Date: February 21, 2020
Location: Ice Center, Lexington, Kentucky
Commentators: D’Lo Brown, Josh Matthews
This was a nice little surprise as OVW/Impact Wrestling ran a joint show in Lexington as a setup for Saturday’s Sacrifice in Louisville. For some reason OVW never runs Lexington so hopefully this is the start of a trend. The show was barely advertised locally so it was far from a guaranteed sellout. Let’s get to it.
The venue was rather small, with four rows of chairs on three sides. One good sign: I sat in the fourth row and by the time the show started, they had put out a fifth row of seats behind me. There was a small but invested crowd so it seemed to go fairly well. I was facing the entrance with commentary on my right (you could hear almost every word they said, which is a weird situation when you’re in the arena) and OVW owner Al Snow about eight feet behind me.
Josh Matthews, going solo until the actual show starts, welcomes us to the show and talks about the big upcoming events. It’s fairly clear that he doesn’t have much to say here other than listing off shows so he’s trying to fill time, which is harder than it seems.
Pre-Show: Dimes vs. Corey Storm
Storm grabs a headlock to start but Dimes is out with a sunset flip for two. Dimes shoulders him down as Josh is talking to I believe Twitch users. I know it sounds a bit goofy but can you imagine WWE doing something that direct? Storm fights out of a chinlock and snaps off a German suplex before dropkicking Dimes into the corner. A top rope double stomp to the back gives Storm the pin at 2:56. Entertaining while it lasted and Storm looked decent.
Josh chats some more.
Pre-Show: Rae Lynn vs. Cali Young
Young is a rather bubbly blonde who is running for some unspecified office, complete with her campaign manager DL3 (in an American flag shirt and shorts). I think you get the idea here and while it’s a small indy gimmick, OVW is a relatively small indy. We start with a Pledge of Allegiance but Lynn rolls her up for two. That means a dancing salute from Young but Lynn drops her with a shoulder.
Young can’t nip up so Lynn slams her, only to have DL3 grab her foot. Lynn is fine enough to hit a crossbody for two and a small package gets the same. A snapmare sets up a chinlock on Lynn but she’s back up in a hurry. DL3: “Get her!” Callie: “Okay!” Another chinlock doesn’t last as long so Callie goes with an X Factor for two more. Callie misses a charge and gets kicked in the head, drawing DL3 up to the apron so there’s no count. Lynn knocks them into each other and rolls Callie up for the pin at 6:08.
Rating: D+. There isn’t much to say about this one as it was two women who are neither good nor horrible in the ring with a limited amount of time to work. It’s fine for a warmup match and Callie’s patriotic deal was fine enough for what they’re doing. OVW’s women’s division has never been a strong point but this was far from a disaster. Just kind of there for the most part.
Moose joins commentary and is happy to be going back to Atlanta for some shows. They talk about his time with the Atlanta Falcons and it’s much more of a chat than an interview. Moose is ready to face Jay Bradley and isn’t worried about facing a so called “best big” tonight. He thinks it’s going to be bell, spear bell, and yes, he is Mr. Impact Wrestling. This was really different and in a pretty nice way (once they got the commentary to work).
Opening sequence, complete with the ring announcer telling the fans to get up and make noise.
Trey Wentz vs. Maximus Khan
Khan’s OVW Title isn’t on the line. He has a big helmet and cape to make him quite the intimidating presence. Wentz’s offer of a handshake is slapped away but he gets powered into the corner. That means a top rope hurricanrana to send Khan into the corner for a running dropkick.
Khan is right back with some right hands to the head and Wentz is in trouble in a hurry. The chinlock goes on until Khan switches to a sleeper, sending Wentz over to the rope. This time Wentz grabs a rolling snapmare and kicks him in the chest to send Khan outside. Back in and a springboard Codebreaker gives Wentz two but Khan’s ax kick gets the same. A heck of a spear finishes Wentz at 9:20.
Rating: C. I like both guys and this was a good showcase for Khan. Wentz is part of a trio but he has enough credibility that beating him makes Khan look that much better. It’s not a game changer, but it makes Khan look like a big deal. Good enough choice for an opener here with power vs. speed being as basic of a wrestling story as you’re going to find.
Dave Crist vs. Joey Ryan
So Crist apparently has no idea what Ryan is all about and is rather confused by the whole thing. He does get in a rather funny line during his entrances (though the camera doesn’t pick it up here): “I’m not like you Kentucky hillbillies! We don’t have hills in Ohio!” Josh explains Joey’s shtick in as PG of a way as possible, which gets to what bothers me here: there are a bunch of kids in the audience and Ryan’s deal is far from kid friendly. I’m sure he has a PG version of it, but this was the full on deal and there’s something off about doing that with so many kids in the audience.
We get the full lollipop deal and it’s time to oil up after the bell. Dave: “WHAT IS THAT FOR???” Joey tells him to touch it but Dave has to ask the fans what he needs to touch. Dave does in fact touch it and then asks what that thing is. After teasing getting in a fight with a fan, Dave invites Joey to wrestle the wrestle guy. Joey: “Wrestling’s not really my strong suit but I’ll give it a go.”
They fight over arm control until Ryan takes him down for a leglock. Some armdrags put Dave outside so he comes back in for failed attempts at a low blow and atomic drop. Dave bails to the floor again because of a leg injury but this time he comes back in to work on Ryan’s leg. He dives into a raised boot though and falls face first between Joey’s legs. Joey fires back with clotheslines and a dropkick but Dave gets in a spinebuster. Standing Sliced Bread #2 gives Dave two more but Joey makes him touch It. The Plex sets up Sweet Tooth Music for the pin on Dave at 9:39.
Rating: D. Yeah what else were you expecting here? My guess would be the same stuff that you always get from Ryan, which is one of my biggest problems with him. I’ll give them points for having something unique with Dave being all confused and not knowing what was going on, but the first half was really basic stuff and not very good, which is the other part of what’s wrong with Ryan: his wrestling is rather boring most of the time, hence the need for the shtick.
Johnny Swinger vs. Willie Mack
Hold on though as Swinger says no one wants to see these two fight. They’ve caught on like wildfire so strong that Tommy Rich called him up the other day. Ole is ticked but the fans need to go buy a Mack and Pack shirt for $29.95, cash on delivery. They can have a tag match instead so bring out the ham and eggers. Swinger tries a rollup but the bell hasn’t rung yet, so Mack is rather annoyed. He grabs his own rollup for two as the bell rings and Swinger knows he’s in trouble.
Mack scares him into the ropes where Swinger insults the mizarks, earning himself some atomic drops. Swinger needs a breather but goes with a test of strength to continue the rather dumb ideas. That earns him a double stomp to the hands and Mack hammers away in the corner for a bonus. A cheap shot out of the corner drops Mack and we hit the nerve hold. Swinger pulls at the nose and gets two off a forearm to the face.
We go Orndorff with a bit of a dancing elbow but Mack is back up with a few back rakes. A missed elbow starts up the Mack chants and the fans are even more pleased as Swinger misses his own elbows. The swinging slam into the legdrop sets up the Samoan drop into the standing moonsault as Mack is rolling. There’s the Stunner into the Six Star Frog Splash to finish Swinger at 10:44.
Rating: C. I know the wrestling wasn’t much to see but Mack is one of the best guys around here and Swinger is so goofily bad that it’s fun (and we’re in on the joke for once). Keeping him WAY down in stuff like this is fine and he’s playing everything perfectly. Just let him stay as a comedy guy and he could stick around for a good while.
Tony Gunn vs. Trey Miguel
Gunn is a former OVW Champion and has yet to show me much of anything in previous appearances. Gunn shoulders him down and says this is the Gunn Show. I’m almost scared to ask how long it took him to think of that. They go to the mat with neither being able to get ahead, meaning it’s a standoff. Back up and they both miss some right hands until Trey kicks him in the face.
Tony takes the leg out as he heads outside, only to get taken down by the suicide dive. Gunn kicks the ropes on the way back in though and Trey has banged up his knee. Back in and Gunn grabs a kneebar, as he certainly should be doing. Now it’s a Brock Lock to mix things up a bit, even lifting Trey up for a bonus.
That’s broken up and Trey manages a kick to the face, setting up a jumping neckbreaker to put both of them down. In a not so bright move, Trey goes up and misses the double knees, though he settles for a double stomp to the back of the head for two. Gunn grabs the Texas Cloverleaf to go back to the knee, only to let it go so Trey can hit the Cheeky Nandos kick in the corner. A 619 into the top rope Meteora finishes Gunn at 11:05.
Rating: C. Another completely watchable match with Wentz fighting back through adversity and hitting his finisher to win, even though there wasn’t much logic in using a knee based move after you knee was banged up. Then again Trey isn’t the most logical guy in the world so maybe it makes sense for him. Not a bad match either, even with Gunn being rather generic in everything he does.
Moose vs. Jay Bradley
Hoss fight. Moose tries the spear at the bell but gets kicked in the face for his efforts. They trade shoulders with Moose going down, only to nip right back up. Moose gets tossed across the ring and that means it’s time for a breather on the floor. Bradley follows him out though and sends Moose into the apron, only to get whipped into the barricade.
The run around the ring clothesline is cut off by an elbow to the face and it’s a chokeslam onto the apron for a bonus. Back in and a Vader Bomb elbow gives Bradley two but Moose hits some running dropkicks to the face. A wind up lariat misses and Bradley headbutts him down for two.
Bradley’s pop up powerbomb gets the same but Moose catches him on top. That means a top rope superplex with one of the loudest landings I can ever remember. Moose’s chokebomb gets two more and they trade big shots to the face. Bradley hits the Boom Stick (hard lariat) for two so he loads up another, only to get No Jackhammer Needed down for the pin at 12:40.
Rating: B. This was easily the match of the night so far as the two of them beat the heck out of each other with one hard hitting power move after another. Bradley is little more than a power guy but he does it quite well and makes for some entertaining matches. When Moose finds a good opponent, he can do some awesome stuff in the ring and that’s what he did here.
The announcers chat for a bit as something (maybe part of the mat that attaches to the ring) has to be repaired.
North vs. Larry D./Acey Romero
Non-title and Larry (or Madman Fulton as the graphic says) is a local/big guy who got signed off another Impact Plus event. Alexander tries to dodge Romero to starts and then a single shot to the face…has no effect whatsoever. Some big slams have Alexander down and it’s off to Larry for some shoulders. It’s off to Page for a headlock but for some reason he tries some shoulders to as much effect as you would expect.
Alexander grabs Romero’s foot though and Page kicks him in the head, followed by sending Alexander hard into Romero’s back. As Josh gets his Kentucky geography wrong, Page hammers away and rips at Acey’s face against the ropes. Alexander forearms at the face and hands it back to Page for a knee drop. The wide variety of pounding on Romero continues until the North mixes things up by beating him up at the same time. Romero hits the double Pounce and the hot tag brings in Larry to clean house.
A sitout powerbomb gets two on Alexander, who is right back with a muscular suplex. Romero is already back in as everything breaks down with the big guys getting the better of things. The North pulls Larry off the top and into Romero though, followed by a heck of a German suplex for two on Larry. Romero dropkicks Alexander into Larry for a full nelson slam but Page sends Larry outside. That means a powerbomb out of the corner can finish Romero at 16:03.
Rating: D+. The length is the big problem here as Romero and Larry aren’t exactly guys with a lot of versatility. They can do some good things for their size but sixteen minutes is WAY too long for a big guy like Romero and a very limited guy like Larry. It’s not a horrible match but it just went on WAY too long.
Rhino vs. Madman Fulton
No DQ, or “old school” rules as it’s called here. They drive each other around a few times until a hard shoulder puts Fulton on the floor. The brawling begins with both guys being sent into various things, including Rhino dropping him back first onto the apron. Rhino chairs him in the ribs and gets in a suplex in the aisle. Now it’s a trashcan and a kendo stick as Rhino starts unloading with various shots. He spends too much time hunting for weapons though and that lets Fulton get in his own chair shots.
The trashcan is wedged in the corner but Rhino hiptosses him onto an open chair. Fulton gets sent HARD into the trashcan in the corner, only to come back with a slam onto the folded chair. Rhino is right back up and superplexes him onto a few chairs for two. The Gore is cut off with a trashcan shot and Fulton smashes him with a kendo stick. The referee gets bumped, followed by a Gore and another referee running in for the pin at 13:22.
Rating: D+. If you’ve seen one of these, you’ve seen all of them. There’s nothing to this other than trading shots with weapons and that doesn’t exactly keep me interested in what is going on. Fulton losing to Rhino is far from a stretch but the ECW stuff doesn’t exactly hold up well these days, especially with an ECW guy still in there.
Kiera Hogan vs. Megan Bayne vs. Jessika Havok vs. Jordynne Grace
Non-title and Bayne is a tall/muscular woman from OVW. It’s Bayne vs. Havok in the first of what will likely be several power showdowns. The hit/shove each other a few times until Grace comes in to slug it out with Havok. Hogan comes in and has to escape a Grace Driver attempt, meaning Bayne can come back in to fight Grace.
With Grace being sent outside, Havok comes back in to splash Bayne in the corner. Forearms to the chest keep Bayne down but she avoids a legdrop. Bayne’s crossbody takes Havok down but Hogan and Grace come in for stereo near falls. Bayne knocks both of them down and Samoan drops Havok for two on all three. Havok is back up though and chokebombs Bayne into a Boston crab for the win at 7:02.
Rating: C-. They kept this short as there is only so much that you can do with these four going after each other. The win makes sense as Havok is challenging Grace on Saturday so at least they have some logic. Bayne is someone who could be a nice player once she gets some more experience, because she already has the look and size.
Ace Austin/Jake Crist vs. Tessa Blanchard/Daga
Preview for tomorrow’s Austin vs. Blanchard match. Ace bails from Tessa to start so it’s Jake coming in to trade arm holds with Blanchard. That’s fine with her as she ties up Jake in a leglock to send him to the ropes for a breather. Daga and Ace come in for an exchange of shoulders with Daga getting the better of things. A dropkick keeps Jake down so it’s off to Ace, who again runs from the legal Tessa.
Ace gets in a cheap shot from the apron to drop Daga though and NOW he’ll come in, like any good heel. That means a front facelock, followed by a bow and arrow to keep Daga in trouble. A rather nasty northern lights suplex drops Daga on his head for two and it’s off to the reverse chinlock. The headscissors works on the neck a bit more, with Ace bragging about his legs.
An invading Tessa lets Jake come in sans tag but it’s quickly back to Ace to stomp away even more. Daga fights back but gets pulled into the corner by the leg. A quick flurry of kicks and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker get Daga out of trouble though, meaning Tessa can come in and clean house….until the referee says he didn’t see it.
I can always go for that and it’s Daga getting taken back into the corner to continue the beatdown. Daga scores with a snap powerslam and NOW the tag to Tessa counts. House is cleaned in a hurry but Magnum misses, allowing Ace to hit a Samoan driver onto the knee. Daga brainbusters Ace though and sends him outside for a dive. The Buzzsaw DDT finishes Jake at 16:50.
Rating: B. Now this was more like it and you can see the talent out there. Tessa really is good and has the fire in her eyes that makes you realize just how good she is. Couple that with a slimy heel like Ace and we should be in for a heck of a fight tomorrow. This was a very nice formula based tag match and the best thing on the show, which is often what a main event should be.
Overall Rating: C. This was perfectly watchable and there were some good matches throughout the card. Not everything is great or even good but Moose vs. Bradley and the main event were solid enough. For $15 flat to sit in the fourth of five rows on a two and a half hour show, I can’t complain much at all. It makes me want to watch Sacrifice and that’s entirely the point of something like this. Above that though, I’d go again so they’ve done something right.
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