OTT Martina’s Gaff Party Belfast
February 5 2017
This is the second night of Martina’s Gaff Party, having put on a cracking showing in Dublin the night before at the Tivoli Theatre. One night later they’ve crossed the border. We’re here in Mandela Hall, Belfast, Northern Ireland. We kick the show off with local lad Tucker, fresh off a great performance on the WWE UK show. He’s jumped by English prick Charlie Sterling and we’re underway.
Tucker vs. Charlie Sterling
These two are both talented yet underrated on the Indie scene. Nobody knew who Tucker was outside of Ireland until the UK plucked him from obscurity. I’m glad they did. Sterling is often remembered for just being a dick but he’s got a great skill set. Sterling is a bit further along in terms of character but in terms of in-ring basics, they’re both good enough. Tucker’s no nonsense approach is appreciated, as Sterling’s playful banter. There are times when Tucker’s noticeably decelerates, making sure he doesn’t err. In particular leading into a blocked rana spot. That’s something you don’t want to get wrong.
Charlie should win with a monster piledriver but ends up eating a superkick for the pin. Good showing from both lads. Tucker didn’t look as crisp here as he did against Tyler Bate in Blackpool but he’s definitely one to watch.
Final Rating: ***1/4
Paul Tracey, Renee Dupree & Jinny vs. The Lads From The Flats & Martina
Remember when Finn’s tag partner, Jinny and one of La Resistance tagged together? Dupree is still looking suitably jacked up. He’s not worked anywhere big for a couple of years, since parting ways with Wrestle-1, but he’s kept in shape. It’s pretty shocking to think he left WWE a decade ago.
Martina is all fired up here, wanting to get revenge on Jinny for wrecking her Gaff Party yesterday. As with last night’s match Jinny makes Martina look like a mega-babyface. She has a knack of getting opponents over. There is an issue with the Lads from the Flats looking like guys playing at wrestling rather than actual workers. Especially against Dupree. Poor Rene gets his buttocks exposed but still indulges the crowd by doing the French Tickler. The match drags quite a bit, despite the multiple participants. It’s considerably better when Jinny is in there. The crowd chant Holy Shit for her hitting the Style Clash on Paddy. The Lads recover and Paddy gets the pin on a convulsing Tracey with a senton. The heat segment on Paddy ran too long but I honestly though Jinny was the star here.
Final Rating: **3/4
Post Match: Martina finally gets to have her party, having been denied yesterday.
Jordan Devlin vs. Tyler Bate
Tyler has a lot of cute offence and he happily runs through it. He’s developed a tidy set of moves to go with his solid technical work. Tyler also massively enjoys himself as the crowd sing and wave and cheer.
Devlin plays the part of the killjoy, with a disproportionately large head. He maintains his heel persona without resorting to boring rest holds like during the WWE tournament. Devlin shows a slight interest in working the leg, like last night, but it doesn’t really go anywhere and Tyler doesn’t bother selling it. They do some nice stuff with familiarity selling and Devlin escapes the Tyler Driver ’97 with a rana. Tyler looks like a goddamn star throughout and finishes with the Tyler Driver ’97 for the comprehensive win. Devlin kept up throughout and he impresses me quite often without massively standing out. That happened again here. He’s still awaiting a big breakout performance.
Final Rating: ***1/2
The Wards vs. The Kings of the North
It’s pretty weird seeing the Kings of the North get cheered but we are in their beloved Northern Ireland. It’s the Hart Foundation of Ireland.
— Arnold Furious (@ArnoldFurious) February 17, 2017
I’m not sure I understand the Wards. I may have to have the gimmick explained to me by Irish people. They play heel here and get dismantled by the Big Lads on the other side of the ring. These guys give no fucks about their personal safety and dives a plenty occur. Luther has to behave like a degenerate prick to ensure the crowd remembers one team are horrible. When he accidentally spits on the front row he draws some genuinely unpleasant heat. When Luther isn’t being an arsehole the match ticks along at a pleasing pace. It’s exceptionally spotty. The Kings of the North end up winning via multiple consecutive high spots. I wasn’t emotionally involved in this and it struggled to maintain focus. The spotty spots were super if you like that sort of thing though.
Final Rating: ***
Mark Haskins vs. Matt Riddle
I am very excited to see this after both guys performances the night before. Haskins won last night and Riddle lost so the outcome seems to not be in doubt. Haskins has the kind of intensity that defines him as a wrestler. As soon as he walks through that curtain we’re in for something special. Riddle is far more relaxed and it immediately sets up a juxtaposition between the two.
The mat work is sensational with Haskins taking it to Riddle but Matt finding an assortment of counters. If you like that MMA style you’ll love this. After they try more elaborate work, off the mat, it’s not as crisp. It is very easy to forget that Riddle has only been wrestling for two years. He won’t get that instant chemistry with everyone just yet. Haskins forces the pace though and refuses to let the match degenerate into something inferior. His standards are so high and he slots into whatever role he needs to make the match work. Riddle’s natural charisma carries that end of the match and Haskins simply fills in the blanks. Riddle feels the need to up the ante with MMA strikes and general stiffness. The match is rock solid throughout but it needs one huge spot to make it memorable. Riddle delivers this by hitting a dive from the ramp, into the ring.
Afterwards he grins and says “that was sick”. There’s nothing quite so incredible as a man marking out for his own high spots. Haskins manages to trap Riddle in a few tremendous submissions as the match hits an awesome level. Haskins gets caught trying for something different though and Riddle gets the win with an armbar. This was a fucking great match, highlighted by sensational mat work and Riddle’s insane tope into the ring.
Final Rating: ****1/4
Matt heckin riddle pic.twitter.com/CxoZvpr0IO
— Vicky (@NinjaPotts) February 5, 2017
Luther Valentine vs. Eddie Kingston
I’ve never seen Luther before. He’s from Northern Ireland. Last year he wrestled a couple of matches for ICW and made his OTT debut at their last Belfast show. This match is hugely different to the last one. It’s way slower and focuses entirely on brawling. Kingston, babyface in Dublin, works hard heel here. The crowd respond by calling him a wanker. This brings out the dirty New York mouth on the half-Irish prick. Valentine looks slightly out of his depth and his lack of experience at this level is evident. The match is way better when they abandon any pretence of wrestling and just smack each other around. Kingston gets the pin with a spinning backfist and we can all move on with our lives. The best part of the match is Eddie’s post match promo where he picks indifferently at his knee pad and talks shit about the crowd and even that goes wrong when he puts Valentine over. His comedy exit, where he ducks a woman at ringside who he’d verbally abused is a nice touch.
Final Rating: **
Pete Dunne vs. Mark Andrews
Pete lost his title and got beaten for the first time in three years last night. What better way to overcome that than having a match with his old pal Mark Andrews?
These two have wrestled each other many, many times so they slip right into tried and tested work. The match is quite long, over 20 minutes, so they don’t belt through the high spots in the early going, instead relying on Pete being a knob. When you’re an effective heel you can kill time without being boring. Pete’s approach varies between selling his injured hand (from chopping the ring post) to power spots to using the Cattle Mutilation. It keeps everyone guessing where he goes next and the crowd is red hot throughout. Pete is careful to not do anything too flashy, as he doesn’t need to, and this allows Andrews to hit all manner of flippydos in response. While the match is very good there’s a feeling they leave a little in the tank, perhaps with an eye to doing something special in the future. They certainly have the chemistry to hit a high level. Everything down the stretch here is tough to execute but is clean as a whistle. Dunne shows his experience at the finish too, ignoring Mark’s kick-out of the Drop Dead and switching to a kimura to win with that instead. Pete’s farewell after the match feels like a goodbye to OTT, which it might be given the issues OTT have had getting his bookings approved for this weekend.
Final Rating: ****1/4
Perhaps an even more consistent card than the previous night, albeit with the top end being less high. Riddle-Haskins and Dunne-Andrews were both excellent though. The Irish talent performed at a higher level here. Credit to OTT for putting on two very strong cards on back to back nights. It’s becoming a habit for them.