One Night Only: Clash In The Bluegrass
Date: March 2, 2019
Location: Davis Arena, Louisville, Kentucky
Commentators: Gilbert Corsey, Don Callis, Josh Matthews
I don’t usually do these shows but since I was in the audience, it might be appropriate this time around. The Davis Arena is the longtime home of Ohio Valley Wrestling and I’ve always wanted to go there for a show so it was a great surprise when it was announced that Impact was coming around for a One Night Only. Sami Callihan and OVE had been around for the last few weeks and even stole the OVW Title. This is a bunch of promotion vs. promotion matches so let’s get to it.
I was sitting in the last row with the hard camera on my right. Given that the arena might have held about 350 people (it’s a warehouse with a ring inside, which does offer some charm) so the last row is a perfectly good seat).
There was a meet and greet before the show with Eddie Edwards, Moose, Sami Callihan and Brian Cage, plus a bunch of the OVW wrestlers. Nothing of note, but for an extra ten dollars on top of the ten dollar ticket, you can’t exactly complain.
In a dark match, William Lutz defeated KTD. Yeah you might not have heard of a lot of these people but it was a short match and completely fine for two guys on their level.
We open with a look at Sami stealing the OVW Title from champion Tony Gunn. This set off a fight between OVE/various other Impact wrestlers and Team OVW, a group of five people thrown together with nothing significant in common. Fair enough for something like this.
Opening sequence, which is the OVW TV opening, thankfully including name graphics for the wrestlers.
The announcers give us a quick welcome with OVW commentator Gilbert Corsey getting a chant from the crowd.
Dimes vs. Sinn Bodhi
Yes his name is Dimes and Bodhi (better known as Kizarny) is a freaky guy and a big villain in OVW. After laying on the ropes, Bodhi picks Dimes up for an airplane spin at the bell. With the serious stuff not working, Bodhi pulls him face first into the back of his trunks. That’s good for a series of one counts, which seems to confuse Bodhi. Sinn: “ONE PLUS ONE PLUS ONE IS THREE!” You can’t fault his addition skills. Dimes’ one right hand has no effect as he gets sent outside, leaving Bodhi to hang in the Tree of Woe and bite his face.
Bodhi ties him upside down in the ropes and….tickles Dimes from the floor. Back in and Bodhi gives him an electric chair drop into a Garvin Stomp. A reverse falling headbutt and some funny faces at the crowd give Bodhi two but Dimes rolls him up into a crucifix for the same. Bodhi gets two more off a clothesline but Dimes is right back with a handspring cutter for the pin out of nowhere at 5:21.
Rating: D+. The ending felt like a shocking TV upset and I’m not sure how good of an idea it is to open the show like that. Dimes is hardly someone with a ton of appeal outside of a place like OVW where he can be a local star. Bodhi on the other hand actually felt weird, as opposed to someone who is just called weird and then does whatever lame bits he’s been given. That worked, and I could go for more of him in the future.
Colton Cage vs. Brandon Espinosa
Cage’s TV Title isn’t on the line but his girlfriend Dani is in his corner. Cage jumps him from the apron and hammers away on the floor before the opening bell. They get inside with Dani choking on the ropes, allowing Cage to get in a clothesline for two. Some shots in the corner miss Espinosa but Cage snaps him throat first across the top. Espinosa pops up and hits some running clotheslines, followed by a low superkick for two. Dani grabs Espinosa’s foot and Cage hits a Side Effect for two. A powerbomb out of the corner gives Espinosa two more but he misses a charge, allowing Cage to hit an ax kick for the pin at 5:25.
Rating: C-. Nothing match, but the commentary here was a nice addition as Josh and Callis praised the OVW talent and threw some softballs at Gilbert in regards to history between the wrestlers. It helped a lot with setting up what was going on here (though there isn’t a story between these two) and Callis sounds like he’s scouting talent. It’s better than having the Impact commentators take over the broadcast and talk about people they don’t know.
The War Kings (Crimson/Jax Dane, the Tag Team Champions) explain the rather complicated rules for tonight’s #1 contenders match: the two challenging teams will have a ten minute match. If either of them win, they get a title match immediately thereafter. If neither win and it’s a time limit draw, the title match still takes place as a triple threat. This is one of those promos where no one would talk this way and it’s rather forced exposition.
Jay Bradley vs. Cash Flo vs. Moose vs. Zo
Bradley used to wrestle in Impact as Aiden O’Shea. These guys are all rather large in one way or another so it’s a four way hoss fight. Moose immediately heads to the floor and it’s Flo and Zo going after Bradley, knocking him to the floor with a running corner splash. That leaves the two of them to chop it out (Flo is known for his chops) but the bigger Zo knocks him into the corner.
Bradley comes back in but gets tripped by Moose. Zo covers and now Moose is willing to come in for the save, putting all four inside for the first time. Moose gets triple chopped before heading outside with Zo. With Flo being knocked down in the corner, Moose comes back in and teases a dive but says screw the fans because the dive isn’t happening. Bradley is willing to dive and Flo follows suit with a rolling dive onto all three of them. It’s another slugout between Flo and Zo with the latter knocking him into the corner for a cartwheel splash. Not bad for a 400lber.
Bradley slams Zo but gets clotheslined down by Moose, who nips up in the always impressive display. Moose sends Flo outside as the Impact announcers start insulting Kentucky. With Moose up top, Bradley turns it into the Tower of Doom, which is all the better looking due to the total amount of size. Bradley is up first and throws Flo and Zo to the floor. Moose pops up with the lariat but gets suplexed by Flo, who is spinwheel kicked by Zo. Back up and it’s another chop off, but this time Zo small packages Flo for the pin at 11:28.
Rating: C. I know it’s not the best match in the world but I had a good time with this one. It was designed to be a spectacle with four big, strong guys beating each other up and that’s exactly what we got here. The match did its job and while Moose’s left leg has more talent than the other three combined, he wasn’t exactly thrilled to be here.
Madison Rayne vs. Cali Young
Cali’s (your standard good looking blonde who may or may not be dumb) Women’s Title isn’t on the line. This is Rayne’s return match after signing with the company again only days before. Cali works a wristlock as we hear about her basically stealing the title. A legsweep gives Madison two but Cali runs her over and gets in a cartwheel, only to have Madison run the ropes for a springboard wristdrag.
Back up and Cali sends her outside for a baseball slide, followed by a basement dropkick for two back inside. Some choking on the ropes has Madison in more trouble and a suplex sets up a front facelock. They both try…I think crossbodies and it’s a double knockdown. Madison fights up with a running forearm into a sliding basement clothesline for two of her own. An X Factor gives Cali two more but she misses a charge into the corner, allowing Madison to grab a reverse DDT for the pin at 7:35.
Rating: C-. This was a good way to show that while Impact isn’t the most beloved company in the world, their talent is still better than a lot of companies’. Cali was passable but didn’t exactly show anything all that great. Madison looked polished and like a much better overall worker, which is why she’s in a much bigger and more prominent role.
Moose talks about wanting to get out of this terrible town because he has a nice massage planned.
Team OVW vs. Team OVE
OVW: Dustin Jackson, Melvin Maximus, Sam Thompson, Shiloh Jonze
OVE: Crist Brothers, Madman Fulton, Rohit Raju
Jackson and Thompson are both generic guys, Jonze is OVW’s Grandmaster Sexay and Maximus is a middle aged guy who is rather strong and pretty limited (to put it mildly). Fulton is a good addition, even if he hadn’t joined OVE on TV yet. Raju is here because….well they needed a fourth. Jake and Thompson start things off with Jake not exactly taking this seriously.
Thompson gets in an enziguri and it’s off to Raju vs. Jackson. Raju takes him down and the bigger Jackson sends him into the corner, allowing the tag to Maximus, who gets two beat up Dave. The wrist crank is about as good as Melvin can go so it’s time for the hometown guys to work over Dave’s arm. Everything breaks down and Fulton hits a fireman’s carry flapjack on Thompson to take over.
We settle down to Fulton hitting rolling delayed vertical suplexes to rock Thompson and it’s Dave coming back in. Another near breakdown just lets Fulton slam Thompson onto Jake’s knees and we hit the chinlock. Thompson finally gets in an elbow and brings in Jonze for house cleaning and dancing.
The Running Man gets broken up by Fulton though and now it’s Jonze in trouble for a change. Raju gets in a few knees to the head before handing it back to Fulton for more hard forearms. Melvin breaks up a cover, sending Josh into hysterics about how OVE had the match won in one of the first us vs. them lines of the night. Raju’s snap suplex gets two but Jonze fights out of another chinlock so Jackson can come in to clean house.
A big dive takes out all of OVE and there’s a double missile dropkick to Jake and Raju. Fulton runs Melvin over and it’s Raju stomping on Jonze. Everything breaks down (again) and the Crists hit their superplex into a powerbomb for two with Jackson making the save. With everything going nuts, here’s Sami Callihan to jump Jackson for the DQ at 15:53.
Rating: D. A DQ? In an eight man tag on a one off show? They really couldn’t go to a finish on this one? This was another good example of showing how much more talented Impact is, as Melvin was old, Jonze felt like he was twenty years in the past, Thompson just didn’t stand out and Jackson…well ok he has a lot of potential but it wasn’t like I was buying OVW as being on OVE’s level. Other than maybe a quick fall on Raju, it wasn’t looking likely for the hometown boys to pull this off.
Post match the brawl is on with OVW clearing the ring.
Brian Cage is going to have the match of the night and steal the spotlight, as he always does.
Brian Cage vs. Justin Smooth
Smooth is tall, lanky and in great shape. He’s one of the standout stars on the roster and I could see him going somewhere someday. Cage takes him straight down into a headlock but Justin powers out, only to get his knee taken out. Back up and Justin uses the long legs for a dropkick and a clothesline cuts off the Terminator clap. Smooth pounds away in the corner but gets caught in a Cheeky Nandos kick.
Something close to a One Winged Angel (or at least a prototype version) gives Cage two but Smooth is right back with a spinebuster. Cage’s apron superplex gets two more, as does a powerslam from Smooth. Street Justice (a bicycle kick) just fires Cage up more (he has a thing about no selling kicks to the head) and it’s a buckle bomb to knock Smooth silly. The helicopter bomb gives Cage the pin at 7:34.
Rating: C+. The point of this match was to make Smooth look good and that’s exactly what he did. He’s big and muscular enough that this kind of offense looks like it can hang with Cage, which is quite the accomplishment for anyone. Smooth made an impression and while he has a long way to go, he looked awesome here and that’s a rare instance here.
Adam Revolver and his manager Shannon the Dude (local DJ) are ready for Eddie Edwards. They’ve studied him you see.
Eddie talks to a mannequin and asks if Kenny is ready for Revolver.
Eddie Edwards vs. Adam Revolver
Revolver, with Shannon the Dude, has been around forever and has won everything in the company. Actually hang on a second as here’s Impact World Champion Johnny Impact (who got his start here, meaning it’s a WELCOME HOME chant). He has a surprise.
Impact Wrestling World Title: Johnny Impact vs. Adam Revolver vs. Eddie Edwards
Impact is defending. Revolver bails to the floor and tells the two of them to fight so Johnny runs the ropes, allowing Revolver to trip him down. Eddie’s clothesline gets two with Revolver coming in for the save, which gives the Impact guys an idea. Revolver gets surrounded on the floor and caught in between some alternating forearms. The same thing happens inside with a series of right hands knocking Revolver silly and a double superkick putting him on the floor again.
That leaves Johnny to headlock Eddie down but Revolver breaks up a springboard. Eddie gets sent into the post so Impact knees Revolver in the head. The champ takes too long going up though and gets knocked down, leaving Eddie to come in and crotch Revolver. A double superplex puts all three down and it’s a three way slugout with Eddie getting the better of it.
Eddie has to go after Shannon though, sending Johnny to the back in chase. Shannon comes back out and there’s no Impact as Revolver starts hammering on Eddie, which just fires him up. Here’s Johnny again, only to have Eddie catch him in a Blue Thunder Bomb. The Backpack Stunner is countered into a Russian legsweep to give Revolver two.
Impact throws Revolver down for two with Eddie making the save, earning himself the flipping neckbreaker. This time it’s Revolver pulling Johnny out and getting punched in the face for his efforts. The Boston Knee Party gives Eddie two as Revolver makes yet another save. Revolver’s sleeper (finisher) is broken up by Impact and Starship Pain to Revolver retains the title at 14:04.
Rating: B. This was quite good with everyone working hard and Revolver more than holding his own the entire time. Yeah Eddie and Johnny did the heavy lifting but it was nice to have the OVW guy look more than comfortable instead of having to be walked through his part of the match. Good stuff here and easily the best part of the show so far.
Post match Johnny praises Eddie, who gets decked by Shannon. Eddie beats him up but Revolver hits him low and bails with Shannon before Impact can kill both of them.
Madison says she’s back.
Here’s OVW boss Dean Hill to talk about the issue with Sami Callihan and OVE stealing the OVW Title. He asks Impact President Scott D’Amore to come out here so here’s Scott, with the OVW Title. Dean recaps the story between the two companies and says D’Amore has answered his calls every time…until Sami stole the title when it was just voicemail.
D’Amore says he’s a little busier than someone running OVW but he understands the problem of dealing with Sami Callihan. Looking around the building, it doesn’t seem that dealing with OVE is hurting business around here. D’Amore hands the title back to Hill and says all he wanted was a thank you but here’s OVE to interrupt. Sami likes the sound of those OVE chants but wants the sheep to shut up so he can talk. The chanting continues so Sami sits down and tells them to shut up in Spanish.
Sami yells at D’Amore for giving OVE the shaft again before talking about signing a two year contract. There were some clauses in that contract though, like OVE being at ringside for the title match. Second, if the title isn’t on the line, there’s no match. This brings out OVW Champion Tony Gunn, with Dean saying that the title being on the line is up to the champ. Gunn says it’s on the line and brings out Team OVW for backup. OVE gets cleared out and Hill makes the title match official.
We see a clip of Gunn and Callihan getting in a fight at a comic book store. Always cool to see some local stuff like that.
The Void vs. King’s Ransom
This is the #1 contenders match, which is billed as a Tag Team Title match. Since the champions aren’t in here though and a fall can take place without them involved, I’m not calling it a title match. The Void (two rather small guys) is Nigel Winters/Chace Destiny and King’s Ransom are Maximus/Leonis Khan, who are either twins or brothers who look enough alike that they might as well be twins. They look like the Usos if you inflated them and somehow they’ve only been wrestling for about a year and a half. They’re also #1 contenders after winning a tournament but the champs have been running from them.
Winters goes for a headlock on Leonis to start and gets tossed into the corner with raw power. Chace comes in and rolls up Maximus for two but gets his head knocked off with a jumping clothesline. It’s Chace getting beaten down in the corner until a shot to the throat allows a tag off to Winters.
A double back elbow gets two on Maximus, who comes right back with a double clothesline. The chinlock has Nigel in trouble and it’s back to Leonis for a chinlock of his own. A third chinlock is countered with a pull of the hair to reverse into another chinlock (that’s a new one). Leonis gets a shoulder for the double knockdown as time expires at 10:12.
Rating: D+. This was a weird one with both teams wrestling a similar style, which didn’t make a ton of sense given how different they really are. It wasn’t exactly a surprise that this was going to a time limit draw and there’s nothing wrong with that. If nothing else it saves the big King’s Ransom vs. War Kings showdown and title change for later.
Tag Team Titles: The Void vs. King’s Ransom vs. War Kings
The War Kings (Crimson/Jax Dane) are defending. After we come back from looking at the champs’ entrance, Leonis is in trouble thanks to a chop block from Winters. Crimson makes the save and throws Leonis into the corner so Jax can tag himself in. Dane beats up the Void on his own (it doesn’t look that hard) and we hit the chinlock on Chace.
Crimson comes back in for a suplex, followed by a nerve hold from Dane. The comeback doesn’t take long though as Maximus tags himself in to clothesline the heck out of Nigel. King’s Landing (double spinebuster) gets two but Crimson makes the save, setting up the fireman’s carry flapjack into a cutter to finish Destiny and retain the titles at 8:33.
Rating: D. The rules didn’t do this one any favors as the champs came in and basically squashed the already beaten up Void while ignoring the interesting team. It makes sense from a long term storyline perspective but that doesn’t make for a good match in this case. It wasn’t very good, but the way the match was set up made it seem like this was the way it was supposed to go, which is a pretty strange way to proceed.
OVW Title: Sami Callihan vs. Tony Gunn
Gunn is defending and OVE/Team OVW are all at ringside. They start fast with an exchange of chops in the corner until Gunn dropkicks him to the floor. The stalling ensues until everyone gets inside for the big staredown. We settle down to Gunn knocking Callihan outside and following with a dive this time to keep Sami in trouble. Back in again and Sami flips him off for not chopping hard enough.
A suplex keeps Sami down but he shakes the ropes to knock Gunn down and take over. Gunn gets sent outside for the group stomp and another staredown, because a match and a staredown aren’t enough. Sami grabs a chinlock back inside, followed by something close to a People’s Elbow. The chinlock goes on again but Gunn reverses into a Brock Lock of all things, sending Sami slowly crawling over to the ropes.
Sami bails to the floor and catches a sliding Gunn in the ring skirt to keep up the beating. Back in again and we hit the nerve hold to keep extending the match. That’s reversed as well, this time into an ankle lock of all things. There’s another rope grab for a break, allowing Sami to dive over for a rollup and a near fall. Sami starts in on Gunn’s knee, sending Tony to the ropes as well. It’s Gunn getting fired up this time and spitting in Sami’s face for a change.
A superplex attempt is countered into a powerbomb out of the corner and Sami slaps on a pretty quickly broken STF. The baseball bat is brought in and the tug of war gives us the required ref bump. Gunn’s Five Arm discus forearm connects for no cover so Gunn loads it up again. That’s a smart move but everything breaks down again, as you knew was coming.
We get the big parade of people being knocked down in a row until Gunn hits another Five Arm for no cover. Raju goes up and gets shoved through the announcers’ table (that was LOUD in person), setting up a piledriver for two on Gunn with another referee coming in for the count. Callihan loads up the bat to chair spot but gets low blowed, setting up the third Five Arm to retain the title at 27:58.
Rating: C+. This was long, though it didn’t feel all that long for most of the match. Gunn needed some smoke and mirrors to make up for his limited (though it could have been much worse) offense. I still don’t get the appeal of him in my limited time seeing him but he’s not the most thrilling guy. Sami still comes off like a star, though it might be a case of being a big fish in a small pond.
Team OVW celebrates to end the show. After the show was over, D’Amore offered Gunn a spot in Impact but Gunn turned him down.
Overall Rating: C. You have to consider the situation here. OVW is a smaller promotion and there’s nothing wrong with that. This show was designed to give OVW a rub and that’s what they did. There are people on the roster who look good and have a future, though they need some more seasoning, which is why they’re in OVW at the moment. Some of the talent is much better than others, but what we got here was perfectly watchable and that made for a rather nice show. It was a little long live, but getting to go to the Davis Arena was a cool moment and for the $20 ticket, I can’t complain.
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