OTT returned to its traditional home venue for the last time this year and possibly ever (the Tivoli is due to be knocked down next year). The show had what I would consider a double main event as WALTER faced off against Sean “Maxer” Guinness and Jordan Devlin defended his OTT World Heavyweight Championship against former champion Mark Haskins.

Over the Top Wrestling
That Ring Really Tied the Room Together
July 7, 2018
Tivoli Theatre
Dublin, Ireland

Watch: OTT on Demand

Martina & Trent Seven def. Jinny & TK Cooper

It had been over a year since Jinny was last seen in an OTT ring and my goodness was she missed! Not since Maggie Thatcher has one woman incited so much hatred in so many Irish people; TK was just along as a passenger on the heat fuelled locomotive that is Jinny in OTT. On the opposite side Trent Seven came out with his NXT Tag Team title as OTT management continue to occupy some kind of middle ground in the WWE vs New Japan landscape and book contracted talent from both promotions. In her monthly game of Stars in Their Eyes, Martina cosplayed as Tyler Bate including moustache covered pyjamas, a drawn on moustache and a foam NXT Tag Team Title. Oh it was hilarious…

Sadly the highlight of the match occurred before the bell had even rung as Jinny glared at the fans and preceded to cut a tremendous promo on the OTT fans, Martina and Trent. My God she is amazing. The match was pretty average and full of all the usual comedy spots that come with a BritWres intergender tag match. It was noticeable that while the crowd was hot quite for the most part, when the focus was on Martina the crowds reactions were muted at best. The finish saw Trent drill Jinny with a quite spectacular spinning piledriver. As expected due to it being the final Tivoli show we got a Martina and Trent rave after the match. **3/4

#1 Contendership Match
Valkyrie def. Raven Creed & Veda Scott

With OTT Women’s Champion Sammi Jayne sadly sidelined due to injury this was an opportunity to build up some new stars of the division in Valkryie and Raven Creed. Since her debut in OTT at a Contenders show last November Raven has been ready for the atmosphere of a Tivoli show. She revels in the hatred of the Dublin crowds and never fails to impress in any opportunities that come her way. Veda is no stranger to OTT and this was her strongest performance to date in an OTT ring. This match though was all about Valkryie and another opportunity for the OTT to crowd to familiarise themselves with her.

However because OTT do such a bad job of promoting their women’s division a lot of the crowd seemed uninterested in the match and seemed to spend a lot of time just talking to each other. Repeated attempts at “lets go Valkryie” chants while the heels beat her down quickly faded as the Tivoli crowded showed as much enthusiasm towards the match as a turkey does Christmas dinner. When a division is treated second rate then the fans are not going to react with much feeling to a match involving three women that they may not see for another couple of months on a main show. Valkyrie got the pin after a lovely standing moonsault on Veda and cut a promo afterwards declaring her intention to become OTT Women’s Champion. ***

Club Tropicana & Colt Cabana def. More than Hype

To those unfamiliar with OTT and especially OTT Contenders shows, Colt Cabana will be the only recognisable name in this match so allow me to quickly introduce everyone else. Club Tropicana are the team of Captain Sexsea and Aiden Epix who are always joined by their personal ring announcer Jose Idol (the Spanish cousin of the missing and presumed dead Bobby George Jr personal ring announcer Tony Idol). Comedy tag teams are one thing that OTT normally excel at and Tropicana are no exception. More Than Hype are the trio of current OTT Gender Neutral Champion LJ Cleary, “Handsome” Darren Kearney and “Psycho” Nathan Martin. Handsome and psycho are not officially recognised nicknames but the OTT fans certainly refer to them as such. MTH are without a doubt three of the most talented up and coming talents in not just Ireland but in all of Europe. They are a superb unit and every time they step foot in a ring, any ring, they improve whether it be their in ring work, their charisma or their crowd interactions; they are constantly evolving and improving.

Now that we are all caught up, I loved this match. Colt was the perfect partner for Tropicana in their Tivoli debut and he seemed to greatly enjoying himself as he pulled out some classic Colt Cabana spots and the crowd ate it up. Without a doubt though the OTT crowd while cheering for Tropicana and Colt were firmly in the corner of the MTH boys as the “BLEH” chants continuously rang through the old theatre. The lead in to the end of the match featured the Irish guys landing WWE finishers on one another much to Colt’s bemusement and Colt would take advantage of the WWE shenanigans to score what I would consider an upset victory for himself and Tropicana as he pinned LJ with a quick roll up to possibly set up a Gender Neutral Title match between the two in the future. ***3/4

Mike Bailey def. Angelico

Another Mike Bailey match and another reminder why he is so beloved by the OTT fans. He has never had a bad match in Dublin, it just doesn’t happen and this was no exception. Angelico was returning to OTT having previously faced and being defeated by Jordan Devlin back in March of this year. This was to be another losing effort for the South African luchadore but he left a much more lasting impression in his second outing. The student of Negro Navarro unleashed some wicked lucha submissions that left me in awe. His transition into Konnan’s trademark Tequila Sunrise had me on my feet applauding as Angelico targeted Baileys knees to try and remove a significant aspect of Speedball’s offense.

It was not to be though as Bailey would gut through the pain and use some shockingly loud kicks to wear down the Lucha Underground star and pick up the win with his always spectacular shooting star double knees from the top rope. A fantastic match that told such a simple story and yet had the OTT crowd fully invested in the result. ****

Pete Dunne & Angel Cruzers def. Sammy D, Charlie Sterling & Zack Gibson

For those that are living in the wrestling bubble the FIFA World Cup is ongoing at the moment and on Saturday afternoon right before this show began England progressed to the semi finals defeating Sweden 2-0 much to the chagrin of 95% of the population of Ireland. The ongoing videos and memes of “IT’S COMING HOME” have not been well received in the Emerald Isle of the last week or two so when Three Lions blared out over the speakers and Charlie Sterling emerged with a Saint Georges cross painted on his face a riot breaking out would not have entirely shocked me. The Rapture normally get a heated reaction but this was next level and I genuinely have never experienced an atmosphere quite like it. Then to top it all off Gibson said he was going to sing the national anthem and began singing World in Motion in a moment that genuinely popped me.

This was due to be a two on two #1 contenders match for a shot at the Kings of the North at next months WrestleRama event. However earlier in the night it was announced that The Rapture had brought a third man who turned out to be Sammy D, B-Cool’s former tag team partner in the Gymnasties. This meant the Cruzers would also need a third man and what a surprise it was when WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne showed up. Nobody in attendance was expecting that as former Gymnastie stablemate of B-Cool Justin Shape now known as Justy was who everyone expected.

This one was as wild as anything I have ever experienced in the Tivoli. It was a white hot atmosphere that never once let up and in typical Angel Cruzers tradition would feature an utterly bizarre assortment of weapons. There was an axe, a shoe, a bowling ball and a gun playing off The Big Lebowski theme of the night and of course Team Prick played their part superbly once again. Angel Cruz continued and always unique version of the Undertaker’s old school rope walk this time worked in his teams favour as mid rope walk he launched into a coast to coast dropkick to Sammy D driving him off the apron and into the wall and ultimately he found himself tangled up in the OTT banner. This gave the Cruzers the chance to perform their patented New Move finisher (yes that is its name) on Charlie and pick up the win and once again they will get an OTT Tag Team Championship match.

The shenanigans didn’t end there though as B-Cool who had had some frantic and savage exchanges with Sammy including trading weight belt shots that thundered around the Tivoli wanted to finish the job and dragged in his former partner back into the ring while he was still covered by the OTT banner. In a truly shocking moment Justy emerged from the banner and the lights in the arena went out. It was an absolutely incredible ending to a truly memorable match. B-Cool thought he had seen a ghost and Angel was dumbfounded due to having previously buried Justy in the Wicklow mountains. An outrageous, wacky and unforgettable match from the moment The Rapture began their entrance. ****1/4

Damien Corvin def. Lucky Kid

The Damien Corvin singles push will not be going away. After the Kings of the North defeated The Rapture for the OTT tag team titles last month in Belfast it was Bonesaw and Dunkan that held the titles aloft as Corvin took a step back and on this night Corvin took a step forward with by far his best singles performance in an OTT ring. I have two complaints to make with regards to Corvin however, firstly the remix of the Kings’ Day is My Enemy theme music he uses is absolute trash and second Corvin is a natural heel and would be much better used as such with Scotty Davis, Angel Cruz, Sean Guinness and Jordan Devlin all much more beloved by the OTT fans than Corvin.

Hell on this night Lucky Kid was more beloved than Corvin by a vocal portion of the crowd. Kid who was making just his second OTT appearance and his first since November 2016 was insanely popular with many fans which seemed to irritate Corvin. Be that as it may the hot crowd seemed to inspire both men to a match which exceeded my expectations. Lucky is certainly a made man in OTT after this one and he almost picked up the win after the damndest Liger bomb I have ever seen. Yet it was to be Corvin’s night as he scored the win with a sitout gourdbuster that he calls the Coffin Nail Suplex. ***1/2

WALTER def. Sean Guinness

WALTER’s march through seemingly every wrestling promotion in the world continued as he decimated Maxer. Guinness fought valiantly and showed incredible fire as he battled from underneath from the beginning of this match. He gave WALTER all he had, he punched, he kicked, he chopped as hard  as he could and yet WALTER survived it all. Incredibly Guinness even managed to keep WALTER down long enough to pull off a 450 splash for a nearfall. It was another attempt at a pinfall that was to prove Maxer’s downfall as he attempted a flash pin but he instead slid into WALTER’s inescapable sleeper hold which put the former Zero-1 World Junior Heavyweight champion out cold.

This happened to be my first time to see WALTER in the flesh and I was not disappointed. Some people just have an aura and the big Austrian most certainly has one at that. He demands respect and expects fear and he does it all so effortlessly. Two wins in two big matches for WALTER in OTT, I wonder are they building to a big match involving the Ring General. ****

OTT World Championship
Jordan Devlin def. Mark Haskins

I adored 90% of this match and it was on track to being my favourite live match of the year and if it had gone another 5-7 minutes I could see it easily being on my MOTY list. The 10% I didn’t love though was filled with run ins and seemed to be booked as an OTT nostalgia piece to close possibly the final match ever in the Tivoli. The Rapture and Sammy D would run in after a Devlin package piledriver seemingly had the match won and Haskins and his new pals laid out both referee Foxy and the Import Killer with a belt shot to the head and as they put the boots to the fallen champion it was the unlikely trio of Trent Seven, Pete Dunne and Martina that would emerge from the back to even the odds and take out the bad guys with pedigrees before they ran them off to the back. It was at this point as Haskins eyed up Devlin for another probably fatal title shot that referee Foxy got to his feet and saved the champ and got into a tug of war with Haskins and then for no apparent reason Foxy gave Haskins a stunner allowing Devlin to finish to job with another package piledriver to retain his title. It was an overbooked mess which made little sense to me but the live crowd certainly enjoyed it.

Before all of the shenanigans though Haskins and Devlin were putting on a classic. Haskins didn’t wait for the bell and jumped the champ during his entrance with a suicide dive. Devlin would turn the tide quickly and comeback with a moonsault to the outside of his own however he would jar his knee on the landing and was visibly frustrated by this. Haskins noticed and like a shark smelling blood awoke a viciousness I have never seen before from the former PROGRESS and OTT champion. He was relentless as he cruelly and heinously worked over Devlin’s injured knee. Devlin’s title reign has never been in more peril than when Haskins avoided a moonsault and swiftly rolled through into his trademark sharpshooter. This was wrestling at its most simple and it was magnificent.

It was soon after this that all the wackiness took over and took me out of the match. Jordan Devlin and Mark Haskins should be commended though on just how superb the majority of this match was and I really hope that somewhere down the line we can see these two go one on one one more time and hopefully without the Attitude Era booking at the finish. Despite that I can still say this was a match I greatly enjoyed and if it is to be the final match ever in the Tivoli it was worthy of that honour. ****

As Devlin celebrated and shared a genuinely emotional moment with the fans that have made him and everyone in attendance showed their love for the ace of Irish wrestling, that all too familiar, ominous music began. WALTER emerged from the back and the challenge was laid out and accepted. Devlin vs WALTER next month at WrestleRama 2 for the OTT World Heavyweight Title.

Final Thoughts:

If this is to be the final show ever at the Tivoli then my goodness did OTT leave it with a bang. There were surprises. There was great comedy. There was world class wrestling. Guys and gals stepped up and elevated not just themselves but their opponents. This was a damn fine show and was the perfect way to set up the biggest title match in Irish wrestling history and that will be a match nobody will want to miss. Watch this show to give an idea of just how special Devlin vs WALTER is going to be.