By Thomas Hall on 17th April 2020
Date: February 22, 2020
Location: Davis Arena, Louisville, Kentucky
Commentators: Josh Matthews, D’Lo Brown
It’s a special event as we are in one of the most famous arenas in all of wrestling. This is the home of Ohio Valley Wrestling and this time around we are going to be seeing a co-promoted show between OVW and Impact Wrestling. The main event is X-Division Champion Ace Austin vs. World Champion Tessa Blanchard in a non-title match, which is kind of a weird way to go. Let’s get to it.
Pre-Show: AJ Daniels vs. D’Mone Solavino
Solavino has big black wings and AJ, who has no music, is from the Outer Space District. Some shoulders put Daniels down to start but he’s back up with leapfrogs and a dropkick. Solavino’s suplex is countered into a small package for two but he’s back with a backbreaker. A belly to back suplex gets two but Daniels kicks him in the face and hits a slingshot corkscrew splash for two. An Angle Slam gets two on Daniels but he knocks Solavino off the top, setting up a 450 for the pin at 5:23.
Rating: C-. This was a good example of two young guys getting to go out there and fly around the ring for a little bit. It wasn’t exactly high quality but the 450 looked good and it’s nice to see two younger guys getting a chance like this. They were probably both on the biggest show of their career to this point so it was completely acceptable for what it was.
Pre-Show: Max The Impaler vs. Cali Young
Cali is a rather ditsy blonde who is running for President (along with her campaign manager DL3) and LOVES AMERICA. On the other hand, Max seems inspired by her Mad namesake. Cali ducks some clotheslines to start and then bounces off of Max. A running shoulder in the corner crushes Cali again, meaning it’s time for a DL3 distraction.
This goes as badly as you would expect as Cali’s jumping choke is flipped over without much effort. Another distraction lets Cali get in a chop block but the good leg kicks her away. DL3 chokes from the floor but Max easily suplexes Cali down. Max beats up DL3 again and hits a spear for the pin at 4:14.
Rating: D+. Just a squash here as Cali didn’t get to go into her full shtick with the patriotism. She got to do it last night though and that got her some extra attention as well. Max felt your local monster, which is fine enough but it’s not something that is exactly breaking the mold.
The opening video is a pretty standard series of shots of people involved.
Rohit Raju vs. Corey Storm
Storm is an OVW regular. Raju takes him into the corner to start but runs into an atomic drop. There’s a dropkick to put Raju in the corner and a springboard kick to the face gets two. Back up and Raju slugs away, setting up a quick fisherman’s buster for two of his own. We hit the chinlock but Storm jawbreaks his way to freedom and kicks him down for two. Something like a springboard Codebreaker, followed by a basement superkick. Raju knees him in the face though and nails a Cannonball in the corner. A top rope double stomp to the back finishes Storm at 6:29.
Rating: C. Completely competent match here and a fine enough way to set things up for the rest of the night. Storm is someone with some potential and while I’m not big on Raju in the slightest, he is a lot better when he’s not doing the Desi Hit Squad stuff. Just have him out there as a wrestler in trunks and let him do his thing. It works a lot better that way, as it did here.
Impact Tag Team Titles: Rascalz vs. The North
The Rascalz (Trey and Wentz) are challenging here. Alexander sends Trey into the corner to start so it’s off to Wentz, who takes Alexander down. That doesn’t go anywhere for him as Alexander hits a quick toss as the Rascalz can’t get anything going. Some chops in the corner work a bit better for Wentz and a running dropkick gets two. Page gets in a cheap shot from the apron though and it’s Wentz in trouble again.
A rather delayed suplex gives Alexander two more but Wentz rolls underneath a double clothesline and brings in Trey…who gets blasted by a big boot to give Page two. The chinlock goes on and back to back backbreakers keep Trey in trouble. Trey comes back with some rapid fire chops to Alexander, earning himself a suplex right back into the champs’ corner. A Regal Roll out of the corner gives Alexander two and we get the handoff delayed suplex, minus the actual suplex as Trey escapes.
Trey grabs a neckbreaker and the hot tag brings in Wentz to clean house. Wentz’s slingshot Codebreaker gets two on Page as everything breaks down. Alexander throws Trey into Wentz for two and Page is stunned by the kickout. Wentz fights back but gets caught in a tilt-a-whirl faceplant. He’s back up with a Canadian Destroyer for two on Alexander.
The champs are sent into each other and it’s back to Trey, who gets caught with a double crucifix bomb for two. A Backstabber into a Swanton hits Page but Alexander is up to cut Wentz off. The referee is bumped and it’s a 619 in the corner to Alexander. Cue Rohit Raju to shove Trey off the top though, setting up the Northern Assault for the pin to retain at 20:20.
Rating: B. This took some time to get going but they were rolling by the end. The teams have some great chemistry together but the Rascalz have lost to the champs so many times now that it’s becoming hard to believe that they are a real threat. It might be time for them to move on, but at least the matches are still good.
Ace Austin has an interview in the back where he interviews the Steiner Math promo. Well at least in theory he does, as the audio keeps cutting in and out.
Rae Lyn vs. Kiera Hogan
Hogan takes her into the corner to start but Lyn switches places and slaps Hogan on the chest. They fight over wrist control until an exchange of shoulders has no effect. Dropkicks have the same result and it’s time for a pose/dance off. Lyn armdrags her down a few times so Hogan hits an elbow to the face. Choking in the ropes ensues and we hit the chinlock to slow things down again.
Back up and they trade kicks to the head for a double knockdown. Lyn’s legsweep gets two and a missile dropkick is good for the same. A spinning kick to the face gets two more, followed by the fisherman’s suplex for the fourth two in a row. They slug it out until Hogan kicks her in the face and finishes with a fisherman’s neckbreaker at 11:05.
Rating: C-. Just a match here and there is nothing wrong with an Impact wrestler defeating someone who hasn’t been around OVW very long. It wasn’t anything great and they went with a little too much silliness, but at least they had a passable match with both women getting in some time. Lyn has potential but needs some more ring time and something to get people to pay attention.
Johnny Swinger still tries to get Willie Mack on his side and is shut down again. Swinger can’t even give him a VHS.
Jay Bradley vs. Willie Mack
Bradley jumps him before the bell but Mack is up and slugging away. That earns him a beatdown into the corner but a Vader Bomb elbow misses. A dropkick puts Bradley on the floor and that means a big dive to take him down again. Back in and Bradley hits a running boot in the corner for two while shouting about this being his house. Forearms to the chest put Mack down again and we hit the chinlock. Mack fights up again and strikes away, setting up the standing moonsault for two. Back to back Stunners set up the Six Star for the pin at 6:33.
Rating: C. Totally acceptable wrestling here with Mack getting to survive a monster like Bradley and come out with a win. Mack is someone they’re ready to push to the moon as soon as they get a chance. On the other hand you have Bradley, who was in Impact for a little while and then wound up back here. I can understand that as while he is good, he’s not exactly doing anything that hasn’t been done better before.
OVE is ready to destroy Acey Romeo and Larry D.
OVE vs. Larry D./Acey Romero
It’s Mad Man Fulton/Dave Crist with Jake Crist in their corner here. Hold on though as Dave gets caught with some brass knuckles so we need a delay before we get started. Fulton headlocks Larry to start and gets clotheslined to the floor in a hurry. Dave comes in and gets headbutted into the corner, setting up a big running dropkick to make it worse. It’s off to Acey to sit on Dave’s chest but Fulton sweeps the leg to take over.
A hard clothesline drops Acey again and the stomping begins. Dave adds a running shot to the knee in the corner to put Acey in even more trouble. Acey tries to fight out of the corner and gets forearmed down in a hurry. An exchange of clotheslines doesn’t get Acey or Fulton very far until Acey hits him in the back of the head and dives over for the tag to Larry. Everything breaks down as Larry beats up Dave, including a sitout powerbomb for two.
Fulton gets crushed in the middle and a Rock Bottom puts him down as well. Acey’s big elbow gets two more and Fulton is knocked to the floor. That means the huge dive from Acey, who then goes up for a moonsault. Thankfully Dave breaks that up so Fulton tries a Samoan drop, which is broken up by Larry. The big right hand from Larry sets up the Pounce from Acey to finish Dave at 13:45.
Rating: D+. I get the idea of Acey and Larry but they’re not exactly thrilling so far. It’s one of those things where they lose a lot of steam after you watch it once, meaning there isn’t much else to see. OVE losing again isn’t going to make that much of a difference for them, but if Acey and Larry are going to mean anything they have to win something like this every now and then.
Post match OVE jumps the two of them but Daga runs in for the save. As luck would have it, this is next.
Daga vs. Jake Crist
They strike it out in a hurry until Jake is sent into the corner. A crossbody puts Jake on the floor and Daga drops him with a suicide dive for a bonus. The cannonball off the apron takes Jake down again but he superkicks Daga out of the air for two. What looked like a keylock has Daga in trouble and Jake bends the arm around the shoulder for a bonus.
A chop puts Daga down but he nips up and kicks Jake in the face. That just earns Daga another armbar, followed by a flipped over hammerlock (I can always appreciate mixing up the holds). Jake rakes the eyes and bends the arm around the rope before taking it outside. Daga grabs a DDT on the floor and it’s a high crossbody for two back inside. A gutwrench powerbomb gives Daga two more but Jake is right back with a super sunset bomb for the same.
They slug it out from their knees until Daga grabs a German suplex for two more. A belly to belly suplex sends Daga into the corner, followed by an exchange of kicks to the head, headbutts and clotheslines to knock them both down. Daga is up first and heads to the top, only to dive into a cutter for two. Crist is frustrated and pie faces him, earning himself a hurricanrana into the Tiger Driver 98 for the pin at 16:42.
Rating: B. This was a battle of two guys trading moves for sixteen moves and that was an entertaining use of time. It was a fun match and exactly what it should have been as both guys got to show off. The Crists continue to be one of the most talented teams in the company and Daga can have a good match against anyone. Good showcase for both guys here, as it should have been.
Moose is ready to destroy Rhino.
Johnny Swinger vs. Joey Ryan
Hold on though as we need to do the lollipop and oil deals before we’re ready to go. Swinger grabs the mic and says they’ve done this before and he’s not facing the love child of Freddie Mercury and Animal Steele. He has that videotape from earlier and is willing to give it to Ryan (including the match against Ray Stevens with a 23 minute and 17 second airplane spin) if Joey will lay down. Joey puts the tape in his trunks and lays down, allowing the bell to ring so he can small package Swinger for two.
The staredown is on and they shake hands, with Joey trying to make him touch it. That doesn’t work so Swinger tries an atomic drop, giving him the required knee pain. Ryan’s atomic drop works just fine and it’s Swinger getting caught in the ropes for some right hands. A cheap shot lets Swinger hit a middle rope ax handle for two and we hit a headscissor choke (Swinger: “YEAH DADDY!”).
Swinger grabs the sleeper for two arm drops but Ryan fights up for a collision. With Ryan down, Swinger falls head first onto it, allowing Ryan to hit a spinebuster for two. Ryan pulls out the lollipop but it goes into the referee’s mouth. That lets Swinger hit him with the tape for two but the Swinger Neckbreaker is countered, allowing Ryan to make him touch It. Sweet Tooth Music finishes Swinger at 7:29.
Rating: D+. This could have been worse as Swinger has gone from someone who made my eyes roll to one of the more entertaining people around here. Above all else, they’ve kept him firmly at the comedy level and that makes him a lot more tolerable. Not a good match or anything, but it served its purpose.
We look at Jordynne Grace winning the Knockouts Title.
Knockouts Title: Havok vs. Jordynne Grace
Grace is defending and gets driven straight into the corner to start. Some corner splashes make it worse and Havok screams a lot. Grace fights back with a quickly broken sleeper but she fights out of a suplex out of the corner. A Vader Bomb gives Grace two and there’s a hanging DDT to plant Havok again. The champ is back with another sleeper, which has about as much success as the first. A chokeslam gives Havok two but she has to break a third sleeper by falling back. Graces grabs it again and wraps the legs, which is enough to knock Havok out to retain at 5:37.
Rating: C. It was short but I liked the story here as it wasn’t something you would expect from a powerhouse like Grace. They had a little something with Grace going after the sleeper over and over and FINALLY winning with it, which isn’t what you usually see. Not a great match or anything but good storytelling.
Tessa Blanchard says she’ll win tonight and then she’s taking the X-Division Title.
Chris Harris is here.
Moose vs. Rhino
They slug it out to start until Rhino plants him down with a spinebuster. Moose bails to the floor and is ready to walk out but Rhino drags him back through the entrance. Back in and Moose hits him low for the DQ at 2:33. I’m thinking we’re not done here.
Indeed Rhino wants it to be No DQ.
Moose vs. Rhino
No DQ and Moose slowly stomps him down before grabbing the chair. That winds up bouncing off of the top rope and onto Moose’s head so they go outside. Moose yells at Chris Harris but goes for a lap around the ring, earning himself a trashcan lid to the head. Back in and Moose hits another low blow so it’s staple gun time. That earns him a staple to the crotch but Moose is fine enough to hit a running dropkick in the corner.
With the staple not working, it’s time for a hammer, but Rhino spinebusters him to avoid a bad case of death. A hammer shot to the foot puts Rhino down again so Moose throws in a bunch of chairs to unload. He takes too long going up though and gets superplexed down onto the chairs. The fans request and receive their table but a discus lariat blocks the Gore attempt. Moose charges into a chair in the corner but it’s No Jackhammer Needed through the table to finish Rhino at 11:48.
Rating: D. I’m so tired of seeing this same match over and over again. How many times can you see the same hardcore brawl? The hammer to the foot was the only fresh spot in there and it’s not like it was some game changer. Just something they’ve done far too many times lately (or not lately for that matter) and I don’t need to see it ever again.
Ace Austin vs. Tessa Blanchard
Non-title. Ace stalls a bit by adjusting his gear for a good bit both before and after the bell. They stare each other down for over a minute to start until Austin dances a bit. That earns him a heck of a slap to the face but Tessa charges into a hiptoss into the corner. A dragon sleeper slows Tessa down and Ace puts a knee on the back of her neck for a bonus. Some stomps to the back set up a half crab but the rope is reached.
Tessa gets in a running knee but a kick to the head puts her outside in a hurry. Ace follows her outside and shrugs off the forearms to the head so he can kick Tessa in the face. The dive off the apron is blocked but so is Tessa’s suicide dive as she just can’t get anything going so far. A hanging swinging neckbreaker gives Ace two and we hit a seated armbar. That lets Ace slice the fingers with the playing card for two which is quite the painful way to go.
Ace goes up but gets pulled down with Magnum from the middle rope so Tessa can snap off a hurricanrana with a bunch of screaming included. A cutter sends Ace outside and the triple suicide dives connect. Back in and the Buzzsaw DDT is countered into a northern lights suplex. Tessa snaps off a standing Sliced Bread #2 but still can’t hit the DDT. Instead she goes up, only to dive into a spinning kick to the face for two.
A springboard spinning Fameasser gets two more, meaning Tessa can scream again. Tessa snaps off a tornado DDT and a Code Red for her own two but Magnum is blocked. Ace can’t superplex her but Tessa can’t super DDT him. Instead she hits the Buzzsaw onto the turnbuckle (El Generico would be proud) for the pin at 18:31.
Rating: B. They built this up as a big match and it felt like one, so they hit the important idea. Tessa’s screams were a bit much but it was a nice story with Tessa never giving up and trying to hit one of her big moves to get the win. Ace isn’t going to be hurt by losing to the World Champion and Tessa gets an important win. Good stuff here, and it felt like an important main event.
Overall Rating: B+. This was a back and forth show with the good matches being very good but the bad matches bringing them back down. What brings the show up though is how much longer the good stuff was than the bad, and that made this a solid show. For an online special, it was an awesome night and worth checking out, though you might want to fast forward a few things.
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