OTT returned home to the Tivoli Theatre for the first time since the highly successful ScrapperMania III for Marble Zone. The show was highlighted by Kyle O’Reilly making his OTT debut opposite the returning Matt Riddle, Marty Scurll taking on another OTT debutante in Donovan Dijak and in the main event The Kings of the North faced off against current NLW Heavyweight Champion Ryan Smile and CCK in a Marble Zone Match.
Over The Top Wrestling
Marble Zone: Act 1
May 6, 2017
Sammy D def. Adam Maxted
The show opened with a one on one match between two of the local rising stars in OTT. Sammy was a member of the Gymnasties tag team but at the beginning of the show we saw a video of Sammy and his former partner B-Cool amicably splitting to pursue singles careers. The match itself was a little sloppy in spots but Sammy definitely has the support of the OTT crowd and has been improving as every show passes. Maxted for his part showed some impressive athleticism for a big guy and he definitely has a future in the business. The Body Bros broke up a pin to cause the DQ, but it was a perfectly fine opener and spot to showcase two new singles acts to the Tivoli audience. **1/2
Justin Shape & Logan Bryce def. Connor Andrews & Scotty Davis
This was very much a rookies vs veterans match up as Davis & Andrews were looking to knock off the team known as “Brusty”. This match was not at all what I was expecting. Davis & Andrews had plenty of moments to shine, the most memorable being Andrews hitting a corkscrew 450 to the outside. But this match was as stiff as any OTT match I have ever seen. Bryce and Shape put a beating on the rookies but they just wouldn’t stay down and even came close to sneaking a victory a couple of times. In the end the multiple backbreakers delivered throughout the match by Logan proved vital as “Brusty” got the win following an Alabama Slam onto Bryce’s knees. ***1/4
The action didn’t end there though as Shape returned to the ring to beat on Davis & Andrews some more only to receive a message from Pastor William Eaver. On June 4th its going to be Justin Shape vs the debuting Pastor.
Martina def. Alex Windsor
Martina was out for revenge following Alex turning from a session friend to a session fiend at ScrapperMania III when she attacked Martina and Nixon Newell following their tag team match. Martina’s entrance continues to be a highlight of every OTT show but when the music stops Martina is well able to produce a hit. As every show passes Martina gets better and better in the ring, and Alex Windsor is no slouch either and I hope she is a continued presence in OTT. These women fought like they didn’t like each other and to use an Irish phrase they battered each other. In the end a leaping Seshbreaker from the top rope proved enough for Martina to overcome her one time friend. ***1/2
After his surprise debut at ScrapperMania III, Zack makes his Tivoli debut and it is not a warm welcome he receives. The boos are deafening and chants of “shut the f*ck up” rained down on Liverpools No.1.
Zack Gibson def. Jimmy Havoc
At last Jimmy Havoc had arrived in OTT. The guy who was at the top of a lot of fans wishlists answering the open challenge was a genuine shock. These guys wasted no time in getting the action started. Early on we get some brawling through the Tivoli and they take turns hitting each other with a baking tray. Once back in the ring Gibson takes control working over Jimmy’s arm setting up for the patented Shankly Gates. As the pace picks up Jimmy is able to turn things to his advantage but as he is setting up for a superplex, Paul Tracey comes out and distracts the referee allowing Gibson to hit a low blow followed by Helter Skelter for the cheap win. ***1/2
Matt Riddle def. Kyle O’Reilly
Kyle O’Reilly making his OTT debut and returning to his ancestral home and while it wasn’t a victorious return it was damn memorable. These two guys right from the bell proved why they are considered two of the absolute best wrestlers in the world. Matt Riddle is only wrestling two years and has been great for about 18 months but he is constantly improving and this may be the best performance of his that I personally have seen.
The story of the match was KOR using his speed to stay one step ahead of Riddle and working over his arm to prevent Riddle from utilising his vast range of submissions, and we saw submissions aplenty in this match. Some of the exchanges were absolutely flawless and combined with the stiff shots both were delivering the OTT audience was enthralled by these two. The moment of the match is Matt Riddle firing up while KOR tries to cave his chest in with some vicious looking kicks and it wasn’t long after this that Riddle secured a tap out victory via Bromission. A phenomenal performance from both and a must see match. ****1/2
Marty Scurll def. Donovan Dijak
How do you follow up a match like Riddle vs KOR? Well, you bring out the most beloved man in OTT: The Villain Marty Scurll. If you have never seen Donovan Dijak in person I don’t think it comes across on video just how huge he is; he is a legitimately enormous human being. He is also amazingly athletic for somebody so huge but it was his athleticism that was to cost him in the end as he missed a twisting moonsault from the top rope allowing Scurll to lock in the chickenwing for the tap out. Marty was his usual self here and delivered a typical Marty performance. Now whether you think that’s a good or a bad thing is personal choice, but personally I love The Villain and all his usual tropes. ***3/4
After the match Marty cuts a promo calling himself the number one guy in OTT and calling out Ryan Smile for an NLW Title match at WrestleRama in August. Scurll and Smile had a storied feud last autumn so a title match at the National Stadium is very welcomed.
Sha Samuels def. B. Cool
B-Cool being announced as the last of the Gymnasties while keeping the entrance music, ring gear and SQUAT chant is great storytelling and lets you know he isn’t fully on board with Sammy D’s idea of pursuing singles careers. The highlight of this match was the OTT crowd singing the Eastenders theme tune at Sha. Sha gets the win following a cradle shock. **1/4
Marble Zone Match
Ryan Smile & CCK def. Kings of the North
“So what is a Marble Zone match?” I hear you ask. Well it’s quite simple really. We start with one man from each team and every two minutes another competitor joins the match, sounds familiar right. The kicker is whomever scores the winning pinfall or submission gets either an NLW Heavyweight or OTT Tag Team title match at a time of their choosing in the future. So think War Games meets Money in the Bank.
Kicking off the match we had Damien Corvin and Ryan Smile and I for one would not complain if we got a future one on one between these two guys. This was the most impressive Smile has looked in OTT since his series with Marty Scurll last year. While the Kings continue to be the MVPs of OTT. This match had some fantastic exchanges early on but it really picked up once all six men had entered.
The action was non stop with some crowd brawling and dives to the outside thrown in. Corvin giving Chris Brookes a Razors Edge out of the ring onto everyone else over the corner of the ring was insane. So much happened that it would take me another five paragraphs just to describe it all, so I will just say Ryan Smile got the pinfall on Corvin following a frog splash and a CCK assisted codebreaker and senton. ****
After the match Matt Riddle made his way ringside and let Ryan Smile know he had something that Riddle wants: the NLW Heavyweight Title. After initially saying no to a chorus of boos, Smile accepts Riddles challenge and the main event for OTTs next show on Sunday June 4th is set.
Overall this was a really great show with some pretty big developments up and down the card. The Gymnasties are no more. Justin Shape received an almighty challenge. Martina overcame another foe on her road back to the OTT womens title. Zack Gibson continued on his mission to become OTTs number one. Plus the NLW Heavyweight Title picture is hotter than ever. Matt Riddle and Marty Scurll issuing challenges to Ryan Smile has put some much needed focus on the title. Riddle vs Smile next month is a huge main event and I just wonder was Smile’s instant rejection of Riddles challenge before a change of heart a signal that we may be about to see a different Ryan Smile as he becomes the target of the OTT roster. If you are not familiar with OTT this is a good jump in point as they build to the big August show WrestleRama.