So I took in the OVW vs. Impact Wrestling One Night Only Show in Louisville’s Davis Arena on Saturday night. That would be the same place where John Cena, Randy Orton, Brock Lesnar and Batista among others got their start (for all intent and purpose). It was a long night and mostly fun, but there was one problem.
I managed to delete my notes because that’s what I get for trying to take notes on my phone instead of on paper as I usually do. Since the show is debuting this weekend I’ll wait for the full thing to do an entire review, but here are some quick highlights.
The Davis Arena is a warehouse on the outskirts of Louisville and if you don’t know it’s there, you would never find the place as it’s the second warehouse from the road. The place holds about 350 seats (400 at best) but there’s certainly a feeling that some important stuff has gone on in here. As you walk in through a small hallway, there are some drawn pictures of some of the legends who have worked there, which is a really nice touch.
I paid for the meet and greet (total cost including general admission seating: $20 for one of the best bargains I can ever remember) with most of the roster, which was quite the disorganized mess and not really worth the extra $10 on top of the ticket. Most of the Impact wrestlers were there while the OVW wrestlers were mainly ignored. I got a handshake from Brian Cage (nice guy), Eddie Edwards (who apologized for being on his phone as I came up and seemed to be having a good time) and Moose (who looked like he wanted to be anywhere else).
Sami Callihan was at the end and I’ve never seen someone who can go from calm and polite (asked him to sign my card that they gave you upon entry and he shook my hand, smiled a bit and handed it back with a thank you for one of the most polite exchanges I’ve ever had) to on in the blink of an eye. Once I got to my seat, you could see Callihan doing various shenanigans with fans, including clapping along for random chants, being carried about by (the gigantic) Sawyer Fulton or just being an energetic guy oozing charisma. He stood out more than anyone else on the show by a mile and it’s easy to see why he’s become a big deal in the last few years.
Since a lot of the show was built around OVW talents I won’t go into all of the matches here but there were some highlights:
Sinn Bodhi (Kizarny) is doing the I’m A Weird Freak thing and actually comes off as weird for a change, which is a nice surprise.
Madison Rayne (who walked by me at the meet and greet as she was setting up) might have had her return match for Impact here and blew away every woman in OVW. The women they haven’t aren’t bad but you can see the difference in experience and quality.
One of OVW’s younger guys is named Justin Smooth, a tall guy with a good build. He’s got a long way to go but there’s some potential there.
Johnny Impact was an unannounced surprise and got involved in a match which became a three way for the World Title. You would think you might advertise an OVW legend but the show was already sold out so it’s not the biggest mistake in the world. He and Eddie Edwards worked most of the match with OVW mainstay Adam Revolver, who did enough to make this match of the night.
The OVW act that really made an impression was a tag team called King’s Ransom, a pair of brothers (Leonis and Maximus Khan. They may be twins but they’re close enough that you need to look at them closely to tell a difference.) who look like muscular Usos and wrestle a power style. From what I can tell they’re still in their rookie year, with the first match I can find for them coming in April 2018. They have a lot of work to do (promos are far from great) but that look and style is going to get them somewhere. The two of them stood out, which doesn’t often happen on a show like this.
Speaking of not standing out, current OVW Champion Tony Gunn is….nothing special to put it mildly. He’s a guy in trunks whose nickname is Shotgun Tony Gunn, who calls himself the Gunn Show and stands 5’11 and weighs 200lbs. His promos are rather weak as well and I don’t get what OVW sees in him. He and Callihan (who have been doing an angle on OVW TV) were the main event, which went about 28 minutes and featured a ton of interference from Impact and OVW wrestlers. It was good, but Gunn isn’t someone I can ever picture myself caring about.
Overall, it was a fun night and you can’t beat the price (Seriously, $20 for a show and meet and greet with free parking?), plus getting to go to the Davis Arena, which is an important place in wrestling history, was the real highlight. Good show, and hopefully that holds up on the broadcast.