberts def. Blanco Loco
The good Reverend cut a promo on his way to the ring, celebrating his recent win in the Country Boy Brewing Kentucky Heavyweight Title Tournament that saw him walk into the final four. As Bryan Kennison pointed out, these are two very different competitors, but they clicked well enough. Both guys had some time to shine, and the match came across as pretty competitive. The result was never in doubt though. Roberts’ TV preacher gimmick has really gotten over with the fans and has seen him rise as a surprisingly popular face. The Hand of God palm strike was enough to put his foe away here, giving him some stem before his semi-final tournament match against Tony Bizo. [**¾]
Submission Match for the Rush Division Title
Gustavo (champion) def. ‘The Nephilim’ D’Mone Solavino
This one has been built over the last few weeks, with the champion being attacked by his challenger on numerous occasions. In a way, that continued here with the larger fallen angel bullying Gustavo in the early going. After failing to get his opponent to tap, D’Mone got desperate and brought a crutch into the ring, prompting Gustavo to fight back and wearing him down. After nailing a bunch of big moves, we got a nice sequence where Gustavo transitioned between submission holds. Finally, the champion retained with an armbar. The match was kept relatively short, meaning it didn’t need to slow too much to accommodate the holds, and that served it well. [***]
Country Boy Brewing Kentucky Heavyweight Title Tournament
Ca$h Flo [w/Cash Daniels] def. Luscious Lawrence [w/Kindly Myers]
The winner of this one will go to the semi-finals to face the winner of Tony Gunn and Mahabali Shera. This was a battle of strength with plenty of Lawrence’s character work thrown in. There was a weird moment where Lawrence abandoned the match so that Kindly could shake her butt in his face, which let the Legacy of Brutality recover long enough to open up the Chop Shop. The finish was a bit of a mess, with some sloppy distractions by the non-wrestlers finally leading to Ca$h Flo advancing with a Frog Splash. That should mean Shera gets the win later given the way the story has been built. [***]
Match for the vacant OVW Women’s Title
Sierra def. Dani Mo
So, the title is vacant because, for storyline purposes, Hollyhood Hayley J is in jail. The crowd got more into this one as it went along, thanks in a big way to Dani Mo being a pretty explosive face. The ladies went back and forth with both coming out looking strong, but other than a senton off the apron that seemed a bit high, nothing really stood out. In the end, Sierra scored the win out of nowhere. [***]
‘The Neon Ninja’ Façade def. ‘Mr Zero Gravity’ AJ Daniels
This was another match with a good build. Plenty of stalling from AJ at the beginning, leading to it taking a while to get the strap on him. While it seems like a strange stipulation to put two highflyers in, it did mean they had a chance to be creative, at least. For example, AJ used a combo of the strap and Façade’s bandana to tie him up in the ropes and whip him. Even with the restrictions in movement, both guys did manage to nail some high-flying moves too, which helped spice things up a bit. I give them credit for giving us a fake-out on the normal strap finish of both guys touching the turnbuckles up until number 3 too, but this was definitely hampered by the stipulation. [**¾]
Commentator Change: Steven Johnson replaced Shannon the Dude.
Country Boy Brewing Kentucky Heavyweight Title Tournament
‘The Indian Lion’ Mahabali Shera [w/Ryan Lemond] def. ‘Shotgun’ Tony Gunn [w/Richie Farmer]
Tony Gunn was, at one point, one of the top guys in OVW. His performances are consistent, he’s charismatic, and he knows how to get the crowd to do what he wants. Somehow though, since aligning himself with Jessie Godderz, he feels like he’s winding down a bit. Here, he played the role of the tenacious veteran, slowly wearing Shera down. Shera, for his part, sold well and had to fight from underneath. That’s a new thing for him, given how protected he has been. Eventually, the managers got into a fight, which looked bad, but distracted the referee, allowing Ca$h Flo to run in and hit Shera with a Pop Up Powerbomb. Then things went weird. Shera seemed to get his shoulder at the last section, but the referee called for the bell. Tony Gunn looked confused. Then the referee got on the mic and said he was flustered and made a mistake, restarting the match. Gunn then smacked the referee, and we got a DQ finish while Gunn raged around the outside of the ring. That felt like a screw-up. [***]
Six Team Scramble Ladder Match for The Vacant Tag Titles
Dark Kloudz def. The Tate Twins, The Recusants, Fanny Pack Party, The Legacy of Brutality [w/Josh Ashcraft], The Box Office Blondes
Okay, so there’s a lot to take in here. The titles are vacant because a gauntlet match ended in a no contest, so rather than have the champs – then, The Tate Twins – retain, Al Snow vacated the titles and brought out some new belts. The vacating of the belts was, in my opinion, weird. Now, to the rules. Six people start, and after a five-minute initial period, members of each team enter at two-minute intervals until all twelve guys are in the ring. The belts can be grabbed at any time. I’m guessing this type of ruleset is in place so that the match doesn’t get too crowded too quickly.
Brandon Espinosa (Recusants), Big Zo (LoB), Dustin Jackson (Fanny Pack Party), ‘Elusive’ Eric Darkstorm (Dark Kloudz), Hollywood Adam Swayze (Box Office Blondes), and Brent Tate (Tate Twins) start. Straight away we have people going for the belts and a bunch of moves onto and off of the ladders. In this initial section, Espinosa and Dustin Jackson came out looking the best in my opinion. That’s not a surprise as both have been consistent for the company, and Dustin Jackson seemed like the chosen next champ for a while too.
Brandon Tate (Tate Twins) was out next, and the former champs cleaned house. They then started trying to jump up to the belts rather than use the ladders, which kinda made them look a bit dumb. Tom Coffee (The Recusants) was out next, causing the Tates to stall on their climb up the ladders. The problem there is that they clearly had the match won if they’d just kept reaching. ‘The Fanny Pack Kid’ Kal Herro (Fanny Pack Party) was out next, carrying Al Snow’s Head with him. I will admit to popping for that, and it led to Dustin hitting a massive splash from, the top of the ladder on Eric Darkstorm too. ‘Hustler’ Deget Bundlez (Dark Kloudz) was out next to make sure we got the obligatory Terry Funk helicopter spin ladder spot. Steve Michaels (LoB) jumped in next and proceeded to break a ladder rung due to his weight. Finally, Rex (Box Office Blondes) entered, and we learned that he’s afraid of heights, making it hard for him to climb the ladder at speed.
With everyone now in the match, we basically switched to small groups of guys fighting while everyone else sold on the outside. It was slow and at times a little sloppy. This was probably a lot to do with there being too many people in the match. The Recusants and Fanny Pack Party looked decent, and Dark Kloudz came out of it looking competent. Otherwise, though, this was, as Bryan Kennison called it, a car crash. [**]
Non-Title Triple Threat Match
Omar Amir [OVW Heavyweight Champion], ‘Mr. Pec-Tacular’ Jessie Godderz [OVW National Heavyweight Champion, w/Shannon the Dude], ‘Rockstar’ Ryan Howe
This started with Jessie and Omar both wanting to avenge Ryan Howe’s recent guitar attack, but their alliance didn’t last long. Ryan kept out of the way for large chunks of the first half of the match, leaving the two titleholders to do most of the heavy lifting. That makes me think we may yet see a title unification match. Oddly, the commentators mentioned this was No DQ part-way through, which makes me question why we didn’t see more blatant cheating. The second half saw a lot more of all three guys being in the ring and started picking up as we moved towards the end. An absolutely brutal guitar shot by Jessie Godderz to Omar Amir late on led to Ryan Howe picking up the victory. This was pretty good. [***1/4]
OVERALL: This was, in some ways, a disappointing show. The usually consistent performers were on form, meaning Brandon Espinosa, Ca$h Flo, Dustin Jackson, and Kal Herro all pulled their weight. Drew Hernandez looked like her was doing fine too in what we saw of the opener, and the Reverend Ronnie Roberts put in a decent performance.
Outside this though, things were a little mixed. The ladder match was a mix of old spots and bad comedy with serious moments thrown in. The clear botch in Gunn vs. Shera damaged the match, unfortunately. The women’s division is beginning to look a little stronger, though I’d say it’s still missing someone with the natural presence of Megan Bayne. I will say though that the short promos between each match were fine for what they were.
I’ll give the show a thumbs in the middle, but I’m hoping for more from the next big one.