Welcome to KB’s Old School (and New School) Reviews. I’ve been reviewing wrestling shows for over ten years now and have reviewed over 5,000 shows. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I’ll be posting a new review here on Wrestlingrumors.net, starting today. It could be anything from modern WWE to old school to indies to anything in between. Note that I rate using letters instead of stars and I don’t rate matches under three minutes as really, how good or bad can something that short be?
Date: March 16, 2019
Location: National Stadium, Dublin, Ireland
Commentators: Aonghus og McAnally, Tony Kelly
This is Over the Top Wrestling, which is an Irish company as you can probably tell. I’ve been on a bit of an independent kick lately and I’ve heard great things about this place so it’s worth a try. That and someone asked me to do it and since I have a real issue saying no, here we are. Let’s get to it.
I have never seen ANYTHING from this company so I’m coming in completely blind. Therefore, please excuse any storylines or character points that I miss as I’m relying on the commentary only.
Opening sequence. Standard, but promising enough.
An unnamed man welcomes us to the show and we go into the opening video, which certainly makes this feel like a big deal.
Someone who looks like a boss comes to the stage and….leads out some more people, who may be the commentary team. He talks about how big of a show this is going to be and hands it off to a heel announcer, who isn’t very well received. The booed one is rather proud of his shiny jacket and insults the Irish rugby team. Unlike the team who couldn’t get the job done, Jordan Devlin will get the job done tonight. That’s certainly popular and the original announcer talks about tonight being Ireland vs. the World. He runs down the big names on the show, many of which are from the World rather than Ireland.
Aussie Open vs. Angelico/Rey Horus vs. Club Tropicana vs. Besties In The World
The Aussies are Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis, Club Tropicana is Aiden Epic and Captain Sexsea and the Besties are Davey Vega and Mat Fitchett. The Besties come out to Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden, which actually makes for a pretty awesome entrance. Tropicana seems to be….comedic sailors I think and the fans sing them to the ring. Sexsea is rather popular and gets dragged into the Aussie corner to start.
The Besties tag themselves in though and hit a standing moonsault on Davis before it’s Horus and Angelico coming in for a Koji Clutch/Black Widow on the Aussies. Tropicana makes the save with an oar and the broken pieces are used for some spanking. Everyone but Angelico goes to the floor and that means the big flip dive for the crash. Back in and the abuse of Davis continues, as do the rapid fire tags. The Besties hit stereo enziguris on the Aussies, setting up a toss cutter for two on Fletcher.
Tropicana comes back in for a quick distraction into a double DDT on the Besties. Everyone but Tropicana gets piled up in the corner and it’s a sliding headbutt between Angelico’s legs to….hit all of them low at once? Huh? A Blockbuster/Russian legsweep combination gets two on Davis, followed by stereo superkicks to Angelico. More superkicks abound until Davis backdrops Horus onto the pile at ringside. Back in and Sexsea chops away at the Aussies until a low blow from Davis sets up the Fidget Spinner (kind of a lifting double AA) to give Fletcher the pin at 8:52.
Rating: C+. I liked this more than I was expecting. The announcers went out of their way to give us a bit of an explanation of who the teams were and why they were different, which is the best thing that they could have done. So often these matches are just a bunch of people doing stuff but here the teams looked different enough and were treated as different acts that it worked well. The Aussies continue to tear it up every time they’re in the ring and a WWE run down the line seems inevitable.
Post match Tropicana gets a standing ovation. I’m not sure they deserve it more than any other team.
More Than Hype vs. The Rapture
That would be Darren Kearney/LJ Cleary/Nathan Martin vs. Charlie Sterling/Zack Gibson/Sha Samuels. Before the match, Gibson gets to cut a promo and I actually cannon understand him over the booing. That’s the standard that is often set for heel heat but you almost never see it actually happen. Gibson rants and I have no idea what he’s saying, which is as strong of a compliment as I can give him. He says no one cares about Dublin and demands that the fans are silent as the British National Anthem is played.
This goes as well as you would expect until the other trio comes out. A triple dive gets us started in a hurry and I believe Nathan goes after Sterling but winds up staring down all three villains. That’s fine with him as he fights them off at the same time but the numbers game takes him down. Gibson grabs a chinlock and the fans are right back into it with a NO DEAL BREXIT chant.
The villains take turns with chinlocks on Nathan but Gibson still won’t shut up, grabbing a microphone and yelling about more stuff I can’t hear over the booing. Samuels and Gibson take too long tagging and Nathan gets in a jawbreaker, allowing the hot tag to Cleary. A springboard spinning crossbody gets two on Samuels and it’s off to Kearney to clean house with a series of kicks.
The running shooting star gets two on Sterling, who is hurricanranaed into Gibson for a rather positive reaction. Nathan adds a frog splash onto both of them and a triple superkick gets two on Sterling. Kearney and Nathan get caught in a double Doomsday Device and a super powerbomb gets two on Cleary. Gibson and Sterling are sent outside though and it’s an assisted Canadian Destroyer to give Nathan the pin on Samuels at 9:29. Commentary lets us know that this is the end of a huge losing streak, which makes things even better.
Rating: C+. I don’t remember the last time I heard a crowd reaction like that and it carried the match a lot further than it would have gotten on its own. The fans absolutely HATED Gibson here and it makes the reactions he gets in NXT UK seem all the less impressive. That man needs a rocket strapped to his back at this point and WWE is crazy to not run with him for the reactions alone.
We go to the back where a man named Joe Cabray is chained to a chair. They SHOOT HIM IN THE HEAD but the room fills with smoke. The guys smell it and pass out, waking up tied to chairs of their own. A large man appears, flanked by a mini guy named Mini Mo, who identifies the two in the chair as the Angel Cruzers and promises to blow up the arena (Irish Cheatum?).
The big man throws one of them against a wall but the one left in the chair whistles, which summons a dog a dog to bite through the ropes. That earns the dog a kick in the head so the man gets out of the chair and hits the big man (and dog kicker) in the head with a brick. A stomp to the big man’s head crushes his skull (with blood going everywhere) and we cut to Mini Mo running to the arena to blow it up.
Before he can press the button, one of the Cruzers runs up and puts a garbage bag over his head. That’s not enough though as he throws Mo at a passing car….and runs away. The car is run by the other Cruzer, who runs Mo over, tearing off all of his limbs….and we go to the arena where the Cruzers’ entrance video is a singalong talking about what a lucky crowd this is and saying don’t ask for autographs. Despite being MURDERERS, the team is rather well received, made even better with their partner’s entrance.
Before we get to the match, permit me one question:
WHAT IN THE NAME OF JIM HERD AND VINCE RUSSO’S MANIC FEVER DREAMS DID I JUST WATCH??????
Here’s what I just watched:
And now, on with the show.
Justy/Sammy D/Team Prick vs. Hurricane Helms/Angel Cruzers
This is a 4-3 handicap match as Team Prick is Peter and Rick while the Angel Cruzers are Angel Cruz and B Cool. Justy and Sammy D. comprise the Gymnasties, which is quite the name…I think. Angel sends Justy to the floor to start and it’s off to Sammy, who gets Hurricane to a big reaction. A little Hurricane posing scares Sammy into the corner so it’s Justy and Angel coming back in.
Angel spears him down and chokes on the mat until Cool comes in to choke as well. Everything breaks down and it’s a quadruple chokeslam to put the four on the outside. The Cruzers hit stereo flip dives but Sammy breaks up Hurricane’s version. Back in and Justy’s high crossbody misses Cool, who starts in with the snap jabs. Team Prick breaks up a brainbuster attempt but Hurricane does the same to a TripleBomb attempt.
Angel steals a weightlifting belt and ties Rick to the post to even things up a bit. A low blow breaks up the whipping and it’s Rick and Angel fighting to the back. As Hurricane and Sammy fight in the ring, Angel comes back with a lawnmower (a must have at any wrestling event) to RUN OVER RICK’S HAND. Hurricane gives Peter the Eye of the Hurricane, leaving Justy to take the brainbuster into a Swanton from Cool for the pin at 9:28.
Rating: C. This is another match where the backstory would help a lot as it seems that there is a heck of a history between these teams. The announcers haven’t exactly been giving us a lot of details on most of this stuff and that was the case again here. Then again, a match with a lawnmower cutting off someone’s hand doesn’t need a lot of explanation.
Dan Barry vs. David Starr
We probably shouldn’t be an hour and fifteen minutes into a show before the first singles match. As you might guess, Starr is the mega heel here while Barry is announced as one of the most popular around the company. Barry dodges away a few times to start before grabbing a hard to break wristlock. Starr gets taken down and it’s an early standoff with the fans getting on Starr’s nerves. A hammerlock is broken up in the same manner I’ve seen Tyler Bate use as the counters continue to annoy Starr.
The fans let Starr know that he’ll never beat Walter (a story spread around a variety of promotions) and it’s time for some tumbling into a headlock takeover from Barry. A dropkick puts Starr on the apron but he’s fine enough to hit a clothesline and head up to the stage for a breather. The suicide dive sends Barry into the chairs, followed by a rolling kick to the face for two back inside. Barry wins the slugout and kicks Starr in the face, setting up White Noise for two more.
Starr gets sent to the apron for a superkick through the ropes but Barry catches him on top. The super hurricanrana sends Starr rolling underneath the ropes so Barry dives out onto him for the big crash. Back in and Barry’s frog splash gets two and he forearms Starr to the apron. That means another dive is blocked with a forearm, allowing Starr to DDT him onto the apron. Another superkick sets up the brainbuster onto Starr’s knee for two. The Crossface doesn’t last long so Starr blasts him with another clothesline, setting up a powerbomb backbreaker for the pin at 18:01.
Rating: B. Even though the backstory wasn’t exactly present, the story here made sense from what they were doing in the ring. Barry wasn’t the most polished wrestler in the world but he seemed to be a cult favorite who was trying as hard as he could, only to fall short to the more well rounded Starr in the end. They had to have a heel win at some point on this show and Starr is as good of a choice as it could have been.
Post match the fans want Barry to come back and declare him one of them.
We look at a woman being upset that she lost in a cage match and being the one of her friends who hasn’t been signed elsewhere. She’s ready to face the legendary Meiko Satomura (recently in the second Mae Young Classic) and is ready to prove herself and become someone worth respecting.
It’s time to take her seriously:
Meiko Satomura vs. Martina
Martina is rather popular and dances with a flag on the way to the ring. Satomura on the other hand gets the expected legend’s pop. They lockup to start with Martina taking her to the ropes to show some power. That earns her a kick to the face and a headlock takeover to the mat. That’s reversed into a Fujiwara armbar so Satomura goes straight for the ropes. Back up and Meiko kicks at the leg and slaps on a quickly broken leglock. Martina’s leg is fine enough for some running clotheslines in the corner and a boot to the face for two.
A spinwheel kick to the face drops Martina again, only to have her pop up and send Meiko to the floor. The required dive takes out both Meiko and some fans, meaning lawsuits are likely coming soon. Back in and Meiko slaps on a nasty looking arm crank, which is quickly reversed into a Crossface from Martina.
That means another rope break and Meiko is right back up with a cartwheel double knees into the back. The slugout goes to Meiko off a kick to the head but Martina grabs a neckbreaker for two. With the strikes not working, Martina takes her to the top for a superplex and rolls through into a regular suplex for another near fall. Meiko bounces up again and kicks Martina in the head for the pin at 13:03.
Rating: B. They were trying to make Martina look like someone who could hold up with a legend and she did that well enough, though the ending came out of nowhere. You could tell that Meiko was winning when she kicked out of one big spot after another, but it’s understandable to have someone of Meiko’s stature.
Post match Martina dances again and breaks out some beers to share.
Tag Team Titles: British Strong Style vs. Kings of the North
The Kings (Bonesaw/Damien Corvin/Dunkan Disorderly and yes that’s really his name) are defending and this is also loser leaves town. Oddly enough the Brits (Trent Seven/Tyler Bate/Pete Dunne of NXT UK fame) are very popular for this one. The Kings are in their third reign of over nine months so to say they dominate the titles is an understatement. The fight is on with the champs jumping them before the bell but Seven avoids a charge in the corner.
Disorderly gets clotheslined to the floor for a suicide dive, leaving Bate to slug it out with Bonesaw. Bate’s big dive takes everyone out and it’s Dunne clotheslining Corvin to the floor, setting up the moonsault to take everyone out again. They fight into the crowd and Seven dives out of the balcony for another wipeout. Back to ringside with the champs taking over and hitting some running strikes to crush Seven in the corner.
We settle down to a regular match with Seven in trouble until he comes back with a quick Falcon Arrow. That’s not enough for the hot tag though as Seven has to powerbomb Bonesaw and Corvin out of the corner. Now the tag brings in Dunne to clean house, including a series of stomps to Corvin’s face. Bonesaw gets pulled on top for even more stomping but Bonesaw is fine enough to kick Dunne in the face.
Bate comes back in for a kick to Corvin’s face and the German suplex into the shooting star for two. The airplane spin keeps Corvin in trouble….and let’s just add Disorderly on top for a double spin. Everyone comes in for the slugout with the Kings posing, only to get punched in the face for their efforts. A grab of the referee lets the champs get in a triple low blow though and the Brits are in trouble again.
Seven gets caught in a fireman’s carry faceplant/running boot to the face combination, setting up a frog splash for a very near fall. The champs head up top but Bate and Dunne are right there for a double finger snap. A piledriver into the Tyler Driver 97 into the Bitter End….gets two? Seriously? The fans don’t even react because they’re kind of in shock over the lack of a pin. Bate adds Spinal Tap and the Burning Hammer/top rope knee combination gives us new champions at 12:28.
Rating: B. It was a fun match, though the Bitter End should have been the pin and I think they knew that was the case. The Brits winning is a good move as you can’t have the champs holding on that long, especially against a trio as big as British Strong Style is right now. Good match, as the show continues to be on fire.
Post match the champs celebrate and do a triple HHH water spit.
Women’s Title: Raven Creed vs. Debbie Keitel
Debbie is challenging and has Valkyrie (not Taya) in her corner. An early distraction lets Debbie hit a forearm and a t-bone suplex for two. She even spits in the champ’s face so Raven kicks her low and hits a double stomp to the back. Debbie is fine enough to hit a hot shot and Valkyrie gets in some choking for two. The cobra clutch keeps Raven in trouble (there haven’t been many rest holds on this show) and another suplex gets another two.
The clutch goes on again but Raven is back up with a forearm. Valkyrie checks on Debbie and has to catch her when Raven hits a forearm off the apron. That earns Valkyrie a posting but the distraction lets Debbie get a rollup for two with feet on the ropes. Raven has had it and headbutts Valkyrie, setting up a Backstabber to finish Debbie at 6:22.
Rating: D. And so much for the good match streak. This was short, not interesting, and felt more like a match between Raven and Valkyrie than Raven and Debbie. Raven ran through both of them without breaking a sweat, making this a match that offered very little and only had a single positive: it was the shortest match on the show.
It’s a battle of the generations:
Scotty Davis vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
Well there’s a legend for you. Scotty, 18 years old, seems to be a big fan favorite as he takes most of a lap around the arena before coming to the ring through the crowd. Davis is a little overwhelmed by the streamers and even falls down in them. Feeling out process to start with Liger taking him to the mat for a quickly broken headscissors.
Instead it’s the Surfboard to put Davis in trouble but Liger lets it go for another standoff. They switch it up to a fight over arm control and that means another standoff. Davis rolls around and gets a gutwrench suplex, apparently a side effect of being a suplex machine. Liger gets sent outside for a suicide dive but he’s right back with a running flip dive off the apron. A brainbuster on the concrete should kill Davis but instead it’s only a near countout.
Back in and the Surfboard with a Dragon Sleeper goes on to put Davis in real trouble. Liger’s brainbuster is countered into a fisherman’s buster, followed by Davis spinning around the ropes for a German suplex. That’s another two as Davis can’t understand how Liger keeps kicking out. Liger reverses a powerbomb into a Liger Bomb for two of his own and now frustration sets in on the other end. Davis kicks him in the head and Rolls the Dice for the huge upset at 10:05.
Rating: C+. What does it mean to have Liger putting someone over who was born after Liger had been wrestling for seventeen years? Then again that’s kind of the point of having Liger on his big retirement tour. The match was fine with Liger going with the greatest hits and then losing in the end, which I’m still not sure on.
Post match Liger gets the big legend reception and sendoff, as he should.
We recap the main event, with Jordan Devlin challenging Walter for the World Title. Walter is considered unbeatable and Jordan is the hometown boy, basically making this the same match as the main event of Progress at Wembley. It’s also a rematch of Walter taking the title from Devlin in August.
There’s a big fight feel here:
OTT World Title: Jordan Devlin vs. Walter
Devlin is challenging and doesn’t get nearly the hero pop you would expect. The fans are into him, but British Strong Style’s title win got a far stronger reaction. They do the Big Match Intros and NOW the reaction comes in. That’s better. Just to make it clear that Walter is the heel, he throws the title on the mat and stomps on it. Devlin slugs away to start and tries a package piledriver, which is broken up through pure power.
That’s fine with Devlin, who knocks him to the floor and keeps hammering away. An apron dropkick keeps Walter rocked until he comes back with a chop. Devlin gets posted and Walter starts in on the arm and hand. Back in and Walter ties up the arm and slaps Devlin in the back of the head. More right hands have Devlin in trouble and Walter throws the Irish flag on top of him for more stomping. The sleeper doesn’t work on Devlin though as he reverses into one of his own.
Walter goes down in the middle of the ring but stands up again and climbs the middle rope to fall back for the break. That only lasts a few seconds though as Devlin slaps it on again. This time Walter muscles him up for a Tombstone of all things for the break and another near fall. Walter goes up top but gets kicked in the head, setting up a slingshot cutter to give Devlin two of his own. The knee to the face sets up a package piledriver but Walter rolls to the floor before the cover.
Back in and Devlin punches away with the bad hand and actually manages to knock him down. The 450 hits knees and Walter’s bridging German suplex gets two. Walter hits some Sheamus forearms to the chest but gets his fingers snapped. Now it’s Devlin with his own German suplex into a Backstabber to send Walter outside again. That means a moonsault to the floor and the 450 connects for two more.
Walter’s hard powerbomb gets the same and a second gets two more. The sleeper goes on in the middle of the ring but Devlin’s arm is up at two drops (I thought that was the finish). The Fire Thunder Driver gets a very close two on Devlin so Walter is ready to walk. He gets to the stage but Joe Cabray (who no sells bullets to the head) is waiting on him.
Walter tries to walk again and more wrestlers cut him off in the crowd. It happens a third time and Devlin hits a dive off the top. Back in and Devlin tries a bridging rollup but gets pulled back into the sleeper. That’s reversed with the Bret Hart backflip for two before Devlin stomps at the face. The chop has no effect and Devlin slugs away, setting up the package piledriver for the pin and the title at 21:16.
Rating: A-. This was straight out of the Sting vs. Vader playbook and that’s probably why I liked it so much. They beat the heck out of each other with Devlin refusing to give up against the much bigger monster. Devlin winning was a great way to wrap up the show with a feel good moment as the countryman winning is always a smart move to make. I had fun with the match and the title change was the perfect finish to a really good show.
Post match Devlin celebrates and the locker room comes in to put him on their shoulders. Walter shakes his hand and Starr comes out for the staredown to end the show.
Overall Rating: B+. The crowd and atmosphere carried a lot of this show, though the action itself was a blast. Aside from the Women’s Title match, nothing on here was even close to bad and it offered a nice mixture of different styles. The one criticism I would have here is the lack of storyline explanation, as I rarely had any idea of what the issues were between the people. You could tell well enough, but more details (especially about some of the insane vignettes) would have been nice. Overall, very good show though and I can see why this place is getting so much praise.
Thomas Hall has been a wrestling fan for over thirty years and has seen over 50,000 wrestling matches. He has also been a wrestling reviewer since 2009 with over 5,000 full shows covered. You can find his work at kbwrestlingreviews.com, or check out his Amazon author page with 28 wrestling books. His latest book is the the Complete 2000 Monday Nitro and Thunder Reviews Part 1.
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