OTT returned to the Tivoli for WrasslePops following the highly successful WrassleRama show at the National Stadium in August. The WrasslePops main event was the appropriately named Cereal Bowl match which was a five man gauntlet style match featuring the OTT return of a man Irish fans consider ‘one of our own’ Will Ospreay, the OTT debut of Flip Gordan, El Ligero, the hottest Irish prospect Curtis Murray and a mystery opponent. The OTT Tag Team Titles were also on the line as The Kings of the North defended their crown against 2Unlimited and Jordan Devlin looked to continue on his path to the NLW Title when taking on the debuting David Starr.
Over the Top Wrestling
September 2, 2017
Watch: OTT on Demand
Adam Maxted def. Jurn Simmons
Let me start by saying are you even a wrestling fan if you don’t enjoy Jurn Simmons’ entrance? Watching the “Massive One” gyrate and air guitar his way to the ring is always a highlight for me. This match was a fine example of two athletic big lads wrestling in 2017. Maxted would pick up the cheap win with a DDT that was preceded by a low blow but the finish didn’t take away from the match. Both men showed their athleticism early on and Jurn even did a Shawn Michaels-esque kip-up while Maxted flawlessly nailed a springboard cutter from the outside in and a top rope springboard moonsault. Maxted also showed some before unseen toughness and resilience as he withstood a pair of powerbombs and an Oklahoma Stampede from Jurn. This was a first significant singles victory for Flex and seeing how much he has improved in the past few months alone I look forward to seeing how he progresses in OTT over the coming months. ***1/4
Eddie Dennis def. Damian Dunne
A much anticipated OTT debut for “The Pride of Wales” Eddie Dennis here as he faced a man he is no stranger to in Chief Deputy Dunne. The match seemed to be more about the disintegration of OTT’s Anti Fun Police than the match between Dennis and Dunne. It was an okay if not memorable debut for Dennis as he pinned Dunne with the Next Stop Driver after a miscommunication between Dunne and Nick. Following the match Deputy Dunne blamed Officer Nick for the defeat and slapped him, this led to Nick showing his true more flamboyant colours revealing a fantastically multicoloured shirt as the Fabulous Nicky broke through and Functional Officer Nick was no more. A Nicky superkick followed and Chief Deputy Dunne was certainly having no funaaahhhh. **3/4
OTT Tag Team Championships
Kings of the North (Bonesaw & Corvin) def. 2 Unlimited
The Kings of the North continue their reign atop the OTT Tag Team division with another impressive performance against the previously unbeaten 2Unlimited. This was without a doubt 2Unlimited’s best OTT match so far and it was in no small part thanks to the Kings being in control for 90% of the match. 2Unlimited actually jumped the defending champs before the bell rang and hit stereo 450 splashes which was a great nearfall, but from that point on the Kings would dominate the Sammon brothers with Patrick in particular taking an absolute beating. Corvin and Bonesaw would chop, kick, suplex and slam Patrick at will and at one point Bonesaw landed a particularly vicious looking senton to the back of Patrick.
When Patrick was able to make the tag to his brother Jay and the action broke down and 2Unlimited were able to showcase their admittedly impressive flips; they felt a lot more impactful because the Kings had been so dominant up to that point. But while impressive they were still also sloppy at points and the sense of danger when they are setting up for a highspot is almost unsettling. The Kings earned their victory following an absolutely vicious boot from Corvin to Patrick which eliminated him totally and left Jay to fall victim to a double team lungblower-German suplex combo from the champs. Following the match, the Kings showed respect for 2Unlimited and this felt like a face turn for the Kings who have been gaining more and more support within the Tivoli in recent months. ***1/2
Zack Gibson def. Bobby George Jr.
Is there a heel anywhere in the world as great as Zack Gibson at generating instant heat? He definitely has a set structure but my god does it work and honestly his in ring work is pretty good too. Bobby George Jr. and his personal ring announcer Tony Idle have very quickly become a highlight of every OTT show they are on and the Bobby’s entrance to “Chase the Sun” or as some call it “the darts song” always gets the fans up singing and dancing. I enjoyed Gibson’s working over of Bobby’s arm and there is a definite pattern emerging in the finish of all Gibson’s matches. Gibson remains undefeated as a singles competitor in OTT and it’s clear he and his mates Charlie Sterling and Sha Samuels are going to be a big part of OTT over the coming months. ***1/4
Angel Cruz & B. Cool def. Justin Shape & Logan Bryce
The Angel Cruzzers are proof to all wrestlers in the world that if you make the most of whatever opportunities you are given you can succeed. They were a thrown together team of the leftovers after Tyler Bate left with British Strong Style leaving Angel a broken man and the Gymnasties split of Justy turning his back on them and then Sammie D deciding to go his own way left B-Cool an utterly deranged man. But together they have proven to be one of the most popular acts ever in OTT and along with Team Prick as their security team they provide good in ring action along with some the greatest comedy wrestling I have ever seen.
The match started in bizarre fashion with B attempting to murder Justy by choking him to death and honestly it just got weirder from there. We had some off brand cereal as a holy shit moment for some “hardcore” bumps, Team Prick becoming a human bridge to assist in a springboard maneuver and Justy fish hooking everyone only to be upstaged by Angel and his weapon du jour: a slash hook! In the end it was an old friend of B-Cool that made the difference as Sammie D returned only to superkick his former partner in front of referee Niall Fox causing the DQ and align himself with Justy, Logan and William J Humperdink. ***1/2
Jordan Devlin def. David Starr
David Starr was making his OTT debut going up against the hottest guy in OTT right now: Jordan Devlin. This was utterly phenomenal. The crowd were red hot right from Jordan’s entrance through to the very end. It started out very evenly with them being familiar with each other having faced off the previous weekend in the UK. Some loud chops by Starr were the catalyst for the intensity to pick up and man did it ever. A ferocious clothesline exchange with neither man giving an inch left me wincing.
When the pace picked up the action was so crisp and smooth that I found myself in awe at what these guys were doing. Jordan hit a second perfect uranage slam standing moonsault combo while Starr performed a hangman’s DDT on the apron, running clothesline, ushigoroshi and superkick in the time it took me to blink; to paraphrase Jim Ross he was sudden. To end this match up was going to take something special and Jordan provided that with a destroyer followed by his patented package piledriver for the 1-2-3.
This was the best singles match in OTT history. Jordan Devlin has been on an absolute tear over the past couple of months in not only OTT but all over the UK and in my opinion not nearly enough people are talking about him. Forget all the stupid “baby Balor” comparisons from earlier this year, look at Jordan from this summer and you will see one of the best, most consistent wrestlers in the world. I don’t mean to play down David Starr’s contribution to the match but everybody already knows how good he is and I hope he returns to OTT in the very near future, but right now is Jordan Devlin’s time and he is only getting better and I urge everyone to seek out his match against Shane Strickland from OTT Contenders 3 just a couple of weeks following this which was also fantastic. ****3/4
Cereal Bowl Elimination Match
Will Ospreay def. Curtis Murray, El Ligero, Flip Gordon & Justin Shape
This first ever OTT Cereal Bowl was certainly a mixed bag! It began with El Ligero and Flip Gordan as entrants #1 and #2. Flip was making his OTT debut and he is somebody I was not familiar with apart from his cameos in The Young Bucks Being The Elite video series, yet he certainly lived up to his name with plenty of flip variations even if he was a bit over reliant on the handspring elbow. I should add a certain section of idiot fans tried to start a build the wall chant directed at El Ligero (who is from Leeds…) but were very quickly shut down by the rest of the crowd. Curtis Murray was entrant #3 and he definitely impressed but he probably left a lasting impression for the wrong reason. Entrant #4 was the main attraction and eventual winner Will Ospreay. He always receives a fantastic reception when he “comes home” to OTT and this time was no different. The final entrant, the mystery man, the guy who had all the fans buzzing in the buildup to the show turned out to be Justin Shape. I am a big fan of Justy but this was an odd choice and due to a very real fallout between Justin and OTT management this would turn out to be Justys last appearance in an OTT ring. For now anyway.
In a scary moment that the match never really recovered from, Curtis Murray while attempting a springboard dive to the outside misjudged the dive slightly and the back of his head hit the ring apron. He was immediately busted open and bleeding heavily and was very quickly pinned by Flip Gordan for the first elimination. Thankfully Curtis was okay and suffered no significant long lasting damage, it was just unfortunate that on what I think was supposed to be a showcase match for him opposite Will Ospreay his night was cut short.
Flip was eliminated thanks to a Ligero springboard tornado DDT soon after. Ligero and Ospreay had a short exchange but Justy was lying in wait for his chance and he rolled up Ligero for the third elimination meaning it was down to Ospreay and Shape. Justy could not capitalise on a more fatigued Ospreay though as the Aerial Assassin rapidly ran through some signature moves, the cheeky nandos kick, a rainmaker and a high fly flow before pinning Shape after an Oscutter. ***1/2
The main event was going to have a hard time following the phenomenal Starr vs Devlin match anyway but Curtis Murray injury seemed to take all the air out of the crowd. Some fans and ringside crew were visibly worried for the rest of the match. After the match ended, Will Ospreay cut a pretty good promo offering Murray a one on one match in the future as well as setting up a future match with the former NLW Heavyweight Champion and his fellow Uptown Funker, Ryan Smile.
WrasslePops was a very good show overall. No match was bad and it had a match for all fans whether you like big lads, flippy guys, great tag team wrestling, comedy wrestlers or just plain great wrestlers. It would already have earned a thumbs up without Starr-Devlin, but with it it became must see.