Arn got a little bit of flak for his OVW TV review last month… was it a one-off, or is that the norm?
We’re going to episode 965, opening with clips of an in-ring segment from the prior week where Michael Hayes was doing his best Donald Trump impression. From watching the whole thing, he was particularly overbearing, and odd given that Kentucky voted for Trump… it led to Hayes giving Randy Royal an OVW title shot this week. But only after we had the dreaded “old man” line, which I thought Rip Rogers would have shot down since labelling your opponent “old” does nobody any favours.
We’ve got a full on intro this week, with shots and credits for a lot of the roster, along with the brag that this is in HD. More than ten years after WWE made the switch… Commentary this week comes from Gilbert Corsey, Josh Ashcraft and Mike Lacett.
OVW Heavyweight Championship: Randy Royal vs. Michael Hayes (c)
Barely two weeks earlier, Royal was one half of OVW’s tag champions… but lost the belts to the Bro Godz on February’s Saturday Night Special. The OVW Heavyweight title is the only OVW strap he’s not won, coming close over a year earlier…
Hayes actually wrestles with his prosthetic leg, unlike Zack Gowen, and he pokes Royal in the eyes early as commentary talks about this not being a “fair fright”. Their typo, not mine! Royal takes Hayes outside for some shots, but his choice to expose the padding on the floor almost backfires as he’s forced to shove away from a piledriver on the floor. Instead, he throws Hayes into the commentary table, before grabbing a bin from the crowd to throw at the champion.
We go to commercial after Royal gets a near-fall from a neckbreaker, so I get to fast-forward past a bored Al Snow, but stop to see this advert. That’s been on OVW TV for weeks without anyone spotting it. Spellcheck is a friend!
Back from break, Royal’s taking some elbows before Hayes hits a back suplex as commentary tells us that Randy’s had several heart attacks and had to be shocked back to life. Hayes is back outside looking for plunder, once he’s chased away a few folks at ringside, but his attempt at a chairshot’s stopped by Jesse Belle… and almost earns her guy the win as Royal nearly won with a roll-up.
After kicking out, a wonky uranage almost got Hayes the win, before he busted out a mandible claw on the challenger. Royal tries to resist, and he gets into the ropes for a break… at which point he grabs the referee so Jesse could run in and boot Hayes low. The Royal Treatment (Pedigree) follows, and that’s all! Huh. This was on the way to being alright, but the rushed interference left me feeling a little cold. It’s like they cut out half of the match… and it meant that the “locker room emptying” celebration seemed a tad overblown. **¾
Okay, when I say “locker room emptied”, it more a motley crew of geeks looking at it. OVW’s authority figure Dean Hill, who used to be a commentator back in the day, congratulates Royal, who then just… leaves.
Another “on sale” package comes with filters that reminds me of the days when I used to get OVW TV tapes that were copied so much the picture wasn’t exactly pristine…
OVW Television Championship: Kevin Giza vs. Logan James (c)
So after the heavyweight title changed hands, we’ve got a TV title match? This card feels upside down! Logan won the belt at the Saturday Night Special in a “title vs. carrer” match (again, their typo, not mine!), but the crowd seem rather muted for him here.
Giza tries to roll-up James from the off, before the champion rebounds with a dropkick out of a sunset flip as commentary notes that James was putting his title up in a cage match next month. There’s a cheeky 619 from Giza as he kept buzzing around the champion… throwing in a cheapshot as Logan offered a handshake for… reasons.
A springboard dropkick from Giza knocks James off the apron, and we’ve another telegraphed dive as Giza lands a tope to the outside. Complete with the surrogate voice of Rip Rogers on commentary chastising Giza for doing a “stupid dive”! The tide turns when James suplexes Giza outside, before Giza tried to German suplex him off the apron to the floor… instead James escapes and hits a Ohihara moonsault to the floor. They replay that moonsault off the turnbuckles, before James sweeps the leg… only to miss a superkick as Giza countered into a powerbomb as the scrappy back-and-forth almost ended with a title change. Logan got a foot to the ropes to save him there, before using a roll-up after Giza misses a stomp… at the second time, Giza gets the stomp in for a near-fall, and he looked to be on course for a win.
Until Randall Floyd came out and shook the ropes behind the ref’s back, crotching Giza. All that’s left is for James to pull him off the top before a frog splash gets the win. We’re two-for-two for interferences, and that kinda summed up a match that never really got the crowd into it. **
Floyd takes the mic after the match as he promised that Logan would have the title when they get to their cage match… he’s cut-off at the end of his promo, which I guess is a side-effect of trying to ad-lib when you’re scripted?
More on-sale plugs and heavily-filtered videos to generically promote shows!
OVW Women’s Championship: Torey Payne vs. Jaylee (c)
Our third title match of the night, and it’s something that was built up in a throwaway segment on the prior week’s show.
Payne went for a takedown early as we’re straight into the kind of ground and pound that was stale in WWE’s diva matches a decade earlier. There’s ALREADY INTERFERENCE as one of the Bro Godz trips Payne in the ropes, and that leads to their ejection… not even 30 seconds into the match! I get the feeling we’re a little rushed here.
Payne gets off a swinging neckbreaker for a two-count with Jaylee’s folks barely through the curtain, before she has to struggle to reposition Jaylee… who rolls outside to avoid Payne’s leap off the top. Torey follows her out as the champion tries to take her belt and leave, but this just descends into brawling at ringside as Jaylee just walks away. It’s a double-count out, and two minutes of my life I’m never getting back. -*
Randall Floyd vs. Adam Slade
Floyd’s back out for his warm-up for that cage match in a few weeks, and it’s against the “other half” of the Top Guys, complete with his “We Might Rock You” soundalike theme.
Floyd took Slade into the corner almost immediately, and it’s the former TV champion who’s in control… at least until he ran into a series of Japanese armdrags from Slade. A release butterfly suplex gets a solid two-count, but a wildly bad superkick misses as Floyd hits a German suplex instead, putting him back in charge. I’m half expecting a run-in to give a receipt for earlier, especially as Floyd is choking on Slade in the ropes. The Top Guy makes a comeback of sorts, landing a superkick to take Floyd outside… but a dive’s cut-off with an uppercut, and Floyd is right back in with an Angle slam and a Lion tamer for the win as Slade passed out. This was alright for a TV match, but there were some moments here that just didn’t look good. *¾
Hey, here’s Logan James! He throws Floyd back into the ring so he and Kevin Giza can try and double-team him, but Floyd escapes before any harm can be done.
I’m seeing these same on-sale plugs so much, I’m now questioning myself “how DO you spell tickets?”
We’re back as commentary tells us they’re still celebrating backstage. Uh huh. From there, we’ve a voice-changed promo as Aamon burns a photo of himself, back when he used to be Reverend Stuart Miles. Uh huh.
David Lee Lorenze III is out next after a full intro, because we needed to hear that music again. DL3’s got the restraining order gimmick out on Cardinal, so he figures he’s safe to enter the OVW Anarchy Rules tournament to crown a Hardcore champion. So that’s why there’s plunder randomly being shoved into the ring…
David Lee Lorenze III vs. Aamon vs. Billy O
There’s history between Aamon and Billy O – back when Aamon was a reverend – and those two go straight for each other as DL3 just sits back in the corner. A chain-assisted neckbreaker to O gets a two-count as DL3 broke it up with a sign… and then Billy’s in with a wet floor sign to the back of Aamon, who shrugs it off.
Lorenze and O double-team Aamon as we move to the plunder, with baking trays and road signs getting batted off of his head, but that union’s quickly broken as Lorenze decided to go for Aamon himself. It doesn’t work as Aamon shuffled into a chokeslam onto a bin, before Billy puts a bucket on Aamon’s head and whips him with a belt.
DL3’s back in with a whip, which he uses on O in a bid to get a head… but a short dropkick into a clipboard does little… especially as Aamon’s back in to choke him with a chain. The Bro Godz are out to interfere, knocking Aamon to the outside before hitting Billy O with the Snapshot – the double-team DDT.
Cardinal’s in to get rid of the Bro Godz, but Billy’s back to his feet already from that DDT. There’s more interference for Aamon, as Houdini and Chace Destiny attack Billy O, before Aloicious Hamilton makes the next save, and yes, we’re more than making up for the last match having no direct interference.
With Aamon and Hamilton brawling to the back, Billy O’s left loopy in the ring… allowing Michael Hayes to come back out and hit a uranage for. Reasons. DL3 rolls back from under the ring and claims the pin, and that’s it. Overbooked… and then some! ¼*
Michael Hayes has the microphone and is angry over losing his title earlier… he wants a rematch, but Dean Hill’s not in any mood to give him it… and instead fires Hayes as we go off the air with him staring on in disbelief.
This show felt like they’d crammed several weeks worth of stories into one episode. Had we just had the world title change and the fall-out from it at the end, then it would have resonated… but lost in the build for yet-another-TV-title match, and whatever the hell that interference-infested hardcore match was, it just felt like 50-odd minutes of noise.
Still, at least the wrestling wasn’t too bad. Well, apart from that match, which suffered with being rushed through so blatantly…