Saturday April 15th 2017 was the biggest and most anticipated night in Irish wrestling history. OTT had sold out the 2,200 National Stadium for ScrapperMania and one of the hottest, most popular acts in wrestling, the combination of Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks collectively known as The Elite, were making their OTT debuts. Oh and the show was being broadcast live on FloSlam all around the world for the first time. No pressure at all lads.
Over the Top Wrestling
April 15, 2017
The National Stadium
Grado def. Charlie Sterling
It was smart to open the show with this as Grado never fails to get the live crowd engaged. But this was every Grado match you have ever seen along with every Charlie Sterling singles match in OTT. A tonne of comedy including Charlie wrestling with his arse exposed for a significant amount of time while Grado focused his offense on the exposed body part. Grado picks up the win via R-Grad-O but I will again say I’d love to see Charlie drop some of the comedy and be pushed as a credible wrestler as he is immensely talented. **1/2
Jigsaw def. Scotty Davis
This was a great opportunity for the young Irishman Scotty Davis on only his second OTT show to share a ring with a veteran like Jigsaw. Jigsaw as the subtle heel to Scotty’s plucky young highflyer worked well, as Jigsaw keeping the pace slow and methodical early on got the crowd fully behind Scotty. Scotty is raw but the talent and potential is there for everyone to see. Jigsaw got the win after a double foot stomp from the top but the star here was Scotty Davis. **3/4
Jurn Simmons def. Paul Tracey
If you have never experienced a Jurn Simmons entrance in person it needs to be on your wrestling bucket list. Watching a “Massive” German man gyrate and play air guitar doesn’t sound like something most people will want to watch on a Saturday night, but Jurn makes it a must see event. The match itself was a fun hoss battle. Tracey very rarely has a bad match and is the perfect guy to put in with newcomers to the promotion. After getting the win with a piledriver hopefully this is not the last we see of “Massive” Jurn in OTT. ***
Justin Shape & Logan Bryce def. The Gymnasties (Cool & Sammy)
This was a much anticipated grudge match after Justin Shape turned on the ‘Nasties back in December and cost them the OTT Tag Team titles, and even though he may not do many squats anymore Justin Shape is in the best shape of his career right now. This match was four local guys put in a featured spot on the show and they all delivered. You would never have known Justin Shape has had neck issues earlier in his career, Logan Bryce announced himself as OTTs very own King of the Backbreaker and the ‘Nasties delivered the best match of their careers thus far. Sammie D looks like he could be a breakout star very soon in OTT and B-Cool is always improving. In the end William J Humperdink’s presence at ringside proved vital for his guys as he held B-Cools legs following a brainbuster and Justin Shape picks up the tainted victory. ***1/2
Martina, Alex Windsor & Nixon Newell def. Katey Harvey, Jinny & Bea Priestley
This match would have been memorable just for the Session Friends entrance alone such was the atmosphere that was created in the National Stadium while Maniac 2000 played and 2,200 people raved right along with Martina, Nixon and Alex. But these women produced a great match and advert for womens wrestling in the UK & Ireland. Martina continues to be one of the most popular competitors in OTT and her in ring seems to improve every single show. This was also Nixon Newell’s final OTT appearance before she reports to Orlando and she most definitely left an impression with a 450 Splash from the top rope to the outside onto the five other women. To the delight of everyone in attendance Martina picked up the win for her team following a Seshbreaker on Bea. A rave ensued but was cut short when Alex Windsor attacked Martina and Nixon setting up Martina’s next programme. ***1/2
OTT Tag Team Championships
Kings of the North def. Lads from the Flats
These units have had many battles in the short history of OTT but on the biggest stage they have ever had all 6 men delivered their best battle yet. On a night of spectacular entrances the Lads had a DJ to blast out Tiesto, only for the Kings to top it with flag bearers, fire and live drummers playing along to their entrance theme; it was chilling. This was very much Republic vs Northern Ireland, Dublin vs Belfast. This was to be a war.
After a fast start from the Lads, the story of the match was to be the Kings working over Paddy M’s left knee after he injured it on a springboard move. Paddy’s selling was magnificent throughout; he may be the best Irish wrestler on the OTT roster. Again though, all six homegrown Irish wrestlers were fantastic and even though I was there live on the night I still bought into the nearfalls towards the end of the match while watching the VOD. In the end the returning Martin fell victim to an assisted DDT, assisted codebreaker and blue thunder bomb for the pin as the Kings continue to reign as OTT Tag Team Champions. ****
Gerry Humperdink was out next to say goodbye and announce before he left that OTT will return to the National Stadium on August 5th for WrestleRama featuring Mick Foley, Jeff Cobb, Matt Sydal, Lio Rush, Joey Ryan and Candice LaRae.
Marty Scurll def. Jay White
Boy do the OTT faithful love Marty Scurll. He may actually be the most beloved regular roster member in all of OTT right now. I would say this was the most technical, traditional wrestling match on the show. A lot of arm work from Marty building to the chicken wing while also including his usual spots like the apron superkick, the just kidding kick and the finger snap. This was my introduction to Jay White, and I was impressed if not blown away by the young Kiwi. Marty’s piledriver is one of my favourite moves in wrestling right now. Jay White passes out in the chicken wing as Marty picks up another win in OTT. ***1/2
Zack Gibson def. Angel Cruz
This was an unannounced bonus match and Zack Gibson’s OTT debut. If Gibson is to be a regular moving forward he will be a welcome addition as there is very few men in European wrestling who can generate real heel heat like he can. I was delighted to see Angel get a spot on the show after his work in recent months has been a highlight in OTT. This was a fun sprint with some comedy involving Team Prick assisting Angel Cruz but ultimately it was all about establishing Zack Gibson to the OTT crowd. Helter Skelter followed by the Shankly Gates submission brings a debut OTT victory for Gibson. ***
The Elite def. Uptown Funkers & Lio Rush
This match has divided opinion since it was broadcast and I can totally understand why. But before I get into the match I need to say that whatever problems people have with the booking of the match we need to look at the amount of Bullet Club and The Elite t-shirts in the crowd. There was even a homemade superkick counter in the front row. A lot of the audience where there to experience The Young Bucks and Kenny Omega in person. Realistically it didn’t matter who they were facing as the fans were going to cheer and chant and pop for superkicks as long as The Elite were in the ring.
Now that’s not to belittle the Uptown Funkers. Ryan Smile is the current NLW Champion, Lio Rush is one of the hottest up and comers in all of wrestling and well Will Ospreay needs no introduction. This match was mostly worked for laughs, to get the crowd chanting and just give the majority what they came to see. I can understand why some people didn’t like the spot with Ryan Smile stuck in the sharpshooter while Matt Jackson cut a promo and then the schtick with Kenny on the mic, but a lot of the fans in attendance loved all of the comedy.
Beyond all of the comedy there really was some top quality work on show in this match. This match was six of the best in the world having a good time and while not perfect it is at least enjoyable. This is a match that you just gotta look at like almost an exhibition and just enjoy it for what it was, a one off match that will most likely never take place again. Too many highspots to even begin mentioning. The end comes via an assisted Meltzer Driver followed by a One Winged Angel on Ospreay as The Elite are victorious on their OTT debut. ***3/4
Overall this was a fantastic show and a wonderful way to showcase OTT. The production was absolutely top notch and some of the special entrances were spectacular. If this was the first time anybody watched OTT I would be almost certain that they will return and watch future OTT shows. The Elite may have drawn the masses, but the stars of the show were the Irish talent. The Kings of the North and the Lads from the Flats had an OTT classic, Logan Bryce, Justin Shape & The Gymnasties almost stole the show and the six woman tag from the entrances right through to Alex Windsor’s turn post match were brilliant. It won’t be long until we are seeing talent like Martina, The Kings of the North, Logan Bryce, Sammy D and Scotty Davis booked all across Europe.